~~blessed trails and a magical equinox to you this day as we turn toward buttery pies and darkening skies ahead::it’s a digging into the worm rich soil, a skeletal stalky garden with seedheads silhouetted bird food here, a hint of green in plantain, lettuce, kale, grasshopper basking in the sun while the busy ants make the most of the time left to them before it’s down under, one door closing to another opening:: a tunneling into hills, burrows and dens to spring out of::later when these butterflies wake up in mexico and the warming earth we’ll hoe into furrows, for now:: though summer’s at end, autumn, hinting golden gloriously tawny, is right on the curvaceous bend::we’re celebrating all the radiant cycles of life this red sky walking night, may your hearth fires burn bright!~~
Teapot Cosy/Warmer: pattern from Farrokh Namazi
Two sides to be knitted either in one color or two contrasting colors.
Medium weight wool: 1/2 of a 3 oz. ball x 2 in two different colors or a whole 3 oz. ball if making the back and front in one color
Number 7 needles
Cast on 48 stitches
Garter stitch (11 knit rows)
Purl 12th row to create blocks of ridges
Knit three blocks of 5 garter ridges
Then a further 3 ridges (5 knit rows)
On 6th row which should be on the WS (wrong side), begin decrease as follows:
K1 ssk k10 pm (place marker) ssk knit 18 k2tog,pm, knit 10 k2tog k1
Rows 2-4 St.st (knit one row, purl one row)
5th row – (on wrong side) k1, ssk knit to marker, sl marker, ssk, knit to within last two stitches before marker, k2tog, sl marker, knit to last 3 st, k2tog, knit 1
Continue working this decrease row every 4th row twice. Then every other row 5 times. Bind off all remaining st. (Should be 12)
Make two of the above.
Sew side seams up to 1 1/2″. Leave 4 1/2″ open on each side for spout and handle. Sew the top 3″ opening
Make three 3-4″ I-cord ropes in same colors with one additional color. Stitch them into coiled loops on top.
Well, we know it’s spring because the bloodroot has come and gone and trillium speckles the slopes. Violets are dotting the grasses, their heart shaped leaves beckoning us to take a nibble. The leaves always taste cooling to me and wet, while the flowers have a peppery bite to them. And the sight of them lifts my spirits up, up toward the sky. The children went on a walk this morning to look for morels and came back with a basket of violet flowers instead. We usually make violet syrup with such gatherings when violet’s are out in hearty profusion, which is good for coughs, colds, and headaches though it goes pretty fast in our house as a soothing, sweet tasting syrup. We use this process and these proportions:
To every one cup of violet blossoms, 1 cup of boiling water
Pack the violet blossoms in a jar and top with the boiling water. Infuse overnight. Strain the blossoms and put the tea in a pot. Boil for ten minutes. Turn off the heat and add 1 cup of honey per cup of liquid. Mix well, cool, pour into jars and store.
This year I followed the same proportions to infuse the blossoms but instead of straining them, I put the blossoms and tea into a blender along with the honey and made a smooth slurry. This has been bottled and put in the fridge . . . . a tablespoon mixed with a cup of cold water and a squeeze of lemon is very refreshing, though I intend to blend more violets into this ‘base’ over the season, play with it and see how thick will it get . . ..
For now we shall nibble on violets in the field and once the lilacs bloom, from under their branches where they grow clustered in the cool, damp earth and grow right on up into the heat of summer when they get covered by bishops weed for the rest of the season and the remaining leaves become a bit too dry for our tastes . . . . perhaps the bunnies like them then? If you set out to make some, keep our furry friends in mind, leave them lots behind!
Cotton Newborn – 6 month Beanie Pattern from Farrokh Namazi
Set of #5 double pointed needles
1 ball of cotton yarn (will make two caps)
Cast on 2 st and make an inch long icord
Knit 1, make 1, k1 m1
Knit next row
(after each increase row, knit one row)
Knit 2, make 1, repeat to end
Knit 3, make 1, repeat to end
(Divide equally between 4 double pointed needles)
Knit 4, make 1, repeat to end
Knit 5, make 1, repeat to end
Knit 6, make 1, repeat to end
Knit 7, make 1, repeat to end
Knit 8, make 1, repeat to end
Knit 9, make 1, repeat to end
Knit 10, make 1, repeat to end
You should have sixty stitches on four needles
Continue knitting, for next 3 inches without any increase or as long as you want it to be.
Purl three rows
A lady we know has fallen ill and not only has she been unable to work for a month, but is having difficulty finding a doctor who will perform the surgery she needs. She’s got an appointment scheduled for December and in the meantime is in a lot of pain. We know her through the local foods coop that we shop at; a place that we love. She runs the register there, packs our boxes and orders produce, and answers all the children’s questions with a smile and a giving spirit. We love her, as do the people she works with, who are preparing her meal’s daily in the coop’s cafe kitchen.
Recently the coop’s manager sent out a letter to the membership updating them as to her condition, and putting out a call for a little help for her from everyone . . . . . could be food, money, a prayer, a ride, a card, whatever. She gets paid on a daily basis, and since she’s taken all her sick leave/vacation and is now on open, unpaid sick leave, the manager was concerned as to how she would pay her bills and keep up with her living expenses until she can get back to work.
So we had a discussion about all this and the children wanted to know just how come it was taking her so long to find a doctor who would heal her? Little Man was picturing her walking up to a doctor, in pain and anguish, asking if the doctor would please help her, and just how could the doctor say no?? I wondered at this too, I mean what does it cost us to help one another out? Seems to me that one only gains by doing so. Money is so material, and comes and goes but relationships come and grow and grow instead.
As we were having our discussion, and it so happens that we can’t contribute financially, we were talking about what we could do. Make her cards, paper flowers, things to cheer her up, etc. the children began pondering what we could sell to make money that we could give her . . . . . this involved everything from their toys, to furniture, to books, to basically emptying out our house, and finally they had an idea: we could bake cookies and sell them, and give her that money! We all agreed upon this as something we could do, as our money gets turned into a well stocked pantry that can be turned into food and back into the needed dollars this way. We spent a morning together baking chocolate chip, molasses, and peanut butter cookies alongside of apple pie bars, all the ingredients we already had in our well stocked pantry. It was really fun, and when done we wrapped them in up, all 4 dozen treats.
Down the mountain there is a corner store that sells gas, bbq, hot dogs, guns, bullets, beer, and other sundries. It gets a lot of traffic around here. Locals and hunters hang out in the parking lot chatting, loggers and anglers sit at the picnic table telling tall tales and then some, and the owner, Rodger, lets folks keep a tab. It’s kind of like the food coop, with a slightly different flavor, a community all the same. To his parking lot the treats went, along with Laughing Fox, Little Man, Girl, and Stormy. We’d called down to the store and asked if we could sell cookies in his parking lot, and he said, “Sure come on down.”
Tenderfoot and I stayed at home and made some cards. When the others came back the treats were gone but they had $98.35!!! The treats weren’t priced, so when folks asked how much, Laughing Fox told them to give however much they wanted for however much they wanted, and told them a bit about what they were doing there. They were all so excited when they got back and filled with stories about all the new friends they’d made and the people they met, stories shared and Laughing Fox was marvelling at the experience he’d just had, all fueled and motivated by these children. Later more filtered in and we gathered around $200 for her.
It’s amazing what magic can happen when we share and have discussions that include our children, where there is space for them to contribute to the table as well, when we’re willing to act from their place of knowing, and to not only see but to be kindness in the world. It was an educational moment for us all here today, the day before Thanksgiving. We are thankful. Happy day to all of you out there.