breakfast of champions

every morning is a good time for a fiber fix, but sunday morning is the best time here, because that’s when my spinning buddies arrive for our weekly class.

i finally remembered to actually take pictures, too—i always take the camera out, then we get talking and i forget to get photos of what everyone is spinning.

that top photo is linda’s finished singles from the bump of briar rose BFL purchased at wooster in may—a beautiful gray/taupe/with a touch of mauve mix, something like this one.

she was all set to ply it today and by the time class was finished she had one bobbin full

just one more to go.
barb has also been working her way through a big batch of the same fiber in the same colors, but more intense (more green ad more plum)

they are like shades of each other; it’s really cool (especially since barb and linda sit next to each other). barb is spinning a 3-ply that she plans to knit inot a sweater—right now, she’s thinking jackie—you can see her stockinette swatch there. the yarn shades so beautifully in allover washy shades; it’ll look great in that tweed fabric.

as it happens, almost all of us are finishing up current spinning projects (though none of us actually finished them today, heh). sadly, not in time to get a medal (or even the lanterne rouge) in the tour de fleece (heaven forbid we’d be that organized).

anne marie insisted i photograph the last bit of a very big batch of coopworth fiber she’s been spinning into sweater yarn for a couple of months (remember when they all laughed at how long it took me to spin my BFL sweater yarn in the winter??).

she bought it in maine last summer (where, ironically, she is headed again at the end of this week). i think she’s just about had it with the dark brown though.

i had high hopes of finishing up this gold cormo fiber from briar rose (not on her site, but you can find it in her booth at fiber shows) this week and i got really close. i’m almost ashamed that i stopped when there was so little left to do—just a handful there

but, like everyone else, not quite guilty about it, haha (if i hadn’t been talking and taking pictures, i might’ve made it . . .).
actually, since i’m writing my post tonight instead of tomorrow, i’m thinking that i could get up early and finish it before class in the morning—that might be a really nice way to start my monday. i could take my wheel out into the sun porch and finish the singles at least; maybe even get it plied.

i’d love to get this yarn washed and hung before i leave—that way, when i get back i can start on a fresh new spinning project. i have a batch of light brown finn fleece that i’m dying to get my hands into. if i don’t get the cormo done tomorrow, then maybe one night anne marie and i can try to finish our respective projects while visiting, thus clearing our wheels for starting a new one when we get back.

i’m not ignoring susan—she is spinning a wonderful batch of romney/mohair that she purchased on our trip to the woolfest in june. but my pictures of it today were a disaster—we’ll get some nice ones next time to show it off.

now it wouldn’t be spinning class if anne marie didn’t model a sweater, would it?

(she’s saying she wants it bigger and we’re telling her it looks cute that way)
aww, we’re just teasing her . . . we get it—it’s a jeans sweater, it should be loose.

as usual, class ended all too soon. i had a very quick breakfast that i loved (picture my eyes rolling with delight when i say that)

now, you don’t need to ask me for the recipe because there isn’t one, but really, this couldn’t be simpler. heat some olive oil in a pan, scramble two eggs, and shave a bit of cheese. toss a couple of big handfuls of greens into the hot pan, fold until the greens are wilted, add pepper, pour the eggs over them, top with cheese and cook about a minute. fold it all up and flip for another 30 seconds or so, then eat it. yum.
and the vogue knitting was pretty good, too, yay.

once i was fortified, i went out to the garden to clean up a bit, do some transplanting, and take care of the tomato plant issue.

the last of the bok choy had bolted so i pulled it out and transplanted my okra starts in those rows

i cleaned out the lettuce and spinach boxes so i could reseed them, and prepared the space where the beets used to be for some green beans.
i figured that since i’m going to be away for a couple of weeks, whatever i start now would have some very healthy, undisturbed growth by the time i get back. beans grow fast and i might have a nice batch to pick by mid- or late september
in the boxes, i planted a few spare okra seedlings and some romaine lettuce (that’s my favorite).

after that, i wanted to avoid the tomatoes for a just a little longer so i cleaned up around the greens

unfortunately, i have not figured out any way to keep the summer squash from, well . . . squashing them—yet. you can see in this next photo that the squash plants, which i had hoped would climb up the back fence, are instead bearing down on the greens like an angry mob.

(this is one reason i spoke of pulling them out—there is just so much of them, in every way)
while i was exploring around the squash, trying to size up its prunability (i’m thinking no, but if anyone has tried this successfully, let me know!), i rediscovered the volunteer tomato plant that rooted itself in the spot where it was least likely to survive.

right at the base of the old tree stump, where i can’t even get a spade into the soil. apparently, the stump is not completely unlovable as i have always thought.

once i got all that done, i had to face the moment of truth—lopping back the tomatoes.
and wow—way to go blog! so much good advice that conflicted—seriously, you were split about half and half with utter certainty on each side—i love the conviction with which you argue though.

and in the spirit of not wanting to choose between you knowing that both sides are almost certainly right, i went with a cowardly diplomatic hybrid approach—i did it both ways

lopping the tops off the plants did not entirely appeal to me, to be truthful. however, the ones that toppled over this past week in the rain suffered quite a bit of damage in the form of bent/broken limbs, which by today, had begun to sport yellowing leaves. so those, i cut down.

and then there was this one cherry tomato plant with really REALLY long vines that were tangled up in everything and had tomatoes only very 18 inches or so—well, i got so frustrated with that one that i cut it back quite a bit. mostly out of annoyance, i admit—it was momentary, though.

the rest all got trimmed of non-fruiting suckers from below or along the sides of the vines. along the way i discovered some bottom yellowing that was suspiciously NOT like storm damage (i.e., the spots were coin-shaped and had brown centers), so i got busy cutting all that away wherever i found it, too (and later we applied both rotenone for insects and liquid copper for fungus/blight).

and where yesterday the tomatoes looked like this

tonight, after six hours of pruning and coaxing and primping
and after FOUR large wheelbarrows full of vines went to the compost pile (or wherever david made away with them)

they now look like this

with lots of space for air to circulate around them and for the straw underneath to dry in the sun.
(but i’m keeping my fingers tightly crossed that they will stay healthy—this is the time of year when trouble can start).

they are chock full of plump tomatoes that’ll be ripe just about the time i leave for sock summit.
sigh—just my luck.
i really hope there are more when i get back.

the pepper plants that were buried underneath the avalanche of tomato vines are breathing freely again. hopefully, all is back on even keel out there for at least a bit.

and i think now, it’s time to knit.

15 Responses to “breakfast of champions”

  1. Gina says:

    Oh my goodness Anne! Those tomato plants look fabulous. We should call it Hansoning the tomatoes!!

  2. Hattie says:

    I spun up some Briar Rose bfl in very similar colors…mostly plum with bits of other colors.

  3. Debbie says:

    I wish I could get into those tomato plants. You know how I feel about them. It’s still raining here. Unreal. No sun for weeks and weeks, just a day there and there.

    The yarn is gorgeous!

  4. Kim says:

    I will be doing something similar to my tomatoes this week. I over planted as well and while not quite as tall as yours mine are equally as beastly looking…LOL.

  5. Whew! Now I can breathe again – say the tomatoes! My plants – single stalks each about 12 inches high, a couple of flowers and two (TWO!) pea-sized cherry tomatoes (green). Sigh. I console myself with the fact that my garlic harvest will be glorious.

    It’s so fun to come back to a garden after being away – you will see so much bounty!

  6. I wish tomatoes would grow at 9,035 elevation! You are quite fortunate to have such a splendid garden. Your breakfast looked scrumptious and I’m going to try your ‘recipe’ soon……

  7. Jody says:

    Now you’ve made me feel guilty for not pruning my tomato plants this weekend…of course they aren’t nearly as impressive as yours. Love the LT sandwich, but I can’t help it, I have to have bacon (and peanut butter) on mine. I just bought some tomatoes-maybe that’ll be dinner tonight!

  8. Lorraine says:

    Anne- Attack of the Killer Tomatoes- it happens every year. In May we are so gung ho- and then we wonder what happened.

    Thank goodness they are so versatile.

  9. Nancy says:

    With the predicted finally-Summer weather this week, the gardens should be soooo happy! I processed dewberries, swiss chard and yellow squash this morning. I’m letting my lettuce bolt to collect seeds for next year. This year’s lettuce was from last year’s lettuce and it was the best ever. My tomatoes are slow this year. But the three green chili plants are doing beautifully!!!

  10. Laurie says:

    Smart pruning. I was just reading about a fungus related to the potato fungus that is decimating tomatoes this year because of all our rain.

  11. Theresa in Italy says:

    I’m going to show my tomato plants a picture of yours. Maybe that will shame them into producing something!

  12. Alicia says:

    Perfect. It looks like you took out some of the middle branches as well. Looks good. I’m glad you saved the pepper plants, they need sun too! They look much happier! (Notice how I personify plants? That’s what happens when your family used to run a greenhouse business. Plants have feelings too, don’t you agree?)

  13. Lu says:

    Que lindas suas lãs!Parabéns pelo seu trabalho!És uma artista…grande abraço

  14. Tara says:

    Way to go on the pruning! I’ve been ignoring my weeding/pruning/deadheading duties, I should really just face the music.

  15. Lesley Shuey says:

    How many companies actually know how to prune trees correctly?