Saturday, July 14, 2012

I’m not complaining but…

It really has been hot around here lately. Dare I say it’s almost too hot to knit? It’s been into the 30’sC (90’s ish) for most of the week. We’re having a little bit of a reprieve today, but it’s still muggy, heavy. It has been a long time coming though, so I guess I really shouldn’t complain too much, should I?

There has been knitting to write about this week. It will look as if I’m being prolific, but that really isn’t the case. Let’s get on with it, shall we?

This is the 10 stitch blanket, designed by Frankie Brown and available for free at Ravelry. I started it a while back and have been working on it off and on. It’s come out more often lately because it’s an almost mindless project and, with the heat, that’s exactly what I need. The yarn I’m using is Marks & Katten’s Fame Trend and it’s worked on 3.0 mm needles. I’m using only this brand of yarn; I like the feel of it and the look of it. John’s already commented on it a few times; he loves the colours and is eagerly waiting for the completion of this blanket.

Another mindless project was cast on this week. This one is the Bias Before & After Scarf, a pattern from Churchmouse Yarns and Teas. It’s a very simple scarf, knitted with lace weight yarn on 4.5 mm needles. What makes this scarf interesting is the cast off; it’s cast off with beads! The beads will give the scarf a bit of weight and drape. I have a feeling this will be the perfect early fall scarf and I must admit, I really like the red. It will be a great pop of colour to liven up any outfit!

I’ll have to keep my eyes open for just the right beads to accent the scarf. I’m leaning towards clear red beads, for just that right little bit of sparkle.

I’ve also been working on another little hat for a friend. P is the friend who can no longer knit. Another friend of hers recently became grandmother to twin girls and another of her daughters will soon be having a baby girl. I’ve already made hats for the twins and P requested a hat for the third baby as well. This was also a pattern I found on Ravelry. Off hand I can’t remember the name of the pattern, but it’s a fairly simple lace knit. I’m up the the top shaping now and it will be finished once the weather cools down a bit. The yarn is 100% acrylic and I find I can’t work with it when my hands are hot. The yarn tends to stick to the needles. Ah well, the baby’s not born yet so I have time.

The final project still on the needles are these work socks for John. I started them about a month or so ago. He loves his hand knit socks and I love making them for him. They’re intended to be work socks but he’s already said they’re too nice for work and he’ll wear them as dressier winter socks first. They’ll likely become work socks by next spring. That’s fine by me.

See what I mean? It looks like I’ve been prolific, but in reality, I’ve just been puttering away, picking up one project and working on it for a while, then putting it aside for something else. Eventually, they’ll all get done. There is a finished object I’ve not yet written about but it will be for another post.

Then there’s the garden. It’s doing really well! As you saw in last week’s post, we’ve been eating from the garden quite a bit already. It continues to provide us with wonderful fresh produce and we’ve been eating from it daily. Whether it be peas (which are producing at an astounding rate!), carrots, onions, potatoes, chard, radishes or lettuce, everything has been delicious.

And… oh, this makes me so pleased!… there’s garlic! Check it out!

Is that not a thing of beauty? I picked it last weekend and will be harvesting the rest of the garlic later today. I’m thrilled! And I’m looking forward to cooking with our very own garlic. Incidentally, that’s the lettuce by the back door. It’s showing no signs of quitting. I’ve just been cutting it to eat and it keeps coming back. Absolute awesomeness!

Saturday, July 07, 2012

And She’s Back

First off, thank you to those of you who commented on my putting the blog on hiatus. Your concern was touching and appreciated. Let me put your minds at ease. There was nothing wrong, really. I was just feeling a little uninspired and a little overwhelmed with life in general. You know the old adage, “Sometimes a change is as good as a vacation”? Well, that’s really what it came down to. The break was needed.

And now, I’m back. But where do I start? There has been some knitting, but really, it hasn’t been much at all. The big thing that’s occupying our time these days (besides work) is the garden. It is flourishing!

I could show you loads of pictures but I won’t… not today, at least. I will, however, show you some of the fruits of our labours.

The first of the raspberries and a few new potatoes; we picked just enough of the potatoes for a meal. They were delicious, even though I overcooked them slightly. Really, nothing tastes quite like food just picked and immediately cooked, is there? The raspberries are coming hard and fast now and we’re freezing everything we pick. Amazingly, we’re still eating last year’s raspberries.

S, who lives upstairs and is away for the entire month of July, has stated that she would love some of the raspberries to freeze, so when she gets back, we’ll make sure she gets some as well. She’s planted a couple of rows of vegetables and has told everyone in the building (the other three suites) that they are welcome to pick whatever comes ready for picking.

Just a few minutes ago, I went back out into the garden for a look around; John’s at work and it’s the perfect opportunity for me to poke around out there. I’d been browsing Punchfork this morning and came across a roasted carrot recipe I’d like to try tonight. You can’t have roasted carrots without the carrots, so I went out to get some. While there, I checked out the radishes (from S’s section of the garden; part of the second crop of radishes!) and decided that some new potatoes would go well with dinner, too (there’s leftover roasted chicken in the fridge… dinner planned!). Aren’t they gorgeous?

Even though we’ve had the wettest June on record and even though the weather has been unseasonably cold, it hasn’t seemed to bother the garden. Everything is lush and green and coming along beautifully.

I was amazed to see how well the Walla Walla onions are doing, too. They’re ready for picking! I did, as a matter of fact, pick that one right in the center of the picture. It’s in my sink right now, waiting to be rinsed. I may just try to work it into dinner as well. If you’re not familiar with Walla Walla onions, they’re a sweet onion. People have been known to slice them and put them in a sandwich! An onion sandwich! I wouldn’t, but the certainly are a lovely onion.

The butterfly garden is doing well, too. I won’t show pictures of it today because, at the moment, only the daisies and the bee balm are blooming. Oh, the hens and chicks are blooming too, but they’re not that spectacular.

I will, however, leave you with one last picture. This was a visitor to our yard this morning. John brought it to my attention. This is one of the reasons I love summer around here…

It’s good to be back.