oh gosh, i’ve hardly had time to realize i’m home since i got home, haha.
but boy, am i glad to be here—i missed david, i missed my knitting spot, and i really missed my bike (we’ve had several nice reunion rides over the last few days).
i missed the garden too, and though i still haven’t had much of a chance to lavish attention on it, i’ve taken several walks through to pick and assess what needs to be done (uh, a lot).
something is killing all the potato plants, ugh, but i’ve no experience growing them on my own, so i’m not sure what’s eating them.
i also haven’t had time to dig around underneath and see if any actual potatoes survived. i hope we at least get a few; that was one crop i was really looking forward to.
the rutabaga, on the other hand, which is right in the next row, couldn’t be happier. every single one has a nice round root underneath and many of them are bulging out of the ground. i’ll need to dig those up soon and start figuring out what to do with them and how best to store them. same for the turnips—happy, happy.
there are a couple of other casualties—like squash (but what did i expect?). good thing i planted all these marigolds around them or this patch would be completely bare now. instead, i have all this rich color and maybe even a dye source, if i can get my butt in gear and get those blooms picked. i have plenty here and throughout the garden to make a nice batch of dye.
and so sadly for me, my chard isn’t doing very well this year. don’t get me wrong, we have enough to eat, but they’re just not spectacular and i don’t know how much has made it into the freezer for winter. chard really doesn’t like the heat of july though, and since they all at least survived, we might see a nice resurgence going into the fall.
on the other hand, i’ve got a big escarole harvest in my near future (not sure what i’m going to do with all of it, but i’ll figure it out by sunday, haha). i’ve never had much success with lettuces so i’m pretty tickled by this one. peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes are all doing well, though there could be more production in the tomato patch.
there seems to be a lack of bees around this year. i sort of noticed it before i left, but now the evidence is clear—the yard is definitely lacking in the usual droning sound and a lot less pollination has been happening. the tomato plants are healthy, but have less flowers than usual and less fruit—so far. again, there’s still plenty of time for them to surge; tomatoes will fruit all the way to november if it stays warm.
and i don’t think the plants like the sudden wide swings in weather we’ve been having—before i left it was fairly chilly and then all at once it got REALLY hot and now it’s been cooler again. from what i’ve observed in other years, what plants like is consistency or at least long, slow changes in temperature.
the hydrangeas are happy for once, though—just look at them, huh. this hedge is finally getting a little bigger and flowering more. these shrubs bloomed later than the others we have near the house, so they are all still a beautiful blue or lavender/pink.
the ones near the house are starting to fade already, though it could be that they just didn’t get enough water, being so close to the foundation, where it stays dry.
still, we have a healthy enough garden to put food on the table and make the yard look nice. this morning i picked cherry tomatoes (they are deLICious this year) and the last of the green beans, which we’ll have with dinner tonight.
plus i’ve got some really nice peppers, eggplant, onions, tomatoes, and basil waiting to go into a pot of ratatouille on friday. all i need is a couple of small squash to complete the dish—those we’ll have to buy. this is david’s favorite dish and i can’t wait to make it for him with the fresh vegetables he looked after while i was gone. and anne marie is coming to visit as well, so this will be perfect to accompany a nice knitalong evening with our spinning class.
for myself, i’m always happy with the simplest of foods—you can bet i dug right into one of my favorite garden dishes the minute i woke up on my first day home, haha.
mmmmm, the king of sandwiches.
hee-hee, when i look at this picture, i can’t help but think of adrienne singing at the lunch table, “i love putting food in my mouth!”
my sentiments exactly.
BTW, according to twitter, she finished her hot waffles hat, thanks to all of us encouraging her. now if only we could see it . . .
though most of the household activity since i arrived home has been focused on getting our first club shipment and eBook installment out the door (on TIME, woo-hoo!), i’ve also had a little time to enjoy the comfort and quiet of my knitting spot to work on new projects.
i’m back at work on my rene cardigan, which just needs this back piece to be a complete sweater. i’ve been adding a couple of inches each evening while i unwind from my desk work and i’m hoping that at this pace, i’ll be done by next week. which means my rhinebeck sweater will be complete—which i’m doubly happy about since we’ll be seeing woolen rabbit kim that weekend (it’s her grace merino yarn in colorway scottish heather that i’m knitting with here).
i find this a good project to focus on immediately after i leave my desk for the evening, when pent up energy and tension make my hands feel really strong, giving me extra leverage to work this heavier cabled fabric. not that it’s all that stiff or anything, just a lot different from the fine lace fabrics i work with more often. after an hour or two of working on this, i’m drained of tension and relaxed enough to move on to TV knitting (sadly, i’ve not left my desk early enough to have a really long evening of knitting, but soon, hopefully . . .)
the fallberry scarf is growing by leaps and bounds because it’s such a great take-along project. i can knit rows and rows without even thinking about it much; yesterday i added about a foot and a half to it between knitting class and beckie’s visit last evening.
i’m psyched—it’s going to be done soon, which means we can photograph it with the hat and release the pattern by september as we’d hoped. BTW, susan has uploaded a bunch of this pathway sport in colorway roast carrots, to get ready for the release (in case you were hoping to get some in the same color). agnes is knitting her set in colorway from dusk til dawn; can’t wait to see it. she’ll be sending it along for the photo shoot as well.
i’m super excited about the progress i’m making on the blümchen cardigan, too (and what a perfect name; thanks nathalie!). i am zooming up the back piece now; i think last night i got to the waist while we watched TV (and stayed up far later than i’d planned in the process, oh well).
and here’s a shot of the fronts laid out on the table . . .
i am loving—and i mean lovin’—it in this gorgeous briar rose sea pearl. the more the fabric accumulates, the more i can’t wait to have it on next to my skin. this is going to be my other rhinebeck sweater—the one i wear to CIA lunch with the ladies on friday. it’s so dressy in this haunting lavender gray color; it’s so me.
oh, and as if that isn’t enough, my buttons arrived from moving mud while i was gone. as always, i mailed off a swatch to sarina and asked her to do whatever she wanted and once again, she came through with a winner—they’re perfect. sigh, i just love her work . . .
you can do the same for your special project—simply email her to discuss and send a sample; she’ll fix you up with the perfect closure.
naturally, a huge pile of mail awaited me upon my return and i spent almost a full day going through it all. numerous packages were included, which i’ve sorted, but not yet photographed. i’m hoping to do a big post soonish including the nice yarns i accumulated during my travels as well as those which came to the house.
but i really must show off two highlight items that i can’t keep to myself any longer, hee-hee.
the first is something i’ve been shopping around for over several years. i’m a patient person and very busy, so time flies quickly for me; in this case, it’s been a few years now since i decided to replace my ashford joy traveling wheel. i wanted to upgrade to something that spins faster and more efficiently; even though i don’t use a portable wheel often, i wanted one that has a similar performance to my home wheels. i tried out many at various fairs and festivals, including some very expensive and highly recommended ones, but none felt really comfortable to me.
then came the schacht sidekick
now, i absolutely adore my schacht matchless wheel; it’s the one i spin on most. i was curious about the sidekick so i asked my friend kim (who happens to be a
crack schacht dealer) what she thought—had she spun on it yet?
she hadn’t, but i did have a chance to try it out at the spinning retreat i went to in may. i fell in love; it has a very similar feel to the matchless, but it folds up small—just what i wanted. so i grabbed one of the first two she had coming in. actually, she’s got an introductory offer running now on the sidekick, if that would tip the scales for you.
i was overjoyed to return home and find it waiting for me. i’ve already spun a little on it and tomorrow night, i’ll really put it through its paces in class.
because in addition to the wheel, another package awaited from another
crack dealer good friend which included some really nice fiber to go with it.
seriously, she’s giving me heart palpitations—can you believe how beautiful this stuff is???? it’s making me sweat just looking at it. and i’m not even going to torture you by telling you how it feels, but the words might include such adjectives as luxuriant, soft, creamy, soft, downy, soft, caressing . . . ok, enough of that; i think you get the idea.
in fact, i’ve got nothing else to say at all after that—this might be a good time to find some lunch.