Welcome back to my readers! My reminders on my calendar come up, and then a choice has to be made: write a blog post, catch up on chores/projects, or craft? The first is a choice that I want to make, however, the second frequently insists on being addressed, and the third is my favorite, but does not happen as often as I would like. With cooler weather for at least a week now, I am sneaking in a few more minutes on crafting. Mornings are anywhere from 37° F to 55° F and coffee has become a nice start to my day. I try to get up with DH unless he goes in to work early (2 am) and at least let him know that I appreciate all he does for our family. Most of our days are in the 70s, though we are being told that this weekend we will have two days of the low-80s. We have plenty of sunshine, though we certainly could use some rain as the ground is quite dry.
Canning and preserving has continued and will most likely continue off and on until at least Thanksgiving. At the moment, we are in a lull until we pick/glean apples for applesauce. Since my last post, four heads of cabbage were purchased along with five bulbs of fresh garlic. On the 7th of this month, I shredded all four heads of cabbage, minced four bulbs of garlic, and mixed together with pickling salt. This was then packed very tightly into 16 pint jars which had lids and rings put on them. The lids were not screwed on tight to allow for fermentation. All 16 jars were then placed in a small plastic bin in a cool spot and covered to keep dark so that they could ferment for a week. On the 14th when I checked the jars, there was a bit of liquid in the bottom of the plastic bin and a nice smell of sauerkraut. Everything was sealed tight and cleaned before I began processing the jars in a water bath to finish canning. One jar was kept in the refrigerator and sampled. I am still enjoying it with various meals. Since no one else in our immediate family likes sauerkraut, I should have enough for this winter.
With the cooler weather, DH and I decided that it was important to start harvesting more of the garden and pulling out plants in preparation for seriously cold weather. On the 11th I picked the last few cucumbers and all the peppers. The cucumbers were eaten fresh and the peppers were dried before being put in my blender to make a seasoning powder.
On the 13th DH and I went and gleaned two five-gallon buckets of peaches from a nearby orchard. The peaches were nice and big. Since they were still ripening for the most part, we left them in the buckets in the kitchen until the following Tuesday, the 18th, when I made 21 pints of peach jam. There were still peaches left and since we already had canned peaches, I loaded up the food dryer the next day and set them to drying.
Finally, DH and I found the tomatoes had not ripened in the garden so we are watching the temperatures in case we have to pick them and bring them inside to ripen. The sweet potatoes have not been harvested from their bucket, however part of the butternut squashes have been picked and will be added to their box in the garage after this weekend. The butternut squash vines have spread everywhere in the garden and there are still quite a few to be picked so we should have plenty to bake and eat.
On the crafting front, I continued to work on “Cat Lessons” by Lizzie Kate. There were some stops and starts as I had to order another skein of “Caterpillar” thread to finish off the lettering on three words. The last stitches were put in last night and a picture taken, although it is in desperate need of a good pressing. I hope that DD likes this one. Changes were made to the colors because DD is not fond of orange, except for the goldfish. She preferred that it be subbed out for a purple. Her cat is also black with green/yellow eyes, so the cat was changed to reflect her current kitty, Scooter! DMC threads were substituted everywhere except for the purple (Weeks Dye Works), Caterpillar (Classic Colorworks), and the turquoise (Classic Colorworks). Stitching was done on a 32 ct so it will be a reasonable size. Hopefully I can show this in FFO form before long.
A pair of short socklets were finished. These are the Lace Diamond Toe-Up Socklets in a bamboo cotton yarn that I hope never to use again. It is called a Panda Cotton by Crystal Palace Yarns and is so splitty that when I finished the second socklet (finally!) I threw the remainder away. They are pretty, but it was an awful yarn to knit with.
These will be summer socks. I have no idea how well the yarn will wear so we will see come next summer.
Lastly, my BFF brought her hairpin lace loom and yarn with her when we met for coffee on the 19th. This has been something that we have both wanted to learn and over the previous weekend, she had played with it while she was with her husband visiting the coast. Unfortunately, her loom came apart (it has the snap together over the rods type frame) and the 100 loops that she had finished fell off. We played with it while talking and drinking coffee and I came home to see what kind of loom I had and whether or not I could get busy on the project chosen (Women’s Hairpin Lace Shawl by Redheart Yarns). Thankfully, the loom that I had purchased a number of years ago was just a couple of bars that slid up and down on the two rods. It was pretty tight so after a bit of work and reading the directions on the back of the card it came on, I set to work to see what I could accomplish. As of the 24th I completed two of the strips (only one in the picture below) and last night I started on the third strip after finishing “Cat Lessons”. The yarn being used is Caron Cakes in the Macaron colorway. There needs to be five strips that will be crocheted together with other stitches to complete the project.
This goes fairly fast so I am hoping to finish the project soon. When done, this will complete the Advanced Crochet honor through our Pathfinders program with our youth.
In the next two to three weeks, we will be incredibly busy with travel, inductions, two spiritual retreats, and planning for future events. This does not include all of the projects at home for family, nor the studying that needs to be done by both DH and I. With time proceeding quickly towards Christmas and the holidays, I am going to have to somehow organize my time better and pick up the pace. We also will have apples to glean soon and put up. Wish us the best of luck.
Thank you all for sticking with me this far. Hopefully, I will be able to post soon again. Work is being put into DS’s stocking (a transfer to a Q-snap is being tested to see if that will help for portability). An order is expected next week from Knit Picks for DH with a couple of items for me to knit along with him. I’m not sure when we will get to his knitting as he is fast approaching the finish line on his Masters program.
All engines must be full speed ahead! 🙂