Tuesday, April 29, 2008

First Crop.....

Here we have our first harvested crop. Basil. Cooking with meatballs and tomato sauce. The sauce is from a jar, but who knows what will happen later this year with our own tomato crop ;-)
The boys were VERY excited to pick the leaves. Matthew helped me tear them up and put them in the pot.
My recipe for meatballs? Buy a package of ground beef, roll into small balls, fry in olive oil, add sauce. I'm a purist - no salt or pepper. That's one thing my 'diet' has going for it!
We all enjoyed it :0)

Monday, April 28, 2008

A Better Bucket

We're off on vacation to Hilton Head next week. A big family affair to celebrate my M&FIL's 40th wedding anniversary. Congrats to them :0)

So a girl needs a new hat for the beach, right? But my problem is my huge head - I can never get a hat 'off the peg' which fits. When I saw the Better Bucket hat, I knew it was just what I wanted. I thought I'd make an experimental version first, but I actually like the end result.Thank goodness my knitting skills exceed my self-photography skills. This was the best of a bad bunch - least eye-baggage on show. What can I say - I have two small boys.

And here's a closeup of the embellishments I added. They are 'Florets' from Nicky Epstein's book "Knitted Flowers". I knew it would come in hand one day!
I was a little afraid of the funky colour pooling on the brim, but once I'd decreased down to the head part, the colours seemed to 'stripe' more.
Oh, yes, and I learned the provisional cast-on, recommended in the pattern. So cool. These things always seem like they'll be more difficult than they end up being.

Pattern: A Better Bucket by Amy M. Swenson
Yarn: good old Peaches'n'Cream
Colour: Shaded denim.
Needles: 4.5mm

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Garden Growth...

The boys and I have been excitedly watching the progress of our 'crops' over the last few weeks. We are very pleased with all the growth - most of the plants are thriving.The corn is amazingly HUGE.
And the peas have actual flowers on them. I guess there'll be vegetables before we know it. Maybe we should plant a bit of mint to go with them :0)
Inspired by Bezzie, we made our own composting box on Earth Day last week. We're excited to see what this develops into aswell. We followed her given instructions - it was pretty easy.
I have been knitting too, but no FOs to show just yet. There's a bit of finishing to do tonight :0)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Lotus Blossom Tank

Yay, finished! 'Scuse the white bra and sports shorts :0)Here's a pic on the hanger
And a close-up of the lace.
Finally embracing the Florida lifestyle, I'm so proud that I've made myself two summer tops already this year. And I love them both.
Pattern: Lotus Blossom Tank - Interweave Knits Summer '06
Size: 33 3/4" bust - I think it's a little tight, but I'd rather that than 3" too big, which the next size up would have been. I guess it would be possible to make a size between the pattern sizes, but being realistic, the top would never have been completed. Better get back on that treadmill...
Yarn: Garnstudio Muskat 100% Egyptisk bomull Merserisert (!)
Colour: no. 25 - kind of a khaki green
Mods: an extra lace repeat. As it is, I could maybe have done with another lace repeat.
I used just over 6 balls of the bag of 10 I bought at Stitches West, so have almost 4 remaining. I'm thinking of a Lotus Blossom Shrug.........

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Playing Catch-Up

I feel like I'm always playing catch-up. Unanswered emails from family and friends. Dentist appointments still to be made. What shall we have for dinner tonight - and it's 5.28pm. That kind of thing. And I haven't blogged in two weeks, or so.

Of course, I can always slip a little knitting in every day. I've been a very monogamous knitter of late. At home, I've been concentrating on my Lotus Blossom Tank and while travelling in the car I've been making Hats for Alex. They are addictive.
Here is the LBT, blocking. I seamed her last night and completed the neck and one armhole. Right now, I'm in the middle of casting off the second armhole, so I think we're safe to say this will be an FO tonight. Exciting.Bezzie, you should really attempt this again. All you need is some cheap cotton (look at my Rav page to see what I used) and a little concentration for the lace part. A lot of the lace rows are simple, only about 6 or 8 of them need concentration. And it is SUCH a pretty end product. Do one more lace repeat than is called for though - otherwise your belly will be too much on show. Not Bezzie's in particular. That's a general statement for all. Well, let's see if I can get an FO picture for tomorrow......

The boys and mine (mine and the boys?) experimental pot garden grows. A lot of the plants are pale green which worries me. I always think of healthy plants as dark green. Especially the peas. It's quite easy to tell the plants apart now, from the growth 'above ground'. There's one of the pots which has a tomato, peas AND, I think a corn.

A couple of weeks ago we went to the garden centre for bigger pots for transplanting. The gentleman who helped us was really interested and pleased that a mom was experimenting with her kids and showing them growing plants. (what me? A caring sharing mom?!!! p'raps I'm not doing such a bad job after all). Anyway, this guy was a farmer 'up north' so gave me a good bit of advice. Of course, we did everything wrong already. And don't even bother to attempt to transplant the carrots. And what were we thinking planting corn in a pot - their roots go down six feet.

OK, like we said - experiment. Anyway, here's a quick snapshot. Matt planted a sunflower at school, so that's sitting on the sill....

Last weekend, as a trade for my Stitches West trip, Tommy went to Las Vegas to meet up with a couple of college buddies. Well, here are the boys and I, and all I can say is, what happens in Applebee's stays in Applebee's.
And to think I almost put the kybosh on those foam aeroplanes from Joann's. That was one of the most enjoyable restaurant experiences with the boys I've ever had.
And while the cat was away, the mice played with his hairgel.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Spring is in the air......

Spring really IS in the air. It's rainy here the last few days. Our pot-garden is looking like a jungle - pics of that later this week. I LOVE the rain. It's so refreshing and reminds me of home :-)

I had a wonderful, HUGE box in the mail today. From my knittyboard secret pal, GirlontheFly. She had been a very inquisitive ms mystery until I received the package. Now I know why. It was packed with so many things that I absolutely loved. First up, some delish fruit tea, a pretty green tea-tray (our whole household does not contain a tray. How did she know?) and a delightful little teabag dish. I have always wanted a teabag dish. I'm always carrying my teabags from cup to trashcan and dripping on the floor.Next, some scrummy lotions and potions from England. Yum-o. And gorgeous silver and crystal ear-rings, crafted by her own fair hands. Beautiful. And I mostly wear silver jewellery, as my wedding and engagement rings match.
Next, the yarny goodness. And oh, how good. And how Florida friendly. Some perfect green vintage yarn, pretty red yarn and gorgeous blue yarn. The blue yarn, also crafted by my SP's own hands. She's a spinner too. There's enough there to make a lacy summer top - that's all I want to make right now. I'm wearing my Linea to death and LOVE it.

A closer view of the blue.......

Last, but by no means least, some knitpicks circs. The beautiful multicoloured wooden type of circs. Faint.......
Along with the prettiest bookmarks. Also, I needed bookmarks. My pal is a genius mindreader.
So, GirlontheFly, you have been an awesome, attentive pal and I am so grateful for this wonderful package. My DH is off to LasVegas tomorrow and now I don't even care that I'll be on my own with the boys for 4 whole days (gulp!).
THANK YOU :-) :-) :-)
On more of a Wednesday subject. Here's my latest lacy summer top. It's the Lotus Blossom Tank from Interweave Knits, a couple of summers ago. I bought the yarn at Stitches West - thanks Irishgirlie for supervising me. The lace is really pretty and not too complicated, although it IS lace every single round. I pray I picked the right sizing. I'm a 36 bust but chose the 34 size over the 39 size. I thought 39 would look too big and floppy. Time will tel.......

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Flashing even more than my stash.......

Ok, a really quick and dirty picture of my stash. Not the biggest, not the smallest. Still, too much for me - I'm trying to knit this down this year and not buy too much more. Looking through Ravelry and reviewing my stash regularly I've come up with a lot of projects I'd like to make with the yarns I have.And by posting this next picture, I feel like I'm bearing my soul. Ick. This is the 'spare room', where most of the stash currently already lives and which I'd like to be a craft room. Not just for me - the boys have quite a bit of crafty stuff too. But right now, it's a dumping ground.

A lot of this has to go to storage (the crate of easter 'stuff'), or Goodwill (piles of clothes) or is paperwork to be sorted (this year's taxes yet to be completed) or just re-stored somewhere else at home (the boys puzzles).
While I was waiting for these pictures to upload I packed up 2 bags of baby blankets/duvets for Goodwill and put them in my car to be delivered tomorrow. It's a start.
So let's consider this the 'before' picture.......