Monday, July 2, 2018

I really can’t get enough of summer.  The cherry tree is bursting with fruit; the lower branches are almost hanging to the ground.  When you have to bend down a little bit to pick the sweet cherries that are growing right there in your own yard, you know your life is pretty nice.  I can eat cherries until my clothes don’t fit anymore, and there are still more than plenty to share.  The robins and the catbirds are onto them, too, and there’s a lot of fruit on the ground already, perfect cherries with one dainty bite missing.  I went out there barefoot the other day, bowl in hand, and stained my feet orange.  Adventures in natural dyeing, inadvertent edition.

Doc was surfing around on Craigslist awhile back, and said suddenly, “Is Tunis any good?”  I was imagining some kind of North African tagine dish possibly made with peanuts, so I said, “I don’t know, what’s in it?  Are we looking at restaurants?  I’m in, let’s go.”  “No,” he said, “Tunis fleece.  Sheep.”  Actually, I don’t know squat about fleeces, but I know I like yarn, which comes from wool, which comes from sheep, so I said “Ack!  Yes!  Good!”  And got in the car before he could change his mind.  So we came home with two [there were two, you can’t just leave things like that sitting there!] lambswool fleeces, which were creamy white, gorgeously crimpy and utterly packed full of thorns and hay.  I tried to imagine carding it all by hand and my courage failed me.  I tried to imagine stashing it in the upstairs closet and worrying about it later, and I knew it would keep me awake at night to do that.  I found these plans for building a drum carder at home, and Doc said he’d be thrilled to do that for me, but when the time came to start getting parts together, he made kind of a weary face, probably imagining many hours in the hot workshop hunting down variously-sized bolts while I reclined in the shade of the umbrella and he said, “Eh.  Let’s just buy one.”  It arrived the other day, and I carded one of the fleeces and even though my knuckles look like hamburger [don’t touch those teeth while the thing is turning, duh!  That hurts!] it was wonderfully fun, and now I have a bunch of fluffy batts, waiting to be spun.  I stacked them up on the table to admire them, and they looked like the world’s biggest cinnamon roll, ready for the oven.

Knowing that more yarn is headed into the stash soon [I’ll spin it soon!  Will too!] I decided to crack on with the my Wheat sweater, which I started back in March and then temporarily abandoned, and which had nothing left to make but the sleeves.  A sleeve takes no more than a few hours of knitting, but the idea of sleeves takes weeks of procrastination.   You knitters know what I’m talking about.  Sleeves!  Am I right?  These sleeves are all cabled, too, which added extra time to the putting-off, and just a little extra time to the knitting.  I made a few modifications to the hemline and edge treatments in order to suit my fancy and I knit this in Holst Supersoft, in the colorway “Nougat.”  I’m telling you, this thing is as light as a breath of air, and softer than you would believe.  It is like wearing nothing, but warm, too, and that palest pale gray color is everything I want.  That yarn.  Swoon.