inside out

July 31, 2008 § Leave a comment

lining

Nearly done with Teresa’s Lined Mittens (by Mavis Adams, Spin-Off- Summer 2008 ) for a friend. I didn’t spin my own yarn but I was able to gauge it to the pattern fairly easily.

outside: Abundant Yarn & Dyeworks/ Naturally Dyed yarn, superwash wool, “Lilac Lake”

lining: Nashua/ Julia, wool/alpaca/mohair, “dusk”

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worms on a plane

July 18, 2008 § 2 Comments

radishGarden fresh radishes from my containers. The ‘patio’ tomatoes are also flourishing.

Not as dangerous as snakes, but worms aren’t typical carry on baggage. The screener did a double take when they scanned my bag at the airport, but I didn’t have any problems with bringing my knitting needles on the plane and they didn’t comment on the bag of dirt and worms either.

I harvested worms from a compost pile (at 11pm in the dark with a windup flashlight) and brought them back to join my small worm community. I think that the 100 degree temps that we had earlier in the month killed off some of my original worms so the new addition was welcome. The new worms post-flight weren’t wiggling very fast when I sprinkled them on top of the bin contents but they seem to have adjusted since.

After the hot weather (which was two days after getting my worms) my bin was smelling like rotting garbage- and a bit like a local beer that tastes good but smells like a bad worm bin. The plagued of flies was also bothersome outside the front door. I read-up more about vermiculture in the classic book “Worms eat my Garbage” by Mary Appelhof and made some changes- drilled more holes in the bin to aerate, added more bedding over any exposed food, and but the worms on a diet.

Mostly I think there was too much food for the number of worms. Allelhof suggests weighing your food waste (and worms) to keep the balance of food to worms 1:2. I don’t have a scale yet but I think that I have a better start on the bin to reintroduce new food.

contraband

July 9, 2008 § Leave a comment

Harmony needlesKnitpicks Harmony circular needles

I got the knitpicks interchangeable needles a year ago and really like that I haven’t had to buy needles in a long time. Of course I could always use a few more pairs in some of the smaller sizes, but over all I have been very pleased with them. The one thing that I hesitated about before buying them was that I really don’t like to knit with metal needles, I always prefer wood/ bamboo. Then Knitpicks came out with the Harmony interchangeable needles. I thought that was a dream come true- I could merge them with my current set and have an happy blended needle family.

Unfortunately, I think that the Harmony wood is, well… I think it is kind of ugly. Sorry Knitpicks. I know they are very proud of the beauty of the wood, but I really like the simplicity of bamboo and the natural look against my yarns. I am someone that buys wine by the label and am sometimes swayed by the look of certain products at the store. Who wants an ugly lotion bottle sitting on the counter? Not me. thankfully I don’t buy a lot of beauty products so I don’t struggle with that often.

My dilemma continued every time I lusted after having wooden needles in almost every size at my fingertips. Then I would looked at the Knitpicks catalog and feel disappointment about the harmony wood colors. Eventually I ordering a pair of the Harmony circular needles (a size that the interchangeable set doesn’t have) to try them out. Really I was thinking about how I could maybe stain the wood and make them less colorful. This would probably change the size of the needles or totally wreck them. I don’t know. Anyone ever tried that before? Well, it turns out that as soon as I took out the needles I really really like them. They have the wonderful smooth wood feel that I love. I think I might be able to handle the colorfulness for the Knitpicks price and quality.

I’m flying tomorrow for the first time in a while and was worried about bringing knitting needles on the plane, or not being allowed to and having to toss them at security. Gadling has some good advise (and other props) for traveling knitters- bring a self addressed envelope.

beach assemblage

July 1, 2008 § Leave a comment

beach things

We had some family come through town for a few days and now have more family visiting, so my enthusiasm for finishing projects has dwindled. But visitors always means trips to the coast, and the beach is both inspiring and relaxing, and windy. We spent some time on Gerhart Beach where we watched people trying to drive their cars onto the beach and getting stuck in the small sandy dunes around the beach access. We also hung out with a lost dog until his owners found him. I sat on some drift wood knitting a mitten while the sand filled in around me.

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