officially obsessed

i was taught to knit by a farm apprentice in the autumn of 2006. still years away from our own yarn, let alone our own plant dyed fiber, i nevertheless became engrossed in that first mile long scarf of the nastiest acrylic.


in the decade since sheep first started grazing our pastures and my hands fumbled awkwardly with those needles, our sheep and wool projects have taken a solid place in our overall farm plan and my knitting has improved greatly.



this past winter though it happened, really happened, i crossed over into the land of complete obsession. i took the plunge, after countless hats, mittens, wrist warmers, and cowls, i cast on a garment:  a vest made of our own plant dyed indigo yarn knit by me for me.


something shifted when i first put on this top. i’m afraid i won’t be satiated until i’m clothed from head to toe in hand mades. spring is going to stop me i know, but in these final days before i don’t sit on the couch ever, i will finish this cardigan made from our Jacob’s wool.



i’ve spent the better part of the past two decades preaching about the importance of a strong local food system. i can feel the swelling excitement within about local fiber. join me, adorn yourself with hand made, locally sourced beauty. it ranks right up there with the first spring salad.





rags to riches

IMGP3062I am especially hard on socks. I can wear holes in them at an astounding rate. And once a pair of socks has holes in the soles, I really can’t stand wearing them any longer… unlike my incredibly frugal husband who has the tolerance to flip hole-y socks around, wearing the bottoms up, to extend the life. Call me spoiled, but that is one trick I refuse to adopt for the sake of pinching a penny. I would rather go without socks altogether. 

I also think my rapid consumption of socks is why I’ve never really taken to knitting my own. I would wear them out faster than I could knit a pair.

Anyhow, after a recent cleaning out of my sock drawer my ever-so-creative little miss Opal sat pondering the pile of rejected and forlorn socks with holes. I could tell her brain was getting busy thinking of the promise all of those wool socks held. She politely asked if she could borrow my very sharp scissors and the next thing I knew, that girl had a pile of stretchy pot holder loops cut from the shafts of those socks that were headed to the rag bag.IMGP3075

And shortly after that, she had a pile of recycled, repurposed wool (and some cotton) pot holders.

Being that it is the winter and many moons since my children last had the opportunity to make a buck or two at our farmers’ market, and since their piggy bank’s bellies are sorely hungry, there is much talk of “I could sell this at market…”

So if you find yourself desperately in need of recycled sock pot holders, be sure to pay Opal a visit at our farmers’ market this spring. She will be there and she will be happy to take your money.IMGP3059

hands on :: kitty

snow right now

this morning.

Yes.  I’m not going to talk about the beautiful amazing snow (which will soon be ALL MUD, but is still packed incredibly deep and solid in our yard and driveway, even after many days of temps above freezing – Holy Smokes folks, we are so unprepared for anything like a REAL winter down here, and  – THANK HEAVEN for the excellent county road grader that we are able to get out at all – whew).

Instead, I’m doing a ubiquitous cute kitty post.

Our youngest, Levon, has gotten the hang of asking Momma to knit or crochet for him.  He’s not shy at all.

“Make me one of those Momma!”  I hear it each time I look at patterns now.

snowy levon

and who could resist?

He wanted one of each of the amigurumi stuffed animals listed in the One Skein Wonder crochet book I had out from the library before Christmas.  I got him to narrow it down, and then I repeatedly asked him to re-confirm his choice.  He was firm.  He wanted the kitty.

Then we had to pick the yarn.  It didn’t call for wool or cotton.  If I could have found some wool, I’m sure it would have worked fine, but Levon found what he wanted, and that was that – a black cotton with cool sparklies wrapped into the yarn.  Again, he was firm.

Let me just tell you right now – if I ever give you an amigurumi it means I love you SO MUCH.sweet kitty 3

I got this kitty done by Christmas.  Actually, I didn’t get the eyes and nose on, because Levon wanted to choose those himself too, so they came a little later.  Because it was black, and the stitches were small (SO small), I could only work on it in broad daylight.  A fortunate day out with a grandma allowed me to put it together without little eyes looking over my shoulder.  Before that, I just let the tiny kitty pieces pile up in the work basket.  They looked like funny shaped black fruits.  The crocheting itself was rather painstaking, but watching the project come together was fun.

The black yarn meant that the white stuffing showed through, but I think it’s worth it. I sure didn’t want a floppy little kitty! Levon doesn’t care that he can see the white stuffing.  He loves the kitty.  And that makes me glad.  I like her too – she was a labor of love.  And just look at the way her tail curls.sweet kitty 1