Saturday, November 02, 2013


just a few miscellaneous thoughts....

The garden did really well this year.  It took a while, but the peppers and broccoli finally started bearing.  I canned enough cucumber pickles to last a long time and also quite a bit of tomato sauce.  (The tomatoes won the battle over the cucumbers for control of the garden.  It was short lived though since I think we've had a light frost already.)  Next year I'll plant a different type of tomatoes.  These bore well and produced quite a bit of large fruit.  But they weren't as tasty.

I'm not doing Nerd Wars this time.  I figured that there was no way I'd have time to do a Nerd Wars that ended in December.  The last time I did one ending in December, I didn't feel like doing any knitting or crocheting for a month or two.

I've discovered that I really like geometric designs.  I'm still working on plans for a yoked sweater in mosaic knitting and decided to make a snowflake hat to see how it would turn out.  After a few tweaks, it turned out really well.  However, it doesn't look like snowflakes at all -- just diamonds and triangles.  (I'll post a pic when the hat is finished.)

And, here's the pic (a couple weeks later):

Diamond Hat II

It's a little on the short side, so I'll be adding a misc design between the brim and the diamond pattern.

forgot to add....
In going through some old boxes, I found waterbed sheets from when the kids all had waterbeds.  I'm hoping to use them in making the first quilt I've ever attempted.  (I have sewn a backing on an old quilt before.)  The pattern is the upcoming one with the quiltvillechat Yahoo group.

Monday, August 19, 2013


My garden is doing really well -- at least as far as the tomatoes and cucumbers are concerned. They're fighting each other over control of the middle of the garden area. Luckily the peppers and broccoli are a bit away from the center area. The peppers aren't bearing much.  It's been relatively cool here.  So, maybe that's why the peppers aren't doing that well.  I've been able to have the windows open for days at a time this summer -- which is very unusual for this part of the country.

garden August 2013
It looks as if we'll have some tomatoes in a few days. We're already getting a lot of cucumbers. I pickled and canned 14 pounds of them a couple days ago. (I'd never canned pickles before.)
pickles August 2013
And, we have a few ripe peaches:
peach tree August 2013
I've been doing some mosaic knitting recently. My latest is a hat:
Mosaic hat
I'm using the hat as a swatch to try out a couple mosaic patterns in hopes of eventually designing a mosaic pullover sweater (for the next round of Nerd Wars on Ravelry).

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


After several almost cold days, it's warmed up with a vengeance.  Chicago had its first 90 degree day of the year this year.  We didn't get quite that high.

Yesterday, we got some tomatoes, broccoli  and a pepper plant.  It was too hot to plant them.  So, I planted them this morning.  For tomatoes, I looked for "short time to harvest" and found Celebrity and Parks Whopper -- both 65 days -- which may mean nothing here.  We got two of each, but a Celebrity had two plants in one pot.  So, there are now 3 Celebrities. I wasn't planning on getting any broccoli since they did so badly last year, but I couldn't resist the name Packman.  (We have a Ms PacMan in the basement and still enjoy playing it.)  With the newest pepper plant, we now have one each of Jalapeno, Habanero, and Giant Marconi.  (The last one is for me.)  The cucumbers are Boston Pickling.

I changed things around a little.  The cucumbers are where the tomatoes were last year.  The tomatoes are where the broccoli was last year.  And, the broccoli is where the Brussels sprouts were last year.

garden May 2013

The lilac bushed are blooming (foreground).  And, the strawberry plants are in the right foreground.  I'll have to move them so they'll get water when I water the garden.  The plastic jugs have lilacs and Filbert nut trees from Arbor Day.  I'll move them from the garden when they get bigger.  That area of the garden also has some asparagus.  None of it is edible, but, at least, it came up.

We also took off about 5" of soil in the garden, put it where we're still trying to get grass to grow, and then added about 6 cu ft of peat moss to the garden.

Along with the fruit cocktail trees (which we've moved to their permanent locations -- one in front of the house, the other in back near the raspberry bush), we got some ground cherry and huckleberry seeds.  They're just in the seedling stage now.  I have no idea what they'll turn out like, buy my DH said his parents used to grow them.  They had a really big Iowa-style garden.  (It was just natural that they would.  They lived in Iowa.)

In knitting news, the last Nerd Wars tournament (Ravelry) has ended, and I didn't suffer from burn out like in the previous tournaments.  I've even started planning a couple of summer pullovers in Knit Picks CotLin.  Sign-ups for the next tournament start today.  (It's 3 months of tournament then 1 month off.)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

first 80 degree day of the year

Maybe spring is finally here.  Today, I bought a jalapeno pepper plant, a giant Marconi one, and some Quinalt strawberry plants.  I planted the strawberries in a hanging basket.  Hopefully, that will keep the squirrels and chipmunks from eating them.  Of course, it does make it easier for the birds.

multi tree

My fruit cocktail trees arrived in the mail a couple days ago.  They don't look like much.  Today, I replanted them, one in the front yard and the other in the back.  I have no idea how long it will be before they start producing the promised peaches, apricots, plums, and nectarines.

Friday, April 19, 2013


I thought I might be able to start working in the garden today. (It is spring.) But, I think I'll wait. It was snowing this morning. Spring is on its way, though. The daffodils are up (thought not ready to bloom yet).

I bought a couple multi-trees this spring -- mail order. They're part apricot, plum, nectarine, and peach -- all grafted onto the same tree trunk. It will be a while before they start bearing.  I love fresh vegetables and fruit.  They're so much tastier than store bought.  I hope my apple tree and peach tree do something this year and the tomatoes that I'm planning on planting will do better than last year.  Last year was pretty much a disaster for the garden.

After knitting mosaic stitch for the baby bonnet (in the last post - February), I've been wanting to knit something else using the same technique.

 Mosaic Diamond Dishcloth

So, I designed this dishcloth -- Mosaic Diamonds --. Mosaic knitting is fun. One knits only one color at a time -- with a lot of slipped sts.  It gives some interesting looks.  It's stretchier than stranded knitting.

We all got new smart phones about a week and a half ago.  It was great of Sprint to have an after-hours class to teach us how to use the phones.  (One of the questions I asked in the class was how to answer the phone.  I found out what I was doing wrong.   lol   New technology makes some things easier and some harder.)

Thursday, February 28, 2013


We had the first major snow of the season a couple of days ago. Here's a view of our back deck.

end of Feb 2013 snow

I've signed up for Nerd Wars on Ravelry again. The first month of the current tournament ends today. It's nice to knit or crochet some things that I probably wouldn't even have looked at if it weren't for the tournament. Here's a baby bonnet that I probably wouldn't have picked out if it weren't for the tournament. It's the first time I've done mosaic knitting. It took a while to figure out. But, after that it was really fun!

EZ mosaic heart hat

And, I've signed up to be the team blogger -- as if I ever was able to keep this blog up to date. lol