is it too much?

i think i have my travel knitting all squared away now—three shawlettes, my secret project, the mitt kit, and my sunna sweater. do you think it’s too much? because i tried to pare things down, but ended up adding one more project to the pile—the vintage shirt (based on the hayrick sock pattern and knit in spirit trail sunna).

i figured, hey, it will make great mindless knitting to do while chatting. i’m still very torn about whether to work this as a cardigan, or a henley; what do you think? i figure i can ponder the question and canvass people at knit nation while i work on the stockinette back and sleeves.

one of the shawlettes is the brand new pea vines, which i’m knitting up in pandora sock from the woolen rabbit.

kim sent three skeins of green for me to choose from and i picked this adorable spring garden colorway—i just love the mix of light, lettucey green/yellows with a dash of carrot. and it’s knitting up a treat; it was a hard choice though

beckie and i were both immediately attracted to the bright pea green at the top of the photo, but decided i have enough stuff in that color, haha. we both also loved the silvery green of the lettuce colorway, bottom.

but my favorite was spring garden—i thought the variations in it would offer the best dimension in the stitch pattern and would make for the most appealing photos as well, so that’s what i went with.

i’m really enjoying the hand of this soft, sheeny yarn. it has a nice bouncy twist which results in good stitch definition and proud nupps, but is not too rigid; the drape is still wonderful.

i cast on yesterday when it was about 100 degrees and sticky as all get-out here. once i’d established a few rows and knew the pattern i’d charted would work ok, i set it aside for further work later in my trip.

i’m so excited to be heading for london! finally, a trip where i feel almost everything is under control with a day to go before i leave—i actually have the luxury of enjoying my last minute preparations (most of the time, i’m in full panic mode at his point).

i’m looking forward to meeting UK readers and being in a big city again; i want to see ART and eat as much good food as i can. i will try to blog and answer email as often as i can, but word has it that we may encounter some difficulties getting online in our accommodations. linda and david will be holding down the fort while i’m gone and will try their best to keep the email moving.

and i look forward to teaching—BTW, alice added a third section of advanced lace knitting to my schedule recently and there are still a few spots left for the last-minute grab if you decide this week to come (also, looks like beginning lace has some spots; a great class if you need to gently ease into new things).

as i said, the baby blanket is staying home—it’s just to big and unwieldy to travel. in fact, with the intense heat and humidity of the last few days, i have to confess that it hasn’t seen much action—i just couldn’t bear to have a big pile of wool on my lap, even late at night. there are only a few rounds to go too. today it’s cooler and rainy, so possibly i’ll get back to it tonight.

i did, however, finally settle on an edging. or rather, i finally solved the edging question by making one up.

you’d think that with hundreds of existing edgings to choose from, i’d find one that was perfect with no trouble. but you know, once i weed out the ones that don’t work with the numbers, and the ones that don’t “go” visually or that i don’t like, there are often very few left. so i made one up that incorporates the smallest rosebud motif. i’m all set to go, once i return.

along with the arrival of kim’s green yarns at the end of the week, there was a small flurry of other yarn packages to share.

here we have some tanis fiber arts purple label cashmere, a merino/cashmere/nylon fingering yarn in colorway, shadow. another bouncy yarn with a soft hand, not too stiff, that works like butter on the needles. i see that several sprössling sweaters are being knit up in this yarn.

i bought a beautiful skein of tanis fiber arts merino lace while in toronto in june, and soon afterward, tanis contacted me to introduce herself and ask if she could send samples. i was thrilled to say yes—i had not had a chance to see her silver label mulberry silk, but i wanted to, very much

and my wish was granted in this stunning skein of lusciousness, colorway lilac—is this not gorgeous? it’s a wonderful weight too, between a lace and fingering yarn, with 550 yards in 4 ounces—perfect for a shawlette, don’t you think?

as if that wasn’t enough, cheryl got back to me as promised with two skeins of her new cashHue silk/cashmere handspun, in a beautiful chocolate/charcoal/midnight blue color mix. it’s not listed in her etsy shop yet, but i know she’s planning on adding it soon.

this is a custom color blend that she needs a name for (currently named “anne’s request”)—let’s give her some suggestions. i love the earth-and-sky colors; this will definitely become a shawl in the fall months.

i’m going to miss a whole week of gardening while i’m gone and though it’s been either too rainy or too hot to get out in it this weekend, i have a few watery pictures for those who might miss the garden installments next week.

the big news is that the okra is getting very tall now and i’ve started picking pods to eat, yay. just a few for now, but the plants appear to be loaded with more. aren’t they pretty? some are dwarf and some are regular, which is why they are all different sizes.

we’ve had several delicious meals form the garden this week—the curried tofu pasta with greens and last night, a fantastic stir fry of peppers, chilies, scallions, chard stems, okra, shitakes, and zen greens over noodles. i’m definitely going to miss eating my homegrown veggies, so i’m trying to stock up on them while i still can.

we are picking a bowlful of tomatoes nearly every day now, and there will almost certainly be a tide of them to come in all at once while i’m gone. david will have to be on picking duty. beckie came over with kian and we stripped what we could off the vines to put in his bucket to take home (i think he ate almost all the cherry tomatoes before he was back in the car, haha).

above, the costoluto genovese, a heavily-ribbed italian heirloom tomato, is new to us this year, but seems prolific. i’ve had to prune these plants very aggressively every week, as it grows foliage like crazy. i’m hoping the garden will be dry enough this afternoon to give it one more haircut before i go—august is so hard on the plants and i want to remove any hint of damaged leaves and be SURE they have plenty of room for air circulation.

the romas were a little easier to manage and they, too, are filled with fruit. the most perfect tomatoes i’ve ever grown, in terms of shape, complexion, and plumpness; i can’t believe they’re in my garden.

and we have bean sprouts—just a few so far, but i’m hoping for a good turnout from this last planting (the rabbit is staying away, thank you bun). fingers crossed . . .

and i have two very large acorn squash on the vine. i’m not sure when i should pick these—they look very mature right now. and the plant, though covered with flowers, seems reluctant to produce more. i wonder if cutting these off will rekindle its production?

so, i think that’s it for today—now i really do have to move along and get some other tasks done. if i finish in good time and it continues to dry out, i may have a chance to do that pruning before nightfall.

38 Responses to “is it too much?”

  1. Patt Ward says:

    I like reading your blog for all the subjects that it covers. I knit a lot and design some too and teach some, but nothing like what you do! Sometimes after reading a post, I wonder how you do it all. Do you sleep or just take naps? I have quite a large garden and it is a challenge sometimes. We live out in the middle of nowhere. We don’t have the bunny problem. We have deer! Last night they got in the garden and ate the new pea plants that were coming back after the last time they ate them. And they ate the tops of my bean plants that were starting to bud again after the last peruse through by deer. I saw six last night. It’s odd that they eat our hot peppers too. Well, I guess they give me something to talk about. One of the reasons I like your blog, is that you and David have an alternate lifestyle. (for lack of a better term) I like to see how people manage to live without a regular 9-5 job. I wanna be like you when I grow up! (I’m actually older than you by a couple of years.) Have a wonderful trip! I’ve downloaded your blog to read offline later.(in the middle of nowhere we don’t have internet or cell phones or TV) Right now I gotta go pick the apricots and start the jam!

  2. Patricia Dixon says:

    Anne, Why not make a shirt..I made one years ago and enjoyed it to no end I found I would have it on most of the time. Great in the Lettuce green..
    Have fun in London..it is always so much to try and fit in.

  3. josiekitten says:

    Well, maybe you don’t need quite that many projects! If you run out, you’ll be in the perfect place to buy some yarn! Can’t wait ’til KnitNation!!!

  4. JelliDonut says:

    As prolific as you are, you probably have just the right number of projects to take a along. And you can always pick up more supplies, right?

    I love all the yarns you pictured, but the CashHue makes me swoon!

    I never knew one needs to prunes the foliage of a tomato plant. That explains a lot…

    Have a marvelous time in London. Can’t wait to read your post-posts.

  5. Heather says:

    One can never have enough projects when travelling (or otherwise). I am loving the green and think that you should work a henley; it’ll be a bit different than a cardigan :-)

    I hope you enjoy Knit Nation — although I am only in the north of England I am booked solid this week, alas, so won’t be making it to Knit Nation :-( I wish I was, because I would be on all of your workshops if so! You have so much to share and such a talent, and generous with it! I do hope you have fun!

    I love your blog because it’s great to see your knitting, your designs and your fabulous garden. Very inspiring and encouraging :-) Thank you!

  6. Mary says:

    Love Kim’s green colorways-she should make them permanent. I would buy all-ha ha!
    I think the pattern would suit a henley very well–kinda sexy, too. There are lots of little cardi’s out there now and the henley looks well on many figures OR… how about both styles?
    Have a fantastic time in London. It’s a great city.

  7. Can’t wait to experience London through your upcoming photos! Just the right amount of projects – you will want different ones from which to choose, depending upon the situation, right?

    Your garden looks quite whipped into shape and should do just fine in your absence. And when you return – what a harvest!

    Have an absolutely fabulous time!!

  8. Ellen Norman says:

    I hope you will have a wonderful and safe trip to London…How exciting for you :) As for the bunny, put out some moth balls around your stuff that you don’t want him/her to eat! Have a wonderful time.

  9. amanda says:

    I seem to be surrounded by people traveling to Europe soon. (Friends of my parents, an Intern from work, you.) I may be just a little envious! Have fun, enjoy the food and art and people!

  10. JC says:

    Anne, the rule of thumb is use for winter squash is if I can easily pierce the skin with my thumbnail, the squash isn’t ready yet and ought to stay on the vine. Any puncture marks will heal without damaging the squash.

    Glad someone knows what projects they’re taking to Knit Nation! I’m still trying to figure that out for myself…

  11. Kim says:

    Have a blast my friend!!!!

  12. Ann says:

    I don’t think that’s too much as you are such a fast knitter. Better to have more than less. Have a safe trip.

  13. Rani says:

    Wheeeeeee!! Enjoy and I hope you get all of that knitting underway. It does make me realize that I really don’t have many friends who think that knitting while conversing is ‘polite company’. In fact, they make fun of me. There should be a name for them – those non-knitters. Like Muggles . . . maybe Knuggles. To be at an event where I would be encouraged to knit while I socialize!? It would be like heaven to me.

    Happy traveling! Those tomatoes will be waiting for your return.

  14. DenaZS says:

    Have a great trip! Can’t wait to see your photos from the UK! I also enjoy your gardening photos and hope that someday I will have a garden too. Your blog is so garden wonderful that I tell my nonknitting/gardening friends to visit it.

    Let me know if there are any new classes in our “neighborhood” starting up. I could use a few classes. I am still knitting thanks to all those Monday classes. Enjoy!

  15. Emily says:

    I agree with Rani on the Knuggles nickname…I think that works perfectly. I love the Tanis Shadow yarn. That’s just beautiful! So when I look at the CashHue, I think of a city all lit up at night so maybe city skyline, city lights, night sky…

  16. Hattie says:

    Oooh that’s v.exciting that you’re bringing the Sunna project … as you know, I’m so ultra keen I’ve got the yarn for it already. I think a henley, although I’d still knit it if it was a cardy. I look forward to seeing it on Saturday afternoon (when I’m doing Advanced Lace), if not before. Have a safe trip, and see you in London!

  17. Helen says:

    Its always great to have a few options so you can knit what the mood takes you when you’re travelling. Just make sure you leave some space in the luggage to take some nice UK yarn back with you!

    I was very excited to see your third lace workshop open up at Knit Nation and a friend and I have signed up. We’re really looking forward to it!

  18. Melanie T says:

    i love those bags,and the idea that each project has a bag of honor! Did you make them as well? if not, where did you find them, and who is the designer! Gotta have one… or two… maybe 5 will do

  19. Romi says:

    OMG, Anne! You don’t actually sleep, do you? ;)

  20. Steve says:

    Is it wrong that my first thought was “Maybe I can get to London and get into that class”?

    Guess I’ll wait patiently until you come to Seattle…….

    Have a fab trip. I’m very jealous. London is one of my favorite cities.

  21. marlon says:

    I actually think “Earth and Sky” is a good permanent name for “Anne’s Request”!

  22. Jocelyn says:

    OOh, yay! You’re working on the vintage shirt!! (I lean towards Henley… :) ) I can’t WAIT for that one! It looks to me like you’re ready to go, and you’re going to have a great time — I can’t wait to hear all about it.

  23. Jody says:

    I hope you have a fantastic time–can’t wait to hear all about it. I think that cashHue handspun should be name “not just Anne’s” :-) And I think my vote is for the henley…

  24. knitwick says:

    I would have to say that is the perfect amount of knitting to bring along on your trip!!  You don’t want to have the possibility of running out of knitting or, more seriously, getting bored to tears with the only project or two you have with you…

    The spring garden colorway looks like a great choice.  The little hints of orange are lovely.

    I also adore that shadow colorway from Tanis Fiber Arts!!  Can’t wait to see what becomes of it…

    I really love the handspun yarn from newhue; the color combination is perfect!!  The colors remind me of those you see  in shots of rocky mountaintops on Discovery and National Geographic programs, where the dark grays and browns of the rock meet the vast blue skies.  I would suggest the name “rocky heights”…

    Anyway, I’ve gone on long enough.  Hope you have a safe and wonderful trip!

  25. Susan in Guelph says:

    You can never have too many knitting projects on a trip (my motto).

    I am looking forward to experiencing England through your creative eyes and prose, Anne. Wishing you a jolly good time!

  26. Mikaela says:

    After experiencing a thunderstorm the other night, the cashHue should be called Thunder & Lightning! Imagine the dark sky at 3 a.m. with a lot of lightning, this is how it looked through my kitchen window!!<

    Have a wonderful stay in England! Hopefully you´ll come to Finland someday ;)

  27. Lorraine says:

    Anne- Oh, how I would love to visit the UK again. Have a fabulous time- and bring back a piece of Emma Bridgewater pottery.

  28. Beth in Maryland says:

    For some reason, looking at that skein of yarn from cheryl makes me hear music in my head. On the one hand, I think it looks like “Winterreise” – winter journey – by Schubert; on the other hand, that silly old song called “Moonlight Bay” pops up, too. Have a wonderful trip!

  29. Cal says:

    That purple! I can almost feel it!
    That green!!I can almost smell it!!

  30. Cal says:

    BTW, do you often get people sending you samples of yarn? Imagine; they ask your permission to do so??!!
    I must be in the wrong job; although I love my job (support worker in a hostel for homeless 16 to 22 year olds) I can’t think what people would want to send me. A free riot shield perhaps, or some personal alarm samples!

  31. Word Lily says:

    You’ve talked a bit about your stitch dictionaries in the past, but I don’t recall mention of edging ones. What are your go-to books for edgings?

  32. Teyani says:

    definately NOT too much knitting ! I am having the same dilemma as to what to take with me next week while I’m gone.
    LOVE Cheryl’s new yarn. Also liked the name thunder and lightning… or how about Summer Storm. (Because it also looks like an evening sky storm to me)

  33. Tara says:

    Ooh, Cheryl’s new yarn is lovely! And I can’t wait to see what you design with Tanis’ silk, I just got a skein for my birthday, yay! Hope you’re having a lovely trip across the pond :)

  34. Robin says:

    We haven’t had a drop of rain here in SW OH. Send some our way, please! Anne, I see you with the spray bottle. Can you explain how you block?? Do you totally wet and then stretch or moisten?? Thanks!

  35. jill says:

    Your garden is magnificent. I eagerly await the rosebud pattern. The edging looks lovely.

  36. Val says:

    The garden is lovely as is the knitting….I have two skeins of the Tanis Mulberry silk that I don’t know what to do with and will wait to see what you do with yours…LOL

    The Rosebud blankie is adorable, I am waiting for the pattern eagerly as well as I think that the November baby is going to be a girl..or not.

  37. Robin says:

    Oh, those bags are lovely! May I ask where you got your project bags?