Monday, April 14, 2008

hello, little garden!

This past weekend was an absolute bust. On my hurried way out the door to the spinning guild meeting I haphazardly put my spinning wheel in the back of Mr. Wheezy-to-Be's van without thoroughly securing it. Well, I made my first turn and I heard a blood-curdling wooden THUNK come from the back. The wheel had fallen over. I pulled over to the nearest parking lot to see what had happened and SOMETHING WAS BROKEN. The dowel pin that holds the mother of all had snapped in two, and by the time I realized this, tears were streaming down my face.

I arrived home, 5 minutes later and proclaimed "I BROKE MY WHEEL!" I ran upstairs to consult the general wisdom of Ravelry, and when I came back downstairs, wiping tears from my eyes, Ben was on the phone with a Kromski dealer in Oregon ordering me a new dowel pin and consulting with them on how to repair the broken part. YAY. BEST FIANCE EVER.

So, I made my way to our neighborhood hardware store (yes! we still have one of those!) to buy some Elmer's wood glue, and to our local health food grocer to buy some sandwiches, I noticed a plant sale! Yes! A local organic farmer had some heirloom seedlings for sale! I discussed with them the fact that I was container gardening, and I had had some pretty big containers (kitty litter containers, etc.).

Now I shall present you with the beginning of the Fresh Step Garden 2008

I'm using some giant kitty litter containers with holes drilled into them, and a big paint mixing bucket from Home Depot, which is an idea I got from the wonderful You Grow Girl.

Let's see, I purchased a bunch of heirloom and organic plants from Eaton's Creek Organics. On the tomato front we have: Mark Twain, Manyel, and Large Red. Peppers representing this year are Giant Marconi and Straddon's Select Pepper. I also picked up some lavender, sweet basil, red basil and thyme from them.

Quite happily, I made my merry way to Gardens of Babylon at the Farmer's Market where I picked up a beautiful spearmint plant, some lettuce and cilantro. I was then off to Home Depot where I rounded off the day with a purchase of an organic strawberry and chamomile plant, along with potting soil and additional pots.

It was a good way to calm myself down after the trauma of breaking your spinning wheel (which is fine, and in working order, by the way). The past few nights, there's been a threat of frost, so these fellas have had to stay indoors, but tomorrow night after work, they will receive proper homes!

Friday, April 11, 2008

keep on knitting in the free world

The Yarn Harlot's visit to Nashville was most excellent! I was able to pick up her new book, "Things I Learned from Knitting... whether I wanted to or not" and got it autographed. There was a good turnout, and it was fun to be surrounded by that many knitters all at once. I must say, the Harlot is the Queen of the Deadpan and the Mistress of the Dry Wit. There is no one to equal her is humor. I had a blast. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my somewhat reliable digital camera was left with my somewhat tolerable camera phone.

When I got my book signed, I brought up the fact that I understood cold (something she mentioned in the Q&A section of the evening - that Southerners just don't understand what it's like) as I'm from Buffalo. I didn't mention our respective hockey teams, (Sabres v. Leafs) as that is a conversation that may have ended in fisticuffs. We're two ladies, after all, even though there is a deep and vast rivalry between the Niagara Peninsula that can never be amended, I'm afraid. I was tempted to bring it up, though, especially because neither of our teams made the playoffs.

Update on the Nutkins: I think my gauge is whack. I think I knit too tightly! After looking at Melissa's amazingly blue Nutkin socks, I think I'm an extremely tight knitter, especially when it comes to pattern knitting. When it's an easy peasy vanilla sock pattern, who cares? Tight is fine. But patterns, oh boy! No wonder the blasted thing doesn't fit!

I found a sock I was knitting for Mr. Wheezy-in-87-days (oh my!), and I got a chunk of it done while listening to the Harlot. I finished it last night, and got another big chunk of it done today while they had us in the basement of the library during a tornado warning. Thank god I never go anywhere without my knitting. It's just like what the Harlot said, and I'm paraphrasing here: Knitters are not patient. We look it, but take our knitting needles away from us, and we'd commit petty crimes.

That's how I felt today. I would have started screaming at students who took up multiple seats while 80 y/o professor emeritus had to sit on the floor (someone else gave them a talking to, don't worry).

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Most excellent!

The Middle Tennessee Sheep, Wool and Fiber Festival has been announced!

Unfortunately, it's right before the wedding, but I will taking some "sanity time" and head on out there. It's about an hour outside of Nashville, and will need to spend some time with sheep and spinning wheels.

And tonight, I have a date with The Yarn Harlot at a Borders out in Brentwood, TN! Let's hope it's not too bonkers and I can get in the door (this is a notoriously small Borders).

Saturday, April 05, 2008

I can't stay away from cotton

In taking a break from the last few dishcloths, and planning my container garden, I came across this pattern on You Grow Girl. The pattern was a little trying for a novice crocheter like myself, but after a second go-round, I manage to come up with some pleasing results! My friend Karen requested I make one for her when I see her at the end of the month for the wedding shower!

Speaking of wedding showers, my hostess gifts arrived from the lovely Melissa of Bridgman Pottery, and they're more lovely than I could have ever imagined, so get over there and shop already!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Threadfest, or, 35 Feet High and Rising

Finally, I got around to taking some pictures of my loot from Threadfest! Vintage patterns galore! And all of these treasures were mine for under five dollars!

My goal is to make as much as I possibly can. While I can't imagine I'll be knitting and Coco Chanel-esque dress suits anytime soon, there are plenty of great patterns that provide great inspiration. There are some great patchwork crocheted scarves, amazing parkas, you name it! I am so excited at all the possibilities!

On the dishcloth front, which seems to be occupying a huge part of my life, I can safely say THE END IS IN SIGHT. Sure, I have about 5 more to do, and I still have to weave in all those godforsaken ends, but I plan to be done by this weekend. I fear for my sanity. I only had 35 done, with one more about to be finished.

And with that, I'll leave you with a picture of The Leaning Tower of Dishcloths:

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