Olio – July 24, 2015

Olio – a miscellaneous collection of things.

This week has been a bit cooler with nights that invited an open window over the bed and a light cover in the early morning hours. A week of weeding a bit each time a harvest run to the garden is made. During my weeding a grabbed a handful of poison ivy where the corner of the compost bins had been without seeing it.  I thought we had eradicated it. Since I developed a significant allergy to it about a decade ago,  a quick return to the laundry sink to scrub up was in order. I mostly removed the urushiol oil from my hands but I must have brushed my hand against it before and have a small spot of rash on the back of one hand. This morning I took plastic bag with me and using it as a second glove, pulled and bagged it.  I’m sure it will reappear again as some root broke off.

As happens each summer, about the time you can hardly give away another summer squash, the plants begin to die off, one by one. One day the plant looks healthy, the next they are a wilted pile, a sure sign of squash borer. I love summer squash, Mountaingdad doesn’t favor it so much, so their loss doesn’t bother him. There are many quarts frozen and two yellow squash and all 4 Bennings green tints, this one . . .

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are still thriving. The bees love the huge yellow squash blossoms and their hum accompanies me with natures song as I wade through the hip high plants to pick the veggies.

I am getting a few cucumbers, not as many as I would hope and every once in a while one escapes notice until it gets so large it is tossed directly to the chickens. They seem to appreciate the fresh veggies too.

Just as my beans are beginning, something has gotten into the garden and nibbled a half a row down to stubs.  I suspect the deer realized the electric fence was off, it is back on now, but there is also a tiny bunny who flees each time I go to the chicken pen and it could easily get through the welded wire fence.  I hope it doesn’t get so fat it can’t get back out of the garden.

A friend gave me a sack of pickling cucumbers in exchange for a sack of summer squash (don’t you love bartering?)  and I made two half gallon jars of lacto fermented dill pickles. They are fermenting on the kitchen counter for a few more days before moving to the root cellar.

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They will be so good with sandwiches and diced into meat or egg salads.

With two knitting projects going, I haven’t been spinning this week, so no progress on that front. It wouldn’t take me long to finish the Coopsworth and have it ready to wind into balls to knit.

The sweater sleeve is growing inch by painful inch. I blame the hot weather for not working more on it, when in reality, I hate knitting sleeves. Round and round in endless boring rows having to stop every couple rows to turn the whole sweater body over in my lap a few turns to keep from having a tangled mess.

The sock however is progressing nicely. The leg is done and after taking this photo, I started on the heel flap. Usually I do after thought heels, but this sock fits so nicely (I’ve made them twice before) that I follow the pattern.

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I have been playing with this sock as I go. I usually knit socks two at a time using one long circular needle with the Magic Loop technique, but I started this one on two shorter circulars half the stitches on each needle. I tried a few rows on a 9″ circular which was okay too, but I transfered the sock to double point needles to do the heel. In the past , I have felt like I was playing with pick up sticks, the kids game, when using them, but this time, I found the rhythm and I think I may be a convert. Unfortunately I can’t comfortably use metal needles and a size 1 bamboo needle is so thin it looks fragile. Bet I break a few.  Perhaps I should lay in a supply of them.

We ended yesterday with a 2 1/4 mile walk on the Huckleberry Trail.  This is an attempt to get us both back in shape, to improve my strength and try to help Mountaingdad with his balance issues.

Loving life on our mountain farm.

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