Monday, August 10, 2009

Summer Blahs

It's that time of the summer when the novelty has worn off. It's hot, it's humid, there's not much to do. The kids are home, bickering and whining. There's practically no knitting.

But there's some fun stuff going on. Last week the kids and I got out the ice cream maker and made banana ice cream. It was yum. I like making ice cream -- it's not too difficult, we can pick our own flavors, and it's all natural. I used 1% milk and half and half instead of whole milk and light cream, so it wasn't as fatty as regular ice cream, but still very rich. Here it is, a bit brightly, in the machine:

And in the bowl:

On Friday I took the kids down to Old Town Alexandria for lunch and a little side trip to the new yarn store, Fibre Space (very cute). It was a gorgeous day, in the low 70s with no humidity. As we walked down the street, I talked about what a perfect day it was, weatherwise. Jr. Jr. piped up, saying it was too hot. His preferred temperature range is apparently between 58 and 62 degrees. Sr. Jr. complained that it was way too cold and he didn't like it. Very Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

On Saturday we went to the Legg Mason tennis tournament. I like this tournament, though I question the wisdom of holding a tennis tournament in Washington in August, when the heat and humidity can reach really oppressive levels. The venue is small enough that you have great views of the game and the players. In early rounds, players are very sweet about signing autographs, too. You can walk out onto the practice courts and watch some yummy tennis players practicing, shirtless:

I thought about telling Mr. T to take the kids into the arena and leaving me to watch the shirtless action :)

We saw the del Potro/Gonzales match, the south of the border attraction. Lots of Chilean and Argentinean fans in the audience, rooting for their men. It was very, very hot, and both players had just flown in from South America, where it's winter now. It was clear they were not used to the heat. The first set was a tight race that ended in a tiebreaker, but it was clear in the second set that Gonzales was finished. After a display of temper in the first set (he threw his racket in the first game and broke it), he lightened up and became a bit silly when he realized he didn't have it in him to fight for the match.

At one point he fell down and stayed down. When del Potro went to the net to see how he was doing, he feebly raised a hand, asking for help. del Potro climbed over the net to help him up. It was cute. In an interview after the match, del Potro admitted to a fleeting wish to just lie down with Gonzales, but realized if he did that, they wouldn't get up and finish the match.

I just wrote a lot of words to say that there's nothing much to show you knitting-wise. I have done a bit more on my Moses sweater, but I'd like to be a little further along before I show you a new picture. I'm planning my vacation knitting, however. We have a 9 hour car ride, so I need something easy. I'm going to bring the Gothsocks, but I'm also going to cast on for another Aestlight Shawl, this time using Sanguine Gryphon's Eidos yarn, in the Alcibiades colorway (link because I'm too lazy to take a picture for you, sorry). The garter stitch triangle at the start is great car knitting. Those two and the Moses sweater will come with me to South Carolina. Is that enough?

One last thought: I'm totally jealous of everyone who got to go to Sock Summit this year. It sounds like it was Woodstock for knitters, between the classes, the people (Barbara Walker!!), and the market. I had some really generous Rav-friends shopping for me in the market, some as their end of swap deals, and some out of the kindness of their hearts. I asked for more Gothsocks, because I love the yarn and it's so hard to get in her updates. I've heard from some of them with what they got me and I'm thrilled :) Pictures to follow, someday. But I am truly grateful that Ravelry has so many kind people who do these things for their fellow knitters. I hope I can do the same for others someday.


Sharon said...

Yummy shirtless tennis players. I liked Fibre Space. I bought a few skeins as a "welcome to the hood" gesture. I'll go back though. The energy is good, and they didn't dismiss me because I'm primarily a crocheter (like they do at Knit Happens).

Sharon said...

One more comment---let me know what you think of Olive Kitteridge. I thought it was brilliant. Olive stayed with me for weeks.

Loren T said...

I really liked the energy/feeling at Fibre Space. Everyone was friendly and welcoming. I never liked Knit Happens, so I'm not at all surprised to hear that things aren't looking too good over there. I noticed all the interesting classes -- including crochet classes -- on the cute chalkboard walls at FS. And of course I bought some yarn, too.

And you've reminded me that it's been way too long since I updated the "What I'm reading" sidebar! I liked Olive Kittredge a lot. It was such a complicated and complete portrait of a difficult woman. I just recently downloaded "Amy and Isabelle," an earlier book by the same author, though I haven't started it yet. There have been a number of good books that didn't make it to that sidebar yet. But I've been on a summer ez-reading kick lately, having re-started and abandoned Middlemarch, now I'm rereading the Thursday Next books. Not a whole lot of mental energy here right now.

Sharon said...

I did the same thing--downloaded "Amy and Isabelle" right after I read Olive. It was okay--not on the same level as "Olive" at all. So far this summer, I also finished "The Elegance of the Hedgehog"--good--and "The Glass Castle" (a memoir by Jeanette Walls). The former was good; the latter excellent. Still slogging through "40 Days of Musa Dagh" which is horridly depressing and am finishing up "Fireworks: Nine Stories in Various Disguises" by Angela Carter, which is excellent but strange. I tried reading "Out Stealing Horses" while we were in Quebec, but was not really grooving on it. I plan to give it another go, however. Beach reading for you?? I'm still debating.

Loren T said...

Beach reading... good question. I'll check out "Out Stealing Horses," but if you weren't feeling it, maybe not. This is the great part about having the Kindle: it all comes with me and I can choose as I go. I really want to read Julia Child's autobiography at the moment. I loved Katherine Graham's and I suspect that Julia Child's would be similarly interesting.

Scott T. said...


why did you post that picture of me playing tennis without my shirt on

kippi said...

You should have entitled this post YUMMY.

1. Ice cream: yummy.
2. Hot, sweaty man: yummy.

Great call on the yarn choice for the Aestlight. I think I'm going to make one using my Little Traveler.

Your new yarn shop seems nice. It is weird to see a shop open seven days a week. One of ours is closed on Tuesdays. Have you considered going there to sit and knit? Is it close to the house?

Sharon said...

Husband is pretty funny.