last evening when i finally settled in to knit after a day of working outside and preparing food, i listened to the rain while getting into my knitting zone, and thought about favorite rows. it started because i was on one of my favorite rows of the flower and fern motif i’m knitting at the moment
i always try to leave off my knitting just after a favorite row if possible (either that or a purl rest row), so that when i come back to it i can settle in and work toward that row again. i know—it’s weird, but it’s my knitting and as far as i know it doesn’t hurt anyone else if i play a game with it to psyche myself up/calm myself down.
so, anyway, i almost always end up having a favorite row (or even a whole section, like the “swarm” in bee fields), don’t you? favorite rows are the ones i look forward to, that keep me rooted to the chair as i draw near to working them. they are knitting high points; in my own personal knitting opera, the rest of the motif crescendos up to the point of that row, then i work that row as if i completed a difficult climb and am standing poised at the edge of a glorious vista (ok, maybe not exactly, but it does feel rewarding and satisfying to work that favorite row . . .).
then i can sit back and look at what i’ve done, take a break if i need to, adjust the volume on my book or . . . whatever.
don’t laugh . . . i bet lots of us do this. it makes sense—it’s a way of breaking down the task of completing a piece into little bits over which we can get excited. regularly getting re-excited is good for one’s motivation (you ask me how i get so much knitting done? well, this is how).
i have lots of favorite rows in fact, and not just in knitting. my favorite row at the movies is the last row in back (and thankfully david is complicit in this), my favorite row in school was near the window (the better to daydream),
this row of gorgeous eggplant bushes is my favorite garden row. i work the whole garden and then i do this row last every time, just when i feel my energy flagging. it makes me happy, this row—just look at those beautiful leaves, how majestically the plants stand, how tall they are getting. wow. they even kind of remind me of that stitch motif with their uplifted broad leaves and little purple flowers (but no worries; we won’t be naming the shawl eggplant or even melanzana).
(i just reread all that and decided i’ve learned to delay gratification to the point where it could be an art form—if it wasn’t so crazy-twisted. i hope it’s not getting in my way somehow . . .)
speaking of the garden, it all looked so good yesterday when i headed out to work in the early morning. happy greens, now that they’ve got lime in their soil
healthy, happy eggplant of all kinds (more on that tomorrow), ecstatically happy herbs, squash looking good—even the spinach is doing ok, now that i have a variety in that likes summer weather.
we have fairly-happy tomatoes; they are producing well but the plants look like hell, all yellow and spotty underneath, and a few tomatoes have blossom end rot. still working on that, with norma’s help. apparently, my soil needed lots more calcium and magnesium—so i applied her suggested combination of epsom salts, bone meal, and coffee grounds. we are slowly achieving better-looking plants. the eggplant responded right away to this food, growing about a foot in one week, but the tomatoes, though growing, still look pale and wan.
everything is doing much better in-ground than when i had the raised beds. the plants are sturdier and producing more fruit, as i’d hoped. and good thing too, because soon after i finished an afternoon of cooking and putting stuff up from that morning’s garden haul,
we got absolutely battered by a hail storm. oy! they were coming down like rocks getting dumped. zinging every which way, like a hail tornado, and some of them were big. i was transfixed by the pounding noise and the number of rocks falling. by the time i thought to run for the camera—and i did think of it . . . gotta blog!—they had started to melt a bit, but you can see here
how big some of those in the foreground are. literally like golf balls.
i was afraid to look at the garden afterward, so i left it til today. the hostas are pretty shredded, but the vegetable patch isn’t too bad. most of the damage seems to have come from tree pieces getting whipped around.
the chard . . . not so happy anymore, but still alive
i don’t know if they’ll make it (and damn, i almost pulled them all out yesterday, but decided to give them a few more days). if not, the seedling chard is fine . . most of it was covered by flopping leaves and did not get scarred.
the eggplant is ok . . . leaves looking a little worse for wear, but fruits were all protected and remain unblemished. the worst damage was in the tomatoes (crap!)
many, many green ones lay about at the base of the plants this morning, both big and small. fortunately, we did not plant determinate tomatoes so as long as the plants recover alright, we should be able to get more fruit to replace the loss.
of course, after this ferocious 15-minute storm, the sun came out brilliant as could be. it didn’t even rain enough to really wet things down—til later, just about the time we wanted to head out for a bike ride. it rained then—and how.
nothing to do for it but knit.
i got lots done on my shawl last night and the first half of the pattern to jocelyn who is test knitting. right now i’m trying to decide how long it should be. i’m leaning toward something slightly shorter; it seems like it’s time for something more dainty. not a shoulder shawl or anything, just and inch or two shorter than say, irtfa’a. to keep the insect band at a nice level and in proportion with the field pattern.
i’ve been swatching for socks while watching TV late at night. david requested a pair from the tea rose yarn that catherine sent me, and hence set up a new challenge: let’s make pink socks that look manly (and still appeal to a woman). jeesh.
i’m looking at knit/purl patterns because that was part of the request, though i’m not beyond going with some openwork if i need to.
i might need to—though i love me a good knit/purl motif, i’m not sure there is enough contrast to pull it off (though i said that about tesserae, too, and those were fine).
i like this one a lot; it looks like a string of kites flying across the fabric. i like them all. but of course, i’ll ask david before i decide . . . .