Archive for the ‘patterns’ 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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Husband was looking for a specific winter book at the library, was unable to locate it as it was already out with someone else.  But he does have it on reserve and did find several others to bring home and see if they are good.  We find most kids books are not.  Most of them the illustrator should have first billing as the illustrations are far more inventive, creative and inspiring than the text.  Sad, really, as we’ve watched all my daughter has learned, simply through being read to.  People really underestimate the intelligence of children.  But we do occasionally find a good one, and today was one of those times.  It was actually a recommendation made by the children’s librarian, as Husband was checking out the others.

The Mitten Tree is a lovely story about a lonely old woman who starts knitting mittens for the children in her community.  It’s a beautiful how her annonymous gifts effect the children and the role this woman can now play in the community, instead of holding up in her home feeling invisible and not useful.  I really enjoyed it, and was very sad to see it’s not readily available from typical book sellers.  I hope this book gets a reprint.  It deserves to be on the book shelf far more than many other kids books that are littering the shelves now.

I’m absolutely loving my new project bag.  It holds a toddler sweater comfortably, and it holds the yarn while I’m working, as well, so I don’t have a runaway ball bounding across the floor.

This is the Pattern Card, which I should have shared yesterday:

It’s by Valori Wells, which I found out when I was looking for the cards online, is the designer for the fabric I used for Mini’s quilt.  By the way, for those who were hoping to see the tutorial for my “Quilt by a non-Quilter” I have it almost ready to post.  So you can expect that in the next few day.

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The mail came and the Swap Package has arrived!!  I’m so excited.  My partner and I were both a bit late on the sending, so it worked out well we were paired together.  This is what arrived!


One of her traditions is to make pinecone/peanut butter/birdseed ornaments, with her son, to hang outside for the birds, so she sent some “local” pine cones and some bird seed to get us started.  I have actually been considering doing the same things as a fun project with Mini, so that was fabulous!  She also noticed my affinity for local foods so sent some grits that come from her home town, with ideas on how to cook them…and it appears as long as I cook them up in a savory fashion, and skip using sugar, I’ll be all set. She also sent some stickers for Mini and little mug with polar beads, a couple skeins of thrifted yarn, that is quite cool, and the ornament is a fabulous little needle felted cardinal!  She didn’t know this, but in my last house I had a little cardinal that would wake me up many mornings by bumping into my bedroom window…repeatedly.  It was a funny little guy, and after we moved I sort of missed him.  It was a great Swap and one worth waiting for.

This is what I sent out, some of the pieces you had seen when I made them, and some you hadn’t.


The little pin cushion for your finger, a knitted mini sweater (that was a lot of fun and took very little time.  I think I’ll be making a few up for our tree next year).  The Elephant for her little boy, 3 cornballs, My favorite Christmas book (which my husband read to me while I knit this year on the eve of Christmas Eve), An Angel’s Story by Max Lucado.  A mix CD of Christmas songs, a very Eclectic mix of songs.  And a few recipies, including the Cornballs, Kansas Corn (the Christmas Eve dish for potluck at Gram’s) and Cinnimon Rolls, as that is what we usually eat Christmas Morning.  She liked her goodies, too.  It was a lovely swap experience!

Well, I finally did it, the tree is taken down.  The ornaments are packed away, and I printed my notes for the advent journey so we are all set to start off next year.  I do still need to make all the bags, which is on my list the next few weeks, and I’m already starting a bookmark file on my computer of ideas for next year…but I think most folks are tired of hearing/reading about Christmas, so I’ll save those little tidbits for much later this year.  As far as the tree goes, I’m thinking of propping it up in the woods somewhere and filling it with the birdseed ornaments.  We’ll see how such a project goes with Mini…I don’t know that she’ll understand the concept of Peanut butter as a craft supply, since she loves to eat it so much.

My cousin’s shower was today.  It was a lovely time and she loved the ensemble I knit for her.  She received the Futzy baby vest, the cream Koru hat and the bib.  She is a very appreciative person and values handmade goodies.  She also received from another guest a baby quilt and bumper set, and someone else gave her hand knit mittens and booties.  She made a special point to comment on the fact the people made them.  She was very sweet.

While watching all the gifts being opened, I started another little vest.  This one is a different pattern, but still has the button side, so I’m excited.  I am loving this one.  It’s going very quickly.  I wanted if for a newborn to 3 months and I think it’s going to be sized perfectly, having used the DK weight yarn.  The pattern is well written thus far, and I’m shaping the arm holes at this point.  It is not weighed down with the futziness of the other vest.  I’m thrilled. I’m using Rowan Felted Tweed and it is working up very nicely…which I expect nothing less from Rowan yarns.


I felt very conflicted spending the shower, and a whole movie, knitting the vest instead of the sweater for Mini, but I did.  The sweater got some attention today, and is coming along, but after I found the vest pattern online I was really drawn to knit it, and it just kept getting in my thoughts while I was working the sweater, making me dissatisfied with my sweater knitting experience.  I’m going to get it out of the way, so I can go back to sweater knitting bliss.  Hopefully that works.

The pattern is technically made for a boy in mind, and is called Pebble, Henry’s Manly Cobblestone-Inspired Baby vest, by Nicol Lohr.  It’s a free pattern, if you are interested.  I will put some girly buttons, and maybe some embroidery, if I get brave.  I think it’s really quite unisex, but I also find that most things can be “girlied up” more than they can be made more boyish.

See the sweater is making progress, I had just broken of for the arm divisions yesterday, and I already have a few inches of the body done.


Oh, and fun bit of Chicken news…10 Eggs today!!!  Go Girls.

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I told you that I gave up on the shawl for mom, that it just wasn’t working the way I wanted.  Well, I decided to make her an apron instead.  She gets dressed up for work, and owns her own business, so she’s often putting together dinner between appointments (in her good clothes).  She has a half apron, but not a full one, and I thought the Lola from Sew Liberated blogger, Meg, would be a fun way to keep her clothes clean while she runs in to do a quick meal for her and dad.  I started it before Christmas, ran out of my handmade bias tape, couldn’t find the bias tape maker (still haven’t, so I had to buy another), so I never finished.  She was fine with an IOU for Christmas.  She’s pretty laid back about such things, and she often find gifts a few days, even weeks, after the holiday and is giving them when they turn up.  So, she understands.  I finally got a new bias tape maker and made up the orange polka dot bias tape, so I was able to finish the apron today.  I’m very pleased with how it turned out and I think she’s going to love it.  I’m hoping to get a couple matching potholders made up tomorrow and then mom can have her Handmade Christmas gift.


My pictures are pretty poor today, and I’m not sure if it’s me or the camera.  The lighting is not looking right.  I need to fiddle with things tomorrow, but I have a couple more projects to share, so please forgive the lousy images.

I’m made the last pair of Pj’s for mini.  Mom is making a couple more and that will give us 6 pair.  It’s pretty much time to retire the Hanna’s as she’s outgrown them.  I toyed with buying more in the next size, but decided that flannel jammies really can’t be beat, both comfort and price so mom and I have been working on getting her a little night time wardrobe.  I still need to put in the elastics, which I’ll do when she’s around to try them on, tomorrow, but the stitching is done.


I knit up a couple more baby gifts.  The cream will accompany the little vest for my cousin.  The green will accompany the baby blanket for a  friend.


The hats have three little ferns that are topped by little fiddleheads or “Koru”.  In New Zealand they are a sign of New Hope, which is a lovely sentiment for a new Life.  These knit up FAST.  They take very little yarn, and are fun.  There is enough of a pattern to hold your interest, without being complicated.  The designer is Just Jussi, and the pattern is available as a Ravelry Download. I didn’t see an option for the non-Ravelry folks, but if you are on, and knit, you need to go sign up.  The site is very cool…but more about the hat…  They are so cute with the little curls on the top.  I think my little one needs one too…That list is mounting!  I need to stop knitting gifts and start working on the New baby’s clothes if I’m even going to make a small dent in all the things I want to knit for her.  See with Mini I knit mostly 6 months and larger because I was just learning and not doing a lot with the larger items, like sweaters until she was actually born.  Being not sure how long a sweater would take I went larger figuring she’d grow into it.  Also she was born in August so there wasn’t a huge need for cozy knits in that hot, muggy month.  That strategy worked brilliantly, but since the next baby will be tiny during the cold months of March and April, I need to get some warm snuggly newborn things on the needles.

I did make the cream hat last night after blogging, so I really only made 1 today, and I did stock up on meals yesterday, so I didn’t have to stop to make dinner.  Add to that the fact the weather was beautiful today, so Husband and Mini went to the park, after the Library, out having fun most of the day, I really feel like I should have accomplished more.  But that’s what I did today…along with a few more rows on the pink sleep sack.

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I’ve found some fun new blogs lately, some of which I’ll probably be adding to my left column soon, and have been hopping about.  By doing so I found this very adorable hat, that I want to make for my little girl.  I love the little applique too.  So cute.  I think the pattern lends well to making little slots for her pigtails.  I’ve seen a hat with that as part of the pattern, but didn’t really love the hat.  I think this one will be a good shape for that, and that way she won’t have little bumps in her hat.  I love little girls in pigtails!!

I am almost done the little vest.  I really wish it was more fun to finish, but alas, it’s not.  I got help from my friend Kim, which took the edge off, but blech.  It is super cute and will make a great gift, so that part is encouraging.

I spent time with Kim today, and we didn’t spend much of it knitting so I don’t have any fabulous pictures to share.  I did throw a couple more rows on the sleep sack, and a few more rows on the Malabrigo Sweater I’m making for Mini.

I promise to be more visually productive tomorrow, with finished projects to show!

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Mini was too tired to help with the quilt by the time we had the time to work on it, so instead we played with her train set and read books.  But after she went to bed I was able to sew it all together and it is fabulous!  It’s exactly what I wanted for her.  I love how soft the flannel and cotton chenille are.  It is very cozy. I just put it on her while she was asleep so she gets to wake up to the snugly surprise in the morning!


I want one now for myself.  I’m thinking something not so bright and backed with a soft wool instead of the chenille, but I like how the off set squares look, and how easy it made the whole process.  No worries about squares lining up, and such.  I’m going to make up a tutorial/guide for how I did this project for the other “non quilting, quilt admiring” folks out there.

I also started a couple little dolls using the tutorial/template from Emily Martin of The Black Apple, from her time on the Martha Stewart showI made one for Mini a while back, and decided there are a couple little girls that need these.  I’ll go into more detail on that tomorrow, but I cut them out today…I need to find my brown felt.  I thought I knew right were it was, but it is eluding me.  Once I find that, I can stitch them together.  This is the one I made mini back in May.

Oh, good news…sort of.  I’m not teaching the class this weekend.  Sort of sad, but not enough folks signed up.  I guess there is a bead show in the area this weekend, so people opted to go make money selling, instead of spending money taking a class.  That is okay with me, because while I’d have loved the extra money for my upcoming weekend events, I also wasn’t thrilled about a 2+ hour drive alone (no knitting when I drive alone), overnight in a hotel alone, and all the time I would no longer have to work on projects this weekend.  So I’m okay with the change of plans and will be excited to teach the class in the Spring.

Conclusion, I need to make the most of this extra time I have this weekend!  I have fun plans for tomorrow, which I’ll tell you about after I do them, but on the way home I plan to stop at my LYS for some… take a guess… yes, Alpaca yarn to make these lovely wristies!  They are based on the pattern I used to make my sweater, so the stitching is the same, and is quite cool.  I found them on this great blog, SockPixie.

The blog has a lot of cool, free patterns.  They sell yarn too, very pretty hand dyed yarn.  Yarn that I am resisting right this second!  Don’t you just want a pair of these wristies!?

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Hubby had to run an errand tonight. He was gone all of half an hour, and in that time, I found fabric, coordinating ribbon, elastic, and made a complete skirt for Mini!  All before he came home.  This tutorial is brilliant.  I don’t think it’s possible to make a more simple skirt, in less time that is as finished as this one is!

I found the tutorial on a blog, through Soule Mama’s blog.  I love blog hopping!  The blog, Oliver + S is very cute and I will be taking time to explore later.

This skirt is so fast and easy that I think you could reasonable even make up a handful of them for a young girls birthday party, and spend less time and money than going out and buying little chachkas that they are only going to lose or break in a couple day’s time.

The most brilliant aspect of this skirt is the hem.  It is so fast, easy, clever and gives the skirt it’s very finished look.  I want to hem this way EVERY time I have to hem!  Great tutorial, great outfit.  I’m excited.

The sweater is one I made a while back (July, specifically), but never actually sewed the buttons on.  This is not entirely due to procrastination, but rather more to do with the fact I wanted to make the buttons out of glass.  I have not had made time for that, so I broke down and bought these cute little metal stand ins instead.

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