There's something about this photo I just love - even though it's out of focus and over-exposed.  It just says "summer" to me - carefree, full of sunshine, not too worried about appearances.  I like summers like that :-)

We're in Pennsylvania for the week, visiting my grandfather.  That's always a bit of an adventure because he lives in a smallish apartment in a retirement community - six of us plus him gives a definite feeling of someone always being in the way.  But it's so good to see him!  And - a big plus as far as the siblings are concerned - there's a pool half a mile away.  We go every afternoon that it doesn't storm, usually for several hours.  I usually get sunburnt.  This year was no exception, although so far it's not too bad; I'm hoping to be able to keep it down to "not too bad" for the rest of the week!  The only real problem with having a naturally very fair skin is that, even with sunscreen with an SPF of 50, it's really only a matter of time before you burn.  Ah well.

I don't think I finished any knitting projects last week... and I broke down in my resolve not to buy any more yarn or fabric.

I found this yarn on sale.  How could I resist it?  It's the exact shade of deep crimson that I've been wanting forever, and it's a "cobweb weight" yarn - finer even than your usual lace-weight - which I've wanted to try for a long time.  And I got three cones of it - 2200 yards or so - for $24, which is a very good price indeed for such fine wool.  But I've promised myself I can't knit anything with it until I get the rest of my stash pared down.

I also picked up some fabric at Wal-Mart.  I found a gorgeous length of green-and-white floral calico - on the $1/yard table!  It's just the right kind of green for me; a little blue, but still definitely green, and there's more white than green in the fabric.  I'm planning a shirtdress, with green buttons, a green belt, and probably rickrack on the collar because I can't seem to avoid using rickrack on things like collars!  I picked up another length of fabric as well but I can't describe it or say what it's for, since it's intended for a gift.

I have been working at my stash though!  See?  I started a shawl yesterday in the car and it's progressing nicely.  I love this yarn - it's very light and airy, but since it's merino wool it will be warm.  The pattern was quick to memorize and it's progressing rapidly.  I think the shawl will be a good every-day one; warm enough to be useful, sturdy enough that I won't be terrified of snagging it on something, but light and dainty enough to be really pretty.

And lest you think that knitting, sewing and swimming are the only things I've been doing this summer:  behold my reading list.

I'm singing a song cycle for my senior recital based on the last words or letters of Henry VIII's first five wives, and I'm also writing a paper on the song cycle.  Which means I have to read a lot of books, both on the five women, on Henry, and on music of the Tudor period.  I ought to read up on the composer as well, but she's very modern, still living, and as far as I can tell there isn't any scholarly writing on her yet.  On the other hand, I might be able to email her and ask her questions directly.  We'll see.  (Oh.  The ones on the right are the ones I've read so far - and I haven't finished one of them.  I've got a lot of reading to do!)

I did bring some of them with me, despite this being vacation.  I love history and I've always been fascinated by Henry and his succession of wives.  They were such interesting women!  I'm partway through the biography of Catherine of Aragon right now and I'm learning so much.  But right now I'm long past my bedtime, and I promised to get up and run with my sister in the morning.  So I'll spare you the details!


  1. Very cool :) I can never stick with my resolve to not purchase, either. I've quit trying. You would have been crazy to pass up that red wool! I LOVE LOVE LOVE that pink shawl! I've never knit anything so fine before. Is it more challenging?

    I LOVE Pennsylvania! Have a safe and happy trip!

  2. Oh my, I LOVE your shawl. What a beautiful pattern! I have been wanting to work with finer yarns. A girl from The Sewing Academy posted a beautiful deep red shawl she had knitted from lace weight yarn. Since then, I've been dying to try!

    It sounds like you have some interesting projects up your sleeve (both sewing/knitting and reading/writing!) Have a fabulous rest of your vacation! Pennsylvania is beautiful. I have driven through it many times since my mothers family is from Rhode Island and my fathers family is from here in Illinois. There has been lots of back-and-forth driving, and Penn. is smack dab in the middle. Lovely place!

  3. Jenny, it's a little more challenging to work with fine yarn, but more because I tend to knit more complicated patterns than because the yarn is actually difficult to work with. And anymore I'd rather knit lace - everything else is boring! ;-P I love Pennsylvania too :)

    Sarah Jane, you should try lace knitting! It's not that hard, I'm sure you could manage it. And there are SOOOOO many pretty yarns and patterns to choose from!
    (BTW - I am never sure whether to call you "Sarah Jane" or just "Sarah". Do you prefer one over the other?)


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