Tuesday, April 9, 2013

something to talk about

Hey everyone. i know it's been a LONG, long time, but i'm not dead yet, honest!

I thought i'd drop a note here to say that, well, i've been busy. Busy living (which is not a bad way to be, i guess!)

Lets see... to update y'all:

Life news:
Darling daughter is chugging through grade 2 curriculum
Darling son is 4, and just starting to learn his letters (yay!)
Husband has just changed jobs, and seems to be settling into the new one.

Fibre arts news:
My mom and i are trying to 'officially' start our own business. Selling fiber-y goodness.  Stay tuned for details (nothing official yet)
I've got about 8 projects on the go, and more planned (yikes!) including one with a very short time-frame (1 week left)
I'm also designing a new pattern. i'm not going to divulge any details yet, but i can say that it's something that will cover your shoulders, and that it will be a unique design (not something i got an idea from elsewhere. came from my own little head, it did!)

teaser from one of my ongoing projects  :)

Other news:
Still dreaming about spring (yes, it IS April, but we still have over a foot of snow on the ground everywhere!)
Going to start planning garden planting soon, and start some seeds.....hopefully this will be a great year!

How is your spring going?

Monday, July 16, 2012

must be a blue moon. i'm posting again.

Hey there everyone (anyone?  *tap tap* is this thing on? )

regardless of readership (or lack thereof) i'm going to post a long-overdue update.

lets see.... 

family: DD finished her Grade 1 homeschooling. Did quite well, particularly with language arts.
DS is very three, and chugging slowly through potty training.
DH has required, had, and recovered from surgery on his knee. he is now back to work (and looking for something better)

Fiber: still spinning and crocheting. have been re-learning knitting, and am halfway through a pair of socks for DH. Have alpaca fiber up to the eyebrows. Anyone want to buy some?

Farm: photos to follow below, but essentially:

Rooster has hate-on for me. Ducks love me. Many baby chickens (which almost look like adults, at only 5 weeks!)
BABY alpaca! about 3 weeks old. cute as a button, but weird eyes.
Garden is doing quite well this year, except for turnips, which have all but disappeared (flea beetles are suspected)

Viking - lots of new members, preparing for Gimli. Oh man... the list i have of things i still need to do is as long as my arm!

hope everyone else is enjoying their summer and keeping out of the heat of the day!

our 5 week old chicks, going bonkers for the food in the feeder. you'd think they hadn't been fed just hours before.

baby alpaca. Named Dora. mom is brown, dad is grey. alpaca genetics are weird.

you can kindof see her odd eye coloring. the iris is jagged, rather than smooth.
male Muscovy  duck.

on our baking-apple tree. some of the crabs are starting to turn color!

small garden. corn, kale, swiss chard, etc.

large garden. squash, tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, potatoes.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Tumbling headfirst into the paleo diet -one tiny baby step at a time

So, as a result of general malaise, chronic sugar addiction/cravings, and slow but steady weight gain, i've decided to try a different approach  (generic 'moderation' and 'resist temptation' dieting not making any headway)

I'm always of the opinion that any diet you adopt should be a lifestyle, not something you take up for a few months merely to lose some pounds.

One of my relatives has been interested (though not precisely following) the paleo/primal diets for some time. I believe that the science behind them are fairly sound, if for no other reason than that high grain and refined carb. intakes can cause significant health problems over time. No, i'm not going to go into ANY science, because frankly, it's been done, by people MUCH more knowledgeable than me.

(one example is in the Paleo Solution, by Robb Wolf )

Thus I made the drastic decision a couple of weeks ago to *gasp* remove grains from my diet entirely!

Okay, not quite entirely, yet. I've removed all the obvious grain foods (bread, pasta, muffins, etc), and replaced them with more vegetables. I'm not yet worrying about trace amounts of grains in foods, or about legumes, or sweet corn.

Or, quite frankly, too much about the rest of the diet. Yet.

My focus right now is to eliminate grain, and drastically reduce refined sugars (not eliminate entirely as, well, i'm a bit of an addict, and cold turkey is a surefire way for me to fail!). Also, I am working on beefing up my intake of various veggies, from all points in the color spectrum.

There are some aspects of the diet i can't quite embrace yet.
no dairy? um... i'm at fairly high risk of osteoporosis. i think i'll stick to having milk products, thanks.

no sweet corn or potatoes? well, i'm gonna keep these for now. i know, they're not ideal foods, but i don't eat corn every day, and potatoes are my 'replacement' for family meals (the rest of my family are not yet on the band wagon)

coconut and palm oil okay, but lard/tallow not? I disagree completely about palm oil, but agree with caveats to both coconut and lard. Coconut oil is a fine choice, IF it's not highly processed or hydrogenated (as the types in candy and the like often are!) Lard is OK though, if (and this is a big one) it's from a grass-fed animal, as it will have much healthier trace vitamins and components than grain-fed, and even that is better than the scary stuff they sell in the stores. Never goes bad? Doesn't need refrigerating?  I think i'll pass.

Frankly, i LOVE using animal fats for cooking. give me some lard, tallow, or bacon grease any day, and i'll pan fry you some thing delicious  ;)

so far? well, i haven't lost any weight. but i wasn't expecting to, in the short term. i'm expecting losses to begin in another week or two, and progress slowly, as i'm only about 30 pounds over my ideal (and the closer to ideal, the slower things generally go!)

Hopefully, i'll keep y'all updated a little more frequently.

oh look. some lovely smooshy roving. that i dyed. yay! then i found out the dyes are not colorfast. boo. completely unrelated to the post, but i wanted to put SOME sort of picture in here  :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

crochet pattern: ribbed neckwarmer

worked up a nice light button-up neckwarmer last week. it turned out nice enough i thought i'd share.

*note: this hasn't been tested, just written up as i made it. if you try it and find errors, please let me know!

Ribbed Neckwarmer

You will need:
2 - 50g skeins or balls of worsted weight wool (or fiber of your choice)
2 buttons, approx 2cm or 3/4 " across (or slightly larger)
5.5mm crochet hook

stitches used:
ch = chain
sc = single crochet
DC or dc = double crochet
FPDC or fpdc = front post double crochet
BPDC or bpdc = back post double crochet
ridge stitches = the vertical line of stitches being created by alternate fpdc and bpdc

NOTE:  turning chain does not count as a stitch

ch17, turn.
row 1: sc in second ch, sc across (16sc)
row 2: ch 1, turn. sc across (16sc)
repeat above row 17 more times, or until approximately square. continue to row A.

Row A: ch3, turn. DC across (16 dc)
Row B: ch3, turn. (FPDC in first stitch, dc in next stitch.)  repeat across.  note: this is your front side

Row C: ch3, turn. (BPDC in last rows fpdc, dc in same stitch, dc in next dc. ) repeat across, ending with BPDC in last fpdc, Dc in turning chain. (8 fp/bp ridges, each with 2dc between,  1 turning-ch/dc at each end)

row D: ch3, turn. Fpdc in ridge stitches, dc in dc across.
row E: ch3, turn. bpdc in (sunken) ridge stitches, dc in dc across.

Repeat rows D and E until ridged section is 15 1/2" long from row A to your working edge (adjust as necessary, but please finish on row E) If you have a very thick neck or like a very loose neckwarmer, work two extra rows at this point.

row F: ch3, turn. (FPDC in ridged stitch, dc2tog) repeat across, ending with fpdc in last ridged stitch, dc in previous turning chain.

row G: ch3, turn. (BPDC in ridged stitch, dc in dc) repeat across, (ending with dc in previous turning ch.)

row H: ch3, turn. (fpdc in ridged stitch, dc in dc) repeat across.

row I: ch1, turn. sc across.

repeat row I 3 more times

Row J: ch1, turn. sc in next 2 sc, ch 3 , skip next 3 sc, sc in next 4 sc, ch3, skip next 3sc, sc in last 3 sts. (two buttonholes made)

Repeat row I, working into chain stitches when necessary for 4 more rows.
Finish off, working in ends where necessary.

test-fit to determine button placement. stitch on buttons as desired.
as the sc portions tend to curl at the edge,  a gentle wet blocking is suggested.

good luck everyone!