Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Gardening Begins

Well, I had a wonderful day today. My husband had it off, so we went and did a little plant shopping today. We got a few things for the garden and a couple fruit trees. We’ve been here for 3 years, so it is about time we get our orchard started. It is something we talk about every spring and don’t seem to get done. This morning we decided we would get another fruit tree every payday until it is past tree planting weather around here. We should be able to get a couple more trees in this year that way. After we planted our trees this afternoon, I got to do some real gardening. I planted some things in the garden and planted some flowers I got the other day. It always feels good to plant things in the spring and think of all the good things you will get in the summer.

I got another surprise this morning as we got home. The mail carrier was right behind us and had a box for me. I thought it was going to be delivered by someone else. Anyway, I got these books:



I am planning on using them in the planning of the sweater I am going to make for my husband. Knitting in the Old Way looks absolutely daunting with all the information it has in it. I was too busy to really look earlier, but it has so much more than I had ever imagined I would find in it. I’m going to look at both of them tonight after I get the kids to bed.

Something else really pleasant: My husband announced this morning that HE was going to cook supper tonight. And he’s making lasagna. MMMM.

Monday, April 23, 2007

A Package!

I got a bit of a surprise today. A secret pal package. And it was full of good stuff. Some of the good stuff has disappeared, though. The bag is for sock knitting projects and was made by my secret pal. There is also this COOL folding ruler. I have never heard of such a thing. I’ve seen folding yardsticks. Anyway, there are lots of cool chicken and duck things AND even some yarn. I might make some gloves with it. Or I might just make myself some socks out of it. I love the rubber chicken (instead of a ducky). Thank you so much, secret pal!





Yesterday was a decent day thankfully. We thought maybe we would get something like 8 trees. But then we saw the trees. They were much bigger than my husband thought they would be, so we only got 4. We have 10.5 acres, so we have plenty of room for lots of trees, shrubs and etc. Today we have wind and I have a bunch of flowers to plant. And our yard is beginning to look like the Serengeti. I hate doing anything in the wind, but I think I am going to have to.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Boo Progress

I have finished the sleeves on Boo. They are gardening. I didn’t take advantage of the sunshine while it hung around. I have this vile cold that is keeping me from enjoying the outdoors when it is nice. And tomorrow my husband is taking me to dig up some trees that we can have free if we go and dig. I will drug myself up good and take some kind of knitting along. This will be a child-free trip since we have to take the truck to haul the trees. I can barely remember what driving around without children was like. Just the three of us. His dog always went with us. These days, she is too old to go with us.



In the meantime, I have cast-on the body of Boo. There is something nice in knowing I am making the last piece of the sweater already. I will have to pick up and knit some edgings and the button bands, but that isn’t really knitting up a separate piece that has to sewn on. I hate sewing the pieces and parts together. There isn’t much shaping to this sweater, so it has been pretty easy to turn into a knit in one piece sweater.

Friday, April 20, 2007

How I Hide the STASH

For secret pal, we are supposed to post about how we store our stash. So here are a few gratuitous yarn basket shots. I store all my yarn in baskets. The willow laundry hamper used to be full and overflowing with yarn. But then I got more baskets. Now the willow basket holds acrylic and the rest hold a mix of wools and cotton. My roving stash hasn’t grown enough to need a receptacle, but I have a basket in waiting for that. It used to hold yarn. Believe it or not, I decided it was just too big. It was an excavation project to find anything in it. This will probably still be the case if I use it for roving. The wire basket is for yarn remnants that I could use for making socks.





Today is my art class. I am hoping to remember to take all my supplies this week. Last week, I remembered my paint, but I had no paper to paint on. Nor did I have paper to draw on, pencils to draw with, or even a picture to work from. This resulted in a whole lot of laughing from other people. I got in too much of a hurry when I left home. Worst of all, I didn’t even have my snack!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

My New Spring Purse


BEFORE


My new spring purse is dry, but the lighting hasn’t been great here with the rain and gloom. My after picture was taken with a flash and that always makes yarn colors look different in my experience. It needs a bit of fixing up before we head out into the world, but I love it. I used the handle from Nicky Epstein’s Floral Felted Bag in the Fall 2004 IK. Page 52 for those who are interested. My bag holds its shape pretty well, I didn’t have to stuff anything in it to get it to stand up. That makes me very happy. I like a bag to have some body to it.



AFTER


Now I am back to all that other knitting. Naturally, I am thinking of other things I would like to knit afterwards. I’ve decided that I want to make Thermal from the last Knitty. When I first saw it, I wasn’t all that attracted to it. Since then, I have seen some that people have made or are working on, and now I like it. I have to find a suitable yarn because the Knit Picks Gloss that the pattern uses doesn’t come in colors that I like. I’m not having much luck, so I might have to get some of their yarn and dye it. Red, of course.

Anyway, I have been craving cake lately. So this afternoon I made a spice cake with maple frosting. Yum. Not out of the box, either. A real dig out the cookbook and measure all the ingredients kind of cake. I love getting cake and frosting recipes out of my grandmother’s cookbooks. Some of the more modern cookbooks are a bit lacking in variety. One of my grandmother’s cookbooks has some fascinating recipes. It was a compilation by some magazine back in the 30’s. If I ever need to cook a squirrel, I know where to look. However, it does tell how to make your own marshmallows, which might actually be useful. I could NEVER eat a squirrel.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Rainy Day Schedule

I finished my bag. When it is dry, I will show some before and after pictures. Felted items take so long to dry. Forever. It was nice to clear out some partial skeins and do something with brilliant red yarn.

It is rainy here today, and I am very glad. Unlike the east, we have been having a dry spring out here. This is the time of year when we get rain, so I am relieved to get some, no matter how little. We need to have more than a day of rain, but somehow I don’t think I can do anything about it. It is probably raining because my sweetie got the sprinkler system going yesterday.

Anyway, rainy days are great days for sleeping and knitting. So that is what I have done. I got both of the kids napping at the same time and then I got to nap, too. I laid down with a couple knitting books and never really even got to them. That quilt I made my husband for his birthday is like a sleeping pill. It knocks me out every time.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Looking for a New Dream Yarn....

The new purse is almost done. Can’t wait. I have to do some looking around to see how I want to do the straps. My other projects are coming along. I am working my way through the acres of claret stockinette stitch on my window covering. And just to show that I still work on socks, a shot of the 3 month long socks. The finished sock was napping somewhere. For all you know, this is still the first sock. Unless I posted a picture when I finished the first one. It has been so long I really can’t remember.



What I really have been doing a lot of is looking at yarn online. A nice distraction. I am not planning on buying any new yarn. My dream yarn once upon a time was Brown Sheep Handpaint Originals. Then it became Noro Silk Garden. However, that has begun to wane and now I need to find a new yarn to long for. That is what I am telling myself, anyway. I love to look at yarns and dream of projects. It is fun, fun, fun.



And as for the above picture, I think we all know what happened to the little mouse. That is the bucket I feed my chickens and ducks with. One less mouse eating the chicken feed. It was better this way. Mouser was going to eat the little beast sooner or later, anyway. Yes, our cat is named Mouser and she is really a good mouser. Vermin killing machine. We could be in trouble when she passes on. Hopefully, that will be many, many years from now.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Decorating with Yarn

Last Friday, I decided I was tired of my boring old projects, so I invented a new one. I had all this yarn that I bought for felting purposes a few years back. It is mostly Lopi, but there was also some brighter stuff called Gjestal Naturgarn #1. I decided I need a new purse for spring. I found my largest dpn’s and started figuring out how to make a circle without too much puckering from the increases. It took me until yesterday to get it just right. So this is my Lopi-Naturgarn purse. I’m having lots of fun knitting it. I am still working on the other projects.



That little project and the acquisition of a new, free lamp led to my redecorating with yarn spree this morning. My mother in law decided she didn’t need an enormous old lamp in her bedroom anymore. It is perfect right behind my knitting chair on my old cedar chest. The cedar chest is also enormous (I built it in woodshop in high school). I had cluttered up the living room with what little yarn I had left in our bedroom, so I figured I might as well decorate with it and few spare baskets. I think the metal one is an old beet basket. My mother used it when she picked corn in the garden when I was a child. I rescued it from obscurity about 10 years ago and ever since it has been a household item. I will always think of that basket as it was 30 years ago, full of corn with some tomatoes and peppers piled on top. Happy times.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Travelling Sockitis

I have to tell you guys, I am going to love my Travelling Socks when I finish them. But I am knitting them on size 0 needles and they are taking forever. I am working on a heel flap that is driving me crazy. So I started some new socks. They are for one of the girls, which ever they fit. I think they will fit the littlest knitter. As you can see below, they are toe up. I am planning on doing socks for my husband that way. These are my learning pair. If they turn out to fit my littlest knitter like I think they will, I may do a slightly larger pair for more practice. By the time I get to my sweetie’s socks I will know what I am doing. I am using Knit Picks Palette remnants from the Ladybug sweater (Marihone).



The other day, I actually sewed up a dress for one of the girls. I was going to sew a dress for the other girl, but it requires a zipper that I don’t have right now. I can sew the pants/top outfit for her. Or my pants that have been languishing for 2 months. OR. I could knit.



Yesterday I saw the coolest notebook that I just have to have. I forget what it was called, but the top half of the page is blank for drawing and the bottom half is lined for writing. I am going to get one and use it for my design book. If it were perfect the back sides would be graph paper. I somehow doubt that they do, though. You don’t always need graph paper, anyway.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Easter's Coming

What did I spend my day doing? I spent it cutting stuff out. Patterns, dresses, pants, a top. Not for me, for my little darlings. There is just something about spring and summer that just makes you want to sew up cute things for your kids. I’ve got about 4 things I want to sew up for myself, too.



I hope to get back to my knitting tomorrow. Today is mostly gone, so I doubt I will get much knitting done today. I spent yesterday and Saturday sewing up knitting needle rolls for my etsy shop. I thought it would be best to start such a risky endeavor on April Fool’s Day, so I did. I want to make some stitch markers, but I forgot some of the necessaries on my last shopping trip. Good excuse for another shopping trip, huh? No, I didn’t forget them on purpose…

Easter is less than a week away. I love Easter. Dying eggs, hunting for them, hiding them again and again. And who doesn’t love little bunnies decorating the house for a week or two every spring? Of course, there is also all the candy. Anyone familiar with being on a candy high from chocolate eggs? I love chocolate eggs. I think that truly my favorite thing about Easter is deviled eggs. Well, it is right behind seeing the look of delight on my kids’ faces when they see that the Easter Bunny brought them all kinds of goodies and maybe a fun toy.