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Archive for the ‘Pattern’ Category

Brookford Farm had their Heifer Parade today.  A female bovine that has not been pregnant is a heifer.  When they get to go out to pasture for the first time since the Winter started they are very excited.  To mark this monumental occassion, the crew at the farm put together a fabulous event.  We all met at the barn at 4:30.  The hiefers were led from their barn, up the street to their new pasture.

It took a few of them a little longer to understand that it was time to head out.

We all followed behind, as closely as we could, but with the anticipation of new grass and the fact they have 4 legs, they got to the pasture well before we arrived, despite how enthusiastic we were.

Once we arrived the girls were all out on the grass, but there was still a little kick left in them as they ran about looking for the choicest greens.

My girls were amused and curious.

After several pictures of these beautiful girls we headed back to the barn.

They had a couple areas set up for the kids to enjoy, including a fort making area with milk crate building materials.  My hands on farm girl was right into that, mud and all.

Decorating a Spring Cow was great fun for my little artist.

Dinner was amazing.  I’m pretty sure all the food came from the farm, including Brookford’s very own rolls!  This was my first experience eating dandelion greens with potatoes.  Delicious!  I’m gathering some tomorrow and am very happy I picked up potatoes at the market today!

There was music to accompany our dinner.  We left before the barn dance started, because the girls were ready to hit the hay themselves, so we said good by to the cows…

…and headed home, where they were cleaned up and tucked in, with smiles on their faces from time on the farm.

Another reason why I love Brookford Farm!

Today was also the first Farmer’s Market of the Season in Portsmouth.  I started my day there, where I had a great chat with Jeff at New Roots.  I am trying to figure out how to manage my land, and what animals would compliment it, and he was not only helpful, but very willing to share his thoughts and experiences.  He has given me some great options to look into…let the research begin!  I also very much enjoyed a hot dog from his farm, cooked at the Market, with a Chai from White Heron Tea.

On my way out, I glanced over to see Liz from Riverslea knitting, which is not an uncommon sight, but I was immediately drawn to what she had her yarn sitting on.  This thing is brilliant! It turns freely as you knit, unwinding the ball easily and smoothly.  I love it!  It was also made by a man in his 80’s by the name of Walter Sanderson, and his name is carved into the bottom of the stand.  That made it even a smidge bit more endearing.

Oh, by the way, I’m loving the knitting of this sock.  The pattern is free, Java, from Knitty.com.  I’m using Claudia HandPaints Sock yarn, and it’s working up beautifully with the yarn.  I started these May 2.

Finally, for today, I started Violet Syrup.  The violets are steeping right now.  I half gallon jar filled with violets, and 4 cups of boiling water, covered overnight.

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Today was beautiful!  The weather was so inviting.  I worked outside in my nice wool sweater and was very comfortable.  I pulled the plastic off the winter growing bed, and removed the sadly abused leeks.  The flavor of the remaining stumps is amazing and the soup I made with it for dinner tonight was superb, but they were very tattered.  I did not secure the low tunnel, as I ran out of time, or ambition, or both, in October, so I put some sand bags to hold the plastic down and hoped for the best.  If I had harvested 2-3 weeks earlier, I would have enjoyed some lovely kale, arugula and tat soi, but I didn’t, figuring I’d wait another couple weeks, and during that time some sort of critter had a salad bar.  I was surprised not to see the little fella lounging on his back, hardly able to move from the full tummy, and if my life was a cartoon, I’m sure I would have, but there was no sign of him, or his comrades, when I found the sad little stumps that were once beautiful greens.  Lesson for next year: Secure the top, making it difficult for critters to get to the food.

I harvested the leeks and ran a hoe along the length to create 4 little channels to plant seeds.  I planted Sugar Ann Snap Peas and Green Arrow Shell Peas, two rows each.  I pulled the plastic over and hope to see sprouts soon.  It was so good to feel dirt again!  It was also exciting to see what good shape the soil is in.  It was easy to plant in.

I decided on peas for that bed because they can be planted as soon as the soil can be worked, and can handle even a light frost, but under that tunnel they should do just fine.  They will like the walk to the house which will be nice.  But the most practical reason is they will be pulled around Late July/Early August, which will make for perfect time to plant that bed again, for the winter crop.  The peas will give the soil a nice nitrogen fix, and the bed should be in great shape for the winter greens.  I’m still trying to figure out planting schedules to get the most out of each piece of land, but I think this one bed will be timed well.

Dinner tonight was potato leek soup and rabbit sauteed in leeks and white wine.  If you have not tried rabbit, recently, I really can’t recommend it enough.  It is a very lovely meat.  It’s delicate and has a subtle sweet flavor.  Simmered in leeks and wine, it’s divine!

I also whipped up a little skunk themed pinafore, today.  Eowyn and Christopher are co-hosting a Skunk Zoo Party, along with the great folks at the Barrington Public Library.  Tomorrow there will be a Skunk Themed Game, winner of the Skunk Zoo Coloring contest will be announced, a  reading of the book, and a live Skunk named Stella will make an appearance.  There will be a couple copies of the Skunk Zoo given away, as well as copies on hand for purchase, part of which goes to support the Barrington Public Library.   Should be a great time.  Mama wanted Eowyn to have something special for her big day.

I used the apron pattern from Carefree Clothes for Girls.  Christopher cut out the skunk, from wool felt and I applied it to the finished top.

If you don’t have a copy of their book yet, you can get one here: Skunk Zoo

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My friend decided to start a personal challenge of knitting a pair of socks each month for 11 months, in 2011.  The ommission of December is because, well who wants to have anything uneccessary to do during that month?  When I heard, I thought it was brilliant.  I could use more socks, and once you’ve worn handknit socks, the rest don’t compare.  I decided to jump on the bandwagon.

My progress has been modest, but I’m still in the race.  January socks were to be knee highs, made in a worsted weight yarn.  I did one, and then lost interest in the second.  I still want to finish, but I decided to start February first.  Well, now the weather is warming, so I’m looking to lighter weight, cooler socks, so I’m not sure what to do with January…It will wait for now.

February socks are done, and I’ll show you those another time.  Today, I worked on March socks.  I started them March 1, and I have completed the foot on the first sock.  The pattern is called “Catnip”, and is available for free.  I’m using my favorite sock yarn, Claudia fingering weight.  The yarn was purchased so long ago, I consider it to be free yarn.  It feels great and I’m excited to knit it, as the pattern is pretty simple and very fun.

I’m thinking of starting some regular posts, that aren’t necessarily what I did on that day.  I have a couple ideas and wondered, do you want to hear what I did during my quiet months, despite the fact it wasn’t what I did today?  I’ll still keep you up to date on what is happening now.  We are going into the new breeding/planting/gardening/building season, so I will keep up with that, too.

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It's kind of nice to have friends who don't really use the computer.  Don't get me wrong, I don't understand it, I don't know how they do it, and I have no desire to be like them, but it does make it fun when it comes to posting gifts you've made, before you give them, because you know they will not see them.  My friends, Jess and Abe, share a birthday.  That pretty much shows how "meant to be" they are…well, that probably isn't really a good reason to be with someone, but it's still kind of cool, and they are great together.  We'll, they are having their birthday soon, and January Birthday's definitely stir a desire to gift hand knit goodies. 

For him:  Man Hat.  That is the official pattern name, and it is free on a blog.  Cool.  I used handspun wool, from local sheep.  Fitting for the local Farmer, who helped feed my family last summer through his CSA.  It's simple, basic, brown, not dyed, warm, manly.  Perfect.  The yarn is bulky, 16sts/4", so worked up quickly and is very warm!

ManHat

For Her:  She's my antique shopping partner, fellow lover of old things, textiles and warm colors.  So the Scrappy Scarf seemed perfect.  It reminds me of braided rugs, and looks woven, though it's not.  I was inspired by a pattern on Ravelry, but after reading the notes and looking at the projects, decided I didn't need to buy the pattern.  I cast on 330 stitches (I had a gauge of 5.5sts/inch), which gave me a 60" scarf.  I worked 52 rows, giving me 4 inches in width. 

Leaving a tail, for the first end of the fringe, I cast on 330 stitches.  Leaving a tail for other end of fringe, I cut yarn.  Using the same color, I work a row, alternating knit 1, slip one as if to purl with the yarn in the front, all the way across.  If I ended on a slip stitch, I just knit it.  So I knit the first and last stitch of every row.  Each row has a tail at the beginning and the end, so I started at the same end each time.  I worked 2 rows of the same yarn, then picked another yarn for the next 2 rows. Oh, I knit the slipped stitches and slipped the knit stitches, from the row before, so that the V and the Bar alternated, on each row…

When I was done knitting, I tied 4 of the fringes together to finish the ends.  Then I trimmed them so they were all the same length.  You can make this scarf with any size yarn.  Just adjust the number of stitches you cast on.  Figure your gauge/how many stiches per inch, that is A.  Then figure out how many inches long you want it to be, B.

A X B = C (or number of Stiches to cast on).

It's super easy.

All that calculating inspired me. I did the math and learned this scarf has 17,160 stitches! 

BraidedRug

Won't the happy couple look great wearing their knits together!

BirthdayGifts

Today was a snow storm, leaving somewhere over a foot of snow.  I kind of wish I ventured outside for some pictures, but I didn't.  I took the opportunity to knit the gifts.  It was kind of nice to get a snow day. Back to real work tomorrow!

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Two Red Sweaters with White Snowflake buttons, all made by mama.  I bought the book "Phoebe's Sweater ", to make sweaters for the girls, and give them the warm woolies and the book for Christmas. 

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=wwwzooziiscom-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&m=amazon&f=ifr&md=10FE9736YVPPT7A0FBG2&asins=0578046970

I made Eowyn's first, then finished up Istra's, and I'm glad I did them in that order, since Istra's was smaller, it seemed to whip along, which is how you want things to go, when you are this close to Christmas. I used Cascade Eco+ from Spinning Yarns, of course.  It took 2 skeins for Eowyn's, but I was able to do Istra's with the rest of the yarn from Eowyn's, plus one skein.  Very economical!  I love that yarn.  I working on an adult man sweater…no more details than that before Christmas, with the same yarn, in a different color.

This is Eowyn's Sweater.  Istra's is the same, but needs 2 more buttons, to be officially done:

Christmassweater1

Christmassweater

I love these sweaters and can't wait to see them on the girls.  I found there is now an adult version, available, and I'm seriously considering making one for mama.

How is the gifting going for you?  Are you making anything this year?  I still have a couple things on the needles, and a couple more I'm thinking of adding.  A little sewing tossed in, for good measure, and possibly some preserve making and baking.  So fun! 

Once Christmas is over, I have a list of things to knit for myself!

 

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My grandparents spend their winter's in Florida now, and Gram didn't want to wait until the end of December to make the trip.  For this reason, this year, that side of the family celebrated Thanksmas.  We enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner, followed by the family Christmas gift swap, followed by Thanksgiving leftovers for dinner, including fried stuffing!  Everyone seemed okay with the idea, so this may be the first of a new family tradition.

This means I get to start early, this year, sharing the handmade gifties I gifted.  So here they are.

My cousin got a necklace, but forgot to photograph it…poo.  She also recieved some of Irma, my sourdough starter.  I built her up to be able to gift 1 1/2 cups of her, and my cousin and her husband were excited at the thought of sourdough bread.

Their daughter looked adorable in the velvet bonnet I made.  I used the Angry Chicken pattern, for a baby, as she's 6 months old.  It come out perfectly, and Mini and The Baby will be recieving one soon, too.  Who doesn't want a cotton velvet lined hat, this time of year.  Not only did she look great in the hat, she liked wearing it!

VelvetBonnet
My other cousin recieved a couple goodies.  First a pair of wool/cotton pot holders.  She's a baker, an amazing baker, at that (oh, the pumpkin whoopie pies she brought..oh!).  So with the potholders she recieved an 8oz bottle of my homemade Vanilla.  She also received some local popcorn!  The potholders were so much easier to make this time, thanks to my fabulous Walking Foot for the sewing machine.  It allows you to sew through several layers of fabric without getting the annoying puckering that can occur when you do that with a regular foot.  It's the best sewing accessory I ever bought.  I'm glad to be reminded of how smoothly it makes the process of making potholders go…it's very helpful when making bibs, too.

Vanilla
Finally, I owed her a gift from last year, since what I was knitting for her became a problem, and I didn't have time to recover.  I tried another project that wasn't working up nicely, so frogged it all since the weather was too warm for warm woolies.  This fall, I found a pattern that worked up great.  A nice bulky, cozy, wool, cowl, adorned with a glass button I made.  She lives in Boston, and has short hair, so anything to help keep her neck warm gets a big thumbs up.

Neckwarmer

NeckwarmerButton
I recieved gift certificates for knitting, and book buying.  Perfect. Now I'm going to dream, fondly, of the pumpkin whoopie pies, with the cream cheese filling, that my cousin let me take a half dozen home…I'm only going to dream of them, because I'm quite full!  But, they are in my fridge for tomorrow.  Happy Thanksmas!

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There is still so much to be done around her, but my get up and go has got up and left…Oh, going off on a tangent, remember that public service ad with that line, something like "When my get up and go, has got up and left, I hanker for a hunk of cheese".  My Mini would like that line.  She's a huge fan of cheese.  She recently said, "Mom, don't cook dinner, just leave the meat and vegetables in the refrigerator, and lets just have cheese, now and forever.  I only want to eay cheese."


 

Well, anyway, back to my point.  I'm not motivated.  Or maybe I'm motivated in a different direction than I feel I should be.  But lately, I have a stack of things that should be getting done, those apples should be processed, there is some butchering to be done, there is a lot of reorganizing and cleaning to be done.  But I'm in my glass studio making buttons, and in my livingroom finishing the next sweater that shall be adorned with some of the aforementioned buttons. 

The baby now has a Tiny Tea Leaves sweater…the only gal who doens't have one in this house, is Mama.  Must fix that soon.  That sweater is so great.  It's so simple, but a wonderful cozy, thrown on over anything sweater.  Yes, Mama needs one, too.  But here is The Baby's very own sweater, with Mama made buttons.  The yarn is Victorian Pink, Lamb's Pride.  I bought the yarn last year to make a snow suit for The Baby, but went with a sewn snow suit, instead, so the yarn became this sweater and a soaker for her. 

Tealeavespinkblocking

Tealeavespink

 

 

 

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