local color

i spotted a little tinge of pink on a few tomatoes today . . . and another little gift of rich, deep purple under the eggplant canopy.

i know the garden always seems to come first in my posts lately (i try to change it up sometimes), but once that headliner photo starts the conversation, that’s what happens—it’s a lot like my life. feel free to scroll down for knitting—no one will know the difference, heh.

i cannot believe it’s already the end of june and time for real vegetables to be growing—where did this month disappear to??
at least it was a good one from TNNA at the beginning to harvesting and many FOs by then end. and more cycling in between, for change. this month i made a big effort to take time for getting out on my bike and it’s paying off—i already feel more energetic and at the same time, less anxious.

it’s a challenge though, with a busy business and the garden season in full swing. i won’t say that i make it out there every day, but i’m averaging 4-5 times per week now. next, i’d like to add back my weight raining; i always loved that and it has such great mental and physical health benefits.

i didn’t take flower photos today because the vegetable patch was offering so much eye candy. the lettuces are big and crisp and colorful right now (thanks to the cool weather with a good mix of sun and rain)—perfect for delicious caesars or other dinner salads.

some of my okra seedlings are doing really well. since i’ve never grown okra, i tried out four types by purchasing sample amounts from victory seeds. i’m really glad i did that because

you can see that the ones to the right of the photo in two rows came up well, but the area to the left has none (so far). so, two types germinated right away and are growing well, but the other two are either sluggish, or they’re not going to make an appearance.

so it was smart to try different ones. the stupid part?? (and you know there is one!) is that i didn’t label which was which, so i don’t really know which types were a success—yet. once i actually see fruit on them, i’ll be able to tell; maybe even once the leaves get bigger. the same thing happened with my greens.

comparing the seedlings to the photos on the store site i’d guess these red-veined ones are either burgundies or aunt hattie’s red. i think the green ones are emeralds, but it’s just as possible they are the dwarf green long pod.

the thing about tagging plants is that between mulching, watering, weeding, and critters, the tags always end up strewn about the garden, nowhere near the plants they belong to, or they fade to an unreadable state pretty quickly. so i get lazy about using them (then wish i hadn’t been). i gotta think up a better system . . .

tonight we’re having a quick dinner of pasta with sauteed squash and some of the tomato sauce i cooked last weekend—it’s great to have those containers of ready-made sauce all set to go; we can customize each dinner with something different, depending on what’s ripe out there.

i’ve been watching the watermelon plants all week because they are finally taking off and growing big—every day i need to re-thread a new long arm around the fence they are growing on. and today i spotted something else among the leaves

the vines are actually covered with tiny melons and a few are pushing ahead of the crowd

does anyone know if i should pinch off some of the smallest fruit to let the bigger ones grow? will it help the alpha melons be even sweeter and better? i don’t know that much about growing good melon . . .

back inside i am nursing a pepper plant that had a run-in with the hose the other day (all my fault—it’s not like the hose attacked it or anything).

and it’s so pretty there on the window sill that i just had to take a picture. i’m hoping it will take root in the water so i can put it back in the garden. normally, i wouldn’t worry about losing one of my 12 or so plants, but i had only three of this “yummy pepper” type and they are my favorite. they ended up in a very vulnerable garden spot and i lost one already to general weakness. this might be a good example of why some gardeners tend to overplant . . .

anyway, i’m really enjoying the graceful spread of its branches in this spot over my sink—it’s even opening some flowers.

speaking of my sink, i finished pompa in class yesterday and it’s off the needles and into the suds as we speak.

my 220-yard skein of fibre isle pearl bison in colorway creamberry went a very respectable distance in this project—my scarf measures about 36 inches before blocking and i’m expecting it will be somewhere around 45-48 inches after stretching by approximately 11 inches wide. we just love getting the most out of smaller skein of luxury yarn.

if i haven’t mentioned the incredible-ness of the yarn lately, let me fill you in—it’s a mix of merino, seacell, cashmere, and bison fibers (both dyed and undyed) that are hand blended into a lofty, springy, fingering weight yarn. the yarn has both a tighter twist and more air which work together to produce a knitted fabric that is squishy-soft, has wonderful stitch definition, and incredible color depth.

tomorrow i’ll show you blocking photos.

my nate sock has seen some action in the last couple of days, too; it now has a heel and part of a foot (oh, the joy of sport yarn for socks). i’m also almost done with my dark regatta sock, but i forgot to take a picture and i’m too lazy to go do it now.

last night after classes i worked on a pattern for a few hours, then went off to knit on my fruit of the vine scarf, adding several repeats of the pattern. remind you of anything?

the stitches even have little fruits, just like the watermelon vines . . .

i’ve spent too much time already talking today, but now, here’s something you’ll really like to end the post, so i must keep going a little longer.

i’ve been egging on my friend kim (sadly blogless) for over a year now to finish a certain project to no avail—she just wasn’t feelin’ excitement of the final stretch, i guess (i even offered to block it for her as an incentive).

but then chris stepped in, pleading and begging because it’s knit in briar rose heritage (now discontinued, but similar to josephine) and she wants it for the booth at sock summit.
mission accomplished—kim finished the thing up in just a few days and sent it to me for blocking, which i did yesterday between classes

it stretched out beautifully to the generous size kim was hoping for (about what the pattern states) and all the lace opened up, which only shows off the incredible colors in the yarn even more—it’s an iridescent blend of blues, greens, and plums, overdyed with black

this morning i unpinned it and took some photos on the dress form—it was very dark because of the weather, but i managed to get a few nice ones—which i needed; i don’t have many good photos of this shawl. but now i do . . .

this is a wonderful piece that can be knit up in a feather-light lace mohair for something airy and weightless, or then again, in a warm fingering yarn for a shawl you can cozy into when it’s cold.

i’ve knit three of these in various yarn weights (and types) and each one is my favorite for a different reason.

kim’s yarn is fuzzy and fairly heavy for a shawl, but that’s what makes it a great piece to take to the beach at night or to substitute as a coat in winter.

i have a moth knit in a similar yarn that is probably my most-often-worn shawl—it lays just right on my shoulders and screens out wind like nobody’s business.

the great thing about a triangle shawl pattern is that you can play with yarn, needles, and gauge to achieve all sorts of different effects—there are few limits if you are willing to take a risk.

it’s going to look specTACular on kim, isn’t it? she’ll be getting it back in plenty of time to wear at rhinebeck so we can all admire it there

this pattern is an old favorite—i first knit it for my mom about six years ago, making it up on the needles as i went along. then knit one for a friend’s wedding, three years ago this month and finally put the pattern in writing as my first online pattern offer. and the knitspot pattern shop was born.

.

we had a race to celebrate and to raise some money for a good cause. for three years, i’ve enjoyed watching a fantastic parade of moths go by in classes, blog photos, ravelry photos, and photos that come to me by email; moths on their way to engagements, weddings, christenings, fairs, friends, and family.

but i think i am most touched by this one that my friend knit—all good things in time.

22 Responses to “local color”

  1. Virginia says:

    Say, you’ll block my irtfa’a when it’s done, right?

    Right??

    ;-)

  2. Jody says:

    Anne’s blocking service…lol.
    Great pics today-rather like a tennis match…garden, knitting, garden, knitting and just when I thought you’d end with knitting, in sneaks garden to close out the post. I am jealous of your garden (and your knitting!) I have about 4 tiny tomatoes on my plants, and nowhere near ready to turn red yet.Today it’s in the 60′s so I imagine they’re in a holding pattern (although I’m loving the break in the hot weather). Happy Tuesday!

  3. Shelda says:

    You make me wish I had a garden going! Although I’m pretty happy with the farmer’s market. But I LOVE okra! Hope to see more of it later as it grows and thrives.

    That nate sock is really gorgeous. And Moth in that yarn. Mmm!

  4. Kate Lathrop says:

    oh my – my hand keeps wanting to reach out and snatch the shawl from the dress form. My favorite colors!! Oh my – this is going to be my year of the shawl after all. Off to put this on my rav queue now!

  5. Lanafactrix says:

    It’s a lovely shawl. And as well, it’s been a joy to read the blog and watch your business grow by leaps and bounds!

  6. Tami says:

    You’re killing me with the “fruit of the vine” scarf. You’ve named it even! Up until now it’s been the “green scarf”. :-) I’ve purchased my yarn for it and everything so here I sit patiently (more like anxiously) waiting for the release of the pattern.

  7. Geek Knitter says:

    Not stupid, just absentminded. Besides, you said yourself that the tags end up all over the place anyway!

  8. Kristine says:

    In the midwest, you have a shorter growing season, but boy does your garden produce. Here in the Bay Area, my veggies grow so much s l o w e r because I don’t get that hot sun and humidity. I covet that eggplant. Your shawl is gorgeous!

  9. Judith says:

    Anne, what a lovely, long post today. It felt like getting a letter from a friend. Thanks for the garden pics. I think that you’ve been training my eye; when I saw the watermelon leaves in the ninth photo, I thought, “There’s a lace pattern!” And then I saw that you had already seen the resemblance in your “fruit of the vine” scarf.

    Kim’s knitting, Chris’s yarn, and your beautiful pattern came together in a truly gorgeous shawl. What a great way friends friends to get together.

  10. Ellen says:

    I can order the sock pattern and the shawl/scarf pattern, but I really want to order your garden…..LOL

  11. paperdiva says:

    I love that eggplant pic!

  12. Deb says:

    Now I know just what to do with the one skein of Briar Rose I bought at the Knitters Connection. It will make a beautiful scarf.

  13. Kim says:

    Hard to believe that crumply thing could turn out so beautiful Anne. Thank you! Can’t wait for it to be cold enough to wear!

  14. our six tomato plants are finally throwing fruit! i can hardly wait to see them starting to turn red.

    i, like you, don’t get as much time out there as it really should be getting. tomorrow evening, we garden! :)

    as always, love your knitting.

  15. Debbie says:

    The shawl is beautiful. You’re so nice to block it! The eggplant picture is just amazing. I love it.

  16. Kim says:

    I’ve been contemplating my next lace project and this post nailed it :) . Moth will be going on my needles soon.

    How great that you can grow watermelon! The growing season just isn’t long enough up here.

  17. Jean Marie says:

    Love all the pictures – garden and knitting! Thanks for sharing, I always enjoy them!

    My garden is much smaller than yours; our house is on a lot with a lot of trees – mostly oaks, but also a few fruit trees – lots of shade which is great on hot days but not so good for the gardening – so my bit of garden is right in front of my house! Squash, bell peppers, tomatoes, basil plus I put in seeds for mesclun, onion, and carrots yesterday.

    One thing I do to help me keep track of what’s where is to draw a “map” of my garden and write my labels on the map. I use paper, but a white board/dry erase marker would work too.

  18. Lorraine says:

    Anne- Ahh, the magic of blocking. That has to be one of my favorite designs of all time.

  19. Tara says:

    Your question about the watermelon has led me to my own questions about my pumpkin plant. Gotta look into that.

  20. Genie says:

    Jean Marie’s idea of a map works well, but I’ve also used this successfully to mark garden plants.

    Take a plastic yogurt or margarine container (the taller the better) and cut from the top edge to the bottom. Move over an inch or so and cut again. Continue to cut all the way around. Cut off the round bottom. Now you have a stack of “labels”. Use a sharpie marker to write the plant variety on the label. Take it out to the garden and push it into the soil, burying it almost entirely. When you need to remember the plant name, pull it out to read it, then re-bury it.

    Sometimes, I just put a numeral on the label and the matching numeral on the seed packet and store the seed packets in a drawer for the season.

    Another lovely post. Thanks for blogging.

  21. Teyani says:

    Kim’s Moth shawl is amazing. That pattern is still one of my favorites,

  22. Hattie says:

    I have some zephyr wool silk in Pewter to knit that shawl, need to get on it! This version is gorgeous!