Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Gifts of Thyme

August brings the end of summer look to the garden and flower beds. The cucumber vines dry and low hanging tomato leaves crumble. Split cherry tomatoes litter the back corner of the tomato patch. Weeds gain ground because I don't want to work outdoor in hot humid weather. Still more than a month of summer abundance remains. Basil didn't grow well but chives, oregano, and thyme continue to flavor our summer meals. Bees and wasps are thick in the oregano so I quit trimming the flower/seed heads. I've enough oregano to supply an Italian restaurant. The pollinators can have this bit.

Thyme thrives in its hot sunny spot next to the foundation of our house. I plan to dry a good amount to use over the winter. According to my reference on herbs, thyme has antiseptic properties, will deter pests when planted near eggplant and cabbages, and aids digestion by helping to break down fatty foods. Besides it just adds great flavor to foods.

Here are my knitting and reading notes for my link to Kat and the Unravelers. I am knitting a shawl from leftover yarns. This green yarn in the Thyme colorway is the skein that keeps on giving. Early in my lace knitting career, I bought it for a shawl. Before I abandoned the project, I bought another skein because I thought I might not have enough. Eventually I knit it into a cowl and then used the leftover yarn in two other scrappy shawls. When this shawl is finished, I am tossing the above scrap of yarn. Enough of the yarn is enough.

I finished these mitts to give as a Christmas gift. The cable detail is well designed and fun to knit but I am less pleased with the thumb gusset. Increases next to purl stitches don't match on either side of the thumb and one side has a lace-y and perhaps drafty detail. Either I will refer to a sweater pattern that had instructions for tidier increases next to purl stitches or I'll knit the thumb and gusset in stockinette with a few rows of ribbing at the top.  I decided not to unravel the first finished mitt and the hand of the second one to reknit them. I'm considering the thumb detail a design element. The recipient is not a knitter and will enjoy them.

I finished reading Washington Black and found it an excellent novel. The writing is lyrical and the main character, a young boy escaping from slavery, was well developed. I appreciated his portrayal as a person claiming agency in his life. I am looking forward to our book group discussion this week. I am reading The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths, tenth in the Ruth Galloway mystery series. Ruth, an archeologist, is a strong heroine and I like the setting on the north Norfolk coast in England. Part of this mystery takes place in a small Italian village so it is a good summer escape.

Here's to the remaining month of summer. May it be filled with summer's bounty.


  1. Your thyme sprigs are very pretty and delicate, and I love the thyme color you've combined with the pinks in your shawl. That looks like a lovely summer-into-fall shawl. I'm ready for a hint of cool fall breeze, but the light is slowly changing, and I probably shouldn't wish summer away too quickly.

  2. The mitts look beautiful and I think they will be nice a cozy.

    Our garden (such as it is) did not fare particularly well this year. The peppers never really got started. The tomatoes produced little, but they WERE tasty and there are still some on the plant. The dill bolted quickly. The parsley and basil did well. The roses ---- the deer got them once, but now they are starting to bloom (finally) and the dang Japanese beetles are having their way with the buds.

    Hopefully, the peppers will at least produce a few before first frost. I have my fingers crossed.

  3. As always, your post ushers in an incredible calm - your writing is so welcoming, Jane. I too have given up on the weeding - it is a losing battle right now. My thyme grows in a pot near my back door and it is lush and overflowing. In the past I have frozen the leaves in olive oil - but I might try drying some as well this year!

    Your knitting is wonderful - as always. I love the mitts, but that scrappy shawl is amazing!

  4. Beautiful writing, beautiful knitting. Your mitts are so pretty and I LOVE the shawl. Our garden seems overgrown at the moment. I am growing eggplant in a pot on the patio and there are some to harvest...and more tomatoes. Really, all I want to do is take a nap - lol. The rosemary I am also growing on the patio will be fine through Christmas - it's fun to go outside in December and pluck some fresh sprigs to throw in a chicken before roasting.

  5. love your scrappy shawl and your mitts. I think I can see why you don't like the increasing by the purls. I would switch to all stockinette. I think it's a design issue - still lovely and I would not have noticed if you hadn't pointed it out.