Friday, April 24, 2009

Not terribly exciting

Unless you're me! Yesterday, it RAINED! Real rain! I know, for so many people that's been the whole winter, just lots of dreary rainy days. But I'm really psyched because it wasn't snow, or even slush and it smelled like wet earth and after 6 months without it, that is an AMAZING smell!
Also, had another sewing night last night and we actually got to the sewing part. After patchwork matching with the help of some creative juices (read: tequila and margarita mix), of course! It's a not really top secret projects and there will be some fun pictures when they're done.
I sewed today, too. This is only important to one person, but there are two new baby dresses of indeterminate size (have I mentioned I don't use patterns much?) and the baby size to weather ratio is the determining factor in who gets them. Two baby dresses in one day is some decent productivity...there will be more!
Oooh! Oooh! Since I do kind of advertise this as my knitting blog, I'll throw this in. I wrote about the now pith-covered Corriedale wool I got on Ebay, not impressed. In searching prices on Ebay versus local supplier, I find they're about the same. So, now I'm waiting to hear back on a pound of merino. Something I know for certain is sweater-worthy. I have a picture in my head of the perfect poppy red cardigan made from hand spun and Kool-Aid dyed yarn. If you could see it, you'd totally be on board with me and asking me for the pattern, I swear! Here's hoping my hands and my brain will see eye to eye and make it happen!
Here's a random picture for good measure. Where I was at this time last year, Garden of the Gods in Colorado.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dear Diary...

It's spring! For real! I'm SO excited! Last summer was an absolute bust here. We had a total of less than two weeks that the temperature went above 70F. In town, that is. A couple hours north there were some nice 80 days. On top of that, there was a day in late April when it snowed 24 inches in 24 hours. Lucky me, I was in Colorado, but I really feel for everyone who got stuck here!
So, seedling time! My dad owns some property about two hours north of here (coincidentally) and he's got it into his head that there needs to be a huge garden there. Guess who's in charge! So, what it seems to mean for me is traveling up there about once a week to do major tending. Basically we're going to be growing stew. Potatoes, carrots, parsnips, tomatoes, that sort of thing. And I get a little corner for salad stuff.
I planted some seeds on Friday and already all the brussels sprouts, broccoli, basil and cherry tomatoes have sprouted! I'm totally awed by the visible change in seedlings over the hours. I know it's a little late for starts, but this is an experimental year. At worst, we'll have to buy starts from a nursery.
Spring also means it's time for iced tea! Real iced tea with lemon, and if I'm feeling ambitious, pureed fresh strawberries...oh, summer in a glass!
I also get motivated to cook more! Sure it's not the most season appropriate food, but there's a Guinness beef stew on the stove right now that smells soooooooooo good. I fell sorry for my husband, because there is no possible way it can taste as good as it smells. (The only meat I eat is fish and seafood, but the man likes his meat.) My dinner was damn tasty too, in case you were wondering! Jerk shrimp with rice and a super-salad. I like salad, real salad with green lettuce and lots of extra veggies tossed in. Olive oil and balsamic and a little basil...yum.
Okay, enough of that! What have I been knitting?
I made a little set of cupcakes for a friends' daughter for her birthday, it was kind of hard to part with them. Also made a little shrug for the friend, her birthday was yesterday and she likes to ogle my black and white shrug. Hers was black and maroon and shorter in the sleeves, but she loves it, so I'm happy. And she still wants a black and white one.
Also working on a stack of Lacy Leaf Berets. I think I'm going to knit and stockpile untill fall and open an Etsy shop when the weather starts to cool down.
Spun some of that Corriedale wool I got on Ebay, really not impressed. It spins really easily, but the fibers are pretty coarse and the finished yarn doesn't give me the ooh-ahhs. I'm the sort of person who gets an idea, does it, and deals with the consequences after the fact. That is why there is strawberry pith well attached to that yarn now. I had some black tea from last year (iced tea!) that is old and bitter and pretty much unusable, so I figured I'd try to dye the yarn with it. In a saucepot on my stove. Turned out pretty pale caramel colored, not bad, but not terribly interesting. But wait! I had some strawberries that were turning grodie, why not mash them up in a little water and brew out the pink?! And throw in a few frozen blueberries for good measure, those things stain everything... And just throw the yarn in there with all the mashed fruit. Yep.
Doing some sewing, too. A friend (the one that bakes!) got a new sewing machine and I'm supposed to be imparting my sewing knowledge, such as it is. Although last night we just drank margaritas and talked about sewing. Just as fun!
Another fun thing, I got new glasses. Sure, that doesn't seem so interesting, but I've had my eye on these babies for about 5 or 6 years. Finally decided I needed to get new glasses (I wear contacts most of the time) and I haven't taken them off since. Expensive, but I've been in love with them for so long! Dig the little flower! Pure awesome!
So HOORAY for SPRING! No strawberry pith is going to ruin my mood!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Craft Ash

Hooray for spa weekend! A couple friends and I decided to take a trip to Alyeska, stay over night at the hotel and spend too much on food and drinks, go swimming and get massages. It was great! Alyeska is a ski resort, but that wasn't on the list of things to do. Which was good, because Mt. Redoubt blew, there was ash and the lifts were closed early on Saturday. We just watched from the indoor hot tub. It snowed Sunday morning though, settled things down a bit. The inside of the car had a lovely view though!
I thought about taking my laptop with me. I thought about taking a knitting project with me. I did neither and I'm really glad.
I finished the second Lacy Leaf Beret beforehand. I like how it turned out! Misti Baby Alpaca Grande is a tasty yarn choice! Smooshy soft and warm, great for a trip to a ski resort. I'm still in love with the Kool-Aid handspun though. Fun stuff!
Also working on a new Socktopus. This one is for my aunt who didn't want to give up the orange one as a baby gift.
In other crafting news, I've been making pants for the kiddo. Mostly from the hubby's old t-shirts. The cat-in-the-hat ones are my favorite! If I can talk him into modelling them, I'll have some pictures up soon. He has no problem letting me know I drive him crazy with the trying everything on and taking pictures. Would anyone be interested in a sort of DIY t-shirt lounge pants pattern? I'm still trying to decide wether to make pants out of the KMFDM shirts or piece them together in a quilt...