FO Friday (not)

I don’t have any Finished Objects to show you. I need to get a ton of sh*t done, and have dozens of projects under way, and I just am not getting anything completed.

Porch – no progress whatsoever in the past two weeks. I need to buy some new caulking; the stuff I used was a bit old and too thick to properly get into the smaller cracks, so it’s peeling off already in a couple places.

Reading – still working on the June book club pick (Liar, Temptress, Soldier Spy). We meet on Sunday, and I don’t think I’ll be done by then. This wouldn’t bother me as much if it wasn’t MY pick for the month; it looks bad for the host to not finish the book!

Sewing – have not had time to put the zipper into my arrow-print “Amelia” dress. It’s otherwise completed, taunting me in its near-readiness. I have a stack of other garments I would like to make myself, too.

Knitting / crochet – um, yeah. Fifteen or so WIPs and nothing off the needles this week. The socks are almost to the top cuff, though, so they’re close. I’ve been leaving them at home this week in order to read on the train instead (see above).

Soap making – definitely need to pump out some batches this weekend. I’ve got a booth at a street fair in three weeks and though I’ve got enough inventory for the fair itself, there would be nothing left afterwards – and I don’t want to be “that behind” for the show I have in September.

Plus, I’m way overdue for a haircut. And my annual physical. And I need to get the lenses in my reading glasses replaced (got a new prescription). I’m sure I need to get to the grocery store, plan some dinners, and do a bit of housework. Oy.

time-management

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Hitting the books

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Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy – by Karen Abbott.

I picked the book for this month’s book club, and I’m not quite halfway through it – but I am finding it an enjoyable read (for a history book). It’s about the Civil War, and four women in particular who were not content with society’s view of a woman’s place. They each, in their way, supported the war and showed tremendous bravery and chutzpah. The women also interacted with a wide range of historical figures, including President Lincoln, Stonewall Jackson, and Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Our book club meeting is on Sunday, and like I said – I’m only halfway through the book. I’ll be reading instead of knitting on the train this week!

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Prepping for Christmas

I’m still working on those socks – they’re past the heels now and I’m chugging along up the legs. I was getting a wee bit tired of knitting them, so I made a quick diversion and knocked out a couple of hats for the Christmas box (hey, at least I didn’t make a baby sweater!). One is slouchy.

The other is not.

I also prepped several projects, winding the yarn and bagging it up with the pattern and needles. First up is an Ondine shawl, with Fiddle Knits yarns in Amethyst and Opal (it’s difficult to see in the pic, but the white one has small bits of blue, purple, and yellow).

Then there’s an Azalea Ring scarf, which is a pattern and yarn I picked up on a yarn crawl.

This last one is handspun, from some lovely yak fiber that my oldest son got me awhile back – I’m going to make a Pretty Thing cowl with it.

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Scrappy it is, then

Trillian is a yarn hog. She’s eating up yarn faster than I anticipated, and so I’m having to figure out what yarns I can use to get the scarf to a usable size without becoming a scrap nightmare. I’m currently working through two blacks, but they won’t go far and I will need to find another ball to add. It’s quite striking right now, don’t you think?

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Switching it up

My current sock project and I had a little disagreement (something about two heel turns on the same sock), and they’ve been set aside to deal with some quiet evening.
Taking their place in my knitting bag this morning is the Trillian scarf – which had been on hold because I ran out of magenta yarn. Refusing to buy more, I found a couple leftovers in my stash that should work just fine.

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Inadequate

I’ve had veggie gardens for years, and always compost and mulch well in the fall and spring. We have a worm bin, and I spread the castings, use the “tea” in my watering (from the rain barrels), and I rotate my crops so the soil stays healthy. Despite all that, this year’s garden is off to a slow start.

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Those are pepper plants, with peas & cucumbers behind them. I’ve been fighting off crows, who like to eat the seeds as soon as I sow them, but even so – everything looks dried up. I water thoroughly every few days when it’s hot, but I started paying closer attention because of how puny everything looks.
After a week of careful monitoring, I realized that the beds are drying out in a matter of hours. Seeds can’t germinate in dry soil, and it’s no wonder everything is small and weak. My soil has gotten very sandy. And the level has dropped – usually the beds are full to the top of the boards.
The compost I used had too much wood in it and not enough organic material. Veggie gardens draw a lot of nutrients from the soil, and they’ve run out of fuel. Friends told me I needed more poop in the garden, but it’s kind of late in the season to be supplementing the soil; to try and avoid burning my plants I mixed some steer manure with compost and put down an inch or so over the gardens, carefully going around the wee plants.

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Look at the difference in color! My soil is all parched and lifeless. Poor plants, I’ve been starving them. I’ll water more often, and this fall I’ll load up on more manure; for now, I hope this saves this year’s harvest.

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The sweater that wasn’t

This morning I valiantly fought off the urge to Cast On Something New, which I consider a victory of sorts. It went like this:

I was sipping my coffee and thinking about my day, and suddenly I thought, “Hey! I should knit a baby sweater! Ooooh, it’s been ages since I made a Baby Surprise Sweater; I bet I have the perfect yarn for one. Maybe that off-white worsted with a touch of angora that I’ve been hording saving. I wonder if my Zimmerman book is on the shelf? Baby sweaters are fast, and so cute; I’m sure a baby will come along eventually that will need a sweater and I’ll have one all ready to go. I wonder if I have buttons to go with that yarn.” I stood up and took a few steps towards my craft room.

And then my eyes fell upon my commuter knitting bag, with a pair of socks inside. Instantly, WIP guilt washed over me. The socks are a Christmas gift, and in order to get all my handmade presents done I have to work on them throughout the year, so I should just focus on getting these finished and stashed away so I don’t feel too rushed  later in the year. Christmas is only 205 days away (you’re welcome), plus I have a heap of unfinished projects that I’ve lost interest in but should finish up if only to free the needles for other projects.

The socks got more rows added to them this morning because of my will power. This evening I’ll start the gusset increases! I like the yarn, it’s Trekking XXL and is knitting up into a nice fabric. I’m doing a simple 3X1 rib because anything fancier would get lost in the variegated colorway. They are a deeper, richer color than in this pic – but you get the idea.

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