Monday, August 7, 2017

More Canning

Pickled Summer Squash :)


A friend brought over a  big bucket of fresh peaches she picked from a neighbor's tree and we made Bourbon Peach Jam (that can be used as a topping for a plain cheese cake or in between layers of a layer cake) and Rosemary Peach Jam which can be used as a pork loin glaze.  

Bourbon Peach Jam
Peach Rosemary Jam

Then with the remaining peaches the next day I made a Peppered Peach Relish which can be used when stir frying chicken or vegetables.  It's a completely sticky mess to cook and I had to crack open the Goo Gone to clean the stove top after but it tasted pretty good.  

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Ceilidh Sweater

Yeah I finished it and IT ACTUALLY FITS so I'm not giving this one away and I'm bringing it to Ireland with me.  Started it on June 30th...so 30 days to make it.  The pattern is called "Ceilidh" by Julia Farwell-Clay in Summer 2017issue of Pom Pom magazine (British publication).  Yarn is Valley Yarns Northampton Light Green Heather.  I'm calling it the "mullet sweater" because it's longer in the back and shorter in the front :). Intentionally longer....oddly not a mistake on my part :). Has two front pockets, dropped sleeves, waist shaping with like a faux garter stitch welt in the back :). Totally going to make another one!  :).






Friday, July 28, 2017

Canning Season 2017


The garden is doing awesome this year.  Canning is in high gear.  
This week I made Zucchini Salsa with added Fresno peppers, pickled summer squash (my fav), picked beets (not my fav :)) and apple pie filling.  



Monday, July 10, 2017

The Canning Begins



Last year's lack of rain made our garden pitiful.  This year it's doing really good so I'll be marathon canning again I'm sure.  Had a productive Sunday canning strawberries we picked locally.  We made strawberry jam and strawberry basil jam using the basils I'm growing on the back deck.  If they bottled a basil scented perfume, I'd wear it :). 

Next batch will be strawberry pineapple jam with honey. Pictures soon :) 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Tuning Out the "Machines"


Pretty sick of the "machines" as Bill O'Reilly would call them.  Boy I miss him although watching him on his podcast and being one of his prime members fills the void.  Tucker is awesome but he's not "my Bill" :). 

Taking a break from the emails, the instant messages, the texting, etc.  It's a complete time suck and I'd rather be doing something productive.  The mission to downsize continues.  Getting tons done and doing what I want without all the interuptions and the pinging in the background.  What do you do when the unfollow option and turning off the notifications doesn't work on Facebook?  You know besides lose your mind sifting through the drivel?  It always occurs to the most annoying people too.  Good grief if someone posts more than 20 posts per day, it's time for an intervention.  

So I started this last night listening to Audible books. Compared to the Celtic Myths fingering weight version, the DK version is seriously cranking!  Something to bring on the trip to Ireland for the knitting tour.  Can't go looking like a rookie now :). Scotland in 2018!!!  Adorable progress marker is a tea and saucer collection done by my friend Faith (the new Marine Corps Mom).  She did a custom order for me.  Whatever your theme or interest, this girl can come up with awesome stitch markers and progress keepers.   https://www.etsy.com/shop/DistractedKnits

The yarn is super soft.  It's Rowan Super Fine Merino in DK weight. I have to make a sweater out of this stuff.  The color is #146 Sky.  Living so close to Webs is a blessing and a curse :) 

Sent from my iPad


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Shabby Chic Flag

My sister in law sent me the picture she found on Pinterest.  I found a similar e-pattern on Patternmart by Debbie Booth called American Cottage Flag and made some adaptions to the pattern.  I used 4 antique quilt blocks instead of appliqueing stars or using star fabric.  It goes in the mail tomorrow and hopefully gets there before the 4th of July.  


Vermont Quilt Festival

Went to the Vermont Quilt Festival Yesterday.  It was good to be at a crowded quilt show again.  I've been to so many over the years where the shop owners are just sitting in empty booths or knitting to kill time in between customers.  This show as busy!  I saw at least 7 or 8 busses parked in the parking lot.  I was starting to think quilting was on the decline.  It was a mostly an older crowd.  Just something I noticed while sitting at the outdoor dining area.  I sat at a table with Canadian women speaking French.  I'm going to need to spend more time on my Duolingo app before I can understand what they were saying.  I'm pretty sure it wasn't "Gee I really wish I was eating Jenny Craig Ranch Snaps like that woman instead of this awesome giant burger and fries."   Maybe the younger women are more into knitting now and the hipster coffee shop knitting scene?   My favorite booth was "The Cottage Rose", a shop based in Iowa. Iowa sure produces some of the best quilters.  The quilts at the show were a nice mix of "artsy" and traditional.  I came home with some treasures and my head full of potential quilt ideas:) Hit the local quilt shop and a yarn shop in Williston on the way home :). Pulled into the driveway on fumes :). All in all a really fun day :) 


Friday, June 23, 2017

Joji Mystery KAL

Joji Mystery KAL 

Finished my Joji Mystery KAL today. This is the first KAL I've ever finished.  Yeah :). It's big too.  85 by 29 1/2".  

Used Sweet Georgia Tough Sock and Sweet Georgia Cashluxe.  It blocked really really well.  The colors are outside of my comfort zone but it was a fun, fun pattern to knit.



Friday, June 16, 2017

Irish Fairy Garden


A friend of mine gave me an old suitcase after she saw the dog bed I made out of an old suitcase.  Wasn't sure what I'd do with it but then Pinterest managed to present an idea.  

I turned this into a miniature Celtic fairy garden.  My original idea of turning a pot into a rock cottage with a "thatched" roof went horribly wrong. I'm still trying to get the Gorilla Glue off my hands. 

The Befores

The inspiration
Mine






The disaster
Miniature standing stones

Final touch some mini rocks and sheep:



Thursday, June 15, 2017

Early Morning Knitting



The best part of the day...having very early morning breakfast and tea on the back deck and knitting a little bit before hitting the ground running :)  Still plugging along on my sock yarn blanket.  

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Summer Gardening

I've had the old window for years. When I saw this idea on Pinterest, I thought I'd give it a shot.  Hoping the lavender comes in nice and full. I have my usual flip flop flower pots on the back deck and containers of herbs along the deck rails.  Love the smell of lavender, basil and rosemary out there :). Finally summer!!!  

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Smashville

If it can't be my Bruins, let the Preds win this!  

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Had Your Fill Yet?

I rarely write very much on my blog other than what I'm making or made, the pattern I used and what yarn I used.  But today is one of those rare occasions when I have something to say and some of you won't like and quite honestly I'm okay with that.  

With all the "to do" in the quilting world this week caused by a well known quilter's video claiming she is the victim of bullying by a secret Facebook group of conservative quilters, I just thought I'd throw in my two cents on the subject. (And to answer the question before it is asked. I am not a member of the Facebook group in question.)

First of all I think the word "bullying"is being totally overused. It seems the minute you say something someone doesn't agree with you're brandished as a bully and everyone must go scampering to their "safe space" for cookies and milk.  "Bully"  has turned into another dog whistle word just like "racist".  Eventually it loses its meaning.  

Another well known quilter is claiming on her blog that she was bullied when in fact I think her claim falls more into the category of an unethical business arrangement when a friendship went south.  Sad if true but hardly bullying.  And if her claims are true, why not obtain a lawyer and rectify the situation?  

What I object to is the recent portrayal that it is only conservatives who say hateful things or "bully" and that liberals are so sweet and full of peace, love and understanding that sugar wouldn't melt in their collective mouths.  Hate is a two way street people.  I live in a completely liberal state (for now) and I don't have to look very far to see liberal bias, liberal hate and liberal intolerance.  

Where was the inclusivity and acceptance at the Women's March?  Conservative women's groups were forbidden to even be included as sponsors of that event.  So much for accepting differences.

The left tried to shut down the Hobby Lobby craft store chain due to the owner's deeply held religious beliefs. Where were the left wing crafters supporting Hobby Lobby's right to be different and not "bullied"?  

A local quilt museum is hosting a "resistance" quilting event.  The list of topics they want quilts to depict is basically a lengthy list of the left's current grievances.  Let's call this quilting event what it will really be. An Anti-Trump Anti-Conservative Anti-Republican Quilting Hate Festival. Attire:  Pink Pussy Hat optional.  I can only imagine what the raffle quilt will look like if there is one.  In the recruitment information there is a quilt depicting picture a snake coming out of President Trump's mouth.  When the Tea Party Movement was in full swing did this museum seek out quilts depicting conservative causes?  Rhetorical question only.  Of course the answer is no. Would a quilt depicting a "Make America Great Again" theme or a pro second amendment theme even make it through the jury selection process for this show?  I doubt it. And if it were, they'd better post a guard next to the quilt to prevent vandalism. I will never go to this museum again. Why pay money to support intolerance and hate? 

Two weeks ago I signed up for a beginner weaving class at a yarn shop.  Sounded like fun...not so much.  The weaving class was held on one side of the shop and there was an open knit group on the other side of the shop.  Basically the only thing dividing the two groups was a small set of cubicles displaying yarn and a couple of feet.  I paid $85.00 for the day long class.  I didn't realize that fee included being forced to listen to a table full of liberal Democrat hateful knitters dripping venom from every pore of their body as they bashed Republicans, Donald Trump, Donald Trump's family, Donald Trump's ex-wives, his young son, Donald Trump voters, etc. etc.......Due to their extreme arrogance, it never occurred to these oh so tolerant unhinged lefties that there might be other people in the shop who did not agree with them or that one of the people they were insulting ad nauseam was sitting a few feet away from them.  I know for a fact there were at least two of us there. I will never go to this shop again.  The inclusive creative environment the left screams about wasn't there. 

I attended a knitting class at a yarn shop that is now permanently closed.  No loss.  The owner asked me for my email address so she could put me into her customer data base.  At the time my email address was with Reagan.com.  She questioned the email address. Her eye brow shot up.  She asked me how to spell Reagan. When I said "like the President" she looked as if I stuffed a hand full of sour pickles down her throat and gave me a filthy look. Just another example of how the oh so tolerant left can get their knickers in a bunch over something as trivial as an email address that offends them.

So really let's not act like it's just the right side of the aisle that is intolerant.  There's more than enough hate and intolerance to go around and it didn't just start with Donald Trump being president.  The current and sometimes unbearable social atmosphere in this country is partially due to eight years of Obama slicing apart Americans by race, political leanings, sex, income, sexual orientation, religion and occupation.  It didn't just all of a sudden start the day Donald Trump was sworn into office.  

Disagree with any or all of the above, go have a cookie and make a quilt. :). At least I didn't charge you $85 to read it :)

Update: After reading one of the comments posted below I remembered another example of how "inclusive" the liberal creative community really isn't. Let's not forget how the unhinged left tried to completely destroy a woman-owned yarn shop in TN simply because she could not support the "pussy hat project". This is how they support another woman? Where was her right to be different? Where was all that inclusivity in the creative community? There was none. The left tried to destroy her and her business (and it backfired. Conservatives from all over the country came to her aid and supported her and her shop.) The left viciously attacked her on Yelp with fake negative reviews because if you are not a leftist then in their eyes you aren't allowed to be different or included and you must be destroyed. They attacked her on every form of social media they could find. This woman was bombarded with hateful phone calls. She received death threats because she refused to march lock step with liberals. Are you feeling the love from the left wing creative community yet? The hypocrisy is disgusting!

Talk about bullying!!! Please.

Sent from my iPad


Another Update:  Here's another example of "inclusivity" in the creative environment.  Last night (June 5th) the Massachusetts Sheep and Wool Facebook page posted an article against building the border wall.  Always with a flair for the dramatic, they posted a quote from President Trump about building the wall next to the quote on the Statue of Liberty ("Give me your tired, your poor....." etc). The Massachusetts Sheep and Wool Festival is not only against a border wall, they'd like to everyone to give every person that comes to the United States illegally or not a blanky.  They failed to mention that the Statue of Liberty is located in the same harbor and less than a mile away from Ellis Island where legal immigrants began their journey of becoming legal American citizens.  

After five negative comments about the post, the Massachusetts Sheep and Wool Festival removed the post.  The fact is it never should have been posted but here in Massachusetts where liberal arrogance reigns supreme, it never occurred to whatever idiot is running the festival's Facebook page that there might be fiber artists that have a different opinion of the border wall or who at the very least prefer to keep politics out of the creative process.  At the rate the left is going, I'll be not only spinning and dyeing my own yarn but I'll be writing my own patterns too.  

Sunday, May 14, 2017

New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival

It's been a couple of years since I've gone to the NHS&W. We went yesterday.  It was pretty cold considering it's mid-May.  Really nice festival. I bought no yarn!  What the heck?  I must be ill :)  I saw a lot of samples in the booths that were very inspiring.  Holding off on casting on any other projects until I finish seaming a few sweaters.