i think i have my travel knitting all squared away now—three shawlettes, my secret project, the mitt kit, and my sunna sweater. do you think it’s too much? because i tried to pare things down, but ended up adding one more project to the pile—the vintage shirt (based on the hayrick sock pattern and knit in spirit trail sunna).
i figured, hey, it will make great mindless knitting to do while chatting. i’m still very torn about whether to work this as a cardigan, or a henley; what do you think? i figure i can ponder the question and canvass people at knit nation while i work on the stockinette back and sleeves.
one of the shawlettes is the brand new pea vines, which i’m knitting up in pandora sock from the woolen rabbit.
kim sent three skeins of green for me to choose from and i picked this adorable spring garden colorway—i just love the mix of light, lettucey green/yellows with a dash of carrot. and it’s knitting up a treat; it was a hard choice though
beckie and i were both immediately attracted to the bright pea green at the top of the photo, but decided i have enough stuff in that color, haha. we both also loved the silvery green of the lettuce colorway, bottom.
but my favorite was spring garden—i thought the variations in it would offer the best dimension in the stitch pattern and would make for the most appealing photos as well, so that’s what i went with.
i’m really enjoying the hand of this soft, sheeny yarn. it has a nice bouncy twist which results in good stitch definition and proud nupps, but is not too rigid; the drape is still wonderful.
i cast on yesterday when it was about 100 degrees and sticky as all get-out here. once i’d established a few rows and knew the pattern i’d charted would work ok, i set it aside for further work later in my trip.
i’m so excited to be heading for london! finally, a trip where i feel almost everything is under control with a day to go before i leave—i actually have the luxury of enjoying my last minute preparations (most of the time, i’m in full panic mode at his point).
i’m looking forward to meeting UK readers and being in a big city again; i want to see ART and eat as much good food as i can. i will try to blog and answer email as often as i can, but word has it that we may encounter some difficulties getting online in our accommodations. linda and david will be holding down the fort while i’m gone and will try their best to keep the email moving.
and i look forward to teaching—BTW, alice added a third section of advanced lace knitting to my schedule recently and there are still a few spots left for the last-minute grab if you decide this week to come (also, looks like beginning lace has some spots; a great class if you need to gently ease into new things).
as i said, the baby blanket is staying home—it’s just to big and unwieldy to travel. in fact, with the intense heat and humidity of the last few days, i have to confess that it hasn’t seen much action—i just couldn’t bear to have a big pile of wool on my lap, even late at night. there are only a few rounds to go too. today it’s cooler and rainy, so possibly i’ll get back to it tonight.
i did, however, finally settle on an edging. or rather, i finally solved the edging question by making one up.
you’d think that with hundreds of existing edgings to choose from, i’d find one that was perfect with no trouble. but you know, once i weed out the ones that don’t work with the numbers, and the ones that don’t “go” visually or that i don’t like, there are often very few left. so i made one up that incorporates the smallest rosebud motif. i’m all set to go, once i return.
along with the arrival of kim’s green yarns at the end of the week, there was a small flurry of other yarn packages to share.
here we have some tanis fiber arts purple label cashmere, a merino/cashmere/nylon fingering yarn in colorway, shadow. another bouncy yarn with a soft hand, not too stiff, that works like butter on the needles. i see that several sprössling sweaters are being knit up in this yarn.
i bought a beautiful skein of tanis fiber arts merino lace while in toronto in june, and soon afterward, tanis contacted me to introduce herself and ask if she could send samples. i was thrilled to say yes—i had not had a chance to see her silver label mulberry silk, but i wanted to, very much
and my wish was granted in this stunning skein of lusciousness, colorway lilac—is this not gorgeous? it’s a wonderful weight too, between a lace and fingering yarn, with 550 yards in 4 ounces—perfect for a shawlette, don’t you think?
as if that wasn’t enough, cheryl got back to me as promised with two skeins of her new cashHue silk/cashmere handspun, in a beautiful chocolate/charcoal/midnight blue color mix. it’s not listed in her etsy shop yet, but i know she’s planning on adding it soon.
this is a custom color blend that she needs a name for (currently named “anne’s request”)—let’s give her some suggestions. i love the earth-and-sky colors; this will definitely become a shawl in the fall months.
i’m going to miss a whole week of gardening while i’m gone and though it’s been either too rainy or too hot to get out in it this weekend, i have a few watery pictures for those who might miss the garden installments next week.
the big news is that the okra is getting very tall now and i’ve started picking pods to eat, yay. just a few for now, but the plants appear to be loaded with more. aren’t they pretty? some are dwarf and some are regular, which is why they are all different sizes.
we’ve had several delicious meals form the garden this week—the curried tofu pasta with greens and last night, a fantastic stir fry of peppers, chilies, scallions, chard stems, okra, shitakes, and zen greens over noodles. i’m definitely going to miss eating my homegrown veggies, so i’m trying to stock up on them while i still can.
we are picking a bowlful of tomatoes nearly every day now, and there will almost certainly be a tide of them to come in all at once while i’m gone. david will have to be on picking duty. beckie came over with kian and we stripped what we could off the vines to put in his bucket to take home (i think he ate almost all the cherry tomatoes before he was back in the car, haha).
above, the costoluto genovese, a heavily-ribbed italian heirloom tomato, is new to us this year, but seems prolific. i’ve had to prune these plants very aggressively every week, as it grows foliage like crazy. i’m hoping the garden will be dry enough this afternoon to give it one more haircut before i go—august is so hard on the plants and i want to remove any hint of damaged leaves and be SURE they have plenty of room for air circulation.
the romas were a little easier to manage and they, too, are filled with fruit. the most perfect tomatoes i’ve ever grown, in terms of shape, complexion, and plumpness; i can’t believe they’re in my garden.
and we have bean sprouts—just a few so far, but i’m hoping for a good turnout from this last planting (the rabbit is staying away, thank you bun). fingers crossed . . .
and i have two very large acorn squash on the vine. i’m not sure when i should pick these—they look very mature right now. and the plant, though covered with flowers, seems reluctant to produce more. i wonder if cutting these off will rekindle its production?
so, i think that’s it for today—now i really do have to move along and get some other tasks done. if i finish in good time and it continues to dry out, i may have a chance to do that pruning before nightfall.