Soup day

I love to make soup. Especially when it is cold and there are lots of things in the refrigerator.

I had half the recipe today – it was cold. The fridge didn’t have a lot to give up, but what it did was just perfect. A package of marked down beer brats started the pot, first simmered with a couple onions and a whole leek. Celery, turnips and mushrooms from a grocery run filled it out.

I didn’t want a tomato base so the fridge scrounging commenced. A little bit of Worcestershire sauce got added, emptying the bottle. The only other bottle of potential interest – other than the two individual bottles of champagne that I’m saving for New Years – was a half filled one of a mild peanut sauce that I picked up at a home food party during the summer. Intended for dipping and marinade, it quickly bolstered the soup and gave it a nice flavor.

Even my love liked it. I always feel better when he says if he likes something before he finds out what is in it. Actually, he is pretty easy about the weird cooking that I do. One of the many reasons I love him!

While the soup was doing its thing in the crock pot, I pulled out one of my Christmas knitting projects. After today’s work on it, it should need just a couple more hours and it will be ready to felt. THEN it will be ready for wrapping.

Could have used it today for my trip to the hot tub through the crusty snow!

Fibery Day

It seems it was a fibery sort of day for more than just me today.

Started off with a meeting of the creativity study group at the Weavers Guild – did a color and  drawing exercise with the group and signed up to lead next December’s project. From there I made a quick stop at Staples and then headed to Hancock Fabrics. I wanted to pick up some interfacing to use in the pocket book project.

While I was pondering the various thicknesses of interfacing, LD (one of the creativity group members that I had just met with) walked in! She had a felted sweater project she  needed to line. We shared ideas about each other’s projects, and in the middle of that discourse, JS (a woman from church) came in! She expressed great surprise and relief that I was there, proceeded to describe her fiber dilemma (the framing of a cross stitch piece with an irregular border) and both LD and I were able to give her some advice. Her husband thought it great that all the ‘experts’ were in the store!

And then when I was literally about 10 feet from the door on my way out (after deciding that one of LD’s suggestions would work and I didn’t need any interfacing), in walked IH (another Weavers Guild member who has been out of the country lately)! LD and I both chatted her up for a bit. Can’t remember her fiber need, but she is a dollmaker – I expect that might have been her interest today.

Back home, I was able to bury a bunch of ends in the arm socks that are finished, knit a bit more on one of the pairs still needing work, and fiddle around with the pocket book pieces a bit more today. Raised the ph on some of the black mud to get it good. And munched on a bunch of celery pieces.

All in all a very good, pleasantly filled, fibery sort of day.

A month gone by…

I just realized that it has been almost a month since I last wrote! Those days sure went by in a blur – I know I was busy, but I’m not sure I could tell you much of what I did.

Except – the week spent in Duck, NC! A dozen basket friends from around the country converged on Duck (Outer Banks north of Kitty Hawk) to spend some time together. We don’t often get to see each other and usually when when we do, it is during a conference or some other teaching time and the ‘friend time’ is limited. A glorious week full of ocean and sand and beach combing and wine and laughing-till-our-sides-hurt and knitting and sunsets and hot tubs and …

The knitting I did during that week was a couple pairs of ****** ******* to be Christmas gifts. I’ll divulge all later. Have to say, I’m quite pleased with how they are turning out.

This weekend I am basking in the warmth and humidity of Krohn Conservatory in Cincinnati as I peddle my wares during their Kris Kringle Mart in conjunction with the opening of their holiday plant exhibit. The exhibit is gorgeous, as always.

Filling the time today* I made up a bunch of tension trays – nothing difficult while crowds are around. Tea staining them at the moment to take the ‘newness edge’ off them. I think they will work well as holders for the soaps my new daughter-in-law is making.

*(This post was actually written the evening of 11/17 – I thought I posted it then, but obviously did not!)

Knitting, etc.

The fiber of the day is….. whole wheat! That and regular flour went into a huge batch of pumpkin/banana/applesauce muffins and breads. The bananas needed to be used, so it just made sense….

Other bits and pieces of fiber work lately entailed getting some items ready for the Weavers Guild Fall Sale coming up in a couple of weekends. And continuing the knitting of Christmas gifts for the boys – since they all know due to my asking for measurements I can safely tell: arm socks.

That’s the name the youngest son gave them when he saw them. The boys ride their bikes all winter, so I figured gloves would be needed. But they need to keep the wrists securely covered and fingers free to grip the handlebars firmly. So these ‘gloves’ are fingerless, covering more or less of the fingers up to the first joint (depending on which son wants what) and going up over the elbow. Sort of like knee socks for the arms = arm socks.

Two of the boys are pretty comparable in size so that helps in knowing what size to make. The oldest doesn’t have the arm length that the other two have, so I don’t have to knit as much! They all like different types of striping and colors, so that has been a bit of fun.

What we still have to keep under wraps is that I’ve made similar items for their wives – with softly changing variegated yarns and a different cable design per pair. Didn’t have the chance to measure the girls, so I hope I’m not off by too much!

I think I will actually have them all done by Christmas!


Lately I’ve been doing a smorgasbord of fiber work. Bits and pieces of various things.

For the Weavers Guild I did some handspinning and rope making out of corn husks. A very pleasant day outside while the flax process was being demonstrated; I then got our visitors to try their hand at spinning and plying the husks. Some nice cordage was made, including a six strand ply by one very determined young woman! Another much older woman visitor brought in her own cattail and iris leaves to see how they would work – just fine, thank you!

Also for the Weavers Guild (actually for me to have ready for their Fall Sale) I made a series of small blank notebooks. Never did use the sheet music, but that will come in handy for something else, I’m sure. I’ve got some folded papers ready to make up into star ornaments/mini books, too. Need to get out the glue pot for that.

I’ve had some knitting time and have been working on what my youngest son calls ‘ arm socks’ – fingerless gloves that go up over the elbow. Designed for when the guys do winter bike riding. Lots of stripes and fuky colors and many rounds of stockinette. One pair finished and a second one started.

Right now I have some corn husks cooking on the deck. Since I had leftover leaves from the rope making session, I decided to see how they would work up into paper. All I’m doing is cooking the heck out of the leaves (after cutting them into 1-2″ pieces), rinsing them and then putting them through a blender. The iris needs cotton to make a nice sheet. The cattail could stand on its own but does better with a bit of cotton added. After I cook the corn husks I’ve got some Christmas cactus leaves that have shrunk up due to my poor care this summer. Will report on those two sets of pulp when I get that far.

Since the pulp cooking is happening on the deck, I should be able to keep the cooking pots straight and not pick up the wrong one for dinner. Corn husk soup would be interesting…