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.

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.

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.

Hi! Vacation Day 1 – All The SQUIRREL!

Today is the first day of a badly needed week of vacation. And… I have cast on block. I have so many things I want to cast on, I don’t know what to knit first.

Short List:

1. Arrowhead Cardigan – Colorwork and it’s a great week to pay attention. It’s cast on and ready in my basket. (All links are Ravelry links.)

2. Vintersol Sweater – My yummy new yarn is calling to me.

3. Celtic Myths Shawl – Cables and it’s a good week to pay attention. I’m so close to finishing it. I think I will try to knock it out.

4. Hansel Hap – since the start of this will be good TV knitting, I will cast this on later in the week so I have it ready when I go back to work and need evening wind-down knitting. The Ramsay Farm Shetland yarn is calling to me. So squishy and smells so good!

5. New socks for Bob. One should always have a pair of socks on the needles.

6. New socks for me. I have some very springy sock yarn I would like to knit into some shorties.

7. Onipa’a Shawl: “Stand Firm, Resolute. Be true to yourself.” I did and I was. I fell in love with this pattern and bought some gorgeous Finn and Kid Mohair yarn from Mindful Folk Farm during Botanica last weekend, dyed with Logwood, to knit it with. It’s gorgeous. Early birthday gift to myself.

8. Skipwith Cardigan: Number 1 in my queue because I would like to wear this and soon. It’s a fingering weight cardi. Even if I do cast on, is that likely to happen? 🙃

Okay, see now I’m overwhelmed and don’t know what to do.

In other news, it’s taking me forever to finish the body of my Anker’s Summer Shirt. “Just a few more inches,” “Just a… few… more inches!” “Ok, two more inches!” “One and a half more inches!” At least it’s short sleeved.

Things are popping up in the garden! It’s getting a little chilly at night and I’m worried. Hopefully the microclimate is a real thing and not a mass delusion by overeager gardeners in northern climes.

Last week I toodled around town with family that was visiting, and bought this pillow in a little shop. JoJo is not as amused as I am, but she does love our new-to-us couch.

Pete has emerged from hibernation. I planted all kinds of flower seeds here, but so far the only thing to emerge are volunteer sunflowers from the bird feeder. I think there are a few sweet peas, too.

Right! Time to sew a dress! 😂

Oh, yeah, I have art to make. 🤣

Enchanted Kimono Robe

Have you ever seen the film Enchanted April? I haven’t watched it in at least a decade or maybe longer. I hope there is nothing offensive in it. I sometimes think fondly on an old film and then rewatch it and find myself appalled by something I never noticed before!

Anyway, in the film, Josie Lawrence is wearing a lovely silk kimono robe. I’ve always wanted one. I have shopped robes but never found one I liked or felt good about buying. Then I decided to make one, and I shopped silk but couldn’t find quite the right thing. I finally settled on this cotton lawn with cranes and peonies (printed in Spain).

This was a very zen make. I didn’t follow instructions or a pattern. I measured and cut rectangles and sewed them together. I made the sleeves extra long for extra waftiness. Isn’t it great with the pink tile? I purchased this fabric several months ago, before I’d even seen the pink tile! Happiness score = 😃

Bob and I walked our local rails to trails bike path this morning. It wasn’t too far and it was a well kept path. I got all my steps in today!

I can’t wait to drink my coffee on my hammock swing tomorrow in my new robe.

Saturyay

This is my yarn closet and my sewing corner in my office. All my yarn and fabric fit in that narrow closet, but not all my fiber. I have two big tubs of fiber — mostly wool — in the hallway outside. Don’t judge me. Or do, I don’t mind. I have an art show in 14 months. I’m sure I will use most of it up. I have angora and silk as well — the angora from my old bunnies. What will I make?

Bob and I went to downtown Newark for gluten-free pizza for Saturdate! 2020. What a year!

We liked the face on this building. Green Man? Gargoyle?

Heel flap time on my Pride sock! I’d better get knitting if I’m going to finish these by July 1. Not likely, if I’m honest.

I just finished reading The Mirror & the Light by Hillary Mantel, the final book in the Thomas Cromwell series. It has been criticized as having too many words, but each word is so delicious, I didn’t mind savoring it.

I watched the fox kits in our back yard last night. I was worried about them getting enough food, they seem so skinny, until they rustled up some vermin from the compost pile. Human-Fox symbiosis! Their den is under our barn.

Friyay

I swing in the hammock chair and watch birds.

Other than work, I’m not doing much. I knit a few rows on Deschain here and I’m knitting a heel flap on my Pride sock there. I did plant a small veg and herb garden, and a few flowers. I’ve had to clean up after deer and what is probably a raccoon digging up my beds and pots. But they left it alone last night. A morning of respite! And a fog rolled in.

One tomato and the pepper are still getting over the trauma of being dug up by critters. Twice! I brought the lemon balm, sage, mint, and blackberry from my old garden.

I’ve enjoyed catching up on your blogs. This weekend I will show you my yarn closet!

Yellow House in the Woods

New front porch, my happy place!

We spent all week moving. The new house is set up and the old one is empty. Today is “do nothing day” before we go back to work.

I moved my planter boxes and have a small garden in the front of the house with a couple of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and some herbs. The big terraced garden in the back needs to be landscaped, and I hope we can get that done this summer so we can plant it next spring.

On the second night in the house, we had fox kits in the back yard. Here’s a video Bob took.

In addition to moving, this week we had a storm, lost power, and had a scare with the well water. It turns out all we needed was a new filter. We tested the water and everything is fine. I told Bob we should start a podcast: “Two renters from the city buy a house in the country.”

I haven’t knit a stitch this week. Maybe I will work on my Pride sock today.

Sunday Grace

We went for a hike yesterday. I’m thankful for time in nature. And wildflowers.

Bob made soy custard berry tarts for my birthday treat. I’m thankful for Bob.

My boys came to share a birthday meal and treats with me. I’m thankful for my boys. Especially their intelligence and humor and ability to argue any point no matter how ridiculous. Is a bean bag a chair? A bean bag is an armchair but not a chair because a chair has legs. Puzzle that.

My mother always told me I would argue with a signpost. The fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Soon I will have a new blue beanie to wear over my mess of white hair. I am enjoying this mindless knit.

square

I ordered some pink yarn to make this shrug. I imagine myself wafting over pink tile wearing this, but in pink. The designer says this stitch pattern is meditative. I hope so.

Speaking of pink tile, the lender ordered a second appraisal. We are in home-buying limbo.

It will be okay either way. Trust in the Universe.

Sunday Grace

My orchids are blooming again.

Our neighbors gave us hyacinth for Easter.

I’m knitting another heel flap.

My coworker won’t get off my lap.

Our kids are sorta famous.

The ravine is greening and flowering.

This leggy human walks slowly so I can keep up and stop to take photos on our walks.

Amen.