Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Next Step

The quest to turn my ugly front yard into something a little more fun and creative kind of stalled for a little while. My friend and I both had a bunch of stuff going on and, strange as it may seem, I sort of stopped noticing that there was a bunch of bare dirt out there waiting to be turned into paths. My mind, it can ignore anything it wants when it puts its... um... mind to it.

So things languished until we made the time for the next step: covering the grass. You can't just throw a bunch of compost down over grass and then use it as planting beds. The grass will be covered for a little bit, and after that it'll feed on the compost and grow like never before.

No, you must cover the grass. The goal is to make life impossible for it so that it gives up in despair, or at least leaves you alone for a few years. Maybe until you sell the house? My friend tells me that cardboard is a good thing to use, so I hoarded it for a while, and we went tearing around the stores in the area scrounging more. Then we laid it down over the space and covered it with leaves to hold it down.

Ye gods, what a mess.

Niiiiiice newspaper!

Smarter and luckier people would've planned this activity for a day when the weather was at least dry. While we are brilliant and beautiful women, apparently our luck had abandoned us.

It was cold.
It was raining.
It was windy.

I hate to think what the neighbors were saying about us as we laid down cardboard and hauled wet leaves from the street to hold it down with. The incident with the newspaper and the wind gusts was pretty amusing too. Much hysterical laughter.

Hat head, compounded by hoodie-head... no fun.

My friend has done quite a bit of this work, she's got good rain gear. She was even nice enough to loan me a jacket.

Drowned Rat
Knitter or Drowned Rat?

Didn't help the fact that I was wearing jeans and holey old boots, but I appreciate the thought.

So, the front yard looked like some peculiar white-trash landscaping experiment for a couple of weeks. Then we loaded up my husband's truck with 500 lbs of gravel and put a thin layer down on the paths.


To Door
We need more gravel!

We also re-used some of the cottage stone to help define the curves and to hold the high spots of the beds.

Artist at work.

We also laid down 2 square yards of compost on the beds, but we ran out of light before I could get any pictures of it. Soon, I swear.

So, the project is moving forward and we're all getting pretty good workouts. A thousand thousand thanks to my husband for all of the shoveling, and to my friend for having the vision and skill to look at a bedraggled patch of grass and see a much more interesting space.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

What Happened?

Wow, I make a blog post about not posting, and the next thing I know I've missed an entire month! I really need to have a little more discipline abut this. I enjoy blogging, although you couldn't really tell by the state of my blog just now.

I'll try to be a better blogger. My 3-4 faithful readers deserve better from me!

There's been a baby boom at my office. One born in October, another born in November, and another on the way in about 3-4 months. Babies mean baby knitting, which is terribly fun and pretty quick.

The first two babies got pairs of Tulip Toes. They're beyond cute, and they're quick to knit once you get the hang of them. I must admit, though, that I made a tactical error in taking on the knitting of two identical pairs of booties in rapid succession. I've got two petals to go on the fourth bootie, and I'm bored to tears. With any luck at all I'll get them done and blocked this week.

Here's a few looks of the first pair:

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Here's the very first one, with a quarter to show you how little it really is.

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The first completed pair, blocked out and ready to go.

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With the i-cord threaded through the eyelets.

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Are baby feet really this flat?

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One of my co-directors loaned me her hands for perspective, although she protested that she has tiny hands.

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So, I moved on to my office-mate, who has bigger hands!

These really are quite darling, and I may just make some more... but not for a good long while. The other expectant mom is getting a pair of Saartje's Booties!