Sunday, July 31, 2011

Doris is Crankin' Away........................

Just finished a pair of socks on Doris yesterday and hope to get another pair made today.  For those of you who are new to our blog, Doris is our antique sock machine.  We have another circular sock machine named Zak but he's a new machine from New Zealand called an NZAK (New Zealand Auto Knitter).
Doris holds 72 needles and is perfect for the finer sock yarns, especially those that give 8 sts to the inch.  Zak's cam holds 64 needles and he does great on the slightly thicker fingering weight yarns.

These machines can be pricey, but occasionally you read an amazing story where someone finds one in a back corner of an old building or attic.  I remember one woman found one at an antique shop, still in its original box and never (I mean NEVER) used!  The owner of the store didn't even know what he had.  She offered him something like $250 for it and he was quite happy and so was she. 

Well, now it's time to get these listed on our Etsy shop.

I've enjoyed all your wonderful comments on the previous post and can't wait to see who wins the skein of Bungee sock yarn on August 15th.  If you haven't left a comment on that post, please do.  I looked for a photo of socks made out of that yarn, but I must've deleted it.  Trust me, it makes a very fun sock!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bungee Sock Yarn Giveaway.............

I think we're past due for a little giveaway, don't you?  On August 15th, I'll randomly draw one lucky name to win this skein of Bungee sock yarn.  It's a 95% superwash merino wool and 5% elite spandex fiber.  It's stretches! 

Just leave a comment on this post and be sure to add contact info to make it easier for me to email you if you're the lucky winner.  While you're at it, let us know what you're knitting right now, ok?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It's Finally Done..............

The "Got Yarn" sign is finally done and in our Etsy shop.  Turned out pretty good, don't you think?  The dark stain inside the letters and around the roughed up edges really adds and then it was coated with outdoor spar urethane for a nice shiny finish.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Peach Cobbler............

When our kids were small, we used to go to a large family farm in the San Joaquin valley called Bussell Ranch. Mrs. Bussell was known for her delicious recipes and often would share them.

Here's her Peach Cobbler:

Melt 1/2 cube butter in a 9 x 13 pan at 350 degrees.

Once melted, remove from oven.

In the meantime:

Mix 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, pinch of salt, 2 teaspoons baking powder and 3/4 cup milk. (It will be runny like a pancake batter) Pour this mixture over the melted butter, then top with 3-4 cups sliced fresh peaches that have a little cinnamon added to them.

The batter will bake up around the peaches.

Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour (or until golden brown).

I always top each serving with some vanilla ice cream. Nothing says summer like peach cobbler! Enjoy.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Time to Crank More Socks..............

Yesterday I decided it was time to crank out a pair of socks and get our Christmas inventory underway. They're soaking right now and then will be placed on the drying rack and blocked out. With our very warm weather, they should be dry by this evening and I can get them on our Etsy site.

The yarn is Sockin' Sox from Plymouth Yarn Comapny. Doris (our antique sock machine) loves this yarn!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Knitting and Gardening.............

Pigeon Roof Studios' high twist sock yarn is sheer bliss to work with. Usually I don't design sock patterns, but this yarn was calling out for one of its own. So, I poured through stitch books for hours and finally decided on a rib pattern that was a multiple of 5 + 2 and then miraculously found a simple yet elegant pattern for the rest of the sock that also was a multiple of 5 + 2. Perfect! The ribbing transitions nicely into the sock pattern.

As it develops, I'll post more pictures and definitely let you know when the pattern is typed and placed into a PDF format.

This morning we did all the watering on the property. The squash is now coming on and we've enjoyed eating it. I talked to a lady the other day who likes to use the huge (I mean really huge ones). She then scoops out the center and places her favorite meatloaf recipe inside the squash. Then she surrounds it with a tomato sauce recipe (like what you use in stuffed peppers) and bakes it until it's done. Think I'll let a couple of squash grow like that and try it. Sounds downright yummy.

Time to hit the road and do some errands............

By the way, I love reading your comments and am so glad that you stop by for a visit to our little world here in Tehachapi.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Goodies in the Mail....................

My dear friend Charlotte is moving back to the British Isles and is going through her things trying to lighten the packing. She surprised me with these amazing double pointed needles.......

And this set of circular rosewood needles. As I was opening the box, I just kept saying out loud, "oh my gosh, oh my gosh!" I will treasure these needles and always think of Charlotte when I knit with them.
Thank you again, Charlotte.

Today's mail brought a skein of new sock yarn that I ordered from Pigeonroof Studios on Etsy. My camera did not capture the glorious violet in this yarn. Take my word on it - the color is amazing.

In other news: We hope to be bringing in sock yarn very soon from Pagewood Farms. The minute I saw their colorways, I knew that we had to carry their yarns. As soon as it happens, you'll be the first to know!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Life's a Fishbowl..............

I just finished knitting and blocking out the "Kitty Placemat." After a few chores, I'll work on the charts, type up the pattern and put it all into a PDF format to go on our Etsy and Ravelry sites tomorrow.

Capturing the yellow/gold color was almost impossible with my digital camera. I tweaked a couple of settings and it seemed to help a bit.

What kitty-cat wouldn't love having their food/water bowl on this!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Knitting Signs................

It's not quite done yet, but here's the first sign that my husband has made for our Etsy shop. He'll add a coat of urethane this evening and then a second coat tomorrow. He used his router for the lettering and then stained inside them - that really makes 'em pop out.

I'm hoping that the sign will be completely dry and ready to go by Tuesday or Wednesday. Let me know what you think, ok? We're also open to suggestions!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Essentials of Living Off the Grid...........

When your drinking water comes from your own well, it's essential that you stay on top of filter changes. My husband is able to change out one of the filters that's required every 2 months, but for the yearly ones, we have a water purifying company come and do it. Our well produces too much lead, aluminum and iron - all of which are not good for you. So, these "bad guys" must be filtered out.

As one final safeguard, we have a reverse osmosis filter system under our kitchen sink. This is where we get our drinking water from.

My husband works for a water company in Bakersfield, so he's always on top of our system.

Do you remember my post a short time ago about the squirrels and all the plastic bags that I've been tying to our fruit trees? It seems, for the time being, that I've scared them away. Of course, now they're going for my neighbor's tree, but hey, he's got over 60 trees on his property. We only have 10. I've got to protect what little fruit we have!

I'm not sure if it will hurt the fruit or not, but I've even wrapped some of the bags around the apples and pears. Could I really have out-foxed the little critters?

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Fun Filled Day With Our Grandsons...............

Yesterday was a non-stop day with lots of adventures.  We ate lunch at a local bar-b-que house that comes complete with Indian teepees!  You can even take your lunch and eat inside of them.  Spencer (10), Mitchell (7) and little Carter (2) thought they were totally cool.  I did, too!

After lunch, we were all set to go and visit the glider airport.  The pilots are awesome when kids come to visit and always give them the royal treatment.  Not only did they get to sit in a glider plane..........

They also got to try out the cockpit of the actual tow plane.  This pilot just happens to own the property next to ours and really made the day totally awesome for the boys.

And a day just wouldn't be complete without stopping to pick cherries.  Even two year olds can do that!

Friday, July 8, 2011

I'll Out Fox 'Em Yet.................

Yep, I'm still contending with all the ground squirrels that are all around us. If you remember, last year I even placed a stuffed teddy bear in our little orchard, hoping to scare the little buggers away. Yeah, right!

Then came this brilliant idea. Plastic shopping bags crinkle and make noise and certainly blow around with all the wind we have.

And they're slippery if you try to walk on one. It just made sense to me that the squirrels wouldn't be able to climb over them either. Plus, as the wind catches them, they inflate.

Guess what? What little fruit we have left is still there! I placed the bags around the base of the trees and above and below the apples and pears.

We'll see if they figure a way around 'em! Cross your fingers.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Monsoon Knitting.................

For two days now, we've been getting the monsoons coming up from Mexico. I love this weather because it brings so much energy with it. Yesterday we had about 2 hours of thunder and lightning and a few sprinkles. Fortunately, it didn't spark any fires. And the rain makes the whole mountainside smell like sage brush.

And since you're not supposed to go outside in a thunderstorm, I decided to work on Christmas items for our Etsy shop. Zak cranked out this gorgeous "Scarf of Many Colors." I may have a hard time parting with this one!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Some New Projects.........................

Don't ask me why, but I thought it would be fun to make a felted bowl.  And you know what?  They are fun!

Saturday Doris and I cranked out 2 pair of socks!  Etsy will be having their Christmas in July promo, so I wanted to get some inventory built up.

I think in the next couple of weeks it will be time to place a yarn order.  Our sock yarn inventory is dwindling  fast.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Trip to the Farm.....................

This morning we decided to take a ride out to Tangleweed Farm to buy some fresh organic lettuce and tomatoes. On the way we saw these mighty huge guys! I have a feeling that they're not too friendly!

Here we are just arriving at the gate to Tangleweed. It's a small family farm that was started many years ago as a class project for their children growing raspberries. Today, it's a well know organic farm in Tehachapi with a multitude of goodies for sale including berries, flowers, squash, tomatoes, spinach, apples and even goat cheese.

Isn't their farm wonderful? If you look way off to the right in this picture you can see the mountains where we live.

Here's their rows of lavender. The ollalieberries are due any day and oh are they wonderful.

Hope you enjoyed our road trip to the farm today.

Now I'm off to crank a pair of socks. I already made one pair this morning and they will be listed in our Etsy shop tomorrow morning.

Happy Fourth of July to you all.
P.S.  Tangleweed Farm is open on Wed., Fri. and Saturdays.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Guess Who Won the Sock Yarn.............

Congratulations to Heather J! This will make some wonderful socks or a hat or anything you'd like! I'll get this off in today's mail for you.

Yesterday I spent hour upon hour practicing ribbing on Zak.

First we did some 3 x 1 which he did splendidly. The ultimate would be a 1 x 1..........finally I got up the nerve................and VOILA! He did it. I'm much faster making socks on Doris, but her and I go way back and are quite comfortable with each other. Today Zak and I will work on some socks to get better acquainted!