Orange sweater

I have been wanting an orange sweater.  A cardigan type sweater in particular.  I even went shopping to see if I could find one and I could not.  So I asked for yarn for my birthday.

So part of the gift was twelve skeins of pumpkin Lion wool.  It is not the softest wool but I just really wanted to see if I could make what I wanted.  I went to the Lion's Brand website and used their Essential Jacket pattern in crochet.

I am actually very pleased with how it turned out.  Russell is going to make me a button out of desert walnut once his drill press is setup.  The sleeves are the perfect length and it is a good weight.  I wore it to work today with my new work skirt.  Other people liked it too.  I still need to make one in black and one in green.  It is very similar to a Patagonia sweater I have that is in the last stages of death so I am very happy this works.


A shirt for Russell

I make shirts for Russell.  Many years ago, he found a frontier shirt in a western store he loved.  He told me it was indestructible but it eventually began to die.  I took it apart before it was in shreds to use it as a pattern.

Russell really liked these two fabrics.  Both were very soft and he loved the colors.

I cut the body out of the printed fabric.

The front placket, collar, and cuffs are cut out of the dark burgundy batik print.

Let the stitching begin!  I have the collar, sleeves, cuffs, hem, and buttons left.  I cannot wait for Russell to try it on.  We are both very excited.


When I am out of jam, I make it

I ran out of jam this morning which means that I cannot make for lunch tomorrow what I normally make.  So I need to make some.

I put ten ounces of frozen fruit and one cup of sugar in a heavy saucepan.  Mine is enameled cast iron.  I then set it on medium low heat (three on my electric stove top) and cook for about three quarters of a hour to an hour.  I do stir it occasionally with a wire whisk.  And I do watch towards the end to make sure it does not burn.

Then it goes in a jar and sits in the refrigerator.  It is really that easy.  I do not have to skim the scum off or anything.  I do have to watch a little bit so it does not burn but that really happens only when it has cooked to long and become too thick.  Very yummy!  Especially on peanut butter and jam sandwiches on homemade bread.  It makes me smile.


pasta for dinner

Most of the U.S. thinks that a pasta dinner is a ten minute dinner tops.  Not in this house.  I start with a cup of flour, an egg, a two finger pinch of salt, and a couple tablespoons or so of water in a bowl.  Mix it all up and the knead it.

and knead it

and knead 

For ten minutes.  I do actually time this.  It makes such a difference.

Then it is time to roll out the pasta dough.  It starts out small,

and grows,

Until it is very thin and ready to cut.


I like using a very heavy pizza cutter.

It is then time to cook.  It only takes a few minutes in boiling water.  I usually make a light pesto sauce to go with the pasta, pesto and pine nuts.

It is a simple meal but so lovely in the tummy.  We had this with homemade blackberry sorbet for dessert.  Yum!

All pictures are courtesy of Russell.  Thank you sir!


Teahouse building weekend number 2

The second weekend of building on the Teahouse did not have any participants but Russell and the support staff.  I am the support staff.  Or in another words, I make sure there are crockpots full of food for hungry tummies and to make sure the fuel can be used for building.  I do admit that it was very humid and hot this last weekend so I did not blame anyone for not working outside.

That said, Russell got four batches of cob put on the Teahouse on Friday.

Saturday we had the house warming to go to and errands run so not much happened.

Sunday, Russell again worked on the Teahouse and I did support staff duties but added in all the tasks that need to get done for the week.  Many of which will have their own posts in the future.  But, I did finish my tasks in time to help with the walls.

Russell mixed clay, sand, and water in the mortar mixer. 

He then poured it on to a tarp and we treaded in straw.  Basically, dancing in mud!  A very good work out!

The cob then goes on the walls.  I needed help on to the loft because all my hand and feet holds are no more but we got the batch of cob on the wall.  I cob faster then anyone else Russell has been working with.  He felt like he had to be almost continually hauling up half five gallon buckets of cob to keep up with me.  I know what I am doing and I like things to do with mud.


Soon all the straw will be covered and the roof will go on.  It is a lovely space.