Saturday, 26 April 2014


A busy day today. I took the girls to English Gardens to see what I could get for vegetables for my garden. I ended up with a flat of pansies, a basil, oregano and sage along with 3 kinds of lettuce. We also got some carrot seeds (Valerie's suggestion: "I like carrots, they're good for you"), cucumber seeds, green onion seeds, a wildflower seed mix, some purple flower that I don't remember the name of at the moment and zinnia, perhaps. Also a bag of onion bulbs. We came home because my Father-in-law was coming over to look at our garage door opener that had stopped working last weekend and I knew my girls would want to see him. He determined that the opener wasn't fixable, switched out our old dishwasher for a new-to-us dishwasher given to us from my brother-in-law and sister-in-law and hung a new swing (?) for the girls in addition to taking the girls for a bike ride to the park. I'm still not sure where he gets all his energy.
The new swing. Someone came to get some of the lava rock that we don't want. It's surrounding the house and I don't like it. We are also planning to change the grading around the house, so it is unnecessary. I plan to bury the rest. I think it would be more work than I really care to put in it to pull it up. They did find a couple pieces of petrified wood in amongst the rock. I may go digging around in it a bit to see if I can find more. After they all left, we went to Lowe's to see what else we could find for plants. I also needed a window cover for the basement windows for when we do the grading. I also got landscape fabric for the grading and rabbit fencing for the garden beds. We have a healthy population of rabbits around here. For plants we ended up with 2 regular tomatoes, 2 cherry tomatoes and a stripy tomato plant. A second rhubarb plant followed me home. I couldn't help it. I also ended up with a yellow and an orange pepper plant and lettuce seeds. When my parents were here, we drastically cut back some shrubs along one side of my backyard. It left a bare patch of ground under where the branches were. I bought grass seed to put there. Now I need to get it dug up so I can put the seed in. I'm not sure that I'll get to that this weekend.
We planted most of what we bought (except for the flowers) today. We ended up planting more of the onions than I had originally planned because the girls were enjoying planting them. The herbs went into pots. The rhubarb was planted next to the one I've had for a few years and planted next to the garden bed. The tomatoes received cages.
They are forecasting a low of 34 tonight, so I covered the beds with sheets, just in case. I need to get some cheap sheets from the thrift shop to use, but for tonight they got our sheets. Surely it won't permanently hurt them. I still need to put in the rabbit fencing. I'd prefer to be able to remove it to access the beds easily (and the girls too) so I'll need to figure that out.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Gardening and sweater 5

The garden has been progressing. I've planted a row each of peas and bean seeds. I even have one pea sprout. There are a couple other sprouts, but one isn't where I planted seeds, so there is something else in there.
A couple weeks ago, I took a couple green onions that I had cut off about an inch above the roots (I used the rest) and put them in water. I had heard that you could regrow the onions that way. The roots really grew and the greens grew a bit. Today I planted them in a corner of the garden. We'll see what happens. I do want to plant some green onions properly too.
I've still not been doing lots of crafting, but today I got around to blocking sweater #5. I finished the pieces a few weeks ago, but I rather dread blocking, so I've been putting it off. In case I didn't write this before. I altered the pattern a little on the sleeves. When I finished the first sleeve, I noticed it was rather long. I held it to my arm and decided to shorten it by a couple inches. I tore out the upper arm shaping and removed 2 inched, I think. When I blocked the pieces today, they all still ended up longer than the measurements show. This is a constant problem for me. I think it has something to do with how the test swatch is measured after blocking, but all the pieces are measured before blocking. I really need to start making the pieces shorter than what the pattern calls for. What I really should do is measure the test swatch before and after blocking to figure out the difference and adjust accordingly. Sounds like work.

Sunday, 20 April 2014


I've finished filling my raised garden beds. There is still almost a third of the 3 cubic yards of soil left. We plan to use the rest to fix the grading around our house, at least where the driveway and porch aren't preventing it. Our house is over 80 years old. The basement walls are in decent shape, but changing the grading to make the water run away from the house will help it last longer. The basement is not musty or anything and I want to keep it that way. The house is currently surrounded with lava rock to keep the weeds away. I had originally thought to remove the lava rock, but then we'd have to get rid of it somehow. Now I'm thinking to just cover it with the soil. I did take some of the soil and fill a few pots. We plan to put herbs in some of the pots and flowers in others. I finished the wings I was making for the girls last night. I followed this tutorial: The "feathers" are cut with pinking shears and glued on with fabric glue. That's about the only way I was willing to make them. I'm mostly happy with how they turned out. About the only thing I don't like is how they hang on the girls. They seem to hang below their arms. I wanted them to run along the line of their arms. Let's see... details: The base of the wings is a sheet that was still in good condition except for the elastic, which had died. The feathers are cut out pillowcases that I bought at the thrift shop. I cut out a template... to be honest I cut out 3 different size templates and used the one that I thought would be the best size for the wings. I had measured from wrist to wrist and from neck to knee on each girl to figure out how big to make the wings and drew out a pattern for the wing base. Taking pictures of girls who won't stand still is difficult. OK, some pictures:
These are Valerie's wings. I made these first and made them one at a time. Unfortunately, I didn't line them up as I went and they ended up a bit uneven. Mostly, I doubt that people will notice.
Here's Cordelia's. I learned my lesson and did both of these wings at the same time. They turned out much more even. Some pictures of the girls with their wings. In the last picture, you can see how the wings hang kind of low on Valerie.
I was asked today what comes next. I'm not sure. My latest sweater needs blocking before I can put it together and do things like the button band and whatnot, but I've been putting that off. I did do a gauge swatch for another sweater out of bulky yarn. I need to do a couple other gauge swatches for other projects as well so that I'll be ready to do more knitting. I also need to get back to spinning the orange yarn for another sweater. I'm excited about that project as I've never spun enough of anything for a project like that. The last couple bits that I've spun are waiting for me to do test swatches with so I can figure out what to do with them.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Coming soon...more regular posts

I've come to the conclusion that I need to post here regularly about what I'm working on rather than just trying to post about finished projects once they're done. The idea of going back and writing a full post about a project afterward has just been daunting. I hope to do some of that soon, but until then there will be briefer updates about stuff I've been working on. Knitting and spinning came to a screeching halt when I cut my thumb. I'm now fully healed from that although if I hit it just right it still hurts sometimes. At knit night on Wednesday, I did a gauge swatch with Lamb's Pride bulky in 3 shades of blue (one ply each shade it looks like). I plan to make a simple cardigan with it, perhaps with this pattern: I like that it's simple and should knit up quickly. The lack of cables or other pattern is fine for this multicolored yarn. My concern is that it's a DROPS pattern, which wasn't very clear for my first cardigan, but turned out a beautiful cardigan. It is much longer than this shows, but otherwise fits me well. I've been working on building garden beds. I've never had a proper garden before although I remember going out to pick things from our garden when I was young. I want my kids to have that same memory. In the past I've grown tomatoes and loved being able to send Valerie out to pick tomatoes, which she loves eating. I'm currently thinking tomatoes, beans, peas, cucumbers, green onions and rhubarb. I've planted my rhubarb outside of the raised bed as our dirt is decent and I'm hoping it will get big. It has been in a pot for 2 years and in the ground at the old house for a year before that. I knew we wanted to move and wanted to bring it with me. I had two plants there but the other was much smaller and I wasn't sure how it would work. Dad says he'll bring me some established plant cut offs from a friend of his. I'm looking forward to that.
The girls and my Father-in-law helped me build them. Or rather we helped my Father-in-law build them
We had to put them kind of in the middle of the back yard to get sun. We have many mature trees around so we had to compromise between the place that they would get the most sun and the place that they would be least in the way.
THen we got them sunk into the ground. Again we had help. We also put in a way of being able to cover the beds in case of frost. This picture only shows the hoops on one bed, but they both have them. I think I'll mostly leave the hoops off unless we need them.
Yesterday I had a load of potting mix (top soil/compost mix) delivered. 3 cubic yards. The pile wasn't as large as I had feared, but will still take some time to move. Again I had help. I managed to get one bed almost filled. I added 3 cubic feet of peat to the bed to help keep the soil lighter. I only put in enough soil in the other to keep the layer of paper down. The paper is to kill off the grass there. I'm hoping to get the other filled tonight. I want to use some of the rest of the soil to start some seeds inside. I also have a wisteria to plant. I found one at Aldo for $3 so I thought I'd give it a try. I guess I could be waiting up to 10 years to see flowers. Good thing I got it now, eh?