Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fresh From the Garden

I went to the Community Garden to plant some lettuce seeds for fall. This is what I came home with.

Bok Choy, pickling cucumber, lemon cucumber, Italian squash, crook necked squash, spaghetti squash, early pumpkin, purple tomatillos, pear tomatoes, salad tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes and an English cucumber.

I didn't plant any of these! They were given to me by a woman who said it was her first time trying to grow anything, she didn't know what she was doing. I say, Keep it up, you're doing great!

Singer Treadle

One of my closest friends recently lost all her material possessions when her house burned to the ground. She fled with her cat, purse, checkbook and her car. She's being taken care of by family, friends, previous co-workers and the local community. She is full of gratitude and happy to be alive.

But one of the things she sorely misses is her vintage treadle machine. It was all she ever used to sew - a hard item to replace.

I found this gem at a garage sale about two weeks after the fire. Imagine how unglued I became when I found out they only wanted $25.00 for it!

It's a reproduction made in 1973, but that just means it's in mint condition, there isn't a hint of rust on it and the drive belt isn't even worn. The pictures don't do the decals justice, they positively glow and the cabinet is in great condition. It came with an attachment box of bobbins and screwdrivers and a manual! She says it looks just like the one she lost. She feels like she's living in a state of grace...

South Lake Tahoe

For our 35th anniversary we played the tourist and went to Tahoe. The first morning we got up before the sun so we could watch it rise over Emerald Bay.

That afternoon we hiked to Eagle Lake for a picnic.

The second day we took a cruise on board the Tahoe Queen paddle boat.

The last day we visited the Taylor Creek State park and walked the nature trail.

It was a great trip and wonderful to 'get out of Dodge'. But I also find it's nice to come home again too.


I have a nice collection of yarn I've reclaimed or been given, I don't need any more yarn. Still, once in awhile I stop at the Senior Center Thrift store to see what they have.

Someone must've cleared out their stash, for there were bags and bags of matching yarn; not the usual leftovers, those walnut-sized balls that aren't much use except for striping.

How could I pass this up, all this natural wool yarn for ten dollars?! I skeined ten yards, weighed it and with that number was able to estimate there's over 3,000 yards. That's approximately three adult sweaters or one really large afghan!

Community Garden

I still wanted to get in the dirt this season, so I joined the Brooktrails Community Garden. They have a 12 foot fence surrounding the raised beds and for $10 a year, they provide all the soil, water and plant starts. I provide time watering and weeding and we share the produce. What a great way to get into gardening! These pictures are from July..

One Saturday we met and dug potatoes from the communal bed. We had some youngsters helping and it was like a treasure hunt, turning the soil looking for yellow, red and purple potatoes. I think I had as much fun as the little ones!

Local Sites

I've been fighting all season with the local deer in my neighborhood. The drought is so bad, they are eating everything, including plants known to be deer resistant and even toxic. It's been discouraging and frustrating. Then fawning season came...

These pictures were taken a few feet from our back door. They come almost every morning or twilight. Because their parents don't have a fear of humans, neither do they. It's hard to hold rancor when they're so darn cute. So much for my flower garden...

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Simply Summer

I made a quilt for my niece who's expecting her first child.

I had almost all the fabric in my collection, and it went together in a couple of evenings. While I enjoy challenging quilt patterns, there's something to be said for easy-to-complete quilts too.

Irish Linen

I was at the local thrift store, shopping for summer shorts actually, when I found myself browsing the sweater aisle. I let my hands tell me if a sweater is worth reclaiming. The texture of this deep pink one was unlike anything I've come across up till now.

The label said it was made in Ireland and was 50/50 linen and cotton. I've always heard about Irish Linen, but I never knew what was so special about it. It has an unexpected sheen that is just lovely.

I estimated how many yards I have and then searched Ravelry's shawl patterns, using the yarn weight and yardage filters. This is Shoreline, so far an easy pattern with an applied lace border.

I just added the shawl to my project page on Ravelry and it told me it's my 50th project. (!) That's kinda fun...

Evening Breeze

After all that wool knitting, it was time for something lighter. I got a lovely soft cotton, linen, silk blend called Amalfi, at the LYS's summer sale.

Just off the needles.

It blocked to just the right dimensions. Don't cha just love it when that happens?

Nongarment Knitting

I've knit sweaters, mitts and hats, but not a softie, until now.

This pattern is from Little Cotton Rabbits. Her patterns are wonderful! So well written and easy to follow.

Meet Dashwood, Dash for short. He's got the sweetest personality, and he always has a smile.

People just love his little cotton tail.

What's not to love?

Autumn Stripe Finished

The weather might be 90+ outside but I finished my Autumn striped pullover. When it turns cold, I'll be ready.


Miniature Pineapple Blocks

I got the pineapple mini out again and took another stab at the method. Originally I thought this would make a great little leader-and-ender project and I'm trying to figure it out without buying the pineapple ruler. But so far the technique has eluded me.

Round two.
Round three.
Round four, etc.

The one on the far right looks pretty good, but the red and green are triangles and I want trapezoids.

Here is all my trial and error, LOTS of trial and error. Night after night, long hours in the sewing room. I'd think I had it figured out, and then the next cut would be wrong. Sometimes I wondered why I was knocking myself out so much.

But it's true... I like a challenge. Challenging quilt patterns are more rewarding than the easy ones.

Home Improvement

As first-time home owners we are enjoying the freedom to make changes to the house; little by little making it our own.

The living room has had track lighting installed. This means we can remove the two pole lamps at either end of the couch, which opens up the space. And we added a dimmer switch. Nice!

Patching the electrical into the existing ceiling fan.
Installing the lamps.

Not much later, we added cabinet handles to all the drawers and cabinets throughout the house; 52, all together.

It's so much nicer than trying to open the cabinet or drawer from the edge, especially with wet hands!