Book Draw

My apologies for not having any pictures to accompany this post. Our All-In-One printer has died and with it the ability to read the camera card. I need to dig out the funky old cord that came with the camera to plug directly to the computer. Unfortunately neither card nor cord fit in this new laptop. Until I can upload pictures to the deskcomputer then copy to a cd I’m kind of stuck. Ed gets the deskcomputer in the evenings.

I have a hard time accepting the fact that expensive technology products wear out or become obsolete within a handful of years. When I pay more than a hundred dollars for an item I expect it to last for years.  One computer costs more than we’ve paid for any car until we finally bought a new car in 2004, which I’m planning to drive at least another 15 years. In the past 10 years we’ve bought four computers – only two yet functioning including this 2 month old laptop; four printers of which only the laser is still working and it has printed over 9,000 pages this past year. I have no idea how many pages the workhorse All-in-One printed during its lifetime of two years.  My Olympus camera? It’s practically a dinosaur among digital cameras. We bought it the summer of ’97, shortly after the first computer purchase. These are crucial to our business.

Oh, you want to know who won the drawing. Thanks everyone who left comments! I wasn’t sure how well a non-fiction book, with a somewhat narrow focus, would appeal. (Did I say how great the recipes are that are included at the end of almost every chapter?)

Fifteen names were written out onto identical slips of paper which were then carefully folded into thirds (no peeking), and tossed into the large orange ceramic bowl which Ed likes to use for soup and cereal. Again Ed was the person reaching into the bowl and grasping a name slip.

JudyMac! You are the winner! Judy had dropped out of blogland for so many months that I was concerned about her silence. (Judy provided me with the Charollois wool from France well over a year ago.) To have her surface a few days ago and then to win is wonderful. (I promise it wasn’t rigged) I just wish there was a way I could afford numerous copies to give to each one of you.

JudyMac is at the Knit Show at the Ally Pally in London where FreestyleFibre Jo and CelticMemory Jo have also been. Is anyone else of UK/Ireland/Europe going to the show? If you do please stop by Robynn’s Purlescence , (click on Cafe to get to her blog) Stand M33 and say hi.  Check out any of our Jenkins knitting needles and crochet hooks that she is selling, along with all her other goodies while you’re at it. The two Jos already stopped by and said Hi. 🙂 How cool is that! I feel like I’m almost meeting all these various people through each other.

Next post will have fiber content, and pictures.

Good stuff still to come such as Oregon Flock and Fiber, and a weekend getaway at the Oregon coast.


All about Books

A leap across two weeks brings me to the end of October’s Buy A Friend A Book week, which I would have missed again if I hadn’t chanced by Cornflower‘s blog last evening. Since I’ve had a hard time putting down my latest read a copy of that book will be sent to the person who’s name is drawn. Leave a comment on this post and your name will be tossed into the drawing basket. Though the BAFAB week ends today, you have until 6PM Pacific Daylight Time Friday, Oct 13th. Drawing will take place that evening.

The book? Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A year of food life by Barbara Kingsolver


The book is an engaging chronicle of the year Barbara Kingsolver and her family consciously ate only what was grown in their area. (Each person was allowed one exception that stayed within the spirit of this eating life such as Fair Trade coffee for husband, Steven, who also contributes to this book along with the oldest daughter, Camille.) Barbara is an informed, intelligent, witty author who is skilled at captivating with words. The concept of eating locally appeals very much to Ed and me. We are very fortunate to live in a fertile area where it is possible. What is harder is knowing who is growing their produce and livestock as naturally as possible. This past week we have eaten almost exclusively from our garden. Not only have we eaten tasty, simple meals, it’s a good feeling to know that what we’re putting into our mouths is not damaging to our bodies.

Charity has tagged me for a book meme. I don’t really enjoy participating in memes but sometimes one comes along when I’m thrilled to be tagged, such as this one:

1.Hardcover or paperback, and why? Definitely hardcover: the solidness and smell seems more real.
2.If I were to own a book shop, I would call it… I’m terrible with names but I know what it’d look like. There would be shelves full of books next to tables where people could sit with the coffee, tea or pastry they’d just ordered at a corner counter. A small area with a little table, soft toys and tough books would be available for small children to have their own tea party while the parents temporarily escaped into a book.
3. My favorite quote from a book (mention the title) is… I can’t say I have one favorite quote but here’s one taken from a notebook where I write a line or two that has caught my fancy: “The greatest moments in life are, and should be, brief. Man in his earthly weakness, like seedling plant, cannot stand too much light.” The Child From the Sea by Elizabeth Goudge pg 574
4. The author (alive or deceased) I would love to have lunch with would be… These are two people with whom I’ve fantasized eating at my kitchen table and sharing since I was in my twenties: Madeleine L’Engle and Edith Schaeffer.
5. If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except for the SAS survival guide, it would be… The Bible (Does anyone else find that to be an oddly worded question? My eye/mind keeps reading “going to be a deserted!)
6. I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that… reads the words outloud, in character, as I read.
7. The smell of an old book reminds me of… Comfort, serenity, and of cradling old and ancient volumes when I worked at the Mt Angel Abbey Library.
8. If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title), it would be
9. The most overestimated book of all times is… as so many others have written – The DaVinci Code
10. I hate it when a book… is redundant, oversimplified, and has many editing/proofing errors.  …builds up to a climax that just doesn’t happen.

Here’s the hard part, tagging five more people. Hope you don’t mind, I wanted to tag many of you, please join in the fun even if you haven’t been personally tagged! Jocelyn,  Cyndy, Tracy, AnneMarianne (Blackbunny)

Don’t forget to comment and get your name in the drawing basket!

J Friends

Rain is gently pattering our roof, the smell of grass field burning lingers in the air. It’s a day suspended between the long warm summer and crisp autumn. After several days in the high nineties earlier this week today feels good and right. It’s autumn’s turn to shine.

But first, one lingering glance back at the brief campout the last week of August when the nights are already noticeably shorter,  the cold settling heavy in the early morning darkness.

It was a much needed break with a small creek nearby and swimming pond in the bowl of a tree farm. The owners, T & J are letting what were once intended to be Christmas trees grow as sustainable timber. T selectively harvests the trees as they grow with the long term goal of a healthy forest that will produce trees and income for generations, if future owners have the same attitude he has, “manage the forest to be viable for the next 400 years.”

They allow neighbors to ride their horses along the maintenance roads sectioning the different woodlots. Jeanne took me for a walk Saturday morning, she wanted to share a “secret” path they’d made through the trees. The entrance is quite small, they hope the horse people don’t discover these foot trails.wood-path.jpg

Quietly meandering along the shadowed trail, pressed in by trees, I experienced a deep sense of serenity. The silent tree guarded path transported us far from everyday life.

Turning a corner we saw a green banner flung across the trail ahead. berry-banner.jpg

Mmm, a blackberry draped path.wood-berries.jpg

Yesterday as clouds drifted in with the hint of rain scenting the air we turned our attention to gathering ripe tomatoes from the garden, and moving newly delivered firewood into the wood shed Ed built early this summer. First I had to take clippers to the blackberry brambles that had exploded from the ground to hold the tomatoes hostage. They will pop up everywhere the second your back is turned. A wall of brambles is threatening to overtake a back section of our home. At least blackberries give a delicious return for their invasion.

It was a perfect day for outdoor work, and for using the food dryer for all the ripe roma tomatoes. Some of the dried ones will go into a quart jar and covered with extra virgin, cold press olive oil, the rest will be stored in a cool dark place in ziplock bags.

The living room/kitchen remodel is basically finished except for a few finishing details. Pictures will be posted soon. On Tuesday a dear friend is coming over to help me put some wall paper boarder in the kitchen. Earlier this week Jane came over to give me something she made.


A folding, carrying knitting basket! She cut and assembled the wood frame and sewed and quilted the fabric – all without a pattern. I feel so honored by this gift of her hands and time.

A couple weeks ago I was surprised to find a package in the mail, the bookmy-lady-judge.jpg

Just what I needed! Especially last weekend when I suddenly was struck, totally out of the blue, by a severe sore throat and achy, slightly feverish body. This light, engaging book was savored with joy. Ah, a huge thanks to yet another J friend. 🙂

Numbers crunch

Ta Da! Finished, just in the nick of time.finished-smokin-socks.jpg

Yarn: Fearless Fibers 100% Superwash Merino Wool Sock Yarn
One 4-ounce skein, 550 yards Colorway: Midnight Passion

PatternKnitspot’s Smokin Socks This was a fun pattern to do. I loved the repeating sections. Aurora doesn’t like slouchy socks so I usually make the smallest size in a pattern but next time I’d go up one size since the socks are stretched a bit too much to show the pattern to its fullest.

Needles: #1/2.25mm 16″L Jenkins Circs for one sock, #1/2.25mm Brittany DPN for the other sock.
This was a test to see which I liked better for socks. Frankly I still don’t know. 🙂 They both have their merits. I’ve mostly used dpn so initially I was much quicker with them but once I got the hang of two circs on one sock the speed really picked up. I suspect if I used circs on socks they’d soon be my favorites. But still, there’s something about seeing four needles danging from something so small – it makes sock knitting look so impressive to the unknowing.

Time frame: Began mid July, finished Sept 3rd.
One round = 60 stitches; 6 rounds = 16-18 minutes; Approximate total stitches (didn’t count the heel or toe rows) 18,000.  I started keeping track of stitches and time as the hours ticked away and there was suddenly only a few days to get them done. With a ton of other items to take care of I needed to know how many hours was needed to set aside for the task.

Ten p.m. Monday night the last strand was woven into place. The socks were handwashed and hung to dry the next morning. At 2pm they still weren’t dry so I tossed them in the dryer with a towel. 20 minutes, still not dry. They hung to dry some more until the clock ticked past 4 and still not totally dry so back into the dryer for another 20 minutes. Hmm, barely damp – it’ll do. Wrap them in green paper and tucked them in a shoe box to await the opening of presents. These were so cushy soft once they’d been washed and dried – I wanted to wear them! Fearless Fibers is definitely nice wool! I’m thrilled that there is plenty enough for a scarf. I don’t wear scarves much but this yarn would feel great draped around my neck.

smokin-toe.jpg(This was the first time I’d done a short row heel, and yes, there’s a small gap.)

Aurora’s birthday was Tuesday. She loves wearing hand knit socks especially ones made with love. We feel blessed to have her nearby and to celebrate her birthday with her.

She requested cherry pie, the cherries were from our tree and put into jars. Faith loved it too.
cherry-pie.jpg       faith-cherry-pie.jpg

What else happened Monday? I signed 114 crochet hooks and 36 small circular needles. (Do you know how hard it is to write on a #1 2.25mm needle?) These are for a couple different orders – one huge order (100 items!) is just about packed and ready to ship to a store in the UK tomorrow. What a relief to Ed to have all those items marked off his long list!

Poor guy worked straight through his birthday which was on Saturday the 25th. He got an apple pie (the last of our Gravensteins) to soothe his

Slow smokin’ socks

Finally! The header reflects this fiber related web blog. It’s not quite what I was aiming for, but for now it’s acceptable. The yarn pictured is merino/tencil, from Chameleon Colorworks, handspun on a Turkish spindle during March.

How long does it take you to knit a row of 60 stitches? Does it make any difference if the needles you’re using are #1 (2.25mm) or #5 (3.75mm)? I’ve been frantically knitting a pair of socks for a deadline. Stitches do not fly off my needles. No, they languish on the tips compelled only by my fingers to move along. Except when trying to do a p2t, then they slide off before the needles are engaged.

1080 stitches an hour on #1 needles is what I’ve been able to knit when concentrating. That takes care of one full repeat on the Knitspot Smokin Socks. I’m doing a total of eight repeats – for each sock – without including the heel and toe areas, add an extra hour or two for those. You’d think these socks would have been finished in July. Ha! They are a bit further along than this:
The toe of the first one is nowseamed and another 12 rows have been finished on the remaining sock. They were worked almost simultaneously until the heel. One pair was worked on two 16″ circs, which I really started liking except the stitches don’t show up well on the rosewood needles in the evening, my primary knitting time. The other was worked on Brittany dpn, the old tried and true. The soft, beautifully colored yarn is from Fearless Fiber, I’ve been enjoying working with it and look forward to making something with the yellow Citrus yarn I got at the same time.

There’s been a lot happening around here which I’d like to put into future postings. The garden is calling for my attention at the moment.

Good Stuff

early-bird.jpg These days often find me outside with the early birds. Coffee savored along with birdsong, gearing up for another stressful day. The old kitchen table has migrated to the back yard during the make-over.

Sitting at the table is necessary for writing on needles.


When the last needle has been buffed and written on and the last sip of coffee swallowed the garden calls, conspiring to keep me outside. It’s been sorely neglected. Please don’t ask to see the flower bed! For garden color this year I planted a heliotrope.

Yesterday I canned two batches of green beans. Nothing beats pole beans for flavor. Long sleeves are needed if I don’t want itchy arms for the next several hours.pole-beans.jpgMaybe it was those long ago days when we daily picked pole beans for two pennies a pound. All morning and into the early afternoon we drug huge cotton sacks slowly along a row picking, picking. I was too short to reach the tops of the vines so shared the row with my mom or sister. At lunchtime we’d sit in the cool shade of the tall plants and eat sandwiches with freshly sliced cucumbers. I was so proud when I finally was able to fill my sack with 100lbs of beans. Hard tedious work, but stuff of memories. Besides, most kids in the area picked crops throughout the summer.

Finally, the first tomato of the season!

Which Gravenstein would you pick to eat?two-apples.jpg
Good Choice!


The house is coming along. All of the hard work is finished. Ed is with his old buddies on their annual men’s fishing trip this weekend. It’s a much needed break both physically and mentally. He’s been pushing himself so hard that sleep has been elusive.

I’m looking forward to large amounts of time for knitting, hairpin lace and spinning – all sadly neglected these past couple of weeks.