31 July 2011

Down time ~

I'm doing nothing today, not even getting out of the pj's.  Seriously.  I was up at 5:00 yesterday morning getting salmon out of brine and into the smokers...the last piece finished up at about 10:30 last night:

Our freezer is full ~ 32 chunks of silver and 10 good size king pieces.  Thanks, again, JR ~ your cooler and some of this is headed your way soon!

I also processed 5lbs of Oregon blueberries.  I've got 4c dehydrated in the freezer now and 5 and a 1/2 jars of this left:
My first ever blueberry jam ~ I'm not a fan of blueberry pie (too sweet) but this jam is so good that I've already eaten 1/2 a jar since I finished making it yesterday.  Much less labor intensive than the cherry jam I made last week and I'll definitely make multiple batches of this next year.  I've enjoyed doing these experimental small batches while I'm learning to can, since I can test recipes as well as figure out all the ins and outs of food preservation.

And if the kitchen projects weren't enough, I finished (almost) my Goodale sweater that I had mostly completed by October of last year.  I actually did all the finish work once yesterday but thought I could tweak everything to make it even better so I ripped all my seaming out and did it a second time.  It's on the blocking boards right now, so no completely finished photos but you can get an idea:

And finally, while I sat up all night (I'm not exaggerating!) waiting for my husband to get home from a too long day of fly fishing and seeing Soundgarden at The Gorge in Eastern Washington, I cast on for Vitamin D:

My sleepless night was the result of a not so funny at the time comedy of errors ~ I waited up, he got too tired driving home so pulled over to sleep, I normally wouldn't have been up to know that he hadn't made it home on time but I was wide awake, he didn't call to tell me he had pulled off the highway since he thought I was sleeping.....so at 5:30 this morning he got a panicked phone call from me....WHERE ARE YOU!?!?!?!?!

He's fine, we're both tired, and all's well that ends well.  I'm spending the rest of today snuggling on the couch with the pup and knitting a little...

or napping a lot!  Hope everyone is having a great weekend!   ~ Melissa

27 July 2011

Rose-Kim Knits

My favorite post in a long time comes from Jessica's blog ~ if you knit at all and know of Elizabeth Zimmerman, you have to check out this link.  Awesome, eh?  What do you think?  ~ Melissa

25 July 2011

Misty Monday

I spoke too soon yesterday ~ 2 days of sunny 70 degree weather does not a summer make!  Today is rainy and gray (again) and I actually see a few chimneys wafting wood fire smoke in the middle of a late July afternoon.  Uncle!!!

But it did make for a good day to stay inside and try my first solo canning adventure:
Getting ready.....

Done!  Sweet Cherry Jam
I only made a single batch since I wasn't sure how carried away I wanted to get without any help, so the rest of the Bings went into the dehydrator and I'll vacuum seal those in small bags to use in baking over the winter.  It's a great feeling to be stocking up for the cold months when all the foods we love are limited, expensive and definitely not from around here!

I need to find a new way of testing them to see if they're done ~ the taste test thing is a bad idea.... We may not have any dried cherries by the end of the day, let alone this winter!

I also finally sat down and figured out my fair entries and got myself registered for the Skagit County:
and also for my first go at the Evergreen State later in the month:

I'm a bit concerned they won't take my entries at the state level since the registration was a little more involved than at the county level and I'm not certain my knits ended up in the correct categories.  We shall see....  Now I need to get everything reblocked and packaged up for delivery in the next couple weeks.  What a fun way to wind up the summer and I'm glad that Kelli will be joining me again this year (although she beat me to registration this year so I guess I'm joining her!).

Busy days ahead ~ there's more canning I'd like to try my hand at while local produce is in season and it sounds like there is a huge weekend project showing up this evening that I need to get ready for!  Rumor has it there are 4 silver salmon and 1 king salmon freshly plucked from the waters of Canada that I will be smoking and they need to be filleted, cut in pieces and brined by Saturday morning.  Or is it 8 silvers and 2 kings ~ I guess I'll find out when the fish changes hands tonight!  JR, you rock!!  I can't wait to have fish in the house again!  ~ Melissa

24 July 2011


My husband and I celebrated the birthday of our marriage this weekend ~ that's what we're calling it from now on since I mistakenly got him a birthday card instead of an anniversary card.  Don't ask ~ I have no idea how that happened....I swear I read it when I picked it out!

It's also the first birthday for Girls in Sheep Clothing ~ and it's been a fun filled year.  We've come full circle and once again, it's jamming time.  Kelli's mom joined us today to help make raspberry jam ~ a much better batch than last year.  Or, I should say, all 6 batches we made today turned out much better!  Thanks for coming, Judy ~ and thanks for humoring me again this year, Kelli, and suffering through (ha!).

I think summer may have finally arrived to the Pacific Northwest, just as we're on the verge of heading into the downswing towards fall. Better late than never, I guess. Dozer helped me pressure wash the deck yesterday since the sun shone all day long....


He is so much fun ~ he keeps us in stitches all the time.  Hope everyone is enjoying this wonderful weather.  There's no better place on earth than here when the weather is nice.


18 July 2011

Estonian Knitting

My first official Estonian shawl ~ Miralda's Triangular Shawl ~ from Knitted Lace of Estonia by Nancy Bush.

I used Madelinetosh Lace in 'thyme' on US6 needles and replaced the nupps with size 8 matte metallic khaki seed beeds.  I'm in love........   ~Melissa

16 July 2011

Completely Random

...and possibly of no interest to anyone but me ~
  • I've always loved the words 'arugula' and 'syncopation'
  • I can't stand to hear people talk in 'textese' ~ do you know that 'OMG' takes just as much time to say as the actual words?
  • I've always wondered when I would 'lose touch' with the younger generation (or maybe it's that you just stop caring?).  What is the fascination with foul-mouthed, ill-behaving, drama-king/queen based reality tv ~ I miss my witty, laugh inducing, feel good tv programs from back in the day like M*A*S*H, Cheers, and Seinfeld.  The majority of television programming today is pure crap.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Twinkies don't have a shelf life of forever.  When I was young, I watched a friend eat most of one before realizing it was moldy and promptly tossing her cookies.
  • I do knit better than Kelli.  Nicky Epstein said so.
  • Ray Charles and I had a moment.  Well, sort of.  My husband took me to see him years ago and when we left the show it was raining hard enough that I waited under an eave in back of Parker's in North Seattle while he went and got the car.  Little did I know I was standing right beside the door Mr. Charles was being led through after the concert.  This is terrible but my impulse was to reach out and touch him since he couldn't see me, only when I put my hand on his arm, he reached over with his other hand and patted the back of my hand like he knew all along I was going to do it, smiled, and went on his merry way.  I about keeled over.  It was a great concert.
  • Despite our ongoing 10 month rainy season, the farmer's markets around here are abundant with gorgeous fresh produce. Get out there and check it out ~ you'll fill your pantry and lift your soggy spirits all at once.
  • Make you hungry?
My mom and I visited the Edmonds Market this morning, in the rain, and had a wonderful time.  She wanted to know what I was going to do with all of this bounty but I don't have a plan.  Maybe roast the orange beets and the purple carrots?  That's half the fun of local produce ~ you never know what you're going to find so you can't plan until after you purchase!  And if you're wondering what the mystery green is in the bag, yes, it's arugula!  Happy weekend, all   ~  Melissa

10 July 2011


I spent last week in the Adirondack Mountains of NY with this crazy group of relatives:
this is with about a dozen of us munchkins missing from the picture!
It was the best trip ever ~ great flights, a free rental car upgrade, amazing weather (very warm and very little humidity), loads and loads and loads of food, discovered Yuengling Black and Tan (love it!!), got to plan-shop for-cook my first ever meal for 50 (don't ask - it was a lot of work but a lot of fun and the Mexican menu I chose was a hit!), boated, hiked, started to read Walden (Henry David Thoreau...what a great find at the bookstore while we were there...a perfect read for a week at camp in the woods), watched fireworks on the 4th, did a ton of visiting and had some much needed R&R.  I didn't get much knitting done ~ what I did do was mostly on the travel days ~ but I did get to sit outside and knit in the sun:
and then on the covered porch while a typical 10 minute thunderstorm rolled through:
We had a wonderful trip and enjoyed all the great scenery everywhere:

We were sorry to leave but we weren't as sad as my nephew was to be going home yesterday morning:
It was good to get home and see the pup.  It was hard to leave him for a week but he had a great time at Grandma Camp (thanks to Trudy, Sam, Molly and all the neighbors that came to visit him and make sure he wasn't too lonely without us!).  And now it's back to the crummy not-so-summerlike weather of the Pacific Northwest and the grind of work but regardless, it's still always good to come home.  Now I can get some knitting done on my Traveling Miralda...here's the NY portion of my latest WIP:
Madelinetosh Lace in Thyme
I'm loving everything about this project ~ the pattern is challenging and interesting and I love working with this yarn again.  I'm excited to get this one done and blocked (when am I not excited about this?) to see how it looks in a laceweight yarn on bigger needles.  What do you think?
~ Melissa