it has been one of my busiest weeks. an influx of new pattern business (YAY!!), a ton of email, and trying to get the garden in—all in addition to the usual work and teaching load—has kept us moving from dawn to dark, and then some.
but it’s worth it, and will continue to be worth it for the next few months
we are adding two new beds and relocating one that was kind of far from the house to a spot with the others. we are planting herbs, celery, asparagus, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, canteloupes, greens, and salad. and of course, the bed of dye plants.
i also did some cleanup in our perennial beds which are a somwhat-wild mix of plants and volunteers such as lily of the valley and these
may apple. they don’t grow everywhere (someone told me) and, they don’t all get flowers and apples, but some of ours do! we are lucky enough to have a patch of these funny, umbrella-like plants that must have been cultivated long before we owned the home.
in the Years of Neglect between the time when the garden beds actually had a plan, and the time we started caring for the yard, these didn’t even come up—since no one ever raked the yard for 17 years, a lot of plants lay dormant here. when we started playing around with it and cleaning up, all kinds of new life showed itself, including at least a dozen different varieties of hosta.
not that we are expert gardners by any stretch of the imagination (lord—we can hardly keep up with the weeding), but we’re trying. we’d like to bring some semblance of order, while keeping a semi-wild appearance to it all.
so, what going on in the fiber department??
a few rows on this sock is all i could manage. it is so close to being done; it’s a shame i can’t just sit and finish it up.
well, my new wheels want to take a bow to your shower of compliments on them—
they are basking in the afterglow of the past few days—there’s almost no talking to them.
the merlin got a good rubdown the other night with some yummy beeswax-and-oil preparation and is starting to gleam. it needs another coat, so hopefully tonight i’ll get to that.
a few people asked about the distaff, which is a tool (usually not quite so fancy) that is used to hold fiber while one spins. it is especially helpful for hanging prepared flax so that the long fibers are easily accessible and don’t get tangled.
of course, i love jessZ’s suggestion that the distaff looks like something to be carried around the house while pretending to be queen—sounds like a totally appropriate use to me.
yesterday in classes i worked on the orchid scarf and though i didn’t think i accomplished much, it does look longer
this is definitely one piece that will be completely transformed by blocking. i passed it around in class and everyone agrees—this yarn is the ultimate in merino softness. i shouldn’t say this but, it is pretty close to cashmere in its feel-y goodness. which doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check out the cashmere when you visit her store. how does deb do it??
i’ve been using my size 6 jenkins needles on it, and they are every bit as exquisite as the bigger size 9s i used for morning glory. have i told you i adore these needles? i can really get carried away just running my fingers over the wood (ask debbieKnitter—she caught me at it last night).
the mystery project continues to grow, and it’s all i can do not to show it to you because i’m SO excited about it. ACK! i’ve been spending a couple of hours each night on that.
yesterday a box arrived from anne with the much-anticipated yarn for the bee shawl(s).
as well as a couple of other goodies—a bit of beautiful alpaca/camel fiber (just in time, anne, to try on the new wheels!), and some more yarn samples for another project in the fall
(mmm, berries and wine . . .)
that means i can get started any time, but it probably won’t be til the weekend, when i can sit quietly and concentrate.
getting started will also give me the opportunity to try out the size 5 beta needles that ed sent me for a test drive
these are in bloodwood; he is experimenting with a thinner cord for the smaller needles, which i just realized i have not shown here. trust me though, it’s thin and soft. these are different in this way than the 6s i am using for the scarf; the 6s have the heavier cord used on all the other needle sizes, which is plenty soft, and makes an excellent join, since a smooth transition from cord to wood is enhanced by not having much diameter change. it will be interesting to see if the thinner cord makes a big difference there.
well, that about wraps up my past two days, minus the craziness (and oh, yes, there has been craziness). back tomorrow, hopefully with something new, and if not, there’s always just talking.