Saturday, October 30, 2010

40 degrees & sunny

Time to bring the peppers in from the cold. Every year I plant habaneros and other kinds of really hot peppers to add to my soups and stews during the winter. I love to watch the peppers grow and their bright colors add a little splash to the garden. Last night it was 40 degrees and today we picked the last of them. I learned the hard way that you really need to be careful with these. I put gloves on, and slice and chop them into small pieces and keep them frozen. I even put a "danger" sign on the container in the freezer. You wouldn't want to mistake these for something else! A few tiny flakes of frozen habanero pepper will heat up a whole big pot of chili. It doesn't take much when you are working with one of the hottest peppers on the planet.

The big lesson I have learned is not to touch my face, or especially my eyes or nose. Just a little touch with pepper scent on your hands is enough to burn for an hour. These little babies are so pretty and spicy, and it has been really fun to watch them grow.

Have a great day.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

No harm in catching on slow

Over the years I have learned one thing about myself. (Well, I've learned many, but this is one.) I catch on slow. I am not a trendsetter. It takes me awhile to catch on to things. I am a slow learner, but watch out -- when I get it, I REALLY get it!

Several years ago a high school aged friend of my mothers was making a fleece knotted blanket, and told me about them. Last year another friend said she had made one and they are really warm and snuggly. She said, "wrap up in one and you are immediately asleep." The fabric stores have been selling this idea for a long time -- and fleece comes in a wild selection of colors and patterns, and is often on sale. Last year, still a non-believer, I bought some patterns of fleece and hemmed it up on my sewing machine for den throws. Finally yesterday, I decided to try it out and this morning I cut and knotted a fleece blanket in a little over a hour. They were right, all those years ago, this is a very FUN project!

My first knotted blanket is made with a red and green chili pepper pattern on one side and black and red plaid on the other. It happens to be Christmas colors, which seems like a plus.

Cut off the selvages and layer 2 yards of 2 patterns of fleece wrong side together, (be wild and creative); cut a 4" square out of each corner; cut 1" strips that are 4" long around the edges. (I found working with a plaid is great since it gives you the straight edge guide you need.) Knot every other one with a square knot, then flip and square knot the remaining strips. The flipping and knotting makes the knot fringe a little fluffier and the same direction of knots on both sides. I was pretty careful to make nice firm square knots all around.

I have enough fleece to make two more blankets this weekend. They are warm and nice, but they are especially wonderful because they are so much fun to make.

NOW, I finally understand.

Have a great day