Saturday, September 22, 2012

b-b-b-b-beet beet

Last night while watering I found a fully developed and big enough to eat beet.  I've been keeping an eye on it recently since it looked to be almost big enough, but when I pulled it yesterday it still seemed like a big surprise.  It was a full 3 inches round.  With the lack of luck I've had this year with root vegetables, I was kind of expecting the top to look like a 3 inch beet, but the bottom to be all shriveled and inedible. 

But alas! It was perfect. 

My peppers are still growing and growing and growing. I'm waiting for a couple to turn red, but it's hard work.  They look so tasty and I just want to eat them.  I've been holding myself back and only picking the ones that have bug spots on them to eat and letting the really good looking guys keep going.  No hint of color change yet. I may have to give up in a week and just eat them.  Oh darn.

Another sign it's fall - my burning bush is starting to "burn".

I call him Mr. Leany. His main bud may have been picked, but the side guys are starting to bloom.  I can't tell if they make Alan happy or if the just make him mad at the kid who broke off the top.

Unlike the peppers, I couldn't resist the beet last night after dinner.  I immediately roasted him and ate him.

And it was good.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Seed Packets

It's still hitting 80 degrees here in Seattle so I hate to say it's almost fall.  The days are still bright and beautiful, but the evenings are getting cooler and the last few days we've had dense fog in the mornings.  And THAT definitely makes it feel more like fall.

But I really hate to say it's fall because that means I'm not going to get much more out of the garden.  I've gotten a couple meals worth of pole beans, a bunch of carrots and radishes, a handful of Anaheim peppers, bushels and bushels of tomatoes, and only one measly squash.  I have four summer squash plants in front of the fence, three more inside, and three winter squash plants, and ONLY ONE STINKING SQUASH. I know it's mostly my fault. I planted a few weeks too late.  I didn't fertilize enough. Blah blah blah.  That's still a ton of plants to only get one fruit. Boo.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my really healthy looking butternut will flower soon (for the first time) and I'll be able to hand pollinate one blossom.  I don't care if it's super tiny when I get to eat it, I just want to be able to eat one out of my garden!!

All whining aside, since it is almost fall, it's also time for most of the flowers to go to seed. I cleaned up my front beds the other day and harvested seeds from my cosmos and poppies. Last night we took a walk through the P-Patch and I gave in to my urge to harvest as we walked.  (If they're already dead it's not stealing, right?) I harvested some nasturtiums, red poppies, and rose campion. Rose campion is all over Seattle, fuchsia colored flowers and silver-green foliage.  I've long admired it, but  wasn't sure if I could start it by seed - guess we'll find out next year!

I had some free time today at work and went about making seed packets.  Not sure how well they'll hold the teeny-tiny little poppy seeds, but I think they should work just fine for everything else.

I'm going to try my hand and tomato seeds this weekend.  I hear it's smelly, so wish me luck.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I sold my first two pairs of koozies at the Husky game on Saturday! SUCCESS!!

I sold what I like to call the "Charlie Brown" koozies....

... and the striped koozies.

Now I've got the diamond ones...

.....the single stripe (which the menfolk seemed to like)....

...the solid color Ws.

I'm just finished a pair of black ones - one with a purple W and one with a gold W - at work yesterday, so that will leave my stock at 4 pairs for the next game (it's in two weeks, so I might be able to bang out a pair in the field next week) in addition to three hats and a pair of fingerless mitts.

I got a request for a pair of mittens, so I'll be designing those during my lunch breaks this week.  I'm thinking striped ribbing, then purple mittens with gold diamonds, but I may get crazy and change the diamonds to argyle.  Whoa there! 

I calculated that if I can sell three pairs of koozies per game, I can afford my football tickets with my knitting sales! I slacked this first week, so I apparently need to do some better marketing.


This spring there was a request for an adult-sized pair of kid's octopus mittens from a quick knitting book. I had him pick out the specific yarn  because I knew he was picky about his colors.  We ended up with 100% icelandic wool in what I would call eggplant purple and goldenrod yellow.  I tired to guide him to a softer wool with what I thought was more "true" husky colors, but there was no swaying him.  So eggplant octopuses it was to be.

I put off knitting them until recently because they needed my full attention due to the intricate pattern, and I had to sit down and calculate my gauge to determine any pattern adjustments needed to make them adult-sized.

Somehow, magic happened and the first needles I used got me a gauge that would fit width-wise, but was too short length-wise.  The easiest adjustment!! I was able to follow the pattern exactly until I got past the octopus' head, then I added about 5 rows of plain knitting before starting the decreases. 

He likes the end result, but we'll see what happens when it's actually cold outside.  I'm positive they will be SUPER warm, what with all the 100% wool and the extra thickness from the fair isle. Unfortunately, I'm also sure they are going to be very very itchy.  And shed.  I had a full layer of fibers on my lap after knitting each mitten (about 5 hours per mitten, which was one field day each).

I really didn't enjoy knitting with the yarn.  Aside from the crazy shedding, it also was VERY splitty. It's not plied, so it had a tendency to have stray loops. I'd like to say I will avoid using this stuff in the future, but unfortunately he bought two skeins of each color, and the mittens used a bit less than one skein each, so I'll have to use the Lopi for at least one more project to use it all up.

Project: Octopus Mittens, by Elli Stubenrauch, in 60 Quick Knits
Yarn: Reynolds Lopi, 100% icelandic wool, eggplant and goldenrod
Needles: US 10, DPNs