Sunday, March 29, 2009

first harvest


Today was a beautiful mild, sunny spring Sunday. While I was out puttering in the garden, I cut some lettuce because the patch was getting very crowded, and realized that this bunch represents the first harvest of the 2009 season! Hooray!

I am really looking forward to a season full of fresh veggies from the garden and the CSA, especially now that it really, really feels like spring. It's been pouring rain for the last week, so dark and dreary. But you know what they say about spring showers... everything is so lush and bright outside now.

This was HWWLLB's birthday weekend (he is 40!), and I think he got Spring for his birthday. The sun peeked out for part of the day on Saturday, but today was just gorgeous and sunny, and we both spent a lot of time wandering through the yard marveling at how everything seemed to have exploded overnight.

The birthday weekend was great. Lots of good food and friends, lots of decadent treats, some board games, a walk at the botanical garden, and a wonderful afternoon half-working, half-lounging in the garden.

I got some weeding done, but the weeding was really just an excuse to poke around and see what was coming up. I just love the feeling when you pull away a big pile of chickweed, and underneath you find something great coming up, like the Spotted Joe Pye Weed that was hiding under mounds of chickweed today. The promise of warm summer days to come.

HWWLLB got another half-finished knitting project for his birthday, but he seemed happy with it despite my slowness (or maybe he's so used to getting unfinished knitted gifts that it doesn't faze him anymore).

His most favorite animal of all time is the sloth, and so I'm making him a life-sized, felted two-toed sloth. The body is just about done, and then I'll start on the legs (including giant claws!). It's been a lot of fun to knit so far, so I hope it will finish up relatively quickly. It's also been fun for me to learn about sloths in the process - and of course I'll be sharing some of what I learned with y'all in an upcoming post, because I do love to share when I learn about some adorable Endangered Ugly Thing. Nature is just so cool.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

winter turns into spring


Since the last time I wrote, which was a snow day, winter has careened headlong into spring and back again a couple of times. But I'm finally starting to believe that spring is really here. The birds are making nests all over, and our greenhouse is loaded with little plants almost ready to go into the garden.

I've mostly been doing indoor things, like knitting and re-arranging & re-organizing the house. We moved my work/craft space from one side of the house to the other. I used to have a room all to myself, which I loved very very much. My new workspace is in the back room of the house, which is large, open and sunny, with lots of windows.

It's great, except that the big back room also contains our dining area, and my workspace is visible from lots of other places, so I feel compelled to organize it well and keep it neat, which does not come very naturally to me.

My dad helped by building some shelves, and cleaning out a ton of craft supplies and old papers helped a lot too. A paper and craft purge feels really good once in a while. And we found the funniest things. I had a decrepit cardboard box stuffed with paper and photos from high school. There were hundreds of little notes that other kids and I had passed back and forth to each other in class (why did I keep these things??). At first my sister and I found them uproariously funny, but after the third or fourth note, high school drama gets a bit monotonous.

I am going to DIE DIE DIE! Some one can't keep their mouth shut and now everyone knows who I like including Dave M, Tracey, Tom S and C.S.!!!!! And HE knows! All I did was tell one person who I thought I could trust and now everyone including my crush knows everything! My life is ending!!!!!!


We wound up throwing out the whole box, just rescuing a few photos first. I also found all my journals since college or so (hopefully I burned all the high school journals in a previous purge), and I put them in storage boxes in the attic, along with photo albums going back to elementary school.

I think this is what they call spring cleaning. So far it hasn't involved much soap and water, but egad, so much dust! Getting rid of dusty piles of things has got to be one of the most therapeutic activities there is.

By the way, thanks to all of you who suggested knitting up some soakers with my yarn leftovers - what a great idea! I do have a lot of Cascade 220 around, so I've made a couple of wrap-style soakers and one of the Butt Knits variety, which is coming along splendidly. They are a fun quick project to work in between other knits, and they do use up the Cascade leftovers quite brilliantly. But I am on to a rather ambitious knitted toy today... it's a birthday present which I can't imagine I'll get done in time, but I'll post updates once the recipient gets his prize (finished or not). It fits into the Endangered Ugly Things category, so this toy is either going to be really cute or really weird.

Monday, March 02, 2009

another snow day! toys!

another snow day 2

I can't believe it. A snow day in March!

Most winters we are lucky to get even one little dusting of snow - this is our third snowstorm of the year! And in March, no less!

Truthfully, I am itching to get the garden going and to spend breezy warm spring days outside, but I can't complain about snow. It's so magical and wonderful.

Yesterday it rained all day, and we spent the day tearing our house apart, de-cluttering, re-arranging, and trying to make room for another human being in our stuffed-full little house. My workspace is moving across the house, and I had occasion to look through my yarn stash with fresh eyes.

I tend to keep my yarn stash to a minimum - I am pretty good about using what I buy and not buying stuff I don't plan to use anytime soon (except for the sock yarn - let's not talk about that. It's an illness). So I was pretty pleased to see that my most recent de-stashing effort had been pretty well maintained.

But goodness, do I have a lot of single and partial skeins! As we cleaned and organized and re-arranged yesterday, I was mulling over what to do with them all, and I'm thinking that perhaps this spring will become a festival of knitted toys at my house. I have more than enough remnants for a whole ecosystem of little critters, populated by stuffies, woodins and owls, tended by a little rainbow fleet of Korknisser.

Any favorite toy ideas to suggest? I'm definitely hoping to design a few new ones, too. Send your requests!