More finished projects

Yesterday was a pretty good knitting day and a great day to finish little things on projects. The morning was spent getting my tires rotated, balanced and aligned so I toted some little projects that needed buttons and necklines finished.

The Patches Baby Sweater was done, it just needed buttons.

The Angel Sweater needed buttons and the neckline finished.

I dropped off the finally finished Angel Sweater to Enchanted for them to use as a shop model. It's such an adorable little sweater, it was hard to let it go.

I also brought along my Summer Flies Shawl to knit-on after the buttons were done on the other projects. After the tires were done, I had to head another 30 miles to get my oil changed. They said it was a 2 hour wait so more prime knitting time. They got it done in under an hour but that's a whole 'nother story.

On the Summer Flies Shawl, I am to the Picot Cast off. Then all it needs is blocking. I made it in a fingering/DK weight rather than the Worsted the pattern calls for, so it will be more of a neck decoration like a shawlette, the best part is it's knit in my own handspun. It has been a truly enjoyable knit, lots of activity and different stitch patterns.

The Pie Wedge will come along faster since I'm done with these. I'm almost done with 2 wedges and there are supposed to be 6 total.

Cadel Evans wins the Tour de France

I am ecstatic!!!!

The man from Australia, Cadel Evans, who I have been watching for years, has always been the bridesmaid, never the bride. This year, he did it and I am thrilled. He won the Tour and he deserved it. He worked so very hard and I am so proud of him. The below images are compliments of AP.

As for the Tour de Fleece, I didn't do well after the first week. Part of it is I'm now working again. So not only is my time more limited, my body is also getting used to getting up at 5 again and hitting that long commute. However, I have been getting some spinning done, lots of knitting and still quite a bit of reading done.

I have been enmeshed in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I have just finished the 4th book and getting ready to read the 5th and 6th. These tomes are not for the faint of heart as they are EACH about 600-800 pages. I have to tell you that I am thankful everyday for my Sony eReader. I have 2 of those tomes, in addition to other books and knitting patterns, on my eReader at one time, and it still only weighs less than 1 pound, it fits neatly in my purse and I can hold the book with one hand (you cannot do that with an 800 page book). So, if you haven't jumped on the digital reader bandwagon yet, I strongly recommend it.

The Pie Wedge shawl is coming along slowly but surely. The Summer Flies shawl with my handspun is glorious to knit and is also coming along nicely. Pictures will come later.

Blogging slacker

OK, I started a new job last Monday and as you can imagine it has interrupted my flow of things to do. I have not been spinning every day now and so my Tour de Fleece goal is waning. I think I'll still get the Polwarth Arcade 8 oz spun, but I can't spin every day. I will get some spun today, but I don't have much time during the weekday evening.

Yesterday was a fabulous day spent with the knitsibs. We had a most delicious brunch at Vicky's & Michelle's. I'll have to say Michelle is a great cook. We had french toast casserole with some strawberries ladled on top (yummy), some dates filled with a goat cheese mixture then baked, some yummy swiss cheese balls, fresh fruit, chocolate truffles, grand mimosas and a little goodie bag which will also serve as a project bag. Then we had some knitting time, we watched a gazillion hummingbirds on the back porch and just laughed and had fun. It was a good day.

On the knitting front, the Pie Wedge is coming along. I am almost done with the first wedge. The pattern calls for 6 wedges, but several Rav members did 7 and 8 because of all the yarn leftover in the Lorna's Laces ball. We'll see how I feel about it when I get to the 6th wedge. My Summer Flies shawl in my handspun is also coming along nicely. There is something special about knitting with your own handspun that I never realized before. It's very cool! I wore my new socks to work on Thursday, very comfy, I love them. I completed another lap blanket for Hospice and gave it to Christina yesterday at brunch. It was fun to knit as I knit it like the back of the Patches Baby Sweater. I did the columns with 45 stitches.

Other things accomplished: DH & I have hung up one set of curtains in the office. This is a big accomplishment and we are very pleased with the results. It's keeping the office cooler already. The bushhogging is nearly done and the hay bales still look peaceful.

New knitting projects and a finished one

I bought this Pagewood Farms Yukon sock yarn back in 2008. They are just plain cuff down stockinette with a Band Heel. I finished the first one rather quickly and the second one was started and mostly done as well. Then......I made an error in the toe decrease and it bound my foot too tight. So I frogged the 2nd sock back to the start of the decrease and put the socks in time out. I would open the bag from time to time and say "nope, not today". Well, I finally decided to finish them so I took them with me to knit night on Thursday, got them all the way to kitchener time. I did the kitchener on Friday morning, then washed and blocked, now they are ready to wear. Why did I take so long? who knows!

As for new knitting projects, I will be doing a Shawl-a-long with my knitsib Christina. We will be doing the Pie Wedge Shawl from Lorna's Laces. (Rav Link) I'm using the Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace yarn and it's so lightweight it's going to be fabulous. This is what I'll be using for the Pie Wedge.

I will also be casting on for the Summer Flies Shawl using my own handspun.

As for the Tour de Fleece, my first braid of 4 oz is almost done. I am spinning a little everyday as is required and I'm spinning the single a little thicker from what I normally spin. Maybe I'll end up with a worsted weight rather than my usual fingering to sport weight. This is a sample of the first bobbin and all the different color variations this single fiber has. I love it.

That's it for now. I'm off to cast-on.

a Great day for a Bath

It was a hot and sunny day. I had several spun skeins that needed a bath and thought it was a perfect day for it. So I brought out the dryer rack, took it to the deck, washed the skeins and laid them out to dry. They dried in no time and they are so nice and fluffy. On the Tour de Fleece front, I have been spinning daily which was one of my goals and I will knock out at minimum the 8 oz fiber that I posted about earlier. I would like to get some others done too so we'll see.

DH and I have been watching the Tour de France of course and yesterday's win by Cadel Evans was awesome. It was a photo finish and he just barely won. I would love it if he would win this year, he deserves it. He has come in at 2nd so many times and so close too that I just want him to win one.

On the job front, I had an interview last week with a legal headhunter and they are sending my resume to a client for a contract paralegal job. Not sure how long the contract will last but it could turn into something permanent. We'll see if I like it. :-) It's really going to cut into my knitting and spinning time though. This has been a very enjoyable time at home, I wouldn't trade it for anything. Have I missed the additional income? Sure I have. But I can't ignore the time at home as being wonderful because it has truly been wonderful.
They started mowing the farm last weekend and now I am gazing on hay bales. I love the look of hay bales in the field, so serene and peaceful. They won't stay long because they have to get them into the dry, so I'm gazing at them now while I can.

Off to spin!

a simple french Plum Tart

In honor of the Tour de France beginning yesterday, I made a Plum Tart that my mother used to make. It's considered a country peasant type dessert, as it's very simple, no custard in this one.
So I'll share with you this delicious and simple dessert. It's best eaten warm (not hot) so bake it when you start dinner.

What you'll need:
~First, don't buy the pre-made pie crust in a tin pie shell, buy the pre-made unroll and fill Pillsbury pie crust usually found in the dairy section.
~11-14 ripe red plums (this will depend on the size of your baking dish)
~granulated sugar

Yep, that's it.
Unroll and place in a large quiche dish. I used both of the pie crusts in the box as my quiche dish is quite large. I placed one of the pie crusts on the bottom and then I cut outer circles on the second one and placed them around the sides of the dish and melded the crust together at the bottom. (hope that makes sense) I forgot to take a picture of that.
Then, poke some fork holes on the bottom so that the pie crust stays flat when it bakes. (I did about 6-8 pokes with the fork) Sprinkle the crust with granulated sugar. Pre-bake the crust at 450 deg F for 10 minutes. (this will keep the crust from getting soggy) Do this in advance so it has time to cool. I did it in the morning.
Then cut your plums in half and take out the pit. You should have two nice halves. (Do not peel the plums)
Place them in the pre-baked pie shell dome up as seen here.
Sprinkle liberally with the sugar. Remember plums are tart.

Since the crust was pre-baked, I cut some foil and covered the edge of the crust before baking the pie as I didn't want to burn the crust edge.

Bake in a 375 deg F oven for about an hour. The plums should have oozed a little and their juices will be bubbling. The plums should be soft but not mushy. Their skin will be wrinkled. I didn't get a picture before we dug into it but you can see it here. It was delicious.

Let me know if you have any questions and I'll help make it a success for you too.

Produce stands

First off, yep my internet is back on as of last night. yippeeeeeeee

OK, so in my adventures out on Wednesday to get some free wi-fi, I decided that I needed to find a produce stand so that I can start getting my fill of tomatoes and those delicious little pickling cucumbers that I love to eat.

I bought several pounds from one that I used to go to a lot on my way home from work. It's a little outta my way at the moment since I'm still not working, but their produce is consistently good so I headed their way.

On the way home I decided to drive around closer to home to see if there were any nearby. I found one that is a little closer and their produce looked ok, what I loved was this sign.
I've never seen zucchini spelled that way and fell in love with it so I had to go back to the car to get my camera, luckily I always carry it with me for moments such as this. I then proceeded to have a unique and confusing conversation with the vendor which I will try to re-cap here.

Me: Where do the tomatoes come from?

Vendor: Arkansas and Florida. Now you know we're closing on July 2nd, right?

Me: Closing, yeah. You're just closing early for the Holiday weekend right?

Vendor: No, we're closing.

Me: Closing? as in for the rest of the summer?

Vendor: Yep.

Me: ummmmmm, aren't local vegetables just now beginning to ripen and ready to sell?

Vendor: uh huh

Me: Soooooo, you're thinking that people won't need to come to the produce stand because they have their own vegetables to eat?

Vendor: Yep! that and we're tired. We've been open 7 days a week since Easter.

Me: OK, I understand about the 7 days a week thing, but not everyone grows their own vegetables and now would be the time I would seek out a produce stand, not in March or April. (what are they thinking?)

Vendor: Yep, well, we're closing.

Me: hmph.

Anyway, I only bought a few tomatoes from him and I definitely didn't buy any "zukennie". Even though I live on acreage, I have never been one to like to play in the dirt. I don't have a garden and I love fresh tomatoes and cucumbers. Now is when I truly look forward to going to produce stands. Am I the only one?

As for knitting, I have been working on a shop model for the shop in Clarksville. It's the Angel Sweater Vest and I'm knitting this in Bebe Cotsoy. This is a wonderfully soft yarn.