Friday, November 28, 2008

Coal River Mountain update

So Massey has gotten approval for one of their permits. Just one... It's for about 195 acres of the 6600 that they want to destroy. Still, it is one too many, if you ask me.

And the CEO is crazy. Like... I worry about him if this is his world view crazy... He invented a new word in his tirade too. Check out the article and then go send a letter to the Governor of West Virginia to help stop Massey from destroying Coal River Mountain, k? Gov. Manchin is the only person who can really stop what they're doing, so let's put the pressure on, yeah?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Spinning and garden adventures...

So I've been spinning since receiving the roving I ordered earlier this week. I've got the 1.5 ounce sample of gray Shetland, one ounce of the 4 ounces of Merino, and two ounces of Falkland spun. I've only been blocking these skeins for about half an hour after washing them and then drapping them across the clothesline in the yard so they will dry quickly, which has worked very well. Two hours after I ply the skeins, they're dry and ready to use. *loves this*

I've been using the new-to-me predrafting technique described at Knitty, and spinning differently than I have before. I read somewhere quite awhile ago and can't remember where that if you put little spin into your singles, and then a lot of spin into the ply, you get fluffier yarn and the fiber goes farther. So I decided to try that and I have to say, it's very true. I've also been figuring my yardage, which I've never really made of point of doing before. Out of the latest ounce of Falkland, I got 126 yards of fingering weight yarn, which is exactly the weight I was hoping to get for the project for which I made it. The first ounce I spun turned out to be worsted weight when I gauged it and about 100 yards (still not bad and I'm sure I'll find a use for it). The ounce of Merino is 115 yards of worsted, which is the weight I need for my planned project for that too. I had never gotten over 100 yards out of an ounce before to the best of my knowledge and I'm quite thrilled about this!

The Falkland ounce is still a little damp on the ends that were hanging downward, so I had to adjust it so they are in the sun now so it will dry completely faster. (OMG! English verb tenses!!!) As soon as it is, it will be swatch time! *does a little dance*

Some pictures of the roving before it was spun and after:




All of them:

And here, have some pictures of what's going on in my yard right now... You'd think it was May and not mid-November.

Some kind of flower that grows in water. Don't know what it is:

Apple blossoms:

Grape hyacinths:

I didn't mean for those to be coming up right now, but they surely are and I just hope that they don't die because they're coming up at the wrong time of the year...

A frog... or toad... or something... chillin':

I've looked it up and I believe that the frog is a "green frog," as seen here.

Our 13(?) goldfish:

The garden:



Broccoli (which probably won't grow fast enough):

Carrots and parsnips:

Assorted lead lettuces and garden peas:

Mustard greens:



Friday, November 21, 2008

Go make yourself heard...

Because he's awesome, President-Elect Obama has set up a website where we can all send his people our ideas about what needs to be done in this country.

Check it out!

Some talking points I thought important to bring up:
  • Energy independence, but in a green way. No more mountain-top removal coal mining. No more lies about "clean" coal. No new nuclear power plants. Wind, solar, hydroelectric, tidal, geothermal - FTW!

  • Agriculture - NO NAIS! Support for family farms, organic farms, local agriculture projects, education, etc. Down with factory farming!

  • Reducing the amount of energy Americans currently consume. More efficient cars. More solar panels on residential, public and business buildings. Clotheslines available for everyone to use, YAY!

More Supernatural Spoilers, Ilana...

I wouldn't say a word, but I just have to.

Dear Eric Kripke:

I, and I'm sure many other fans as well, would very much appreciate it if you would consult the Universal Mary Sue Litmus Test before writing female characters ever again. I'm not kidding. Anna was terrible. I can't remember the last time I saw a more ridiculous female character on screen.

Now, please understand, I loved Jo, Ellen, Missouri, Mary, Jess, Pam, Ava and many of the other female characters who have been written for the show. I grew to see the purpose of Bela, and by the end of the season, I didn't mind her so much. Even Ruby isn't so bad, though I still don't trust her. So it's not that I hate female characters. Far from it. But Anna scored a whopping 58 on this test, which qualifies her to be killed dead. I feel like you've just wasted two episodes here on tripe and I want to know what the hell the point of that was supposed to be. I don't mean that at all in a good way.

Seriously, Kripke, please just let Sera Gamble write the show. This episode was awful, and at least last week had some redeeming moments due to Sera's genius and wit. Fifth Element, yeah, okay, I guess. But other than the resounding amazingness that is Jensen, Jared and Misha, I kind of unequivocally hated "Heaven and Hell."

Also, the Impala? Really? You needed to desecrate it for a re-enactment of Jack and Rose's love scene from Titanic like that? Really?

I do, however, like Ruby a little bit more than I did after these episodes. Just a little. And Genevieve's acting is getting better, week by week.

Not Impressed

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I has mail!

more animals

Fiber mail at that! I got the order of roving from Copper Moose via ebay for Holiday gifts, and also 5 1/8 pounds of raw llama from Tareena, a friend of mine who lives in Orlando.

Tareena, until very lately, worked on a llama farm, which is having to shut down due to hard times, and Tareena would like me to get this fiber processed and make her something to remember the llamas by. I certainly will do that. It's lovely long-stapled stuff. There's about 2.75 pounds of gray/brown, which is very soft with very little if any guard hair, and a little more than 2 1/3 pounds of white/gray, which does have some guard hair, but I'm sure the processors can take care of that.

Now, I just need to find a processor who can clean it... I may send off the alpaca Ilana sent me several years ago and the pound of clean but uncombed lambswool I got from Yarns Etc. earlier this year at the same time, if they can process that at a good price too. We'll have to see... I've never sent fiber to a processor before, and I know some places won't take small lots unless they can process it altogether at the same time or they charge extra. I wouldn't mind the lambswool being blended with the others, but I'd like the alpaca, each to be kept separate, and each of the llama lots to be kept separate as well... So I'm going to have to do some searching... I wonder, is there's a group on Ravelry about fiber processors??? *makes mental note to check*

From Copper Moose, I got 8 ounces of Falkland for presents (and it is very white for natural fiber, just as I had hoped), 4 ounces of sky blue European Merino for myself, and he sent me a sample of the Shetland that I wanted and might not be able to use. A very generous sample, I might add! Almost 2 full ounces, according to my scale... I really do adore him because he's so very accommodating and is all about the customer service... something I very much appreciate because there's always a question about whether or not one is getting good fiber when it's ordered through the internet. Something so tactile and prone to veriations in quality and hand not being able to be touched before it's paid for... It can be sketchy. A lot of people are very understandably nervous about buying spinning fibers via the internet. But I've always been very confident about what I'm buying from Copper Moose. The only place I'd trust more is what is now Gate City Yarns in Greensboro. But in this case, speed was a necessity, so Copper Moose...

First impressions on the Falkland: It's not silky like Merino usually is, but in ever other respect it is just as soft. I can't wait to spin it!

Dude! Tubular Cast-on!

This looks kind of amazing and so very genius and useful... I wonder if there's a bind-off equivalent... *wonders*

Friday, November 14, 2008

Le sigh...

So the Shetland might not work out. Even though I inquired ahead of time and was told that the Shetland in question was not from Louet, after I bought it, the seller rechecked their suppliers and indeed the Shetland is from Louet after all... So I might have a reaction to it. He is giving me a refund for that portion of my order and he's sending me samples of the Shetland with the Merino and Falkland so I can test it. But this will delay my package going out until Monday, so I won't get the fiber earlier than Wednesday but Thursday is more likely. If the Shetland falls through, he does have some nice looking alpaca in the right colors from Ashland Bay and Peace of Yarns, so I'll give that a shot. I like alpaca...

Yay! and other things...

I got the coat I wanted! I'm so happy about that because I really kinda love it. Now, I just have to wait until it gets cold enough to wear it or for Christmas to come because it should be cold enough in Virginia. We're going to the cabin for the holidays... the only reason I won't go is if I still haven't gotten the subbing job. My mom thinks I should go anyway, and she might convince me yet, but my neighbors are going to Spain for Christmas and they have asked me to pet-sit their dogs. It would mean more than $300 if I do, which is a lot of money, you know... That would more than pay for all the presents I'm making with a generous bit left over... so we'll see. I probably will end up going to Virginia despite this temptation, just because I know my mom has got some valid points.

  • I'll eventually get a job and make money.

  • I don't need the money, I just want it.

  • I can't buy holiday memories with my family.

  • What's the use of staying home to offset the cost of the gifts I'm making/buying, when everyone would rather have me there in person than a gift.

A lot of valid points... So... yeah... And I'm sure my friend Maria, who will be pet-sitting for us, and is also moving to DC in January to attend grad school at American University, would appreciate the extra $300 that she won't have to borrow for the semester if my neighbor would want to hire her if I'm not here, since she'll be living at our house while we're gone anyway.

I also got the roving ordered that I need for the rest of the Holiday gifts I'm spinning/knitting... It should be here Wednesday at the latest. I can't wait! I got some Falkland, which I've been wanting to try for the longest time. I've heard different things about it. Some say that it's like Merino, and others say it's more like Corriedale, so I'm eager to find out for myself. In any event, it should be very soft. And I also got some Shetland in two different colors. I love Shetland! OMG! I think I want Shetland sheep at some point... They're just so beautiful, cute and lovely, and their wool is dreamy... They'd be good sheep to have, I think... And for myself, because I want to make myself a hat to match my beloved pashmina scarf, I got some European Merino in Sky Blue. From Ashland Bay. I'm wishy-washy on Ashland Bay. I think their Corriedale is seriously inferior, useless stuff. Easy to spin maybe, but not for anything I'd want to make with it. It's too coarse! Who wants coarse Corriedale? It defeats the purpose... Ashland Bay's Corriedale, imo, really isn't a good example of the breed's fiber. I've gotten absolutely heavenly soft, comfortable Corriedale from other suppliers and especially from individual farms, stuff that's closer to Shetland (but not quite as fine as Shetland), so I don't know what's wrong with their stuff. But we'll see how their Merino is. I have hope. The color is certainly very pretty on my computer screen.

A note on Merino... I've never been overly fond of it because despite it's softness, it can be a little tricky to spin. I find it kinda... sticky... generally... But I recently heard from a vegan PETA person at a knitting gathering that the Merino industry is rather evil. Not an unusual thing to hear from a vegan PETA person, since it seems everytime I hear anything from anyone that extreme it's with the attitude that anyone who doesn't treat animals like they would another human being or better is cruel and immoral... So I didn't really take her at her word. The things she was telling me made no sense as far as what I knew of raising sheep for wool. Mistreating sheep damages the wool and the value of the fiber on the market, and therefore the bottom line, so even the most callous industrialist - I would think - would want happy, healthy sheep that are well taken care of if sheep fiber were their business... I would think... So I did some research because what she was telling me was just so disturbing. She, of course, made it sound like all Merino sheep are mistreated, and I told her that I found that very hard to believe, and that most of the roving I get is from a small farm in NC (which is true, most of what I spin comes from Spinners' Ridge and Gate City Yarns - formally Yarns, Etc. in Greensboro). I told her that it's very easy to find wool produced under ethical, caring, healthy conditions, that all one has to do is talk to their suppliers. She didn't seem to believe me and prefers to stick with acrylic... because the petroleum that acrylic is made from doesn't hurt animals, you can see the logic there... :/ Oh, well... Even so, here's the 411 on Merino mistreatment... European and New Zealand Merinos are protected by law from the mistreatment they are subjected to in Australia - some barbaric practice called "mulesing" (I think I spelled that right), which I won't describe because it's just too disgusting. It's illegal in almost every country that produces quality Merino, but not in Australia. There it is widely employed to control parasites. Seems to me there must be better ways to go about that. So I'm inquiring where the Merino I buy is produced and boycotting Australian produced Merino, until the country outlaws the practice. I don't want fiber with that much blood and pain attached... just, no...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

So... that was awkward...

I went to lunch with my friend Maria today. We went to the mall because it's near her work and it's fast and she only has an hour for lunch. After we ate (because it doesn't take a full hour when you get your food in 10 minutes or less), we walked down to Old Navy really quick. They have a coat that I want and I wanted her opinion on it as I don't trust their mirrors. Just as soon as I get some more money in my account, I'm going to snap it up. It's cute. I kinda love it. (Picture here.) I'd love it more if it were lined in cotton or bamboo or really any natural fiber instead of polyester, but until I have several hundred dollars to spend on a designer coat or I get good enough at sewing to make my own or the McFashion industry starts using things other than petroleum synthetics to line coats, I'm going to have to grit my teeth and bear it... Maybe at some point I'll be able to rip the lining out of it and replace it with something better... *hopes* Anyway, Maria approved of the coat.

On the way back to my car, as we were talking and having a nice walk through the mall, we were accosted by a nice but still kinda rude young woman... And this is where the awkward that I can't help but be amused by for some reason today happened... This girl was younger than us, going by her unfortunate overuse of eyeliner and mascara and her Abercrombie & Fitch attire. She wanted to tell us about Jesus and pray with us and get us to verbally say we accept him as our savior so that she would know we would go to Heaven when we die... You know... *cocks eyebrow*... Now, Maria is a Christian, but she finds proselytizing extremely and uncomfortably distasteful. And I, as we all know, am a heathen Jew. LOL! So she asked us how we knew we'd go to Heaven when we die. Maria didn't speak at that point, I think it was too awkward, so I did because it's automatic at a certain point and I can't stop myself... Like I said, awkward... Now, I could have gone off on a shpil of what I really think about such a question... about how we don't know and neither does she really because there might be a Heaven or there might not, none of us can prove or disprove it, and really why does it matter all that much when there's so much we have to be doing, indeed so much that we are obligated to be doing, while we're alive anyway... But I didn't, because we would have been there half the afternoon, so I just said the very simple, "Because God loves us," as if it were self-evident because I figured that was an answer she was probably looking for, and she certainly seemed to think it was a good answer and heartily agreed with me. I interrupted her at that point and told her, in hopes that she'd leave us to our business, since she interrupted our conversation by coming up to us as if she knew us in the first place, that we were leaving the mall because Maria had to get back to work right away, but she refused to take that hint and said she would walk with us. o.O Right... 'Cause that's not creepy at all... So she fell into step beside me, and prayed aloud that God would allow us to accept Jesus so she, personally, would get to see us in Heaven, as she so ardently hoped she would. Honestly, I had to check myself not to laugh out loud. As it was, I know my lips twitched of their own accord into a very amused smile. I couldn't look at Maria because I knew if I did, I would have started laughing. And then, in a tone as if she were talking condescendingly to children - a tone I've heard many times from people such as her and normally it makes me want to tell them where they can stick their Bible, but this time it did not, this time it was just too amusing - she asked us to repeat after her, "I am a sinner, but I love God and I accept Jesus Christ in my heart as my lord and personal savior." (Or something to that general effect and I'm sure she would have capitalized that sentence differently...) I very-- I'm not sure what my tone was... I guess I was too amused by her youthful, zealous naivety to be pissed like I usually am at proselytizers... Anyway, I said to her, "Oh, I can't say that. I'm Jewish." And shrugged at her. She looked so very, very genuinely disappointed... I can't quite convey it in words. Just really, so disappointed that that was my answer. I have to laugh remembering it. And then she looked to Maria. I said, because Maria had such a look on her face, like she didn't know what to say to this girl, "But she could say it, if you want her to." And Maria just kinda shrugged and said she already had said it because she's a Christian. I'm not sure what the girl said or did at that point, other than she finally left us alone, but I think she was reasonably pleased with that answer. As soon as she was out of earshot, I said, "Well, that was awkward." And Maria added, "We really need to learn not to talk to people." It's true, we so do need to learn that. Gets us in trouble every freaking time... I felt compelled to add that at least we know better and don't give money to people who beg for it on the street. So that's something... And that launched us off on some reminiscences of times people begged us for money and/or we saw pickpockets in Europe. *nods* That happened to both of us a number of times over there. Way more than in the US...

So that was my day so far... LOL!

Because I'm not tired yet...

(though I hope to be shortly) and I'm trying to distract myself from the fact that the roving I ordered did not work out for me to spin (I am allergic to Louet brand roving... who knew?), but I'm sure Ilana will enjoy it and have better luck... I'm going to ramble a bit about things not very important in the grand scheme, but currently relevant to myself... Jewelry, fashion, colors and the coalescence thereof...

So... I have an awesome blouse I bought a few months ago. I had a coupon for a free $30 at Lane Bryant, I needed several shirts for the High Holy Days, it fit well, the color wasn't vile, I bought it. It was about $11 after discounts were applied. I love shopping wins. Plus it's 100% cotton, no petroleum-based synthetics - FTTW! I didn't think much of it at the time, it was just something I could buy to fill an immediate need and hole in my wardrobe. I have since fallen in love with it. It's a midnight sky blue. It has... not Swiss dots (since those are embroidered in) but something very close to them woven into the fabric and ever so slightly puffed sleeves. It goes with my coral necklace that I asked my sister to make for me because such color combos are IN according to the people who decide these things, as portrayed in the film and novel "The Devil Wears Prada." (Also, they say that bold, "statement" jewelry is the thing. And will continue to be the thing for at least the next year.) I am in love. Honestly, it is my favorite outfit right now and I fully intend to wear it half to death before Spring when it might be out of style. *nods sagely*

The coral necklace came to me one day in July. I was gazing at some coral beads in a bead shop and I thought I usually hate wearing such a bold red, but omg, those would make a pretty necklace! But I wavered on it for a few weeks and didn't buy the beads until almost September because until then I didn't have a vision of what I might want the necklace to look like. But I did buy them and had them sent to my sister and told her I just had to have some fabulous 18" long necklace made with them (and maybe some silver spacers). And she, being the talented, totally genius lapidary artist she is, did just that, as you can see by following the hotlink above. (If anyone reading this feels they must have one just like it, please do contact her through that page and inquire. She is always happy to make additional copies of an item, and I'm fairly certain she still has some of the same beads left.)

And what happens... Bright red is one of the "top" "IT" colors of the Fall '08/Winter '09 fashion season according to Pantone, who are apparently those IT people ultimately responsible for the why fashion colors are significant/cerulean sweater scene in "The Devil Wears Prada." I didn't know that at all going in. I just thought, omg, I love those red coral beads! Must have! Because I don't really pay attention to things like that until clothes are in stores and people are wearing them. I buy what I like because I like it. Or I buy what I don't totally like but find acceptable at the time because I need something for a specific purpose. I don't usually plan ahead. Especially accessories, which are almost always an after thought, if they're thought of at all.

So because I called the red so well for something I just had to have for the Fall/Winter this year... not really caring, except that I sorta do, I'm trying to figure out what I just have to have made for the Spring/Summer in '09... This is what happens now that I fully intend to take advantage of the fact that my sister is a jewelry-making goddess... I found some lovely deep sky blue turquoise 6mm rounds at Michaels (on clearance, the silly people!) the other day. Snatched those up and am now plotting. I have no idea what I want done with them, but they are so very pretty... I may go back and buy more... Maybe a really long, loopy, drapey necklace...? I dunno...

I also want a hamsa necklace SO bad! I don't have one! I find that shocking and wrong! I don't know what color I'll have that put together with when I find a pendant... Maybe many colors? In a trade-bead sort of look, except not because I'm not terribly fond of trade-beads... Although, maybe evil-eye beads? I dunno yet... I still haven't been able to find a hamsa in stores, only online, and they tend to be kinda pricy... like as much as I usually pay for all the beads and/or finished necklace altogether... and I find that shocking and wrong too... Because apparently, "ethnic" inspired jewelry of the Middle Eastern/African/Asian/Indian variety is going to be the thing in fashion jewelry (in addition to the bold stuff) this next year... So where are the hamsas in stores? Because we wants it precious, yeas, we do...

To continue the list of jewelry-wants, I'm coveting my mom's pearl necklace that she got from Lara... If Lara has another 26 pearls left, I might just have to ask her to make yet another one for me... Mom let me wear it because it was required for an outfit I wore to synagogue several weeks ago, and it looked so good and I felt to very chic! So now, I want one myself... Although, I'm sure Mom will let me borrow it anytime because she's awesome like that...

Just to note, colors I'm really feeling good about right now (in no particular order): true red, aqua, robin's egg, Tiffany blue, London topaz, midnight sky blue (although apparently Pantone is calling it "Twilight Blue"), indigo, navy, autumn sky blue, turquoise, aubergine, amethyst, bottle green, slightly-on-the-blue-side grass green, forest green...

Meanwhile, I need to go back to the drawing board for some of my planned Holiday gifts, revise and start the search for appropriate roving again... Ah, well... I'm sure it will work out. I'm thinking now black, white and gray Shetland will serve for my immediate needs and I'll worry about colored rovings once those are squared away.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Spinning... the upcoming holidays... and other random things...

I have been longing to spin again. I have no roving that I want to spin immediately however. I have recently remembered that several years ago I bought 1 pound of fine white Shetland roving in order to spin lace weight.

Can you imagine? A whole pound of handspun Shetland lace weight? The intention was to eventually use it for a wedding veil. 'Cause I'm me and these are the kinds of ideas I get. Now, I still want to knit my own lace wedding veil... possibly using the Unst Bridal Shawl pattern from Heirloom Lace... but I don't think I'll manage it in handspun lace weight. I'd be too afraid - at this point anyway - of the singles not being strong enough and snapping in places during blocking, and I've yet to produce reliable singles thin enough to be plied and still qualify as a fine lace weight. So Jamieson & Smith or Jamieson of Shetland (no relation between the two companies, from what I understand) it will likely be.

Back to the point... So I had taken just a bit out of one 8 ounce bag many months ago to do a little spinning demo for some friends who were gazing with considerable wonder at my spinning wheel. Maybe a 10 inch piece? There was a little more than half that length still in a little plastic baggy, set aside in my yarn basket. I had never taken it back out to my fiber storage. This morning, I was just reading about pre-drafting and thinking I have got to try this NOW! So I found that little bit, pre-drafted it and started spinning...

I don't know if it's the pre-drafting or the fact that Shetland is such gorgeously yummy stuff, or what! But this... It is so deliciously lofty and soft! My goodness! I've never spun anything so lofty! It's so full of air, I find it hard to believe that it doesn't float away. About 12.5 yards of heavy worsted weight (or maybe even bulky weight... it's 6 wpi) out of maybe 6 or 7 inches of roving... Luscious! Nowhere near as evenly spun as I'd like, but I didn't realize how lofty it would get after washing when I was spinning. (It dried almost instantly! 30 minutes and it's barely damp!) I'll know next time. Pictures are impossible for the moment... Maybe after the sun has risen there will be light that will show it well outside. Inside, all is blurry... (Oh, I'm listening to Emma by Jane Austen at right now. It's affecting.)

GAH!! I love spinning yarn!

Thank goodness I have a pound of roving on the way from a nice vendor at etsy, yarntospin. Dark green and dark blue Corriedale (8 ounces each). These are for Holiday gifts, and I know not all of it will be used for that purpose. There's more I need to order for gifts, but I haven't figured out what exactly yet. A natural black fiber, a burgandy or purple fiber (or both), and perhaps a natural white/cream fiber... And maybe some hand-painted roving... This last being only a gift for myself because I long to spin one... especially now that I know of the wonders of pre-drafting... I have quite a few which I'm coveting in my favorites list at etsy.

Meanwhile, I find myself in need of two very different patterns for mitts. I'd like them to be patterns I haven't knitted before (which takes Elann's Marquise Gauntlets, and Knitty's Fetching and Dashing patterns out of consideration). Recommendations? I'd ask for suggestions of very specific kinds of patterns for very specific purposes here, but I don't want to give away the plan in case gift recipients might be reading. If you wish to help me with this, message me through Ravelry or through my e-mail if you have it...

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Passing this along, especially now that it's nearing the "Holiday Season"...

If you'd like to send care-packages to our troops stationed overseas, but you don't know anyone over there and don't know what or where to send things, check out this website. There are tons of requests from our troops, and everything they get is much appreciated. You can narrow the search, if you'd like by choosing soldiers from your home state, soldiers who are stationed in a particular country, or soldiers serving in a particular branch of the military. There are a few more sorting options as well...

I have no idea what I'll send. There's so much that they need! I don't know where to start... Should probably just pick someone at random and see what I can do for them.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

So genius!!!

The Coupon Wallet... I just hope at least one of the color options is made out of cotton or some natural fiber... Because this is exactly what I've been looking for! (And it's made in the US! Kudos!!)

Post-Election Pumpkin Puree...

So, a hearty "Good morning, Mr. President-Elect Obama!" I can't sleep. T'ain't happenin' right na'h. Far too excited!

Last week, my dad bought a Cinderella pumpkin... aka what is properly called a Rouge vif d'Entempes. (I've always liked them. They're so pretty...) He bought it for my mom to explode in her one of her science classes the Monday after Halloween. But I convinced them to let me go out and find her a carving pumpkin, rather than have her explode a beautiful, huge pie pumpkin like that. Found 'em at Albertsons for $0.99 each. So I get to do as I like with the Rouge vif d'Entempes...

After the election had been called, and President Obama had made his speech in Chicago, I needed something to do with my hands. Knitting was not enough. Sewing, pppffffttt!! The newly-successful-at crochet, uh-un. Time to massacre a pumpkin. So I looked back on my dear friend Ilana's blog to when she massacred a similar pumpkin last year (Very useful link you've got posted there, btw!) for tips on how to tackle it, and I got to carving... Several hours later, I've got a ton of pumpkin puree and the kitchen-- actually, the whole house smells so good! One of the things I dislike the most about carving pumpkins is the smell. It smells kinda gross. But this one! OMG! So sugary and yummy! Like pumpkin pie without the spices!

Now, all I need is some recipes to make with this yummy stuff... Suggestions are welcome... And I might go out and get some small, Connecticut Fields pie pumpkins and puree those as well...

Oh, and I'm saving the seeds. They're going in the ground in January, if I can manage it. I want to try growing them "off-season" for Florida because large vining squashes have never been successful for me in the later Spring and Summer, when all the literature says they should be planted here. If I had room out there right now, I'd plant a few tomorrow, just to see.