Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Community Orchard

Every community should have one of these! We're pretty lucky here that we can walk about 10 minutes down the street and come to an orchard right on the outskirts of town. There you can pick an ice cream pail of Saskatoon berries and just about as much as you want of everything else... There are chokecherries, crab apples, gooseberries, and currents... I think there may be plums in there too but it's early days yet and I wasn't looking for them...

We managed to pick enough Saskatoon berries for a pie but it took forever. The bushes were already picked over and this year has not been stellar for the berries. Oh well. The pie itself is a treasure and made B's day I tell you.

we keep getting these days that start out cloudy, get nice and then big bands of storm clouds float by sometimes dropping a little rain, sometimes a lot and then just cruising through... These clouds didn't scare us though, we were on a mission!

To make up for the hour and a half it took to get 5 cups of berries I talked the kids into picking Chokecherries with me. We got a big bowl in 20 minutes. The fruit was lovely and there are loads of bushes just bursting with cherries.

When we got home I set about teaching the Superstar how to make Gran's pastry (she did pretty well too) and I made the Saskatoon pie and an apple/rhubarb/custard pie. I have enough dough left to make another pie soon. Maybe use up the last of the frozen pumpkin...

I also washed and sorted the chokecherries. I'll be trying my hand at making jelly today. If it turns out I'll share the recipe!

Have you been berry picking this summer?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

garden treasures

I have a great garden. It gives me lots of Rhubarb to make these oatmeal bars and can a few quarts of Rhubarb Compote to use in the winter on my oatmeal...

It also gives me glass. Yup. It's the only garden I've ever had that gives me broken pieces of bottles, ceramics and porcelain from 100 years ago. 

I love these gifts the most I think. I keep them by my sink so I can admire them while I do the dishes.

Every year the earth in my garden and flower beds turn up more of these bits of the past. I just add them to my collection of treasures...

Monday, July 23, 2012

the Tour - the last days

I didn't do much blogging about the last week or so of the Tour. I wanted to but I signed up to do another test knit and started a mystery shawl. By nature both of these are hard to share. Mind you in a few more weeks I'll have lots of knitting to blog about.

I can show you a few photos of what my garden has been doing though...

Ignore the weeds. I've spent the last few days pulling them and the garden looks much better. A bit less green but I'm sure the plants are happy.

I'm amazed by potato flowers... who knew they were so pretty!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Can you dance?

Here is another fun video from Youtube. Carol first posted a link to this on the IBK forum this morning.

I've watched it 3 times now. I don't think it'll ever get old either.

I'll be back soon with some knitting and garden news...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

the Tour - day 11 update

Here we are at Day 11 of the Tour already! I've been knitting/crafting pretty steady these last few days.

I finished the knitting on my lavender satchels at the Montmartre Folk Fest on Saturday and on Sunday I did some needle felting embellishments. I still need to weave in ends and weave a ribbon through them to close them up but they're basically done. I'll post a picture this weekend.

I finished the needle felting on my Fairy Castle. This project is now done. Thank goodness!

I would love to make another (but not this year!) for my crochet needles and maybe make it more of a castle tower like the one Rapunzel was locked in. I think I could needle felt enough detail to make it look like a tower...

I also did some embroidery on Friday I think, on the dress for my Princess and the Pea toy. It isn't very good really but it works. I just need more practice. I like the flowers but I'm not crazy about the curly cue bits... 

Don't mind all the ends, I still need to weave them in. I'm also hunting through my stash for a good doll coloured yarn. I think I may have some in Knit Picks Palette that I can hold double. And hair... I haven't decided on the colour yet, maybe brown like me, maybe black...

I started a sock on Sunday and have powered through the leg and heel. I'm halfway done the foot. I tried a short row heel this time. It was really simple and seems to fit great. There's a little hole at each corner I'll seam up.

The yarn is from Knit Picks. It's a lovely bunch of blues called Lullaby. The sock is striping up nicely and I like it.

I'll be using this short row heel for my next few pairs of socks I think. It's pretty good!

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Tour - Days 6 & 7

TGIF! Hurray for Fridays! I love having this extra day off every week (and yes I'm bragging).

In Tour news, yesterday was a dud. I didn't knit yesterday (gasp). I did move most of my Irises to my new fence line after work though and got offers from 2 lovely neighbors to add some more to my collection. I think I'll take them up on it too as they offered me yellow ones. I only have deep purple and purple and white. Besides, I'm a sucker for yellow.

Speaking of yellow (wasn't that a great segue?), I finished the knitting on my Princess dress this morning.

I still need to turn and sew the hem and seam the shoulders. I'll also be crocheting a pink edging around the neckline and arms. After that I'll be embarking on some embroidery.

I spent about an hour looking for Sweet Pea pictures on Google this morning. Then I turned around and pinned them on Pinterest. Seriously the biggest time suck I tell you. If I'm going to loose countless hours to the Internet I'd rather lose them on Ravelry. Anyway, I found many that were lovely but one that will be simple enough for a beginner but still capture that look I'm going for.

Then I went into the dungeon and dug around my cross stitch bin for colours to match the ones in my head (always interesting and a wee bit frightening). I pulled out these 4...

I'm in love with these colours together! I think they have an old fashioned feel and a Victorian romantic look to them. So now that I have the perfect plan I sure hope I can pull it off... yup, no pressure...

PS - this weekend is All Folk'd Up so I may not get to post when I want. The weather is supposed to be scorching hot too... I love summer!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Tour - Days 3, 4 & 5

Ok here we are at day 5. I'm back at work and it's still crazy hot outside. Thank goodness for air conditioned offices!

On Monday (day 3) I started my Princess and the Pea toy from Itty Bitty Toys. It's our July/August toy for the ongoing KAL on the Itty Bitty forum on Ravelry. I got 6 panels finished for the mattresses. I also tweaked out a plan to do some embroidery on some of the mattresses. I'm not very practiced at embroidery but I really admire needlework.

Yesterday (day 4) I finished another panel and a half. And tonight (day 5) is Knit Night at the Library so I hope to at least finish the half and maybe most of panel 9. Anyway, I'm tempted to cast on a pair of socks because holding this fingering mohair double and knitting on size 4mm needles is making my hands ache a bit... I won't though. I have too many projects coming up.

PS - Happy 4th to my American friends and happy birthday Mary Rose! 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Tour de Fleece days 1 & 2

Well it's that time again. Time to compete in the Tour de France knitting style. The Tour started on June 30th and in true Jill fashion I forgot about it until Raili posted about her goals in the Itty Bitty group and on her blog. Thanks Raili!

I have the same goal I have every year... knit (or craft) for 20 minutes a day while the Tour is going on.

It doesn't seem like much of a goal really to me. I tend to knit everyday anyway. Not always for 20 minutes though, usually it's way more!

So on the 30th we were busy fencing and I didn't get much knitting in until B said "Lets go see the Avengers" and I said "Hurray!"

It was a great movie. It was also 2.5 hours long. Lots of quality movie theater knitting time.

I know that doesn't look like much but that's a whole inch on the body of my laceweight cardigan. I think I'm at about 300 stitches. Each row is taking forever now but I'm almost at the length I want.

You know I also did some needle felting on Saturday too. I'm trying to finish up my gnome home but I broke both of my felting needles.

I love needle felting. I can't wait to pick up some more needles. I have a whole lot of project ideas buzzing around in my head.

So now that takes me to Canada Day (yesterday) which was fabulous. It was another scorcher so I sat on the front porch in the morning and did a weaving-in-of-the-ends session. I got my Spruced Mitts finished and wove in the 2 little ends on my Truffle Ishbel shawl (I'm so ashamed it's taken me over 2 months to do that 5 second job) and I wove in all the ends on my test knit. I also knit another chunk on the cardigan but that was after we finished the fence and weeded most of the garden.

Today is day 3 of the Tour and I plan to put another inch or so on the cardigan and hopefully bind off the body. There aren't any plans to do chores today, I think it's a day of rest. We could use it!

Out with the old and in with the new

As I mentioned in my last post, we got a new camper last summer. I've been ready for an upgrade for ages. I loved the freedom that the...