[vermont] Blueberries!

I picked at a local blueberry farm with my mom on Saturday:

Picking blueberries!

On average, the berries were nickel-sized in diameter. I freeze most to enjoy throughout the winter but I've been using the fresh berries for pancakes, yogurt/granola/blueberries for breakfast, eating them plain...


I feel like I'm turing into one, gigantic blueberry (a la Violet in Willy Wonka). I'm going to try blueberry frozen yogurt next. 


[vermont] Flowers and Deer Repellent

We're pretty high up on a hill and all of our plants seem to be weeks behind other people in the area. My hostas are only just started to flower:

Hosta flowers. So pretty!

I love hostas and their flowers so much. I know deer love these plans and I'm glad mine are planted so close to the house that they aren't being eaten. 

My orange day lilies have come and gone but my yellow ones out back are blooming now.

One of the few day lilies that the deer haven't eaten. Buying 12-pack Irish Spring soap as deterrent. #deer #repellent

I wondered why these are doing so well but the ones down in the front yard didn't do so well. I have a
whole line of them down along a rock wall. This is from July 6:

Day Lilies

And that's about it for blooms that I got- which never made sense because look at all those buds. I walked down for a closer look this past weekend and saw what happened. Something (DEER!!) chomped off nearly all of the unopened buds. AGGHH. I should have done this MONTHS ago, but I went out and bought Irish Spring soap and I dropped shavings all around the flower bed. My uncle swears by this and uses it around hostas to keep the deer away. My mom started putting shavings around her garden and she hasn't been bothered by deer or woodchucks at ALL this year. Apparently this soap smell is so strong or repulsive that it works as a deer repellent. 

My poor day lilies.


[knitting] Tiara-lly Biased

Working on something sparkly!

Tiara-lly Biased

Bought this yarn in Carmel, CA last year. Making a simple biased cowl. The yarn is plain white with sequins periodically throughout. 


[knitting] Sadie's Blanket

Not bad for 11 days of knitting:

Sadie's Blanket

Yarn: Joann Sensations Little Treat. 3 balls.

Needle: US 7

Pattern: No real pattern, just basic mitered squares. 80 stitches each. Added garter stitch border at the end.

I'll have to make another for the cats. They were SUPER into this blanket as I was making it- really, really, really wanting to kneed it. 

Penny says, "Let me keep this one. Make another one for Sadie."


[misc] Northampton, MA

I've been telling myself that soul-crushing disappointment is good for you every now and then. It keeps you humble and tests your anger management skills. Dollar and I took a day trip down to Northampton, MA. I checked and double-checked to make sure that the music stores and BBQ place were open on Sundays. The only place I apparently didn't check was Webs, the huge yarn mecca I was so looking forward to spending all my money in. We pulled into the parking lot and saw lots of cars. We went in and I noticed all the lights were off... which was weird... and where were all the people? Well, everyone was in couple classes being run in the side rooms- the store itself was closed. We were quickly shoo'd out of the store by someone.

My reaction went like:

1. Denial 

No. No... No. This isn't happening. I didn't drive all this way down here to be denied. I'm SURE I checked online to make sure they'd be open.

2. Anger


3. Bargaining

I wonder if they'd still let me shop. I would spend soooooo much money.

4. Depression

This is the worst day ever. So pointless to drive all the way down here for nothing. I don't want to live anymore.

5. Acceptance

Well. At least we got to visit a couple cool music stores in town. And we're going to get some pretty awesome BBQ on the way home. And just think of all the money I saved. sniff... booo hooo hooo


Terrible feeling but obviously not the worst thing that could happen to a person. I have family and my health and all that crap. It's just such a let down when you're looking forward to something and it turns to ash in front of your eyes. 

We did visit some cool music stores. Downtown Sounds was the bomb:

Visiting Downtown Sound in Northampton, MA.

I took a picture of Dollar next to a Zildjian cymbal display to enter into a sweepstakes. I bought myself a easy piano book with sheet music for songs from The Muppets. I'm going to start teaching myself basic piano.

And we did stop by Curtis' BBQ in Putney, VT (just off I-91 Exit 4) during the drive back home. Dollar had never been and he loved it! There was even some live music being played where the picnic tables are.

Curtis' BBQ in Putney, VT- the 9th Wonder of the World! #bbq #ribs

Overall, it was a great Sunday :) 


[vermont] Summer Swimming

Friday was so crazy, ridiculously, terribly hot. Dollar and I walked down to the pond and I jumped in:

Summer swim in the pond. Felt like a kid again.

I've been hesitant to get into the pond because I don't like the feeling of stepping on a squishy pond bottom- but where I went in (at a boat launch), the bottom was nice and sandy for as far as I walked out. The temperature of the water was perfect. It was... awesome! I felt like a kid again. It was so much fun! I no longer dread hot, muggy days any more!


[misc] Penny Friday


Weather is crazy-hot and the cats still feel the need to cuddle/snuggle around me in bed at night. Is it because I have a fan pointed directly toward my side of the bed or because their normal body temperature is ~ 101 F? I don't know, either way we need to get a bigger bed. This is ridonk.


[knitting] Mitered Baby Blanket

Here's the baby blanket I'm currently working on:



Okay, here it is:

Mitered Baby Blanket

I'm doing this the same way that I made my mitered cowl. The yarn is Jo-ann Sensations Little Treat. It has long lengths of color, so I thought large mitered squares would be best.

Each square is 80 stitches at the beginning, decreasing two stitches every other row, ending up around 12 inches x 12 inches. I'm still debating whether to make this 3 x 3 squares or 3 x 4 squares. I will probably have to add a few rows of garter stitch (log-cabin style) all around the outside, to pull it together and make the edges look tidy.

Because this is no-sew, the project is gets heavier and more unwieldy the larger it gets. Probably wouldn't want to use this method for a regular-sized bedspread, but for a small baby blanket (and for someone who hates sewing in ends), it's nice to only have ends where you join new balls of yarn.


[misc] Murderface Wednesday

Murderface, chilling on the bed:


In a spot that is exclusively Santana's. Not sure what Murderface is playing at but pissing off Santana is a dangerous game...

Dollar's brother and little niece are coming to stay with us in a couple weeks so I've started a baby blanket (because I love a challenge). Dollar's mom was recently destashing much of her yarn collection and I took some (gasp! pearl clutching! swooning as I lay the back on one hand to my forehead!) acrylic yarn. I don't buy acrylic but I won't ever say "No" to free yarn, no matter the fiber content. I'm not a yarn snob- every yarn has it's place. This blanket is turning out really cute- I'll take a picture tonight.


[spinning] Polworth in progress

Working with polworth fiber for the first time:

Spinning polworth

Making a decent dent into my fiber stash... need to make room for Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival in September ;)


[misc] Penny Monday

Tried to take a picture of an afghan block that I'm working on and Penny wanted to help set-up the shot:


Whoa, that was a lot of work.

Penny about to yawn

Time for a nap.


[vermont] Lamb-sitting

Last weekend, we visited some friends who were lamb-sitting for a while:

Friends are babysitting a 1.5 week old lamb. #cute #aww

This lamb was only 1.5 weeks old and loved to bounce around, chew on anything and follow you. So cute.

After unending, soul-crushing rain for close to 2 months, we finally had a nice evening. Even the humidity dropped. I pruned some of an overgrown hydrangea bush and made a big, floofy bouquet:


I saw wild blackberries growing around/behind the hydrangeas and asked Dollar to weed-whack a path to them. He's the red shirt down there:


Oh man, I could have stayed outside all night. There was even a nice breeze to keep the bugs away! Please please please please please let the rest of the summer be like this.


[spinning] Silver Leaf Rose

4 oz BLF/Silk purchased at 2012 NH Sheep and Wool Festival:

Friends in Fiber

Spun into a bulky 2-ply:


Easy to spin, nice sheen from the silk. I missed the 2013 NH Sheep and Wool Festival and I am so, so, so looking forward to the VT Sheep and Wool Fest this fall. I also love that it's only 15 minutes from my house :)


[knitting] Forestry Hat

Fiber, purchased back in 2009:


4 oz of rambouillet. Spun into DK weight 2-ply:


This is a great fiber- bouncy and soft. I knit a simple hat:

Green handspun hat

I tried out my Clover X-Large pompom maker for the first time. There's a bit of a learning curve. My first pompom is on the left, my second attempt is on the right:

Pompon learning curve

I decided that pompoms, especially big poofy pompoms, are not a waste of yarn and are totally essential for hats now. Especially if the fiber you're using doesn't have much drape but you still want an extra-long hat to slouch in the back, a big pompom is a good way to add extra weight.

I might try to photograph a tutorial on how to use this pompom maker- I've tried a few different brands and methods and this is the best one I've used so far. 


[spinning] Blue Mystery Wool/Silk

I've been practicing some spinning again:

Handspun, blue

This was only 3 oz of some mystery fiber (probably 85/15 wool/silk). Spun up easily into a nice 2 ply worsted weight.


[misc] Murderface Monday


So ready for the heat and rain to be OVER. We don't have any AC in the house and I'm constantly fighting the cats for the best position in front of the fans. 

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July. We went to a concert at Meadowbrook the night before, then to the Fairlee parade on the 4th. 

It's been ages since I've been to a parade. 

At home, the day lilies are blooming (finally!):

Earlier in the spring, my co-worker divided his day lilies and gave me a bucket full of some. I transplanted them and didn't expect them to bloom at all this year. I can't wait for them to multiply and multiply and multiply...


[cross-stitching] Pulp Fiction

I finished the mystery Steotchalong sampler:

New cross-stitch. This ought to put people at ease in my home. #steotchalong #saywhat1moretime #crossstitch

Jules from Pulp Fiction and his Bible (mis-)quote.

My project is riddled with small errors. A missed quarter stitch here, a forgotten half-stitch there, wrong color outlining an area, misplaced words, etc. BUT, it's a forgiving pattern and I only fixed the errors that would be blatantly noticeable. Otherwise, if it was a small thing, I just said, "Meh. Good enough." Really, looking at the finished piece, it's hard to tell where the errors are.

The 8-part pattern was well written and straight-forward. If you like paint-by-numbers, you will like doing this. It was tedious, sure, and hard to see at times (e.g. seeing where your back-stitches are when you're working over the same exact color in the middle of the face). Also, I couldn't have done this pattern without my iPad- I had to zoom in to the charts to see the symbols inside the tiny quarter stitches.

It was all worth it. This is undoubtedly the coolest, most awesome cross-stich I've made so far.


[misc] Murderface Monday

MF on the 'nip:

MF on the 'nip

I got the cats a tube to play with but they've been unsure and avoiding. A liberal sprinkle of catnip inside seemed to do the trick.


Until things get a little crazy...

Penny and MF

Looking forward to a short work-week!