Sunday, April 25, 2010

2010 garden starting line

We've had some nice weather lately and we've started getting the garden in. I'm changing the layout quite a bit from what we did last year. This year the onions are going in the side bed.
The eggplant remain at the far end and in the little space between I've planted out the Tom Thumb cherry tomatoes I started from seed. The seedlings suffered a dose of stress when I moved them out to the garage to harden off and the same week we were hit with 80 degree temperatures. They got a bit fried in the sunny window. I've since repotted them and moved them to my patio where they seem to be reviving. At least there's some new growth coming out above the withered leaves. Fingers crossed they pull through. The onion seedling also don't seem to be fairing well after being transplanted. I'm having the best luck with the onions sets I've planted, but they don't come in nearly the variety you can get in seeds or plants. Since this was my first year trying onion seeds I'll be keeping an eye on them to see how they turn out in the end.

The big bed is also very different.
We've planted the tomatoes and peppers around the perimeter. In the middle are squash, broccoli and cucumbers. I've used old cat litter jugs with the tops and bottoms removed to protect the broccoli from the cruciforous loving bunnies. Along the front edge I'm planting kohlrabi and radishes at 2 week intervals to extend the harvest. Next week I'll put out the okra seeds in the long bed that runs along the wall to the right of the big bed. This is my favorite part of gardening. I love getting the plants in with all their promise of yummy goodness to come.

I was the lucky winner of a Barnes and Noble gift certificate recently and expanded my library with these lovely books
First up is Sweater Quest about a woman's quest to knit an Alice Starmore fair isle sweater. For the uninitiated, AS has written some of the most stunning and highly sought after patterns in the knitting world. Her books are mostly out of print and some frequently sell in the hundreds of dollars range. I'm excited to read Adrienne's account of knitting one of these masterpieces.
Next is How to Sew A Button, a delightful little book full of grandma's wisdom.
Rounding out the foursome are two cozy mysteries...Knit One, Kill Two and Town in a Blueberry Jam. Somehow I found I have the second in Maggie Sefton's series, but I really prefer to start at the beginning in a series. Currently I'm finishing up Grime and Punishment which was the April cozy selection in the Ravelry Whodunit? group. It's a good little mystery, nothing too shocking or gory.  Next up for the group is Crewel World which sounds great. But I'm undecided if I'll read it with so many other books already in line!

I decided to treat myself to a few knitting books as well.
With a 50% off coupon at Micheal's I snagged Cookie A's Sock Innovation. And I picked up one of the few attainable Starmore books, Fisherman's Sweaters, from Amazon's used books options for $10. Both of these books are mainly eye candy and inspiration. The patterns are to die for. Drool worthy. Stunning. I could go on and on. I will someday knit a Starmore. Likely one of her cabled sweaters and not a fair isle. And I will certainly knit more Cookie A socks (I've already done her Monkey socks twice).  For now I'll just enjoy the view.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Fail

Guess I should have kept my mouth shut last week when I said I had been good about not buying yarn. Oops.

Well, Liberty's Yarns is running a 35% off sale on all her stuff for the month of April. That's just way too good to pass up. I got two skeins of her Bluetopia (BFL) Sock yarn.
The first is Tea Party. Yummy shades of nearly every color of the muted rainbow. I can not wait to see how this will knit up!
The second skein is Halloween. I loved this colorway the first time I way it back in the fall in roving form, but it was sold out then. Classic Halloween colors of orange, black, purple and green. Gorgeous, saturated, and dark. The yarn itself looks to be a fine fingering weight with a tight twist. It is soft and lusterous. Should make absolutely stunning socks.