Saturday, April 17, 2010

Knitting Project: A Soft & Simple Baby Blanket

Jani are you reading this? You'd better not be reading this, because I'm a nerdy little yarn glutton and I HAVE to be there when someone opens one of my knitted gifts so that I can go off on all of the geeky details about the pattern, the type of yarn I used, how to launder it, etc. If the devil is in the details, then I guess that makes me the devil.

This blanket is a modified version of the Personalized Baby Blanket from Simple Knits For Cherished Babies, easily the most useful baby pattern book that I've ever purchased. I am cursed with a short attention span when it comes to knitting projects, and all of the clothes, blankets & accessories in this book are simple and easy for a lackadaisical knitter like me. After all, I'm not a knitting whiz like some people I know. ;)

Anyway, here she is, Miss Annie's blanket -

And a close-up of Annie's "A" -

In my mind, this "A" was supposed to be a lot bigger and more prominent. After getting well into it, I realized that I could have actually fit ANNE on here if I'd have been a little more caffeinated/competent in basic mathematics. But overall I'm still pretty happy with how this blankie came out. I used some luscious Rowan mohair/silk as a knit-along with a more durable cotton/acrylic as the primary yarn, for a super soft and (hopefully) durable blanket for sweet Miss Anne.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Motherly Instincts

April has been a crazy month for me. Planting, vacation, birthday madness, maybe moving(?), a chore list a mile long, etcetera. Oy.

And as if I weren't panicked and manic enough already, my baby girl turns 7 this week, making me feel a million years old, and like I'm not really Mommy to anyone anymore, just MOM!/the lady who drives me places/the woman who's every word or look embarrasses me to death. I miss the snuggle days. Napping on the couch together, blowing raspberries on babies tummies and hearing a little one laugh for the first time. I've got the baby fever.

Having just spent a week snuggling the stuffing out of sweet baby Ryan, it's no wonder that I've got the itch. My logical brain is in a violent emotional conflict with my hormones and it's still unclear who will triumph. But I'm getting older, quicker than it used to happen, it seems (How does that work?), and I don't have a ton of time to make up my mind about which way to go. I said OY already, right?

I guess that the good news/bad news here is that it's not just me that has the baby itch. My hens have lately lost their heads and been sequestering little clutches of eggs here and there, and giving me the bitchiest of click-clucks when I dare go near their "hiding place". My girls have gone broody.

The rub here, of course, is that since we are in city limits, we cannot own a rooster. So the hennies can sit on their eggs and growl at me all day, and end up with nothing to show for it. So I'm wondering, could I and should I seek out some fertile eggs to slip under them for them to hatch out? If anyone has any experience with this particular dilemma, I'd gladly welcome your thoughts on the matter.

As to the baby-baby issue. Mama's got some thinking to do.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Y'all want some freebies?

While storming Farmers Markets and small town shops in Tennessee & Kentucky, and picking up random assorted southern/appalaichan treats and oddities, I thought of you, my foodie and blog friends. I wanted to bring you back a few odd little num-nums as a treat for those of you who have my same crazy love of down-home foods. That was the plan. Fate and a doofus or two at United airlines unfortunately intervened.

I swear that I had bought more than this for y'all, but in the ensuing "your-suitcase-isn't-lost-lost, we-just-don't-know-EXACTLY-where-it-is-right-now" incident, something somewhere got lost FOR REAL.

At any rate, without sounding too much like I am apologizing for giving you something for free, I ask you to accept this humble, wee assortment of Appalaichian goodies, courtesy of moi.

Here we have some "candied" jalapenos, country ham from the self-proclaimed Hamtown, USA of Cadiz, Kentucky, and lastly, some whole pecans in their shells.

I may get whacky and throw something else in here. Something knitted, perhaps? Anyway, if you're interested in throwing your name in the hat, simply say so in a comment and I'll randomly select a winner in 2 weeks time. (I need time to knit something cute!)

Thanks again for reading my blog. I appreciate you all more than you know. :) Chelle

First Fruits / In which I show my age by referencing a Three Dog Night song

April is here and my yard and garden are starting to show it. My cherry tree's blossoms are just starting to pop open, and my rhododendrons are going crazy. I was also able to harvest my first "crop" of the year, rhubarb.

I pulled just 4 stalks today, just shy of a pound's worth, and will pull a few more once or twice a week, washing, chopping and freezing it as I go, stockpiling it for future desserts and wine making. Rhubarb wine was the very first wine that I ever attempted, and it turned out (if I may say so, myself) mighty fine. Just ask Jeremiah, he'll tell you.