Morrison Wrap

Dan and I have pretty different work schedules, so we don’t always get to have dinner together. Last night we made one of the usual items (stir fry with peanut sauce) but made it “fancy” with some candles and wine. It doesn’t take much around here!

Dinner for 2

It was a busy knitting week, and I am happy to report I have finished knitting this lush wrap. Let me introduce Morrison Wrap, another in my series of scarves and wraps named for female authors I really like, this one after the incomparable Toni Morrison. Here is a great piece on her. I find her books so profound, moving and beautifully written, I think she will prove to be the greatest author of our time. Reading her work is not easy, but an emotional/spiritual pilgrimage. Anyway, a big wrap for a big author!  It measures 80×21 inches!

Morrison Wrap

The yarn is Blue Sky Alpaca’s Alpaca Silk, which is so drapey and soft I never want to take it off!

Morrison Wrap

I am mostly a jeans kind-of person, but I think this would look really nice dressed up.

Morrison Wrap

With everyone around here going south for their winter vacations I am happy to report I will be too! I think it’s best to manage one’s expectations in this department, say if you went to Mexico and it was cool, you would be pretty disappointed, so I am playing it safe and going to Chicago and Davenport next weekend. I will hope for 30’s! Poor Dan will have to stay here in the cold weather as this trip is for my dear niece’s wedding shower, a ladies-only event, so my sister and I will be meeting up and celebrating with her! I can’t wait!

Valentine’s Day at Bunny Acres

February is a hard month in MN. It’s still very much winter here, and yet signs of spring are popping up in other places, photos of spring bulbs in bloom show up on blogs, people talk about starting their gardening… But, those of us in MN who are not taking trips to warmer climates this month must draw on some very deep fealty to the State and find joy where we can. Dan has a new sweater, a Valentine Grettir:


We sometimes call our place Bunny Acres, as we always have at least one bunny around. We have a lot of shelter possibilities and in the warmer months a 24 hour buffet of tasty plants. We name the friendlier ones and while we might sometimes get a little frustrated when they eat a particular plant to the ground, generally we feel like there is enough for everyone in our yard, including the owls and hawks. One famous year we had a bunny who would eat the little piles of weeds I’d pull up! This last year we have had an especially friendly bunny, in fact a few times Fred has surprised us by popping up very close almost as if to see what we are up to.


Now Fred is very responsive to our presence, since we have been showering our friend with the bounty of our organic veggie and fruit peels and ends to brighten her/his Feb. Certainly Fred has had a much harder winter then we have, and is looking forward to spring just as much as we are.


Wool and Oranges

Dan’s needle felting business has been keeping him pretty busy for some time, but I am happy to report that he has been able to find a little time for spinning again. He has been using it a bit like a meditation I think, 15 minutes with his coffee in the morning, before the world wakes up. Here is his first skein of the year.

Handspun Yarn

I love these little daily practices, and I had a good one last year that I’ll show you in another post. I haven’t found one for 2015 yet. I have some ideas, nothing has solidified yet.

Kieran Foley Test Knit

I have been knitting a lot of scarves/shawls lately. At the moment I’m having a blast test knitting this fun one for Kieran Foley (pictured above). I finally finished this one I started back in October. There is some secret knitting going on as well, stay tuned!

Handknit Shawl

This weekend brought a bit of a winter thaw to our corner of the world, but mostly January has been so cold all we have wanted to do is stay in, cook soups and other comfort foods and stay warm. I hope you are staying warm and finding pleasure in the season, at least the citrus fruit has been great, hasn’t it?

Winter Citrus

Fermentation, Revisited

I made my approach to countertop pickling very slowly. Not sure why, given how tasty soured veggies are (not to mention the long list of healthful benefits packed in each bite). Nevertheless, here I am, experimenting with some of the season’s bounty with a little help from Linda Ziedrich’s book The Joy of Pickling.


So far this summer (still a bit early, yet, to be taking full advantage of the piles of veggies at our farmer’s market), I’ve been working on some pickled radishes, kohlrabi, kimchi, sauerkraut and some dill cucumbers. The kimchi is still bubbling away, so I can’t say for sure how it will be, but based on what I’ve experienced with the pickled cucumbers and kohlrabi, I’ve got high hopes.

Did I mention how simple and easy it is? Some water, some salt, fresh veggies and a little bit of patience…

Black Walnut Project

This morning started out as any typical sunny, Autumn, Sunday morning — yard work. With the 20+ trees in our yard, we have to stay ahead of the leaves otherwise we get inundated with piles and piles. Of course, it’s not just leaves we’re after:

Black Walnut Project - Firewood

Now, given how fat and happy the squirrels have been, we knew our smallish black walnut tree had a productive year. It wasn’t until we reached that part of the yard, did we realize how much of a bumper crop we had.

Black Walnut Project - Black Walnuts

At about this point, our impulse control started to wane. We had sticks. We had walnuts. We had a fire pit that hadn’t been used in a while. And, we had some undyed yarn sitting in the house. Thus was born the great Black Walnut Project, conducted by two ambitious individuals (both recovering from colds – maybe that was affecting our judgement), who were quickly losing interest in the remaining chores around the yard.

So, we started a fire.

Black Walnut Project - Kettle on Fire

We gathered the juiciest walnuts and put them together in a cheesecloth wrap and steeped them in some boiling water.

Black Walnut Project - Steeping

We ate lunch.

Then, we fastened some cloth over another pot and strained out the dark, inky liquid.

Black Walnut Project - Dye Bath

Virginia did the honors, and dyed a couple of skeins of yarn, including some handspun stuff that had been languishing in the stash for a number of years.

Black Walnut Project - Dyeing

The resulting yarn was pretty nice – maybe not as dark as it could have been, definitely more interesting than what it was before.

Black Walnut Project - Yarn

And, I’m happy to say, the rest of the chores got done. (Well, most of them — there will always be another day for that.)