Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Few More Blooms

We are still enjoying some of these camellias as they bloom. The camellia above is Jean Clere! This is a japonica camellia that originated in New Zealand and is named for the wife of its propagator Richard Clere. It has a beautiful full peony form and blooms mid-season.
Above is pictured Emperor of Russia. This one is a japonica that also blooms mid-season. Another beauty that performs well in this climate.
Philip has decided to try his hand at grafting. We have a few of these "mini-greenhouses" around the yard. The grafting procedure is akin to surgery, requiring great care for clean cutting instruments and following tried and true procedures. The new graft is housed in this cylinder and covered with a piece of plexiglass, moss, and a brick! This will stay on for at least 2 months before uncovering to be sure the graft has "taken".
As I understand this, one reason for grafting is to propagate the growth of a beautiful (but perhaps slow-growing) variety on "root stock" from a plant that is more hearty, rapid-growing, and has better tolerance for the growing conditions of the area. Another reason for grafting is to propagate a plant that is not commercially available. A cutting may be taken from a desired species and grafted to produce a new plant.
Update on knitting projects:
The Baby Surprise Jacket and the Christmas Stocking knitting projects are progressing. I am waiting for a little pink cotton cashmere to arive in the mail to add in for stripes in the BSJ. The size is going to be larger than I expected and will require more yarn than I had on hand. I think the pink will be perfect to add a little interest. Will post a picture as soon as we get a little pink going .

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I am so happy to tell you that I got a good progress report from the orthopedic surgeon today. I had more xrays taken and you can see the new bone forming in the fractured area. The ankle parts are still in good alignment. So this is going well. I am to wear the lovely boot for another week and then transition into a much less obtrusive ankle brace. I can wear the ankle brace with shoes . . . AND with the ankle brace . . . I can drive!!!! Definitely, good news!!
After my doctor's appointment, Philip and I had a chance to check out some beautiful old camellia gardens in Savannah. We were so amazed at how old, mature, and beautiful some of these trees are. We came home and admired our own few specimens. This is one called Georgia National Fair. You can see a little cold damage on a few of the petals, but still very pretty.

Another one we found blooming today is one of favorites: Frank Houser variegated. This is a reticulata which has bigger blooms than the japonicas.

I know I need to be working on other knitting projects that are already begging for attention, but I felt the need to have one more item in my baby gift stash. So I found some Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmereand cast on Baby Surprise Jacket #2. This is a pretty cream color. This is pattern is always fascinating to watch evolve. Too early to tell much here, but we will disect it as we progress. I'm hoping to find some pretty feminine buttons for the ending.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hemlock Ring - FO

At last, at last the Hemlock Ring Blanket is finished. Totally done. Blocked. In my lap as I write this post. I have read about this a few times, but it is astonishing how different the size, texture, and appearance of the blanket looks after blocking. Here's a picture of the blocking. I blocked it on a queen-size mattress and it still was a little too large for that area. There were a few scallops hanging over the side of the mattress.
Here's a close-up of the center, pins still in place.
Two views after dried and pins removed.
Lacy and beautiful!!!
Also, here's an update on the intarsia project. Christmas stocking . . .Santas done, tops of Christmas trees on the horizon.
We're looking forward to Melissa and Dow's wedding this weekend. Many friends and family will be here. I know we'll have a great weekend helping them celebrate!!