Saturday, July 31, 2010

Clean Up

This was a vacation week for the kidos (they went camping at Watkins Glen), so we were almost kid free this week. Just one kid for a few hours on Wednesday. So we have been doing some cleanup around the house and garden, especially since the weather has been much more reasonable, mild days and almost cool nights.
Having overnight guests this coming week meant cleaning out the guest bedroom, which is usually used to house little kiddies. So all the bedding was washed and aired on the line, toys were put away and books were straightened.
The Buffalo Garden Walk was last weekend and we spent several hours touring the teeny gardens in the Cottage district, a couple of blocks that have adorable little houses dating from the 1850's. The way that the tiny space is used to create such high impact is always an inspiration, so I added some touches to my own garden.
I went to the garden center and found a sale table that had herbs and scented geraniums for half price, so I put together three aromatic pots for the patio,

took out this old lantern (circa 1914) that we found in the crawl space of an old house

and put succulents in these itsy pots. I have so many more ideas spinning round my head, it gets the creative juices stirring to see what others have done.

There was a trip to Seneca Lake for a family get together on Monday, which was lovely. The rest of the time we cleaned out gardens, weeding, dead heading. Today I think I will move a few plants that need more elbow room and some that have popped up in the wrong spaces. There has been much harvesting of cherry tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, eggplant and raspberries. I love it when the grandkids go looking for a handful of berries or tomatoes to pop in their mouths. It looks like the tomatoes are going to make it this year and we will have a bumper crop soon if all continues to go well.

Knitting? Ah yes, I continue to make progress on my diagonal afghan ( now on the decrease side) and Diamond and Purls Shawl (only 15 rows of the last repeat then the last chart of 6 rows and bindoff), but have conceeded these will continue into August. I can almost feel the call of fall knitting and the desire to start a cable sweater!!

My SIL wants me to teach her to make socks this week, so there will be a time out of regular knitting for some teaching moments.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

How Many Socks Is Too Many?

I've been so caught up in my garden lately that I haven't shown my knitting. I am really holding on to my resolve to keep knitting through my stash and finishing the projects I've started. I have only two big projects that I am working on right now and they will probably take me through the entire month of July. This blob is the first. The Diamonds and Pearls shawl from the Spring 2010 Knitters magazine. This was a lace class I took at Have Ewe Any Wool? my LYS. It started June 12th and ended on the 10th of July. I am now on the last repeat before the last 6 rows and the bindoff. Of course it is over 500 stitches per row now, so it moves along mighty slowly.
Customers who came into the shop as we were knitting all asked the question "How long is that going to take you?" as if the speed at which a project is completed is all that matters. All of us remarked that it took as long as it took. We were knitting something beautiful and there was no hurrying the process. I love to knit, I don't like deadlines when I knit, I am taking my time with this because it is a complex piece that challenges me, and I hope it will be an heirloom piece when I'm done. That all takes time. Does this make me a process knitter? I'm never sure.

Because I have to concentrate when I'm working on this shawl, I have another large but easy item to work on when I am watching TV or just too tired to knit on anything else. This is the garter stitch Diagonal Comfort Blanket that is meant to be a baby blanket. I am using the 9 skeins of Cotton Ease I purchased when I had the crazy idea I was actually going to knit market bags. What was I thinking. I divided the yarn in half, am knitting until I reach the halfway point of my yarn and then decreasing. I have about half the blue skein to go, then half a cream skein before the decreasing begins. I have no idea how big this will be, as it is scrunched on the needles and hard to measure. Hopefully it will be a good afghan size. I think I will measure it when I get to the halfway spot.

As I was straightening up today, I had a free moment and decided to count the number of skeins of sock yarn I have. It totals (gulp) 40 pairs of socks!!! The reason I did this was because I was going to order 3 of the new Felici colors from Knit Picks and wanted to check that I didn't have any that were similar. I have never had 40 pairs of socks at one time in my whole life. Maybe not in my whole lifetime. It does seem a bit excessive. But they are all so beautiful and I love the colors and the thought of all the beautiful patterns I can make.
So how many socks is too many?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Colors of Summer

The garden is looking its best right now. Summer flowers in full bloom, variegated greens, bright yellows and subtle whites and blues. There is color in every part of the yard. Beautiful bright sunny hot days. We have been steaming in the 80's and 90's and haven't had any rain in my back yard for a week. That means a bit of watering will have to happen this weekend.
The sunflowers have started to open and are scattered all over the back yard and will open in stages so I should have bright color until the fall.

A garden surprise this year are five lilies that I swear I don't remember planting. I know it wasn't last year, so it must have been two years ago. Probably small plants that took a couple of seasons to establish themselves and flower. There are three in this deep red and two in bright yellow.
The garden is always giving us new delights to feed our souls.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

On Vacation!

I didn't realize it has been so long since my last blog post! We were on vacation the week of June 25th and it's been so hot and sunny since our return that vacation just continued.

My summer days as a kid involved nothing more than beach and lake every day and I like to recreate that with the grandkids. Now that they are bigger, they are more independent and can go in the pool whenever they want. Ice cream, badminton, croquet are ongoing diversions and we've been having a wonderful time. On the hottest days we have just been staying in our bathing suits all day!

Needless to say knitting, housework and gardening have been taking a back seat to our mini-staycation. But the beautiful days of summer are so fleeting and the long cold winter so never ending, it is the right thing to do.