All done

It's official, I finished the Christmas knitting at approximately 12:30 this morning. Now to survive three more late nights of work, some family holiday gatherings that are early in the morning, and a little more wrapping. A cookie and some egg nog and I should be good to go!


And another one bites the dust!

I have only one Christmas Knitting Project left to go. I fully expect to be able to say either tomorrow or Sunday that I am completely finished, though perhaps they will not all be wrapped yet. I didn't think my goals were so out there - and apparently I was right for once. Off to keep chuggin . . .


Well, that didn't take long

As I partly expected, the plan lasted exactly 4 days. By Friday I was happily deviating from the plan.

But, in other news, the small somewhat neglected project is finished, the sloggy project has gained a lot of ground, and the project that I hadn't cast on yet is moving along nicely.

And apparently I was wrong - there will be more new Journeyman, at least for a while.


An updaty thing

In my newly acquired age and wisdom I have decided on a plan of action for the remaining Christmas knitting (of which, thankfully, there is a manageable amount).

Mondays and Tuesdays will be for the sloggy project, as I am at work and watching shows* which require more of my attention - thus making the slogging seem much less sloggy.

Wednesdays will be for the small project that I have neglected for a while, as it really won't take me long to finish, if I just work on it.

Thursdays will be for the project I have yet to begin, so I will cast-on Thursday.

Fridays will be for the second half of a very quick project, as my time is not predictable those days.

Saturdays and Sundays will be for whichever projects need to make more progress before the week begins again.

And thusly, I will finish my Christmas knitting.

And upon completion of the Christmas knitting, I will begin a sock marathon as I have amassed a good lot of very pretty sock yarn that I want to turn into socks. Perhaps I will be Sockin' around the Christmas tree, and having a Sockin' New Year.

In other news, it looks very likely that I will have the Fox master control board to myself on Tuesday nights for a good long while, so when American Idol starts back up again I'll be stuck watching it. Sigh. That show pains me.

*Though sadly, there are no more new episodes of Chuck, Heroes, or Journeyman, but Fox has begun airing reruns of their primetime shows that I haven't seen yet, so they're new to me.


An honest to goodness FO!

I can't spoil the surprise by showing pictures of this one on here, so here you have it!

Pattern: Flower Basket Shawl, by Evelyn A. Clark
Yarn: Knitpicks Bare Merino Fingering Weight, dyed in the microwave
Mod's: I added extra repeats of the main lace pattern

This one's for my Meemaw . . . I hope she likes it.


The thing I didn't get to say today . . .

"Gosh, dad, 60. So, how does it feel to officially be old?"

Happy Birthday, Daddy. We miss you. Thanksgiving just isn't the same without you and your chocolate cake.


Winter Evening Soup

Mom spent a long day in a chilly pool yesterday, so I came over and whipped this up for supper.

Heat in a large pot:

2 boxes Beef Broth (if you have your own stock, more power to ya, I have no access to a
butcher so I have no beef bones) approximately 2 litres

about as much water

1 sweet potato in 1/2 inch cubes

1 bunch curly kale trimmed from the stems and cut into small pieces

A bunch of whole herb stems (thyme, rosemary, oregano)

Simmer for a half hour or so.

About 15-20 minutes before you're ready to serve, add

one bag cheese tortellini

1/3 lb. mushrooms, quartered

salt and pepper to taste ( I like to add "Crazy Mixed Up Salt" too)

Remove the herb bunch.

**Once you add the pasta, try not to stir much, as they tend to burst. Although, if they do, it's not too big of a loss, as the cheese filling adds something nice to the broth.


I needed a break

All the Christmas knitting was getting to be a bit too much for me. I am happy to announce that I have finished nearly half of the projects, and all but one of the remaining ones are very nearly halfway done.

But I needed something I could finish quickly, and my head was getting cold, so I knit myself a quick hat.

Pattern: Shedir
Yarn: Knitpicks Bare Merino DK, dyed with Jacquard dyes
Needles: Knitpicks Harmony 16" US 3 circular (loved it!)
Modifications: I worked one less repeat of the initial pattern, and in retrospect, I might could have left off another one. I also twisted the knit stitches, for more definition.

It fits my head well, not too tight, not too loose. It might be a bit longer than I needed, but to find that out, I'll have to knit another one. Darn!


Dear Politicians

for whom I am supposed to vote tomorrow,

Let's just be honest here; if I had my way, there would be an option in the voting machine's programming by which I could vote against all of you. In my opinion, you are all poor representatives for this area and probably humanity in general. I might even go so far as to accuse you of being low life scum parading as decent human beings and doing a terrible job of it.

Honesty hurts doesn't it.

Some pointers, from a voter's point of view:

1. At least begin your campaigning with a positive "this is why I am a good candidate" ad. In a perfect world, no one would need to resort to smear campaigns, but let's at least start on a good footing. The way your campaigns have gone, all I know is that you're all terrible choices and namecallers.

2. It might be a good idea to mention which district you're running in. As it is, I have no idea who's going to be on my ballot tomorrow. I know the reason that there are a lot of you is that it's a state legislature race: all the more reason to identify who you'll be representing.

3. Just so you know. You're frequent and ubiquitous negative commercials are doing nothing for voting apathy amongst your younger constituents. The fact that I don't want to go to the polls tomorrow is entirely your fault. Who would want to, given the same options?

4. Despite what your spin team might tell you - elections are not really about image. Don't make promises or claims that you cannot actually back up just because you think it's what we want to hear. What we want is for you to do something, anything, to make things better. That means actually working.

5. Here's an earth shattering idea - why don't y'all give yourselves a pay cut for once. You've been voting for your own pay raises for years, how about we balance the scales a little, and put some of that money towards something that will actually benefit the state.

6. Enough with the abusive driver fees already. You're spending so much time arguing about them, when you can't make them do what the whiners want them to, that it's really becoming laughable. We CAN'T enforce added fees on out of state drivers - there's really no good way to do that. Let it go. If those fees make a few locals think twice before driving like idiots they'll have done as much good as could be expected.

7. On the flip side, the abusive driver fees were a sucky, slimy, and lazy plan for funding the road projects we need around here. That was a cop out, admit it.

8. And finally, while I am grateful you've been personally stroking my paycheck for the last month and a half, I will be so happy when I don't have to listen to your bull anymore. Sadly that means that half of you will be elected, which isn't good news, but at least you can go to Richmond and annoy each other instead of me.


Be careful what you wish for . . .

. . . you know how it goes.

I was a tight knitter. Possibly an uptight knitter. For those who are familiar I have an example: I knit myself a pair of Cookie A. Monkeys in worsted weight yarn, on US 2's, and they fit just right. For those of you who are unfamiliar - I tend to have to use a needle 2-3 sizes larger than a pattern calls for, to force my stitches to be the right size.

Well, that may no longer be the case. I was comparing the second part of a project to the first part last night, only to discover that the second piece, which should have been identical to the first, was significantly bigger. Now I completed the first piece a good bit ago, and set the project aside to finish a couple other priorities first. Well, in that time, I seem to have loosened up. Not the best time for that to happen!

So last night I frogged the entire second part, and when I couldn't get the yarn wad apart (it's a two color project) I just cut it from the intact balls. Thankfully, I have plenty of yarn for this project. I cast on again this morning, on needles one size smaller, and my initial comparison looks promising. Onward and upward!


Sadly, no.

The apartment turned out to be a bit disappointing. The kitchen is the size of my sister's closet, and while she has a walk-in closet she doesn't have to fit cabinets, a refrigerator and a stove in that closet. Also it seemed very dark, and we like sunlight. So sadly, it was a bust. But it was an adventure!

In other adventures, we went to the Bass Pro shop and had a tremendous time looking at grills and camping equipment. I think we may be going camping (as soon as we remedy a lack of sleeping bags). Mmmm . . . . food plus fire . . . good!


This could be very exciting!

We're going to look at an apartment tomorrow - 2 bedroom, central air, washer/dryer hookup, deck, what sounds like a better kitchen, a cute little neighborhood, water view and a small dock, and a PLACE TO PARK TWO CARS!! It sounds ideal - but tomorrow will be the test. If we like it, and we can have it, we may very well move.

Is it sad that the parking is more exciting than the water or the possibility of having a washer and dryer?

I would like to thank the academy, Curly, and Craigslist!



And then, true to my nature, I forgot the camera. There wasn't much in the way of decent light at the winery, and we'll definitely be seeing Williamsburg again. So, I'll have to remember next time.


Looking forward . . .

There will be wine tomorrow! I'm pumped.

My mother and father in law announced this morning that one of the things they wanted to do this weekend while they were here was scope out a winery or two. Sadly, as this is not a greatly winery rich area, too coastal, too flat, we lack many wineries from which to choose that make a good day trip. But we do have one! Williamsburg Winery here we come! From the looks of things, they have a lovely tour and tasting. And if we're feeling up to it, we may go check out Colonial Williamsburg for a few hours.

It's going to be a great day - it might be a bit warmer than I'd like, but I'm excited.
Hopefully, pictures tomorrow.



This is not going to win me friends; in fact, it will likely make people very mad at me. Any staunch liberals who may come across this might just want to stop reading right here.

But who thought it was a good idea to give Al Gore a Nobel prize? I'm sorry, but that man gives me the willies. Slimy, stuffed shirt, consumate politician. Did I mention slimy?

Like I said, this is no way for me to win friends or influence people. I don't care. I don't like him.

All that said, I think he's done some good things in the realm of environmental awareness. Not sure it was Nobel prizeworthy, but good nonetheless.

He still scares me. Not as much as Hillary Clinton scares me, but he does. And I'm still trying to figure out what it was he won an Emmy for - I honestly thought it was some kind of spoof when I was watching.


What is happening here??

Working at a television news station can make a person very paranoid. "No news is good news" is alive and well. If all I saw of the world was on the news, I'd never leave my bedroom again. A shooting here, a fatal accident there (and they really are terrible and heart wrenching, I don't mean to sound cold). . . but the recalls can be the worst! Tainted meat, tainted fruits and vegetables, incorrect labels, salmonella, e coli, listeria. A kid could lose her appetite.

Usually, products for children are recalled due to a choking hazard of some sort. We get a little jaded about that after a while. But it got me thinking the other day. Choking hazards are relatively easy to spot. If someone was inspecting the prototypes for these toys for choking hazards they'd never even make it to production. The same thing goes with all of the toys made in China. No one is checking on these things; nobody cares enough about the quality of the products they're producing or the safety of those who buy them. I'd ask where the integrity has gone, but it bowed out to the overwhelming power of the almighty dollar.

Well, that was depressing enough, but now they've hit an all time low. Now they're recalling children's cold and fever medication because of the possible side effects of incorrect dosing. They're pulling kiddie meds off the shelves because of the bad things that can happen if people don't follow directions. Seriously. From one extreme to the other - from neglect to the attempt to prevent operator error.

I'm having trouble fathoming how this even makes sense.


I'm boring . . . but I have a plan!

I blame Christmas, by the way, and the Hogwarts Sock Swap. I, who hate deadlines, have made myself a bed of deadlines in which I must lie. How is it, I ask, that I repeatedly put myself in this position?? But I digress.

The point is, I have been meaning to post something, more than one something, but when I sit down to type I have little or nothing interesting to say. I mean, the granola was awesome, but if that's the highlight of my postable news, I may be losing it.

Now, I do have some greatly exciting knitting going on; at least I find it exciting.
So, I promise there will be pretty pictures and some really fun FO's (if I do say so myself) eventually. But since they are either Christmas presents or socks for the swap, eventually will come once towards the end of October, and then not again until January. Until then, it wouldn't kill me to engage a few brain cells in discussing something that doesn't involve wool and other assorted fibers.

In other news, I have crafted a plan for keeping myself chugging along on the deadline knitting. When I finish the last of it, I will place an order for the yarn to start my first sweater. And while I'm waiting for that to come, I've got a hank of merino I've dyed for a hat for myself.

Now . . . what to talk about for a while?


Thoughts on the Granola

It was good! I made another batch this week. This might be my new favorite snack!


Tried Granola Again

Another adventure in granola - this time in the oven. The skillet variety was good, but this makes more at once, and it just sounded so good!

Mix in a big bowl:

3c rolled oats
1/2 c slivered almonds
1/2 c cashew pieces
1/2 c pumpkin seeds
1/2 c pistachios (shelled)
1/2 c flax seeds
1/4 c + 2T brown sugar

Mix in a little bowl:

1/4 c + 2T maple syrup
1/4 c olive oil
3/4 tsp. salt

Pour the second mixture onto the first and stir to combine. Spread over two baking sheets and bake in a 250 degree oven for an hour and fifteen minutes, stirring every 15-20. Let cool. Snack On!

It's not out of the oven yet - but it smells lovely!


Quote Du Jour

"We don't need no stinky badgers!"

Points if you can guess how the conversation got there.


Because I needed more fiber in my diet . . .

(Do I sound like I'm 50 yet?)

I needed something to tuck into my lunch today, to round it out. So I went looking for a recipe for granola, and I think I may have struck gold!

Here's what I did:

2T butter
2T honey

melt these together in a pan until they bubble slightly

1/4 c *stuff

add this and stir for a minute or so

1 c old fashioned rolled oats (long cooking oatmeal)

add this and stir until all the oats are coated in the honey/butter mixture, then continue to stir for another **three or four minutes.

Pour this onto a piece of foil or a cookie sheet to cool. You may want to butter this surface lightly to prevent the granola from sticking.

I think it turned out well. It made a nice little batch, and I could easily double or triple the quantities. This time I used a nonstick skillet, but I think next time I'm going to try the cast iron skillet.

I'm rather excited about today's lunch (dinner, I work second shift). I'm having fresh corn off the cob, chicken salad with celery and apple, carrot sticks and peanut butter, and now granola.

*this could be anything in the nut/seed familiy. Today I used some milled flax seed and sunflower seeds, but the next time I'm at Trader Joes I'm going to find some interesting nuts and seeds.

**all times are approximate, as I don't have a clock handy in the kitchen, and I don't like to be that exact anyway.


A full day . . .

It's far too soon to use the "f" word (fall), but the temperatures this week were so nice we opened up the apartment - it's a little warm, but comfortable enough.

I'm rediscovering how energizing having a day to myself can be - after the boy went to work, I baked a cake, two loaves of bread, swept and mopped the apartment, cleaned the kitchen, did a load of laundry, saw Mr. Perry and got us some big zucchini, corn, peaches and squash, put clean sheets on the bed, and got some quality knitting done. I see some zucchini bread in my future, but probably not 'til it gets chilly.

It's been a good day.

Tomorrow there's more laundry, some yard work, and more fall gardening. So far we have collards and cauliflower, but I have broccoli, spinach, and lettuce still to plant.



A large portion of the people around here go out of their way to avoid crosswalks.

2% Greek style yogurt is quite possibly the greatest edible substance ever.

Especially if you have some raw honey on hand to mix into it.

When we find a house, it needs to have a place for me to hang my hammock.

I really need to figure out a regular routine . . . or else I forget things.

A good audio book is far better than the radio.

A good pair of shoes is worth its weight in gold.

Compressed pine cat litter is a beautiful thing.

Dried mangoes . . . bet you can't eat just one piece.

There's something satisfying about working with dough.

Hogwarts Questions

What type of pet do you choose as your companion at Hogwarts?

A cat, a short haired tabby.

While shopping in Hogsmeade you stop by Honeydukes for some sweets. What treats do you purchase for yourself?

Some nougat, and a sack of toffees.

A potion you are preparing needs an ingredient available only at muggle shops. You don't want to stand out in your wizards robes, so you resort to traditional muggle clothing. Describe your outfit in detail.

Basic blue jeans, hiking shoes, and a printed t-shirt.

What is your favorite subject to study at Hogwarts and why?

It's hard to choose one, I'm torn between Herbology, Ancient Runes and Arithmancy. My inner nerd greatly enjoys Ancient Runes and Arithmancy, but the care of plants is very calming.

Likewise, what subject is your least favorite and why?

Divination, because it's just too "fluffy."

Back to the potion you were shopping for ingredients for, what type of potion are you making, what color is it, what are the ingredients, and precisely what does the potion do?

I needed to make up some of Fred and George's bruise removing paste, which among other things contained turmeric and ginger, which were easy enough to find at a muggle grocer while I was out. It's a thick yellow paste which, when spread on a bruise will remove it in an hour. I bruise easily. I don't know all of the ingredients, I bought a base powder for it from their shop, but the powder smells like burnt hair and cheese.


Labor Day Weekend

As I was still on my Tuesday - Friday schedule at work, and the boy got Labor day off, we took our three day weekend and went up to the Creek with my mom. We cooked out with my Grandparents, took naps, swam in the river (which was delightfully nettle free), enjoyed the breezes on the porch, picked crab with friends for supper one night, picked crab again the next day for lunch, and generally relaxed and enjoyed ourselves. I got a bit of knitting done, but as I have begun the Christmas knitting I won't be sharing details until after the gifts have been received.

We took the kitten. That was an adventure. She snorts mid growl. Thankfully, I can report that no fur was flung in the taking of this vacation. It just wasn't completely quiet.


Vengence and small victories

Nora came home with all of her claws intact.

I don't mean she hasn't been declawed, although she hasn't, and she's not going to be. I mean, all of them hadn't been trimmed in some time. Talons might have been a better term. We'll have the battle scars to prove it for a little while.

I knew she wasn't going to like having them trimmed, but it needed to happen. I was right. I got one paw done two days ago, got two claws on the other one yesterday. And she would hold a grudge for as long as I was home afterwards. Once I left for work and came back, all was forgotten.

Finally, the boy held her so I could clip the remaining talons. So then we were both "evil." It's amazing what a couple of cat treats can garner - instant forgiveness.



So, as I was sitting with the lappy, checking my e-mail, I overheard the boy in the kitchen say, "No, get out of the fridge." No, he wasn't talking to the milk. He was talking to the fur kid - meet Nora:

We adopted her yesterday.


Inspiration abounds . . .

Now, I realize that it's only August, and that it's still in the upper 90's most days (not counting the humidity and heat index). I also realize that we have barely touched on hurricane season. That runs from mid August through November here.

But children across the country are beginning to head back to school, and Fall is just around the corner. This is the time of year when I would pull out my sweaters and pet them, and think longingly of the cooler days to come when I would wear them again. I really am a sweater/sweatshirt fan. For starters, they hide a multitude of sins. And, gosh darn it, they're so comfy!

My feelings seem to have adopted my knitting into their pre-fall ritual, so now I'm getting psyched for fall knitting projects. I have nailed down most of the Christmas knitting, some of which I've been working on since last Christmas. No, I'm not that driven; I just wanted to take my time and enjoy the projects. I am now on number 3 of 4 in the Grandma Shawl count. One Grandma already has her shawl, which leaves me searching for something else for her for Christmas, but I'll find something.

I actually bought most of the yarn for the Christmas knitting today, so I can take something other than a Grandma shawl up to the cottage on the river over Labor Day Weekend. See, mom's parents live up there, and I don't want to give even the slightest hint of what is to come. So my plan is to take a couple of small easy projects up there, along with the drop spindle, and try to knock out some stuff.

Don't I sound organized? A complete facade. I think I have enough will power to get me through the Christmas knitting, before I launch into one of the million or so projects that I've been eyeballing. It helps that one or two of the Christmas projects are patterns that I've been eyeballing. I think I can make it . . . I think so.

But I want to knit this . . .

and this . . .

and of course there's this . . .

and this . . .

um, . . . and this . . .

yeah, this too . . .

and this . . . for my cousin who's having a baby

and that's just the ones that have pictures to link to on the web. Let's not get me started on the patterns I've found in books. So much knitting, so little time.


Monday is my day off . . .

. . . for now. I may just have the best schedule ever, for me. It won't start for a couple weeks, but once it does I won't work Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays! I'm still working in television, I won't have to get up early in the morning, and I get three day weekends, ON THE WEEKEND!! I'm going to hold onto this shift for as long as I can, it's going to be great!

The downside to this is that I won't be able to keep going to the Tuesday and Wednesday night knitting groups I'd enjoyed so much.

In other good news, the boy has started a new job, which he seems to be liking so far. This also means that this was my first Monday off with some alone time. Don't get me wrong, I do love that boy, but a little me time today was nice.

Also, I've tried my first batch of pickles. They weren't bad, but as I had miscalculated the amount of dill seed per jar (it's a Tbsp, I thought it was a tsp) this first batch is mostly sour and not very dilly. The next batch should be better.

There has also been knitting. I whipped up a pair of baby booties and a hat in a hurry, thinking I could sneak them into the auction at camp, but that didn't happen. I need to photograph them, they came out cute, but they need feet and a head - I may need to hit up the thrift store for a baby doll for modeling purposes. There are also socks:

And then there's this one. I am in the process of remembering the benefit of putting one's mind to something (read: kicking myself). It's really moving along now. I'm slightly concerned that I may run out of yarn before I close the toe, but I won't know until it happens.

I really like them, and I'm so glad they fit. I was worried. At this rate I should have a few more pair to add to the rotation soon. Is it sad that even when the highs are in the 90's I wear wool socks to work?

The other thing I'm remembering today? How great milk and graham crackers are!


I'm home, did ya miss me?

Probably not . . . seeing as I didn't mention I was leaving. But it being August it was time for the annual trek to West Virginia. Well, at least it used to be annual. I have great hopes that it can be again.

We timed the trip perfectly, by accident of course. We left town on a day where the predicted high was 101, and the heat index was somewhere in the one hundred teens. When we reached Alderson it was still very hot. They had been suffering from the same heat wave that we had been. We unpacked the truck, set up the tent, and then promptly donned our swimsuits and submerged our sweaty selves in the river. By the time dinner was over the temperature had started to drop. We had arrived just in time for the first cool night they'd had in over a week.

The boy wasn't sure what to think at first, but it didn't take him long to relax and enjoy himself. We got a chance to visit with folks that I've known my whole life. We swam and tubed in the river. We went to the fair, which the boy pronounced to be a bit small, but inherently cool. (This was the WV state fair, by the way) I introduced the boy to the cultural experience that is the Pig Roast.

Packing up to leave yesterday was not something we wanted to do, but the boy had to go to work today. We had fun on the drive home, and even managed to squeeze in a stop at a yarn store!

But wait! Did they take their camera?? Silly question!

The boy did more of the photography than I did, so I'll see if I can beg him to post some pictures.

But the best part? I actually heard him say "I miss Camp Greenbrier" today . . . it wasn't as quiet and under his breath as he thought. Made my day!


More Knitting, Yay!!

Just to put it out there, because someone may ask - yes, I've found another job where I can knit at work. When I've finished everything I can do and am just waiting for a show to come down or something, my boss said I can knit, so long as I put it away if a tour group comes through or something. My new boss is awesome, by the way.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled knitting . . .

Zeebee by Schmeebot
Yarn: Knitpicks Bare Merino DK
Size: the boy's head . . . roughly 20" around and 8 3/4" to crown

The boy begged me to knit him a hat out of this yarn the minute I pulled it out of the dye pot. Truth be told, I didn't like the color combination much, but only because it wasn't what I had been going for. When I finally got around to reskeining it to see how the colors blended, I had to concede that it wasn't too bad looking. So when I needed a quick project last week, to break up some knitting monotony I figured it was time to make him a hat. I'd been dying to try the pattern, which is really more of a formula (feeding my inner nerd). Once it was finished he started wearing it around the house. No our AC is not on that strong, he's just adorable like that. He even slept in it a couple of times. Silly boy.

He wouldn't let me take a picture of his face, but hopefully you get the idea, I think it turned out pretty well. Now I want one. Maybe in something tweedy.


Can I kick myself?

When I started knitting last summer, I decided to try socks, because they were small and looked challenging enough to be interesting. It wasn't until I'd been at it for a few months and had finished a couple pairs of socks that I learned that socks are supposed to be hard. I've heard countless knitters, many who are far more accomplished than I, say that they could never knit socks because they're too hard. Seriously.

I've read all but the latest book put out by the Yarn Harlot, and from the way she writes it would seem that many knitters need to be convinced that certain things aren't really all that hard, and they should try them.

I've even posted to group blogs on the topic of pattern technique suggestions, and not feeling obligated to follow them. I didn't want them to be scared to change things. I wanted them to see that it wasn't hard.

I've lived in the world of knitting relatively oblivious of what was hard and what was not. And it's been working for me.

And yet . . . there's one project that I've been avoiding because it looks hard . . .

Duh duh duh! Sweaters!!

Especially ones that are knit in pieces and then sewn together. It's a love hate relationship - especially with the sweater in the picture. I have the pattern, and I've picked out yarn (just not the color). I would love to knit it, love to wear it. But I'd hate to fail miserably, to be beaten by a sweater. But this is ridiculous - I can do this! I just need to start, and it will all be ok.

Now to noodle over colors for weeks, until I find the perfect one.


My nose was buried . . .

in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows . . . which I greatly enjoyed. I think I will go back to the beginning and read the whole series at once.


Dance Time

Doin' a little happy dance . . . cuz I made pickles! They won't be ready to eat until August 10th or so . . . so stay tuned for taste testing results.


Getting a Grip

I'm starting to get a handle on things now, what with the new job, and the new schedule, and developing some new habits. It's keeping me busy (can't ya tell?). I have some garden pics to share - not terribly new ones, but they're pictures.

The cucumbers are starting to come, mostly from the seedlings I'd bought, the vines I planted as seed are really close though. The "True Lemon" cukes are starting to make male flowers, so I'm hoping to be able to show some of them off soon.

The green zebra tomatoes seem to only grow to about the size of a plum, but they have great flavor - AND . . . I've figured out how to tell if they're ripening - the light green bits start to turn yellow (I could also give them a gentle squeeze, but I try to avoid that one). The sad part is that parts of at least one of the green zebra vines seems to be suffering a bit, either from the dryness and heat or from some kind of pest or disease. I've started adding a little milk to the fertilizing mix, which I should have done a long time ago, so I'm hoping to see a little good come of that.

This tomato is growing on a vine that I stunted. (Ooops! Shame on me!) I was picking off suckers, like a good kid, and I accidentally mistook the growing top of the vine for a sucker and snapped it right off. It seems to be recovering nicely, but it took a while.

Growers notes for '08:

Add 1/2 cup milk to fertilizer mix for tomatoes and peppers - use weekly
Add Bone Meal, Granite and Cow to the soil Spring '08
after that just bone meal and cow, maybe some blood meal
Some lime might be good . . . not too much, but some
Make more room for zucchini
Design a layout, making space for all the fun veggies
Start more tomatoes from seed, that was fun
Tomato "patch" needs more nasturtiums, marigolds, basil, and thyme


What's up?

Well, I had my first day at the new job today. My head is only a little swimmy, and I think that has more to do with being up so early than it does with the training. I've done a lot of what I did today before, though their automated decks and software are a bit unfamiliar.

I played a little dumb today, to make sure I didn't miss anything. To that extent, it worked, but it was a little trying on my patience - so tomorrow, I'm going to be smarter.

No earth shattering news on Seth's job front, but he may have lined up a new interview today. Here's hoping.


Garden Cuteness

As promised, pictures of itty bitty vegetables! I'll tell ya though, I had to hunt for a while to find a tiny cuke - all the tiny ones I'd been watching have grown up considerably.

For scale comparison - the stems surrounding this baby squash (yellow zucchini) are about as bit around as my thumb, which, it should be noted, are likely bigger around than yours because I have fat fingers. But still - the squash isn't even as big around as a #2 pencil yet!

And this is the baby cuke - he's so tiny! And see? No flower yet - they grow to a point before the flower blossoms to be polinated. I saw a bee making the rounds in my cucumbers yesterday, so I'm hopeful for a decent crop. I want to get a picture of my other cukes - the lemon lookin' ones - but they are not quite to this point yet.

Mmmmm, pickly goodness! Yep, that's right, I'm makin' pickles! Sadly, I don't think my dill will be far enough along to use in making said pickles, but that's ok. I'm also hoping that I'll have cukes late enough into the summer that I can make some hot pickles with a jalapeno or an aurora pepper tucked into the jar. We'll see.


You learn something every day!

I was wandering around inspecting the plants in the vegetable bed the other day when I discovered something strange. While my cucumber and squash plants had been flowering for a couple of days, now there were flowers with miniature squash and cucumbers growing behind them. Now I expected to see this, eventually, as I knew that's how the squash and cucumbers developed, but the thing I couldn't understand was why the flowers growing on the ends of these tiny veggies were either new, or hadn't even opened yet.

Now, my vegetable growing experience consists mostly of tomatoes - and tomatoes flower, get polinated, the flower dies and a small green tomato forms where the flower had been. So these squash flowers were confusing me.

Enter the internet - answerer of many questions. I hit wikipedia and found this little tidbit:

"the flowers come in pollen-bearing male form, and the ovary-bearing female
form, with both forms being present on the plant."

So there you go - those first flowers were all males, and now my plants are starting to make female flowers. And let me just add that the tiny little yellow zucchini are really adorable. I will attempt to capture the cuteness this weekend.

Hogwarts Sock Swap Questionnaire - Second Years

1. What Hogwarts house have you been sorted into?

Gryffindor - I must be a tough sort, I was a Ravenclaw last time

2. Shoe size? Foot length? Foot circumference?

Women's 10 1/2 - 10 inches long - 9 inches around

3. List your three favorite sock yarns.

Fleece Artist, Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport, Knit Picks Bare Superwash Fingering

4. Would you like to try a new brand of sock yarn? If so, which brand?

I haven't tried any Regia yet, but the silk and bamboo both look really fun. And I want to try Koigu someday. I'm still new at this, so there are lots of yarns I haven't "tasted" yet.

5. Do you prefer variegated or solid sock yarn?

I like variegated for simple patterns and solid (or heathered, yummy!) for lacy or cabled patterns.

6. What colors would you like to add to your sock yarn stash?

Oh . . . I dunno . . . blue, gray, green, purple . . . cool colors

7. What kind of sock patterns do you gravitate toward? Lace? Ribbed? Fair Isle?

My fair isle skills are not up to snuff - I knit too tight and things pucker, so I'm not up for fair isle socks yet . . . but I'm game for anything else.

8. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, animals, etc.)

Nope . . . bring it on!

9. Will your socks be exposed to cigarette smoke or animals as you knit them?

No cigarette smoke, and while we don't have any pets, my mom has two cats and we do visit her house fairly often, but I can promise to never take these socks over there if I need to.

10. Are you willing to have an international Hogwarts Sock Pal?


So there you go, my Hogwarts Sock Swap answers. Does it sound like fun to you? Want to play too? Take this portkey to the new blog and sign up!

Sign up's for first years start July 14th! Come join the fun!


A Knittiversary

As I was photographing the yarns in my stash for record keeping purposes, I found these two balls from my first pair of socks. I realized that it's been about a year since I started knitting that pair of socks. I can't remember the exact date, so I'm adopting the first of July, since I think it was July when I started.

Sadly, in the last six months or so, I accidentally felted those socks to the point that I cannot wear them anymore. It was a great pattern, one that I really enjoyed knitting and wearing. I will need to knit another pair someday. Maybe this time I'll make them a bit taller.

Like these. I just finally finished these this past week. I started them as travelling socks, good for plane and car trips, but eventually I just wanted to finish them so I could wear them.

Pattern: Yarn Harlot's Basic Sock Recipe, from Knitting Rules
Yarn: Trekking XXL, colorway 140? 104? it's blue
Details: roughly 1.5 inches of ribbing, an eye of partridge heel

I've moved on to taller socks as time has passed, although I liked my anklets. I've also discovered some neat knitting things on the web, like swaps.

This is what my awesome Hogwarts Sock Swap pal sent me - lovely socks, awesome sock needles, lavender soaps and a candle, a bit of Eucalan for washing woolens, stitch markers, and a dpn holder for keeping my projects together in my backpack. I was sorted into ravenclaw for this swap. Man what fun that was! They're going to have another swap (part II) and sign ups open July 14th. I can't wait to do it again. It's pretty nerdy - but then again, so am I.

I think I've come a long way in a year, and I look forward to seeing where I go from here.


When you're not looking . . .

We had supper at Mom's last night, because my aunt and uncle and cousins were in town. Great stories were told, and good times were had by all.

Anyway, I had a chance to step out into the garden while there the sun was still up, and wow, it had been busy while I was gone. Seriously. We found a tomato nearly the size of two fists, that we hadn't noticed at all before. I had to snap off the ends of the bean vines and some of the tomatoes, because if they kept growing they'd be too big for their supports. Sadly we also have one tomato plant that seems to be dying a slow death, but I'm hopeful to get a couple of tomatoes off of it before it goes. And the squash plants are getting huge; they may flower soon. The cucumbers are flowering already, and the beans shouldn't be far behind. It's exciting.


What's been going on . . .

So, I was hoping to be bubbling over with great news that we've both got new jobs and all is well, but that's not quite true.

I have a new job. I start the 10th of July at WAVY, which is our NBC affiliate, as a Full time (yay) Master Control Operator (also yay). For starters, it's a step closer to engineering, which makes it more fun for me, and it's 4 days a week, and likely, once I'm done training, it's the same 4 days every week. I might just have a regular schedule soon, it's exciting.

The boy on the other hand, hasn't yet secured a new job. He has applied with both UPS and FEDEX, and we're hopeful he'll get a job with one of the two. He's also applied at a Marina, and a bunch of other places that I don't know what they are. He's getting a might disappointed at this point, but he's still hopeful. I would just be nice for someone to hire him in the next week or two.

Anyway, that's where we are. More updates soon, I hope.


Swallowtail Shawl

Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl, Interweave Knits Fall 2006
Yarn: Knitpicks Bare Merino Fingering Weight, dyed by me with Jaquard dyes
Mods: Added two repeats of the first lace pattern, which resulted in four extra stitches that I had to distribute into the pattern.

I think it turned out pretty. Still too girly for me, but thankfully it's not for me. And for the record, the purl 5 togethers are a pain in the butt when you knit tightly like I do.

In other news, I reskeined some yarn I dyed a while back - and now I like it! Ok, backstory - I dyed up two skeins of DK weight merino trying to achieve a colorway that reminded me of pansies, and as of yet I still haven't achieved this. In their original hanks with big chunks of color, I didn't like how these had turned out at all, but now that I've seen the colors blending together, I've got some hope for my skills with dye. And for the record, the first skein's color is a bit more accurate, though a bit darker in the picture - the second one is a little washed out in the photo.


Bad Blogger . . . No Cookie!!

I have gotten an invitation to join the group of beta testers over at Ravelry. I'm very excited about this new resource. If you knit or crochet, and haven't heard of it - go check it out.

Anyway, in the process of setting up my little space on the site, I noticed that I had completed a project, and halfway completed another without taking any pictures of them! For shame! I am now in the process of rectifying that problem.

I've also noticed a habit developing in my posts, wherein I take pictures of garden progress and then allow them to ferment for two weeks or more before sharing them. So, I'd like to note that I took most of these pictures yesterday. It's getting pretty exciting in the rabbit prison.

The tomatoes are getting out of hand, at least as far as green and leafy stuff goes. They're getting a bit thick!

Just for comparison, the picture above was from yesterday, and the picture below is from the weekend after mother's day, when we planted the seedlings. It hasn't really been all that long, only 5 weeks. What you don't see is that there are a lot more weeds in the bed now, but I've relaxed a bit in my weeding, as the tomatoes are shading the soil so much that the weeds seem to be struggling. I just hope the basil, thyme and nasturtiums that I planted amongst the tomatoes and peppers will get enough sun.

There are blossoms all over the place. It seems I'm picking off extra blossoms more often than I'm picking off suckers!

My first Zebra tomatoes are showing their stripes. I had assumed that the stripes wouldn't come in until the fruit was ripe, but aparently I'll need a new way to determine ripeness.

And if ever there was a happy plant, it would be my italian sweet pepper. So far we have 7 decent sized peppers, and they're not done growing yet. When they're ready, they'll be red. No red yet, still time to grow!


A Quick Update

It is officially "Get A Job" week here in the apartment. The boy lost his job Monday, and has been searching for something since then. Things have gotten decidedly nutty at the station, so I've applied for a position elsewhere - which surprisingly enough, is full time, with regular hours - and I should know Tuesday if they'll hire me.

Prayers and crossed fingers are appreciated. Life's an adventure, ain't it?


So, about that garden update . . .

Once again, I'm behind, and these pictures are a little old . . . but it's progress.

The bed is shaping up nicely. The tomatoes are filling out; the beans, cucumbers, and squash have sprouted and are coming up nicely. The viney plants will be growing on those three tee-pee's in the back.

This one has two different kinds of cucumbers on it, though they're both supposed to be smallish green pickling cukes.

The green zebra tomato won the race for who was going to set fruit first, and when I checked them this morning, they were starting to show the telltale stripes.

I'm really hoping I've done better by the paste tomatoes this year. Last year they were planted in a spot that got too much shade, and they never really recovered. I really want to can or freeze as many of these as possible for use over the winter.

This is my little herb box. I wanted to get the herbs up higher, both for easier picking and for increased drainage. I've got rosemary, thyme, chamomile, two kinds of parsely, chives, and lavender. I transplanted the lavender from the window box I had at the apartment. It just wasn't happy there - it was getting swamped too often with winter and spring rains. I hope it likes it better in the bed.

But as you can see it bloomed despite the less than ideal conditions. I'm excited to see what the two varieties I have will do if I can get the conditions the way they'd like them. We'll just have to see I guess.



Tell me, oh great blog-o-sphere, what it takes to find a good job.

I'm a 25 (and a half) year old, college graduate with a degree in Media Communications from a school that though smaller than my high school sends students regularly to work for the Olympic Broadcast and ESPN - while they're still in college. I am a hard worker, reliable, honest, and eager to learn new skills. I'll admit I'm highly introverted, and I have a hard time understanding, much less maneuvering the chess game that is "corporate" operations. I'll also admit that I don't think myself much of a writer; however, I am a damn good speller and a bit of a grammar nerd. My current boss seems fairly fond of me . . .

I'm familiar with both Mac and PC platforms, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, ProTools, many DV format cameras, both live and recorded sound production. I could be up to speed on Avid editing very quickly, as well as linear editing. I'm good with a hammer, saw, and paintbrush. I've stage/floor managed television and theatre. I spent four years of college doing theatrical lighting. I actually like soldering cable ends. I'm not supposed to admit to that. I've done field audio work for the Olympic Broadcasting company - and I never even got yelled at.

Why on earth can't I land a full time job???

All I'm asking for is 40 hours a week - and a few more here and there are no big deal - preferably the same 40 hours each week, or at least a relatively predictable schedule, benefits, and a pay rate that acknowledges the fact that I have a college education in my field. It would also be nice if said job made it possible, mostly in terms of scheduling and time, for us to start a family . . . but that's just gravy. Oh, and I would like to achieve said position based solely on my merits and accomplishments, and not on my ability to sweet talk, as I have no such ability.

Meanwhile, I work 40+ hours a week, and this is a vast improvement over when I was only working 25-30, but I'm still technically part time. This week is 52 hours, I believe, or was that last week? They're all starting to blend together. Being still part time, my pay has not changed, and there are no benefits. I never know what my schedule looks like more than a week or two in advance, and my hours vary widely from day to day. And while I knew that this would basically be the case even before I arrived, I'm fairly tired of working in a department that is treated daily like the bastard step child of the building. I should mention, I've been where I am for a year and a half now.

Now, I realize that a large part of my current status is my own fault, as I have made some bad decisions, mostly out of naivete. But to some extent, I'm caught in the classic catch twenty two - everyone wants experience, but you can't get experience without first getting a job. I'm horrible with networking, and schmoozing just makes me feel dirty.

I'm fairly certain that a job that suits me is out there - and that I would suit it quite well - I just don't know where to look.

**as a side note, a large part of this rant stems from the fact that we have a new guy starting at the station. Well, he's only semi new - he used to work there a long time ago. He's since worked in NY and a couple other places. And the basic impression I've gotten from talking to him is that I could go anywhere else, have a far more pleasant and slightly less stressful job, get paid a lot more, and probably work less. Problem is I can't move, at least for now.

Ok, rant over . . . garden update soon, I promise!


He's gone Xanga

The Boy has started his own xanga - Misplaced_Hoosier when you get a free minute, go check it out. I think he's going to post mostly pictures . . . so far so good.


The answers

1. "Under a lover's sky, gonna be with you and no one's gonna be around. . ."
(Can't Fight the Moonlight, Leanne Rimes) Galen who even knew the soundtrack it was from

2. "Time to let the rain fall, without the help of man, time to let the trees grow tall, now if they only can . . ."
(Ally Ally Oxen Free, Kingston Trio)

3. "She's got a way about her, don't know what it is, but I know that I can't live without her . . ."
(She's Got a Way, Billy Joel) Stephanie

4. "Pages filled with a holy message, sealed with kiss from heaven on a scroll long ago . . ."
(Red Letters, DC Talk)Galen

5. "I will never underestimate what can be done, don't be fooled, someone is listenin' or watchin'"
(Mind What You Say, Buppy)

6. "She was walkin' in the garden one day, when a snake slipped around her feet . . ."
(The Devil is Bad, The W's) Beth

7. "Pardon me, your epidermis is showing sir, I couldn't help but notice . . ."
(Color People, DC Talk) Kari

8. "Strangely out of place, and there's a light filling this room where none would follow before . . . "
(I Need You, Jars of Clay)

9. "Yesterday, all my troubles seems so far away . . ."
(Yesterday, The Beatles) Beth

10. "This a song for the brokenhearted, a silent prayer for a faith departed . . ."
(It's My Life, Bon Jovi) Kari

11. "A lonely child, alone and wild, a cabinet maker's son, his hands were made for different work, and his heart was known to none . . ."
(The Leader of the Band, Dan Fogelberg)

12. "You can play the game, and you can act out the part, but you know it wasn't written for you . . ." (Shower the People, James Taylor) Stephanie

13. "I was sittin', waitin', wishin' you believed in superstitions, then maybe you'd see the signs . . ."
(Sitting, Waiting, Wishing, Jack Johnson)Galen

14. "All our tears have reached the sea, part of you will live in me, way down deep inside my heart . . ."
(Please Remember Me, Tim McGraw)

15. "The Jordan was waiting for me to cross through, my heart is aging I can tell . . ."
(Elijah, Rich Mullins)

16. "I met a guy on a red eye, he spotted my guitar and said 'What do you do?' . . ."
(Songs About Me, Trace Adkins) Curly

17. "Let me be for I am now free and I can feel so let the children be born . . ."
(Broken, 3rd Root)

18. "This thing called love, I just can't handle it . . ."
(Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Queen) Beth

19. "It's a saturday afternoon romance between a cowboy and a full moon . . ."
(Cowboy Romance, Natalie Merchant)

20. "I'm strange, and you're strange, don't want you to change, no way . . ."
(You're So True, Joseph Arthur) Ben

Way to go kids! This was really fun!


I totally stole this

from Ben.

It's a game, the rules of which are pretty simple. I have let iTunes play through my entire collection of music at random. I have listed the first lines of 20 songs (a test of my transcription ability). I skipped any tracks that weren't in English, and any from Carbon Leaf, since I'm usually the only one who knows those. Your job is to guess the artist and song title of each one. As you get them correct, I'll cross them off. And since this is going on both blogs, I'll post the correct answers after 48 hours or so along with credit for any correct answers. In the mean time I may post any humorous guesses I receive.

Now, googling the lyrics is definitely illegal, but searching through your own iTunes or CD collection is acceptable (as it "hey, that's a John Denver song, I just don't know which one), though deeply frowned upon. Making guesses when you don't know is also acceptable, since that makes it more fun.

Here goes . . .

1. "Under a lover's sky, gonna be with you and no one's gonna be around. . ."

2. "Time to let the rain fall, without the help of man, time to let the trees grow tall, now if they only can . . ."

3. "She's got a way about her, don't know what it is, but I know that I can't live without her . . ."

4. "Pages filled with a holy message, sealed with kiss from heaven on a scroll long ago . . ."

5. "I will never underestimate what can be done, don't be fooled, someone is listenin' or watchin'"

6. "She was walkin' in the garden one day, when a snake slipped around her feet . . ."

7. "Pardon me, your epidermis is showing sir, I couldn't help but notice . . ."

8. "Strangely out of place, and there's a light filling this room where none would follow before . . . "

9. "Yesterday, all my troubles seems so far away . . ."

10. "It's a song for the brokenhearted, a silent prayer for a faith departed . . ."

11. "A lonely child, alone and wild, a cabinet maker's son, his hands were made for different work, and his heart was known to none . . ."

12. "You can play the game, and you can act out the part, but you know it wasn't written for you . . ."

13. "I was sittin', waitin', wishin' you believed in superstitions, then maybe you'd see the signs . . ."

14. "All our tears have reached the sea, part of you will live in me, way down deep inside my heart . . ."

15. "The Jordan was waiting for me to cross through, my heart is aging I can tell . . ."

16. "I met a guy on a red eye, he spotted my guitar and said 'What do you do?' . . ."

17. "Let me be for I am now free and I can feel so let the children be born . . ."

18. "This thing called love, I just can't handle it . . ."

19. "It's a saturday afternoon romance between a cowboy and a full moon . . ."

20. "I'm strange, and you're strange, don't want you to change, no way . . ."

** just a note, I let iTunes keep playing while I edited and formatted the post . . . and it played a lot of my "better" music . . . oh well!

** also, the reference from the last post - "You spin me right round baby, right round, like a record baby, right round, round, round." [/BIG DORK MOMENT]


Crazy 80's music and stuff . . .

Allow me to properly introduce my little friend, he's from Maryland. He needs a name, any ideas??

And this is the booty from that trip - 80/20 Alpaca silk. It's so soft, and since I think it's sliver (or combed top) it spins up into nice smooth thin singles.

Thus far I think I've spun up about 1/3 an ounce of the 4 ounces that came in the bag. I'm kicking myself for not getting two bags, as I'm trying to spin this up as lace/fingering weight to knit myself a scarf/shawl for Spun Stitches (check out the link on the left towards the bottom of the page, we may be insane, but we're all insane together!)

See? A happy little football of yarn-to-be. I hope I like the final product, but if it turns out too girly . . . I think I know where it needs to go.

** points to anyone who names the reference in my title.


JMU Socks . . . for lil' sis

Here they are, in all their glory (wet and on sock blockers) . . .

I'm definitely in love with this pattern: it's quick, it's simple, the combinations are endless, and it makes for comfy socks.

I think the heels turn out kinda cool - see?

Since I figured these guys out from a looking at them on Eunny Jang's blog . . . I'll share what I know.

Most basically:
Using your favorite toe construction method, make a toe in color 1 for a 64(68,72, however many stitches fit your foot) stitch sock. Work 4 rows in color 2. Continue up foot changing colors every 4 rows.

Do not break yarn in between stripes, just carry the strand up the inside of the sock, the stripes are narrow enough that this shouldn't be a problem. Use a jogless striping method if you like (I used this one - the first one on the page).

When the foot is long enough (in my case, after nine stripes of color 2) make a heel of your choice (I did short row). Work the same number of stripes - or more if you like - up the leg. Work at least 7 rows of 1x1 rib and bind off loosely.

Repeat for sock #2, reversing the colors if you like.

Two skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport works great for these. For JMU colors I used Sunshine and Blackberry. Asbury colors would be Blackberry and Natural. Louet Gems Sport would also work well.


Little rabbit prisons . . .

Be vewy, vewy quiet . . . I'm hunting wabbits!

It's not a veritable vegetable penitentiary - it's rabbit prison.

Ok, so this is a little bit amusing, at least for me. First off, let me apologize, this pictures are at least two weeks old. It rained a good bit this weekend, so no new pics yet, but soon. Just imagine the picture below except the tomatoes are at least twice as tall, there are even more peppers (and more on the way, it's contagious I tell ya!), three bamboo stake teepee's in the back boxy areas for cucumbers and beans, two mounds for squash, and a small boxed in herb area.

There shall be the following goodies in the backyard this year . . . if all goes well:

2 Brandywine tomato vines (pink fruit)
2 Gold Medal tomato vines (yellow fruit)
2 Green Zebra tomato vines (green fruit with light green/yellow stripes)
3 Amish Paste tomato vines (for canning)
2-3 Brandyboy tomato vines (a hybrid given to us by a sweet friend, also pink)

1 Orange Bell pepper bush
1 Sweet Paprika pepper bush
1 Jimmy Nardelo's sweet red pepper bush (long skinny, good for roasting)
3 Jalapeno pepper bushes (we'll likely smoke those, chipotles!)
1+ Aurora pepper bush (only one seed sprouted so far, pretty colors, some heat)
1+ Poblano pepper bush (again, some smoking, anchos!)
**possibly more bell peppers as well, if I feel like it

Pole beans
Fancipak hybrid cucumbers (smallish)
Pickling cucumbers (smallish)
True Lemon cucumbers (small, round, yellow skinned)

Yellow Zucchini (yellow summer squash, really good grilled)
Leaf lettuce in the deep shade - to see if it works

An experiment to see if I can grow carrots - we'll see

Towards the end of the summer we'll put in:
Snap peas
Broccoli, perhaps

These are the tomatoes and peppers from Seedsavers - buried up to their necks, as the plants were a bit leggy. Now their thick and lush and strong. I'm imagining many tasty and colorful tomato sandwiches and salads this summer.

As to the rabbit references . . . as some of you may know, I battled with a rabbit last year who successfully killed off my snap pea crop. I even found myself sweating in the back yard two days before the wedding screwing old shutters together to keep the little guy out of the beans. Since that strategy seemed to work pretty well, we're hoping that "our high stone walls" will fend of the bunnies this year as well. I'll keep you updated.


A proper pair of witches socks . . .

A proper pair of witches socks should be elegant, yet simple in design. They should appear normal to the muggle passersby, hiding that which makes them special for only magical eyes to see.

I had a great time knitting these. I decided what I was going to do when I saw these on Eunny's blog. It's a fairly basic toe up sock, changing the color of yarn every 4 rows, with a short row heel and a bit of ribbing at the cuff. I used Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Sunshine and Cranberry. I used the method Eunny suggested to minimize jogging, and it seemed to work fairly well:

I hope my pal likes them! I liked them so much, I decided to knit some more. I started today on a pair in sunshine and blackberry for my sister to take backpacking in Europe. When I finish those (she's leaving pretty soon) I'll start a pair in jeans and rainbow. I hope to finish my sister's pair over the weekend, since we're flying to Indiana and back. We'll see.


I've been tagged

by a blue turtle!

Here are the tag rules:
Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those tagged need to write on their blog the 7 facts as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag 7 others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you are tagging a note in their comments so they know they have been tagged and to read your blog. Have fun!

Seven Random Facts:

1) Many sweet people gave us wine glasses as wedding presents - my favorite use for them? Chocolate milk!

2) I rarely go to the downtown mall without going to the library - it makes the parking free (although I walk a lot) and I love books.

3) I don't pack my lunch for work because it saves money; I pack my lunch because it leaves me with more time to knit at work.

4) I can't have a normal schedule in my current field - my work day either has to start at 4am, 11am, or 3pm, there are no holidays and weekends are basically expected.

5) One SIL is also a friend from college, and I almost had a BIL who had the same name as my husband.

6) I think roast goat may very well be the best meal I've ever had.

7) My current cooking related goal is to make a decent pie crust from scratch.

I am ending this trail here, because I don't know who to tag. If anyone reads this and wants to play a long, feel free to continue the thread.


Life List Update - May 07

3. Master fluffy biscuits
. . .
32. Learn three more languages to a 4th semester college level
33. Raise bees and eat more honey
34. Spin the whole fleece of a sheep I've had a chance to meet
35. Own a spinning wheel
36. Collect a few attractive and useful drop spindless
37. Find a job that I don't feel guilty about and do that for a living

On a less lifechanging, yet similarly self-referencing note . . .

Finish your blessed thank-you notes you freakin' slacker!!! For the love!


I didn't buy any yarn . . .

. . . but I'm getting to be very fond of the spindle. We've been hanging out in the evenings. This is my first two ply handspun, isn't it cute?? All of about 40 yards and it varies in weight from lace to worsted, but I did it.

This is my new project - 80% black alpaca 20% Silk, and thus far I'm keeping it fairly even. I may dye it, once it's plyed to make the white bits of silk have some color, maybe deep greens, blues, and purples. I'm hoping for enough lace/fingering weight yarn to knit myself a lacy shawl or scarf.