Saturday, November 14, 2015

Troop Meeting: Roles

They had another troop meeting this week. Their school principal came and gave a talk about good behavior after school and they explored roles and careers by acting out the things they had brought for their prop box. K took a notebook/journal to be a writer/storyteller. She seemed to enjoy it but I didn't get too many details.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Back in mid-October, K's Girl Scout Junior Troop took a Sunday afternoon trip to Camp Potomac Woods, one of the GSCNC camps, to participate in an Archery Workshop.

The girls got the opportunity to learn some archery history, learn about the parts of the bow and arrow, learn safety and learn/practice shooting with compound bows. K had a blast and came back excited about her new found ability and how often she could hit the bulls-eye. I'm not sure if they earned a badge or not but it was certainly a positive experience for her.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Sewing Badge Research

K has expressed interest in learning to sew more and in potentially sharing that knowledge with others in her troop and maybe even younger girl scouts. As a result I have been looking into various sewing badge requirements, patch programs and project ideas to find things she might want to try. I could't find any official "sewing" badge at the Junior Level in the new post-2011 badge structure. I'm sure I'll rant about how much I dislike the marketing and branding of this new badge structure but not now. I know there are several ways to incorporate sewing projects into the badge requirements of other badges and especially into the Journeys but since her troop is working on those I'm going to stick to independent projects. Who know's, maybe when she feels more confident in her sewing skills she can help introduce the idea of a sewing related project into her troop.

There are several patch programs and some info on the retired badges like sew simple. There are also service focused programs and many great tutorials focus on beginner learning machine and/or hand sewing. Here are a few I've found:

Cupcakes and Lace. One of the local girl scout partner organizations, they offers workshops that individual girls can register for that teach sewing and crafting skills and some also meet badge requirements. This fall they are offering Junior Jeweler and Sew Simple programs. I'll be keeping an eye on the workshop list to see what's coming up.

Juliette Sews. GSNCA has a Council Own patch that helps girls learn more about sewing by hand and by machine. The link has a list of 29 requirements. Each level has to do items 1-4 and Juniors have to complete an additional 7 steps of their choosing. The patch is listed at $1.50 on the their Council Own Shop page.

Sew Simple Badge. I found a copy of the retired Sew Simple badge requirements along with other retired badges here. If I can't get her into a workshop I can always work on it at home but I'd have to track down a badge myself.

Dress a Girl Around the World offers a patch for those who take pillow cases and turn them into dresses. I stumbled across this patch on Pinterest and after some research decided that this could be a great way to combine service with the sewing. It is a program of Hope 4 Women International, an Arizona based ministry organization. "Dress a Girl Around the World provides patterns, ways to be involved and opportunities for you to deliver or to help fund the delivery of dresses to girls around the world. People from all over are forming" They sell patches on their site for $3.50.

Pinterest inspiration:
A hand stitch, cross stitch card idea
This pin is a collection of 7 simple pillowcase dress variations
Link to a Martha Stewart hand stitch felt tissue cover. I'd make changes to the size, embellishments and order of steps.
A cable keeper-A simple stitched band with button hole and button work
Sock Bunnies-up-cycle some socks and practice softie hand sewing
More advanced, a up-cycled t shirt braided rug

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Girl Scouts: Drawing Badge

Quick troop update: K's been to 3 or 4 troop meetings now. They have decided to work on the AMUSE Journey and Archery Badge first. The high energy level has cause some problems and its been slow getting started but I think they will get there.

The last meeting had to be canceled due to illness so instead of the troop meeting K and I decided to work on her Drawing Badge. We gathered the guide binder, her medium of choice (pencil on sketch paper), a still life object (an unlit pillar candle), and found a comfy spot with pillows.
Like all badges this one has 5 steps:
1. Experiment with different materials
2. Learn how to add shading
3. Get some perspective
4. Use your imagination like a graphic artist
5. Make your masterpiece--and show it off!!

K has always had an interest in art and has just about every medium you could want in the house so I was surprised when she decided to go with basic charcoal pencils. She loves color and uses it in everything so I guess she just wanted to practice with black and white so she could focus on the drawing itself. I have a very good quality set I use for sketching so I let her pick one of those. She pulled out her drawing book, found a fresh page and then started to draw the candle we had set up on the side table.

I found it interesting that at first, she barely looked at the still life, instead trying to draw from her memory.  What resulted was an image that was more what she thought the candle should look like and less like it really did. I pointed this out to her and after a few more stubborn attempts to draw from memory she finally started to look at it with a critical eye and try to represent what she saw, not what she imagined, on the page. She tried that several times, each time capturing more detail and less solid outline. She wants to come back with other mediums but was ready to move on to shading.

I had saved a bunch of examples of shading on Pinterest, some of the techniques (like hatching, crosshatching, smudging, blending), some teaching images (like shading around a ball or face with the light at different angels) and some just really cool images that used shading to create the effects.  we looked at them and talked about how the effects were achieve, what the use of the different techniques did to the style of the artwork and then started to practice.  At first we just used one technique at a time to create a shaded spot on the page but K quickly decided to put her last candle in shadow by making the background shaded. Once I showed her how to smudge, that became her favorite method so she spent a lot of time figuring out how to move the color around and achieve a haloed effect on the edges. 

Perspective is something they've been working on in both her art class and the drawing after school program shes in so she jumped right in to showing me how they used lines to draw buildings and right angle objects along a perspective. We pulled up a few more Pinterest images of perspective and since she had that down, I challenged her to look at a different type of perspective, from a bugs-eye view. This was much more challenging and she had trouble imagining what things would look like but she gave it a good effort.

Next we took a look at the world of graphic design...logos, branding, symbolism, and style.  We borrowed an idea from the blogs to have her design a logo with her name. This was very hard for her to do, both to come up with an ideas and to try to execute. Her perfectionism got in the way of her creativity her and she became quite frustrated so we called it quits. I think she wants to come back to this and try drawing a comic instead to finish this step.

I asked her to think about how she would like to complete step five. Once she decides and completes it she'll be done with the badge but this project was so fun it sparked may more ideas of things she wants to try and create. It also helped her understand that she doesn't have to "get it right" the first time, and that that are always many ways to draw the same object. I had fun drawing right along with her, challenging my creativity in ways I haven't done in a while and also getting outside my comfort zone by sharing what I was doing with her as I was doing it. I tend to draw just for me so it was good to let her see my struggles and missteps too.

Girl Scouts: Junior Journey

K has been with Girl Scouts since Kindergarten; first as a Daisy, then a Brownie and now a Junior. Some years she was really into it, others not so much but has continued to ask to be part of a troop to be with her friends and get to do cool stuff.  This year we spent some time talking about what she liked/disliked about being part of girl scouts and particularly part of a troop and what she really wanted to do this year. It was good to hear her talk about how she liked being part of the group and how much she wanted to belong to something. However, she also expressed frustration at the meetings not always going the way she wanted and how long it took to earn badges.  Though it's never predictable, among the "I don't care"  and "go with the flow"attitudes she expresses most often she regularly goes through periods of self-starting, competitive and motivated behaviors where she will want to do things herself, do it to her standards and be in control.

When she started asking about doing more badges I got the idea to offer her the chance to decide what, above and beyond what the troop would be doing, she wanted to accomplish in girl scouts. We started by pulling out her guidebook binder and started reading through the descriptions of what different badges required, what other things (like my my promise, my faith) there were to do and what it would take for her to complete the activities. I think she was a little overwhelmed at first with the amount of steps and pages that went with each badge but when we broke it down and talked about what steps/things she would actually need to do it became more palatable.  We also pulled up the council events homepage and looked at what kind of badge or patch earning activities were being offered came up with a few things she wanted to register for.

She decided that she wanted to work on the Drawing badge first and then join some workshops that focused on Jewelry and Sew Simple. I also talked to her about learning a skill that she could then take back to teach her troop to earn a build your own badge. She's thinking about it.

I'll be posting more of her Journey here.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Summer CSA Week 2 - Lost Corner Farm

Picked up our half share box this week and somehow the wonderful farmers at Lost Corner Farm managed to pack even more yummy greens into that box than last week.

A huge head of lettuce, another smaller head of lettucea giant hand full of asparagus, a pint of red ripe strawberries, curly kale, the biggest chineese cabbage you've seen, and some rainbow chard are repeated from last weeks share. In addition we got a bag of spinach, radicchio, collard greens, spring onions and a different variety of pok choi. 

I've got all kinds of yummy dishes planned. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

One Local Summer-Week 1 Recap

A number of years ago I tried playing along with an idea hosted by the blog Farm To Philly to eat at least one meal a week totally (with exceptions for stuff like salt, pepper, sugar and oil) from food grow or raised locally. Over the years there were several different definitions of local and several levels of exceptions made, some of which I've chronicled here, some that I did on my own. Unfortunately, as the scales of balance tipped in the wrong direction, cooking anything, not to mention cooking healthy, sustainably sourced, locally grown meals fell off. And I've been worse off for it.

But no more. I'm back with a CSA subscription to a new local farm just 24 miles down the road, a farmers market that host only vendor-produced foods grown within 125 miles, and a commitment to make this my summer to back on track. 

One of the reasons I let go of this before was all the rules of what and how far and the guilt of including something "not approved". It made what should have been an educational, inspirational journey into a comparison of who was "really" being local and who could afford to source more expensive meats and exotic veggies to eat well. In an effort to avoiding all of that I'm playing by my own rules this year and celebrating even the little steps as success. 

My rules will be:
Cook at least 3 local meals a week
A local meal is a meal that contains at least half local foods and no exotic items that could not reasonably be obtained  locally. The point is to eat things in season, not how creative can I get at stretching the rules but I will note the non local items. I will also feature things like pickles where the primary ingredient that is ultimately eaten is local even if the liquid and spices are not. 
Local is anything grown or raised within 150 miles. 
I will endeavor to find sustainable, environmentally friendly, economically feasible alternatives where possible but will hold no guilt if I use store bought items or a cheaper product if it results in the ability to provide a healthy, home cooked meal to my family. 
I will source and meal plan from my share first and do my best to fully utilize all the yummy stuff.

I hope to see a gradual transition from partially local to mostly local as I use up non-local ingredients and replace them with local sources. Things like butter, flour, herbs should be easy but I wont just toss usable food to buy new local versions, I'll use up the old and replace with the good. Things like oil, salt and some sugars probably wont be replaced at all but either reduced as I make healthier meals or simply kept as my exlusions.

So for the first week, here is my recap:

Thursday evening I picked up my share and started meal planning but didn't get any cooking done as it was too late. I also still had a few few things left from my last farmers market trip like grape tomatoes, pasta, and carrots.

Friday I cooked a batch of kale (share) chips using a non-local drizzle of oil and dash of salt and pepper following this recipe at

Then I took half the asparagus from the share and made a jar of refrigerator pickles using this recipe My BF, the pickle expert in the household found them quite good. 

For the main meal I used all the curly kale (share), a pint of grape tomatoes from Ticonderoga (fm), some fresh linguine noodles from Caravan Pasta (fm), and non local garlic, oil, and feta to make a delicious one pot pasta dinner. We enjoyed the incredibly fresh juicy strawberries plain for dessert.

Saturday I had previously prepared store bought chicken to use up so for local content I made a quick salad out of our lettuce (share) and some shredded carrots (fm) and braised some pok choy (share) in non-local soy sauce to go with the lemon chicken and rice.

Sunday I made a mostly local fritatta from the last of our Lancaster Farm Fresh eggs (share). This version had some non-local feta and paremsean cheese and some commercial lunch meat ham slices but also used up the leftover pok choy (share) and some sauted asparagus (share).

The rest of the week was filled with veggies too but none met my feature conditions. Chard warped salmon with sautéed asparagus, chineese cabbage and carrots in an Asian chopped salad, and kale and carrots in soup used up every last bit of the items in the week 1 share. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Summer CSA Week 1-Lost Corner Farm

We started a new CSA this week. Lost Corner Farm located in Leesburg, Virginia.  We originally had thought to just stick with Farmers Markets this summer as there are so many changes coming in our household but when we heard Lost Corner had made arrangements to deliver direct to our apartment office and had a chance to meet and talk with the wonderful farmers and taste their fresh asparagus...well, it was too good to pass up.

We are signed up for a weekly half share of veggies and fruit for 22 weeks and added the delivery of a monthly whole chicken for 5 months. Their prices seemed competitive and reasonable, if like many other CSAs, rather high on the initial output but taking a look at the first week, we are certainly getting our moneys worth. 

In the week 1 box there were some of the best stuff of spring including substantial bundles of several types of kale, rainbow chard, a giant head of Chinese cabbage and an even bigger head of butter leaf lettuce. There was another type of lettuce, a nice sized head of red pok choy and a brown bag full of asparagus. You cant tell by the picture but that's more stalks than I can fit both my hands around. There was also one basket of the sweetest smelling strawberries.
I'm not sure if we are going to be able to make it through all this so I have plans to make refrigerator pickle with some of the asparagus and some kale chips. In addition I'm looking to make several soups, salads and sautes to try to use up ingredients. My menu is looking rather Asian inspired with fresh ingredients like these so I picked up some noodles and sauce components from the store.

2015-Week 19 & 20 & 21

In week 19 & 20 & 21 of 2015 I start a bunch of stuff despite getting further behind on everything else.

First Steps

Recently I've been spending a lot of time trying to catch up on older projects so of course I feel the need to start a bunch of new stuff.

First is a beaded 1.5" wide piece of knit called the Dew Drops Lariat for K. I'm doing it in a very magenta yarn with sparkly thread twisted in and beaded with pink beads. I think that it will probably be a belt or wrap tie for a dress.

Next I cast-on the provisional edge of what will become a pillow with an adorable intarsia robot on the front in my nephews colors.

Then on Mothers Day I cast on a shawl just for myself, the Glenridge Shawl in some formerly de-stashed and recently acquired The Unique Sheep Sushi Sock in Candied Apple. Its a fairly simple patter and moving very quickly when I get the time to work on it.

Finally, I cast-on a preemie hat out of the leftover yarn from my mom's shawl.

Along the Path

I finished sock #1 and am still working on sock #2 for the My Cup of Green Tea socks and the beaded Dew Drops Lariat .

Final Destination

I can't show you any more than this teaser yet, since I'm so behind on gifting it but I finished my Mystic Cuppa shawl, all I need to do is block. So instead I'll show you a glamour shot of my Captain America shawl wet blocking by gravity following a triple washing due to bleeding in both the red and blue yarns (which made for the most beautiful unfortunate purple water).

Thursday, May 7, 2015


In week 18 of 2015 I spent time on the water, got some goodies in the mail and finished a nerdy shawl.

Packing my Bags

This weekend was the local Spring Festival at the Nature Center and in addition to all kinds of good educational nature fun, music, plant sale and nature walks the local association rents kayaks on the lake. I took one out for a hour of hard paddling interspersed with a few moments of nature appreciation. It was good to get out on the water and enjoy the nice day.

This week I received my Bar Maids Quarterly Subscription box in the Knitmore theme and in addition to some wonderful body products like their Lo-Lo Bar this box came with a skein of Abstract Fiber Super Sock in the Danger colorway and a complementary shawl pattern. I can see this becoming something fun for K, maybe socks or maybe this shawl, well see.

First Steps

Cast on some Kroy self-striping yarn for a pair of Fork in the Road socks to see if this style fits BF better than heel flap construction socks.

Along the Path

Still plugging away on the My Cup of Green Tea socks, and the Mystic Cuppa and Solar Flare Shawls. I'll post pictures when I get to the next yarn change or significant progress point

Final Destination

After several days of marathon sessions my Captain America Shawl was finished. It was done in time to wear it to opening night, but it wasn't blocked. Good thing the theater was dark and no one knew. I'll post more pics when its blocked but here it is posed over the steering wheel in my car, which was where I finished the bind off during lunch that afternoon. I loved doing this, both for the nerd factor and because of the new stitches I got to try.

2015-Week 17

In weeks 17 of 2015 I got some yarn, started a cardigan, worked shawls and socks and finished some gifts.

Packing my Bags

I got my second shipment of The Unplanned Peacock's Gemstone Yarn Club. This one was Jasper, a beautiful red with streaks of pinks, whites and other shades of red on their Kinky Sock single-ply fingerling base. It came with a lovely wire rapped stone necklace. I looked at this a potential socks for both BF and DD but then I started dreaming of using it for the upcoming Seeds to Flowers Shawl KAL so I picked up a few additional skeins to give me flexibility to make lots of great red things.

First Steps

Swatched for and cast on the first few rows of the Ferris Wheel cardigan for K in the bright pink/black/white/purple Hydrangea colorway in Abstract Fibers Calder yarn.

Also cast on the Sweet Viola Shawl in my Tinuvial colorway from Sheepy Time Knits Middle Earth Yarn Club in their All your Lace base. This was tricky to do in this yarn but as it starts to hit some stockinette sections it's starting to hold up better.

Along the Path

Finished the 1st shield pattern repeat and starting on the 2nd repeat in clue 3 of the Captain America inspired Shawl MKAL. I'm hoping to get this clue and the last clue finished in time to take the shawl with me to the opening night of the Avengers movie. It will be close but that's the plan. I know...NERD!

Worked on the leg pattern repeats and turned the heel on the My Cup of Green Tea socks. The longer I work these the more I like this pattern. I already had a recipient in mind for these so when I found out that they are too small for my foot it solidified my plan to knit them for her specifically.

Final Destination

Cast on and finished 2 different Tea Toters in some fun blue cotton dishcloth yarn inspired by Beginner's Knit Along mini KAL. These are gifts so I'll post more about them later but they are now my FOs# 19 &20 for the year.

2015-week 15 and 16

In weeks 15 and 16 of 2015 I knit more on socks and shawls and finish a tiny sweater.

First Steps

I cast on the first clue for Earth, of the first shawl in the Fiddle Knits Elements Series. I wont be able to keep up with this one but I'm looking forward adding the techniques and pattern to my closet eventually.

Along the Path

Still working on the striped cuff BF sock that I decided needed to be an experiment on fit. So I measured his foot and knit the appropriate length heel flap in the contrasting color. As you can see it IS ridiculously long and the gusset is going to be insane but that's what makes this fun.

I'm still plugging away on my Solar Flare. I'm loving the easy to memorize format and the knitting feels easy but the rounds just seem to take me longer than they should.

I finished clue 2 for Heidi Nick's called Enough Already, Mother Nature. Its a fun knit so far but all those chart markings were bluing together until I started to get the general pattern.

In my Captain America inspired shawl I've finished clue 2 and, as I expected I ran out of the red yarn early so the second set of stripes, and the rest of the shawl, is all blue. I love it and can't wait to see where the designer takes the next few clues.

Finally, I've also picked my Mystic Cuppa Shawl back up and started working on the 3rd repeats in Chart B. I'm hoping to get this done by Mothers Day but its going to take some dedicated knitting to make enough progress.

Final Destination

The Flax sweater for my nephew is now done and has become FO# 18 The last sleeve took almost as long as the whole sweater to knit but overall I can't recommend this pattern enough as both an easy learn-to-knit-sweaters experience and as a generally lovely and simplistic design. Even though its machine washable for the gifting, I washed it in some SOAK and let it dry and it looks lovey.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

2015-Week 13 and 14

In weeks 13 and 14 of 2015 I embrace the energy of spring and start a bunch of stuff.

Packing my Bags

I literally packed my bags this week to take several short hikes around the neighborhood and surrounding parks. It's been nice getting back out and watching the trees go from bare to budding to full flower, hearing the birds and enjoying the sun, when its out. Indoors, I've been doing lots of cooking, yarn winding and organizing. I got in several orders of yarn for future sweaters, socks and birthday and holiday gifts.

This spring is bearing witness to the preparations for major change that is coming this summer; my daughter coming back from a year away at school and combining households with my significant other. I'm sorting through stuff, mental and physical, to decide what stays, what goes, what needs to find a different place to be and what I just need to accept. I'm looking at what things encourage my creativity, inspire me and promote healthy well-being and what is just holding me down or back or making me feel bad. Through all of this I'm still plugging away at my knitting projects. They, if nothing else, seem to keep me in balance.

First Steps

It seems like a lot of stuff, and it is but over the last two weeks I started the last of my March projects and several of my April Knit-A-Longs (KALs). I started the Sock Knitters Anonymous (SKA) March Mystery Sock in the Crave Yarn Summit in the Voice the Vision colorway, a deep rich teal and will be doing this for the SKA March MOCK challenge.

I cast on another simple BF sock, this one with blue stripes in the cuff and blue contrast heel toes. I'm going to try to get a better fit for this pair for his giant feet even if it means 4.5 inch heel flaps and miles of foot knitting because he's already wearing holes in the first pair I made him. I guess I should be flattered that he won't take the first pair off except to wash and put right back on but he's hard on his feet so I'm looking for a stronger yarn.

I started another mystery KAL, this one by Heidi Nick called "Enough Already, Mother Nature". I'm doing it out of some Knit Picks Stroll Tweed in Marine Heather colorway. This one triple  dips in Heidi's April KAL, SKA's April designer challenge, and is the feature April/May Mystery pattern in the Solid Sock group.

I'm also doing another sock for SKA's April theme challenge: food/drink that will also qualify for the Solid Sock April theme: Green. This one is called My Cup of Tea, and I'm knitting it out of Knit Picks Stroll Solids in Green Heather. I started this cast on but I already think I'm going to have to change needles and restart as its so big.

Next on the needles is a just for fun, gift project for my nephew Henry, a Tin Can Knits Flax sweater in Loops and Threads Impeccable Solids yarn in True Grey colorway.It's such a quick project, I finished the body and have stared on the first sleeve already. I'm knitting it in the 1-2 year size but he's a big boy so I'm not going to wait for his birthday or fall to send it to him in case it will be too snug. This will also help me gauge sizing the next few projects I want to make for him if my sister will give me feedback of the current and future fit. When I finish it I'm going to take as is and stretched measurements for comparison to photos and her feedback.

Finally, the last project I cast on is also my current favorite, a Captain America inspired shawl for the Tales of Suspense MKAL. I decided to use stash yarn and pulled out my KnitCircus Thrilling gradient skein in the Edge of Night colorway that goes from blue to grey and use up the last of the Abstract Fiber O'Keefe in Solid Red to get a very classic red and blue stars and stripes. I know the red will run out before I finish clue two but the designer indicated that solid will look good too so my will be a hybrid. The duration of this MKAL is timed to take us up to the release of the next Marvel movie so I'm really going to try to keep up with the clue releases so I can wear it to opening night. I know...I'm such a geek but I love it.

Along the Path 

In addition to all the new stuff I've started I'm also still working on all my March KAL projects and some older stuff too. Here is a round up of where I'm at with the stuff that's already in progress.

I'm still knitting on my Inconceivable socks from the Buttercups Hero's pattern that was part of the February/March Solid Sock Mystery. I'm doing both socks at the same time on separate dpns and have gotten through half of clue 2 on the cuff.

I added a few rows to the second Alohomora sock, from Sock Madness 9, round 1. Since I didn't finish in time, there is no pressure to finish this but I would like to wear the pair sometime this year so I'm continuing to work on it when I feel like it.

I've also been working hard on my Solar Flare Shawl for the Eco Chic MKAL. I'm still really loving this gradient yarn from The Unique Sheep and it feels like I should be getting further than I am since its surprisingly easy to memorize each new row repeat and there are only 9 of them. However, despite my progress I'm still woefully behind and still making my way through the rows above 58.

I ripped back to the beginning and started over on the Goddess Knits Anniversary MKAL Shawl because I found a mistake in the beginning of the pattern and it was faster to re-do it than to tink back and fix it.  I'm really happy with the pattern now and ready to start clue 2 when i get the time.

I pulled out my first shawl project, the Waterspout by Ana Dalvi, that I'm making for K and put on a few more rows. Also still making slow progress on the Guinevere Shawl for the March Mega-KAL monthly Shawl KAL.

Final Destination

Unfortunately, I haven't actually finished anything in the last two weeks. I was hoping to get the Flax sweater done but those little sleeves are deceptive. Maybe I'll have better luck in the next few weeks.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Lancaster Farm Fresh-Winter Week 10

This week in my vegetable box from Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op  (week 10 of 13) was:
  • Rainbow Chard
  • A head of butterleaf lettuce
  • Green beans
  • Lots of carrots
  • Shiitake Mushrooms
  • Popcorn kernels

I also got an add-on egg share, a country loaf with my bread share and a loaf of wheat and another of rye bread with my pantry share.

I'm looking forward to more soups and a fresh salad.

2015-Week 12

In week 12 of 2015 I finish a pair of socks and start my Solar Flare Shawl while pretending that its Spring even if the weather doesn't want to let it start yet.

Packing my Bags

FYI-in case you missed it through the snow, this week saw the first days of spring. It wasn't the best start but it warmed up a bit on the weekend, enough to get out for a brisk walk and to trigger a bout of spring cleaning so I haven't been up to much knitting.

First Steps

The start of spring also signaled the start of Eco Chic's Solar Flare MKAL so earlier in the week I wound up my set of 6 gradient shades into balls and did a quick swatch of a few rows of each ball to see how the colors would blend. I am truly loving this colorway and the way it carries the tones and shades across the different balls.  I also got to cast it on but didn't get much mileage done as the weekend was too nice to do too much indoors.

Along the Path 

Still working on my Guinivere shawl and I'm planing to make time to rip out my Goddess Knits Shawl and start over, this time with stitch markers to keep the extra stitch on the end of the right side row from moving on me and messing up my pattern.

Final Destination

I finished FO#17 my basic white socks and entered them as my entry to the Solid Socks monthly challenge. These started out as socks for my BF but once I got to the instep I realized that knitting an average mens pattern as is would still be WAY too small for his foot. I decided to reclaim the sock instead of rip out and re-knit almost the entire sock.

2015-Week 11

In week 11 of 2015 I power through a big project, work on Sock Madness and start a bunch of shawls.

First Steps

This week I cast on two shawls and am actively planning for the start of a third. First I cast on the Goddess Knits Anniversary 2015 Mystery Shawl by Renee Leverington. This MKAL is for a lace weight shawl and I think I already made a mistake that I think I'll have to rip back before I start clue 2.

I also finally wound and then cast on for this month's Mega-KAL project, the Guinevere Shawl by Anne Podlesak. This is a nice pi shawl. It called for using the disappearing (invisible) loop cast on so I followed this video and found that, while it is a bit fiddly until you get a few rows knit, its no more difficult that any other method and I quite like it compared to other things I've seen.

Finally, I'm counting down the days to the start of EcoChic's Solar Flare Shawl MKAL which I'll be doing in a beautiful Unique Sheep Cotton and Bamboo Gradient yarn in a beta version of the Sunset Road colorway. I'm getting really excited to start this.

Along the Path

I didn't make it onto a team for Sock Madness 9. I let myself get so distracted by all the shiny objects I finished last week and in finally finishing up the wrap that even with a solid stretch of knitting at the end, I was only able to finish one sock. Luckily, that's all I need to get the rest of the patterns and knit along with the group if I want too. Otherwise I'll save these for later in the year when I don't have 20 other projects competing for my time. The Alohomora did turn out nice and I have every intention of finishing the second and adding them to my sock drawer someday soon.

Final Destination

I've had this big honking thing on my needles for a long time and this week I finally decided that no matter what I wanted to finish the edging and consider it done.  I actually got into the rhythm and started to see the pattern emerge but it was slow going and at the end it was barely able to keep my eyes open through the bind off.  I'm not sure how I feel about it now and after looking at the other edge being raw, I might decide to go back at some point and add the second edging on but for now I'm calling this FO #16 and walking away

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Lancaster Farm Fresh-Winter Week 9

As I mentioned, I joined up to the Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op Community Suppoted Agriculture (CSA) pro-rated winter shares at week 9 of 13. In this weeks vegetable share, there were:
4 sweet potatoes
3 rutabagas
2 large shallots
A large bag of green beans
A bunch of kale 
a bunch of collard greens
A bunch of Swiss chard
2 large portabello mushroom caps

I also got egg, bread, and pantry add-on shares so this week included a dozen eggs, dried fruit bread and some tea. 

The rutabagas went into some vegetable gratin, the chard and kale will be included in some broth soups and the green beans, if not eaten otherwise are destined for my favorite roasted treatment. We had the eggs this morning roasted inside of the mushrooms for a delightful protein breakfast that we'll be sure to try again. 

I'm loving having CSA veggies back in my fridge and in my diet

Monday, March 9, 2015


In week 10 of 2015 I get inspired by snow, get the finishing bug to knock out a few hats and re-purpose some unloved legwarmers into gloves.

Packing my Bags

I stopped off at Michael's this week to pick up some much needed 19" cables to fill a few size gaps in my collection that have made knitting hat's harder than it needed to be and while I was there I stocked up on some more of the acrylic yarn BF likes for his warm thick socks in a few more colors. I also got some cotton in fun colors for washcloths. All in all, I spent too much but now I don't have to figure out where my dpns are and swap them between projects when I want to knit hats.

First Steps

With predictions of over 8 inches of snow on the forecast I planned ahead and grabbed a variety of projects to have on hand in case work got canceled by the snow in.  As luck had it I had two days plus a stay-at-home type of weekend to make a lot of progress on projects. Even though I finished or got close to finishing a bunch of stuff I did manage to start a few things too.  It seems that snow was definitely on my mind as the two projects I started were both in white, The first, another simple top-down socks for my BF, this one was the Lion Brand, Men's Grey Socks pattern. Hopefully I can make the adjustments as I go to get this one to fit better than the last one,  The second cast on was for my hat #3 of Meagheen Ryan 12 Hats in 12 Weeks, an ear flap beanie with some basic fair isle colorwork that I'll do in grey.

Along the Path

I'm making slow progress on my first sock for Sock Madness, the Alohomora pattern in my Unplanned Peacock Purple Hydrangea sock madness special colorway. I also resumed progress on the edging for my ALS Keep Warm wrap.

Final Destination

I pulled out hat #3 of the 12 Hats in 12 Weeks MKAL form Meagheen Ryan.It was a cabled tam style that I had started in an soft grey acrylic yarn. I only had the ribbing done and I didn't have the right circular needles so I made some adjustments and just did the best I could. I made a mistake in the cable crosses on one round but since it comes at the bend in the tam its almost unnoticeable. I finished it up the next morning and now its FO #13. 

FO #14 started out as about 6 inches of a pair of legwarmers that I started for my DD in 2010. They've been sitting in a bag for the past 5 years during which time I lost interest and she stopped wearing legwarmers. In my fit of finish-itis I decided that they needed to be done one way or another. I though about re-using them for my nephew but they were sized too wide for baby legs. In fact, as I was testing them out they fit easily over my forearms. This gave me the idea to modify them into some longish ribbed cuffs for a pair of gloves. I used Ravelry pattern search to look for inspiration and decided on a Tin Can Knits Simple Collection pattern called Maize. I did a few decreases to make the stitch counts match where the cuff ended and the hand began and adjusted the patterning detail along the outside of the hand to match the existing cuff rib pattern and just followed the pattern from there. I was following the largest pattern in stitch count and overall diameter but I decided I wanted less fabric at the palm so I shortened the distance past the thumb gussets to the measurements for a smaller size. For something I really wasn't loving, these turned out better than I could have hoped for.
FO #15 is the February Mini Hat from Meagheen Ryan's 12 Months of Mini Hats. These are challenging to work in smaller needles but also fun and relatively quick. 

Back Porch

I'm missing having a garden and all the planning, gathering, and sprouting that happens at this time of year. I've also been reading back through my blog posts and remembering all the good, healthy food I used to bring into my house and the creativity that developed by participating in the local food culture and challenges like the Dark Days and One Local Summer. Now that I'm cooking again and trying to re-develop my preserving skills I've naturally started to yearn for the days past when I sourced my meals first from my CSA share and then to the farmers market stands before picking up a very few convenience items at the neighborhood grocery store. I started researching CSA options a few weeks ago and while its a good time to join up and there are more options than ever I wasn't finding something that had all the factors I was looking for. Over the years I've followed several regional bloggers who, like I did, posted about their CSA shares, experiences and the resulting meals. I started reading back through their archives and I came across a few options I hadn't already considered, one of which I've decided to try.
Lancaster Farm Fresh is offering a pro-rated option to join in on their 13 week winter share season on week 9, giving you 5 weeks of vegetables as well as the option to add-on any of the egg, meat, yogurt, bread, pantry, tofu, or cheese shares individually  or join the omnivore or vegan value shares. They are also taking signups for the summer season but I don't have the funds to join up yet so I decided to essentially sample the last 5 weeks of winter and see if the co-op, pickup location, communication, quantity and quality add up to a reasonable value for me or if I should keep looking and rely heavily on the farmers market and occasional u-pick farms for this year.  
I'll start posting more CSA stuff when I start getting my share toward the end of the month.