these are one of david’s favorite flowers; we have bunches of them.
whoa. this week is already disappearing on me. i can’t believe two days have passed since i posted; it feels like hours. i’ve sorta got a million things happening at once: patterns finalizing, patterns in progress, a blocking queue (blocking queue?? yup; three shawls all need blocking at once and darn it i can’t show you any of ‘em . . . yet . . ), works in progress, and of course the garden needs much attention right now.
today is my lovely niece susan’s birthday—she turned 13 today and will start high school in a few weeks. i just got off the phone with her and she’s very excited about her drawing and other activities. she’s SUCH a lovely person . . so warm and nice, so intelligent, and so great to talk with, and really good with her brothers and sisters, too (she is the second in a family of seven children, to put that in perspective). we are exceptionally lucky to have her in our family. and, she knits; what more could you want in a niece? we wish her the best and brightest birthday today!
so let’s see . . . what’s going on with projects?
i am barreling along on the shawl—it is so fun to knit that i’m afraid i have been giving most of my knitting hours to it, instead of spreading that time around as i normally might.
the stitch pattern is a bit unusual in that half of the vertical repeat has purl rest rows, and half has lace knitting on both sides. and that creates this interesting shift in the side-to-side “pull” of the stitches where it becomes a bit more active. it’s very very cool to work and watch it unfold. i thought that possibly this was just the geeky me responding to it, but jocelyn started her test knit the other day and she has become equally smitten with it. she claims she can’t put it down. and that’s a good sign i think.
the other project that gets quite a bit of air time is the scarf i’m knitting from briar rose grace
sharon suggested calling the scarf “tudor grace” and i instantly knew that name hit the right note, yay. oh this yarn is lovely too; i know i’ve talked about it before, but the more i knit with it, the more i love it. chris has added some skeins of grace to her site; you can find them here.
it has so many beautiful color transitions, sigh. it’s squishy and strong—no snagging or pilling or limpness. mmm. i’m about halfway through the scarf—i’ve just been working on it in class and in waiting room situations but it feels like it’s knitting itself.
i also finally got a new sock started; feels like a long time since i did a sock, even though i know it hasn’t really been. so, kites it is—i think this pattern works up great in catherine’s yarn and colorway . . .
very, very summery. it’ll also look like ribbons blowing around and around the leg once i get a little further along. this is another great bamboo merino blend yarn—a little more high-twist (but not too), but silky and strong at the same time. it’s knitting into a lovely fabric. i can’t wait to see this sock against david’s skin.
one of the things keeping me really busy the last few days is keeping up with what’s coming in from the garden. we are eating well alright these days, but it takes time to make that happen (and totally worth it). the other day i had these
and a drawer full of eggplant, squash and peppers
so i roasted the peppers, eggplant and tomatoes with olive oil and garlic, and sautéed some onions with the squash, then put it all together with handfuls of fresh basil and oregano to make this
ratatouille from the garden, david’s favorite. a dish like that takes some time but it can be done in stages of a few minutes her and a few there if need be. while i was preparing that i also put up some more greens for the freezer
and a large bag of green beans brought over from a neighbors garden.
some of our fresh meals are not so complicated at all
now this one is easy and it has all the food groups, so it’s not a compromise at all. and sometimes we go for medium difficulty
a quick stir-fry of asian greens in brown sauce, and a fillet of cod smothered in fresh tomatoes and garlic, then broiled, with rice. and it has the added bonus of looking like a flag.
we try to keep it easy and still get good nutrition. it’s worth the trouble too; we rarely get sick, if at all. i’ve been known to go for years without even a cold.
remember the gorgeous yarn that became alhambra? well lisa milliman, the dyer (AKA dicentra designs) has been busy with her color alchemy again and came up with a whole new array of colorways for her rich, buttery alpaca laceweight (it gleams when it catches the sun, it does)
do you know how many of these i love??
she sells her yarn in her etsy shop (where you can also contact her) and through crown mountain farms here, she will also be at the oregon flock and fiber show in september i think, where she will have plenty of these if you so desire.
ok, now i’m going to show you something that could be perceived as totally indulgent, if it wasn’t such a good investment. you know i am a total book ho, right? particularly when it comes to knitting books. but you may have noticed that i have not been buying books willy-nilly this year. for one thing i have been pretty busy, so i haven’t had time to look at them much. and for another, i have been saving instead so i can make a big book purchase all at once, because i had a wishlist that was sticking.
and last week, i finally found everything i wanted in one shop, so i took the plunge and made an order
i have coveted and desired these japanese stitch dictionaries for several years, but each time i got serious about ordering them i thought that i should instead divert the monies elsewhere (believe me, when you own an old home there is always an elsewhere . . .).
so a couple of weeks ago i was scrolling through some sites looking at them again, and talking myself out of it again since i never see them all in one place. then i went to marsha white’s needle arts bookshop, and there they ALL were.
well. the devil on one shoulder tossed the gauntlet down in front of the angel on the other shoulder and said, “what’s your excuse going to be now??” and the angel didn’t have one.
in fact the angel was feeling quite devilish indeed that day and quickly filled her cart with every wishlist item. she then took her birthday, christmas, and other windfall money and blew the whole wad on the accumulated books. and it felt so good.
of course i will pore over the stitch books obsessively, getting to know them over time, but i also found a book i did not actually have on my list, but had seen and coveted on lene’s blog before it was available in translation.
this is a wonderful exploration of knitting history; just the kind of thing i can get lost in. annemor sundbø is one of my favorite knitting historians, and her book, setesdal sweaters is another favorite read, so i snatched this one up.
i feel greedy alright but totally satisfied too. there are a few times when i spend a considerable sum on something fiber related and have no qualms or guilt at all about it. for instance, when i purchased my schacht wheel (used) i felt a twinge of nervousness at spending the money (we were pretty broke that year) but once i had it in my house i never gave the money another thought. it is a perfect thing in so many ways; a great value for the amount i spent on it. in fact this is true of all my wheels . . . i am very satisfied with what i got for the money in each one, to the point where the money is beside the point (and believe me, in our life, money is never beside the point; we have to save for things we want, and pass on other expenses to do it).
anyway, back to marsha and her shop—you should totally consider buying your books from her, and at the very least, you should look through her shop if you are seeking something unusual or special. marsha has a first-class shop full of books you can’t get just anywhere. and her shipping rates to the US are completely reasonable; it’s definitely worth comparing with other booksellers. and she is just a wonderful retailer with an avid interest in the best knitting books. period.
and, when my order came, it had this beautiful poem included
how can you not love someone who loves knitting and needlework this much?