this makes me happy . . .

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

(swiss chard, bright lights tricolor—a little taste for the gardeners of what’s at the end of the post)

gee, the day just flew by. my goodness.
a full day of work, then the garden, then take some pictures, and all of a sudden it is 9pm.

the last few days i have had little time to knit, but now the garden is 99% in the ground—just a few eggplant starts to put in and that’s it. now i will have a few more free hours at night for my real work.

i’ve got the bee shawl underway and am swimming along on the first section of “hive” motif

i have to figure out now how deep to make each section. i often understimate how much the fabric will stretch when blocked, and end up knitting more than i need to. i’m going to try to get this one right, but i’m aware that i’m dealing with one of the great mysteries of knitting here—how much is too much?
as much as i swatched and blocked already, it is hard to estimate from those attempts the size of the finished piece. small difference are magnified SO much in the translation.

i love the edging

i searched everywhere for a dainty bee edging, and finally came up with one thanks to karen. she knit this swatch for the walker treasury project, and fortuitously, i stopped in at her blog just when she talked about it. somehow i had overlooked this one while flipping through the books (ahem, far be it from me to use the index, and look up “bee”. oh no—wa-a-ay too easy).

so i played around with a couple of versions of it, and finally decided one column of faggot with one column of bees. i added the little winglets to the outside edge to turn it into an edging, and i think those are my favorite part.

i have decided for the third panel to go with the bee and waving grass version

and i’ll tell you why—it’s a seemingly insignificant detail, but i am so smitten with it that i can’t not have it in the shawl.

see next to the grass, where it comes close to the bee? there is a little wavy column of stitches that opens up? i LOVE THAT! it looks like a heat shimmer, or a buzzing sound. it makes another dimension in the fabric for me. (told you i wasn’t normal . . .).

now i know there was a strong contingent for using the honeycomb stitch somewhere too, and i am thinking that i might work that one into the bottom edge, since it’s sheer and float-y.

and now for the garden report. of this i am proud:

cook’s custom mix mustard greens
we got all our seeds from Cook’s Garden—they have a great variety, and as you can see, it looks like every single seed sprouted, because i “sowed thinly” as directed on the package.

i’ve stayed away from planting seeds for the first few years of our garden, because i did not trust that my farmer genes would be up to it, and we don’t have much space to waste. it’s been so long since i grew anything this way. not that i’m taking a big risk here—i’m just doing the greens from seeds for starters. stuff i can start outside, right in the ground, and can replace if it fails.

we have collards and erbette (another chard, from france) as well, but they haven’t sprouted yet.
the last plants came in the mail today

i don’t know if you can read the tag, but it says fairy tale eggplant—tell me, how could i NOT?
and sunday i filled in that new bed with hostas taken off our existing plants.

i might fill in the empty spots with some coleus or something just for this year, while the bed fills out a bit. because it will . . .

and much as i appreciate your appreciation of my garden, i can’t take any credit for the beauty of these plants. honestly, i barely do anything except admire them—they take care of themselves.

as it should be—mother nature doesn’t need me tampering with her work.

43 thoughts on “this makes me happy . . .

  1. i don’t think i’ve commented before, but i’m really been enjoying reading your blog. i think i would have gotten sucked in by the lovely little ripple stitches too.

  2. swiss chard is such a happy vegetable from sprouts to the steamer… love that stuff. OH and the Bees! I just dyed the alpaca for my morning glories…

  3. Oh, the grass and the bees are wonderful, just a delight! Inspiring me to really truly try a lace project. Thanks!!

  4. I love the whole shawl, but I am so totally enamored with your edging “winglets!” They make me squeal from their cuteness and knitterly cleverness!

  5. One can’t have too much green colour after winter! The shawl edging is lovely, as am sure is the whole shawl when it is finished.

  6. I have laceweight merino in a golden sunset color that yearns to be The Bee! I love the winglets adaptation and the bees and wheat motif.

    Thanks for the shout out, btw. You’re too kind.

  7. Hosta’s are my favourites too, they just take care of themselves. Only thing you have to watch out for is snails, they are really fond of them and we have a LOT of them in our garden !
    BTW, I don’t think you are crazy, I can see it too in the pattern, the buzz !

  8. I also love hosta’s but so do the slugs and snails in my garden. I am so envious, yours look lush and green like they are supposed to, mine end up looking like lace they are so full of holes; don’t get me wrong I love lace, just not perhaps in my hostas. Talking of lace, the shawl is looking beautiful, you put in so much thought to it all.

  9. The bee shawl is so pretty and dainty. I love seeing it take shape like this, seeing your ideas come to life. A description just doesn’t do the same thing.

    You have a lot of garden there! Is that your whole back yard?

  10. I am loving the bee shawl and I totally get the shimmer effect there next to the bees. Can’t wait for this one, Anne!

  11. I’m so glad you kept the grass pattern … it’s just so dang happy-looking! And also in keeping with the great garden shots, I might add.

  12. The Bee shawl is just gorgeous and the garden is looking fabulous! It was a green day on your blog today…:-)

  13. the shawl is coming along great!!!! That edging is just perfect!

    I worked a bunch in the garden yesterday. still have lots to do, but I did plant a few things in containers. Hubby and I had that bright lights swiss chard the other night for dinner! it was so good! (and really pretty!)

  14. That is my all-time favorite swiss chard. And Cook’s Garden – oof- I have to avoid it. Otherwise I get a whole bunch of seeds I have nowhere to plant. (Although, honestly, no veggie garden until we have another place for the puppy to play. She likes to dig FAR too much.)

    The shawl is looking Bee-utiful! Hee!

  15. The bee and waving grass portion is making me faint with happiness! I spent all day yesterday in the garden and haven’t even gotten to my little tender greens yet. I think maybe my plans were a bit on the grandiose side this year.

  16. The bee shawl looks gorgeous. I think the swiss chard photo is great color inspiration for a sock…a nice deep brown with a couple of stripes of swiss chard!

  17. I love the whole nature post today. Everything you wrote about is connected. The bees, to me, look like they’re flying! I can’t wait until this one is done.

  18. Your garden looks great. Do you do anything special for your eggpants? I’ve never been able to grow them, the flea beetles always eat the crap out of them.

    Oh yeah, the knitting looks great, too. 🙂

  19. Anne, loving your “shimmer” just shows you are highly sensitive to design. It’s an asset, not a weird liability! You go, girl!

  20. No wonder you’re happy, Anne. Great garden, great shawl, all things growing in God’s good grace, by the strength of your hand and the inspiration of your spirit. REJOICE!


  21. I love spring green of your garden and the yarn and our garden has the same kinds of things popping up here in Kansas. WHere are you located?
    Will you be offering your Bee shawl pattern later?

  22. I get more excited about this shawl every time I see it. 🙂 It looks like the difficulty level might be just a smidge higher than Moth–more motifs without rest rows, etc?

    And the edging is SO pretty–I’m really looking forward to knitting that!

  23. Love the garden:) We’re trying to reclaim our backyard as the previous owners pretty much trashed it and I love seeing what you have done!

  24. You’re bee shawl is beautiful.

    I did have to smile when I saw those little plants emerging in your vegetable garden. I planted snow peas in my garden and they were up about 4-5″ and I was prepared to finish off the “trellis” string for the plants to vine, went outside all armed and ready – there was not a bean plant left – not a single one – rabbits apparently had a nice snack. My co-workers have a lot of fun with the fact that every year I plant a little garden, and every year the rabbits eat it! But I’m persistant, the plants are coming back and I trust this round will survive.
    PS – the rabbit couldn’t get to my lettuce, I had wire baskets over those plants! One harvest for the rabbits, one harvest for the humans. That’s fair!


  25. You show perfectly normal signs of one thing… being an artist. 😉 That’s the kind of thing my art professors would have eaten up!

    “see next to the grass, where it comes close to the bee? there is a little wavy column of stitches that opens up? i LOVE THAT! it looks like a heat shimmer, or a buzzing sound. it makes another dimension in the fabric for me. (told you i wasn’t normal . . .).”

  26. Lovely garden, Anne! We only have space for herbs, but they are wonderful to have.

    I like the motifs for the bee shawl very much. I am not a fast knitter, and I have planned on knitting the starlight wrap this autumn (I need to find the right yarn), and I have a sweater to do this summer, and scarves and socks. But I’m going to want to do the bee shawl too! I must learn patience.

  27. I think your edging for the bee shawl is perfect. And I love that little shimmery line between the bees and the waving grass.
    Another week and a half before I can even think about putting plants outside . . . thanks for sharing your gardening!

  28. Look at all the buzzzzzz about Anne’s wonderful bee shawl!!!! haha. Couldn’t resist. I love how that grass wavers. This is one cool shawl Anne. It is totally awesome. Love how you made a hive in your photo too…..

  29. I read this quote from John Muir the other day and thought of your shawl: “Humming-moths and humming-birds seldom set foot upon a flower, but poise on the wing in front of it, and reach forward as if they were sucking through straws. But bees, though as dainty as they, hug their favorite flowers with profound cordiality, and push their blunt, polleny faces against them, like babies on their mother’s bosom. And fondly, too, with eternal love, does Mother Nature clasp her small bee-babies, and suckle them, multitudes at once, on her warm Shasta breast.”
    I hope you like it! It’s gorgeous, just like this shawl!

  30. Oh happy spring! This shawl is going to be something very special. You are wowing us all with your creativity and perfect selections. The garden is inspiring, too.

  31. Your bee shawl is looking marvelous so far! Love it. 🙂

    Isn’t it wonderful how when every seedling sprouts it has two, beautiful leaves? I love it. Rows of seedlings like that have such promise. What fun.

  32. Your garden looks great! I wish I could transplant some of the hostas to my corner. 😉 I’ve put up a link to pictures of my back garden so far. Some of the seeds in the last photo got washed away (see the mini-river bed) so I’m going to have to replant some of these. Also, I think some of the seeds aren’t coming up because these are too old. Planning to go to Behnke Nursery this weekend to get stuff for the garden …

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