Habits Old and New


May 25, 2011 by Leah

I’ve been rather silent on the internet front because on Monday I decided to take up knitting. Like, needed to learn to knit right-that-second. I drove to three stores (anyone ever been to a yarn store with bars on the windows because of the neighborhood it inhabits? I have!) and finally found some knitting supplies for beginners (size 8 bamboo needles and skeins of actual wool for $5 each) at JoAnn Fabrics. $30 and five hours later, I had a swatch (with a cute little heart in). Cool! Then I spent far too much time wrestling with a ribbed scarf yesterday and now have all of an inch and a half of scarf to show for it. Half my stitches keep ending up hanging off my needle backwards, but I am managing to keep the number of stitches per row pretty steady. I consider this good progress.

This new habit does not bode well for my spending behavior (which is usually entirely concentrated on food acquisition with the occasional household good or piece of used clothing). Yesterday, I went to our local independent yarn shop for supplies like row holders and a crochet hook (did I mention I’ve been doing a lot of unraveling?). Awesome store (they offer lunchtime knitting cruises), but very expensive (they offer knitting cruises) – and, of course I had to buy an extra skein of pretty wool. I don’t really think knitting can be counted as frugal since no one in this house is actually in need of any warm clothes or bags or other things. Except maybe for Duke – as much as he hates clothes, he might not mind a wool sweater for when we move to Washington. (He shivers when it rains here in Long Beach and likes to sleep under the blankets.) Knitting is, though, keeping me happily occupied (sometimes I get so. bored.) and I’m looking forward to taking a project with me to Europe. Maybe I’ll be done with the scarf by then.

Speaking of which, we leave for Europe five weeks from Friday. By the time we return, plans for our move should be well underway. So, not only have I given up all ideas ofย  successive plantings in the garden, I’ve basically ceased active management. I’m still weeding and watering, but kind of half-assedly, and the garden is paying me back in a manner far better than I deserve. The corn is as high as, well, you know. Beans are busting out all over. I hope some else is getting my Rodgers and Hammerstein references, because I am cracking myself up.

Hey, garden.

Bell pepper!


Blue Lake Bean!

A cucumber vine!

Other bean! (Royal burgundy or something?)

Corn! Check it out: there's funny grainy stuff up top and the ears are developing kind of in the middle.

It’s been quite windy here, and with the corn so tall and laden with bean plants, there is a distinctly creepy rustle to be heard coming from the garden most of the time. Maybe I should take it as a reminder to start thinning out some of our possessions and cooking out of the freezer. It’s always surprising how much stuff you can’t – or don’t even want to – take with you when you move.


8 thoughts on “Habits Old and New

  1. Brittany says:

    Oh, my gosh, I am totally jealous of your garden! That is so awesome!! Good for you for taking up knitting. I attempted it and then realized I am never realistically sitting in one place for too long (that does not involve a book at that point).

    • I’ve discovered I can put on a DVD of a favorite TV show or movie – you know, the kind I know so well I don’t have to watch to follow – while I’m knitting and it doubles the fun. Which is good, since I’m not a skilled knitter (knittress?) and it’s not always so fun to take out a row you just put in.

  2. Lizza says:

    Your garden looks amazing!! I grew a bunch of little seedlings and then it was still too cold to put them out and the dogs got into them and so I salvaged the peppers and put them in pots and threw the rest away. Then went to Mill and Feed and got some robust, pre-hardened veggies (beans, brussel sprouts and cauliflower) to put in the garden instead. Sigh…. Also planted some bok choy in a pot and that seems to be doing well. With those and the topsy turvy tomato and strawberry plants I think I am in good shape but definitely never going to live up to the awesomeness of your garden! ๐Ÿ™‚ As for the knitting front, that is awesome! I really enjoy knitting; however find I have very little time for it and need to make more time. I have been working on a baby blanket since before our little 6-year old nephew was born — it was going to be a gift and then I decided it was too much work and I would keep it for our little one who was a long way off and somehow now he is not so far off and the blanket has not really progressed. May put Grama to work on it in August as I’m not sure how far I am going to get now as I was just diagnosed with moderate-severe carpal tunnel in my right hand, which I believe goes beyond the whole “pregnancy induced carpal tunnel.” Sigh…. we’ll see. Keep up the good work though!! I’ll be anxious to see some of your projects! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • It only looks impressive because of the climate. ๐Ÿ™‚ I wish I’d planted cauliflower! I’ve been a bit worried about the repetitive motion aspect of knitting, myself. Hope your carpal tunnel goes away!

  3. Allison says:

    My mom (when she was furiously knitting a hat or two a day for soup kitchen) has a neat yet frugal wool procuring trick: go to Salvation Army (preferably on sale days) and purchase real wool sweaters. Rip apart. Reskein. Voila!

  4. David G says:

    Your garden doesn’t look like it is “limping along” to me. Looks great, enjoy the knitting.

    • Thanks! I was thinking about knitting something for Ruth, but someone who is born in Georgia during summer probably doesn’t need a sweater right off the bat. I imagine she’ll spend a lot of time hanging out in her diaper.

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