Monday, January 4, 2010

Resolution for the new year

I finally had a chance to get caught up on some of my blog reading today and was particularly interested in the post my friend Deb had concerning her philosophy on New Year's resolutions. This year Deb has resolved to do something joyful every day and for her that involves playing a musical instrument. As I was thinking about something joyful I could do every day, I decided that spending some time knitting was definitely a resolution I wouldn't have any trouble keeping. And in that spirit, here's an update on the sweater I first showed you in my December 26th post. As you can see, I made a major color revision, but I like it much better now. Both sleeves have been completed and about 6 inches of the body. Progress will be a bit slower now until I get to the colorwork on the yoke, but it will be some mindless knitting to work on during my daily commute. My goal will be to have this sweater completed in time to wear to the Sax-Zim Bog Winter Birding Festival in February.

This sweater pattern is called "Shades of Grey" and is from a Patons pattern book called Weekend Retreat, published in 1998. As you can see my sweater is in shades of brown, and even though this pattern book was published over 10 years ago, I still love all the sweaters in it and am looking forward to trying some of the other patterns someday.

Since so many of you (including myself) wondered why the Great Horned Owl only ate the head of that bunny in my backyard, I decided to consult with the best raptor experts I know: Susan K Williams and Dave Dorsey. (That's the coolest thing about blogging and Facebook -- I have almost immediate access to experts who have the answers to my most vexing bird and nature questions.) Anyway, according to my experts, when an owl kills prey that's too large for it to carry away, it will eat part of the prey first. And apparently owls will eat the head first in an effort to get at the chest cavity of the prey. If food supplies are plentiful, the owl will just eat what it wants and leave the rest behind. In leaner times, the owl will take the remaining prey and cache it for a future meal. Dave told me that when the Snowy Owl or Great Horned Owl at his Alaska Bird Treatment & Learning Center eat only the head they're eating too good and it's time to cut back a little. So now we know! Thanks Susan and Dave for your help!


Kelly said...

...interesting about the Great Horned Owl Thanks for finding out... I can't wait to see your finished sweater. It's going to be gorgeous. I can see why knitting would bring joy--what you're creating is so beautiful (and warm!).

Anonymous said...

That is going to be one impressive sweater when it is all done.
That is so interesting about the owl and why they do things that they do. I'm never to old to learn something new about, thanks for the info.
There was a bald eagle in our neighborhood yesterday, it was at the farm just north of our church.


KGMom said...

Alrighty then...on the rabbit head detail. I saw the pic on FB and wondered--what the heck.
So, when I think of you--there's knitting, a gentle respectable activitiy, and then there's GHOW beheading bunnies. Hmmmm/

Lisa at Greenbow said...

The sweater is beautiful Ruthie. I can't wait to see it finished.

Interesting about the GHOW. I have seen decapitated gulls where I bird. I wondered who was eating just the heads.

Jayne said...

Well now... so the owls have been overindulging during the holidays too!! Fascinating! :c) Now we know.

Love the pretty sweater Ruthie, and yes, I agree, let's all do something each and every day that brings us joy.

Taos Sunflower said...

Thanks for the answer about the bunny/owl situation. I like your idea about knitting each day...I have a friend who gets up super early to knit with her cup of tea each morning before anything else gets's how she focuses on what will become of the rest of the day. Happy new year!

Heather said...

Ruthie, that sweater is going to be awesome!! And thank you so much for the info about the GHOW feasting - hooray for connections!

Gaelyn said...

That's a beautiful sweater, timeless and classic pattern.
Great info on the owls. It is nice to have blog/internet friends to help out.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Kelly,
My goal is to have the sweater done in time to wear to the Sax-Zim winter birding festival on Feb. the rate I'm going, I think I'll make it!

Thanks Mom. I'm glad you got to see that Bald Eagle. It would be really neat if a pair nested around there somewhere!

LOL Donna! Yes, I'm certainly a study in contrasts!

Thanks Lisa - there will definitely be pictures of the finished sweater. Lynne from Hasty Brook said a neighbor's been finding decapitated wild turkeys up in their northern Minnesota woods too. Busy owls this time of year!

Thanks Jayne. The raptors are such fascinating birds--esp. owls. It's always fun for me to learn more about them too.

You're welcome Martie. I think I really need to set aside more time for knitting each day--esp. while the weather's still not as conducive to spending much time outside (and I've still got so many unfinished projects!)

Hi Heather,
Glad you found the answer to your GHOW feasting habits!

Thanks Gaelyn. There's so much useful information on the internet and I really like having friends who are willing to answer my questions and share their knowledge!