Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas time is here...

Well, all the holiday knitting is done, save one mitten thumb. Ah, the joy of accomplishment. Of course I still have to wrap everything. At least the big thing is done. I made a large shawl for my MIL and it is done! It is not dry, but it is DONE! It is the Muir from the fall issue of I love it! It will be dry soon!

The letter to Santa went out in the mail today. The kiddo asked for slot cars, a stuffed indian and a storm trooper. I miss the days when all he wanted was a new violin and some gummy worms, but I think that DADDY will love the slot cars almost as much as the kiddo! My sister is coming to visit for the holiday and that will be great. I don't get to see nearly enough of her and it is nice that she gets to stay for almost a week!

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Well, the holiday season is in full swing. We spent Thanksgiving at my MIL's house. Dinner was great, the family time was even better. We got to meet the newest cousin, Henry, who flew in from Atlanta with his parents. He was the cutest person at dinner, but also the wiggliest! For the first time in several years, all of my husband's family was in one place. All four brothers and their families and mom was smiling so much her head almost split in half!

We also got a chance to see some more distant cousins on Saturday who have kids around the same age as our kiddo. Everyone convened at our house for a visit, snacks and a lot of playing. It was a blast.

Today we have no obligations at all and it feels so good! We went for a hike in the woods this morning and it felt like fall. Cool air, lots of leaves, great weather for a sweater!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The amazing SOAP-MAN!!!

Well, it has been a while since the last post. Our house has been consumed with costumes for Halloween, and just for fun, but mostly we have been enjoying the continuing adventures of Soap-Man! Soap-Man is a superhero straight from the kiddo's imagination. He wears a white suit with a hood, shoots out soap and bubbles at his enemies, and is generally a great guy to have around. Since the sewing machine was out for costume projects, we figured why not make a "real" Soap-Man...

The kiddo designed him, I sewed him and we both worked on the decoration (that is sharpie marker on white muslin!) Soap-Man is very snuggly, but not particularly soapy in fact. He has been sleeping with the kiddo every night this week...

Speaking of knights... For Halloween, we had an appearance of St. George, the dragon slayer! The costume was fun to make and the kiddo loved showing off his dragon. Thank heaven Ikea had such cool dragons! He had a blast trick-or-treating in this one!

At school the assignment for Halloween was to recite a nursery rhyme and the kiddo was assigned:

Dickory, dickory dare,
The pig flew up in the air,
The man in brown,
Soon brought him down,
Dickory, dickory dare.

The kids had to have costumes to accompany their rhyme, so we have the pig!

All in all, Halloween was a raging sucess at our house. The kiddo had fun, we have enough candy to last us until next year (almost 3 1/2 pounds!), and we have some great dress up costumes to play with too!

As Soap-Man says when confronted with evil: Lather! Rinse! Repeat!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

And Now We Are Six...

Last week brought the kiddo's birthday. He is totally into knights and all things medieval at the moment so he had a chocolate Castle Cake!

Instead of a traditional birthday party with all of his friends and relations, he opted for a trip to the Maryland Renaissance Festival with just one friend in tow. We had a great time. The kids got to watch a few shows, ride ponies, eat ice cream, try out bows and arrows, watch jousting, get their faces painted and ride an elephant! The kiddo's face looked great with his knight on it!

Also in the news this week, I started working on Christmas gifts. The first in the pile is a bunch of dishcloths (some are the Ball Band Cloth from Mason-Dixon Knitting) and one is the beginner dishcloth pattern that we used at Boersma's. I think these will end up being gifts for teachers and such...

I also started a sweater that will be for one of the kiddos... I just have to see what size it turns out first! (I love not checking gauge too well!) It is Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in a really nice navy blue. Should look great on one of the small boys I know! Of course, my kiddo decided he didn't like this color... He wants green!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Spinning again...

Back in July I signed up for a yarn and fiber swap through and the fiber that I got from my swap partner has been taunting me ever since. Last week I got the spinning wheel out, dusted it off and fixed the drive band. I have already spun up about half of the new fiber and I love it!

The colors looked really orange and almost grey blue in the top, but colors really mellowed out once I got it spun. I can't wait to see what it looks like after it is plyed!

I also made a hat for the kiddo. He like the one that I made for his grandpa so much that he wanted one too. Of course, his had to be Griffindor colors (or Redskins) so here it is! These are actually pretty fun to make. It is a brioche rib so it is extra cushy!

The package from the swap also included this yarn. I am so not a scarf knitter, but I love the colors and thought a garter stitch scarf would be just the thing to show them off. I can't wait until it is cool enough to wear it!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A string bag

I got some groovy yarn in Rhode Island in August and made some of it up into a string bag. I really like how it looks. It should be pretty tough too! The yarn is Noro Ganpi Abaka (apparently this is tree bark or something...) and it was in the sale shed at Sakonnet Purls in Tiverton, RI for $4 a skein! I had to have it even though I had no idea what I was going to do with it! Now I know!

I ran out of the yarn before I got to the handle so I used some black Aunt Lydia's Crochet thread from my stash to finish it. It looks pretty groovy to me! I have enough yarn to make a couple more too! These will be way cool for the farmer's market... And maybe for christmas gifts too...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

First day of First Grade!

Today is the first day of school. The kiddo was excited and nervous about it, but he was very glad to see all of his old friends at the school crossing this morning and when in to school with lots of hugs and kisses. Daddy got to walk up to school with us this morning and go in to work late. This year is a big deal because last year, the kiddo only went half a day. He was home for lunch and this year he eats lunch at school and won't get home until about 3:45. I hope he is having a good day!

The scholar on the first day of school.
I am looking forward to having more time to tackle some big projects around the house. I have a long list that includes organizing the office, cleaning the basement, painting the window trim around our NEW WINDOWS! (I love the new windows. They are SOOOO easy to open!) I have about 50 things on the list so I will have plenty to do for a while!
Happy fall everyone!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Back to school...T-minus one week!

Today we went and bought all the supplies that the kiddo needed for school. We had a great time exploring a not-so-local art supply store for things on the list and other treasures too. It was fun!

Last week we were in Rhode Island to visit my family. My uncle and his family have a great house in Little Compton, RI, right on the Massachusetts border. It was a great place to all get together! My sister and my other aunt came too and the kiddo had a great time playing with his teenage cousins. He also discovered Bocce. The kid can through a heavy ball remarkably far!

It was also his first experience with both ocean swimming (the Pacific is way too cold for swimming in Oregon) and with fishing (without a hook for obvious reasons...)

We got to explore the area around Little Compton quite a bit as well and I discovered a yarn shop that rivals Boersma's Knitting Basket! If you are ever in Rhode Island, there is a shop in Tiverton called Sakonnet Purls that is to die for! I found all sorts of goodies, and they have a little shed outside where every skein is $4. I, of course, could not resist that and got some lovely Cleckheaton and some funky Noro that is made of Ganpi (a sort of tree bark we think...) I am making a string bag out of the Noro and so far, so good!

We also ate way too much local corn. It was so good! As were the locally caught clams, mussels and lobsters. Yummy!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The New Old hat is done...

Here it is in all of its glory!
Now I am on to a cardigan for me made of Manos del Uraguay wool in a groovy brown/golden multi colorway. So far I have ripped out the bottom edge at least 3 times. I think I have settled on a yoke style with a stockinette body (with purls somewhat randomly placed for a bit of texture) and a bit of random garter stitch in the yoke. The idea is from Ann Budd's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns. Pictures once it looks like something!

Knights reign

The middle ages have taken over the house. Sir Kiddo is totally into knights and castles at the moment. He made a helmet for himself out of cardboard (with a bit of help!)

I think he looks groovy! If only there were a fair maiden that needed to be saved!

Monday, July 30, 2007

A new old hat...

Well folks here is the story... My father in law has this very old hat that he bought in college that is white with a bright orangish red stripe and a pom-pom on top. He wears it when he goes running. It is pretty ratty looking, so I decided that the perfect christmas present for him would be a reproduction of the hat. I started it a few days ago... White and bright red Encore worsted weight yarn in a brioche rib. It looks really great so far. (Pictures to follow if I can find the camera!) I just hope that he likes it! Of course, I will have to wait until Christmas to find out since no one wants a hat to run in in July in Virginia. It is just too hot! Today it is about 85 degrees and so humid that I was afraid to take my book outside for fear that the pages would start curling!

Today was the first day of the kiddo's soccer camp week. He seemed to have a lot of fun, although it was marred a bit by a bout of separation anxiety. I am not sure how to reassure him that I will in fact ALWAYS come back to pick him up at the right time. I guess we will just have to be patient with each other.

Friday, July 20, 2007

It is DONE!

The Jockey Sweater is offically done! It looks great with shark print pajamas too! Now we just have to wait for fall...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

An eight on the sleeve, just like Street Sense!

The jockey sweater is progressing. Maybe a couple more days to finish the second sleeve and do the seams. The kiddo really likes the 8 on the sleeve. He tells me that he wanted an eight because that is what Street Sense's rider had in the Kentucky Derby. I can only assume that it is true since I am not willing to go searching for the answer!

It will really look great once the seams are in! I can't wait until this fall so he can actually wear it! Of course, the fact that it was 93 degrees and 85% humidity today makes me wish for fall that much harder...

My Lorna's laces socks are not getting too much work done lately, they are mostly a car project and I have been doing most of the driving the last week or so. Someday soon they will have toes! I like the yarn though... It is a colorway called Pioneer, but I think it looks like peanut butter cups!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The kiddo cooks!

We went to see Ratatouille over the weekend and ever since, the kiddo has wanted to cook things. He has a great kids cookbook "Pretend Soup" by Molly Katzen and today he was reading it before breakfast and found this recipe:

Bagel Faces!

The actual recipe calls for things like bell peppers and olives and cherry tomatoes, but this fruit version was a big breakfast hit! Strawberries for eyes and nose, peach slices for mouth and eyebrows! He even ate the whole thing! Of course, my thought about it was what would my vegetarian friend who will only eat food without a face think of this...

The Jockey sweater is still rolling along. One sleeve is done, and the 8 is stitched on in duplicate stitch. The other sleeve is about half way there. I finished the hand dyed socks that were made with the really cool blue, purple and teal handdyed yarn on the Oregon trip so, of course, I had to buy more sock yarn. I got 3 pairs worth of Lorna's Laces Shephard Sock at the shop where I used to work and stared the first pair on the trip. They are brown and tan and look like peanut butter cups! So far I like them a lot. I will post pictures tomorrow! I want to get a pic of the kiddo with the mostly done sweater on.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Fencing with the kiddo.

This week was fencing camp for the kiddo. Never has there been a more hilarious thing to watch. Imagine, if you will, 5 fairly average five and six year olds, playing duck-duck-goose with weapons and full fencing costume. The camp was very basic fencing skills taught with Nerf sabres (thank god for foam!). The kids spent most of their time playing games like Simon Says and Red Light-Green Light with fencing moves, but my favorite part was duck-duck-goose. The kids whacked the other kids on the head with the sword as they went around the circle, then the kid who was IT had to fence the Goose around the circle without getting hit with the sabre. It was a hoot to watch. Everyday, near the end of the class, the activity brokedown into all the kids viciously attacking the instructor. Apparently, the kiddo is hooked. He got out Daddy's old foil from college fencing and was lunging all around the back yard this evening for "Practice"!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Back from Oregon

No posts for the past couple of weeks as we were on vacation in Oregon. We had a great time! The kiddo and I spent a week at the Oregon Suzuki Institute perfecting his violin playing and then my hubby arrived in time for the final concert at camp. It is a truly thrilling thing to see your little guy up on stage with about 200 other violinists all playing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" in unison! A good time was had by all and we got to spend a week with some amazing teachers and catch up with friends from last year.

After camp we headed to McMinnville to see old friends and old haunts. Of course there was a joyous reunion with all the girls at Boersma's Knitting Basket, where I worked before the big move east. The kiddo and I even spent a day teaching the girls to dye yarn with food coloring...

The set up in the unused top floor of the Boersma's store in McMinnville.

The kiddo helping mix up a batch of food color dye.

One of the final products...

We made it through 10 skeins of yarn and a ton of Wilton's dye without staining the floor. Needless to say, we all had blue and pink hands, and the kiddo had a few blue freckles! I have no idea what those gals are going to do with all of that lovely stuff... 10 mis-matched hand dyed skeins of worsted weight wool... but I can't wait to see!

The visit to McMinnville also included visits with old friends and a reunion picnic in the old neighborhood, which featured meeting the new owners of our old house and finding that the kiddo's height marks were still on the door frame in the pantry. We transfered the height marks to some paper to bring home (we had done it once before, but alas, that was the only thing that got lost in the move...) It was great to see all the old neighbors and the house again.

After a few days we were ready for adventure so we packed up and headed to Mt. Hood. We spent the 4th of July playing in the snow above Timberline Lodge and stayed there for the night. Timberline is one of the very few places that you can ski year round so we were able to watch skiers and snowboarders while we hiked! The next day we went back down the mountain by way of Hood River, OR (famous as the spot that John Kerry took a day off of campaigning to wind surf). We stopped at one of the kiddo's favorite spots, Bonneville Dam and visited the dam, navigation lock and fish hatchery there. It is really neat to see since it is a HUGE dam and this was the first visit that we have made where there were fish in the fish ladder! Lots of Shad and a few Steelhead and Salmon too!

It is nice to be home but we all miss Oregon. It was hard to come back to the Virginia summer, but since we were met at the airport by adoring grandparents, we will all survive just fine...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Look, ma... No Sleeves!

The bodice is done and all it needs now are sleeves!

Today was a fun day. The kiddo and I packed up and went to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. for the day. We saw lots of cool creatures (yes, even the pandas were out in force today!) The best one was the octopus. It was just finishing with it's feeding when we arrived and that was a very active octopus. It had finished extracting it's own meal from a PVC pipe that the keepers hid it in and was schemeing for the fish that belonged to the anemone that was it's tank mate. It was flashing colors and changing the texture of its skin and sending tentacles out every which way. It was soooo cool!

Tomorrow is the big pack. The kiddo and I leave Saturday morning for a week of Suzuki Violin camp in Oregon, followed by a week of fun after daddy joins us. We will have 4th of July on top of Mt. Hood. It should be a great trip, and be a chance to catch up with old friends and neighbors while we are there. The challenge is packing for the two of us for two weeks, some hot, some cold, some wet, some dry, in one oversized suitcase. We also have to get one small violin through 2 airports as a carry-on item! We have done it before and I am sure that we will do it again!

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Jockey progresses

I am almost done with the back of the jockey sweater. The kiddo has decided that he wants the number 8 on the sleeves so I worked out a chart for that since it won't be long before I am on to the sleeves.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Wired knitting

Last night I started playing around with knitted wire again. Here are the results...

This bracelet is from Nancy Wiseman's book Knitting with Wire. It is actually pretty easy to make, but a bit hard on the finger tips. I like the color coated wire a lot. As soon as my fingers heal up a bit, I will make another one!

The jockey sweater has a front...

The front is done... Disregard the weird whiteish stripe going up the left side. That is just a piece of waste yarn marking off 5 row increments so I could count easier!

The back is started and the kiddo has decided that he wants to have the number 8 on the sleeves. There was actually a jockey wearing a shirt with a pattern remarkably like this in the Belmont Stakes this weekend! His was red and white, but same idea...

Thursday, June 7, 2007

A new nephew!

My brother-in-law and his wife had a baby over the weekend. He is a cutie!
It is always nice to have small people to knit for... Unfortunately, this kiddo lives in Georgia where the need for woolies is limited!
Hopefully his mom and dad are getting some sleep once in a while. The kiddo around here is very excited to have a new cousin. This is #2 for him and he really can't wait to meet him!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Progress... And a new name

Before the rip out, the kiddo decided that he wanted quadrants of the two greens and numbers on the sleeve so it would look like a jockey shirt. I think it sounds good, so no more green monster... hello Jockey in Green! The rework is going well. I have a couple of inches finished and will have it back to 14 inches in no time!

School is winding down for the kiddo. Only 7 days left! Our neighborhood has a big last day of school party for all the kids and we all pitch in to rent a moon bounce and order pizzas and stuff. It should be fun! My mom will be here to join in the revelry too.

Monday, June 4, 2007

The sad demise of the green monster...

Well, I had about 14 inches of the back of the green monster finished when I decided that I had better write down what I was doing. In the process of writing, I counted the stitches on the needle (apparently for the first time) and discovered that instead of 90, I had 96! Oops! Upon measuring the width of the piece, I discovered that it was 18" wide. The kiddo is a skinny little beast so a 36" sweater would be WAY TOO BIG!!! Plus, I would probably run out of yarn with the darn thing that big. SOOO, out come the needles and the ripping process began. Thirty minutes later I had 2 balls of yarn and no sweater in sight. I cast on the correct number of stitches (I actually counted this time, TWICE!) and now I have about an inch complete instead of the the 14 inches that I had before. Ripping out good work sucks, but not as much as making a sweater with one short sleeve because you ran out of yarn at that point!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

The green monster

Well, this one is called the green monster. Of course, every kid will be jealous of it... The kiddo dyed the yarn himself in Kelly Green Wilton Icing Color. He told me that he didn't want stripes. I suggested half and half on the front, he countered with quadrants so it would look like a jockey (he really got into the Kentucky Derby). He even wants me to put numbers on the sleeves. You never know!

I also finished the blue and green socks for the kiddo this week. They look good and he likes them...

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Ravelry... I think I am in love...

If you haven't had a chance yet, go check out It is a really cool website that allows you to share pattern info, yarn info, projects, knit-a-longs, etc. I started using it today and it is really neat! I posted a few projects, recent and not so recent just to test it out. I really like it. It will eventually be a good database of knitting patterns too. A good place to go to see what something might really look like if you attempt to make it. Heck, you might even happen upon something that I made!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Finished socks!

These lovely socks are finally done! They have been my "car project" for quite a long time. I actually worked on them on trains on the way to and from NYC over spring break and quite a bit last weekend at the "Relay for Life" event. They were very good company in our tent between laps on the track.

They are Mountain Colors Barefoot, my favorite sock yarn of all (of course, I haven't knit up any of my home dyed stuff yet either...) They will have many friends in my sock drawer. They will also enable the retirement of some of my first Barefoot socks that have gotten a bit too felty through years of washing!

I started on a new pair of socks for the kiddo. He chose the yarn on our last trip to the yarn store in Fredericksburg. It is really nice, cotton, bamboo, and lycra blend. So far it is knitting up nicely, but the socks look big to me. Kiddo will have to try on the cuffs before I go too much further!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Introducing... The cardigan...

It is all finished! I finished tucking in all the loose ends last night while watching Grey's Anatomy (a guilty pleasure...) The knitting gods must be smiling because today it is 55 degrees out and a perfect day for a cotton cardigan! The fit is just right although I suspect that the sleeves are a bit too long. We will have to see how it does after a washing or two!
Of course, the big question is... What next?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Confessions of a food coloring addict

Today I dyed more yarn... This is getting to be a habit. I picked up some copper colored wilton icing color and was dying (pun intended, of course) to try it out. It yielded a really nice terra cotta reddish orange yarn and then I used the basically spent dyepot with some moss green color. That skein ended up with a small section of orange and the rest a deep olive green. Should knit up really pretty! I can't wait. The best part is that I still have 6 more skeins of sock yarn to play with... The postman was kind on Monday! So far the blue is still my favorite, although it is a very bright blue...

Saturday, May 12, 2007

New Dye Job

Yesterday we dyed more yarn. This time, we did a cold pour method and the kiddo handled the dye very well. He even wore latex gloves (which were really too big) for the process. I am sure that we will do this again. It was was really fun, and the yarn is really pretty too!

This will be hats and mittens for the kiddo next winter (or maybe something else if we make a better batch of yarn next time!)

Monday, May 7, 2007

The bag is finished!

The recycled bag is complete, and the kiddo has claimed it as his own! It works well for him. I think I will make the next one bigger now that we have proof of concept!

Now I just need to buy a lot more stuff that comes in plastic bags... Wait, that's not the point! I guess I will have to wait for natural accumulation!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Beautiful Sock Yarn!

I got a splendid picture of the hand dyed sock yarn all finished and ready! I can't wait to make more... And make the socks from this one!

Home improvement!

Today we replaced the very large, slightly ugly, definitely broken ceiling fan in our kitchen. The new one looks really great. We even replaced the bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs! If you ever need them, Ikea sells CF chandelier bulbs! The room definitely looks bigger!
I made some meager progress on the plastic bag bag last week, but now that I have some more material, I will probably get it all finished!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Great sock yarn!

I am so pleased with how the sock yarn ended up that I can't wait to try it again. Unfortunately, I only ordered one skein of it! At least it is easy to get more. I can't wait to try some other colors too. I think burgundy would be awesome, and maybe brown too! The kiddo's green stuff may not have fared as well... I fear that we stirred a bit too much because the yarn looks slightly felted. Plus, I didn't tie the skeins in enough places so they got really tangled up. I will be able to tell more as soon as they dry out! The nice thing is that they were only $4 each, so if they got fried, it isn't a big deal!

After watching the neighbors out with their bottles of Roundup spritzing the weeds that grow in the cracks in the sidewalk, I decided to try a little experiment in organic suburban gardening... I poured boiling water on our weeds in the crack in the hope that they will curl up and die. It smelled pretty good when I did it... Kind of like the smell of cooking greens. If it works, I will chalk one up for the chemical free lifestyle. If not, I will have to get out the weeding tools! Everything certainly looked like it had been blanched when I was finished, but there is a big difference between blanched and dead...

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Dye Job!

Today we dyed the wool from KnitPicks. Here is the kiddo's green in the dye pot... It almost looks like we are boiling up a muppet!Here is some lighter green in the bucket after the dye pot... The goal is to knit a striped sweater with two shades of green for the upcoming winter.
This is my sock yarn working in the crockpot. I love this blue!!! I can't wait to start knitting this stuff up!
The finished product hanging up to dry in the shower. Look at those shades!

And... The cardigan as it progresses. Look... It has sleeves!

The knit group that wasn't...

Last night I was very excited to go to a local knitting group that meets at the library. I got there at the appointed hour with my knitting in hand. I walked in the room, it was empty. I turned on the lights and sat down, alone. I waited for half an hour... Two other people came and asked if it was the ESL class, it was not. Then another person came and asked if it was the library friends board meeting, it was not. I left, sad and dejected... Maybe it will be better next month...

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Fun with food coloring...

A big box arrived yesterday from KnitPicks with a bunch of undyed worsted wool. The plan is to have the kiddo help dye it using food color. He picked out kelly green food coloring (Wilton's) at the store yesterday and perhaps today we will fire up the dye pot before violin lesson. We did some Kool-Aid dyeing a couple of years ago and had a great time with that. This time, I think we will do less dipping and more pouring...

There was an article in the most recent issue of that talked about this and I got inspired!

I also ordered some undyed sock yarn. I really like it as it is VERY soft! It is 75% superwash Merino, 25% nylon and the plan there is to dye it with royal blue food color. If it dyes up relatively easily, it may be the new sock yarn of choice because it is so soft!

We also got our meager garden started this weekend. So far the plants are doing quite well. We planted cherry tomatoes (Supersweet 100), Brandywines, and one called Mr. Stripey, which I mostly bought because of the name. It is an heirloom variety that is yellow with red stripes in the flesh. We had a hard time trying to find a place in the yard that would get full sun, but settled on this spot close to the house. I hope that the reflected heat from the house will do the plants good. You can see the results of last weekend's digging project in the background, if you look hard. The pipe that goes underground used to be a long piece of black flex pipe that we tripped over almost every day! This looks much better and my muscles are finally beginning to get back to normal after lots of shovel work!

We also planted a few cucumbers that the kiddo picked out. I am not sure that they will do much since they are planted underneath the day lilies and roses in a flower bed, but who knows!
The herb pot on the back porch looks great and is almost ready for kitchen use. We have basil, chives, thyme and cilantro. Yummy! I will probably get some more basil plants to plant near the tomatoes next week at the farmers market!

Last night we ate sausages from the farmers market and they were okay, but not great. We also had panzanella (bread salad) with olive bread from the market, tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella. It was delish!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Digging in the dirt

There was not much string in my weekend, unless you count the level line that we used to dig a trench in the side yard. We have a sump pump in the basement that was dumping water out of the catch basin into a splash pad on the side of the house. Once it had a drain pipe but for some reason it had been cut off. The water mostly pooled right next to the house so we figured it was seeping back into the basement. Not good!

I decided to put my geological skills to work and we built a lovely drain for the pump! Actually I was tired of tripping over the piece of flex-pipe that we had stuck on the end of the pipe coming out of the house as a stop gap. We dug a 10 foot long trench about 12" deep with a 2' x 2' chamber at the end, laid in a 4" sewer pipe and then lined the chamber and the end of the trench with landscape cloth and filled it with gravel. Hopefully it will last a good long time.

Even the kiddo was helpful on the project. What 5 year old boy doesn't love to dig! He found all sorts of good things too... A cicada still in its chrysalis, lots of worms, big white grubs, and lots of rocks!

On Sunday we went to the local farmers market and found all sorts of goodies. There is a guy that sells pasta that is to die for! This time we got pumpkin ravioli and they tasted like little pillows of pumpkin pie. Most excellent with sage butter on top! We also decided to try the local meat purveyor and bought some pork sausages and ground buffalo. DH has an idea for pesto buffalo burgers... Sounds yummy to me! We tried some bread from a place called the Bread Ovens at Quail Creek Farm. This is the best bread I have tasted since we moved. (It is just as good as Red Fox Bakery in McMinnville, Oregon) We got one loaf of Olive bread and one of Potato and White Truffle. The potato is just about the best tasting thing on earth! There was not much in the way of veg, but we did get some asparagus and some strawberries. Yummy!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Last night I finished the first sleeve for the striped cardigan... I it looks really long compared to the body of the sweater. I think I will knit up the second sleeve and assess how much yarn remains, then decide if the body needs to be longer. I don't want to end up with a bolero jacket! I also don't want to run out of yarn before I finish the top! Ah, the delicate balancing act... I am pretty sure that I am going to have plenty of yarn because I almost always over estimate how much I will need by a significant margin!

After I finish this one, I think I am going to work on designing something to make with the absolutely wonderful homespun that my friend Cindy gave me last summer. It is beautiful natural brown wool from her sheep and it is fine and soft too! I want to make something really special out of it because this yarn deserves to be worn a lot! I think there will be lots of swatches in my future...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The bags are no longer winning!

I worked on the plastic bag bag a bit more last night, but then I ran out of material. Oh well... This morning I went to Target and the grocery so I have more to work with now! It is really nice to not have a huge bag of bags hanging around anymore. Now that I know that this works, I think I will use up the bags as they accumulate and make some new reusable grocery bags in the process! I do find myself eyeing the bags at the store wondering if I should double bag the groceries so I can finish the first bag... Must Resist...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

More playing with plastic...

Well, the crocheted plastic bags were working pretty well, but I am really a knitter at heart so I switched to pointy sticks. I started with the basic Booga Bag, although slightly downsized for experimentation sake. I am not sure what I will do for handles on this one... Here is the progress so far:

I have switched methods of cutting up the bags and this way works much better. I fold the bags into quarters longwise and then slice the bags into strips. I take the resulting rings and link them together to form a 2-ply "yarn" to work with. The strips are only about 3/4 to 1 inch wide and the result knits up quite well on big needles. Of course, none of this helps keep my husband from looking at me like he thinks I am crazy!

I have also been working on my cardigan. It is a totally made up design in Mission Falls 1824 Cotton. The colors in the photo are a bit off. They are really Lentil and Sea. The Lentil reminds me of my friend Karol who LOVES the icky greens! I have the bottom half of the bodice done and most of one sleeve so far. This is how it looks right now...

I like this one and am going to make raglan sleeves so the stripes can continue uninterupted for the top. I figured that drop or set in sleeves would look to perpedicular to me! Eventually it will have a button placket made of the blue yarn. I think it will be a perfect fall sweater!

I also realized that I haven't posted the DONE photo of the Alice Starmore sweater that I finished last month. It is very cozy and fits just beautifully. This one is made in Cleckheaton Country 8-ply, my favorite sweater yarn of all...

The kiddo took the picture, but he did a great job of getting the sweater in the frame!

On a totally non-knitting note, Sunday was our first trip to the local farmers market. It was a beautiful day and there were quite a few folks out. We bought some herb plants... Basil to replace the ones that were burnt by frost a couple of weeks ago, a lemon thyme, cilantro. The kiddo picked out some cucumber starts. He loves the cukes! I am going to wait until next week for tomatoes. This time I didn't see any good heirloom starts, mostly hybrids and not a single cherry tomato plant! The good news is that we found eggs, a guy who makes rightous tortellini, local honey, and a really delicious carrot loaf. Next week we will visit the meat guy who has organic meat, including buffalo and goat! Unfortunately there were no cheese vendors this time...