July 2008

I walked past the Wednesday on-campus farmers’ market this afternoon, while going from one errand to another.  I stopped to look at what was there, thinking I might find something snackable or salady.  Although there were some pretty nice-looking blackberries, and even a red pepper, I wound up not buying anything.  Instead, I was reminded of one of my peeves about some farm stands: no prices visible, anywhere.  I know it’s more work to label everything, but I hatehatehate trying to catch a farmer’s attention just to ask prices.  I’ve been accused of trying to cut in line when all I wanted to do was not wait in line before knowing whether the produce was a price I was willing to pay.  If I don’t see a price and there’s a crowd, I’ll just leave.  Waiting is fine, but not if I have to wait before deciding what I want to buy.


So, my nose is back to the grindstone during the day, but I’ve been sufficiently absorbed in fibery stuffs lately that I’ve spent the last couple of evenings spinning and dyeing instead of cooking (and doing only minimal cleaning).

It started with dye day on Saturday, at which I produced these:

green over oatmeal orange/purple sw for overdyeing

superwash merino white wool blend

(Oatmeal-colored wool overdyed with green, superwash merino for overdyeing red, superwash merino for possible overdyeing green, and wool blend dyed just because)

Plus some silver-and-jewel-tones merino/bamboo yarn.

Then, I came home and finished this:

flowering weeds

flowering weeds

flowering weeds

That’s the 3 ounces of Flowering Weeds merino/mohair from the June shipment of Amy Boogie’s fiber club. I got about 150 yards, if I recall correctly. I split the top lengthwise and spun each in one chunk, with the goal of getting a graded-color yarn that would be suitable for a Fake Isle hat or something similar. I’m not convinced that this yarn is a good color for a hat for me, even with a solid main color, so it’s still projectless, but I’m pretty happy with how it came out. (Could’ve been more even, could’ve been fluffier, still pretty nice.)

I’ve also been dyeing and spinning toward another secret project. (I know! I claim to have a knitting blog, and I keep committing to new knitting projects that I can’t show. Bad me. I should really step away from the wheel long enough to finish the swap socks so I can show them.) This amount of spinning is getting silly–I haven’t developed Steph’s spinner’s limp, probably in part because I’ve got a double-treadle wheel (I’d hate to not be able to use either leg!), but there’re muscles in my knees that’ve been twitching as I sit at not-my-wheel.

I really ought to take that as a sign that I should use my next two evenings for cooking and knitting rather than spinning.

The immediate deadline, the one that had me cancelling on nearly everything (dancing, housewarming, knitting, cooking, cleaning…) for the last couple of weeks, is past.  Good news: I may actually graduate next summer.  Associated news: I will probably stay really busy for the entire time.  This weekend, though, I took Thursday and Friday evenings for spinning.


Left: the rest of the fustic/madder/cochineal-dyed BFL I bought from Handspun by Stefania for something to spindle-spin at MDSW.  Right: a bit of the wool I bought from her last year, chain-plied so I could clear off the bobbin for this:



~75 yards of worsted weight, super squishy rambouillet.  I’d never spun rambouillet before, and only finally picked this up (out of my closet) for the (Ravelry) Spinner Central July SAL.  I think I like this stuff.  (The red is definitely harsher than the grey, but the plied yarn is still pretty nice.)

I might’ve spun more of the 8oz of that that I had, and I’m sure I’ll do so eventually, but I wanted (again) to clear off that bobbin.  I finally caved and joined Amy Boogie’s fiber club.

Here’s Mel with the June fiber (Flowering Weeds, 70/30 merino/mohair).


And here’s half of the fiber (stripped in half lengthwise), in daylight.


It’s a really enjoyable spin so far.

(No, still no more knitting I can show.  Only half a cuff left on the swap socks, though.  Soon!  (Soon I will be done with the knitting for the swap, the knitting for the swa-a-a-ap, the knitting for the swap…))  Still, I’ve got more fibery stuff up here, after a mere month.  (Hence the title.  It was sooo nice to spend most of an evening spinning.  And to have something to show.)



From my walk home on Tuesday.

It’s deadly hot here (so weird to go outside after wearing a hoodie in lab all day!), so this week’s OLS meal was mostly salad. I cooked the corn while I was chopping veggies. (Although I considered skipping the corn this week, because I’d have to cook it, I hate to miss a week of corn season.)

one local summer, week 6

Local: corn, pepper, tofu, zucchini, cucumber, yellow bean. Not local: salad dressing.

Now, since my knitting time last night was entirely consumed by fixing a mistake a few rows back (note to self: don’t try to knit lace when you can barely keep your eyes open), it’s time to work some more on those swap socks.

(Also, I think it’s funny that last year’s OLS Week 6 meal was a very similar salad.  Seems like OLS started earlier this year, though, since it’s not August yet.)





I keep half-composing posts (and e-mails, and letters) while walking to or from work, but actually writing anything takes a combination of time and mental energy that I don’t have for anything except science right now.  Still, I have lots more pictures that haven’t been processed, much less posted, and I like looking at them…  Today’s Flowerless Eye Candy is all from the Green Mountain Audubon center, near Huntington, VT.  (I think the first tree is a red maple, the second one is a basswood, and the ferns are bracken.)  My dad and I went hiking there on July 4th.  (For those of you who live nearby, it’s got some pretty trails, and the Sensory Trail for the visually impaired, complete with braille signage, is a really wonderful concept.)

Although I skipped week 3, when I didn’t really cook much of anything, I did have local meals for weeks four and five of this year’s One Local Summer.

one local summer, week 4

one local summer, week 5 ols2008-5b

That’s a July 4th dinner of lamb chops, veggies also cooked on the grill, composed salad of carrots, zucchini, cucumbers, scallions, and such, and locally-made bread; tofu/mushroom/eggplant stirfry (with nonlocal rice); and lamb-stuffed eggplant accompanied by two ears of fresh-from-the-market corn (not pictured).

I’ve been trying to get a lot of work done (and mostly succeeding), so I’m only as far as last Wednesday in processing vacation photos. (Yes, that’s the first day of non-transit vacation. I took a lot of pictures.) Here are two of my favorites:



They’re both from the farm, from when we were there for pick-your-owns.

Knitting-wise, I’m still working on the swap socks (into the second gusset!). And spinning pictures may turn up sometime soonish, even though I probably won’t finish another yarn for a while.

Eye candy this week is a bit late, due to vacationing, but I’ve taken so many pictures since Tuesday that I figured I’d pop in (from my parents’ house) to post a few:

sunset from the train

yellow zinnia bud


evening primrose


The sunset is from Tuesday, just outside Brattleboro, where my train was stuck for about 5h total.  At least it was more scenic than an airport.  The zinnia bud is from the flowerbeds at my parents’ CSA, where we spent a while on Wednesday afternoon doing our pick-your-owns for this week (okay, my parents’, but I helped).  The geranium, evening primrose, and maple are from my parents’ yard.

It’s beautiful up here, and I love the weather.  And I really miss mountains (and water) in Philly.  (Here, though, I’m missing science and Mel.  So I won’t mind going home, especially if we don’t have another 5h delay.)