The adventures of a knitting grandmother

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She spins, she knits, she blogs about it all.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

It's a Vision

A vision of something absolutely gorgeous. This is 4 ounces of laceweight bamboo, beautifully hand dyed by Teresa Ruch of Teresa Ruch Designs in Portland, OR. This lovely skein was gifted to me by the extraordinarily generous Roxie, as a major giveaway she held for her 600th post. Thank you, thank you, Roxie!

And I have a vision of a beautiful lace scarf in my future!

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Christmas in July

The Irish Hiking Scarf was finished on July 26, just one day shy of Christmas in July. But it's going to be put aside for a Christmas gift, so it still counts.

Specs: 352 yards of Brown Sheep Prairie Silk, a silk/wool/mohair/blend. Color: Bolivar Blue. This yarn has been discontinued. US Size 8 needles.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday's Flowers

This is one of the planter beds I played with a few weeks ago. With all the rain we're getting, it's doing very well.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

N is for...


Nature can get wild and crazy this time of year in Arizona. We have been getting a lot of rain. This is a good thing; the drought has been worse this year than I have ever seen. But now it is gratifying to see the storm clouds building up over the mountains by mid-morning, on a daily basis. There are massive thunderstorms each afternoon and lots of rain. It's enough to make a person start dancing.

It is also enough to make nature go a little crazy. The cactus in the front yard bloomed in June as hoped for, but now with all the rain a rogue flower showed up this week. That bloom is particularly large for this cactus, well more than six inches across.

In the backyard, a rogue red hot poker showed up. These hadn't bloomed this year, due to a complete lack of rain; in fact, I didn't even think they were going to grow at all. I was considering digging the things up and trying them in another location, when the rains started and the pokers suddenly started to grow. Now I have one poker a couple months after they are supposed to appear.

We had no plums off the plum tree this year. Oh, the tree bloomed and fruit started to form, but they remained small and hard and never ripened before all falling off the tree. Now that the rains are here in abundance, however, the pear tree is doing fine.

And the mimosa trees are still blooming like mad. The perfume from these in the morning is heavy and intoxicating, especially with all the humidity. The bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies are having a field day.

Of course, Nature has it's other side. With constant days of rain, the backyard has 486,990,365,389 weeds springing up. At least it makes for a lot of green.

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Attention, Sports Fans...

We finally have a completed pair of socks.

It was a long time coming, but these have finally crossed the finish line.

Basic Sock Recipe from Knitting Rules!, by the Yarn Harlot. US Size 1 needles. Austermann Step yarn, color 09.

Started in February, finished on July 8. Very nice and snug, perfect. The stripes match up perfectly and there was plenty of yarn left over. I have cast on for another Baby Surprise Jacket with the remainder.

I suppose that now I could start a pair for the Summer of Socks, like, being the last person across that particular starting line, and see if I could finish a pair before the KAL ends, but why spoil a perfectly good bottom-of-the-heap track record?

Oh, by the way, one of our summer projects -- the old carpeting on the porch was ripped up and replaced by ceramic tile. Beautiful, neat, and clean. I love sitting out here in the early mornings or evenings. And there should be a couple more FO's shortly. I'm on a clean-up-the-WIPs kick. Have a great rest of the weekend.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Saturday Sky, Driving Home from Work


Friday, July 11, 2008

M is for...

Mines and mills.

Let's take a walk today on a quiet desert pathway north of Fairbank.

A walk of about a mile or thereabouts brings you to an old uncapped mineshaft. This area of Arizona has been mined for silver, copper, turquoise and other semi-precious stones for the last hundred and thirty years or so. The town of Bisbee has a huge open pit mine; the town of Tombstone is built over the old silver mine tunnels. Sometimes those tunnels cave in and then a street suddenly disappears. Fortunes were made here. Eventually, however, the Tombstone mines flooded and production slowed to a standstill; the copper became too expensive to mine and the economy suffered. Some mining still goes on here, but on a very reduced scale.

Many mine shafts were dug in the desert. Some have been closed over, but many, like this one, have not. There is a hazard in off-trail desert hiking or biking, due to the many mineshafts still open. Accidents and deaths still occur, unfortunately.

Here, just off the trail, are the ruins of an ore processing mill.

These stone walls were once the back walls of a huge stamping mill just north of Fairbank.

There were once several stamping mills in the area, all of them built a little above the river. Water power was used to run the machinery that processed the raw ore and removed the silver so that it could be collected.

The machinery was so loud that it could be heard for miles, 24-7.

Now all that remains are the stone walls, the ghost towns, and the old mine shafts.

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