Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Those containers of lettuce are really producing well. Today's harvest, lettuces and spinach and green beans, became tonight's dinner, with some added veggies from the farmer's market and a little chicken. I love being able to walk out onto the patio and pick fresh vegetables to feed my family!

Monday, April 21, 2014

In The Garden

Our garden is larger this year, and we're hoping for more of a harvest. Last year the squash vine borer got our zucchini, the heat got our lettuce, and I have no idea what happened to the tomatoes. We did get a lot of green beans, and the basil went crazy, but that was it.

This year we started earlier, and utilized lights to start seedlings indoors before the last frost. It helped to give our garden a good jump-start. I've been harvesting lettuce for weeks - we planted several varieties in pots instead of in the ground, so we could move it out of the worst of the heat to extend the season a bit. I've got Romaine, Grand Rapids, and Simpson, and I get 3 small side-salads for dinner at least 4x a week. I take the largest leaf from each plant, and they obligingly grow new ones for the next day or two.

Today I also harvested a few green onions and green beans. It's a small taste of what's to come, and I'm loving it. :)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Rainbow Napkins, Done!

I've finally finished weaving the napkins. I decided to experiment with weaving using a temple for this warp. Not for my edges, they're always fine - but it was suggested to me that a temple would reduce draw-in, and therefore allow a wider cloth for the same amount of threads. Since I weave long production-type warps of 12-14 yards, this should in theory save me on thread cost. 

Well, it slowed me down dramatically. I could have woven twice as many napkins for the same amount of time. The temple has to be moved every half-inch or so, in order to be effective. Even though the temple removal and replacement took just a few seconds, it interrupted my "flow" and took some of the enjoyment out of the weaving. And it's got to be FUN, otherwise it's not worth doing!

A temple is a great tool for keeping the woven cloth stretched to its proper width, and I'll use it for weaving rugs, but for towels and napkins, it's not for me. Lesson learned!

Here are the finished napkins - washed, dried, pressed, and hand-hemmed (available in my shop, link on the right):

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Catching Up

So where was I? 3 months of silence. I really meant to keep you up to date... Best intentions, best laid plans, etc. Anyway, I've been spinning and knitting and weaving and even crocheting, and I haven't taken the time to tell you about any of it, have I?

So far in 2014 I've spun 7.5 POUNDS of fiber. Seriously. Look - I've been keeping track on Ravelry and also on Flickr. That's a lotta yarn. I've also knit a vest, finished knitting a sweater and started knitting another one, and started weaving some soft cotton napkins, random rainbows like the dishtowels I love to weave. Since the napkins were started this week, you get a picture:

When they're done, I plan to list them in my shop in pairs. I'll let you know when they're ready.

I also have TONS of the aforementioned yarn to photograph and list in the shop. Photograph - ah, there's the rub. My least favorite part - but it has to be done, otherwise you can't see the yummies.

What else? Well, we tripled the size of the vegetable garden this year. Mr. Debbie has gone all out - he put down black garden cloth, planted the veg, and mulched everything. My part was planting the seedlings indoors and nurturing the little guys under lights. We have a lovely crop of lettuce that we've already been harvesting for salads, and I'm hopeful for tomatoes, zucchini, spinach, and beans. We have some other things planted that I'm not so sure about, but only time will tell.

Hmmmm... Oh! I got a breadmaker for my birthday in mid-February, and I have been baking all our bread since then. Mr. Debbie is in heaven - he adores bread, and has declared that my bread is tastier than store-bread even the few times it's lasted long enough to get slightly stale toward the end. The smell of the bread baking is delightful.

And I bought a bicycle to ride back and forth to my Jazzercise classes. It's a 3 mile roundtrip, which is a nice addition to the Jazzercise workout. I worked out a route that only requires crossing 3 busy intersections, all at traffic lights. I haven't ridden a bike in years, I'm having so much fun! And of course I'm wearing a helmet, something we never did as kids.

So much to tell you... I'll try to be good and update more often. Promise!