springing

Posted on Posted in designing, food and garden, lace/shawls, projects

tulipsClosed05_06

hard to believe that just a few days ago the garden looked like this—flowers with buds shuttered tight against the chill and warnings of frost at night.

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then, a magical weekend with temperatures rising by the hour and voilá!

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suddenly every tulip in the front bed popped open and we have a veritable forest of blooms among the shrubs.

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they are especially tall and healthy this year and david really went to town selecting a variety of bulbs.

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from those with unusually shaped petals to ones with striking color contrast (or both!)

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these two are my favorites, i think—i love the pointy petals and green striping.

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or how about this mostly white, traditional one with the little tourist inside?

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david knows that tulips are my favorite flowers every year in the fall he places his order of bulbs and plots out where they should go.

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then in spring wonderful surprises greet me week by week as the various bulbs pop up, put out leaves, and bloom in places i don’t expect. i’m never sure where they will turn up next.

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we still have loads of daffodils and jonquils as well

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the chilly weather last week made them last and last.

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and now, the apple tree is blooming, so pretty.

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thank you so much for all of your kind comments and delicious excitement over the triticum and the mister’s sweater designs that we released over the weekend! it’s really a nice feeling to see such a positive response to them; your enthusiasm makes me so happy! i hope you enjoy knitting them as much as i did.

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obviously we know now that i got my better breakfast version of triticum done in time for the pattern release on sunday, but on friday afternoon it was still a nail biter, with more than half a sleeve to knit, plus blocking and seaming  to go (i lost that morning to finalizing the release of the mister’s pattern for those who wanted to shop at maryland over the weekend).

when i was binding off my sleeve late friday night, i got a text saying, “you win; my grafting is keeping me from crossing the finish line” it was barb, my partner in the big sweater race. (well ok, she didn’t say it quite that way; she used more explicit knitting terms to describe her graft). i told her to come over saturday morning and we’d have a seaming party.

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myself, i could not sleep past six am for excitement—i was about to block and seam a fine gauge sweater i’d knit in nine days. (yes i know i’m a nerdy geek; that has been well established, thank you.)

you’ve seen this all before and very recently, too; i won’t go into any lengthy descriptions of what i did. but i do think the fabric is super pretty in this yarn and shade (porridge), don’t you?

by seven i was done and had a pot of coffee going on the stove (yeah, i even did my blocking before coffee—before stepping foot downstairs in fact).

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i used the quiet time before barb arrived to sew my own graft and stitch the collar to the back neck. next i began seaming in the sleeve capss, the trickiest part of finishing most fitted sweaters.

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when barb arrived she was feeling much better than the night before and we got right down to work on her graft.

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well she’s a pretty quick study and before i knew it, she was halfway across that collar, happily chanting the song of the knitting graft (hey, don’t knock it—it works).

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at eleven, we moved over to the shop because i had to watch the store for the day. we set ourselves up a little tailoring shop in the classroom area complete with mini pressing bench, sleeve board, tailor’s ham, and press cloths.

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barb blocked her fronts after joining them.

by the way, craftsy is having a big sale starting today, so if you need help with these finishing tasks, this would be a great time to pick up my newest class about sweater knitting techniques or one of my finishing classes.

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i have to say, that’s a beauty of a graft barb. i’m always happy to help my local friends through this tricky finishing maneuver, but even if you live far away, you can learn to do it too, with my FREE craftsy grafting class, a seriously great deal.

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when my sleeve caps were completely sewn in, i lightly steamed pressed the seams so they would drape nicely. normally, i would give this garment a complete wash/wet blocking before doing photos, to help that fiber bloom, close up the gaps between stitches, and even out the fabric surface a bit. but we just didn’t have time for that on saturday; i needed to get photos before sunset, haha.

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meanwhile barb worked on setting in her sleeves; i had showed her a couple of tricks for getting nice seams along the top of the sleeve and she was pretty impressed with her improved seams. we were neck and neck at this point, but soon after lunch, barb got called away for a small emergency. we weren’t going to finish exactly at the same time, drat.

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i went home and finished joining the side and underarm seams of my sweater—by five or so i was done and rushed to put on a bit of makeup while david got the camera ready.

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as the sun got ready to set, we squeezed in a nice photo shoot; the right was perfect and it was a lot of fun for the two of us to be working alone as a team again—we don’t get to do that often any more!

i love the way this sweater feels—so light i keep forgetting it’s there. it’s not at all fussy to wear, either; it stays right in place and looks nice no matter how i move around.

in fact i love both versions—i’m looking forward to wearing my blue tayet version when i get it back from its visit in the spirit trail booth at the fiber show.

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barb was back tonight, with completed sweater in tow and made up for her photo shoot—isn’t her’s gorgeous? this design has many details that make it flattering to a lot of body types—a central feature that pulls the eye away form the sides of the body, lovely fitted shoulders and armholes, another feature at the center back for a beautiful exit, and a shorter sleeve option to lighten up the overall look, should you want to wear it in summer (learn more about choosing a sweater style that will flatter your body in my sweater knitting techniques class).

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barb also chose to knit with better breakfast fingering, but in the sugarfrost shade. barb is tall, so she chose to lengthen the body of her sweater by about an inch and a half . she lengthened the sleeves about an inch (as did i; we both have extra long arms).

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sigh; another person who doesn’t like to smile for the camera—and barb has SUCH a great smile too. what are we going to do with her?

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well, we love her anyway, don’t we?

what a rush, huh? later on, all i had every for was fiddling around a bit with some lace yarn and an idea i have for a new shawl; i’m ready for a bit of lace.

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i’ve had this briar rose stella for a while, intending it for a specific idea i’ve been working out in my head. i think i’m almost ready to start, but need a little swatching to work out the details.

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speaking of stella, while i was in the shop on saturday, i saw that anastasia had unearthed a few remaining skeins of the cranberry stella lace that i designed the winterwood crescent shawl with. we sold out this kit VERY quickly at the time of its release and i know a few people were disappointed not to get one.

these are skeins we held in reserve for the last eighteen months in case of a yarn emergency or lost package. there are just five left and we are ready to let them go now. david has opened up the winterwood kit listing so they may be purchased.

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now that the rush is over to get those sweaters finished and published for maryland, i’m reorganizing my task list to start some new ones. but before i even do that, i need to give both my new BNWs sweaters a nice hot bath so we can really appreciate their soft beauty.

i’ll be back with more about all that in a couple of days—for now, happy knitting.

20 thoughts on “springing

  1. What beautiful sweaters!! Wonderful to see the finishing process for both shawls. Makes me jealous I can’t be in Ohio finishing a sweater with Anne. Both of these new sweaters are definitely on my to do list.

  2. Great post Anne. If I weren’t having such a great time on vacation in Europe, I’d rush home to cast on!

  3. Both sweaters are just beautiful! I know Barb has a wonderful smile because she helped me pick out some yarn last year in Wooster! By the way, the tulips are the prettiest I’ve ever seen.

  4. I am loving making Triticum. I just want to say how beautiful your photo shoot pictures are- you look radiant. As does Barb! really, one considers moving to Ohio just to be able to drop in to the shop.

  5. Looks like you guys also get into the viridiflora (green-striped) types of tulips. Along with the parrot tulips, those are my favorites. Unfortunately, I haven’t planted any new ones in the last couple years, and it seems like most of mine have finally fizzled out – time to order new ones this fall I think!

  6. Love it all! I wish we had more flowers nearby, Olivia was just thrilled to see the first dandelion, but I’ve seen lots of pretty flowering trees too, my fave is the magnolia in my sister’s yard. Too bad they don’t last long!

  7. The sweaters are gorgeous – as are the beautiful women modeling them. I’ve never seen Barb without a smile on her face. What’s up with the serious look? I hope my Triticum doesn’t steal my smile. I’m making a blue one. I know you’re surprised by that, Anne.

    The garden looks great. I love the colors of spring.

  8. Anne, I feel so fortunate to read about your creative adventures with your friends. I agree with the previous comments about how wonderful it would be to be able to share this in person in Ohio. The time and energy that you take to share it with others is so appreciated.

    Anne and Barb, your sweaters are fabulous and you look absolutely stunning. I am selecting a sweater to make with your Craftsy class. Your designs make it a very difficult choice.

  9. LOVE Triticum! Such a beautiful design, Anne. (And I am so glad to have been able to “snag” one of the Wildwood kits after missing out initially.) It’s a great time to be a knitter!

  10. Every version of this sweater is just beautiful! I am itching to begin! Your finishing is soooooo inspiring.

  11. Wow, Anne! Both you & Barb are just as beautiful as the tulips!

    I love both sweater designs & will get to one of them once I get my moving done in a few months. For now, I’m going to cast on for Love me two times.

  12. Wow, your tulips are beautiful and so are those sweaters! I’m also loving the colours of the briar rose Stella that you are swatching with. I can’t wait to see the finished design!

  13. The tulips are gorgeous! No point in planting them here as the deer eat them right away…thank goodness the daffodils are safe from them!

    I’ve swatched for my Triticum and planto cast on as soon as I finish at last on ofthe current projects!

  14. I need to thank you for your marvelous grafting class. I am a left handed combination knitter. I knew how grafting should work, but sometimes it would come out fine and other times it was a mess. You said that the way stitches lie on the needles is important. Light bulb moment! I learned to make sure of the lay of the stitches and have enjoyed grafting ever since. Thanks a bunch.

  15. Ha! Barb doesn’t like to smile for the camera?? I just thought she was getting her sexy on for the shoot! And I have to say, I was wondering just who was behind that camera! Both sweaters look fabulous.

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