It’s HERE!

I’m so excited! My first ever Spinning Wheel came today!
It arrived by Purolator in a ginormous box. My only complatint is that the person who I bought it from didn’t remove the yarn that was on the bobbins and one of them had some moth eggsa in the yarn. I took them outside to clean the yarn off.

Now I just have to figure out how to spin on it and I’m set!

Sick Baby…

I’m glad to say that Abi must have my constitution, she has her first serious cold! The down side to this ins that over the past few days I have been hit with pretty much all the body fluids that start with the letter “P” not to mention that I have become a human tissue and not have a large load of t-shirts to wash.

This cold seems to have made her clingier but she is also wanting to cuddle with her Dad. She has also started her “Da” sounds which Chris is taking as her calling to him…we won’t tell him that she is working out her sounds.

Meh!

I’m having a bad day! I should have never left the bed!

This sucks as I had a great weekend at the farm with Abi and my parents. 48 hours with two other people who were not afraid to help me share the prenting load! My Dad actually took Abi from me when she was screaming bloody murder(she was fighting a nap and teething pretty badly) and walked the floor with her to give me a break and to see if perhaps a change of scenery might calm her down! He even did this with us when we were smalls!

Yeehah!

Last night I purchased my first spinning wheel! It is a Louet S10. It is a single treadle model but I will be converting it over to a double treadle in a little while!

I can’t wait for her to arrive! I now need to name her (yes I feel IT is a SHE) and I’m probably going to stencil some kind of design onto the wheel.

Does she actually have a green thumb?

Quick Abi update: It appears that we bought a baby gate just in the nick of time: She has figured out the crawl! I will try to post a picture of her in action as soon as I get one that isn’t fuzzy.

In other news along with this long weekend celebrating the birthday of Queen Victoria it is also THEbiggest weekend for gardening. Now that I have hitched a ride on the Homeowner band wagon I figure why not add another caravan-the Gardening junkie to this magic carpet ride as well.

This morning started off with a treck over to a small plant sale at one of the houses near by. It looked like a few neighbors got together to sell of some of the plants that were either starting to take over their gardens or some of them had decided to take their gardens in a new design direction and instead of throwing out the plants that wouldn’t work with the plan they were selling them. Whatever the reason I came away with three Lilly of the Valley, two bronzy Day Lilies, one red Day Lilly and three Bell Flowers.

All of this for the low price of 14$. The lilies have been planted in the mini garden I made last week that originally was going to hold the peas, cucumbers and tomatoes (see the photo in an earlier post with the three trellis’) but now is housing some Gladiolious along with the lilies to become a Cutting Garden.

From the plant sale I moved on to prepping the veggie garden! Last fall I used the old carpet that was in my garage (still haven’t figured out why half my garage was carpeted) to hold down the leaves I had raked (to make leaf mulch) over a small patch of land (5 ft by 4ft) that would become my first ever veggie garden. It turnes out that I went a little crazy with the seed and plant purchases from Urban Harvest and I actually need about twice as much space.


With the resizing done my garden is now a respectable 11.5 ft by 7.5ft. I must say that ripping up sod by hand is long and back breaking work and I’m going to hurt tomorrow!

Oh and there was more Forensic Gardening: as I was digging around I came across the remains of a cement strip (the peices can be seen in the photo above) about an inch thick and four inches wide running down the edge of my new garden. We figure it was probably part of a decorative border left over from the first owners, and a rather long metal rod/stake with a ring at the top that appears to be quite deep into the ground (it almost looks like a really long tent peg), at the sugestion of my dad I decided to garden arround the stake just in case it is there for a good reason! After lunch I got to worked in the leaf mulch, mushroom compost and sheep manure and then I could finally start in on the planting!

My little garden is home to two Black Krim tomato plants, two chocolate pepper plants, two red cherry pepper plants, two Caspar Eggplant plants and one English lavender. Tonight I need to redesign where the rest of the stuff will go now that there is more space. Hopefully my Richters order will arrive this week and I can then pop the asparagus, jeruselam artichokes, shallots and Loofah gourd seeds I purchased from them into the garden then I’m done except for the normal weeding and watering and I can just sit back and wait for the the fruits or veggies of my labours to grow.

Weekend Wrap up

Saturday started out at 6:30a.m. with Abi deciding that sleeping-in is for suckers. After about a pot of coffee I decided that I’m going to finally get moving on my gardening. Chris had bought me three different gardening books for my birthday last month and I have been fanatically reading the articles at YouGrowGirl.com so I felt comfortably armed to deal with the neglected beds around our house.

I have found out from my next door neighbor that we are the third owners of #51. The first bought it new back in 1946 (my house is as old as my Dad), they took care of it. The second owners lived here for 16 years and well, let’s just say DIY should never have been allowed to enter their vocabulary and they weren’t big into gardening.

These people basically neglected whatever landscaping the first owners had done, so now I’m doing a lot of Forensic Gardening because when I was weeding my front flower bed I encounted this:


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Originally uploaded by craftygrrrl.



I have also created my first raised-bed in my backyard which will house the beginnings of my veggie garden. I used the cement edging from the front flower bed and have put in three trellises to support the peas, tomatoes and Lofah Squash I’m planting there. Raised bed  for veggies!


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Originally uploaded by craftygrrrl.


This area was where a derelict deck stood until Chris and I pushed it down a few weeks back. You read right we pushed it down, the wood was that rotten! We are going to replace the deck with a lovely stone patio!

Help save the sheep…

from the stupid people!

Apparently PETA has started a save the sheep campaign to let the world know about the cruelty in the wool/sheep farming industry and how we knitters are encouraging this abuse.

Before I go any further let me explain that I grew up on a farm where we raised sheep and every spring arround the end of May we had to shear our animals. I’m telling you this just so you understand that I have a slight clue of what I’m talking about.

I will fully admit that there are some not nice people who are farmers and yes they should be stopped and either fined and jailed or subjected to the abuse they inflict in their animals (I’m all for the latter in some of the abuse cases I have seen). However, any farmer worth their salt (this includes sheep, goat rabbit and fur as well as meat operations) know that unhappy, unhealthy, poorly housed and fed animals will give you a crap end product and kill your bottom line. So many of the claims made by PETA and a few other Rights groups are not well informed and take the extreme cases (which I fully agree those specific farmers should be boycotted and their product should not be purchased at the farm to factory level since that is where the farmer gets paid) as the industry standard. They then post a media release about the abuse as a blanket statement of how yarn is produced on their website, hold a few protest rallies and you end up with a bunch of people (who if you asked them where milk comes from they will say the corner store) reading it and they don’t do any further research into the claims because “it’s on the internet and there for it must be true” running off at the mouth about how horrible it is for the sheep, that they must be sheared (it is far crueler to NOT shear them) or in extreme cases some people actually think that the amimal must be skinnedto get the wool off of them!

My solution to this is quite simple: if you as a knitter are really concerned about these abuses and want to make sure you are getting a totally cruelty free product allow me to suggest:

Buy Local and Buy Often! (My Dirty hippy anti corporate roots taking hold here!) Buy only Canadian (or whatever country you are from) produced yarn like Philosophers Wool for example but be prepared to pay for it, artisan products don’t come cheap but you do get the satisfaction of knowing that you are supporting a local producer and their families.

Or go one better:

Find yourself a local sheep/alpaca/goat farmer ask if you can check out their operations (understand that farms have a busy season and the farmer may not be inclined to have you visit during say lambing season as well I can tell you from experience you can be crazy busy and litterally up to your elbow in a sheep if things get dicey) and if you like what you see, buy fiber from them heck put in a yearly standing order for them. It is not unheard of for sheep farmers to have people request fleece from a specific sheep year after year. You are probably wondeing what to do with this bag of fiber well you can either process it yourself OR send it off to one of the small independant processing mills like Lindenhof Wool Mill where you can get your fibers processed into batts (if you want to spin your own yarn) or take it all the way to a finished yarn that you can then take home and dye to your hearts content!

I’m all for the latter option because if any one needs our help it is the small independant Family Farms who quite honestly are being bent over the table by our Governments and are headed towards the endangered list.

Knitting roll call

It is time to take stock of the incomplete knitting projects I have conveniently placed/stashed around my house:

1 Rogue – started last September 2004
2 Green Lopi cardi with Stars – started some time ago, probably in December 2004
3 To Dye for sweater from Stitch n’Bitch – Started possibly March or April 2004
4 Fuzzy Feet – started in November 2004
5 Lorna’s Laces Sock – started in March 2005

This is just what I have on the needles, I didn’t include the yarn (that is taking over my closet) that was bought with a specific project in mind or because I liked it and would eventually find a project for it. I also have a box of yarn I bought and now realize that it won’t ever get used. This yarn is destined for Ebay as some of it is slightly sought after discontinued yarn.

Unfortunatly the list of WIPs (work in progress) is going to stay that way for a litte longer as I am casting on a full blown season 12 Dr. Who scarf for my friend Mike’s costume for this coming Halloween.

mmmmm…..Doubles!

Yesterday I decided to do a little grocery shopping on my way home from school, so as per usual Abi and I got off the subway at Main Station (no my usual stop but it has an elevator which makes it possible for me to take Abi out in the stroller alone as people are reluctant to help you up or down stairs).

As we were wandering along the Danforth (this particular stretch is far from the Greektown typically associated with this street, this section is apparently referred to as Little Bengal) I’m taking in all the lovely food smells and checking out some of the mid-eastern grocers when I spot a sign ( actually I smelled it first) that says “Indo-Caribbean Food… (sign proceeds to list a bunch of foods)…DOUBLES*”! Could it be! I have found a place to get these lovelies I have been hankering after for months since my Uncle Ron traded me one for a Samosa?! And it is a half hour walk from my house!!!!!!OH MY! So of course I have to go in and give then a go. Oh this place smelled divine, Abi even woke up as we were waiting to place our order and was looking arround with interest (she truly is her mothers child with regards to food).

On to the revue: the doubles are quite yummy and nicely curried, they could do with a bit more heat but the lady made them slightly milder than normal as I wasn’t sure how hot having the peppers on it would make it. I slightly regret ordering 4 as they are about double (haha) the size of the one my Uncle gave me. I’m planing on going back at some point in the next few days to try their Roti and some of the other foods.
*Doubles: a folded barra (unleavened bread) stuffed with channa (split peas) and aloo pie (a doughy potato mix). Simply put, yummy vegetarian curry goodness!

The place to get these lovelies and a really tasty Roti as well is: Danforth Roti Shop at 2844 Danforth.