Garden Update

Twocumbers (I have to give credit to Clara Parkes for that name.)

I cleared all of the cucumber and zucchini plants out of the garden. We couldn’t handle any more cukes or zukes. I’ve got plenty for more pickling, and Bob made a delicious vegan lasagna with zucchini sliced lengthwise instead of noodles.

I transplanted the kale, cabbage, and broccoli seedlings for fall. I hope this net keeps the cabbage moths off. I also transplanted arugula, chard, and Bibb lettuce seedlings.

In other exciting news, we have blackberries! Which are my favorite, even if the brambles jump out and scratch me.

It’s worth it.

A Plethora of Pickles: A YOP Update

I was a little under the weather this week, so didn’t blog. I didn’t even knit for two days! But yesterday, I caught up on my mystery knit along. Ready to start Clue 3!

I also cast on the Cemetery Cowl (Ravelry link) for a little impromptu knit along. It’s Halloween in July! Also, I sewed myself a Halloween treat/project bag.

I had to rip out the cowl and re-cast on because I twisted my stitches, of course. I was really careful so I don’t know how I manage to do that almost every time I join to knit in the round. The yarn is BFL Mohair Fingering from Forest Lane Fiber Co in Pitch and October. I also recently purchased an Apothecary Collection, and I love everything!

Especially this tiny skull planter from Ice and Dust Pottery, which I planted with a tiny coffee tree.

The garden is overflowing with cucumbers. I’ve canned five quart jars of pickles, and we have one quart jar plus a bucket of refrigerator pickles. Yes, a bucket. I went into the garden this morning and came out with enough for three more quart jars, so I ordered some that I will pick up later. I will also have to stop off for some dill because there wasn’t any at the farmers’ market yesterday and I used all my garden dill. It’s a good thing we love pickles!

I researched what might be going on with my zucchini plants, and learned that too much nitrogen + too much moisture = over growth of foliage and calcium uptake deficiency. The remedy? Plant Tums in the ground around the plant. I did it, and now we are getting zucchini! One got away from me (it’s very large) so I’m planning to make zucchini bread this afternoon.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can learn more about the group on Ravelry. You can read my updated list of projects here.

Here’s one that hearkens back to my youth:

Saturday Harvest

I went into the garden to check on the plants, and found so many cucumbers! I was excited. I made pickles.

Refrigerator Pickles
Canned Pickles

We still have a few fresh for eating, and I’m sure there will be more.

I made a new friend today.

My orchid is still blooming!

May 9
June 26

I never thought I would be able to keep an orchid alive, but this one’s been going since April 2019.

Friday FOs

After complaining that I hadn’t done any sewing last Sunday, I decided to finish up these linen Emerson Shorts. They were cut out. I only had to sew them together. They came out really nice, and they are super comfortable.

I finished up Bob’s Pride socks!

This photo shows the colors better.

I made a “make do” drying rack with netting and a frame, and am drying calendula flowers to steep in oil.

Have you finished any creative projects this week?

My volunteer sunflowers have been taking a beating, thanks to heavy rains and critters knocking them over. So I cut the stems for a bouquet. They look lovely in my raku vase from The Alchemist’s Studio.

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.

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?

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!

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.

Gardening and a YOP Update

This pretty yellow flowering shrub is not Forsythia! I thought it was, but I was told it’s Spice Bush, a native understory shrub, Lindera benzoin. (Someone commented on my Instagram photo and corrected me, thankfully.) We do seem to have a Forsythia on the other side of our property, though. Once everything is in full bloom I’ll do some pruning and take a photo so we can compare them.

This may not look like much, but I spent several hours digging up the weeds in the garden so I could plant the peas and cabbage and kale. Unfortunately, there’s a layer of clay under the top soil, and we haven’t had any new garden soil delivered yet. So even though I went ahead and planted them, we may not have any peas, cabbage, and kale this year. I’m really proud of myself for digging this up on my own and I only had a little help from Bob, who worked for 10-15 minutes to dig up a huge root system of some old ground cover. It looked like tree roots, it was so big! He broke the pitchfork handle trying to wrest it from its iron tentacle grip. Once he got it up, he shouted at it, “I beat you, you ol’ stump!” Which is a reference to my favorite scene in “Drag Me to Hell.” I haven’t laughed so hard in ages.

Fiber Art

I felted a new piece today. This is a peek at some unfelted fiber since I’m not showing the work until the show starts.

Knitting

When I started getting excited about knitting again, in 2018 I went to A Wool Gathering with my friend Sara. While we were there I picked up two hanks of this linen and cotton slubby yarn with the intention of making a simple drapey top to throw over tank tops in the summer. I finally cast on yesterday. I’m counting this toward design since I knit a gauge swatch, calculated the width I want, and cast on the number of stitches — even though it’s literally two squares of stockinette seamed at the sides and shoulders. The most basic design ever. Gotta start somewhere, right?

Other than that, I’m knitting away on Water and my Malabrigo Rikke hat.

Sewing

I don’t have any new sewing to show, but I’ve got Water KAL bags to make and I want to cut out my overalls this week.

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

Yesterday we met one of our neighbors. He mentioned our lot might have been a cemetery at one time? Which explains the limestone pillars. It’s just a rumor, but hopefully we won’t dig up any old bones! No, our house isn’t haunted. I also got bitten by one of his dogs. This was not his fault, as she was on a leash and I stupidly reached down to pet her. His other dog, though, a bulldog named Hammy, was off leash but friendly and adorable. Have you ever been bitten by a dog? It was my first time. I have a small tooth shaped hole in my arm. I will be more cautious about dogs now!