Knitting, spinning, pets, food and other thoughts

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One Year Ago Today …

I was in Ireland, in Westport County Mayo. In the evening we went to Matt Molloy’s Pub – if you’re familiar with the Chieftains, he’s an important part of the group. We went for the music, and actually saw him there, even though he wasn’t performing – definitely cool!

I went on a knitters’ trip, landing at Shannon, then Galway, a trip to Inish Mor, Donegal, ending in Dublin and had a wonderful time. We were very fortunate with the weather – it hardly rained. Lots of pictures (these are all from Westport), lots of memories 🙂



Actual knitting content!

Finally some knitting I can write about! One of the previous stealth-knitting projects is now published, so I can mention that my Cabled Hearts Pullover is in the December issue of Knit ‘N Style (3rd row down in the gallery). The yarn is Super Tajmahal from Plymouth (merino superfine, silk and just a bit of cashmere) – it’s one of those yarns you’d just love to roll in 😉 There’s a lot more knitting going on, but it’s either gifties or for future publication, so I can’t share yet.

I use the long-tail cast on for practically everything, and I’ve always used the same side as the right side (top) until recently when I decided that I prefer the look of the “wrong” or bumpy side (bottom) with K1, P1 Rib. Which one do you prefer?

Which side do you prefer?

Which side do you like?

The weather’s been pleasant, and at least for the moment, not raining. I’ve been appreciating the amazing (I’ve used this word a lot!) difference in colors since I had the first cataract surgery, but it has been a challenge to work with 1 farsighted (new) eye and 1 very nearsighted (old) eye, so it will be nice to get the 2nd one done and have a matched set next week!

Meanwhile, here are some of the colors I’ve been enjoying. With all the rain we’ve had this year, there have been bumper crops of mushrooms, persimmons (the birds love them), walnuts and mosquitos (they were swarming around the tomatoes for some reason), and a volunteer melon in the compost.

We’ve ordered a new dishwasher. Of course it wasn’t in stock … it should be in next week. Can’t wait!



We had a sad loss in our household yesterday – right between the wash and rinse cycles, our dishwasher died at a mere ~40 years of age. Himself has repaired it several times, but this time it was beyond fixing. Gravity being what it is, of course all the water ended up in the basement! We’d really hoped it would last until we got the addition built, including a new kitchen, but no such luck, so we’re shopping for a new one now.

Earlier this month, the contractor was here to figure things out for the project we’ve been waiting to do (if only it would quit raining for a while). As he was looking around, he asked if those were pawpaws on the vine by the corner – eh??? They do look similar, but pawpaws grow on trees, and this is a vine. Akebia was the only name I knew for it, but it’s also called chocolate vine 😉 It’s one my grandmother grew, but I’d never seen the pods before, so I looked it up and found the flowers on, and more information at the Missouri Botanical Garden site. It also says that the pulp is edible, but so far, I’ve wimped out!



Among the rabbit holes that blogging has led me to fall into (as if I didn’t already have more recipes than I’ll ever be able to try – sound familiar?), one of the latest is “A Veggie Venture”, which featured a Summer Squash Casserole that I just had to try! The weather cooperated by cooling off enough to run the oven on Wednesday, and it was simply yummy! We both loved it – highly recommended. My only modifications were to use 50/50 butter and olive oil, reduced fat sour cream, and 2% sharp cheddar cheese. The sauce should be great with lots of other veggies as well. Sorry not to photograph it sooner, but we just couldn’t wait.

Summer Squash Casserole

Summer Squash Casserole

I think the cooler weather we’ve had has helped crank Amber up – she’s been a busy girl!

1. Lurking; 2. I see you!; 3. Ready to rumble!

1. Lurking; 2. I see you!; 3. Ready to rumble!!!

The latest Patternworks catalog came, and as I was paging through, I spotted a design I did for Brown Sheep, Lucina Cardigan with the Cotton Fleece on page 14 (no designer credit – sniff!). It’s almost like having one of the kids phoning home 😉

There have been lots of critters around, including this walking stick that was hanging out on the shop door the other day.

Walking stick on shop door

Walking stick on shop door



Nora sent me this:

Thanks Nora, for the award, and for reading and commenting – all mean a lot to me!

I’m passing it along to just a few of the blogs I enjoy:

1.       Carole; knitting, spinning, great photos, and she started 10 Minutes a Day on Ravelry, which got me back into spinning.

2.       Helen; lace knitter, mom, designer.

3.       Paula; a Knitting Camp friend from years ago, in addition to knitting, she plays the pipes!

4.       Terry; cats, books and other things.

5.       As Nora said, it’s really hard to pick just 4 – there are so many more. If you’re reading and commenting, thank you, thank you! Please take the ribbon and pass it along!

Here are the rules:

Post the award on your blog.

Add a link to the person who gave you the award.

Nominate at least 4 other bloggers and add their links.

Leave a comment at the recipients’ blogs so they can pass it on.

Thanks again Nora, and happy Tuesday!


Mostly green

… starting with this little guy I spotted on the side of the house the other day (for comparison, the tip of my finger is about 1″)

… a hardy begonia that comes back every year (green with a little pink – the start came from Mom’s garden)

… who knew cosmos buds were so neat looking!

… and green trees with Saturday sky – no rain so far, and it’s beginning to look as if the moisture from Ike might go north of us entirely, instead of the 5-6″ they originally predicted. Hope everyone’s OK!


Once upon a time …

I thought it would be nice to have garlic chives for cooking – silly me! I’ve found that they’re highly invasive, and when they really get going, the roots will form a mat that will choke out almost anything else. They’re also practically impossible to get rid of, unlike regular chives, which don’t seem to like it here! I’m willing to let them have some areas, but am trying to keep them out of my flowers.

So the plan is to enjoy the pretty white flowers, and all the butterflies, bees, and other insects they attract, then attempt to keep them from spreading by cutting the tops back before all the seeds ripen (note the little 3-sided capsules in some of the photos). I’ve seen more bees since they’ve been in bloom than I’ve seen all summer.

1, 3, 7 & 9, Garlic chives; 2 & 8, Red salvia; 4, Purple salvia; 5, Clematis; 6, Purple nicotiana.

1, 3, 7 & 9, Garlic chives; 2 & 8, Red salvia; 4, Purple salvia; 5, Clematis; 6, Purple nicotiana.

I had cataract surgery on my right eye yesterday (Tuesday), and the difference in colors between the “new” eye and the “old” eye is beyond amazing! Because the cataracts came on gradually over time, or at least mine did, I had no idea how much what I see had changed, and I’m like a kid with a new toy 😉


Books ‘n things

On Friday Nora asked, “What are you reading?” It’s been fun to follow the comments, and I’m glad to see that I wasn’t the only one not entirely satisfied with the ending of The Friday Night Knitting Club, but it’s also interesting to see that there haven’t been any spoilers 😉 I’d love to see this thread continue!

I’ve been reading Andrew Greeley’s Irish series, starting with the first one, Irish Gold. Since I had the opportunity to go to Ireland last year (loved it and would like to go again someday), the titles caught my eye at the library. The main characters are Dermot Coyne, an Irish-American from Chicago, and Nuala Anne McGrail, whom he meets in Dublin. She’s psychic/fey, and her visions get them involved in searching for the truth about historic mysteries/murders, interwoven with dealing with a present day problem. As the later books refer to the previous ones a bit, I think they’re best read in order. There’s a list on his website.

I’m having fun reading them, and the author has done his homework. He gives a lot of background on the older crimes, some in Ireland, some in the Chicago area, and has been careful to separate historic fact from his speculations.

Definitely some signs of fall here, and Toby got a big bunch of burr-ish things stuck around his ears – I ended up having to cut some of them out of his ear tufts.