Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday, Feb. 20th

I'm really digging having Fridays off and today was no exception. It's nice to sleep until 6 AM (instead of the usual 3:45) and today it was already getting pretty light outside by 6:30--another positive sign that spring is getting closer. I filled my coffee cup, popped a movie into the DVD player, and settled down for some serious knitting time. After ripping out the neck last night, I wanted to get my Big Lena Sveater finished this morning. Here's the finished sweater (I even got it washed this afternoon).
Now that it's done, I have to admit that I'm not totally thrilled with this sweater and especially with the way the neck turned out, but I'm going to reserve the final judgement until after it dries and I try it on and find out whether washing and blocking corrected the way this neckline lays down. I'm thinking I'll probably have to rip it out and re-knit it one more time. (And if I still don't like it, watch for it in my Etsy store!)

On a happier note, there were lots of birdies in the backyard today. The first arrivals were the Common Redpolls--oodles of them! This oak tree in the backyard is a great stopover spot for them on their way to the thistle feeders on the deck.
These shots were taken before 8:00 this morning and the sun hadn't risen far enough to shine over the house, so they're not the best pictures, but I wanted to give you an idea of how many redpolls were hanging around.
It's amazing how much difference a little bit of snow makes. Last weekend, during the Great Backyard Bird Count, we had almost no snow on the ground and there were a lot less birds in the backyard than I saw this morning.

Lot of goldfinches at the feeders today too. Here's the last sunflower head from my garden last summer. I'm definitely going to be planting more sunflowers this summer. It's fun to see the birds eating seeds this way.

It's snowing right now and the weather service says we can expect anywhere from 3-5 inches before the snow is all done sometime tomorrow morning. Naturally, I'm not thrilled about more snow, but I am looking forward to seeing lots of birds at my backyard feeders for the weekend!

Have a great weekend everyone!


Shellmo said...

I think that sweater is very nice - like the colors and design! Also - I'm glad you reminded me of sunflowers! I'm going to plant a bunch too - it was so neat to see the birds enjoying yours!

Kelly said...

Wow....that's a beautiful sweater!!! It makes me think of an Iclandic design. Impressive to say the least...
We're supposed to get snow tomorrow, and I'm sort of looking forward to it because it will definitely enhance the birds at the feeders. You're so lucky to have all those redpolls....

Kallen305 said...

I love that sweater!! I can't even imagine having the patience to do something that fabulous!

I am so envious of your redpolls! I have been trying to get them in my yard for months now with no luck. In the meantime you get flocks of them. Not fair I tell you! ;o)

Hmmmm. We are expected to get snow this weekend so maybe this will be my weekend for the redpolls!

Mama Pea said...

Will you model your new sweater for us? How 'bout asking Mr. J to take a picture of you wearing it? You are so good about sticking to your goals! You said you would have it done by the end of the month and you made it with a week to spare. (Sure hope you don't end up ripping out the neck again . . . ugh.)

KGMom said...

Wow, you must be a tough self-critic as a knitter.
I am still working on my prayer shawl--it is a lacy design, and when I spotted a mistake, I tried ripping--but when you do yarn-over, ripping just gets confusing. So, I gave up.

A lot of birds? You aren't kidding.

Finally, sleeping in to 6 a.m. is NOT sleeping in for me. But, compared to 3:45--it sure is. 3:45? Every work day--(yawn)--just saying that makes me sleepy.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Shelley,
I don't have pictures, but have seen the carinal, bluejay and chickadee on this sunflower head too.

Thanks Kelly.
I can tell you that this snow probably won't last--highs in low 30s predicted for the middle of next week.
I was surprised to see all the redpolls too--they're definitely morning visitors which explains why I haven't seen them lately (I've been at work).

Thanks Kallen. If you wanted to try 2-colored knitting, this would be a good pattern to start with--the design is a 4 stitch repeat (very easy to remember and no long yarn carries).
I was surprised to see all the redpolls still hanging around too. I suppose they'll be here till the snow is all gone.

Hi Mama Pea,
You may see a picture of me modeling the sweater after it dries (if I still like it and decide to keep it). It's always good to finish a project, now I have to go back and work on some of the others. Wonder how many more I can get done before the end of the month....

RuthieJ said...

Hi Donna,
I'm horribly critical of my own work (the price of being a perfectionist!) When I was trying the sweater on, I thought to myself that no one would probably notice the neckline, but I was unhappy with it and know I wouldn't enjoy wearing the sweater like that.
I'm sorry to hear about your prayer shawl. Earlier this year, I learned about "life lines" for lace knitting projects. It's pretty simple to do and if you're interested, I can send you some information on it (in case you decide to tackle that shawl again).
Only 4 more days of the 3:45 wake-up more thing about unemployment to look forward to!

Anonymous said...

That sweater is very attractive, I love the colors.

I sure can get a redpoll fix any time I want, I just go to your blog. I have not seen a one of them. We still have siskins. I filled the feeders today, planning on all this snow, they will be hungry in the AM. Even put corn out for the squirrels, it should keep them out of the feeders until they finish the corn.


Gaelyn said...

Really like the sweater. Very nice pattern at the neckline.
Love the birds on the sunflower.
So having time at home is pretty nice.

Marsha said...

I think your sweater is beautiful, I hope the washing makes it fit the way you want it too.

I am growing more sunflowers this year as well. I have a problem getting enough to save for later as they eat them as soon as they ripen on the stalk, but that is also a beautiful site.

Mel said...

Hola Ruthie,
Right this second looking at that sweater makes me sweat, hahaha
We are over 34°C over here and it is getting hotter by the minute :S
I think it looks ok, but I know you are such a perfectionist with the stuff you make that you won't be happy until you try it on and decide its future, lol
Pretty visitors btw!
I have news for you, will tell you later ;)

Jayne said...

More snow=more knitting time? I think your sweater turned out beautifully Ruthie. :c)

troutbirder said...

Have had 1 redpoll in yard total all winter. The pine siskins have been around for several weeks now.
My mom used to knit sweaters and stocking caps for me. Fond memories.

Red said...

Any luck with reshaping the sweater after it dried? I think it's pretty regardless :)

Too funny that the birds were hiding from you during the official count... silly birds. We had the opposite effect.

Mary said...

Gosh, I've been away from blogging for so long that I shocked to see more snow up north. I guess you'll only have a few weeks left before it melts?

I like that sweather, Ruthie. I only wear the softest yarns and they're lightweight! No heavy sweaters for me down here...

Glad you're enjoying your Fridays off. We start a 4-day workweek on May 15 through July 15. Being off on Fridays will be nice but I refuse to work 4 tens. I'll come home regular time and work from home!


Dana and Daisy said...

it looks like it could be like a boat neck. Maybe good with a turtleneck under it.

mon@rch said...

Cheers for all those Redpolls!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mom,
I hope you had fun watching your birds this snowy weekend.

Thanks Gaelyn. Yes, being home is if I could just get myself organized enough to actually get some other stuff done!

Thanks Marsha.
I was surprised the birds didn't really bother the sunflowers much while they were still in the garden.

Yikes Mel - that's very hot! I don't think I could stand it! I hope you're enjoying some ice cream! :-)

Hi Jayne,
Yes, more knitting time. I finished a couple other small projects this weekend and did rip out that sweater neckline and am reknitting it once more.

Hi Troutbirder,
It was really fun watching all the redpolls this weekend, but didn't notice a single pine siskin.

No luck Red, the sweater neckline got ripped out a third time and is in the process of being re-knit. Dishcloths are much easier!

Hi Mary,
This is the first really good snowfall we've gotten in over a month, and have been down to bare ground for at least 10 days. Winter's still hanging on in Minnesota!

Hi Dana,
Even a turtleneck couldn't help this sweater. I hope ripping and re-knitting will correct the problem now.

Thanks Mon@rch. They're really nice little birdies--hardly any scrapping amongst themselves or even with the goldfinches. Everyone just takes and perch at the thistle feeder and they all eat nicely together!

Jaime said...

That sweater! Oh that sweater! How do you do that? That was just so fast. Seriously. My wish:
That I may knit a sweater as quickly and as beautifully one day.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Jaime,
I have an unfair advantage over you--no munchkins at home! I predict in oh, about 20 years or so, you will be able to knit a sweater just as fast! :-)

Leedra said...

I like the design of the sweater. Hope it turned out ok.

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