Archive for August, 2009

Sea Slug Scarf and Spiral Hat

Sea Slug scarfI’ve been knitting lately.  I finished a pair of mittens for a Christmas present and two things for me.  The mittens are not being shown for obvious reasons, but the others are here.  The first is what I’m calling a Sea Slug scarf.  The pattern is really titled Winter Head Wrap by Mac and Me but I wouldn’t wear it that way and all the ruffles remind me of sea slugs or, for the more scientific inclined, nudibranchs.  You can see some pictures here and here and here to see what I mean.  I used Bebe Cotsoy yarn, a blend of cotton and soy fibers.

Spiral HatThe second project is a Spiral Hat.  The pattern can be found in the Storey publication 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders on page 164.  It is a smallish pattern which fits my little head just fine.  I used Louisa Harding Castello yarn, a wool, cotton and synthetic blend.  It made up quickly on size 8 circulars and double points.

Now that I have these little projects finished and out of the knitting bag, it’s on to ….  Socks!

Common Burdock

common burdockDid you ever wonder where the idea for Velcro came from?  Check out the Common Burdock.  The round green buds are covered with lots of little tiny hooks that attach to clothing and fur.  That’s how the plant distributes it’s seeds.  Most meadow walkers have picked many of these off their clothes at some point.  The delicate purple flowers are frequented by bees for pollination and when the seeds mature, the pods are carried far and wide.

Something’s Missing

milkweed bloomsThat something is the Monarch butterfly.  All these beautiful Milkweed blooms and no Monarchs.  I have not seen even one this summer.  In past years I have been able to collect eggs and/or caterpillars to watch as they make their amazing transformation.  I hope they’ll be back next year.

An interesting fact about milkweed that I didn’t know is that it is edible.  You can check out some information about that here.  The flowers are wonderfully fragrant as well.

A walk

Indian PipesI walked into town today.  It’s three miles but all downhill.  It was a glorious day – cool and clear with a gentle breeze – in a word: perfect.  Along the way I found a rather large patch of one of my favorite wildflowers, the Indian Pipe.  There were several large clusters sheltered by heavy undergrowth.  I’m not exactly sure how I spotted them, they were so well hidden in the dappled sunlight.

A little farther down the road was a tall stand of fabulous pink blooms along the edge of the drainage gully.  I thought it was Purple Loosestrife which is much maligned and considered invasive because of the way it takes over marshy areas, forcing out the native vegetation.  Fireweed and Mt OkemoI stopped and took some photos so I could identify it for sure when I got home.  Imagine my surprise to find out we have Fireweed in the neighborhood.  It isn’t Loosestrife at all.  I’ve been enjoying pictures of the Fireweed growing in Alaska on my friend Stephanie’s blog here and here and bemoaning the fact that I couldn’t see it in person, trying to imagine the incredible beauty of the pink hillsides.  And it is here afterall, not in abundance like in AK but here and beautiful nonetheless.

Fireweed


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