Saturday, September 19, 2009

Nature Abhors A Vacuum

What have we here? An empty drawer? Totally, entirely empty? How did such a thing happen? Excessive efficiency on the part of the drawer owner, perhaps. Tsk, tsk, this will never do.

Ah, much better. Drawers, as we know, are meant to be filled with yarn (or fiber). There's room for more, of course, but this will do for now.

So, let's take a closer look at the contents (which just arrived in today's mail, huzzah!)

First we have Knitpicks Gloss in the Winter Night colorway. The picture makes the yarn look as though it has multiple shades of blue, but no. All one solid color really. Must be the way the silk picks up and reflects the light. This yarn is intended for the Strawberry Pie Shawl.

This lovely stuff is Knitpicks Suri Dream in Fennel, which is a mix of dark olive, light yellow-green, beige, and everything in between. It is mostly alpaca (Hi, my name is Rita and I'm an alpaca addict.) with a little wool and nylon thrown in. It is – I hope – going to become the Simply Garter Vest from Cheryl Oberle's "Folk Vests," but I couldn't swear to it. I might end up swearing AT it. Here's why.

Although Knitpicks classifies Suri Dream as a "super bulky" yarn, I learned from trolling Ravelry that it is more DK-ish. Without the surrounding fuzz, the core of the yarn is actually thinner than fingering-weight Gloss. So, there are a ton of options when it comes to choosing needle size; depends entirely how you want the fabric to look. If it doesn't work out for the vest, though, it will make a fabulous shawl. I mean . . . alpaca. What's not to like? And it was ON SALE!!!!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Name That Tree!

Since July I have been noticing these trees with gorgeous orange flowers all along Ocean Avenue. As long as I have lived in Southern California, I don't remember ever seeing anything like this. What the heck are they? Does anyone know?

It's definitely a tree, not a bush. The big ones are way taller than a one-story house.

Here's a closeup of the blossom. Each one of those teeny mini-bananas in the middle opens into a fabulous orange beauty. As more of the inner ones open, the outer blooms tend to drop off, so the overall flower stays about the same size.

And here's some leaves --

And that is absolutely all the information I have. Can anyone help?