let’s do the knitting first today . . .

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

i want to show off some beautiful knitting—not my own, but that of my friend barb. you know barb from spinning class and possibly from her own website—dragonfly aquatics—as well (she’s got a super-green thumb).

among her many, many talents, barb is a fabulous knitter who can knock out a sweater in no time. she takes a lot of (good natured) ribbing from us about her productivity and high energy level, but hers are the samples you often see when perusing the briar rose booth at your local wool show (among others!)

so when my knitting to-do list grew impossibly long this spring, as we decided to make david’s cable-and-rib sweater into a multi-dimensional pattern, i turned desperately to barb for help. and she pulled through magnificently by knitting the crewneck version of the pattern in this gorgeous briar rose fourth of july.

isn’t it great?? it fits exactly the way i wanted; a little looser and longer for casual and outdoor wear. now that’s it’s cooled off and become breezy, i’m going to wash it to wet block and relax the fiber a bit. i wish i could share how wonderfully squishy it feels, yay. it almost makes me wish winter was coming . . . almost, but not quite, heh.

my own v-neck cardigan version, in woolen rabbit grace, is still underway, but crawling toward completion as a couple of secret projects become FOs in the background (i have too many secret projects once again!). i have two sleeves finished and this front piece nearly done. so i’m about halfway through. it’s moving to the front of my queue now, though and my goal is to finish it before i leave for knit nation in july.

the pattern meanwhile, is going to the proofer later this week; it is further along than i am right now . . .

on the other hand, i do have a couple of FOs myself.
speaking of items that need wet blocking, i put the final touches on the seams and trims of the whitfield shorty i’ve been knitting in another woolen rabbit yarn, frolic.

it just needs buttons, which i have, but i think i’ll wash it with the big sweater before i attach those. this is another pattern that is sitting on my desk, patiently waiting for me to add charts and send it to the proofreader. i am so behind on paperwork!

now you might want to sit down—this next FO may stun you, haha.

i KNOW. i finally finished a pair of socks. you’d think they were the most difficult thing in the world to knit, the way i’ve been procrastinating. but finally, they are done. these are the sign of four socks that i designed at the start of the year for the woolgirl victorian authors club. these are knit in the luscious zen yarn garden serenity sock; if you haven’t tried that one, i highly recommend it, mmm.

sorry to say that the pattern won’t be available for quite a while yet in our own shop, but when it is, it will be like seeing a brand new sock. i would love to move on to a different pattern, maybe something new, but i still have several second socks on the needles from last year

including this other sign of four in string theory caper sock, colorway fusion. this was actually the original yarn i chose for this design, but then switched it out when the sock seemed perfect for the club’s needs. i didn’t want to rip out a whole sock leg, so i kept it on the needles and now i want to finish the pair. if david doesn’t want them (ha, right!), my brother will wear them . . .

so you see, lots of knitting happening, but truthfully, the secret projects are the bulk of it and i can’t even show you those for a while.

how about some flowers to make up for it?

these lupine just burst out in a matter of hours from nowhere—it’s spectacular. the whole garden is just going great guns this past week. with all the rain we had last week and all the sun we’re getting this week, it’s generating life at an amazing rate—look at my green beans!

a week ago they weren’t even up yet. i do have half a row that didn’t germinate, but i was suspicious of those seeds when i planted. i have seeds from beckie to sow in there and if i plant them now, i’ll extend the harvest by a week.

and the potatoes are up, too, some of them; i expect the rest will show in the next day or so. david spent yesterday evening putting in the soaker hoses so that this weekend, we can get our newspaper and straw mulch down.

all of my greens and beets are up—in fact some of them will need thinning very soon.

haha, funny thing; you know how david doesn’t like beets, even the homegrown ones? (and yes, even roasted ones make him queasy; we’ve tried everything, trust me) well, we had checkups the other day and the doctor told him that beets are the only food that will help him digest the omega-3 oil he needs. so he’s gonna have to make himself eat them. she was sympathetic, as she doesn’t like them either, but firm—he needs to eat beets.

so despite his distaste for them, i’m really glad i grew the beets again this year, because it looks like now he’s going to need to eat ’em. and i love them, too.

these are the halcyon days for the squash, before pests and fungus find them. i’m always hopeful during this time that we can keep them healthy enough to make a few fresh squash for the table. two years ago we had an abundance; last year we didn’t even get one. so we’ll see . . .

the hydrangeas just LOVE all that spring rain we got—our climber is stupendous this year and covered with blooms, too many to count. the shrub types are also filled with buds, including the variegated one, which has never bloomed for us before, so i’m thrilled about that.

and the miniature iris that david planted last year have doubled i think this year—we need to get some wonderful full-sized ones as iris are one of my summertime favorites. i’ve seen so many pretty colors in the neighborhood this year, so now i’d like for us to get some of those . . .

now lastly, i have some delicious yarn to share from indigo moon yarns (see?? it’s a post about everything we love best). trish moon sent me a lovely package, filled with a symphony of blues—just gorgeous.

first, let’s look at the luxury silk/wool blend a squishy fingering yarn with gorgeous sheen

shown here in celestial blue.

then there is the blue-faced leicester wool, a slightly thinner fingering yarn with that smooth, elegant hand that BFL is so famous for.

this is the lavender smoke colorway; isn’t it beautiful?

and last, but not least, we have the exquisite silk/wool lace blend, which is not available on trish’s site yet, but is coming very soon . . .

here we see this lovely 50/50 wool/silk mix in the midnight song colorway—look for it at indigo moon int eh very near future.

ok cool cats, i think it’s time for me to get out for a ride before hitting that pile of paperwork i have. so off i go; have a good day and i’ll be back in a couple with more.

31 thoughts on “let’s do the knitting first today . . .

  1. I would have a hard time deciding which Indigo Moon yarn Ilike best! What beautiful colors. Barb’s sweater is devine!

  2. I don’t like beets either but when I was living in Brazil I got fond of an orange/beet juice (with sugar) mixture. I’d recommend googling it. Since I worked at a daycare for poor children this was one way that they got the kids to eat beets.

  3. Love the knitting show and tell.
    I feel for David, having to eat something he doesn’t like just to get the nutrients he needs for something else! I do love beets though. The Indigo Moon yarn is heavenly and all of the colors are great.
    Is the Whitfield Shorty a pattern you are going to release – is it for women, kids?

  4. I’m looking forward to the sign of four being in your shop. I’m getting faster at knitting my husband’s socks (or as I like to refer to them – SOUS – socks of unusual size) and he really likes that pattern. So far I’ve done two in gridiron and he’s also getting a leetle bit more adventurous in sock color so I think a lovely colorway done up in the sign of four would be spot on!

    Or would that be knit spot on?

  5. About the beets –
    I’m a former beet-hater, just recently warmed up to them this past winter! I’ve always wanted to like beets, they’re so beautiful! I still don’t really like them on their own, but they are not bad when eaten along with other things. Like with sliced oranges and vinaigrette over spinach (go to http://www.coconutandlime.com). I even saw a recipe for beet hummus that I want to try. Good luck!

  6. I was thinking of something such as Bev suggested… maybe a beet added to a smoothie would help disguise the taste but still give him the benefits? I do sympathize… but then again I LOVE beets!

  7. When my girls were little I got them to eat beets everyday by putting them in our salad at dinner. They liked how it turned their salad dressing pink! Maybe he will like them cold chopped up in a salad! It is worth a try. Good luck.

  8. I have to admit, I’m with David. I spent all summer last year trying to convince myself that I liked them…but.I.don’t. 🙁

    LOVE the sweaters!!!!

  9. Ohhh…love it all! I also will wait for the sock pattern. My family did not like beets either..hehe. I made creamed beet soup with parmesan chicken breast and they loved it. Good to know about the digesting of the omega too. Fish oil is to me what beets are to David!

  10. I think Norma mixes beets in her smoothies. Maybe added to other better liked veggies, etc. they would go down easier?

    Do you think Barb would notice if I snuck a couple of unfinished sweaters into her project bags?

    Love the lupines! They are just coming up here as well. I love purple lupines and orange poppies planted together.

    Good yarn pron!

  11. Does David like pickles? Pickled beets are a great way to get beets into your diet and they are super easy to make. My kids wouldn’t eat beets until I pickled them. Became their favorite snack.

  12. Hi, I found your website because Google Reader suggested it to me! I am also a knitter, and I do fear that this post is going to cause me to spend a bunch of money on some gorgeous yarn! The Fourth of July yarn is absolutely beautiful, as are all of the knitted pieces!

  13. I’m with Faye in suggesting pickled beets. My grandmother made them and we kids scarfed them up like no tomorrow. The pickling syrup is very easy to make, in fact I can rattle the recipe off in my sleep–1 cup each of cider vinegar and sugar, 1 tsp of salt & cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground pepper heated to the boil. Add 3 cups (more or less) of sliced cooked beets (or 2 cans drained). Return to a boil, cover and let stand until cooled. Enjoy. I have been known to julienne these and add them to all types of salads.

    I love the cable and rib sweater. I most likely would turn it into a cardigan as I can control body temps easier with that type of sweater.

  14. I wonder if eating beet greens do the same thing as eating beets? They are quite tasty and my husband who will not eat beets loves them.

    Do you put newspaper and straw down to help with weeds or to keep the soil moist? I love how your garden looks with the straw around the plants.

  15. Just love your gardening posts! My green beans were being eaten by bunnies but I think they may be okay now. Except I planted a bush variety that seems to have an identity crisis because it’s not staying small.

  16. Interesting how beets really fired up the conversation! I absolutely HATE beets, though my parents loved them and made me try “just one bite” every time they were on the table. I had to work to not throw up! (sorry for being graphic, but that’s the way it is) So I really feel for David…have mercy on him and be gentle this summer as he makes the effort. He’s a brave man if he can do it! (brave too if he can’t, but you know what I mean!)

    Anyway, LOVE, LOVE that lavendar smoke yarn…I was immediately drawn to it on indigomoon’s website. So pretty…can’t wait to see what you will do with it.

    Am struggling with jealousy over your garden this year. I live in an apartment, and though I face west and get lots of sun, the tree in front of our building has gotten so big that our patio is in shade most of the time. Hence, no tomatoes any more. *sigh* Got any ideas what I can grow in shade? Would prefer a foodstuff, but will consider a flower. I just hate that patio going to waste!

    Happy knitting!

  17. Poor David! Have you tried them in cakes? I’ve seen a couple of recipes for chocolate cakes with beets as a component, always been intrigued.

  18. mmmm love the david crew neck and please tell me that the whitfield shorty you have photographed is the kiddie version! i love beets and pray that it will never ever be winter again!!

  19. Can hardly wait forthe cable and rib pattern to come out. What a lovely design – not to mention the yarn! I always try to abide by your yarn choices when I can – and if immitation is the best compliment – the colors too. We share that “greenish” thing. Just beautiful.

    Your garden is looking great. I think we are about a month ahead of you here in southern Missouri – so many things have already played out. But this past weekend I got my flowerpots planted and the hanging pots up and it almost feels like spring again – despite temps hitting the 90’s this week. UGH! Humidity. It’s a good time to knit on small projects – socks and mitts and shawletts.

  20. Hi Anne
    Thanks so much for the kind post about my yarns – you are very gracious. And I must admit to being a bit jealous about your garden! Here in BC it’s been overcast and drizzly for weeks so I haven’t even planted my beans yet…and squash…yours are already up and mine aren’t even in the ground! Have a wonderful day!

  21. Love all the colors on the sweaters and the Indigo Moon blues are great too. Garden is looking great.

    I was going to suggest pickled beets too. I make them from scratch or buy Aunt Nellies brand which are quite good.

  22. Barb did a fabulous job!!! Love that sweater. I like that there is no ribbing on the cuffs and bottom. . . . I like that more casual look. Very nice!

  23. Just catching up with your blog after a week away in Cornwall. I do like the colours of the Indigo Moon yarns. Our garden has gone mad during our week away too – we have broad beans and strawberries tonight. I was going to suggest using beetroot in a chocolate cake too – I have a recipe somewhere that is particularly delicious if you are interested. Barb’s knitting is amazing – I do like that cabling, very much.

  24. Ooh, that BFL yarn is absolutely stunning! I love BFL… 🙂 And the sweaters are just beautiful – I wish some of Barb’s productivity would rub off on me!

    BTW, love those socks in Wild Fibers – I just got to finish reading this issue this morning over coffee, and those socks look like a blast to knit!

  25. The Indigo Moon celestial blue is fabulous. Can’t wait to see what you create with it.

    My naturopath told me to try peeled, grated raw beets, preferably organic, mixed with fresh lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. I think it’s delicious and serve it as a slaw. Maybe David could try it.

  26. Your posts are always so full and rich and comprehensive, I don’t know what to comment on first. The sweaters are beautiful. The yarns are yummy. The garden looks great! And, I had no idea about the beets and the Omega 3.
    Have you tried juicing? Beets, carrots, apple, and a touch of fresh ginger – makes it more palatable and he can take his omega 3 with it.

  27. Here in NE Ohio my climbing hydrangea is more beautiful than ever before and I will remember this when the Japanese beetles come “en force”. Although your knitting and designs has drawn me to your website I enjoy your garden views so very much as well. I think pickled beets are the best!

  28. I have a neice that won’t eat any veggies. when she came to visit with her family I made up a cake that we call Chloe’s can’t be beeten chocolate cake. and she ate every bit of it. contact me if you would like a copy of it. David won’t know that he is eating beets unless you tell him. and dark chocolate is good for you too ; )

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