Posts Tagged With: garden

And The Winner Is….

Heather!

Email me your relevant information, Heather, and six samples of my hand crafted soaps will be making their way to your doorstep, along with an extra surprise or two. Congratulations!

Yesterday, Beth asked how she might be able to subscribe to my new soaping blog by email. This morning, I figured out how to add that to the blog and there is now a spot to subscribe by email… for anyone who would like to.

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This is how the soap turned out, by the way. It’s a nice hard soap that was hard to cut. It did gel but not completely; that won’t affect the final product, just the aesthetics. Considering that it’s soap and will all be going down the drain eventually, I’m not overly concerned about it.

I did do a little more knitting on John’s sweater yesterday; I have about 6″ done so far. Right now, it’s straight up the back for 17.5″ before starting the armhole shaping. I don’t think much knitting will happen around here today; there is lasagna to be put together (I made the meat sauce yesterday) and a dinner to prepare for.

John’s planning on making a cheesecake for dessert, using a recipe his mother received years ago from a NYC native. I’m looking forward to it; he’s never made it for me. This is a traditional, basic, baked cheesecake with the cherry pie filling on it. Yum! It will be a lovely finish to our dinner, I think.

Now, it’s an absolutely gorgeous fall day around here. We had a bit of a wind storm last night; it was an amazingly warm wind that scattered chairs and leaves around the yard. Today, it’s bright and sunny out.. beautiful! It’s time to get motivated and out there!

Enjoy your weekend, all, and to my Canadian family and friends… Happy Thanksgiving.

grapes

Categories: Baking, Blogging, Cardigan, Contest, Cooking, Making Soap, The Weather | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Well Now…

I’ve been nominated for a blog award. I’ve never heard of the Liebster award but I’m honoured nonetheless. It will take some thinking before I post my own nominations, answers to questions and my own questions for those bloggers I am to nominate. Keep your eyes open.

In the meantime, more progress is being made on John’s sweater. I’m trying to work on it a little bit every day and, at this point, I have almost 11″ done on the front. I’ve been alternating between knitting Continental and English as both my wrists have been giving me some problems. I’m glad I can switch back and forth between the two techniques. Interestingly, I’m not noticing any difference in the tension between the two methods. I hate to say it but I seem to have a knack for keeping my tension pretty even (my mother has commented on that fact in the past; it used to drive her crazy as you can read her mood at any given time over the course of knitting a project by looking at her tension).

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The last couple of days have seen a bit of a welcome change in the weather around here. The nights have been cooler, with a couple of nights of temperatures around 8ºC (46.4ºF); I even put an extra blanket on my side of the bed! Yesterday, we had some much needed rain and today the sunshine is back. The temperature, though, is finally a little cooler than it has been (around 23ºC or 73ºF). It’s a lovely day, really. As a matter of fact, this is the kind of day I enjoy… not so hot that it makes cooking a torturous task but not so cool that you need to add a layer for warmth.

Because it isn’t so hot, I’ve been busy in the kitchen most of the morning. There is now a batch of homemade, very seedy and grainy, granola bars packed into a tin, ready for the coming week’s lunches; there’s a batch of homemade hummus in the fridge (a little too heavy on the tahini for John’s taste, though), and we’ve had a lovely big brunch that should last us until dinner (bacon, eggs, whole grain bread, and yogurt with fresh blueberries and peaches).

granola bars

And out in the garden, things are looking good. John’s been having some back problems this summer so we haven’t been out in the garden as much as we should but we have been eating from the garden almost daily for the last month. While I was outside today, hanging up a load of laundry, I was looking at my little herb garden and some of the potted plants.

herb gardenThis is, quite literally, just outside our back door. The empty patch is where we had lettuce growing; it’s now finished. In addition to what you can see here, the stick just to the left of the word “Basil” indicates where the French Tarragon is. Lovely stuff! As well, to the right of the rosemary and the basil, there are two kinds of parsley, Italian and regular old ruffled parsley.

I was blown away by my bay tree today. It has put on a magnificent spurt of growth this summer. And, not only has it grown, it is about to bloom!

All of the light green is new growth. Amazing!

All of the light green is new growth. Amazing!

Check out the buds…

bay laurel 2I’ll post pictures of the flowers once they bloom. I have to say, I’m really looking forward to seeing what they look like. I think this little tree is loving the weather this summer.

Categories: Baking, Blogging, Garden, John's Sweater, Just stuff, Knitting, The Weather | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Gardens and Prayers

It has been an eventful couple of weeks, which is why there wasn’t much in the way of blogging. Last week, we had company and I find that when we have company, normal routines take a back seat. Now, however, it’s back to the normal routines of spring.

Yard clean up and gardening has been the main activity around here. The Walla Walla onions are planted and thriving; the garlic is quite high now and the  lettuce and basil are starting to grow in the back door garden. As well, in the front flower bed, the tulips are finishing and the white irises are in full bloom!

garden 120513John has some cherry tomato,  jalapeno pepper, and cantaloupe seeds in starter pots and had beans and carrots planted. Yes, gardening season is in full swing around here and I must say that it feels good to see things growing and thriving. The past couple of weeks it’s been absolutely gorgeous, hot and sunny with temperatures hovering around 30ºC (mid 80’s F) so you can well imagine why the garden has been doing so well.

However, it’s cooling down today, with the threat of rain. That’s ok, with all the sunshine we’ve been having, we need some rain, too.

It isn’t often that I post about family matters on my blog but this week I’m going to. If you pray, I would ask you to pray for my nephew. He is a public health nurse in Los Angeles, is married, has 5 children under the age of 10. He was recently diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and is currently undergoing chemotherapy there. He seems to be responding well to the treatment but he and his family can use all the prayer support he can get.

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Categories: Blogging, Garden, No Knitting | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

In Like A Lamb

Well, March certainly hasn’t come in like a lion; John keeps hoping it will but yesterday was definitely a “lamb” day. The daytime high was into double digits (12ºC) and it was sunny. Today looks like it will be heading the same way. I am not complaining! I love it!

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Most of the snow is gone now. All that remains is the snow that was piled up beside the driveway. Before long, the guys will be out in the garden. That reminds me; I should check on my garlic. It could be poking out of the ground soon.

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And the birds! When I took these pictures (about half an hour ago), it was absolutely noisy out there! I don’t mind that kind of noise, though. Outside my back door, spring is definitely showing as well.

spring flowers

 

It won’t be long  before there are flowers. Spring really is my favourite time of year!

There has been knitting, too. I’ve almost been a bit annoyed that I had to work this week. All I really wanted to do was work on the Lowtide cardigan. I had hoped to be a little further along than I am but sometimes you just have to put the needles down, you know?

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At this point, one of the lace panels for the front is finished and the second is more than half done. Then the back lace panel will be knitted and stitches picked up around the bottom edge of the lace panel and worked downward. Lastly, stitches will be picked up for the sleeves and they’ll be worked to the desired length. Sounds simple enough. I’m pretty sure that, once the stitches are picked up for the body of the cardigan, it will knit up quickly.

When I showed John the pattern, he couldn’t understand why anyone would want a sweater that doesn’t close at the front (apart from buttons at the lacy section). I tried to explain that this isn’t a cold weather sweater to keep one warm but that it will be perfect to wear over a short sleeved t-shirt at work but he just didn’t get it. Sweaters are for warmth, after all. I shall persevere!

Lastly, as I commented before, I think I shall keep a pair of socks for John on the go at all times. Socks are, after all, the perfect mindless knitting project, something I can almost knit in my sleep!

moresocks

 

John’s sweater is stalled in the design process at the moment. Even though I’m itching to get started on his sweater, I need to take the time to measure him and get some ideas and numbers down on paper. I’ve done a swatch and shown it to a few people for input. That was an interesting exercise.

I cast on 30 stitches on 4.5 mm needles for the swatch. After about 20 rows, I switched to 5.0 mm needles. I then showed the swatch to three men and three women, not by design; it just worked out that way. All of the women preferred the look and feel of the knitting on the 5. 0 mm needles while the men all preferred the tighter knit.

John and I discussed the merits of each gauge and I’ve decided to knit his sweater at the tighter gauge. I think the fabric will be more stable, with less stretching out and because it is slightly denser, it may be a little more durable and perhaps even a little warmer. Incidentally, there’s only one stitch difference over 4″ but I’m quite surprised at the difference that one stitch makes.

Categories: Blogging, Knitting, Socks, The Weather | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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