Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Knitting, Bees, Gardening, and Miscellaneous

In between games and tournaments and swim lessons and orchestra camp, I have been working on projects :)

I've finished a few pairs of socks, I worked on some patterns/samples that have been sent for publishing :) (more on that once the book is finished - I'll have a few patterns in it), I crocheted up 11 hanging pot holders for my fence, and have been working on multiple other WiP's.  I'm really excited about a new pattern I am working on now but I don't have any photos of that yet - hopefully soon :)

Here are a few photos of some recent FO's.

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Both of these pairs of socks were knit using Opal yarn - the orange was the Talisman line and the other was a Cabaret 6ply. These are the patterns going into the book - a hat/cowl combo, socks, and a stocking that I made based on the one I made for my nephew Z. 

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My fence is so colorful now!

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Right before school ended, a friend of mine asked if I would be willing to take a peek at a blanket that had some issues in it for a teacher I used to work with. Evidently this blanket has been around for a while and her kids are rather attached to it but a few of the inner squares were coming unraveled.

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I hadn't come across an issue like this before but I figured out how to fix it :) As far as I can tell, I think the yarn was just slippery and the knots/joins had come undone with use/washing. Hopefully my fixes will hold for a while. I took care of another few areas that were close to unraveling while I was at it. Can you tell where I fixed it? 

I'm going to shift gears a bit and provide a PSA re: Carpenter Bees.  Did you know they existed?  I didn't.  

I was knitting on my deck a few weeks ago and kept hearing this sort of itching/biting sound but couldn't find the source of it.  Maddening as it was, I let it go and later that night, as I was coming up the stairs and could see the area of the deck behind my planters, I found an odd sawdust pile...  I could see wood particles floating down from the railing of our deck but was at a loss as to what would create this perfect hole.
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 I went inside to do a bit of research and the hubby came home soon after - we found another hole that wasn't as far along and saw part of whatever insect it was.

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We killed that one and was surprised to find a large bee inside. It looks like a bumblebee but isn't - it's mostly black with a yellow fuzzy area.

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We went back to the first hole we found and tried to get to that bee but the hole was too far advanced. We talked to our neighbors and sure enough, they had a few holes in their deck railing as well! My neighbor wasn't going to let that go so he got cutting - ours and theirs and we found this inside.

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What they do, is they drill straight up and then branch it out horizontally where they create these caverns for their larvae. The larvae (little white things) feed on the darker "stuff" until they are mature and then crawl out. They create one cavern, and make a "wall" with sawdust and whatever they stick it together with and move on down the line. Our neighbors had 4 caverns and ours had 5. You can see the vertical hole here on ours. The orangeish areas on the right were filled caverns and it had started working on the left side when we interrupted things...

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Here's the larvae in better light.

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You can see the sawdust "wall" on this photo.

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All of the bees are now dead. I am all for helping out the pollinators, but not this particular kind - they do a lot of damage and keep coming back to the same nests year after year so we will replace the one board and plug the other hole they had started - it was only 3/4 in or so I'm not worried about that. Now you know - if you see a random pile of sawdust, be on the lookout!! 

 In other news, the raised garden beds are going well, I have had to thin a few things out but I am rather pleased with how things are growing. Changes will be made for next year and I might entertain the thought of adding one more box but we'll see.

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What's driving me nuts though are these beetles! They're everywhere - I don't recall seeing this many of them around before. Maybe it's a hatching year or something? Anyone know? Anyone know how to get rid of them?

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A few other random photos of our day/yard.

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 I love that this spider seems to have a Santa beard ;)

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