Dishcloth: Split Nine Patch

I’ve just spent a few minutes trying to find the split nine patches and I think I’ve got it. 

Wait, no, I don’t have it. I count six squares that are split, one square that is not, and two rectangles that are not split and not squares.  That does not to me say split nine patch.

I guess it does follow the pattern as seen on this website (that is full of clickbait ads) so I guess it’s a legit knitted interpretation of the split nine patch pattern.

Dishcloth: Windblown Square

I had become a little tired of my orange/green/blue yarn, so I branched out and bought this. When I got home, I discovered that this yarn comes in slightly smaller skeins. I will not be able to make two dishclothes per skein.  Grrr.

On the upside, I did restore the boarders to their former glory of seven rows. On the two-dishcloths-per-skein dishclothes they are only four rows.

Backyard: 3 tons of flagstone, placed

Here’s what three tons of flagstone looks like when it’s all stacked together.  I had a lot of anxiety around this part of the project. How much stone would it be? Would we successfully be able to keep all the cars from parking in front of the house during the delivery window? Would it completely exhaust me to do the moving of the stone?

And here’s what three tons of flagstone looks like when you place it in the backyard. And here I learned that irregular stone is just as annoying as regular stone. I thought this would be great because we didn’t have to spend so much time getting things straight and lined up properly. But instead, the slabs of stone don’t fit together nicely so there are a lot of gaps. I do like how it looks, though. and I think the color goes nicely with the house.

Thank goodness our friend Burt came and helped. It was a very big job.

Next one the list: we will fill in all those small holes with smaller rock and then fill in the spaces between with sand.

But immediately next we will go to the Kennedy School to soak in the soaking pool and then have dessert.  And then we will not do much for the rest of the day.

Backyard progress: adding the landscape cloth and edging

Memorial Day!  What a great day to get up early and put down the landscape cloth and edging!  And that’s what I did. (This picture also nicely shows off the asparagus.)

I love how tidy it looks! It’s so tidy looking that I’m a little sad it will be covered soon. And of course, it won’t stay that tidy forever, so it’s probably good I’m putting other stuff down.

I’m also a fan of the edging. That is the edging I wanted for the side yard project, but Lowes didn’t have enough last fall and wasn’t going to be getting more in until spring.

Backyard progress: the end of grading

When we finished the side yard, I had the happy thought that we wouldn’t have to do all the dreadful digging when we renovated the backyard. That wasn’t entirely true. The four inches of dirt we excavated from the side yard ended up in a pile in the backyard, and so we did dig for the back yard project. In this case, it was digging to move dirt around, which is slightly less taxing than excavating.

Here’s what things looked like early on. You can see the dirt mound at the apex of the yard. That had to be smoothed out. In grading the yard, we ended up adding dirt to the part of the yard nearest the house and taking it away from the part farthest from the house. The added dirt came from the mound. Plus, there was the excavating of asparagus roots. That was full-on hard digging.

But look!  We have finished. Matt stands where the mound used to be!

From the other end of the yard. You can see how we had to pile up the dirt near the point of our triangle in order to excavate it to the proper depth. You can also see the piece of plywood that served as our tamper. Plywood and body weight does the trick.

You can also see that the asparagus crowns have taken hold.

Here is our “mothership” stake. That was the stake most likely to not be disturbed, so we measured from it to find our proper grade.

I’m happy to have gotten through this phase of the project.

Progress on the backyard project

In two hours, we got some good work done on our backyard. Here you can see Matt smoothing out dirt we’ve moved to bring the grade up. We put strings on our stakes and made things level. Also, this is the widest part of the yard we have to grade, so that means that the work from here on out will go even more quickly.

I couldn’t bear to kill off the asparagus that has performed so well for me for so many years. So my job was digging up the old crowns and putting them in the trench I dug to plant the new crowns.

The old crowns are huge, especially in comparison to the spindly new crowns.
Here you can see one of the new stalks poking its head above the ground.

Once again the rain part of the day started after we finished our work. Good job, weather.

Backyard Rehab Report: 4/22/18

We started by weeding the side yard.  No weeds are happening in the path we put in last fall, but a lot of weeds were happening between the path and the house, where things need to be planted.

Next we put up our stakes.  We have stakes about four feet apart and then rows about five feet apart.  This way, as we level we can slope the dirt 1/2″ every row. We learned that the sledgehammer is the fastest at getting those stakes in the ground.

We even had time to move some dirt from the mound to a shallow depression in the yard.  This meant moving the chunks of concrete into a yellow recycling bin. We will need to discard the concrete chunks. Perhaps by slowly adding them to the garbage.

Excavating the dirt mound also involved digging up the asparagus crowns that have grown in the raised bed since 2009 or so.  They were originally planted in Leo’s yard in 2008. It physically hurt to dig up one of those crowns and discard it.

Still, it’s good to get started on the mound going away.  I’m looking forward to having a nice backyard to hang out in.

Also!  The rhubarb has returned! Both plants.  The one on the right side of the yard, closer to the shorter fence, emerged about three weeks after the one on the left next to the taller fence.  Guess which side gets the most sun.