I love summer time, especially in Southern California. Long warm days, cool nights, and the bounty of fruit and vegetables from the garden (or the garden box) are some of the things I love most about this time of year. My vegetables are doing really well, thanks to the Earthboxes that makes it difficult even for ME to kill everything in sight. Tomatoes, green/purple beans, herbs, cucumbers, peppers, blueberries (thanks Wendy!) are doing really fantastically. I'm thinking about putting up a box of corn as well.
They can never ripen fast enough for me, so I often end up splitting a single green bean with Mr. Bird or cutting a cherry tomato in half to share. We've had a handful of blueberries, a couple of kumquats, and a few beans. The sweet peas have suffered with the heat but I've been able to break open a couple of pods and had some super sweet samples. Heidi suggested replanting those after the summer since they are a cool season crop. The tomatoes are growing so fast that every day I go out there I marvel at the number of fruit and can't wait till they ripen. They've grown as tall as I am and the EarthBox trellis system kicks some serious ass. I only bought one trellis and the other tomatoes I put up in a cage and the cage proved to be a cheap and really really crappy alternative. The tomatoes outgrew the cage really fast and then fell over the top because the fruit heavy sections snapped because there wasnt enough support.
I'm hoping that the tomatoes will produce enough to do some jarring in a few weeks. Homemade tomato sauce - exciting! I had some trouble with blossom end rot a couple of weeks ago, but I've added some bone meal to the soil and removed all the tomatoes with any sign of it. Hopefully the rest of the crop will be ok. I continue to be amazed by how well I'm doing with the gardening and so excited with being able to grow and eat my own produce.
Did you think this was a knitting blog?
Well as a matter of fact I have been doing a bit of knitting. Somethings here and there. I will have to admit to breaking my yarn diet, not bad that I held out for six months though. I picked up some Trekking sock yarn from the Grove and started working it up in the Conway sock pattern from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road.
Meh isnt it? The color way just does not work well with the beautifully subtle pattern of Conway which just gets lost in the varigation. I thought so at least, so riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip. Bye bye Conway, I'll revisit you soon with a more solid color sock yarn.
I had told myself I wasn't going to be a lemming and would NOT make a pair of Jaywalkers. Cause everyone and their grandma's roommate had knit these and they just looked too much like the Broadripple socks that I'd already knit. Who wants to do the same thing right? Well - I've proven myself a hypocrite because I went with the Jaywalker pattern. And sheepishly, I must admit its a pretty great pattern and it works up this varigated yarn beautifully. I was wrong, it's not boring.
Isn't that pretty? I'll be kitchener'ing the toe today and casting on for the 2nd straight away. The two row pattern is very nice cause I dont have to lug around the pattern.
I've put Mariah on the back burner since I can't get myself motivated to sit and knit with wool during the summer heat. I plan to get this one done in time for my sister's graduation from nursing school in December which is when she'll be moving back to Seattle and she'll have good use for a warm cabled sweater.
I've made a couple of modifications to the pattern. I'm extending the cables up the sides to cinch in the body of the sweater to make it more form fitting. It also keeps the stockinette section from being so painfully boring now that the lovely cabled arms are completed. I'm also going to make a fold over collar instead of a hood, but we'll see how that all goes.
Can you see where there is a mistake in a cable cross? I'm leaving it in, cause I'm too lazy to rip back that far.
Have I ever said that Elann is evil? It is. Really.
I bought Elann's Callista yarn (50% Viscose Rayon/ 25% Cotton/ 25% Linen) in a DK weight to work on a summer skirt along the lines of the Indigo Ripples skirt from the Spring 2007 issue of Interweave Knits. It's a much smaller gauge yarn and I'll be doing a leaf lace edging instead of the ripples, but the shaping will be similar and there will be a longer section of stockinette.
I have enough skeins of it in the Burnt Olive color and the Italian Plum for two separate skirts. Delusions of grandeur? Considering I've got one pair of socks done and it's June? Yah probably - but it's nice to dream isn't it?
Oh. And because I'm a Norma acolyte, I made up some Rose Petal Jam and it is delicious! I'll have to call it Rose Petal Lemon jam because the lemon really comes out. It was incredibly easy to make and I changed the recipe just a bit. I boiled the sugar, water, lemon juice, rose petal (blended) mixture until all the sugar was dissolved, and then mixed in the pectin (I used liquid) into the hot mixture then poured it into the jelly jars.
I don't know the variety of rose this is but they are grown in my back yard organically and smell amazing so I figured they'd be perfect for this jam. I had Mr Bird test out the jam and he's quite the PB & J connoisseur so if he thought it was good that was the stamp of approval. It's a touch tart but is really nice on toast or with PB. He really liked it! I have a jar for Heidi, Crissy, Joelle, Wendy and Yoly.
Thanks for sharing Norma!