Thursday, August 28, 2008

Look at Frosty

Here she is, the Hedgehog of the hour......Frosty! Isn't she adorable?! This is the first Hedgehog I have made. I am thrilled at how she turned out. This is the very first knitted toy that I have made. I am hoping to knit a few more for gifts. Frosty will be staying put at our house. She is all mine!

Here are the details: The body was knit with New England Highland Wool. Colorway- Aster. The paws were knitted with a small amount of Cascade. For the back I used 2 different yarns held together. Bernat Disco colorway Roxy Rose and Knit One Crochet Too Jam Yarn Color 737. The Disco yarn has a fantastic iridescence to it. To me it has the look of real fur. After searching two different store for eyes and a nose I decided to needle felt the eyes and nose. It's not perfect but I still think she is cute.

Frosty enjoys peaches just us much as I do. She told me to get out the ladder and start picking.

Even Cassie likes Frosty. She was a little apprehensive at first.

Aah, how sweet!

Bear is not thrilled with the new addition. He wants to know if she has a squeaker. I better make sure that Frosty is put away when I'm not home. You know, that whole sibling rivalry thing. Giggle
Thanks for letting me be so goofy. It's the small things in life right? Have a fantastic day!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Good Morning Glory

Fridays flower is the fantastic Morning Glory. In my opinion Morning Glories have a wonderful old fashioned charm. I planted an entire row of Morning Glories this year. I have been anticipating the sensual blooms for months. The flowers are teasing me. I was expecting a boat load of blooms. I was only getting one single bloom per day. I adore the heavenly blue color.

I check on my garden a few times a day. I do a walk thru to see the progress on the bounty. Wednesday morning was a foggy start to the day. As soon as the sun started to burn off the fog I could see lots of blue flowers on my vine. Imagine my surprise!

The flowers are large in size. They measure about 4 to 5 inches across. The shape is trumpet like, perfect for bees and hummingbirds to pollinate. The honey bees are humming around the entire garden. It's a great sound to hear. I am so grateful to hear the buzzing. I planted 2 different varieties. This is "Clarks Heavenly Blue". As the name suggests the flowers bloom in the morning. By the early afternoon they fade away. I also planted "Flying Saucers". I am still on the look out for the striped bi colored flowers.

As I gaze at the vine I am reminded of a powerful scripture: John 15:4-5 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. Those verses encourage me to stay close to the Lord. I know that without him I can do nothing. Amen!

On the knitting scene I am working on my very first toy. Can you guess what it is?

It's a Hedgehog! The pattern is very well written. It's from Fiber Trends. You can see it here. I should finish the body today. I hope to have it felted tonight.
Thank you for stopping by! Until next time......BTW the peaches are almost ready!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Off to Market

It bothers me to use all of those plastic bags at the grocery store. I almost always have to double them so all of my items won't spill out all over the parking lot. It is a little embarrassing crawling around on your hands and knees looking for a can of soup that rolled away under a car after the bag split open. Not to mention all the harm the bags cause to our environment. And then animals getting caught in them or eating them. Not a good thing. I searched around Ravelry for a pattern for a grocery bag. Saturday Market Bag by Jodie Danenberg fit the bill. It's available on Ravelry as a free download. If you would like to get the pattern click here . I did do some revisions to the original pattern via disdressed blog.

The bag pattern was fairly easy. The pattern repeat is 4 rows. First you start with really big needles. Size US 15's to be exact. I then picked out some 100% cotton yarn. Lily Sugar'n Cream works well for this application. I purchased the super size and the colorway is Hot Pink. I got to learn a new stitch. The Kitchner stitch was new for me. I watched the video on so I knew what to do. I use that resource all the time!

I have to admit that my first try didn't turn out so well. This is my first attempt at the pattern. I knitted it exactly the way the pattern was written. I started a few weeks ago. I cast on for side number one and put it down and forgot where I was. I thought I could save it and just knit side two the same size. Can you tell I forgot to knit 2 pattern repeats! I seamed the two halves together still hoping to salvage my knitting time. The bag is really long and very short. It's the perfect size to carry a gigantic zucchini.

Or I could use it for my feet as a papoose?

Maybe Bear would like to lay on it. Nope, he doesn't like it either! I know just what to do.....Oh yeah, that's right.....Rip It! Rip It! Rip It!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Wildflower Friday

Today is Friday and I thought I would share some Native American Wildflowers with you. Maybe you have seen these flowers blooming along side of the road. This first one is called Chicory. The color is the best example of periwinkle blue I can think of. This plant grows the best in rocky ground like the shoulder of the road.

I did a search on Chicory and was very surprised at what I found. This is from the website:
The root of the chicory plant is long and thick, like the tap-root of the dandelion. When dried, roasted and ground, it makes an excellent substitute for coffee. There is no caffeine in chicory, and it produces a more 'roasted' flavour than coffee does. Many coffee producers offer blends with up to 30% chicory, which cuts down on the caffeine content of your cup. But many folk enjoy a cup of 'coffee' made entirely from ground, roasted chicory.

Another perk about chicory is that it's more soluable in water than coffee, which means you use a lot less of it when brewing. Very economical for someone on a tight budget.

Chicory also offers extra health benefits that you wouldn't normally get from your cup of coffee. It is reported to help cleanse the blood and improve the health of your liver.

Hmmm, You would have to be pretty desperate to dig up the roots and roast them. I do have a pioneer kind of spirit. That's going a bit far even for me. I'm glad I'm not a coffee drinker!

This flower is a Thistle. The bees are busy buzzing around and pollinating the flowers. It's great to see so many of them. I was a little concerned about the decline in the honey bee population. Anyway, you have to be careful around this flower. It has prickles all over it. They are sharp. I read somewhere that you can eat the young leaves in a salad. I'm not that adventurous.

The color is a very clear purple. The thistle seeds are a favourite food of goldfinches. This pretty butterfly is taking a drink of the nectar. I can't believe I was so lucky to get a shot of this!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Little Things

I have been knitting some necessities while watching the Olympics each evening. The first must have home project are felted coasters. I found the pattern in the May issue of Creative Knitting Magazine. I worked on these while cheering for the the historic men's 400 relay. That was an awesome moment in sporting history!

I puchased Bernat Felting Natural Wool yarn at Hobby Lobby. The colorway is called Happy Bouquet.

I did notice that this yarn bleeds quite a bit. The felting process fades the color.

I have picked 4 peaches from one of my peach trees. I know what you are thinking.....I should have a bushel of peaches by now. Let me show you why I don't.

We have been invaded by Japanese Beetles. I have never seen anything like this infestation before. We have them by the thousands.

In one day they ate all of the leaves on my plum tree. One day!

We have 4 traps set near the garden. In 12 hours one of the traps were filled to overflowing. Even my DH was totally grossed out as he changed the old bag to dispose of them. The sight is like something out of a horror movie. I have to say that the sight would gag a maggot!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Needle Felting Fun

I was introduced to needle felting a few weeks ago. I had the pleasure of attending a make and take demo by Back to Back Alpaca. With some friendly encouragement from the owner I was needle felting in no time. I have admired this art yet didn't have any teaching in the procedure. It turns out that it is very simple. Not to mention fun!

I purchased a basic kit to get started. Everything you need to begin is in this kit.

A few of the key components are a very sharp barbed needle and a foam cube to place your wool on. All you have to do is design or transfer whatever your design is onto your medium. Next you place a very small amount of wool roving or yarn onto your pattern and take your needle and poke it through the layers.

After searching several minutes(almost late for work) for the holster for my phone I had an idea of making my own phone case. The next day I traced around my phone to make a pattern. Then I traced that pattern onto a piece of felt. I drew a simple flower shape onto my wool felt and picked out some curly roving. Then I pulled apart the roving that I was using for the flower. You only need a very small amount. As you can see I used a bit much. It truly is a 3 dimensional flower. Then you go crazy with the needle punching it through the felt. Your shape comes to life. Just think of all of the embellishing one could do with this technique. The possibilities are endless.

P.S. I still can't find my holster for my phone. I guess it's where all of the single socks are!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Sunflower City

Sunflowers are one of my favorite summer blooms. The plants vary in size and color. Some are tall and produce one large flower. Others are a bit shorter with several blossoms that bloom on branched stems.

This is a mix of sunflowers called "Fun in the Sun". They stand tall at the edge of my garden. I'm sure they are over 15 feet tall. I can see them waving to me in the wind from my porch.

This varieties is Hallo. They are just my size at 5 feet. I have so many of these beauties in my garden this year. Their faces greet me with warm smiles.

This sunflower is called Chianti. The deep burgundy color is unique. The tallest this velvety plant will be is about 4 to 5 feet. I have them planted near my cucumbers.

All of the different varieties compliment each other so well. I bet a few would look great in a vase on my kitchen table. I can't bring myself to cut them. I enjoy watching them dance in the wind.

Sunflowers are so happy. Gazing at their beauty puts a smile on my face. Note to self.....grow more sunflowers next year