nz wool sweater The Pirates by Gideon Defoe, and all its sequels, are fun books, but I wouldn’t bother to read more than one. Please let me know if I am in error here. They seem fun but very light, in fact light enough to be completely transparent. The best part about the books is the story that the first was written by Defoe to impress a girl.

We had a pleasant day yesterday. #2 daughter’s solo in church was excellent, and made #1 daughter cry. She was ready to cry anyway because she sprained her ankle on her way down the steps that morning. Fortunately we had a pair of crutches at the house, so we went ahead with our plans for the day. We had #2 son’s excellent beef stew for lunch after church (there was none left for the freezer meal, so I will have to come up with something else for that) and then headed to the airport. The people there were all kind and helpful, and they put #1 daughter into a wheelchair. It was sad to say goodbye to her and to Son-in-law, but it was wonderful to have had them home for a visit.

We stopped at a couple of bookstores on the way home so we could spend $50 on AP study guides (the boys have to have them tomorrow or there will be severe consequences, so they couldn’t wait for me to order them at V8280 V8280 V8280work), and then dropped in at the fabric store’s Labor Day sale. #2 daughter was able to pick up a very V8280 V8280handsome gray rayon blend on the $1 table to make a wearable muslin of her Vogue dress. I say wearable hopefully, because this will be a very pretty dress if it turns out well, and will fit well into her SWAP, and will have cost her a grand total of $8 counting the fabric.

nz wool detail She washed and dried the cloth preparatory to cutting and sewing the dress, and while she was doing so I sewed together the straight gray skirt I had already cut, and she put in the zipper for me while her fabric was drying. By the time the fabric was ready, itV8280 V8280was too late to cut the dress, so she has packed up the fabric and the pattern and some pins and will do it herself in her new apartment. I plan to give her a sewing machine for Christmas so that she doesn’t have to wait to sew until she comes here for a visit, though I will miss sewing with her. Maybe she can still come down for sewing marathon weekends.

We also packed a mattress into her little compact car. My husband kept saying, “It won’t fit. You’ll hurt your car,” and showing various things around the house that she could take with her in lieu of a mattress. The window seat cushions struck him as a possiblity, or the family collection of sleeping bags. “We’ll just try it, ” I said, because I know that determination can overcome the limits of mere space, and we did. I am very thankful for this, though I was also very thankful that her grandparents had given her an air mattress. I think that she will soon have a liveable apartment.

The gray skirt is, while unquestionably a useful thing to have in the wardrobe and a fashionable choice for this fall, too boring for a picture. It is my opportunity to begin applying the lessons from my book on tailoring, though, so I marked and fitted the pleats with great care and it fits very well. Today I may apply hem tape and hem it and practice some seam finishes on it.

pipes 9 2 I do have some pictures of knitting for you, though. This is #2 daughter’s sweater, the second she has ever made. It is a pattern from The Yarn Girls, to which she added an asymmetric cable. Since it is a Yarn Girls sweater, it has been made at an enormous gauge which keeps it from having a very distinct shape of its own, but it looks very nice on #2 daughter.

This was a thick New Zealand wool, and is very soft, but at this giant gauge it is also fairly light weight. The insulating qualities should be such that it will make a good layering piece for the winter. It also works well with her SWAP, a bit of serendipity since she started it several years ago. It was not till she graduated that she had time to finish it.

I have also made some progress on Pipes. Sweaters done in the round are of course bunched-up limbless objects for much of their evolution into sweaters, but I think the form is beginning to become clear on this one.

I knitted one sleeve till I ran out of the ball of yarn I had begun it with, and then moved over to the body, and am about to run out of its first ball of yarn, at which point I suppose I can go over to the other sleeve and use up that nice fat ball of yarn in the picture. Having done this in such a haphazard way, I am no longer sure how many balls of yarn I have finished, but I rather think I am on the last few yards of the fifth ball.

basil This is Telemark from Knit Picks on #1 needles — this information for any knitters who happen by, as I always want to know that myself.

And I have some garden pictures to show you, just because I haven’t put any garden pictures in for some time.

Here is some happy bushy basil. Of course it must not be allowed to flower, but it is growing so exuberantly that I have to pinch off its flowers every day, so there are a few here that haven’t yet been pinched.

My mother tells me that it freezes well. I had read that you should chop it and puree it with olive oil before freezing, which was fine in terms of flavor, but produced excessively oily soups when I used it, so I gave that up.

My mother says that you can just put the leaves in freezer bags and throw it into the freezer. I will definitely try this, as it does not dry well.  I have a lot of mint and thyme and stuff to harvest and dry, as well.

september peppers Then there are the peppers. We harvested all the mature ones last week, and the cold front (low 80s) has perked the plants up and they are now all covered with blossoms and new baby peppers.

Do not look at the weeds in the picture. They sprang up suddenly right before I snapped this.

No, that is not true. I have neglected the garden along with everything else during back to school. In fact, my lovely roses have become a jungle.

This would be a great day to work in the garden, and I might do that. On the other hand, I might not, because I sent #2 daughter off at 6:00 this morning, a couple of hours after my husband left for work, and — with the boys still asleep — I am reveling in having a quiet morning with nothing scheduled.

So I am planning to read and knit and enjoy my day off, and possibly to do some sewing and housework if the spirit moves me, and maybe to work in the garden and do some baking, but maybe not. There is a real deliciousness to the idea of doing only what I feel like doing at that moment.

rose jungle