radiance

we’re living in a fishbowl of vibrant colors this month—the foliage is putting out the best display i’ve seen since we moved to ohio.

we’re lucky to live in a home surrounded by a grove of very tall, old oaks, interspersed with maples. i’m struck with awe when each new day brings a different slant of light or new depth of color-in-wetness.

sunday morning was a sunny one and i woke up to the light pouring sideways through the oak leaves. i jumped out of bed and grabbed the camera to take some photos of the neighborhood.

out in the back yard, the first pair of winter cardinals was playing on the fence

(the boy one is trying to get the girl one to come over, but she’s not having any of it)
while the coffee perked, i set to work tackling the last basket of tomatoes david picked from the dying plants before pulling them out

after sorting them, i put a sheet in the oven to dry and the remaining green ones

i washed, dried, and placed between layers of newspaper on the old pool table to ripen. maybe we’ll bring them to my mom’s in a few weeks when we go for thanksgiving, for one last garden tomato sauce.

the vegetable garden is all but done now

david pulled up all the plants except the greens at the back (which continue to give and give, bless them) and some herbs and celery at the front. he spread a layer of dark composted earth over the top of the spoiled straw-and-newspaper mulch and will till everything under come spring.

i don’t know what that baby slug is going to eat now, but it doesn’t have much time left to get big (and honestly, i’ve no idea how fast they grow; i don’t think i want to know . . .)

today it’s wet and rainy; the colors are deeper and more immediate

days like this are often great for getting pictures of hard-to-photograph colors, so i dragged my knits outside for a little photo shoot

here, finally is a good depiction of my current project in great northern yarns mink/cashmere, colorway radiant purple. BTW, craig now has all of his colors back in stock.
yes, i’ll wait while you go look . . .

this is the truest representation of the purple yarn i have and it’s showing up really well on my monitor.

i dunno if you can see it in the photo, but my favorite part of this purple is its slight haze of chocolatey brown which gathers in the folds of the fabric.

i’m completely in love with it.

i picked this cable pattern for its soft, curvy plumpness. the yarn is wonderful for cabling because it’s so light and relaxed—it’s not at all hard on the hands, even when crossing four over six. it looks just the way i hope it would—soft, feminine and utterly touchable. i’m thinking a hat with some slouch to it will complement the scarf beautifully, while being light enough to hold itself up where it belongs (i have to be careful about slouchy hats because they tend to fall right off my nutkin head).

i finished up my green sleeve on monday evening, and last night when i went to debby’s to knit, i started the second one

this is the last piece i need—i’m actually gonna miss this knit when it’s done; i’ve enjoyed it immensely (maybe because it went to rhinebeck with me?). i have a semblance of a pattern written, but i’m waiting to see how it fits before i commit to the numbers. i really think it’s going to be fine—everything is measuring up great against my predicted size. it just remains to be seen whether i like it once it’s on. it’s sounds funny, but even a sweater that has all the right measurements can need some tweaking once i do a full fitting; since each yarn makes a unique fabric, i don’t have the opportunity to make that final assessment of its “feel-good” qualities til i can put it on my body.

it’s exciting to anticipate how it will turn out and sometimes, a little nerve-wracking (oh, i love living dangerously). i feel pretty confident that this one will be what i want, but i’ve been surprised before.

on the other hand, there is the blue henley i started the other day

(again, i finally got a decent shot of the dusk colorway, which often wants to show up as a reddish-purple instead of the denim-y blue it really is).

i started the front the other night and i love the fabric. this is knitting notions superwash sport and i’m diggin’ its cotton-y soft hand—it’s knitting up into a wonderfully comfy henley fabric.

i’ve knitted to the waist and now i’m a little nervous about the sweater width. it’s a cable rib and i calculated the cast-on number according to the gauge in my washed swatch (a method which usually serves me well). the problem, i think, is me—i don’t trust myself, hahaha. the cables and rib pull the fabric in a LOT; my swatch grew about 25 percent in width, unstretched, after soaking and drying. the fabric, though cabled, is very soft and flexible (because it also has openwork and the yarn is relaxed). i do not want this sweater to be baggy; i want it to be sexy, so i chose a size that’s pretty close to my body size.

what concerns me, is that over the larger pieces, the cabling seems to provide more tensile strength than the swatch did (i.e., less stretch), which may make it feel too clingy. it’s just a theory, but i will always look for a reason to worry anxiously over things. it could also stretch a ton after being worn and washed a bit and i wouldn’t want it to hang badly then . . .

just in case, i’m going to put aside the front and start a sleeve. i can finish the sleeve up quickly, wash it, and block it out to see how the fabric changes. i can even sew the seam and wear it around the house for a while to make sure i like how it feels. i should’ve done that to begin with, but i thought it would be smarter to knit the front.
i should not think about what’s smart—i should just do it, heh.

i’ll be mulling all of the options over this afternoon when i get back to the project. but i also want very badly to finish my sprössling sweater . . . will i be able to split my time or will i be all driven and do one or the other? i dunno—i might be leaning toward driven today . . .

while i was taking photos of the leaves over the last few days, i started collection lichen pictures too—we have an amazing variety of lichen throughout the yard; it’s one of my favorite things to look at and something i haven’t written about yet. but i’m preparing . . . i have a yarn that i’m dreaming on to go with it

i am chomping at the bit to cast on with my precious cash/silk handspun, but haven’t yet perfected a design for it. i’m working on it though—this will be my treat to knit in between making christmas knitgoodies . . .

39 Responses to “radiance”

  1. Patricia Dixon says:

    Recently returned from Seattle, where my son’s family lives..of course avid skiers..so I am busy with HAT orders…also order a couple of your patterns for mitts and neck warmers..for birthday’s So I am digging through the STASH for neat colors..Guess this is the season…

  2. Michelle says:

    Anne I completely agree..Fall has been a real show stopper this year…very inspiring!

  3. Hattie says:

    Ohhhh that cash/silk handspun is soooo gorgeous! What fiber was it before? Vendor that is.

  4. Linda says:

    Looking forward to BOTH sweaters!

  5. juniperjune says:

    that handspun is beautiful! and i’m looking forward to the green cardigan; it’s been awhile since i knit a sweater but a lacy-but-unfussy one like that looks like it might be perfect for the evening chill here in southern california. your pictures make me miss autumn, but i will get a chance to visit it this year for thanksgiving. the last time i went east for thanksgiving (two years ago) i was amazed that there was still some lovely foliage going on, so i’m keeping my fingers crossed for this year!

  6. Neuroknitter says:

    Red leaves, cardinals (oh how I wish we had these in the PNW!), gold leaves, tomatoes, sweaters and cables and mink and lichen and handspun…Oh my…I’m in overload!! Lovely, lovely! I can’t wait to see more of the Henley sweater and sleeve!!

  7. Manise says:

    All of our golden leaves are blazing now even in the cold damp rain- the gray sky is the perfect backdrop. Many of them have started to drop their leaves only to be encouraged by said wind and rain falling around them like a petticoat or the train of wedding dress. So beautiful as they fall randomly with little hints of red edges to the leaves. I wish I could translate what I see into a yarn or fiber colorway. I wish fall would last a bit longer. :-)

  8. Manise says:

    Oh and your handspun skein is beautiful!

  9. nathalie says:

    I love the blue henley … the color and pattern are beautiful! And John just took about 35 pictures of the Japenese maple in our front yard that is so amazingly red and vibrant it just takes our breath away. Wish Fall would stick around a while….

  10. Kate says:

    I’m really looking forward to seeing the finished green cardigan.

  11. Zoe (Renowyth) says:

    The Lichen picture reminds me of some of the color work inspiration provided in one of Alice Starmore’s Faire Isle books. I completely understand why you collect pictures of Lichen.

  12. MaryEllen says:

    Anne – I love watching your sweaters grow from a seed of a swatch into a whole garment. I especially like the way the green one is shaping up! I have some Lanas Puras melosa in my stash…how many skeins do you think you’ll end up using?

  13. Cindy says:

    again…I don’t know what pictures are the most beautiful to look at…but the cardinal is getting big kudos points…I’ve never seen a real one!

    it’s all delish!

  14. Northmoon says:

    I love lichen too. Great photos.

  15. Linda in NC says:

    Your hand spun skein is bea-u-ti-ful! And I’m really liking the henley fabric, and the simply scrumptious purple bedazzlement. What a yarn!

    I love the lichen. (But not the lonely little slug!)

  16. Ellen Norman says:

    Loved your blog…can’t wait to see your little green number :)

  17. Chloe says:

    I am so NOT a gardener, but you make it seem so interesting! And is lichen another term for moss? I am a fan of that,anyway.

  18. vanessa says:

    i am not lookig at that mink yarn, i am not looking at that mink yarn, i am not looking at that mink yarn

  19. Kate/Massachusetts says:

    The cashmere handspun is stunning! If it misbehaves, you can send it to my house for permanent adoption. I am very good with wayward fiber. :>)

    I haven’t decided whether or not I should thank you for the mink link! lol Oh. My. I do believe I will need a 12-Step Program for that one!

  20. Jocelyn says:

    So many goodies there! I adore the colors in that last yarn. Totally wow. And the cables in the mink/cashmere yarn are as snuggly as can be (mmm…), and of course you know I love both those sweaters. I’ll be interested to see how the tensile question resolves itself, having just been bitten by the whole bit where a garment’s worth of fabric acts differently than a swatch’s worth myself. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.

  21. Mary says:

    The handspun is beautiful. On Sunday we were up at my Mom’s and the ash tree in her yard was a gorgeous golden yellow–against the bright blue sky it was spectacular. We are about a week or two behind in Brooklyn. Still lots of green if you can believe it.

  22. Madeline says:

    I loved looking at all the gorgeous fall colors and then coming to that surprise of purple! The mink/cashmere is divine! Beautiful handspun, too. (I’m glad someone is having beautiful foliage; it was a bit of a disappointment here in southern Vermont.)

  23. Karen says:

    I ordered two skeins of the mink/cashmere natural. One for the MIL, one for me!

    karen

  24. Norma says:

    You definitely live in a heavenly spot. And your garden….your GARDEN. It has been SUCH a success this year — I’m so happy for you. And though I certainly can’t complain about mine, you may have sold me on getting my soil tested so it can maybe be even BETTER next year.

  25. Kim says:

    Isn’t Autumn wonderful?? It truly is my most favorite time of year. :)

    Your purple goodness is so lovely as is your handspun cash/silk….scrumptious stuff!

    We buttoned up our garden this past week as well…..now to look at the new seed catalogs for next year. ;)

  26. Carla says:

    That Dusk blue colorway makes me crazy in LOVE!

  27. jill says:

    So many wonderful things posted today! The leaves are wonderful. I wish fall would last longer. All the yarns and varying textures tickle my creative juices and inspire me to turn off the computer and pick up my needles!

  28. Caroline says:

    Wow, that’s how you ripen green tomatoes? I have 2 or 3 that have been on my windowsill since the plants died, I will tuck them up in newspaper.

  29. Kyrie says:

    Wow! A feast of color! Beautiful.

  30. Leanne says:

    WOW! I don’t know where to start – the breathtaking photographs, the gorgeous and inspiring knitting, or the delicious handspun. I would be chomping at the bit to knit with it too. What a lovely feast of a post today!

  31. Kathleen C. says:

    It seems like it was just yesterday that you were putting the garden in… wow, where did the year go!? (Uhm… that’s a rhetortical question. no need to try to answer it.)
    I’m really looking forward to seeing the green complete… it looks like the kind of thing I’d have fun knitting!

  32. Jody says:

    Lovely pics Anne! That handspun is so beautiful. I can’t wait to see what you do w/that.

  33. Ann says:

    That’s a lot of tomatoes! It’s the reverse here in Australia – my tomato plants are just blooming & I hope I have a good harvest like yours.

  34. Konna says:

    oooohhhh….what lovely fall color pictures! living on the equator means no change of seasons or leaves…..thanks for sharing!

  35. Rachael says:

    Gorgeous colors! I am confused by the blue background and the ball of brightness in your sky – what are these things? I must travel out of the dreary northern land soon to see if I can find them… ;-)

    The sweaters are both looking lovely. Let me know what you need test knit, I would love to do the cardi, but if you need the henley done I’m good for that one instead.

  36. Liz T. says:

    That handspun is gorgeous – very lichenous.

  37. Linda says:

    Lovely colourful post, those tomatoes look particulary nice! The handspun does look fabulous.

  38. babyface says:

    I love your pictures of Mother Nature and your
    garden is always putting out wonderful vegetables.
    I particulary like the blue henly sweater that
    you are making.

  39. Tara says:

    That purple is just scrumptious, but then again, I have a thing for purple. “Stained glass” was definitely the right description for it.