Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sweet Fragrance

Sweet Fragrance the day I got it in the mail; only two flowers.
For Valentine's Day this year, Brendan pleasantly surprised me with two orchids from Norman's Orchids. They are absolutely beautiful and I can't believe they made it in one piece all the way from Montclair, CA! Both of them are Phalaenopsis orchids, well technically one is Doritaenopsis a cross between Doritis and Phalenopsis, but it is very similar to the Phal. genus. So they are just "hobbyist" orchids, but I love them! I must admit though...owning orchids really does become a hobby. In the beginning of March I discovered the Smoky Mountain Orchid Society; just in time really because they had an orchid show at a mall in Knoxville. Of course I had to go! And from that little trip, my orchid collection doubled...I gave in and bought two more Phal. orchids. Only thousands more to collect!

This past week on my "Sweet Fragrance" orchid, another flower opened. There are now six blooms on this orchid and I decided to capture the blooming process. It takes almost two full days for one flower to fully open, but after it blooms the flowers can last 2-3 months. This orchid is the only one of mine that has a fragrance, hence the name, and it still has two buds left to open. I hope you enjoy its beauty as much as I do!

The Pileated Woodpecker
In other news, I'm still working on my February Sweater, sadly I don't think I'll have it finished by tomorrow. I'm almost done knitting on the body part though! Then the sleeves should be easy (crossing fingers). We have been doing some work outside around the house, like cleaning the backyard some and mowing the grass. Brendan made a birdhouse today out of a pallet and we had a little visitor this morning, a Pileated Woodpecker! Cannot believe tomorrow is April! Yikes! Oh, and Happy Easter!!

Sweet Fragrance today; six flowers and counting!

First starting to open during the day...
A little more open at night...
Finally! Fully open!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Snow, snow, snow

It was a bit of a surprise waking up this morning to see a thin blanket of fresh white snow on the ground.  I thought spring started almost a week ago?  Well, it's hard to believe it as the temperatures have been 25-30 degrees below average the last few days.  

Towards the beginning of the month I had spring fever hit me...I wanted to go to every garden center and see all the new plants for the season.  I even bought a few pansies to liven up the front of the house.  They've had some rough nights though, being out in 20 degree weather.  So last night I brought them inside and will keep them in for a few more days.  They are just so cheerful sitting in the living room that I had to take some pictures.  

Let's hope for some warmer weather next week...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

February Sweater

I'm not losing my mind...I know it is March and the title says "February Sweater," but I got a little behind on one of my knitting projects.  I would have liked to finish this back in February, seeing as how I could have worn it the past few days, surprisingly. Instead, I got sidetracked with a few other projects, such as Amy's birthday cowl, Bennett's cute little cardigan and my quilted lattice cowl. I will include pictures of these projects on here soon!

Now back to my current project: February Sweater.  It is a free pattern that I found on Ravelry by Pamela Wynne called "February Lady Sweater."  I strolled across this one day and noticed that it wasn't too difficult and doesn't require a lot of yarn.  Two things that I look for in knitting projects, the latter because I'm on a super tight budget right now.  It can't be too difficult because it currently has 12,629 projects linked to it on Ravelry, by some of the 3 million users.  Holy crap!  It's a pretty popular pattern!  

I am using KnitPicks Wool of the Andes yarn in colorway Lava Heather.  Very pretty color that I can't determine if it's red, pinkish or purple yet, but I like it.  So far the knitting has been easy; I feel that I probably should have knitted more on the yoke part before starting the lattice pattern, but it fits just fine right now.  I have three buttonholes now, but I'm thinking I might sew one up when I'm finished so there's only looks a little odd.  I wish I could have it finished by tomorrow, since it will only be 39 degrees here!  I'll aim to have it finished by April 1st though. 

My progress as of today

Detailed picture of the Gull Lace pattern

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Spring and New Beginnings

Lately I've been thinking to myself that I'd like a place to compile my different knitting projects and pictures of my flowers.  I felt that a blog would be a good way to stay updated and organized, as well as share with my friends and family. So welcome to my blog, Blooms and Stitches!  Through this blog I will post about my works in progress and some previous finished knitting projects.  I will also share my progress with gardening around the house, like my orchids and several annuals and perennials.  Lastly, I will share some of my hiking experiences around Tennessee.

Spring has officially arrived and what better way to kick it off than to show some of my tulips that I grew over the winter.  I forced the bulbs by placing them in a jar with some stones and water at the bottom, put them in a dark, cool spot until they sprouted and then moved them to a sunny windowsill.  I've never grown tulips before, but after these cheerful blooms, I've become a fan!  Enjoy!