the local terrain

oh me, better late than never, i guess; these are words i rarely use, but today, they are fitting. somehow, this whole day yesterday just slid away with nothing getting done on time.

except my haircut first thing this morning—that, at least went smoothly. i’ve been trying to get this blog post up ever since i got home yesterday, but to no avail. oh well, chalk it up to a jam-packed week.

so let’s just start where we find ourselves—as you can see i’ve completed my twig and leaf sample (yay!), though not in time to release the pattern today yesterday (boo!).

jocelyn’s sample arrived last week and has been sitting here patiently waiting to be photographed, but since i had a shot at including two of the three sizes, i decided to go for it.

the fabric blocked out beautifully; the briar rose stella merino/silk lace couldn’t be more breathtaking. the final fabric feels like liquid in my hands and is lovely against my skin. chris wants everyone to know that she has also dyed up some bella merino lace in this same deep blue/green colorway, which is an equal match in weight and diameter for the stella, though it will have more bounce.

we’ve scheduled a photo shoot over the weekend, just me and david (gotta put the new haircut through its paces!), so we’re on track for a monday release as far as i can see. yay!

i love how it’s shaped like a smile—i purposely used a firm bindoff for my sample, to encourage the top edge to curve, but if i had used a looser, more relaxed one, it would be straighter, more like a scarf. you can do either one; i like the curved option because it stays put on my narrow shoulders, but if i knit the smallest size to use for a scarf, i’ll probably go with a straighter shape.

do you want to see a little preview on my dress form?
ha ha, do i really need to ask?? ok, here goes

the pattern has three sizes; we knit the two smallest ones. above is my medium size sample and below is jocelyn’s petite size.

i will probably knit another in this size, since it’s one i’d use much more often than a shawl.

you can see jocelyn’s sample draped on the chair in the background and then here it is in the next photo as well

i can even show you a comparison shot (i may be late, but at least i’m organized)

these photos also highlight another aspect of lace knitting that’s hard to explain—differences between knitters and our choices. while jocelyn’s stitchwork is very much the same as mine in appearance, i seem to have a different hand in blocking than she does. this could be for a variety of reasons—personal taste, tools (such as the use of blocking wires), and space. anyway, it looks like i’ve stretched my fabric a heck of a lot more than she did; mine is more sheer and less dense than hers, as well as larger in size than the difference in rows would normally account for.

i love this about lace knitting—that within reason, i can mold and manipulate my finished piece to my liking and to suit the properties of the yarn i use. you can do this with solid knit fabrics too, but not to the same extent and normally, the finished product does not rely on being intentionally distorted as a necessary final step, the way a lace shawl does.

alright now, let’s tear ourselves away from the shawl so that we have something left to look at on monday, shawl we? hmmmm, what in the world could possibly be distracting enough to do the job properly??

oh, i got it . . . .

PEEPS!

haha, i thought a cuteness detour would do the trick.
these are not our chicks—i was at helena and kris’s house the other night and when i walked in, what did i see in the kitchen but a bin of peeps under a lamp. their older chickens are not laying well, so they are refreshing the flock with a few young additions.

i love the serious intent on the face of the one staring right into the camera, front and left—she was simply entranced by it

omg, i could have watched them for hours; lucky me, a heavy downpour outside kept me there an extra half hour, during which we sipped tea and watched the chicks play. i love that the black and white one has just a single wing feather on each side, hee-hee!

at home, we are picking from the garden every day now for our suppers. most days, it is some kind of quick stir fry with whatever variety of vegetables we’ve picked that day. i’m not freezing heavily yet except for greens, but those days are coming.

the other night, we had some of everything—squash, hot peppers, eggplant, onion, garlic, pepper, green beans, tomatoes, and a few baby carrots left from the bag of veggies erica sent in the car as a snack.

i even had some garlic scapes in the vegetable bin from may that were, amazingly, still good (bottom right). so i chopped it all up

stir-fried it in coconut oil

then added some red curry paste, soy sauce, and shrimp, folding in a big handful of basil just before serving over rice noodles.

chopping took about half an hour and the cook time was about ten minutes. it’s equally good over rice instead of noodles; it’s also good by itself without a starch. mmm, the flavors are beyond description—so fresh they make your mouth tingle, literally.

we are finally getting some rain here and there—not that much, but some, thank goodness. the garden seems happy despite the drought, but it’s nice not to have to water so often . . .

well, i’ve come to the end of what i have to offer today; i’ll be back in a couple of days with a new pattern and in the post after that, i’ll announce the winner of the book giveaway.

happy weekend!

23 Responses to “the local terrain”

  1. Marilyn says:

    This scarf is absolutely beautiful, a real work of art. And today’s blog is such fun to read–your cooking ideas inspire me almost as much as do your recipes. BTW, I finished Sticks and Stones two weeks ago and if it weren’t for the hot weather in Northern Michigan where I live, I’d wear it every day. Another flattering piece and another hit! My only changes were to shorten the body, use the larger needles for the ribbing at the hips, and cast on using the medium directions and decrease gradually so I could finish the sweater using the small armhole and shoulder dimensions, which fit me better. Your wonderful directions made the modifications possible and easily done.

  2. Hattie says:

    Ohhhh so cuuute! Nothing better than baby chicks.

    And I LOVE LOVE LOVE this shawl. I already know exactly what yarn I’m going to use!

  3. Shelda says:

    Oh, that twig and leaf is seriously stunning! And the veggies look scrumptious (as ever).

  4. Stephanie says:

    I’ve always identified as a city woman. I even walk fast. I’ve visited lots of places and enjoy their unique qualities. But your garden, fresh veggies, and friends with baby chicks makes me want to give up my New York apartment and move someplace real green, with lots of space. Thanks for letting me live another life vicariously through your blog.

  5. josiekitten says:

    Another beautiful pattern Anne. It’s interesting how the fabric is different because of the different degrees of blocking. Cute chicks, love all the different colours. Is Helena having fun on her drama course? All those veggies are making my mouth water too! Great post!

  6. Rose says:

    Twig & Leaf is breathtaking. Such a strong word, but my first thought on seeing it was a long, drawn-out ohhhh. I love it & have a skein of stella waiting for the pattern.
    I especially love the lacy lace with all the yarnovers. They really set off the solids. Can you define a firm bindoff – would it be comparable to binding off something like a sweater? I think you mentioned once that you just use the regular bindoff for your pieces – just work more loosely.
    I’m always interested in how you block. I notice you didn’t use wires, just pins. Beautiful work.

  7. Kat Jorgensen says:

    You may be causing me to go off of my yarn fast. I simply must have some of that Stella for this shawl. Maybe I can make it an early birthday present to me. Okay, I’ve already checked it out. You are a bad influence, Anne. And I mean that in the best way possible.

    Cute, cute chicks! I love the camera hog one. Looking forward to Monday’s release.

  8. Kim says:

    Oh peeps! What could be better!

    Love that shawl Anne, love the smiley shape!

  9. Sharon says:

    I can’t decide which I like better, the Twig & Leaf pattern or the yarn color….what a beautiful combination! Although both versions are lovely, I prefer the way you blocked your shawl as I think it shows off the lace border more….makes it look more airy or delicate, if you know what I mean. Definately another project to add to my list!

  10. Vicki says:

    It is beautiful. so simple and elegant, every woman should have one in her wardrobe. It is breath taking.

  11. Cathy says:

    Oh Anne, SO gorgeous!! I can’t wait for the pattern.

  12. Susan Kelly says:

    Absolutely beautiful!!! Time; I need more time!

  13. Jennifer says:

    The shawl is so beautiful. I can’t believe I have to wait until Monday for the pattern. With Olympics and all this knitting time on the weekend…

  14. Jo Morgan says:

    The post that has it all! The gorgeous shawl (I’ll be all over that pattern when it is released on Monday). The insane cuteness of the peeps–it was always so disappointing on grandma’s farm that the cute stage seemed to last for about two minutes–haha. Finally, the veggies and the scrumptious photography–I could almost taste them.

    The blocking was interesting. I would love to have some instruction in blocking. i am a bit timid, but part of that might be attributed that after two knee replacements, I don’t do crawling around on the floor very well. I think I mifght have found a solution though–fingers crossed.

  15. Robby says:

    Such a gorgeous new piece. And the lighting in your photos really makes that yarn sing.

  16. Lara says:

    Both versions of the shawl are stunning! And then I was totally distracted by the Peeps and veggies! :)

  17. Sue says:

    My Bella is sitting here on my work table, my needles are poised, ready for that beautiful pattern…..anticipation has made the heart grown fonder…it is stunningly beautiful ….can hardly wait to proceed. but First, I must go cut veggies ……loving garden time veggies and what a great way to prepare them,….thanks for the idea ! Like always , your patterns are a hit.
    Sue

  18. Kari says:

    The shawl is lovely! I absolutely adore it and will definitely be adding it to my must knit list. Congrats on another awesome design!

    Loved the veggie pictures too and the dish sounds absolutely tasty!

  19. Robin F. says:

    I am so excited by the new shawl design. I bought my Stella yarn from Chris as soon as you showed it and have been waiting patiently for the pattern. The color is fabulous in person. I’ve kept the skein closeby for fondling.
    The veggies pix is making me hungry.
    The chicks are soo cute. I can imagine their peeps while looking at the pix of them.

  20. Love the peeps! Our neighbor’s chicken ‘accidentally’ had some chicks and they are just the cutest little fluff balls!

    The new shawl is really gorgeous – can’t wait to add it to my queue…

    Have a fun photo shoot!

  21. Your shawl is absolutely stunning. Loved visiting your blog this afternoon for the first time.

  22. Ann says:

    Gorgeous pattern. The veg curry looks yummy & I love to make mine with tom yam paste (Thai) sometimes.

  23. Cheri says:

    Of course your scarf/shawl pattern is lovely, but I must mention the beauty of your veggies–and that sir fry! We are definitely having that for supper tonight. I’m going to follow your tutorial and save the photos for reference~ Making my mouth water :p