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I'm never bored. If I'm not knitting or spinning, I'm gardening or reading. Always up to something!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

I'm a Maker - Now I Need to be a Finisher

Just for something different this summer, I started cross stitching again. I haven't picked up a tapestry needle since sometime in the 80's. But I saw a cute pattern with bees, and bee skeps by e-sub Rosa and it was free. How could I resist? So, when I tire of picking up a bazillion stitches around the neck of my sweater, I sit in my little sewing room, stitching away.

And here's the prize package that Kate and I are giving away on our podcast (Kitchen Stitching Podcast) to acknowledge the first 100 Youtube subscribers. I made a project bag, Kate dyed some pretty purple yarn, I bought some Cascade hand-painted yarn with an autumnal colorway. There's a bee progress keeper and some yummy teas, too. It will be on its way to the lucky winner by the end of the week.

Knitpicks "Gailileo" in the Firefly colorway - I"m making the French Cancan shawl ("Poison Green for Halloween!")

My Rhinebeck sweater looks very "worried". It's just because I'm still picking up stitches around the neck and down the front. I haven't bought buttons yet - that's next.

And in between, I'm still spinning away for "City Streets" shawl. Most of the CVM gray wool is plied and washed - and I'm spinning the merino bits and pieces for the secondary color.

My family's fed well and the house is reasonably clean. One can't ask for more than that, can they?

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Kitchen Stitching Episode 5

                                 What's wrong with this woman? 
                  Here's our latest attempt at podcasting!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

How to Like Cauliflower

My husband's tired of hearing me nag encourage him about eating vegetables. It's a bit easier to introduce new foods to my step-son who's on a health quest himself. I joined Weight Watchers a couple of weeks ago and I'm doing well on it now that I've got the tracking thing down. I'm still tracking with "My Fat Secret.com" because my naturopath would like me to keep the daily carbs to around 50. It's become a bit of a project but so important to my overall health. You see, the doctor explained that those of us with MS tend to also have cardiovascular events more frequently than the average individual because of high rates of inflammation. What???? My cardiologist didn't think that was a problem. My naturopath believes it's a BIG problem. So I'm trying to jazz up vegetables that my family doesn't want to eat but I do. So here's the latest go. First, you all know how much I love my cast iron pan. I told my step-son that I'll gift him one whenever he sets up his own place. Here's what I did: I washed and split a cauliflower into flowerettes. When they were dry I tossed them with a tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper and garlic powder. I sprayed the pan with avocado oil and go the grill to a roaring 450 degrees. I spread the cauliflower in one layer in the pan and roasted it with the grill top down for about 5 minutes or until browned. Then I flipped them over and did it again. Then I turned the heat down and turned the middle burner off completely. I checked the veg after a few minutes with a fork for tenderness. The outside was crisp and the inside was sweet and tender but still a bit firm. Mushy cauliflower is not to my taste. I loved it, my step-son loved it enough to request the method I used. My husband has such an aversion to healthy vegetables that it's going to take a while. My son had no problems taking his portion and adding it to his own. I will never give up. I just won't.

Monday, July 25, 2016

High Mountain High

My husband and I were invited to spend a few days with my daughter's family in New Hampshire last week. This was my first view of the little pond a short walk from the cabin. Mount Chocorua is in the background.

Day-trip to Mount Washington Cog Railway

View from Cog Railway coach on Mt. Washington

Mount Chocorua - music and poetry have been composed in honor of your beauty and grace. Legends have been passed down, your high peaks climbed.  Here's a view from another of your lovers.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Pretty Knitting

This shawl reminds me of a summer afternoon in my grandmother's wicker rocker.

It's raw mulberry silk blended with baby alpaca and soft as a cloud.
My grandmother was not a knitter but she tatted beautiful lace and would have loved that I knitted something so fussy and feminine.

Gram had a lovely formal garden around her modest clapboard cottage.

She'd put on her beach shoes, black shiny bathing suit with the skirt and walk the beach with me and my brother at low tide for hours picking up shells.
I miss my grandmother. I am a grandmother.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Water-sparing Gardening

Cheyenne Spirit Cone flowers

Coneflowers with Lavender

Wasabi Coleus

Self-watering deck boxes

I just can't keep up with watering. I don't want to have to water every day. And it's not kind to the environment to use precious resources thoughtlessly. So I try to place plants where they will be the happiest with the least amount of water and effort from me. So the Cone flowers, Lavender, Rosemary and Thyme are in the sunniest, driest place in the garden. The Cone flowers are prairie natives and are accustomed to dry heat. Lavender, Rosemary and Thyme thrive in sunny, Mediterranean conditions and need little coddling. How it ever survives in England where it's so beloved, I'll never know.  The shade-loving Hydrangeas still need a drink now and then (especially in what are near-drought conditions here in Connecticut). I use potting soil that helps retain moisture in all my potted plants and water them near the base of their stems to help avoid evaporation. The deck railing boxes get some afternoon sun but have a reservoir in the bottom to keep watering to a minimum. As the gardens surrounding the house become more and more shaded with heavily canopied hardwood trees, more shade-lovers will get planted, tree branches professionally thinned.
Another sock finished - Crazy Foot sock yarn in the "Birch" colorway

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Kitchen Stitching Again

Kate and I are back for another go at podcasting.  Enjoy!
Here's the link: Kitchen Stitching