[foraging] Wild Blackberries

This past Sunday I was out in the yard looking at some flowers and saw lots of perfectly ripe blackberries hanging over the flowerbed:

Wild Blackberries

I was immediately suspicious, because last year I was hardly able to gather more than one cup's worth. Birds and animals would always get them before me. But I ran inside to get a container and picked them all. Then I walked out along a fourth class road that leads to my great-uncle's hunting cabin, along which I saw many unripe bushes earlier in the summer.

More ripe blackberries!

Wild Blackberries

I picked about three quarts in total- and it was all freeeeeeee.

Wild Blackberries

Wild Blackberries

I washed and froze most. I saved some out to make blackberry and peach bars:

Blackberry and Peach bars

Blackberry and Peach bars

These bars are my favorite way of using local, seasonal fruit. I made rhubarb bars in the spring, wild black raspberry bars in mid-summer and now wild blackberry bars in late summer. They are so easy to bring together and are sooooooo good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.


[knitting] Papillon Shawl Progress

Progress on the Papillon/Butterfly shawl:

Papillon progress...  #papillionshawl #butterflyshawl

It requires lots of stitch markers to keep track of things. It's not an easy/mindless knit but it is straightforward and the directions are clear. It's also the type of pattern that sucks you into thinking, "Just one more section... just one more section..." Which is good- I want to finish this in time for the fair.


Went to the local farm to pick up this week's CSA share. Normally we have it delivered but this week I had to pick it up and it makes such a difference. I realized I prefer to choose the produce (potatoes of consistent size, largest tomatoes, picking herbs in the field, smallest zucchini/squash). When we have them delivered, herbs are missing and the potatoes range in size from a grape to normal potato-size.

No time for much crafting last night. I visited my grandmother on the way to the farm so I didn't get home until after 6pm, then I had to wash vegetables and make some supper (a shrimp, veg, pesto saute that came out much butter than I thought it was going to). We finished watching Season 2 of Mindhunters. Was interesting to watch after listening to the Atlanta Monster podcast last year.

Didn't get to start the cross-stitching last night. Maybe tonight...?


[embroidery] Corps Castle Bundt Bag

All those bundt bags I sewed over the Memorial Day holiday have remained untouched since. I finally started the embroidering...

Finished embroidering my bundt bag. Corps castle for a castle bundt pan. ❤️ 🏰 ❤️ #essayons #usace #embroidery #bundtpans #nordicware

A Corps castle for the castle bundt pan. Things get a little wonky on the right side of the castle embroidery (like the windows), but I never claimed to be a structural engineer. It's cute and definitely recognizable as the Corps of Engineers castle logo.

The bags are going a little faster now. I'm trying not to be too fussy about the pattern and details. The image is JUST to help be identify the design of the pan inside.


Nice, long weekend. Last Weds was a complete disaster at work and I went straight home to drink fruity beer and watch Bachelor in Paradise. #noregrets.

I went to some of the Royalton Old Home Days and 250th Birthday events. Live music on the green, raffle, food, games, tours, etc.

The rest of the weekend I worked on my papillon shawl, went picking some wild blackberries, baked a treat with some of the blackberries.

I watched the series Years and Years on HBO. Very good over all; I'm not terribly pleased with how it ended.

Also saw the 1st season of the What We Do In The Shadows series on Hulu. Loved it. I loved the movie and the series is set in America and so funny.

The first pattern for Steotchalong came out on Saturday. I've got to print out the instructions and start in on it tonight... Back to cross-stitching...


[knitting] Purple and Yellow Striped Sweater

Finished the sweater for my niece:

Striped Sweater

I used pewter buttons that I got at Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival:

Striped Sweater


Pewter llama buttons

I basically did Granny's Favorite pattern but kept the yoke stockinette rather than doing the lace. It makes the increases more apparent though, especially since I did knit-front-and-back increases.

Striped Sweater

I'm tempted to do some kind of embroidery around the yoke to hide the increases and add more color.

I used two entire balls of Cascade 220 Superwash, alternating every two rows. The sweater fits my three year old niece perfectly- I'll wait until Christmas to give it to her. And that will give me plenty of time to procrastinate doing the actual embroidery.


TGIF. Omg, I know it's only Wednesday but this week has been... work has been... trying. I don't really get stressed out about things at work but yesterday I seriously pondered what kind of trouble I would get into if I threw a chair out a window. It probably wouldn't go over well on my performance evaluation. But just thinking about the sound of glass shattering was so relaxing to me...

ANYway. This long weekend is going to be all knitting and crafting and baking and doing many of the Royalton Old Home Day / 250th Birthday Party events.


[knitting] Foxy Mittens - Duplicate Stitch

I did the duplicate stitching over the eyes and nose of my Foxy Mittens:

Foxy mittens

I used a small amount of Knit Picks Palette in black and some leftover orange sock yarn. In fact, it's a small amount of yarn from these 2008 socks. Those bands of darker orange are mottled light and dark orange- I used some of that for the irises:

Foxy Mittens

Because this sock yarn is superwash and tonal and has a bit of a sheen, I think it makes the irises stand out from the orange yarn used for the body of the mittens. It's subtle but I can see the distinction.

These mittens are ready for the fair!


Not much crafting last night. I started embroidering the bundt bags that I sewed during the Memorial Day vacation (finally).

I walked around the woods for a bit, looking for mushrooms. I don't know what I was thinking- I probably saw a dozen mushrooms, total. I'm just going to wait until puffballs and shaggy manes appear on the lawn. That's my kind of foraging.

I need to pick a hat pattern to knit. I don't have a hat to enter into the fair yet and I want something smaller and easier than the papillon shawl to bring to the Old Home Day events. Maybe a stranded hat... maybe a solid color cabled hat... maybe a brioche hat?


[knitting] Glamour Socks

The glamour socks finished and blocked:

Glamour Socks

It looks like the pattern is no longer available on Ravelry. The designer is Stephanie van der Linden and she has so many sock patterns available. I own the book Op-Art Socks and didn't realize that she's the author until I looked up her other designs.

This was the first project that I used my new Ravelry Soak wash for:

Washing the finished socks in @hi.ravelry Soak. 🛁

I bought this wash from the Ravelry mini-mart a week or so ago. It smells great. It has a picture of Bob on it, which is so sweet. It's called Unleash. And it has small text under "Unleash" that says "creative juices." Unleash... creative juices. I find this mildly off-putting, probably the same way some people don't like the word 'moist'. 

Anyway, after I rinsed off the creative juices (see? it's gross, right?) and let the socks dry on blockers, the lace opened up nicely.

Glamour Socks

I love the beaded cuffs:

Glamour Socks

These have been set aside for the fair.


Had a good, busy weekend. All the stars aligned and I finished many current and hibernating projects. Blocking the above socks, winding new yarn, starting the papillon shawl, finishing some embroidery, sewing buttons onto a sweater, duplicate stitching the foxy mittens... More pics to come this week.

It's going to be a short work week for me! I'm taking Thurs and Fri off for South Royalton Old Home Days and the 250th Birthday events. Food trucks and music on the green and fireworks and historic tours- I'm going to do it all! Also- the band Wool is playing at Crossroads Saturday night! 

What else? Oh, Saturday I went to the Cabot store in the Quechee Gorge Village antiques mall because I was looking for Cabot's 5-year-old Centennial Cheddar. I rarely go there because it's totally a touristy place but... it's the bomb. I found the centennial cheese AND some triple cream vanilla yogurt. I told the cashier that I've never seen that kind in the grocery stores and she said, "You can only get it at the Cabot stores." (That's the easiest way to get me hooked on something- "So you're saying I can ONLY get this at 4 places in the entire state? And one of them is kind of on my way to and from work? Well, this will be the only yogurt I'll ever eat again.")

Also, there was an outdoor flea market and I found a woman selling some vintage 1970's Onion River Pottery. It's Vermont made and very distinct looking. She was selling two batter bowls, a sugar and creamer set, one mug. I told her I would take everything and she let me have it all for $17. What a freaking steal. As I was paying, I almost said, "Listen, just keep the $20. This is... I feel bad you're letting me have this for so cheap." I almost said that.


[misc] Murderface and Penny

MF and Penpen sharing a window:

Murderface and Penny

That's a good spot for hummingbird watching. 


So close to finishing the socks. I'll be able to tonight!

Last night I got our CSA and there were fava beans- still in the pod. I've never had fresh fava beans and had to do a little research on how to prepare. You shell them and then blanch/shock and then pop the beans out of their skins. It's twice as much work but it was worth it. There were very green and creamy. I did a simple pan sautee with olive oil, onions and mint, but if I get them again, I'd try a minty pesto.

I picked up all my floss for Steotch 7. The Joanns in West Leb has a very complete and well organized floss wall. Now to organize the floss I bought.

Is it Friday yet?


[cooking] Lemon Lavender Cookies

I finally made some lemon lavender cookies with my homegrown/dried lavender:

Lemon lavender cookies. 💛💜💛💜💛💜💛💜 #baking #cookies #lemonlavender #lemonlavendercookies #lemoncookies #lavenderrecipes #lemonrecipes

This is the recipe that I follow. I made these cookies for the first time last year and fell in love of the flavor. They're especially good with new lavender. The plan is to enter them into the fair this year.


Still knitting on the socks but I've turned the second heel and it's smooth sailing from here on out. I'm tempted to pile up all the yarn I want to wind and keep it in front of me, as incentive to hurry up. I would like to knit the mariposa shawl in time to enter it into the fair.

Speaking of which, I need to mail in the registration form by Sept. 1.

I joined Steotch 7 on Facebook. As if I need another project but... I'll give it a go. First pattern drops August 17. I think you can still sign up if you're into cross-stitching. Search FB for Steotchalong.

Things are still blooming like crazy around the house. Some of the daylilies are starting to be on their way out, though, and it's making me sad. The nights are getting cooler and I feel fall creeping closer...


[gardening] Monarch Butterfly

Saw my first monarch butterfly of the summer on the (aptly named) butterfly weed plant yesterday:

Monarch Butterfly

And as I was standing there, trying to get a good picture, I looked down and saw a monarch caterpillar on a stem:

Monarch caterpillar

I really hope this caterpillar makes it's chrysalis where I can see it and watch it while it... incubates? Gestates? Transmogrifies? Turns into a butterfly.


Another night of no knitting and I'm starting to lose my mind. I had to clean up my craft room. It was already in an embarrassing state and I got home to find that someone (my money's on Santana) had jumped up onto the table and knocked alllllll kinds of stuff off. There it was- patterns, fabric, knitting needles, yarn- strewn all over the floor and I was like, "You can't really even tell there's extra mess. I gotta clean this shit up."

The room feels fresher and more inviting to finish up projects.

Also, I ran out of space on my phone and had to start moving pictures to my computer. Dollar asked what I was doing (I'm never sitting at the kitchen desk, looking at a laptop) and I said "Downloading pictures, I have too many on my phone. Guess how many I have." He said, "Oh god, 3000?" I frowned. He said, "10,000?" I looked down and shamefully said "21,000" and covered my face with my hands. It's so many photos, I can't even download them all at once. I spent hours trying to get the last 12 months of pictures moved to an external harddrive and deleted from my phone. And there are still a couple more years to do...

But it was nice to look back- see all the nice memories over the last year. I should start compiling and ordering photo books.

Lots to do this weekend- baking and cooking and pickling and knitting and sewing and gardening... and maybe some chores. TGIFFFFFF.


[gardening] Polymerous Daylily

I know I just posted a million pictures of daylilies but this one is different, I swear:


It's the bottom bloom... It's polymerous- it has four petals and sepals instead of three. This only happened once last year (that I noticed) with a different variety. It's so cool when I see it- like finding a four-leaf clover. Maybe one day I'll catch a super mutant one with five petals and sepals. I'd probably immediately drive to the convenience store for a lottery ticket.


I have nothing new to show other than flowers. I haven't even knit for the last two nights. Last night I got distracted with laundry, dishes and making new flower bouquets. It sounds so frivolous... "Oh, no, I can't clean the litterboxes, I have to arrange all these flowers I just pranced around outside collecting- tee hee!" But this is only the fourth time I've had time to do this since spring and it is kind of becoming a chore. I have no issue leaving the old, dead, dry flowers in their vases forever- but after a while I start to get paranoid that it's bad luck.

The bucket of flowers I collected:

Successful flower picking excursion. Now to make 💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐

It was close to 8pm by the time I was done making bouquets and the night pictures I took aren't the best. I'll take a pic later today. 

Then at the very end of the night, I sat on the couch with dried lavender bundles and rolled them upside down between my palms over a big bowl to collect the buds while I watched the finale of the "will you accept my rose" show. It is my guilty pleasure only because I get to think things like, "Girl, he is trash. You are so stupid."

Tonight, hopefully I'll make some lemon lavender cookies.


[knitting] Glamour Socks

My travel knitting last week was a new pair of socks:

Glamour Socks

The pattern is free on Ravelry- Glamour Socks. I'm using Knit Picks Stroll yarn and Harmony DPNs. It's a thoroughly enjoyable, addicting and quick knit.

It also has a pretty beaded cuff:

Glamour Socks

The beads actually dictated the yarn for this project. I went into my seed bead stash- found blue beads and matched it closely to this yarn. For beaded projects (normally shawls), I bead as I go but for this, I did pre-string the beads onto the yarn.


We had some lovely rain last night that cooled everything down by at least 15 degrees. And all the flowers needed it. 

Oh yeah, and I did make Vermont Curry for Avengers Endgame:

Watching Avengers Endgame tonight. Thanos demands Vermont Curry. #marvel #avengersendgame #vermontcurry

Had to break out the crocheted Infinity Gauntlet.


[gardening] Daylilies

This post is just going to be pictures of daylilies.

Finally my super special daylilies have started blooming. Pictures here will be 90% daylilies until mid-September. Soorrryyyyy. ‘Shattered Illusions’. #hemerocallis #daylilies

Not sure the name of this one. @nh_drummer does this match anything you have? I thought for sure I got it at Holdn’ Heaven but it doesn’t match the names of anything I bought last year. #daylily #hemerocallis

"Secret of Contentment"

Gold edge to the above daylily:

Gold edge

Daylily at home

Daylily at home

Backyard daylilies

"Destined to See"




One of the new daylilies this year- ‘Gina’. #daylilies #hemerocallis

Daylilies at home







‘River Ripples’ #daylily


Just opened today. ‘Moment in the Sun’. 💛 I still have at least 6 daylilies that haven’t started blooming yet. #daylilies #hemerocallis





Can’t stop. Won’t stop. Winter here is 8 months long. I will post 75,000 flower pictures every day during the summer.

I love daylilies so much. There are at least 6 different varieties that haven't even started blooming yet.

I know that I have at least 30 different kinds but I'm sure it's actually closer to 40. They are hardy and need little care other than keeping weeds away. And they are so beautiful- I feel so lucky to have a special daylily garden/grower so close so that I can get interesting new specimens every year.


Made some kimchi stew for dinner last night. Vermont Curry is the plan for tonight- with Avengers: Endgame. 

Just found out that the American Cheese Society Conference is happening this week in Richmond, VA. The winners will be announced this weekend and then I can go on my annual cheese scavenger hunt next week!!