Tag Archives: beach

Mid August

And so it goes – much the same as it has been…

Beans must be picked every other day.

And then suddenly there are 50 pounds of tomatoes…. #tomatoes #heirloomtomatoes #organictomatoes #gardening

A post shared by astitchmatism (@astitchmatism) on

And tomatoes are expressing their juicy demands.

The rogues gallery. #notsojerseyfresh #organicgardening #organictomatoes #tomatodiseases #notsotasty

A post shared by astitchmatism (@astitchmatism) on

And I need to learn about more diseases and pests to ward off next year.

Some thrifting is still being done here and there – picked up some “vintage” yarn for more and bigger scrappy things – I’ll probably dye the one on the right since the white is actually wool, or mostly, and it’s interesting that this seemingly semi-shitty novelty yarn was once spun in Belgium and France…

And some finishing is happening – this spin will be mittens or slippers, but will go on the back burner for a bit.

(Next up for spinning is still TBD – either a shit-or-get-off-the-pot spin with raw alpaca I’ve had far too long, or a quick palate cleanser with a colorful superwash braid… either way, the wheel is freshly cleaned and oiled and swept up underneath and is ready to go.)

And of course, beach time – just a bit here and there though – and I’m finishing up this knit – hopefully by the month’s end (secretly by the end of next week).

Some upcoming travel means socks need to be on the needles, but I’ve really run out of room in my sock drawer… In theory I “need” a few more pairs that better match my work clothes, but I have none worn out enough to purge to make room, so…

I’m going to knit them anyway and have more disorder and chaos and cramming going on in my life again!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under collecting, gardening, knitting, spinning

Hitching dragons

I finished up my second Hitchhiker scarf out of my handspun “Dragon Days” mixed BFL from Pigeonroof Studios.

PRS-dragons-beach1

You might think it’s just like my other one.

Mimsyhiker & acquedotto

And they are close, but the new one is more green, more intensely hued, and I spun it a little too thin, so the gauge is half the size of the other – or is it twice the size?

PRS-Draghitch1

I made it for a gift, but I was reeeaaaaally tempted to swap it out for my old one.

PRS-dragons-beach2

The colors are iridescent and change depending on the light, though sunlight is my favorite because it is at its greenest best then.

PRS-Draghitch5

I love the striping from the spun singles.

PRS-Draghitch4

And the size is good too – bigger than my other one.

PRS-dragons-beach3

I’ve got a few more gift knits to complete in the next month or two, so I’m going to continue to be busy with unselfish knitting for a bit (I’m not counting the selfish spinning) but there just might be a startitis explosion soon after though…

2 Comments

Filed under knitting, spinning

Come armageddon, for everyday is like swants day

The other day N mentioned he was culling some old sweaters and asked if I wanted any – of course I did (all of them).  And to my surprise, he had a swants-able one in the pile – a forgotten cosy but quite misshapen semi-felted/fulled thrift store find from a few years ago.

I immediately began to cut and sew.

swants-unworn-detail

I didn’t follow the official swants tutorial because I wanted to make some interesting shapes with the pattern, and the shoulder seams already conformed to my hips.

Swants-apocalypse

And then I impatiently set off for the beach, not quite accepting the fact that you can’t really shoot your own trousers while wearing them.

I love the beach in winter.  I love the emptiness and sometimes the ugliness.  I love that the surf washes away the ice and snow and sloggy sh*t that prevents you from walking normally and safely on an inland path or sidewalk.

And when I’m at a wintertime beach in a semi-urban area, I can never stop Morrissey’s Everyday is Like Sunday from playing in my head…

So while the day was chilly, but the sun warm, I filled up a thermos, packed up my ass pad and some knitting* and hit a favorite spot while it was at its most opposite of a smooth summery romping ground.

Swants-beach

One of those rusty pipes helped hold the camera, but all of my swants photos are shite.

But the swants aren’t – I love them!

Swants-pipe help

  Mine are more knickers though – swickers.

Swants-front

The color is truest here – they are cranberry and maroon.  The front has a somewhat provocative triangular point – though how sexy can sweater pants really be?

Swants-ass

And the back has a squared-off shape not unlike old-timey ass flaps on union suits.

I practically had the beach to myself, but the boardwalk was busy with those just waking up from cabin fever and those who have jolly thick-coated dogs (who must suffer through the hot summers).  But no one bothered me – there’s usually a small motley band of panhandlers and nutters who think being unwashed and under various chemical influences is appealing to a woman – but the swants proved an effective repellant!

Swants-cocksoxonrock

Perhaps my new cock socks** helped too…

Now I look like the nut-job.

Maybe on a colder day I’d wear these under my swirt

swants-unworn-front

Now I can’t get everyday is like swants day to the tune of the above out of my head…

swants-unworn-back

*Yeah, still a little too chilly for outdoor knitting – but it was a good place to take photos of it too – coming soon.

**Smartwool, a gift from N.  I told him I didn’t need anymore socks, he told me I needed these.  He was right.  In the few seconds Morrissey leaves my head, cock socks on the rocks repeated chant-like over and over comes in…

2 Comments

Filed under hiking, recycling, sewing, thrifting, travel

Just beachy…

We went to the beach twice last week which seems downright decadent.  I know I bitch about where we live now, but we have access to a lot of good places so it sometimes evens out.  Our day to day life sucks but the weekends are great; before our day to day life was good but weekends took more planning and travel and another day off or two.

Beach-pan

We were at the shore on the 4th, which is probably the busiest beach day of the year, but if you get there early enough, it’s not too bad.  And the day was festive with dolphin sitings, blimps, and biplanes (unfortunately only the dolphins weren’t there purely for the sake of advertising).  There was a surprisingly cool breeze (just along the coast only, not the sweltering interior where we live) and the water seemed frigid, so we didn’t swim.  Instead I finished test knitting a piece that I really love but with a yarn I really hated.

Lion Amazing-Arcadia

I want to publicly declare my hatred of acrylic, and this Lion Brand Amazing has too much of it!  I like the colorway of this one, Arcadia, and I think it’s supposed to mimic Noro.  This was one of my last big box store yarn purchaes a few years ago and at least at the time it was made in Italy and it was fairly inexpensive or else I bought it on sale.  Now it seems pricey for what it is and there are sooooo many other yarns in the sea that should be purchased before this one.  The stuff is fuzzy but not as soft as it seems it should be – not scratchy but plasticy from the acrylic.  And it was so sticky and grabby that I could drop the ball and pick it up with the working yarn and I often had to rip it apart from itself.  Blech – unpleasant.  But I love the pattern and will try to repeat it with another yarn soon.

Beach-knitting

And on Sunday we got up even earlier to hit the beach again and I brought along my Lacy Batkus because it is my assigned beach knitting for the summer.  But the day was hot and the water felt great, so I didn’t even finish an entire repeat.  And yes, my skin is nearly the same color of the sand – we haven’t been outside in full sun or out of the woods much this year yet.  And it’s also really annoying and quite disturbing because other pasty folks tend to set up around us and it looks like some sort of klannish enclave.  But since we’re there in the early morning, we’re gone by the early afternoon when it becomes nearly impossible to swim without getting whacked* by someone and the chatty suburban mommies drown out the the regular beach soundtrack of surf and squeals.

PRS-storm bobbins

And my thumb has healed so I’m back on the wheel.  I finished my Pigeonroof Studios** SW Merino “Storm” this weekend and I’m waiting to ply it soon.  Next up is a braid of the same wool in a pale green colorway.

*Yes, for those with stereotypical views of New Jersey, getting whacked could sound quite violent for an innocent day at the beach – I’m talking about waves thrusting flailing people at you.

**Every time I pop on over there to grab the link, I see more, more, more I want!  But I really can’t, not now, and I’m coming pretty close to declaring that I’m entering a period of time wherein I buy absolutely nothing beyond food.  And a watch band.  And sewing machine needles if they all break…

2 Comments

Filed under knitting, spinning, travel

Love affair…

…with the Lacy Baktus pattern.

A few years ago I came across this pattern by Terhi Montonen who made it as a variation of Baktus Scarf by Strikkelise on Ravelry.  For a while (longer than I’d like to admit) I thought this pattern was called batkus and in my often 12-year-old-boy brain, I thought of it as buttkiss, so buttkiss it will always be to me.  I knit my own hybrids of a basic watch cap, plain socks, and one particular Stephen West hat pattern over and over again for gifts and hard-wearing work-a-day items, but the Lacy Baktus is the only pattern I really feel like I could knit ad infinitum as is without modification beyond size.

I made the first one a few years ago with two skeins of the tongue-twisting Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino yarn (or KPPPM) that I picked up from School Products on a scorching hot summer day in NYC.

baktus1-in progress

I didn’t quite capture the colors correctly in the in-progress pic, but the second image is accurate.  That one also shows our former awesomely textured and colored garage wall… sigh.  But I really liked the finished scarf/shawlette hybrid.  I loved that it stretched lengthwise but it was a long tapered triangle. The only minor fault I have with this one is that it is at times slightly too short – we’re talking only an inch or two – when I tie for more warmth or protection against grabby wind the ends poke out rather than drape downwards, but no big deal.

baktus1-detail

Maybe it was the same year, or the next, but I was caught without a gift for my mother’s birthday.  I’d already picked out this Plymouth Happy Feet sock yarn for myself and had it patiently waiting in my stash, but I knew my mom liked orange and at the time had a pair of eyeglasses with purple and orange streaks in them, so it was a good match.  N and I were in a long-distance purgatory at the time too so I had a lot of time to knit in airports and trains.  I found this to be perhaps the most perfect travel project since it required no complex thought and was extremely gratifying to watch grow and then shrink, and could be interrupted and shoved back in my bag with little worry.  I even used some ghastly but surprisingly comfortable TSA-friendly plastic needles whose origins are completely unknown to me – I think they came from a box of miscellaneous sewing supplies from a garage sale.

baktus2-in progress

The Happy Feet had a bit more yardage, so the finished scarf was the perfect length even before blocking.  Mom wouldn’t model it for me, but Dad is a good sport.  I’m tempted to re-buy this yarn to do a re-run for myself, but I have plenty of other pretty things languishing in my stash, not to mention I think this color is discontinued.

baktus2-done

But I had to have another, and I thought an even bigger one would be that much better.  I actually bought the yarn specifically for this – usually I see something on sale and buy as much of it as I can reasonably justify and figure out what to make with it later, but I actually went seeking for something with a little bling.  Yes, I said bling – highly uncharacteristic of me, but I wanted a scarf that could look a little more downtown and a little less rustic farmyard.  So I bought sock yarn called “Disco Color” (audible cringe) by Schoeller Stahl’s Fortissima line, but it was perfect because the little strand of silver metallic polyester* is surrounded by hard-wearing wool and along with the grey there is a nice greenish teal that fails to show up in the pictures.  It is the same color as bits of wood I’ve been finding in the forest, though I don’t know if it is a particular tree species, fungal or floral organism on or in the wood, or tinted by green deer pee.**

ADK 2012-detail

So I worked on this most of last Spring and early Summer when I was not coping very well with the slashing and burning of my job and subsequent relocation and it was rather soothing activity.  A large section of it was done when while we were resting from hikes in the Adirondacks.

ADK 2012

Then it was done before I was ready to finish it and I had to wait for the weather to cool down into autumn to wear it.  But wear it I did, and continue to do.  It’s also been traveling quite a bit.

baktus3-restaurant

baktus3-cafe

baktus3-cemeteryAnd it does well to dress-up a t-shirt (even after it has spent a day on the trail), and I do in fact own several very similar grey wool t-shirts.  I like grey and I like wool, nothing wrong with that, right?  And at times it has also functioned properly and well as an honest-to-god good wooly warmth machine and left the cafes and city streets to go hiking with me.

The sunset just barely catches some of the bling…

baktus3-hiking

And you know what?  I decided I wanted another, and then maybe another after that.  And I thought that since I love the pattern so much, I will make one with a yarn I don’t really love at the moment to see if my opinion of it will change.  If it doesn’t, I will have another gift to give, if it does, I will have a new scarf in warmer colors.  This one will be a little larger than the second (orange) one but not as gloriously large as the grey.

Remember the much maligned Redwood Roving Mix?

Baktus-new

Yep, onward!  And a last-minute long weekend trip back to the Adirondacks last month was the perfect time to start it.

ADK 2013

I will take my time with it though since I have other things waiting to be completed.  I’m thinking this might also be a good project for the beach…***

Baktus on rock

I can’t say I’m falling in love with this one yet – my uneven (intentionally) handspun makes it look a bit more wonky than I’d like, but it feels good to be making it…

*Yes, these two words, especially in combination, typically make me run for the hills…  and I believe this yarn might be discontinued as well, but it can still be purchased from various shops and online purveyors.

**Happens when the deer eats something in late winter – you can look up a pic of it yourself.

***I detest swimwear and all things beach bum, but the sea is somewhat sorta close by and we currently have no yard so I can pretend it is our outdoor living space at the moment.

Leave a comment

Filed under hiking, knitting, spinning, travel