organizing.

Organizing my knitting projects, I mean. Last night, while waiting for it to be midnight, which is when I made my students’ current essay due, I decided to empty out the bag o’ knitting that lives in the family room, mostly because I’ve been so busy with new/gift projects that I hadn’t looked in there in awhile.

Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I ended up pulling out every WIP I could think of. (Only the stuff in the tote bag is pictured above.) I put away needles, filed patterns (like I’ve looked in my knitting binder since Ravelry really took off…), and even decided to frog things I haven’t touched in years. The Thermal sweater I started in BLACK fingering weight yarn 5 years ago? Frogged. The Milkweed shawl I knit 5 rows of and put away because of something with a deadline? Frogged. The adorable Manresa legwarmers I started knitting — right after I started knitting? Bound off, right where I was. I’m totally keeping the beautifulness of my stranded knitting, despite the fact that the floats on the wrong side are atrocious, and so tight that the legwarmer probably wouldn’t even fit Boh in places!

Still, I’m keeping this as a reminder of my fearlessness as a new knitter. Maybe I need to give colorwork another go sometime soon? I also moved a bunch of my WIPs into places where I’m more likely to knit: some near my spot on the couch, and some next to my bed. I even moved a lamp I rarely use into a spot in my bedroom that will help me to see what I’m knitting — or reading. This is long overdue, as I’ve had nights where it has been hard to get to sleep. Other things I’m organizing?

Veggies! I joined a spring CSA, which is super exciting. The farm I belong to in both the summer (June-November) and the winter (December – mid-March) takes a break from providing veggies in the spring in order to get everything ready for summer. It is always a rough time of year, and I spend it anxiously waiting for awesome veggies. This year, I don’t have to wait! A local farm has rolled out a plan to fill in this gap, and is offering a mid-March through May CSA, and I got my first box this week: crunchy sprouts, braising greens, red Russian kale, local honey, and pickled ginger. Yum!

And maybe, to keep with my blog post theme, I’m organizing myself. Yesterday I lounged about all morning, Skyped with a dear friend, and generally took it easy. Then I put on a pretty outfit, and went to a coffee shop, and did not leave until I’d written 800+ words. The draw of meeting a friend for a beer when she got off work at 5:30 helped me to keep going. If I can do 4 hours of writing work most days this break, I’ll be really happy.

And here are a couple of porch pictures: me reading, Boh lounging. (As it should be?) I’m thinking we’ll do a bit of this today, weather permitting!

pie.

Strawberry-rhubarb-basil. It could have used a little bit of sugar, as the rhubarb was very tart, but it was bright and fresh-tasting, and the basil even seemed to sweeten it a little!

Oatmeal-pecan. Pie you can eat for breakfast. You know, because of the oatmeal. (I’m baking pies for a friend’s wedding next month, so I’ve been baking and eating more pie in order to help her make some important decisions about fillings and crusts. Tough life, I know.)

Also, here’s some stuff that isn’t pie:

Dogs and books. And me. All in a big pile.

Tango, in a rare contemplative moment.

Remember what I was saying about kitchen mojo? This has been a go-to for me this summer, in part because mojo is not required. Also, the gratification is immediate. Which I like. I have been eating this on Tuesdays. And other days, too, but especially Tuesdays. I get home from the farm, slice into my weekly bread share loaf, cut up a tomato, a hot pepper, and find some cheese in the fridge. I turn on the broiler. I sliver some basil. I pile all that stuff on the toast (this week it is a rye with caraway seeds encrusted on the outside), slide it under the broiler, and wait less than five minutes, until the toast is dark around the edges and the cheese is bubbling and starting to brown. Then I take it out and make myself go in the other room, or take out the compost, or do something to not eat this right away, because I will burn my mouth. And then I take my broiled tomato toast to the porch to enjoy. Summer food, at its finest.

It is rainy this morning, and I have a hankering for knitting with handspun. Boh and I are headed to a family wedding this weekend, and amidst the packing (so much harder to throw stuff in a bag and go when you have to look pretty where you’re going) I’m hoping to find time to wind up some squishy comfort yarn. The grey, rainy morning might have something to do with that. Happy weekend!

FO: altitude.

188 yards of 2-ply that plumped up into a worsted-weight yarn. This yarn is deeper and darker (think true blue) than it looks here on the porch! A quick, satisfying spin — and oh my, do I love those bits of mustard yellow. It really feels like I’ve been making up for lost time at the wheel! Maybe the next thing I spin will involve thinner singles, or more than 2 plies.

And here’s a beautiful loaf of bread that I did NOT make. Instead, I picked it up with my farm share on Tuesday. One of my ABD presents to myself was the new bread share at my CSA. Locally grown and milled grain, locally baked. (And incredibly delicious.) It doesn’t get much better.

Except that it does! Carpooling to the farm means great conversation and company in the rows of flowers and veggies. We picked our first quarts of sugar snap peas yesterday. (E’s comment? “This tastes like summer.” So true.)

Also, how happy does this guy look? Very happy, maybe because he doesn’t have to get back to work? (Or happy because of the nice walk we took this morning?)

Now that I have a coffee table to work at, there’s no excuse. Time to start mapping out the dissertation. How about a look at some of the other rooms in the house?

You’re looking at the dining room, more bookshelves in my office, and my grandmother’s hutch (which I’m using as a dresser in my bedroom). I still have a list of little things to do — hide those cords, get an everyday tablecloth, decide on the layout of the guest room, etc., but on the whole, Boh and I are feeling pretty settled here. Back to it!

 

 

bachelor buttons.

First farm flowers of the season.

(Also, a hint as to my new toy: an iPhone. Thank you, Apple recycling program, for the gift card you sent me when I mailed you my old, unhappy MacBook. Public Service Announcement: You get more in trade-in value if you keep all of the pieces — power cords, OS software disks, etc.)

Also, everything might look cooler with Hipstamatic — even a table full of bachelor button bouquets. Happy weekend, all!

yesterday, produce. today, productivity.

And that’s just what was left on the counter when I thought to grab my camera. The first raspberries and blackberries have ripened, so we were able to pick 1 pint yesterday. I also brought home a handful of deep sweet red peppers, a baby eggplant, cucumbers, zucchini, orange and yellow carrots, pink and orange beets, rosemary, parsley, and spring onions. (I chose to load up on the heartier stuff this week rather than go the lettuce/cabbage/salad mix route, but all of that deliciousness was available as well!)

I tried out a recipe for onion biscuits from a favorite cookbook of mine (Recipes from America’s Small Farms), but these were only okay. (I still highly recommend this cookbook.) Part of my frustration stems from the fact that I didn’t watch these carefully and they turned out a bit too golden. (Multitasking while baking a new-to-me recipe is clearly not a good idea.) But beyond that, these were too harsh and onion-y, and I cut back on the onion in the recipe. I think these need some cheese, or even something sweeter, like a touch of honey, to counter the super strong onion-y taste. (And I love onions.) I was going for a kind of summery biscuit dinner, so I made a very light tomato sauce with zucchini, squash, fennel, onion, and basil to pour over these. The sauce was delicious, but not an awesome match for these biscuits. You win some, you lose some, right?

Boh, on the other hand, won big yesterday. I picked up a trachea while restocking on Boh’s food at the natural pet supply store in town, and he spent the afternoon working his way through it. Cheap, fun for him to eat and play with, and a natural source of glucosamine. Triple win.

I spun a bit more of the brown alpaca yesterday, and I’m almost through the second three ounces. Plying soon, but probably not today.

My morning has already involved a heavy dose of this, and it is time to get back to it.

bachelor buttons and wedding pinwheels.

Bachelor buttons in the late afternoon.

One and a half rows to go on the wedding pinwheel. (I will finish it today. I must, if I’m going to block it before I head home for the wedding!)

Tuesday = farm day. Thus, my kitchen overflows with flowers.

If I were to hang this photo on the wall, its caption would read: Pesto. Soon.

The boy and I picked about 12 pounds of sugar snap peas today…and ingested another pound or so, I’d imagine. After a string of hot, humid, sticky days, today was perfect. Breezy, partly sunny, and cool. An afternoon in the pea patch followed a morning spent with my friend T. picking strawberries on the second last day of the season.

A perfect day. These are destined to become jam.

I love summer.

And now, back to that pinwheel.