yay, we have sprouts.
several of the rows of seeds i planted last thursday are showing signs of life, as expected, the rapini was the first to germinate and generously so. i know i say this every year, but if you haven’t ever gardened before, or are showing a newbie how to grow things, rapini (or broccoli raab) is one of the most gratifying greens to begin with. typically this vegetable is an acquired taste, but we find that growing our own produces greens that retain their unique flavor without the bitterness (in fact, they are very sweet; i’m eating some right now from last year’s garden as my lunch).
the other night while we were knitting, susie mentioned that her hydrangeas were covered with buds, so i went on a detour to see what was happening with mine.
indeed, there is a bud on almost every branch of every shrub—fabulous news, as last year they got frostbitten and produced almost no flowers.
i noticed last week that they were looking especially full and green, even the row of scraggly ones we have at the front of the yard. i’ve despaired over that row of shrubs for several years, because they were supposed to fill out to be six feet across and as yet, have not (my dreams of a hydrangea hedgerow are struggling to stay alive with them).
i began fertilizing them last year on a more frequent basis and i think it’s helped; they look like they might finally gain a little height and width this season. and if they flower, it will be a big bonus.
banks of iris blooms are lining the yard this week—david seems to have gone to town in planting them everywhere, unbeknownst to me. they are really lovely, thank you david!
it’s been a perfect week of weather; hot and sunny with everything still a fresh, crisp green. we’ve been getting out every day for bike riding, which feels great after sitting at my desk all day. david scouted out a few new routes that i really enjoy, on country roads away from the traffic (which has increased since we first moved here). it’s a good change, since the new routes are a bit longer, prettier, and much less stressful to ride.
i’m getting ready for a few upcoming teaching dates by getting some new small projects on the needles to travel with and squaring away the charting for a few bigger ones to work on when i’m home.
i’ll be teaching at the great lakes fiber show this weekend (sweater fitness and finishing); there is still room for signups if you’ll be in the area and can make it (it’s a great deal and they will take signups right up to the day of classes).
after a few days at home, i’m excited to be heading next weekend to ontario, canada for a week to visit the kitchener-waterloo area. i’ll teach at shall we knit? and then adjudicate the kitchener-waterloo guild knitting show, which focuses on lace this year. just afterward, i’ll head up to toronto to teach at the purple purl for a couple of days.
as soon as i get home from canada, i’ll turn around the next day and head for TNNA—no teaching there, just business and networking with peers. but busy, that’s for sure. it will be nice to land back home in mid-june, where i’ll stay put for a bit . . .
soooo, traveling projects are needed. i did a little swatching with some possible yarns and stitch patterns and here’s what i came up with.
a little lace scarf in a stitch pattern that’s a bit like the one i used for caricia, but different.
i pulled out some enchanted knoll 50/50 merino/silk lace yarn and it worked a treat. i love the way the deep ocean colors of this queen mermaid colorway run over the pattern.
i cast on right away so that it’s all set to go when i am. you’ll be seeing more in the next couple of weeks . . .
then i cast on for another small project that i’m really happy about
you know i love little triangle shawls and this yarn has been begging to become one, ever since i received it last year from dani at sunshine yarns. this skein of her sunsilk in colorway mustard seed has been wound and sitting in the basket near my knitting chair for quite some time, waiting for me to make the right idea come together. it’s a rich, silk 2-ply lace/fingering yarn with a gorgeous sheen (like the sun itself is inside it); it handles really well and makes a lovely fabric. well, i finally came across just the right stitch the other day and 1-2-3, a triangle scarf was born (i have just one skein, so mine is a scarf, but the pattern will be sized for bigger as well).
it’s got all of those qualities i like in a summer project—an easy-to-work pattern with a lot of bang for the buck, small enough to tote around, easily memorized so i’m not chained to the chart. it starts at the hem and i’ve got ten rows completed; i’ll show you more details when that pattern shows a little more (i love the hem edge already!).
next i swatched a pattern you might recognize from the delicato mitts—i’ve always felt i did not get enough of that pattern from knitting the mitts and wanted to use it again, but i also feel that for me, it is best expressed in a certain kind of colorway.
then susan sent me this incredible skein of her nimbus cloud lace yarn, a soft alpaca/cashmere/silk blend that is simply to die for. this colorway is lilac frost, similar to the lilac swirl she has currently listed. i’m looking forward to knitting this up; i haven’t cast on yet, but soon . . .
i have a secret project on the needles that i’m making very good progress with (but what do you care; you can’t see it, right? i don’t blame you . . ) and another i just received the yarn for, that i’ll need to get on the needles right away (and now that i see the yarn, i’m not sure my original plan will work; wish me luck).
before i stop to go a bike riding before spinning class, let me show you something fabulous as a closer. for some time, our dear dear friend karolyn has been working away on a project with me to fill in some gaps in the knitspot
traveling shawl museum trunk show.
(well, to be honest, she’s doing all the work and i’m just sending yarn and art-directing, heh.)
anyway . . . the other day i got a wonderful box with five completed shawls. okay, so let me just put that in perspective: i sent a big box of yarn to her the first week of march and this week i got five shawls in the mail. she also knit like, two sweaters and a couple of other shawls for herself during that time.
has your head stopped spinning yet??
anyway, one of the goals of doing this project is to show off some of the indie yarns that have been hiding in my stash for too long. so many incredible artists send yarn, more than i can knit by myself, even though i want to use them all. when i saw we needed replacements for shawls i’d given away, i thought this would be a good way to show off those yarns and get them out in front of an audience. as they arrive from karolyn, they will be added to the trunk show and also featured here, one by one.
and with no further ado, here is the new hypoteneuse.
this wrap is one of my all-time favorites—my eye is always arrested by its strict, formal pattern and simplicity. originally knit in handspun tweed as a gift for david (the very first manLace we did), here it is with a fresh look in oasis, a scrumptious 50/50 camel/silk blend from the woolen rabbit.
we are looking at colorway hot toddy and let me tell you, it is luscious. the fabric is dense, fluid, and extremely light. positively lust-inspiring.
it is super-soft, yet has great stitch definition. this easy-to-knit lace piece has been a perennial favorite ever since its first publication; it makes a great first-lace project or an entertaining TV project for experienced knitters. worked in a tweed, it is rustic; in a smooth solid it has a sleek elegance.
we will feature each piece on a different day as we can; i can’t wait to show you more.