End of May Mittens, (End of) Earth Bread

Hot off Virginia’s needles are these fabulous mittens.

End of May Mittens

They are knit using Cascade 220. Pattern is by Mandy Powers, called “End of May.” They will fit right in with this Middle of January.

End of May Mittens

End of May Mittens

While the mittens were blocking I was playing in the kitchen, trying to start making a dent in the bulk, two pounds of yeast I had bought a few weeks back. The bread was inspired by a desire to eat less refined foods (including flour, sugar, etc…).

Earth Bread

It’s made with a whole wheat flour sponge, but crammed inside are all sorts of goodies, like wild rice, barley, molasses, flax seed meal, sunflower seeds and some caraway seeds. I call it (End of) Earth Bread (not to be confused with the Earth Bread recipes floating around out there that are laden with oil and sugar), and think it would by a necessary addition should there be an End of Earth. Virginia thinks I’ve been watching too many post-apocalyptic shows lately (she’s right about that). But, I have to say a few loaves of this and you’d be good to go.

What’s Better Than a Box of Chocolates?

Why, a sampler box from Seed Savers Exchange, or course.

Bean Sampler for Seed Savers

We’ve received a couple of these throughout the years, and I have to say, they make quite excellent gifts. You are presented, at once, with six packets of the most beautiful beans. Suddenly you start to imagine new culinary possibilities, new ways of preparing routine household staples or exciting new dishes yet to be discovered. Yes, dried beans can do that to a person. So, if you are looking for a unique gift this season, what better way to support this important organization.

Coming soon, more scratchcrafty goodness.

Around the Corner

There have been a few days in the last couple of weeks that have cooled in the evenings, sending the reminder that Fall is just around the corner. (Today being an exception, with the mercury hitting 90º F. Still, something inside stirs when the heat of Summer starts to wane.)

One sign that my body is recognizing the change is my gravitation to playing more with wool. I have started spinning again, surprised that my wheel still turns – it having sat stationary for the better part of the season.

Handspun Superwash Merino

I’m glad that I haven’t completely forgotten how to convert roving into yarn. This superwash merino (dyed by us several years ago) is spun into about 287 yards of 3-ply yarn.

I also must be feeling the need to pack on a little more insulation myself. We’ve revived the Saturday Night, Pizza Night tradition, trying out some new themes, including a new favorite:

Saturday Night, Pizza Night

It’s a pear-greens-caramelized onion-blue cheese collection of goodness baked on a thin, crispy crust that has been coated with garlicky olive oil mixed with sage. We seriously had to restrain ourselves from devouring the entire pan (even though leftover pizza is never as good as fresh-from-the-oven pizza).

Virginia is no stranger to wool, and is constantly working with it. So, season changes do not necessarily influence the amount of work she does with the fiber (although, maybe once the cold hits, she’ll be working more with alpaca, cashmere and other more insulating fibers).

She continues to knit socks, the latest being:

Handknit Socks

Handknit Socks

The rest can be seen, as always (and often before a blog post appears) on flickr.

And, it being the time to start thinking about keeping warm, Virginia is offering some of her handknits for sale on Etsy. Check back often, because she will be listing a variety of items, including shawls, cowls, scarves and (what’s listed right now) hats:

Selection of Handknit Hats

Check it out.