28.4.16

Adventuring :: Foraging for Ramps







Under a blanket of clouds, three days of drizzling rain, and restless children, Mike declared yesterday to be the day perfect for adventuring, or more precisely, foraging for ramps.  He packed up the basket, clippers, drinks and snacks.  He's good about that... pushing us homebodies out of the house just when we need it.  

We had seen the ramps last week while driving through the hills, but they we're just barely poking out of the ground.  Now, the forest floor is covered with wild edibles; ramps, trout lilies, marsh marigolds, alpine strawberry flowers, and unknown to us yet, some tiny little purple flowers pushing out through the soil.  I even found some new dye plants to experiment with.  

It didn't take long to forage a basket full of ramps, and good thing, too.  The rain cut our adventure short, but it sure was nice to have a change of scenery for a while.  And gratifying to have a handful of ramps for our our pot of chili waiting on the wood stove when we got home.




10.4.16

Weekend Knitting


Clue one of the Tales from the Isle of Purbeck shawl is complete.  Finally. 

I have a new found respect for all you lace knitters.  Here’s how lace knitting goes for me.  Knit a row, get lost in a daydream about natural dyeing halfway through row and forget a repeat.  Count the stitches in row.  Find out the stitch count is off.  Cuss. Rip row out.  Knit row again, desperately trying to stay focused.  Count the stitches.  Move on to next row.

I love how lace looks and this shawl is going to be a stunning piece when it’s all done, but have to admit that I am not cut out for this type of knitting.  Maybe in twenty years when I’m not distracted by {ahem} children.  Or maybe I’m so easily distracted that I can never be a proper lace knitter.  Sitting still and paying attention are really not my strong suits and both are needed to be competent at this craft.  Oh, well.  Maybe I’ll cast on for a few of these and make myself a new leaf garland in soft spring colors.  Some soothing garter stitch is just what I need.


How about you?  Any weekend knitting?


2.4.16

Thrift Store Finds




We had a few extra minutes in between running to the post office and doing laundry this week, so we decided to pop into our favorite thrift store.  I'm so glad we did.  

Galvanized buckets.  Because we live on a homestead and can never have enough of them.  I especially love them for functional decorating.

A rug for the front door, but it had to match the rug in the main living area, because, well that's what we've got... one room. 

A sweater to replace my beloved orange wrap that I've been wearing for at least three years.  It's beyond repair, and for me, that's saying a lot.  My boys may also have mentioned that paired with my green knit hat, I look somewhat like a life sized carrot.  So it was either a new hat or a new sweater. Well, I found the sweater.  You know the one.  It fits absolutely perfect. It gets worn everywhere, for everything.  It’s perfect for cool mornings in the garden or folding up the bottom to gather eggs.  Throwing it over a shirt that has stains on the front from your kid wiping his face when he gave you a hug and you need to run to the store for toilet paper, but you’re too tired to change.  Yeah, that one.  It’s cotton and will be perfect for adding a layer during the chilly weather that’s yet to come.  Now, I need to knit another hat to match.  Darn.

What's your best thrift store find?










31.3.16

The Tansey Sweater Dilemma




If you remember from last week, I ran out of my tansy dyed yarn, just after dividing for the sleeves of the Luna Sweater.  Man, garter stitch sucks up a ton on yarn.  So I frogged.  I also decided to heavily modify my original pattern.  This is bulky weight yarn, so I cast on much fewer stitches on a much larger needle.  Instead of doing raglan sleeves, I worked increased as you would for a rounded yoke. There's only one button hole at the top, instead of three. I added stripes in natural brown and cream as filler and instead of finishing the sleeves, I just bound them off right away.  I really like the way the sleeves turned out.  They're much less fussy this way and I may write up a new pattern with this in mind.  

Then came the hard part.  Which button to choose?  

I posted about it on Instagram yesterday, and it seems the consensus is for the pinecone, with the bottom button a close second.  I think the bottom one is going to be the winner, though.  I'm afraid that the pinecone doesn't stand out enough with the garter stitch and most importantly, it may be too difficult for little hands to manipulate.  

After a good hearty blocking, the finished sweater will be available in the shop tomorrow evening now.

Joining Ginny.  {Better late than never, right?!}




24.3.16

Three Little {Felt} Birds






Rise up this mornin'
Smiled with the risin' sun
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin' sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true
Sayin' this is my message to you

~ Bob Marley

This song kept going through my head this morning as I put the finishing touches on the felt birds.  It feels appropriate as the blue birds and robins have returned with gusto in the last few days.  The robins have been coming in behind the chickens, picking through their scratchings, pulling out worms and the blue birds seem to be contemplating which of our bird houses to build their nests in.

These sweet little felt birds need a new home, too.  They're made from hand dyed wool felt {I use only low impact, eco friendly dyes}, vintage fabrics, cotton embroidery thread and wool stuffing. They would be a beautiful addition to a nature table or as I discovered when I accidentally tangled them together, a wall hanging!  They would even be sweet as a mobile in a nursery.

You can find them in our MamaCollaborative shop here.







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