Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Yarn Along

I recently stumbled upon the "small things" blog and have been enjoying everyone's knitting, crocheting, and book suggestions on the Wednesday Yarn Along days. So instead of continuing to lurk, I decided to join with my own post today.

I put my project from my last post on another hiatus, because I think I FINALLY found a pattern for some yarn that I inherited a few years ago. The yarn is made by Sachmayer Nomota and has been discontinued years ago, and thus finding an appropriate pattern is a big challenge. It's texture is both thick and thin, creating a lumpy and interesting fabric. Luckily this lovely pattern called Amiga recently showed up on It is made with yarn that has a similar texture. So today I am playing with needle sizes and trying to find gauge so that I can cast on the project for a special someone!

My constant book companions this summer are Eliot Coleman's Four Season Harvest and Patricia Lanza's Lasagna Gardening. Eventually I would like to grow all of my own vegetables. Last year my garden drowned in a combination of too much rain and non-draining soil. So I built six 4'x8' raised beds that I am filling with yard waste, grass clippings, straw, old leaves, alpaca poop, and compost via the lasagna layering method. Two beds are already planted, with just some finishing touches planned for the last two. I will probably cover the unplanted beds for a few weeks and let them "cook" a little before planting one or two of them with winter crops that will be covered when the weather gets cold.

Want to see? Here are the fledgling gardens!

Happy Summer!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer is HERE!

Summer is here and moving quickly...

There has been lots of travel to:
-Washington, DC for a conference and some time with two nieces and nephew and to reconnect with some family friends.
-St. Louis for an alpaca birthing clinic at the Dos DoƱas Alpaca Farm. Serendipitously my brother and his family was also in St. Louis and we met up for dinner.

-Ithaca, NY, for an old college roommate's wedding. Reconnecting with old friends and making new ones is such a great experience. I also got to go hiking quite a bit. And I got bitten by two deer ticks that I miraculously managed to spot. My doctor prescribed the early Lyme disease antibiotic right away.

Ithaca Falls

Buttermilk Falls Gorge hike

Buttermilk Falls Gorge

Buttermilk Falls Gorge

Waterfall at the top of the gorge in Treman Park

Salamander on the trail

There is a lot of productivity in the gardening department. New raised beds are hopefully going to yield more crops than last year. I filled the beds with the "lasagna" method beginning with newspaper, alpaca poop, peat moss, grass clippings, more peat moss, leaves from last fall, and more peat moss to top it off.

Swiss Chard Harvest

Dumb luck - the two lettuce plants that I let go to seed last summer filled the entire round flower garden with yummy salad this spring. And I did exactly nothing except harvest!


My viola d'amore has a new bridge and strings and sounds amazing! It is on loan for a few weeks to a friend of mine.

Finally, GASP, there is some knitting. This is the third try for this project due to sizing issues. I'll just leave you with a picture for now. I really don't want to rip and restart again in case I jinx my luck by writing all about it!

Happy Summer!