Knit vs. Crochet

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

Monday, April 30, 2007

I'll show you mine...

Check it out! The garden is now on flickr!
That's right, I'm tired of blogging all those words when pictures will do :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


I think this gardening thing is going to be wonderful in terms of developing my patience and humility.
Doesn't that sound just disgustingly virtuous?
Really, I want to talk about how I fiddle around the garden daily, transplanting this, watering that, moving pots around on my deck.
Though it's definitely warm enough out to move my containers out onto the deck for good, the deck is in the midst of being refinished (i.e. boy is powerwashing, staining, etc.) so they're still living in the sunroom for now. The house has a very wide soffit however so unfortunately the plants in there get little direct sunlight except for first thing in the morning. (Said sunroom, messy, pictured at night.)
Today I had an unexpected two-hour break in the middle of my day so I transplanted the rest of my snap peas into the ground. Of course this was right around noon when the sun was absolutely baking, so perhaps not the best timing on my part, but I had a clinical laboratory to go tour in the afternoon.
I think I've probably bitten off more than I can chew with the gardening this year...with two large decks and 1.7 acres of (albeit mostly wooded) property my space is essentially unlimited, and so I've decided to grow...let's see now...20-some-odd different plants, with absolutely zero gardening knowledge under my belt. Other than a homemade concoction of liquid soap and hot sauce and dishes of stale beer I've got absolutely no pest/disease-fighting skills, and in fact will probably require about 3 hours' worth of googling just to IDENTIFY any pests more exotic than aphids and slugs.
And everything grows so slowly! Unlike any of my other hobbies..knitting...beading...polymer-ing... no matter how much work (or fiddling) I do with the plants, they don't grow any faster! Hence why I keep buying new pots and new plants, because...I want something to do!
When I look at pictures from a month ago, I at least do see some progress. I also realize that I've planted my broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower way too late and that it's going to be too hot out for them. I also grow doubtful about all the labeled "days to maturity" on my plants--70-some days? It's been a month and my beans have barely reached the 1-foot mark, my cabbages are about 3 inches tall, and my carrot seedlings almost require a magnifying glass to see. My pepper seeds didn't even germinate!
I wonder if I'll end up with any edible veggies after all this...

By the way...

...did I mention that I got another kitty?
Mack, as expected, is not pleased.
Not. Pleased. At. All.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Life as a Hausfrau

I've been quite the productive little domesticated lady today. What's that, you say? You'd like to hear about my mundane house-lady day in excruciating detail? Well, since you asked so nicely, here it is:
Actually, let me start with last night where I stayed up until 1AM baking creme brulees, cleaning the kitchen (with actual cleaning products, not just a paper towel sprinkled with water!), and tidying up dirty laundry sprinkled liberally about the house.
This morning, I slept in until the unheard-of hour of 9AM...heck, I slept until 9:30! I immediately sprang into action and threw some coffee in a thermos and headed to the Durham farmer's market, which I've been meaning to go to forever. It was absolutely gorgeous out, and while there wasn't much fruit available (perhaps due to recent frosts?) there was a smorgasbord of wonderful, irresistable seedlings.
(Parenthetical note: I've clearly gone mad for this gardening thing. If you had asked me a year ago what I thought about vegetable seedlings I would have said "nothing.")
I restrained myself from purchasing as many plants as I would have liked (I'd have liked to bring home about a dozen different tomatoes alone) and bought only the following little motley crew:

L to R: "Better Boy" Tomato, "Sun Gold" Tomato, Thai Sweet Basil, "Empress of India" Nasturtium (x4).
Total price tag for the little guys above was $5.75, which is certainly a much better price than I would have gotten at the Home Depot, though much steeper than my 10 for $1 seeds (given, my seeded basil has JUST barely sprouted...little bastards...). The nasturtium was a total impulse purchase--I just wanted some edible flowers!
So of course I had to stop at Big Lots and get some more pots too, since I'm all out of containers. A few hours and some sunscreen later, here's what we have:

I split the nasturtium among 4 different pots--mixed with some flowers from seed (that are generally not doing wonderfully, perhaps due to my lack of expertise) and a sage cutting from my beloved windowsill plant (which was transplanted to a larger pot today, yay!)
The Thai basil (in the white wicker) will now grace my kitchen windowsill as will one of the nasturtiums (in the solo cup)--I didn't notice when I was picking out plants that its stem is a bit withery, and hopefully with some close attention it will make it.

The "Better Boy" in the ground. It may not be fancy and exotic but it's supposedly easy to grow and bears fruit fairly early, so...keep you fingers crossed for me.
Otherwise, I didn't do much with the other inhabitants of my sunroom other than move them onto the deck for the day (as I've been doing daily, then back inside at night, because since the frost killed all my little baby bean plants I've been paranoid), but I'd like to show them off anyway:

Boxes of goodies--sugar snap peas, three bean plants which I dug up and sort of salvaged, barely-sprouted asters & snapdragons, and almost totally unsprouted basil.

Hibiscus plant, from a good friend's wedding lunch - coming out of hibernation quite nicely!

Window box of "Flower Garden" mix, and two window boxes of sugar snap peas, the inhabitants of one of which I planted in the ground. So sue me, I didn't know that you were supposed to directly sow beans and peas when I put them in their boxes. Come on, this is my first garden ever.
And then, to make my housewifery complete, I:
-mended two pairs of the boy's jeans which had ripped.
-ironed three shirts (my own), which I almost never do, being that I hate ironing, particularly my women's cut shirts which have all these weird darts and such.
-mopped the kitchen floor
-tidied the bedroom
-did not tidy my study/lair
-picked up fallen tree branches in the front yard
-swept the front porch and sunroom
I felt quite the grown-up!
Happy Earth Day, everyone!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Pictured above: The current plot (looking artificially much greener due to fallen leaves from windy day yesterday). The progress of my broccoli. My windowsill nursery, featuring morning glories. This weekend instead of studying I once again futzed around in the garden, sowed some more veggies (squash, cucumber, and lettuce) and made a dress.
Yes, I made a dress. Somehow I came across a tutorial by rostitchery on sewing a "one-seam infinity dress" and then I got on one of my characteristic impulsive "gotta have it now now now" missions, bought a bunch of red polka dot and olive green stretchy fabric from wally world (6 yds of each, WAY too much) and started cutting.
Sadly, it was then discovered that our current sewing machine, an absolutely gorgeous antique Necchi that belonged to the boy's nana did not have a zig zag stitch. I was sad. I shelved my project, but the little voice in my head would just NOT shut up, so I googled "hand stretch stitch" and handsewed almost the whole darn thing. Hours and hours later, here we are:

The twisted-back style leaves something to be desired given that the wrong side of the fabric makes too much of an appearance. Sigh.
All in all I'm pretty pleased--it's my first dress, and I think it's rather lovely. we'll see how it holds up to wearing this weekend at a semi-formal--hopefully my hand stitching holds up to hours of dancing