[crochet] Baking Party

I printed off several crochet patterns to work on over vacation. Friday at noon (while we waited on a VT Air National Guard flyover), I started a hot pad:

Sat outside and started a new project while waiting for the VT Air National Guard flyover. We heard it but couldnt see them :(

The yarn is regular old Lily Sugar 'n Cream cotton. Size H hook. The pattern is 0-1444 Baking Party by Drops- it's free on Ravelry. I've never done tapestry crochet before but it looks like an easy way to do colorwork.

Tapestry Crochet

And it was easy!

I tried brighter colors for the next one:

Tapestry Crochet

It's a clever pattern- the color changed are designed in such a way that is lines up well with where the increases occur. That's kind of what made the pattern so addicting for me. 

Tapestry Crochet

A few days later...

Aaaand I’m done with this pattern. Moving on to a crocheted basket next. #crochet #mandala

I was a little tired of the pattern at this point. I think it was originally written to be a double-thick hot pad. With the Sugar 'n Cream yarn, these ended up rather large (about 12 inches in diameter), so I kept it as a single trivet to use under dutch ovens on a storage cart. With some DK-weight yarn, a smaller hook, a tighter gauge and double-thick-  a trio of these be a wonderful gift.


[gardening] Vacation

And just like that, it's June.

I took last week off- my annual week to work in all the flowerbeds. This year the week was mostly devoted to the vegetable (victory) garden.

It went from:



To this:

Added leeks, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, watermelon, cucumbers, yellow squash, carrot (seeds).      I can’t find any more 1/2” 3 foot fencing and I’m worried about woodchucks sneaking in.

Radishes were coming up quickly:

One week and the radishes are sprouting! Loads of veg plants going in tomorrow.

I started adding weed fabric:

Veg garden

Which I ran out of and I started using cardboard:

Veg garden

I added some shorter, finer mesh fencing around the perimeter, to keep out woodchucks:

Veg Garden

Veg Garden

The radishes had to be thinned:

Radishes - before thinning

Radishes After Thinning

I washed the microgreens and had them with my lunch. I was happy to already be eating from the garden.

I'm still a little nervous about the woodchucks- esp since I've seen three little babies running around with their mama...

  I’ve seen at least three little baby bastards.   As long as they stay in the rock walls around the flowerbeds...

I think there are a couple more fence spots I can reinforce.

I planted: radishes, scallions, leeks, strawberries, tomatoes (orange, green and red zebra, purple), Asian eggplant, watermelon, yellow squash, carrots, cucumbers, jalapeno and poblano peppers. I have a few areas that I'm covering up to keep weed free- I want to do some diakon radish and kimchi cabbage from seed in a while.

The flowerbed bed did get planted:

Flowerbed Bed

90% marigolds this year. There is a perennial poppy in there that looks nice and healthy this year.

The wash tub was planted, as well:

Washtub planter

And as I was walking the perimeter of the lawn, looking for mushrooms, I saw another matching washtub over the bank by the brook. I should see if we can drag it up so I can use it!

The days were sunny and hot, which meant lugging around lots of watering cans, but I made time to relax- it was a vacation, of course.

Hammock daze...

We ordered a chicken coop and a chicken run. We're going to try raising a few chickens. Got supplies to build a couple composting bins, as well.

I did a lot of crocheting. Not a lot of cooking/baking- was too busy working outside.

I'm already planning for the next vacation. Is one week off every month too much?


[gardening] First Iris

The first iris of the year has popped open:

First iris! 💜

I received this from one of my coworkers. I love the dark color.

I checked on the phoebe nest under the desk. A week or so ago there were no eggs. Now:

Phoebe nest under the deck. Guess I’ll avoid this corner of the deck for a while. 🐥🐥🐥🐥🐥

I planted some bulbs of anemone blanda many years ago. There's really only one spot that took hold and flowers.

#anemoneblanda #grecianwindflower

I love that this is one of my earliest spring flowers and I have another type of anemone that is my latest late-summer flower.

My sage always looks so sad in the spring and I'm always sure that the winter killed it. But I see new leaves:

Sage is coming back. Hardy to Zone 4!

So far chives, oregano, sage and mint are my hardy herbs that come back every year.

Vacation starts this afternoon!


[vermont] Perfect Weather

The weather has been stunning the last several days.

From first thing in the morning:

Good morning! ☀️

To the evening:

I can't believe we got 3 inches of snow 12 days ago.

Flowers are blooming:

I have to bring a few jugs of water to the vegetable garden every day to water what I've planted so far. There isn't any rain forecast for the next week but I will NOT complain about having to lug water around if it means sun and warm temps. I will complain about the black flies, though- I'm already covered in bites.


[sewing] More face masks

30 face masks to bring in to work:

Bringing 30 new masks into work today.

Mostly mediums, a dozen or so smalls.

I'm apparently not tired of making these yet. Having a quarter to one yard pieces of fabric means that it doesn't get boring. If I was *just* sewing black masks, I don't think I'd still be making them.

My spools of black and white 1/8" elastic arrived, so I'm starting to use that. Will probably save the last of the colored elastic.


Two more days and then staycay vacay. I always take a week off for Memorial Day to do all my gardening. This quarantine is really falling in line with what I normally do. 


[knitting] Rainbow socks error

Made it to the heel flap of my second rainbow socks:

Tried dividing the stitches in half... I was short by 4 stitches. I counted around the first sock- 68 stitches. My second sock was only 64. Placed next to each other, I could see that the second sock was a bit more narrow and the color bands got off sync after a while. 

Soooooo... I ripped out the entire second sock. I cast on 68 stitches and counted. And recounted. And double and triple checked. And counted again after knitting a couple rows. I'm PRETTY sure the second sock is 68 stitches this time.


[gardening] Starting a victory garden

I'm trying a vegetable garden again this year. It's been a few years since I've used the garden (I'm better at growing zero effort perennial flowers). My uncle dropped off a load of horse manure and rototilled it all in. I'm raking up beds and pulling out the weeds, roots and sod clumps.


I've planted a couple types of grapes, several strawberry plants and some asparagus. All perennial (I hope). I have some seeds to start and I'll add some tomato plants. 


I also have some weed fabric to put down on the walkways and some finer fencing to put down along the bottom of the perimeter fence. One of the problems I had with this garden was that something would get in and eat stuff. I blame the woodchucks- I never saw any deer prints in the dirt.


The three day weekend was great- better weather than I thought. It's like mother nature flipped a switch- snow, cold, snow, cold, snow, cold, okay summer. Dollar mowed the lawn for the first time. It's getting very close to hammock-lounging time. 

Sewed a good amount- lots of medium sized face masks. Just have to pin a bunch of small masks and sew. Did some knitting. A little baking. But mostly gardening.


[misc] TGIT

Happy Thursday. 

Little spots of primrose here and there. #primula #primrose

I'm taking tomorrow off. I think it's mostly going to rain, so no gardening. It will probably mostly be a sewing day. I received some new fabric in the mail- which has been all washed and ironed and cut. I've been waiting since mid-April for a couple spools of 1/8" elastic (white and black). My colored elastic has been serving me well all this time but the spools finally arrived and I'm happy to have plenty of white and black for many new facemasks.

Saturday should be good gardening weather with more rain on Sunday. Which I like- helps establish any new plants and saves me having to go around watering things.

Three day weekeeeeeeeeeeeeeeend!!


[knitting] Fantastitch complete

Fantastitch shawl, blocked and dry and done and wearable.


It's so soft and lighter than I thought it would be, considering the size. I'm really in love with the alpaca, cashmere and kidsilk haze yarns that I used.


The last sections of garter stitch striped chevrons along the bottom isn't quite as long as written (ran out of yarn), but long enough to have points:


This is my first big Stephen West project- I've only done a hat in the past (knit for an Amsterdam trip and accidentally left on a train).  I would def do another pattern- it was well written and such a good use for many colors.


I might do another. I've got so many random balls and skeins of fingering weight yarn.


[knitting] Dollar Sign Fingerless Mitts

Dollar blew out the thumb opening of his previous pair of fingerless mitts. It's darnable but I wanted to knit a new pair:

Fingerless Mitts

The pattern is Easy Fingerless Mitts by Calypso Knits and it's free on Ravelry. I worked the largest, 40-stitch size with US 7 needles. The yarn is Plymouth Galway.

The dollar sign is duplicate stitched on after the gloves were complete, with a little bit of green Knit Picks Wool of the Andes.

Fingerless Mitts

Because of the thumb issue with the last pair, I worked a couple rounds of single crochet around the thumb opening for reinforcement.

Fingerless Mitts

Fingerless mitts

Easy, fast. I miraculously didn't put the dollar sign on the same side of both mitts.


[vermont] May 9 - snow

Saturday morning we woke up to:

Snow on May 9

It was not an insignificant amount of snow:

Snow on May 9

About three inches and it was wet, heavy. I had to chip icy snow off the hummingbird feeders:

Snow on May 9

Snow on May 9

The snow stayed most of the cold day- even the next morning there was snow in the shade behind the house and icicles hanging from trees.

Snow on May 9

This is the latest snow I can remember. Frosts aren't uncommon in May but this was Winter 5.0. I remember picked ramps the first weekend in May one year and thinking that it was too early for it to be 80 degrees out. So, it's just depends on the year, I guess. Some years it's too hot, some it's too cold. 


Had a productive weekend (mostly because I was trapped inside). Baked a quiche and bread. Cured and cooked some pork belly. Washed/ironed/cut new fabric for masks. Sewed a bit. Finished some fingerless mitts. Knit more on my socks. Finally blocked the Fantastitch shawl. Picked up my meat/veg/eggs CSA share. Potted some flowers and brought them to my mom for Mother's Day.


[knitting] Rainbow Socks

Starting some plain vanilla socks with rainbow striping yarn.


Nothing complicated- something mindless to work on while watching a movie.


TGIF. Picking up my first meat share at a local farm tomorrow- and I ordered some eggs and a few greens. I picked up a load of various flours from King Arthur Flour a couple days ago, so I think this will be a good cooking weekend. And not just because I found a frozen slab of pork belly in the freezer and nearly squealed in delight.


[knitting] Inis Beag

Teleworking at home has been a struggle because of the pace. While VPN network speed was increased it still naturally takes longer to connect to server and move data around. To alleviate my impatience and frustration, I've been keeping a knitting project by the computer. A cabled hat that I would work on twenty seconds here, a minute there. After more than a month, it's done:

The pattern is Inis Beag on Ravelry and it's free. It's meant to be a child's hat but it's 104 stitches with worsted weight yarn so... it's definitely comfortable and not tight on my big, adult head.

I've cast on for another- to continue to have a telework project but also, now that I've run through the pattern once, I can modify a few things. I'm not sure why the pattern begins in the middle of a moss stitch panel. And I think the purl borders around the 4-stitch cables is too much.


[baking] Blueberry Swirl Pound Cake

In an effort to use up frozen berries picked last year, I make a blueberry swirl pound cake:

Blueberry swirl pound cake. Made a compote from frozen blueberries picked last year. 💙 #baking #poundcake #blueberryrecipes

The recipe is this blackberry swirl pound cake from Everyday Food. I've done this in the past with wild black raspberries and it's so good. I made my usual blueberry compote that I mix into yogurt (frozen blueberries simmered down with maple syrup and cinnamon) and used that in three layers in this cake. It feels weird to make a cake in a loaf pan, rather than one of my bundt pans, but it's kind of a small recipe.


I walked around the woods yesterday looking for more ramps, fiddleheads and maybe even morels. I found none and flicked five ticks off my jeans over the course of the outing. I'm going to just stick with the mowed yard and flowerbeds.

I have several knitting projects going now- a hat, socks and fingerless mitts. I'm pretty much only mask sewing on weekends. I'm dropping my sewing machine off to be serviced tomorrow. It's near a local garden nursery, so I made an appt to look around and do some shopping.


[vermont] Trillium

Red trillium here and there in the woods around the house:


Every year I see more and more, the green clumps are easy to spot in all the brown leaves.



I've never seen any white ones but I always look. 


While I was out, I picked some ramp leaves for pizza:

Ramp leaves

There are a few wild leeks that grow near the house, I just picked some leaves and left the bulbs. I should haul my lazy butt up the hill this week to do a lot of picking at the big patch.

I chopped up the leaves and topped a pepperoni pizza:

Ramp pizza

I think it's time for fiddleheads, as well, I might walk along the road and see what's available to pick.