Friday, July 31, 2009

Actual knitting!

First of all - if you have not voted for the Dye for Glory contest, please take a moment and go HERE to vote. Voting ends tomorrow! You can see our color entries HERE. I am caught up on all the Dye for Glory pre-orders (for now!) and shipments will be going out this morning.

In other news - the February Lady Sweater is off the needles!!! Well, for a short time anyway. I finished the body of the sweater last night and now I am moving on to the sleeves. I wanted to do the sleeves with DPNs but I didn't have any in the correct size (can you imagine?!?!?!) so I ordered some from Knit Picks. As soon as they get here I'll be picking up stitches and moving along.

The yarn is Knit Witch DK weight in colorway Aphrodite (two different lot numbers obviously). I'll probably overdye it once it is finished just to even out the coloration a little.

WARNING!! Snake picture ahead!!

Wayne found this super cute little guy living under some cardboard. I love him! He is adorable.

Wayne has been working on a super big project lately that I can show you some pictures of next week I hope. Here's a "teaser". I'll let you take some guesses at what he is doing.

Note to my mom and dad
- no fair spoiling the surprise in the comments!!!

Have a great weekend everyone!!!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Can you smell this??

Do you know what this is?

That is cilantro that I pulled from the garden the other day. To be more exact - it is SIXTEEN POUNDS of cilantro that I pulled from the garden. I tell ya, I have never seen so much cilantro in my life!

We LOVE cilantro and I learned how to preserve it. You just go through it and cut it into useable pieces (get rid of all the tough stems, bad leaves, roots, etc), wash it, mix it with just a little bit of oil (just enough to coat it lightly), place it in freezer bags and freeze it. It sounds like a really simple process but when you are doing 16 pounds of it - it takes a while! I am almost done though. When you preserve it like this you just go to the freezer and take out however much you need. The oil on the leaves just makes it easy to separate the amount you need even though it is frozen. You have to use it right away though - don't let it sit around on the counter and linger - take it out and use it in your meal right then. I am so excited to have fresh cilantro all through the winter now! Woo hoo!!

Oh, and the main reason I am posting this information and the pictures should be stated. If you are expecting yarn from me this week or early next week (and there are a lot of you out there), your yarn may very well smell like cilantro. So sorry about that........I can think of a lot worse things it could smell like though!! :)

That's just a joke. I don't think the yarn will REALLY smell like cilantro but just in case........

I may actually finish the body of the February Lady Sweater tonight! So, I could (theoretically of course - you understand) have a picture of some knitting tomorrow. Knitting that actually does not have needles in it!! Wow.

I am working my way through all of these orders for the Dye for Glory yarns. I think I may almost be caught up! I am hoping to have all the pending orders that I currently have out by Friday so you should be getting your yarns soon!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Red Clover Tea

Anyone ever made this? I read about this on a gardening blog and then of course had to go out and promptly collect a bunch of red clover that we had growing in our yard. We brought it home, rinsed it off and put it in the food dehydrator. I haven't made any tea with it yet but I go through tea like crazy in the winter so I'm always up for having more tea around. I would be interested in hearing anyone's experiences with drying your own herbs for teas.

Speaking of drying herbs - we have been fortunate enough to be drying a BUNCH of parsley and basil. Thank goodness because I go through a ton of those two herbs! I have also frozen a bunch of cilantro, another one of my favorite herbs.

Luckily, to help with all of our canning and drying herb adventures we also made another purchase from our local book and wine shop - woo hoo!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Reasons I haven't been knitting

Reason #1

Reason #2

Reason #3

Reason #4

This is just a SMALL portion of the stuff we have been canning. Sadly, most of it has been from the farmer's market and not our own garden but I certainly am not going to complain about being able to buy freshly grown organic veggies walking distance from our house!! We have canned a BUNCH of green beans, corn, beets, pickles, squash, hot sauce, jams & jellies, tomato sauce and peppers. All the squash came out of our garden but I swear that stuf is so prolific I think it would grow on the moon!
Have you ever shucked freshly picked corn? If so, you are familiar with the corn worm. These are often present in the corn. When we started shucking the corn I was like "Wait! Let me get a bowl for the worms!". Really, I didn't think that would be a phrase I would have ever uttered. But, the fish love them!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

A finshished object!

It may not be knitting but it IS a finished object - woo hooo!!!!!

Here's the before picture again for your viewing pleasure:

And here is our happily completed flagstone patio!!!

The only thing left on this project is the back deck. It still needs a railing and a couple coats of red paint. However, that will have to wait because we have a huge project coming up next week which requires our (read Wayne's) immediate attention. I'll save the pictures of that for next week! Mr. Man has truly outdone himself on this project.
So, what did you do over the weekend?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Time to Vote!!!!

The Sock Summit/Ravelry "Dye for Glory" contest has now progressed to the voting phase. Go HERE to vote. There are several categories and all of them have some gorgeous yarns. Here are the yarns that we have posted in the following categories:

Watercolors - "Waters of the Willammette"

Predictable Stripes - "Illumination"

Pooler - "Brewtopia"

Dipped - "Portland Rain"

Shaded Solid - "City of Roses"

Out of the Box - "Oregon Merlot"

If you have named one of these colors you are contractually bound to vote for it!! Haha - just kidding - vote for whoever you like but we will appreciate any Knit Witch votes. Thanks in advance!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wacky Wednesday

Remember that Dr. Suess book? I loved that book.

The cats were playing in one of the trees the other day and I snapped some really cute pictures of them.

Then of course Goose has to get in on the action. You know - monkey see monkey do.

Whoops!! That was a close one!

Cute, eh? I just happened to have my camera in my pocket when they were doing this. Unfortunately, I did NOT have my camera on our walk the other day when we saw about 7 hawks. We have never seen that many on our walk before and they were all out surveying the area. 3 of them were flying around together (persumably a mom and 2 babies as 2 of them were pretty small hawks) and they just kept flying in circles. I guess the were out for some kind of hunting lesson. It would have made a great photo and I was so sad to not have my camera on me!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hot Tub Guest

We got into the hot tub the other day only to find that is was already occupied. Check out this little guy.

He has been hunkering down under the hot tub cover and staying nice and toasty warm. When we get in we cover him with a piece of wood so he isn't feeling too exposed. From previous posts, someone told me that this is a grey tree frog. I was watching him the other day while we were in the hot tub (it's not very often that you get to observe a frog up close and personal like) and I got a small shot of his underbelly. OMG!!! I couldn't believe it. I was actually shocked. I found this picture on the internet but I couldn't find one of the same kind of frog. The grey tree frog's underbelly was BRIGHT yellow and black. I'm showing you this picture just so you have an idea of the intensity of the color. You would never know it to look at him from the top. Hmmm.....maybe he would let us get a picture somehow.........
We found a mystery paw print in the sand that is still around the patio work site (which is almost completely done BTW - I'll have to get some pictures soon of the whole shebang). This is way too small to be Petey's print and way to big to belong to one of our cats. Fox maybe? Coyote? I know we have both of those around here. It looks more like a fox print to me. Thoughts from the blogosphere?

Monday, July 20, 2009

As Promised

I told you that I was going to take some pictures of our neighbor's insane garden. I finally remembered to do so. Check out these pictures (Mr. Man added for scale).

That stuff pouring over the edge is squash and the really tall stuff is corn and sunflowers. Is that not crazy looking?? This is her first year for a garden on this property too. Mushroom compost is the key here I'm thinking - amazing stuff. You can't even see her house anymore!

And - we bought some bass for the pond! 40 to be exact.

The larger bream were showing way too much interest in them so I am hoping that a bunch of them have not been eaten. They are really small so I'm sure it will be a while before we catch any of them swimming around. In my experience, bass aren't quite as friendly as bream or catfish. The bream are to the point now where they will follow us all the way around the pond when we walk around it!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Turtle Captures and Releases

We rescued a snapping turtle from the road last week. We figured he would be happier in the pond than in the road. He can join the other 1-2 snapping turtles that are already in there. If you ever encounter a snapping turtle - be sure to pick it up by the tail - those suckers will definitely bite you and could quite possibly remove a finger when they do so. The first one we found when we moved here was HUGE and he must have weighed about 50 pounds. This one was a good bit smaller than that.

This year the Red Eared Sliders that we bought last year were no where to be found. We figure they probably moved on during all of the pond work that we had done last year. Like I said, we still have about 3 snapping turtles in the pond though. But, we really like the sliders so we went and bought a couple. They are SO CUTE!!!

Wayne says they are box turtles because they came in a box. Not so.

Slim wanted to check them out too.

And then all the fish had to check them out too.

Tomorrow we are going to pick up 40 bass for our pond. The catfish we got a few months ago are already getting huge and those bass will be getting huge also. Fish fry anyone??

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


First of all - there are some new things on the Discount Page! There are a few new yarn bowls on there and I put the colors that were not chosen for the Dye for Glory contest up as well. I only have a couple of skeins of each of them but I can certainly dye more if we run out so if you want to order them and the system won't let you just email me and let me know. I'll add you to my ever growing Sock Summit Yarn dyeing list.

Again - not MY knitting. I came across Cristi's blog post the other day and thought she had SUCH a cute idea for her latest sock design project. You should all go check it out HERE and she has the pattern for sale on her post as well. I love the idea behind these socks and the story - so cute! Besides, Cristi is totally awesome so you should all buy her pattern anyway - just because she is a great person. I don't think she will mind if I steal one of the pictures and put it on my blog to pimp out her pattern. But seriously, you must go to the link and read her cute story about them!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Kefir Anyone?

OK - who out there knows a thing or two about Kefir? My husband is addicted to this thing online called "Free Cycle". There are two local groups here and it is basically a place for people to give away things that they no longer need. For instance, our neighbor had a stove that had been sitting in her barn since she moved in 3 years ago. It worked but it certainly looked a little worse for wear. She was going to send it to the dump. Wayne piped up and said not to do that because he would put it on free cycle and see if there were any takers. Luckily there was a taker and it just happened to be someone we knew (that's small town life for ya). This friend was really down on her luck and really NEEDED a stove. She had been cooking on a camping stove since she didn't have a real stove and oven. We loaded it up and took it out to her and she cleaned it up and it works great!!! I'm so glad to see that it went to a new home with someone who could use it instead of going to a landfill or something.

Anyway, back to Kefir. Someone here on the local free cycle offered up some of her Kefir grain and of course, Wayne jumped on the deal. Now, I spent some time in California and while I was there I drank A LOT of Kefir. I happen to really like the stuff and it is great for making smoothies. But, I really know nothing about it. Basically, as I understand it, Kefir is a culture that you put in milk and the culture makes really great pro-biotic additions to your diet. You use it to make smoothie type drinks and you can mix it with fresh fruit, honey, stevia, whatever you like really. It is a culture so you have to feed it and it grows. So, now we have this Kefir grain and really have no clue what to do with it. Wayne put it in about 2 cups of milk and left it at room temperature to culture. Any help/tips/advice/anything from the blog land would be most appreciated! Here's a picture of Kefir - this isn't our Kefir it is just a picture off of the internet. Our Kefir is buried in milk right now!

I was just talking to Wayne yesterday about how little I actually blog about knitting on this "Knitting Blog". Is that disturbing to anyone out there? You must enjoy the non-knitting or loosely reltated knitting stories though because you are all still reading!

I have been asked to speak at the Charlotte Knitting Guild in October - which should be LOADS of fun! I need to make some hotel reservations soon. I have been working on my speech for this event. I have been dyeing all of the Sock Summit yarn (thanks so much everyone for your pre-orders! I can't believe how much of this wonderful yarn we have already sold!). I have also been working on some new yarns and new surprises that will be coming up soon - some that we will be debuting at SAFF in October. Knit Witch has been extreemly busy lately and we are so grateful for that. We love all this Knit Witch busyness and some of our customers have been throwing out some GREAT ideas for us!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lake Blue Ridge

OK - I'm back on track! Nathan and his girlfriend Tiana came to visit us over the weekend. We took them kayaking/canoeing on Lake Blue Ridge. It was a beautiful day so it was perfect for getting out and paddling around a little bit. We waited until Sunday afternoon as it had rained all Sunday morning so it was nice and quiet since all the weekenders were already on the road.

What else? I did A LOT of canning over the weekend. I'm pretty sick of squash and I know we have a lot more coming! I canned zuchinni, scallop squash, yellow squash and lots of green beans. That took half the day. I have a new pressure canner though and I love it! I can put a bunch of stuff into it at one time so that is really nice.

I'll be starting on all of the sock summit pre-orders today so that I can hopefully get those out next week for everyone who has already placed an order.

Seriously, I need to get back to work on the February Lady sweater!