24 June 2012

what's bloomin'

Summer has kicked into high gear here in the tendril and twine garden. Anything that was planted that could bloom is now blooming. The poppies that I've been trying for years to grow are a splash of vibrant color at the edge of my lettuce patch. 

My papaya orange cone flowers have dozens of blossoms. They cheer me up each morning when I wake up and visit them with my coffee before getting ready for work. I like the way that these flowers start out looking like a cousin to a daisy, but then there petals slowly fold down along their stems as they reach their centers toward the sun. 

I can certainly think of many reasons to plant some onions in the garden, they end up in many of our dishes, but this year I let some of the smaller bulbs blossom out and have been enamored with their white orbits of star-shaped flowers. Several of these blossoms have ended up in flower arrangements around the house. 

I'm trying to keep up with the raspberries. I'd like to pick and freeze some to use in smoothies when the weather turns cold, but so far I've only managed to freeze one bag.

Beans are already coming in. I don't know how we're going to eat them all. Tonight's going to be our first meal with fresh green beans. 

And finally, this is what I woke to discover in the garden this morning: a lovely exotic spider plant. These beauties are new to the garden this year. I got the bulbs this spring and planted them during the daze (or craze) of my final semester. As I was planting them I told myself: "When you guys bloom I'll be done with school and happily relaxed and centered." Luckily, all of that has come to pass and now I can enjoy this in the garden. 

Work on the sock continues, but as you can see I've switched up the pattern to one that I've done before. The cables on the first pattern required too much concentration for my busy schedule of gardening and work at this date. I need some instant gratification and this pattern, Anastasia Socks by Pepperknit is exactly that.

Here's to a lazy summer day of raspberry pickin' . . . weedin' the garden . . . and knittin'. . .

17 June 2012

I don't leave the house without it

My husband and I were out and about this weekend as we seem to be every weekend. (Sigh, I will never catch up on house and garden work at home, but I guess that's okay.) We packed up early on Saturday morning intending to not return to the house until late Saturday night. Our schedule for the day included a pancake breakfast and then several stops for groceries and gifts before settling into the car and onto the road for a trip up north to my parent's farm. We intended to pick up my cousin and her husband along the way,  insuring that we would have one happy carload for a road trip.

Everything was going well until I realized that I'd forgotten my cell phone at home. Garrett doesn't understand how I could leave the house without something as essential as my cell phone. He patiently explained to me that every day he doesn't leave the house unless he has three things: his wallet, his car keys and his cell phone.


I patiently explained to him that all of those essentials cancel out for a woman if she has a husband. He can be counted on to remember those things and she can forget her cell phone, but instead remember to bring a camera, some important knitting patterns and key ingredients for recipes they intend to prepare and consume over the course of the day.

Now that's team work.

These socks are a result of my previous visit to the farm. We all dyed some fiber to spin for socks and now we're all happily working on our patterns.

These are the lovely socks that my cousin Ashley is working on. I love the flashes of orange and the pattern that uses a combination of "slip-slip-knits" which masquerade as cables. I guess no cable needle is required for this pattern. This pattern is called "Nutkin" and it can be found here.

Here's some lovely bruschetta made with some basil from my mother's garden. Pretty potent stuff.

We were all - of course - celebrating Father's Day and my Dad's birthday - all of which happen to fall in the same week. My Mom was at work with her colored pencils. When I saw this card I thought it was about how we all seem to find our way home to gather around the "home fire" and celebrate as a family, but her motivation seems to have been inspired by my father's tendency to start things on fire - but that's another story for another blog.

Hope everyone had a happy Father's Day weekend.

13 June 2012

creative habits

It's taken me a while to get back into my creative habits since I finished school. I've slowly been packing away my notebooks and projects and turning to the activities that filled my life before the craziness of grad school.

This sock yarn had been sitting on the bobbin for a least a year. I finally finished enough to start a pair of socks and started knitting. This pattern comes from the premiere issue of NORO knitting magazine. There's some familiar patterns on its pages, but enough new ones to tempt anyone who loves splashes of bold color.  This pattern is simply called cabled socks. They feature a combination of large and small intersecting cables that wrap the foot like a pair of Roman sandals. 

This is what my yarn looked like on the bobbin. 

This fiber is from my mother's CVM romeldale sheep. The colorway is called Morning Glory. This blend is 100% wool and we pot dyed it to achieve this random striping color effect. I spun it in singles so that I can watch the bands of color shift, stack and blend.

It's always exciting to knit with hand spun yarn, you never know what colors will pop up next.

Yum yum. Living local and straight out of the back yard. . . well the raspberries and greens are from the backyard. I was craving avocados. I made a tangy dressing with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a dash of sea salt and pepper.

This is what I've been craving all year.
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