weekend frolicking. also, buttercup.

Boh and I took a long, meandering walk with M. this weekend. This spot was new to me, despite being just a few miles from my house.

We walked through meadows, shady forests, and then with our feet (paws) in the creek. Boh loved it, and we’ll definitely be back.

That put Boh to sleep for the rest of the afternoon!

Which allowed me plenty of time to keep working on Buttercup.

I’m really enjoying this, and if I bring this with me to the lectures of my summer TAing gig (planning to check that the prof I’m working for is okay with this, but I think he will be), I think the stockinette portion will move right along.

This book is significantly larger than Boh’s head. Not that anyone is measuring. I’m off to campus for a couple of meetings today. And later, I have a date with the lake. (It’s a standing date, really, for any days where the temperature is supposed to reach into the 90s.) Stay cool!

playing and plying.

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It was so hot and humid yesterday that Boh and I needed to get down to the creek. We spent about an hour in the water doing a mixture of wading (me) and swimming (Boh). He’s making progress, and no longer needs to be “encouraged” to doggy paddle. By the end of our playtime, he was even prancing around the shallow sections of the creek!

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While I sat in the sun to dry off, Boh did some serious work. He always seems to be looking for a particular rock that is buried way down beneath the water. When he finds it, he chews on it a bit, puts it somewhere else, and then it is back to finding the next rock. He (and, let’s face it, I) find this endlessly entertaining.

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Though I have no photo-documentation, this outing also included the purchasing of fruit, the returning of a whole slew of library books, and the enjoyment of a mint chocolate-chocolate cookie ice cream cone.

jacob plying

Before heading off to the farm and then to dinner with our dog and people friends, I spun the second bobbin of the dark, undyed, local jacob and began plying. I continued working on my long draw as I spun bobbin #2, and I must admit, I was doing quite a bit of cursing as I struggled to balance twist with the take up of the bobbin. There was a lot of breakage, but every so often I’d get into a great rhythm and produce a consistent, sturdy, appropriately twisted single using a “true” long draw rather than a supported long draw. I love the loftiness of this yarn, and I’m hoping the finished 2-ply will be sturdy enough to do something with!

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.

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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!”)

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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

kip: kraut-in-progress.

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Exhibit A: 1 gallon pickling crock, acquired on ebay.

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Exhibit B: Kraut-in-progress. (Note: this is not an exercise in instant gratification. While sauerkraut requires regular checking, skimming, etc., it takes several weeks to be ready to enjoy.) This is my first attempt at kraut, and I am so excited. I always LOVE kraut made by friends (including those pictured further on down the post), and can’t wait to have my very own supply.

treman falls

To celebrate being home, Boh and I met up with friends (of the animal and human variety) for a lovely hike through a local state park.

dogs at treman

We followed up the hike with ice cream, beer, homemade bread and fancy cheese. Not a bad Sunday afternoon, if you ask Boh. (I would agree.)

Finally time for a knitting update, don’t you think?

onhold ip

I must confess that I did not touch my on-hold socks while galavanting ‘cross the nation. Sorry, Boh. I knit a few more repeats this morning out of guilt, and the rows seemed to fly by. Have I mentioned yet that I love this yarn? And that I am actually enjoying reading the chart? I know I still have eleven days to finish the pair. In all of our recent travel and excitement, Boh seems to have forgotten about his supervisory role. We’ll see how long that lasts…

mara ip

Mara continues to be blob-like. I’m into the second skein of beaverslide, and I’m going to keep increasing until I’m at the recommended width of 46″. I’m at about 40″ now. I’m okay with a shorter ruffle than the pattern calls for, so long as the wrap is a good size. This is turning out to be great TV knitting, if only I could keep my hands moving during on-screen suspense!

vanillasock ip

I managed to knit a few more inches on my plain vanilla toe-ups, due to some car maintenance that took a bit longer than it was supposed to. I’m just about ready to begin the heel, and I think I am going to attempt Wendy’s gusset heel. Despite a sort of annoying join on these needles, these socks seem to be moving right along. My current sock obsession may necessitate more short circular needle acquisition of the knitpicks variety…

loveart spinning

I also managed to sit down at my wheel this weekend, and it felt good to get reacquainted with my current spinning project: Spunky Club corriedale/nylon blend in Soul Windows. I finished the first bobbin of what I hope will be a 3-ply sock yarn. I know the yarn is way out of focus in this picture, but I really like the way this shot turned out — my lazy kate is on top of a pile of cookbooks on top of a bookshelf.

Coming down the pike:

fleeceartistmilkweedyarn

This lovely Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 sock yarn is soon to become Laura Chau’s Milkweed Shawl. The backwards loop group over on Ravelry is hosting a KAL that began on July 15, and once I make more progress on my on-hold socks, I intend to cast on and tackle my lace anxiety!

cotolinoforbuttercup

Here, I present my only yarn purchase of the trip — 8 balls of Queensland Cotolino, on sale at my old LYS. These are destined to become Buttercup — the modified version with slightly longer sleeves and a slimmer shape, I think.

It feels good to be blogging in “real time” again. Happy Monday, all!

road trip, part 1.

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Boh and I camped halfway, and I managed to capture the last (blurry) moments of an Ozark sunset.

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While this picture reveals a general state of disarray — a mere moment in my packing up process, I assure you — it highlights the importance of good coffee. I came equipped to make my own, and it was delicious. (This was the only time I got out my camp stove on the whole trip, and I’m glad I brought it!)

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Several hundred miles later, the backside of the mountains I used to photograph out my front door came into view.

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The next morning, Boh and I were lounging in the sun in the backyard of our dear hosts. I miss desert mornings most of all, and I tried to absorb as much early morning sun as I could. (Yep, that’s Mara. She’s getting bigger and ever more blob-like.)

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[ETA: this photo taken by the lovely oogaknits on ravelry.]

We enjoyed a leisurely stroll above 10,000 feet (and were surprised by how well we slept that night).

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(to be continued…)

___ skills.

kitchen skills:

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Potato pancakes and a pizza in the shape of Florida (minus the panhandle). Recipes by Deb, of course.

frolicking skills:

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lounging skills:

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catskills:

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whale skills?

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Boh, my best friend M, and I met up for a long weekend of mountain air, good food, and bad tv. Crosswords were completed, legs were stretched, brains/selves tired from work and school were rested/restored.

Thanks, M. I love that we continue to make time for frolicking.

spooky forests and superwash socks.

spooky-forest

Friday afternoon, we went frolicking slightly further afield. We hopped in the car and headed south to a nearby state forest to stretch our muscles and allow our minds to unwind a bit from a busy week. If you’ve been reading, you know I’ve been looking for good boy sock patterns, and the hang-up I’ve been facing has to do with how “fancy” sock patterns and sock yarn can be. I’ve settled on some socks made out of good, old-fashioned Cascade 220 superwash, as the feet they are intended for spend most of their time in hiking boots, romping through the woods.

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Here’s what I’ve got so far — I’m using size 5 needles, and keeping my fingers crossed that the fabric is dense enough to support the amount of use I hope these get. Should I be thinking about carrying nylon thread along with the yarn for the heel? I should be reading right now, but I’d so much rather be working on these socks — or better still, off in the woods with boy and dog.

Here’s a picture of my reading companion. If only he’d start pulling his weight around here…

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Back to the books. Have a great Sunday!

adventuring.

I headed west for the wedding of a dear friend: my first partner in crime at my first real job. The nature of this job required that we move to a brand-new-to-us city, find a house, establish a network, and jump into 18 hour days for almost 4 months. We emerged from that experience dear friends, and though I later left that job and he continued, we’ve each made an effort to routinely catch the other up on what is happening in our lives. The wedding was beautiful, and despite cross country flights and 1000+ miles of driving, I am glad I could be there to celebrate. I have no pictures to share of the event, as I was too busy enjoying it, and, if the truth must be known, finishing up their pinwheel blanket. I wove in the ends moments before the ceremony.

The remote location of the wedding and the red-eyed nature of my flight created a spectacular opportunity: Lassen Volcanic National Park.  I had never even HEARD of Lassen Volcanic National Park. I hit the road early on Sunday and managed to squeeze in two 3-mile hikes and an appropriate amount of oohing, ahhing and roadside reflecting before heading southward to catch my flight. And read. (Didn’t quite get all of that done this week…) A few pictures of my adventure:

More knitting (and new yarn) content soon!

weekend frolicking.

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I will miss these mountains — and these friends, too. Yesterday we explored the volcanoes: a regular weekend haunt of mine (and Boh’s), and hopefully, a new favorite for the dear friends pictured above.

I spent the afternoon relaxing: baking banana bread, knitting, cleaning, etc. Check out my progress on the pinwheel blanket — it is growing very quickly!

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Monday mornings require just a bit more coffee than other weekdays — must pour another cup and get ready for work!