Tag Archives: sweater

Done, just in time for Christmas

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This is the sweater that I began as soon as the weather began to cool off enough to hold a sweater in my lap.  It was knit to coordinate with the Hitchhiker scarf I made last summer and fall.

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The project got sidetracked to knit the three sweaters for the grands and two other gifts that are wrapped for Christmas.  My sweater pattern is a formula based on the Ann Budd Top Down Sweater book, changed to suit the stitch pattern that I wanted.  I am pleased, I think.  I’m still not certain about the 3/4 sleeve that I chose to do and may yet take the cuffs off and extent the sleeves to make it long sleeved.  It is a nice warm wool and very soft Shepherd’s Wool, knit on a size 8 needle, yoke style with a single button closure at the neck.

Now I’m off to knit two pair of mittens for the Florida grands who will be moving here the first of the year.

Olio – October 24, 2014

Olio: a miscellaneous collection of things.

Our internet issues seem to be finally resolved, many months and many mistakes later, we are back with our original cell provider and our original internet/phone provider.  The lines have been repaired, the speed boosted as much as it can be boosted given our physical distance from the nearest booster from our small community cooperative telephone/internet provider.  They also provide cable TV service, but their HD is not HD, so we opt to receive cable elsewhere.  Life was so much simpler with an antenna, a house phone line, no internet and no cell phones; cheaper too.

The sweater was ripped out and restarted using a yoke pattern instead of a raglan pattern, the sleeves have been put on waste yarn and the body is being worked slowly.  This pattern is from one of Ann Budd’s formula books, so it should fit.

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The twisty rib pattern at the top is interesting.  Hopefully it will block into a nice yoke for the sweater that is otherwise very plain.

As the sweater has already gotten too bulky to want to tote around with me when I am the car passenger, I finally started the mitts that are made of Unplanned Peacock Superwash Merino in a colorway named for me as it was dyed especially for me to match a skein I purchased from her several years ago and from which I designed and made Ruby Hat (http://goo.gl/yAfQV) and later Ruby Scarf (http://goo.gl/uzjTFo), both free patterns on Ravelry.  Ruby Hat is my favorite hat and has its own story, but that is for another day.  The mitts are also being made from one of Ann Budd’s formula books to wear with the hat and scarf or just around the house at night when my hands get cold.  They are the perfect portable pocket project for the car.

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I am frequently amused at questions I get from folks that I know have grown up their entire lives in this rural county.  Today, the phone/internet installer saw my chickens wandering about the yard and ask me very innocently if my hens were laying now that the weather is cooling down.  My response was yes, except for the one who was molting.  I could tell from his expression that he didn’t have a clue what I was talking about and he said his egg production from 10 hens was down to only a couple each day.  I asked him how old his hens were and most of them are only about a year and a half old, so experiencing their first molt this season, thus his lack of eggs.  He also wasn’t feeding them any calcium, not even giving them back their own shells.  He left educated by the city girl with a ziplock sack of crushed oyster shell to free feed his hens and a promise that once their feathers were back in that he would start seeing eggs again.  He also was surprised that Son#1 and I could kill and process our culls and meat birds.  He said though he could shoot and dress a deer, he wasn’t sure he could do a chicken.  Our flock is enjoying their daily freedom to dig in the gardens, to look for bugs and tender blades of grass.  When we need them safely away from the dogs or driveway, I just go out like the Pied Piper with my little cup of scratch that I shake and they come running and follow me back to the safety of the electric fence.

The pumpkin vines are dying back more each day and revealing more of the winter squash.  I thought that only the Burgess Buttercup survived and that I didn’t get any Seminole pumpkins, but realize that it is a half and half mix, except the pumpkins for the most part haven’t turned tan.  The ones that I picked and put on the picnic table are beginning to turn.  The wormy ones get split with a hatchet and thrown into the chicken run for them to enjoy.  A side benefit is that the seeds are a natural anti parasitic for the chickens.  The peppers and tomatillos survived the cold nights predicted in the last post.  I am letting the remaining fruits mature until we are threatened again and I will do another harvest.  The last batch was made into another 4 pints of Tomatillo/Habanero sauce, the hottest batch yet.  Maybe I should change it’s name from XXX to Insanity.  I sure can’t eat it, but Son#1 will love it.  The Farmers’ Market last week had many vendors of apples.  I came home with another peck of mixed crisp red apples and realizing that they would not stay crisp until we finished them all, I used about a third to make another batch of Apple Cranberry Chutney (http://wp.me/p3JVVn-Ja), using 1 cup of honey instead of brown sugar this time.  The shelves are full of goodies even after having taken two crates of canned goodness to Northern Virginia on the last two trips to return son and grandson.

Lovin’ life on our mountain farm and continuing to gather knowledge to fight the pipeline.

 

Knit, Spin, Stain, Cook

With two days of beautiful weather, I finished all of the staining that I can reach and with the cooler, wetter weather coming, it may be all that gets done this fall.  We will have to finish it this spring.  I made up a gallon of the stain mix this morning and the area that was to be done didn’t require that much, so the excess was used to get about 2/3 of the coop “redecorated.”  The girls were on a walk-a-bout on the farm, being supervised by Romeo, so it was a good time to get it done.  We have a few days of rain due, so the last bit can’t be done for a few days.  The year and a half it has been in use, it has gotten very dry and faded.  The egg hatch, pop door and side drop window are all made of the same plywood siding as the coop and their exposed edges are really showing wear from the weather.  I guess at some point, those three features will have to be replaced with a more weather resistant material.

Coming in, stain covered and worn out, after a thorough clean up, I turned my waning energy to less strenuous tasks.  I’m working on one of the sleeves of my sweater, the one that is being knit to go with the Hitchhiker scarf made during the summer.

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And an Ouroboros Moebius scarf, a design by a friend Mergaret Radcliff, published in the December 2013, Knit n’ Style magazine.  The scarf will be for Son #1 as part of his Christmas gift.
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Both projects are pretty mindless knitting at this point.
I’ve looked at “Hot Mess” for enough days that I think the measly 106 yards of tight overspun very fine yarn is going to become a knitted cover for a small sturdy plastic cup to hang from my spinning wheel to hold the machine oil, orifice hook and notions I need when spinning.
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Tonight we enjoyed a “gourmet” meal utilizing some of the goodies from this year’s garden. The basic baked pork chops were topped with chutney that I canned, the Roasted veggies a blend of our yellow and white sweet potatoes, garlic, and rosemary added to farmers’ market potato’s, carrots and onions. A farmers’ market salad mix topped with beets, our radish kimchi and goat cheese.
Lovin’ life on our mountain farm.

Where have you been my whole life?

The canning was finished yesterday by early afternoon and Mountaingdad was off riding his BBH (big bad Harley) as it was a beautiful day and beautiful riding days will soon end for the season.   I drove down to the local grocery, a real small town affair with produce displayed outside and much of it local and picked up half a peck each of Golden Delicious and Rome apples and spent hours peeling, coring and chopping them for a batch of applesauce.  Thinking that it would be enough for the season, I jarred it up for canning and realized I only had 7 pints, not enough.  My hands were so sore I wasn’t looking forward to another round of peeling.  Though I am not a big fan of gadgets, trip was made to Walmart for a flat of jars and an apple peeler/corer, but it was a double fail.  This morning, a quick internet search showed that Bed, Bath and Beyond in a nearby town carried the peeler and I knew that Kroger Grocery had the jars, so we made a pre football run to make the purchases.

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Quick work of another peck of apples, peeled, cored, sliced and chopped in about 30 minutes.  Part of that was learning how the device worked.  The apples have cooked down and another 6 pints prepared for the winter.

The Green Tomato Chutney smelled so good yesterday, and made such a small amount that I decided to spend some time gathering and picking just about every green tomato left in the garden, many requiring significant paring of bad spots and making a double recipe of the Chutney.  It is simmering on the stove.

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I wish you could smell my kitchen right now.  I’m hoping for at least 4 or 5 pints from it after it has cooked down.

Last night after the canning was complete, I did finish one of my sweaters.  This is homespun yarn made by a friend and gifted to me by another friend.  It should be a great fall sweater.

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Perhaps I should wear it with a contrasting shirt.  Now I am back to working on the other sweater and the dresses for one of our grandgirls.

Lovin’ life on our mountain farm.