June 2008




From top to bottom: a nightshade that might be a potato, something lily-ish with tiny flowers, and yucca.  All of these were shot while walking home (or somewhat indirectly home).

I’ve still been putting all of my knitting time into my swap socks, but I’ve been spinning a bit in the background, and it’s not secret.


This is a two-ply of leftovers: some natural white cormo from MDSW 2006, and some variegated-blue merino from Boogie, each spun mostly as comfort spinning and then plied together.


It was wonderfully soft and sproingy, if a tad uneven, but I don’t really like strongly and consistently barberpoling yarns.  So I decided to play with overdyeing.

Mel is intrigued:

oooh, yarn


This picture’s a little washed out, but it’s ~210 yards of the two-ply and ~25 yards of leftover cormo, plied back on itself and thrown into the same dyebath.

For more accurate color:

It’s not at all what I’d expected, since turquoise+yellow usually produces a strong, pure green, but I think I might like it.  Not for me to wear, but I can always overdye it again if it sits around too long unpurposed.



From my walk to work this morning.  It’s been absolutely lovely out this week, so walking in has been even more pleasant–and I’ve been able to fully appreciate the gardens I pass.

one local summer, week 2

This past week was not a good week for cooking.  I’ve got a science deadline on Wednesday, so I’ve been working extra hard, and then there was a mysterious flood of water from my ceiling onto my couch, andandand….  So the only food I actually cooked last week was last night’s dinner: tofu scramble.  This is local tofu, baby spinach, snap peas, garlic scapes, and spring onions, plus dried basil from my parents’ CSA (which I count as semi-local ’cause I picked it last fall and hand-carried it home, even though I took a plane and a train to do so).  Non-local ingredients are soy sauce, sriracha, olive oil, and black pepper.


I’ve managed to spin a bit, a few minutes a day, because it’s still nice to sit in front of the air conditioner even if it’s just on ‘fan’.  I love the sproinginess of cormo.  I’ve also knit a little; my first swap sock is an inch into the gusset.


This looked like some sort of weird cross between a viburnum and a hydrangea.  Shot last Friday, on my way home.

I’m really busy with work, and my living room ceiling looks like it’s about to fall in, and I haven’t knit all week (nor, for that matter, had real food for dinner), but I finally got to play ‘qiviut’ in Scrabulous.

1. My first task yesterday was installing my air conditioners, before the over-100º heat indices forecast for yesterday and today (and Monday and Tuesday). Then, since my spinning wheel is directly in front of the one in the living room, I spent much of the afternoon spinning.



This is what I had left (I really hope it’s all of it) of the pea-green merino-silk I bought at NEFA a couple of years ago. It’s 34g, about 84 yards, and has an average WPI of ~14. This skein was my first real experiment with spinning from the fold, which is part of why it’s as thick as it is. That was a fun technique to try, and it definitely worked better for this fiber, since it had been hard to draft normally, but I’m not really sure I get how to attach new bits. For those of you who often spin from the fold: how much fiber do you leave unspun when you’re adding the next bit? Any general tips or suggestions?

2. I like clematis. This one’s a few blocks from my house in the opposite direction from work.


3. I’ve spent the last several months, on and off, looking for my bottom-whorl spindle and the fiber I remembered leaving in the same bag. I sorted through my entire fiber-and-guest-linen closet several times, and had just about given up. Then, this afternoon, I found it. In the bin of fiber next to my spinning wheel. *sigh* This is why I need to log the rest of my fiber in the ‘stash’ section of Ravelry, and use the ‘stored in’ box.

4. I’ve got half a foot knit of my Music With Socks In socks. I’m really happy with the way the yarn’s knitting up, plus I’m enjoying this whole “knitting lace socks” thing. (No pics until the end of June, but I wanted to record the progress.)




Three stages of Nigella, which is apparently also called either “Love in a Mist” or “Devil in the Bush”. All of them are from my walks to work.

This week, I wound up making two batches of local food in one evening.

First, I decided that the asparagus I bought on my way home (at the first week of this season of the Thursday market at Clark Park) wanted to be in something quiche-y.
crustless quiche

I was impatient and hungry, so I decided to skip the crust, but this is asparagus from Eden Grove farm, onion from the farm from Rome, PA that sells eggs and pork and honey at the Saturday Clark Park market, Seven Stars yogurt, mushrooms and eggs marked local at Mariposa, and dried basil and parsley from my parents’ CSA.  Non-local ingredients: olive oil (for pre-cooking the onion and mushrooms), salt, pepper, paprika.  It came out really well, even with the extra liquid at the bottom.  (I should’ve drained the mushrooms a bit better.)

While the quiche-y thing was baking, I took some kale (Landisdale farm, from the farmers’ market a week or two ago), some more of the same onion, and some leftover New Jersey-made buckwheat pasta and came up with this:
buckwheat pasta w/kale

Maybe not as exciting as the quichey stuff, but it should make a decent lunch tomorrow.

red kale

I love dark green veggies. Red or purple kale, in particular, is great either in savory dishes (especially a saag-style curry) or in smoothies. (Amy Boogie posted a couple of recipes.)  This kale is from the farmers’ market on Saturday, at Landisdale Farm’s stand.