Monthly Archives: May 2012

More Weaving Going On….

More weaving.
I've put aside my wool, and pulled out my cotolin. I've woven with this often for kitchen towels and love the feel and drape. So why not baby blankets?

At the bottom you can see the hot pink/purple one is finished, and I am working one in teal.

I am really enjoying weaving with a two color warp.  This time alternating pastel pink and yellow.

The result with the more saturated teal (and the purple/pink) is very subtle.

The last stripe....there is one on each end.  Only 8 more inches and I can cut these off the loom and start on the next thing!

Meet Charlotte!

You might have noticed a pattern in the past few months– Susan, Zac, and I have been working flat out, non stop, for what seems like forever. Back in April, we resolved to hire a summer intern who’d be able to take a little of the work off our plates.

Luckily, that decision coincided with a phonecall to my sister, Charlotte, whom you might remember from this spring’s books. She was weighing her options for the summer, sifting through all the jobs and internships that go along with being a university student.

“Well, maybe you’d like to come up and work at the farm, instead?” I asked.

I was beyond thrilled that she said yes!

Luna and Charlotte

She’s only been here for a day, and has already taken over most of our morning and evening chores, plus has set to work assiduously weeding our enormous garden. And not a moment too soon, either– I can’t remember a time we weren’t up to our ears in some sort of busy-ness or another.

She’ll be in charge of milking our small dairy flock, plus milking Luna, once her calf arrives, and will be learning to make all different sorts of cheeses and dairy products, as well. I have a feeling that, before long, This Morning in Cheeses (Cheese of the Week? Probably Something you would EAT?) might become y’all’s favorite new blog feature.

So, you guys, say hello!

So much to do…

We are busy-busy today, preparing for a full house and photo shoot this weekend.

This morning I made strawberry jam, with tiny local strawberries that I snagged at the Farmers Market. Actually, I didn’t exactly ingratiate myself to the other  market shoppers when I took the last six quarts of berries but it was totally worth it. These were the tastiest little gems I’ve ever had! We ate them by the handful. Then I made a strawberry sangria Tuesday and a delicious dessert with strawberries, mascarpone cheese and homemade vanilla wafers. And now there are 5 little pots of strawberry jam cooling on my window sill so we can enjoy them even longer.

I also made a giant batch of my granola since we will be feeding 10-15 people all weekend. To jazz it up a bit, I added dried apricots, blueberries and cherries- along with the usual dried cranberries- and used almonds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds as well. It’s the loveliest granola I’ve ever made and crazy delicious.

Meanwhile, Zac made two Pullman loaves (recipe coming next week by special request) and yogurt, cleaned the house, made the beds and ran to the grocery store for more provisions.

Caroline is knitting like a fiend to get her last garment finished in time to be modeled and photographed this weekend. The pictures are for our Fall/Winter pattern books. I can’t reveal too many details yet but I can tell you that the yarns are SPECTACULAR, as are the designs. (I’ll post some sneak peeks over the weekend.)

The weather took pity on our models this weekend. Wearing sweaters and accessories designed for winter in Virginia in June could have made for a brutal, sweaty photo shoot, but we have been blessed with days sunny days in the 70s all weekend.

I’ve become so accustomed to always working a two seasons ahead that I sometime forget where we are in the year in real life. The other day I was lamenting the heat and humidity but started to take comfort in the fact that it would be over soon. Then I realized that we are only at the start of summer. It was kind of demoralizing.

Wish us luck this weekend! We have a lot of shots to get and only three days to get them. Since our last photo shoot was so fun   I’m really looking forward to this weekend. There’s nothing like a group of talented, brilliant, hilarious people getting together to put on a show.

Lampropeltis triangulum

012 011

This fellow seems to be hanging around the yard of late. It’s a very pretty milk snake and is not dangerous but I wish it would not hang about on my patio!


btt button
A while ago, I interviewed my readers for a change, and my final question was, “What question have I NOT asked at BTT that you’d love me to ask?” I got some great responses and will be picking out some of the questions from time to time to ask the rest of you. Like now.

Cathy De Los Santos asks:

If you could write a book, what would it be about, and why? (Though, of course, some of you already HAVE.)

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

Shawl-along (and gratuitous baby pictures)

Against my better judgement, I joined a knit-along the other day.

with feet like these, who needs a yarn bowl?

My time is somewhat limited at the moment, and I don't often have both hands free for long, but when I do, I definitely need things to do that keep me resting. As I'm sure you've all noticed, I have a slight tendency to overdo things, and I did just have a baby (two weeks ago today!) and am supposed to be "taking it easy."

So when Evelyn started a Knit-along in the Juniper Moon Farm group on Ravelry, I couldn't resist. The pattern she chose is Amari, part of the JMF "Sabine" pattern book, but also available for free here!

Digging mentally through my yarn stash, I kept coming back to this stuff,

Juniper Moon Farm yarn

which I purchased in person at the farm (in person, I say!!!) during my incredible trek to Fall Shearing last year.

After an agonizing twenty seconds or so of deliberation, I wound up a ball and cast on.

 Juniper Moon Farm's  "Amari"

And I am SO GLAD I did! Look at those colors!!!

Juniper Moon Farm's "Amari"

This yarn could not be any more lovely than it is in this pattern, and both the yarn and the shawl are absolute pleasures to knit.

Juniper Moon Farm's "Amari"

I'm making good progress so far, but I know the more stitches I add, the slower I will go. I hope to actually finish this in a reasonable amount of time anyway. Please? I'd love to wear it this fall...

Amari progress

And because (like any insufferable mother of a new baby) I can't just flippantly mention that Lydia is two weeks old today, here is her little weekly progress picture. Because I can't stop myself.

Two weeks mosaic

Today in Pictures

Zac spent the morning worming sheep and trimming hooves.

The goat flock, waiting their turn.

Ernie and Zac

One of the geese has decided that the compost pile is a great place to lay her eggs.

The baby chicks are in their last days of cuteness. Soon they’ll be getting their pin feathers and looking like gangly teenagers.

Lovely Fib

Jerry, biting off more than he can chew.


Sweet Gnocchi

Lucy is such a good mama. She loves playing with the pups.


As you can see, my productivity has gone way down since the pups arrived.

Wrought Mitts KAL

The KAL for the Wrought Mitts starts June 1st, and runs through the end of July.  There will be at least one prize (I love prizes),! for which you get a chance to win with each pair of mitts completed.  See the group for all the rules (there’s only a few!).

ETA:  Main prize is enough gorgeous Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca Silk in Blueberry (same colorway as the Peacock stole in the book) to, well, knit the Peacock Stole.

My testers told me knitting these was like eating potato chips* — at the end of one round, they felt they just had to do one more round.

ETA: Pattern is up on Rav!

Here’s some pics that didn’t make it into the book:

*or whatever you’re compelled to continue consuming!

Carrots in Honey-Cumin-Cream Sauce

The carrots in our garden are finally starting to get to a nice size. Fresh carrots are sweet and nothing like grocery store carrots. This means that they are especially delicious when they are slightly caramelized.

Our lovely yellow carrots are especially photogenic.

The key to this dish are the light touted cumin seeds. The nutty flavor of the seeds complement the sweetness of the honey and carrot.

Browning carrots in a frying pan is actually very simple. Bring a dry pan up to a high heat and just leave the carrots moving them around every few minutes until they are nicely browned on all sides.


Once the carrots are browned and cook through add the honey, salt, pepper, and cumin and cook just until the honey begins to bubble and then add cream. After adding the cream reduce the heat and cook until the sauce thickens.

The result is the perfect side dish or even can make a nice main course when paired with rice. The sauce holds on to the carrots and the nuttiness of the cumin really shines through.


Carrots in Honey-Cumin-Cream Sauce

1 lbs fresh carrots

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

3 tablespoons honey

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon cilantro

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Wash carrots and cook carrots on high heat in a large frying pan until they begin to brown. In another small frying pan toast the cumin seeds until they begin to pop and quickly remove from heat and transfer the a small bowl. Once the carrots are browned reduce the heat and add the honey, salt, pepper, and cumin seeds. Cook until the honey begins to bubble and then add the heavy cream. Cook until the sauce  it coats the back of a wooden spoon. Plate and and garnish with cilantro.



Where the action is

034 035 037

Yesterday, I started preparing for a new quilt and everyone had to be right where the action happens. I’m planning to do a Sister’s Choice quilt, something like this.