Tuesday, October 27, 2009


This morning's sky. Lovely. And a promise. No review today, unless you consider a recap of the last few weeks of my life a review. I guess technically that is a review. But let's pretend it's not.
First, the knitting. I finished some things, or added to some things underway.This is a collection of baby socks that I occasionally pick up when I am at odds or unsure of what to begin next. They are made from the leftovers of socks I've knitted previously. I've decided to start taking pictures of them when there's a bunch and add it to the ongoing project I keep tabs on at Ravelry.
Just before Rhinebeck I decided to knit myself something for the predicted cold out of the qiviut I bought last year.I decided on Ice Queen from Knitty, and I adore it!The beads sit there like water droplets. The pattern is simple and worked up fast, making it a supreme gift idea (hmmm...and Webs has all that Misti Alpaca Lace in the warehouse, and beads right next door).
I also knit up a pair of Sweet Fern Mitts from The Knitter's Book of Wool.There is some errata in the first printing of this book,, so be sure to check here if you decide to knit a pair. The yarn is Foxfire Fiber Cormo Silk Alpaca. The color I use here is not available on the website, but the yarn is just amazing in any color! Luscious. I adore them, regardless, and recommend you give them a knit. Fast and warm and seasonally perfect! I also knitted a hat that more or less matches by using a 2:2 rib and Clara's cable pattern.I also finished two pair of socks, both in STR Heavyweight, one for Gene and one for Selina (who-is-engaged-to-our-oldest-kid-hallelujah)Selina's are Blue Brick Wall.Gene's are a mill end I grabbed at Sock Summit.
By far the biggest news around here involves my birds, their future, energy independence and our future, and the answer I get to give from now on when someone says "So you live on a farm?" Up until now I've always said "No, not really." That's about the change. Bee hives and 30+ birds with plans to breed them, plus a barn that should be up by Thanksgiving makes me think that it's time to call ourselves a farm. If everything goes according to plan, please God, next spring or summer we will cover the roof of the new barn with solar panels, so that not only our water is heated by the sun, but our computers, fridge, dvd player, etc are all powered by the sun as well. I think I've said here before that this is a fond lifelong dream, to transition from fossil fuel to sun or wind. The farm is a dream as well. I always thought a farm was in my future, I just lost hope for a while. For now, there will be chickens, and lots of them. Out of the birds we grew this spring, we carefully selected four boys to continue on and help us breed up a bigger flock come next year of both layers and meat birds. I'll introduce them to you now - they have no names yet, only personalities:FIrst, The Bully. A Cuckoo Maran who has only one real wife, but given his size will be allowed to help me build meat birds from some of the other hens. He's got an attitude, and goes after other cockerels.
Next is The Wimp. He's a Blue Jersey Giant, although more Splash in appearance. He's only got one true mate as well, but we'll mix him with some of the bigger hens for meat birds as well. He's the boy the Maran goes after the most often, and he screams like a girl when he's caught.
Then there's The Jock. A Black Dorking cockerel, also with only one real wife. He's smart as a whip, fast on his feet, predator saavy at a young age. He never sits still.And last but not least, The One Who Slides By. I am not sure why. I can't figure out if the other boys don't know he's a boy or what, but somehow he manages to not get into fights, not mix it up with the other boys. He's a Black Australorp and he's got a bunch of wives.
My eternal thanks to Sandhill Preservation who have once again outdone themselves with these birds. Although I've been largely unmoved by the Rhode Island Reds - and this is due in large part to a deep RIR bias I developed in the first year of our chicken growing adventure - all of the other breeds that came in our box have proven to be amazing. I feel so good about these birds. If you're thinking about chickens and live in a place where you can grow out cockerels, I can't recommend Sandhill enough. Al their chicks are straight run, which means boys and girls. I believe a rooster is good for hens, and everyone who has birds should, if they possibly can, have a boy around the place. I also think chicken sexing (yes, there is such a thing) is pretty inhumane, and not something I personally choose to support. I'd rather grow them out, make my choices, and put the boys I am not keeping in my freezer. It feels better to me that my boys are used for something, not just killed at hatch for having the wrong chromosome. Anyway...
Come spring we'll play mix and match, breed up some "true" chicks from the three who've only got one wife a piece, and some "mixed" chicks for meat. We are now, in my heart, officially a poultry farm. The state won't believe that until we do a lot of paperwork and sell $1,000 worth of eggs and honey. I can wait. It's enough to have it in my heart. It makes me so happy, so very happy to see this coming to fruition.
Now, don't tell Mr. Wonderful, but I have another little plan in mind. Just a small thing, really. Not a big deal. I thought a couple of these, maybe 2 of these and one of these to watch over them. This may take more time. But no worries. I can be patient. If I can wait 42 years for a farm and 34 for solar, I can wait a couple more for sheep!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

(Another) Book Review: More Big Girl Knits

In which we discuss "More Big Girl Knits", and if you go all the way to the end we reveal more about our self than we might otherwise, but this is a soapbox issue for us, so on we go! As always, and since the FTC is now apparently officially watching (don't get me started on that one), the books I review herein are, unless otherwise stated, provided to me free, usually by the publisher. I do not review books I do not like, and receive more books than you see here. If I like it, you'll know (I feel like I just said this recently...hmm...when was that?).

The fashion industry assumes that the average American woman is a size 8, with measurements as follows: 35-inch bust, a 27-inch waist, and 37.5-inch hip. But adult American women ages 36 to 45 actually average 41-34-43. Fashion magazines, clothing catalogs, retail stores and most knitting pattern books seem oblivious to the obvious - American women are curvy. We're round, soft, wobbly and comfortable. We eat, we love, we laugh; we want to enjoy and embrace life to the fullest, and are not afraid to take on all that it has to offer. Unfortunately many of us do it in shapeless tunics with matchy leggings because the rest of the world has failed to recognize what we already know - big is beautiful, and women with shape need cute clothes, too.

It starts in the mirror. Authors Amy Singer and Jillian Moreno advise us to take stock, look at ourselves in the mirror, and learn to "Look with love and tell the critical voices to shut the hell up". I couldn't agree more. Who and what you are today is who and what you are. You're not a size tag, not a number, not a measurement. You're a real woman with value and brains and beauty and wisdom that the size of your jeans does not reflect. Get over it. Most of us are round, and we're really very lovely.

"More Big Girl Knits" is just what it says it is. Stuffed with "25 designs full of color and texture for curvy women", this book aims at a market we all know is out there, in fact it's the majority market, a market that deserves equal time and treatment.

Most big girl clothes tend to be either too shapely, revealing maybe a bit more than we'd like, or clinging in all the wrong places, or just plain old not fitting. "More Big Girl Knits" gives you the tools you need to make sure your finished sweater fits YOU, just the way it should. Advice is given for different body types which helps you choose styles and cuts that fit and flatter you. That advice alone is worth the price of admission. Take the ideas in this book on the road on your next shopping trip, and see if you don't benefit from the authors' practical tips on accenting the bits you want to show off. Proper measuring technique, deciding on your desired ease and choosing a size, knowing your curves, finding yarn and colors that flatter you - it's all here. There's also an exceptionally handy yardage chart included so you know how much yarn you'll genereally need based on gauge and garment type. Excellent!

None of these designs has a size clocking in at less than a 40" bust measurement. Most begin in the low 40"'s, and some go up to the 60" range. There is, indeed, something in this book for every curvy girl. There are shawls and scarves with proportions that flatter bigger bodies. There's even socks designed to accommodate more shapely calves and ankles - notably Indian Summer Socks designed my Sivia Harding, which feature beads and an adorable folded cuff.They're delightful to look at, especially given the season! But what's really important here are the sweaters.

The sweaters really get the job done. From the Bountiful Bohus by Chrissy Gardiner, a Bohus inspired cardigan in rich warm brown, to the cozy dress-it-up, dress-it-down Hot Cocoa by Jordana Paige and the slip-stitch charm of Pastille by Kristie Porter, there's something here for every knitter and every big girl.

This stunning "Susie Hoodie", designed by Mandy Moore is among my favorites.Presented in sizes ranging from 44" to 60", there's a size here for every big girl. This is a delightfully cabled cardigan, made more so by the addition of a shaped back that draws the eye down and gives length to the body.
This sweater looks comfy, but not shapeless and lumpy. The yarn is Tahki Donegal Tweed Homespun.Makes me want to go for a walk in the leaves.

Sweetly sexy, the Orange Smoothie tank by Libby Baker is the perfect thing for summer. You know those days when the idea of clothing is too much to bear? (Apparently I am not the only one who feels this way, since the intro for this one says "It's hot and you can't go outside naked.").This is the perfect topper. The surplice front makes this extremely flattering for women to whom nature generously provided an ample cleavage.Simple but eye-catching and comfortably breathable, knitted in Dalegarn Svale. Hey, wait. I've got three bags of that here somewhere...hmmm!

There's so much more here - the Slipstream Pullover which uses a bit of sparkly to accent cuffs, hem and neckline; the Plain Vanilla Pullover you can customize to fit your shape to perfection; the bi-color Modular Spiral Jacket that uses blocks of color to define your shape, the Twisted Pullover that makes use of vertical lines to best advantage, the No-Gap Wrap, another garment that uses a v-neckline to flatter mature bust lines; the Cable Love jacket that...well I could go on and on. The point is that no matter what you're looking for, if you're a big girl, you'll find it in here.

Some of us don't embrace the shape we're in. We feel guilt, shame and revulsion at our own image. That's sad. We're driven by a culture that promotes unrealistic beauty standards, and makes us think that if we're not a size 0 we have no value or appeal. We allow the media and culture to pump that mindset into our daughters, making them shamed by their own curves, afraid to have that piece of birthday cake, refusing food, becoming anorexic or bulemic in record numbers at insanely young ages, or just hiding out under tent-sized t's and baggy pants. For most of my life I've struggled with weight issues and body image. At 17 I weighed 76 pounds. My periods stopped, my hair fell out. But I was thin! I thought if I lost enough weight my man-attracting curves would go away. I was anorexic and I was killing myself.

After my babies were born I struggled with self-esteem and body image - babies made my already generous bust line explode. I've done it all; diet and exercise, just diet, just exercise. I've counted calories, worried endlessly about fitting into a number. I am SO over it now. Life is much too short to worry about this crap. The size that fits is the one I need. The food I eat is what I'm hungry for. My blood pressure is low, my cholesterol is too. My resting pulse is around 60 beats per minute. I'm fine, just as I am. Don't like it? Don't look!

Should we eat healthier? Yes, we certainly should. Should we get up and go for a walk, run, swim or bike ride? You bet. Should we allow ourselves to be shamed into hiding out under sad, sorry outfits, cringing at ourselves in family photos, running and hiding from the truth of who we are? NO. It all begins with loving yourself as you are.

ALL of yourself. Start now. Please.

Monday, October 12, 2009

She Had Me at 'Imagine': A Review of The Knitter's Book of Wool

"Imagine if all the wine in the world - red and white alike - were mixed together and sold as generic 'wine'." -Clara Parkes, The Knitter's Book of Wool

I should preface this review with a disclosure, or more accurately three disclosures. First, the links embedded in this post link you to my Amazon store, which means that if you buy through that link I make a small percentage of your purchase. This goes for all of the books in my store, not just the knitting ones, so feel free to shop around. Second, I am holding in my hands books sent to me free of charge for the purposes of review. And last, as if making a dime and getting free books weren't enough, I've also worked for Clara, teaching at her Knitter's Review Retreat last year and again this year. That said, if I don't like something, you won't see it here even if it's free as a bird and the company in question is charming me with all manner of delights. I won't recommend things I can't stand behind. I also won't rip something to shreds here. If I think something isn't what it should be I may share that information with the people who asked for the review, but not you. Now that I've gotten that out of the way, let's proceed to my review of The Knitter's Book of Wool.

Let me say that this woman knows more about wool than I knew about my children, and I knew my children pretty well when they were small. The information she presents is approachable and applicable to all of the wool arts. We all can benefit from the information within the pages of this book.

I received a sound education in the first 20 or so pages alone, and the information I gleaned was so compelling I just kept on reading. Long past "lights out" pages were turning and my pencil was scritch-scratching away. There is enough information to make you a whiz at wool but not so much that you feel like it's finals week. Clara's comfortable, easy writing style make this a wonderful read for interested fiber folk. As with The Knitter's Book of Yarn, this book had me underlining bits of information that I believe strongly will make me a better knitter, spinner and teacher. In chapter one, What is Wool?, we learn about the structure of wool fibers from scales to crimp and back again. We learn why wool does what it does, and why not all wool is created equal. Chapter two, From Pasture to Pullover, follows the processing of that wool into the yarns we use every day. Skirting, scouring, spinning and dyeing are all outlined here. Knowing what happens to wool from sheep to skein helps us as knitters to evaluate wisely our yarn investments. The chapter ends with an excellent "Wool 101"; a series of quick tips for yarn evaluation. As in The Knitter's Book of Yarn, Clara empowers us to make better yarn choices by learning to be yarn whisperers. We move from wool processing into the wool providers. In Meet the Breeds we learn about the animals that provide our most commonly used wools; what makes them different from one another, how wools are chosen for use, and what the intended function of the wool fibers are. General information on each wool category is presented, followed by specifics about each breed within that category. It's enough information to last a lifetime. A handy list of facts for each breed is given, with data about the fineness, staple length, crimp, luster and suitability of the finished yarn for your intended project. This is very much a spinner's book as well. The final wool-tech chapter, Plays Well With Others, explains how wools can be blended either with one another or with other non-wool and non-animal fibers to create yarns perfect for every use. Luster, halo and warm weather comfort are all touched on. Different fiber types are discussed giving knitters insight into why a specific fiber helps wool to work it's magic on our projects. Just when you think you've gotten every dime you spent out of this book, you discover more - patterns that, as Clara says, "...let you experience everything wool has to offer..." And folks, she's not just saying that! The pattern section begins with a Shakespeare quote: "Joy's soul lies in the doing". I agree, and the range of projects is both expansive and joyful! There are enough patterns in this book to keep any knitter happily busy for a very long time. On my first quick skim through the book, my eyes were drawn to Sandi Rosner's Bella Baby Ensemble, Clara's Sweet Fern Mitts, Sivia Harding's exquisite Tibetan Clouds Beaded Stole and Pam Allen's Comfy Cardigan. The list goes on. There's an adorable family of pullovers; The Three Bears; Mama, Papa and Baby Bear, each knitted in a different yarn yet singing sweetly enough together for the family Christmas photo (get knitting - there's always next year!). Four additional sweater patterns round out the group. Heads and hands are covered with two hat patterns and two hand covering patterns. A trio of sock patterns are presented, and a host of five knit shawls, scarves and stoles. Finally a knitted bag and pillow cover finish off this brilliantly compiled collection of highly knittable items.

Finally, a comprehensive resource list, including hints on washing wool and (dare I say it) moth prevention, helps you find the yarns used in the book. A detailed glossary as well as a list of wool processors, a recommended reading list, designer bios and author acknowledgments round out the book.

In closing, let me say that this book is well worth the investment, as was it's predecessor. Let's hope Clara continues to bring us the best of the best of useful knowledge about the animals and fibers that grace our lives and bring us that joy the Bard talks about above.Now if you'll excuse me, I sense a project needing to be knit...but where to begin? I think we'll start with Fern Leaf Mitts, just in time for Rhinebeck. Or maybe a Baby Bear pullover for Aidan. Although April would be lovely in that little wrap cardigan of Sandi's...stash raid!!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Stupidity, Thy Name is MMO

How hard can it, be, really, to steal honey from bees? Bravely we went to the hive, late but not too-too late. We put on the confuser board, and 24 hours later we retrieved "our" honey. They think it's theirs, which is a nice idea, but since I'm the one buying the hive parts and making the sugar syrup in cold weather, I have a different opinion. Share and share alike, I say. Some for me, and enough for them for winter. After a phone call or two we found a beekeeper very local to me who had an extractor he was more than happy to lend. I drove off to retrieve it, coming home with the extractor and a bonus - two whole fleeces from two sheep by the names of Emily and Olive. They're lovely black things. They'll never win a ribbon, but for a good serviceable worsted weight yarn, they're perfect. Eventually they'll be carded and spun in the grease I think, in keeping with my plans for their futures. I may blend them. But I digress. About the bees, and how I can be so painfully stupid it results in disaster.
Mr. Wonderful made sure the extractor was on a stable base of pallets, just as our new bee friend had advised. We set up the extractor in the garage. Alone yesterday and a bit bored, I excitedly began uncapping my whole 4 frames of honey. Good, the local beekeeper said, for a first year. Twelve pounds or so of fresh honey, he thought, would be the yield. I put the uncapped frames in the extractor and began to crank. This was when I saw the yellow jacket, but I thought nothing of it. The extractor came apart, and I stopped to fix it. A bumble bee wandered in. Still unfazed, and utterly too excited, I cranked on. When the extractor came apart a second time, I paused as I began to fix it, aware of a subtle but loud hum. Nay, a buzz. In fact, a buzz that seemed to be intensifying in both urgency and volume. Well, fool, I thought. The garage door is open. I closed the door and resumed my cranking, ignoring the 30 or so bees intent on getting "my" honey. The buzz got louder. Much louder. The extractor failed a third time, and as I raised my head I realized that I was in a large cloud of bees. We don't use the word swarm.
These images were taken about 3 hours after the initial arrival of the bees to reclaim their larder.
A swarm is a specific thing and has to do with bees leaving home for good, and is not a word that should be applied to any old gathering of hungry, active bees who've just hit pay-dirt in the form of a free meal. No conversion necessary, just grab the honey and take it home and store it for winter. What could be better, if you're a bee? These bees smelled honey, and they wanted it. But I'd shut the garage door. How could the numbers be increasing? I called Mr. Wonderful as I yanked the frames from the extractor, ducking and dodging as I went, grabbing the cappings and anything else with honey on it that I could reasonable and safely get my hands on, dumping it all into a covered bin. By now the air was thick with bees.
"Did you close the window?" he said. I turned and saw the window wide open, bees pouring in like rain. Opening the garage door to affect my escape, I discovered a waiting mob intent on entry.
I raced to the house with my covered bin of honey products. Some bees followed me, and spent over an hour at the front door of my house waiting for entry. Others discovered that the solar guys had left the basement door open, and gained entry that way. The extractor and it's contents were a total loss. There was simply nothing I could do to get them off of it, to get it away from them. Moving the glass bowl that had been placed beneath the extractor to catch the honey was impossible - then honey would just flow onto the floor and we'd never be able to clean it up. Closing the gate on the extractor was impossible. They covered any and every surface on which honey could be sniffed out. Watching from outside of the garage, I saw bees dying, hundreds, coated in honey to thick to allow flight. At one point the bowl was nearly full of bees.Some just got their toes wet, drank their fill and headed for the hive. Others stuck deep in it, drowning in the wealth of their own labors. The idea that they are "just bees" was impossible to seat in my mind. They were dying, thousands of them, and it was my fault. Stupidity and inexperience led to disaster. Eventually I was able to get the bowl full of dead and dying bees out from under the extractor and throw a towel over to to protect the remainder from their own eager industry. I covered the extractor as well. There was nothing I could do about the gate. They just were not going to give up.
Mr. Wonderful came home to a garage full of bees. Over the course of the evening as the temperature dropped he swept away the dead, and encouraged the live to move on. When I came home from work we moved most of the extractor into the basement bathroom, a very enclosed and generally bee-proof space. This morning I extracted the remaining honey from the uncapped frames.
It's beautiful. It smells like summertime and wild things. I adore it.
The two jars I ended up with are not nearly what I could have had if I'd thought a bit longer about bees, pollen flow, and the survival instinct of the natural world.But I am happy with it. Fewer bees died than I originally thought would. I am hopeful that in the next weeks they can hatch enough bees to bring the hive to a strong level. Pray for sunshine!
Lesson learned. Lessons learned, really. I promised the bees that if they live through the winter, I'll do better next year. I hope they trust me.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Solar Monday, with a Recipe

Today is a wonderful day. Today I realize the beginning of a dream harbored since I was in fourth grade and learned about renewable energy.Today the first phase of Operation Go Solar or Go Home (I know, how original, right?) begins. By the end of this week, the hot water that flows into my sink will have been heated by the sun. The concept captivated me. Energy from the sun, the wind, the water. Even as a kid I understood that there was something wrong with fuel that hurt the planet as much as oil, coal and nuclear power do. I live near a nuclear power plant, and now that they are here I think we owe it to the planet and the future to use them and not walk away, leaving potential disaster and waste behind. But I certainly don't think we need more. I'm not a huge fan of water power either, although as a child it was drilled into us that hydroelectric was the way of the future. Of course the propaganda for a local hydro plant had, I am sure, nothing to do with that. The river which used to freeze over every year near my home town doesn't any more. To deny the relationship between these two plants and that fact is to bury your head in the sand. The environmental impact of the two plants is also documented.The fish have to have help to get from place to place in the form of fish ladders, and some species have disappeared from these waters altogether. I know that solar and wind come with their own bugaboos; making panels and wind turbines involves chemicals and processes that are less than earth-friendly. But once they're up they rely on nothing more than sun or wind to make power. That, to me, makes sense. I let the sun dry my clothes. Why not let it heat my water, or power my laptop? After years of debate and decision making we've finally started a process that I hope and pray will end in energy independence for this household. Our heat will come from the trees around us. Our lights will be powered by solar panels, and our water will be heated the same way. Eventually I hope my car will be electric, and powered by the panels that will one day power my dvd player and my washing machine.Yes, I cried when I took this. Yes, it's that important to me. Important enough that I will sacrifice to make this happen. I wish it was that important to the whole world.
Last week we got our 1/4 cow for the year. We eat vegetarian for most of the week, but no one here is ready to give up their meat. Trouble is, the disturbing nature of the meat industry has led me to believe strongly that our meat should be as non-conformist as possible. That usually also means expensive, and so we eat less - or more accurately, we now consume a more rational amount of protein from animals. This year's contribution/sacrifice comes from a cow known as Montana, whom I've known since calf-hood. I know where they live, what they eat, how they're cared for. I've talked about this here before, so I don't need to go all soap-boxy on you now. Suffice to say this is a cow I can feel good about. So good that we had beef twice this week; rather of a rarity. The first event was on Tuesday when the meat arrived. After picking it up I became obsessed with the idea of having a steak, large, sirloin and right now, and so we did. Later in the week I had an odd craving for burgers. By then everything was frozen, but my craving wasn't willing to wait for slow thawing. I turned to my microwave, that trusty pal of mine. Everything went well for the first bit; most of the burger was thawed and I began to make patties, popping the remainder back in to finish thawing. I was in a hurry to get to the grilling part, so just pushed any old number on the 'weight defrost' button. I think I selected 32 pounds or something close to it and went on with my making of patties, oblivious. Great choice for 3/4 of a pound of ground beef, right? So here's my solution for 3/4 of a pound of excessively defrosted (read cooked...) ground beef. I call it:
The Impatient Carnivore's Burger Soup

1 tsp kosher salt
6 cranks coarsely ground black pepper
2 tsp Herbes de Provence (use our own or my super secret recipe follows)
1/2 tsp bay leaf
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopper
1 green pepper chopped
4-5 medium sized carrots, scrubbed and roughly chopped
6 cloves of garlic minced
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cans vegetable broth
2-3 T high-temp tolerant oil of choice (I like peanut)
1/2-3/4 pound of crumbled accidentally-overcooked-while-defrosting-in-the-microwave ground beef, preferably from a cow you knew personally. Can substitute 1/2 -3/4 lb of plain old ground beef.

If you don't use accidentally cooked beef, start by cooking it up. In a large, high sided skillet add 1T oil. Heat until hot, then add hamburger, stirring often, until cooked through. Remove from heat and drain in colander to remove fat. Make sure beef is crumbled. Set aside.

If you screwed up and killed the stuff in the microwave, just drain it and crumble it and set aside.

In a heavy bottomed stock pot pour 2 T oil. Heat on high until almost smoking. Add salt, onion, carrot and peppers. Stir to prevent sticking, reduce heat just enough to keep it from burning. Cook, stirring often, 4-5 minutes or until onion is soft and translucent. Add minced garlic, pepper, Herbes de Provence, and bay leaf. Cook 2-3 minutes on medium high heat. Add vegetable broth, tomatoes with their juices, drained and crumbled ground beef. Reduce temperature until soup is simmering. Cook until carrots are almost tender (I like mine to have a bit of crunch). Serve in Malea's soup bowls with a handful of leftover tortilla chips from the weekend.

Yummy, really! If you give it a try, let me know how it works for you. I really love it and so does Girl. Mr. Wonderful doesn't get any until dinner. Girl and I just couldn't resist, it smelled so good we had to have it for lunch!

MMO's Herbes de Provence, which is sort of an amalgam of a variety of recipes:
2 T each: Rosemary, Basil, Thyme, Savory, Fennel Seed
1 T Lavender
Place all in spice jar, shake well to combine.