Knitting Update – finished objects!

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So I actually have been knitting, honest.  I just haven’t posted everything here.  So, here’s a quick post with a few recent finished objects.

On the top above, is 14 Karat.  The yarn is from the club I’ve been a member of for a while now, and is a colorway called “Sunken Treasure.”  I figured a pattern referencing jewels would work nicely with a color referencing treasure.  They were pretty labor intensive and required working from the computer with the chart, but they’re well worth it!

On the bottom above is Business Casual, using another yarn from the club, this time the colorway was, “Fathoms Below.”  Easy to knit, and they worked up pretty quickly.  These two pairs of socks were worked at the same time, but the Business Casual socks didn’t require looking at a chart and were taken along with me everywhere.  The faux-argyle diamond pattern shows up more in person than it did in the photo, and I really love how they came out.


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This is the big project that I’ve had sitting in my Works in Progress (WIP) queue for a while.  I started the Royale sweater in November of 2010 for the National Knit a Sweater Month (NaKniSweMo).  I got about 5 inches up from the bottom and set it aside.  With Ravelympics 2012 coming up soon, the team I joined decided that we should spend the month prior to the Ravelympics ‘training’ and finishing up WIPs.  This one isn’t my oldest one, but it was a huge undertaking – the cables, twisted stitches!  All the hard work was totally worth it though, I mean, just look at that!  It’s sort of unfortunate that I finished now, mid-May, when I won’t be able to wear it all summer long.  The pattern and charts were easy to follow.  My only big mistake is that I usually don’t do as many increases for the bust as the pattern sizing calls for – everyone has different measurements and should adjust a knit pattern to suit their individual measurements for a best fit.  Nooo I just kept trucking along!  So, the bust is a little loose, but it’s not a dealbreaker, and there’s NO WAY I am going to go back and work all that over.  The yarn used was Valley Yarns Northampton in the color, “Twilight Heather.”  The photos above are pretty color accurate, and I’d call the color kind of a purpley maroon heather.  I over estimated on the yarn purchase, so I have three skeins left – I’ve got a short torso, so while most folks have 4 or more repeats of that center cable pattern, I only needed three, cutting down drastically on the yarn requirement.  Love this to bits, and I’m so glad I finally finished it!

One Local Summer 2012 – Week 2


When I talked about doing things simple this year? I really meant it.  Hooray for salads!  It’s still early in our growing season, so a lot of what’s available is leafy and green.  Of course by the time summer comes, lettuce and leafy greens become scarce, so I might as well enjoy it while I can!  There are three types of greens in that salad – romaine, mesclun mix, and some turnip greens which I found to be particularly delicious.  The other ingredients are crimini mushrooms because I’m a firm believer that there should be fungus in every meal, sliced turnips because the turnips are more than just greens, and some goat cheese because, well, CHEESE.  Sadly, the dressing isn’t local, but you’ll forgive me for that if I tell you that I grew the mesclun all by myself, right?  I am very much open to salad dressing recipes, but they’d have to not contain oil in order to be local.. possibly something yogurt based?  I can get goat’s milk yogurt locally, and we have a variety of herbs that I either grow myself (dill, sage, cilantro, basil) or can obtain at the market.  I’m also looking for a good use for the saffron I harvested in the fall from my crocuses.  How does saffron polenta sound?

Spring Salad:
Romaine – Charlestown Farm
Turnips & Greens – Jack’s Farm
Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms
Mesclun – My Garden
Goat Cheese – Shellbark Hollow
Non local – Dressing

One Local Summer 2012 – Week 1


Seeing as our local farmer’s market kicked off its first regular market of the season, I figured I’d start One Local Summer back up again.  I seriously contemplated whether or not to do this again.  This year would be my fourth year of a summer’s worth of making one meal a week using only local ingredients.  To be honest, I’m lacking motivation this year, and have gotten pretty busy with a bunch of other things.  But, reason won out, and said hey, this is good for your health, it doesn’t have to be complicated, so cook something local once a week, no big deal.  This year may be a little less inspired than other years, but I’m still doing this.  ON TO THE FOOD!

This is pretty basic.  It’s still early in the vegetable growing season, so my veggie options are limited.  Our opening farmer’s market with the Phoenixville Farmer’s Market was a honey bee festival, so I included that here.  Going around the plate clockwise, we have chicken marinated in honey and olive oil, then crispy beet greens from the grill, crimini mushrooms, and wilted beet greens with wee little baby beets on the end.  When they ‘thin the herd’ so to speak, to prevent overcrowding with the beets, the greens and baby beets are perfect for eating.  The whole thing is edible – the greens are sort of spinachy and the teeny beets on the end grill up in short order and are perfectly tender.  The wilted beet greens were done up in foil with a little olive oil and salt and set on the grill.  EVERYTHING on that plate was cooked on the grill!  Easy peasy.  Here’s the rundown on ingredients.

Chicken and Beet Greens with mushrooms:
Chicken – Mt View Organics
Honey – Baues’ Busy Bees
Beets and Beet Greens – Charlestown Farm
Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms
Non Local – Salt, Olive Oil, homebrew beer (Saison)

Nellie Eimer

This one has been the big mystery running around in the back of my mind for the last few weeks.  In the big trunk of photos that we found at Grandpa’s house, there are three photos with mention of Nellie Eimer who doesn’t appear to be related in any way to any branch of the family.  I’m holding out hope that perhaps her mother is the link, but I haven’t yet been able to find her maiden name to confirm that.  Do you have any of these names in your family tree?  Please get in contact by leaving a comment!

The details:

  • “Nellie” Ellen Malden Howell was born 23 July 1868 in Dawley Bank, Shropshire, England and died 10 July 1930 in Carbondale, Lackawanna, Pennsylvania, USA.  Nellie applied for a passport 1 April 1920 and listed the purpose of her passport as, “to visit relatives,” for the duration of four months.  On this same document, she lists her arrival year as 1883.  She married Frank Eimer 17 Jan 1891.  She lived the rest of her life in Carbondale, Pennsylvania and never had children.
  • Frank Eimer was born in 1867 and died 3 Januray 1938.  He was a baker in Carbondale.  After Nellie died, he married Isabell Turnbull.  His parents are Harry (1839) and Mary (1844-1875) Eimer.
  • William Howell, Nellie’s father, was born in England in 1843.  He died 2 December 1920 in Carbondale, Pennsylvania.  He lived with Nellie and Frank in Carbondale, PA until his death.  I haven’t been able to find him on any English census, and there doesn’t appear to be record of his family living in England prior to the first time they show up on a census, the 1910 US census.  Per the information he gave the census taker, he married Lizzie in 1864.  His will lists his living relatives as, “Mrs. Ellen Malden Eimer daughter, Mrs. Sarah McCoy daughter, and Mrs. Elizabeth Stephens grand daughter.”  Frank Eimer was named the executor of the will.
  • “Lizzie” Elizabeth ?, Nellie’s mother, was born 1843 and died 18 November 1913.  I’m not 100% sure on the death date, but it seems to match up from the PA death record indicies.  Lizzie appears on the 1910 US census and not on the 1920 census.  I don’t know much about her other than this little bit of information.

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The first photo is a photo postcard.  The stamp area in the top right corner of the second photo gives me a date range of 1904-1918 (AZO with four triangles up).  The back reads, “Mr & Mrs Wm Howell later on their 50th anniversary on our front porch,” and was likely written by Olga (Powis) Kitko, the front porch being in Beccaria, Clearfield, Pennsylvania.  Below that, written later, is, “Nellie Eimers Mother & Father,” again, probably written by Olga.  If the Howells married in 1864, that would give us 1914 for their 50th anniversary which isn’t possible if Lizzie died in 1913.  I’m pretty comfortable saying this photo was taken in 1913.  Olga would’ve been 13 at the time.

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Another photo postcard, dating again between 1904-1918.  Written on the back in Olga’s older handwriting is, “Aunt Nellie Eimer, Carbondale,” and printed is a Photographer’s Studio, “F. E. Allen Studio, 3d and Pine Sts., Williamsport, PA.”  I haven’t been able to find the photographer’s name in any local directory, so I’ve got no lead on a date for this one.  I’d definitely put it closer to the 1918 mark.  This is where I get the “Aunt” title from though and why this has me so confused.  I suppose it’s possible that Aunt was used to describe a close family friend – I know I grew up with a number of “Aunts” that I wasn’t related to, and the term was used symbolically for a person of importance to our family.

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And the last photo – not a photo postcard.  There are a few other photos of the same size (only about three inches high) that are marked with ’17 on the back – I’m taking this to mean that they were taken in 1917.  This photo is labelled in Olga’s older handrwriting, “Nellie Eimers Father Carbondale Mom & Me.”  If this was taken in 1917, Olga would’ve been 17 in this photo (she graduated high school, something rare for girls at that time).  From Left to right, we have William Howell, Jessie (Battin) Powis, and Olga (Powis) Kitko.  Lizzie is missing here which makes sense, because she passed away years before the photo was taken.
L ackawanna Public Records – The search for Marriage licenses and Register of Wills was used to find Frank Eimer’s will, William Howell’s will and the marriage license for Frank and Nellie Eimer.
Playle’s Photo Postcard Dating – I go back to this resource often since it seems to be one of the most comprehensive databases for dating photo postcards
Pennsylvania Birth and Death indices –  The indices are a great place to start for information.  Records can be ordered for a fee, but sometimes just the index is enough to collect an exact date.