Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Observation Hive

This is me with an observation hive I bought to the Garden a couple of years ago. I haven't had an observation hive since then, because bees have gotten too expensive to be shifting them and a queen into and out of the device, causing them stress and taking them away from their regular duties.

However, I am confident that there will be at least two observation hives at the Minnesota State Fair, and I hope to get some time in the demonstration booth for extracting this year - our group has turned into a bunch of hams, and the slots last year were all taken by the time I went to sign up! I'm trying to decide what my entries will be this year. I've been baking with honey a lot, and will have a honey entry as well, but then again Dear Ellen and I talked about entering some knitting... the other day I was complaining about my Kidsilk Haze scarf that I made using Dr. Killian's Blue Lace Designs pattern for Ruth's Shawl. I did not work the decreases properly on the long edge, and it is a problem. The kind I usually rip out. However, Dear Ellen suggested I block it and see what happened. Well, I did, and Dear Ellen was correct, as always. The flaw is not so noticeable and the scarf overall is much prettier.

However, two other projects were ripped back. The Cabin Fever kimono vest, which I am making with Mountain Colors Painted Bearfoot (Redtail Hawk), was ripped back to the bottom band and restarted. Reasons? 1. At a size 2 it would be too large, and 2. I was sure to run out of yarn, and 3. The pattern combines the front and back panels until the arm shaping begins, and once that starts, the repeats on the yarn get all mixed up and the bottom third of the vest will look appreciably different from the rest. So I'm now knitting off 3 balls in order to have the repeats consistent on the fronts, if not the back . I'm using fingering weight for the body, and a DK for the placket, to simulate the traditional padded Japanese garments worn in cooler weather. I plan to wear this vest with tight fitting long sleeved knit shirts, so the smaller sizing is more appropriate. I started it originally when in a funk about the 10 lbs I had gained since the picture above was taken. Realistically, the size 1 works better for me, even now.

The other project I ripped, entirely, was from Colinette Lasso. I had gotten 2 skeins on sale, and even bought a pattern, which was so forward thinking of me! However, I started improvising, and ignoring the pattern. If I had enough yarn it would come off fine, but now I'm back to the original plan , which is to make the little tank (Artemis, from Muse) and tone up my upper arms. This yarn is devilish hard to work with, from the standpoint that I have to actually look at what I am doing to be sure I have the entire piece of yarn each time I pick up. I like to knit by feel (very convenient in the movie house), and I can't do that with this yarn.

The other project on the needles right now is Lucy Neatby's Fiesta Feet, done in reds and purples. Lots of new stitches to learn and very fun. No doubt I will rip and re-knit these several times over as I learn the stitches, but I enjoy the process tremendously, so that's fine with me.

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