an open eye

Archive for the ‘good times.’ Category

“A garden is never as good as it will be next year.”

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Memorial Day here in the US might be the Unofficial Start Of Summer, but this Spring has been long and slow and cool enough that some Far Northers — who have had six months of winter — are calling it quits and thinking of moving to Florida. (They’re such a hardy breed, though, it’s difficult to credit the rumors.)

As badly as I feel for people in more northern climes, spring has been lovely ’round here. Usually summer weather comes in around April 15th and stays until October. The trees are changing into “something more comfortable” and we’re still in skimpy shorts, complaining that it’s too damn hot.

It’s been a long growing season, too. I’m a negligent gardener at the best of times. It’s only because gardening is so complicated. Come winter, when the ground is a foot deep in snow and there is no danger of appearing immediately hypocritical, I haul out the companion-gardening books and make schematics and talk about what vegetables I can put up.

… and when it’s time to set out seeds and build cold-frames and cover the little baby plants from “threat of frost”, I totally collapse. TOO MUCH WORK. I end up spending ten times the cost of seeds on plants that are already, you know, alive.

I never cover those either.

Anyway. As usual I got my plants in the ground too late, and as usual I felt terribly guilty about spending all that money on tender peas and delicate lettuces that will never grow large enough to harvest because, come mid-April, the temperature will soar up to 90 degrees and …

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photographed after the groundhog and I both ate dinner from it. also lunch.


 Except: it didn’t happen. The nights stayed cool (but not too cool) and the days stayed temperate, with a nice alteration of sunlight and rain (not too much rain. And only a few instances of hail.)

So I’m stuck with the other gardening problem: surplus. Who can eat nine heads of lettuce?! (And what was I thinking?) Don’t let the aerial photograph fool you — that’s a 4×4 raised bed. These are big lettuces. I have two salads a day and don’t go through all of one head, plus they keep growing. The peas summoned the strength of Hercules and pulled apart my sloppy trellis — okay, yeah, I should have built a more sturdy one, but I wasn’t expecting them to grow.

My saving grace is our groundhog. She likes her salads, too.

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Written by jane

June 15, 2013 at 7:24 am

Almost there.

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Sleeves and stripes and steeks, buttonbands and blocking — even the hood is sewn in place.

Victory is so close now, I can taste it.

Written by jane

May 25, 2013 at 6:27 am

Posted in good times., knitting., xmus

Christmas Knitting.

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… but not the organized type-A personality self-righteous perfect knitter kind. This is the “wrapping up in late April the gifts that ought to have finished in late December.”

Last Xmus I knit my dear Cullen a pair of socks, as requested — although I did not knit heels into them because the socks I make for C are always “toooo shooort!” (except when they’re “toooo loooong”). This is the problem with gift-knitting. Too large, too small, too tight, too loose. It’s hard enough to make clothes to fit my own body — and that’s always nearby for trying-on, you know?

So, all right; I’d measure C’s foot and knit in afterthought heels.

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As with most things my plan was stronger than my resolve, and the socks (sadly heel-less) languished in a corner alongside many dust bunnies. Until tonight.

It is possible that I was trying to get out of knitting the gol-durned sweater for Cullen. Barely possible. It might have played a part, is what I’m saying, but only because the very first sleeve of that sweater (and there are two sleeves to make) — that first sleeve is on its THIRD incarnation. The first frog was due to my shoddy math skill and the second to my shoddy knitting-math skill.

Heels are easier to manage.
There was measuring
and cutting
and picking up stitches

 

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and knitting in the new heel
(or toe … depending on how you look at it)

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and I don’t mean to brag
but I think it turned out pretty well.
Cause I have got this sockknitting thing down.

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* flowers from a generous guest at our last party. they’re two weeks old and aren’t they gorgeous? It makes me feel positively decadent to have roses about and sock heels to knit and a quiet, busy weekend ahead.

Written by jane

April 27, 2013 at 9:15 am