14.6.16

Catching Up and Some Exciting News


Hello friends.  It's been a very long time, hasn't it.  I blame it on Instagram with it's simple, easy, carefree ways.  And only having internet on the phone makes it much more simple to connect there rather than here.  

But, I've missed it here.  

And we have some very exciting news to share.

In early spring Mike and I started talking about the possibility of getting a job away from the homestead.  Summers out here have been much more difficult than we anticipated, income-wise, and we really want to be proactive about the major expense of vehicle repairs that are inevitable with a twenty year old truck.  We also have several projects on the house that need to get finished, like siding and flooring.  Ok, the flooring isn't a need, but I'm really tired of plywood.  However, we had very specific ideas about what the job could entail.  For instance, it needed to be part time and close by (the closest town is 14 miles).  It needed to pay a reasonable wage and be work that would enhance our lives or enable us to learn something of value.  Jobs at the library, farms, or local greenhouse were top on our list, but nothing seemed to work out.  We decided to stop fretting and that when the time was right, things would work themselves out.  Life always works that way, doesn't it? 

And, of course, it did.  

Mike and his cousin went fishing one afternoon and their boat wouldn't start.  The park attendant came over to help out and offered to charge their battery at his camp site.  After chatting about fishing and such, he mentioned that there was an opening at another campground in the park system.  When Mike came home and told me, I knew that this was what we had been waiting for.  We both sent in our resumes and were asked to come in for an interview.  Everything went well and before we even got half way home, they called to offer us a job.  Originally, the job was to be full time for one person.  However, they liked us both so much, and couldn't decide between us, that they created a new job position, as a team.  

Mike and I are going to be running a local campground and county park on a seasonal basis, from May to November.  It's going to mean a more reliable income for the summer months and will work perfectly with our busy winter season in the shop.  

Most importantly, we can be together as a family, working, learning, and living together, which was our whole intention on moving to the homestead in the first place.  

We will live at the campground full time, coming back twice a week to check on the garden and fulfill orders for the shop. Our oldest son will stay at the house, as he works nearby, and take care of the chickens and animals.  

When we moved out here two years ago, I never could have imagined how much life would change or what our path would look like.  Certainly, not this.   As excited as I am, I'm a little nervous and sad as well.  I envisioned us having goats, a small flock of sheep and maybe even a dairy cow, but those dreams will have to be put on hold.  If things work out this summer, living and working at the lake will become a part of our rhythm of the seasons, and I'm totally ok with that.  

Oh, and we start on Monday.  Which means we're going to need a few things to get us started.  Living off grid, means that we've got this camping thing down, but our camper was damaged while we were living in it and building the house, so we need a new one.  To help fund some of our essentials, we're having a shop update on Friday.  I'm hoping to have a few skeins of hand dyed yarn, project bags, and other goodies.  I hope to see you then.  



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?!}




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