A new posting strategy

I seem to be stuck in a phase of only being able to blog about knitting when things are finally finished. Continuing in that vein, I’m ready to post the back of Isabella! But, for general interest, and the fun of showing off pretty new things, I’ve decided to start posting progress pictures accompanied by our wedding gifts. So here’s Isabella’s wicked curl being tamed by the gorgeous wood salad bowl and servers (thanks, Andi!).

I’d started Isabella before the wedding because I needed stockinette for all the plane rides, and the pattern called for a perfect amount of yarn to match the sale yarn I bought in New Hampshire last summer. Add the green color to the leaves on the front placket, and it all seemed meant to be. :-) Fun.

It’s taken a while to get this far, partly from being put down so often, and partly because the gauge is teeny tiny: 7 stitches and 9 rows per inch. I’m about 40% through the yarn, and so it’s still a bit of a gamble whether there’ll be enough to finish the front, picot trim, and seams. We’ll see! I’m optimistic.

I cast on last night for the front while watching a movie (a little late to the game, we’ve just signed up for Netflix. Good fun!), and so here’s the first eight rows of the front, with one of the new fish glasses.

And a lemon peel knot? Happy Friday afternoon cocktail hour!

I love the new lighthouse stamps

Yay!! I finally mailed the last of the backlog of wedding thank you notes! So many people brought cards to the wedding (which was wonderful — so easy to fly home with). The “thank you”s have been on my list since we got back, and I’ve been making progress a group at a time. This is the final batch. :-)

I feel so light and free. :-)

It’s 24 days after the wedding — I’m suspended between some lingering guilt that they took so long, and pride that I’m now caught up.

9:37 pm, June 22, and assorted reverie

I didn’t think to take a photo on the solstice, but I do want to commemorate the loooonnng Seattle afternoons of June. It doesn’t start to hit twilight until a bit after 8:30, the sun sets a while after nine, and at 9:37 on one of the two second-longest days of the year, the light looks like this:

Seattle at this time of year is a gift. The weather is inconsistently and unpredictably gorgeous (one day, all of the mountains are out and it’s 78, and then it’ll reverse course and we’ll have a few days of looming grey and mid-sixties). The surprise of the weather is happy to me — most seasons out here are so monochromatic. The plants thrive and it’s fun to see the blackberries and random wildflowers blooming on the highway. The light lasts forever. Kevin and I have taken to sleeping in masks (thank you, JetBlue) so that we can leave the blinds and windows open but don’t have to wake up at five with the sun. Nights are still cool, which makes comforters and open windows wonderful. (We’ve had the heat off for about two months.) Everyone’s grilling, as you walk around the neighbourhood in the evening, and it’s a pleasure to spend forty minutes tinkering and watering out on the deck when you get home from work.

And while I know that there’s a reality check in November through March, this time of year is just so full of promise, and things to do, and happiness.

Not to mention Microsoft intern memories. Kevin and I met more or less today, five years ago, camping in the Olympic National park with, as I described it on my first blog (now just a memory), “15 kids, 5 cars, 4 tents, and way too much gear”.

I actually brought my boyfriend of the moment, and the fact that Kevin and I were next to each other in that photo was coincidence. We didn’t know each other a bit — some of my intern friends were friends with some of his intern friends. After the trip, the whole gang of us started hanging out, for movie nights, dinners, and a zillion activities around Washington. We all had cameras, and there were a million photos of that summer. Only looking back later did I realize that seeing this photo of Kevin was part of the reason we started dating.

Why did it matter? Who knows? It just did. Blond, cool, and way too smart for his own good. And then he drove me to AND from the airport for my parents’ anniversary, and then he wooed me, and now we are where we are today. :-)

To close, here’s a five-years-old tomorrow photo of the view on the way up the mountain to Hurricane Ridge. I haven’t been back to the Olympics since that summer. Here’s hoping this is the year.

Two Tips from the Bride

I discovered one of the best things ever last weekend, when I found that most packaging stores (such as UPS, or “the brown store” as the quasi-helpful woman in Crossroads told me) reuse packing peanuts. This is a major, major bonus, and frees me from a substantial amount of environmental guilt.

I love our registry, and I love the gifts, but so far we’ve managed to accumulate eight garbage bags worth of packing peanuts. Crate and Barrell uses thin sheets of foam and honeycombed paper to wrap things (I’m a fan), and those puffed up plastic pouches (which can be recycled at the grocery store), but our other registry places are major fans of styrofoam. Being able to regather and recycle it makes me exceptionally happy.

Here are two bags, ready to hand off, in my car:

So, number one tip from the bride: recycle packing peanuts at shipping stores. :-)

A bonus tip, in case your car is as dirty as mine, and you live in a place like Kirkland where you shouldn’t use soap to wash cars because it drains to a water source: Our city’s water guy, via email, confirmed that I could use vinegar to wash my car, instead of soap, without detrimental effects to the lake. I’ve done it twice now, to great effect (I diluted about 2/3 with water). It works better when you dry as you clean, instead of air drying, but the results are impressive regardless. Clearly after all of the June pollen, I need another round, but it’s nice to have an option other than one of the random carwashes, which I just don’t trust.

The Garden Grows

I can’t tell you how pleased I am to actually have a garden this year, instead of just plants:

Hopefully next year it will be a *real* garden, but just flowers, herbs and vegetables, regardless of location, is exciting. :-)

The strawberries are the current excitement: we’ve had four already, and there a a bunch ripening.

When we have a house, we’ll have a patch, not only four plants. Though, that said, four plants are surprisingly plentiful.
The tomatoes are blooming, which seems like a good sign. I read today about watering them with milk — worth a shot?? The beans continue to spread, grow and bloom, and I’ve started seeing baby beans! Very exciting.

Tank: 1 Susan: 0

I’ve long learned not to put my hand in the tank after the lights go out, but every now and then I deal with things in the “twilight” (blue lights on, as in “daylight”, but white lights off) and get totally rebuked for it.

Here’s my effort to right coral that was tumbled by too many hermit crabs:

A few seconds, 7 stings from some tank-dwelling creature (my bets are on the web-spinning snails), and it’s all benadryl and ice. Nice. Thanks, fishtank.

Not natural

We have enough friends with organic mindsets that read the blog that I thought I should post the largest strawberry I’ve ever seen, so that we can all tsk over it.

With syrup, on waffles, not bad. But it’s totally absurd how large the strawberries in grocery stores are. Can’t wait until the deck dudes are ripe!