After the Rains....

We were fortunate to get our new garden section tilled right before the weeks of rainy days turned most of our area into a sea of mud. Finally, the sun came out again, and it apperas that all the veggies we had planted loved all that moisture - they are growing great! Since both of our neighbors along the ridge are also raising veggies this year, we've been enjoying comparing notes a bit. Mike to the north has been growing vggies for several years now and limits himself to corn and squash usually, but is adding peas for the first time this year. Charlie to the south is doing veggies for the first time this year, though they have always had lots of flowers in their yard. 

Of the various herbs I planted this year, the cilantro is doing the best so far and I clipped some today to garnish black bean soup - very nice! The sage plant is also going very well and the oregano is starting to grow well after a slow start. The best surprise though after all the rain subsided wasto discover that we have a lot of new raspberry canes coming up. the original raspberry was planted about 5 or 6 years ago, a Heritage Red. 

Simple Pleasures of Spring

It's spring and that means that it's time for this household to spend more time outside. This year, we're expanding our veggie garden a good bit, adding a new plot of about 10 by 60 feet, and enclosing both the new section and our existing raised beds with fencing. Hopefully, we can keep the hungry critters out of the garden area. We've redone a plot on the southern side of the house that will be the new home for tomatoes, onions and basil. An old section of purple cone-flowers has been moved to a plot right next to the house and all of the beds have been mulched recently, thanks to my generous neighbor. Potatoes and peas have been planted in the old raised beds, so we're looking for a prosperous growing season.

The Reclaimed Wool Project

Years ago, when I was interested in learning to knit (and yarn was a LOT cheaper), I picked up a lot of knitting needles and a quilted holder for all of them, but none of it hs seen much use in recent days, and I don't seem to have either the time or the patience to knit anything  as complicated as a sweater. I do, however, have a desire to have warm throws to use in cooler weather, and still remember the toasty knitted afghan that my grandmother used for years. Real wool yarn is rather expensive, and the synthetic yarns don't have the warmth of wool, so I've actively started reclaiming the wool from old sweaters that have outlived their usefulness as clothing. The first one to tackle was an old Irish wool cardigan.

Finding the seams in the old sweater was the most challenging part as the sweater pieces were held together with the same yarn as the body of the sweater, but eventually I got the whole thing de-knitted and rolled into balls. Those balls, in turn were wrapped into skeins and gently washed in the bathroom sink and hung to dry over the bath. Once dry, they will be rolled back into the balls of yarn I prefer to use and stashed in a bag to keep them clean.

I happened to have an old sweater that fit thebill for this project, but it would be just as easy to find a few old wool sweaters at the local Goodwill store for a few dollars each and de-knit those. Considering the cost of real wool yarn, this option would be far cheaper. providing an inexpensive alternative to store-bought yarn and keeps soem old sweaters out of the landfill.

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