scary stuff

If you’ve not been keeping up on the genetically modified stuff – and even if you think you don’t care – this might change your mind.

For those of a different generation, Agent Orange was lovely stuff, and decades later, people are still dealing with the aftermath of exposure.

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Another learning expierence

Saw this pattern on Ravelry for the Elder Tree Shawl.  Done in a lace weight, with big needles, it was very pretty. Now I love shawls, but wanted this for warmth and chose to do it in Caron soft worsted weight acrylic.  As I knitted along, decided it was getting wider (long edge of the triangle)  faster than it was getting long, so I changed the pattern slightly with a single row of knit after each pattern repeat.  and this did accomplish what I THOUGHT I wanted!  By the time the long edge was so many stitches that it was becoming tedious (and that was well into the fourth skein) it was long enough for the triangle peak to cover my butt.  So I finished it off to find that it was NOT wide enough!  If I had stayed with the pattern, it would have eventually gotten to this length, but would have been MUCH wider.  and I would have been much happier with the finished result.  As it is, its still a nice snuggly shawl, and I will use it probably more than originally intended as it will become like a sweater for around the house.  Just can’t wrap it around my body and snug it into place with a nice shawl pin (actually the one in the picture is a silver hair piece!).  So sadly (NOT) another shawl will be in my knitting future!

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Having cleared out my stash of knitting yarn, found my way to the yarn store today and you know what happened then! Certainly did not buy anywhere near as much as what was removed, and it is all good stuff: A nice brown cotton/linen for a summer shell, an oatmeal color from REMIX, which is recycled Nylon, cotton, acrylic, silk and linen, for a long sleeve pullover. another skein of the Cherub Aran for a pair of socks, and a skein of Tangier from Cascade to make a neck piece:
Plus what I went in for – circular needles to go with the string bag kit I’m giving as holiday gifts this year.
Just two bags of yarn to replace the six that are moving out

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natural pest control

found this in the greenhouse today.  With the warm weather, there have been more pests on the fall plantings, including these little worms that look like miniature hornworms.  Maybe they are, I don’t know. Nor do I know what kind of spider this is – other than a female jumping spider – but am glad its on the job!

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destash day

Utter sacrilege I know, but today, went through the yarn stash and de-stashed about a 1/3 of it!

We all know we acquire yarn for a variety of reasons, and as we learn and develop our skills, some of that stuff may not really be useable for our purposes.  and then there are all those single skeins that would be great for a tam, a hat, a pair of wristlets or gloves.  Well, I know I’m not knitting any of those things.  Nor am I going to be using the bulky wool, or the really fine sock yarn.  and how did I end up with so many skeins of plain old acrylic yarn in various shades of BLUE – not even the same shade!  And lets not forget the close out lot of 50 balls of Peaches and crème cotton – all different colors – that a bought back at the beginning.  WHile I’ve used a lot of it, what’s left are in my favorite colors (NOT!) of orange and pinks.

So today it got sorted.  back to the thrift with some.  the cotton is going to some knitting friends with my patterns for making string bags and double sided pot holders.  The wool is going to someone who will use it.   and I can once again see the floor of my closet!

Now to do the same with my fabric stash . . . .

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first frost

is predicted for tonight.  This is the last of the eggplant, maybe.  There are still some small fruit (like these are so big!) on the plants and I’ve left them in place, just in case.

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This is the latest I can remember the first frost since I’ve had the veggie garden.  It usually is sometime in the month of October, with the 15th being our first frost date.  For a change I’ve got the garden pretty much ready, with a lot of the plants pulled and in the composters already.  Yesterday emptied out the big tumble composter and put the dirt in the two old plastic garbage cans I use for the last stage of the compost process.  This year, both of those cans were half full of zucchini and tomato plant, so the dirt will hopefully help their decomposition along.  With a little rain today to soak into it all, I’ll put the lids on and let them cook through the rest of the winter.  For those of you in other areas, with our sunshine and altitude, those cans will get pretty hot!

Spoke to our niece last night in N.C.  While we are at different latitudes, we’re at the same gardening zone. Yet our climates are so different, our soils so different, that our gardening experiences are totally different!  When you buy plants/seeds and all they give are the hardiness zones, they are doing the gardener and plants a big disservice.  While the serious gardener gets the difference, the novice will be disappointed and may not pursue the hobby.  And the other side of that is how many people get their gardening advice from the big box store – the Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart – not their local gardening center.

Did get one of the new big (100 gallon) grow bags almost full of soil yesterday also as I emptied out the six 15gallon pots I’d used (unsuccessfully) for winter squash.  That was my fourth try, each in a different area of the garden, with winter squash.  This was closest to success with ONE SINGLE full size fruit that got eaten while hanging out waiting to ripen.  Since our local farmer’s market growers and our local Whole Foods have good organic winter squash to buy at reasonable prices, will forget the winter squash and make room for something else.  Actually, used to grow spaghetti squash quite successfully and will probably do that again next year. 

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potato harvest

Growing potatoes takes up a lot of room and when you compare to how cheap, even organic, potatoes are to buy, one wonders if it is worth it. Then you taste a truly NEW potato and you know. So here I am, several years later, still trying to grow potatoes in the Arizona desert in my backyard!

So the first thing I’ve (finally) learned, is that the potatoes grow best in a hard sided bin rather than a “grow bag”. Now I have nothing against grow bags, have done a lot of my gardening in them because they make it easy to grow things in the small nooks and crannies of a back yard, and allow you to take advantage of micro-climates. But potatoes, for what ever reason, have done best in the hard sided pots compared to a grow bag. and even then, the yields are small . . .

Heat is a factor also, and it may just be too hot for growing potatoes well in the summer here. So this winter will be experimenting with a crop. I’ll try some in the greenhouse and some outside exposed to the elements.

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