waking at dawn
walking in the early morning light
blueberries for breakfast
working (hard) in the garden
picking green and purple beans,
squash and beets
seeing a garter snake dart away
feeding the chickens lettuce from the garden
gathering a dozen eggs
braiding and bringing home garlic
putting my feet up
drinking ice cold water
looking overhead to see dragonflies,
feathery clouds and turkey buzzards float high above
hearing the tickle of windchimes
rereading a favorite book
listening to a thunderstorm, wathcing the downpour
loving the sunset
Utah celebrates the arrival of it's predecessors on July 24th. It's the "Days of '47", Pioneer Day, or to some in the sub-culture, it's Pie 'n Beer Day. I love it all. For a celebration of my own, I've taken a few days off work and I'm relaxing, doing what feels good and enjoying this glorious place I live. We went to one of my very favorite spots, Silver Lake. It's never looked so green, so serene, so beautiful.
The sky was gray and the mosquitoes thick, but the walk was a delight, the morning cool, the views verdant.
Wildflowers are just past peak and we were fortunate to find one bit of elegance left, the Silver Lake Iris.
The ghostly white columbine has just started her dance around the lake. She has a way of hiding in the greenery, so it's best to walk slowly and keep an eye out.
Silver Lake enchants me, no matter the season or weather. It's a little slice of Utah not far from my back door, a place I love to love.
So far, I'm batting zero in the Summer of 2011 KALs and SALs. I added the sweet little buttons to my side bar in the hopes I'd actually be participating. However, nothing, but nothing is working out except Project Spectrum. My world is crazy busy at the moment, but even so, I am a sky watcher. Project Spectrum in July means BLUE! Fortunately my world is full of blue and it's no wonder blue is my favorite color. Look at that sky!
Much of the summer looks like this (or slightly hazier), but days when the skies are most interesting are the days when clouds dance by in their varying shades of white. Sunday the clouds painted the sky with dots and dibs. It was a spectacular display of white on blue.
I'm an early morning walker and, as the morning light appears, the deeper shades of blue start to brighten. Monday morning (5:00am) Sunday's puffy little clouds encircled the nearly full moon like a lei and the moonshine turned them a cherry pink. I stopped in my tracks to stare and enjoy the unique beauty of the moment. Sadly, I do not carry a camera at that time of day.
This time of year the sun crests the mountain peeks just as I'm heading to work. When clouds defect the sun, catching the light and absorb the rays, the reflected light is especially impressive. I know a day that starts out this amazing will be a good day.
The blues in my world do not consist solely of the sky. You could say I'm well grounded, as bare toes are a summer must and my after hours uniform is a pair of blue flip flops and a happy blue t-shirt.
It all started when Yarndude posted his Blue Whale. It was an amazing creation of complimenting and contrasting knits and purls. Desire came to the fore and off I went in search of the pattern, which was just out of reach. It was February and the pattern would not be published date until April. I waited, checking the designers page every day in April, and then one day, there it was...mine for the taking.
Blue Whale almost turned into my Moby Dick but, I refused to be Captain Ahab and let this one get the best of me. From the get go I had troubles, all mine, as per usual. If you make this incredible work of art let me give you a tip. Go through and mark (highlighters are great for this) all the make ones (left and right) in the pattern, don't leave any of them out and, also, make sure as you knit you "make one" on the correct side of the marker (markers are a must).
Now, dear knitter, do not think this shawl is difficult, because, the truth is, once a textured section is set up knitting across the row, there and back, is effortless. After I started the first section twice (must pay attention to ALL make ones), the seas calmed and the sailing was smooth.
The most fortunate part of this whole experience was the yarn, received as a gift, which happened to be dyed as if to capture the depths of the sea. (String Theory's Caper Sock, color Slate) The celadon greens, earthy browns, stormy purples and muddled blues, created a tonal eddy of color. The MCN creates a sheen even the camera lens could not defeat. Not even my miles of frogging daunted the quality of the yarn.
As the ball of yarn grew smaller and smaller, I knew I a storm was brewing and, instead of taking heed to check the yardage, I just knit on, asking for trouble Into uncharted waters I sailed as the waves grew heavier. I am not good at due diligence and, as I've said, all the troubled seas were of my own making.
With only 4 rows of a 6 row border I knew, by the very small ball of yarn, binding off would be a crap shoot. I nearly made it to the end (15 stitches short), but was too disheartened to take out the border and start again.
I felt as if this poor shawl would end up to be nothing but a rag. It poofed and pooched, with the top border looking puckered and haggard. I was so unsure the shawl would be worth blocking. It looked more like a drowned rat than a beautiful, elegant shawl. Knitting is an act of faith and I confess, my faith was wavering.
I should have known better, should have kept the faith as this it was not a white whale. Swimming in a sea of suds gave my whale new life. Its metamorphosis was almost instant, as the drape of the yarn infused new life into the incredible design. I tenderly pinned her into shape and set her free to roam new seas.
Stunning she is in her new glory.
A few months ago I made a pair of PJ pants and after finishing (what I thought would be a one time sewing project), I couldn't bring myself to put the sewing machine away. It stayed in the dining room, close at hand, with intention stuck to it. What did I feel like sewing? Did I feel like sewing?
Last summer Suzy and I talked about sewing skirts, but I never could get excited about showing my legs. It's been years, seriously years, since I've worn a skirt. Crop pants I can do, but a skirt didn't float my boat.
This year I talked about skirts so often Suzy and I finally decided to go for it. She make hers first (although I still haven't seen it) and, a few weeks later, I finally followed through. I won't say sewing is fun, but it is rewarding and I love the finished result. Sewing is not about the process, as knitting is, sewing is a product driven task.
The pocket was the attraction to this pattern, Simplicity 2224, along with its "Easy to Sew" label. Thankfully, it was easy...so, sew easy. The sewing machine is still at the ready but, at the moment my intent has no goal and I await inspiration. Maybe if I went back to the fabric store...
Yes, yes, that is Blue Whale. Next week I'll share more. In the meantime you can check it out on Ravelry.
The garden is growing with full force, which is good since it got off to such a slow start. While I've been neglecting the blog, there have been good developments in the garden. We have bees!! Mr. Woody dropped off a few hives and they're full of lovely, buzzy bees.
As I walked towards the hives, I could see the air above was full of bees. It's so wonderful and exciting to see. Mr. Woody likes our area and he thinks the garden will help to strengthen his queens. At last report, he said they were looking better and Mr. Woody was all smiles.
As I stand in our squash patch I hear the gentle buzz of the bees as they move through the forest of vines to find the gold inside each flower. It's not hard to capture picture of a bee (or two) doing their job gathering pollen. Sliding the camera beneath the big leaves that protect and shade the delicate blossoms I'm can pick a flower, any flower and find a bee inside.
The scarlet beans are a new addition to the garden this year. Smith plannted them solely for the color of the blossoms, and you can see why.
Fennel is my new taste sensation and I had to try my hand at growing it this year. Five plants are successfully made it through and their green feathery tops dance in the breeze. Next year (a gardener is always thinking about next year!) we'll plant more. I love the piney fronds and can see the bulb plumping up each day. Truly, I can't wait for the golden flowers to form so I can taste their nectar on my tongue. Grow little fennels, grow!
We're now harvest most of the vegetables we eat from the garden. Squash, broccoli, carrots, peas, beets and onions. Every night we have a new addition from the garden. Dinner preperation takes more time, but the tastes are so, so worth it.
Everything in the garden is doing well and we're readying areas for fall crops. So far we're thinking napa cabbage, radishes, (more) beets, and lettuce. Our list grows longer every day.
Last week was cloudy, gray, and humid with only spots of blue sky here and there. The only evening I could sit on the patio and look up into blue sky (with puffy white clouds) was Wednesday and I took full advantage. As I sat there, enjoying the warmth, Project Spectrum popped into my head and I ran to grab the camera. My favorite blue is the sky, any shade of sky from dawn to dusk, as long as it's shades of blue. I'm ready for summer to cough up blue skies again.
I have been derelict in my duty of showing the skyline. There was a time my camera was a constant companion but, I've fallen out of the habit of carrying it around. I will try to do better and I'll try to blog a little more frequently. I love my blog peeps, my friends, and I don't want to go away (not at this time). Things could still get dicey from time to time but, if I plan ahead a little, blogging may be doable.
As it turns out, everything on my needles is a shade of blue. The long-suffering Pyromania has been hidden deep inside my knitting bag. I haven't put in the time to start the stockinette leg, as the side detail has derailed forward progress (due to the age old mental block). Knit will happen.
Blue Whale is hot off the needles, but OMG! I ran out of yarn 15 stitches before the bind off was complete! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? I admit this happenstance just about defeated me, as I was already thinking this scarf was an endless project. Looking in the stash for a suitable yarn, to finish the last few bind off stitches, left me totally deflated. BUT, when I saw the little sock bag, tucked inside my knitting bag, I knew, KNEW instantly, Forever in Blue Jeans would save me, and it did. Thank GOODness! Show and tell later.
There is one project I've been knitting without full disclosure. My Blue Mondo, the Profundo Azul edition, has been growing in fits and starts but, dooode, it is growing and I'm loving its depths of blue with hints of sea green.
July has the possibility of becoming my blue heaven.
Once upon a time I was a (almost daily) knit blogger, which means I would show off my knitting progress day by day. Of course others part of life were included here and there but, the main reason for blogging was knitting and, while it still is, and the vast majority of my readers are knitters, more and more other parts of life have taken over this blog. That or days of silence.
July is a month that takes my breath away. It's usually too busy, too full of obligations and opportunities. July is hot, sometimes steamy hot, and it is full of fireworks from one end to the other. July 24th is when Utah celebrates the Days of '47 (1847), also called Pioneer Day, with parades and more fireworks. Fireworks are not good if a dog is totally freaked out by them and we have an upset dog every single day of the month. It’s not a happy time, for him or for us.
July brings harvest time to the garden with lettuce, onions, garlic, peas, radishes, even beet greens, carrots and squash! The summer has come on strong now that it’s decided to show up. We have trouble keeping up with it all and, here we are, already thinking about fall crops. If we want a few more cool weather crops, the end of the month starts the fall sowing season.
In midst of all the July celebrations, BBQs, and gardening, there is knitting. Progress is slowed, due to mentioned activities, but knit happens. Oh yes, there is another fly in the ointment. The sewing machine is still sitting in plain sight where it calls my name. Add in a new obsession with skirts, and here I am trying another sewing project. The skirt has cute pleated pockets and it's made from brownish cotton (darker than the picture shows). It's nearly finished, as is Blue Whale also in the picture. Knitting the last few rows, with a rapidly disappearing ball of yarn, is an act of faith. Sewing, celebrating, sowing and knitting...I am breathless.