Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy New Year!

2013 is finished.  I know this, because this is also finished:

That's my 2013 year in temperatures scarf.  It's ruffled because I knit it in wedges, one wedge per day (with the dark green ones to mark the months).  The color was determined by the high temperature for that day (one color for every five degree difference).  It's about 9 feet long.
It was an easy project, in terms of the knitting--it only takes about five minutes to do a wedge.  But I had to take a whole year to do it, waiting to see which each day would be.  Now that it's done, I realize I'm going to miss it--because it wasn't about having a finished scarf, but rather the process of making it (don't miss it enough to do another one--between this and the Dr. Who scarf I have enough super-long scarves).
Bob and I both had two weeks off between terms.  We had plans--we were going to do hiking, a kayaking, and work on projects, and I was going to get the house clean.  Uh . . .  best laid schemes?   Some of it wasn't our fault--it rained almost every day.  Some . . .well, me and housekeeping really don't see eye to eye.  I mean, you can clean house, or you can just sit in a messy room on a gray day and enjoy being with the cats.  (Not sure where Pookha was for this one.)
We did get to check out the new indoor shooting range in town--the rain didn't matter there.  I couldn't resist getting this zombie target.  Although it does show that we need to get in some more shooting practice--we managed to hit everywhere *except* the head and heart target spots.  If zombies are picky about where they're shot, we're doomed!
I have gotten some other things done.  This piece has been on the loom since about May--I wanted to learn a new technique for weaving that random shaded look.  I was inspired to finish it by the fact that I need the loom to weave some shaggy shoulder mantles for the Knights of Ni in the upcoming production of Spamalot at the School of Theatre.    If you're knitting something, and feel like knitting something else, it's no big deal to go get another set of knitting needles.  Looms aren't quite like that, so I have to finish this piece.   I really like the way it turned out--it's destined to become a tote bag some day.   I almost have the warp on for the new project.
Also for Spamalot is some knitting of faux chain mail.  Although it's done with big needles and thick nylon cord, it's rather "muscular" knitting and it takes awhile to finish a piece.  I've done two shoulder pieces and three sleeves--one sleeve to go.  This will look better after it's dyed and gilded.       
Another "muscular" project is the expansion of the garden.   This so far has been Bob's project.  We've had a sink outside of the fenced-in garden, but it's tricky to use in the peacock breeding season because one of the boys can be pretty aggressive.  Bob also wanted to have the little greenhouse inside the fenced area to make it easier to carry things back and fourth.  He had moved the fence, and we were off to get some flagstones to pave in the sink area.  One the way we visited a friend, and upon hearing about our project, pointed to a huge pile of flagstones in a corner of her yard and offered them to us.  She has a friend who's a contractor and he had pulled them up on a job and taken them to her place in case she ever wanted to pave in her patio.  After four years that hadn't happened, so they were ours for the taking.  They were of two different shapes--some squares, and some of a house shape.  Bob was just going to put them in rows (the house shapes could be interlocked) but I thought we should do something more interesting.  Of course, this meant that I had to be the one to figure out the "more interesting" pattern, and then put them in place.  Oh, well--I need the exercise.  We got another load yesterday.  It will take a couple more to finish the project--there's a limit on how much weight the truck can take at a time (or my back and legs, for that matter).
This morning we *finally* got some bright clear weather so decided to go hike at St. Marks.  Sheesh!!!  Bright, clear, windy, and COLD!!.  OK--so my relatives and friends in areas like Boston, Kansas, Alaska, and Belgium won't offer any sympathy, but to us thin-blooded Floridians, temps in the 30's with wind is freezing!  Here we are, actually bundled up.

We weren't the only wimps.  St. Marks is a wildlife refuge, and usually lives up to that name.  Today all the wildlife was apparently hunkered down somewhere--we saw only a few birds, no alligators, and not even any fiddler crabs (usually the ground is moving with them).    But afterwards we went for lunch at a little redneck dive for oysters, shrimp, and smoked mullet--yum!  I had to laugh--I talked a little in my last post about the "real food" movement.  Another "new" movement is called locavore--the idea of eating food produced in the area, not shipped in.  People act like it's a new idea--but little shacks like this have been serving locally-harvested food for generations.  Maybe the place just doesn't have that yuppie/hipster vibe.

Past my bedtime now--Happy New Year to all!

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