Thursday, April 26, 2012


Waiting to be washed and blocked
I finished little Willow's sweater.  I think it is a great pattern and will have to remember it for the next baby that comes my way.  Now that I am familiar with the construction of the pattern I can fiddle with the design bits when I knit it again.  The buttons for the sweater came from a ninety nine year old woman.  She had watched me knit it with great interest and when it came time for the buttons volunteered her button box as a source for them.   I was very pleased as one never knows what can be found in old button boxes!  There were a lot of lovely things that had to be rejected as not fit for a baby.  However, knowing I wanted them to be all different,  I was able to find these which I think are just perfect.
Green growing things
The plants for the garden are coming.  It is so hard not to put them out into the greenhouse yet as the days have been feeling warm enough with some sun from time to time.  It is the reality check of 29 and 30 degree mornings that help to keep them in the warm cellar.  Just need to be patient!  It has been proven to me time and again that patience is the key to hearty plants.

All purpose cage--guinea pigs, chicks or plants!
This is the setup I have.  The problem is that I run out of room when one group starts to out pace the others in the growing department.  Eventually the things that will tolerate the dip in temperature at night will go out to the greenhouse first, giving more room for the warmer veggies, like the peppers and tomatoes. They are last out, always.  There are chains that I can hang the lights on as the plants get taller.  The closer the light source the less leggy the plants get so it would be really great if the light could get right inside the cage.  This works tolerably well.  It is just a regular shop light and the little one is the kind that go under the cabinets in the kitchen.  I try to use what we have, as you might have noticed.  Reuse and re purpose!
The awakening woods

On Tuesday I played hooky from all my obligations and spent the day with a friend.  We took a long, long walk in the woods looking for wildflowers and birds.  It was the perfect time to find blooming things.  The weather was very cold and windy, the terrain steep and treacherous.  The road was a logging road so it was full of ruts and puddles.   The best part of the walk--so cold there were no bugs!
Trillium (Wake Robin) and bellwort
Longspur violets
When we returned to her house we warmed ourselves with hot chocolate and spent the rest of the day identifying the plants.  Also we worked on our summer programs as she is the other half of "Taradiddle".  We offer stories and songs in a program geared to the Vermont Department of Libraries' summer reading theme.  It is so much fun.  Having done programs together as librarians for many, many years we found that once we were not doing it for our own library we missed it terribly.  So for the last two years we have been taking ourselves on the road.  It is so much fun.  Hopefully we will get a website up this summer.
It was a lovely day.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Spring Day

Mixed clump of daffodils
Today is sunny and warm, but thankfully not as hot as it was yesterday.  The flowers are really starting to come.  They are so welcome!  The only thing that bothers me is that they are a bit early.  I hate to have them come and go before I can get my potted plants out.  It's nice to have an overlap of the flowering things.
We had a lovely Easter.  Lots of good food and happy people.  And cute dogs.  My sister has two small ones that are very sweet.

Little Susie

I've been working on the baby sweater.  I ripped out the Elizabeth Zimmermann pattern and decided to make a different one.  Two reasons for this--first I was sure I was going to run out of yarn, and secondly, I felt that it looked too much like an old fashioned sweater.  This is a young mama who, I felt, needed a more modern looking outfit for her baby.  So I am almost finished with it and am very glad I switched.  I ended up using a pattern from the 101 Luxury Yarn One Skein Wonders book.  It is supposed to be knit with organic cotton, but I am using the alpaca/silk and it is coming out just fine.  Photos when I am finished.
Now I am off to check on the seedlings and gather eggs.  Hope to get a fleece picked before the day is out.  Busy, busy, busy!  Hope you are, too.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter!

Dinner rolls
Baking day here.  I have made rolls for tomorrow, both sweet for morning and dinner for, well, dinner!  There is also a lemon sponge and salad to bring to the folks for the meal.  Strange feeling for me this holiday as it is the first time we will have no one at home.  We will get to see Annie at dinner tomorrow, so that makes me feel better.  My husband was able to get my corsage for Church.  This is a tradition my Dad started when we were very young that my husband has taken up.  It is so special. This year it is a red rose.

Hive all dissembled, mouse nest on base
Putting the top super on bottom

Speaking of the husband, he took a look at his hive last Monday and decided to swap the supers around. The super is the thing that holds the frames and looks like a drawer.   This is done when the bees fill up the top frames, but don't work downwards, and so don't know that the frames below them are empty.  If they fill up all the top frames and have no where to go (in their minds) then they will swarm and look for another hive.  So my smart husband found that it is beneficial to rearrange things.  It was a very exciting maneuver as he had to carefully take the whole hive apart in order to put the top on the bottom.  The most interesting part was when we found the mouse nest on the base, complete with live mouse!!!  There was a dead one in the nest itself, but the live one was clinging to the lower frames!  Not good.  It seems that the bees in hibernation won't bother the mice that are looking for a winter living space, and once the bees are active the mice stay in the lower frames, eating the honey and wax.  Hopefully now the bees will fix the combs, adding back the honey.
Almost back together

The skirt
I did finish and start projects.  The Lanesplitter skirt is done.    I actually wore it out in public.  It is very comfy.  The only comment I got was from a younger man who said he liked my skirt!  That was nice.  I am wearing it with the seam on the side and the darker stripe in back.
  It really was fun to make. 

 I also got the loom warped.  I have only begun the pattern which I think I am going to like very much.  Of course my usual fear is that I won't have enough yarn to finish.  We will see.

The start
And I had to start a baby sweater as our son's friends had their baby 5 weeks early.  I wasn't sure what I was going to knit for them, but when I found this lovely alpaca/silk yarn in my stash to use as the waistband for my skirt I knew that it was going to be the baby sweater.  The pattern is an old Elizabeth Zimmermann one from her "Knitter's Almanac" called simply 'Baby sweater on two needles, practically seamless'.   It makes up quickly and is "cute as a bunny" when done.
That's all for now.  Happy and Blessed Easter to you all.