Restocking Country Cotton Yarn

February 1, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Posted in country life, country living, free knitting patterns, knitted washrags, knitting, yarn | 8 Comments
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Over the next two or three weeks I will be restocking my shelves with my super soft worsted weight Country Cotton Yarn.

I will be selling Country Cotton yarn in 120-yard project balls ($3.00) on my website and in my Etsy store, but I don’t currently plan to stock the 680-yard cones. However, I will sell the 680-yard cones ($10.00) by special order only. If you need some super soft cotton yarn for a larger project (sweater, baby blanket, afghan, etc.) and would like it on one or more cones please get your special order in to me as soon as possible. You can leave a comment on this blog with the specifics or just a “special order” request and I will email you to get details as to color, quantity, etc.

All special requests for Country Cotton on cones for this quarter will need to be in to me ASAP so that I can include your request in my order.

I have discontinued Peach Sherbert (aka Peach Sorbet), and will be adding a beautiful red I have named, “Old Red Barn”, as well as “Storm Cloud” (a wonderful charcoal grey), and Morning Mist (a silvery grey color). Sorry I don’t have photos available yet for the new colors, but they will be ready soon too.

This is the super soft cotton yarn I use in my Deluxe, Limited Edition Biscuit Blanket Kit (and other Biscuit Blanket Kits in the past) … which, by the way, could make a lovely Valentine’s Day gift packaged the way it is in that scrumptiously chocolate looking box.

Meanwhile, stay cozy and warm if you are in the path of the storm and blizzards.


Why Santa dropped by my place today

November 30, 2010 at 2:32 am | Posted in art, biscuit recipes, Christmas, country life, country living, family, food, hand knit dishcloths, knitted washrags, knitting, Life, love, recipes, yarn | Leave a comment
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I have been working on creating a new deluxe limited edition version of my Biscuit Blanket Kit.

Some time ago I came across these gorgeous Espresso colored gift boxes that are 6″ x 6″ x 4″ and I knew that all of the goodies I put into a Biscuit Blanket kit would fit perfectly inside of one. I also knew that the yarn, the note card and the recipe cards would look scrumptious inside a box that color.

So, I ordered 100 of the gift boxes and have put together 50 of the kits in five different color combinations.

They are all available in my Etsy store and on my website.

The kit includes a download of the original Biscuit Blanket pattern. However, if you already have that pattern you can buy the kit and then email me with a different pattern you would like a download for, and I will substitute for you.

While packaging them up I discovered that a knitted Biscuit Blanket folded in quarters fits perfectly inside the gift box, which makes it even more perfect as a choice.

The other thing is that at 4″ tall, the box will accomodate one (or more) 8-oz jars of homemade preserves or jelly perfectly … another wonderful bonus.

When I put together the first sample kit and saw the rich combination of colors I just knew I had hit on something would delight my readers.

This Deluxe, Limited Edition kit comes with:

  • Online download for the original Biscuit Blanket knitting pattern
  • Two balls of my private label 100% super soft cotton yarn
  • One hand-wound mini-ball of cotton yarn in an accent color
  • One beautiful “Espresso” colored gift box perfectly sized for a completed Biscuit Blanket
  • Two pieces of tissue paper in Vanilla Cream for gift wrapping
  • One piece of coordinating ribbon or tulle (varies) for tying the gift box
  • One notecard featuring a print of one of my (J. L. Fleckenstein) original oil paintings (notecards vary)
  • Two beautiful recipe cards featuring my Biscuit Recipe that I won a Blue Ribbon for (one for you, one for your gift recipient; the recipe is set against a background featuring a beautiful color photograph from my blog

This is a perfect last-minute gift for a knitter on your shopping list also!

Supplies are limited, color choices are limited, and will be shipped on a first come, first served basis until sold out.

Best wishes to all,

Dandelion farming

May 7, 2007 at 3:13 pm | Posted in baby, charity knitting, country living, dating, dogs, faith, family, free knitting patterns, Habitat for Humanity, hand knit dishcloths, knitted washrags, knitting, knitting for babies, love, marriage, pets, photography, relationships, romance, volunteerism, yarn | 17 Comments

Fireflys Dandelion FarmWe live on a farm, but as I have said before … we are not farmers. We have (or had) corn out in our fields, but we didn’t put it there. We dream of a vineyard and fruit orchard on our acres one day, but there will be much to learn in order to get there.

When I lived in the high desert north of Los Angeles for a couple of years with my children, we tried planting some raised gardens. We enriched the soil, and put up wooden planks to build up areas to grow our vegetables and watermelons and flowers. We covered the planted area with plastic to help keep the ground warm inspite of plunging temperatures in the evenings. We watered, we waited, we watched.

When the time was right we removed the plastic covering and continued watering and watching and waiting.

Fireflys Borrowed Farmers Combine TractorThen one morning we pressed our noses against the window and to our delight saw rows and rows of green plants poking their little heads up in our gardens. The feeling of excitement was electric; we dressed quickly and rushed out to inspect our little green babies.

Arriving on the scene, we looked down with proud faces and saw … tumbleweeds. Rows and rows of the healthiest little baby tumbleweeds we had ever seen.

No carrots, no marigolds, no watermelon vines. Tumbleweeds.

We were tumbleweed farmers.

Cherry Blossoms at Fireflys CottageAt least they were healthy, sturdy, and vibrant. We had done well by our tumbleweeds.

I warned my husband before we married about my “farming” experience, but he wanted me anyway. So, here I am.

Friday evening at dinner I told my husband that it was becoming embarrassing that we still had much of last year’s corn standing in our fields. The farmer who rents our land and works it comes from a family of skilled, knowledgeable, and respectable farmers but he lacks the enthusiasm and love of the work to do it with the prudent order that I tend to associate with the concept of professional farming.

As I told my husband, I wondered what our Amish neighbors must think of us when they go by and see the dead corn stalks standing in the fields bearing cobs of corn never reaped. I wondered if we should put up a large sign on the side of our barn declaring to the world that we do not farm our own land.

Our borrowed farmer did show up late Saturday afternoon with a big ol’ combine. He was out there working in the fields with lights on the combine late into the evening. We heard the drone of his efforts as we drifted off to sleep.

More Cherry Blossoms at Fireflys CottageBy yesterday afternoon most of the corn was finally cut and I believe this morning it is all gone.

As for my husband and I, we actually are farmers–of a sort.

We are dandelion farmers.

The crop comes in strong; we cut it weekly and the next day it is back in full force.

This kind of farming suits us well and we find that we are quite adept at it. We plan to continue on with our dandelion fields for many years to come. Blu enjoys sampling them when he is out in the yard, and judging from his “business” report, he can’t get enough of them.

Side Bar: Blu is sleeping on a comforter beside my desk as I write. I enjoy hearing his breathing and looking over at his sweet face resting on one of his front paws. Interesting to note, Blu uses his front paws very much like hands. We haven’t ever seen another dog that uses its front paws quite so much like hands.

Back to the blog …

Frost in Early May on Fireflys FarmIn Southern California, dandelions were regarded only as lawn pests and “weeds”, but here in the countryside of Western New York they are lovely and loved.

I am amazed to see their fresh, bright faces the next morning after the lawn has been mowed. They are full-grown, sturdy, and have a look about them as if nothing has happened even though just the evening before a tractor rolled over the lawn whacking off everything in its path.

As we drove around this weekend on various errands, to church, to the cottage, etc. I saw dandelion carpets gracing apple orchards whose trees were in full pink and white bloom.

Yes, I have come to love dandelions and will never begrudge their return or their longevity again.

Fireflys Hand Knit Teddy Bear Cardigan ProjectI have a few projects I am working on in present time. First of all, I do still knit–just so you know.

I have enough green wool yarn to knit a cardigan for myself, and I want to design my own pattern for it. However, I was having some trouble deciding exactly what I wanted to do, so I thought it would be a good idea to start with a teddy bear cardigan of my own design.

The problem is that I don’t have much experience knitting adult sized sweaters. I’ve made many baby sweaters in my time, but only one adult sized one. My plan is to freshen up my hands-on experience with knitted sweaters by first designing and knitting a teddy bear cardigan, then I’ll design and knit one for a baby, and then I’ll move on to the cardigan I will design and knit for myself.

The teddy bear cardigan is coming along well, and I hope to finish it this week or by the weekend.

I haven’t started the second hand knit wash/dish cloth in lavender cotton yarn to match the green one, but I might be able to get to that next week sometime. However, I have the Gracious Parcels blankets to sew together, and that will take some doing plus, it takes priority over designing and knitting the second dish cloth.

Speaking of Gracious Parcels, I have started a community blog for Gracious Parcels. The idea with the Gracious Parcels blog is to create an open blogging community for anyone who has contributed at least one 7″ square to a Gracious Parcels blanket. Anyone can view and read the blog, but those who are contributing members may post blogs, photos, share patterns, etc.

Please check out the blog sometime, and if you would like to be a contributing member, leave a comment in any post there expressing your interest and I will contact you via email.

We have had frost twice within the past week, this morning included. After Blu’s morning business report, I walked around with my camera to capture some of the sights for you. I have a terrible problem though: there are so many interesting things I find that it is difficult to narrow down the selection of photos. I used to try to limit my photos to only three per blog, but sometimes three just isn’t enough. This is one of those days.

In closing, I will leave you with several photos from the morning’s walk about the farm, plus a few I shot over the weekend here on the farm and over at our cottage. The white blossoms you will see are wild cherry trees–so beautiful.

Please have a cup of tea, coffee, or what-have-you with me and enjoy the view.

Have a wonderful day, my friend.


While Cherries in Bloom at Fireflys Cottage

Wild Cherries in Bloom at Fireflys Cottage

Pretty Things at Fireflys Cottage

Pretty Flowers at Fireflys Cottage

A Bird in Fireflys Willow

A Pretty Branch at Fireflys Farm

A Chipmunk in Fireflys Willow

Fireflys River on a Frosty Morning

Even the Moon is Out on a Frosty Morning at Fireflys Farm

The Sweetest Thing on Frieflys Farm

A Wild Goose Goes Walking By


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