Thursday, May 16, 2013

Digging in the Dirt : Garden Update #1

Is there much to update?  At the moment, nothing really.  Mostly plans.  Loads of plans.  Insanely optimistic plans.  Plans, that, in my head, look just like this:

Martha Stewart Perfection

They include something like this:

Pole Beans, Martha Stewart Style.

And even this!!!

Not me.  I'm not that perfect.  Trust me. 

So far, I've planted these organic seeds:
1.  Kale
2. Spinach
3. Beets
4. Kohlrabi
5. Lettuce
6. Bok Choi
7.  Peas

 One small hurdle.  Did I mention I only have a corner lot within city limits?  That's me.  So, in between the Cedar, magnolia, and pine, and spruce trees on the property, not to mention a house, garage, and driveway smack dab in the middle of everything, I need to make big garden veggies in various smaller beds that I've reclaimed from the lawn.  My secret weapon this year?

My Earthwise Eco Friendly PLUG IN Tiller. 

This thing chops.  It dices.  It tills.  It cuts through grass and sod like butter.  Excepting the hauling of a big orange extension cord, I couldn't ask for more.  It is lightweight, and I don't have to figure out how to put oil or fuel or mixes of the two.  (Which is why I still have yet to use my weed whacker.)

I'll take photos.  The peas and Kohlrabi are already sprouting.  I'm expanding the garden space to reclaim about 4000 feet of lawn to use for my corn, melons, peppers, and tomatoes this year.

I'll either end up this season as a bad ass guerilla gardener, or a complete and utter laughingstock of the neighborhood.  Wanna take bets?

Watch this space.  Good or bad- I'll share my story.

Organic Gardening Tip of the day:::  RABBIT REPELLANT
Cute and adorable?  Yes.  Nibbling on my lettuce.  Nope.

1.  Go to local Barber Shop.  Ask for their hair.  I'm not kidding.
2.  Dump a cheap spice bottle of cayenne pepper into bag of hair.
3.  Sprinkle this (to rabbits) noxious mixture around seedlings.  ESPECIALLY your bean seedlings.  They can devour all your work in one night.

I swear.  They won't nibble.


ETA: 3 hours after publishing this post, I managed to till up 5000 square feet of veggie beds.  I also managed to get the tiller wrapped up in chicken wire (which it took 30 minutes to cut apart from the tines), get a big 'ole rock wedged in the tiller (which I beat out of the tines unceremoniously with a shovel), and got stung by approximately 14 ants.  Like I said, not quite as glamorous as I seem.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Travelling Boneyard Shawl - A knitting update.

I got on the plane to San Francisco on the 2nd, and cast on for this lovely shawl.  I have had this gorgeous handspun wool/mohair blend sportweight yarn sitting around since the dawn of my knitting obsession, but I could never find THE project to show off it's gorgeousness.  It is a smidgeon itchy, a bit old fashioned, and a simple design.

I found the pattern through ravelry here, written by Stephen West. It is simple-- starting at the neck, and increasing 4 stitches each right side row.  Knit in stockinette, and adding a garter ridge every so often for good measure.

It was a marvelous travelling project.  Mindless, hard to mess up.  No charts.  As a matter of fact, I had the pattern memorized after the 5th row.  750 yards or so of sportweight yarn on size 8 needles later?

We have a lovely scarf/shawl.  Only two flights across the country, several long trips on the San Fran public transit system........ and no blocking.  I considered blocking, but was afraid my chocolate lab would mess it up.  I really would like some of these......

I do have a little yarn left over...........  a matching set of fingerless gloves, mayhap?

Hooray for finishing something!!!!!!

For those who are interested, these are in the works.  Details to follow.

Malabrigo Maxima meets the Cable Needle

Cascade Quattro in Garter- ready for her lace border.  :)
Noro Kochoran gets mitered.
As you can see, I've been knitting most of my evenings for the last month or so.  Very enjoyable, this meditative practice of turning string into garments with two pointy sticks.


Friday, May 10, 2013

A month away from writing......a vacation........and a project!

Sometimes, too many ideas is worse than not enough.

There are a thousand ideas in my head.  And I don't know which to focus on.

Anyone else?

Is this or that worth my time as an independant designer?  Should I start a new line of more productive items, more "mass-produced" yet still handmade?

I'm in a quandary.  That's why I haven't been writing.  The ideas won't cohere to any logical pattern.  They just bounce around in my head and off of each other without rhyme, reason, or cogency.  So I thought I'd take a step back.

But the ideas still do their thing.

Write a novel!

Screenprinting!  That could be for you!

Custom knitting!

oooooooooh.  You should make purses!

Should I plant enough veggies for a market garden?

Oooooh.  I need a sod remover for the garden.

crap.  Did I take pictures of that fabric for that order yet?

I really should be knitting more bulky cowls for the shop.

I wonder if I should invest in a sock knitting crank machine?

Should I be writing a novel?


*points up*  It's ALWAYS like that.  Even when I'm working on one project, fifty others are migrating around in the idea box.  I try and be mindful of this (*ohmmmmmmmmmmmm*), and truly enjoy what I'm working on at the moment!  Never truly happens.

I DID go on vacation.  San Francisco and I got along just fine!  (the food was FABULOUS.)

I DID start a new knitting project while riding around the Oakland/San Francisco area public transportation, and on the planes to and from Michigan:

The Boneyard Shawl with Green Handspun Mohair/Wool Blend

The pattern for the shawl was memorized after the 3rd row, and it's just waiting for me to sit still for longer than 3 minutes to finish the border.   More pics of the finished shawl later!  (if I can stay focused long enough to remember to do so.)

So there I am, in a nutshell.  My thoughts and ideas are driving me batty.  I don't know how to grab one.  Stick to it.  Stay there.

Any ideas?