May 7, 2011

I love weekends.  A lot seems to get done.  Finished planting the 500 strawberry fields in the wet muck.  My husband says we should be planting rice instead of strawberries!  Picked up our 20 week old chickens today. Here they are on the right meeting the existing chickens on the left.  Also planted some black currant plants.  Hope to add some of these each year as I want to dabble in wine and jam and it is yummy!  Also I’ve included a picture of the seedlings that are started:  tomatoes, peppers, basil, kale, lettuces, cabbages, cucumbers.  Will be starting squash and zuke this weekend.  And, last but not least, finished off with the vest I started knitting in November.  Yep, it takes a long time for me to get a knitting project done.

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Russian Mittens

I just finished a class on Russian Mittens and here they are.  Not bad for my first colorwork.  I love taking classes as they motiviate me to get my homework done for the following class.

Now I need to buckle down and make Christmas gifts.  I took a spinning class last month.  Way cool.  So cool my great husband is getting me one for Christmas.  A Louet S10 single treadle.  I was debating which one to get and settled on this one.  Can’t wait to use it.  I just went to a friend’s house today and dyed up some roving for the first time.  That was pretty neat.  Wil spin this up when the wheel arrives!

I’m Bad

I’m bad.

I just typed a huge long post and lost it! Now it’s double bad as it’s been over a year and I haven’t blogged.

The gardens were great earlier this year. Nicely weeded – they looked like they belonged in a magazine. So why didn’t I take pictures? Beats me. We have been suffering with a lack of rain this summer. Some veggies did great and others not so great. Tomato have been going gangbusters. We’ve put up 52 QUARTS of spaghetti sauce. Yes quarts – that is a ton! I also picked a bushel of green tomatoes last week and put up 34 pints of piccalilli. I’ve dried tomatoes, we’ve eaten tomatoes any which way you can conceive eating one. I am tomatoed out! Beets did well this year too – really early. We’ve put up 52 pints of pickled beets. I have to say I do not like beets on their own but pickled beets taste great. A totally different flavor.

We decided to take on two farmer’s markets this summer. What a lot of extra work that has created. My husband is working a different shift now so he was able to handle a mid-week market. It’s nice to have extra funds. We would like to expand our greenhouse next year.

We lost our five bee hives over the winter. I harvested about 55 pounds of honey and put some frames in the freezer. We decided to downsize and only purchased one new package. We put the frames that we saved in with the new package and they are lovin it. We have two boxes full of honey and they’ve started working the third box.

We did great in maple syrup this year. This was our first year with vacuum. We got an early start which saved us as we had really warm weather the third week in March which shut down the sap run. We made 37 gallons of syrup. We hope to make at least this much next year. It was great not having to lug those 5 gallon buckets full of sap!

Decided not to raise pigs again this year. We each got a deer last fall and our freezer are full of meat so we decided to hold off. After years of hunting, I finally got my first deer. What an experience.

We are decluttering. With the prospect of a possible move in the future, the task of moving this farm is daunting. So we are unloading. We’ve listed several items on Craig’s List and probably will have a yard sale. It’s amazing how much “stuff” you accumulate over the years.

The knitting front is dismal. With no time at all this summer except to address the garden and the harvesting, I haven’t done much. I started a vest in May and was lucky enough to work on it maybe an hour or two each month. Now time is beginning to open up. Of course I have my other five projects still on the needles which I need to finish up. I’m hoping to make a serious dent in my projects this fall and winter. I need to figure out how to install the Ravelry button that keeps track of your progress on your projects.

In an attempt to earn some extra money with all of the “hobbies” I have, I have created an Etsy site. The link is here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/mparker32. I hope to be able to post some basket and soap items this weekend. So feel free to take a look. I already listed my beeswax candles. Will be putting my felted hand bags on there as well.

I guess that is it for now. I will try to be more diligent about blogging. Enjoy the fall season!

And finally…

I finally finished my first pair of socks.  Hey, it only took three months!!!!  I don’t know how people make a pair of socks in three days.  I don’t get it?  Here’s a picture.

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So of course, I need to start another pair.  My first pair of lace socks, toe up.  I really like these……..

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I suspect the knitting will slow way down now that the garden has started to sprout.  Hopefully, I will get a camera soon so I can take some pictures!

Sock KAL

Ok, I bought Wendy Johnson’s new book:  Socks from the Toe Up.  Some kind person on Ravelry decided to start a group based on this book.  We are knitting a pair of socks each month based upon a different pattern in Wendy’s book.  We get to practice one until June 1st when we offically start the first one.  I’ve decided to start with the basic toe up sock pattern as I have never done a toe up sock pattern and definitely need the practice.  I will start that this week.  This KAL is going to last 23 months.  So, with all I have going, do you think I can knit a pair of socks per month for the next 23 months?  Should be quite the challenge!

Knitting

OK I sort of put knitting on the back burning for a while – like 2 years.  I decided I needed to start back up.  My friend sort of prodded me along.  She told me about Raverlry.com.  What a place.  I love it!  Anyhow, soon after I joined in the fun I signed up for the Three Irish Girls group forum.  They just so happen to be having a contest which I signed up for.  They picked 20 people out of over 1,700 and I was one of them!  I couldn’t believe it.  So here is a picture of the free skein of yarn I won and the scarf that I am making out of it.

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