Saturday, May 30, 2009

knit fit

This post was suppose to be about my beautiful new blue felted hat, but instead it’s about my beautiful ball of blue yarn... that was almost my beautiful new blue felted hat.

hat for felting

Each project teaches me many new things. Usually I unknit (aka tink) several times, often knit pick, occasionally rip back several rows. These are all activities that help keep your knitting skills sharp.

hat in progress

Well this project sharpened none of my knitting skills. It was a breeze to knit. I could talk and knit. Watch a movie and knit. Drive and knit. Well, maybe not that last one, but you get the idea. While binding off the second to the last stitch, I decided to take it into my local knitting group to make sure they thought it was the right size for felting. Would it shrink too much to fit my head? Here comes that lesson part of the project. The hat would turn out to be at least three inches too small and that I am a tight knitter. Note to self: always knit a gauge swatch, even if you’re following a pattern down to the same yarn, same gauge, same needle size.

I ditched the size 10.5 needles and purchased size 13 double pointed and circular needles to compensate for my tight knitting issue. I left the shop $19 poorer and a bit frustrated, but glad to have the advice at this point instead of finding out too late. Oh, did I mention the yarn is Capricorn mohair that I ordered from the U.K.? There are actually two strands knit together. The other is Reynold’s Lopi. The good news, I don’t have to purchase more of it... yet.

Now on to getting that hat knit and felted before snow falls.

blue yarn

Friday, May 29, 2009

sweet surprises...

My daughter wrote this beautiful poem and I just had to share...


A streak of light peeks over the ocean
Hits the water and makes it glisten

The wet rocks glow like a fire's light
Waiting to glow again after night

The sun is low in the pale blue sky
Busting in flame and never shy

Barefoot people walk on the sand
Watching it all, there I stand

In the cool water I am waiting
Waiting for the sights of morning

Sunday, May 24, 2009

let us eat cake

Happy Birthday Portland Peeps!!! One year old today!


This blog began as a way to tell the world about raising chickens on a small city lot. How to grow a bit of your own food in a small space. How to make the best use of what we have and enjoy being a little more self-sufficient. This blog has also become a vehicle for expressing myself, an outlet for things creative and otherwise. A reason to write. A reason to photograph what I see and what I do. It inspires me to try new things. I am grateful for those who read what I have to say. And I am especially grateful to those of you who leave comments and share a piece of your lives with me. Thank you!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

seeing green

This year is all about food producing plants. Green is the color of 2009.

tomato seedling


I'm really excited about these columnar apple trees... the Northpole variety I bought came with a few tiny apples already on it. If you're not familiar with these, they are the perfect way to grow apples in a small space. Vertical with almost no branching. Disease resistant. Plants grow to 8-12 feet tall. Can be grown in a pot or directly in the ground. I also bought the Scarlet Sentinel variety. Like blueberries, they do need two different varieties to pollinate (these can be within a block of each other).

As you may recall, I planted several kinds of vegetable seeds inside a couple months ago, to get a jump start on spring. The seeds sprouted, turned into seedlings, and have now been planted outside. It’s amazing what a bit of sunshine and a torrential rain or two can do! I learned a thing or two in the process. First of all, some things do not benefit much from being started inside. Others just aren’t worth all the trouble that’s involved in this process of protecting from cold, protecting from too much heat, and watering, watering, watering, then moving the small starts to larger pots until the outside soil temperatures rises, then watering some more. Truth is, I just don’t have time for so much nurturing in my life!

Butterhead lettuce. Started inside 11 weeks ago...

butterhead lettuce

Mesclun mix lettuce. Started outside two weeks ago...

mesclun mix lettuce

sure do love basil...


the lone bean seed that sprouted. Pretty sure some chickens gobbled up all the others...

bean sprout

Kermit the Frog said it best... "It's not easy being green!"
Happy spring!

Friday, May 1, 2009

hurray, hurray! the first of May...

...outside sowing begins today! Vegetables that is. What did you think I was talking about? Beans, potatoes, garlic, carrots, tomatoes, blueberries, onions. Oh my! Maybe it's just because I'm a little bit older than the last time I put in a garden, but this is a WHOLE LOT of work! Still to sow... squash, peas, basil, cilantro and more tomatoes. I'll post some pictures as everything begins to grow. Right now I'm too exhausted, and my hands are too dirty, to operate my camera.

pomegranate martinis

This lovely, refreshing looking drink would be tasty about now. Actually this was something my hubby and I enjoyed last week while we found ourselves without the responsibility of a child for the entire week. Our daughter was away at outdoor school, so we spent some time transporting large amounts of soil amendments into our backyard to prepare the raised beds for the planting that finally happened today. Do we know how to have fun or what?

Iz looked so sad when the bus drove away. This is the first time she'd been away from home without one of us for more than a night. I think her acting classes are paying off. She failed to even open those letters marked M-F I so carefully wrote and packed into her suitcase. Claimed there wasn't time. She had that much fun! What happened to that little girl who would cling to my leg sobbing when I left her in the kindergarten classroom?

blowing a kiss

The first time I saw one of our chickens with it's legs splayed out like this, I thought a terrible illness had taken over her body. Then I realized this is how chickens keep themselves cool on a warm day. Here's Nelly enjoying the soft, fluffy soil in one of the raised beds.

sunbathing chicken

Oprah Winfrey's Pomegranate Martini
1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice (I also like blueberry or grape... just make sure it's 100% juice if you want to consume a few antioxidants... this helps me justify drinking a cocktail)
2 oz. Absolute Citron Vodka
1 oz. Cointreau
Cup of crushed ice
Splash of sparkling water
Squeeze of lemon (or orange)
Shake ingredients in a cocktail shaker and pour into chilled martini glasses. I like to run a piece of orange around the rim of the chilled glasses and then dip their rims in sugar. Garnish with an orange slice or pomegranate slice. Serves 2.