Tuesday, August 12, 2014

yarn along {and an ode to pickles}

 Last week I was working on a Shalom for myself but ended up getting about an inch in and had an extra stitch on my needles.  Normally I'd just k2tog and move on but I am afraid it will mess up the pretty yoke and since I'm not that far into it, ripping it out and starting over seems to be the simplest decision.  

Just before I discovered the error, I realized I really wanted to knit up a soaker or two for my Rosie-pie since we're down to two useable diaper covers and that means washing diapers every other day or using disposables more than I like to, so I frogged the Much-Too-Big-Large Vanilla soaker I had almost finished a couple months ago and went down to a size medium which is looking way more reasonable but... I haven't knit in a few days.  Because of this:

and this:

 and even this:
 The summer months end up with constant busy-ness.  I am surrounded with access to good cheap produce right now and I know in a few months the ground will be frozen and nothing will grow and we will be longing for a taste of summer again, so I'm trying to squeeze in as much preserving as I can.  It has been hot-hot-hot again here with temps usually in the 100s and not cooling down much at night.  This afternoon I picked up a few new perennials at the farm supply stores and when I trekked outside to plant them, I glanced at the hills and noticed... I couldn't see the hills.  I initially thought it must be smoke from a wildfire since they are rampant through the state right now and the smoke tends to drift our way and hover.  The air was so still and heavy, and more humid than usual.  I went back to digging and felt a soft breeze tug at my hair and it was like it was whispering "Watch this," and I heeded the notice and glanced up, knowing instantaneously that it wasn't smoke blocking the view of the hills, it was dust.  Within seconds the wind was raging and howling through the elms and spruce and dust was stinging my eyes.  Lyddie had just wandered outside and concern flashed across her face; we have had hot but sunny and quiet afternoons for days now and this was new.  We ran out to the pool and started gathering armfuls of pool toys to toss into the root cellar.  She trailed me out to the chicken coop where the wind had blown their window entrance shut, and then we dashed inside.  While the wind tore through the valley, we loaded into the car and went by the library to return books and chat with the librarian as we browsed.  Once home, the rain hit.  Rosie and I walked out and she had such a look of wonder on her face.  I can't remember the last time it poured for awhile and she clearly can't either.  "Girls!" I called, "It's raining!"  "RAIN!" they shrieked and squealed and tumbled outside to the patio to see.  

Toto, we're not in Seattle anymore. 

The storm brought the coolest evening air we've had in a while and it was so pleasant tonight to go out to the garden and pull some weeks and pick some beans and tomatoes without sweat soaking through my clothes.

I screwed up the courage to try a lacto-fermented cucumber pickle.  I have been reading about the process and the benefits of fermented foods for, oh, several years now, and when the bags of cucumbers sat in the fridge and I had only a short window of time to pickle them and not enough hours or energy to do a water bath, I decided to take the plunge instead of the vinegar based refrigerator pickle.  Google brought me to this excellent recipe/article, which I realized after reading was by one of my favorite bloggers which clinched it.  They bubbled away on the counter for a few days and are now ready for cold storage.  Oh. my. goodness.  They are delicious; as I was writing I thought "It's time to go TASTE ONE!" They are incredible- sour, salty, dilly.  They're a little fizzy from the lactic acid fermentation (fizzy sounds weird, but it's really incredible). I am sold.  Hm... what else can I try?  I think another batch of cucumbers may be in my near future.  They took all of 20 minutes for four quarts start to finish.

I am reading The Long Winter and spend an embarrassing amount of my mental energy mulling over the Ingalls family and their adventures lately.  Jesse thinks it's embarrassing too, I think, since his eyes glaze over a little when I start processing my thoughts yet again.  I'm also still listening to North and South via CraftLit.

Next week you'll get to see a finished soaker and a real picture of a Shalom, I hope!  Joining up with Ginny and the Yarn Along community again this week.

Did you see the supermoon this week?  


  1. Your pictures are beautiful! I have also had to take out my knitting too.. Not fun! I have read the Long Winter it's one of my favorite Laura Ingalls Wilder books.

  2. I did not see a moon that was super but I wish I had. Bummer that you have to rip out but that's probably for the best, then you can move forward with more progress! I had to rip out a few rows two days ago but I knew I needed to fix the error or it would bug me.

  3. Since re-reading the Little House series with my daughter I am constantly thinking about Ma. Good heavens the work Ma did to make sure they were all fed, clothed and well cared for and with grace. We saw the supermoon but missed the meteor shower because of it.

  4. love this! I totally missed the super moon! frogging is sometimes the way to go...

  5. Anonymous8:28 AM

    Ugh, I need to catch up on North and South. Good thing I have laundry to do today and a few hours of uninterrupted knitting and listening time to do so.

  6. You make pickles? That is so cool. I would love to do that. But alas, no one else in my house would touch them. The dust storm sounds dramatic. "Auntie Em! Auntie Em!" is what I kept thinking. : ) Still no rain here, other than the odd ten minute sprinkle. I had high hopes this morning, considering the black clouds and the wind was picking up and everything... but just a few drops again. Your yarn is pretty!