after a couple of days of chilly rain, the sun this morning was a very welcome sight. the rain is not without its benefits—a few new signs of garden life were evident in the aftermath. the lilac is now presenting full leaf buds (above); our large shrub is getting old though, and a bit scraggly. it only blooms in the upper branches. we can’t decide whether to pull it out and start with a new one . . .
today the may apple showed its little head all over the back beds—yesterday there were none and today we have a score of new starts, this one being the biggest. according to my blog records, they are a couple of weeks early this year (though other plants are not; i always wonder about that . . .). soon they’ll form the funny little gnome caps of folded leaves that i find endlessly amusing.
the daffs in the back yard are progressing at what seemed an almost-alarming pace, til i took a peek at the ones in the front yard
and saw that these are ready to pop open at any moment. once those tops nod downward and the husk peels away, there is no going back. if it continues to warm up steadily, we might see open flowers this afternoon.
the hellebores (lenten rose) are now blooming too; unfortunately, the pretty pastel flowers got splattered with dirt in the torrential rain we had earlier this week. this is my first year growing them and i’m thrilled that they seem to like our back yard. i’m going to get some more in different colors; barb says there is a greenish one that’s really pretty and i definitely want one or two of those . . . i also like the dark colored ones and the mixed ones. haha, too many to choose from.
and mysteriously, there is new knitting sprouting all over my house as well—i can’t imagine how that happened . . .
ok, i do know—after all the concentrated work on getting pine and ivy tested and published, i was primed for a bout of small project startitis. i’ve been wanting to knit a little lace beret and mitt set, so i started that
i love that the yarn—miss babs yet laceweight, colorway outback—has all the warm colors of a hellebores mix. i think i’m even going to name this project after that plant.
what i don’t love is that the motif doesn’t have the impact i imagined, nor does it carry the color especially well. so tonight i’m going to rip back to the brim and start over with something larger and more voluptuous, hopefully closer to the look of the rounded lenten rose flowers.
once i’m set with a better pattern, i plan to design a coordinating mitt to go with it. babs has also provided matching yarn in a heavier weight so i can pattern it both ways.
isn’t it interesting what a difference the yarn base makes? this is miss babs yummy sport 3-ply in the outback colorway—the heavier, superwash yarn takes the dye a lot more readily than the silk blend, so the colors have a bit more punch and distinction. now that i have it in hand, it will help me choose a stitch pattern that works with both yarns.
two new longjohn socks to match the ones i knit in february have been cast on and now live in my tote bag. they go with me to appointments, visits with friends, and car travel (and soon, on the road for some teaching dates). they’ll get knit up bit by bit in the next month or so (maybe sooner).
i received this skein of fearless fibers MCN luxury sock, a merino/cashmere/nylon blend in colorway sublime, a while back and decided to start a new sock with it the other day. the photo above does not even come close to the actual yarn colors—they are much closer to this
you can’t tell anything about it, i know, but i believe the lush cable and lace pattern i’ve picked out will marry really well with the cushy, softness of this yarn. and i like the pattern; not too much cabling; just enough to create great textural depth.
you’ll see more of this sock soon—i’ve been slouching on late-night sock knitting in favor of getting my last WIP off the needles. i thought for certain that on one of the last two nights i’d finish it, but no.
my last little pine and ivy shawlette, knit in fibre isle magique, colorway magical twilight (dyed magique should be available beginning in in june) almost complete—i have just a couple more hours of work left at the top.
this subtle colorway—a dark taupey brown with an overlay of plum and midnight blue—is knitting up to be lovely. i can’t wait to wash it and see the cashmere and bison fiber bloom. i’ll finish tonight, for sure . . . if i get home from shopping with beckie early enough, hehe.
i want closure on that project now—i’ve got all these other lovelies on the needles that i’m anxious to play with. plus—don’t tell the WIP police—i have another bigger shawl project i’d love to tackle soon. in my mind it’s really pretty and if i can realize it the way i imagine it, it will be a great knitting project for me.
oh, and one last sprout happened on monday during knitting class
i got one of the baby blankets on the needles, based on the blue swatch i showed you the other day. this is the soft, yummy classic merino sport from knitting notions in colorway winter sky—just the right gift for a busy family on the go. it’s an easy, practical knit that has plenty of handsome texture to keep a knitter interested.
i can totally see this pattern knit up in other pastel colors or rich autumn tones to create whatever look you’re going for; it’s very versatile. the yarn is amazing—it knits and feels more like a DK weight, but the has generous yardage like sport yarn. it will make a cuddly, lightweight, year-round blanket.
oh wow, it’s after 12:30 already—where did the morning go?
i better scoot if i’m going to get some work done and a bike ride in before beckie picks me up this evening. bye!