oh gosh, WHAT a day. such a brilliant sky, such a fresh breeze, such beautiful, clear light—these are the days i’ve been waiting for. this is why we keep our hopes up during those gray months of winter, right?. sigh. spring is here . . .
this morning, everything was popping up and showing off—crocuses, daffodils, hellebores (barb, it’s blooming!!), tulips
so determined they pierced right through the ivy leaves that were covering them
(i didn’t know tulip leaves could cut like this, did you?)
and my favorite, the hostas, are emerging like turtle heads from the mud out back. i’m very excited, can you tell?
speaking of plants growing, i want to mention a really special effort that teachers and students at hudson junior high school are taking up this year, at no cost to the district—the henry hudson discovery gardens.
knitspot readers who live in the hudson, NY region and are familiar with the school will know what a great resource this will be for the community. my cousin lynn (on the right; frequent commentor and a wonderful gardener herself) teaches at this school and is a leader for the project.
the goals for this inaugural year are to:
- teach students about the lives of various plants and a better understanding of where food comes from and how to grow their own food
- provide produce to the school cafeteria; students will eat what they grow
- possibly develop a farm stand; money made on the sale of produce and/or plants will be used to sustain the garden
- begin a composting program to provide nutrition to garden soil and reduce monies spent on waste removal
even the small amount of funding needed for a project like this is hard to come by, however—though participants and leaders are working to secure grant money, several responses will remain up in the air until after planting time has passed. SO, they are seeking donations for a list of desired plants and tools and are gratefully accepting tax-deductible cash donations to purchase supplies.
if you have a few bucks to share and love the idea of kids getting involved in gardening, please visit the garden blog and send your tax-deductibe donation to the address listed on the left.
if you live in the hudson area and are growing starts that you can share or have some tools that you don’t use any more, please use the same contact info to make yourself known; your generosity is greatly appreciated.
we’ll be sure to direct you to blog updates as the spring and summer passes; i’m hoping that students will fill it with wonderful photos and accounts of their garden adventure. and possibly, i’ll get to visit the garden myself for a tour on one of my trips east; that would be amazing.
this afternoon when i got back from my bike ride, the same buds i photographed this morning were open as wide as could be. a welcoming smile, for sure.
so yeah, i know this is a knitting blog and i do have fibery news to share as well—actually, i have news going all the way back to sunday’s spinning class.
it looks like a dress stewart plaid, i love it (great buttons too, from joann). she is thrilled with the fit and the color; let’s face it, there’s no feeling like that of a really successful project.
i’m working my way through some beautiful, dark shetland, produced by my friend beckie’s former flock of sheep. this is from angus; i’m spinning it into a lofty, chunky weight yarn.
susan is spinning a nearly-identical batch of shetland that she picked up at our local fiber show last may. we are having a dueling shetland event.
some of you may wonder if susan is a real person or just our imaginary friend, since she is so rarely included in blog photos. she IS real, though she doesn’t make it to class as often as everyone else does (which gives us plenty of time to talk about her, haha!)
anyway, there is she is, real as can be, spinning her shetland and getting ahead of me.
have i mentioned how happy i am to be home ALL month long? i love seeing my spinning and knitting classes and it’s so productive to be in one place. i’m trying to enjoy every minute of it before i head out again in april for several more teaching dates.
i’ll be at stitches with style in delaware (spots available; please contact the shop for more info) and loop in philly over the weekend of april 9 and 10.
then it’s on to sock camp from april 15-20 and the loopy ewe spring fling from april 22-25 (both of these events are sold out).
so while i’m home, i’m focusing on getting some patterns out, starting new projects and writing new patterns for those, as well as working away on a bigger, behind-the-scenes project.
i blocked my newest pine and ivy rendition this morning—this is the one i’ve been waiting for; the one that inspired the whole design, knit in my precious skein of handspun silk/cashmere (fiber from chasing rainbows dyeworks). i’m SO happy with the result
the pine-cone browns and spruce blue/green colors in it are lovely. the color changes in the hand-dyed fiber translated into subtle, shifting bands of winter forest shades throughout the yarn and stretching the fabric made them even more mysterious.
i worked this one as a regular triangle shape so that i could use it as a scarf or shawl—it’s soft and light enough to make multiple soft folds up near the neck if i want it that way.
i know some of you are very anxious for the release of this pattern and we will deliver it as soon as the test knitters give me the go-ahead. i don’t want to pressure them though, so hang in there; it won’t be long!
now that i see the green and brown one blocked out, i’ve decided to work my brown/plum mini version as a straight triangle as well. i didn’t work on this over the last couple of nights, but tonight i’ll add some rows; i think i’ll probably finish it by the weekend. tomorrow we do a photo shoot at my friend’s farm; i think we might end up with some excellent photos. and then that’s that for pine and ivy
(at least, that’s what i’m telling everyone, haha).
because really, i need to design some new things; almost all the knitting i had on the needles last week is done.
i have just a few hours work left to do on this french quarter sock and another pair will be completed. i got two new cuffs underway for the mates to the longjohn socks; those will be my take-along projects for a while.
so now what?
we-e-ell, i’ve been thinking quite a bit about baby blankets lately—don’t ask me why; i have no idea, haha. i just think they are fun to knit, i guess. i enjoyed knitting the honey baby blanket so much last summer that it was done and gone away before i could blink, really.
i have this beautiful blue winter sky yarn from knitting notions in my stash which i’ve been drooling over for a while. it’s catherine’s soft, squishy classic merino sport yarn and it’s just begging to be a little blanket, i think. i’m working on swatches now—this one is a stitch i’ve been eyeing all winter that is just the kind i like—it’s got rich texture and depth, but is easy to work and has good rhythm; a great stitch for a traveling project.
funny thing though—it hasn’t worked in most of the yarns i tried. so many yarns are too busy or too relaxed or too colorful and don’t play well with the motif. but i think it just might work here.
i washed it to see if the texture got lost once it was wet and it didn’t; i think i like it a lot (never mind about the seeming color change; that’s a mechanical issue, heh. the color of the dry swatch in the photo above is the real deal).
i’m may try another couple of motifs, just to see if there’s one i like better (but why??).
so that’s one thing i’m playing with. i’m also obsessed with the idea of a laceweight mitt and beret set. something really lightweight with a bit of a period feeling. that one is still in the imagination stage, but i do have a yarn and color picked out (is that weird?).
i brought this skein of miss babs merino/silk laceweight home from sock summit, already thinking of the mitts and beret set—it has really stood the test of time. i think then, that this yarn should be knit into mitts and a beret . . . just for fun, babs is also sending me a skein of sport weight in the same outback colorway so i can work the set in two weights.
and now for something completely different
can you believe it? i never buy yarn in these colors, though i always admire a really good neon psychedelic mix when i see one and am envious of those who are visionary enough to use them freely. my friend gail though—well, she’s an absolute master at recognizing good ones and it was she who found this rare gem at the blue moon barn sale on new year’s eve and snatched it up for me. we call these colorways “chiclets” colors.
i’m working on finding just the right stitch pattern to bend your mind with it, baby.
i actually have more pictures and stuff to tell you, too (i’m a real chatty cathy today, aren’t i?), but it’s after 10 pm, i’m running on way too long, and i had planned to have this post up by like, ten hours ago.
so i’m gonna sign off now, but i’ll try to get back tomorrow to tell the rest (we have a big day tomorrow though, so it might be friday instead . . )