Monday, June 24, 2013

What's been up

I've been away from blogging for so long!Life has really gotten in the way. Work, the family, the home, the garden, name it! I've been wanting to post for some time, but honestly, I've just been too exhausted to sit down and do it. Well, today I have some free time, so here I am. In gardening news: I started my garden in early May, so that my fruits and veggies could have an early start, and my harvest would be early as well. Here's what I have planted: straight neck squash,zucchini, melons, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, string beans,sweet basil, thai basil, parsley, cilantro, lettuce, mint, rosemary, thyme, sage, swiss chard,beets, cabbage, arugula, eggplant, chives, cotton, strawberries. Also, I planted blueberry bushes and raspberry bushes, which were already fruiting! Whew! I may have forgotten something. Please forgive me. :) Gardening is very hard work, but so enjoyable. It makes me feel connected to the earth, and makes me happy to be able to produce food to feed my family. Sustainability - it's good for us! LOL! My food shopping bill has been cut severely because of the garden. That's the greatest part of it all! Here are a few pics from the garden: In crafting news: I did finally take the sewing machine that hubby brought me for 2012 mother's day out of the box it came in! My friend, Nadine, showed me how to set it up and get started on it. Not as scary as I thought! I made 4 pincushions! No pics of those - sorry. I really need basic sewing supplies, then I'll venture onto something else. My spinning wheel has been unloved and is showing it. He squeaks when I touch him! I have to clean him up and throw something sweet and fine on him real soon. My spindles, however, have been getting a whole lot of attention. I've discovered a new love - turkish spindles. These spindles are interesting in their shape in that they have arms which interlock when the smaller arm is placed through a slit in larger arm and forms a crss or an X (depending on how you view it). They are spun suspended, and reminds me of my beloved bottom whorl spindles. I've amassed a pretty large collection pretty quickly. Here are 4 of them loaded with some dark colored wool (navy, green and burgundy) with trilobal nylon which is very sparkly, but difficult to capture in photos. Here's are my phang spindles. These look like sticks sharpened to a point at both ends and rounded slightly in the middle. I am spinning some cheviot wool which I dyed and blended with a bit of tussah silk, and mulberry silk, to make the spinning smoother. I think I've mastered support spinning on these spindles now. They take a bit of practice getting used to, but are fun to use. In knitting news: I've been working on the Smeagal shawl by MMario on Ravelry. I'm also in his yahoo group. I wanted something simple to knit on my commute, so I started this shawl with my handspun cheviot singles dyed in varying shades of pink. I had one large skein and wanted to use every bit of yarn, so I figure I'll just keep knitting to the end of the pattern. I ran out on row 5 of 6, right before starting the 6 row border. Luckily, I have 3 other skeins of the same wool in a similar shade of pink. I'm going to wind my skein into a ball tonight and finish it up. In Crocheting news: I have not crocheted anything in forever. There was a thick layer of dust on my hooks, and they were begging to be cleaned and loved. So, I obliged. I started two crochet shawls from patterns found on Ravelry. Amita shawl. Made with a yarn that has been lingering in my stash for years. I had crochedte skirt with it many moons ago, and had a lot of yarn remaining. I thought the yarn and pattern worked well together. The yarn in Schaeffer mischgarn. Fan of tassels shawls. Made with a yarn of unknown content given to me by my friend Nefer. It's a chartreuse color, which I love. That's all I have time for now, folks. I'll be back....:)