Saturday, August 22, 2009

Garden Knitting

Project: Strawberry Hat
Designer: Ann Norling
Yarn: Lamb's Pride Worsted
Gift: For a new mom-to-be

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Book Report: Farm City

Book: Farm City - The Education of an Urban Farmer
Author: Novella Carpenter

Farm City is the story of a woman (Novella Carpenter) and her experience as a squater when it comes to urban farming. Yes, squater. In a very bad part of Oakland, CA of all places.

I found this book incredibly charming on several levels.
1. We're both from Idaho
2. We're both journalists
3. We both live (or in her case lived) in Seattle
4. We're both slightly obsessed with our new gardens

She however takes her obsession to a level my hubby would probably not really want me to go to.
(Right now he only shakes his head when I tell him my plans for the chicken coop.)

If you enjoy gardening, this book is for you. If you enjoy growing your own food, harvesting it, finding the perfect recipe and sharing it with your friends, this book is for you. If you've ever looked out your window onto your garden and thought, yeah, I could raise chicken, geese, ducks, turkeys, rabbits, pigs and then slaughter them yourself, then this book is for you.

Ok, even if you don't go that far, this book is still a delightful, charming read that will have you laughing out loud and contemplating your role in our food/consumer relationship. Oh, and it'll make you hungry. After reading her chapters on pigs and what they will mean to her (nurishment wise, not emotionally attached to them - although that does happen), I actually ordered bacon the other day. And I ate one piece. That's a big step. For me anyway. The hubby gladly took care of the other two slices.

And after reading about her garden, I just wanted to share some of my garden pics!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

One of these things is not like the others...

There's been a lot going on around the Knitting Knot this summer, but sadly, there hasn't been a lot of knitting.

That's about to change!

I've got two baby projects on the needles (They are gifts, not for me people!)

Lovey Dovey from Spud and Chloe is coming along.

And soon I'll be working on another little baby gift for a shower in a few days. Picture to come (hopefully) before the shower! Must go and knit now!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sew Cute

I decided I needed to know how to sew in a zipper so I found this cute little zip pouch purse in Bend the Rules Sewing.

It was pretty quick to whip up, although my hand stitching of the lining needs a little work.

I see more of these fun, pretty bags in my future!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Go Local Challenge: Homemade Bread

What's better than sliced bread I ask?
How about some homemade wheat bread!

While the ingredients used aren't exactly local, instead of buying a loaf of bread this week at the store, I made two loafs myself! I used my brand new KitchenAid and it's fabulous! The recipe takes a while, but it's super easy and it's so tasty!

The hubby couldn't wait to cut of a slice and try it. I enjoyed my warm slice with some homemade raspberry jam! Quite tasty! I'll be making this recipe again!

*There would have been more pictures of this process, but I was mostly through the mixing when I remembered to grab the camera. And when I did, the battery was dead. But it charged while the bread baked! I'll have more pictures next time.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Go Local Challenge: Finally a local meal!

I'll admit that I haven't been doing too well at the cooking locally. But the other night, I feel like I've rebounded.


  • Locally raised chicken marinated in balsamic vinegar (not local) and seasoned with Herb's De Provence (not really local, but I'm counting it as local since I bought them in the Provence region of France and brought them home.)

  • Steamed green beans from the Full Circle Farm.

  • Potatoes from another local farm that I can't remember cooked Hobo Style*

*Hobo style:

If you like eating potatoes in the summer, but hate cooking them on the stove because it's too damn hot, this is best way - ever.

Chop up potatoes - I like Yukon Golds - into medium sized bites. Chop up a medium sized yellow onion. Mix onion and potatoes with olive oil, garlic salt, rosemary, chives or whatever you have growing in your herb garden, in a bowl.

Toss everything onto a sheet of tin foil and wrap it up tight. Toss it onto the grill. Heat until the potatoes are soft. Let cool a bit. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

The obsession deepens...

I have theory. I believe lettuce is a gateway drug. For the gardening world that is. Some may argue it's cherry tomatoes, but here in the Pacific Northwest, I say it's lettuce.

In fact, since my lettuce crop is going so well this summer, I decided it's time to expand for fall veggies. Another trip down to my favorite local garden center, and I've now got broccoli, leeks and spinach in the garden.

My gardening obsession is getting a bit out of control. As I've been going on my runs (or these days walks) only as I past yards with lush green gardens, my pace slows and I pretty much turn into a gawker. One of the neat thing about Seattle is that people have a tendency to garden in their front yards. That's how much people love to garden and grow their own food. If they don't have much of back yard, no worries, there's the front. If the front's no good, there's the parking strip (a common garden spot). So I've got a nice clear view of everyone's garden spot.
In fact, on Friday, as I walked home from the bus stop, I couldn't help gawking at this one particular yard. I'm sure I was a sight to be seen for myself. If the owners had seen me from their house this would have been their view: me: in a suit, heels, hiking up a hill with a green striped gym bag and a pink yoga mat on one shoulder and an oversized worked bag on the others. And I was stopped on the sidewalk staring blatenly at their lovely chicken coop. In their front yard. It looked lovely. As did the rest of their garden. And as I strolled the rest of way home, my mind wandered on what could be the next stage of my obession...

In the meantime, I do love my little raspberries!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Family Fun in Nebraska City

The other weekend we traveled to Nebraska City, Nebraska for the hubby's annual family reunion. His family hails from Guide Rock, NE where his dad grew up on the family farm with his three younger brothers. They have the big reunion every two years at the Arbor Day Farm and Lied Lodge & Convention Center.

Did you know that Arbor Day originated in Nebraska City? By the Morton Salt guy? Yeah, me neither. The things you learn in Nebraska.
For example, the Arbor Day Farm and Lied Lodge was built to be an eco-friendly, sustainable resort before that was even trendy or the in-thing. The building uses no CFL's for their A/C (which is good thing because it was very hot in Nebraska in July!) There is also recycling in all rooms. Plus they use green laundry detergents and encourage guests to reuse towels and linens.

(Here's a pic of the beautiful Leid Lobby, pic from the Lied Lodge & Conference Center site)

There's plenty to do at the farm. We took the Tree Adventure tour which leads guests through the forest and provides all sorts of educational and fun information for kids and adults alike. Plus they had a fabulous art exhibit throughout the trail that incorporates art with nature.

Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera for this trip. However, the following pics are courtesy of Cousin Mike who had his nice new camera with him! Um, Cousin Mike, is it OK if I use your pics pretty please?

Some pics of the art exhibits:

Here we are with Cousin Mike (far left) enjoying the art exhibit. Looks like I've got the chair that's just right.

If you visit this farm and take this fabulous walk, may I suggest a visit to their Pie Garden for "The Works:" homemade apple pie from their apple orchard with vanilla ice cream and carmel sauce. It's the perfect sweet treat for fabulous place!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Birthday Delight!

I'm a lucky girl.

I got to spend my birthday with my hubby having my favorite cocktail (ice cold margaritas) and a fabulous meal at El Gaucho.
Friends and family gave me pretty things.

Soft things.And tasty treats!

Then, the fun continued the day after my birthday as two dear friends and I went to see Jewel at an outdoor concert complete with picnic and cooler temps of 98 degrees (compared to the record breaking 103 degree heat on my birthday!)

I have a feeling it'll be another great year!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Seattle Purly Girls: yeah, we rock!

I've always known how great the Seattle Purly Girls are, and now so does the rest of Seattle.

Our knitting group was ranked in the Seattle Weekly's Best of 2009 as the Best Reason to learn the Slip Slip Knit. Check out the blurb written by the politically savvy and fiber friendly lovely Laura.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Go Local Challenge: Heat Wave

While I - along with most of the Pacific Northwest - was melting last week in this heat wave, a funny thing happened in the garden. It exploded! It exploded with greenery!

The tomatoes doubled in size. And the tomato plant I thought was a goner even doubled in size!

(There are some red ones peeking out of there)

The corn is finally growing.

And my squash looks like it might actually produce something too!

Plus, I harvested another two gallon size bags full of lettuce (on top of the one gallon bag from earlier in the month!)

The radishes are popping up like crazy! (Don't know why the pic is blurry. Obviously I'm so excited about the garden I can't focus!)

And I can watch my garden grow from my new favorite room!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Urban Craft Uprising!

Sunday I convinced Rebecca to go the Urban Craft Uprising show. Really, it didn't require any convincing at all. In fact, we've already decided go to their Christmas show in order to get some gifts for the good little girls and boys on our lists.

If you haven't been to an Urban Craft Uprising show, you must find one. It's basically like Etsy just popped up in a building in real life. As Rebecca said, these are our people.

Today however, we were just looking for ourselves! And we did find quite a few little treats for ourselves.

Plus, and most importantly, it sparked some creativity in me! Now it's time to get to work!