Thursday, May 31, 2012

Don't forget the weaving

We decided to try some tomatoes this year, and hopefully it will work out this time!  We've given tomatoes a try in our garden for the last 3 years and have had very little luck.  The back of the seed packet said to start them indoors, so that is what we are doing this time.  We also have noticed our bell peppers haven't done a thing yet, so we started a few more of those, too. 

The pumpkin and lettuce look ready to plant!  I really need to get the east garden bed ready.  Hopefully in the next few days I can find a morning to work on that.


They are so cute!!

The west garden bed  is all ready, so we planted carrots on the right this year.  The tomatoes are going to be on the left.

 Brian taught me all about irrigation yesterday.  Very fascinating stuff!

The tree in front has slowly been dying.  We had another one of these tress that died last summer.  We cut it down and planted a pear tree in it's place. 

 Here are some July 2010 pictures of what it used to look like:


 So I cut out all the dead branches.

It's really lopsided and dumb looking now. I mean, it's REALLY BAD!!!

So, I decided to just go all the way:

This is your last chance, Mr. Tree!  Did you hear me?  LAST CHANCE!!!

 But the dumpsters are certainly full for this week!  (And next week, too!!)

While doing my weekly weeding rounds yesterday, I found a little cactus hiding in-between some rocks!  I think I'll let him be and just grow!

In non-outdoor news, I have been doing more spinning in the evenings lately.  I am trying out some 2-ply yarn.  I want to weave something with this... a blanket maybe.

My dad got several bags of alpaca from someone at work.  I'm excited to dig into it soon!  I'll have to start by washing it up first.  Zip is seriously interested in that animal smell!  Look at him dig his nose right into it!!

And now some weaving!  Let's not forget the weaving... 
Here's Linda's project getting warped.  We are warping 324 threads at 8 yards each in the lipstick color.

It's so rich in color and luxurious in texture!

 I think the two colors will look great mixed together in overshot!
Linda has a good eye for color!

Onward and upward to tying on 324 ends!!
I'm really looking forward to it... :-)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fixing the already good warp

So my day started with fixing an already good former warp.  I just had to extend it somewhat on each side.  I am planning on tying onto this old trellis warp, it is correctly threaded and this will save a lot of time!  I used some inkle straps to hold the back in place while I tie-on.  That way the threads won't be yanked out of my hands while I'm trying to tie-on!  I feel like it's one of the more clever things I've come up with!

To refresh your memory on this project, I need to make a 78" table runner and six 17" placemats, all with 14" width.  I know shrinkage is a huge deal, so I added about 15% to everything.  So my width is now about 16", instead of 14".  My length for everything will also increase, like the runner is now 90" total and the placemats are each 20" total.  This should be just perfect!

I am going to warp 8 yards of 10/2 perle cotton in lipstick red.  All I have to do is tie it onto the old warp from my other trellis table runners, but it's going in two threads at a time in a 10 dent reed, so it's 20 epi.  I am going to use the 5/2 perle cotton in mountain color for the weft.

This is my pattern using the correct colors:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Linda's project

I can finally continue on with Linda's project!!  I have the 10/2 perle cotton red!!  It never came in with my February order, so I had to go hunting around for it.  Thanks to my friend for having some on hand and saving the day!!!  I think that these colors are marvelous together and will look great in trellis!  I can't wait to get started!

I can finally use my 4-shaft loom again!  It has been waiting for this warp since February.  I've been wanting to tie-on onto the old warp so I haven't used it at all!

PS. Where's Zip??

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Blues are Complete and on their way to the washer

This is towel #6, the final towel!  

 I decided to do all blues again because it really IS my most favorite combination! 

 I just love this pattern soooo stinkin' much!!!  I am leaving this warp on the loom for a few days until I decide what to do next.  I might have to do another set of these...


Of course, Zip always has to investigate something new.  That silly cat!  (He even makes daily rounds through the house at similar times of the day to check things out... like very night at dinnertime he meows at the laundry closet... hmm...)  His orange fur looks SO orange against this set of values that are completely opposite of orange!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Salad Party

It has started!!
The pumpkin and lettuce are growing!!!

The bell peppers are going to take more time... they'll be fashionably late to the salad party!

Next on my planting list is to get the carrots into the ground.  I have one garden bed all ready for them.  

I want to start some tomatoes in a milk carton garden to transplant later. 

Then I need to get the other garden bed ready to transplant these little guys!

Lots of veggies coming right up!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Blues #4 & #5

First, I shall start with the good news.  Well, it's an all-good-news-day today!  Just one of those lucky days in 365, I guess!

Today is THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!  I'm so happy that I feel like a kid again!  My hubby teases that he's not sure who is happier for the last day of school, the kids or the teachers!  I will have mega time again now!  2 whole months to do what I please, when I please!  That most certainly will be nice!  I do worry a little bit about next year because they are spicing things up a bit, but I have 2 months to adjust to that, too.  By the time it gets here, I will be ready to go again and pick up where I left off or start something completely new.

In other good news, I have woven towel #4.  I used 5 shades of blues again because I liked the all blues towels so much!  I decided it really is my most favorite!

Towel #5 I decided to do a combination of everything up to this point.  So I took out the most dark and the most light blues and replaced then with some purples and a green.  The reason why I only used one shade of green is because one of the blues was more like a blue/green.  I thought it would be a good in-between shade.  Here are my 5 colors:

I think it looks really fantastic!

I can't decide what to do for the very last towel, #6.  I was thinking some yellow, green, and blue might be intriguing... or I might just be boring and do another "shades of blues" towel!  I guess I will have to see when I get there!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fresh, homemade Challah!

I love homemade bread.  Who doesn't?!  I've never been very good at making it, even though I've tried all kinds of recipes.  When I was in high school, I discovered James Beard's Challah recipe and from the first time I made it, it was perfect!  It has always been my favorite homemade bread recipe!

Here is Mr. Beard's recipe:

3 pkgs of yeast (I use 1 1/2 tbs)
1 tbs sugar
1 tbs salt (I used 1/2 tbs)
3 tbs softened butter
3 eggs
5 cups flour
1 egg yolk

Proof yeast in warm water in a large bowl.  Add the sugar, salt, butter, eggs, and flour, one cup at a time.  Beat thoroughly with a wooden spoon or with the hands.  Gradually add more flour until the dough is very stiff.  Turn the dough out on a board sprinkled with flour.  Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, apporx. 10 min.

Place the dough in a very large buttered bowl, and turn to coat the surface with butter.  Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1.5-2 hrs.  Punch the dough down and divide into six equal parts.  Roll each portion into a rope about 1 inch in diameter.  Braid three ropes together to make 2 loaves and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled in bulk.  Brush the tops with egg.  Bake in a preheated oven for 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Greens in The Blues

Because I love blue and green so much, this takes my breath away!

Sooooo pretty, if I might say so myself!!!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Purples in The Blues

 The shades of blues were looking marvelous!  I decided that I want to try other color combinations on this warp.  This next towel rotates between 3 shades of purple in the weft. 

These are the 3 shades of purple I am using: 

This weave structure is a MIRACLE!!!  I think it's my new favorite weave!
Sharon claims she needs a 12-step program because she's so addicted!  I GET IT NOW!
Look at all the cool color combinations!
And I love the different sizes of squares throughout!

And the texture?  It's just AMAZING!!  I can't wait to feel it when it's all washed up!

 Next time will be shades of green!

Speaking of shades of green, anywhere from 2-8 weeks and we might see something starting to sprout for the garden!  I plan on sprouting them here and then planting them later.  I might have better luck that way!

When I get enough containers again, I want to sprout a few varieties of tomatoes.

Yummies will be coming!