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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Therapy Shawl and The End

Hello from the foothills!  I'm going to start this post with The End, and you may guess from the first photo that I'm referring to the unusually long, depressive heat we've experienced since late spring.  I am so glad to see this brown leaf and many others that have begun to expel themselves from our exhausted sugar maples.  Goodbye summer of 2016 - you will not be missed.  

 We planted several tomato plants, as usual, but reaped nary a fruit from them.  However, unnoticed at first, a total volunteer fought to live through the heat and lack of rain from under a pile of compost, and has bloomed and started producing our favorite Rutgers tomatoes.  They are few in number and quite small, but we are thankful for small things like this right now.   (I'm sure Ma Ingalls is nodding her head and sayin' "Been there!" from her heavenly abode.)  Homegrown tomatoes are the best!

Ah now, this is a bright spot and also a freebie from last year.   Some folks had sold their house and were having a moving sale, and I had commented that I loved their Double Rose of Sharon so the lady told me to take some cuttings if I wanted to, so I did.  Of the two cuttings only one lived, but it rooted in no time and now is only one year old and blooming.  Thankful, again.  Love it.

Now, for a little Therapy.  I readily admit I mostly knitted my way through the summer in my spare time.  Knitting is a very calming retreat once you've mastered a few stitches. 

I think Ma Ingalls might be a tad surprised how we like to wear our shawls these days.  o.O  I did enjoy the knitting, and this one is an asymetrical triangle, which shape I had not done before.

There was a bit of dog sitting within the family, and the owners rewarded me handsomely with this 6-cup measuring pitcher by Pioneer Woman.  The pattern is Timeless, and I agree.  That Pioneer Woman knows how to make everyday kitchenware beautiful.

If the weather is still holding you hostage, you have my deepest sympathies.  Until next time may cool winds blow as soothingly in your neck o' the woods as, finally, they have in mine.
A shot of a gated community in the big city to our north. (Good Fences meme.)

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Yarn Bowl & Memories

...or where my summer went.
Anise Hyssop that I grew and dried for use in a Polysporin-type ointment which is on my list to make very soon.

There was a bit more sock knitting. This pattern was free on ravelry by Susan B. Anderson called How I Make My Socks.  The stripes match on these, horrors. ;)  

Back in July when my sisters were visiting we went through Bulls Gap, Tenn. and stopped at Yoder's Country Market. 
First of Good Fences meme photo
They had the typical baked breads, etc. I actually prefer Mountain View Bulk Store in Chuckey, Tenn., but this one is in a different area, of course.

We've lived on our little farm for 23 years this summer and have had loads of fun along with lots of work during that time.  Two of the things I've enjoyed the most here are the herbs that I grew and foraged and used for flavorings, food and medicine and the time in the evenings when I've been able to knit.

  And I've always thought it would be cool to have a yarn bowl that I could use when knitting so when I saw that my blogger friend Kathy had gotten a custom made one from a potter who sells on Etsy, I knew I wanted to do the same.  This was a birthday present from Goodman, and I'm thrilled to have it.

It's not just a yarn bowl though, it's a keepsake of memories from our farm.  In this view there's a depiction of Butterfly Weed that grows wild in our pasture.  It's also called pleurisy root, and mentioned here.

There are two Black Walnut trees on the property, and I've posted about them and what we did with them here and here

Pokeberries grow all over the place, and while leaving lots of them for the birds to eat, I posted about dyeing yarn with them here.

Blackberries have been a tasty part of our lives, posted about here and here.  We plan to down-size someday and move to a smaller acreage, but the bowl of farm memories will go along with us. ;)

Back in the spring I took cuttings from my hydrangea bushes, dipped them in rooting hormone and planted them in old plastic pots...

They've grown fairly well even though we've had a blisteringly hot summer.  I'll be planting them as soon as the weather cools a bit. 

Lastly, a view of the John Sevier Plantation Home historical site in Knoxville, Tenn.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Road Trip!

Most of our hydrangeas have started to turn bronze from the heat and lack of rain, but I still like looking at them.

My sisters were here for a visit, recently, and we had a great time visiting several yarn shops.  Don't worry, I won't take you along to all of them.  Smoky Mountain Spinnery* in Gatlinburg, Tenn. is the coup de grâce when one is shopping for fiber related items so here's a little tour.

It's just off the main thoroughfare in Gatlinburg. The entrance...

Aren't these sheep the cutest.  We thought they were concrete, but they're not, they're resin and a bit pricey, but in case you're interested,  Plow & Hearth carries them. 

The Spinnery has some of the best sheep-y decor I've seen...

All manner of tools for knitting, crocheting, spinning and weaving are available, of course.

Handspun yarns were hanging nearly everywhere we looked.
Look at the gorgeously dyed roving.  I was tempted to buy them all to spin into yarn, but I was able to resist that notion, somehow.  o.O

They have several spinning wheels and looms, too.

More sheepy decor.

There were all manner of creatures sporting spin-able fibers. o.O

Some can spin yarn with their toes...evidently.

And some demonstrate how to use a loom.

I found several skeins of off-white & purple baby alpaca on sale.  The Turquoise yarn is for a nifty winter hat.  After touring the shop and finding our treasures we were ready to head to the checkout.

Look at their beautiful, old cash register!  It's an antique, of course, but it still works and brings back memories of days gone by when other stores had them.  If you're a knitter/weaver/crocheter/spinner and are going to be in the area, you'll definitely want to visit The Spinnery.

I'll leave you with a look at our "Black Iris" (that I forgot to share when it was in bloom.)

*No affiliation, just my favorite yarn store.
Have a great week Y'all!