Sunday, March 23, 2008

Orkney Update

"And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
"He is not here: for he is risen, as he said." Matthew 28:5-6

Although the wind was icy cold, Easter arrived this morning bringing bright sunshine and cheery spring blossoms. While I didn't see my wild rabbits this morning, I was greeted by the singing of the cardinals and the carolina chickadees and the rat-a-tat-tat of the red-bellied and downy woodpeckers. The sweetest pair of white-throated sparrows danced among the orange pansies and King Alfred daffodils outside my window. A big fat robin dominated the lawn as if was his job to announce the arrival of Easter. It was a feast for the eyes and a delight to my heart.

I took my camera out into the yard and snapped these photos on Friday. The pink flowers come courtesy of a wild black cherry tree that spontaneously popped up in my yard several years ago. Apparently there once was a mature cherry tree in my neighbor 's yard, but he had removed it because of an insect infestation. After listening to mother's graphic descriptions of the ugly mess, I figured I should cut mine down while it was still a sapling and easily removed. But I didn't. Instead I pruned the lower branches and tried to encourage an esthetically pleasing shape from the askew split trunk. The following year I found the first pink blossom on the tree and vowed to let the tree remain and grow. Any tree that makes pretty pink flowers in the spring can't be all that bad :-)

The white mass of flowers in the second photo are the Bradford Pear trees in the front yard. The pear trees are 6 or 7 years old now, and they are mothers most favorite plant in the entire yard. Looking up at the crystal blue sky through the branches filled with snowy white flowers is almost more fun than an grown-up should have playing in the yard ;-)

I started out strong working on my Orkney Pi at the beginning of the week, but things slowed down considerably as the week progressed. Sometimes you just need a break from working on a huge project. So I wasn't caught up when the next clue came out on Friday. I finished the 3rd clue today. I'm quite glad to be done with knitting swirling diamonds. I put in a couple of extra circular needles knitting the last purl round so I could stretch the shawl out some and take a few pictures. The shawl measured about 40" in diameter unstretched...but that's a very rough measurement. This baby is going to be huge!

In looking at the 4th clue, it looks like we're going back to the trees and cat's paw lace. Liz provided lots of options for sizing the shawl, giving 3 or 4 options for when to quit depending on what each knitter wants to do. Of course I had planned to knit the full version, but it's nice to know I can safely chicken out if things get too tedious. A smaller shawl is better than a UFO hanging out in a basket somewhere gathering dust.

I'm headed back to my needles to knit the doubling round-1280 stitches...yikes!!! The Lady Vols are just starting their 1st round NCAA tournament game, so it's a good time to knit. The men managed to escape with wins in their 1st 2 games...but it was way too close for comfort in the 1st game against American University and it got downright scary in the 2nd game against Butler. After leading the entire game, the Vols allowed Butler to tie it up and send the game into overtime before Bruce adn the guys pulled out the Victory. Whew!


Kat said...

Beautiful shawl, and gorgeous pictures!

Kathleen said...

Beautiful Shawl.
Those Tennessee Women are still in. I must admit the Women's games are every bit as exciting as the Men's.