July 2003 Archives

More yarn donations

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Alice, the woman who first donated yarn to me months ago, is moving to a new home and wants to give me the rest of her yarn. She's tried to crochet and found she can no longer do it. The yarn she is is "sweater quality" so it's a better quality yarn than Red Heart, etc., but since I don't make sweaters (or haven't made them in the past anyway - who knows, I might give it a try!), she said she didn't mind if I made blankets with the yarn. So, in the next 2 weeks or so, we'll make arrangements for me to get the 4 remaining boxes of yarn from her. Cool!

While Greg was here visiting us before he left for law school in Virginia this past Sunday, he went through my crochet pattern books, picked out a pattern he liked, and then redesigned it. To make sure the blanket has the colors he wanted, we went to Michaels Craft Store and picked out 2 reds, 2 blues, and a white. I've been working on squares for the blanket here and there...gardening and other things keep me busy too, so I have only about 10 of the 48 squares done. I told him I'd definitely have it done before it began to get cold in Virginia!

Well...deep subject! Ha ha

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Well...so...after the plants and seeds are in the ground and begin to grow and sprout and flower...what else is there to say about my garden? I could I suppose continuously update with photos of roses and other flowers as they bloom and prosper. But, that would be boring...hmmm, wouldn't it?

It's truly delightful to come home each evening and wake up each morning to peek at the flowers and plants in the front and back yards. I touch flower petals and whisper sweet nothings - you are supposed to talk to plants, aren't you? Rose petals are so soft; petunias are sticky; Cosmos are delicate; Calla Lilies are smooth, cool and firm.

Next weekend, I'll closely examine the soil under the redwood compost we put down last weekend to see if it succeeded in reduced the volume of little green unwanted plants (i.e., weeds) from growing. Looks good so far.

One of the New Guinea Impatiens I planted in a container for our front porch wilted away badly last week so I pulled it out Thursday evening. One down...I hope no more to go.

The Calla Lilies aren't as spry as they were when I first planted them. I'm not sure if the hot weather we're having is getting to them, or if I'm watering too much or not enough. I've given them plant food once or twice since they were planted about a month ago. Maybe that was too much. Hmmm...

The green beans are growing fast - about 2 inches long now.

The 3 packages of ground-planted wildflower/etc. seeds have produced more very tiny white flowers, a stalk of something that hasn't flowered yet, and a single yellow flower of some unknown variety. Instead of planting flower seeds next year, I'll probably plant established flowering plants (like I did in the front yard this year) - I'm much more pleased by the instantaneous results of seeing pretty colors right away! On second thought, however, I was very delighted to see the first sprouts from the seeds, so I'm not sure what I'll do next year. Hmmm, that is...if I'm still a gardener next year! (You never know - I may be into something else then!)

Climbing America roses

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July 18, 2003 around 9:15am
The Climbing America bud bloomed a lot between yesterday morning and yesterday evening and this morning! It was a bud similar to the July 14 photo until I got home from work yesterday.

Sterling Silver rose over 4 days

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  1. July 15, 2003 around 7:15am

  2. July 16, 2003 around 7:15am

  3. July 17, 2003 around 7:15am

  4. July 18, 2003 around 9:15am

We've got green beans!

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Well, it seems that green beans do grow from the purple flowers! Just like a butterfly from a catapillar's cocoon! They're only about 1/2-inch to 1-inch long but they're there!

Backyard roses

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(1) Roses bushes in the backyard. (2) Sterling Silver. (3, 4) Mister Lincoln

Front yard garden

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Also as of this morning...our front yard garden, starting with the container flowers on the front porch.

The rose bushes are growing nicely - look at all the new redish leaves!

The assorted other flowers are growing very well down the long side of the L-shaped garden area around the lawn. See how bushy the Cosmos Mix plants are? And the petunias (purple, red, white, pink) are healthy too!

That's my shadow in the second photo - no, I'm not really that tall!

Backyard garden


One of the Sterling Silver rose buds (lilac) will be opening soon, as will the Climbing America (salmon) bud.

Coniender Garden Bush Beans. The green beans have purple bud-like flowers on them. What does that mean? Do the green beans grow from the flowers? Like a butterfly from a catapillar's cocoon? I don't think so...

One type of the Southern Mixture Wildflowers seeds. Some of the flower seeds planted in the ground have started to bloom very small white flowers.

(1) Classic Mixed Colors Zinnia. (2) Lemondrop Marigold. (3) Giant Mixed Colors African Daisy. The second hanging pot has a few buds too (checkout the tiny round bulb)!

This is our backyard garden as of this morning, just a few minutes ago. So, while slow, the from-seed flowers are coming along.

Size: 31.5 inches x 45 inches
Colors: Brown, Taupe, Claret, Painted Desert (multi)
Pattern: Nine Patch Granny - Design by Martha Brooks Stein
Book: Granny's Delight Afghans - Leaflet number not indicated - Copyright 2000 - Leisure Arts
Date: July 2003

Just in case you think I've done only gardening recently...here's the latest lap blanket, completed last night.

I customized the pattern to use 6 9-patch squares (2 x 3) instead of 12 (3 x 4). This made the blanket smaller. I wasn't getting a 3-inch square using the I crochet hook so I moved up to a J. Even with the J hook, the blanket was still not wide enough so I customized the border by adding a row of double-crochet in Claret and finished it off with another 2 rows of the pattern's single-crochet border in Brown. The blanket still isn't as wide as I usually make them (about 35 inches), but it is good enough.

I also had some trouble sewing all the squares together - I was apparently pulling too tight so the squares pucker a bit. That's probably another reason why the blanket isn't wide enough.

165 squares = Lots of yarn ends. Let's see:

  • 165 squares x 2 yarn ends per square = 330 yarn ends
  • 11 rows of 15 squares = 14 seams per row x 2 yarn ends per seam = 28 yarn ends
  • 11 rows = 10 seams but since I must use yarn matching the color of one of the squares being sewn together, let's assume there are 4 colors changes on average per row, so 10 seams x 4 color changes x 2 yarn ends per color change = 80 yarn ends

So, I've woven in approximately 330 + 28 + 80 = 438 yarn ends into this blanket. The tip of my thumb has been a bit sore for a few days.

Repeat after me: I will never do a blanket with so many small squares or color changes ever again.

Second rose again

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Here's another photo of the second rose (Gypsy) from the front yard. The color is better here, but still a bit off.

New growth on the Christmas tree

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Bill surprised me last December with a small potted Christmas tree. After the holidays, the tree moved outside. We've noticed that the new growth on the tree is very different from the old growth. Strange, huh?

Considering I planted 3 whole packages of flower seeds, I'm disappointed by the turnout.

These are the only pots of flower seeds we have left. I dumped the other pots into the recycle bin - the soil was very watery, the plants were overcome with white flies or whatever was eating them so much there was little left.

The green beans (started from seeds) are growing nicely. There are white fly problems here too, but the plants seem to be growing despite them.

The flower seeds in the hanging plants are doing nicely. No flowers yet, but lots of green.

More roses!


(1) 9 rose bushes (names are below). (2) Sterling Silver rose buds. (3) Climbing America rose bud.
There's an 8-foot x 4-foot patch of dirt area next to the garbage can and recycle bins in our backyard, visible from the garden window in the kitchen. It has been covered with decorative bark for years. A few weeks ago I mentioned to my hubby that I wanted to plant some vegetables there. So, Bill began "working the land" to loosen it up for "the gardener" (which would be me!). I bought vegetable seeds at Orchard Supply Hardware and was ready to plant. There were still big chunks of rock-like dirt so Bill loosened it up again. Then, it got hot - really hot - and I had little interest in planting the seeds (and there were still rock-like dirt chunks!).

Everyone is entitled to change his or her mind, so I decided this morning that I wanted to plant roses instead of vegetables. (I'm really liking the roses in the front yard.) Hmmm, climbing roses and more tea roses. So, guess what we did today...!

Yup, went to Home Depot and bought two 4-foot x 4-foot trellices and 4 climbing roses...and 5 tea roses..., along with 2 large bags of soil. We also picked up other stuff for the backyard, including 2 sheets of lattice to replace the breaking lattice on the "hammock cover" shade structure and a 30-inch screen door for the backyard door in the garage (so Bill can have fresh air in the garage without the kitties escaping into the wild, err, the real world).

Working on the house and garden is never done...especially now that I've gotten into the mix!

Anyway, there was no sun yesterday to make the day hot or even warm. Bill painted the trellices with deck stain. After they dried, we planted the 9 new rose bushes. Bill, of course, did all the hard labor (dug holes) while I directed the placement of the plants (I'm a management type!).

Hmmm, I did do some dirty work (just not hard labor!): I sat in dirt and mud, mixed Vitamin B-1 solution, pulled the plants out of their containers, placed them in the ground, spread soil mixture around them, patted the soil down, and watered them really well. My eye glasses were dripping with sweat rolling off my face, my hair was sweaty wet, my forearms were covered with thorn scratches and dirt, my fingernails had dirt caked under them, my shirt was covered with dirt, my pants were covered with dirt and mud, and my shoes were damp. I even had dirt particles in my nose!

A productive day!

We planted (from left to right):

Back row (climbing roses):

  • Climbing America - Unusually vigorous climbing plant. Large salmon-colored blooms have silvery sheen and spicy fragrance.
  • Climbing Don Juan - Very fragrant free blooming deep red rose with dark, glossary green foliage.
  • Climbing Don Juan
  • Climbing America

Front row (tea roses):

  • Sterling Silver - Distinct pale, pastel-lilac. Blooms are intensely fragrant.
  • John F. Kennedy (also in front yard) - Large, fully double flowers are greenish white, with high centers and a mild licorice fragrance.
  • Lagerfeld - Double, high-centered blooms are a rare shade of pale, silvery lavender and emit a sweet enduring fragrance.
  • Jack Frost - Floribunda [clustered blooms]. Large, fully double flowers are a cream and white blend with a strong fragrance.
  • Mister Lincoln - Large, fully double flowers are deep, velvety red with a wonderful damask rose fragrance.
Sketch of Cheryl

About Cheryl

Enjoys crocheting, gardening, cats, NASCAR (especially Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch!), reading, photography, snorkeling in Kailua-Kona with sea turtles, Sizzler's Mega Bacon Cheeseburgers, hot and iced decaf coffee, dark chocolate, color (yarn, fabric), playing around with web technologies - not necessarily in that order! Still very much a beginner with quilting, knitting, and sewing. Donates crocheted lap blankets.

List maker, detail-oriented, organized, leans heavily toward perfectionism. ISTJ. Libra.

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This page is an archive of entries from July 2003 listed from newest to oldest.

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Cat playing with strand of yarn.


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