Monday, August 22, 2011

What’s That Sound?

Rain! I haven’t heard raindrops falling for so long – a month at least. It sounds strange and smells heavenly. All moist and green and delicious. I’m happy I was wise enough to close the roof of the greenhouse last night. This is the time of year when it’s most important to keep the rain off the tomatoes to avoid late blight. Now the garden will all finally get enough water and I won’t have to stand there wielding a hose to do it. Yay.

So what have I been up to? I’ve been super-busy in the garden, a regular little City Farmer. Watering (hah! but not today), harvesting, clearing, planting, etc. Now that there are a few clear spaces in the veggie garden I planted some winter rye cover crop to keep the soil from just being bare. If it grows too large before fall I can always turn it all under and plant it again when I do the rest of the garden. Bare soil is not good. It just washes away in the winter rains.

I harvested about 1/3 of the weld from the dye garden, but not until I’d saved enough seeds to last for the next couple of years. I was glad I didn’t cut it all down because it was enough work to chop up what I had. Even with a glove on my scissor-hand I was courting blisters. I have lots now! The chopped up weld is definitely not going to dry today but it’s supposed to go back to summer again tomorrow. It was nice to feel like real summer…at least for a few days.

Also in the dye garden, the coreopsis is finally starting to produce lots of flowers. It’s been pretty sparse so far. I’m very fond of the rusts and oranges I can get from the flowers so I’m glad to at least get some. The Japanese indigo is tall again and ready for a second harvest which will be today. They aren’t showing any signs of flowering yet though. The marigolds are doing ok and I’ve got a few small bags of flower heads in the freezer now. The regular calendula is giving me a dozen flowers every couple of days but the variety Indian Prince is a write-off. It was pretty but the flowers were small and really super-sensitive to aphids. They succumbed. Cue the funeral music.

On a happier note, I have a Finished Object:

Black Bamboo Cowl

BlackBambooCowlFor: me

Begun:  July 31, 2011
Completed:  August 19, 2011

Yarn:  Kertzer On Your Toes Bamboo sock yarn, colour KOB.0300 Black, dyelot 3096. 100g = 328 yds. Used just over half a ball.

Needles:  Addi Lace 24” circular, 5mm

Pattern:  Cabled Feather Cowl by Cindy Craig, Ravelry link, free pattern link.

Mods:  I used a larger needle size to loosen up the fabric a little.

Comments:  Yes, another black item! It’s an interesting combination of lace and simple cables with a wave thing happening due to the feather and fan variation. It would be lovely in a variegated yarn too or maybe handspun. I’m very happy with how this quick project turned out. The bamboo yarn gives it a lovely drape. I can envision wearing this cowl a lot in colder weather.

Now I have to go have a shower and get ready for Japanese Indigo Dye Day with my buddy Jo. Rain or no rain, the blue must go on!

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