briefly

I love this blog as a means of telling stories. I can show you the behind the scenes process of writing a book, developing a new pattern, or even just the week by week growth of my veggie garden. But for the times that I have trouble sitting down and writing a blog post there are other options!

If you want to know what I’m up to in quick sound bites, I’m on twitter as BeckyinVT.

If you want to SEE what I’m up to, instead of reading it, you can also follow me on Instagram – also as BeckyinVT.

And of course, if you want to see what I’m knitting right now, look me up on Ravelry. Of course I’m BeckyinVT there too!

Please look me up, if you’re also on one (or more!) of these platforms I’d love to follow you as well. If you’re following me somewhere else, feel free to send me a note (or a DM, or a tweet, or whatever. Geeze, social media has a lot of lingo…)

Testing a recipe

For the last two weekends I’ve carefully baked a pie. Starting with the same recipe each time; I carefully adjust the amounts of every ingredient.

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I’ve made up plenty of recipes in the past. And while we were writing the book I tested several of Calley’s finished recipes. But this is the first time I’ve approached the development as methodically as this.

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I’m perfecting this pie recipe for publication! I’ll let you in on the details, eventually.

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spring, dawn

lilace buds

Anders

Well. That was an unexpected radio silence. We’ve been having issues with our DSL internet getting slower, lagging more and more, and sometimes outright giving up the ghost since January. Last week we got tired of it all and finally ditched that provider. But the problem with living in the middle of nowhere is that we don’t have a lot of other choices. We’re back online now, running our data through our cell plan. But I’m not sure how affordable that really is…

All this is the long way of saying, if you need to get in touch please be patient. I’m doing almost everything through a smart phone these days. (and it still looks more like living in the future than living in the past – even with the desktop playing the part of a word processor)

Had enough with the technology talk? Me too. Let’s look at some knitting:

anders folded

This is Anders. It’s the little brown and white baby sweater I was knitting from Mrs. Crosby Play’s yarn. It was gifted to the new mom-to-be two weekends ago, so I’m happy to finally have the pictures uploaded!

anders finished

This is a really well written pattern. I buy a lot of PDFs to see how other designers do their thing. This one has a layout that makes me wish I had time to re-do all my own patterns. Not that THAT is likely to happen any time soon.

anders angled

It was also my first experience with the Vikkel braid – the horizontal line of stitches around the hems. It’s cute, and not really hard at all! A great finishing touch.

anders sheep

Oh yeah, and the sheep. This new mom is also a knitter, so I wanted to put something sheepy into the pattern. The Anders design includes just the tree chart, but I added the sheepies. I always have to modify something, apparently. Check out my project on Ravelry to see more details.

Side Projects

A friend of mine has a kombucha that’s been perking along happily, and she finally felt confident to split off some of the scoby and pass it my way. We’ve just about finished drinking my first batch, and it’s really yummy! I occasionally treat myself to store bought kombucha, so I knew what I was getting into – the drink is a bit vinegary and not everyone likes it. But the home brewed stuff is much smoother, and mine is flavored with black currants, so I think it’s a bit fruitier than the commercial stuff too.

kombacha

That weird sludgy thing in the big jug is the scoby. It’s a combination of bacteria and yeast and it is what ferments the tea. After a week or so in the big jug I pour off the tea into secondary jugs and add fruit. After about 4 more days it’s ready to drink.

The great thing about this is that it’s not time consuming. Steeping more tea is much faster than brewing a batch of wine (to reference another hobby of mine that’s taken a serious back-burner these days) and if something ferments for a couple of extra days there’s no harm done.

I really enjoyed my sourdough starter one summer a couple of years back. I’m curious to see how long I can keep this going.

Have you tried any live culture sorts of kitchen projects?

The state of things

Spring is slowly creeping into Vermont (we had snow again this week, and there’s more in the forecast) and I realized yesterday that the only seeds I’ve started are the mixed handful that Windsor and I threw into a pot of soil two weeks ago. My garden plans are sorely limited compared to some previous years.

It’s not just living with a toddler, have I told you my current schedule? I used to work 8 hour days, and take lunch breaks online. Since maternity leave ended I’ve been working 9 hour days and taking lunch breaks with Windsor. The combination means a lot less time for everything. I miss reading other blogs, I miss digging in the garden after work, I miss many things. There’s plenty I don’t miss (I don’t really care about the dishes, or the sweeping) but all life is a balancing act. And right now I feel like by blog is as neglected as my garden.

grassy stone

Do you feel like our blog conversation is covered in weeds? I apologize! I hope you’ll stick around, because I hope to be back soon. This summer holds some big changes for the Herrick family. Neil will soon be done with grad school. We’re looking forward to him having a regular schedule, which will let my schedule level out – finally. I have some new designs that should be out this year, and someday I’ll even get some garden and chicken pictures for you!

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Someday Spring

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3 minutes of peace

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Every other friday I stay home with Windsor. Today we played with blocks, colored, and read 3 books – all before breakfast.

I do not regret the lack of knitting time at all. But I do still like it when I find a couple of minutes to sit with my current WIP. Especially since I’m hoping to have this little baby sweater done in time for the recipient’s baby shower (in 8 days)

This is the Mrs Crosby Play’s yarn – the brown and cream are perfect for this little design. Hopefully I remember to take some pictures of the finished project before giving it away. (the little red and yellow Mustill never got it’s final shoot, these things happen)

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Tulip sunrise

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Sleep baby, sleep.

She turned 18 months old this week. But sometimes, when I’m very lucky, she still falls asleep nursing. Other nights it’s daddy who helps her with bedtime. Most nights she still wakes up once, maybe twice, and needs a little comforting. I hold her to my chest, I sway, and I sing. I feel the tension from waking up drain out of her as she clings to my shoulder. Then slowly, gradually, the weight in her head grows, her arms drape instead of cling, and she slips back into sleep.

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She is, in so many ways, a toddler. She wants to do things herself. She dresses up with hats and bracelets. She climbs and runs and tumbles and squeals. These nights, these times when she still clings to her baby-ways, they might seem inconvenient on the surface. I could be doing so many other things with my precious hours before my own bedtime. But between daycare and sleep I already see so little of her each day. I will continue to help her whenever she needs me. The hours may seem long, but already I can tell the months and years are short.

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Oh dear, what can the matter be?
Dear dear, what can the matter be?
Oh dear, what can the matter be?
What can the matter be, dear?

I promise I’ll buy you,
a pocket of posies,
a bouquet of flowers,
a garland of roses.
I promise I’ll buy you,
a bonny blue ribbon,
to tie up your dusty blonde hair.