come to bed

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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.

25 thoughts on “come to bed

  1. wow. you have really been busy around your place! The gardens are looking gorgeous – isn’t it amazing what survives under a pile of neglect? I love when that happens in our garden. those hostas are glorious.
    And the orchid wrap – fabulous!
    I’ve been itching to try out the Jenkins needles, they’re so beautiful. I just love the craftsmanship on all their products.

  2. your hostas are huge! mine are still all twirled up waiting to unfurl….how does your asparagus grow? I would looove to grow some, but I dont’ think I could get it into the ground early enough – we usually stick seedlings, etc in around Memorial Day. OK – I am going to have to go get some yarn from anne just because of her shop name! After one of my all time favorite movies!

  3. Ha! My hostas are about 2 inches tall! Maine. We’re freezing, here! I’m amazed that the goodies all popped up for you, all of a sudden.
    I laughed out loud at the comment from someone with regards to your spinning wheel that looks like something a queen would carry around!
    Okay, I’m just dying to know what the secret project is. Give us a hint. Oh, and I love those bloodwood needles.

  4. I’m still absolutely speechless over your new wheels. I’d just say they’re beautiful, but its such an understatement!
    As for your garden.. our home is much the same way. Things popped up this year that didn’t last year (we bought the house last spring and didn’t manage to start working on the yard until early summer) Seems some of our clearing and cleaning up has revived years old vegetation and flowers!
    Our neighbor tells us that one of the previous owners once upon a time was an avid gardener of the English variety, lots of ivy and roses (the ivy still survives in places) She said the gardens were once absolutely breathtaking. I’m not sure we’ll ever get it back to that, but we’re trying – and delighted with the plants that have survived all these neglected years!

  5. Your garden looks spectacular! I can’t wait to see what happens when the plants start producing. And a bed of dye plants? Very intriguing. So many goodies, bee shawl yarn, needles, can’t wait to see what you start making next!

  6. The garden, the yarn, the wheels, the needles and the knitting look all so very beautiful, all masterpieces!

  7. I’m so looking forward to the bee shawl. My little sister’s name is Becky and when she was a baby I referred to her as “the b” and the nickname has stuck. This shawl would be perfect for her.

  8. Wow, your beds looks so clean and tidy! I was going to take some pictures of my garden this weekend, but now I’m kind of embarassed. You have lots of weeds? I have trees coming up in my beds. No, I’m not kidding.

  9. Your garden beds make me anxious to work in my new garden….but it is still a wee bit too cold at night here for more than a few things still……soon though.

    Those bloodwood needles are beautiful……I love working with superior tools and these look very nice!

  10. You are so fortunate to have hostas – I had to leave a whole big bed of them when I left Virginia 10 years ago and it is just too dry out here to justify watering them. But I love them under trees with all their beautifully colored leaves. So cool and inviting for the summer.

  11. I’m so excited about the bee shawls, I can hardly stand it! I know mine is going to be the honey color… 🙂

    You can almost hear the Merlin wheel sigh with relief, huh? 😉

  12. I’d run my hands over those needles too. I may just have to get a couple of those beauties.

    Your garden and the new yarns? Divine!

  13. I am excited about trying the Jenkins needles. The needles seem to have a wonderful point to them. Do you have to specify a pointier lace-type needle when ordering?

  14. Anne, you’re amazing! Busy as a bee, speaking of bee’s I look forward to the bee shawl. I love it when you start the new one’s, it’s sooo fun watching the progress unfold. The gardens look beautiful. My hubby love’s to landscape and work in the yard, and he’s great at. I on the other hand, well not so much. Kudos on the new wheels, and needles!

  15. Ha ha, your post made me laugh. I feel the same way about my garden! Also, a queen’s sceptre is often called a distaff. Technically, though, a distaff is the huge pole thingy the “head dude” of the court uses to bang on the floor and then announce the arrival of “sir so-and-so and Lady what’s-her-name”. Perhaps you should start doing that when you enter a room 🙂

  16. Those needles are gorgeous! And oh, thank you so much! I haven’t seen mayapples in bloom since I left home for college nearly 30 years ago. I can’t tell you how much that picture grabbed me. I grew up in a house set back in the woods, with a field of mayapples spread out in the shade under the poplars.

  17. The list of vegetables in your garden is amazing! Mmmmmmm … eggplant, asparagus, squash. How fabulous 🙂

  18. Hi! I had to comment on the May Apples. I have them in my yard here in Massachusetts, but only because I bought a plant years ago at a nursery. It has multiplied over the years, no thanks to my husband and others who keep mowing it down when they cut the grass. Sometimes a few of the plants will come up with two leaves and a flower (and will grow a fruit that I believe is edible) but sometimes all I get are single “umbrellas”. I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and first saw May Apples in the woods there – huge drifting patches of them – but I don’t know that I have ever seen one in the woods here in New England. Curious, isn’t it?

  19. Hi Anne! It’s been awhile since I checked in at your blog and, as usual, I’m in awe. So many pretty things to see! Your garden is quite inspiring (like your knitting). I’m looking forward to having my own garden one day. The house we’re in is a rental and I don’t really feel like planting a luscious garden at a rental property. 🙁 *Sigh*

  20. The bee shawl colours are lovely. Very jealous of your jenkins needles, could you recommend a type for the bee shawl when it comes? Might treat myself 🙂

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