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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Nick o' Time November Post

Hi, Y'all. It seems like I blinked and missed bloggin' for most of the month of November. Really, it's not my fault. I'm blamin' it on these sugar maple trees and their siblings. Goodman and I have raked and raked, and the end of it just now in sight. One stubborn tree is still hangin' onto most of its
I've done just a bit of knitting. This is the infamous (here at my blog, anyways) Scalloped Waves Spa Cloth knit with an autumn-y cotton yarn by Peaches and Cream. They named it Juanita Rose, Y'all. o.O No kiddin'. I'd have called it somethin' like pumpkin patch, but they didn't ask me. Ah, well. (Really, who's Juanita? & Where's the rose?)
I really enjoyed knitting this Scalloped Waves Spa Cloth and Daisy Options doily with Lion Brand Purple cotton yarn. Purple is good.
I trimmed the Mr. Flurry pattern down to about 2/3 of the original pattern to make this li'l guy. He has no eyes yet, but I think he's cute anyways. If you try this pattern don't be alarmed if he looks for all the world like a white birdhouse gourd when finished. The hat and scarf make a world of difference in the transformation from yarn-gourd to snowman. Here are his mug shots.Here's (not) lookin' at you. :)
We have a row of holly bushes in our backyard as a good neighbor fence. Goodman found this little bird nest in one so I snapped a pic to show you.
'til next time - Hope your nest is warm and cozy. :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Two Down...UFOs, That Is

Hey, Y'all. It's a rainy day in the foothills today, but we're busy inside so... let it rain, I say. :)
I've finished a few knitting projects that I had put aside in the UFO (unfinished object) bin.
This is a pair of black, Brown Sheep wool (camera makes them look gray) Fetching fingerless mitts.Toasty mitts from a free pattern. I know I really shouldn't complain about a free pattern, and they are cute now, but... See (below) how the thumb looked before I sewed the holes together using a tapestry needle and the yarn end. I think this is called an after-thought thumb. It's not a true gusset and a bit difficult to hide the holes after the thumb is added. Just my opinion, but I don't really care for this method of making the thumb for mitts. The thumb for Fetching is similar, but with that pattern there are more stitches in the thumb which kept the stitches from straining at the join and made it easier to finish. I do love this soft yarn though. I used a Noro silk/lamb's wool/cashmere yarn, and I'm glad I did. I love them now that the thumbs are under control.
We finally had a frost or two so I harvested my stevia plants.
I pulled off the leaves ready to be cleaned.
Most bugs don't bother stevia, but some li'l gnats do, and then there's the dirt factor so three good washin's after the leaves were stripped from the branches was a must.
I let the leaves dry for about three weeks then pulverized some of the leaves in a blender jar that I use for chopping herbs. I kept most of the leaves back to crush and steep as you would a tea. I'll make a liquid sweetener with those.
Lo, it's green! It's sweet, but really green. My first thought was..I sure hope Goodman will be okay with that. (I did grow the stuff for his sake, afterall.) The commercial stevia he's been using is white, and probably over processed so I thought..we'll see tomorrow mornin' when his coffee is set before him, but nah, he won't go for this. Little green thing-ys in his coffee. Nuh, uh. I better get to brewin' some liquid sweetener from the other leaves for his coffee. I bet I could hide this in something else, though... green cookies?..we'll see.Here's a link if you want to read more about growing, harvesting and using stevia to lower your sugar intake. Hope y'all have the sweetest week ever. :)