A Good Week for My Hands and Feet

Among some projects finished these last couple of days, Virginia made a pair of mittens and socks that deserve some blog time (obviously, every project should get a mention, but my track record lately has not been good).

Vespergyle Mittens

These “Vespergyle Mittens” are from a pattern by Elinor Brown, knit using Spindrift. I really admire the argyle and stripe combination. And, of course, the Spindrift is such a cozy yarn for this sort of thing.

Vespergyle Mittens

I am happy to say they are big enough to fit my hands, so there will likely be a race to the mitten bin every time we head outside.

Vespergyle Mittens

I’m also the happy recipient of this early-Valentine’s gift. A pair of “Tweed Socks.”

Tweed Socks

These are knit from a pattern by Marilyn Morgan, in the book Socks, Socks, Socks, using several types of yarn, including Jawoll and Socka. The slipped-stitch pattern really dress up these socks, and I can already envision these paired with dark brown khakis and cardigan.

Tweed Socks

Like I said, it’s a good week for my hands and feet.

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.

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.

Summer Busyness

Needle Felted Viscacha

These summer days seem to slip by a little too fast. We find ourselves spending much more time outside, working on house projects, cooking, gardening, storing up food for the winter. It’s already August, and I realized I hadn’t shared any scratchcraftiness with you in awhile.

Virginia, in addition to the above, has been keeping her needles busy (both of the knitting and crochet variety). I just recently fired up the ol’ dusty spinning wheel and am trying to motivate myself to finish a cardigan that has been on the needles for way too long (it’ll be out of style before I ever get a chance to wear it – and, yes, this is the same cardigan mentioned in earlier posts).

A little glimpse of some of the things created over in our neck of the woods:




Details may, or may not, be forthcoming. But, more projects are definitely on their way. By the way, the creature at the beginning of the post belongs to the same family as the chinchilla. Can you guess what it is?

See for yourself:

ARKive video - Southern viscacha - overview

Goals, Growth and Gains

May is a big month for us. For starters, Virginia sets herself a goal of knitting 52 pairs of socks each year, with May being the final month. She made her goal, ending with a cabled sock knit using lovely Casbah yarn. The pattern is by Cynthia Levy (Ravelry link)

Socks (52 of 52)

May is also when plants really start to take off in the garden. Last year, I spent a lot of time hearing about all the growing things on a secondhand basis, and imagining it weeks at a time from my very beige and closed-to-the-world room. I am happy to say the tomatoes, peppers, beans and who knows what else I started are faring pretty well.

Bean Sprout

Two days after I took the picture of the above bean sprout, it was practically a foot high. And, our potted tomatoes seem to be enjoying their location on our deck. Portability equals access to more sunlight in our tree-heavy yard.

Potted Tomato

Of course, not pictured here are all the wild and crazy weeds that also love this time of year. But, green is good and being able to get my hands dirty is also good. Even while tackling the toughest of weeds, I need only remind myself of last year, and the chore suddenly turns into a privilege.

And, last, but certainly not least, May is when we gain another year on our anniversary count. As of May 26, we will have been married 9 years.

May 26, 2001

Time flies, a lot good and bad things happen. But, I believe, not a better pairing will you find.

May 26, 2001