Thursday, July 27, 2006


I've been working on these face cloths and I'm bored out of my mind. Unfortunately I weighed the yarn I had left after making the multicolored one, and I had enough left to do it again. So I started another one and when I'm finished I am THROWING AWAY what's left.

I need to come up with a travel knitting project. Dh and I are taking the kids to his parents (8 hr drive) and flying to Lake Tahoe (no kids) on Monday. Should be a lot of knitting time. I'm thinking perhaps socks. I am so bored with my old standby pattern, but I don't want anything too challenging while we're traveling.

I am getting old I guess. I hate the idea of going anywhere. I should be excited about this trip, but all I can think about is how sick and miserable I'll be on the plane, and where are the bathrooms, and if he's driving I can't stop to pee when I want, the kids are gonna be killing each other in the car, and etc. I am way behind on listening to Podcasts, so at least I can tune some of it out. Man, I wish I were home already.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Back Porch

One of my goals for the summer was to have a back porch that I could sit on and drink coffee, read the paper, and watch the birds at the feeder. I think I have it now:

In the process, I'm tossing an old Mexican furniture set, called *equipales*.

Dh and I bought a table and four chairs and brought them back from Laredo before we were married. I had left some pieces outside on the back porch at my last house and squirrels had chewed the leather to the point that you couldn't sit in them any more, so it doesn't make sense to keep them. But it makes me sad.

Hmmm, just how many *goals* did I set for myself this summer? Of course they're not written down because then I would have to be accountable. Honestly, the only one I'm failing is my summer reading. Reading is impossible right now because I have a 5 yo yammering and stammering in my ear and breaking my concentration all day long. I was trying to read the paper yesterday and snapped. This kid cannot be quiet for 10 seconds. . . No one tells you that having kids means you are incapable of maintaining your own inner life.

Here's a tomato update:

I'm wrestling with the idea of having a *Fried Green-A-Thon* or waiting for them to ripen. I'm the only one who'll eat the fried ones, so is it worth the trouble? I had one starting to turn red and when I picked it, it had blossom end rot. Damn. Not a good sign.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


The Fall Ottobre just came and I'm looking at some of the boy's designs for my 5 yo ds. I really like the hoodie. I won't be using a 6 pointed star applique though. Seems like this could be offensive and/or controversial, so why would you put it on your kids' clothes? Maybe that's just me.

The pants in the photo are supposed to be slim fitting, so they could be just the ticket.

I wasn't too wowed by the bigger girls' things, but there's a tshirt I might try if I get a chance. It has an interesting neckline and gathered sideseams. My soon to be 10 yr old only wears jeans and Tshirts, so that limits what I sew for her to almost nada. . .

If any of y'all are keeping track, *no I haven't* sewn anything from the last issue. But, I have lots of time on this one because it won't be cold here for at least two or three months. By then, the Winter issue will be out.

Monday, July 24, 2006


We spent the weekend painting. I took a photo, but it looks lighter than the real thing.

It's sort of a moss green. Definitely an *ick* color, but it looks so much better than the pinky-beige from before. Of course the carpet is that nasty pink/taupe naked mole rat color and now I want to replace it. One thing leads to another.

Dh is a fast and efficient painter, this would have taken me a week and he knocked out most of it in a few hours with a roller while I did the corners and detail part. I'm spending this week putting all the toys back on the shelves, dusting and vacuuming. Is this a lot of work for a 10-yo girl's sleepover? Yes, but I'm doing it for me, not them. It just needed to be done.

This week, I'm cleaning off the back porch, which is where the dog lives. Can you say dog hair? Everywhere? We also have tons of defunct pool toys from prior years that need to be tossed out. There is one backyard shrubbery bed that I want to weed and it contains a few sprigs of poison ivy, so I'm going to have to suit up for it. And it's real hot out there.

Meanwhile, I'm cranking out circular face cloths from Crystal Palace cotton chenille. I love them.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Coming Out of the Closet

Charlotte is still sitting where I left her, on my table, languishing until I make a decision on how to proceed. In the meantime, I pulled out some dishcloth cotton and made a dishcloth. The pattern was published in my Mom's knitting guild newsletter by one of its members. I liked it so much I decided to make some out of cotton chenille and call them facecloths. I like this pattern better than the round petal washcloth from Weekend Knitting, which is what I planned to make with the cotton chenille.

I sent about 15 bags of books, VHS tapes, stuffed animals, toys, and clothes to Goodwill. I took out about 3 big bags of trash. All of this came from the kid's bedrooms, closets and the basement playroom. Now I am planning to paint the playroom and the stairs down to the basement. I picked up paint chips yesterday and will go buy supplies today. I need some help moving the computer and the giant TV and bookshelves down there, so I'll have to wait on dh this weekend.

I should be feeling proud of myself for cleaning out, but it just makes me realize how many other spots need work. My sewing room is a disaster, and the pantry counter has been covered with crap all summer. I am one of those people whose home looks okay on the surface, but if you open a closet door, all the crap falls on you, ugh. . .

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


As I laid the lovely Charlotte out to block

I discovered this.

A friggin' hole.

Help! Is there any way to fix this without frogging? If it was a dropped stitch in stockinette I could bring it up with a crochet hook, but I'm at a total loss on how to do that in lace.

In order not to cry, I am telling myself a) the bind off is about 2 inches too tight and needs to be redone anyway, and b) I would only have frog about 10 rows to fix it. Sigh. . . .

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


I got a chance to look at the July Burda yesterday.

It has a big spread of White Clothes, which I think we see EVERY summer, don't we?

But I never see any real people wearing all white outfits. I see a pair of white capris or a skirt here or there and actually wear both of those things myself, but not ALL white.

And then I saw this sartorialist blog entry showing these supposedly real older women in white. I guess what I like about these outfits is the simplicity (excepting the last one) and the fact that they are wearing FLAT shoes! I want to cry with joy when I see someone looking good in flat shoes, not being able to wear higher than 1" myself. . .

I had sworn myself off of ever trying to make an outfit from white linen but those photos have me wanting to run to an online fabric store and order some. Must control myself, summer is almost over.

The only really tempting item for me to make, however is this jacket:

Actually, I love the entire outfit, it looks put together, yet casual, yet stylish and it's something I could see myself wearing this fall when it cools off. The jacket would look great in a home dec fabric or an asian brocade.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte

Now that I've had a day or two to recover from the camping experience, I'm back to knitting on Charlotte. This is what she looks like with the sun shining through.

You can see the lace pattern starting to come out. My Dad remarked that it looked like a spider web when I was knitting it, which pleased me no end, I tell you.

I'm taking dd to girl scout camp today, so the next week will be ds and me with no planned activities. I am going to do a major cleanout/Goodwill purge. I just hope that Charlotte's siren song doesn't keep me from working. I think I'll set a goal of 2 hours a day on cleanout and see if that's enough. I wouldn't want to burn out, you know. . .

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Camping and Knitting

I managed to knit a bit on Charlotte this week. I am almost ready to start the last color, whew.

The Koigu yarn is so beautiful, see how it looked in my green camping chair cupholder?

The camping was fun, but exhausting of course. I don't know why I thought it would be a breeze to take three kids by myself. Of course I had help from my friend (whose dh is a park ranger and who lives in the state park). They let me borrow their camper and set it up for me.

Here's a shot of Lake Chickamauga, Harrison, TN.

Ds and I were hiking and stumbled upon a Great Blue Heron and scared him away -- this is what they look like.

These are amazing looking birds, they stand stock still to catch a fish and then swallow it whole. Ds can't stop talking about it. They're big and it's breathtaking watching them fly from close up. We also saw deer, racoons, a hummingbird, and a blue bird that was either a bluebird or an indigo bunting.

This is what we saw on our hike:

Poison ivy everywhere. My friend the ranger told me that poison ivy is the number one groundcover in TN forests right now. I read an article a while back that pinned it on global warming, saying that warmer winters allow the poison ivy to come back every year. Luckily we managed to avoid it, but I was a nervous wreck on the hike, yelling at ds to stay on the trail the whole time.

It rained every day, and my screen tent got ruined in a windstorm. I am glad to be back home.

Monday, July 10, 2006


Here's the back of my van, and I haven't even loaded the suitcases, pillows, groceries, my knitting or books, the kids, etc.

Yes, this is luxury camping, where you drive your car to the site. No hiking or backpacking necessary. We are borrowing a friend's pop-up camper with air conditioning and a refrigerator, although we must use the park's restroom/shower facilities. Roughing it, yeah.

I'm bringing the Charlotte's Web shawl, of course. I just started using the 4th color, which was WAY exciting. Now I'm putting in a lifeline every 8 rows just to save some heartache. I found one small error yesterday, but it's not rip-worthy, so I'm pretending it's not there. I wish I could figure out how I'm messing up so I could be more aware.

I might bring some dishcloth cotton and my new Happy Hooker crochet book and try to teach myself crochet. We are supposed to have some rainy afternoons, so it's either that or play Uno or Candyland with the kids.

Have a good week, y'all. I'm back on Friday.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Jam Time

It was a busy day yesterday. Making jam isn't difficult, it's just hot and bit time-consuming. And my arm is sore today from mashing blueberries - not sure why I had such a time with them.

I made 6 hot pepper, 7 blueberry, and 9 blackberry. My dad grew some hot peppers and gave them to me on the 4th. I have NO IDEA how hot they are, I think they are cayenne. He asked me if I liked pepper jelly and what you eat it with, so I took that as a subtle hint that he wanted to try some. I love it over cream cheese with crackers.

I like to make jam because it reminds me of being at my grandmother's in South Carolina in the summer. She had a big garden, so she and my mom canned peaches, green beans, tomatoes, etc. They would have water boiling on the stove where one would be working and the other would be peeling and slicing. The floor was sticky and covered with juice, steam everywhere, heat surging from the room. They would yell at us kids to *stay out, go play* etc. Even when they were resting, they would be snapping beans or peeling apples for dinner.

Here's a little garden shot:

I love summer. We've had slightly cooler weather yesterday and today, so that it's not the usual stifling and oppressive heat.

I'm still waiting on the cherries and tomatoes to be ready.

The Charlotte's web shawl needs a rip-back again, but just 4 or 5 rows. I need to do this when I'm not tired or subject to interruptions, so maybe I can do it this afternoon. I have to learn not to work on it when I'm tired. Need to start some dishcloths or something mindless for those times.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

A Day in the Kitchen

It doesn't look like much, but I made an apple and a blueberry pie today. I used my handy Pampered Chef paring knife on the apples, plus the pie baker and shield. I always forget to spray some cooking spray on the shield. See how my blueberry pie edge got ripped when I took off the shield? Doh!!!

I made a summer squash casserole too, from a Paula Deen cookbook. I think we'll have burgers and corn on the cob tonight.


I just read this post about cherries at yarnharlot. Well, I know mine aren't the same variety as hers (Montmorency), because mine bloom pink. I still don't know what they are exactly, sour or sweet.

You'll have to click on the photo for a closeup. It's hard to get a good picture because the cherries are so far away. I hope, hope, hope I get some this year. I pruned them last fall and sprayed them with the *bordeaux mixture* they use in vineyard to kill the black fungus from last year. It seems to be working, they are red instead of black this year.

The comments to her post cracked me up. Just climb the tree! Yeah, right. All the cherries on mine are at least 20-30 feet above the ground and those limbs won't support you at all. I just bit one and they are still hard and mealy and sour.

While I'm thinking about cherries, I want to link this lovely post from Sewing Box Stories. I don't speak read French, but some things are translated into English there and the pictures are lovely if you are at all into surface embellishments, hand embroidery, etc.

This is what waits for me tomorrow. We have too many blueberries. Way too many.


I made a second sock over the weekend. The yarn for these is Ellen's Half Pint Farm Merino Tencel blend. This was heavenly to knit with. I don't remember the yardage, but I had a fair amount left over, which I NEVER know what to do with. I think my *stash* now consists mostly of leftovers.

I got Charlotte up to row 74:

I completed frogged her back and restarted. I had to frog one more time, back about halfway. My mom helped me fix a few things, like bringing up a forgotten yarnover a few rows. But we couldn't find the mistake that one time and had to rip again. You can see I am now using life lines. (The heavy green thread.) I guess I'll put another one in now since I'm ready to change to the solid navy section. I am much happier with the color changes now.

While I was gone dh went berry picking and brought back blueberries, blackberries, apples, and squash. That means I will be busy with some jam making and pie baking. I might give in and freeze some of it if I can't get it all put up. I'm taking the kids camping on Monday and I need some time to get ready for that. . . Summer is just flying by already.
Subscribe with Bloglines