Strawberries fill the refrigerator and I am tucking them away in the freezer and into jam jars as quickly as I can. The sweet fragrance drifts through the house as the jam simmers and I can't help dipping a spoon in to taste. Crystalline jars filled with these sweet rubies begin the line on shelves in the cellar again, in front of last fall's applesauce and the last jar of summer's peaches that I have been hoarding for a special occasion.
Bicycles are the main form of entertainment all day; at least 80% of the time outdoors (which is most of the day) is spent with little people zooming around the place on their wheels. When not on bicycles, chicks are being carried and talked to and fed and played with. I like to bring my crafting or my book out to the chair and sit nearby listening to their play and getting lost in my thoughts.
Different projects suit my different moods, and as usual, the summer afternoons whisper that fine handiwork is called for, and my needlework comes out. I am getting much better at french knots than I used to be! When I had to rip out all of the Kiddy Vertebrae that I was knitting for Millie, I was sorely disappointed. Somehow I was nowhere near gauge even though my gauge swatch was fine. I think it is because I am using cotton- oh and because the lady at the yarn shop where I bought the yarn told me it was a heavy fingering when it's really a WORSTED yarn according the the Berroco page on Ravelry. I didn't even think to really check the facts. The sweater looked much too large when I draped it over her this weekend, so tada! Four weeks of knitting undone in the course of three minutes. This sweater pattern is written for many different yarn weights so I decided to try knitting gauge with different size needles but I am at a loss of what to do. So I think I am going to try again on a different size needle and see what comes of it. I wish I could say I was confident in going forward but when it comes to figuring out gauge and needle swapping I get a little discombobulated (and I think that's marks the first time I have ever had to write the word "discombobulated"). My Millie girl really likes this color of yarn and I really like the idea of a little cotton cardigan for summer evenings - anything warmer than that here just won't get worn until fall. Meanwhile I put it aside until I had the energy to figure out all of the above and realized that I hadn't finished my red Memoirs mitts. I have only the thumb on the second mitt and then I get to hunt down some lace and buttons for finishing touches. I love how long they are and although I am currently just looking forward to the warm summer ahead, I do cherish the thought of wearing them in the late fall when it gets chilly again.
As for books, life under communist rule, fantastic travel to different worlds, and childhood mischief are all on the menu this week. The books on my nightstand couldn't be more different from one another and I like the variety. The Pastor's Wife by Sabina Wurmbrand (which I just finished) was really interesting and challenging, like most books written about those enduring persecution for their faith. Of course I have known that life under Communist rule is very difficult but I have a clearer picture of what it was like in the U.S.S.R for believers in Christ (and others). I thought Wurmbrand wrote with a lot of discernment about why some people chose to suffer in prisons for their faith while others maintained their position in government-run churches even while participating in the Underground Church in Romania and infiltrating the government. I also came away with a clearer picture of why so many would capitulate and become informers to the government at that time. It made me think of stories I have heard about China and the official churches compared to the house churches there.
Dandelion Fire by N.D. Wilson: Not for young children, but a really good book series for your older readers this summer if they haven't already read the 100 Cupboards series! I have only just begun Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink and I can tell I am going to enjoy it too; for audiobooks, mainly The Count of Monte Cristo which is moving into the really fun part (on the CraftLit podcast).
Linking up with Ginny for Yarn Along. Would you leave me a note in the comment section here so I can click easily over to see what your thoughts are today? I hope your weather is lovely and that you are healthy and able to enjoy what sunshine may come your way!