August?

Whoa. Can we hit pause, please? This summer is moving far too quickly for me. I’m not really knitting (though I’ve got another one of those colorblock bias blankets on the needles), but I’m not ready to be done with this space, so here’s a handful of images from the last several weeks. As you can see, Boh is hard at work. (I am too, though those photos aren’t anywhere near as thrilling.) Hope you’re having a wonderful summer!

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Boh and I went to the Berkshires for a writing retreat. Here we are taking an afternoon hike along a section of the Appalachian Trail.

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And here we are looking out across the Berkshires from the top of Mt. Greylock.

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A local lap around a manmade lake on campus.

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Sweet dog with his favorite bone.

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Farm flowers and pancakes.

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Out for a hike.

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More farm flowers.

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A view from a bridge over the inlet that leads to the lake.

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“Working.”

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I’m dog-sitting for a friend for a few weeks, so we’ve doubled the number of dogs here. These two play hard and then collapse on the couch like this. So sweet.

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This was our first day together. Lots of cuddling, not so much working.

Maybe I’ll have some knitting to share next time?!

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beaverslide.

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Sigh. Swoon. I think I mentioned that I did a bit of stressed out yarn acquisition a few weeks ago. It arrived yesterday from Beaverslide Dry Goods in Montana, and I do not regret it. I am already daydreaming about what to do with these 5 skeins of super soft worsted lambswool in October Skye, 5 skeins of wool/mohair worsted in winter wheat, and 2 in snapdragon. Garter yoke cardigan? Girl cobblestone? Striped hourglass? For now, lingering over the planning process is enough. I’ve crammed these skeins into the bookshelf above all that I still have to read and process (oh, and write about) this semester. A few more weeks of the grind, and then summer!

Summer, for me, means the start of my CSA, the chance to read more slowly/deliberately, a road trip in a westerly direction with the dog…but mostly, it brings the chance to fully exhale.

pork.

Those of the vegetarian persuasion may wish to avert their eyes or return tomorrow — no knitting content today.

This was the summer of pork — as in, we roasted a 240 lb pig.  It was a brilliant idea, born of a chance interaction between our ecologist and a pig farmer, and soon we were all pitching in to get ready. We took shifts tending an all-night fire, and I helped rub down the pig with mesquite seasoning and heft him onto the grill. Pictures of this part were just tagged on Facebook, so I’m sharing them here.

After many hours of keeping the grill at just the right temperature (with tarps to keep the heat in and give the  pork a smoky flavor), we spent about four hours pulling pork before serving an enormous feast. We had a blast — and it was, without question, the best pork I have ever eaten.

My camera is still acting finicky, so I don’t have a progress photo of my BSJ, but I am getting ready to work the button holes and then bind off. I’m a bit anxious about the sizing — here’s hoping it will fit the intended recipient, at least for a week or so! More on that soon.

blue button, purple project and a sweater’s worth…

Check out my sweet button! One of our interns at Base Camp surprised me with this after one of our weekly food-buying trips. The colors are a bit weird in this shot (in town, enjoying a bed, a ceiling fan and a leisurely morning, and the shades are still drawn) but let me assure you that the mustardy green of the sweater makes the blue button really stand out. Perfect. I am really proud of this sweater, but it may take a bit of wearing for me to feel like it is “me” enough to get someone to take some modeled pictures for me to post. (Also, it doesn’t *quite* fit with my Base Camp wardrobe…)

A fast internet connection and the ability to post in bed this fine holiday morning means I have a lot to share with you. In my last post, I mentioned a new project: Fad Classic by Wendy Bernard. I’m using Araucania Nature Wool in a purpley-grey color, and I really love how this stitch pattern looks with the subtle variegation of the yarn. I’m also feeling really good about the progress I’m making as a knitter. I tried to start this project last fall, and I just couldn’t wrap my head around the way the straps are knit — 2 at a time from the top shoulder seam, doing the front first, pulling out the cast on and knitting the straps down for the back before joining in the round. While it was a bit fiddly and I was slightly paranoid about twisting everything, it is clear to me that my knitterly abilities and confidence are growing with each project I tackle. (Yay!)

Alright, onto the yarn purchasing. As we’ve covered here before, yarn buying is a valid form of therapy. There’s lots going on over here with work, family and my upcoming cross-country move and transition to graduate school, and some of it is a bit overwhelming. In packing up my stash (and sneaking peaks at all of your stashes via ravelry), I realized that though I have plenty of yarn, I don’t have much in sweater quantities, and so I’ve been focusing on addressing that whenever I get stressed out. Also, as this is my first summer as a sweater knitter, I’m having a hard time saying no to all the beautiful fall/wintery yarn that seems to be on sale while the weather is hot. A quick look at some of my latest acquisitions:

Sooo, from the top: Queensland Kathmandu DK in light grey and rust, Malabrigo in Chestnut, Nashua Creative Focus Worsted in delphinium, and Nashua Creative Focus Superwash in Brite Orange, along with some discounted books I’ve had my eye on. (Full disclosure — there’s some Peace Fleece in the mail.) Though that orange is much “briter” than I expected, I think it will work nicely in something stripey. As you can see, there are many sweaters in my future.

In other news, the rains have begun. People always give me a funny look when I mention that the Southwest has a monsoon season, but it’s true — Right around the 4th of July, the afternoon thunderstorms increase in regularity, and sometimes we even get a full evening of gentle rain. Here are a few pictures of an approaching storm earlier this week:

And Wednesday’s (blurry) sunset:

Feels good to get all of this uploaded and shared. I’m way behind on comments, but I’m still here, and I’m almost caught up on blog-reading. Hope you have a lovely 4th of July — I’m spending mine at the rodeo!