Kingsfoil Socks and Strawberry Pinot Jam

I had a lovely weekend away seeing my sister and her family and my niece. A bit of a whirlwind trip, which ended with some lovely person asking if I would trade seats with her mother who was flying in First Class. It was my first encounter with the fancier snacks and real glassware, and now I fear I am spoiled for life. 🙂

There has been some knitting around here, first off I am proud to introduce my Kingsfoil socks. These are just the sort of socks I like to knit and to wear. The knitting is interesting, but not too involved that they take too long to knit. A classic style, and one that would look good in plenty of colors besides this basic grey.

Kingsfoil Socks
Kingsfoil Socks

I also finished the latest Kieran Foley Mystery Shawl, which was great fun to knit. Sometimes these mysteries make choosing colors challenging, but it seems like a good exercise.

Kieran Foley MKAL3

We have had some lovely weather this week, unseasonably warm. Dan has been loving being able to bike to work again. It has me in the mind for spring cleaning. In that spirit we decided to make some Strawberry Pinot jam with the last of last year’s organic strawberries we had in the freezer.

Strawberry Pinot Noir Jam
My friend Jean shared her delicious recipe and I can’t wait to try it out!

Strawberry Pinot Noir Jam

This weekend is a poignant one for us here, 6 years and 6 months ago my mother passed away and it’s her birthday on Tuesday, St. Patrick’s Day. It’s also 6 years since Dan’s Leukemia diagnosis. We are pretty grateful to be where we are now, happy, healthy and enjoying this good weather.

Almos spring
*These are store tulips, the weather isn’t quite that good yet.

Spin and Spring

I’ve finished a few more spinning projects and thought I’d share them, matching them with a corresponding early Spring photo from our yard.

Handspun Wool/Alpaca/Silk
Emerging Spring - Wild Ginger

Approximately 835 yards of 2-ply yarn, spun from about 18 oz. of alpaca, silk and wool fiber. I’ve matched it with some delicate wild ginger coming up through some rocks.

Handspun Fairy Blend
Emerging Spring - Moss

The sparkly bits in this luxurious blend of alpaca, bison, wool, ramie and tencel remind me of the wee shoots of new growth on a patch of moss. I spun approximately 170 yards of 2-ply yarn from 2 oz. of fiber.

Handspun Alpaca & Silk
Emerging Spring - Hepatica

And, this 70/30 blend of alpaca and silk, spun from 4 oz. of fiber and yielding 190 yards of 2-ply yarn, is paired with one of the first flowers of Spring (at least in our yard) – Hepatica.

Apart from some stubbornly cold temperatures, I think it’s safe to say the spell of Winter has been broken.

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

Shepherd’s Harvest


This time last year I was stuck in an emergency room waiting to be checked in to the hospital for my second extended stay. Needless to say, we wouldn’t be visiting our favorite festival. So, when this year’s festival rolled around, I felt like I was having to make up for lost time (and, I’m sure the vendors were quite happy that I was).

Hanging with Siblings

I’m happy that the festival has grown so much in the last couple of years. It was not that long ago that all the vendors could fit in one building. This weekend, it took four buildings to house them all. I’m only happy to support some of the amazing producers, spinners, dyers, etc… that show up every year with their wares. I think my favorite for this year was a couple who use natural dyes to produce some amazing colors in their roving and yarn. See for yourself! There should be some sweaters spun and knit from this stuff in the near (or distant) future.


Of course, I’m a sucker for all the animals, and I certainly enjoy checking them out. I wonder if our neighbors would notice if we had a cloven-foot animal wandering around our yard? At least our grass would stay short…

Food on Face

I’ve got my work cut out for me this next year. Uh, who am I kidding? I think I have enough to last me for a couple of trips around the sun. Here’s just a wee glimpse: