Monday, November 2, 2009

Bench Monday and Knit a Maple Leaf

Well, no bench, but I do have feet. This is the biggest maple leaf I could find.


A few weeks ago I wanted to knit a maple leaf. I had just one ball of Boku(silk wool blend, 99 yds), and it ended up about 15" diameter.
***
When I went about knitting the leaf I made the leaf from memory. I've known the bigleaf maple all my life, so I'm pretty familiar with it(palmate, floppy, pointy...), so part of the fun was NOT looking at a leaf for reference until I was done, seeing how well my memory served. So I started with palmate, ok, 5 sections, then worked on the center three sections, then the center 1. Hm...5, 3, 1, those numbers are familiar! They are Fibonacci numbers(fascinating things everyone should know about, google is your friend). One problem was how long to make each section so it would come out proportionate. When I recognized the Fibonacci connection, I just used the numbers in the rows and point BO's and the proportion came out just right. I did have to not knit the "fingers" of the leaf as long as I would have liked because I just had so much yarn, but no big deal.
The stem was last, a simple i-cord with a flare at the end for where the leaf attaches to the tree. Then I neatened up the outside edge with crocheted crab stitch(which also gave me a nice places to hide the ends so it is reversible). Doing this gave me lots of fun ideas for the leaf form.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sunflower Pillow

I started crocheting some sunflowers, just because I like sunflowers. I put some on a pillow cover for my rocking chair. You can probably figure out I like making granny square blankets too!
Grumpy cat sez MY pillow!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fall Color in the Garden


Grape leaves are turning yellow, strawberry leaves turning red, bean leaves already yellowed and gone. Petunias still blooming!

I love mums, they are so cheerful in the fall when everything else is rotting.

STILL a handful of raspberries in the end of October...a little watery though.A boquet of stuff found in the woods on a walk--pearly everlasting, oak twigs, a stick that looks like an antler, a few twigs covered with lichen, and yellowed aparagus frond and a few dahlias from the garden.
I kept a garden journal for 2009 at Facebook, here is a link for the album
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=74085&id=616102765&l=072661262e






New Look

Trying to pick out a template I like, with colors that go good with colorful pics. You'd think after three years Blogspot would have some new templates? All my sidebar stuff(links, info etc is now at the bottom of the page, so I have to redo everything(grrr). Oh well, you get what you pay for :0)

I've found out why I am so drawn to Alaska in my gut, my family on one side comes from Norway, the north/western coast in the fjords. The gene for landscape survived the generation in FLAT Minnesota, was enhanced by my spawning ground on Puget Sound. How do they say WOO HOO in Norwegian?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Blinged Up Garage Sale Bag



Snagged a brand new fake shearling bag at a garage sale for .99c (still with Gap tag for $20 attached!) and I thought it needed a pocket. Was going to knit one, but then remembered this swatch I was keeping for something. The swatch was for a man's sweater I did for Family Circle Easy Knitting magazine in the 90's, with Paton's Classic Wool. If you are on Ravelry you can see the sweater here http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/12-natural-beauty-fair-isle. Anyways, I was happy to recycle the swatch and added some embroidery a la Oilily and a tie so it doesn't flop open(since it's a big pocket). This fair isle pattern and natural colors is one of my favorites, and I'm planning a sweater for me with this pattern on the yoke.

PS, I cut off the icky slippery vinyl strap and replaced it with a garter stitch strap made from a cheap hard acrylic wool blend(yay Red Heart!!! it does have its uses!)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wow Time Flies

So I have bouts of blogging...now comes winter and more time indoors. My garden was absolutely awesome this year, lots of tomatos, spaghetti squash, raspberries, cabbage, strawberries, green beans. I kept a garden journal on Facebook for the summer, here is the link
http://www.facebook.com/photo_search.php?oid=6392568641&view=all#/album.php?aid=74085&id=616102765

The warmer weather helped, or course, but I tried some new permaculturey techniques, learned a lot and had great results. Canned a lot too! Also ate way too many fresh tomatos(if there could be such a thing, I need some "space" for awhile, ha).

Been knitting and crocheting a lot for the boutique in town (Red Berry), and hopefully for the new Mac winter farmer's market, we'll see! So many ideas!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Garden Blitz

As you can probably tell from the first picture, last year I didn't do anything with the garden, just let it lie fallow. Last fall I covered the bed the two black pots are next to in the foreground with black plastic. The bed with the clay pot cylinder in it was mulched with grass clippings, and the bed above those two black pots was covered with maple leaves. I was experimenting with mulches.

So now the beds are cleaned up, weeded, cultivated with the garden claw. I added some more wood ash over the beds. I moved and divided the rhubarb, and made a flower bed and lined it with rocks. There's also mint, lambs ears, hollyhocks and sedum in that bed. I want to get more herbs in there too.
Bed contents--
top back left(two square beds), strawberries and herbs(mint, thyme, oregano, fireweed, arnica, irises)
middle left--herbs(rosemary, mint, sage, lambs ears, strawberries, chives, thyme.) also a small forsythia bush and sedum.
near left--in the corners there is bronze fennel, spiderwort(?), and irises. I like to grow swiss chard and other greens here, this year I'd like to try some kale, and lots of rainbow swiss chard.
forground left--this bed is so full of weeds I'm just going to cover it up for this year and start over next year. There is still a big bronze fennel plant in it. This was the perennial veggies bed, with rhubarb, artichokes, asparagus and the fennel. But I think it's too soggy, it's right next to the pumphouse and would get some runoff. But this year Dennis attached a hose to the runoff spout and now we can let the water drain where ever, so hopefully this bed will dry out.
Top back right--daylilies, branze fennel, irises, hens and chicks, lamb's ears. This is also the big fat beefy tomato bed(more on that one later).
Middle right--a bronze fennel in the corner. I grow cherry tomatoes in this one, on fencing I tie up between the posts(haven't done that yet). Also lettuce, but I'm doing lettuce in big pots this year--so something else.
Near right--raspberries. Also set up a tripod for runner beans, and squash underneath.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spring Fever I Have

Finally Spring has gotten started around here! I've been working outside all day long almost for the past five days now. I've been mulching flower beds, making a few new ones, getting the veggie garden in order, clearing my paths in the woods. I'm working on a little rock garden by the fire pit, and I've toted at least a ton of rocks from the hillside. Yeah I weighed a rock, one the size of a basketball is about 50 pounds. I've been taking some before and after pix so I'll share the progress. It's quite addictive to listen to the wind in the trees all day. Mmmmmmm!

My daffodils are also starting to have babies, there's lots of them this year(and Melaine gave me more to plant!). I LOVE daffodils because the deer won't eat them! So I can plant them everywhere!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sneak Peak

Detail of the yoke of a lace cardi for Fall 2009, Nashua Handknits. The yoke design is a favorite design puzzle for me, I have fun making it work in texture and lace(and then the problem of multiple sizes gets thrown into the mix for added fun). I also enjoy making lace patterns for fall/winter garments--not just for summery things.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Right Place at the Right Time

Back in February I went to the beach with my sister. The last morning when we went to coffee there was a double rainbow! The universe was kind enough to wait for me to drive back to the house to get my camera and get back to this part of the beach(even after I threw a tantrum for forgetting my camera). So thanks, starstuff, for the photo meteor!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Waiting for Spring

Last weekend we got a smidgen of snow, the primroses didn't care it was March, me neither. I'll take snow whenever it comes. Thinking about the garden. Last year it was fallow, except for the berries(raspberrys and strawberries). Last fall I mulched a few raised beds with maple leaves and held them down with scrap sections of wire fencing which kept the leaves. One bed was covered with black plastic, some of the corn bed was covered with scraps of cardboard and nasty old carpet pieces. It all worked great to kill weeds and theres all sorts of wormy activity underneath.

This year I'll try doing the lettuce in big black plastic pots, that way I can move them to a more shady spot when it warms up. Acorn squash, spaghetti squash, cabbage. Tomatoes of course, last year was a bad tomato year, kinda cold for them. Peas, green (well yellow I like them better) beans, Corn. Hopefully I can score some more raspberry plants at the Master Gardener sale in May. I NEED more sunflowers!!!

I need to divide the daylillies--and I wonder what they taste like? I need to move the artichokes to a cooler but sunny spot. I think I'll try to train the native blackberries up on the wire fence this year instead of cutting them back(native ones are much better behaved than those himalayan beasts).

I've been saving up eggshells to put under the tomatoes and need to chicken pooperize the strawberries(and everything else).

I need more grapes too. And blueberries. And somehow trim the fir tree so the apple tree can have more sunlight.

So how much time will that take me?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tops & Toes book tour


I have a few designs in the new DRG book, Tops & Toes. A favorite of mine is the lace hat knit with Classic Elite Wool BamBoo.

I live about 25 crow miles from the Oregon Coast, so of course I love to go explore the beach and the tidepools. Last year I thought it would be fun to have a knit project that was more artsy or sculptural, so I decided to knit a tide pool. Eventually it will be a wall hanging. I've always loved the pattern on a sea urchin skeleton. So I played with knitting and felting a few, and then thought is would make a pretty lace beanie pattern. I chose the Wool BamBoo because of its crisp texture.



So far I've made a few starfish, some sea anemones, and a purple seaweed. I'm trying to match the natural colors of the tide pool things as closely as possible. It's been fascinating learning more about natural design by trying to translate it into knit. And then it's fun to photograph them in the tidepools.


For the complete blogtour schedule for the Tops and Toes book, please visit: Sheknitsintheloop.com.






Saturday, December 20, 2008

Stockings Hung by the Fire




A little bit of Christmas! The drying rack is empty because the kids are out sledding! 19" of snow and counting, I LOVE IT!

Towhee Gymnastics


It's been fun watching the towhees, varied thrushes, robins, sparrows and stellar's jays eat up the last apples on the apple tree. When the snow stops falling for a moment, or the sun comes out, they all swoop out from their hiding spaces in the bush and every apple has a bird pecking its guts. Kinda fun to watch the birds try to balance and reach the apples without flipping upside down.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Room with a View

This is the view out my kitchen window. I took these pictures over the past few weeks and as the winter sun goes across the sky so low, the lighting changes dramatically throughout the day. The sun is also low enough to shine through the golden leaves lending a transparency to colors differently than the higher flying summer sun. It's just plain fun to watch the light change with the clouds.






Monday, December 8, 2008

Thanksgiving Menu

For a long time now my sister and I have wanted to cook Ethiopian food for Thanksgiving. We finally worked up enough gumption to tell our families we were cooking Ethiopian and if they didn't want to eat it they could starve. So why Ethiopian? My sis and her family lived in Djibouti for a few years(Djibouti is next door to Ethiopia) and ate plenty of it there--so that set the precedent. Now I've got to find an Ethiopian restaurant so I can see how we did.
So from bottom right going clockwise:

Doro Wat--spicy chicken stew with hard boiled eggs. You use a (firey!) spice paste(bere bere) made from loads of paprika, cayenne, cumin, fenugreek, coriander, garlic, red wine, red onion, etc. The eggs sound weird, but they are delicious in the stew. I told the kids the eggs were eyeballs(this "is" weirdo African food after all...gotta milk it!). Coq au vin on steroids?!

Injerra--a pancakey flat bread you use to scoop up the stew. So easy to make and yum!

Cous cous--put the stews on top

Mashed potatoes and gravy--for the faint of heart.

Alicha--a mild vegetable stew with potatoes, carrots, red onion, cabbage and green chilis.

Add in olives and lots of beverages, yum yum yum!

Of course I made four pumpkin pies for dessert--I would have been tarred and feathered if I didn't! A wonderful day spent with my sister cooking it all up at her house.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Pretty Like a Web


A childhood friend crocheted this table topper for me as a wedding gift. Now I use it for a curtain on the basement door window just because the sunlight is so pretty when it comes through it, and in the winter when the sun is low it makes pretty shadows--both the branches on the curtain and the lace on the walls. Someday I'd like to dye it with some sort of natural dyes, like here http://riihivilla.blogspot.com/ I found this beautiful blog all about dying with plants and lichens and mushrooms.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Coat Design in Winter Knitter's Magazine

Cozy! Knit in Reynold's Lopi. I am NOT luvin those playboy bunny boots though! I would have styled it with a cute little short prairie dress over longjohns(tops and bottom) with Uggs. And an Elmer Fudd hat. Standing on a mossy log. Next to a babbling brook.


Crap Apple Pie

Nasty looking apples, but they are mighty yummy. Crisp and sweet. The scabs are only skin deep...
Two-fer, use leftover pie crust bits from Thanksgiving pumpkin pies, home grown apples from my tree and walnuts from sister's tree, add on crispy topping--Crispy Crap Apple Pie!!
Oh yeah, it gets even worse...drizzle it with maple syrup!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Celilo Hat



I can't believe it's almost been a year since my last post...very bad bloggery of me, but life is flux, tidal, seasonal, and so is my journaling habits. I can't help it. 40 lashes with a whip of Red Heart, eh?
I made this hat for myself, to use up two partial balls of Nashua Handknits Vignette. It's just a basic beanie, switching back and forth between the two balls every two rows. At first I wanted to embroider some kind of viney swirls with leaves, but that just wasn't clicking with the colors, which reminded me of stratified river cut rock at sunset, like in the Columbia Gorge.
As I was working on the hat I watched a PBS show "Oregon Experience" which asked the question if Celilo Falls are still intact beneath the Columbia River(they were flooded when Bonneville Dam was built in the 1950's). Celilo Falls was a sacred place to the Chinook, both as a place of power from the wild falls, and a place to catch salmon, LOTS of salmon. Sonar has discovered the profile of the falls is the same(matching the sonar readout up with old photos)--the river has not buried the falls with silt. The program ended with the enigma of Celilo Falls eventual resurfacing...the dams' lifespan is about 200 years, and by then it may well be removed.
So pretty little swirly vines just don't go with Columbia Gorge-y rocks above the river. Ancient petroglyphs are carved on rocks up and down the Gorge. I was feeling birdy, and found one of an owl. Perfect! This owl was carved on a fishing rock, either to claim it for a person, or (which I like better) as a guardian "angel"to keep fishermen from being snatched into water by river devils. I chose an embroidery color that wouldn't stand out too much--just like the old petroglyphs.
So now I have a hat that will be a good luck charm from falling onto rivers(or being dragged into them by river devils)--which I need cuz I'm not real good at swimming!!!




My Place in the Sun

My Place in the Sun

Ribular Hat and Mittens

Ribular Hat and Mittens
Buy my pattern at Ravelry! (Click pic!)

Jambo Afghan

Jambo Afghan
Buy my pattern at Ravelry! (click pic!)

Where You Can Find My Knit Designs

  • ZigZag Yoke Pullover for Women/Classic Elite Yarns
  • Swing Coat/Cherry Tree Hill Yarns
  • Generation Gap Kid's Scarf and Hat/Fall 2006 Knitter's Magazine
  • Doodles Hat and Pullover for Kids/Fall 2006 Knitter's Magazine
  • Headin' East Women's Kimono Jacket/Fall 2006 Knitter's Magazine
  • Snow Bunny Girl's Cardigan/January 2007 Creative Knitting Magazine
  • Snowman Dance Kid's Pullover and Ornament/November 2006 Creative Knitting Magazine
  • Monster Pillows/September 2006 Creative Knitting Magazine
  • Pebble Rib Women's Jacket/September 2006 Creative Knitting Magazine