Category: Blog


Tis done! and in pretty much record time for me- just over a month. I’m not a very fast knitter, but this one came together quickly. Only minor modifications- lengthened it a smidge, and also deepened the armscythes. I’m very happy with the fit. It’s comfy through the shoulders and upper back, hanging nicely when not buttoned.

It works well and is quite cozy when buttoned up, but I think my lowest button placement might need to be adjusted. just a little bit off. Anyway- I’m feeling pretty good about having recycled the Autumn’s end project into something that I know I will wear.

With Griff’s Smokeshow off the needles, I’ve turned to finishing up a couple other things that had been set aside some time ago- first up, odds and ends socks

The blue/white is Zauberball, and the orange is mystery sockyarn (lost the label) from the stash. Decided to pull in another type of Zauberball leftovers for the toes because I didn’t think I’d have enough orange for both feet.

And, in a recent minor re-org of the wool room unearthed a project that I’d completely lost track of- argyle zauberball socks!

Quick search of the blog tells me that I last worked on them in Oct of 2018. And I’d forgotten that they were this close to being done. If they really only need seaming and end-tucking, then this should be an easy win. I might also need to go back and add a little bit of length in the foot, as they look a little bit short. But it will be so nice to have another pair of argyles in the sock rotation.

Still wet and chilly here, but I’m finally getting some germination on my tomatoes. Might need to start another wave of peppers and eggplants, tho. Those peps just don’t have any tolerance for cold gray weather. I get that. I’m dreaming of spring and sunshine as well.

Big Pruning

This weekend’s main event was getting our larger fruit trees tidied up.

The King Apple is always a big job. But this year we felt like we needed to make a decision to keep the tree from taking a dive, due to the westward lean of the trunk.

It was a hard cut to make, and it didn’t come off quite as cleanly as we’d hoped, but I’m hoping that the tree will recover and have quite a few more years in it.

Might take a few years for the apple production to recover, tho. That was the most productive quadrant of the tree (southwest facing). I’d really like to do something special with the wood, but don’t have much experience with that sort of thing. Suggestions welcome-

Today we tackled the Big Cherry. Before:

and after

There are still some branches up pretty high that I wish I could have reined in, but they were a bit out of reach, so will have to wait for the next round.

We also did the not-so-big cherry

I suspect that the cherry trees are in shock about now. We’d mostly left them alone for the last few years. But hopefully this will help us get the leaf spot issue under control, and make the trees healthier in the long run.

I also managed to get Griff’s Smokeshow vest blocked, assembled, and off the needles during the in-between times. So it’s 99% done. But no photos yet. I’ll get the ends tucked in, buttons on, and give it a little steam bath and model it for you next time.

Here’s a preview of the fun buttons tho-

Have a good week, folks! 🙂

Couch Chicken

Introducing my chicken friend Buttercup

She’s got little forget-me-not-ish blossoms on her wings, as well as some other subtle embroidery on her winds and tail feathers that I’m finding hard to photograph. I think she’s so sweet. I’m really pleased with how the pattern worked in felt. I did all the stitching for this little girl by hand, so it was kind of slow-going. If I make another, I will probably go to the sewing machine now that I have a good feel for how the assembly should go. So many ideas for other felty chicken characters!

In other news, seed starting has begun! Yesterday I sowed tomatoes

+ Gladiator Hybrid giant roma that I don’t have a seed packet for.


and Eggplants:

It’s exciting to have the 2024 garden underway. I have big plans to expand the footprint of my outside growing area, and am hoping to go get a trailerload of mushroom compost to move that project forward as soon as our big blue truck is up to the task.

And the Griff Smokeshow vest is really starting to look like something-

As soon as I finish up the right front, I’m going to do an in-progress steam block to see how the cable pattern looks once the yarn relaxes a bit. It feels like it’s on track- If the back goes as smoothly (and I don’t run out of Griff singles) I think this project might come together pretty quickly. Guess I should start looking for the right buttons 🙂

Have a great week everyone-

Bring on the Spring

February is the longest short month.

Still winter, but so longing to be spring, it is time to prune, and start seed, and amend beds.

The ritual of pruning has begun. I usually start with the roses. Rugosas need a hard cut,

where other varieties require a bit more of a plan, with decisions about long term shrub shape and size in mind.

Then the fruit trees. The last few years we’ve just kind of let our giant cherry tree out back do it’s thing- but it’s developed some sort of leaf spot issue, and i think this year we need to do some thinning and try and get it back under control. That will be a two person job.

The “getting the big ladder out” grand finale of pruning is our King apple.

And here is the tree I think of as the Sheep Apple (because I use it’s new growth as sheep treats throughout the summer) complete with a robin shopping for the perfect nest location, and sheep wondering what I’m up to 🙂

Seed starting will hopefully begin later today or tomorrow with onions and shallots- and maybe poppies.

And I’ve found a local source for mushroom compost, so I’m excited about that. Hoping that I can arrange a pickup of a trailerload maybe next weekend. The volume of our homemade compost is down some since I don’t have chickens contributing anymore, but I’d probably need an external source anyway, as I’m hoping to reconfigure/extend my planting area this year.

It’s still pretty chilly outside, but I feel better, and less anxious about the general state of the world, when I can be outside working. Seedlings and buds on fruit trees work wonders for my psyche.

As does knitting, which is like watching something grow right under my fingertips. Twining cable stems, in a vaguely mushroomy natural color.

Coming along nicely. I’m just a few rows shy of the 4th buttonhole, and the beginning of the V neck shaping.

Not much spinning this week, but I took stock of all the little blendy skeins I’ve been spun up over the winter-

They make a nice little collection- no immediate plans for a project, tho. they might just need to cure a while in the stash.

Have a good week, folks-