Friday, November 28, 2008

Cozy Comfort

Flirtaion cozy is finished! Here are the details:

Pattern: Flirtation cozy.
Needle size: size 8
Yarn: SWS by Patons
Colorway: Natural Garden

This pattern kept my attention. One wrong glance and poof, it's time to rip. I must have ripped at least 10 different times. I do like how it looks. The warm colors of the SWS by Patons made this cozy. Anyone for some hot chocolate?

It's been snowing here all day. The weather report is very vague. They are calling for 3-8 inches. That's quite a large range. I noticed my horses bucking and jumping in the snow. I ran inside to get my camera to get some action shots.

By the time I raced back outside the action was over. Just searching for green grass.

Before the snow covered the ground I needed to pick up as many pine cones as I could. One of the young ladies at church is getting married next month and needs pine cones for decorations. I have plenty of them. As I walked around picking up all of the large beautiful cones I was surprised by these.

I found several of these tiny pine cones. I added a quarter to the bowl so you could see how small they are. These are so cute. I have to find something to do with them. Any idea's?

Monday, November 24, 2008

First Measurable Snow

We have had our very first measurable snow of the season. The snow comes as a surprise to our area. The weather forecasters didn't predict the snowfall until last evening. Yesterday our temperatures was in the mid 40's. I found it hard to believe that it would snow overnight. The snow is pretty.

Let's go out and take a look at the garden. I love the footprints in the snow.

The lettuce is still under cover. I checked on it yesterday and it's looking good. I'm not worried about the wet snow covering the greens. I'm still praying for my Thanksgiving salad. I think I'll make it!!

I love the way the snow covers this tiny pine tree. I would love to walk around my property taking pictures of the snow laden branches. I'm on a work time crunch so I can't lolly around this morning.

Sam the snowman is in all of his glory. He has his hat and scarf on and is ready for the day! Enjoy yours!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's a Cold One

It's a cold one here today. The wind had been howling and racing across the fields. It's rare that I can hear the wind when I'm all snug inside my home. I live in an old farmhouse that dates back to 1858. If you would drive by where I live you would never know that my house is that old. It has been updated again and again. The silver lining in the changes in our home is that our walls are almost a foot thick. If the doors and windows are closed you don't hear anything. No wind or rain. That is unless it's gale force wind. The loud wind has been raging stongly from the nothwest all day and into the evening. With the wind came snow flurries. The snow didn't stick. The cold and snow got me in the mood for snowmen. I read through my Wool Pets book by Laurie Sharp to get some idea's. You can check out Lauries site here. I took a chance at making my own little snowman. Isn't this little guy cute? Because I am new to needle felting I don't have a lot of supplies. As a matter of fact I have only one needle. I broke my needle before I could finish Sam the snowman. I need to finish and attach Sam's top hat. A snowman has to have a hat. I am also making a little i-cord for Sam's scarf. A snowman must have a scarf to go with his hat.

I have been sampling a new pattern that I would like to make for gifts. On the needles I am knitting a mug cozy. This is my second attempt at the pattern. I was plotting away on attempt number one and was almost half way finished when I thought I made a mistake. Notice the word thought. I ripped the entire cozy and re-knit the cozy and realized it was right all along. The self striping yarn messed with my eyes. Or was it the lateness of the evening?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Quilted Postcards and Gardening Update

These are the quilted postcards I made for our fall swap on Ravelry. This is my third postcard swap. Our group exchanged cards with 13 swappers. I challenged myself to only use a stack of 8" squares left over from a quilt I made a few years ago.

I cheated and added a 1/4 of a yard from my fabric stash. Here is a close up of one of the cards. I ended up stitching 22 quilted postcards in all. If you remember my post a couple weeks ago here I showed you some beautiful fabric. The batik leaf print was so totally gorgeous that I knew I had to fussy cut them out and applique them to my pieced backgrounds. Then I used a variegated gold embroidery thread to compliment the vein in the leaves. I really enjoy sewing these cute cards. I also make sure to send a few to some friends and relatives. My great aunt who is 85 loves getting mail. I am so honored that she enjoys my quilted post cards.

These are the cards I have received so far. I love them all! My plan is to decorate my sewing room with all of the postcards. I have a vision for a quilted postcard border.

This is what I sewed with the rest of the pretty fabric I showed earlier. Wildflower pincushion is the pattern. I will admit that my sewing skills are little rusty. It took me several reads of the pattern to figure it out. I wanted the pincushion to look like a pumpkin. What do you think? It's so cute.

The fall lettuce crop is still growing. Even after a few very cold nights in the low 20's! After one especially frigid night I waited for the sun to rise to check and see what survived. I had everything covered with the floating row covers. I put my hand under the covers and could feel crunchy leaves. I thought for sure that all was lost.

I am so grateful for the warm weather that we have enjoyed for the last few days. It seemed to revive the garden. Nothing was lost! Maybe I will be able to harvest some baby spinach!

The arugula is still producing many wonderful leaves. I have lots of spicy, nutty leaves to share. I am amazed that my garden is still growing on November 14. Awesome!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Roasted Potimarron Soup

I have a rare vegetable that grew in my garden this year. It's called a Potimarron pumpkin. It's also know as a Hokkaido squash and Kuri pumpkin. The color is an intense orange that is almost red. I couldn't find a lot of information on the potimarron. That is information in English. It seems as though this pumpkin is popular in french cooking. The potimarron is known for it's sweet and savory taste with a touch of chestnut. Sounds good right?!

I did some searching on line to find a good recipe. I found this blog with a nice post about the potimarron. I cut the pumpkin in half and roasted it in the oven cut side down for 1 hour at 375 degrees. After the pumpkin has cooled scoop out the flesh. Saute a chopped onion in pan with olive oil. Add your pumpkin flesh to the onion with 3 cups of milk. Also make sure to add salt to taste. I always use Kosher salt. I love the way it tastes. Cook until it boils very gently. If you have a hand blender put it to use and blend your soup right in your pan. I don't have a hand blender so I used my regular blender. The recipe calls for creme fraiche. I didn't have any so I used a very small amount of sour cream. The soup is very thick and creamy.

The pumpkin has quite a few seeds. I carefully went through the seeds to save them for next year.

I simply placed the seeds on a paper towel to dry. Don't you love planning for the future?! If you are interested in growing this unique pumpkin please let me know. I always love to share.

If you decide to make this soup don't leave out the sage browned butter. The sage browned butter added another layer of flavor to the soup. It was very simple to make. In a small pan melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Add a few fresh sage leaves. Cook the butter until it starts to foam and then brown. It's so good!

The soup is fantastic! It was a huge hit at my house. I'm sure you could make the same recipe with any pumpkin or squash. This is the perfect soup for a cold fall evening.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Maine Mitts

Maine Morning Mitts are finished and gifted to my DS girlfriend. The key to this simple pattern is the yarn. This pattern is perfect to show off striped yarn like Noro or the yarn I used Boku by Plymouth Yarn.

One skein of Boku makes one pair of mitts. I used color #1. Bree loves tye dye so I thought this yarn would be perfect. I should mention that I did hand wash the mitts when I was finished to soften them up. Good thing I did. The color bled and needed to be rinsed 4 times. The yarn softened.

I really liked the way the thumb gusset was done. I also learned a few different ways to increase. M1R and M1L. All in all it was a nice, interesting knit.

Bree was really happy with her first mitts. Isn't she just adorable?! I felt kind of weird asking her to model them. My son explained to her why I needed a model and wanted her to see my blog. My family knows about my blog. I also have a few friends that know about my blogging. I can't explain why it felt weird, it just did. Have you ever felt that way? Do your friends and family read your blog? Just curious.

The silver lining in this project is I can finally knit a pair for my DH! He's not the hand knit kind of guy. He doesn't wear sweaters or scarfs. All he will wear is a hat. I cast on for his mitts last night. I am using 100% Alpaca in classic black. I am using the same pattern. He wouldn't go for cables or anything like that. It must be simple.