giant bunch of tat soi.

I had to completely rearrange my fridge to get this bunch of tat soi inside. Isn’t it beautiful? I’ve been buried under a pile of grading this week (one more paper to grade before I head to campus), and while I do most of my reading on the couch and writing at my desk at the computer, I grade at my kitchen table. I have devised a strategy to help keep me on track, and (big surprise here) it involves food! Having something in the oven — granola, applesauce bread, squash roasting, etc. gives me something to occasionally check on AND a way to peg my progress to a more specific timeline without getting out the timer for each paper. Plus, there is something delicious for break-time.

I made a big pot of carrot soup and let it simmer away while I graded on Tuesday, and I’ve been enjoying the leftovers all week. I followed this recipe!

I also roasted some butternut squash this week while working through my grading pile. Yum!

And here’s a knitting shot. Here lies my garter yoke cardigan. It seemed appropriate to leave it in a big pile, as I’ve really only been able to knit half a row here and there this week, but I am so close to finishing the body. (Like, 4 rows away!) I decided not to use handspun for the bottom edge, as I like the simpler look of the brown Cascade 220. I can’t wait to wear this!

Alright, I think there is enough coffee in my system to warrant the last of the grading. Back to it!

 

still waking up.

goodmorningboh

It was hard to get up this morning, and I’m nowhere near full alertness. I’m mostly through my first cup of coffee (and will need a second). Boh has already given up, and is currently mid-snore.

hibiscus

I started plying the AVFKW targhee in hibiscus yesterday, and I’m hoping to finish this today so that I can get ready to do some sampling for my first sweater-spinning project!

sye shawl washed up

I snapped this picture while waiting for my french press to finish working its magic — seems I stopped knitting mid-row last night because I just had to get into bed. The colors are way off in this picture, as the shawl is resting on the arm of the couch underneath a very bright lamp, but I liked how it looked as I stumbled kitchenward to put water on for coffee this morning.

Things were a bit rushed yesterday, so I didn’t take any pictures of my farm share, but since I’ve been documenting my weekly haul here, I picked 4 quarts of raspberries and a quart of blackberries in the fields, and then picked up lettuce, a few pounds of heirloom yellow and purple carrots, cauliflower, hot peppers, red peppers, italian eggplant, bok choi, basil, and the last red tomato of the season.

Off to pour cup #2…

sauerkraut!

kraut1

kraut2

kraut3

It is delicious. Victory! I let this sit on the counter in my one-gallon pickling crock for 5 weeks (7/18-8/25), occasionally skimming off anything that formed on the surface, and rinsing the cheesecloth and brine bag weighting down the cabbage.

It might be time to go looking for really good reuben recipes!

farmflowers

Here are some of the flowers I picked at the farm yesterday, along with my haul of tomatoes, red peppers, hot peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, A LOT of beets (to be pickled?!), lettuce, onions, dill, mint, basil, cilantro, 1 precious cup of blackberries picked from the fields, and, of course, zucchini.

And, lest you think that I am not knitting:

plainsimpleupdate

Another inch or so of my plain and simple pullover test-knit has appeared.

Happy Wednesday!

sweet peppers and plum pie.

(Hint. Only one of these things is actually in the kitchen.)

sweetpeppers1

sweet peppers

These are hands-down some of the prettiest peppers to ever grace my kitchen with their presence. Everything else from this week’s share (carrots, beets, potatoes, tomatoes, dill, basil, cilantro, cucumbers, zucchini, eggplant, endive, lettuce and garlic) went right into its place in the kitchen, but these needed to be photographed.

five plum pie

And here is the plum pie. Five Plum Pie, to be exact. This is the first colorway I received as a new member of the Hello Yarn Fiber Club in May 09 — 4 oz of falklands wool. I finally feel like my spinning is consistent enough to start playing with my slowly growing HY stash. I’m aiming for a squishy 2-ply, probably a dk to light worsted in weight, and right now I’m thinking that I would love a new cowl and/or set of mitts for fall…

saddag

It was too humid to do much of anything during the day yesterday, but once the evening arrived, Boh and I went over to see dog and people friends, eat delicious pizza and farm veggies, and take a lovely evening walk. (We also polished off a whole jar of dilly beans. I couldn’t wait any longer, so I opened one of the pints a few days shy of its 2-week pickling period. I need to pick more beans!)

boh in the creek with potatoes.

And plying. (Forgive me. I finished plying the Crown Mountain Farms Superwash Merino in the Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds colorway late last night. And now “Boh in the creek with potaaaaatoes” is in my head.)

Lots to share today! First up:

flowers

Some of the many reasons I love my farm. There is nothing like wandering through rows and rows of flowers, scissors in hand, carefully selecting a big bunch for the week. After snapping this photo, I put a vase (or mason jar) in every room. It was pretty hot yesterday, so the veggies went straight into the fridge, but this week’s haul included eggplant, tomatoes, 5 lbs of potatoes (more on those later), cabbage, carrots, chiogga beets, basil, oregano, dill, parsley, zucchini, summer squash, cucumbers, and 3 quarts of beans — green, yellow, and the flat roma beans — that I picked myself while talking garlic and dilly beans with other CSA members in the fields.

It was too nice a day to sit inside and work, and the rain we’ve had has meant that Boh and I have a been a bit more sedentary than I’d like, so we hopped in the car and drove a few miles to the trailhead of one of our favorite walks, which gently slopes down to follow the pebbly banks of a good-sized creek.

monkeyrun1

monkeyrun2

I know he looks concerned (doesn’t he always?), but Boh does seem to be taking a shine to the water. He waded alongside me this time without complaint, and when I encouraged him to swim a bit in the slightly deeper sections, he tentatively reached out one paw, and then the other, to doggy paddle. (Last time, he pulled back on the leash hard, as if to say, “Are you crazy? I can’t reach the bottom!”)

monkeyrun3

Proof that we are both in the water. (Nope, I didn’t get a haircut — that’s just the part that does not fit in a ponytail blowing around in the breeze.)

monkeyrun4

I even got some reading done while Boh and I dried off in the sun.

Now, about those potatoes. The bad news is that potato and tomato blight have finally showed up on the farm. This was expected; the blight has been sweeping the Northeast for the last several weeks. The farmers sent out a really great email explaining what that means — and highlighting what is so incredible about the CSA system of farming: we all buy in and share this risk, rather than simply leaving the farmers to handle it all. So, the bad news is that the potato and tomato crops need to be mowed and burned so that the spores do not survive. The good news is this: we’ll probably get tomatoes from the farm greenhouse for a few more weeks, and we get our potatoes NOW. While blight is not damaging/dangerous in the least to humans, it does mean that potatoes do not store well at all, which is a major bummer in the land of root vegetables.

This translates to one simple directive, which made me smile when I saw it scrawled on the chalkboard above a huge, lovely crate of potatoes: “Gorge Thyself.”

potatoessalsaverde

I love potatoes. Have I told you that yet? Roasted potatoes are serious comfort food for me. I like to roast potatoes in the oven for about an hour, and then either add lots of herbs for the last few minutes, or simply pour the potatoes in a bowl and liberally apply ketchup. Yum! Last night, I enjoyed a more glamorous version of this meal, thanks to this post over at Orangette.

salsaverde

I tossed my potatoes in Orangette’s salsa verde (subbing red wine vinegar for lemon juice/zest), and it was so good that I found myself wiping the bowl clean with slices of bread to get every last bit of this capery, garlicky goodness. You should make this. Tonight.

full bobbin cmf lucy

Last, but certainly not least, I present the yarn that has inspired today’s silly blog post title. This is a mighty full bobbin of Crown Mountain Farms Superwash Merino in Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. I tried to ply this with a little less twist than my last 3-ply, in order to make sure there would be a little bit of room for the yarn to bloom. I’m aiming for squish instead of just sturdy twist, and so far (it is still hanging to dry), I’m really happy with it.

cmflucyniddynoddy

Awkward, late night niddy noddy picture. Details to come once this is all skeined up and ready for her close-up!

dilly beans and diamonds.

dillybeans

I’ve been meaning to try my hand at dilly beans every day this week, so this morning, I got right to it. I even filled up the canning pot and put it on the stove alongside the water intended for my french press. The lids have been going “ping” — a good sign — so we’ll see how these turn out once they’ve had a few weeks to pickle themselves. (I learned that head-space can be a little tricky when you’re packing something into a pint jar and then pouring boiling liquid over it…)

lsd bob1

And for the “diamonds” portion of the post, I present bobbin numero uno of the CMF SW Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds merino. I’d abbreviate the song title, but I’m not sure I want to generate that kind of blog traffic…

I absolutely adore how this is spinning up, and I’m interested to see what the yarn will look like when it has been plyed and finished. I’ve read that this particular roving will plump up quite nicely, and I’m aiming for a squishier, slightly thicker sock yarn than last time.

Other goings-on around here:

zucchini bread

The first zucchini bread of the season!

pure and simple ribbing

The ribbing at the bottom of the pure and simple test-knit I’m working on!

That’s all for now! Boh and I have plans to take a long walk and stick our paws/feet in the creek, and I’m looking forward to a quiet, productive August (holy cow!) weekend.

disaster averted.

disaster

Disaster. (Note the amount of yarn remaining, and the number of stitches yet to be bound off. This is take 2 — I was keeping an eye on the remaining yarn as I knit the last few rows, and ended up ripping back a row to make sure I’d have enough. You can see how well that turned out for me.)

averted

Averted. (Those of you who read regularly probably have a sense for how much pink/magenta/fuschia I tend to knit with, and thus how much I have in my stash, in any fiber — very little to none. At the point of absolute despair, I went digging in the drawer where I keep dishcloth cotton and textiles I rarely use. And then I saw this yarn, knitpicks shine, tucked in the back, patiently waiting to become a Picovoli tee or something like it. The colors match EXACTLY. Phew.)

mara fo whole

mara and ring

I am quite pleased with how Mara turned out.

(Details: 2 skeins Beaverslide Dry Goods lambswool in colorway snapdragon. Size 8 needles. A yard or two in Knitpicks Shine.)

Actually, I’m way more than pleased, as evidenced by my willingness to don a lambswool shawl in crazy humidity and take 50 pictures. (Yep, fifty.)

mara whole2

By the way, it is incredibly difficult to take a non-blurry, over-the-shoulder photo of the back of a shawl. I’m just saying. I promise to take “real” FO pictures of this post-blocking, when I can stand to actually put on some clothes that I might actually wear this with!

mara blocking

And now for an awkward transition! Mara is blocking on my kitchen table (note the darkness of the wet cotton on the left there. It blends in perfectly when dry). I cut several containers (vases, mason jar, growler) worth of flowers at the farm yesterday, some of which you can see in this late-night blocking shot. Here are a few more:

flowers1

flowers2

It was so hot and sticky yesterday that I wanted to get my veggies straight into the fridge after their rather humid car ride back to the farm. Here are a few photos of parts of this week’s haul:

beans

3 quarts of beans, hand picked by moi, and some herbs.

tomatoes

Some of the best tomatoes I’ve ever tasted, straight from the farm’s passive solar greenhouse.

Lastly, a sock update:

hiyahiyasock progress

I think Boh has given up on my KAL socks, but he has kept a watchful eye on this pair. I’m into the ribbing now, so it won’t be long before I cast on sock #2!