Knitting, spinning, pets, food and other thoughts


Some knitting and stash enhancement …

Last weekend, Cindy and I met and went to the World’s Smallest Craft show, which included Rachel’s Dyeabolical Yarn. Of course we each came away with some yarn, need you ask?

New yarn

Since I had recently (Friday night) finished a pair of socks to wear on Saturday,

I had a set of lonesome sock needles, so it didn’t take long for me to wind a skein of yarn and start a new sock. Due to time in the car, it’s coming along quite quickly.

Dyeabolical Merino Sock; color, Themyscira.

Some very nice alpaca also followed me home, and I’ve been playing with a different shaping. I’m not sure yet if this is going to do what I want it to, but time will tell. I have found that I need to pay attention each time the pattern gets wider.

After our yarn stops, we had lunch and did a few more things, before we had to head for home (sadly much too soon!), but with plans for more fun at a later date.

So far we’ve escaped the frost, and things are still growing. Since it cooled off a bit and rained, there are new tomatoes on the plants, and I’m hoping that at least some of them will ripen. The flowers are also still blooming.

Nasturtiums & marigolds.

Toby’s usually pretty camera-shy, but I caught him in mid-run the other day (he may have 1 foot on the ground). πŸ™‚

High-speed Toby.


Signs of Fall!

There are starting to be red “mittens” on the ground, a sure sign of fall. After such a dry year, I wondered if we’d have any fall color at all, but at least the sassafras tree is putting on a show. The cooler weather has also revved Toby up — he was running big loops in the yard.

I’ve also been doing some baking — the plums looked so good at the store that I ended up making a plum cobbler; it has a biscuit-type topping sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. The only change I’d make would be to use about double the amount of plums; 2Β½-3 lbs instead of 1Β½ lbs, which was a bit skimpy.

There was a lovely sky the other evening, not exactly fall-like, but definitely out of the ordinary!



Lots of things have been growing here, in spite of a serious lack of rain. This little guy is on the porch, and I love the bright geranium!

Cabrito (little goat) with geranium.

The Harison’s Yellow rose has put on quite a burst since we put in the trellis, while the Prairie Sunrise is growing, but much more slowly.

This corner of the deck is one of Toby’s favorite spots – from there, he can supervise what I’m doing in the garden, or he can go down into the yard from the other side of the deck.



Cindy and I have been trying to get together (again, after meeting once for lunch in St. Louis forever ago), and she was able to come down for a visit on Thursday. Fortunately, other than the heat, the weather cooperated, so she got the full yard and garden tour, as well as the house tour (which H loves to give). Toby was excited to have company, Amber was polite, and shy Maggie even came out to visit. In addition to yummy dog treats for Toby, Cindy brought me a lovely lavender plant, which smells wonderful πŸ™‚

It was such fun, and we visited and compared notes on our stashes of Rachel’s and Joan’s fiber and yarn (she’s got 1 of Joan’s I just may not be able to resist!).

Even more internet connections: Carole had mentioned having salmon with a yummy sounding glaze, and she kindly shared the recipe on Facebook, so my riff on that (balsamic vinegar instead of wine vinegar) was on the menu, plus little Yukon gold potatoes, and dessert was Cappuccino Crunch Bars* which I found a while ago on Noble Pig’s food blog, from which I’ve collected several good recipes. Have I mentioned that the more I use Pepperplate (free), the more I like it? My iPad is becoming my go-to cookbook!

It was over much too quickly as she had to get back and get Grover from doggie day care, but we did get a photo. I can’t wait to get together again!

Cindy, Joy & Toby.

*Recipe mods: I use dark chocolate chips instead of white chocolate as given in the recipe, and go just a bit heavier on the instant coffee and cinnamon.


A little of this, a little of that …

Saturday before last, some of our fiber group came to visit and eat and just spend some fun time together. Glen, who taught me to spin a lot of years ago, has a new lady friend – he brought her along, and we told him he’d brought the entertainment.

Toby and Lady.

Toby especially enjoyed the company. She doesn’t “do” steps yet so when he went down the 3 steps off the deck, she stood at the top and scolded him for leaving her behind πŸ˜‰

I’ve been playing in the garden a lot, and it’s coming along nicely. All the tomatoes and peppers are planted, the new asparagus (finally!) all came up, and the beans are looking good.

Double row of beans.

Beans (up close)

The bluebirds have been very busy lately – both parents have been making pretty constant food runs to the house at the end of the garden.

Going out for more …

I realized I forgot to show you the 2nd rose I ordered. Prairie Sunrise came with several buds on in and they almost all opened – in addition to the lovely color, it has a wonderful fragrance!

Prairie Sunrise rose.

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A different view

of the sky. Usually the best evening views are to the west, but today the pretty clouds were to the north and east.





While I was out checking the clouds, I think Toby was looking (without success) for a rabbit to chase. This whole mass started from 1 or 2 forsythias that just didn’t know when to quit πŸ˜‰

Toby & the "forsythia jungle"

I had a really fun day, hanging out at Hearthstone Knits in St Louis – I need to get out with other knitters more often!


Odds & ends …

of leftover sock yarn make a fun modularΒ  scarf! It was one of those “potato chip” projects – I could never stop with just 1 block*. I kept wanting to see what the colors would do next.

Details: Sock weight yarn, 25-st modules; applied I-cord edging worked after the scarf was completed.

Toby enjoys hanging out on the deck, keeping watch over his domain πŸ˜‰

*ETA: The scarf is all self-striping sock yarn (3 or more blocks per color), blocks and I-cord edging were picked up and knitted onto the previous block(s). I-cord edging ends were grafted together at the end.


Steamy …

in the extreme here! Temperatures in the upper 90’s sure make staying inside to knit all the more appealing. That’s probably a good thing, as I just got 1 deadline project out of here. The yarn for the next one is alpaca and Pima cotton, which I’m looking forward to playing with πŸ™‚

Maggie’s been hanging out with Toby again. I don’t think he’s going to want to spend too much time outside until the neighbors run out of fireworks.

Have a great 4th!