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This year's snowflake, adapted from a pattern by Faye Shelton. I don't love it the way I loved last year's, but it will do.



Dec. 28th, 2011 08:02 am
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First test of the 2012 model. The second run-through took precisely one hour. I tweaked the pattern a bit but won't know whether I like the tweak until I've blocked it. I have a second tweak planned if the first one isn't quite right, and a third right behind that.

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It has been raining, off and on, all day: a good thing, given that they had to release water from reservoirs into the Delaware to keep the saltwater out of our water supply. As far as I'm concerned, it could rain all week. It's too late to save the fall foliage season, I think, but it may help the trees nevertheless.

I've done a little garden-to-bed prep -- that is to say, I've taken cuttings of the seven varieties of coleus I plan to save, plus some basil, plus some sage. I'll start new marjoram and thyme next spring, I think, along with parsley.

I don't know whether they're runners or seedlings, but I have a lot of new rosettes of Oenothera. That will be nice.

There are fat purple things growing on the moonflower vine. I am guessing that they're seedpods.

The piece of the Aunties' Rosebush that my sister brought me appears to be doing well. I should move it to the big tub soon so that it has a chance to establish itself before winter.

As the internet obliterates older traditions, my Christmas card list has dwindled, and I now only need 20 snowflakes. So far I've made 32, which gives me some for the tree, some for gift decorations, some for spares. I'll make a few more just to be on the safe side.
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I am pleased to report that there is now new growth on every hippeastrum I brought in a couple weeks ago, as well as the two new bulbs. The current seedling crop continues to thrive and I think I will pot them on into a larger container in March.

Last night I brought in the last of the adolescent hippeastrum and tried giving them the hot water bath in the bathtub, being as the container was too big to fit in the sink. Bad move. Filling the bathtub enough to submerge the container totally depleted the hot water tank, so I had no reserve of hot water to compensate for cooling. But I think they got close to the 30 minutes at 110F they're supposed to have gotten, so we'll see.

Roy was out at a dinner function last night, so I got to do Netflix-on-demand at my computer, finishing up the 1983 Jane Eyre with Timothy Dalton and Zelia Clark. I also finished up another set of those nice wrist-and-hand warmers. I bleieve I was using leftover yarn from the ben.ben.blankie, although I'm not entirely sure. With that little project complete, I've switched to crocheting the 2010 snowflakes. But first, I made another half-dozen of the 2009 version, of which I made too few in the larger size and too many in the smaller size.

Still no sign of life on the pansy seedlings. It's about time to give up on them, I think, but I'll water them for another week before I do.
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Originally uploaded by lb_philly.
Time to start planning for Christmas 2010. This is the first attempt at the pattern for the 2010 snowflake (it came from a book, not my brain). I did it, starched it and blocked it yesterday. I can see that this one will require very close attention to the tension -- the lower right point is much larger than its fellows, probably because I was crocheting more loosely. I'm not sure I like it.

I also ordered cards from the Metropolitan Museum of Art -- they're half price after Christmas.

Now to finish wrapping the almost-last of the 2009 gifties, for my sister, her husband and the niblings. I have things for my other daughter-in-law, too, but they'll be extremely late, owing to my having forgotten to click the "send" button on my Amazon order.

Sister etc should be here in a few hours.

Time also to turn my attention to my various hippeastrum experiments. I believe that my current ones may all have the dreaded red blotch. Rather than throwing them all away, I think I'll wait till the younglings have bloomed, choose a couple to save, put them and their parents in a heat bath that is supposed to zap the fungus, and...and then what? Heat-bathe and re-pot the rest, if I know myself.

They were too dark and wet in the place I put them last year. This year I will keep them all in one room so they can't contaminate the youngsters up here on my office windowsill.

Do I start the pansies, or not? I can't decide.
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Originally uploaded by lb_philly.
Funny: it doesn't look lopsided in real life -- must have something to do with the shape of pixels. (Edit: or the fact that it wasn't straight up and down, which I've fixed so it looks better.)

Coats & Clark, book No. 267, "Fanciworks," 1978. Crocus doily, A-975. Worked in Herrschners Size 30 Ecru, in cones. Completed November 2008.


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