Reading While Knitting

Nothing complicated; nothing too exciting, but yes, I do knit while I read. As well as during many other domestic activities.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The check is in the

. . . not the mail, but my sister's hands.

Denise sweetly went all the way out to the fair to claim our goods. She picked up a sweater, a skein of yarn, and some marmalade for me, in addition to her award-winning jam. There were envelopes with our prizewinning ribbons in them.

And. . . checks! Apparently the powers that be aggregate your winnings and cut one check. So that sunflower bread? I won $10 . . . in addition to the free tickets and such. A nice bit of fun, that.

The sweater got $10 also -- whee! As Turltlegirl pointed out, they don't seem to care that the wondrous colors are the responsibility of the dyer, not the knitter. They did say my stitches were nice and even, though. And not a word about the horrifying seams.

I'm just delighted with it all. It seems like one of the most fun things to do in a summer.

The other one is picking blackberries, and lo how the season is upon us. In my refrigerator rests a bowl of macerating fruit, to put into jam tomorrow, and in the oven rests a blackberry silk pie -- seedless puree plus a custard. I'm already thinking of how I can alter this for future attempts. I've never felt that I had enough berries to cast away the leftover pulp, but this year? More berries than I think I've ever seen.

I have almost every day picking plans, in addition to dealing with my ongoing fascination with the idea of a harvest hovercraft and/or elastic arms. Today I realized how lucky I am to be picking fat, luscious berries without the humidity I associated with picking as a child -- Tennessee was the only place I knew you could go and pick. While we possibly could have found them in Southern California, no one I knew did that sort of thing. I'm hugely grateful to be that sort of person and to have the berries to indulge her.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It's a major award!

Anyone else remember that line from "A Christmas Story"? I didn't get a leg lamp, but I got something oh so very exciting at the fair last week.

It all started with a letter. A letter that said, essentially, you've won an award, there's going to be a ceremony, here are some tickets and a parking pass, please come.

Oh, well, it's really not that difficult to get me to go to a fair. I love almost everything about them. And an award! What could it be? About my sweater? It must be, I thought. So Eric and I ditched the kids ("You've been to the fair," we reminded them. This is about me.)

Yes -- what I do not appreciate at the fair? Heat. Lots and lots and lots of heat. The previous visits were during an unseasonable cool snap, and it was actually kind of fun to be there. Even going on little rides wasn't bad, and as I mentioned before, the concert was all we could ask for.

Not this time. It was hot. I'd dressed as loosely as possible, and I was still melty.

So, we sit outside with a crowd, and sit through what felt like fifty sponsored awards. It was then I started to get suspicious. The fair applications are pages and pages long, and I do read my sections pretty carefully. The baked good section had a little asterisked comment that since the fair theme was "sunflowers," using sunflower seeds or oil could get you a special award.

I'd used sunflower seeds in my second-place bread.

Then they called my name, and I got to shake hands and get the special award envelope.

After posing for a picture by the crazed-looking fair photographer, Eric and I looked though my special award envelope.

Not a lamp. A letter, saying "Dear award winner, congratulations for winning a sponsored award for ___________" and in the space was handwritten "best use of sunflower seeds/oil in a baked good."

We just cracked up.

Then I went to visit the unawarded spinning and the sweater and we sweltered home again. Still, the worst day at the fair isn't that bad and soon I get my sweater back.

(I'll laugh more if I actually get any prize past a letter -- but I'm not holding my breath.)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A fair Fair

The first concert for three of my four children, all of whom ended up down in what passed for a mosh pit, prizes for both me and my sister for our entries, and lovely weather. We couldn't have asked for more. Except maybe fewer spinny rides. Click to make the collage bigger, if you wanna see.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Boring, with exciting mistakes

This is how far I've gotten in my new sweater project. Miles and miles and miles of 3 by 3 ribbing. It's the bottom portion of a seamless saddle shoulder sweater I'm working up. I think I'll block it so it's not the completely body-conscious shape it fits as now, but still slim. Araucania Nature Wool, in the gray multi that the hood for the little elf green sweater was knit with. Size 6 needles, and occasionally I'm finding a purl stitch at the end of the knit part. There's one right about the middle of the sweater. Fixing those with crochet hooks is about as exciting as it's gonna get for a good number of rows more.

Another race tomorrow morning before the small town parade, then Sunday is the cheesecake competition at the county fair. I get to find out about my rainbow sweater and bread and jam without having to deal with the kids, because Eric's going to keep them at home (thank you!!). As I said, I don't expect to win, but it's fun to see them there.


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