Sunday, June 18, 2017

Berries, Chipmunk Cheeks, and a Stripey Challenge

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain. -- Dolly Parton
It's been a cool, wet June here on Vancouver Island. I have no complaints. We've had some nice, bright, sunny days, and have had nice, cool nights where I can sleep soundly and without air conditioning. Not to brag, but I do my best sleeping in such conditions.

Our outdoor mess garden seems to be enjoying this weather as well. We have a riot of strawberry plants that started out two or three neatly planted units. They have since spread haphazardly around the plot. We barely weed them, and we mostly neglect them, apart from watering them when they seem a bit dry. They seem to like it. I quite like the wild look they have about them. Who wants neat, orderly strawberries anyway?

Our blueberry shrubs seem a tad overwhelmed, however. I don't know if it's because of all the rain or because they are so heavily laden with berries, but the hubby had to go out and stake them up so they wouldn't fall over with their own weight. This is not such a bad problem to have, I think:

And the cool weather has given me the excuse to roast some of the almonds I've been hoarding. I buy them in bulk when they are on sale and store them like a chipmunk until it's cool enough to run the oven. I roast them at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour - no oil, no salt. When I pull them out, they are slightly chewy, but when they cool, they are delightful, nutty, crispy treats, and I have to resist stuffing them all into my mouth at once:  

Which reminds me of a baby photo I found of myself the other day. Holy crap, I was cute:

Anyway, I'm a little later than I wanted to be in getting my blog post out today. I have a work trip tomorrow that I had to get organized for. I won't be home until later in the evening tomorrow, so I wanted to get my lunches made and clothes laid out for the next couple of days, because I don't like starting the week off with everything scattered and in a mess (which is more than I can say for my closet, but I digress).

I was rushing around so much that I barely had time to take a photo of my finished embroidered cushion before the light ran out for the day. I'm really happy with the way it turned out. I think the simplicity of the pattern overrides my uneven stitches and the fact that it's slightly off-centre on the cushion. I ran out of polyfill to stuff it, so it looks a little understuffed:

Which is more than I can say for my cheeks in the previous photo.

This is not to say that I could not have done all of these things earlier today, but I was having too much fun working on my current knitting project all afternoon:

It's a top inspired by Irina Poludnenko's Bleeker Shawl. I bought the yarn a few months back with the intention of making a simple, striped tee, but when I saw this shawl, I knew I had to figure out a way to make a garment out of it. I had to spend a bunch of time trying to understand how to make the slanted stitches line up where I wanted them to:

And I kept screwing up the short rows and had to rip them out again. In fact, all four of those colour changes have been ripped out twice and re-knitted. I don't know if there's a record for the most times a stitch has been ripped out and re-knitted, but I think I might be challenging for the trophy with this one. I am, however, very excited to see how it turns out... though, at this rate, it might be next year before I finish it.

I have to go and finish getting organized for tomorrow. I'm not all that thrilled to go on this trip, since it's going to be a long, long day, but sometimes you have to do things you really don't want to do. I'm thinking about taking my knitting with me to keep me occupied during my flights, but I might take the opportunity to just sit and daydream for a while. That might be the most rewarding part of the day. And I'm taking some of my roasted almonds with me, so I could theoretically just stuff my cheeks and enjoy myself. There are worse goals to have, after all.

Have a good week!

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