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!

recalibration.

Yesterday I made veggies and poached eggs, inspired by this recipe. I listened to loud music as I chopped veggies, and then sat down with the latest New Yorker on the porch to eat the first half of this. (The second half was dinner.) In between, Boh and I went on an outing, to one of our favorite places to walk. You know, before we had a path in the backyard. He needed an adventure, and I needed some spices from the farm market nearby. So off we went.

I think we both really needed an hour away from everything. We put our paws in the creek, and enjoyed the beginnings of fall colors. And the warmth of the sun. It’s going to turn cold again this week.

One more shot of Boh, ever vigilant at the door. He works so hard. And I’m trying to. I’d really like to send off a draft of my prospectus today. I was aiming for the weekend, but today’s a holiday (for some) right? So today would still count as making my self-imposed deadline…

it’s a lovely day.

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You may recall that the title of this blog post is also the name of this gorgeous melon-y colorway in Targhee from the Woolly Wonders Fiber Club at A Verb For Keeping Warm. I hung this to dry (on a hanger hooked on a planter-less planter chain over the sink) and headed north to my dear friend P’s farm. I returned to find this dry and ready to be skeined and admired. (It is currently sitting here right next to my computer so that I can pet it while I type…)

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This is 327 yards of fingering weight yarn — 16 or 17 wpi. (I think I’m measuring this correctly — when I put a lot of tension on the yarn and wrap it tightly, I get 21 wpi, or solidly laceweight, which doesn’t seem right. When I do this gently, with just enough tension for the yarn to lay flat on the wpi tool, I get 16 or 17, and that makes more sense to me. Is that right?)

See my pretty wpi tool on a bed of targhee?

targhee wpi

I am really happy with this yarn — thanks for all of your encouraging comments. I’m having a lot of fun charting my progress with the wheel, and I’m glad you’re enjoying it too.

Now, about my weekend. I kept meaning to take some photographs of the gorgeous rows of arugula, pea shoots, flowering potato plants, a whole slew of onion varieties, garlic, tat soi, gourmet lettuces, mustard greens, broccoli, beets, spinach, chard, baby kale (and the list goes on), but the camera was inside, and I was outside. (There are also laying hens, broiler chickens, and piglets growing into pigs on the farm.) When I visited P. this fall, she was wrapping up a transitional growing year with a different CSA and working to prepare these fields for cultivation. We spent an afternoon at this land then, and it was absolutely incredible to see that picture in my head transformed into a thriving 3+ acres of veggies and livestock.

I helped wherever I could, harvesting some serious poundage of arugula (and eating handfuls in the field), cutting pea shoots, and bundling cilantro stems together for a Sunday farmers’ market. I love markets, and it was a lot of fun to see the experience from behind the table.

I hit the road on Monday morning laden with arugula, a braising mix of baby kale, red mustard, and chard, a couple dozen eggs from the hens, and pride and appreciation for P. — in my mind, she is doing something both incredible beautiful and critically important — connecting people to the food they eat by mindfully growing a sustainable, natural harvest.

I wish I could show you the land there, but all I managed to photograph is P’s home — a one-room hunting shack she re-floored and fitted with shelves, a loft, and her keen sense of style:

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I saw this place when it was first delivered to the farm, and P. has truly transformed a run-down refuge from bad weather into a magical haven for her few hours of sleep during harvest-time. (Up at 4:50 for morning chores.)

Next time (which will hopefully be another weekend this summer) I’ll take more pictures!

when farmers come to visit.

veggies

Life is good. Boh and I are back in our New Home apartment after a lovely Christmas with family. Santa was very good to us, as he always is, and in the land of knitting progress, I finished my dad’s Thuja socks at 10:45 pm on Christmas Eve. He loved them. I don’t have any modeled shots to share, but I’ve been hinting to my dad that a good recipient of knitted gifts actually wears the stuff s/he receives, rather than admire the item as it sits (languishes?) in the sock drawer…

I’ve taken a few days off from knitting — all of my holiday projects burned me out a bit, but I think I’m ready to pick up some mindless projects. Boh and I have a few days of total vegging planned before the next adventure begins. Yesterday we made chicken stock, which made the house smell absolutely delicious, and a dear farmer friend stayed the night on her way back to the North Country. She left us with quite a haul, so there may be a big pot o’ soup in our future.

More knitting content soon, I promise…

flower envy.

Check out my kale flower! The recipient of my most recent boy hat and I visited the farmers’ market this weekend to procure supplies for a lazy saturday in the kitchen. As we wandered around the market, me with this lovely blossom in my arms, it seemed as though everyone had kale-flower envy. We came home with 5 pounds of regular beets, several butternut squash, a few fat carrots and these chiogga beets.

Much beet pickling and squash soup making occurred, and the results were delicious. Last weekend, we made applesauce.

I’ve been eating it right out of the jar. Contrary to what this post may lead you to believe, I’m still knitting. I just can’t share my most recent project quite yet, and I haven’t made enough noticeable progress on my other WIPs to justify posting more photos. Soon…

Here’s a gratuitous shot of Boh, enjoying laundry day in the sun:

It’s going to be a crazy week in the schoolwork department. See you on the other side!