Planting the Garden, Springtime in Maine

We have had some amazing Spring weather for the last two weeks.  Beautiful, sunny, highs in the 60s.  But not a drop of rain until last night.  So, I planted all of my “early spring” veggies the last week of April, and have been diligently watering them.  Sugar snap peas, spinach, arugula, various lettuces, are all in the ground and sprouting.  Our herb raised garden has quite a few plants growing in it from last year — love that — and the chives, tarragon and oregano all look amazing.

Spring chives

Spring chives

Tarragon, planted from cuttings in 2012

Tarragon, planted from cuttings in 2012

I also discovered dill the other day that was not meant to be there.  That’s okay!  I transplanted it to a good square and we’ll see how it goes.  We have also been doing our spring chores because of the great weather, and I painted our entire front porch (back breaking work with something like 75 little spindles to paint, some of which are located behind prickly rose bushes), and Hubby cleaned and sealed our porch and decks.

Our hops plants are growing like….hops.  I think they’ve grown at least 8 inches in the last 3 days (or it seems that way).



The dogs are enjoying the lovely Spring weather too.  Hamp is 4.5 and finally settling down a bit.  Magnus turned 13 a few months ago, but is still getting around well.  I think Hamp keeps him feeling young a bit.  Even when he has to steel himself to go up the stairs at bedtime.  I think his old bones are happy it’s Springtime.



Hmm...Hamp, what's that dirt on your nose?  Digging in the garden already?

Hmm…Hamp, what’s that dirt on your nose? Digging in the garden already?

Cashmere bunny

I made Betz White’s free pattern for a cashmere bunny last night. So-o-o-o cute! Betz wrote Warm Fuzzies which I got for Christmas and I absolutely love. Highly recommended!

I got the cashmere sweater at Goodwill for $4.99. The cashmere is a bit slippery to work with, but it turned out okay. Her pattern calls for sewing closed the opening after you turn it, and attaching a tail. Her suggestions for a tail include a yarn pompom or a wool felt ball. I decided to stuff the bunny with wool batting instead of polyfill, and then I let the batting hang out the end. Then I sewed the hole closed through the batting that was sticking out, and needle-felted the bit of wool hanging out the end into a tail. It turned out very cute! I had to go back to Goodwill today to try to find another color of a cashmere sweater so I could make another one in a different color! I might have been successful. I’m not sure if the sweater I bought is cashmere or not because the tag had been cut out. I guess we’ll see how it works out! It was pretty quick and easy to make. I’d say it took about 2 hours max. (We were having a crafty-girl night, so there was much chatter and not as much crafting!)

Pause in craftiness

So, yes, once again, I’ve been MIA from my blog. There just hasn’t been any squirrelly craftiness going on recently! We went on an awesome trip to San Francisco for a good friend’s wedding. Of course, in addition to the actual cross-country travel, there’s the time it takes to get ready for such a trip as well as the time it takes to recuperate from such a trip.

The other reason for my lack of current craftiness has been that it is SPRING! Hooray! So, instead of being inside creating, I have been outside creating. We have a gorgeous brand new patio with fire pit (that was hired-out creating) and our square foot gardening boxes are ready for some seeds and seedlings! The seeds will hopefully go in this weekend, but we are going to wait another week for the seedlings. The last frost date is pretty late in Zone 4!

I did finish my embroidered bunny last night. I just need to wash and press it and I’ll take a picture to share. I think it is going to become the centerpiece of a small baby quilt. Also, someone on another board shared some awesome pirate gnomes that they made using my tutorial, and I will hopefully share a picture of them soon.

Has anyone ever made a sunflower play house? I just noticed some instructions in a Family Fun newsletter and I thought it looked like it could be great fun for the kids.

Not all crafting is successful

I did mention that I’m a brand new knitter, have never taken a class, etc., right? Okay, because it’s nice to have a reason for my poor little bunny who doesn’t quite look like a bunny. To be honest, I was a bit confused by some of the directions in how to assemble the bunny. Also, it was supposed to be knit with #2 needles, which I couldn’t do since they are so tiny, so I used #4. I’m sure that probably meant that I had to change some of the other instructions, but since I’m such a novice, I didn’t really know how to do that. Oh well. First attempts are always worthwhile! Perfection is not necessary in crafting. I’ll leave perfection to my friends with OCD and to mass manufacturers conforming to ISO standards and whatnot.

He looks much cuter in the pictures than he does in real-life. He’s a bit lopsided. My younger son seems to like him though. It was my first completed knitting project however. Hooray for me! I enjoyed the knitting and actually figured out how to bind off a project, so those are good things. The videos at Knitting Help were excellent.

Knitting little bunnies

I am not a knitter. I’m a wannabe knitter but have never made the effort to learn beyond getting some supplies and trying it out a time or two. So I was looking through my latest issue of Living Crafts magazine (awesome, awesome craft mag!), and saw these adorable little knit bunnies. They looked pretty simple. (Yeah, right.) Well, they are supposed to be knit on size 2 needles. Those are tiny. So, after several failed attempts, I stepped up to size 4, and progress went a little better. I finally have my swatch ready to bind off, and then, you tie it off in different places to make the ears, and sew up the body, do some embroidered eyes, etc., and voila! Of course, I’m having a bit of trouble binding off since I haven’t ever actually done that before. I’ll figure it out. I’m going to check out the “how to” videos at Knitting Help. And, I think I am going to start a class at my LYS (local yarn store). So, hopefully a picture of a bunny with be forthcoming.