Wednesday Yarn Along #5

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*Joining Ginny

I am still reading the Well Trained Mind. I am enjoying it, but I feel a bit overwhelmed with all the information. I wish I had purchased a copy so that I could highlight important sections, which seems to occur practically every other page. I doubt the library will appreciate me returning the book covered in pink highlighter ink.

Yesterday I received my Biggo Yarn from Knit Picks and knit up a swatch for my Inland sweater. The yarn is very soft and plush. I’ve never knit with a nylon/merino wool blend and I’m curious as to whether or not the nylon will lesson the chance of pilling as I suspect it will.

Now that I have my gauge worked out, I will try to cast on today. I haven’t knit a sweater for myself in over five years. I tend to shy away from big projects if I am knitting for myself. It feel too, I don’t know, indulgent. I think of the cost of the yarn and all the hours spent making something from which only I would benefit and it just seems selfish. But that’s silly. I should be able to enjoy a hand knit sweater just like the rest of my family enjoys their hand knit items. Right? Of course, right. (Name that movie.)

weekend

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This weekend I decided I was going to be productive. Pro. Duc. Tive. I made a list of everything I wanted to get done: laundry, weed the garden, pick plums, can and freeze said plums, plant winter vegetables, pickle vegetables, exercise every day, and finish knitting at least half of one sock.

While I didn’t accomplish everything on my list, I can honestly say I did complete most of the list. I pickled three quarts of vegetables. I canned two quarts of plum pie/cobbler filling (using my favorite recipe from this book), and then froze the rest, filling eight one-gallon ziplock bags.

Seriously. Who consumes eight gallons of plum pie filling? I hate wasting food. Obviously.

(By the way, I really like my new canning labels. I found them in Portland a few weekends ago and I love the designs. Very sweet with a vintage vibe. I wish I purchased more than two sets.)

I managed to semi-weed my garden and plant some winter greens and carrots. I sort of rushed through this and didn’t weed enough or plant enough but the kids only overlapped nap time by a half hour so I had to do what I could in that short amount of time.

I washed five loads of laundry, however I didn’t fold a single item and there is a pile of clean clothing in our bedroom that is threatening to topple over and bury a kid alive any minute now.  Baby steps.

I have yet to receive my yarn that I ordered last week for my Inland sweater. I am participating in my first KAL, and I’m very excited. I am also four or five days behind everyone but at least I signed up. In the meantime, I am working on a simple stockinette stitch sock. I did not finish half of it. I have knit less than 12 rows. Again, baby steps.

Ah yes, and finally, my exercise plans. Did I exercise this weekend? I did not. Did I discover a new Mexican place and gorge on burritos and street tacos? Yes. Yes, I did.

raised beds

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The last few days have been really busy. The hot weather is back and we spend most of our time playing outside or patronizing business that have AC. I haven’t had time to do much knitting or photographing. I think the heat depletes my motivational resivour. The majority of the photos were taken in February. Gabe spent two cold and rainy days cutting, sawing and hammering wood in order to make my raised beds. He used a beautiful cedar that has weathered into a nice grey color over the past few months. The layout was his idea. I was going to just have rows of beds side by side but Gabe thought this layout would allow for a greater number of beds in a smaller area and that it would be more pleasing to the eye. He was right. When it comes to aesthetics, he usually is.

After he built the beds, it took an entire day to carry them to the garden, place them, and then fill them with dirt. He had help for a few hours but was on his own for a majority of the time. It was backbreaking work. I’m grateful it wasn’t my back.

The last few photos are the garden in its current state. The unusually hot summer has been good for some plants but not so much for others. My lettuce and kale are unable to stand the heat and went to seed a few weeks earlier than usual. I planted carrots, cabbage, and a few root vegetables in the Spring to see how they would fair, but a lovely case of root maggot ruined my entire crop in a matter of weeks. Gabe has since put together some hoops made out of PVC pipe. You are supposed to stretch garden fabric tightly over the hoops, providing the plants under the fabric access to sun and water while simultaneously keeping the flies and other pests out. I threw out my shoulder a few weeks ago (How, I do not know) and I have yet to complete this task. It has also prevented me from planting my leeks and onions for overwintering, and from weeding for the last two weeks. My poor garden. It looks like a jungle out there.

I don’t know that my shoulder will heal in time for me to even bother planting a fall root crop. I was so looking forward to making homemade sauerkraut this year. I think that opportunity has long passed. but on the bright side, I can still knit, and that’s something for which to be grateful.

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