Sunday, February 22, 2009

Of Blooms and Kittens and an STR Rooster

For those of you in the frozen North, who can't imagine anything but snow and ice, let me show you what flourishes in winter in North Texas.
Monkey-faced pansies are a winter flower here, protected only when the temps drop into the teens, Farenheit that is. By March or so, it is just too warm for them and we bid them fond farewell until the weather crisps up in the fall.
This Japanese Magnolia thinks it's spring in mid-February, foolish tree. It froze again last night, though just barely.Cyclamens bloom in the pots in front, covered only when it drops below freezing. For years I thought they were a delicate hothouse plant. In New Orleans, I would bring them home to live indoors as I was told and watch them croak after a week or so. Little did I know they were truly a rather hardy outdoor plant.

My goodness, the flowers just kept coming on Valentine's Day. The doorbell rang and rang with still another delivery. Aren't they just beautiful? No chocolates, though.
The base of the orchid arrangement was particularly lovely, sprouting into 4 foot bamboo canes.
Have we knit lately Chez Angeluna?
Yes, indeed. Here be the finished Leyburns. My sock knitting Mojo is back with a vengeance after a year's hiatus. There is a Socks That Rock Leyburn KAL on Ravelry. The idea being to knit the Leyburn pattern in as many colors of STR as possible. There are well over 100 pairs done so far, one more beautiful than the next.Mine are in Mid-Weight STR, Chanticleer from my stash, knit on 2.5mms, 66 stitches on the cuff. They fit well and are incredibly cushy. Look at the sole, Chanticleer has speckles, most unusual for STR.
Here is the skein. It knit up in quite unexpected fashion, at least a surprise to me.
And I started the Morning Surf pattern in Micki's gorgeous handspun, 56 stitches, size 6s. The skein had been sitting in plain sight for months, waiting for the right pattern to claim it. Not so spectacular on the needles, but blocked, it will be fantastic. Micki's policy is that if you haven't knitted a skein by your next birthday, you don't get another one. No problem here. This pattern is addictive. Micki used the same pattern in a scarf for herself and it was obviously the perfect pattern, from Spin-Off by the way, designed for handspun yarns.

And I'm working on Soho again. Frustrations with the pattern seem to be resolved. Received another skein of Plain and Fancy from Grayce, which will be needed. Should you be thinking of making that pattern, plan on more yarn than the pattern calls for. I'm using 600 yards more. It's still a bit of a blob in photos, so I'll wait until it's further along to show it off. Soon, soon.
Many of you have asked if my kitten has arrived. Well, the blue tabby/white bicolor is not going to happen. I'm a bit heartbroken as I so anticipated his arrival, but unexpectedly, an important breeder claimed him and it would have been unfair to my friend to have to refuse the deal. She said she would make me another one, or let me have one that she already has.
Like perhaps this little guy out of Grand Champion Regional Winner Black Jack of Jude. He's a Seal Point Himalayan and he never stops purring. He's four months now. I'm not getting attached until another top breeder takes her pick of the litter.
He's one of this litter that we call the "Full House". Three Seal Point boys and two black girls, all show quality. How cute is that?