Getting Too Ambitious

It’s almost March.  March means St. Patrick’s Day.  It means my wedding anniversary.  It means it’s almost spring.

We’ve already started digging out our books about Irish folklore for school, and searching out just the right shade of green polish for our toenails.  My iTunes playlist has been updated with plenty of Irish artists (John Cunningham is a favorite).

We’re starting to think about watching Darby O’Gill And The Little People.

We’re craving the look of green grass and the sound of new lambs bleating and sproinging around in the fields.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

March is a month of contradiction.  It heralds the vernal equinox but it also usually is the month of our biggest snows. Actual spring is still a ways off.  Even though my spring seed list is complete it is too early to start them just yet.

For now we must content ourselves with mostly indoor projects and finish those things we can before we move on to the outdoor ones.  And in doing so, it’s been difficult not to be overly ambitious.  After all, I have had some wonderful things lined up for quite awhile awaiting my time.

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These two fabrics just scream “early spring” for me.  They’ve been sitting on a shelf for several years now, patiently waiting to become a quilt.  I’m hoping I can start some cutting on it today.

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And then there’s this incredible llama-themed fabric Susan bought me last year for my birthday.  I am just as smitten with it today as I was when I first saw it (look at the llamas!  And the knitting needles with balls of yarn!!!), and I can’t wait for the perfect quilt project for it.

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Let’s not forget this adorable British-themed fabric I have been collecting in small bits here and there over the last year.  Just looking at it makes me want to go pour myself a cup of tea and look through one of my British Country Living magazines.

See?  Fairly overwhelmed with sewing possibilities!

But what about knitting?  I have about a million and one projects lined up to go on the needles, but for now I am thrilled to be moving along nicely with my Shepherd Sweater:

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I’ve reached that magical point in knitting it where I can begin to split out for the sleeves and the front.

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The most miraculous part? I am not even remotely bored with this yet.  I don’t know if it’s the yarn, the pattern or the combination of both, but this is still thoroughly enjoyable knitting.  I can see myself casting on another one as soon as this one is complete.  No, I am not even kidding. Maybe I can use some of my cream-colored Aran weight yarn?  Or the teal blue one?

Either way I need more hours in my day.  And more months before spring, apparently.

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In The Kitchen With Oona

With all the cold weather we’ve been having there’s been a lot of us craving comfort foods like soups, breads, and cookies.

Fortunately for me, my kids are all interested in learning how to bake, and since we homeschool it was a no-brainer to bring that learning into the kitchen.

Neve has been the break-out chef around here, making all manner of things for us and for herself (she makes great panini sandwiches!), but both she and Emily have been taught how to operate the espresso machine so we can always count on them for a caffeinated creation (smartest thing we ever did, right there!)

This week it has been Oona lending a hand with the baking and learning how things go together.  We made brownies and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cup cookies using recipes from King Arthur Flour.

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She’s pretty keen on the stirring part.

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We’re still working on cracking eggs in a manner that doesn’t end in disaster (not quite there yet).   She’s pretty proud of her accomplishments, though, even if mama is the one measuring out the ingredients.

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We have not yet found a recipe from King Arthur that we haven’t liked, but these cookies are among our favorites.

It’s pretty gratifying to know that by the time my kids are off in the world on their own they will be able to feed themselves (and well, at that!).

 

Olympic Winter Knitting

We’ve been thrilled around here to once again have the Winter Olympics on tv to enjoy.  Even better, we’ve had actual winter weather to go along with it!

And so, there has been much knitting.

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This is the Cypress Cowl from the JMF Marlowe pattern book.  I also knitted the matching hat for my friend Julianne, but sadly forgot to take pictures because I was in such a hurry to get it sent off to her.

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I also knitted up the Amalthea Cowl from the JMF Moonshine pattern book.

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This is the Cypress Cowl again to show detail – I just love how it looks, and the yarn (Marlowe) might be my new favorite silky soft yarn to knit with.  I want to make a massive blanket from it with which to wrap myself up!

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I’m also spending a lot of Olympic viewing time working on my Shepherd sweater.  There’s a knit-a-long going on on Ravelry and seeing everyone’s progress has really pushed me to try and get further along.

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I just love the cables.  It might be slow going for me, but it’s incredibly enjoyable in the meantime!
I’m hoping to be able to wear it at least once before winter is totally over, but I am not counting on it.  I’m just thrilled we’ve actually finally HAD a winter this year!  We’re trying to enjoy every moment of it.

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Hey Hey, It’s A Snow Day! (Photo Heavy!)

So far at the farm we’ve got 8 inches, and we’re expecting another one or two before it’s all over.  I took the break between snowfalls to take pictures of everyone outside.

There’s plenty of shelter, hay and fresh water for all of them, so we are all able to relax a bit and enjoy the snow.

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It’s especially nice when we start our day with a recipe from the always wonderful Smitten Kitchen!  This is baked eggs ranchero from her book.  The eggs came from our chickens, who have started laying again now that the days are getting longer.

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Charley trudged through the snow to get food and snuggles.

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I love how Francis is photobombing in the back.

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The dogs are taking it in stride.  Sabine’s been rolling all around in it, Orzo and Gnocchi have been playing in it.

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Cini has been ever vigilant against any interlopers, and hasn’t seemed to even notice it.

I hope you are all enjoying your snow day as much as we are!!!

 

 

 

 

 

What I’ve Been Doing (Instead of Blogging)

Oh, my poor neglected blog.  I’ve been lazy with you.

I’ve no real excuse except that it’s winter and I’d really just like to burrow for a bit.

It’s getting to be mid-winter here, though, and we’ve been checking the chicken coops and replenishing bedding and doing minor cleaning in them.  We’ll do a total clean out come spring, but we want them to have enough clean space to get through until then.

With Francis out hopefully breeding all our ewes I’ve also been spending some of this time taking stock of our farm supplies, organizing them,  and making lists of what we’ll need for lambing in May.  The ladies will need a good de-worming before then and hooves will have to be in proper order.

I’ve also been looking at seed catalogs and dreaming up planting schedules and new ideas for the next growing season (which hopefully will be much kinder than last year’s monsoon-a-palooza).

Other than that I’ve made some orange marmalade using THIS recipe:02.06.14a

And I’ve been making and eating a lot of this:

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Cinnamon Bread.

School is being done at a leisurely pace these days (all day, sometimes by the fire), and knitting is getting accomplished along side of it.

It’s winter. It’s a good time for indoor projects and eating comfort foods.