Sunday, October 30, 2011

A whole post on a pair of gloves

Oh, but what gloves they are.

Handspun from Ava, Ludu and Bees Merino.

The pattern is Albina Armwarmers. It's wonderful.

They've been done for a while, but they needed the right buttons. These are made from cyprus branches.

I like 'em.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Things which are autumnal.

Our lovely old honey locusts have shed most of their yellow confetti compound leaves and are now dropping the leaf stalks.

It's not quite as magical as a rain of gold.

Bill's oven now has a pretty arch and the start of a chimney.

Wood fires are autumnal, right? We had our first fire-to-heat-the-house-and-not-just-look-pretty last week. Note to self for next year... clean the outer surface of the living room wood stove before Bill makes the fire because burning dust smells awful and it's really, really difficult to wipe off a 350 degree stove.

I've been feeling really guilty over the poor quality of my Rhinebeck purchases photo. I got gorgeous tops and rovings which were loving dyed by brilliant people and I showed them to you illuminated by a CFL. Terrible. Here they are in the sunshine. I clearly had fall colors on the brain when I was buying.

Lastly, nothing says autumn like sweaters! ...also pumpkin ale, but I don't have any of that at the moment. So you get a sweater. An unraveling sweater.

I got this sweater ages ago and it never ever really looked good on me. I think people would describe my fashion preferences with the same sorts of words used to describe potato sacks. This sweater was the definition of that. Brown. Loose-fitting. Unshapely. Garlicy.

Mmm...maybe "garlicy" describes mashed potatoes more than potato sacks...but if a sweater can be garlicy, this one was.

So, I'm ripping it apart and getting yards and yards of cotton which I'll dye into less potato-sack-like colors and reknit into something a grownup might wear. Unraveling this $20 sweater is way fun and the amount of yarn I'm getting would certainly cost more than $20. I have grand plans to do this with $5 sweaters from Goodwill too, but the people who donate to Goodwill 'round these parts really like acrylic. Ick. I might have to seek out a fancy Goodwill for sweater unraveling adventures.

Happy Fall, y'all
(it says that on the big window of our grocery store. I couldn't resist.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ooooovvvveeeennnn (and Rhinebeck)

I feel as if I am running out of clever post titles for the oven construction. If you've got any suggestions for future titles that say "Oven progress" in a more interesting way than "oven progress" lemme know.

This is roughly where Bill is at:

He added the two additional arches of bricks and a slanty thing up front. To the very right of the photo is the red brick arch that will be visible in the final product. In between the slanty thing and that arch is where the chimney goes.

An interior view:

That's where the fires will be built and the pizza and bread and cakes will be cooked. Bill is a little further along than these photos show, but not much. This is because we drove hundreds of miles to go to Rhinebeck this past weekend...and visit family. Very important the family visiting (Hi Krista! I know you are reading this in bed...and now all the internet knows too!!).

However, as we didn't bring any of the family back with us, I only have photos of wool to share with you.

Aside from one lovely skein of alpaca, I focused mostly on all sorts of food for my wheel. On the right is a Border Leicester fleece. And then all the rest is tops and roving of various wools...some merino, corridale, finn, cheviot, rambouillet...and a sheep I've never heard of - masham. There is also a silk cap which I'm planning to knit right into mittens (ala the Harlot).

I am clearly in some sort of red and green phase.

These purchases represent only about half of my Rhinebeck budget. Though my plans were big when I started saving money, I don't think I could have actually spent it all - even a wool freak like me can get overwhelmed at the wonder of Rhinebeck. Fortunately (?) I brought a man with me who likes food. Within 20 seconds of seeing the Italian guys from Brooklyn with their tables full of bread and salami, we had a bag bursting with pepperoni, salami and cheese.

It was a good trip!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Oven walls

Bill's epic oven build continues.

After laying the hearth slab cooking surface, he built three oven walls.

He also made this edgey part. As the chair of the oven decorating committee, I assisted in the selection of these bullnose tiles. These are the first parts of the oven that will still be visible when it's all done. All the rest of this stuff will get covered in insulation, concrete and eventually a pretty facade.

The roof of the oven is built on top of an arch form. There will be three rows of bricks when the roof is done.

The rows have to be built one at a time, though and they have to cure before the form can be removed and the next row added. Bill is working on row two today.

It's starting to look more like a pizza oven every day!

The oven is being built just outside our kitchen, about 15 yards off our concrete picnic table and grilling area. We selected a flat, open area as close to the house as was feasible.

And, naturally, Bernie had to approve the site before we started construction.

Fortunately, he likes pizza too.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


We have the most wonderful old pair of honey locusts on either side of our driveway that make a lovely, amazing canopy near our house. The people who planted them are my most favorite Previous Owners.

They are currently raining yellow confetti and making a layer of gold all around the house. I tried to take a photo of the leaves as they were falling to share with you, but there are some things that are too magical to be captured on film.

Instead, please enjoy the leaves that have already landed.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

All the mundane updates

In news that shocked the world (or 5 people), I recently deleted my Facebook account. I realize that this leaves a giant void for all the people in the world (5) who have a keen interest on the mundanity of my days.

As such, I bring you an update of all the things that have happened since I left Facebook one full day ago.

This morning was garbage day.
This evening for dinner we ate garden potatoes for the first time this year.

Whilst we were eating, an autumn leaf fell from a honey locust on to Sugar Pie's fuzzy ear.

Bernie slept through it all as cats are wont to do.

Bill has gotten to this point in his oven building.

I have gotten to this point in my hat and glove building.

(Also, since leaving FB, I have turned into a hard core rocker chick. Hard. Core.)

We received another delivery of wood.

I know, it looks like the last delivery, but I assure you it is not. See the wood in the shed? We stacked that. Also, please note our propane tank has been downgraded from 1000 gallons to 300 something. We use significantly less propane than the previous owners and the huge tank was unnecessary. Wood is the heating source of champions!

Finally, the turkeys want you to know that their tails are growing in for the season and they don't look nearly as silly as they did over the summer.

They want you to know they are handsome again. Image is very important to turkeys.

Very handsome turkeys.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hearth Slab

Today Bill started laying the fire brick for the cooking surface of his oven. He wanted to start days ago but it's been monsooning.

There is a big long story about fire clay and "fire clay" and Asimov and the Foundation Trilogy that I hope he tells you... It's a good story. A fable, if you will.

But, in the meantime, here's Bill laying the first tile for the cooking surface of the oven:

And then I added a block. My token contribution to the project:

The layers look like this:

The brownish bit at the very bottom is vermiculite. And then a layer of concrete. Then the fire clay and the fire bricks. (There is a step I sorta skipped in the blog chronicles of the form building and hearth slab concretey stuff and the curing. I didn't think you'd miss it too terribly)

Laying the last brick!!

Mmm. Pizza cooking surface. So pretty.

Me, taking a picture of the firebrick. Oooohhhh...

Bill also picked popcorn today. A dastardly raccoon stole a bunch of ears overnight, so even though they are still a bit wet, we've picked them for safe storage.

Whilst Bill was harvesting corn and building an oven...this is what I did today:

...and this:

The sock is knit with gradiance yarn from Unique Sheep. The colors blend from green to red.

And from red to green on the opposite sock. The colorway is called November, and I quite like it.

I also admired the insanely blue sky. It was so deep as to be nearly purple. I felt like I could almost see into space today.

It's a little less productive than building a cooking surface, yes...but that's what fall weekends are for, right?