love in a jar.

I spent a couple of days at my parents’ house this week celebrating my dad’s birthday and canning peaches with my mom. We canned 37 jars (quarts and some 1.5 pint jars), and my mom let me have 18 to hoard savor here at the lake house. (We ate the contents of one of the jars with breakfast on Friday morning.)

Because we don’t have class on Labor Day (which hasn’t always been the case), I was able to hop in the car on Wednesday afternoon and be there in time for dinner! Boh and I returned on Friday for an afternoon meeting, and because I don’t have to get all of my grading and prep done for Monday, I still have time to enjoy the sunshine AND get both dissertation and teaching work done before Wednesday. Or at least that’s my hope.

Happy Labor Day weekend, everyone! (And stay tuned for more knitting!)

old school.

Another score from my mom’s closet. This is my mom’s ski vest, likely from the late 1970s, when she and my dad belonged to a ski club called the Schussmeisters. Or something like that. I love the way the stripes wrap around to the back.

Alright. Almost done with my first mug of coffee, and I’m going to need another before I start today’s pile. (Read, write, grade, [sleep?] repeat.)

Hello, Tuesday.

dogs and catalogs.

This dog knows how to pose for close ups and wide angle shots. Where did he learn that?

You know your friends are having more fun than you are when you flip through the latest patagonia catalog and do a double take — because they are IN the catalog. (This made my day, you guys.)

When I was at my parents’ house for turkey dinner, I did my usual quick rifle through the closets, and found a few tops that were my mom’s when I was a little girl. For fun, I tried them on, and hooray — they fit me perfectly. She let me take them home (along with lots of leftovers, a stack of envelopes, some duffel bags from under the bed in my old room — which will be super helpful when I move in late May– and a ream of printer paper), and today I’m wearing one of them. This is a button-up-the-back blouse that was part of a cream/navy polka-dotted suit. (Which was cuter than it sounds.) Anyway, I cut out the shoulder pads (yes, it was the early 80s), and dressed it down. It is freezing out, so I’ll throw a cardigan on over this, but I love it. Wait ’til you see the red one…

Also, for the record, putting on a shirt that buttons up the back all by myself feels like a victory this early in the morning. Happy almost weekend, folks.

 

FO: new new shale cowl.

I was skeptical when I started knitting the new new shale cowl. I just wasn’t sure that the dark variegated silk was the right match for this pattern, but I’m glad I stuck with it, because I think this is beautiful, and a great fit for my mom. I hope she likes it. (Remember, this is a Christmas present. She picked the yarn, which I wrapped up for her, and then she chose the pattern.) I’ve decided not to block it, so that my mom can decide if she wants to stretch/open up the lace a bit more — if I were keeping it, I think I’d leave it as is.

This was my first time knitting with Blue Moon Fiber Arts Luscious Silk, and my, oh my, was it a pleasure. I used just over half the skein (to my eye, anyway), which means I’ll have to figure out what to do with the leftovers. (I know, tough life.) I followed the pattern to the letter on this one — needle size (6), length, pattern, etc. The pattern was easy to memorize, and the repeats felt rewarding, you know? A very pleasant knit, and one I’d consider making again, for me — maybe in handspun?

Also, I’ve got another soup recipe recommendation for you. Last night I made this red lentil soup, though I made mine with those neat-looking French (blue) beluga lentils. I think that’s what they call them. Anyway, super tasty — and more complex in flavor than a basic lentil soup. I don’t know if it was that I used homemade stock and added some homemade canned tomato puree instead of tomato paste, or just the addition of lemon juice and cilantro at the end, but this was really fabulous, and I’m looking forward to eating the leftovers for lunch. (Cooking note — I simmered my soup about 10-15 minutes longer — I just think the lentils I substituted needed more time. Also, I left out the water.)

Time to pour the coffee and get back to the books.

peaches.

I headed to my parents’ house this morning to spend my Labor Day weekend Saturday canning peaches with my mom. Twenty-nine jars (and several hours) later, we’re done. And very excited to reward ourselves with some home-canned peaches in light syrup for breakfast tomorrow. Happy long weekend, everyone!

not finished yet…

But look! Progress!

thuja-1

I cast on for Thuja today, two days before Christmas. I was planning to concede that I just can’t get it all done, and wrap up the yarn and some measuring instructions for my dad, but this morning I decided to throw that plan out the window and try to get at least one sock ready to wrap. I’ve been knitting most of the day, and I’m going to kitchener this bitch tonight. (Apologies if that offends. It’s late, and it is how I feel!) Here’s one more shot:

thuja-2

Remember those mittens I mentioned yesterday? The ones in Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton? Was I crazy? Cabling AND knitting a super dense fabric out of cotton? My hands did not like me very much last night, and I wasn’t happy with the fit as I made progress on the first mitten, though the cabling did look lovely. I frogged that, and then my mother, in a totally unplanned JoAnn’s encounter (we were looking for denim patches), picked out some polyester/acrylic blend Lion Brand Homespun, and requested a scarf. I was skeptical, being that I detest acrylic, but this isn’t looking too hideous, and she is really happy with it.

homespun-scarf1

I’m just improvising here with something super basic, and I’m pretty happy with it. I’d actually like to make some variation of this scarf, with alternating blocks of garter and stockinette, in a super-luxurious tweedy yarn.  This doesn’t need to be finished in time for Christmas — I just wanted to have something in progress to tuck into the gorgeous Namaste bag I’m giving my (mostly non-knitting) mother.

Alright, time to crawl into bed and kitchener before drifting off to sleep.

business time.

I have no idea why I’ve had a little boy’s tie hanging in my closet. No idea. Until now. I’ll say it again: my dog is ridiculous. Alright, onto a bit more knitting.

Rusted Root isn’t quite dry, but I tried it on anyway last night, worried that it was relaxing too much, and instead, I think it will be perfect. No modeled pictures yet, but perhaps tonight — I’m going to see Wilco, and depending on the weather, I may debut the sweater. (By the way, I recommend Wilco wholeheartedly, in all forms. You won’t be sorry.)

I did put a little package in the mail to my mom yesterday, and because she has no idea I have a blog, I can share it with you now:

I took yesterday afternoon off to catch up on life a bit, and I wove in the ends while sitting outside in the parking lot of the laundromat. (Details: Peaches and Creme cotton, size 7 needles and a basic grandmother’s favorite dishcloth pattern worked corner to corner.) I also ran to REI to take advantage of their big sale (Boh has managed to search out and destroy several pairs of my socks over the last 14 months), and since I was already nearby, I went a bit further to the yarn store. Tough weeks mean treats, in my book, and I settled on seven skeins of cascade 220 heathers in a pretty deep blue/purple/grey — intended to be a long sleeve version of Wicked.

Took everything I had last night to pick up my second wedding present pinwheel instead of swatching or just casting on for Wicked or 28thirty. Must make progress on WIPs…or at least the pinwheel, as I am attending (and helping with pie-baking for) a pre-wedding party next weekend. Happy Friday!