white story

there’s a bit of a white story going on in the yard right now—the colorful spring flowers are gone, but there are a number of less showy bloomers in flower. the may apple, mock orange, sweet woodruff, solomon’s seal, and the last of the lily of the valley have turned the garden into a snow-sprinkled landscape, filled with scent.

this morning i woke up, went to the sink to start the coffee, and saw one of david’s cute italian soda bottles in the dish drainer. you know the ones—short, rounded, pebbled glass, holds about six ounces of soft drink.
i have a thing for these adorable bottles and if it didn’t make me look like a crazy lady, i’d squirrel every one of them away on a shelf in the pantry, just to open that cabinet and look at them once in a while, like a short, pot-bellied glass army.

but i digress . . .

anyway, there one was in the sink and i just had to fill it with tiny flowers—we don’t get this opportunity very often, even in summer. tiny flowers come and go so quickly (as do the soda bottles . . .).

the sweet woodruff are taller this year than i’ve ever seen them and more plentiful, too. they make the perfect partner to a handful of lilies. the light through the curtains was just right for this photo, creating a pretty, dappled effect for the background.

gosh i have so many things to show and tell about that i don’t know where to start—how did i end up with such a backlog?

before i went away last weekend, i had a spinning class on thursday evening and afterward, i blocked my finished twinings stole

this was knit in fearless fibers merino laceweight, one of my favorite lace yarns. it has a lofty, bouncy twist and is a bit heavier at 200 yards per ounce—if you fear thinner yarns, this is a good one to try, as it handles much like a fingering yarn and can be knit on size 3.75 or 4.00 mm needles (size 5 or 6 US).

and yet it blocks out as daintily and prettily as any fine-spun yarn.
the colorway used here is rubicund—the minute i first saw it (three years ago), i wanted it.

it is such a complex pink, with bits of mango and melon, even a little lavender, maybe—in some light it looks more peachy and in some light it takes on a cooler tone; i just love it.

i’m mad at myself because i meant to take blocking shots (and so thought i had), but apparently, i forgot. i especially wanted to photograph the center join to show how pretty it is . . . and i also forgot to photograph it on the form. i know a lot of knitters prefer to work this stole all in one piece, but if you don’t mind the extra step of joining it, you will be amply rewarded—where the patterns all come together in that spot, it makes a whole new and different motif that is startlingly organic.

i got as close to finishing up my movie night socks as i could during my weekend travels, but ran out just at the tip of the last toe; a few more yards would have been plenty.

steve from sock camp was kind enough to let me know he’ll have leftover paula mae yarn he can send for me to finish the tip of my toe and tina says the colorway will be available very soon on the blue moon site, so i should be in fine shape to finish before we’re ready to release that pattern.

once i got to a stopping place with those, i worked on my traveling longjohn socks—i have to finish one for me and one for david so we will each have a pair of them, come fall.

uh, looks like david’s sock is behind a little . . but i’ll catch it up next week on my california trip. another reason i was glad to see kristi’s booth in maryland was that i needed second skein of this yummy cayenne colorway of her zoe sock yarn to finish his pair. now i have plenty, yay.

it’s a regular sock-o-rama around here this month, in fact—all that traveling will do that to a knitter, i guess. i’m just a little way into my second sock in STR lightweight, color lodestone and have finally decided on a name. i was drawing a blank for the longest time on what to call them—i just adore the yarn color and pattern together and the way that light plays over it at different times, but had trouble coming up with a good name for the design.

pale yellow and gray together is one of my all-time favorite combinations and this one is simply perfection. sometimes it looks pale and ethereal, while other times it has a more solid appearance.

i was thinking yesterday about how my photos of this yarn from camp are among my very favorite yarn photos, when i realized all at once what i should name the sock—port ludlow. of course. problem solved.

so that one is on its way now. i decided to go ahead and finish this pair in the smaller size, even though i covet them for myself; it will be a pleasure to knit this colorway again in another sock design. isn’t it funny how we foil ourselves just when we are about to get something we really want?

moving on from socks . . .

i’ve been racing through my campanula scarf this week, now that i’m home. i dunno why i couldn’t get into knitting it while away, but something about the thin yarn and small needles made it hard to concentrate and talk at the same time. but i don’t have that problem here; i’ve been knitting it in class and while visiting with friends and i got a lot done during a looong phone call with cookie the other night (are they ever short, haha?).
maybe it’s just the noise level in public places that thwarts me with this scarf. hmmm . . .

anyway, here it is, more than halfway to the finish in just a couple of short days. i LOVE this yarn—pure cashmere laceweight from great northern yarns. the yarn is spectacular and so easy to work with, despite it’s fine, fine diameter. i’m not having any trouble handling it and am able to maintain a nice zippy rhythm row after row.

looks like craig now has a few more colorways in stock; a couple of them are the new heathers he talked about and they look gorgeous. that charcoal gray DK would make a great scarf for david . . . or maybe a triangle shawl for him? and i heart the blue iris and root beer lace yarns . . .

do you think i have a yarn problem?

last night i was casting about for a small project to change the pace from socks and revived my focus on the lace beret i started last month and had to set aside due to user error, heh.

i’m using miss babs yet lace yarn in colorway outback, which for me is a beautiful blend of colors that i see in my hellebore plants. i soon found a motif i think will work out better in the resized version.

i ripped the whole thing back to the beginning (discarded that section of overused yarn (it was getting tacky from being reknit too often) and got restarted while we watched the bike races from last weekend. i got all the way through the bottom band and the increase row before bed. i think maybe i’m on my way to a successful piece, finally.

i feel pretty good about where my small projects are at the moment—i’m going away again next week with beckie for a little vacation to visit kim in san diego and a few traveling projects will be just the ticket. i’m happy to have them all in order at this point so that i don’t have to rush about the house the night before i leave getting organized.

for the rest of the week i can work on getting a couple of larger projects underway, or at least finishing the blueprints for them up so i can buckle down to knitting work when i get back in mid-may.

one of these is the baby sweater set to go with the blanket, and for that, catherine sent these chubby skeins of her classic merino sport yarn in colorway pear—YUM! how cute is this going to be knit up?

this is actually not a very big project, but i do need to prep for it and hopefully, i can get that done tomorrow. if i do, i might just take it along with me to san diego. i hate to bring too many things—i realized recently that i am prone to carrying extra knitting baggage (a LOT extra, too much), when i could be traveling lighter and making better progress on fewer projects. do you think i’ll ever learn?

i also need to get back to work on the shawl design i began in early april and have only swatched so far. i now have the yarn in hand—kami from fiber isle so i can proceed to get that design squared away.

this past sunday for spinning class, after we all admired the new wheel, i finished plying up the black shetland roving i was spinning for the last month or so.

i washed it up on monday and hung it to dry and now have six big skeins of chunky yarn for a project david and i are planning. i also have a large batch of gray handspun yarn i did several years ago to go with it. i just need a small batch of white yarn in the same weight to dye for part of the project and we can begin knitting it. this gorgeous fleece came from angus, who was part of beckie’s former flock (he lives on another farm now). the color is truly as dark it could be while still a brown—almost black. it’s gorgeous.

i spun it on my schacht wheel and plied it using the new schacht jumbo plying head. i love the way the plying head works, but had a hard time fitting it to my wheel, which is older. together with david, we finally did accomplish a good fit, albeit, tight. it dented the wood a bit on my pristine wheel, but that’s totally ok; i’m not planning on ever selling it.

when i got home from the weekend and our mail was delivered, a couple of interesting items were included.

two skeins of pretty laceweight yarn from denise at lost city knits—the top one is tandem, a merino/silk 2-ply blend in tall grass prairie, a soothing green/blue/yellow colorway. with it is oak barn merino lace in pucker up, a bright yellow.

brooklyn general store sent me an information kit about the handmade squirrel contest they are having this month.

if you’ve had a nagging hankering to create a handmade squirrel lately (you know who you are), this could be the perfect outlet for your creative wizardry. all the information you need to know can be found on the brooklyn general blog.

there are rules, but there are nice prizes, too, so don’t miss out. and hurry, the deadline is looming . . .

this next one did not come in the mail, but through the underground yarn railroad via erica to maryland from studio june in michigan. a skein of 8 bells merino sock

in the blue suede shoes colorway. i think i know a little las vegas fella that would love some socks knit up in this, hehe.

phew, i think that just about catches us up with each other. it’s time for me to knit now, but i’ll leave you with one last little bouquet—you deserve it.

21 Responses to “white story”

  1. Jody says:

    I love that shade of pink in your Twinings stole. Great flower shots-my grandson loves to lift up the May Apples to see the flowers underneath. I am safely home from MI. Back to work tomorrow…sigh. That sportweight pear yarn would make a really nice henley! I might have to pick up some of that at the Midwest Folk & Fiber Fest in July. I need a few more projects…lol.

  2. Claudine says:

    Twinnings is drop dead gorgeous, I love it all over again!

  3. Marie says:

    I’ve said this before here, I’m not a lace fan but there is something about your lace I’m nonetheless drawn to!

  4. jill says:

    Your black shetland is rich. I’m looking forward to seeing what you and David have in mind for it. Your flower photos are lovely. I’ve just got to plant more bulbs next fall as I covet your bouquets.

  5. Jennmoles says:

    Have you seen Lisa Souza’s yarn? I am working with a sock yarn in the color Spanish Moss right now, and it shares a similar soft glowiness with the STR. I have fallen in love with the color! Thought you might like it….

  6. kleewong says:

    Your Twininngs Shawl is gorgeous!!!!! So many shawls, so little time (and socks and sweaters…) I like your squirrel far better than the naughty critter that devastate my garden.

  7. jessica says:

    I love Lost City Denise’s yarns! The colors are really rich, and the yarn itself is soft and supple. It’s hard not to rub my face in my knitting when I knit with it!!
    I’m not a pink person, but I love the twinings stole! Maybe I’ll change my mind!
    And the lodestone is also really beautiful.
    I’m casting about for the right yarn to knit your Cradle Me blanket from,
    I have a new niece or nephew coming this fall!

  8. Laurie says:

    So much to comment on!! I just ordered some merino from Denise, and now I’m doubly excited about it after seeing your yarns. Good thing the Rubicund was sold out – I would have caused further damage to my credit card in a hot minute! Not normally a pink fan, but that color is amazing!

    Love the twinings shawl…just love it!

    When I went to my voice lesson last week, my coach had a lovely little nosegay of spring flowers on her piano…in one of those cute little Italian seltzer bottles. I told her I wished I had my camera…but you’ve captured it perfectly (minus the piano). :-)

    Happy knitting!!!

  9. Oh, I am dizzy from all the yarny goodness! I am in love with the Twinings shawl all over again, and the Campanula is just a perfect shade of pink. How will I ever focus enough to finish my Ondule and Box Leaf with these sirens calling? And the Port Ludlow looks like a perfect summer sock project. You did a great job on the black shetland wool – I’m sure it will make a great – sweater, rug?

    I have some sweet woodruff coming up too – isn’t it such a pretty plant? And it spreads nicely too.

    I’ve had that Pear colorway in Classic Merino Sport in my cart for what seems like forever – it’s such a gorgeous color. I’m sure it will make a lovely baby sweater.

  10. Polly says:

    I’ve got to stop reading your posts!! EVERY SINGLE TIME I want to buy those yarns, all those yarns, every single one!!
    polly

  11. Traci F says:

    Reading your blog today gave me heart palpitations! I want it all!! As usual, your photography is so engaging – thank you for such a treat!

  12. Lorraine says:

    Anne- Yarn problem? I see no yarn problem here.

  13. I think your blog is my favorite coffee-break treat :-}
    Beautiful photos of garden art, yarn art and wips, it is always a gentle part of my day :-}
    Thanks Anne.

  14. catherine says:

    I hope you’re happy. I just ordered some cashmere laceweight. LOL! I just looked so irresistible!

  15. Pam from Kansas says:

    Such sweet flowers. This is a glorious spring. I love that yellow and green yarn. Looks like spring!

  16. Angie says:

    Everything is so beautiful! And that squirrel is adorable!!

  17. Bonnie says:

    Ludlow??? Brilliant!!!!

  18. Jennifer says:

    Thank you so much for mentioning our contest! I LOVE you twinings stole. So lovely!

    Angie, the pattern for our little squirrelette is available for free on our blog here http://brooklyngeneral.blogspot.com/2010/05/download-our-squirrel-pattern.html, if you are interested in giving her a try.

  19. Bev says:

    What pattern are you using for the STR Paula Mae yarn?

  20. Bev says:

    Sorry, but I have a few more questions:
    1. What yarn are you using for the Longjohn socks pictured above?
    2. When will the Port Ludlow pattern be released?
    3. I really like your knitting project bag–would you tell me which one it is?

    BTW–I downloaded the Movie Night Socks and can hardly wait to get started!

  21. Lanafactrix says:

    Lilies of the valley are my favorite flowers–I always used to keep a vase by my bedside when they were blooming. My first year of college, I came back home for the summer too late for the lilies and was terribly disappointed. The next year (and every year afterwards), I came home to a vase of the very last lilies, carefully preserved. I have the best mom in the world!