Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Another Orange Post... Shocker!

Hi! Look, I'm making this pretty cushion cover out of my special Williamsburg yarn... I think it'll be perfect to bring the color in my curtains onto the couch without trying to get back the giant burnt orange velveteen couch that my husband's grandparents passed down to us and that I used to hate, but now wish I had again. I've been dreaming of recovering my couch, well, since I bought it for $75 at a garage sale, but I can't decide what color to cover it with. Charcoal? Navy denim? Brown? I can't decide. Whatever it is, it has to be washable, because my kids can be easily compared to hurricanes.

Anyway, the fabric is a little experiment by me... I checked out Barbara Walker's stitch encyclopedia and first tried the wool in a gorgeous, intricate ogee lace pattern... not good. The wool is just too slubby and variable in gauge to look pretty... then I thought of a beautiful fabric knitted in silk I saw once, and I turned to the section on twisted stitch patterns, found the twisted purl stitch, and came up with this:

I cast on 70 stitches, and just started up. The stitch is a good for a mindless knitting project. It would make a really nice pair of gloves in a very fine gauge, or a coat in a nice worsted... as the fabric is dense and firm... I think this stich is perfect for the varied tonality of this yarn, and see, it's gonna look great with my curtains!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

More Laundry!

Is it just too weird that I get such a kick out of my laundry? Of course, these are all socks I've knitted, too, and all my favorite colors as well, so no wonder it hit my eye... but still, it's a little kooky.
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Snow Play

Wow! Being in VA was a little like being in North Dakota there for a little while! Doesn't this look like fun snow? Daddy took these pictures outside while playing with the boys. The girls mostly used the snow day as an excuse to bake and make cocoa!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas, Y'all

Um, I'm a Texan by marriage, in case you wondered about the "y'all"! It's the day after Christmas and I didn't go shopping. No, I stayed home and made Christmas dinner! Yeah, I should have made it last night, but about noon yesterday I started dinner, or asked my hubby to make the marinade and put the beef roast in it, and he did... then at 2pm I pulled out my new copy of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" (it was a Christmas gift from my hubby!) and the recipe for Braised Beef was never gonna be done before 10pm, so we made omelets instead, per Julia's instructions... which I mastered by the way... I can make a really good omelet now in about one minute, literally! Thank you, Julia! OK, anyway, I started again today, with a beef roast that was fork tender before I even started braising it thanks to the 24 hour marinade in 5 cups of burgundy and so so many other good things! We had the braised beef, turnips, and Brussels sprouts, and it was all divine! Divine, I tell you!!! I can't even describe the wonderfulness of it, but wow, prep time was killer! I'm trying to decide if all the prep time is worth it or not! So, I'm not really a foodie, OK?! I know someone who is, though, and I'm trying to get her to blog here with me... it would be nice to have more posts, no?

Knitting continues; what a blessing it is to me! It has become this exercise in productive rest for me: active meditation, physical prayer, and mental Sabbath... My life's stresses are mostly emotional and mental, and the meditative nature of knitting is a good palliative for a weary mind and heart... like prayer or sleep. When my life is physically rigorous, the knitting falls to the wayside.

I wonder if I'll stop knitting if I start working out?! See, Joy, I can't work out, my fiber pursuits might suffer! Maybe I'll just give up the French food instead! So, I don't want to work out! I'm not an active person by nature. Read: Lazy... Projects on the needles right now (too many!): jaquard vest, lace stole, orange cushion cover, sweater for Jeremy, socks for Jeremy... That's it, I think!

In the sewing arena: One grey wool skirt... cut but not begun, need thread. After it's finished, the sewing machine and paraphanalia are going into storage till we're moved into the new house and new window coverings are required!

Upcoming in my life: packing, packing, and more packing... No word yet on the house, but since we don't want to close on it till March, it's OK... It's an exercise in faith... if we get it, Hallelujah, if we don't, well, Hallelujah, too! I'm waaaaay too blessed to complain! We are all hoping for that house. My children are already debating about bedrooms, my husband is envisioning a garage woodworking shop and fencing, and I'm thinking about window coverings and space; glorious, wonderful space.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Knitting

I've been knitting my fingers to little nubs this month... in late October, everyone asked for mittens for Christmas, hand knit mittens. Actually, my husband requested his in November. No pressure. Anyway, I have managed to knit all but one pair of mittens and a pretty hat for my youngest girl. And most of a sweater for the Dauphin. I don't really mind! You know I love it!

Bird in Hand stranded mittens in KnitPicks Palette and some leftover XXL Trekking, size 2 DPNs
Chevalier Mitts, Patons Classic Wool, Size 6 DPN's

Classic Mittens, Stash superwash Leftovers, size 5 DPN's, above, and Cascade Superwash in Scarlet and Size 5 DPN's below:

Elephant Tam, child Size by Kathleen Taylor, size 5 circular, stash leftovers, turned out beautifully.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Why I Hate Halloween

I hate to be scared. Sometimes, at night, when my husband comes home and I didn't hear him and I see him out of the corner of my eye when I'm doing dishes or something. I freak out. By this I mean that I gasp, I scram, and then I actually cry real tears because I'm so startled and scared, and throw myself into my husband's arms feeling happy that he's not a bad guy while he apologizes for startling me. My stepmother always said it's because I have a guilty conscience that I get startled so easily, but really, I'm just a scaredy cat. I hate scary movies, I hate haunted houses, I hate it when people talk about ghosts or paranormal activity, and I absolutely, positively abhor anything that celebrates witches, ghosts, goblins, murders, blood, ghouls, demons, or pretty much scary anything. Which sort of rules out Halloween. Which is sad, because I love to celebrate. I celebrate obscure Saint's Days, just because. Also, I love to wear, make, plan, and look at costumes. To top it off I really adore the idea of visiting one's neighbors to say hello and share a little treat. I'm happy to celebrate things that promote goodness, generosity, bravery, selflessness, new life, thankfulness for a good harvest, love, rest, friendship, or joy, but I will not celebrate fear, evil, darkness and debauchery. Bah Humbug!

I do have and alternate idea for the fall, that incorporates treats, visiting, partying, and all fall wonderfulness, such as apple dunking, pumpkin treats, and also, bonus, dancing!!! I think I'll have a Hoe Down in the fall. It could be a family event to which everyone brings treats, sort of like a dress up dance, only it's all Cowboys and Prairie Princesses. I could incorporate a talent show, or a one-act play, or even a comedy act.

People who think like me usually hunker down on Halloween, hoping no one too scary comes to their door asking for candy, but this would be much more fun. I've been wanting to have an annual "event" to which I invite my friends for a big blowout. Perhaps I'll throw a great big Harvest Dance in a barn somewhere in October to sort of replace Halloween for me and my kids. I don't mean a normal Hallelujah party with costume competition and trunk or treating with a "salvation message" thrown in... I mean an old fashioned Hoe Down, that celebrates that all the hard work of summer is over and the harvest is in and we have time to throw a party (put your "hoes down" ladies and gentlemen!). I wonder if anyone else would come if I specified that it was "Not a Halloween Party", or "Western Dress Only"? The menu could include:

Corn dogs: they're portable and kids love them
Candy apples: ditto
Apple butter and pumpkin spice donuts
Cheese and Crackers
All the finger foods and desserts people care to bring to share
Hot apple cider, Iced tea, lemonade, and a cooler of cool water to cool down after gettin' down!

To solve the whole costume envy thing, we could move the costume party to New Year's Eve... then the whole scary undertone wouldn't be there and people could get as creative as they like, without offending my delicate sense of all being well with the world. Why not just completely remake cultural norms because I want to! Get on board people!

Friday, October 30, 2009

A New Farmhouse?

So... I haven't posted in MONTHS! I know you're all busy and hardly noticed, but I missed blogging. I always wondered why people decided to take three months off in the summer instead of having year round school... and now that I have a little mini-farmlike lifestyle, I KNOW WHY! Summer is hard work. The freezer needs to be filled with veggies and fruits and chickens, and the pantry needs to be filled with jellies and jams and canned tomatoes. If we had a cow, we'd need to make cheese and get all that surplus milk dealt with. Not to mention the laundry. Yeah, it was a busy one!!!

It is fun, though, to open a jar of your own tomatoes, from your own garden when a recipe calls for 28oz canned tomatoes. It's fun to work with your kids around the kitchen table putting those tomatoes into jars, too. The knitting and sewing suffered over the summer, too, and now that cool weather has returned and I'm indoors more the urge to clothe people is compelling me to make stuff. So far I've made a shrug and bonnet for a friend's baby, a sweater vest for my baby, I finished the knee socks, started a pair of socks for hubby, cast on a stranded sweater vest, and have knit the back and left front of a cardigan for hubs. No sewing. Guess why....

We've been house shopping! We toured and compared, we walked lots and explored pastures, we debated gas vs wood fireplaces, and we finally signed a contract to buy a house. Of course, it's a short sale, and so many things could fall through before we close on the house. As a matter of fact, I'm trying to reconcile myself to it falling through now. I mean, if I don't get this house I'll know that God wants to remind me that Heaven is for the afterlife and not the here and now, because that house is perfect, OK, it's darn close to perfect.

It's yellow. My very favorite house color (I'm so ordinary). It has five bedrooms, a living room, a dining room, a family room, and a great room attached to a kitchen with granite counter tops and an island and a double oven with a gas range. It has beautiful distressed oak floors (exactly the kind that my husband daydreams about when we talk about our dream home) and gorgeous light fixtures that are the perfect mix of traditional and simple. It has a front porch with a tin roof, a fenced yard, a creek, a pasture, lots of trees, and a view. I wouldn't even need to paint... and I like the carpet, and the windows are big, and it's only 3 years old... Should I go on? I mean, I could, if you want me to. I could mention the great big storage room.

I really have appreciated the farmhouse here, and the farm itself is glorious, but we are a bit shoehorned in.... not that the bedrooms aren't adequate, they are, but there's just one living area and we do EVERYTHING in there. It's a foyer, and a schoolroom, and an office, and a playroom, and a living room, all at once. So it gets messy, and really downright dirty rather quickly. Living in a house built in the 20's is rather romantic.... but the windows are really old and one can feel the wind in the winter, and the floor isn't insulated, and the furnace burns heating oil, which is stinkin' expensive. The stinkbugs and ladybugs just wiggle right into the house through the windows in the fall and try to hibernate in the bedrooms by the hundreds. Not to mention the constant battle with paint chips and lead in the pipes that would make any mom rather worried. So we're ready to go. In the spring.

What have we learned here on the farm? We learned that we can grow a whole lot of our own food. We learned that we love chickens and the eggs that pastured hens lay. We learned that we are NOT city people. We love the country life, and we love the outdoors, and we love to be able to LIVE in our house and not just sleep in it. We learned that we love Jersey milk from Josephine, the cow who provides it...and we like knowing our milkmaid's names too. We learned that it's waaaaaaay harder work than we thought it would be, but it's fun, too. We learned that my husband wants to be able to go on vacation, so we'll probably never have our own cow! Oh, also... that largish yellow labs sometimes like to steal eggs from chicken coops and can squeeze themselves through remarkably small chicken doors to do so. AAAAAAAaaaaaaand that I hate raccoons and love MaryJane Butters.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

VIP Weekend Getaway

Wow, have we had a weekend! My wonderful, studly husband and I had our 13th anniversary this past weekend and.... all I can really say is WOW! We went to Baltimore, which is not exactly my idea of a romantic vacation, but I was definitely looking forward to the seafood. I mean, I'm a seafood super fan. I'm, personally, not very good at cooking seafood, so I try to eat it when on a waterfront any time I have the opportunity. Aaaaaanyway, the hotel we stayed at.... the Monaco Baltimore was.... well, to be precise, DA BOMB! I've never stayed at a really four star hotel before. This hotel is all of like 6 weeks old and it was beautiful, luxurious, friendly, accommodating, and magical. We started by dropping the kids off at our friend's home a bit south of us. And can I say now, anyone who will take six children for more than a couple of hours for a friend is a keeper. I made her an apron and hubs made his bro hubs a quart of killer salsa from our garden, but I think they're gonna get another thank you, especially in light of the amazing vacation we had. We drove to Fairfax VA where hubs got a haircut and scalp, neck, shoulder massage for $13. I shopped at Nature's Yarns and bought some pretty blue yarn and chatted with some fiber ladies. (Nature's Yarns is having a workshop with Nancy Bush soon, and if I didn't pauper myself in Baltimore, I'd totally go!) One of said ladies was eating really yummy smelling food and I asked her if it was from the Vietnamese restaurant next door.... and yes! We found our lunch venue. It was wonderful food, delicate, fresh, clean, but with wonderful hints of spices that made it interesting. It was also relatively healthy for a quick lunch: lots of veggies and sprouts and bone broths.
On to Baltimore, and the drive was very enjoyable, since I got to knit my fair isle vest the whole way. We went to the Hotel Monaco, WOW! Totally awesome interior, amazing flower arrangements, and a historic building!
We talked to the concierge and he gave us several fun walking destinations, and we chose to hit the harbor, just to look at it. We got some drinks, did a little window shopping, and then walked to the hotel to check in... We spiffed up and started to think about dinner, and the bell boy brought us a bottle of wine and a signed card to celebrate our anniversary, all on his own. Hubs headed to the concierge desk to arrange for reservations while I headed to the lobby to knit in modern elegance. I met the man who had overseen the reconstruction of the building our hotel was housed in and his 90 yr old Aunt Jane (who didn't look a day over 70). He commented on my knitting, and showed off his belt, a gift from his wife in petit point embroidery... Aunt Jane thought my sock looked too small for an adult man, and I said I thought I'd have to pull it out, though hubs does have skinny calves AND she complimented my skin.

Later they asked to see Hub's ankles when we saw them at the elevator! And I got to hear a bit about the building, which apparently is the quite famous headquarters of the B&O Railroad. Who knew! Hubs returned, and come to find out, it was Restaurant Week in Baltimore and the restaurant we wanted to go to didn't have an open reservation till 10, so Hub asked the receptionist if she had an alternate recommendation. The Oceanaire, she said. The concierge walked in and says, “Oh, yeah, that's a really great restaurant, but you'll never get a reservation tonight! I know a guy, I think I can get you a reservation.... and lo and behold our concierge got us into the Oceanaire at 8pm... he told them we were VIPs and got us a car... I mean a private, black, window tinted, leather upholstered car driven by a chauffer. Well, I had to change clothes, of course!

Then: “Mr. D., your car is here.” and off to the restaurant in our private car (how much are you supposed to pay a private chauffeur?) When the host hears our name, he says, “My name is Nick, Mr. D, you let me know if you need anything at all.” Off we went, immediately, to a table squeezed into the back (it was obviously not part of the normal seating) where we were served so quickly and with eager attention, the surrounding tables complained! The food was sooooooo amazingly wonderful that I'm spoiled for ordinary calamari from now on, and the crab cakes were to die for, plus we had asparagus in hollandaise, yum. Then Jeremy called our chauffeur (he gave us his number), who said “I'll be there in five minutes!” Soon, I was handed back into the car while I saw people on the curb whispering to each other, wondering who we were. Of course, we're nobody, and I think the waitress figured that out about halfway through dinner, not that her service changed, but she wasn't sooooo much fawning over us anymore. Still, it was really fun being VIPs for one night! We went back to our world class boutique hotel and slept on a VIP cloud, which was quite restful. I highly recommend VIP clouds.
The next day it was breakfast and coffee at Caribou Coffee then a walk to shopping for sunscreen and a chunky, beady, artsy necklace to grace my VIP neck, and a tour of the USS Constellation, then a shortish walk to Camden Yards and a Orioles game. Can you say giant roasting oven? It was hot, so hot the ballpark had free ice stations set up on each level so people wouldn't die of heat stroke. I had nachos. The Orioles did not provide a particularly stellar performance, except when one outfielder jumped waaaaay up to catch a ball over the center field fence which prompted me to jump up with both hands in the air and “WoooooooHooooooooo!”. It was too hot to knit, but I was diligent enough with sunscreen that I didn't burn at all, yay! Then we left early so that we could shower and nap and go to dinner. We went to Bertha's and ate mussels and rock fish and cream shrimp and scallops. And sourdough bread. Mmmmm. Also, we met people who had just left the ball game in the 14th inning and were hot and sweaty. I'm glad Hubs was thinking of my delicate constitution. Then we went to the Cat's Eye Pub and made friends with Danny the bartender and listened to live music and watched locals do the Lindy Hop, which was really fun... then back to the hotel at 11, with a cabby that tried to run me all over Baltimore (the one bad note from a wonderful stay). We had breakfast at the Brasserie, which was wonderful, then a drive to Culpepper to look around and see a real estate agent and rescue our lovely friends from our children. Did you know that it can take 4 months to close on a short sale? Which means we need to get pre-approved for a loan and be ready to look at bargains on short notice. Our impending move date is now around 6 months away. Terrifying and exciting at the same time.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Knee Sock - Voila

So, I only have one done, but I decided to share! I did make a whole entire stocking but when I tried it on it was very itchy from the knee up, so I did the frog dance (rip it, rip it, rip it) and made it a knee sock again. I can see myself wearing them with my tall black boots and a denim skirt, or under a dark wool pleated skirt... they'll be a cheerful color extravaganza on dull winter days. I need some penny loafers!

I mean, look at that color! Guaranteed to brighten up the day!

One final thing... I have rather severe body image issues, but, really... these gams just don't quit!

Here's the next one, on the needles. Isn't the yarn gorgeous! Every half inch is a revelation!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Farmer's Markets

Our first real initiation to a farmer's market couldn't have happened at a better one. San Luis Obispo's farmer's markets are kind of legendary, really they're rather more like carnivals with really fresh food. Street musicians, fresh flowers, magicians, street corner preaching, and prepared foods joined the fresh food in vying for our attention. Our local markets are less complicated, but they've got plenty to satisfy our hunger for local food and farm products.

We bought lots of yummy veggies and some berries and some ground lamb and lamb sausage... ground lamb mixed with ground beef for hamburgers is really good... I only wish we'd gotten some fresh goat cheese to stuff those burgers with a la Eat Make Read. Ooooh, also this cocktail... mmmmmm.

I even bought yarn! and some fiber covered soap from the Dream Keeper Farm in Orlean VA. They had 220 yards of hand dyed worsted wool yarn from their sheep (not handspun). Fun! For $10 a skein! Score! I bought a loverly bluey, lavendery, aquaey variegated skein for my friend's 6th baby. OK, I'm knitting a gift for said baby with said yarn. Actually, I'll probably finish knitting it tonight after I write this. More on that later! Those half gallon jars are for our milk from our cow shares... we start getting at least two gallons a week next week. And look at that cool bag I got from the Dream Keeper booth, just for free with my stuff!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hi! Look What I Made!

I made: a box for my Latin vocabulary flash cards out of two sheets of 12x12 scrapbooking paper.

A blouse from Weekend Sewing:

Summer Afternoon Blouse
Size L
Modified neckline and sleeve length.
JoAnne's brand cotton lawn
Also, ipod cozy, from leftover orange sock yarn (Zitron Trekking and Knit Picks Palette) and vintage blue button.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Waves of Blue

Well, these were started ages ago... I had no trouble knitting the first sock, but then I got a really bad case of SSS (Second Sock Syndrome) and I didn't cast on that second sock for a really, really long time. But I did, finally, and slowly knitted away, when I didn't have anything else to do. And I finished them, and I tried them on, and it was a LOT smaller than the first one, it was a whole size smaller, 20 stitches smaller, to be exact. I had to rip and cast on that sock, again, a second time... it was slightly demoralizing, to say the least. Still I plodded on, and finished that sock again... course I still had to re-knit the toe... this sock is not hard, I don't know what the heck had gotten into me! Anyway, they'll be warm and toasty on my tootsies come cold weather. And a cheerful blue that will keep the "blues" away! Oh, hey, I took these pics myself! I do yoga. Sometimes.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


We are locavores, when at all possible. We like to eat stuff that is grown around here, which is really easy in our area because we're very rural, but near a city, so there are tons of small farms and farmer's markets, etc. very near. Monday morning we went to Hartland Orchard and picked blueberries. We have the luxury, being at home to go in the morning on a weekday, which is the best time because it's cool, there are fewer people, and the bushes are less picked over, which is common on a Saturday anytime after the first hour a u pick it farm is open. Anyway, the people there are just as friendly as can be, and helpful, and eager to answer questions, which is wonderful. Soooo, here are our five pints of blueberries:

What to do with all those berries? Jeremy had picked up a bargain cookbook featuring food from Maine and I used a recipe for a blueberry crumble pie... yum.

The Prairie Princess made the crust for me and put it in the fridge this afternoon.

I rolled it out and fluted the edges and popped it in the fridge.

Mmmmmmmm, blueberries, flour, baking powder, and a pinch of black pepper!?!

Next the Crumble! Flour, dark brown sugar, and lots of butter...

And very small people to help.

Baking the pie crust, using dried green peas as pie weights

More crumble-ing, and little baby helpfulness:

The finished crumble all, um, crumbly

I popped this all into the pie crust, put it in the oven, and made a little tart with the leftover filling and crust... to give to the neighbors. What do you do with the leftover crust and filling.

All served with a litle iced cream, warm and tangy sweet, with that nutty, molassas flavor in the crumble, wonderful! I'd have added some oats and maybe some nuts to the crumble, but it was really good.

It's absolutely amazing, a bit of summer on your tongue.

Of course, I forgot to plan supper, so we didn't eat till 9:30 pm, cause we're a little short on cash right now and hub says no eating out... and the kids went to bed late and were grumpy all morning, but the pie was worth it.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Did you ever get the feeling that something is wrong at the heart of your soul? That you've missed some essential, foundational point that is necessary for contentment? I've been feeling that way lately. It's sort of like an itch on my psyche... and I can't seem to scratch it.

I look at my life and see many areas that are being neglected, but the most important are always the most difficult to take care of. They take planning and self discipline and time and effort to tend. I was struggling for awhile with really taking the time to enjoy my kids, but I think that is starting to be much more of a habit of thought, I do enjoy my kids more... Lately I've had this body image/fitness conflict raging which I think is only a symptom of the deeper, subtler angst that I'm starting to face now. I usually find a lot of spiritual fulfillment from making things, from creating, from making things beautiful, or from making a really great pie, making a dress or blouse: make, make, make. I used to see it as an act of Worship to take what is mundane and make it sublime. Lately, I haven't even wanted to create. I've clung to my knitting like an addiction, a need to be filled, but found so much less joy in the accomplishment than I used to. My cooking lately: uninspired, bland, and plain boring. I hardly even walk in the garden. I am no longer worshipping, I am drudging, slogging, out of habit or duty or something.

Something is wrong. The truth is this: souls can starve. Mine needs some nourishment. Most of my readers are moms, so you'll probably recognize this habit. We make the kids lunch, and we make it good for them... we balance the menu, thinking about protein and calcium and fruit and veggies, we include a bit of whole grain in there somewhere and finish it off with some organic whole milk... We make really healthy kid food: simple, boring, and as whole and unmeddled with as possible. And for our own lunch? We eat whatever the kids left on their plates so that food is not wasted.

I think spiritually, I've been eating whatever is left after the family has had their fill.

Clear as mud?

So, the "what to do" for me, is obvious. I need to eat. The problem is: I've lost my appetite.

So, I've decided to institute a sort of invalid diet of psalms, proverbs, a Gene Livingston Hill novel, and tv restriction (because, as we all know, junk food ruins your appetite for what is wholesome), also an early morning prayer and meditation time, which I've neglected for a while because of babies and a lack of routine. So, in with routine and out with unfettered free time. In with wholesome, simple spiritual nourishment in the hopes it will increase my appetite again for more complex and sophisticated fare. And for mercy's sake, more writing!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Summertime and the Livin' is Crazy

Wow! I'm going crazy here... there is so much to do in our life right now and waaay too little time to blog about it. We have gone camping, to Williamsburg, and to the Hill Country and Odessa in Texas. My in laws have some wonderful river front vacation rental property and a bed and breakfast (Bend O' the River) where we always love to go. Plus the grandparents are always highly desirable to visit for the children... of course! And my honorary parents have a backyard pool! Plus I got to visit with my best friend Addy, who introduced me to the Twilight books and movie and... wait for it... Edward. Ohhhhh, Edward!

I've been neglecting the garden, in favor of house cleaning, much to the garden's detriment, it looks awful. It's about time to plant some fall greens and carrots and beets, and we're about to get a whole lot of tomatos for popping in the mouth, slicing, and turning into sauce. I wonder how the potatos will turn out? I've gotten three heads of broccoli, all with little green worms which were easy to pick off, but yucky. They were all good eating, and welcome to the table, since all of us are broccoli fans. The onions seem to have trouble staying put in the raised beds, they keep pushing their way up to the surface.

I've been contemplating a name change for the blog... I realized that the name I chose for our cottage is really the lesson I'm continually learning in my life. Contentment. I believe I'll change the name of the blog to reflect it. Also, we're planning another move, which is typical behavior for me. I'm pretty much assured we'll move as soon as I've got the house about half settled. It's our modus operandus.

On the needles: the blue sock... again. I finished it, tried it on and was surprised at it's snugness, then realized that it was made in the smaller size, so it had to be ripped out, in it's entirety and reknitted. I re cast-on, began again and I've turned the heel and finished the gussets, so it's in the home stretch now. Again. Also, a stranded colorwork vest, which probably it all wrong for my body type, but I don't care. It's a knit picks kit, on size 2 circular needles, in teal and gold. I've already knitted an inch of ribbing, but I had to rip it out as I forgot those very important words when joining in the round "being careful not to twist." So I decided to go ahead and do a gauge swatch... just to play with the colors... I'll cast on again when I cast off the sock.

Piper had her "procedure" yesterday, and is recovering by napping in the girls' bedroom right now. She's been an admirable mother, and we were able to get good homes for all the kittens, and kept our two favorite Black Susan and Hamelin, who are busy learning to hunt, ruining my sheer curtains in the guest room, and practicing their pounce and wrestle technique.

The children are making leaps and bounds, the baby is practicing his manners, trying to say please in the following variations: large cheesy smile, "meeeeeeeeeee", "peeeeeeeeeeee", or "teeeeeeeeee". Very sweet. Little J has graduated to a bike with training wheels and is triumphantly peddling around in circles in front of the house. She is a wonderful talker now, telling us stories in her preschool lisp: "Mommy, he tan wide his bite wifout the taining wheels!" JW has learned to ride without training wheels at the ripe old age of 5, he's been endeavoring to steer at that terrifying speed that comes with that new liberty and has been wearing his helmet voluntarily. He and M (who is mostly learning to do her hair this summer) are excited about taking swimming lessons starting on the 20th and the Prairie Princess and Dauphin have been taking theirs already and making marvelous progress. Also, they've been trying to read up the whole library and are frustrated by any censorship on our part. The possibility of evil doesn't really seem real to them in the library. My oldest (12 yrs) ascends from the pool after lessons with this incredibly large grin, which is so wonderful to see as he was the most terrified toddler in the world of water. He even was afraid of his bath. Now he thinks he might want to join a swim team! Who'd have thunk it! It almost, almost makes me want a swimming pool... perhaps it will be a positive instead of a negative in our house hunt that begins in January, along with the packing. Ugh.... packing!

Soon to start: some sewing lessons for the Prairie Princess and a neighbor (who recently moved onto the farm). Our first project will be a small skirt, just rectangles and a bit of elastic for the waistband, easy peasy, with a topstiched hem. I'll perhaps start to get some of my own summer sewing done, maybe, then some winter jumpers for the girls, then I'll pack away the stash in anticipation of the move.

Also soon to start: changing the workroom to a workroom/bedroom for the Dauphin... he made a very good argument for having his own room, and at 12, needs to have a little privacy, especially in a large family that occupies a small house. Also he digs the orange walls! Yay! So I need to move my yarn stash OUT of the dresser in that room and INTO something else... perhaps a plastic storage bin? Something I can access up until we load the truck in March, because, as we all know, I and my yarn cannot be parted for long, much like my hub or my kids or my Bible...

Can we all say OBSESSION?

Finally, a pic of the night sky and a crescent moon, and it's pretty.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Some more orange stuff and something Green

Here's the stocking I've been working on... all in stockinette, so it's going really fast, but I'm wanting to make them as long as possible... maybe knee highs, maybe thigh highs, I'd have to get a good garter belt, because they probably wouldn't stay up.

They're kind of funky and fun and cool to knit... they'll be interesting to wear!

This yarn is a souvenir from our trip to Williamsburg. It is the essence of locally produced yarn. The label reads:

Hand Spun Yarn
Made in the Weave Room of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Colonial Williamsburg Leicester Long Wool Sheep
Hand Dyed with Madder Root
Grown in the Wythe House Garden
It's kind of coarse, and maybe a heavy fingering weight... I was thinking a table scarf or something. Something square and lacy and special, as befits a lovely completely handcrafted yarn in a vibrant, beautiful color.

I'd like to add that it was dyed by this nice lady who also taught me how to spin with a drop spindle on my 33rd, I mean 27th, birthday. I had a really good time and I suspect that a spinning wheel will be inhabiting a corner of my home in the near future.

Fun, huh?! Also, here are some snow peas from the garden, that I'm about to put into some chicken stir fry. Yummy!