Monthly Archives: October 2012

So, we had a hurricane.


Hurricane Sandy came barreling up the East Coast, turned left, and blew directly over us the other night. We were so very lucky to have almost no damage -- in fact, we never even lost power. Those around us were not so lucky at all, and my heart goes out to so many people right now who have many, many months of rebuilding ahead of them.

The rain was pretty heavy for a long time, and I was very grateful for my boots every time I had to pop outside for any reason because our yard was more than a little boggy feeling underfoot.

love my boots

The wind was terrifying (and we weren't even experiencing the absolute highest gusts the storm had to offer!) but high enough for me to never want to experience anything like it again.

The neighborhood trees lost most of their beautiful leaves, many of which came to visit our lonely Japanese maple leaves in our front yard (and some of which came inside to be admired too).




The morning after the worst of the storm had passed, the rain just kept on going all day.

love candles on a dreary day

Nothing beats candles on a dreary day.

Except maybe cookies...

trying a different cookie recipe

Tried this recipe, but left out the Nutella (bummer for me, I just can't handle super sweet stuff anymore). The verdict? Very, very good! I may never again not brown my butter in my cookie batter!

And finally, a very bright spot amidst all the rain and stormy weather:

As part of Bramble Berry's "Givember" promotion, I'll be reviewing their Sunshine Soap Kit and offering all of you a special coupon code for the month of November. AND I have a special surprise giveaway planned too. So some soapy fun is coming up in the next few days, stay tuned!

Project Organization: Knitting Tools

It’s time for knitting tools!  Needles, crochet hooks, stitch markers, etc etc etc.

This was something I’ve been struggling with, and I think I’ve found a solution that works for me for most of these items.

The small items listed below are kept in the upper left 3 drawers of the new yarn cabinet.  Haven’t seen it yet?  Here you go:

Knitting needles & crochet hooks are stored in Offhand Designs needle clutches, kept in the top 2 drawers.

I have 3 Circular clutches (organized by needle size), one Traveluxe clutch for DPNs and crochet hooks, and a Switch clutch for my interchangeables.  For the small needles (US000 to US3) I’ve written the needle size in Sharpie on the individual plastic pockets.  Multiple needles go into each pocket, with the exception of my Signatures — each Sig gets its own pocket.

I do have 2 sets of Knit Picks small DPNs that I just keep in their cases.

Is my Ravelry needle inventory up to date?  Nope.  Something else I should do.

I have a Namaste Cali Buddy Case in green that I keep my primary go-to things in — coil-less safety pins, stitchmarkers, scissors, needle gauge.  I also have a Daisy Muir medium needle case (the red one) that I keep other (often longer) things in:  a small ruler (that I picked up at TNNA from Images Stitchery Design — I don’t see it on their site, but it’s a pretty 6″ wooden ruler & needle gauge combo), pens, bandaids, etc.

I have a Namaste Mini that I don’t use that often right now.  That may need to find a new home.

Extra stitch holders, tape measures, small rulers, etc are all kept in the cabinet.

My blocking board is stored under our daybed.

Straight pins are kept in a pin cushion in the lawyer’s bookcase.  These are also used for sewing.  The gram/oz scale is also in this bookcase.

The ball winder has a semi-permanent home in the living room, attached to the edge of the table that our entertainment things (receiver, etc) go on.  If I take it off, it goes in the basket with the dog’s toys.  He doesn’t show any interest in it. The swift is usually on the other side of the table, next to the leather armchair, on the floor.

I think that’s about it for those sorts of things!  Having nearly everything in the yarn cabinet, except for what I’m using at the time,  works for me.


Here are all the posts in the series:

Project Organization:  Introduction
Project Organization:  Overview
Project Organization:  The Stash (Design Yarn)
Project Organization: The Stash (PersonalYarn)
Project Organization:  Knitting Books
Project Organization:  Knitting Tools
Project Organization:  The Business of Knitting

And here’s some more Rhinebeck pics!


Chipmunks plant a sunflower patch in my garden


Yarned by You: Herriot Gallery

Ah, Halloween! What could be better than Halloween? Herriot on Halloween!

Herriot has been the rockstar of the Fall 2012 yarn line. And it’s no wonder! Herriot is a DK-weight yarn made of 100% baby alpaca that comes in 10 natural shades. It’s coveted by anyone who touches it! So it’s no wonder that there are already a number of lovely projects on Ravelry for me to post about!

kirinlemon knit up this great Salt Creek Cowl (which appears to be listed in Ravelry! The Shame!) in a week:

It seems like it would make for great mindless knitting with a perfect amount of detail in cabled ribbing.

Below is Maltese Parakeet’s Marguerite Tam. This was designed by Pamela Wynne for the Herriot yarn line.

Isn’t it darling? I love the star motif! And lovely colorwork. You’ll have to go to her ravelry page if you want to see the guts that this colorwork created!

KnitForBrains knitted up this cowl in #02 Heartwood & #03 Bullrush as a part of a a Harry Potter themed knitting game.

I bet this feels delightful to wear right next to the sensitive neck skin!

This Herbie Hat, also designed by Pamela Wynne for Herriot, is knit exactly with the same colorways (#03 Bullrush & #01 Talc) the pattern calls for!

My only question for GSHF: will you make the mittens, too?

Who’s this delightful child behind SusanM’s Skullkerchief? Why it’s her son! SusanM knit this for him in two days. If you get a move on (and you’re a much faster knitter than I am), you could whip this out and wear your seasonally-appropriate knitwear tonight!

(I know you’re also eying that beautiful sweater. Don’t worry, we’ll get to that next week.) She even found the perfect button to finish it off! You’ll have to click through to her project page to see what I mean.

Maeby you’ve been bitten by the Maeby bug? turbotuna has! She knit this modified Maeby (designed yet again, by Pamela Wynne!) in just ten days! Not quite enough time for her to take on her Vermont trip, but definitely in time to enjoy this fall.

I cannot get “Call Me, Maybe” out of my head. It’s stuck on constant repeat. But at least I can modify the lyrics for my own devices: “Here’s my Rav Page / So knit me, Maeby!”

Showing that Herriot is good for more than just colorwork, julieti knit this Dustland Hat, which features bands of textures.

Even if your attention span is so short that you get distracted knitting a hat, Dustland should keep your interest with a new texture pattern every couple of inches!

Finally, here’s a couple of knitting patterns that might have seen in the new FREE By Hand Magazine (pg 54-57). Designed by Caroline Fryar, the Lattice Cowl and Lattice Gloves are great accessories for this fall.

The cowl is grafted so that it’s completely reversible and you never have to worry about the wrong side facing out. The gloves are shown in both the Men’s (on the left) and Woman’s (on the right) sizes and features a two-toned lattice stitch cuff. You could make both the cowl and the gloves as coordinating accessories, without too much matchy-matchiness.

What are you making with Herriot? Let us know in the comments section!

You can find Herriot and the rest of the Juniper Moon Farm Yarns in a LYS near you by clicking here then clicking “find a store,” inputting your zip code and selecting Juniper Moon Farm as the yarn brand.

Halloween Prep

We spent the calm after the storm getting ready for a very much anticipated holiday.  Halloween is a big deal around here.

This year was a little less festive than previous years – we’ve been very farm focused (and HEY!  All of our fencing posts are in the ground as of today!) and also my friend Elizabeth did not host her annual party, as her husband has a broken leg.

But no matter!  Some traditions carry on.

Today we watched:

The Nightmare Before Christmas, Scary Godmother, Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, and The Village.

School work for today was fun Halloween coloring and making our pumpkins.


Everyone chose their patterns and spent several hours cleaning out and carving their pumpkins.

Gulliver pitched in as well.

All of the pumpkin guts went out to the chickens, who greedily ate up their fall treat.

For dinner I whipped up a Tomato – Cheese Soup and some lovely little witch – hat – shaped parmesan and dijon in puff pastry.

Left to right: Neve’s Kitty in a Tree, Oona’s Kitty, Emily’s Jack Skellington, and Maddie’s Doctor Who.

Tomorrow night it’s Halloween craft and movie marathon day for school and then it’s off to my friend Jessie’s for trick or treating.

Happy Haunting!

For the Parmesan Puffs I bought some frozen puff pastry and rolled it out a bit once it softened up.  I spread some Dijon mustard and some paprika on the bottom layer and then covered that with parmesan cheese (FRESH!!).  I placed the second piece of puff pastry on top, brushed it with melted butter and popped it in the oven at 375 for about 15 minutes.

Tagged: Farm, food, Homeschooling, Pets, Seasons

Read in October

This is How You Lose Her, by Junot Diaz

I really enjoyed this one; read it in one sitting. Having read all the positive reviews that came out after its publication, I was pretty eager to get my hands on a copy. I was lucky to borrow one from Nic, who herself had it on loan from another friend (If the half-life of love is forever, I wonder how the rule applies to lent-out books?).

I think all the good things have already been said, but, man, his language is fabulous.

Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration, by Denyse Schmidt

Such a gorgeous book. I’ve read it in bed nearly every night for the past two weeks. My soaring quilting ambitions, let me tell them to you (and ever since running in to the folks from Zelinger’s at SAFF, they involve these).

I’m About Halfway Through:

The Kindly Ones, by Jonathan Littell

Which I thought was an interminable text-wall of incest, Nazis, and vomiting–I mean, I could darkly discern some serious genius (or, at the very least, years of difficult research?) buried in the all too literal mire–until I read this article by Daniel Mendelsohn. It cleared things up.

That said, I still haven’t managed to get all the way through it. Not only are there the evil parts of the banality of evil to knock me down (and the atrocities and obscenities are absolutely as bad as can be), but then the banal parts are, by design, a slog.

Although that seduction-via-Phaedrus–that gets a gold star for humor (humor?).

On Love, by Alain de Botton

Maybe it gets better? I just–the Groucho v. Karl pun simply has not got enough humorous impetus to carry half a paragraph, let alone a 12-page chapter titled “Marxism.”

Someone explain it to me? Is it more than pedantry?

Just Acquired, via the Morganton flea market:

A Southern Garden, by Elizabeth Lawrence

which I’ve been wanting ever since reading her letters to Katherine White, “calm plotter of the resurrection.” I am very excited to read it this winter.

Stories and Poems for Extremely Intelligent Children of All Ages, by Harold Bloom

I have also had my eye on this anthology for a while.

and, finally, the gem of the weekend:

Caroline and the King’s Hunt, by Jean le Paillot

STELLAR BOOK. I will have to make scans and show it to you sometime.

I am desperate to find out what happens in this one, another of the Caroline-the-Cow series.

Halloween Probably Something You Would Like..

I have loved this dinnerware collection for years. Check out the snakes and insects too. Spiders Collection.

If I were pregnant, I would want this Pre-birth Baby Custom. 

If I were in Paris, I would go to this party. The Freakshow.

These are amazing skeletons! Light Paintings.

It’s a good idea to re-read The Raven to get into the Halloween Spirt. The Raven.

I’ve often asked myself this, “When Did Halloween Get So Tawdry?”

I’m going to carve a turnip today to see if I can make it look like this!
Halloween Around The World.

In Ireland, Halloween is a widely celebrated cultural event. It is known in Irish as Oíche Shamhna , literally “Samhain Night.” The medieval Irish festival of Samhain marked the end of the harvest and the “darker half” of the year. It is linked to the dead revisiting the mortal world.

A great Halloween book for kids. The illustrations are fantastic. “Guess What?” by Mem Fox.

This is from a blog post in 2010. Roast Pumpkin with Cheese Fondue, I LOVE IT! Reprising an old favorite.

I have a crazy amount of Halloween decorations and I am banned from buying this year.
BUT, I’d like to have these… WIRE BAT STRING LIGHTS.

 I’d like to drink this with my Garlic Soup on Halloween.
It is blood read beer! Coney Island Freaktoberfest.

 This is for my friend who is crazy about Guinea Pigs.
Personally, I don’t like clothes on animals, but this make me laugh. Guinea Pig Knight Custom.

 There is some controversy as to Vlad The Impaler being the prototype for Dracula. 

Either way, he is one scary guy.

The Aftermath of Sandy

Incredible images from the Atlantic of the landfall and aftermath of Sandy. The Red Cross could use your donation right now to help people affected by the storm rebuild their lives. Donate online or send $10 to the Disaster Relief fund by texting REDCROSS to 90999.



Tee Vee

Tomorrow morning, I will be spinning this lovely Corriedale fiber

while somebody is filming me. I won’t be talking, but look for my wheel, a hand knit sweater or two, and bright yellow socks.