We have a lovely cluster of four reddish brown hens. They make happy low chuckling murmurs, a treat for my citified ears. The rabbit seems intrigued, but is witholding judgement.
I want to start something. I started a cotton chenille washcloth (Mason Dixon Washcloth from Mason Dixon Knitting), but I’m not thrilled with it. I should be using smaller needles, but then it will be uncomfortable to knit. Besides, it rips horribly. I hope it shrinks up in the wash. The SeaWool sock is unstarted, and I’m tempted to use a different pattern for it. The colour variations are tonal (I wonder if that makes sense?), so no great differences. I’m tempted to try cables or twisted stitches (Whitby, Conwy, Canal du Midi from Nancy Bush Knitting on the Road) to show off the shine. You should see the stack of sock books behind the computer! I can’t show you, because I still can’t find the camera (1 week and counting). And I’m thinking about Lucy Neatby’s rainbow hat for the Kid, because we have so much ice and snow in Oakland every summer.
Besides finishing a few little projects (I just cast off the baby surprise jacket), I read. Even if my eyelids are a little sweaty, I enjoy reading more than knitting big sweaters in the heat. Because it’s still hot in Oakland (it’s okay, Jane and Mom, go ahead and laugh at my “hot.” I know.) and I lost my heat tolerance years ago.
The city busses are traveling billboards. Lately, they advertise the movie Stardust. So I want to read Neil Gaiman. I just finished Anansi Boys and of course I liked it a lot. Too hot to figure out why. Maybe because it’s got some serious and some slapstick and some scary and plenty of character growth. Maybe because it’s an anansi story, and anansi has the best stories.
Yarnstorm has talked about reading Alain de Botton several times. Soon after this most recent time I happened to be in my favorite Laurel Bookstore by myself with time to wander all around the shelves and came across The Architecture of Happiness. It’s one of the few non-fiction books that I don’t want to put down, though I shouldn’t read it in one fell swoop. It needs thinking about and through. Thought provoking, in the good sense, provoking thought about myself and my surroundings specifically and ourselves and our surroundings much more generally through history. Once I thought, “Mm, not sure I agree,” when he talks about order against the chaos of nature. He’s right in that people think nature is disordered, but I think nature is not actually chaotic, but often very ordered. There are just so many different things, in their own ordered ways, that they seem so very disordered. I’m thinking fractals, and spirals, and hexagons. (I didn’t learn everything I know about the natural sciences from Norah Gaughan’s Knitting Nature, but it is one of the most recent things I’ve read about the natural sciences and boy, did I just get lost in that sentence.) (Actually, the whole paragraph may be a nasty maze with no exit.)
We went to the Grand Lake Farmers’ Market today, so I had an excuse to pull out Local Flavors by Deborah Madison. One of the recipes that always looks good is A Big Tomato Sandwich. So we made something like, and oh, so good! I bought some little orange Turkish eggplants I’ve never seen before. They look a lot like the peppers I bought too. I like the idea of a vegetable garden, but I don’t seem to be able to do the work. I like thinking about good ways to grow a vegetable garden, and try to interest my husband in my grand ideas, but he’s a smart man and knows he’ll do all the work, so he never works up much enthusiasm.