Sweet Days of Summer

Ahh the Sweet Days of Summer have arrived here on the farm. I love being able to walk outside and breathe and not have the desire to rush back inside where the AC is cranking away. 
Last week I caught this little lady spinning a lovely web over by the woodpile. If you’re not up on your spiders, this is a golden orb. I shared this photo with my friend Jan over at Hungry Holler (because she’d just been caught in a web herself). We both admired the zig-zag. She chatted with her buddy Russel Studebaker – general nice guy and Tulsa World horticulture writer – he said there were several possibilities for the zig zag but the one he mentioned that I prefer is that it’s just one of Nature’s mysteries.

 

Late this afternoon I caught this little guy sunning himself on our back porch. (I have no idea why I’m applying gender presumptions but I’m just assuming the spider is female and the lizard is male.)  Cherokee County has an abundance of lizards or so it seems. I’ve seen an amazing one with red and blue neon stripes, but have yet to catch it still long enough for a photo. 
 
Tonight I’ve mixed up a little local flair for dinner. Some of the ingredients were from the Food Co-op, some from the Cherry Street Farmer’s Market. The base recipe is Grecian Quiche from Cooking by Moonlight, but I switch things around usually depending on what’s fresh at hand. This time I’m using Creme Fraiche from Wagon Creek Creamery, red peppers from Three Springs Farm, ham from Pork & Greens, and a local herbed goat cheese called Fish Bait. I use local eggs when I can, but I was too late to get them on the food co-op. Ima Layer eggs sell fast.  I’d love to say I made the pie crust myself, but I’d be lying if I did. 
To quote one of my very favorite duos from the 1970’s, Seals & Crofts –
“See the smile a-waitin’ in the kitchen, food cookin’ and the plates for two.
See the arms that reach out to hold me, in the evening when the day is through.
Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind.”
 

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Late Summer’s Local Abundance

We had a beautiful day yesterday at the Cherry Street Farmers Market in Tulsa. Here are a few photos of the wonderful things and people that you can see at CSFM on any given Saturday during a late Oklahoma summer.

Wheat grass and mums – one for the body the other for the beds.
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Cosmetics made from local honey by Linda of Hilltop Honey. Sweet!
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Peppers were the hot items in both Anna Katherine’s booth –
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and Joyce Chillingworth’s booth.
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Ear covers and scarfs with local llama yarn were on display by Country Garden Farm.
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Chef Teri Fermo of La Bohemia Catering is one of Tulsa’s greatest.  Miss Teri’s Naughty Toffee is a favorite at our house as is her Lumpia Shanghai.
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I was thrilled by this new local grain grown by the Yang Farm – Hmong Sticky Rice! It’s beautiful isn’t it? (I couldn’t resist you know I bought some!)
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Carissa at Cosmic Cones has a hit on her hands. She uses fruits and veggies purchased from market vendors to create amazing shaved ice. The chai will give you a buzz and keep you cool.
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This is Claudia of Vine & Branch Vineyard. Her table grapes are amazing. See that near empty table? If you wait till 8am to shop – you’ll miss out on these.
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Farrell Bread – artisan and organic – try the Honey-Challah braids!
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There are always interesting dogs walking on leashes. I can’t imagine ours behaving well in a crowd but these two seemed to have struck up a wary friendship.
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Sometimes you even run into relatives at market. Here’s my big sister and her partner Amos.
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Chris Fuller of Luna Bread knows his stuff. They’ve got breads, soups, and a new line of Cajun foods.
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Our Manager Lisa and her assistant Don, a great duo that makes the market day run smooth.
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Three Springs Farm is our neighbor at the market and they live across the county from us. This is Emily’s mother Nancy who helps out on Saturday mornings.
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Good music is a nice draw at market. You’ll probably already know his voice from the radio show Folk Salad, but here’s Scott Aycock in person. He organizes the bands and sometimes performs on Saturdays.
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My hometown, it can be downright tantalizing.  

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Now on Facebook!

I finally took the plunge and created a Facebook identity for LostCity Knits this week. Yes, that’s LostCity (without a space) Knits.

Why Facebook? It’s a good place to enjoy community with like minded folks. I’ll try not to clutter up your newsfeed too much, but will have relevant blog posts, festival dates, and even the occasional contest on FB.

There’s now a FB badge on the left side of the blog that will take you directly to the LostCity Knits page. Feel free to friend us. If you’ve got a FO (finished object) or a WIP (work in progress) photo on FB, we’d be happy for you to tag LostCity Knits in your photo for show and tell.

OTN – Tuesday –on Wednesday

Goals are good things, even if they don’t fall into place quite where one intended. 

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Over the weekend I thought I’d become some sort of organized blogger this week with posts like OTN – Tuesday or FO – Friday like some of my more clever friends. Yesterday was taken up with hours of plugging in codes and posting photos of the Oklahoma yarns, which still seemed to leave today for OTN – Tuesday, until this morning when I realized yesterday was Tuesday.

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In perseverance I’m declaring today OTN – Tuesday on Wednesday.

Two new projects have been getting all of my devotion for the past week, well knitting time devotion. When I cast the first one on Chris asked me if I was spreading myself too thin. I asked him what he meant, and he asked something he’s never asked before, “How many knitting projects do you have going?”  I was kind of gobsmacked by his audacity. The first time he asked I blustered through without giving him a real answer. The second time he asked the same question as I cast on the second project I ticked them off on my fingers – using two hands. I didn’t even include some projects that I haven’t laid eyes on in months. Then I gave him the stink-eye. And I kept knitting.

What has me so enamored? Two new designs!

First up is a simple little scarf that I think I’ll be needing to wear next month when we go to the Walnut Valley Guitar Festival in Winfield, Kansas. Everyone just refers to the event as Winfield. “Are you going to Winfield this year?” “Can you do such & such in mid-September? I can’t – I’m going to Winfield!

The Winfield guitar festival is one of the festivals that just boggles my mind every year. RV’s, campers, tents, guitars, and tie dye as far as the eye can see. And music 24 hours a day for several weeks leading up to the main event. Then it’s an all out bluegrass-apooloza for the four days of the main festival. There are several different stages, each with their own personality. And the same story exists for the different camping groves.

Mid-September can either be brutally hot or cool and breezy. I’ve had enough of heat and am hoping for cool and breezy this year at Winfield. Therefore, I’ve designed a sweet little scarf especially for Winfield – it’s called The Pecan Grove. I’m using the Wool/Bamboo in colorway Anything But Drab. The knitting is simple with a few decreases and increases, and requires only one 400 yard skein. I’ll have the pattern charted up for release as soon as I finish knitting the sample (for myself!) and know how many repeats the 400 yards allow. I washed out the photo with flash, the yarn is a wee bit darker and better represented in the photo on the Wool Shop page.

August at the farmers market means grapes. Claudia, who is one of the sweetest souls you’ll ever hope to meet, grows amazing table grapes. I adore grapes – chilled grapes, grape jelly, and yes – wine! My good friend Cathy and I have been known to stop at a winery on our way to the annual knitting retreat in Guthrie.

I’m using the Lost City Silk yarn in colorway Bacchus to knit Sangiovese, a large triangle lace shawl. I’m just starting the second repeat of the first chart and am quite happy with the progress thus far.

Now that I know it’s Wednesday I’ll be on time for my lunch with my fiber friend Coleen of Heaven Sent Food & Fiber Farm!

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Oklahoma Yarns – Now Online!

Is it too far to drive to the farmers market in Tulsa but a skein of alpaca/silk would make the perfect scarf for fall evenings? Kids have soccer on Saturdays but you’re craving some llama/bamboo yarn? Are you already planning to knit mittens for holiday presents and need a skein of wool/bamboo?

There are now more yarn options at Lost City Knits! We’ve added our line of Oklahoma Fiber Partnership yarns on these pages –  Wool Yarn Shop, Llama Yarn Shop and Alpaca Yarn Shop. The tabs run across the top of the main page just below the big photo of yarn skeins. The wool, llama, and alpaca fiber for these yarns come from Oklahoma farms, and the fleeces were cleaned, picked, and/or sorted by yours truly.

Here are a few of the new colorways and fiber options that are available –

Alpaca and Tussah Silk in colorway Bacchus – The subtle shades of wine would be a nice accent with your little black dress.

 Llama and Bamboo in colorway Anything But Drab – Aren’t you crazy about this new colorway? It’s a little green, a little brown and a quite gorgeous.

Wool and Bamboo in colorway Sugar Maple – named for the trees in Oklahoma that are most glorious in the fall.

You want undyed natural colored yarn? We’ve got a little of that too!

How about llama with bamboo yarn from a llama called Faun?

Or wool with bamboo yarn from a sheep called Oprah?

The sun is setting earlier every day, and it’s time to get serious again about our knitting. I won’t mention that the Christmas holidays are only seventeen weeks away. I won’t mention it because I’m in denial myself. 

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Chestnut & Sherry – Emily Dickinson

Although I bound this shawl off on August first we’ve just this morning taken a few photos for show and tell.
Pattern: Emily Dickinson Shawl by Keiran Foley
Yarn: Lost City Silk in colorway Portland
Beads: Copper-lined clear size 6 from Bead Merchant in Tulsa, OK

In one of her letters to Thomas Higginson, Emily Dickinson wrote “I…am small, like the wren, and my hair is bold, like the chestnut burr; and my eyes, like the sherry in the glass that the guest leaves.

Emily Dickinson - half

I’m thrilled with how this shawl turned out. No it’s not a fancy stitch, just 90% garter stitch. Concentration level required – next to none. But the drape of the silk and the glitz of the beads make this simple to knit shawl a real beauty. It is elegant. The designer told me that my choice for yarn made it a authentically Victorian shawl.

Emily Dickinson - closeup

I know I’ll be wearing this shawl a great deal. The reasons are many. It’s a chestnut brown, and I love a good brown. It’s a simple shawl, not showy but quite lovely nonetheless. The copper-lined beads were a perfect match and catch the light without being overly dramatic. It’s silk. Nuff said.

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Emily Dickinson 002

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This shawl garnered a lot of attention while we were in Indiana earlier in the month. I wore it with a nice cream linen skirt that has brown flowers and I felt fabulous. The silk drape with beads made the shawl rest easily on my shoulders without slipping or the need of a shawl pin.

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Comments from other knitters range from loving the process of knitting this shawl to finding it boring. I’ve got to say, I never found it boring. Sure it’s garter stitch but there is a time and place for miles and miles of garter stitch that doesn’t require constant attention. Apparently – one time and place is summer in Oklahoma. Avar gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.” : “http://www.”);document.write(unescape(“%3Cscript src='” + gaJsHost + “google-analytics.com/ga.js’ type=’text/javascript’%3E%3C/script%3E”)); var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker(“UA-xxxxxx-x”);pageTracker._trackPageview();

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I foresee a few more Emily Dickinson shawls in my future. Avar gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.” : “http://www.”);document.write(unescape(“%3Cscript src='” + gaJsHost + “google-analytics.com/ga.js’ type=’text/javascript’%3E%3C/script%3E”)); var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker(“UA-xxxxxx-x”);pageTracker._trackPageview();

Good Mail!

 I love when knitting goodies show up in the mail and last week two of the prizes I won on Seasons of Lace arrived.

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First up is the book Knitting Lace by Barbara Abbey. It’s wonderful little book from Schoolhouse Press and has some border stitch patterns that I’ve never seen before. You’ll notice that wee bit of yellow sticking out? It’s already getting marked with things I want to swatch for future projects. And see that fabulous bookmark beside the book? How cool is that?  That is bobbin lace! Teri from Knits by Teri donated the book and included the bookmark that she made! Thanks Teri!

Knitting Lace

Now you know I love the skinny yarn right? I also won four skeins of Panda Silk from Crystal Palace Yarns. They let me choose the colors so I thought two different colors would be fun and two is enough to make a scarf. Something for Spring I think.

Panda Silk!