Manda Ruth

Hello! It’s been a mighty long time since I’ve written here.  We’ve had a visitor, lots of rain, and oodles of homestead work.  I’ve been diligently working in the garden, planting the last of the veggies into the ground.  Thanks to our winter and spring efforts, the sweet reward of harvest begins: Asparagus, peas, lettuce, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, new potatoes, carrots, beets, and today, our first ripe strawberries!  It feels so good to be able to once again craft our menu around what is ready to eat from the garden.

Noticing that sweet Everett was growing bigger and bigger, and that my sweater-in-progress was not, I decided to make a strong push to the finish.  Thank goodness I did, because this 24 month sized sweater fits my 18 month boy just perfectly.

It’s the Manda Ruth cardigan, minus the hood, and you can find my Ravelry notes here.

Can you believe those cheeks?  I just want to eat them up, they are so chubbilicious!

What are you creating today?

* Yarn Along-ing today with the fine folks at Small Things.  Check it out here.


Rows and Rows

With the weather being so absolutely beautiful, we have been spending most of our days outdoors.  It is splendid.  The kids have taken to pouring water into and out of bowls of all sizes. I wish I had a photo to share because it is quite comical – Everett in a shirt, boots, and no pants (because I’m working on his potty training, and because he pours water all over them anyways!), Ella usually completely naked except for some mismatched boots.  They love this game, and it keeps them so occupied that both Brian and I have been able to spend quality time in the garden.

So here is a little glimpse into my little garden world right now:

Tomatoes are all in the ground and growing just fine. I could not control myself yet again this year and planted 73 plants.  No, I did not mistype.  And no, we don’t sell at a market.  We just happen to live in a hollow that gets fewer hours of sun and has cool creek-side temps.  So I have to plant that many to get an appreciable yield.

Beets and carrots coming along nicely in the greenhouse.  There’s Everett watching himself pee in the background. Oops – was that too much information?

Overwintered garlic, mulched heavily with manure-laden goat bedding.  Almost time to harvest garlic whistles.  Yum!

Some really gorgeous greens in the greenhouse. Anyone want to come over for a salad?

And outside, some freshly planted brassicas, onions, beans, carrots, lettuce, and beets.

All this time spent in the garden rows has been seriously cutting into my knitted rows.  When Everett turned 18 months yesterday, I realized that the sweater I am making him will not fit him for very long if I do not get moving!  So I’m back in action, and am SO very close to casting off sleeve number two.

Only hood and ribbed trim to go!

And because I love Ginny’s Yarn Along so much, and love sharing what I’m knitting and reading, I’m going to leave the title of my latest book as somewhat of a teaser for a future post.  Let me just say that this book is packed with incredibly interesting information that will challenge the way you think about nutrition and dental health:  Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nagel.

Back to the needles, cause I have a quickly growing boy to catch up with!




Knitting and reading with Yarn Along!

Ah, this waiting period is utterly (no pun intended) suspenseful.  Given how enormous Gilly is, we felt certain that she’d kid on the earlier side (depending on your reference, goat gestation is anywhere from 145-155 days, with an average of 150 days).  Today is her 150th day of gestation, and still no goat kids!  Each day I wake up with renewed excitement – could this be the day?  You’d think it was my first birth!

Patience, and a bit of knitting have thus become my companions.  I wish I could say I made more progress on the aforementioned Manda Ruth cardigan, but I did manage to complete the body, and am now cruising on down a sleeve.

And on the bookshelf are a lot of books that most likely will not get finished before I have to return them to the library!  Too many to mention all the titles, but they include references for teaching jazz dance (thinking ahead to my summer musical theater dance teaching gigs), a few sewing books, and a Paleo diet cookbook.  Because I am mighty curious about that Paleo diet!  But that’s another post for another time!

I’ll be back later this week with photos of baby goats!

Good reads and great knits

Knitting and reading today with Ginny’s Knit Along

After so many pairs of fingerless gloves (instant gratification!), I’ve moved onto a little bit more time consuming project, the Manda Ruth cardigan. Such a sweet pattern – ribbed trim, seed stitch, and a hood. I’m hoping it will fit my sweet Everett for the remaining months of his first year. Cozy and cute.

A moment of sibling love in handknits (one on loan, the other: February Girl Sweater)

And on the bedside table these days are a few great books.

WordPress for Dummies – nothing more to say about that!

The Complete Homeopathy Book by Miranda Castro – this was required reading for an online homeopathy class that I’m taking. I’m learning so much, and am thrilled to have more tools to bring myself and my family into a state of health.
A Householders Guide to the Universe by Harriet Fasenfest – this is a gem of a book that traces the year of a “householder” from sowing to growing to stowing. It is filled with helpful hints and humorous anecdotes and great subheadings like, “You’re Only as Hot as Your Kitchen.”  Love it.

What are you reading and knitting?

Spring day musings

Yarn-along-ing with Small Things today…

I have a new pair of fingerless gloves to show off.  (Yes, another pair – I really think they are my last.  For now.)  These might be my favorite yet. It’s the same Cabled Mitt pattern that I used here, but even better.  I used some gorgeous Malabrigo superwash merino, and a smaller needle, and voila! (Ravelry notes here).

These are a gift for a very special person – my sister-in-law!  They were so satisfying to make, and even more satisfying to imagine her wearing them!

And in the garden, things are growing!  I’m so proud of my little tomato starts which, despite the incredible amount of rainy, grey weather we’ve been having, are growing big and strong.  In another month or so they will be ready for planting in the greenhouse.

April is an exciting month for us – our goat Gilly is due on April 18th. She is really huge – I need to take a picture of her enormous belly.  Our goats have always thrown twins, but who knows – maybe triplets for Gilly?

Enjoy your day!

Knitting and reading, and reading and knitting

It’s officially Spring.  And the ground is covered in snow.  And there is a huge alder tree down in the yard, and a grand fir down in the goat pasture, and a huge cedar branch in the driveway.  And it is COLD!

Good thing I have my new Valentina Hat to keep me warm! (Ravelry details here).  This hat was the result of our women’s knitting weekend, held at a friend’s family’s cabin in the mountains.  A gorgeous hand-built cabin, a crystal clear creek, snow falling everywhere, amazing food, five women and two babies, and lots and lots of wool.  Utter bliss.

I feel so embarrassed to report that I’ve sported the same blue fleece hat for 15 years.  Even though I sold my hand knit hats for 9 years at the local craft market, I’ve rarely taken the time to knit a special hat just for me.  But last weekend was the perfect time to knit this quick, satisfying project. Not too fussy, so I could knit and take care of the baby, and using bulky yarn and size 15 needles to boot!  A final push in the 11th hour, and I got to go home with a finished product.  The wool is Puffin from Quince and Co. and is leftover from my deliciously warm Oatmeal sweater.

Today on Ginny’s Knit Along, folks are sharing what they are knitting AND reading.  As I have been doing a lot of reading, I am so happy to share!  (Notice a common theme emerging here…)

Just finished Sheepish, by Catherine Friend.  It’s not often that I am laughing out loud by the second page of a book, but this memoir kept me giggling throughout its pages.

And now onto a more practical, how-to book:  Living with Sheep, by Chuck Wooster.  I really enjoyed his Living with Pigs, and this book is proving to be equally entertaining and informative.

It’s sort of making me want to live with sheep, actually!

Happy Spring!