oh, it’s good to be home

Posted on Posted in designing, food and garden, lace/shawls, projects

wow, it’s been a loo-o-ong while since i was in my own house. we have a LOT of cathcing up to do so you might want to grab another cup of coffee before you start this, haha.

i didn’t intend to be away so long this time, so i was especially happy to see david when he arrived in albany last friday to meet up and take me home.

it was his birthday on saturday, but he kindly spent the chilly, drizzly morning working in my mom’s yard, digging up a planting bed that had fallen on hard times and putting away garden gear for the winter.

he also potted up a few pink impatiens for us to take home for cuttings later in the winter. we’ll see how successful we can be.

meanwhile, i squared away laundry and winter linens inside the house.

we celebrated david’s birthday that evening by having dinner with my sister’s family at karavalli, a wonderful indian restaurant i hadn’t been to before.

i managed to get my second sweater sleeve further along while we watched TV in the evenings, but i didn’t finish it by the time we left, as i had hoped. in the car home, i worked on a secret project which i did finish, though i hadn’t expected to get that far.

i continued work on my sleeve once i got home, focusing only on that during monday’s class and evening TV; have i mentioned that my arms are long and knitting sleeves can be somewhat tedious?

they’re great for toting around as mindless knitting or to work on when i’m tired, but when i have a good chunk of quiet, focused knitting time, i’d rather knit something more challenging or do some finishing work.

but i bit the bullet in favor of completing the project and last night, it was finally done.

now i can seam it up and wear it next week to our CIA lunch—i’ll have two new sweaters for the rhinebeck trip, woo-hoo!

the pattern is in production, but won’t be ready for a while; it needs to be tested and proofed before it’s published. but we’re working on it. in the meantime, i know chris is dyeing plenty of sea pearl fingering yarn for both the briar rose booth at rhinebeck and her online shop.

meanwhile i have the nona lace scarf i started in albany to work on, secret club projects for the next few months, and a new piece for kollage yarns spring collection. plus my mom mentioned several times how cute she thought my les abeilles scarf was, so i thought i’d use my blumchen leftovers to knit one for her while traveling next week.

but more on all of that later in the week . . .

travel is a great experience—i get to visit many new and exciting places, try interesting foods, and meet people who read the blog or who are avid users of my patterns. there comes a time during every long trip though, when i look forward to getting home to eat our own food and sleep in our own little bed.

notus grey project bag from three bags full.

a big congratulations to krystal b.!
i forgot to ask her ravlery name, so i can’t point you to her project page, but she’s thrilled to have won. she’s planning to knit the leaving sweater soon and the bag will hold everything she needs.

a big thank you to michele for providing us with a chance to show off her beautiful bag—many more of them to be seen in her etsy shop.

i had a couple of bags sitting in the mail myself when i got home—not sweater sized, but the handy sizes i used most often.

the mia and tall mia bags are my favorite for toting a lace project—i can fit even a large lace scarf and the yarn for it in one of these; their sleek shape and slender size allows them to live in my purse without making me look like a bag lady—i’m never without one. i love this crazy print of roses—it brings the words grey gardens to mind.

michele also makes laminated bags sometimes, which i am slowly growing addicted to as well collecting—they are indispensable for keeping things organized and clean while traveling. she included some fabric swatches for me to check out—how clever thoughtful of her . . .

and there were a couple of skeins of yarn too. from my friend deb at fearless fibers, a new version of her popular MCN luxury, this time in 4-ply light worsted weight, yummmm. this would be awesome knit up as a rené sweater.

and then there is this BFL/silk lace yarn that i’m just ga-ga over. first of all, the color is SO me, a great grass green. and then, i like the weight too—it’s a little chubbier than most laceweights, similar to deb’s merino lace. this diameter of is perfect for beginning lace knitters—you get all the laciness of fine yarn, but the extra weight and loft it offers better control on the needles (and is certainly not limited to use by beginners only, hee-hee). the BFL/silk will have more drape and sheen than merino.

naturally, one of the first things i wanted to see when i got back to my house was our garden, battered though it might be from neglect; being away most of the summer definitely took a toll on it. yet i knew that there should be plenty out there to eat for the next few weeks; fall vegetables are in.

however, it was pouring buckets all the way home and for a couple of days after, so my first walk-through didn’t happen til yesterday.

luckily, my cousin brought a gorgeous cauliflower and an eggplant to my mom’s from her garden in hudson and since my mom wasn’t really up to cooking yet, she gave them to us to bring home.

so yesterday, while the rain continued to fall, i set about making paste con il cavolfiore—pasta with cauliflower, one of my favorite comfort foods.

that cauliflower was so gorgeous it makes me want to grow my own next year . . . and it tasted even better than it looks. the purple or green varieties would, of course, be pretty in this dish, but i have a soft spot too, for the homliness of the all-white version—and it all tastes the same to me, haha.

dinner was ready in about 40 minutes and just as we sat down to eat, the clouds broke and shed some long wished for sunshine on our meal.

after dinner i went outside to look around. the new trees and shrubs we planted just before i left looked great; i’m keeping my fingers crossed that they live, because that front yard has consistently disappointed us in its ability to support plants.

these adorable little globe spruce trees are the perfect greeting at the top of our steps and door gate; i really want them to survive.

around back, the garden is looking a little bedraggled, which is normal for this time of year. despite that lackluster performance of the tomatoes and greens (still feeling sorry about the greens . . .), there is plenty there to cook with and eat throughout the fall.

to start, we have a nice crop of bright green escarole that i sowed in late summer that somehow defies whatever is eating the other greens—i hope that bodes well for its flavor, because it’ll be perfect for bean soups or sauteéd as a side dish.

as usual, peppers abound. we have small, sweet yummy peppers and large red and green bell peppers that are thick and heavy enough to bend the plants over.

and then we have hot peppers—dozens of ’em on each plant.

along with that eggplant, some onions, garlic, and potatoes, these will make a fine, fine curry. it will have to wait til tomorrow to be cooked, but i for one, can’t WAIT.

in fact, i think this is going to be a big cooking weekend—with a wealth of root vegetables at hand, it’s a good time to make a big pot of soup base for the freezer (i have plenty of room where the tomatoes usually go, sob)

we have rutabagas the size of my head. along with turnips, carrots (SO sweet this year), celeriac, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, garlic, and celery, they’ll make a delicious blend of flavors. i can buy a winter squash at the farmer’s market on saturday to round things out.

the same combination would be excellent all roasted up together. add sausage if you’re a meat eater and it’s a family meal in one pan. seriously good, too.

kim is arriving on tuesday for a visit before we head to rhinebeck and i want to have some nice food for meals (but i’d rather knit with her than cook, haha, so doing it ahead is on my agenda). and i promised her a cake, so that’s on the list, too.

one thing that IS looking nice in the garden are my mom’s impatiens

despite being a little big for that pot, they survived the journey and are settling in well. we’ll repot them to bring indoors; hopefully they’ll survive long enough to take cutting in february and march.

today is sunny and i continue with catch up my duties—i’ve had a couple of appointments each day and am trying to bring some order to my desk (HA!). a lot of that is tedious, but as i work through my chores, it’s nice to have a good trip to recount to myself as i work

any time i’m in albany, i make a point of stopping in to see robena and celeste at trumpet hill yarn shop, but on this visit, i had the good fortune to get over there several times to knit and chat with them for a few hours of off-time relaxation.

if you live in the capitol region and you haven’t been, you should try to go in—it’s a warm, friendly, and well-stocked shop with kind and knowledgeable staff to help you. a full list of classes, events, and community involvement rounds out the TH knitting experience

and then there is the clientele . . . on any given thursday night or sunday, you’ll find smiling knitters like melissa and linda, relaxing on comfy sofas and chairs while they knit and talk.

they’ll be the ones to encourage you to try something new or more challenging—take it from kevin

who turned his first heel on thursday night while i was there. i don’t think he’ll ever actually wear it; after all he can’t look at it and walk on it at the same time. but don’t we all feel a little that way about our first?

speaking of firsts, just as celeste was shutting up for the evening, chris and joe came in to look for needles. they had never been in the shop (or any yarn shop, i think), but chris had recently learned to knit from a neighbor and joe was curious, so they found TH online and ran over to get joe some needles to start a garter scarf THAT evening (you know how it is, once you get the bug).

i just love watching new knitters hatch . . .

the day before we came home, i dragged david in to show robena his cashmere wrap—he’s just about done. next up, some washcloths and then some socks i think.

well now, i’ve run on and on and ON today and it’s time for me to turn my attention elsewhere. i’ll be back friday to announce the book drawing and maybe have some different knitting progress (and a seamed sweater).

23 thoughts on “oh, it’s good to be home

  1. Your posts about Albany always fill me with nostalgia (in a nice way); I grew up in the Capitol District. Most of my extended Italian-American family still lives there, but now I live in Southern California. I’m glad your mom is recovering so well! When you talk about cooking with her, it reminds me so strongly of many afternoons cooking with my mom and grandmother. Thank you for sharing so much!

  2. What a fabulous recap of your homecoming. I feel like we’ve spent the afternoon together over a fabulous pot of coffee 🙂

  3. My fav quote from this post…’rutabegas as big as my head’. Something about that just made me laugh. The garden looks great! Happy cooking this weekend. I think our weekend project will be to rebuild our front steps, since the weather will be lovely. And the dog needs a bath. And the yard needs tending. The list goes on and on!

  4. My fav quote is ‘watching new knitters hatch’!! So funny!

    Love the pepper shots – great harvest!

    Enjoy your brief time at home before hitting the road again.

  5. So Kim will be staying in *my* room. Don’t let her party too much, Anne. I hope y’all have an awesome time together.

    Blumchen continues to look lovely. My yarn is waiting for it. As am I. But I have PLENTY to keep me busy until its release.

    Pls give David a big happy birthday hug from me. And a hug for you too, just b/c I love you.

  6. It sounds like you are truly happy to be home. It is nice to be on the go, but it is always nice to settle in and be home too.
    The peppers in the garden look wonderful. I don’t care much for “hot” peppers, but can eat bell peppers like candy, and a good stuffed pepper is comfort food too.
    I’m anxious to see your sweater put together. 🙂

  7. The Impatients should do well. The garden guy on the radio here says Impatients are a weed in Costa Rica – it’s hard NOT to grow them there. 🙂

  8. Home Sweet Home! Hope your Mom is doing well and that you get caught up and rested before you are off again.

  9. Love seeing the handsome new knitters and can’t wait to see David’s cashmere (!) wrap. Happy birthday and welcome home.

  10. Yumm! One piece of eye candy after another. Every time you post pictures of a yarn shop that’s new to me, I want to pack my bags immediately. Enjoy your time at home. Jo

  11. Glad you made it home safely, it’s always nice to sleep in your own bed once more! Are you sure one cake is enough for Kim? I know just what a sweet tooth she has!!

  12. Glad you are home. It is always wonderful to return home no matter how great your time away was. Thanks for taking the time to write a blog post when I am sure you could have just taken a bit more time to just sit and enjoy home.

  13. Everything looks lovely – plants, veggies, yarn and knitting. A word of advice on purple cauliflowers: they turn color when cooked (to a rather dismal shade), so are best served raw. Orange cauliflower, on the other hand, looks dusty-dull when raw but turns a glowing gold when cooked, making a beautiful contrast with dark greens or red tomatos or peppers. Bon appetit!

  14. Thank you for the nice long post. I thoroughly enjoyed reading every bit of it. Your cauliflower dish looks wonderful. I may have to try it.

  15. Nice post Anne. Glad you’re back home. Put on your to-do list: “Make chocolate cake for Kim the Pig.” hehehe

  16. Welcome home!! Your garden is looking good (and so is that cauliflower dish – I love cauliflower), and so is blumchen. But you know what looks really yummy? That BFL/silk laceweight – and I need more yarn like I need a hole in my head (not that that will stop me)…

  17. I always enjoy your posts….you know? Yarn, gardening, food and the occasional book review…..my favorite things! I’m making a pale variation of the cauliflower dish for dinner tonight. Pale, because I have no anchovies and can’t remember whether I have fennel seeds; shopping is not an option today because Detroit Tigers playoff baseball is on TV in 10 minutes! Thanks for the dinner suggestion!

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