The first long weekend of the summer is over. As far as the weather goes, it was a bust, except for part of Saturday afternoon. We rented a car for the weekend, so obviously we went out for Dim Sum for Saturday lunch. Then I took the kids (so Dr. Thingo could get some work done) to a local nursery to get this year’s crop of annuals. I put them in immediately, since it was nice out by then, and I didn’t think the weather would hold. Here is, as it currently stands, my front yard:
All that brown is where the grass used to be. There are now perennial herbs, annual herbs (except for the Basil, which I won’t take out until the frost risk is much lower), and some butterfly-attracting plants, for which I got a kit at the nursery. I’ll probably be doing a lot of weeding this year, but I quite like it. Here’s another view:
Those are the annual herbs, and the last tulip in the back.
I also got the tomato bed ready:
Tonight’s low is supposed to be 1 degree Celcius, so I won’t put the tomatoes out today, as I meant to. On the far right, you can see the snap peas slowly crawling up the mesh I put up against my railing. Also, there’s that big patch of saxifrage that was put in there by the previous owners. There used to be two giant yews in this bed (you can see the stumps still), and I guess they put the saxifrage in there so it would eventually take over as ground cover. It makes pretty red flowers later in the summer. I keep meaning to take it out to make more tomato space, but I can’t bring myself to do it. Maybe next year.
Sunday, we went to Toronto to go to a Stragglers party at Jorge‘s, whom I haven’t seen in a long time. Since before his now 14 month old daughter was born. It was a fun time, and there were some kids there almost exactly my own kids’ ages, so I hardly saw them all afternoon. Everybody wins! Incidentally, the mom of one of those kids made the best cheesecake I’ve ever eaten. I wonder if I can get the recipe off her.
Yesterday, we didn’t do much of anything, as the weather was surprisingly blustery. The kids did go play outside later in the afternoon, but I put a video in after lunch and let them watch a big pile of Blue’s Clues while I worked on this:
Cute, eh? It’s the purse on the front of the current issue of Threads magazine. I picked out the fabric with Vorlon on Friday (“Do you like dis fabwic? Dis fabwic? Dis fabwic?” Len’s Mill is a pretty big place…). It takes just a few hours to put together, including the cutting of the fabric, the second guessing of instructions and picking out of seams, the looking up of errata that aren’t there and that I could have avoided by just reading the instructions through carefully before I started, and the finishing. Fun to do. And I love that polka dot fabric. I might have to get more to make some kind of garment.
And I am knitting! Spinrite sent me some yarn. By mistake. It was supposed to go to another homeworker, but since it’s easier to email me the pattern than for me to send the yarn away to its intended recipient, I inherited the project.
Gilded rib-cage, it’s called (heh). It’s made out of Bernat Bamboo, which is nice and soft, but sheds like crazy. I made another similar, but crocheted, garment out of the same stuff last year. Nice pattern, works up quickly. And, for the first time in ages, I’m working on straight needles, because I don’t have any 6mm circulars. It took some getting used to – the weight distribution is totally different.
And I have started (and restarted, and restarted…) some socks out of the Kureyon Sock yarn I bought after last week’s workshop. I HATE THIS YARN! Sure, it’s pretty, but I can’t get an accurate gauge swatch to save my life, and then the gauge changes while I’m working. I started off wanting to make the Coriolis pattern from New Pathways for Sock Knitters, toe up. I started off with 3 mm needles, got 7 st/in in the gauge swatch and it turned out to be 6 st/in in real life. So I decided to go with it, ripped it back to fewer increases and kept knitting. I saw that the texture was nearly invisible and the fabric was too thin (I should know better than to use a one-ply for something textured). So I decided to do the Topstream socks from the same book, ripped it back completely, and did a swatch with 2 mm needles. That was too firm, and it was 9 st/in, which is crazy. So I settled on a 2.5 mm needle, swatched and got 8 st/in, started the sock again, and realized about 3 inches in that it’s really 7 st/in. So I have ripped back to get the appropriate number of increases for my foot size. This is nuts. Luckily, the patterns are totally customizable (Cat Bordhi is a genius) but I have to redo the calculations every time, which is a minor pain in the butt. The yarn is so contrary, it even eluded the autofocus on my camera:
I hope this one sticks. If not, I’ll just make the socks as-is, and find somebody they’ll fit on. Sheesh.
*ETA: I just realized that the view I’m using in wordpress is screwing with my pictures and truncating the last little bit of them (on the right), so you can’t see the snap peas crawling up the mesh in the picture. I’ll figure out how to change it later.