UFO’s

In crafting terms, that is unfinished objects. The past week has been finishing those WIP (works in progress), making the UFO’s, finished objects. There was a skinny scarf on the needles for daughter and a hat that I started in mid February. Both were worsted weight hand spun yarn. Both are finished and blocked (though the photo is prior to that occurring). The hat went into the shop. The scarf is sitting here as I try to figure out how to get it to her without contacting her or her kids. It may get mailed.

One of my travel projects became a stay at home project, a narrow triangular scarf, pattern is Easy Goes It by Finicky Creations. The yarn is Lollipop Yarn, Whirling Dervish sock weight that I won as a door prize.

Each block of the blocking mats is 12″, so the scarf is nearly 6′ long and about 16″ deep at the point of the triangle. It was made with unknown plan. I have too many knits in similar colors for my wardrobe, but it is washable, so a potential gift for a family member or an addition to the shop.

Now that all the needles are cleared, another skein or two will be tackled, a hat with a cabled frog in apple green is planned for the shop and a lacy skinny scarf for daughter. She wears lots of black and white and uses the skinny scarves to accent her work outfits without adding too much weight and can help keep the back of her neck warm from air conditioning drafts.

Spinning for an hour or so on the drop spindles to make the fiber last as long as possible is part of the daily activity.

I’m about halfway through reading The Dollmaker. It is a book I have wanted to read for a long time. The copy I am reading is from eldest son’s extensive library and is a paperback that is older than he is, so it is yellowed and fragile, but care is being taken with it and I am thoroughly enjoying it. It will be returned to their library next time we are able to visit.

The seed starts are doing well. I’m awaiting a series of warmer days to sow some lettuce, radishes, and some direct sowed Chinese cabbages. I have three half barrels that held herbs last year that are close to the back deck, they are going to be my salad garden this spring.

An ark, an ark, my knits for an ark

Whew, we went from 12 degrees f a few mornings ago to 40 and torrential rain. It was low teens 3 nights in a row (no frozen pipes thank goodness) and the days weren’t even reaching freezing then it changed as Virginia will at any season. There was a winter storm warning last night causing schools to delay or close for no reason as it never was cold, and it rained. The wind blew and it rained some more. Still is raining hard. Without an attic to buffer sound, we hear it when it rains hard. Not the pinging on a metal roof like in the barn, but it is still a metal roof with insulation.

When we went to dinner and then to daughter’s house for grandson’s birthday dinner on Sunday, we discussed having another mother/daughter movie date, taking her kids this time, to see Call of the Wild when it comes out the end of February. We had both watched the trailers and wanted to see it. It has been many decades since I had read it, and in our home library is a leather bound copy of Jack London books, so as soon as I finished the ebook I had out from the library, I started reading it. I’m not sure how true to the book the movie will be, but I am looking forward to it.

Today’s rain allowed me to finish it.

The Toolbox Cowl is progressing. I sat in a waiting room again yesterday and knit. Work has been done on it at night. I’m on the last stockinette section, the second to last skein. There will be one more Diamond tweed section with this skein and the final skein and the last Garter Rib section. I’m not sure I should have used the more brightly colored variegated one, but I think I like it anyway.

With lots of Corriedale, Merino, silk, and bamboo in the skeins, it is soft. It shouldn’t take me too much more time to complete. I read the Yarn Harlot’s blog and she posts finishing mitten and cowls in a day. Wow, she must be a speed knitter.

Tomorrow is going to be chilly and party sunny, maybe I can finally get the coop cleaned out. Today a bale of pine chips was purchased because straw seems to be scarce. The old straw is going in the run, the rain has made the area just inside the gate a hazard to my health and safety. There really isn’t a level spot on our property, but I’m not sure I picked the right spot to put that coop when we got it. With the bare scratched earth and a couple inches of rain or a coat of ice, I can slide forever. Perhaps I should put some rough pavers from the gate to the pop door.

Olio – 9/28/2019

Olio: a miscellaneous collection of things.

About mid week, I realized that one of my interchangeable needle tips being used to knit the Hitchhiker scarf, my car project, not only wouldn’t stay tightened, but when an attempt to tighten was made it would just keep turning. I switched the tip from the other end to see if it was the cable which would have been an easy fix as there are extras, but no, the tip itself was stripped. I felt like something was wrong when I first started using it, but went into denial mode until it became a problem. My supplier for the Knitter’s Pride Karbonz needles is a small online shop out of Burlington, NC, Knit Bin. She is quick in processing orders and answering questions. I contacted her, reminded her that I had just purchased them in May and ask about Knitter’s Pride warranty. She contacted them, they didn’t want the flawed one back, she mailed me a new tip on Thursday and I got it on Friday. Such great service, so that project is back in my bag when I am the passenger in the car.

Because that project was stalled, I worked on the Free Your Fade from Andrea Mowry that I started with the Only the Finest yarn I bought at Black Mountain in late August.

It is the 4 mini skeins and the full skein wound in the center of this photo. I began it with the gray, moved to the darker blue gray, and I’m now on the variegated one tucked under the reddish roving on the right. Next will be the lavender, and finally the Merlot color to end the knit. You can see the gray, the blue gray, and the start of the fade into the variegated in the picture below. This is going to be a very generous shawl/scarf just for me this time.

There has been little spinning done this week, a bit of white Cormo on a Turkish spindle, but nothing to show off.

It has been hot and extremely dry this week. We have walked our usual 2.25 to 2.5 miles almost every day, usually after dinner as the sun is low and the temperature falling. Today they called for 40% scattered showers and for a change, we were in the path. We had a light shower followed a couple hours later by a good hard rain that lasted maybe half an hour. It won’t break the drought, but it did cool off the day from near 90 to 79 and settled the dust, maybe reduced the fire risk a little.

I have been an avid reader all my life. Hubby is too, as are two of our children, and all of the reading age grandchildren. Being a reader is relaxing and can take you to places you’ve never been. Years ago, someone from the knit group or spinning group mentioned the Louise Penney series set is a small (not real) village in Quebec with the main character holding various roles during the series, mostly as an officer of some level in the provincial police. I tired of the series and quit reading them for a couple of years, then picked up another more recent one where he was in charge of a school. A good friend is a fan of the books and suggested I read the two that follow that one. Being out of anything at home, I looked at the electronic selection from our library and found the next in the series. The author is excellent in descriptions.

I grew up being served “Shepherd’s Pie” and later preparing the same for my family. The version didn’t differ much from Girl Scout Stew, a mix of ground beef, canned or frozen mixed vegetables, but the pie topped with a ring of mashed potatoes (they were usually instant when I was a kid.)

Bear with me, here. In the book above, the Bistro in the village was preparing “Shepherd’s Pie,” the description different from what I grew up with, but described so vividly that I could practically smell and taste it. The one in the book was savory with ground beef, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and herbed gravy, topped with mashed potatoes in which Gruyere cheese had been melted. I had decided that it was too tempting not to try. I envisioned aromatic herbs such as Rosemary and Thyme. This morning I thawed a pound of ground beef from the Farmers Market and purchased Yukon gold potatoes and mushrooms while there today. I had what I needed to make it. Then I read a blog post on corn bread, Northern vs Southern style, why sugar was added to the recipe; with and without flour in the batter. I make excellent corn bread, it has to be made in the 8″ cast iron skillet. Well, now I wanted corn bread too. Mind you, there are only two of us in this household at this point, but left over pan toasted cornbread is delicious. For dinner tonight, I made the Shepherd’s Pie per the book description, ground beef with onions and garlic, gravy rich with rosemary and thyme, Yukon gold mashed potatoes, but I didn’t have Gruyere, however I did have a delicious cheese from the Farmers Market, so I added chunks of it to the hot potatoes and mashed it in with the butter and milk, topped the casserole and baked. Of course I mixed up corn bread while it was baking and upped the oven temperature, added the hot skillet of batter and finished baking them both.

Peas cooked as a vegetable and oh boy am I full. I will never make Shepherd’s Pie the “old” way again. This is savory and delicious. Reading can be dangerous and delicious.

Now we need to go walk it off before it gets dark.