progress

i think it’s safe to say now that spring is here. a little late, but beautiful as ever. these fritillaria that i thought i missed, have finally showed their quirky little heads to my extreme delight—these guys usually show up much earlier in april, or even late march.

we’ve had a veryy balmy week actually—in a storm-tossed, rain lased way, but nevertheless, it’s warmer.

which means that the yard is giving up it’s pretty secrets by the minute.
every time i look out my office window and across the side yard, a few more of these deep pink tulips have opened.

even the moss is blooming.

and speaking of woodland delights, one of my top five favorite spring emergences has finally come out in formation—the may apple.

now, i find these little plants amusing for a whole variety of reasons (which i’ll leave you to mull over all on your own), but i think the thing i like best about them are the stages they go through as they sprout each year (not sure sprout is the right word, though . . .)

they are the class clowns of the garden, surely, but each year, they manage to mature into tall, cool, generously wide-armed citizens of the back yard that provide enough of a shade canopy to inhibit the growth of weeds underneath. and therefore, they are my very good friends.

just a little past this patch, the lily of the valley is beginning to spread itself out across the part of the back yard that lies in deepest shade, touched by just a glimmer of filtered light each day.

in a couple of weeks it will be so thickly carpeted with them that you could lie on it and not touch the ground.

and it’ll smell like a little slice of heaven on earth for about seven to ten days; i hope i don’t miss it (i’ll be away the second week of may).

last on today’s rounds, but certainly not least are my other very favorite thing—the fiddle heads, still keeping their little chick heads tucked in tight. but very soon they will unfold and reach for the sun and when they do, they will take my breath away (i’m positive about that; they do it every year).

the fiddleheads of some of the japanese painted ferns are much further along, having already arched up and started to uncurl their fingers. they look slightly petrified at the moment but in a few weeks they will show gorgeous gradations of green, plum, and silver.

sigh . . . i love spring at our house.

now, before i launch into chattering about my knitting and weekend travel, our dear friend alice (AKA socktopus) wants everyone to know that registration for knit nation 2011 will open Sunday 1 May at 8pm BST.

if you want to familiarize yourself with the offerings and make a gameplan, check out the schedule ahead of time to do so.

i don’t know everything, but i know one thing—it’s gonna be a lotta fun. i had a wonderful time there last summer and i’m looking forward to this year’s event with equal anticipation.

ok, now let’s talk about knitting—yeah.
since i’m taking my light and portable lace projects to loopy’s spring fling in st louis this weekend, i’ve been working hard on getting a couple of sweater patterns squared away. i’ve also been spending as much time as i can working on these heavier samples, so i can leave them home when i go.

i am usually not pokey at all about getting sweaters seamed up—by the time i get that far, i want to see the piece done-done. however, this little sweater has had to be patient while i’ve been beset with a tide of distractions.

it’s not that i’m not working on it—i am—but that my work sessions are far to short and specific. i got the collar on it during class monday afternoon and bgan sewing the sleeves in during a club meeting we had that evening. and i actually stopped mid-seam and have not gotten back to it.

so it’s parked back on the spare chair in my study for the time being. i may actually work on it while we visit with company this afternoon. johnny and lacey from newstitchaday.com are coming over for the afternoon and since they are knitters, i’m sure they’ll be up for a knit and chat, haha

after lunch, that is (we’re having curry, mmm)
and i really should be packing my bag instead of blogging or entertaining today, but you only live once, right??

anyway, my knitting is pretty well packed—it’s just a matter of deciding whether to take four projects or just three (or was it four or five i was deciding between??)

i’ve been motoring along to the finish of the secret project too; this is a big deal because it’s large and once it’s done, i can play a little, yay. gotta finalize the pattern for that when i get back next week, though.

anyway. the other project i’ve been putting considerable time into is my cable and rib cardi in woolen rabbit grace—you know, the one that makes us all drool or swoon, in colorway scottish heather.

the sleeves are done now and i’ve started this left front piece. i very much want to take it along with me but i’m trying to keep my baggage very streamlined on this trip and this project is a bit of a ball and chain in that regard

due to the half-pound cake of yarn that goes with it everywhere. far be it from me to have thought of that when winding the darn thing and to have separated it to make my travel life easier. oh well . . .

it’s not like i don’t have other projects to bring that will easily fit into small bags—i do! i have plenty in fact and one sock that you don’t even see here, because it’s in my purse. but of course i want the big one, too. and that’s just silly; i’ll never get all that yarn knit up this weekend, right?

but then there is the horrible weather; i could get stuck there.
omg, imagine if we did not have knitting to save us from those situations?

ok, time to pack now; see you in st louis.

28 Responses to “progress”

  1. Nathanne says:

    Oh, Anne, having a whole area full of lily of the valley would be my dream! But I live in the high desert in California, so I’m lucky if I can get a mail order pip to grow in the kitchen. Many years ago I got married on my birthday, Feb.4, which is lily of the valley season with the florists. So my bouquet was made with violets and lily of the valley, and it was magical. I have a real sentimental place in my heart for it. Thanks for sharing the fantastic photos with us.

  2. But you’ll be at TLE! I’m sure Sheri would be able to help you with any yarn emergency…

    Thank you for the lovely in-progress garden photos. I love seeing these brave buds unfurl.

    Have a wonderful time at the Fling!

  3. Sheryl says:

    Thanks for the update Anne, and I’m looking forward to hearing all about the Spring Fling. For those of us who can’t go it’s a bit of vicarious pleasure!

  4. Sharripie says:

    I hope your travel plans aren’t going to be too onerous – isn’t the airport closed in St. Louis? I hope you won’t have to go too far out of your way to get there. Sounds like you’ll have fun once you get there. There’s no such thing as enough yarn.

  5. Annamari says:

    The “moss” looks like some kind of Gnaphalium :) or something like that.

  6. Annamari says:

    Or Antennaria.
    BTW, I am so anxious to see published the pattern of David’s Christmas-present-pullover!

  7. Jody says:

    I love May Apples too! I think I counted 28 this year–they pop up a few more every year. My grandson loves to check their progress. I really should move them. The tree they are under is destined to be replaced and I don’t want to lose any of them.

    Happy travels! Have fun at the Fling!

  8. JoannaCos says:

    Don’t you just love fritillaria? I was just marveling over ours with our young son yesterday. Nature’s checkerboard flower! We were also enjoying our lillies of the valley. Those tiny white bells are so deliciously fragrant! Love the strolls through your garden Anne. Happy Knitting!

  9. nancy schwartz sternoff says:

    oh your garden is enchanting anne.
    love those fritillaria.
    my weeping birch on my urban balcony is in her glory already. i lost my big huge bamboo over the winter – who could kill bamboo but me???
    enjoy loopy!

  10. Liz in Missouri says:

    I love this time of year with the new flowers coming up all over. It’s so much fun – like watching babies learn to walk.
    Have a great weekend in St Louis. Sure wish I could come – it’s not even a bad drive from here! Hopefully next year it won’t be on the first/last weekend of the month.

  11. josiekitten says:

    You’ve introduced me to a new plant. I don’t think I know the May apple (unless it goes by a different name in the UK.) Those tulips are a stunning pink – I think I’d smile every time I looked out at them!
    I really messed up with my timings didn’t I?! Knit Nation booking and your Knitspot club too! I have a friend trying for Knit Nation classes for us both, and I’ll try for the club on Monday night when I get home. Knitting needles crossed! Safe and happy travels to you!

  12. There are those May Apples again. My favorite part is waiting to see how many there will be (since the number seems to increase every year, at least here in my yard) and to see how many will have two leaves and a flower versus one leaf.

    To the commenter who mentioned having to move her plants: mine have been moved several times, as well as having been mowed over by a lawn mowing fiend in the family more than once, and they seem to come back every year no matter what!

    Some darned fine knitting going on at Chez Knitspot!

  13. janine says:

    We went for a hike on the Lewis and Clark trail last Sunday – it is on the St. Charles side of the Missouri River here in St. Louis – and there were literally just huge patches of May apples already unfurled but only a few with flowers. They, along with the Spring Beauties and violets, are my favorite spring wildflowers. Looking forward to taking your Sweater fitness class at the Fling…

  14. I think your ‘moss blooms’ are a separate plant from the moss, something called ‘cat’s paws’ or ‘pussy toes’ up here in Michigan.
    If you bruise the stem and it smells a bit medicinal, it’s likely antennaria.

  15. Kim says:

    Oh my….your fritillaria is so beautiful! I have never seen one of these before….but I love it!!

    I so wish I could go to knit nation this year, but unfortunately the wedding will keep me home this year, but I’m thinking next year is the year! :-)

  16. Kathy says:

    Anne, can’t wait to see you in St. Louis!

  17. Bonnie says:

    Such great photos! Your blog makes me happier than any other blog I read. You have so many gifts, and you share them so generously. Enjoy your travels!

  18. Linda in NC says:

    I just love your little checkered fritillaria – such a happy sight.

    Have fun at Spring Fling!

  19. Dawn'l says:

    Love the sweater-pattern and yarn-its gorgeous. I also love your little project bags! They are so cheerful. Would love to know where you got them?

  20. Elizabeth L in Apex, NC says:

    That fritillaria is amazing! I’ve never seen anything like it – gorgeous!!

    Enjoy your trip, be safe. Will be thinking of you at the MD Sheep & Wool Festival if you don’t make it there.

  21. Chloe says:

    The way you’ve photographed your frillataria, it looks like a pergola for the fairies.

  22. Sunnyknitter says:

    Oh, Anne, every year I look to your blog to supply me with pictures of lily of the valley and you don’t disappoint! I miss them so much. I FINALLY started on the Snowflakes on Cedarwoods shawl and am loving it. Lace is just perfect for summer knitting in the desert, just a little something to take the chill off the air conditioning.

  23. you and I are both posting our fritillaria’s – I find this very sweet,indeed!

  24. Whoa!! Blooming moss! So cool. (I love all the rest, of course, too! That sweater is coming together so nicely!!)

  25. Tara says:

    Seeing your garden has been quite therapeutic, Anne. It’s reminded me that there WILL be a Spring! There will! There WILL! :)

  26. Angela says:

    Your gardening pictures always thrill me. Sadly, a survey of my front garden has not gone well. I lost a hydrangea and several other plants this winter. Time to head to the garden center–if it ever stops raining here, that is.

  27. Nan says:

    Wow, what a spring presentation in your own front and back yard. The pictures are wonderful. Have a great trip!!!

  28. Savannagal says:

    I’ve been known to be wrong but…what you call blooming moss sure looks like Pussy Toes to me. There’s many kinds and lots of info on the web, but this webpage shows a pretty good image.

    http://prairieecologist.com/2011/04/11/pussytoes-and-early-season-pollinators/

    Your garden photos have always caught my eye. If it wasn’t for knitting, I’d never take my hands out of the dirt. Thanks.