Monday, June 18, 2018

Relax




It’s a terrific scorcher today.  The sky is white-hot, the sultry air is thick.  Suddenly-blossoming antique roses sprawl along the prickly hedge and the perfume from them suffuses easily and heavily into the kitchen window.  The lily buds are fat and ready, and the cherries are just the color of bittersweet now.  In a week I will start eating them in tart little handfuls, when they are not yet quite ripe.  I sit in front of the fan, beside the open window, and glow with sweat and contentment.  My happiest season is here.  The farmer mowed his meadow over the weekend, just as I was waxing all rhapsodic about it.  It looks like a kid who’s just given himself a haircut with a pocketknife, clumped with dead grass and brown patches.  This is the way of it in the country—things grow, things die, things grow again.  A farmer has no time to be sentimental about a wildflower meadow.

Obviously, I’m still knitting.  This is my newly-finished Relax pullover.  It is very relaxing, in every way, really.  So much plain knitting, and so easily worn.  It looks absurd without a person in it—enormous body, and teeny little doll sleeves—and I have no idea why it works so well, but it does.  Something about the shoulder shaping, I think, keeps it from being just a sad, droopy sack.  Anyway, it’s great.  I used Primrose Yarn Co. Sophia (a 3-ply fingering weight) in the [I’m pretty sure discontinued, ugh] colorway “Abyss”, and I alternated skeins to prevent the wildly vareigated patterning from pooling too much.  It is just about exactly the colors of all my favorite jeans in all the denim stages of fading.  It feels just right for summer.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Houll hat and the meadow





This meadow is near my house.  Years ago, it was planted in apple trees, and they were bent and ancient-looking, and stooped like old men, and had become more interested in making leaves than in making apples, so a few years ago, my farmer neighbor brought in a huge piece of equipment with a big claw on the front of it and took them out.  There was a sad bonfire, and the land looked demolished, and I was innocently devastated.  I’ve since learned that these old farmer neighbors know what they’re doing, and that in these parts, if there is a bare patch of earth, somebody will plant apple trees, so I know that one day, this meadow will be an apple orchard again.  Now, though,  it is fallow, and rich with long purple-tipped grass and wild daisies and clover, and the wind (there is always so much wind) ripples along it, making waves in the grass.  I can see a distant farmhouse and barn; someone else’s farmer neighbor.  Sometimes, when we walk along the roadside here, we see a hawk, lazily circling.  Killdeer make their nests, and when we walk by, nattering on about nothing and everything, they jabber loudly in a big ruckus and try to lure us away.

It is very easy for me to remember, as I walk down these quiet country roads full of raucous birdsongs and untouched wildflowers, holding Doc’s hand, that I have everything, everything, everything.

This hat is new:  it is the Houll hat by Ella Gordon, knit in a mix of yarns from my stash—there is some Rauma Finullgarn, some Holst Supersoft, some KnitPicks Palette, and one (the turquoise) fancy hand-dyed sock yarn from Stone Edge Fibers.  June has been cool enough to make a hat seem like a good idea, but it is almost summer, so, a mango pineapple popsicle seems like a good idea, too.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Threipmuir, in June

Well, June has just been a gorgeous month so far.  I have so many peonies in blossom now, and Doc remembered to tie them up, which I always forget to do, so instead of flopping around in the mud getting ruined before I’ve even seen them, they are proud and perfect this year, and so lush.  They look like party dresses.  Party dresses that are full of ants but smell like the breath of angels.  June, you are my favorite.

Festival season is here, and Doc and I went to the CNY Fiber Festival on Saturday.  Guys, I love a yarn festival more than I can say, and not even because of all the yarn and fiber, either.  Baby lambs, newborn sheepdog puppies, elderflower soda and kettle corn, and the Nicest People Anywhere.  Doc wore his kilt (and was much celebrated everywhere he went) and I wore my newest finished object; Threipmuir, designed by Ysolda.  This was knit from some of my New York City yarn haul (Jamieson’s of Shetland Spindrift in ‘cream’ and ‘dewdrop’ and in Le Petit Lambswool from Biches & Buches in ‘Vert Gris Moyen’ (Medium Gray Green).  These two-ply fingering weight wooly wool yarns are so wonderful to work with and to wear—gently fluffy, and light as a feather.   It is not too warm for handknits.  It hardly ever is.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Golden



We went home last weekend, to visit our families in Michigan.  My nephew graduated from high school, and his party was sort of a mini class reunion, and it made me so happy to see friends from a long time ago, to reminisce about the olden days with people who knew me when I was young.  One of my dad’s old friends told me the story he always tells me whenever I see him, and I love it so much; I’m going to tell it to you just the way Don always tells it.

“We were playing golf, and your dad hit one off the tee and it plopped straight into the sand trap.  We all went ‘Oh no!’  As he’s choosing a club I said, ‘What are you doing?  You can’t hit that out of there with a driver!’  Your dad said, ‘You don’t know much about the game, do you?’  He took a swing, and the ball sailed all the way over to the green where it hit the flag, flapped around in it for a minute, and then dropped straight into the hole.  It was the most beautiful golf shot I’ve ever witnessed in my life.”  Don shakes his head.  “An Eagle!”

Cue the cheering!  I have no idea what an Eagle is, but I don’t doubt for a minute that Dad bought a round in the clubhouse after that.   He’s been gone for seventeen years, and things like that, hearing a story that a man has kept alive all this time in his own memory keeps him with me.  I can see Dad now, as surprised as anybody, watching the ball drop in and doing a happy little dance in that moment of glory.  I’m so glad Don was there to see it, and to tell me about it all these years later.

More and still more sweaters are happening around here.  This is Cabeladabra by Hanna Maciejewska (pattern is here) knit in Spirit Trail Fiberworks Zalti, in the colorway “Hermitage”, an almost uncapturable mustard/olive/highlighter pen yellow combination that just calls to me.  This color is so irresistible.
Look at those gorgeous cables, in that glowing, golden yarn!  I really love how this one turned out.  It makes me want to do a little happy dance, too.