in flanders fields . . .

oh how i wish i was! i yearn for a trip like that . . . with bicycles . . . it’s been too long since we really traveled. but here the poppies are a-poppin’ and flashing their dressup skirts, so it’s almost as good (at least, that’s what i’m telling myself).

and apparently, there is plenty more where that came from

these are david’s favorite flower (and one of mine too) so we have as many as we can fit in our small areas of bright, hot sun. some day we will have a field for them, but not here.

still, we manage to make it seem so. the area near the garage that faces the backstreet is our one spot that receives bright sunlight and is dry. everything we throw back there flourishes, even though we hardly pay attention to what’s happening. right now, in addition to these gigantic poppies, our eNORmous sage shrub is blooming

and the wooly thyme makes a dense carpet i could only dream of for the beds closer to the house

lavender grows to great heights and we even get volunteer cherry tomatoes there, regenerated from gardens past. unfortunately, the only view anyone gets of all this wild splendor is when leaving the parking lot of the doc’s office across the way, but still, we like that it looks nice for them. if only we could do something with the front of the house. everything we try out there pretty much fails. it’s too shady and the ground is a dense network of tree runners. we try—we really do. and some day, we might just hit the right combination of plantings that make it look lush and cared-for.

so, because i was out planting in the garden til dark last night and then at the computer til pretty late, i have very little more knitting than i did yesterday.

i did not get as far on my mitt even as i’d planned

and now i am spending a beautiful afternoon inside, trying to catch up a bit. hopefully i’ll get enough done that i can get back out and plant the things i bought yesterday (i might have had a little accident with my credit card at lily of the valley farm, where i went with beckie yesterday after work, “just for the ride”. wait til you see what i found . . i’ll take pix once it’s all in the ground and i get some weeding done).

luckily a box of blog fodder arrived in the mail today from lis and jodi at one planet yarn and fiber—samples of some new lines they are carrying as well as some old favorites i’d never tried (such riches—thanks you two!).
so because i don’t have much knitting progress, i thought i’d show you some yarn.

first up are Kaalund yarns from australia. these two selections just cry out to be little nothings. there is a ball of beautiful merino laceweight 2-ply

a soft, cushy, classic yarn in a subtle colorway called glass house.
then, the luscious Enchanté, a cultivated silk 2-ply in a yummy yummy mix of orangey-pinks called guava.

i’ve been wanting to organize some silk knits for the summer, so this really sets me up, along with this next gift, from their handmaiden line.

now most of you might have noticed that i’ve never knit with anything handmaiden.
i KNOW. i’ve admired it believe me, but never indulged myself (see? i can be good).
but, all that is about to change.

that peridot skein there? is going to be a big scarf i’m gonna use it ALL for a wide, long scarf that we could bring along to an air-conditioned joint when we wear a sleeveless dress on a hot summer night.
or, you know, you could stay home and just wear the scarf with no worries about it being too warm—it won’t stay on long . . .

and as if that wasn’t enough, they sent some of this swiss cashmere silk to make a wrap in the fall. now, this we have to be careful with . . . this is dangerous.

the color is a little more muted and neutral than it appears in the photo. promise me that if you get some of this, you will lock it up. otherwise, it’ll go blind from too much fondling.

they also included some of their artesano alpaca yarn, which i somehow did not get a picture of, but next time i promise.

and lastly (i’m telling you, the box is bottomless), from be sweet yarns (you really should click that and read about this amazing company), a nice, cool, organic cotton/bamboo blend yarn that is dyed with lo-impact dyes.

i chose the denim colorway and now i wish i had asked for enough to make a summer top. it’s super-soft and feels nice and cool—it would make a great skirt, too.

lis and jodi always go to great lengths to work with companies that are easy on the planet, are doing good things for their employees, and offering products that are unique and safe to use. their shop is a special gathering of yarn lines that you might not see anywhere else, so if you haven’t been there yet, you are in for a treat.

ok, back to the drawing board for me; i owe a mitt pattern to jocelyn and michelle, and if i’m good i might finish in time to go out and enjoy the day (thankfully, i have a big window in front of me).

23 Responses to “in flanders fields . . .”

  1. Kirsten says:

    I agree with David, poppies are among my favorites. Those thin papery petals with their dark centers get me every time.

    Two summers ago on a trip to Sweden, we enjoyed fields bursting with poppies.

  2. Sharon says:

    Today’s post is an astounding feast for the eyes. How lovely!!!!

  3. Anne C. says:

    The poppies are so luscious – and the sea silk incredible. Thanks!

  4. Beth S. says:

    Oh Anne! That skein of Sea Silk is about to change your life. Yes, really. :-)

    And the mitt looks wonderful! I really like it in that quieter colorway.

  5. Ronni says:

    Oooh it’s all so pretty! Must control impulse to click through, I’ve already been to three yarn shops today.

  6. Hattie says:

    Very nice! The sea silk is gorgeous! I have a skein in Melon I have yet to use…

  7. Kate/Massachusetts says:

    Oh my! Thanks for the garden tour! Your flowers are spectacular! Even more so than the yarn! lol

    For your front yard, could you take down a tree or two, and then build some raised beds?

    I have been looking at and drooling over tree peonies lately. I have a number of herbaceous peonies but just discovered the tree variety. Unfortunately they are outrageously expensive. Oh to find someone to barter with! Perhaps a knitted sweater for one tiny tree peony?

    Love you pictures, Zoe!

  8. Jane says:

    I have one poppy that beautiful shell pink with the burgundy center. The others are the more common red-orange – pretty, but no real comparison… The tomatoes, basil & zucchini went into the garden today – hopefully this year I’ll have some grape tomatoes so I can try drying them.

  9. Jamie says:

    I am currently working your Alhambra pattern with Handmaiden SeaCell in the vintage colorway.

    Everyone I have shown the project to has loved the design.

  10. Lis says:

    Anne, I love your flower photos! I don’t know if you knew that I used to love to do watercolors and close up flower photos are my favorites. Your photos inspire me to get back to it. I have really been wanting to. I am glad you liked the yarns. If you want more of the denim for a spring, summer top, just let me know and I’ll send more of this dyelot. I will email you too….. Lis

  11. katie m. says:

    I just wanted to say that I find your blog endlessly inspiring in a quiet, contemplative way. It reminds me over and over again that by doing what I love I can end up in just the right place. Thanks! The poppies — and yarn — are lovely. The swiss cashmere looks perfect. Yum.

  12. Kim says:

    The mitt in that green is perfect….I really like it!

    My goodness, there is so much yarn here, how will you ever come up for air? (grin)

  13. glenda says:

    Anne, the last photo of the poppy petals about to unfold is amazing. I’m much further north & must try to capture a photo just like that when mine begin to bloom. Love it.

  14. Theresa in Italy says:

    David would love to be here now—poppies everywhere, bursting out of the wheatfields and lining the roads. Your photography is lovely. (Georgia O’Keefe,eat your heart out.)

    I love One Planet. They are delightful to deal with, aside from the wonderful products they offer. Ordering from them is always a pleasure.

  15. mary lou says:

    Sadly, not one of our Oriental Poppies made it thru the winter. But we do have ‘bread seed’ poppies courtesy of a neighbor’s plants that seeded into our yard. I think they are illegal, but I’m not using them as a cash crop, really. They are just pretty poppies.

  16. Judy says:

    I have SO wanted to try Seasilk. It looks luscious. Lucky for your neighbors to have you, who are so well planted. I try wooly thyme between the stones in my path, never to great success. Someday.

  17. Debbie says:

    You are the luckiest yarn recipient, ever! I would love a job such as yours. Gorgeous yarn! I love poppies, especially the paper variety. I can’t wait to see what you bought at the nursery. Don’t forget to show us!

  18. Manon says:

    Oh — poppies and seasilk, what a feast for the eyes… I can’t wait for our poppies to bloom, but we are several weeks behind you in Toronto. These flowers always remind me of the years I spent in France. I remember entire fields of red poppies, they were glorious! And when we travelled to Provence, it was the beauty of lavender fields under a bright blue sky and the heady scent of lavender. And now I’m going to fondle the seasilk I have stored away in my stash…

  19. Tricia says:

    Love the poppy photos – that dusky purple in the centre is divine! Also love the yarns – I have Kaalund Classic Two and Enchante in stash with little idea of what to do with them, so if there are Knitspot patterns using them…

    I also have an embarrassing amount of Seasilk – I love it. I find it difficult to knit with though, I’m usually quite a regular knitter but Seasilk never looks as good as I think it should when I knit with it. Other people don’t seem to have the same problem, so I guess it’s just me!

  20. Jocelyn says:

    Gosh. Poppies and sage together — perfect. And all of those yarns! Teach me to leave town for a day — I miss all the good photos…

  21. Cathy-Cate says:

    That last poppy picture is just breathtaking; it is exploding like a popcorn kernel, under so much pressure of sheer vitality to bloom! Wow!

    I bought a skein of the Cashmere & Silk while visiting the Seattle area recently; it is so delectably soft and caressable. I wish I had splurged on more, perhaps, though my bank account is happier not. It is wonderful, though, and I do love Hand Maiden’s dyeing. Looks like a wonderful yarn package all together!

    I am finishing a pair of socks in HandMaiden Casbah and I am REALLY loving that yarn. I knit it loosely for a beautiful cover for my mother’s cast, and then tightly for a sock for the other foot to match, and it is gorgeous with a beautiful fabric either way; merino/cashmere/nylon, superwash! So lustrous, yet a certain sense of solidity when knit at sock gauge. Check it out if you ever have the chance; I think it would inspire you.

  22. Emily says:

    We were delighted to learn that our new garden comes complete with a huge bunch of those same poppies and they are blooming very beautifully right now.

    And I’ll have to go check out that Bambino right now!

  23. Nan says:

    Your red poppy is so Georgia O’Keefe like. You should enlarge it and frame it. The yarn is beautiful too. I can’t wait to see what you are going to create with them.