Clover

I was sitting in the yard eating my lunch the other day when I noticed some bees working the clover. I like to think these are my bees even tho there is no way to tell for sure. They do have the lovely golden bodies that my girls have.

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A few of the bees I saw looked like mini honey bees. I’m not sure if it was an optical illusion, they where small sell bees, or they where imposters.

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Its kind of hard to tell the size difference in the photos, and I can’t remember if this is one I thought was big or little.

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I felt really guilty mowing down the clover when I was mowing the grass. I also decided against mowing the weed patch that is going to be our rain garden so they would have some clover left. I also know there are plenty of other yards running over with clover.

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Running Away

Jake and I are going backpacking and climbing up in New Hampshire for a few days. I’m looking forward to a break in the heat. I woke up this morning feeling like I was going to melt, and sitting here with my laptop I still feel like I’m going to melt. The heat broke me down and went to the local “pond” for a swim for the first time since I was much younger. I have to say swimming laps in a pond is not fun. I need to remember to pack a spindle tomorrow, so I will be ready to start the tour de fleece.

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Because Cooking in the summer is smart

I seem to have developed a blog backlog. It’s been so hot that I just didn’t want to sit with the laptop long enough to type anything. On Tuesday I called up my friend and talked her into going berry picking at the little place in town. It’s rather late in the year so it was slim pickings, but I managed to get a quart.

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I also picked 6 cups of black raspberries. Most of them will be turned into jam, some where eaten with yogurt for breakfast. I think that there is going to another few buckets of these coming in for jam before they are done for the season.

I used the strawberries to make ice cream. I used the Ben and Jerry’s recipe with the condensed milk sweet cream base. I used a potato masher on the strawberries and left some chunks. There has been a request for chunk free strawberry ice cream in the future and I will most likely follow though with that by putting the strawberry sugar goo in the food processor.

While the strawberry sugar goo for ice cream was in the fridge doing its thing I made some marinated mushrooms for my mom. Its not a very photogenic product so you will have to imagine a mason jar filled with mushrooms, oil, vinegar, green onions, and shallots.

I was trying to go easy on the cream based desserts, so Wednesday night I cranked out some lemon sorbet. (I might have accidentally bought twice as many lemons as I needed earlier this week) This was another Ben and Jerry recipe. I replaced the corn syrup with honey for obvious reasons and used some mango flavored rum that had been kicking around forever. The result was a somewhat sophisticated tasting dessert with lovely layers of flavor.

Jake Wanted to See the Bees

These are from Saturday, my mom took these pictures from what she deemed a safe distance.

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That’s my super awesome frame stand. Its made up of bubble gum buckets I got from someone at my office. I was using it to point out things to Jake since he did not want to hold the bar.

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Jake took some pictures too including this one with various size larva and some capped brood. If you wonder over to flickr there are a few more I didn’t share. Also clicking pictures should bring you to the flickr page where you can view gigantic versions.

Rainbow yarn

I finally finished the first half of some really bright merino supper wash roving from Play at Life Fiber Arts. I needed to get it off my Two Tails Spindle before the Tour de Fleece starts.

I droped it the other day and the cop slid down revealing the pretty layers of color.

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I rewound it onto a bobbin from one of my wheels. I put the bobbin onto my louet and put the drive band over the whorl on the bobbin (its from my double drive wheel) Then I tried letting the spindle sit gently on my hands, but found that winding the singles on as if I was going to Andean ply works much better. Since the cop is not evenly wound the spindle needs to constantly rotate at different speeds in the first method making it a bit awkward, especially when you get towards the end.

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Then I might have borrowed the pretty “new” wheel to ply on. We went outside and I quickly Navajo plied it up. I seriously don’t know how you could Navajo ply on a wheel without a tensioned Kate.

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It looks much nicer now that its had a bath and has dried out… but I’m too lazy to take new pictures.

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Summer is Here

I know that you think Summer doesn’t start till next week, but I have proof you are wrong.

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My father promptly yelled at me for eating all of “his” berries when he caught me eatting directly off the brambles this afternoon. Directly off the plant, or in a bowl of milk with some sugar are the only two ways to eat fresh berries… in case you where wondering.

In case you think that black berries and black rasberries are the same thing I will point out how to identify a black raspberry.

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In a blackberry the stem stays in, in either kind of raspberry the stem pulls out leaving a hole in the top of the berry.

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You can see the little white bit that stays on the plant with the stem. The two berries don’t really taste anything alike… I prefer the red and black raspberries to blackberries. Our blackberries are also much larger then a raspberry and sadly they aren’t ripe yet so I can’t give you a picture.

P.S the bees say hi.

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New Toy!

I was getting ready for Knit in Public day when my parents call me; they had just left the house so I assumed they had some odd or end for me to do. They where actually around the corner at a tag sale and found a spinning wheel and wanted me to come look at and see if it was worth buying.

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I arrived to find an Ashford Traditional, a few bags of fiber, niddy noddy, double treadle upgrade with the original single treadle in a box, and other odds and ends. I asked if I could test it and the lady brought me a stool and I set up on the sidewalk (the only flat spot) and started spinning. Of course, any time you start spinning on a wheel you draw a crowd. It was in dire need of some oil, but it was in working order. So my mom plopped down the cash for what I consider to be an obscenely cheap wheel.

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I really feel bad for this women. She had all the toys to learn to spin, but 2 of the bags of fiber where horrible. The staple length is probably not over an inch and a half and filled with second cuts… not really stuff to be learning on. There was some merino and mohair/wool but that wasn’t what was on the bobbin. The extra bobbins don’t even have leaders on them.

My mom tried to spin a bit today and made typical beginner yarn. She didn’t want to try the drop spindle first so we shall see how it goes. She started with the gross short staple wool, but did a lot better once I made her switch to the mohair blend.