Booze jam and other updates

It’s been forever since I’ve posted anything here. This working-full-time, having-a-toddler, moving-to-a-new-house thing really sucks a lot of time away from the optional parts of your life.

We stopped by “the old house” in North Durham this morning to put a lock box on the door, and worked in a visit to West Point on the Eno on the way home. A nice little hike was had (if you don’t count the whining, demands to be picked up, and the fact that we had to haul Griff back to the car while he screamed “NONONO!” and struggled like a rabid weasel). Here are some pictures of the nice parts of the visit.

Walking in the park

Puddle poking

Add a severed pig’s head and you have “Lord of the Flies”!

A terrifying Lord of the Flies moment

Griff looking pensive

Griff enjoying the rock wall

The most exciting part of the visit was this fallen tree blocking the road when we tried to leave. Apparently that storm last night hit North Durham a lot harder than us!

Tree down in the road at West Point on the Eno Park

In crafting news, I’ve managed to get some spinning done lately! Griff is finally old enough now that I can leave the spinning wheel undefended in the living room full time. This is a huge leap forward in terms of me being able to plunk down and sneak in a few minutes of spinning while Griff plays nearby.

Right now I’m alternating between spinning the black Shetland fleece I bought at SAFF and spinning random 4oz bumps of other stuff (in this case, some Shetland that I dyed). I’m toying with the idea of plying all the various other things with the black Shetland and using it to make a sweater for me.

I've actually gotten some spinning done!

Speaking of knitting, I had a real bummer lately. I cast on for the Scrap Cardigan in the “medium” size, which purportedly should fit a “4-5-year-old”. Griff has been wearing 5T shirts for a while now (even though he’s not even 2.5), so I figured I’d be safe making this size and increasing the length as needed, since it’s top down. Well, not so much. I knitted my way through most of the yoke, and after putting it on waste yarn and offering bribes of Oreos and much begging and pleading, I finally got Griff to stand still for 30 seconds and try it on. It was way, way too small. 🙁 🙁 Rip rip rip.

Griff's stripey sweater, attempt one

So I found another pattern that was similar, and bought it and started knitting on it in the 5-6 year old size. I’m over halfway through the yoke, and if this one doesn’t fit I’m just going to wrap Griff in all the yarn like a mummy this fall. I’m using a variety of oddballs and leftover yarns and I’m planning to make the stripes on the body and arms totally random so I don’t have to keep track of row counts or make sure I have enough of each yarn to match stripes. Random is how I roll these days.

Griff's crazy stripe cardigan, attempt 2

The past two weekends I’ve been on a jam-making frenzy due to all the great fruit at the Farmers Market. This weekend I made two batches of peach-blueberry-Grand Marnier jam. I was inspired by this recipe, but added some freshly grated nutmeg and a few teaspoons of cardamom to each batch, and added a pint of blackberries to one of the batches along with the blueberries. I used Ball Low Sugar Pectin because that’s what I had.

The start of something delicious

It starts out looking like this…

Jam, just starting out

and then this…

Jam, cooking down

and then this…

Jam, cooking down

and then…

Jam, ready to jar up

Jars of jam in the hot tub

…it’s jam!

Peach/blueberry Grand Marnier Jam

Peach/blueberry Grand Marnier jam

On a random note, we bought these alphabet cards recently and love them. We had a wall that was begging for something, so I used some Command adhesive thingies to put them up (while watching the Olympics, as you can see).

Alphabet cards

The illustrations are adorable, and I love the way the landscapes on some of the cards flow together, like this road:

Mind the P and Q

and this pond:


The End!

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