Previous month:
July 2006
Next month:
September 2006

August 2006

whirlwind

wheeee.....ewww!!!
The past couple weeks have been a whirlwind.  Whatever wasn't photographed, and most wasn't, has been relegated to blur status. Yesterday afternoon I took my sister and niece to the airport, got home around 8:30, collapsed on the sofa with my new knitting project (just scroll down), and this morning have been catching up on office stuff.  We had a great visit.  We went to our favorite garden for high tea; cucumber sandwiches, scones with cream and strawberry jam.  There was a pot of tea for each of us.  It was overcast, but the colors where lovely. The phlox and helenium were in full bloom.

P1020163

We went for a drive.

P1020146

We picked blueberries and blackberries.  We checked out the (not so wild) wildlife.

P1020150

I finished the trekking socks.  I drove them around thinking that I might make time to stop for a photo shoot, and ended up taking a hurried shot this morning on the from walk walk.  I had great intentions. 

I dyed some yarn.  (They played in the pond.) This is a 50 silk/50 merino (same blend as all of my yarns) two ply lace wt.  I've been wanting to knit with Zephyr.  I bought lots and have started dyeing it.  So far, my plan is to do shaded yarns.  Subtle.  Yarn that will show off the lace patterns, not compete with them. 

P1020169

Love it.  I'm knitting the Swallowtail Shawl from the Fall Interweave Knits.  L.O.V.E.L.Y.  I enjoed knitting the Flower Basket Shawl, another by Evelyn Clark and I am enjoying this one too. 

P1020173

Swallowtail01_2

from Interweave Knits




things..

a few things:

  • The washcloth is finished.  It is a good size, probably 10" in diameter.  I'd show a picture but my sister is in the shower, so is the cloth.  Works great.
  • The yarn for my sister is using is Kathmandu, the Queensland Collection.
  • The pattern for the wrap is in Fall 2005 IK.
  • It is raining.  Normally, I would high tail it down to the barn and use this as a dye day.  Today, with a 10 yr. old and my sister looking for something to do...er..mmm.. I will be finding something.  (Perhaps a museum??)  For now, the crayon box and a roll of paper are on the table.  When I unrolled the paper I found that there was ten feet of previously colored illustrations from another rainy day.  Actually, it was fun to see last year's mural of Mouseville. 
  • L wants to go to Walmart.  She likes the washcloth and wants some cotton.  That's an hour's drive.  C wants a table saw.  I was thinking more in terms of a gallon of milk.  I think I need to think higher thoughts.
  • Whatever happened to a good book?

random, what day?

Scattered.. or random. 
Yesterday morning I dove to Burlington to (a) drop off a friend at a bakery on the other side of the state, The Red Hen Bakery, where he will begin the next leg of his journey after buying, sharing and eating an entire tray of the BEST sticky buns.  (b) going to the airport to pick up my sister and my niece, (c) spending the remainder of a beautiful afternoon on the outdoor mall in Burlington eating spinach pie and window shopping (okay, not ALL window shopping), (d) driving back across to the Kingdom and starting this:

P1020140

I have no idea what possessed me.  The bright colors? maybe.  For me, it's a face cloth.  I don't do dish cloths.  A friend gave me two of them a couple years ago for Christmas and I really love the feel.  The pattern is free, online.  Google free dishcloth patterns. 

My sister arrived with this in her knitting bag.  It's the first one I've seen.  If she ever wakes up this morning I'll ask her it's name.   I think she called it the Lacey Wrap.  Beautiful, and soft, and probably very warm. 

P1020141

She'll need it, frost is predicted for the next two nights.

P1020142

As to the question on what I do to the broccoli... I like to steam blanch it for 4 minutes, then it is immediately dropped into very cold water, (use ice cubes or if you have a well you're probably all set), cool fast, shake off the water and package for the freezer.  I sort of roll the bags before I seal them to get the air out.  That was a good suggestion about the vacuum sealer, I've just never gotten one. 

Now, about the frost.  I have to cover the tomatoes, and pick as many berries as I can.  We'll see.


.. and back again

This came in my fortune cookie...

Scan2

The past couple weeks have been, well, hectic.  Fun...and hectic.  That is an observation, not a complaint.  I wouldn't trade for anything.  A lot of time has been spent racing up and down Interstate 93.  C and I quite literally passing each other, my driving north to his south, and south to his north.  Ships in the night.  Last evening I drove through the pass again.  The clouds were exceptionally low, a ceiling to walls made of mountains.  Beautiful.

P1020120

P1020122

This morning I got right out to the garden.  It's hard to believe that I was picking Friday before I took off.  Everything is moving quickly now.  I picked beans, broccoli and blueberries.  Tomatoes and blackberries are waiting.  I got a batch of yogurt into the oven.  My old stove still has a pilot, perfect for keeping the culture warm. 

P1020125_1


P1020126


What's that old adage..  you have to pay if you want to play.


Got to go, we're having dinner with firends.


Dorchester

P1020113

Last night I sat on the deck, under the trees, and had my supper on a dish that could have been one of my Grandmother's dishes.  It has always been a surprise to me that I liked these dishes. I love them.  Anyone who knows me well enough to have been in my home could tell you that my taste, though eclectic, runs modern.  My dishes are plain, solid tan or white.  Nothing fancy.  The art on my walls is contemporary.  The images are abstract.  There isn't any chintz, nor ruffles.   But, for all these years, this pattern has stuck to me.  I've wanted to have them for my own for as long as I've had my own home.  What happened to my Grandmother's dishes is a long story that would benefit no one.  The short version is simply that they are gone.  For years I have looked in second hand stores and antique shops, hoping to find one or two.  Never did.  When I was a child, we would sit at my Great Grandmother's cherry table in the summer kitchen of the farm.  My Grandmother served us on her dishes, like these.  I never knew the pattern name, nor manufacturer.  Then, about a month ago, a friend showed me a lovely set of dishes she had just inherited.  THE dishes. Almost.  At first, I thought I must be mistaken.  They had to be the same pattern.  But, it didn't feel quite right.  There are two patterns that have the same chintz, pink flowered design.  My friend had "Worchester".  Armed with this new information I hit Google and Ebay.  And, I found, after all these years, the pattern named "Dorchester" (Johnson Brothers).  I finally bought four dinner plates and one salad on Ebay.  And, today, I used them for my supper, on the deck, under the trees. 

P1020112

I love the square salad plate.  I remember some little bowls, too, with small handles, like ears. 

The Midwest Moonlight scarf has been at a stand still.  I was missing the last ball of yarn I needed.  I found it in my suitcase this morning.  I've debated whether to make it longer, it should be, or to quit at the end of this ball of yarn.  The last one is the only one I've washed.  In my panic to get all the skeins I'd dyed rid of this brown bleeding goo, I washed the sericin from it with hot water and detergent, over a couple hours.  It is a bit lighter with the dark brown sericin removed.  The scarf that was on the needles did not get this treatment, it was after all, knitted.. half done.  I knew better.   The debate I've been having with myself is if it will all tone down when I wash the scarf in the same way.  Or, if the one lighter section, will remain, forever, lighter.  I'm chancing it.  If it bothers me too much, I'll rip it out and use the scarf at the length it is now.  It'll work.

P1020115_1



ha!

Egged on Encouraged by the many wonderful comments, I am making changes to amuse myself.  Don't worry, the sheep will be back.  From time to time I change my banner, maybe you noticed, maybe not.  I thought that at least until the first snow comes, I'd try out a few different pictures. 

A Saturday sky picture and I'm on my way again...

P1020084

..hopefully onto some FAST internet!


timing

A quart of blackberries at a local farm stand: $5.50
A quart of blackberries at the general store: $5.99
A quart of blackberries from your own backyard: priceless

P1020088

When we were kids, my grandmother used to ask something like, “when is a berry red when it’s green?” The answer was “when it’s a blackberry.”

 
Everything has its time and blackberries are no exception. Never pick tomorrow’s berries today. If you have to tug, even just a little bit, it is a tomorrow berry. Blackberries must be tickled, the ripe ones falling into your hand. A today berry will just be losing its shine in the same way as an overfilled balloon. A today berry feels somehow warm, full of sun.  It's not hard, nor cold.  A today berry will burst in your mouth if you can handle it gently enough to get it there. Tonight, today’s berries were dinner, served up with fresh yogurt and a bit of granola. And knowing that tomorrow’s berries are waiting, I made up a new batch of yogurt for morning. Heavy cream would have been a fine choice. Not for me, not now, I’m trying to be good.

P1020093
 


The leaves are starting to turn. Not to reds, but the greens in the hills have an olive cast, the first of the golding starting to show. My flower beds have gone from yellows to magenta, pink and rose. There is less waiting for something to open. This is the last of the show.  Now, I want to slow them down. Time, and timing.

 

P1020097

 


dialogue

Thank you.

 

P1020072

Thanks to all of you who took time to leave me your thoughts, your insights, your well wishes and compliments. These were more than simple comments. These were whole sentences, paragraphs. Thought was given, time was spent. It was dialogue.  Some of you thought I was asking how to increase my readership and my comments.  The numbers, though fun to watch, are not that important to me. Dialogue is what I’m looking for. I am interested in what you think of my work, of my pictures, of my thoughts. If something strikes home, I’d like to hear it. I was asking for your critique. Is there something that I could do that would make my blog more interesting, more pleasing to the eye, more whatever. I am not thinking about leaving the blog world. I enjoy it. I wrote in yesterday’s post, I blog for “BOTH” (myself and everyone else). It is a creative process. For all of you who said that you enjoy it just the way it is, I am so happy that you do. For those that gave suggestions, thank you.  As a number of you pointed out, it isn't possible to comment on every blog we read. Most of the time, I have to skim through my blogroll and/ or read the Bloglines version. If something stands out, I go to the blog and leave a comment. We all know that it is time consuming, more so everyday as the number of blogs increases. That makes the comments that we DO get all the more important to us. It means, hopefully, that something you have said, or shown has some importance to someone else. What a grand thought. The most wonderful thing about all the comments I received yesterday , was that many of them were from people I have never read, who have never before left a comment and who up until now were nameless to me. It made my day. So, thanks again… and from time to time, let me know how I’m doing.

(I tried to answer everyone as I got your messages.  It was diffficult as the phone line here continues to cut in and out.   I hope I didn't miss anyone.)

Today was colorful.  The weather has broken and with the cool temps, I'm back to dyeing.

P1020070


going forward

I originally had planned on writing this post on or for the first of August, my blogiversary.  I waffled back and forth, should I, shouldn't I. Eventually it was easier to let it slip by.  This morning it was on my mind again. 

After more than three years of blogging on a fairly regular basis, I have been brought up short by this question.  Do you blog for yourself or do you blog for the people who read your blog?    I know that when I started blogging it was to keep in touch with friends, people that I already knew, not the friends that I would make through the blog.  That was a bonus that came as a delightful surprise.   I enjoy the sharing of my photographs and the sharing of my knitting and spinning projects.  I don’t have much experience as a writer and therefore fall back on imagery.  I was trained visually, that IS what I do.  My sister, nearly every time I speak with her asks me why I don’t have more comments.  She asks me if I’ve pissed people off, or if I should / could be more interesting (probably, but what the heck does that mean). How do you answer that?  The thing is this, everyone loves feed back, needs feed back.  It helps us grow and helps us to improve.     That brings me to this question:  what would make this blog more interesting?  Short of knitting more, that is what it is, what do you like to see most on this blog?  As I go forward in my fourth year blogging,  I would love to get some input.  Help me make this blog better, because, the answer to my first question is BOTH

I leave you with this picture from my garden, my illustrated analogy.  A crop of squash presented in one package.  The Siamese squash.  AS I turned it in my hands, I counted nine little squashes, all in one.  Such is my garden this year.  Such is life.

P1020042


midsummer nights

At 45F, the nights don't feel much like midsummer.  I've taken to wearing flannel shirts and sweats after dusk.  Last evening, after a lovely walk and an hour or so by the fire, I made my way back up the dark road to the house.  Time to crash.  I came inside and curled up on the sofa with a cup of hot tea and my knitting.  The idea was that I'd watch a movie and work on the socks.  It must have looked pretty cozy.  Sammy jumped up onto my lap, purred and fell asleep.  So did I. 

P1020062

P1020067