it’s a jungle out there

Posted on Posted in designing, food and garden, lace/shawls, projects

upon arriving home, one of the first things i did was go out to see what was happening in the garden. usually by this time of the summer, our plants are showing signs of fighting off blight or bugs and looking kind-of worse for wear. but not so this year.

it’s the first summer that we’ve had such a healthy garden, so it’s a constant surprise how much everything continues to grow and spread so late in the season.

the second planting of scallions is getting tall and thickening, the okra plants are positively tremendous in size, and the pepper plants are completely covered in fruits

(we’ll never use all of the hot peppers we have, but i dearly love the decorative note they add to the scenery!)

the day before i left, we pulled out the scraggly squash plants, dug up the dirt very well around the holes, and i put some seeds in for patty pan and ronde de nice varieties—i figured, what the hey?? i got tired of looking at the yellowing non-producing zucchini plants; what could it hurt to see if i can grow something else?

i couldn’t believe it when i went out this morning and saw these seedlings, some of them with second leaves already, in just five days! even if all we get is foliage and flowers, it’ll be worth it.

(more okra flowers; i can’t resist sharing their delicate beauty)
and look what else i found

baby eggplant, hooray. it’s looking like it will be a good year for them after all; the plants are loaded with flowers and new fruits.

these are the small hansel variety—a petite elongated oval, fairly hard that holds its shape very well in stewed dishes. not so great for stir-frying, but it’s all they had left when i was shopping for plants. next year i’ll be sure to get out earlier to score the wider range of types that i prefer.

i set about picking all the tomatoes, okra, and peppers—by the time i was done i had a beautiful basketful

plus everything that david picked while i was away. it took me until noon, but i got everything squared away by sticking to the kitchen—three bags of okra for the freezer, a big batch of roasted tomatoes and garlic for a pasta sauce later in the week, and two pans of dried cherry tomatoes, yum.

(read more about drying tomatoes and what i use them for in this old post)

in between putting pans in the oven, i also managed to wash a bunch of sweaters and now i have five clean ones drying on the living room floor. as much as i wanted to work on the pea vines pattern all morning, i have to say it was pleasant to spend some time puttering around the house—a nice way to get reacquainted with my usual domestic routines . . .

our flight back yesterday was nothing short of glorious. we had clear weather all the way and a good tail wind once we hit missouri. we took of as the sun came up around 7 am and flew across texas, arkansas, missouri, tennessee, kentucky, illinois, indiana, and ohio, arriving in canton just about 2:30—excellent time.

i worked on the sleeve for the my vintage shirt during the flight, while debby worked on her sprøssling sleeve. we both stopped frequently to admire the gorgeous bottle-green color (colorway green velvet, which was shown off to its best advantage in the glowing light within the plane),

and to squish the fabric in our hands—the sunna yarn really is all that.

once we hit the ground, debby and i jumped in the car and made it to knitting class a little ahead of schedule, with enough time to wolf down a sandwich with susie and catch her up on our weekend.

when maureen and janet arrived, we all settled in for knitting. i worked on my sleeve some more—i want to make sure on this first piece that i get an exact reading on the gauge, so that the shaping in the body works out right.

i also had one last thing to finish on my pea vines shawlette; after reknitting the top half on saturday, i didn’t have my toolkit handy to graft the join at the top, so i left it on the needles. i made quick work of that in class and now it’s complete—it just needs to be blocked.

i’m going to wait til tomorrow though—since my new les abeilles is also almost finished, i may as well block them both at once.

thank you for all of your enthusiastic inquiries about an ETA on the pea vines piece; the pattern is nearly done and will be going to the test knitters and proofreader shortly. i don’t really have a publication date, but it won’t be long. and we will be offering a stole version for this one as well—stay tuned!

les abeilles is working up so beautifully in the briar rose grace (a bamboo/merino blend, not currently offered, but sea pearl is a similarly lovely alternative). this will be off the needles tonight and if my sweaters are dry, i’ll block both shawlettes tomorrow.

then it’s back to the rosebuddie blanket—i have just a little bit to go, but i’ve picked it up just once up since i got back from london. it was way too hot for a few weeks there to have such a heavy piece on my lap. i felt bad putting it aside, but i just couldn’t; it was sticking to me all over, ugh.

but now the weather has cooled a lot, especially at night, so it’s back to work for me. and karolyn is almost done with her test knit, so it won’t be long for this one either.

i just need to find a model for it . . . anybody local got a baby i can borrow? i promise i’ll take good care of it . . .

21 thoughts on “it’s a jungle out there

  1. Your garden is making me jealous! It looks delicious.. mine is very wet this year in this northern Canadian prairies climate, and my peppers have only just started producing – very tiny and green compared to the luscious color you have. Hoping for warm weather into fall… love the photos of the knitting and the garden!

  2. The Pea-Vine Shawl is looking marvellous! Even this confirmed nupp-hater (they remind me too much of over-nupped tablecloths all around my friends’ houses when I was growing up, which were and still are typical Greek kitsch) is thinking about going down that path.

    As for the extremely yummy tomatoes, have you tried toasted bread spread with baked garlic, sundried tomatoes, crumbly chevre cheese and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil? Heaven!

  3. You most certainly have a green thumb. Your peppers!! WOW. I have ONE on two plants. Pathetic.

    Thanks for the roasted tomato tip. I just harvested more than our tummies can handle in one week. I think I’ll ‘put them up’ in the freezer.

  4. Your garden is unbelievable. And I’m waiting (patiently) for that baby blanket pattern. Already have some Sunshine sportweight yarn in Cherry Blossom put aside for it.

  5. I love all your knitting projects. Pure beautiful, but that garden is incredible. It’s just beautiful. Green plants happy vegetables, it looks wonderful!

  6. My niece has a 10-day old baby – but he’s in Austin. You’ll have to go back! 🙂

    Your garden is awesome! Picture perfect!

  7. This post was a feast for the eyes! I love all the colors of late summer, especially those yellow/orange peppers. They look deelicious!

  8. Hey Anne! Love the new shawl! If you need any more test knitters, I’m not working right now and am totally available 🙂

  9. Every time I see your tomatoes, year after year, I say to myself, “Kim – you gotta do your tomatoes like that next time. . . . ” Would you remind me next year? he he he

  10. I’m soooo jealous of your garden, it looks fantastic, and so rewarding too! I have eight tomato plants in pots (OK, buckets) in my new garden. Loads of fruit but all are still green. Now I have dreams of a little greenhouse…

    And pea vines, I wants it!

  11. the colors of your garden are sumptuous anne. and of course that peavines is reallly worth waiting for!! and yes the briar rose sea pearl was wonderful to knit with. welcome home!

  12. All of your garden photos are wonderful. I especially love that last one – the pink veins on the yellow blossom look so cool. Our garden is dying and tired looking and it’s nice to see a healthy one.

    I’m glad it won’t take long to release the pea vines pattern! 🙂 It’s so beautiful.

  13. Yup, definitely ripping out the flower garden and growing veggies next year. That loot is just too good to ignore! Can’t wait to see blocking shots of Pea Vines!

  14. No babies here, sorry, but I am absolutely loving the reworking of pea vines! It’s lovely and clean and everything flows together beautifully. I know what you mean about the pleasure of puttering; it’s nice to get everything back into order after being away for a while.

  15. This all looks so good! I wish I could jump into the pictures and come visit! The CSA farm I work on is also having a bountiful year.

    The pea vines shawlette looks so gorgeous unblocked, I can’t wait to see it blocked. Usually, shawls look like overcooked noodles before blocking, but not this one. Brava!

  16. Those oven dried cherry tomatoes look delicious!! Do put them in the freezer after they have dried?

    I’d also love to know how you freeze the greens — you’ve talked about it in a few blog posts — I hope you’ll share some tips on that too.

    Your blog is just the perfect combination of gardening and knitting — my favourite subjects too — your photography is really wonderful.

    I look forward to your posts everyday. Thanks!!

  17. I will love to have that jungle. You are so efficient in the kitchen & I love those dried tomatoes. Yummy!

  18. I have a skien of Malabrigo Sock in Lettuce that is just dying to become a pea vines shawlette! So many shawls! I will wear a different one every day!

  19. I cannot believe how different our gardens are when we’re just a couple hours away from one another. Love the tip on drying the Romas since we’ve inadvertently grown a nice crop of them this year, thanks to the garden store’s mislabeling. I won’t be sad to see this garden season end. The heat made is a most disappointing year.

    Love the jungle color, and of course, all the shawls…

Comments are closed.