Nath Knits

and should probably be doing something else.


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Corn-ucopia

That’s four dozen ears of corn (minus one.  I managed to miscount when I filled my boxes during the pick-up.  I hope somebody got to eat the extra)  It doesn’t seem like a lot in the picture.  I processed all that on Friday night by shucking them, then blanching them about five at a time, giving them an icebath, and stripping the kernels off.  It took less time than expected, and now I have frozen corn for the rest of the year.  It would all have been fine, except that I hate shucking corn.  I don’t know why.  Maybe it’s because the cornsilk gets everywhere?  But, yeah, not my favourite.  That, peeling potatoes, and making salad.  I don’t mind any other cooking prep work, but those three make me crazy.  I have no rational explanation.  Anyway.  Now I have corn.  And we’ve been eating the other dozen slowly, in the form of corn on the cob and corn fritters.  I have a few left.  Corn chowder, maybe?

And socks, but I don’t get to keep them:

I love them!  I told Dr. Thingo last night that I’m sad this project is done, because I really loved working on it.

I loved seeing how the yarn subtly changed as I worked.  There are no repeats, as far as I can tell, or the pattern is just way longer than the length of these socks, I guess because it’s the plies that are changing, rather than the yarn.  They’re lovely.  I hate to give them away.  Well, not too much – it’s seven mismatched socks that are too small for me and too big for my kids.  Still.

This is Zebula’s favourite (’cause it’s pink and purple, natch!)  I just couldn’t get the camera to capture the loveliness.  But it still looks nice.

Oh, and the yarn is called Kroy Colour FX.  I don’t know if I’ve just publicly outed something that’s supposed to be a secret.  But I figure any publicity is good publicity, especially if it’s free.  Dr. Thingo thinks I’m crazy for waxing rhapsodic about this yarn at every opportunity.  But, damn it, it’s pretty!


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Bug math

For those summer days when you have a watch, no thermometer and a pressing need to find out the air temperature:

Count the number of cricket chirps in a minute. This number is n. Apply the following formula:

((n-40)/4) + 50

This gives, to a pretty close margin, the temperature in Fahrenheit. Or, you can apply:

((n+32)/4) * 5/9

To get the temperature in Celcius (if my algebra skills haven’t rusted too badly).

See?  Math is fun! (The formula in Fahrenheit was taken from Man Eating Bugs by Peter Menzel and Faith d’Aluisio)  This has no relevance to anything.  Just thought it was neat.  From bugs to yarn:

Spinrite sent me a bag of pretty yarns.  Seven balls of new Kroy sock yarn, each in a different colour, to be made up into mini-socks.  Well, not so mini.  They’d probably fit a 10-year-old.  But I love this stuff.  It’s a four-ply, and each ply slowly changes colour, so the changes are very subtle and gradual.  As soon as I find out what they’re going to call this stuff, and it becomes public, I’m going to get some!  I’ve made four and a half out of seven socks so far, and I love it.  At 48 stitches around, I can crank one of these out in about three hours, so instant gratification.

In the sewing department, I made a piece on commission for ecogrrl, who wanted it as a thank you gift for somebody in Ghana who was extra-good to her.  She wanted the same kind of bad that I had made during the long weekend in May:

The one on the left is the one I made for her, and the original is on the right.  There were so many mistakes in the new, that I felt bad giving it to ecogrrl to give to her friend, so I sent the original as well (with clevermonkey, who flew up on Friday to spend three weeks with ecogrrl and have a nice, African vacation.  Have fun, guys!) and told her she could pick the one she liked best and send the other one back with clevermonkey when he returns.  There are pros and cons to both, though I think overall the original wins.  The new one has stiffer interfacing, so it stands up on its own better, so I decided it didn’t need the snap at the top.  The old one just has a better sewing job – I made a big pile of mistakes with the new one and the plum trim.  The colours in the new one are nicer, but the ones on the old one are cuter.  Anyway, I’ll let ecogrrl decide.  I haven’t heard from her either way which she likes best yet.  For next time:  make my own bias binding.  The bought stuff is either just too narrow, or way too wide.

On the gardening front:  I have a bazillion tomatoes on the vine, just waiting to all ripen at exactly the same time so that I’ll be neck-deep in tomato canning in about two weeks.  And I seem to remember ordering a half-bushel of roma tomatoes from my CSA, which should be coming in any minute now.  I’ve frozen piles of peaches and blueberries and I’m considering buying lots and lots of corn on the cob to freeze too.  I love this time of year!


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Maybe trap shooting.

It’s been a good week-and-a-bit of visiting family, playing outside, and watching lots and lots of Olympic coverage while I could (we don’t have cable).  I love the Olympics.  I’m not sure why.  I’m not much of a sports fan, usually.  I’ve watched bits of all kinds of things, and fallen into the usual pattern of all of a sudden being able to speak knowledgeably about things I know nothing about (eg.  “Ooh, that was too far off vertical”, “Good form”, “He’s not extending his arms enough” etc.)  Still, it’s fun to watch.  And I know that all these currently household names (Michael Phelps, Carol Huynh, Usain Bolt) will be completely forgotten in a few weeks.  And I’ve come to the realization that the great majority of these performers are way younger than me.  So the odds are good that I’ll never be there myself.  I think the only things left to me are maybe Trap Shooting, and Equestrian, though Mother-Of-Thingo rained on my parade by saying that even though they’re older, they started young.  There’s still hope, I say!

And because of all this couch-potatoness while watching elite athletes amaze the world (oh, the irony), I have been incredibly productive:

In the background, the sweater for Brother-Of-Thingo, which needs to be ready in a couple weeks.  This knit up incredibly fast.  Even the endless body tube.  I steeked and cut the hood out at my Mom’s, though my brother didn’t believe it could be done.  I still have to sew down the bands for the placket and make the hems, but it’s pretty nearly done!

The green sock is Cat Bordhi’s Coriolis pattern (Ravelry link. Sorry.)  The yarn is, uh, I can’t remember now.  Huh.  Well, it was very nice.  Very fun to work up but kind of hard to pull on.  The running cable keeps it kind of tight.  And I did this fancy applied i-cord thing at the top to keep the cable going, which also makes the opening kind of tight.  The purpleish sock is my first Socks That Rock.  It’s Silky, in the Walking on the Wild Tide colourway.   I got the yarn from Saffity in exchange for a bagful of scrap sock yarn (she’s making an afghan, brave lady!).  It’s just a regular, plain jane sock, but I like it a lot.  The yarn is very silky soft.  Not sure how well they’ll wear, but they’ll be comfy!

Now I have to get ready for back-to-school.  Two weeks to go.  Crazy.


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I broke the board!

First, the knitting (I have been getting snide remarks that this blog is less and less about my knitting…)

Cute, huh?  Another Phildar sweater, the yarn purchased in France (Phildar Aviso, this time).  The pattern was, once again, extremely well written and laid out, and the yarn was great!  I’m sold on cotton/acrylic blends.  The acrylic keeps the yarn springy and easier on the hands.  And also lighter.  100% cotton at that gauge (4.5 st/in) would make for an incredibly heavy sweater).  Vorlon likes it and keeps asking if he can wear it – sometime when the high is not 26 degrees Celcius would be better…

So, the kids and I went on vacation!  The three of us, along with J and her three kids piled up in a van and drove seven hours to Lauzon Lake (well, J drove.  I sat and knit and passed snacks behind me).  We hung out with M and T and their kids (so, four grownups, eight kids total).  It was amazing!  I got to hang out with my fellow vodkateers for five days.  There was:  sitting on the beach, reading, hiking, waterskiing (not by me), boarding (more on that later), inner-tubing, blueberry picking, libation-drinking, eating, swimming, skinny-dipping, marshmallow-roasting and star-gazing.  The kids had an awesome time, and everybody got along surprisingly well.

What a nice buncha kids!  Decent human beings, every one of them!  And I’m a little in love with O (in the yellow t-shirt).  See him with his arms around Vorlon?  Vorlon was feeling sick for the first three days and was about as much fun as a limp noodle.  O was very concerned, and tried to include Vorlon in the kids’ games and offered toys to help him feel better, and checked on him regularly.  So sweet.

Blows to my ego: falling off the innertube and not being able to get back on without help (and having to hold my bathing suit bottom with my knees as it was slipping off…), breaking a wineglass on the first night, and breaking the board. The family is into waterskiing. Big time. Including a newly-discovered (through photo evidence) tradition of nude waterskiing. They are also into pulling people on various other objects – an inner-tube, and a wooden board, curved in the front like a toboggan, with a rope and stick to hold on to. Kind of a simplified version of waterskiing – you stand on the board and hold on to the rope. Having tried waterskiing last year, and after six or so tries, never managing to get my ass out of the water, I decided to go on the board. I fell off on the first try, and on the second try, it snapped. In two. Right in the middle. After forty-odd years of proud usage. I felt bad. Both because it had been around so long and ended with me, but also because maybe I’m getting a little heavy for this kind of thing.

We’ve been back for a few days, and are still seeking some kind of routine.  Though we shouldn’t get too comfy – we’re leaving for Montreal and Ottawa in less than a week.

I’ve started another sweater! This one’s for Brother-of-Thingo.  I promised him a long time ago that I’d make him a sweater, so he’s next.  The yarn is Elann Peruvian Highland Wool.  I’m making an EPS sweater, raglan style, and I’ll add a hood and a kangaroo pocket in the front, as per his request.  Actually, his real request was that the sleeves were joined all in one piece so that he could snuggle right into it.  I might rig something up with a kind of muff attached with buttons, depending on time and how much yarn I have left.  I promised this for his birthday, which is September 9th.  I have one sleeve done so far.

Ok.  Dishes.