Monday, August 30, 2010

Late Summer Musings

I don't know what it is about summer that makes me so nostalgiac, almost homesick, for my childhood. Is it the hum of bees in the flowers, the heat and humidity, the more languid pace, the summer diet with its abundance of fruit? Whatever it is, I find myself thinking back more and more to my childhood home on the northwest corner of Baltimore, in a then-undeveloped neighborhood that was bordered on 3 sides by woods. I can almost smell the soft scent of the azaleas that heralded the coming summer; every house had its pathway lined with these bright bushes. And I can see the 4 o-clocks and phlox that grew along our patio wall. I was fascinated to watch the 4 o'clocks open every afternoon- and remain asleep on cloudy days. I remember our neighbors' rhodedendrons (orange) and mophead hydrangeas (blue and pink and lilac). I can taste the punch my mother used to make from fresh Maryland strawberries (we never had soda in the house in those years), and I can still enjoy fresh local peaches with sugar and cream; that was often a hot weather supper in our house.

Well, whatever it is, I've been missing it intensely and trying to recreate it however I can. I've been enjoying our local Jersey peaches and tomatoes (this has been an exceptionally good year for fruit). I pulled Betsey-Wetsey out of storage to model my baby knitting. She like me is a Baltimore girl, coming from I & L Toys, now defunct, on East Lombard Street. I grow a lot of hydrangeas, some of them mopheads that shade from blue to pink to lilac. I've planted black-eyed Susans, in honor of my home state. Even my knitting is meant to soothe my nostalgia. Especially the cotton knitting I've done with Peaches & Crème; I'm sure it's the imagery on the label of a ripe peach and a jug of cream that reminds me of home.

My new project in Peaches & Crème is a kitchen towel; the pattern is by Janet Carlow. This will be the first replacement of our old kitchen towels (if DH and I like hand-knit towels, that is).
chili pepper 3

I finished the Diagonal Baby Blanket
diagonal blanket finis 1
and made a berry-nice hat as an added bonus:
berry hat 1

Summer is fast-over; nights are already cool, even if the days are hot. Now I can knit again with wool. Yesterday, I began DD#1's belated birthday present (her birthday is late May; she didn't need a wool sweater for the summer, right?):
Twist hoodie start
The pattern is Bonne Marie Burns' Twist hoodie, and it's available at her site, ChicKnits (link on the sidebar at left). Yarn is Rowan Magpie, saved in my stash for a special present. I think a birthday present for a dear daughter counts. Which reminds me again about Betsey-Wetsey: she was a birthday present too; I got her for my 3rd birthday. I lost her original clothes but have long dressed her instead in cast-off baby clothes from my brothers and now from the daughters. She was a big part of my summers in Baltimore; she was a playmate when no one else was around. DH thinks she needs a hat of her own. And I think she needs a sweater to match it.


fleegle said...

That hat is adorable! And I love the baby blanket. The sweater looks lovely and warm--and it's finally cool enough that I don't shudder away from warm things :)

Donna Lee said...

Summer makes me remember childhood, too. We were just talking about bike riding and how fearless we were as kids and how much more fearful we are as adults! No hands free riding for me now.