Nath Knits

and should probably be doing something else.


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It is July, right?

I’m having just about as lazy a Saturday as it’s possible to have with the kids in the house and still be awake.  Dr. Thingo is away on his summer bunch of conferences, which means we will probably be having a bat visitor any day now.  It’s tradition!  The kids and I had crepes with blueberries and nutella for breakfast this morning, and we’ve been lazing around ever since.  This all makes up for yesterday when I dealt with 11 lb of sour cherries, 8 litres of blueberries and 10 lbs of shelled peas.  Have I mentioned how much I love the food this time of year?

So far this summer, the weather has left much to be desired.  We’ve had a total of maybe 5 warm days (and by warm, I mean above 27 degrees) in two intervals so far, both of them before the kids’ summer vacations started.  It’s been very rainy and cool.  Pluses:  I’ve only had to water the garden three times since April;  I (and consequently, those around me) haven’t suffered from Grumpy Heat from 6 days in a row of 30+ degree weather; Dr. Thingo isn’t making noises about having AC installed.  Minuses:  I’m using my dryer more than I’d like; I’m not sure the tomatoes will ever ripen; I haven’t taken the kids to any splash pads or outdoor swimming pools yet (with one notable exception, but I thought they were crazy to be playing in the water); it’s July 22nd and I’m wearing jeans;  I’ve heard exactly zero crickets so far this summer, and one lone cicada during a brief sunny period yesterday; the dehumidifiers are working overtime.  Anyway, I guess I should be happy that it’s been cool enough to be comfortable sleeping at night.  Still.

I just returned from a few days in Ottawa to visit my folks and celebrate my nephew’s birthdays (one and three!  Woo!).  I will take the opportunity to say here that S, the older of the two, is about as cute as it’s possible to be, and that little M with his crazy facial expressions is made of awesome.  I miss them already.  We hung out with my mom and her new husband, my dad and stepmom, often all at the same time, which would have been pretty much impossible even 5 years ago.  I got to play the guitar (yes, I sucked.   But I want to start playing again)  Saw lots of my brother and his family.  Bought some yarn – Berroco Lustra in a beautiful dark coffee colour (3130).  I lurve it.  I need to find a project worthy of it.  My mom even bought me some Vachon cakes, to which my kids were introduced (yes, they are delicious).  I did not, however, satisfy my chip wagon craving.  Maybe next time.  (Why aren’t there any chip wagons in town here?  There are forty million street meat carts.  Don’t get me wrong, I love me a sausage on a bun as much as the next guy, but wouldn’t they be better with some delicious fresh fries on the side??)  The only downer was that I forgot the baklava.  My brother, who makes the most delicious baklava I’ve ever had (including all manner of Middle-Easter restaurants and grandmothers), had saved me some, but I foolishly left it at my mom’s house.  Much to her delight.  I hear it was delicious.

In my last post, I mentioned something large, and lace, and beads.  I settled on only one of those – I’ve cast on the Lift and Separate cardigan (so, large, but no lace or beads) from Big Girl Knits with some Cascade 220 in an awesome raspberry colour.  I’ve finished the back and half of one of the front pieces, and if I keep completely neglecting housework, I should have it done by August.

I made Sam for Dr. Thingo.  I recently bought Sock Innovations by Cookie A. and plan on making all the socks in it.  This is the first pair.  I just finished those yesterday.  Here they are, on my  feet, hence the bagginess:

This was a fun pattern.  The cables are fairly easily memorized, and I like the extra touch of having the cables come out of the ribbing in an esthetically pleasing way.  Looking through the book, they all do this.  The ribbing is often unusual to accommodate the pattern on the leg later.  I have cast on Wanida, also from sock innovations, out of the sock blank I dyed with Kool Aid in the fall, tried to turn into socks, and ripped out because the colours looked awful.  I’m hoping the large patterning on this sock will detract from the ugly colours.  That rib is totally weird (P2, K2, P2, K3, P2, K2, P2, K1; repeat), which is good, because I’m not a great fan of ribbing as a rule, and this keeps it interesting.

I also got around to taking a picture of the socks I made for Vorlon a while ago:

Plain socks, but his sock blank knit up really well also (like Zebula‘s a few weeks ago).  Which just goes to show you, I guess, that making splotchy, random spots on one’s sock blank results in a better sock than trying to be all careful and geometrical.

Gardening update:  Everything is certainly nice and lush and green.  In fact, it looks a lot like Seattle out there.  So green.  Ironically, apparently they had a dry hot spring and early summer.  Anyway, the lone squash plant that germinated and was about to bloom got dug up by some critter while we were away.  The tomatoes and basil are coming along nicely, but really need some sun, and the bean plants, despite being really squat (maybe I got bush beans by mistake?) have bloomed and some have tiny, skinny beans on them.  The two remaning corn stalks are about half a metre tall.

Still craving fries.  I’ll see what I can do about that the next couple of days.

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Fruit!

It’s that time of year – fruit everywhere.  In the past three weeks, I have processed (either by eating, freezing, or baking with) 24 litres of strawberries.  So delicious!  And today I picked saskatoons from the tree outside my front door, which will become jelly for my brother-in-law.  Apparently cherries are coming to the Buying Club on Friday.  I love this time of year!

Added bonus, these kept Vorlon and Zebula busy all morning:

Why people spend money on toys when a bunch of empty fruit baskets will do just fine is beyond me.

I’ve been spinning!  What with the new living room being such a nice place to hang out now, I’ve decided that my wheel is going to live there permanently.  Also, since the floor is new and I’m still all paranoid about it getting dinged, I’ve kind of neglected the drop spindle for the past couple of months.  Because I drop it a lot and hearing that crunch of wood on wood would make me cringe.  Anyway, I dug out some batts I got during the Ravelry Rubberneckers gift swap last winter, and spun this:

This was carded by the person who was my swap partner and she listed it as “wool, mystery fiber and waste silk”.  It spun up very nicely.  I tried my hand at woolen spinning, which I’d never done since I always work from sliver or roving.  It worked pretty well, I think.  It’s nice and smooshy, and those white bits of silk look pretty good.  I ended up with about 75 metres of two-ply yarn, probably a light worsted.  I don’t know what I’m going to do with it yet.  I’m itching to start working on another wool/silk blend I’ve had in the stash for three years.  I was always a little afraid to work on it (the roving is so nice!), but I’ve decided to just take the plunge, since there’s no point in the fibre just languishing in my basement.

I finished the Geometry Dress for Zebula:

I had forgotten how fast crochet works up.  I heavily modified the design, since it was intended for grown ups.  I used the smallest size, which had the right waist circumerence, and just didn’t do any bust increases.  I also made both the skirt and bodice shorter, so I just improvised the armholes and neck openings.  The yarn is some stuff I’ve had in the stash forever, which I received when I lived in Seattle from somebody whose grandma had died (“Hey, you knit.  Do you want this stuff?”)  It’s a wool/acrylic blend which Zebula has pronounced “a little itchy”, but apparently it’s fine with something underneath.

I feel some knitted lace coming on.  Maybe with beads.  I’m going to do some research.