Thursday, July 15, 2010

Knitting Project: Checkerboard Dishcloth

I'd meant to post this simple little pattern yesterday, but a collision of hormones and Asperger Syndrome intervened in the form of my 10-year-old daughter and I both having a melt down. :(

Anyway, a day late and a bit worse for the wear, I'm back. Here we go!

Knitted Checkerboard Dishcloth

*1 skein worsted weight cotton yarn (I really like Kertzer's Coolspun cotton, but Sugar & Cream works fine too)
*Size 7 needles, or size needed to obtain the proper gauge.

Cast on 36 stitches

Rows 1 & 2 - Knit across
Rows 3-8 - Knit 2 (for a selvedge edge), *knit 4, purl 4* to the last 2 stitches, knit last 2 (for selvedge edge)
Rows 9-14 - K2, *P4, K4* to the last 2 stitches, K2
Rows 15-20 - Do as in rows 3-8
Rows 21-26 - Do as in rows 9-14
Repeat pattern until the desired size/length is reached.
Last 2 rows - Knit across
Bind off and tuck in ends.

If you elongate the boxes horizontally in this pattern (K8, P8x4, instead of K4, P4x8), you'll get more of a basket weave look.

If you give this pattern a try, I'd love to see pics of your work! Hopefully in the coming days, I'll have a chance to post the pattern for the other two dishcloths. Happy knitting!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Washcloth Winner!

And the winner is... lucky #7 - Samara!

Congrats, Samara! Please send your mailing address to me at pisceschick 99 AT, and I'll send these babies your way just as soon as I get my little rear over to the post office.

Tomorrow I'll post the patterns that I used (read: winged) for these dishcloths for the potential enjoyment of my fellow knitting knerds.

Stay tuned for more contests & giveaways in the near future! Canning season is upon us and I will soon be awash in jams, jellies, salsa and sauerkraut, all of which I will be more than happy to share with you all. Thanks again to everyone who took the time to enter, and please pop by again soon! :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Acrobatic Slugs?

Has anyone else witnessed this bizarre phenomena?

This dude was not only just hanging there on a string (ew) of his slime (ew!), he was blowing around in the wind and the stuff was bouncing like a bungee cord! I have seen this twice in my yard so far this year, once hanging from the wisteria, and once from a paper birch. I knew that the slugs were out to get me but wow - paratroopers?

Monday, July 12, 2010

It's a sup-ah beet, sup-ah beet...'s sup-ah beet-tay, YOW!

Scarlet, threatening to eat our mondo beet.

Why is it always the crop that you kinda like, but don't love that always grows like gangbusters? What am I going to do with all of these beets? The kids won't eat them. I tried selling them on the old "They'll make your tinkle pink!" angle. No takers.

Kids & Critters

So... I've been meaning to post, meaning to upload pics, meaning to do a whole lotta stuff that I haven't gotten around to doing. And now I offer you just one word in defense of my slacking - kids.

When I'm not running them from birthday parties to saddle club and all points in between, we're at home where they are hanging on me 24/7. Scarlet has been my little, very curious shadow. The isolated life of a hermit suddenly has an incredible amount of appeal...

Anyhoo, lots of things have been happening. The garden is starting to crank up, the "baby" chickens are growing like weeds at almost 8 weeks old, I've been knitting like a fool and I'm trying to physically and mentally prepare myself for the onslaught commencement of canning season.

Finally some new photos of the "babies" -

Scout, the oldest, then and now.

Scarlet, holding Snowflake, who we suspect might actually be Mr. Jeffries

Livy holding the soon-to-be renamed, Wilbur, our only Americauna chick, who we believe is a pullet.

Rocky, the original wiggler, who will also probably be renamed shortly, as he appears to be a she.

Can you believe how much these little stinkers have grown in 8 weeks? They are voracious little beasts! They finally graduated from the brooder to the coop after a very scary near-fire in the garage, involving the heat lamp and the pine pellet bedding. It wasn't good, but luckily everyone came out of it unscathed, if a little traumatized.

We still have not introduced/mixed the babies with the "big girls", as our 1-year-old hens are now known, since the babies are bantams and roughly the size of a fat pigeon, and the big girls weigh in the neighborhood of 5 to 8 pounds each. I'm curious about how much the babies weigh these days, but not curious enough to lose an eye trying to wrangle one onto the scale.

Bill says that it is time to start finding homes for some of the babies, seeing as this whole buying-a-farm business has gone on much longer than anticipated, and our backyard can only take so much assault in the form of scratching and pooping. I know he's right but I just don't want to let any of them go! I want to build my laying flock from (in as much as it will be possible) chickens that I have hatched and hand-raised myself. You know, that whole "provenance" thing. Oh, the trials and tribulations of being the Crazy Chicken Lady.