Saturday, June 21, 2014

Happy Solstice!

It’s officially summer here and the sun is shining! However the furnace kicked in this morning because it was only 15C in the house. (That’s just below 60 for you Fahrenheit people.) Just a little chilly. It’s going up fast now though and will be nice and warm outside very soon. Must get out into the garden and get some more weeds pulled before it heats up.

However first there’s a little tidying job to do. We woke up this morning to this scene on the upper deck:


Can you guess the culprit? Yeah, it was raccoons. Again. Must have been a big’un too! They squashed my coleus and lobelia, pulled the pump apart, knocked the whole spout and the metal bird (aka Auk) into the water, pulled out another glass bubble (there’s only 7 left) and draped salvinia bits all over the deck. Grrrr….annoying wildlife.

The garden is mostly doing well so far this year. There’s tiny tomatoes, pattypan and spaghetti squashes. We’re picking peas and the first raspberries. Still getting some kale buds and I harvested the full crop of garlic scapes. They seem a little ahead of schedule this year. Must be the warm sunny May we had. June has been more rainy and cool so far.

Which brings me to Car Free Day. If you remember the Fambly was coming over on Father’s Day and we were going to head over to Main Street, only 3 blocks away, to walk up the street and see what was to be seen. It didn’t start out well though. Before everyone got here we had a thunderstorm and hail and a LOT of rain. I felt sorry for the participants on Main trying to set up booths and such in the deluge. It went on for quite awhile too. Happily though by the time everyone finally arrived it had cleared up and we had a great time, especially the Grandbeasties. They got to make monster bubbles in front of the soap shop, dance to various musicians, have cupcakes and suckers, get a balloon, sit in a vintage fire truck, get stickers from the handsome fireman and generally enjoy themselves thoroughly. Of course the grownups did too. We didn’t go that far but that’s ok. We saw the best bits anyway. Then it was home for barbeque and a relaxing evening on the deck chatting and watching the kids play. I love my Fambly. It was a delightful Father’s Day.

What else? In crafty news, I’ve got yet another kumihimo class scheduled for July. This is the last one for definite and I hope to sell off at least some of the equipment afterward. No point in having it all taking up valuable space in my attic. Somebody could actually be using it! Or having it take up valuable space in their attic…

I am somewhat surprised at how popular the kumihimo has been! Though I guess I shouldn’t be. It’s not well enough known and there really aren’t that many people around who know how to do it on the marudai. They might know just one braid (Kongo) on the disc because it’s easy and the instructions are available in lots of places. But there are so many more braids and the possibilities are pretty much endless once you figure out the underlying principles to using the marudai. Not quite so portable but I don’t mind the trade-off at all. I find it so much faster and easier than the disc and with less mistakes and neater results.

What else? As you might suppose, I’ve been obsessing over my Rainbow Dark sweater . I’m done with the body and am onto the sleeves using bamboo dpns. It’s not particularly portable at the moment. Just a big lump of wool:


I jumped ahead in the instructions a little and finished putting the pockets together. They’re joined at the bottom while knitting but the side edges and the top of the lining are still loose. I wisely steamed the pocket pieces flat before stitching up the pocket sides. Made it much easier and neater to sew. They still need the curved garter stitch “moons” added but I have to knit them first. They have to be completely hand-stitched on. I tried the sweater on me (instead of Debbie, for a change) and really like how my adjustments to the pattern worked out. <pats self on back> I’m going to have lots of yarn left over – better than not enough! Maybe I’ll make a matching beret.

Best get to gettin’ (as my auld poppy would say). The garden is awaiting my tender attentions and the water garden and deck won’t clean up themselves. Sadly. More soon!

Oh BTW, the photos are going to be larger from now on. It was brought to my attention that dinky little thumbnails are so passé. Everyone prefers to see the big picture. OK. Now you don’t need to click on them to see the details. Hope that works for you.


Anonymous said...

those racoons - they occasionally try to move in with me, must be the pond, good luck. I rode around Kyoto on the bus with a maru dai for 6 months and got all sorts of nods and smiles - look at that funny gaigin (foreigner)!!

Dixie said...

Sorry to hear those raccoons are at it again! That would frustrate me to no end.
Your cardigan is looking so nice. I love the yarn coloration!