intermittent posts on sewing, knitting, gardening, healthy eating and other random topics from two sisters

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Me-Made in Southeast Asia

Naturally, before heading halfway across the world for two weeks, I had grand notions of sewing a entire wardrobe for the tropics, full of linen pants and such. Didn’t happen. But I did manage to make good use of a few me-made items. (Sorry all these pictures are washed out. I was having such troubles with the light I’m not sure my camera isn’t broken.)

My navy poplin a-line, self-drafted. I’m also holding a me-made sunhat. This is the by the marina in Singapore. That’s the fancy new Marina Bay Sands hotel and Double Helix Bridge in the back—Singapore has put a lot of money into their waterfront.

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Brown sateen stretch cotton, self-drafted from a yoke skirt I own. It’s rotated as I walked, sadly. Also, I have a terrible habit of blinking when people take pictures. The Banteay Srei temple in Cambodia, part of the Angkor Wat complex. I like to get my hair braided for big traveling—it handles wind, sweat, and thirty hours on the plane much better that way.

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Sage-green straight-leg pants from my Surefit Designs class. Still at Angkor Wat–trees grew into the Ta Prohm temple while it was abandoned for centuries.

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And my mom was carrying the purple silk dupioni tote bag I made her for Christmas. I told her it was machine washable, so I guess she decided to test it. Still Ta Prohm, if I remember correctly.

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I had to murder my carrot seedlings today.

It was so sad, sob sob. They were so hopeful and proud in the ground, and growing so well, see?

Baby carrots await the slaughterHowever, they are much too close together.  I am mystified as to why every garden resource I have access to said to plant them 1/2 inch apart and then thin to 2 inches.  Why not just plant fewer?  Is the germination rate that low?  Based on the mass of carrots you see here, clearly it is not.

Given their close spacing, it was a nightmare thinning all of these.  Putting aside my emotions about chopping down all my baby seedlings aside, it was tough to get in there with the scissors and thin out the ill-fated seedlings while leaving the other ones standing.  It was also hard to make sure I thinned out the weak ones while leaving the sturdy ones to go on living and feed us carrots.  It took a lot longer than I thought it would, moving carrots to the top of this weeks “things I thought would be easy but weren’t” list.

Lessons learned on sowing and thinning carrots:

– carrots don’t really need to be broadcast or sown at 1/2 inch spacing.  Our plan for next year is to put a couple of seeds in each hole, and keep the holes 2 inches apart.

– don’t wait until they are really big to thin them.  These should have been thinned two weeks ago, which would have made it easier as they wouldn’t have been so grown over each other

– plant more of them!  after thinning, we are going to have like, 3 days worth of carrots.  It’s a lot of work to go through for so few carrots.  (and if you count the cost of my labor, these will be the most expensive carrots we’ve ever eaten)

It wasn’t a total loss though!  Carrot greens are not only edible, they are delicious.  They taste a little bit like sweet parsley. carrot greens I saved the thinned out greens (not even half of them are pictured in the bowl below) and used them to make a delicious green smoothie!  (if you haven’t tried green smoothies, please do yourself a favor and try them!)  In fact, carrot greens are so delicious I’m now contemplating growing them for the greens.

Green smoothie with carrot greensGreen smoothie “recipe”:

– handful of fresh pineapple

– 2 bananas

– 1 orange

– couple handfuls carrots greens

– add water

Blend in the Vita-Mix and enjoy!  (makes maybe 3-4 cups of green smoothie deliciousness)

– Older

Now that’s sisterrific!

Socks, handknit by Older, carried in a project bag, handsewn by Younger. Aren’t we just the formidable crafting pair?! The bag is beautiful, the seams are even hemmed in bias tape! And the smooth fabric means the yarn won’t get all fuzzy being carried around throughout my travels.  Socks come everywhere!  This picture was taken in my hotel room in LA.

The socks are for our mom’s partner. They were actually a present for Christmas 2009. Christmas 2009 I wrapped the 5/8ths complete socks and handed them over with a promise to complete. Finally at the end of April they are done! I will never again make socks for such big feet.

I couldn’t find a man’s sock pattern I wanted to make so I made up the pattern kind of as I went along – project details are as follows:
Size 2.25mm needles (US size 1)
Knitpicks Felici in Putty (now discontinued)
cast on 80
k1, p1 1.5 inches
k5, p3 around till sock measures 8 inches

Put 40 stitches onto the heel needle, taking 1 purl from the beginning and 2 purls on the other side
Right side: *Sl1, k1: repeat from * to the end.
Wrong side: Sl1, p to the end.
Repeat these rows 20 times until till there are 20 slipped stitches on the side and the heel flap forms a square
End by working a wrong-side row and have the right side facing you.
Slipping the first stitch, knit back and forth
Turning the heel
SL1, k22, ssk, k1
Turn and SL1, p5, p2tog, p1
Continue in this fashion, slipping the first st, working to one st before the gap, working 2 sts together over the gap, then k1 (or p1) until you finish all the heel sts.

Pick up and decrease gusset as normal

Knit for 8.5 inches from picked up edge, keeping top in pattern and bottom in stockinette.

Decrease two rounds, knit one round plain, until 16 stitches remain
graft toes using kitchener

If you want the colors to match exactly, as I did on this sock, it’s a good idea to end rows on certain colors and be careful when casting on to start at the same place. (hint: write down what you did)

– Older

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