Sunday, July 19, 2009

Wormwood, HP and, yes, some FOs

The fantabulous weather continues here in PA. Low 80s during the day and cool nights, perfect for sleeping. I finished the Summer Sweater (based on Sally Melville's Favorite Sweater) and had the great pleasure of wearing it yesterday.The cotton/microfiber blend yarn is wonderfully soft and drapey. The large, open gauge of the sleeves and lower half of the sweater make it cool enough for warmish days and warm enough for coolish nights. I'm very pleased with this sweater and am contemplating knitting another one.

I finished a hat and booties to go with the baby cardi for C's friend.Baby stuff is just so darn cute!

I'm still knitting away with my laceweight yarns. I've now got 3 projects go
ing...the stole I showed you before, this beaded triangle shawl (which is actually quite a bit further along now; this picture is from a few weeks ago), and a square garter stitch shawl called a foulard. The downside to laceweight yarn is it takes forever (at least for me) to show much progress. This is also the upside, though, since it means I get the pleasure of knitting the project for quite a long time.

The garden is going like gangbusters. We got our first zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers this last week. We've harvested most of the storage onions and all the garlic and have them hanging in the garage to cure. Last year we dried them on screens on our patio but ended up losing a bunch when they got wet from rain. This year we've installed cup hooks along the garage rafter beams and are hanging everything in bunches to dry. So far this seems to be working exceptionally well. I'm hoping the Candy onions mature soon. The pumpkin plants are trying desperately to take over that end of the bed. In the spots vacated by the alliums, we now have dry beans (red calypso and cranberry) and brussels sprouts and broccoli. I hold my breath every morning when I venture out to see if the rabbits have eaten the broccoli, so far we've been lucky. After last year's debacle, I wasn't sure if I wanted to try again.

I must share with you my newest obsession....Wormwood. No, not the absinthe variety, but the podcast. Wormwood is a serialized mystery in the style of old radio drama. It's actually a few years old. Seasons one and two are available in their entirety and season three is set to start soon. I've only completed the first season and just started season two. The story revolves around Zander Crowe, a mysterious psychiatrist with ties to the occult who is drawn to the town of Wormwood by visions of a drowned woman. There's murder and mayhem, weird cults and oddball characters. The voice actors do a great job, particularly the guy who does Crowe. If you're a fan of radio drama, be sure to check it out.

I had the opportunity to see HBP yesterday at the MoviEtown cinema. I love this theater. It's an old car dealership building that's been reoutfitted to a state of the art movie theater. The seats are comfy, the sound system is great and, best of all, you can get coffee at the concession stand. There were lots of previews before the movie. I was somewhat excited to see there's a new Sherlock Holmes film coming out, but the preview doesn't really leave me dieing to see it. I do like Robert Downey Jr (go see Ironman!) but this portrayal of Holmes seems so far out of character. It's definitely Holmes for the new century.

Obviously, as we've seen with the last few HP movies, the movies can in no way do justice to the books. The movie folks pick the highlights and go from there. HBP was no exception and is by far the most altered. Overall, I liked the film alot. This was my favorite book of the series. It's the book of explanation. The movie could never live up to my perception of the book. I'm not going to go into any detail since I want to wait until I have a chance to see it and discuss it with my number one HP buddy, my sister. My advice, if you haven't read the book first (and shame on you if you haven't), but if you haven't, see the movie first, then read the book. You'll find the book so much richer.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Back on Etsy

After several months off, I'm finally back on Etsy with hand dyed sock yarn and small tote bags. Click the link at right to see what's in my shop.

Now that it's
July and summer is officially here (although it doesn't feel like it with temps still in the very tolerable upper 70s and low 80s), it's time for a garden update...

We had a delightful June. Moderate temperatures and lots of rain. The garden is flourishing.
The peppers are all loaded with fruit, the pumpkins are eagerly attempting to overtake the garden, the limas are starting to set pods, the snow peas are nearly done.Although this looks rather shabby, it's a great sign that our garlic and onions are nearly ready to harvest. Once the tops drop and start to wither, we'll pull these out and hang them to dry. I'm currently looking for some short season shell beans to plant in here once the onions are out to keep the bed active until fall. This bed has proved perfect for the alliums and we'll definitely replant them here this fall.

Our tomatoes are growing like gangbusters.
No signs of red yet, but we'll have tons once they start to ripen. And we finally got a zucchini plant that's starting to show some buds.

The mums and lavender I experimented with starting were only mildly successful. None of the lavender seems to be rooting, but most of the mums seem healthy and are starting to show some roots. In then center I've got some broccoli and Brussels sprouts starting for fall planting. At the moment I can't tell which is which since the marker I used to write on the tags was apparently not waterproof.

We've got bunnies again this year, but so far they've been far less destructive than the ants have been.
This little dude is so tame I could nearly reach out and pet it. I found it munching away on the sweet peas, but since they are nearly done anyway, I figured I'd let the little fellow have its treat.

Earlier this week we had a rather strong thunderstorm that l
eft us with this display of beauty.The double rainbow was so bright and perfectly arched we imagined we could actually drive to the end of it!