Friday, June 27, 2014

Summer Love

This is what greeted me as I drove in the garage this afternoon.  It's 8 inches in diameter, and has lots more friends about to join it.  This perennial Hibiscus had a pink buddy who didn't make it past early spring's frost, but this white one is doing very well.  There are at least 5 buds on each branch, ensuring blooms for many more weeks to come.

Last night, I read the most recent issue of Organic Gardening Magazine, which repeatedly featured bees in  most of the articles, mostly bemoaning the decline in their numbers.  I know that's true, because when I worked on the farm, we lost 7 hives one winter, and regularly lost several a year.  But this afternoon, the Vitex and the Echinacea are swarming with bees of all sizes and shapes.  

 All three Rose of Sharons are in full bloom.  I have the hedge rescue one that's blue, a pink single flower and a double blue, that has weird fringed inside sepals, rather than actual double petals.

And the tomatoes couldn't wait until the Fourth of July, tomatoes' normal ripeness date here in east TN.  I harvested these beauties on my way in the door, and two will be a tomato sandwich on fresh sourdough bread.  Two will go to my neighbors, who are also getting some okra and basil.  I'll keep giving away that okra until it's all gone!  It sure is pretty to grow, though.

 This weekend's dessert is a pecan turtle brownie, and I sure wish I'd messed one up.  I didn't, though, so I didn't get to try one, only admire them.

Leo spent a lot of yesterday wandering outside, and he needed a nap.  Yarn makes a good pillow, apparently.

Summer is mild so far, with enough rain to keep me happy, nothing over 100 yet, and everything is growing, blooming and lovely.  I love summer!

Friday, June 20, 2014

East Tennessee Yarn Crawl 2014

Well, folks, this year's yarn crawl is in the books.  I finished this afternoon, after work.  I now know why they call it a crawl.  I feel like crawling to bed!  I spent one entire day last week, visiting yarn stores, and this week, I spent most of Tuesday, all of Wednesday, yesterday afternoon, into the evening, and a couple of hours today.
  But I did it!  I visited 12 yarn stores, all over this half of the state.  I tried to buy something in each store, but today, funds ran out right when enthusiasm did.  I was really excited that my last yarn store, the shop of the Crawl's organizer, had bags left.  We didn't get bags because everyone had run out, but at Yarn Haven, they had collected all the bags from the stores who didn't give them away.  I begged for one for LouAnn, my intrepid Yarn Crawl sidekick, too.
  I've got some lovely treasures, things that will probably make it into hand made gifts for Christmas, and for now, yummy things to look at and cuddle with a little.
  It was fun, especially the parts spent with friends.  I will probably never do an entire yarn crawl again, but I can always say, "I finished the 2014 East TN Yarn Crawl."

Friday, June 13, 2014

Bumpy Road

 I'm not sure what I did to my knee, but it has swollen to twice its normal size and hurts like the dickens, however that's supposed to hurt.  Thank goodness for frozen peas! 
  And while I waited for my knee to calm down, I tried that new hem I've learned--knitting the hem, then picking up the cast on stitches and knitting them together with the row on top of the hem--on the second try of the Scandinavian sweater I posted about last time.  It seems there were not enough stitches in the printed pattern to accommodate the flower motifs, and I had to Frog the whole two inches I'd already knitted.  While I was at it, I decided to make the hem a little fancier by faggoting the edge.  I love it!
 When I finished the hem, I started on the pattern rows, only to find out I'd counted the little, tiny squares wrong, and am in the process of ripping out the first row.  It seemed like a good time to blog.  This time I know there are enough stitches, because I'm deviating from the printed pattern, counting my own stitches required, and thinking about how I can vary the part above the flowers on the border. 

And may I beg your indulgence while I brag about my son?  He has just moved back to Nashville to run Chef Jonathan Waxman's new restaurant, Adele.  They've just opened this week, and I haven't been able to visit him yet because he's so busy.  But I will be in Nashville the moment he has a free day.  I'm so proud!