twist and shout

Because I just never shut up

Miracles, Rookies, and the Ugliest Tree in the World January 31, 2011

Words cannot describe the beauty of this rose

Miracles. Okay, so I live in California. But it is Northern California and certainly cold enough in winter to scrape thick frost off our car windshields in the morning, and cover up with a heavy down comforter at night.

But last week, when so many of you, my dear friends, were being assaulted by biblical amounts of snow and freezing temps, we here in NoCal had record-breaking warm sunny weather. Now I’m not telling you this to brag about it. Rather, I want to show you that Miracles do happen. Even something this small. Something to remind us all that the spiral of the year will indeed turn again. Spring is waiting to step into the shoes—no, snow boots—of old man winter.

This single rose of my singularly favorite David Austin English Rose “Gertrude Jekyll” was waving to me across the yard last Tuesday morning. I couldn’t miss it. And I had to cut it and bring it inside to share with you ย all. I wish I could send the fragrance out to you as well, but I can tell you that it is a deep, rich old rose fragrance with a hint of lemon. Absolute heaven.

"Wascally Kitty Cat!"

And just so you don’t think I’m recycling some old photo from last summer, here you can see Miss Lucy smelling her first rose. You’ll recall we brought her home in late August, long after my English roses were finished blooming. You can see here that she’s no wee lassie any longer, either.

As for those Rookies…well, I did a little yarn dyeing last week. It’s been quite a while since I had a chance to do so, so I made a heck of a rookie mistake: In my excitement to get things going, I forgot to add extra ties around the skeins before I set them to presoak before dyeing. Ahem.

Just plain dumb!

It all worked out just fine; in fact I even managed to untangle that pathetic skein (only took 3 hours! It’s the one wound into a ball below), and am currently playing around with it, creating a pattern for some gauntlets. Will keep you updated on that, but it’s coming along nicely and when it’s at a stage where I can show it, I’d love to get your feedback. (By the way, the colors turned out much richer than photographed below. They are indeed bright, but richer although the yellow one is close.)

And then there’s the Ugliest Tree in the World.

It lives in our skinny little backyard. Half dead, pruned all crazy. But this year, along with the 1/2 inch long thorns it has hidden on its branches, it’s covered in tangerines. We usually let the squirrels feast on them (Sorry, Olivia), but there were so many this year we decided to share them.

Later this week I plan on making some tangerine marmalade. Yum.

Destined to become marmalade

Oh yes, and Miss Lucy enjoyed the unseasonably warm weather, too.

"Don't look at me---don't look at me! OMG, I'm so embarrassed..."

I must admit I’ve been neglecting some of my other pursuits to work on my knitting (yippee!) for a change. As a result, I’m very nearly to the waist shaping on my “Global Cables” Jacket. I’m only praying I don’t peter out when I get to the sleeves. I always seem to lose interest somewhere around the elbow of the 2nd sleeve. But recognizing this, perhaps I’ll be able to push past that bit and have something wearable come early spring. It’s often chilly here in the morning, even in the summer. Fingers crossed.

I’m also playing around with designing/making a pair of fingerless gloves using some handpainted KnitPicks sock yarn that I “practice-dyed” last fall for the Bug. The Global Cable coat is inspiring me to make a cable run along the length of the hand. It doesn’t show up that much because of the yarn colors, but oh I love cables!

And speaking of the Bug, she went to her first Middle School dance the other night with her pal.

Youngsters. They’re Miracles. And I guess you could say Rookies, too. ๐Ÿ˜‰


3 Responses to “Miracles, Rookies, and the Ugliest Tree in the World”

  1. Darling Cuz Says:

    Oh I do love that Gertrude Jekyll. No Chicago whining — it’s one of those roses that might still be pink in a warm November here, and it’s unkillable — I know, I’ve tried. Such a beautiful color and fragrance. Your dyeing is coming along! Loving all of those colors. Send me a skein and I’ll knit up an experiment for you ๐Ÿ™‚

    When my brother-and-sister-in-law lived in NoCal (right there, I might add) I was amazed that they had a gorgeous lemon tree for real. Full of lemons. Sorry, that cemented my love for Cali then and there. Can’t wait to taste your marmalade…somehow…

    I don’t know what to say about that last bit. Sob.


  2. DebbieQ Says:

    You let the SQUIRRELS have the tangerines? Oh that is a painful thought. Love the yarn and I think that we have all been presented with a yarn scramble of epic proportions at one time or another. And Bug looks just too cute.


  3. Meg Says:

    Wowee kazowee! That rose is bee-YOO-tiful. A gorgeous winter February miracle indeed. JEALOUS. Your yarn is purty, kittykat is silly, Bug is beautiful (seriously–you might want to keep her under lock-and-key for a while). And those tangerines …. oh I’m wishing for a jar of your homemade tangerine marmalade someday … I’m sending Santa a letter wishing for ONLY that for Christmas. And every time I see a shooting star, that’s what I’m gonna wish for. Happy cooking!


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