life in the garden

We have spent a lot of time this last winter and spring working in our garden. Before, our backyard was a place we rarely ventured (there are a lot reasons behind this, none of which worth mentioning right at this exact moment!). But with E getting bigger and exploring her world, I find my passion for having a garden to tend and love has been rekindled. I want to share with her the love of gardening that my mom gave me.

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The best part of having a vegetable garden is getting to enjoy the “fruits” of our labor. We have been eating many fresh salads with greens and spinach fresh from our garden. Just about every herb I use in cooking these days gets cut straight from out our back door.

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I am getting adventurous in my cultivation and am expecting my first home grown cantaloupe in the coming weeks. Maybe I will throw it a party?

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But our biggest surprise has been the return of all sorts of wildlife to our back garden. Lots of butterflies and bees. Then we got a huge surprise when we discovered that a pair of juncos decided to build a nest in the flower box on top of E’s play structure. Not such a wise decision in my opinion since the 2-year-old and dog have ready access to the flower box, but there you have it. We decided to close E’s “park” for the weeks it takes for the babies to hatch and leave the nest.

1280I checked earlier this week and saw one wee baby birdy looking up at me. I didn’t linger. The last thing I want is for Mom and Dad to desert the nest! So for now, I am doing as limited gardening as I can manage without letting things dye and keeping the kids (toddler and dog) away from the nest as much as possible. I suppose this just leaves more time for knitting…

 

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stripy baby beanie

Quick project to share this morning. Don’t you just love baby knitting? It is always so gratifying!

I knit up this quick little baby beanie as a gift for some friends who are due with their first baby this summer. I wanted something a little modern looking because that fits their personalities.

I have been really drawn to all of the grey and yellow color combos I have been seeing around (want want want). I haven’t knit anything for myself in this palette yet but I am sure it is just a matter of time. And when their baby shower invite arrived in the mail, with its grey and white chevron background and yellow accents, I knew it was destiny! So I went stash-diving and came up with four worsted weight yarns that made a simple and sweet grey-yellow gradient.IMG_0292

Susan B. Anderson’s Cotton Stria Stripes hat was a perfect fit for the yarns and I am really really happy with the final product. I think it is completely darling!

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feb 28: a practice of gratitude

a blankie and pillow fort in the living room
a fresh rainstorm
watching E jump in puddles for the first time

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Bee-Sweet Tea Cozy

I’ve always been impressed with some of the super cute tea cozy patterns out there. I am not a huge tea drinker, alternating between tea and coffee as the mood strikes, and I don’t own my own teapot so I have had no reason to knit a cozy to date. Well a good friend of mine has recently started throwing very special monthly tea parties. It is a great chance for the ladies to all get together for some good food and friendly chit chat.

Enter here >>>>> my chance to knit a tea cozy!

Out of all the ones I have seen out there, I think the Beehive Tea Cozy has been my favorite. So now with a great reason, lovely yarn, and free pattern (yipppeeee!!!) I have no more excuses.

I used some modifications already pioneered by frazzledknitter on Ravelry. Mostly, she adapted the pattern to fit her teapot size and to use worsted weight yarn which was what I (mostly) had on hand. Getting just the right color of yarn was critical for this project. I have seen it done in different colors, but there is nothing quite as adorable as the original honey yellow. I also used frazzledknitter’s instructions for knitting a wee bumblebee to adorn the tea cozy. Alone, this little bee is so stinking adorable, I can hardly contain myself!

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See what I mean?!?

The knitting itself went smoothly. My only difficulty came when it was time to seam the two sides (it is knit flat in two pieces) together. I had to borrow said friend’s teapot so I would know where to leave holes for the spout and handle. All the while “I’m a little teapot” running through my head… “here is my handle, here is my spout”…

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I found that the cozy fit the teapot almost exactly but is maybe a little bit too much on the snug side. I wish it had just a bit more ease.

Here are the measurements of this particular teapot, in case you are looking to make your own.

IMG_9784-dimensionOne thing I think I would change if I made this again: I would use a provisional cast on for the two pieces. Here is why. Teapots came in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some are quite a bit taller than others. If I had done a provisional cast on, I could have seamed the two sides then picked up my bottom stitches to add some height/length to the cozy.

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The cozy fit really well width wise on my friends other teapot but as you can see in the pictures, it is not quite tall enough. This second teapot has a pedestal style base which is why it is so much taller. It fits and works just fine, but it would have been nice to have the option to add a couple more rounds of bump out so that it would fit completely.

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Overall, I am super pleased with how this teapot cozy came out and I can’t wait to gift it to my tea-loving friend.

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One last photo… my daughter did not appreciate that I was taking photos in front of her play kitchen without her being in the shot… so she did a little photo bombing. 🙂 My sweets.

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mittens, with thumbs

First of all, a Happy Valentine’s Day to you all. These are the gorgeous roses my husband showed up with for our daughter for the sentimental day. She loves them. Who wouldn’t?

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Now for the knitting…

Unlike most babies, my daughter seemed to have no problem keeping her mittens on her hands when we were out for morning walks. It wasn’t until she wanted to start grasping things that we ran into a problem. But really, who wants to deal with the tiniest thumb on the face of the planet in order to produce mittens with a thumb for grabbing things?

I finally decided that she was big enough that I was ready to make her a first pair of mittens that would have thumbs. After an exhaustive search and a recommendation from a dear friend with kiddos of her own, I settled on these toddler mittens. I decided not to do the contrasting stripe as called for in the pattern and ended up using a lovely variegated wool from my stash that knit up even more beautifully than I could have dreamed.

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I LOVE the finished mittens though they are still quite a bit too big for my petite 2-year-old. They came out so pretty and she loves playing with them so I am counting that as a win in the knits category.

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feb 15: a practice of gratitude

 

 

listening to my daughters’ giggles as she plays with my husband
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a finished pair of mittens, more on that soon!

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feb 7: a practice of gratitude

I am reading a really wonderful book right now that is helping to remind me that I need to stay in the present and enjoy every moment. It is incredibly calming to tell myself to take a deep breath and look around at what I have right now, in this instant, and why it makes me so happy. As I lay in bed this morning, during those precious quiet moments before my daughter gets up and my husband leaves for work, I was thinking about how beneficial it would be to make myself record occasionally these things that bring me gratitude in my daily life. 

I’ve seen a lot on other blogs about posting a single image once a week or a collection of thankfulness each week. And I think it is a lovely idea.

I guess this is my sort of version. And I am starting right now, in this moment. Three things that make me happy, thankful, and wholesome.


fresh baked chocolate chip cookies
the smell of fresh rain
the first sprout of freshly planting seeds

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