Sunday, September 29, 2013

early morning in the garden

To be honest, I did not enjoy the summer in Berkeley. To wake up to those foggy, chilly, sunless mornings put me in a dismal frame of mind. But September, ah September is splendid!  I wake up to refreshing, earthy air and bright sunshine.  

I love to go out on these lovely mornings and check on the garden with my morning coffee. On Saturday morning I took my camera to the garden, too, and this is what I got as the sun was coming into the backyard. (All photos are straight out of the camera, by the way, just adjusted for size)

a sprouting row of radishes

a "Rouge vif D'Etampes" pumpkin, glowing in the dawn light

dewdrops on clover at the base of the pumpkin

pumpkin leaf, backlit by the first strong rays of sun

Monday, September 23, 2013


On our last Maine day, Mountain Man and I rented kayaks.  We paddled all afternoon from Boothbay Harbor out to the Spectacle Islands and up to our friends' bed-and-breakfast on Hodgdon Island.  It was a sparkling day -- clear light, blue sky, yellow kayaks. 

Our lunch break on the Spectacle Islands was utterly charming.  We pulled our kayaks up onto the pebble beach, went beach-combing around the island, watched a seagull eat a crab, spotted an osprey, and napped in the moss under the pines.

And ... of course ... pulled out wool and needles for a little peaceful knitting.  Here's what I've been working on:  a very simple sweater in rustic gray wool. It's knit from the bottom-up. No pattern. I'm just kinda/sorta making it up as I go along, with ribbing and waist shaping and rough plans for a wide button band and shawl collar.

Blending in with the Maine pebbles 

Next to feet for scale 

What it looks like as the start of a sweater

 The yarn is sportweight Merino-Rambouillet yarn from Marr Haven, which I bought in a cone a few years ago and am finally getting around to knitting.  It's a wonderful yarn. It's mule spun, giving it bounce and elasticity. Minimally processed, giving it a soft hand and natural color and earthy aroma.

I really hope this off-the-cuff sweater works out. Not all my improvisations do ... and I could always unravel it if it doesn't ... but I love to think that the infusion of sunshine and saltwater will be part of this garment's story if it does work out.

Here's our last Maine experience. Kayaking up to a country store for lobster rolls! 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Back East

Traveled back to New England for an end-of-the-summer extravaganza.  Quick trip, actually, but I filled myself with the eastern moods and memories that I miss in California.  Sunny mornings on the our little lake in the Vermont woods, after waking up to mist and loon calls ... 

Lobster. Lobster bakes with corn and beans. Lobster rolls. Lobster bibs. (I even got myself a lobster claw bracelet to bring home the Maine-ness.)

Also: knitting!!  I was a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding in Maine, and one of the delights of the event was that another bridesmaid was also a serious knitter.  I was so very happy to meet her after reading about her exploits for years on her blog, The Howl. Check it out!  Her last post is an awesome exploration of the commonalities between knitting and mountaineering. I love it. 

And I loved sitting on the porch of the B&B, knitting and drinking mimosas while we had our hair done up for the wedding. (Actually, I'd like to sit on a sunny porch and drink champagne and knit ALL the time. Why not?)

Here's what she was working on.  Socks in a gorgeous deep blue, knit in a fine ribbed pattern with a twisted rib cable.  They were beautiful.  

To see what I was knitting ... stay tuned!