Yarn Along: Major Homesocks

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

Knitting: Homesocks & A Mystery Gift
I'm still working on a surprise gift (in the yellow yarn) but I started a new project as well. (Like I need yet another knitting project!) Starting the homesocks kind of happened by mistake. I went to my LYS last Friday for an afternoon of knitting. I finished the Cowboy Cowl (pictured below) way faster than I anticipated and didn't bring another project to work on. I had the needles and the pattern with me to knit the homesocks so I just bought some more yarn and hopped to it.
Pattern: R0082 Alaska Color Homesocks by Regia Design Team (free on Rav)

Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Gina in Colorway Autumn

Reading: Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
I'm ready to give up on this book. 60 pages in and I'm still not hooked. Too many other things I want to read to stick with something that I don't really want to.

FO: Cowboy Cowl
I'm participating in a blogger swap and I wanted to knit something for my swap partner. She doesn't know who her partner is so I think I'm safe posting about it here. Through a little digging on her blog, I found out that her favorite color is purple. Lucky for her, I found this yarn for $4 at a thrift store a few months ago and bought it without knowing what I would make with it. I've had the pattern in my binder for some time thinking that it would be perfect for handspun slub yarn. The Jazz yarn is just like slub yarn! The cowl is knit flat and then you just sew a button onto one corner and push it through the knitting to connect the two ends. I knit until all of the yarn was gone and I think the cowl turned out the perfect size. I hope my swap partner likes it! I plan on putting it in the mail next week.
Pattern: Cowboy/Bandit Cowl by The Gauge Wars (free)
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Jazz in Colorway Shade

What are you knitting/reading this week?


Garden Update: July 20th, 2014

What a difference a month can make!

The garden actually looks like a garden right now. 

The only thing I've been harvesting so far is basil, peas, lettuce and a zucchini about every 3 days. Those plants are prolific, aren't they?

A zucchini a day keeps the doctor away...

The green beans are almost ready as well as the onions and garlic. I spied a few green tomatoes hiding in the foliage but the pepper plants are still tiny due to the cold nights we had a week ago. 

The strawberries didn't do very well this year and I've been fighting an invasion of nasty prickers that I just can't get rid of. 

The strawberry patch - what a mess!

These are the prickers that I've been fighting. Does anyone know what they are and how to get rid of them?! They have an extensive root system that makes them impossible to eradicate.

Since I don't know what else to do, I've decided to spray the strawberries and kill everything in that area and start over next year. I don't think I will plant strawberries there again. It's just too much work weeding them throughout the summer for very little reward in the spring. 

And to leave you with something a little nicer than a nasty pricker plant, here's one of the pretty cosmos that I have growing in the veggie garden to attract beneficial insects.


Yarn Along: Major Surprise

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

Knitting: It's a Surprise!
I'm still working on a surprise gift so I don't want to say too much. I just finished chart A and I still have 2 more big charts to go but I'm really loving this knit.
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish in Colorway Goldrush Tonal

Reading: Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
This book was picked for book club and I honestly have no idea what it's about. I'm only 18 pages in so it's too early to tell if I'll like it or not. A mystery knit and a mystery read!

FO: "D" Dishcloth
I put together a Pancake gift basket for a wedding shower: grill pan, giant spatula, local maple syrup, Misto, recipes, and this dishcloth which has the Bride's future last name initial on it. 
Pattern: Knitted "D" Dishcloth by Rhonda White (free on Rav)
Yarn: Lily Sugar 'n Cream in colorway Country Green

What are you knitting/reading this week?


Lately: Early July Edition

The weather feels more like fall than summer. Cold nights and stormy days with a lot of really cool clouds. Hopefully summer isn't over already!

We bought a Prius a few weeks ago and I've been averaging 58 mpg. AWESOME! I was spending almost $300/month on gas with my old car. Not anymore!

I'm brewing my first batch of kombucha. I blame my mom for getting me into this. Hopefully the stuff helps keep my gut in check because I've been doing really well since I finished the Alcat test. 

Christian and I took a quick 3-day trip to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the U.P. That Big Blue Lake always blows me away with her beauty. The skeeters were bad and the trip was too short but it still felt great to get away.

What's happening in your neck of the woods?


Garden Update: June 20, 2014

There's not a whole lot happening in our garden yet. We had a very late spring. I usually plant Memorial weekend but waited an extra week because the evenings were so chilly. We are starting to have a few red strawberries here and there. The patch looks a little sad this year because I think I got a little too carried away in thinning it out. Oops.

I direct-seeded corn, beans, peas, and carrots and probably only 1/3 of them sprouted. Not sure if it was the seed or the weather that was bad. I only pretend to know what I'm doing... I will replant those rows this week.

Since we were on vacation during the middle of May I didn't start any seeds indoors. I "cheated" on the peppers and tomatoes and bought plants at local plant sales and greenhouses. So far only one pepper plant has been eaten by a deer or rabbit. 

In other growing news, I have my first peony! My co-worker gave me a plant when I first moved to the farm 4 years ago. I honestly didn't think the darn thing would ever flower because it's looked so pathetic the past few years. And then, all of a sudden, this year it took off and I already have 2 blooms. Just awesome!

Two nights ago we were walking along the edge of a hay field that had just been cut when Christian spotted some asparagus. I picked enough to grill up with our portobello burgers. What a treat!

What are you growing this year?


Yarn Along: Surprise Storyteller

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

Knitting: It's a Surprise!
I'm working on a surprise gift so I don't want to spill the beans on what I'm knitting but some of you may recognize the pattern. This pattern has some crazy-big charts. Any guesses?  And, no, it's not a bikini bottom even though the top photo kind of looks like it. LOL.
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish in Colorway Goldrush Tonal

Reading: The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
I admit that I haven't been reading very much these days but I have been listening to this good audiobook. A young woman (Sage) befriends an old man (Josef) who she meets at her grief support group. After some time Josef comes to Sage with a strange request: to help him die. As Josef begins to explain his past regrets as a Nazi soldier, Sage, a Jew, wonders why she should help this man after the horrible things he did.