Monday, August 29, 2011

Sport of Kings

So I sent Brandon off to Sport of Kings last weekend because Baron Aelfric strongly encouraged it at DMDT. I had heard the site had lots of mosquitoes and there weren't any Arts & Sciences classes I was interested in, so opted to stay home. I did get hired to cook for two other ladies for the weekend, since I was already sending Brandon off with food. Three really is easier than one.

Then I find out *why* he had been so strongly encouraged, he was going to be receiving his Award of Arms. (Its the first level of awards you can get is the best definition I can find.) Sigh, I had no plausible reason to change my mind about camping, so had to find transportation to day trip. I was able to talk Judy into taking me and bonus, Brandon has been wanting to show her what we've been doing.

Judy picked me up, then we picked up Corbin (nephew/grandson) and headed out to Trojan Park. The day was in the low 90s and by the water a bit humid in the late afternoon.  Brandon was happy to take his mom and nephew around and very happy to see me. ;-)

Our pavillon and rare shots inside. I have a hard time getting him to stay neat.  Apparently, I just need not to be there!

We're working on a divider panel, until then the lion tapestry.

We haul a futon mattress & feather mattress to sleep on. I've been promised a bed fr next year. ;-)

Brandon at different times had a photo shoot with his ladies. Dawn-Marie and Andrea are dance partners. ;-) We all camp together and have talked about creating a household called the Dancing Dragonflies and that was the camp name used to reserve the area.
Dawn-Marie - aka Lady Millicent (she has her Award of Arms)

Andrea - can't remember her SCA name

me - Brigitte

Brandon in his pluderhosen he designed and sewed, a lot of it by hand! Wearing the kilt hose I knit him and the dragon bag.
Judy and Corbin (no Leeloo) watching court, Corbin looking at Brandon's mink recorder holder:

Getting his Award of Arms from the King and Queen of An Tir:

The Award of Arms - all hand painted and scripted
Thanks to Judy for gettng me there to see  it! It made it that much more special for him.

Next up is Acorn War and then Boar's Head Hunt and Feast, I'll be teaching drop spindling at both of these. Boar's Head Hunt is where the Shire will be raised up to become Barony. Way cool! I also have World Wide Spin in Public and Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. September is going to be fun and busy!

Socks, I have socks!

Please forgive any typos, I burned the ring finger on my left hand and hunt-peck typing, ;-)

I finished the second sock of the penispoopcakewaffle socks:

I found another ankle sock to go with the Best Friend Anklet - Girlie Anklet Sock. It went much faster than the first one! I did run out of pink and had to go to the Kool-aid dyed Lion Brand Sock-Ease:
I couldn't leave it that way, so a combination of Kool-aid dyeing occurred to give me these results:

I kind of like them!

The other item off the needles is my Shetland Shawl that will go to a non-wool wearing home as a Christmas gift. I got the yarn from Tammy, its been in her stash awhile as Blue Moon Fiber Arts doesn't list it at all. 100% cotton lace in Blue Boo! colorway. It has kind of a mauve color and I added clear beads to the edging rows to add weight and some bling. :-)

But I'm not done with socks for the month! I did a free Mystery KAL where the clues came out each Friday. I had fun with the first clue, even starting late, and figured if I wanted a pair by the end of the month, I had to also get started on the second. I used some pretty Malabrigo Sock in Chocolate Amargo. I probably should have saved it for some man socks, but I'll stkk enjoy wearing them this fall. ;-)

I am just one pair short of being back on track for a pair a month, I think. lol  I have a cheater quickie that I would be working on, except the finger is on fire when its not melting an ice cube, :-( I also have cowl all ready to go, yarn balls all wound, pattern printed and needles ready. Maybe tomorrow....

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fruits and Veggies

 This is our first year trying to grow artichokes. I'm rather impressed by the show. It's a nice sized globe.
 It wasn't alone though and has a second smaller stalk growing along side.

I think the red cabbage heads are probably ready to pick. I really only grew these with the plan to use them as a natural dye for the yarns. The yarns I thought I'd use them with are off at the State Fair. So I'm just letting them grow, though Greta asked me Thursday night if I had let them bolt.....
Twin orange cherry tomatoes! They are totally separate from each other, but joined by a single stem. They were yummy to eat, so sweet its like candy.
I bought a flat of Boysenberries to make into jam. These are the processed (truly canned) jams waiting to be put away. I was kind of disappointed in the farm stand. I had called and asked for a flat, they said they would pick them fresh the next morning and then call me when they were ready. I picked them up Saturday early afternoon and started canning them. Sunday early afternoon. I ended up throwing around almost 3 pints of moldy fruit - top, middle and bottom moldy fruit. 
I came up with enough leftover that I was also able to do a freezer jam. Plus the trays of individual berries went into two quart bags, so some summer love in the winter months.
The blackberries on the other side of the fence looked like they were ripening, so Dawn-Marie and her daughter Samantha joined William and I in picking some. They took theirs to Sport of Kings to eat with their yogurt. I discovered I had 5 cups of berries, pre-crushing and so added in some frozen raspberries and made a yummy batch of jam with them. No pics of those jars but they look very similar to the Boysenberry jars.
Since we were kind of in a picking mode and I had William's help to reach the higher limbs, we picked the figs. I ate a couple fresh and warm from the tree, then peeled their green outer skins and filled dehydrator trays.

The blueberries are slowly ripening this year and several of the bushes really, really need to be moved to better locations.  I've eaten handfuls, but have also started freezing the picked ones for summer love in the cold winter months. Nothing like a nice berry smooth with berries from your own yard. ;-)
These are the tomato bushes overgrowing their metal cages. There's Romas and orange and yellow cherry tomatoes in that mess. You can kind of see gleams of the ripening orange cherry tomatoes. Brandon has since pulled them up and given them support to the roof overhang. Now it just has to stay nice for the Romas to have a chance at ripening. I plan to use the dehydrator on at least half of them for some 'sun-dried' tomatoes.

It's very weird. I looked up how to do 'sun-dried' and everyone says the best way is to use a food dehydrator. So that's what I'm going to do. I can pack them closer to the holidays in some nice olive oil and give jars as gifts.
This is our heavily laden Chehalis apple tree. They are also ripening early this year, I can see picking some before the end of the month.  I'd like to put away some in the freezer for pies over the year. Brandon also likes making cider. I need to shop for another apple tree. The gala has always been a weak producer - very small apples that are spotty. I'll need a semi-mature replacement. Towards the back of the Chehalis is a Black Turkey Fig that also needs to be moved this fall. It tried growing fruit this year, but needs to have a better location than under the apple tree.

Not pictured is the Asian Pear. It's branches are also full of fruit. I'll enjoy one of the varieties and send off the other to people who like them. I can't remember which varieties we have, it started out as a four and I think we've lost the grafted branches of two.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Off to the State Fair

Not me yet, but the items that went off to compete at the Oregon State Fair this year:
A neatened up Cascade Lizard Ridge Afghan. Fixed the pulled loops in the back and snipped any ends that had popped out. The socks, bunny and teddy bear along with my two polworth skeins from the county fair. Things new to the fair events in this picture: the felted handspun bowl I made at Easter, my handspun Finn Pretty Thing Cowl, my colorwork SCA bag. Kind of blending in are three handspun yarns - blue merino-silk, alpaca and pygora. I also re-soaked my three ply that had received a 'slightly overspun' comment and that helped balancing things out.
I didn't realized that the Zen Rain Shawlette was so tucked under, but the way the different categories are worded, I was able to send off five different shawls to compete, so the Kelly Cabled Capelet, Haruni and Camel Fan shawls from the county fair are joined by the Aeolian and Zen Rain.

Cafe ua Lait Zen Rain Shawlette
Thankfully I was going through my list when I was packing everything up, because otherwise I would have forgotten the pretty yellow Shrug This and the Poppy Hat.

It wasn't until I got to the Beaverton Mill End store that I found out that I hadn't looked at the form closely and had checked that I was dropping off at the Milwaukie store. Ugh! So we spent half an hour making 19 tags for everything and the let me pin them on to things. They'll transfer over my official tags in Salem. Now I just have to get someone to take me to the Fair so I can see how things done. There's also just waiting until I get them back to find out how they did, but I'd like to see the competition too. ;-)

Friday, August 19, 2011

August Thus Far

I've been working on projects, but then feel like I haven't done anything at all. Ever feel that way?

A skein of lace weight yarn has joined the stash ready for future use. It's just under 600 yards of merino-silk. It would have been just over 600 yards, but I was doing a center pull ball to ply and it became a knot mess the last few yards and I was just DONE and didn't try to detangle.

I had a lovely skein of yarn I'd gotten from someone's destash, I think last year. Pretty skein of Mountain Colors 4/8 wool in Mountain Twilight colorway. I knit it because its a nice pattern and a larger weight yarn that I thought would work for the 11 shawls in 2011. Even though I knit it on larger needles and tried hard to use the whole skein, I still ended up with some leftovers and short of the 250 yard minimum. It's a nice size shawlette that will make a nice gift for the person I have in mind.  Pattern: 198 yards of Heaven, mine is 230 yards. ;-)
Noriko has been knitting and spinning with us when she isn't traveling out of the country for school. She's graduated from Optometry school and off for at least a year to Georgia. She put out a request for everyone to make her a square that she can piece into a scarf or we suggested maybe a lap blanket. Here's my block for her, its from a lace pattern book and is called 'paired leaves':

Back in May I was knitting the Best Girlfriend Anklet socks as my pair. The most interesting part of the sock is the cuff, then it just become boring stockinette to the end. The sock is waiting for a mate:
I came up with the idea of making it a fraternal twin since its been holding up sock knitting since late May. I'm now two pairs behind! So went through my queue looking for other cuffed socks. I found another that I've been wanting to do and thought the pink would be perfect for it. The pink is perfect, but the cuff is shorter, so I'm making a pair of them:
PenisPoopcakeWaffle Sock
I'm past the heel turn and working on the foot of the sock on the second, so should be able to get it done before the end of the month. ;-)

I needed something quick and fun to knit and so used the Kool-Aid dyed Alpaca-Merino-Silk handspun and had a pretty block in a few hours. I used a smidge of it to finish up an earlier block. Still have a bit left to use for another block for a blanket, different pattern though.  I have another block started in the leftover camel, there will be leftovers of it also.

I have another pair of socks that I'm working on this month. It's a Mystery KAL and something I haven't done before. We received a clue each week. The first sock was knitting up nicely, so this week I decided that since the last clue comes at the end of the month, I should start the second. I was able to get the second sock through the first clue. The second is the heel and heel turn, so should go quickly along with the third clue's foot work.

The Shetland Shawl I started with another destash yarn, BMFA Purl One in Blue Boo! Purl One is a cotton lace yarn with a sheen kind of like silk. It will be interesting to see how it all blocks out. I've finished the neck chart for the pattern and ready to start on the body chart.

Strained my right wrist with the power knitting I was doing with the Dragon Stole, so wearing a wrist band to aide it in support. It doesn't help when I turn-twist the wrist, but is better than nothing.