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Still life with tomatoes and manuscript


Bread, cheese (in wax!), fresh basil, and the very first of the tomatoes!


Of the fancy heirloom tomatoes, the Flamme wins the prize for earliest. The Sioux did not thrive, and won’t produce any fruit. We’ll see about the other two. Even the volunteer black cherry tomatoes didn’t start to ripen until this week. They taste just fine, by the way. That’s an heirloom rather than an hybrid variety, so it bred true. I’m glad I left the volunteers in, even if they are threatening to take over the courtyard again.

But wait… last year, weren’t the tomatoes nearly a month earlier? Yup. That’s what happens when it snows in mid-May. By now I should be nearly stuffed on tomatoes and sweet corn, but the first tomatoes made up today’s lunch, and I have the first farmer’s market corn for dinner. Hopefully it will stay warm later than usual this year; otherwise I may suffer from tomato deprivation. Gotta load up on vitamin C for the winter! Nothing says “summer” to me like the taste of a fresh, sun-warmed tomato and the smell of the vines. It’s a bit odd when Morgan smells like tomatoes, though, after hunting bugs through the vines.

Things are starting to get back to normal. Many loads of Pennsic laundry have been done, I filled all the orders that came in while I was out of town, and have caught up on email and urgent work things. Not so much on the regular work-things, though – I have quite a bit to get finished before the end of the year (September 30, for those not in the federal system). I did something remarkably stupid, too: when asked to participate in a time-consuming but slightly prestigious task. I said yes. Despite having already stated that I would not take on any similar (but easier) jobs until after the end of the year. Ooops. Guess I’ll be working a few weekends.

Pennsic was much better than expected. The weather was good, neither too hot nor too wet, and the company was excellent. I’ll put some photos up later. I got completely hooked on the silk spinning, and carried it everywhere. I even picked up a couple more silk caps to dye.

silk spinning

I taught a general fiber-arts forum, where people could bring projects, ask questions, socialize with fellow string-geeks. Despite some problems with the listing, it was well-attended. I had the opportunity there to chat with the purchaser of the indigo-dyed silk, and he thinks it will be fine. I hope so!

I also taught a Snartemo tablet weaving class. The technique is named after the town in Norway where an early example was found, and uses four colors per card. Tablets are rotated in different directions to create wide and narrow diagonal stripes (the wide stripes are formed by warp floats over three or more picks).

Snartemo tablet weaving

I carefully packed the handouts, graph paper and colored pencils. I didn’t realize until at Pennsic that I did not have any actual weaving with me! I rushed out and bought some cotton and whipped up the above simple example. I was lucky enough to be able to borrow two more elaborate pieces from Rosalind. (Good apprentice!!! Covers for absent-minded Laurel!)

The class was bigger than ideal, but happily a couple of people who were familiar with the technique showed up to kibbitz, and I pressed them into service answering questions while I bounced back and forth between the two tables. Nearly everyone “got it”, which is very good for an advanced class.

Remember the Interweave hurt book sale? My acquisitions appeared right before Pennsic.

string books

I haven’t done more than leaf thru them, but am quite pleased. All three were on my “ought to own” list, and now I do. Thanks, Interweave! I forsee many mittens in my future, and maybe I will be brave and try gloves.

And now, lunch is over and I must move the plate and return to the manuscript underneath.

Lunchtime is over

1 Comment on “Still life with tomatoes and manuscript”

  1. #1 Laura
    on Aug 14th, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    What a pretty lunch! I’ve been getting local (maybe heirloom?) cherry tomatoes at the grocery store–orange, red yellow–so tasty with fresh basil. And I discovered goat milk mozzarella, so I’m all set.

    I love the red silk (it’s red, and it’s silk, and it’s handspun!), and I probably should try Snartemo, right? I got the tablets out few weeks ago, but kept on with embroidery. This week–knitting. Soon I’ll weave, though.

    My Interweave books came, too–2 about beading and one on woven shibori. Ooh…

    Glad to hear Pennsic was good, esp. the weather–I was thinking about you guys, and hoping you were neither sweltering nor soggy. I look forward to pictures!