Monday, June 30, 2008

June Fiber!

I got my first Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club today. 6 oz. of merino with 30% mohair. The colourway is called "Flowering Weeds." I spent most of the evening spinning. I've got about half of it spun up. It was a nice break from knitting.

Plus, the weather was nice enough today to scour some wool. It looks as if the weather will be cooperative enough tomorrow, too. I can't believe June is over. I'm on my last week of my sabbatical.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

It CAN be done!

Okay, so I did complete a pair of socks in less than a week! Cast on June 21 and was finished June 27. And that was even taking a day to work on the cowl.

I found out, though, that some folks finished a pair of socks in a couple of days. That just seems impossible to me. Even so, I was glad to see that I could, indeed, knit a pair in a week.

I've cast on for a new pair of socks.

This is the Mud Season yarn from Spunky Eclectic. It was between the Koigu and the Spunky yarns, so I did a little drawing and Spunky won. I also decided to "come out" and photo ALL of my sock yarn.

I actually thought I had more. And for this week's challenge, I am attempting to knit two socks at the same time on one long circular needle. I'm using the Tofutsie's yarn for that pair. Right now, however, it just looks like a tangled mess.

I had the house to myself last night, so I watched HGTV. I noticed that a gal I went to high school with is a host. I smell a boob job and dental work.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

CSA Booty, FO, and one down

The first tomatoes of the season! And a bag of FRESH green beans. We had catfish last night using Barbara's recipe last night along with the green beans. I'm a convert now too. This is a terrific and easy recipe.

Today, I made a vegetarian cabbage Borscht soup using the cabbage from this week and the beets from the previous weeks. Tonight, I will make the very first BLT's of the season. It's hard to beat BLT's with vine-ripened tomatoes.

The Peacock Cowl is done.

Cowls are a terrific short project. Perfect for gift giving. I highly recommend them. They are also good because nothing is hanging down. Nothing gets in the way when you are picking up dog poop or riding your motorcycle.

I've completed the first British Columbia sock and I'm about 5 1.2 inches on the cuff of #2. Thanks to the craptastic picture, my foot looks like a tree stump, oui?

Please cast your vote for the next sock or I might be forced to draw numbers!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Cast Your Vote!

The British Columbia Socks are coming along swimmingly. I love this sock yarn, by the way. For some reason, the center pull ball I wound was all in knots last night. It was a massive PITA to rewind.

Without further ado, please cast your vote for my next pair of socks.

The first one is Koigu. The second is Tofutsies. Third is Bonkers. Fourth is Spunky Eclectic.

Tonight, I am making Royal Chicken Cooked in Yogurt (Madhur Jaffrey) and Cabbage & Cauliflower in a Spicy Tomato-Mint Sauce (660 Curries).

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Here is the Baby Surprise Jacket.

What I learned: Be sure to slip the first stitch when making this for cleaner selvages.

Yesterday was the first day of Summer of Socks '08, which I am participating in on Ravelry. I cast on for a pair of socks using the sock yarn I bought on vacation. By last night, I was making the heel flap. Consequently, my fingers were a bit sore. So, today, I've taken a break from actual knitting and finished up the jacket and plied the multicolored roving. The yarn is drying. I plied it with a purple-ish sewing thread.

We also made garlic scape pesto.

Friday, June 20, 2008

One Month

It's hard to believe that I've been on vacation for more than a month. It sure doesn't feel like it at all. As usual, I guess I had lofty goals set.

Recently, we made some Limoncello to add to our homemade moonshine. It uses 2 pounds of lemon zest to one quart of liquid. So, I have tons of lemons to use up. We used some of the lemon juice to grill some shrimp on the barbie along with chipotle pineapple. I just love grilled pineapple.

I've finished the Baby Surprise Jacket. I just need to sew it up and add buttons. I'm particularly proud of this because it's the first thing I've made made with my hand spun. The colors look like a sunrise to me. I rented the DVD from the library to help me out. I'd love to make another one, but I don't really have a baby to give it to. I just thought this pattern would work well with hand spun yarn and I wanted to give it a whirl.

While making the jacket, I had to stop and ply some more yarn. So, in a fit of startitis, I cast on for a cowl. Kim says that cowls are all the rage to make instead of scarves. These are great projects for gift giving.
The yarn reminds me of peacock feathers.

Here is the booty from our CSA bag this week.

Check out the wild purple cauliflower! I just love it when Dan gives us wonky veggies. I've made Cauliflower with Panch Phoran for my lunches this week. Later today, I'm going to make some Cabbage Borscht Soup with all the beets I have.

Here is the latest spinning. I love the colors of this one.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Piddles

Piddles is one year old today. Here's a picture of her right about when we got her. I tried to snap a photo with her birthday hat on today, but I can't seem to get her to sit still long enough for a picture. I'll keep trying.

Piddles is such a silly puppy. We play with her using the laser pointer (her name is Dottie) quite a bit. She still hasn't figured out it's not alive. We wondered what would happen when she saw her first lightening bug. Sure enough, she ran all over the back yard chasing them and eating them until she puked. I also like to put a few ice cubes in her outside water dish. She likes to stick her nose in the bowl and blow bubbles as she bobs for the cubes.

I've been working on the Baby Surprise Jacket out of my hand spun. Fortunately, I rented the DVD with Meg Swansen from the library. Right now, it just looks like a lump to me.

I've also been spinning up some roving I bought at the community organic farmer's market in Victoria. I forget the breed of the sheep. It's a natural brownish gray. I plied it with black crochet cotton. It's kind of boring looking, but I think it will make a nice pair of fingerless gloves. Spinning and knitting with black (or almost black) is monotonous, but everyone loves to wear those colors. I think it will be someone's Christmas gift.

The walnut tree in our back yard has been the bane of Sam's existence for years. Recently, I found a recipe for Nocino, so we made some today. I'll have to have a nocino party around Christmas to try it out. I'm also thinking of making pickled green walnuts. Later on, I can use the ripened hulls to dye wool. It makes a lovely brown.

The weather was clear enough over the past couple of days that I could process a small amount of wool. It seems to be raining about every other day here, so it's slow going. I'm not worried about it all that much, as it stays quite hot here until October.

Here's some more photos of Buchart Gardens.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Back to the Midwest

Why is it that one needs a vacation after a vacation? I thought I had left the house in good shape before I left, but, alas, it seems that things got messy while I was gone.

It appears that it has rained and rained in my absence. It is hot and muggy here. I was glad to get home, though. I was SO glad to be able to take a long shower. You know how you have to have good bathroom manners when staying at another person's home (the 5 minute shower). I was very glad to be able to spin for a while last night. All my peeps were snuggled around me during the thunderstorm.

I've completed the Victoria Socks. I guess when you are only knitting on ONE thing, it goes fairly quickly. I finished them before my flight out, so I worked on the Perfect Storm Socks until my fingers told me to quit. A responsible knitter would work on the projects that she needs to complete. I'm fighting the urge to cast on for a new pair of socks or to start the thrummed mitten kit I bought in Victoria.

The last day of my vacation, I went to Buchart Gardens.

More stories and photos to come. Many thanks to Joe D. and San D. for taking care of my dogs.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Recycling is very big here.

They have a program in Victoria called the "Free Tree." Any household item that can be reused that you no longer want or need, you simply take it to the curb outside in the front of your house and set it by a tree. Then others pick up the toy or shoes or whatever to reuse. Kind of like an ongoing Big Trash Day.

They also only allow ONE trash can per "Suite." Most of the houses up here have been converted into suites. So, one floor would be a suite. So, three families live in one house. It doesn't matter how many people live in a suite; you only get one trash can per week. Anything extra has to be hauled yourself and you have to pay for the disposal.

The city also provides you with a compost bin. You separate the compostable waste to be used in your garden. So, things like vegetable trimmings etc. are separated from trash.

Recycling bins are picked up every two weeks. In Victoria, they accept a wider variety of recyclables than they do in Kansas. Cans (both kinds), all paper, and plastics are sorted from regular trash.

You can also take some of your recyclables to the grocery or liquor stores, where you receive cash to recycle.

It certainly makes it easier when the city encourages recycling.

I made it to a yarn shop this morning and got some booty. 2 skeins of Malabrigo in Loro barranquero, Fleece Artist Sea Wool Sock yarn, Fleece Artist Thrummed Mitten kit, and two braids of Fleece Artist roving.

Tonight, we pick up Caitlin's dad. We are all having a nice salmon dinner.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Sunday was a very long day of traveling. My first flight I was seated next to a 17 month old screaming toddler. The second flight, I was seated next to Mr. Hog The Arm Rest. The best flight was on Air Canada from Edmonton to Vancouver in a newer jet. Too bad the flight attendant was a knitting Nazi that insisted that my knitting had to be stowed prior to take off and landing.

I had to go through customs in Edmonton. This means completing a questionnaire on the plane asking you if you are packing heat or transporting infested monkeys. Then, you have to get off the plane and get your bag, standing in line to answer questions from an officer, and get in another long line to go past another officer. I felt like they were going to throw me in jail or something.

I took my very first ferry ride from Vancouver to Victoria. It was beautiful. I was not prepared for how much cooler it would be. I packed a wrap to wear, but I could only stand being outside for about 10 minutes before I had to go inside to warm myself.

On Monday, Caitlin and I took the dog on her morning walk. I guess most mornings she takes the dog to the beach. The beach is different here. The beach has stones and driftwood. Later on, we walked around downtown Victoria. Caitlin had to work in the afternoon, so Danny and I went to the Bug Zoo to see her give a tour. Then, Danny took me on a drive to see the houses and the University of Victoria. All of the houses in Victoria have little postage stamp gardens in the front yards.

I got a ton of knitting done. It's amazing how much knitting you can get done when you have no distractions.