Monday, March 23, 2009

Al Fresco Knitting

Yesterday I took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather we've been enjoying here in Minnesota and carried my current knitting project outside for a bit of al fresco knittery. It was sunny and warm enough to sit outside without a jacket, but breezy enough that the sweater I am knitting felt cozy and warm draped across my lap.
The sweater is a top down raglan cardigan knit from cascade 220 summer sky heather. The lace pattern is simple and was easy to memorize. I had done quite a bit of knitting on it last week so by yesterday I had just three more inches to knit until the sweater body was complete. Unfortunately, one row of a top down raglan takes a long time to knit. Since the sweater is knit in the round, the row consists of the entire circumference of the sweater. This would not take too long if you were shaped like a heroin-chic supermodel, but my body is shaped more like the iconic venus of willendorf and therefore requires substantially more knitting to complete a sweater.
So I spent yesterday afternoon in my lawn chair, enjoying the sun and knitting away on my sweater. I was determined to finish that afternoon and as it turned out, I needed less than two inches of knitting until the sweater was long enough. It was a lovely surprise, finishing early, and if all goes as planned I should be wearing my new sweater by the end of the week.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I Heart Bryophytes

I was looking at some old photos today and I came across some shots that I took while I was up in Alaska a couple of years ago. I went for a hike in this amazing coastal rain forest. The cedar trees were enormous and the plant life was wonderfully diverse. The fecundity of this magical place was evident by the rich, spoungy, bryophytes that carpeted the rocks and trees and forest floor.Bryophyte is a fancy high falutin' scientific name for mosses and liverworts. I think it's just about my favorite type of plant life, although I am rather fond of lichens as well. A lichen is a cross between a fungus and a green algae and it often grows on trees and rocks. Mosses look much more plant-like than lichens and if you look up close you can see that mosses have tiny stems and leaves. I didn't take this picture of the gorgeous red moss, but maybe this year I'll be able to take a similar one with my fancy new camera and the macro lens that the birthday lizard will hopefully be bringing me this year. Does the birthday lizard visit your house? In my family the birthday lizard always delivers wonderful gifts to all who are worthy. The birthday lizard is kind of like a cross between Santa and the Easter Bunny, but in reptilian form.There's something magical about mosses. I feel like if I look close enough I'll be able to see an entire world that lives within the the soft, spoungy landscape. I'm sure there are tiny fairies living in the moss land. I haven't actually seen them, but I'll bet they are there. I mean, if you were a fairy, wouldn't you want to live in the moss, in a coastal rain forest with enormous cedar trees?