August is a month of mixed feelings. The garden produce is reaching the crescendo I look forward to all winter but I don't like the extreme heat. Regardless, I canned two batches of pickles. Tomatoes now crowd the kitchen counter. Honestly, there is nothing like the flavor of a vine ripened tomato. Last week, I roasted and froze two batches of Juliet tomatoes, a variety that may be a cross between small grape and Roma varieties. Fresh and sliced, they make a good topping on a pizza and a tomato tart. Yesterday I froze the first batch of tomato sauce. Thank goodness for air conditioning. This morning's predicted rain went around us. The birds are fairly quiet this morning although bluejays visited the deck earlier this morning. I imagine they are conserving energy in this heat.
Today is the mid-week gathering of Kat and the Unravelers where we share our knitting/making and a little of ourselves. I am making good progress on the Forager sweater. Over the weekend, I washed and blocked the sweater to check the length. Last night, I finished the ribbing and tried it on. It fits. I am slightly concerned about running out of yarn so I plan to bind off the body and knit the neckband. I have one small ball attached to the sweater plus three remaining skeins. After the neckband is finished, I'll divide the yarn and knit the sleeves. Three quarter length sleeves would be acceptable but longer would be better. Wish me luck on this low key game of yarn chicken. I have a contrast color I was going to work into the ribbing but the yarn released a lot of dye when washed. I used a mild dish detergent instead of wool wash as an indie dyer once told me that wool washes encourage bleeding. I have a few skeins of Quince and Co. yarn left in stash but I'm not ordering any more. This is a different base of Chickadee then I so enjoyed previously. If the change was advertised or discussed on their blog or website, I missed it. Your experience may differ from mine.
I knit a little on this shawl while the sweater dried. When I last posted, the shawl had some stripes. I knit a little further, striping in the soft blue with the plum because I'd come to the end of the mauve color. The stripes weren't to my liking so I ripped them out and am going to knit the colors in blocks. As EZ wrote, "you are the boss of your knitting." The pattern calls for stripes but I have different yarn amounts so will knit it as colorblocks.
The two little gray "turtles" of Romeldale/Suri Alpaca are ready for plying later today after a bone density scan and a mammogram. Maintenance, it's a pain in the tush, but important and necessary. I'm thankful I have access to the screenings and that I can get them done in one trip.
I just finished listening to The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After and continue to think about Wamariya. She came of age under very difficult circumstances. One of her beliefs is that instead of the giving and taking aid, sharing would be a better paradigm. I wonder how reciprocity in help-giving relationships could be more widely implemented. I am almost finished with Ackerman's Cultivating Delight: A Natural History of My Garden. Ackerman's curiosity and knowledge about the science of gardening and plants is amazing. It's no surprise the book is organized by season. I have read a number of books organized this way and am beginning to think of them as a genre. I also ordered a used copy of Hand Spinning Techniques by Pam Austin and enjoying her viewpoint. As with knitting or perhaps any craft, there are as many nuances to spinning as there are spinners. Austin encourages spinners to try long draw spinning. She also used the phrase, "the gentle rhythms of spinning," which I love.
The little stalk of white sweet peas at the back of this bouquet are volunteering in my strip of perennial flowers. They are a nice surprise this summer.
I hope you are enjoying the week. Happy Making and Reading.