I've hit an interesting wall. Blogger, once free, is now asking me to buy more storage for my photos. I don't know about you but when something has been free and now you're going to be dinged for a small but steady monthly payment I balk. Do I even want to continue blogging?
Above: A current visit to the bay area and having tea with Kate in San Francisco. It was yummy.
ON THE ROAD AND AT HOME
We recently did a road trip over to Nevada to Ohh! and Ahhh! at our friend's new house. It is indeed magnificent though they are suffering from a very nasty case of Finish-itis. Not on their part but from the contractor, things ordered and not delivered or no longer available, just a very long list of un-dones. It was a big day when hot water became available though they are still waiting for a stove and oven. (The salt and pepper shakers cried The Enabler! I've found them!) Your try living with no seasonings, no oven, no knobs to open cupboards, and 99% of your possessions in mislabeled boxes while trying to work a full load. It was wonderful to spend some time with them and we plan to flit over the mountains between us Quite Often.
Sandwiched in between visiting was taking the RV down to the Mammoth Lakes area. This is a trip we have planned several times but one thing after another came up and the trip was cancelled. This time though, we made it.
On our first day out we managed to get the RV (hauling a trailer with two dual sport motorcycles) down the 7 miles of a rather harrowing, pretty much one lane clutching the side of the mountain, slightly paved thing called "a road" at Devils Post Pile. We had planned to spend the night but the nice ranger lady assured us that "rain and ice" were predicted overnight and if we planned to haul our patooties out the next day we had better Think Again.
It didn't take a lot of thinking so we scurried out to see the geologic wonder (and it is absolutely amazing - go see it if you can) then crawled back up the mountainside. We camped a few miles east and the next morning we woke to snow and the lovely sound of the RV heater chugging away. (There were years when I backpacked carrying everything on my back but frankly, those days are over. Give me a clean bathroom, a shower, and a queen sized bed any day.) By mid afternoon the snow was over so we went on a great motorcycle ride up to a place called Lookout Mountain which lived up to its name with glorious views.
After a few more days of this and that, included a great trip out to the south side of Mono Lake, we headed back to see our friends then back over the mountain and home. The cats, left at home with a sitter checking in on them, were happy to see us and even happier to get OUTSIDE.
At home the garden is winding down. I only grew two plants of small pumpkins but they produced and I continue with my quest to develop the best ever pumpkin curry. So far I've produced no losers but still am not quite satisfied.
Small cats, happy to be outside, just smell that fresh air.
Before we left I attended a Celtic Festival with my friend Sharon in Grass Valley. It was HOT, um, like in the high 90's. She bought Omar some Faerie Wings. I felt a great need to try them on.
Omar wasn't quite so keen. Cute, but not Keen.
What my socks look like after a walk with Omar. We are expecting our first rain tonight and feeling rather eager for it.
I decided to make vinegar this year. I neglected to really consider that a container should be narrow at the top to slow down evaporation. All I thought about was "non-reactive". Luckily, of the two containers I used one was kind of narrow, one was not at all so it wasn't a dead loss. I will try again next year. The resulting goo was rather tasty. Two bottles of plum wine vinegar Very Reduced.
There are still plenty of flowers in the garden though the leaves are turning color and falling. I keep walking around my persimmon tree waiting for just the right shade of orange on the fruit. I do like persimmons.
Winter will be here before you know it. I must knit faster.
It continues to be a very busy time at Chez Earin's. Hubby has been working like a mad man fixing decks, building shelves, getting up on the roof and sealing wood.
I have been busy too. There is garden produce to put up, things to clean out and lots of "stuff" to sort. Where does all this stuff come from and why is there so much of it?
There has been a little knitting. Not a lot because there are so many house projects underway but at night I am managing to get a few rows knit before I tilt over on the couch from tiredness. I'm now up to the more interesting part on the back of Mork
. I had a bit of a fright that I had screwed up the cabling but by carefully studying the FO's on Ravelry I can see it is correct for the smallest size. I worry a bit about the sizing too - it may be too small. The yarn (lovely spongy stuff - Mountain Colors River Twist) pulls in but stretches out to the right size. I know from blocking the two sleeves that the yarn does relax a bit. I knit a few inches going up one size but then it was HUGE. We will just have to see.
A few months ago I was gifted with an amazing skein of yarn from my friend Emmy who did a road trip up to Seattle and brought back some Nautilace from Cephalopod Yarns
in the colorway, "Galapagos Grunt". It's silk and baby camel and To.Die.For.
I've been searching through shawl/scarf patterns trying to find just the right one and finally settled on the amazing (and free!) Ginko
. The stockinette section will showcase the loveliness of the yarn and the subtle color changes and the lace section will take it over the top. At least that the plan.
I bought some more Blue Sky Alpaca silk from Eat Sleep Knit. It will be part of the yarn used for the Abstract Leaves
vest I hope to get made this winter. The first few times I bought yarn from ESK I won something from each of the Yarn Lottos. Not so this time. I was bummed. Darn!
GARDEN OF DELIGHTS
Sometimes when I pick a bowl of something or other out of the garden I am just blown away with how beautiful it all looks. Often the resulting photograph doesn't come near to capturing what my eyes see but this time it's close. One cucumber, figs, Sungold cherry tomatoes, a regular tomato, and a single blanket flower. I ate all of them but the flower.
The fig tree has been producing copious amounts of figs. Last year there were none so it's extra special to have figs to spare this summer. I miss them so when the season is over. I made up jam, which is excellent but there is nothing quite like a still warm fig fresh off the tree.
The pepper harvest continues to be astounding. I have made hot pepper olive oil and if and when my vinegar is finished I'll make up some hot pepper vinegar. The Arbols are drying and the rest are washed, dried, bagged, and put in the freezer "for later".
I have started harvesting my potatoes. I plan to grow a lot more next year; they have tasted so much better than anything I've bought from the market and they have been so easy to grow.
I have been very pleased with some of the plants I moved around this spring. The plants themselves seem to be happy too. I know this because they have grown tall and bloomed with great gusto. Crepe Myrtle on the left (purple) and various cannas with a couple of blanketflowers peeking out. My garden seems to have boggy areas and some super dry areas. I am still looking for the "just right" section(s).
Karl Foerster (feather reed grasses on the left), Russian Sage and the late summer blooming Caryopteris.
More canna, a somewhat strangled geranium, a volunteer white flower whose name I have forgotten, and lots of unidentified ground cover. Ground cover that has taken over the actual path. I am torn, it obviously really, really, really wants to grow there but it's nice having the path. I would relocate the path but um, there really isn't a place to do that.
A bumblebee enjoying a blanketflower. It's been nice seeing bees and bumblebees in decent numbers this year. Earlier this summer the hummingbird feeders were being swarmed by bees (the hummingbirds were not thrilled about this development). I wondered if someone had moved hives nearby but had no way of knowing. Things with the feeders have calmed down though yesterday there was a preying mantis hanging out hoping to snag a hummer. Sad but true, they can and will snag a hummer and kill it. We're not having any of that around here. Hubby gently removed it so that the hummingbirds could go back to feeding in peace (not that a feeder seems to be very peaceful with all the chasing off the male birds do to each other).
We sort! We toss! We take things to the dump and put the nicer things on Freecycle (wave goodbye to the dresser you've had for over 20 years!). These are books taken from shelves in the guestroom which is undergoing a reorganization. Two bags of books went off to the library today; the top photo are the two stacks of most
of my knitting related books. I hadn't realized I had so many. Not that I am complaining mind you. We heart books especially knitting and sewing ones.
MY MOST FAVORITE THINGS
The garden has been having a rough time of it. Heck, we've been having a rough time of it. Our well has been running dry and things are dying. We took our wallets into our hands, collected up the quarters in the change bin, and had the darn thing redug. Well deepening is an expensive business.
There are still enough flowers to make a nice bouquet for dinner last night with my brother David and his wife. They too are spending money - their one and only chick has finally flown the nest and lots of remodeling is now happening. What? You thought your bedroom would remain a shrine
? I think not!
Large and impressive machinery was brought in along with several very buff looking men who worked very hard in some not so pleasant heat for two days. Happily Very Good Water Flow was achieved and after two days with no water AT ALL (you try it, it's downright GRIM) we are hooked back up and flowing by gum, FLOWING!!!!
AND AT THE SAME TIME...
A phrase that strikes fear into a knitters heart. Why? Because invariably the phrase is noticed only after knitting merrily away after some important junction completely missing that not only do you need to now be doing THIS you also need to be doing THAT.
Hubby not only decided we needed to clear out the pole barn (a barn - with poles - used to store things that you just have to have but somehow never think of for years and years). Much sorting has occured which entailed looking at old photos complete with friends you've forgotten about and yourself much younger with lots more hair and dang, a heck of a lot thinner.
THEN....hubby decided that our sagging deck needed to be rebuilt. It's just been never ending fun around here.
There was the absolutely gorgeous blue moon the other day.
Yesterday Amazon brought me two books spanning the range of my crafting passion. If you sew and you don't know Gertie
I say, check her out. She's loads of fun and full of great information. We Heart Gertie.
Speaking of passion, things have become a little overwhelmed in my sewing room (do I have a cool view or what?) so much sorting and tidying is happening. Well, not right at this moment. It's time for me to head out and knit with a girlfriend. Mork is coming along; I'm now on the back and the miles (miles!) of uneven ribbing. I like it though and think it's going to be a great sweater for me.
It seems like summer has been here a Very Long Time. It's hot. I'm tired of hot. Very.Tired. It hasn't helped that we're having problems with our well. Thankfully, the well people are coming out on Monday to drill and hopefully that translates into lots of water gushing out of taps on demand. What a concept.
The garden is hanging in there...barely. There are bits of colors here and there but for the most part I've had to let them go. It's been a wonderful year for grapes and plums plus there are a lot of peaches ready to pick. The cut-outs of owls seems to have slowed the birds down a great deal. The fig tree is coming ripe so hopefully I will soon be sick of figs.
I promised myself that I would finish the bag I started at the sew-in a month or so ago. It turned out to be pretty easy which was lovely since I had anticipated a huge production. It will be a thank you and happy birthday to the woman who gifted me the fabric. She's very much into the process of knitting so I added a book on shadow knitting.
For myself I continue knitting the sleeves for Mork
. I'm almost finished with the second one and loving the pattern. I started with a sleeve because I am not getting quite the same gauge so I've got my fingers crossed that the sweater will end up fitting me. I'm trying so hard to work from stash and what I had was some gorgeous River Twist by Mountain Colors in a very pretty purple blue. You know Mountain Colors, they have such lovely colorways.
TWICE AS MUCH FUN!
The Kids' Gansey
if finally done. It was fun, it was easy, even though the front was knit twice (at least the cable part was). I seem to have a habit of reknitting things twice.
Reknitting the uneven cable vest
(on the cover). I did pretty much the entire thing in a gorgeous copper colored Madelinetosh yarn that turned out to be just too darn big. I really love this vest and I love the yarn so dang it, I'm going to knit it again.
Yesterday I frogged the whole thing. I, um, wasn't really paying attention to how I tied off my skeins so after washing them they were a little, um, messy. I suppose I'll be untangling for the rest of the Olympics.
I've not been doing much sewing though my head is full of things I want to make. First up though is finishing up a few more Day of the Dead bags.
Last week I did a road trip to San Francisco with two girlfriends to visit the de Young museum and see the John Paul Gautier
show. It was AmaZINg! Many of the mannequins had animated faces projected on to them. They talked, they moved their eyes and lips, they sang. It was creepy yet fascinating and naturally the clothes were fantastic. There was even a great knitted dress.
We had a wonderful time though it ended up being a 12 hour day. Must do something like this again soon!