OK. It's been a while. I kept meaning to post, but, if I am going to be completely honest, it was so nice to truly take some time away from my computer that I couldn't bring myself to sit down at it for anything more than the bare minimum work requirements (OK, that was in July; before that, I was spending so much time at my computer wrapping up several HUGE projects that I couldn't bear to be at the computer to do anything else). Instead, I spent the month of July and early August as much outdoors as I could be, and loved every minute of it.
I think I also have been having trouble conceptualizing a blog post that isn't just a recap of all of those lovely grade-school "What I Did With My Summer" essays.* So instead, I think I'll just hit some of the high points - the things that felt like a challenge, or like something I've wanted to do for a while, or an achievement for someone in the family, and then throw a few additional fun photos in over the next several weeks (because I just downloaded all the pictures off the camera, and there are a LOT). (Note added later: I realized that there is no sane way to get everything into one post, especially if I want to include some fiber content - and I do! - so I'll just have to do the second half of the summer in the next one.)
First, Younger Daughter "graduated" from her grade school. This is a bigger deal than it might seem, since she's been going there, first to day care, then preschool, then grade school, since she was about 18 months old. Next Monday, she starts at her brand-new middle school, and it's going to be a huge change for her. She's ready, but it was nice to have a moment to celebrate the change.
Very soon thereafter, we packed up and headed to Mammoth for a solid week of getting outside and getting some family time. During that week, we took our first overnight backpacking trip as a family. Just one night, but the big goal (from my perspective) was for the girls to want to do it again. I knew that Rick's trail choice was dead-on when Older Daughter, pack and all, turned to me most of the way through our hike in to say with excitement, "I feel so self-sufficient!"
Two days later, the girls and I went on a half-day horseback riding excursion (not a trivial matter for our non-saddle-trained selves, especially as we climbed - and therefore descended - 2,000 vertical feet during the ride, which requires a lot of work for a rider, if you're planning to help the horse at all). The top was a reminder that Mammoth is, indeed, an old volcano (dormant only).
I also knitted on that trip. My knitting mojo just isn't what I'd like it to be these days - I'm not sure why I'm feeling jammed up, so, as you'll see in the next post, I'm pulling out some old projects that I think are taking up space in my guilt-ridden back brain, and trying to move those forward. In Mammoth, however, I started and finished two new things.
check it out (the pattern has also been released).
Briar Rose Stella, which is an absolute treat to work with; it's hard to go wrong with a laceweight merino/silk blend in one of Chris' stunning colorways (it even looks like she has one more skein left in this color). This particular version is destined to go to the Briar Rose booth as a sample, so you can visit it, but I will be casting on to knit my own veryvery soon - it's fun to knit, and utterly wearable. The only question I have is whether to knit this size, or make the medium. So many hard choices...
I also finished up a pair of socks for myself while we were there, which I haven't had a chance to wear since coming back, as it's been hot and humid here (le sigh).
Clandestine Socks, and they were really great fun to knit. This is a good travel knitting pattern because, apart from the lace edging, they're quite easy, but fun enough to keep one's attention. I need to find the yarn label (sorry), but this is a merino/alpaca blend, if I remember correctly, by a local dyer; I picked this yarn up at a local festival about a year ago.
So, that's it for now. There's more (believe me!), but I think I'll stop here and go work on some spinning I have on the wheel.
*My brother once got very creative and told his teacher that he'd been to Greenland on his summer vacation. He even had it straight that Greenland is the colder, less-populated one (as opposed to Iceland). He apparently had lots of detail for verisimilitude - heaven knows where he got it, probably National Geographic - but the teacher did eventually check with my mom, who was rather surprised to find out where we'd gone that year... I did not go to Greenland this summer, and I will not tell you that I did.