A bit excessive

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I’m still spending a lot of time in the garden each day.  I am really loving the spiral vine anchors that the various vegetables are putting out.

But I have learned a lesson about not scouring under every leaf when harvesting. These zucchini grow fast!

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These seem to have grown overnight!  So much for my plan to pick them when they are small.  I only turned my back for a minute!

And the summer squash have started as well.

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We’ve made zucchini bread, chocolate zucchini bread, zucchini fritters, and breaded zucchini fries.  It didn’t even make a dent.

And now the cucumbers are beginning. . .

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It is smaller than my pinky now, but there are at least 12 plants! I may not have thought out this out carefully enough.  I’m going to have to start sneaking veggies onto my neighbors’ front steps and running away.

When not out watching my vines grow, I managed to finish my caramel/papa sweater. After ripping it out three times, I finally got it right. (Switching to an entirely new pattern helped.)

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The second sleeve went quickly, and I really love the useful new stitch markers I got recently.  Usually I use coil-less safety pins, but they’ve been disappearing over time as all small things do, so I ordered this colorful set of bulb shaped pins.  I like to leave them in the sleeves to show where all the decreases are so that I can make sure I’m matching the sleeves as closely as possible.

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I’ve been auditioning red yarns for the duplicate stitch.

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It looks like a worsted yarn looks the best, so I’ve ordered a skein of dark red Cascade 220 to be sure I will have enough.  All the red I had in quantity were more of a fingering weight.  And I really didn’t want to get 2/3 of the way through the one small ball of worsted I had and run out and not know where to get more.

The duplicate stitching is going to be my evening TV watching project, so it probably won’t finish too quickly.  It is too hot for sweater wearing right now anyway, so no hurry.

Looking closer

The patio knitting continues.  I’ve gotten the first sleeve on my caramel sweater done since the pic below was taken and gotten the double points in for the second.  The yarn is Roslyn from Cascade, a wool/silk blend.  The plan is to duplicate stitch around the bottom in a red design once I’m done with the knitting.

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The knitting would go faster if I wasn’t distracted by the garden.  This time it started with trying to see how close up I could get with my phone and iPad cameras to various surfaces:

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My jeans, the table top, a patio paver, and a slightly blurry zucchini.

Then I went for more zucchini elements.  (Honestly, the zucchini and I are absolutely bonded at this point.)

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From there I was pretty much crawling around on the lawn and patio trying to get as close to various flowers as the camera focus would allow.

8E15DA70-7B3C-4875-8FCE-6517DA4607A0And sharing the scenery with the bees.

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Meanwhile, no-longer-a-puppy Maxx kept watch.

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Well, when she wasn’t messing up my shots by barging in and trying to eat the bees.  That is a lesson soon to be learned.

Bountiful harvest

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The new raised bed soil must be incredibly fertile. The zucchinis have gone mad! They’re about 4 feet tall, and have completely smothered the beans, and the peas behind them have barely managed to escape upward.

And there are a lot of zucchinis starting in there!

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This morning’s harvest beside the bowl – I’ve been trying to pick them when they’re small, but if I let it go a couple of days they don’t wait for me.

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Luckily, my husband likes to bake. So today I’m going sit on the patio and eat chocolate zucchini bread and knit a sleeve on my sweater.

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And figure out a plan for when the late-planted summer squash and the cucumbers catch up!

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Time?

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It may be time to get a new basic cookbook.

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My  parents gave me this cookbook when I went away to college. So, more years ago than I care to recall correctly. Lately, my sons have been using it to make cookies. Which may explain its current state, although I’m sure some of those stains are from me.  I at least kept the pages in order though!

Betty, thanks for all the help over the years.

Other things I’m calling time on include the Papa sweater that I’ve attempted three times.
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All of those pictures are the same yarn.  It fascinates me how it can look so many colors in different lights.

But in all of those pics, the yarn, no matter its color, is in the shape of an ill fitting mess.  Just not the pattern for me or this yarn.  So many increases in such a short space left weird puckers that looked even stranger on.

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So attempt #3 is now back to its primordial yarn form.

3D061B3B-C1D8-4952-9AFE-9E8E35F0F67DI’m consoling myself with my at-last-blocked purple sweater.

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Woodfords turned out to be a light, comfy everyday cardigan that I will wear a lot.  The yarn, Silky Wool, stretched in length quite a bit in the blocking, and I still wish I’d used a size down in the needle for a denser fabric, but the sweater is still great, and all those many, many ends are finally sewn in, both from the pattern and the knots in a couple of the skeins.

Now back to shifting through Ravelry for the next project.

Neck cloud

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I am knitting the softest imaginable scarf/shawl thingie. (The official term for this type of neck knitting.)

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Malabrigo silkpaca lace yarn.  Wonderful stuff.

It is just row after row of garter stitch, increasing one at the start of each row – a truncated triangle because I started with 75 stitches.

I worked on it during our weekend camping trip, the last before work and school officially start next week.

Yarn and dog both spent a lot of time at the river.  I was the Official Photographer for Teens Jumping Into Glacially Cold Rivers. Theo was Official Barker at Boys Jumping Into Freezing Water.

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Of course, they didn’t always jump voluntarily.

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While they swam and splashed, I knit rows and rows of cloud-light alpaca and silk.  I’ve 800 yards of the yarn, so it is going to go on for a while.

I did stop for hikes and s’mores, but then was back at it.

This is actually replacement knitting as I’ve ransacked my house several times and can’t find my other on-the-go knitting project.  It has to be somewhere, but it continues to elude me.

I did unearth other neglected knitting projects and pulled one out to be the home knitting project.  My purple sweater now has a sleeve. So close to done!

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I’m sad to be nearing the end of camping season, but so glad that we bought the little pop-up trailer last spring.  We haven’t traveled far and wide, but we’ve discovered and revisited some great corners of Washington and Oregon nearby.  The boys complain a little bit before hand (generally due to the lack of WiFi) but they mostly have a great time once we are out there.

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Even when it is really, really, really cold.

 

Oceanside

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It is good to know people with family beach cabins!

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My crafting group has come to the Oregon coast for a long weekend.  Between the four of us we have spinning wheels, sewing machines, a Cricut machine, felted wool, and near limitless yarn.  A fifth, non crafting friend has come along and taken over the role of pastry supplier.  There is homemade chai spice infused vodka and blueberries straight from the garden.  There is a carved salmon wrapped in Christmas lights.  We lack nothing.

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I had the perfect sewing spot to make flannel pajama pants.  Llama pants!  It makes me happy just to say that.  We also now each have tracing of cropped pants pattern pieces in our various sizes and I’ve gotten my hands on a coveted sun hat pattern.

There was a felted vessel viewing, along with what I’m told will be a suspended abstract storm cloud, and felted fabric.  Rolled wool strips are becoming a trivet.  Sweaters are coming off needles in various stages of finish.

A trip to Goodwill resulted in a backpack made from a table cloth, a curtain, and an IKEA seat cover.

A pair of socks is off my needles and ready to wear (with thanks to Paige who likes both Kitchener stitch and weaving in ends.  I don’t understand it, but I appreciate it.)

In between all the fiber work, we’ve been on beach walks, cooked a lot of tasty meals, and danced to 80s music.  (OK, that last one might just have been me.)  And made marvelous cocktails.  The clear winner of the popular vote is that chai spice vodka.  Mixed with fresh squeezed orange juice, San Pellegrino lemonade, and frozen mango as ice cubes, it may explain the 80s dancing.88CB5851-4D4B-4358-8F94-8450F47DD60F

 

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Sweater and slipper progress

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I’ve finished the body of the Woolford sweater.  The last skein was rather a mess – multiple knots in the yarn mean I’ll be sewing in many ends.

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After a few trials and redos, I settled on a sewn bind off.  It flares a little now, but the lower half is supposed to widen, caused by a gradual increase in needle size rather than stitch increases.  So I think it will settle in during the blocking.

It is a comfy, slouchy sweater due to the rather loose gauge I ended up with because of my yarn and needle choice, but I’m still feeling good about it and the fit.

I also suddenly remembered the slippers I was making and pulled them out of their knitting bag.  I only had one toe left to graft, so I got that done in a couple minutes.  I’ve been throwing them into various loads of laundry and they are just about there.  The yarn is Lamb’s Pride Bulky, and it felts really well.  I’ve made many pairs of slippers from it.

Before – knit on size 10 1/2 needles:

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After the first washing and drying:

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Definitely felting happening (fulling, really, if I’m going to get the terms correct):

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A couple more loads of laundry should do it.  Luckily (?) my children generate a lot of laundry.

It’s getting close to the time where I need to look around for what the next knitting projects are going to be.  I’ll need a work lunch time project and a home project soon.

WIP status report

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Progress is being made, with minor setbacks.

My at-work knitting, a ribbed cowl made from wool and silk handspun is a visual joy to knit, though I ripped it back three times until I got a width and stitch pattern I liked.  The yarn gleams and there is so much variation in the green.  I’m loving every row, and it makes the meetings go faster.

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My Woolford sweater is proceeding as well.  I’m really looking forward to wearing it sometime soon.

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My row gauge doesn’t match well with the called for gauge so I’ve made some changes in the rate of increases and decreases and I eliminated most of the lower back short rows that would have dipped the back hem as I prefer it straighter.

I’ve reached the wide lower border, which means a lot of ~300 stitch rows that I can crank out during TV or book time.  The needles are getting progressively larger as well.  I’m speeding through the yarn, which is a little worrisome as I have only eight skeins in the same dye lot.  I’m hoping the difference won’t be as noticeable if I use the different dye lot just for the sleeves.  So the first has to hold out through the lower part of the sweater.

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On the quilting front , I finally faced facts and threw in the towel on the Growing Up Odd quilting.  I paid my very broke son $5 to take out all the pins (he wanted a milkshake and I wanted to save my fingers!) and called up a local long arm quilting service.

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I made the backing larger, ironed everything, and dropped it off yesterday with a nice man named Charlie who is going to cover it with blue thread meandering squares and get it back to me in a couple weeks.  He is far better equipped to deal with a nearly king sized quilt.

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It is a very impressive machine.  My plan for my non-existent lottery winnings has a new addition.

 

 

Row by row

My work on the Woodfords cardigan continues.  I’m still amused and amazed by how it grows out in all directions.

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To get to the current stage involved joining provisionally cast on stitches at the top of the back that form the neckband to the body, then knitting down the right front panel, complete with increases marked with safety pins. ( I can’t remember what these kinds of safety pins are called, but they don’t have the little circle, coil, at the end so they don’t get stuck in the yarn.)

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Then I unraveled the crochet at the start of the provisional cast on, picked up the live stitches, and knit in the other direction for the left front, still in progress.

Because of the nature of provisional cast ons, the stitch pattern is half a stitch off where I changed directions in the neckband.  You can see it in the pic below, but when I’m wearing the sweater and the neck scrunches up some it shouldn’t be noticeable.

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I’m still having fun, and the directions are very clearly written, so I haven’t run into any problems so far. Although, as usual, I’m a little worried about the gauge. I’m using a size 5 needle with this Silky Wool yarn, but I’m wishing that I had used a 4. I think this sweater may grow over time.