thank you for your patience with the longer stretches between posts this week and for your well-wishes to my mom. she’s home from the hospital now and doing great, going to therapy every day and getting around the house quite well. she’ll be rid of that walker in no time . . .
it’s gotten so hot and muggy here that i hardly recognize what month we’re in. we finally broke down and turned on the A/C last night, just to get comfortable. not exactly knitting weather, but i’m managing to get as much done as i can.
mostly on secret projects, but not entirely . . . i am knitting sleeves too (and you know how interesting progress shots of sleeves are).
al-most as fascinating as progress shots of scarves.
and yet . . . it is nice to see them grow. i have some gorgeous briar rose sea pearl to knit with, which makes it a whole lot nicer place to be marooned on sleeve island.
(oooh, it looks like chris is pretty well stocked up in several variations of this beautiful gray/lavender colorway right now)
last night i actually started the cap shaping on this one and got almost to the top BO, but stopped because i wanted to get enough sleep that i could wake up up early today to blog. i think i have just sixteen rows or so to go.
we go to therapy every day at mid-morning and for some reason, once we’re done there, the rest of the day seems to slip away before i can write, with work taking priority once we get home, then lunch, then exercise (i’m still running, yay), email, etc.
anyway, my first sleeve is nearly done and i feel sure i can start the second one this evening. if all goes well, i might even finish knitting that one by the time i get home on sunday and be ready to seam the sweater up next week. we’ve been catching up on masterpiece mystery so there’s good TV watching to accompany my knitting in the evening.
even with an ambitious goal to meet, a stay on sleeve island can still get a little boring—there are even some times when it (literally!) puts me to sleep—yes, me! well, that won’t do; i need to be efficient this week and get as much done as possible with the time i have.
i was finding that one of the places i get the most bored with my knitting is in the waiting room of the physical therapy office. even with a great book to listen to, i found myself tiring of the piece i was toting around. the problem is that it’s too easy—i needed something more challenging to keep my brain active. i don’t want to waste 45 solid minutes of focused knitting (and reading) time.
so i did what i thought best and cast on something new.
how’s that for justification? but i have to say, it worked a treat—i get so involved that i don’t even see that my mom is done til she’s standing right in front of me.
what we have here is a lace scarf that was the alternate design for the first installment of our fall in full color club. i was torn between two stitch patterns for our august lace scarf and just couldn’t discard the idea for this one, once i’d made my choice for longshadows.
here’s a picture of the blocked lace swatch
i love how mysterious this stitch pattern looks in a darker yarn that has such subtle variations. the spirit trail nona that i’m knitting with is a lovely match for this stitch pattern. with its gorgeous blend of merino/cashmere/silk, it offers beautiful sheen along the lines of the stitchwork and shadowing within its shapes.
i’m working with colorway rosewood, a luscious deep red with rose and rust tones.
the yardage for this yarn is so generous that i was compelled to cast on for a larger than usual scarf. the resulting fabric will be so light that it remains “scarfable” but will block out to a size that can be thrown around the shoulders or wrapped around head and neck as well. i’m pretty sure in fact, that i’ll also have plenty left over for matching lace mitts—at the very least there will be matching cuffs.
i’m hoping to have it done in time to publish the pattern just as we head out for rhinebeck, where our good friend, spirit trail jen will be vending. my experience with knitting longshadows was that it was very easy to tote along through the UK this summer (it compacts nicely into a small bundle that easily fits in my side bag) and i finished it in just a couple of weeks of evening knitting—i’m hoping this one will be the same.
right now, i’m able to finish two or three repeats in the time i have in the waiting room; that’s a good start. and then there is the long car ride home (though sometimes i can’t knit in the car, unfortunately). and i may knit this one a little shorter than longshadows . . . we’ll see.
that’s all the public knitting i have for the moment, but since the weather has held so nicely, i do have one more thing that i think you’ll like to see—my mom’s garden.
this is the entrance to her cottage; it’s filled with potted plants that she brings indoors in winter. she’s had some of these plants for many, many years.
the walkway and front yard are lined with repeating plants of three or four types—coleus, lilies, dusty miller, and pink impatiens. the impatiens have a lovely story behind them; i think you’ll enjoy it.
when we were small, we had a very kind neighbor on our road named olga, who used to babysit us when my parents went out on saturday nights. we loved her SO much—she told great bedtime stories, which impressed us all the more because she knew them by heart. we would ask for something [we thought was] totally obscure and she would tell it from memory, in her wonderful olga way.
she was also a fantastic baker—she introduced me to homemade doughnuts, which i didn’t even know you could make at home. my mom baked a lot—and very well; she still does—but she didn’t make doughnuts . . . i imagine that with five small children about, it was probably safer and more practical to bake in the oven than to fry pastries.
anyway, olga also had a nice garden (as did most people where we lived). my mom loves pink and rose colors of all kinds and admired olga’s pretty pink impatiens, so she gave mom a cutting way back in the early 60s and taught her to propagate the plants from one year to the next by rooting in water. my mom has been taking cuttings every year since—these plants go 50 years back to one single cutting; isn’t that amazing?
each fall and winter she goes through the throes of anxiety, wondering if the cuttings will make it—they root very easily (and so prettily!)
but are prone to wilting fungus and seem vulnerable to various bacteria tracked in by aphids or whatever is about. one year recently, the lot was saved by the fact that my mother’s cousin edith took cuttings from my mom some years back and has also been propagating them for some time (phew!). just this week we lost another jarful, though there are several jars here that are doing great (and we’ll start more before i leave).
i know it will probably be up to me to keep them going, but i’m nervous—impatiens do well in our shady yard, but i’m not so great at indoor gardening; i dunno if i can keep cuttings alive.
i should probably start practicing by taking some home with me this weekend (like about a hundred of them, haha). once i get some going, i’ll spread them around by handing them off to friends (susie??). that way we have backups, heh.
speaking of pretty pinks and garden colors, my mom got an extremely beautiful and thoughtful gift in the mail yesterday from my good friend chris at briar rose fibers.
isn’t this batch of abundance gorgeous?? my mom is thinking about knitting the hourglass throw when she feels a little better, and this yarn will be PERFECT. its blend of pink, rose, and gold suits mom to a T—the first thing she said when she saw it was “wow, isn’t THAT pretty!”
she was so touched, too . . . it really perked up her day.
i’m helping her right now with a multi-directional diagonal scarf, but when she’s done with that, she’ll be ready to take on a bigger project.
well, it’s time now to get ready to go to therapy—and i’ve been chatting long enough, heh—so i’m going to leave you for today. hopefully, i’ll be back in a couple of days and it won’t be so long between posts.