swatch mania

Posted on Posted in designing, food and garden, projects

since i’m down to two current knitting projects—my cashsilk scarf and my rene cardigan—i’ve been devoting a somewhat disproportionate amount of time to swatching, so that i’ll have plenty of knitting projects to tide me over during my upcoming travels.

not that there’s a lack of unfinished knitting to do—i have a couple of those laying about as well—but i am designing full-swing now for our upcoming fall in full color club. and to make myself feel like i’m actually in control of my life, i sorta want to get all of those pieces finished—next week if possible, haha.

well, that’s what my inner OCD freak wants, anyway.
the outer me is walking in a lavender and patchouli scented circle of calm.


samples of all the yarns are now in the house (woo-hoo!) and yarn shipments are beginning to arrive (we’re getting another big box today, yay!). as david readies the house and our supply closet for packing and shipping, i’m filling my little notebook with swatches and calculations.

it’s actually even a little more bulging that it appears in this photo; the shoestring helps keep it tamed, heh. anyway, three of the club projects are in progress already and one pattern has even made it through proofing. the excitement is building.

and have you been over to the FiFC clubhouse?? holy cow, they’ve got the shingles shakin’ over there. many thanks to kat and kim for heading up the funnest club ever—they are really keeping the waiting period interesting. they’ve had so may great activities during the ramp up that i’m a little worried the actual club shipments are going to be a mere distraction from the REAL fun, haha.

just kidding, i’m pretty sure everyone’s going to like those too.
(circle of calm, circle of calm)

ok, now besides that stuff, i have made big progress on my scarf, but let’s face it, another photo would not really tell you anything new. ditto for my sweater front, which i’m embarrassed to say i have not yet finished (i know—tonight, maybe).

and despite the fact that i did not finish that front, i still allowed myself to swatch more on the sprössling sibling. oh yes, it’s a slippery slope; this time i’m justifying myself to bring you blog fodder—pathetic, right?

i’ve got one, maybe two more swatches i want to do and then i’ll wash them all and see which ones survive that step nicely. you never EVER know until they’ve been washed, especially with this type of yarn.

i’ve been thinking about the name . . . sprössling is the german word for sprout or shoot (a baby plant) and i kinda want something in the same vein. so i’ve been poking around in my german dictionaries and in google translate (dangerous, i know, haha) and i’ve come up with a possibility: schössling which means offshoot and even sounds similar, which i like.

now, i’m not married to this yet and admittedly, i don’t speak german, so i’m not even sure it’s appropriate, but our german/swedish/norwegian/dutch speaking friends are welcome to throw in suggestions any time—i’d like something that goes with sprössling phonetically and has a meaning in the same general vein if possible.

ok, that’s really all the knitting i have today, but i do have flowers

tons of them, in fact. along with the wealth of rain we’ve had comes a veritable sea of floral abundance

the honeysuckle bloomed this week and will probably continue to have flowers throughout the summer. this year our 5- or 6-year-old vine seems to have matured a lot and is covered with flowers.

i got these begonias for the pots we have near our doorways and i’m really happy i did. the blooms are full and so pretty in yellow and they coordinate nicely with our day lilies across the yard (not that i actually organized that look; it’s more of a happy accident)

the lilies are very thick this year with flowers; later today i’ll do some dead heading on them to encourage a longer blooming period

i love this line of them along the back of the garage—the flowers really pop against all that green.

along the path from the garage to the house, i planted my summer squash and surrounded them with a heavy planting of marigolds in the hopes of driving away squash bugs.

we’ve yet to see if that will work, but even if it doesn’t, i’m VERY happy with the merry making of these flowers in that spot—just look how they’ve filled out. even if we lose the squash plants in the end, we’ll have lots of great color. and again, coordinated with the lilies, which was totally unplanned.

closer to the house, the new magnolia tree we planted in the fall is in bloom

the flowers are small and only last a day or so, but the fragrance is beautiful. in a couple of years, when the tree has filled out, we’ll be rewarded with more of the same. we have a lot of space to fill in near the fences and we decided on a few new trees the other day—a forest pansy redbud, a daphne shrub, and some oak leaf hydrangeas for under the porch windows. we’re also getting a chinese fringe tree to plant in front of the office window, which is desperately in need of some shade.

and when i get back from my trip, i’ll start dividing some of our giant hostas to transplant into the beds over there.

our hydrangeas have more flowers than i’ve ever seen on them—all shades of pink and blue.

of all our bed plantings, these and the hostas are probably my favorite.

and right now they are at their peak. we haven’t had any nasty storms to tear them down or damage the petals. and it’s been so wet that they look very fresh every day. if i wanted to save them for winter, this would be the time to cut them for drying.

my very favorite moment for these flowers though, is when they are at this stage—almost completely open, but still showing those beautiful green undertones. wow.

oh look—the first-ever flowers on my variegated shrub have begun to open (this shrub is six or seven years old). this has been an agonizingly slow process—the one thing i can’t wait to see and it’s taking forever, naturally. looks like this is a lace cap variety (i had no idea til now). i wish i knew which one—haha, we might have to name a sweater after it!

wow, it’s so pretty—i didn’t know what to expect, but i love it. and if our climbing hydrangea is any indication, this shrub will make more and bigger flowers every year from now on.

ok, speaking of the garden, i owe mine big time and have a day of catching up planned, so i better get cracking. not that i don’t love you, but i can’t wait to get away from this desk and out into the sunshine.

something tells me that the next post will be all vegetables . . .

20 thoughts on “swatch mania

  1. Two projects on the needles… does this mean Wasp and Roses is done? And that it might be released sometime soonish?

    Re: the sprossling sibling–I’m really liking that middle swatch, with the wishbone-ish thing going on.

  2. You are SUCH a tease Anne, letting us have a peep at that notebook, with a little tail of yarn sneaking out at us!! Seriously, it must be so exciting for you too, with your first club such a hit before a parcel has even been shipped!! I too like that middle swatch for the Spross-sib. Your hydrangeas are just gorgeous, please show us some more photos as those flowers open on the variegated one.

  3. PS – If sprossling is the German word for a sprout, how about ‘sapling’ for the new knit? (It does at least have the ‘-ling’ ending, if not the Germanic sound to the name.)

  4. I cannot wait for the club! It’s getting close. I wish I could take a looksie in your book. Your flowers are beautiful as always.

  5. The varigated hydrangea is very possibly Wave Hill, especially with your comment that it hasn’t flowered much. The varigated leave varieties are often grown primarily for their foliage and blossoms are a bonus.

  6. How about naming the Sprossling sibling after your variegated hydrangea? The flower buds echo the colour of the yarn you’re swatching. P.S. I too am hoping to see Wasp and Roses soon! I agree with the other comments about the middle swatch – looks lovely!

  7. Zaailing is Dutch for seedling, the first 4 letters are pronounced like tsigh, and the ling part echoes sprossling.

  8. Anne, I love the swatches for Sprossling’s sib. All beautiful. You have been majorly busy with clearing out projects. But I know your mind is very active thinking months into the future.

    Your lillies are so pretty. I liked the photo of them all in a row, so tall, so straight, so very pretty.

    Impatientley waiting for that first club shipment. Squee! It’s going to be like Christmas every month from Aug to Jan. Thank you!

  9. Some suggestions re: names similar to sprossling for the new variation.
    Sprossling means shoot, root, or offspring in German.
    What about Fruhling (there are umlauts above the u),which means spring.
    Herbstlich means autumnal, Wurzel = root, freundlich = friendly, Blumen = flowers….schwesterlich means sisterly, frisch = fresh
    Schössling is the word for shoot
    too many possiblities….

    Love the honeysuckle,.. not available in zone 3 – plant envy!

  10. I love the honeysuckle. I’ve never seen one that color. All of your flowers are gorgeous most of ours bloomed with the unseasonably warm weather we had in April.

  11. My childhood bedroom had a honeysuckle vine outside the window, growing up the drainpipe (hmm…. drainpipe? You know, the vertical part of the gutters….). Anyway, it smelled so good, especially, it seemed, at night.

  12. The variegated shrub flower buds when closed really look like lilac buds both in color and shape. Cool! And I too love hydrangeas. My mom rescued a slip of one at the supermarket and it grew to be 6 feet wide by 5 feet tall within a few years. Glorious bright blue flowers that dried to a shade of bluish gray that you’d love.

  13. Schössling sounds lovely and you got the meaning right- and btw the word Schoss where the word Schössling comes from means womb. Sprössling is also a general term for one`s offspring in Germany so both words have a sort of brotherly ring to them. Greetings from Germany, I thoroughly enjoy you blog!

  14. Loving the notebook with our yarn club goodness inside – so very glad I signed up for the yarn & pattern option 🙂
    how many stitches by how many rows do you make your swatches?
    I need to swatch for my miss doolittle on Monday.. how exciting!

  15. Anne – we are having TOTAL fun in the Clubhouse – but you can bet we are all anxiously awaiting the real fun when you start shipping kits out! Can’t WAIT! Also – can’t wait to see the finish Spross-Sib. I like Zaailing – what Dawn suggested – but anything you pick will be fabulous. Just can’t wait to SEE the sweater!

  16. My neighborhood, like many others of course, is studded with hydrangeas right now. I am addicted to them.

  17. All of those gorgeous flowers should help a ton with the circle of calm! I love your swatch notebook, and there’s no doubt in my mind that the club is going to continue to be a huge hit when the shipments hit the mail 🙂

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