Friday Wake-Up

May 1st, 2015 at 6:08 a.m.

Beautiful view from the deck this morning. I love it when the fog rolls around in the river valley.


2015 Garden Plan

Over the weekend I prepped the garden for another growing season. After weeding, I raked the soil all nice and pretty and Christian pounded in my new row stakes which my brother made for my birthday.

In the foreground (from left-right and front to back) you can see our rhubarb, lemon balm and sage (which both look dead but hopefully aren't), chives, tanzies, alluim, and a dead thyme plant. Oh yeah, there's also a row of garlic in there!

I planted a few cold-weather crops in the rows with the new stakes: Early Blood Turnip Beets, Lacinato Kale, Salad Bowl Lettuce, Ella Kropf Lettuce, Mesclun Mix, Dwarf Gray Sugar Peas, and Burpeeana Early Snap Peas.

Nights are still in the 30's here so I'll have to wait a bit longer before planting anything else. This year I bought some of my seeds as well as tomato and pepper transplant from Seed Savers Exchange. Christian and I visited their Heritage Farm in Decorah, Iowa a few summers ago. What a cool place!

Here's my master plan for this year's garden:

So much potential! We'll see what happens...


Yarn Along: FO - Egg to Penguin

I'm linking up with Ginny for this week's Yarn Along.

Knitting: FO - Egg to Penguin
I just finished knitting this cute little penguin. I was giggling with delight as I put the final touches on him. My husband probably thinks I'm losing my marbles. My plan is to give the little penguin to my cousin's little boy for his first birthday. I hope he likes him! This was a fast & very fun knit.
Pattern: Egg to Penguin by Susan B. Anderson
Yarn: Berroco Vintage in colorway 5187 Med Blue Heather, Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash in colorways 900 Charcoal and 871 White, and Knit Picks Swish Tonal in colorway Goldrush. All from my stash!

Unhatched Penguin

What are you working on this week?


Yarn Along: A Star for Hannah

I'm linking up with Ginny for this week's Yarn Along.

Knitting: Hannah Jacket I'm finishing the hood of my baby knit then it's onto the i-cord edging. That will be a first for me. Not sure what color I'll use. I need to poke around in my stash and see if anything will work. 
Pattern: Hannah Jacket by Nikki Van De Car 
Yarn: Newton's Yarn Country Softball Chunky

Reading: A Star for Mrs. Blake: A Novel by April Smith
A group of American mothers from very different walks of life travel to France in the 1930's to visit the graves of their sons who were killed in combat. This is an interesting look at a part of history that I was unaware of. Worth the read.

What are you knitting/reading this week?


Lately: Early March Edition

I recently took a cheese-making class and learned how to make mozzarella and ricotta. And you know what? It's surprisingly easy! The most important thing is to get the temperature of the milk right. (Our first batch of mozzarella failed because the milk wasn't warm enough.) I'm already dreaming of making pizza this summer with fresh cheese and just-picked tomatoes and basil from our garden.

Valentine's weekend I made a really amazing dessert. It's rich and chocolate-ly and very easy to put together. I followed this recipe for Chocolate Pot de Créme and used Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa for the chocolate. I think using high-quality chocolate is key. 

Photo by Tieghan Gerard.

And speaking of chocolate, I found a new favorite. I normally don't buy flavored chocolate so I'm not sure what possessed me to buy this but I'm so glad that I did!

I've been bit hard by the travel bug. Maybe I'm just sick of winter and ready to get out of town but I can't seem to stay off of travel sites these days. My husband says I have to finish putting together photo books from our last 2 vacations before he'll take me somewhere new. Arg! I guess that's pretty good motivation to get them done. We may go back to Glacier National Park this summer. Or we may take a 6 day rafting trip somewhere. Wouldn't that be amazing?! I have my eye on a float trip down the Salmon River in Idaho. 

photo from oars.com

Do you have any fun trips planned for the summer? I would love to hear!


Yarn Along: Wrapped Up Finished

I'm linking up with Ginny for this week's Yarn Along.

FO: Wrapped Up Poncho
I finished my poncho in time to wear it to the Madison Knit-In last Saturday! I am in love with how this knit turned out. I think the long stripes in the Colorflow yarn worked perfectly for this project. The funny thing is that I didn't get one comment on the poncho but I got about 15 compliments on my tote bag which was the first thing that I ever knit 6 years ago. 
Pattern: Wrapped Up by Susanne Sommer
Yarn: Blackberry Ridge Colorflow Yarn in colorway Santa Fe and Cascade 220 in colorway 8013 Walnut Heather (I think! Lost the tag for the 220.)

And here's my haul from the Knit-In. I had a list all made out ahead of time with yarns/rovings that I needed for upcoming projects and I'm proud of myself for sticking to it. The only impulse buy was the Silk/Bluefaced Leicester roving (the blue & green one) from River's Edge Fiber Arts. As I was on my way out of the Knit-In I checked the door prize chart and I won a gift certificate to River's Edge so of course I had to go back in and spend it!

The Quince & Co. Chickadee yarn will become a Madalynn cowl. The Yarn Hollow rovings will become a Freeport vest. And the River's Edge Chunky Monkey yarn will be a Tilled Scarf. I can't wait to get started!

What are you knitting/reading?


Yarn Along: Wrapped Up Scoop

I'm linking up with Ginny for this week's Yarn Along.

Knitting: Wrapped Up Poncho
This Saturday I'm going to the Madison Knit-In. Two weeks ago when I decided I was going to go to the event I thought, "Wouldn't it be fun to have a new knit to wear?" I've had the Colorflow Yarn in my stash for years and have been looking for the perfect project for the long, slow color changes. Found it! I should finish the poncho tonight or tomorrow - just in time to wear on Saturday! I don't think I'll have time to block it but I really don't think it will need it. Is anyone else out there going to be at the Knit-In?
Pattern: Wrapped Up by Susanne Sommer
Yarn: Blackberry Ridge Colorflow Yarn in colorway Santa Fe and Cascade 220 in colorway 8013 Walnut Heather (I think! Lost the tag for the 220.)

This top-down poncho has an i-cord tab cast on. I swear I had to watch the YouTube video 5 times to get the hang of the cast on. Good to learn something new, though.

Reading: Scoop by Jeff Miller
Two middle-aged guys leave their successful careers in London to revitalize and run an ice cream shop and a bed & breakfast in Hayward, Wisconsin in the middle of the Northwoods. At times I have dreamed of owning an ice cream parlor and a B&B (but not at the same time!) so I'm enjoying the read. Plenty of colorful characters keep the story interesting. Typical small-town Wisconsin life. The B&B is still in operation but it's up for sale. I'm curious to see if that is revealed in the book or if I can pick up on any impending doom.          

What are you knitting/reading this week?