Knit vs. Crochet

The ongoing drama(?) of a girl torn between two obsessions with too little time.

Monday, March 26, 2007

High Hopes

It was a beautiful weekend. I had two whole days off, two glorious days of 80-degree weather that I was to spend studying obstetrics and gynecology.
What did I do instead? Work on gardening. Really. The whole weekend.
About two weeks ago I was at the dollar store (yes, I am classy like that.) and noticed that they had a wide variety of seed packets at the unbeatable price of 10 for $1. I plucked out an assortment of vegetables that did not seem wholly unappetizing (i.e. left the radishes behind) and a flower packet or two and whisked them home to half a bag of potting mix (previously purchased for some tea olives in giant vietnamese glazed pots for our front porch) and some empty plastic nursery pots (left over from said tea olives and 8 gardenias that are now slumping in a front flower bed).
Pictured above: Gardenias, in front flower bed, slumping.

So I sowed (planted? scattered?) some of the seeds in pots, labeled them, and sat them in our sunroom (sharing space with the bunny) with frequent waterings to germinate. And lo and behold, some of them actually germinated by this past weekend--notably beans (pictured above), broccoli, cabbage, and some flowers (seeds that were a wedding favor from a good friend's wedding last year). But what to do with the tender little seedlings? My backyard is right now a wilderness of clover, stickerbush, and the occasional wild onion tuft. And how would I keep the deer from eating my (doubtless) soon-to-be-bountiful harvest?
As fate would have it, the boy recently found 30 feet worth of chain-link fence in our stream (also 7 old tires, but those would prove less useful) which after some discussion (involving the word "redneck" not infrequently) we decided would be turned into a little garden fence along with some additional wire fencing on the side of our deck.
Add a few yards of topsoil from the waste management center down the road a ways (it sounds like we live in the boonies because...we sort of do.) and half a hot day's worth of cutting sod, digging, spiking, and wheelbarrowing and we were well on our way to tacky hick yard paradise. (Check it out, pictured above)

Later on in the day when it got a bit cooler I plopped the little sprouts into the new beds and got bitten up like crazy by mosquitos. Fertilized, watered, and latched the fence gate closed and hoped they didn't all die/get eaten overnight.
The next day I got up pretending that I was just going to putter a little bit in the garden before studying, but of course somehow ended up back at that same dollar store buying more seeds (this time of flowers) and some classy garden day-cor, including a little ceramic thermometer with birds on it, a hummingbird sheperd's hook, and a copper-wire and green marble swingy thing. Totally. Sweet.
So then I spent the day planting morning glory around the split rail fence in the front yard (pictured to the left) and the garden fence, sunflowers in a row near a recently transplanted fig tree (taken with much toil from my parents' house a few weeks back) and flowers in various pots and flower beds, and did not learn a damn thing about endometrial, cervical, or ovarian cancers. (Ironically, I am still procrastinating from reading about said topics right now as I am typing this.) The current "garden" layout above (demonstrating my lack of both gardening and photoshop skillz):
Some more random pictures:
Below: Makeshift garden labels from chopsticks, paper, packing tape. I did not take a picture of the "cabbage" flag which I taped upside down onto the chopstick. R: Transplanted fig tree (which was definitely a half-day's worth of work digging up roots, etc. I hope the dang thing lives!):

Monday, March 19, 2007


The free time that I used to blog in has been taken up by overnight call and studying for shelf exams. Fortunately, I have managed to carve out enough time to keep crafting and maintaining the Etsy store. Unfortunately, my knitting projects have mostly fallen by the wayside as I've made the journey to more instant-gratification projects. Fortunately, my mother has been taking up my slack on the knitting front (read: helping me chip away at my SABLE) by knitting wonderful things in record time--for instance the gorgeous white cabled sweater above.
She wanted to sell some of her things on the etsy site so I went ahead and listed that sweater as well as a leaf-lace scarf that just sold:

Of course, the selling of my mother's handiwork on the site brings up a number of questions about pricing of handmade goods. Despite her lightning-fast needles, the prices listed for these items would be less than minimum wage for her labor, and I've seen a number (dare I say, the majority) of knitted items on Etsy sell for prices that would barely cover the price of materials. The argument of course that she (and many others) makes is that they enjoy their knitting, that projects can be done while sitting in front of the TV, etc. Also driving these prices is of course the fact that many people/consumers would not pay more than these prices for a handknitted piece.
The bottom line is of course that it's her decision. She set the prices that she felt were fair, and that she would be happy with. see how I might be conflicted still--I don't want to feel that I'm exploiting my own mother!