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Monday, June 25, 2012

Random Pics of the Day...

On Saturday B and I took Elsie on her first big girl hike, she's been dying to go. We accidentally chose the steepest trail, it had us hiking straight up the mountain and rock climbing the last leg! I've never been more impressed by my little trooper :)

  { Having a rest above the tree line }

{ View from the top }

Monday, June 18, 2012

Save the Date // Knit City

I've mentioned before how very excited I am that a full blown Fibre Festival is coming to Vancouver. I love any excuse to travel to Vancouver (I live across the water on Vancouver Island). It's such a lovely city to visit and I always leave feeling energized and inspired. 

A visit to vibrant Vancouver + a Fibre Festival... I can't wait! 

Knit Social has just announced the vendor lineup and I am happy to announce that my amazing sidekick Shannon and I will be there with printed patterns, samples to look at and try on, and who knows what other goodies we'll have in tow!

So mark your calendars, plan a road trip, and come and see us at Knit City this October!

Monday, June 11, 2012

S A L E ! ! !

I've been diving into the archives lately and noticed that it's been far too long since I've thrown a 3 for 2 party, it's about time I did! So if you've had a few of my patterns in your queue or your faves, now's your chance to get a little extra. From now until the end of July, choose 3 patterns from my Ravelry Pattern Store or Etsy Shop and only pay for 2! 
Here's how it works...

  1. Visit my Ravelry Pattern Store
  2. Add 3 of my patterns to your cart
  3. In the shopping cart window enter this coupon code : 3for2
How to enter your coupon code...

Next to the "checkout now" button in your shopping cart window, click on "use a coupon code" and enter "3for2", once you hit "apply" you will immediately see your discount for the additional pattern.  

  1. Visit my Etsy Shop
  2. Add any 2 patterns to your cart
  3. During checkout, enter 3for2 into the "Note to janerichmond" field found underneath your items, also let me know which pattern you would like to receive as your free pattern. 
Rules for using your coupon code on ETSY..

Your free pattern selection must be of equal or lesser value than the patterns you've purchased, if not, your coupon code will be null and void. Coupon code must be entered during ETSY checkout not Paypal.  


Happy Monday!

Monday, June 4, 2012

In the Garden // Garden Tour

 We've been having unseasonably cool grey weather through late May and early June.
 Today is no exception, the sky is heavily overcast which makes it ideal for a garden photo shoot. 

Things are moving rather slowly in the garden. The progress is subtle, and to an outside observer it wouldn't seem there is much to get excited about. But to me, the one who has raised all but a few plants from seed, these changes are worth writing home about. 

...or at least writing to you about :)

Plus, I haven't given you a proper garden tour this year, so grab your gumboots and come take a walk with me around the garden...

Early Vine Tomato 
{ Early Cascade from West Coast Seeds }
~ sown indoors march 7 ~

Yellow Bush Tomato 
{ Gold Nugget / seeds from last years crop }
~ sown indoors march 7 ~

 I've pulled the strawberries from the ground and potted them up to get away from the slugs.

 Miniature Romaine Lettuce
{ Little Gem from West Coast Seeds }
~ sown outdoors april 19 ~

{ Vibrant Seeds from Seedy Saturday 2011 }
~ sown outdoors march 25 ~

 Perennial Arugula
{ West Coast Market Blend / Mescluns from West Coast Seeds Spring 2011 }
~ sown outdoors march 25 ~

 Corn Salad
{ Mache from West Coast Seeds }
~ sown outdoors march 25 ~

{ West Coast Seeds }
~ sown outdoors april 15 ~

{ Rainbow Lacinato from West Coast Seeds Spring 2011 }
~ sown outdoors april 15 ~

{ Bandit from West Coast Seeds Spring 2011 }
~ sown indoors march 7 ~

 The best Mother's Day gift ever. 

Snow Peas
{ Oregon Sugar Pod from West Coast Seeds }
~ sown indoors march 7 ~

 Heirloom Carrots 
{ Little Fingers from West Coast Seeds }
~ sown outdoors april 15 ~

 Cape Gooseberries
{ Aunt Molly's from West Coast Seeds }
~ sown indoors march 7 ~

{ purchased plant from Capital Iron }
~ transplanted may 6 ~

 I had no idea I liked figs. There are 4 fig trees on the property and last year I lived on roasted fig salads with balsamic vinaigrette.

The miniature yellow plums always surprise me because they do such a good job of blending in with their surroundings until they are falling off the trees with over ripeness.

. . .

Well, I took some of your great advice and turned the soil in the veggie plot before planting it so that the slugs couldn't get too comfortable. I'm not doing straw pathways or brick borders this year for the same reason. I've also been applying coffee grounds and crushed egg shells to the soil around plants that are particularly tasty to the slugs. All of this seems to be working quite well. I still catch slugs on some of the plants or find the damage to leaves the next morning but it's minimal which makes me very happy. 
Because this is year two in this garden I was far more organized and had my seed order in long before I needed to start sowing. I even had seeds left over from last year. I also collected seeds from my favorite tomato varieties last season which has been really rewarding. 
Three of my tomato varieties have already set fruit which I am really excited about. I didn't take very good notes last year but it feels like they are earlier which is great news. I've been taking very detailed notes on all 13 varieties of tomato so that I can really narrow down my faves and get the earliest and best yields. They are my favorite thing to grow and by far the most rewarding.

Do you have a garden? How's it growing?

...also, I'm really enjoying the archives of my In the Garden posts. It has been really useful to have a photo journal of my vegetable gardens over the years. I've decided to organize all of these posts for easier reference on their own page. So if you'd like to browse my gardening posts from the past, check out the new In the Garden tab at the top of the page.  

Friday, June 1, 2012

Dyeing to Get Some Colour

Last Saturday I attended the highly anticipated Dyeing to Get Some Colour class with Felicia Lo of Sweet Georgia Yarns. I had never dyed yarn before but learning was on my bucket list so when this class was announced by my favorite indie dyer I knew I had to enroll.

I wasn't really sure what to expect or more importantly what to bring with me so I ordered 3 bare skeins of Knit Picks yarn and 1 sock blank. In the end I didn't really need any of it, we were each given an undyed skein of Tough Love Sock that had been sectioned into 4 mini skeins, one for each of the methods we would be learning. 

. . .

Immersion Dyeing
 There were 8 of us in the class and enough equipment to split up into 3 groups. I convinced my team to use yellow as our base, aren't I sneaky? I'm glad I did because I have a new appreciation for all of those perfect shades of yellow yarn that I am always drawn to, yellow is tricky. We used pure yellow with what we thought was WAY too much pink and this is what we ended up with. 

{ No trace of pink in this skein. }

Over Dyeing
We had immersed 2 of our mini skeins in the yellow dye. We left one to dry while the other went on to be over dyed. This time we chose to use pure magenta with a few drops of brown. 

We were completely surprised by the result, a vibrant sort of coral orange type colourway. I think this was my favorite technique from the class, layering two colours.

Hand Painting
Then we moved on to hand painting. I chose not to hand paint a mini skein because I don't really have any use for variagated yarn. Instead Misocraftyknits and I used this technique to stripe our sock blanks. 

It didn't really go as smoothly as I would have liked... Here I was thinking that I could sponge on some colour and make my own perfectly self stripping sock yarn, ha! 

Lesson # 1: 
 Dye bleeds. No matter how careful you are with your application, you won't get tidy little lines stacked one after the other.

 Lesson # 2:
 Hand painting an entire sock blank with rainbow colours takes way more time than I was prepared to devote to it. I'm pretty certain that if I had known how long it was going to take me I would have a) chosen another plan of attack for my sock blank, or b) left my sock blank at home. It was sort of all consuming just to get it done in time before the class ended and it would have been nice to have been taking in what else was going on around me instead. 

Kettle Dyeing (Hot Pour Method) 
...Which brings me to technique number 4, the one that I completely missed because of my all consuming sock blank :) 

. . .

All in all it was a really wonderful class and I learned a heck of a lot. Felicia is an excellent instructor and I really enjoyed her teaching style. She had made really lovely hand outs (I'm sort of sorry I made notes on mine, that's how pretty they are) and began the class with a short but thorough explanation of colour theory. Each technique was explained before we jumped in and Felicia was really good at hanging back and letting us learn through doing (which is the only way I learn). 

I could have dyed all day!