september roses

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

oh, groan, i can’t beLIEVE it’s the close of labor day weekend already; where did the summer disappear to? and each day zooming by so fast . . . next thing we know, it’ll be easter.

hour by hour though, it’s hard to stop and savor the time as it passes—it’s all i can do to keep up with what’s on my plate. as dry as it’s been, the tidal wave from the garden has slowed a bit, but still it’s still keeping me pretty busy. we are in the weeks of its highest production—okra, peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant abound. greens, not so much right now, sadly, except for the zen greens—i think they could survive the apocalypse.

on saturday i put away a couple more bags of these, along with two bags of okra. i roasted some tomatoes and then made a big pan of stuffed peppers to take to the neighbors picnic last evening.

haha, we always end up with hundreds of peppers—way more than we can ever eat; i wonder why they like our garden so much?

actually, we ate very well from the garden all week, supplemented by the stuff we brought home from the farmers market last weekend.

susan arrived at spinning class last sunday with a container of fresh mozzarella for each of us (thanks susan!) and we had a salad like this a couple of times this week. this one was made with the caspian pink tomatoes—large, sweet, and meaty; not too acid.

one night we had sweet corn, greens, and salmon with it. and a couple of other nights, we had ratatouille, made fresh with eggplant, squash, tomatoes, peppers, basil, and an onion.

and i have all the same ingredients to use this week in a curry, swapping out the squash for some okra. it feels positively luxurious to eat this well—i’m probably the only person i know who gains weight in the summer and loses in the winter, haha.

so yeah; busy, busy . . .

but never to busy to knit, right??
with the pattern releases we had last week, it feels like ages since i talked about projects in progress, but they are moving along (and yet, i feel perpetually behind; what’s up with that?)

i finished the front of my bel air sweater sometime last week and blocked it, so i could be sure the gauge was working correctly in the patterned stitch (it was; yay!).

i just love the fabric in the patterned part . . . so yummy. here’s a much better shot of it unpinned in natural light, with the buttonbands added.

normally, i’d wait and do these at the end, but i needed to make sure that the pickup numbers i wrote into the pattern are right.

and now i’m working on the back piece

hopefully, i’ll have a finished sweater by the end of the week. i’m trying to bang it out because i also need to confirm the pickup numbers for the collar, heh.

i wrote up the pattern and sent it off to tana for grading and tech editing and by mid-september, barb should be working on a test knit. i went over to beckie’s today to knit for a few hours and added a few more inches—almost to the waist now.

i’m working on other things too—i can’t be totally monogamous to the sweater because i need to keep other projects moving or we’ll have some gaps (sigh, i’m already behind on pattern writing and photography, but i’ll try not to bore you with the details).

one thing that i’m thrilled to have finished last week is my rosebuddie baby blanket—finally off the needles. and then it had to sit for a few days before i could block it. we have some behind the scenes projects going on around here that have been time-consuming (and will continue to be through this week; but it’s all good stuff).

anyway, this morning, i finally made time for it—first thing after i got up, i put it in a mesh bag in the washer to soak, swish, and spin. and hour later, i was pinning it out.

i just love it. it was super-easy to thread onto the blocking wires and after that, it was a simple matter to pin it our in all directions from the center to make a beautiful square.

the yarn, fearless fibers MCN luxury, is a superwash blend, which means that it grows a lot in the wash. but it also tightens back up nicely as it dries, so i didn’t stretch the blanket to its limits.

in fact, i pinned it out to the measurements i estimated in the pattern, which left a bit of ease in the fabric—enough to allow the texture to stay intact. as it dried, the yarn contracted a little and now the stockinette surface looks perfectly flat and smooth, while the garter texture stands out nicely (instead of being flattened by too much stretching).

and this color—chastity—i still adore it, after all those hours of knitting with it in the evening heat. it’s just one big, happy grin, isn’t it?

(note to self: from now on, blankets—even small ones—are designated to be winter projects).

the edging is adorable—i think it turned out well, but i decided to make a small change and add a little more garter stitch, now that i see it blocked out. this will help keep it very flat in the spot nearest the hem join and also make the rosebuds stand out just a bit more.

ready for the money shot?

there it is—45 inches square. this size required about 3.5 skeins of fearless fibers MCN luxury, colorway chastity, for those who will ask . . .

the pattern is pretty much ready to go, but i need to get official photos, which may take a couple of days, so your patience will be appreciated.

now i have another surprise for you—are you ready??

karolyn sent me her blanket last week and i took a few advance photos of it, too

how cute is it in green?? she knit the small size in MCN luxury as well, in colorway meadow.

this one is 36 inches square and requires three skeins of yarn. isn’t it cool how the change in color has such a big effect on the result?
i love that about yarn!

haha, it’s like having a little lawn at your disposal for anywhere you care to put it. (no worries karolyn, i won’t walk on it).

so, like i said, give us a week or so to catch up with ourselves on photography (we are backlogged with photo projects at the moment). it’ll be worth the wait.

34 thoughts on “september roses

  1. congratulations on finishing the blanket; both of them are gorgeous! i’ve been eating a lot of mozzerella & tomatoes this week too, but i have to get my produce from the farmer’s market since i live in an apartment. but our local farmers are producing some great tomatoes & basil; i made a farmer’s market-fresh pesto the other day and it was incredible!

  2. You are right…it is so interesting to see how color changes the character of an item. Your pink one is so very feminine while Karolyn’s blanket is somewhere between neutral and masculine. I love them both and am delighted to see how the pattern works in different colorways.

    I am anxious to see the pattern release…my new granddaughter was born last week and I am looking forward to making this blanket for her. Good thing you have the pattern in a large size…she will need it! 😉

  3. Anne, my garden has kept me hopping too! Did your asparagus plants flesh out for you? The foliage on mine is unreal! It’s been a terrific season for just about everything and, like you, we have really enjoyed our produce nightly!

  4. Another great post, Anne! Beautiful (and yummy) bounty, beautiful Bel Air pattern, and absolutely gorgeous rosebuddie baby blankets. Love the color, Chastity. You have been busy, but you’re right—never too busy to knit. 🙂

  5. My new favorite tomato this year is Amish Paste. Like a cross between a really big Roma and a beefsteak. And sweeeet, but not sugary sweet. Even my husband, who tolerates my tomato obsession loves them.

  6. Both blankets are absolutely breathtaking!!! Waiting, waiting, waiting (patiently, lol) for pattern. It does help that I have 2 baby blankets OTN as well as my Shetland Pi shawl from Wendy’s KAL that all need to be finished before I allow myself to start another project. Yea, right, I keep telling myself that anyway.

  7. You have performed your miracles … again. I want both the sweater and the blanket. I have grandkids in their 20’s and I am already thinking of knitting blankets for their babes and they aren’t any where close to that stage of life. What treasures those blankets would be! When the pattern is available I think I might have to get started on one – hmmm – I have 9 grandkids, how long will it take to finish 9?

  8. Oh, what fun the baby blankets! The sweater is just lovely already – can’t wait to see the finished project. A friend who is staying with me temporarily keeps bringing in fresh tomatoes and squash and herbs from her garden at home. The salads this past month have been delicious. Adding the cheese is a bonus! I can’t believe how SWEET everything is – the corn, the peppers, the tomatoes – all of it. It must be a good year for gardens.

  9. The baby blanket is so adorable. It really is lovely. I can’t wait to see the finished sweater too!

    And thanks also for all the garden updates this summer. We don’t live in much of a gardening climate and it’s been so pleasant to be able to garden vicariously through your great pictures.

  10. I hope you’re able to get some photos of the blanket snuggling a cute baby! They are both so wonderful and will soothe any babe!

    Never too many tomatoes! Your harvest is starting to look more like a farm than a garden – ha! So incredible.

  11. oh Anne – I am loving the Bel Air sweater. Such divine fabric.
    And that blanket. omgosh. It is incredible. Makes me wish I had a little wee one in the family somewhere to make it for…. but then again, maybe I should start now to get a jump on the future (grins)
    And I’m curious.. how do you ‘save’ your greens? I’m guessing that you must cook them up and then freeze?

  12. Truly, I don’t know what to exclaim over first! I’m drooling over the food, the veggies, the knitting, the scrumptious knitting….
    A visual feast, as always, thank you!
    (((hugs)))

  13. Two of my favourite things, great knitting and great food! I love okra and wish I could grow it! I live vicariously through your blog. Enjoy all the food! The mozarella salad reminds me of Italy. Buon appetito! Love the sweater I can’t wait to see it finished. The blankets look great too. Enjoy it all!

  14. That sweater is just gorgeous! You’re right, the patterned part is lovely 🙂 And the blanket turned out beautifully, too — you’re cooking with gas over there!

  15. Bravo!! I just love the Rosebuddie Blankets. They are delicious – you can eat them, right?!

    I’ll admit that I don’t eat okra (too much badly cooked stuff as a kid, I think) but your opening photo is really beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Anne your gardening skills are so impressive! One of my 3 tomato plants flowered and never set any fruit. It was called Mr. Stripey. I’m renaming it Mr. Worthless. Love the henley and the baby blanket. I can’t wait to see what’s coming!!

  17. I can’t wait to touch all of the above and see them in person!! The sweater and both blankets are bee-u-te-ful!!

  18. That blanket is the most beautiful baby blanket I’ve ever seen. Alas, I don’t have anyone who needs it, but dang I just want to make one.
    You do such beautiful things.

  19. Squeeeeeee! I love the blanket! It’s perfect – pretty and perfect.

    And I’m also very hungry and craving salmon, tomatoes, and yummy greens.

  20. Anne – you’re a genius. I’ve been looking for a pattern for a baby blanket to make for future grandchildren (to go into the hope chest) and this is exactly what I had in mind. Can’t wait for the pattern. As always, your designs are heavenly!

  21. Anne, I can’t wait for the sweater to be finished. Already I’m loving it. This has been such a productive summer for you and all of your wonderful designs.

  22. I can’t wait to knit that baby blanket – the only question is what color? Pink or blue? Oh, that’s right…in just a couple days, we’ll know!!! 🙂

    Our garden has fallen victim to the heat and lack of rain. A few straggly Romas and those volunteer Sweet 100s, but this was a disappointing garden year in CBus.

  23. What a beauty, that Rosiebuddie Blanket. I look forward to the moment it is available in your patternshop so I can purchase it!
    Great design, wonderfully knitted! Keep up the good work!

  24. Oh…you have beautiful wall paper in your hall!! Do you happen to know what kind it is or where a person could still get it? 🙂 So pretty!!

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