Thursday, July 30

Finished: Fruit Protector

Also possibly called an Apple Cozy.

Crochet Fruit Wrap
Adorable Apple Cozy by Theresa Grant

I know some people have issues with things like this, since it just seems to pointless. While I am not against making pointless items (see: knit t.p.) this little guy actually serves a purpose for me.

I take a nectarine, peach, or pear to work almost every single day. I love these fruits when they are super ripe, but not quite mushy. Consider that I also typically carry a Tupperware or corning ware container with the main part of my lunch and you might realize what my problem usually is. Bruised fruit with split skin and usually some pear or peach gooped all over the inside of my lunch bag. Blech.

I used to wrap my fruit up in a napkin or paper towel but that felt too wasteful so I switched to a knit dishcloth. Which is really only a half step away from something fruit shaped with a keep-the-fruit-inside button.

The attentive among you may notice that my fruit protector is crocheted. I wanted a quick project and crochet has always been much much faster for me than knitting. (This took around 25 min.) You know, only one hook to hold, only one loose loop to worry about. For the record, my mom taught me to crochet around 1987, and I taught myself how to knit in 2002.

I have a feeling there are going to be a few more crochet projects coming. I'm not sure when I got bit by the bug since I haven't actually crocheted in almost a decade, but I have found a few patterns I'd like to try.

Finished: t.p.

The first time I came across this Toliet Paper pattern at Mochimochi Land I knew I had to knit it. In fact, I feel that way about most of her patterns. It is completely useless but (I think) hilarious.


This was a stashbuster project that wasn't quite successful as I still have a little of each color wool left. It was a quick knit, and once I steam blocked the heck out of it the stockinette section didn't curl in very much.



It has now made it's home in the downstairs bathroom. Here are the answers, in order, to the questions I received after placing it there:

1) Yes, it is.
2) Because I can.
3) Please don't. For decorative purposes only!

Wednesday, July 22

WIP Wednesday

I've been spinning!

I set my wheel up for the first time since we moved in April. My room (craft room? knitting room? relaxation room? I'm not sure what to call it yet.) is almost put together so I have a nice space to spin without feeling like I'm talking over the living room.

Spunky Eclectic Riverwalk BFL in progress

The fiber is BFL from Spunky Eclectic in "Riverwalk". There are 8oz, which I gave to my mom for mother's day. It was supposed to be in yarn form already then - over two months ago. Whoops.

In other WIP news, the sweater and socks still haven't been touched. I have been working on my Swallowtail shawl but each row takes a while at this point and I only seem to have the time and patience to do one or two at a time.

Something wonderful, and frankly a relief, is that Reggie doesn't seem to be interested in the fiber or my yarn at all. He was a little too interested in the wheel as it was spinning but I stopped for a minute and he lost interest.

(Gratuitous cat photo:)


Tuesday, July 21

Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair

Fiber Fair

Last Friday, I was there.

The weather was chilly and a little rainy, but luckily only part of the fair was outside and we hit that part first before it rained. Hubby joined me, since we both had the day off work and he truly enjoys looking at all of the fiber-y goodness. (He is such an enabler. I bought twice as much as I would have without him. Plus, he often exclaimed "You could do that!" or "You should try that!". How could I say no?)

My budget was a little (lot) larger than it usually is at these sort of events since I had just received the first paycheck with my raise added in. This is what I bought:

MFFAF haul

No yarn at all. I wanted a bunch of new types of fiber to try out on my wheel. Included, clockwise from top, are a "mill mystery fiber" mix (a great deal and very soft), a silk hankie, wool/bamboo blend, wool/seacell blend, Wenslydale mix wool, and some FLB-BLB wool (??) in a color I couldn't pass up.

The only other comment I have on the Fair has to do with about half the vendors we dealt with. It doesn't seem to have gotten through to them yet that my husband and I are their target audience. Ignoring us for 'older' customers, hurrying me along to complete the sale before I have a chance to see everything in your booth, looking concerned when Steve touches something, running over when I walked to the other half of the booth while carrying fiber -- it was painfully obvious a few vendors thought we were out of place. Of course, the fair was at a community college. Maybe some of them thought we randomly wandered away from class to shoplift from them or waste their time? (Should I be flattered, since I'm almost 30?)

The other half of the vendors we dealt with were wonderful. One really sticks out in my mind at this point: River's Edge Weaving Studio. I even went back out in the rain and made a second purchase from them. The silk hankie and wool/seacell blend above are from them.

All in all, it was a fun day. I'll probably go back next year, if only because it is less than an hour away from home and a good place to pet and buy fiber.

Wednesday, July 15


Since we moved into the townhouse in April, I have a real garden for the first time in my (adult) life. My 'garden' has typically consisted of a dozen different sized containers on our balcony. I've had a lot of success growing tomatoes and peppers in containers, and was really looking forward to being able to plant a greater variety of things in the ground.

I wish I had taken a before picture of the garden area, so it would be obvious how much work we did to prep it into a usable state. It hadn't been touched for at least the last two years and was a mess of weeds, random bulbs, layers of dead plants, and ant hills. Beyond that, the soil was in really bad shape. It's still not great - high in clay, cracks easily, and water doesn't absorb very readily. I am actually surprised at how well these plants are doing.

Here is a photo from the day the veggies were planted. I'll list below what I've put in, but if you click through to Flickr, the first photo has everything labeled with notes.

veggie garden 1
May 31, 2009
chipmunk proof pot veggies
container plants in chipmunk proof cages

I've planted:
Roma tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes
Park's Whopper tomatoes
Early Girl tomatoes
"Health Kick" tomatoes
Brussel Sprouts
Banana Peppers
Cubanelle Peppers
Green Bell Peppers
Hot Cherry Peppers
Sweet Baby watermelon
Bush cumumbers (in a container)
Patio tomato (in a container)

If this list seems a little random, and heavy on tomatoes, that's because it is. I didn't have any plan going in and love buying veggie plants (just ask my husband). I picked these up a few at a time over a few week span. Even at this point in the game I have to restrain myself from buying another tomato or pepper every time we are at Home Depot.

Here are some current photos as of July 14:

Garden as of July 14
overall growth
baby cucumber
a baby cucumber
baby bell pepper
a baby bell pepper
Cherry tomatoes
some cherry tomatoes
Park's Whopper tomatoes
Park's Whopper tomatoes
watermelon plants
Container Veggies as of July 14

Next year, things will be even better. I am going to give a little more thought to what I'm planting and hopefully the soil will be a little more workable after a freeze/thaw cycle now that all the dead debris has been cleared out.

I can't wait to have something tasty to pick!

Tuesday, July 14

Last Weekend, In Pictures

Still not doing much knitting as I would like. For some reason, even though the days are longer in the summer I feel like I have fewer hours to squeeze everything in.

Somewhere along the line, I stopped blogging about everyday things and I sort of miss it. I think about starting again frequently, but then think that an 'everyday' post might seem too random. I am going to jump back in slowly by telling your about my weekend in a slideshow.


Steve's Car
100,000 miles on Steve's car

Reggie models the new couch
New couch! (Reggie models.)


Swallowtail lace closeup
A little knitting.


Nascar Race in Joliet, IL

Pit stop.

Sears Tower on the horizon (about 30 miles away).

Arrive home at 3am. Sleep most of the day. Get up, make blueberry pancakes for lunch/dinner, take a nap on the couch.

Sorry, didn't think to take any photos of this!

Thursday, July 9

Lace Knitting.

I just remembered that earlier this year (March?) I thought that this should be the "Summer of Lace". Mostly because I had a number of lace projects I was contemplating and had recently purchased some Misti Alpaca laceweight yarn.

I started knitting this Swallowtail shawl on a whim a few weeks ago. Maybe there is still time to finish a lace project of two? Not sure if that still counts as 'Summer', though.

Swallowtail in progress

The yarn is Wisdom Yarns Poem sock weight, which is a loosely spun single with long color changes. I actually started a pair of socks with it before really noticing how loosely spun it really was and decided it would be better off as something else.

For whatever reason, complicated knitting goes much faster for me than plain. Maybe it holds my interest more? All I know is that I have an almost finished sweater, almost a pair of socks, and countless other half finished projects that I have no desire to work on right now.