Sunday, August 23, 2015

Stop and Go

It's been an unusually hot summer for new England, and although I haven't been especially bothered by the heat, I don't think I realized how much I'd slowed down through it until it finally cooled off some this weekend.   And suddenly I really wanted yarn in my hands.  And things started to happen. For example, I found the ambition to take some photos.

And a pair of socks got finished.

These were my 'social socks'- some good plain knitting for parties and the occasional video I see.

The lace socks aren't anti-social exactly, but they need good light and more attention than plain stockinette.   Also the yarn is incredibly hard to photograph.    This is a pretty good photo of how the pattern (Oriel by Charlene Schurch) is looking.

But the color is all wrong.  The above photo looks blue, and the yarn is more greeny purply with flashes of blue.   This photo shows the green and purple, but the color balance still isn't right.  I'll have to keep trying.

And then the hat that stalled out months ago, I finally bit the bullet and charted the pattern.   It's written out line by line, and is perfectly clear, but every time I picked it up it took me several minutes to remember where I was in the pattern.  I find charts much quicker- and because I can see where the pattern is going, often I don't even have to consult it for rounds at a time.  So the hat is once again moving.

Hopefully this is an omen for all my projects! I need to go persuade a certain fluffy cat not to eat the plastic bag he's chewing on.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

July Highlights

I did notice that I hadn't gotten to post anything, but somehow, every time I turned around I wanted to take a photo and it was dark out, or I was driving somewhere, or we had company.   Some of the high points- we spent a day wandering around in Portsmouth, NH before meeting my parents for dinner.  It was a gorgeous day, and we walked around looking at houses and gardens and enjoying the sun.  Here are a couple of shots from Prescott Park in Portsmouth, a childhood haunt.

We had friends over to play board games.  Biscuit likes board games.  He's gotten very brave, at least with our usual crowd of cat-loving friends.  Here, he's checking out a new game, Elysium, that we picked up in Portsmouth.

He sat in on a game of Ticket to Ride.

Here, he's dominating the galaxy.  Or at least sitting on the Eclipse box. 

We had a nice afternoon strolling around Boston.  Here's Commonwealth Ave.

And the Boston Common.  (I've got a park theme going here.)

I took my new shelf into work and put it to good use.  Here's my work space in a completely unnatural state of tidiness.  While the tidiness didn't last, it is very nice not to have all the reference books falling over.

The last weekend of the month I went down to the Lowell Folk Festival.  Always a good festival, this was the first year ever that it was a comfortable 72ish degrees, dry and with  pleasant breeze. The turnout was excellent.

Every year they have handcraft exhibits and this year the theme was textiles.  The quilters were out in force and handing out inspirational fabric squares.

And there was a splendid demonstration of rug hooking (because heaven knows I need to get back to a craft that's even slower than knitting).   I was especially taken with this rug by Katherine Blake-Parker, of the Cranberry Rug Hooker's Guild.  I love how she's used the orientation of the loops to convey texture.   And the colors are gorgeous.   (photo posted with permission).

At the end of the month, my husband's cousin stopped by and we jammed for a bit.  Well, we played music and Cookie took advantage of the mandolin case.  It was a cozy fit.

There's been a lot of hot cat sprawling to entertain us as well.

Not to mention other feline antics.

The weather may have been warm for cats and people, but the local orchards are in full swing.  I think of this shot as 'summer in a bowl'.

On the crafting front, I'm still knitting the socks.  Yeah.  That kind of month.   Thinking back, however, summer is often like this.  Busy, busy.   This week we've got my sister-in-law, her husband and three boys visiting (though they are taking refuge from the clouds of cat hair by staying in a hotel).

No doubt when the weather starts to cool off, the yard work eases off, and the stream of guests slows down, I will get back to crafting more.   That's the way it seems to work with summer.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

June, the Crafts and Garden Report

I'm not altogether sure what happened to June.  There were a couple of weeks when I put the camera somewhere so safe I couldn't find it.  There was socializing and house guests and yard stuff and work stuff and  cat maintenance and book stuff.  There just never seemed to be a good time to blog about it.
You'll be happy to know that at least some of the flowers finally did their thing. The blue flags and irises gave us quite a show.

There were dianthus.

The lupines are steadily gaining ground and I had more blooms this year.

And the Siberian irises are spreading like wildfire.

There has been some knitting.  I pulled out the sweater I had set aside to work on Sara's vest, lo these many moons ago:

The bathing cat is a bonus.  It was some inches short of the armholes when I got it out, and now the back is done and I'm working on one half of the front, so it's made some progress.

Then for social knitting, I cast on a plain sock.  The lace one was a bit too complicated for conversation.

More yarn arrived on my doorstep, including some lovely wool, so I cast on a hat, just because.  Of course I will need a few minutes to sit down and get the pattern established before I'll be able to make progress on it.

And most recently I finally got impatient with the row of notebooks on my desk at work continually falling over because the lightweight bookends holding them up keep slipping.   So I delved into the scrap lumber pile earlier this week and threw together a simple shelf to sit on my desk.   At least one part of my cubicle will be less messy.

I just put the second coat of polyurethane on it, so it will be ready to go to work with me on Monday.  In addition to finishing the shelf, today was pool-cleaning, yard work, laundry day and other miscellaneous errands.  Tomorrow it's supposed to rain, so I won't be distracted by the outdoors.  Just possibly...don't hold your breath....but just possibly there could be some sewing.