Thursday, June 26, 2008

Summer's here!

Summer is most definitely here. It's hot. School is out. Sports are done. We've had our big party, and it was a good one (thank goodness the forecasts of severe thunderstorms with damaging winds, etc., were wrong).

We harvested our first carrots, and boy do they look weird!
They taste good, though.

My summer projects are going well. Here is Adamas (am I the only one who thinks of Battlestar Galactica when I hear the name of this pattern?):
I've done 11 out of the 14 required repeats of chart 2, then it's chart 3 and the cast off. This may sound like I am almost done, but it is deceiving since you increase the number of stitches every other row. I started with 5 stitches and now I think I have over 300. Each row takes quite a while to get through, at this point, and the last few repeats of the chart are going to take some time.

I am also working a little slowly because of this laceweight yarn. I really don't enjoy working with it. I just can't get used to how light it is. There's no weight to help me manage the tension of my stitches, and that is slowing me down. Well, I wanted to try laceweight, and now I have. Don't think I'll want to do it again. Frankly, I think this shawl would be just as nice, if not nicer, with a slightly heavier yarn. In fact, I have seen some of the Ravelers doing this shawl are using fingering weight yarn and I think the stitch definition on their projects looks great.

The Summer of Socks is underway, as well, and I have started my first pair.
Ribbed Socks
The is Apple Laine's Apple Pie yarn in the Blue Bayou colorway. I've had this yarn hanging around for almost 2 years, and I decided it finally needed to get used. It's rather light, so I wasn't able to get a good gauge with it on my usual 2.5mm no.1's, and that is why I had not used it yet. But I recently purchased a set of 2.25mm no.1s, and the yarn looks great on that size needle. I thought about doing Baudelaires but decided against that pattern because the yarn is so colorful. In addition, the mohair content of the yarn gives the knitted fabric a major halo, so a lacy or complicated pattern would be impossible to see. In the end, I decided a simple rib pattern would be best, so here it is. The fabric is incredibly soft because of the silk and the mohair in the yarn. VERY nice.

We went to the library this week and signed the kids up for the summer reading program, which was just the last little nudge CatGirl needed to start reading again (Mathboy doesn't need any help there). As Mathboy settled down with the EarthSea Cycle by Ursula LeGuin, C picked out a whole bunch of books, including--get this--a Nancy Drew. I had been recommending Nancy Drews to C for a while, but she was never interested BUT a little girl she was talking to in the Juvenile Paperback section that day told her that she had read tons of Nancy Drews and loved them. After that, C came over to me and asked which Nancy Drew I would recommend she start with, and we happily found her The Secret of the Old Clock. You know, peer pressure can be a good thing. :o) Meanwhile, I am still listening to The Pillars of the Earth, but I am ready for it to be over. I have enjoyed it very much, I just want to have something new. I am also still reading The Last Child in the Woods, and I am tired of that one as well. I think it was very interesting, but I feel like I've gotten the point and I've had enough of that.

So that's it. Summer's here!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Season's Over

The Lucky Charms lost a tough one last night, ending their season. They should be pretty proud of themselves, though, having finished 4th out of 10 teams. This is pretty good, when you consider that the coach scheduled very little practice time at all this season, and the team was comprised mostly of younger girls (our team had only 2 3rd graders, while the team that beat them last night had 4 3rd graders).

In other news, the kids tell me that the birdhouse already has new tenant, and that there are eggs!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

They live to play another day

Softball Pitcher
The Lucky Charms won a squeaker last night in game 4 of the playoffs, so, like the title says, they live to play another day. They play again tonight. If, by some miracle, they win, they play tomorrow night. And so on. They are having a good time, but any game could be their last. Tonight, in particular, they are facing a tough team. So we'll see.

Baby Birds almost ready to go
We are empty nesters. The baby birds, pictured here in probable teenage equivalent age, decided a day or two after this photo was taken that they needed more space (and maybe more privacy?). The birdhouse is vacant for the time being, but we comfort ourselves with the hope that maybe one of our babies will come back to start her own family in her ancestral home.

My secret project is finished. I just have to to take it to Woolbearers and show it off. I know the ladies there will Ooh and Aah for me. It's so nice to have a place to where you know you can get that gratifying admiration for your FOs. I showed the thing to my kids and C just said, "It doesn't suit you, Mom." Grr. Luckily it's not for me, I replied.
Adamas shawl
I started this, the Adamas shawl, because I've been dying to do a lacy shawl and this looks like a good introductory one. Plus I had the recommended yarn in my stash: KnitPicks Shadow Lace, in the Vineyard Heather colorway. The yarn is not quite a soft as I would have hoped, but it was crazy cheap, so what do I expect? The pattern is not difficult at all, but working with laceweight is definitely a new experience for me. I really am not used to such a light yarn. I'm finding it a little difficult to control, if that makes any sense. This picture shows the about 3 repeats done on chart 2; I am currently 6 repeats in with 8 to go. I am planning to keep it on the straight needles as long as I can. I despise circulars.

The garden is cruising along. We are inundated in lettuce, because the garden is producing so well and because our weekly farm share regularly includes several heas of greens. Holy smokes! But we finally have some little tomatoes growing and I am really looking forward to their ripening!

In other news, Rudolph has no dignity. In case we did not know.
Cat with no dignity