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String and things for string

Whirlwind update with something for everyone. I’ve been collecting photos and not posting them, so here’s a catch-up photo essay.

I have a new reel, complete with rotation counter, courtesy of Nick. It spins beatifully, although the counter-post is going to need some work.

New reel

The furniture fairies (aka Nick’s parents) brought us some things last winter, and I appropriated one as a yarn storage cabinet. It’s in the hallway because it won’t fit anywhere else, but isn’t it just lovely?

New furniture

And it looks like it was built to hold yarn, doesn’t it?

One of this weekend’s projects was a whole bunch of dyeing, including an indigo vat. More to come on that, but isn’t the result pretty?

indigo silk /></p>
<p>Since it’s been in the 90s here, I decided it was probably okay to plant tomatoes. Even though it snowed a couple weeks ago, and was in the 30s right before it hit the 90s. Maybe I’m optimistic. I got four tomato plants, some basil and some parsley at the new Wednesday farmer’s market on campus by my office (convenient!), and traded Tamie for a white sage.</p>
<p><img src=

The tomatoes are all heirloom varieties, some of which I’ve never even heard of: Flamme, Sioux, Pineapple, and Brandywine.


Don’t they have such evocative names? All are planted in the courtyard, and doing well even in the crowd of pinks that I couldn’t bring myself to pull out.

The first blackberry bush is blooming! They were planted next year, so I’m not anticipating a big crop, but I’d like a few berries.

berry bushes

The raspberries are making themselves right at home, sending up new shoots. No flowers yet, but I’m hopeful.

berry bushes

6 Comments on “String and things for string”

  1. #1 Laura
    on Jun 11th, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    Very cool! I like the new tool (go Nick!) and the new yarn cupboard is WONDERFUL. See inspiring yarn & protect it from dust and fluffy bits.

    I’ll look forward to an indigo update. Have you tried any stitch-resists? It may not have the appeal for you it does for me–hand stitching and all–but maybe some of the tied resists would, because that involves knots instead. It’s fun to dismantle it all at the end and see (hey presto) a pattern.

    The botanical bits are nice too. Any black tomatoes this year? I’m pretty impressed you planted your berries next year. ;)

  2. #2 Phiala
    on Jun 11th, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    I have no idea about the black tomatoes – I’ve never heard of three of the four varieties before. Google tells me that I will have orange, yellow and red fruit, but no black this year.

    Yes, I’ve invented the backwards blackberry: Plant it next year, get fruit this year. But it disappears last year, so not a very useful invention. I’m really not certain what happens the year after next.

    I’ve never done indigo resists, although I’ve seen some stunning patterns.

  3. #3 Laura
    on Jun 11th, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    Oh, it’s the blackberry itself that is backwards. I was really hoping you had a way to start something in the future (when you have extra time) and have it finish soon. It could be really handy with things like cooking. “Buy our new time-traveling crockpot, and send yourself meals from the future!” A high-tech version of leaving your pot simmering on the fire & adding bits of food to it, creating a sort of evolving pottage.

  4. #4 cyndy
    on Jun 12th, 2008 at 7:14 am

    Nice work- Nick!

    The indigo vat produced good results!

    There is a nice heirloom black called “Black Pear”…good flavor.

  5. #5 Marie
    on Jun 18th, 2008 at 11:01 am

    Great warping reel! Where did you find the rotational counter? I need one to count rows on my circular sock knitting machine.

  6. #6 Tamie
    on Jun 19th, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    yeah, backwards-evolving crock-pottage. I love it. That means at the end of a dreary winter the spring salad is already grown and ready to eat.