Saturday, February 26, 2011

AeroGarden Happiness

I love this!

I started the herbs in this AeroGarden on January 15 and in the last few weeks have been judiciously harvesting here and there, but  today...look!

They are big - perhaps as much as 8 or 9 inches for the tallest.

I generally enjoy something about every season (except the Season of Humidity, but even then I try to be grateful for "indoor project" time.) but I really miss gardening and fresh herbs. I grow many herbs in pots right outside the kitchen door and find the lack of herbs-at-hand during the winter distressing. While this can't count as gardening, it certainly is delightful to have something edible growing right in the dining room. (I think this is why I sprout seeds and legumes, too.) I will pay the price for herbs in the winter market but can't always have exactly what I want on hand in the kitchen. There comes a time, too, when there aren't big bunches of herbs in the stores but sad little stems in plastic boxes. No.

This herb garden has three kinds of basil as well as thyme, dill, mint, and oregano. The whole hydroponics setup is neat, and when researching whether or not to buy one I found that people have multiples of them set up over the winter. Some people, of course, build their own hydroponic systems because they are clever & handy people who have figure it all out, but I have not. All I have to do is add water when the indicator light is on, and add liquid nutrients when the other light tells me to. Next fall, around the beginning of October, I will start another set of herbs that will be ready by the time a freeze really really takes my herbs. 

I ordered mine from Amazon and found that they are not nearly as expensive as when they first appeared on the market. After this initial set of herbs that were included, I'll buy ala carte and choose the ones I want.

Fun, and it smells like summer in the dining room. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Prayin' and Knittin'

While emptying all the bags and baskets I found many items, which I tossed into a basket until the yarn was put away. Here's a picture of most of them. Look closely and you'll see stitch markers, mini emery boards, a Pinocchio measuring tape, a change purse, a nostepinne, that a rosary?


Apparently it was a really hard pattern.

UFOs, Bins, and Plans

After collecting, untangling, (and let's not downplay the "untangling" part of the job) and sorting the yarn with its mates, my kitchen table looked like a sale display in a shop. A shop that has a really cute table in the middle of the floor.

(By the way, take a look at the pretty bag hanging from the chair. I just made that for a sale next month and love the way it turned out.)

I had to add this picture of the opposite view. I'm hoping it will serve as a visual reminder when I'm planning projects!

I found several UFOs (UnFinished Objects) in various stages of completion that had been abandoned for whatever reason. I ripped out a few of them that were just tragic ideas right from the start and salvaged the yarn, but packed these into a box for another day:
Crazy. Some of these are just minutes away from completion. Not that yoga bag, though. It's been around for years; it needs to be HUGE in order to felt to the size needed.

In a move that clearly proves I had no idea how much yarn I was facing, I had a stack of six plastic bins ready to be filled. Six. Not giant ones, but boot-sized ones. My son, realizing he'd never have a meal on that table if he didn't take action, went out and bought six more.

The filling part was fun, grouping things like wools, alpacas, cottons, sock yarns, and felting wools together. I like how this box looks, because I love what's in it:
Clockwise from the top, I plan to make a vest with the two big skeins of merino, a hat for DS2 with the multicolored Noro, a scarf that is trying to design itself in my mind with the three wool lace colors, and then! See that color changing cotton? A present from my fantastic future daughter-in-law (who also knits) and son, it will be a shawl of some sort. (Check out the coloring changing cotton at Wolle's on Etsy. I've seen several items made with it and it's gorgeous.)

See. I have a plan.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Yarn, Yarn, Yarn

It's been such a long time since I posted, and I LOVE my blog, so that's bad. I think I should focus more on this and less on FB sharing!

At any rate, yesterday I started a project that has had vast, domino-like consequences. I decided to go around the house and gather up all my yarn into one big pile, sort it, organize it, and put it away in the bedroom we use for such things. Since my oldest son is in grad school in Virginia along with his fiancĂ©e, his room is in use a few months of the year and has become the place to put coats, yarn, files, projects, spare bedding, and other things that are tough to relocate when the poor kid does come home and wants his room for a few weeks!

The goals of this project, and I am still in the middle of it, are:
  • Get a grip on what I have for yarn and organize it.
  • Give my daughter half of the closet in her brother's room.
  • Box up the papers and items DS1 left in the desk and shelves and put them away so we can use the desk.
  • Reorganize our files and records.
  • Bonus job: Find every last cd in this house, toss any remaining jewel cases, and find some way to store them in the cabinet that was previously occupied by the files and records that are being moved upstairs.

Okay, here's what you came for, pictures of yarn. Because first one has to find all the yarn in its hiding places...and I missed a few until today.
I gathered all the obvious tote bags and baskets from DS1's room.
I pulled all the baskets from this little invisible spot next to a cabinet.
I remembered that inside the cabinet there were a few more items like the one above, and the skein below that was tucked in all by itself.
Today I found two other bits. There was some beautiful fingering-weight in a magazine basket, and some odd sock yarn in a small zippered bag. In my defense, before the next blog post reveals the full extent of the yarn consumption in this house, I must point out that I don't stash yarn I really only buy yarn for specific projects I have no idea how I have so much yarn.

Until tomorrow, here is a preview what my kitchen table looked like:

I'm very happy that my husband doesn't read my blog.