No Mercy for Slugs

My garden ( I say my garden but it’s really our garden as Bob put in a significant amount of prep work) is a veritable jungle. Yet, so far, we haven’t had a single zucchini or cucumber, which I think is due to blossom end rot and slugs. It’s been a wet year here.

I have declared a strict manifesto of “No Mercy for Slugs” in an attempt to remedy the situation. I feel I need to share with you that not all slugs are dumb. Sure, about 80% fall for the beer trap, but a good 20% hang on to the edge of the can wondering what the heck happened to their friends. 80% will sit in the bottom of the bird seed tray, waiting to be eaten (after I pick them off the plants) but about 20% will truck it over the side of the tray and bungee jump on their slime to safety.

I’ve ordered some Escar-Go from Gardens Alive. (See what they did there?) It should control the slugs without harming any other critters.

The good news is we have calendula (my new favorite flower/herb) peppers, tomatoes, dill, and mutant volunteer sunflowers.

I’ve been knitting on The Lonely Heart is a Hunter mystery knit along today. It’s been a long time since I’ve knit lace. I had to pull it out and start over once, but I think I’m on my way now. I’ll post a pic tomorrow!

Garden Update and a Yucca Story

I thought it would be fun to take you on a little ramble through my garden. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen it. 🙂

And, yes. My dress does have root vegetables on it.

I found another dragonfly in the garden. I’m not sure what kind it is. Maybe you know? I also saw a praying mantis, but they are still too small and quick to get a photo.

We have black raspberries.

We also have yucca in the front landscaping that are flowering. I was surprised someone planted them here. But they seem to be surviving. I have a yucca story to share with you.

When I was a student at the University of California, San Diego, I took a Southwestern American Art class. We had to weave a traditional Pueblo basket as a project. Most students bought reed at the hobby store, but not me. I saw a traditional basket woven from yucca at a museum, so I had the bright idea that I was going to find yucca and strip it and weave my basket with it! So, I dragged my surfer boyfriend out to the desert to look for yuccas with me. I had a photo from a book so I would know what they looked like. We spent an entire day hiking. We did not find a single yucca. We went home and I was exhausted and sad because I couldn’t weave my traditional yucca basket, and guess what! There. Was. A. Yucca. Growing. Right. By. Our. Front. Door. In the landscaping of the condo complex where we lived.

I did weave my basket and I still have it. I used Rit to dye the yucca fiber because traditional methods called for urine as a mordant and I didn’t have the guts to try that. I got an A. The end.

Summer Solstice Year of Projects

Happy Summer Solstice! My flax is starting to flower.

Gardening

I found cabbage worms all over the cabbage and kale. I had intended to pick them off, but it was impossible. There were too many. There was no reason to leave the plants in the garden, so I pulled up all the cabbage and kale and took it to the compost pile.

I don’t know if you’ve ever eaten a borage flower, but they taste like cucumbers. Delicious!

Knitting

Happy Father’s Day to Bob, who is a wonderful Dad and Stepdad. I’m knitting Pride socks for him for Father’s Day, and I’m currently being overwhelmed by rainbow yarn barf. I’m hoping to finish these before July 1, when we start over for Year of Projects.

I ordered the beads for my MKAL and I thought they were not the right color for my yarn. Too gray! So I ordered three more colors. Then I took photos outside, and the color is more like I wanted initially. Hopefully one of the four bead colors will work. Every time I take these beads out of their bag, I lose five, so hopefully I still have enough if this is The One. I’ll knit another chart repeat on the swatch and knit the beads on as the pattern specifies. That should give me a better idea.

Fiber Art

I felted a new piece today. I like the way it looks, but the felt didn’t take to the prefelt backing. So I ordered new felting needles, because mine are old and breaking, and I’m going to have to do significantly more needle felting on this piece. I don’t know why it didn’t work, as nothing has changed. This seems to be the theme for my week. Is Mercury in retrograde or something?

Sewing

I didn’t have the energy for sewing this week, so I have nothing to report.

Music

Here is the song I am currently listening to on repeat.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can read my updated list here. You can find out more about the group here (Rav link). I’ve started a new list for 2021-2022, and I’ve created a finished list for 2020-2021. I will post these on July 1. I had to go back over my completed items, as I had a few slip in that were completed prior to joining Year of Projects. Oops! I see how I am.

I got a new pin. I ordered mine from Fibre Space, but they are sold out. You can get them directly from Nerd Bird Makery, though.

Porch Life: Wednesday WIPs

I took the afternoon off because I haven’t been feeling myself lately. It’s been quite cool where we are, so I knit on the porch, watched and listened to podcasts, and read the new book by Alys Fowler. You can see I haven’t made much progress on Bob’s Pride sock.

My Milkshake cardi is coming along. I skipped the waistline decreases because I figured those were for people with a waist. I will do the hip increases, though.

I cast on my swatch for The Lonely Heart is a Hunter MKAL. This lace pattern is repetitive, so I am enjoying it. I look forward to trying the beads with it when they come in the mail. I think I’m really going to enjoy my first mystery knit along.

My garden is a happy jungle.

The peas got a beating from a heavy rain earlier in the week. I’m hoping we can get some pods before the tops break. Even though they are English Peas, I’ve been eating them like snap peas.

Lots of lettuce.

Tomatoes are starting.

Apparently, I planted two different types of basil.

I’ll have calendula flowers soon.

Borage is in full bloom.

I saw a whitetail dragonfly in the garden. That’s a good sign, right?

Alissa’s Brag Book: A YOP Update

When I was little, my Grandmother had a photo album with “Grandma’s Brag Book” written on the cover. It was for photos of her grandkids, of course. Sometimes I feel like my blog is my version of the brag book, but for things I make. I would be posting pics of our kids, but most of them don’t like that. I have to ask for explicit permission including where it will be posted. I should draft some release forms for them to sign. 😘

Knitting

I’m very excited about my hand dyed Cormo lace yarn. It’s still damp, but I can’t wait to cake it up and swatch.

Sewing

I made a summer top from this fabric that’s been in my stash for a few years. The pattern silhouette is nice, but it calls for bias tape. Not my favorite way to go. Maybe I can make facings next time.

I cut out my next overalls in this amazing linen fabric with yarn balls all over it! You can’t tell, but the copper ones are metallic.

Garden

It’s been a long time since I’ve grown Borage.
My winter squash is still alive.
English Peas!
We’ll have zucchini soon!
My flax garden is super lush.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can read my updated list here. You can find out more about the group here.

Sunday YOP Update

I updated my list today. I think June is when the Year of Projects (YOP) group starts over, but as I update my list as I go, there won’t be much to change.

Fiber Art

I’m excited to say I have seven completed wool felt pieces for my show. I hope to finish three more before the opening in September. Bob and I visited the gallery yesterday, and we chatted with the owner. I will send him my current list of pieces tomorrow. This is my first solo show in nine years, and my first solo gallery show, although in 2010 I had a combined gallery show with another artist. I’m really happy I asked for this opportunity.

Knitting

I’m focusing on my Milkshake Cardigan, but there’s not much progress since yesterday. Here are two photos of yarn I purchased for projects not yet added to my YOP list. 😁

Shilasdair for the Undulation Shawl
Tukuwool DK for the Straw cardigan.

Sewing

This morning I started working on my Emerson shorts in natural linen I cut out two years ago. It will be good to get those finished, and it will be nice to be able to wear them. I can tell it’s going to be a hot summer.

Gardening

Herb and Bee garden with a Strawberry Border

I think I’ve finally got the garden about where I want it. I planted some cosmos, tansy, oregano, lavender, and creeping thyme this morning. I am trying some short and dirty wool clippings around the transplants. I found slugs all over the baby kale this morning.

My one and only New Year’s Resolution was to listen to more music with intention. Bob and I watched The Leftovers, and Iris Dement’s “Let the Mystery Be” was used for the intro at various times. I’m an Iris Dement fan, but I hadn’t listened to her music in a long time. So I spent a week or two just listening to her music, singing along in the car.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can read my updated list here. You can find out more about the group here (Rav link).

Stimming in Stockinette

My Milkshake Cardigan is coming along. I love the construction. It’s very straightforward. I love the gray. I love all the stockinette. It’s the kind of thing I like to knit, and like to wear. This sweater reminds me of the Kids in the Hall skit “Are Extraterrestrials Dull?” It will be a quality garment. Yarn is Kelbourne Woolens Scout in Heather Gray from my stash. I decided the Tunis yarn is too special and will still make up the Kiki with it, when I am ready for cables again.

The garden is burgeoning. I wish I had planted more flowers. I might try peonies in here somewhere. I am still fighting slugs. They’ve just about taken out my Gerber Daisies, and it was a mature plant going in. Maybe I should try cosmos since I could dye with them.

The indigo is up, but so far only one madder seed has germinated. No tansy yet. I think I need a trip to the garden center!

I’m Gardening Mostly

Our garden is really taking off. We’ve had two harvests of greens. Have you ever eaten baby Calendula greens? They are pretty tasty. I planted them for the flowers but I had to thin them out.

I ate this strawberry shortly after I took this photo.

None of the winter squash I planted seeds for made it, but I had a few volunteer in the compost, so I planted the best one in the garden. We’ll see how it does. I dressed it with wool pellets to keep the slugs off it.

I hope this zucchini makes it.

The flax is now a thick carpet of green.

Nasturtiums, Morning Glories, and Moonflowers in my flower basket.

I dead headed the roses and transplanted the Gerber Daisies (a Mother’s Day gift) into the garden, because flowers! This is my first bouquet, other than the lilacs. I found out Alys Fowler has a new book out, and I’m a big fan, so I ordered it from my local book store.

We’ve had a cold snap but everything seems okay so far. How is your garden growing?

Mostly Gardening with a Side of Sock Knitting and Podcasting: A YOP Update

I’ve started a new pair of socks for myself. I’m in love with this yarn, which is Honeybees and Violets Please from Bone and Birch. Other than the socks, I’m knitting on my Hansel Hap. I’ve just about talked myself into focusing on the Arrowhead Cardigan instead of casting on a new one, so that I can wear it in the fall.

My garden is exploding. This is the middle, where there’s a lot going on. I accidentally broke off a pea shoot yesterday while weeding, so I ate it. It was delicious!

Full length of the garden. Elderberries in front. I’m not sure how well they’ll do here, but we’ll give it a try. The sunflower transplants are struggling in the back. I found out what happened to all my seedlings back there. Slugs!

For Mother’s Day and my birthday, Bob put together a flower bed for me out of some old wood he found in the barn. We went to the local garden center yesterday, and while I did get the foxgloves and coral bells I wanted to attract hummingbirds, the bed is looking a little sparse. We’ll see how these do. The smaller two are ground cover, so maybe they’ll spread out.

I did get the lilac bush I wanted, and a rose bush too! I didn’t really want yellow roses, but these had the best scent so I couldn’t resist. I also got hollyhocks, coneflowers, and a Joe Pye Weed for under the bird feeders.

I’m trying out wool pellets in the lilac and rose bush plantings to condition the soil, along with some compost. I’d like to add the wool pellets to the vegetable garden, but I’m going to wait until it needs a feed.

These lilacs smell so good! I have a small bouquet by my bedside.

My new podcast episode is up for The Just Craft! I had a wonderful visit at Tarheelbilly Farm, and am releasing the episode in two parts. I am so grateful to Charis and her husband Ben for spending time with me. It was a lovely day.

The sheep in front is Hollis, whose fleece I knit my Paris Toujours Shawl with. I met Hollis! And a few other shweeties as well.

This is Charis’s hand knit sweater she made with her Tunis yarn. She spun the contrasting gray herself. It’s so squishy and lovely!

And I got a sweater quantity of yarn! I had already purchased two skeins of Clancy’s fleece, and the eight new skeins are from Julie. They are close enough that I think I could use them together if needed. Because I don’t want to dye the yarn and loose the sheep smell, I’ve decided to knit it au naturel into a cabled cardigan. And because I was so pleased with the Franca I knit for my Mom, I’ve decided to knit Kiki by Cocoknits.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can read my updated list here. You can find out more about the group here.