In the small downtown near where I live we have a small farmer's market, which opens on Sundays and Wednesdays from May through the third week of October. The goods range from honey, cookies, bread, hand-made goods, and, of course, actual farm produce. I go pretty much for the farm produce. As the season is coming to an end I know I am going to dearly miss fresh tomatoes, parsley, cilantro, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, corn, and other such wonderful produce, and I will have to go back to relying on whatever is available at the supermarket.
Real home-grown tomatoes will be among the things I will miss the most. I have a favorite vendor from whom I have been buying my tomatoes throughout the season. They have wonderful grape tomatoes and chocolate cherry tomatoes. A treat that will be missed during the winter months.
A side benefit to the farmer's market is that the vendors are friendly and fun to talk with while picking out the goodies I am going to take home. This particular stall has a young man, still only a teenager, who is hard working, and always cordial and helpful. A couple of Sundays ago I overheard him talking to a lady next to me, and he mentioned to her that tomatoes are really a fruit and not a vegetable. After she made her purchase and left and he came over to attend to me, and I joked with him about how I thought it was still hard for me to think of tomatoes as being a fruit, even though I knew that to be true. He smiled and said, "they say that that is the difference between knowledge and wisdom."
"Ok," I said, " I give up. How do tomatoes define the difference between knowledge and wisdom?"
"Well," he replied, "knowledge is knowing that the tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting them in a fruit salad."
And that is why I love going to the farmer's market. It's not just the great fresh produce and ambiance. It is the people who work with the earth and are grounded in the earth. There is both knowledge and wisdom to be gained from the experience.
As in past years, my niece and I spent an afternoon crafting Easter cards. Her lovely efforts are the eggs and the sweet Easter bunny above. Mine are the images below, consisting of the "traditional Easter Turtle".... hey, haven't you ever heard of Easter Turtle Eggs? Oh, and why not. And the fat Easter bunny. As always, whenever we spend time together we had a wonderful day.
There are about 150,000 people without power in Michigan because of the ice storm that we had Saturday night into Sunday morning. In the county I live in, we have 50,000 people without power. I have no power, but fortunately the generator is keeping us warm and lit. They are telling us that it may be another 6 days before power is restored to all Consumer Power customers. That is a long time, considering that today is Monday and we have not had power since Sunday morning.
That is the ugly side of the ice storm. The beautiful side is what a wonderland of ice is just outside my window and around my neighborhood. I went out earlier and shot some pictures and I'm including a few here.
Considering that tomorrow is Christmas Eve, I think it is going to be a dark Christmas. Sort of eerie looking out my window at night and seeing everything so dark, except for a few houses with lights powered by big generators. No sleighbell sounds for the season out there, just the sound of generators humming in the air.
Seafoam or Wave stitch (I've seen it called by both names) is a relatively easy stitch pattern, which has a lovely lacy look to it. For this shawl I used 3 skeins of Sunseeker by Cascade Yarns. Each skein was 227 yards.
I cast on 56 stitches and then knitted in pattern until I ran out of yarn. The outcome was a lovely, long shawl.
I love to mix knitting and chrocheting in my projects. They truly make for some interesting and fun designs. This is a shawl I made that started out as just pieces of both knitted triangles, crocheted flowers and different yarns that blended nicely together from my stash. Once I had a bunch of non-related shapes and swatches of knitted and crocheted pieces, I sort of laid them out as a puzzle to figure out how I could make them into something coherent. Then I crocheted them together with a zigzaging chain back and forth. This is the result. A shawl that I think turned out stunning. There is no pattern to this. But I offer it as a challenge for all you knitters and chocheters to have fun playing with yarn and shapes.
I will admit that the pieces of this stayed in a bag for quite a while until I finally figured out what and how they might fit nicely together.
My point is that there are no rules. Have fun with your projects and create original pieces.
Hummingbird watching while sitting on my patio is a joy to experience. They are magical and beautiful, but also feisty and territorial. I have at least two couples that constantly visit my feeders. Sometimes it's like a "Star Wars" scene, where they sky-bomb each other. They are tons of fun to watch.
Yesterday afternoon, as I sat on the patio reading and enjoying the nice evening, one of the females came up within about a foot and a half from my face and just flew in place looking at me. She did this at least five times. It was an amazing experience.
I recently finished this shawl. It started out as just a simple red triangular shawl, but the more I knitted, the more I knew that it was really lacking something to give it pizzazz. That's when I started looking through my crocheted motif books and decided that it needed a contrasting yarn border of crocheted flowers. I found a flower motif that I thought would give it a really lacy effect, and started to crochet the border.
As I have stated before in previous entries, I am a knitter and only a reluctant crocheter. This is one such time, however, when crocheted motifs were going to be the perfect solution to making a humdrum shawl turn into a WOW shawl.
Detail of the crocheted motif edging.
The choices of crocheted motifs is almost endless. There are many books in the market that specialize in nothing but motifs. I chose this particular one because it was rather simple, but very lacy looking, which is exactly the effect I was looking for. I also did a sc (single crochet stitch) border in the white and red to add interest, and to introduce the white color to the shawl.
There is a book entitled "Knitting Loves Crochet," a title which I find is a true statement. Knitting, in fact, does love crochet, and they sometimes work beautifully together.
Ready-made roast chicken purchased from Sam's or your local grocery store is a fast and convenient way to put a tasty dinner on the table in record time. I have a lot of recipes where the pre-roasted chickens make their appearance. One of my favorite ones, especially on warm summer evenings is this one.
I buy a French baguette and slice it at a diagonal and spread mayo on it. I might make a flavored mayo such as mayonnaise put in the food processor with a few basil leaves, or with some arugula, it makes for an amazingly flavored mayonnaise.