i couldn’t help myself

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


(flower of the day: double vine pattern)

sorry about that . . the flowers for our yard are pretty much over. i think the only thing left to bloom out there are toad lilies, and they are gonna be a while. in fact, because i moved most of them to a new bed in june, we might not even get flowers.

there are days when the thought of the garden is so enticing, that it is all i can do not to drop everything and get out there to enjoy the sun. and then there are days when, despite all my best efforts to be stalwart, i am driven there.


(these would make a pretty necklace if touching them did not make my hands burn)

it’s not like i run out there screaming with my hands over my head because someone just cast the last straw. it’s more like i just have to, the way a sleepwalker does. sunday, for no particular reason was one of those days. i went out there to water, and then noticed that stuff needed to be picked, beds needed weeding, and the lettuce needed to be thinned. i didn’t have time, but was all too happy to stay outside a little longer in the quiet.

now i am a fairly thrifty person, but i’m also just curious. when it came time to thin the chard in may, i tried replanting the little culls in another spot to GRAND failure—every single one of them dropped dead about 5 minutes after i went back in the house. so i thought i’d try it again.
i just wanted to see if it was really a bad idea . . . or my technique.

so this time i did it a little different. i used more watering and i transplanted the culls with healthy plugs of the dirt around their roots, instead of pulling the plants out dirt-free. knock wood, but i think it’s working this time with the lettuce.

at least i don’t see any floppy, withered ones. keep your fingers crossed though (when you’re not knitting of course); they are still in danger.

produce is still being carted into the house faster than i can deal with it most days, but i figure if i do something each day, sooner or later i will catch up with it.

everything has its benefits.

now, on to the knitting. i know that’s what you’re here for . . .

well, my yarn arrived for the Big Secret Project, so i might be scarce for the next two weeks or so (but i’ll try really hard to be here). thankfully, work from our job is slowing to a trickle for a while, which is such a fortunate coincidence that i can’t help but marvel at the beauty of it.

so, not that i had any more free time yesterday than any other day, but i couldn’t help but be completely overtaken with the idea for that simple little stole i described the other day, once i started swatching it. plus, it really helps my anxiety levels to apply myself to a puzzle or a project. and this one had such a simple , clear direction, that i just went with it.
and let me tell you, i am in love.

do i have to go on?? really??

i have had my eye on this stitch pattern for ages and i just knew it would be über-pretty worked up. it hardly needs anything else, but i did add a little edging, with a delicateness that i can’t describe.

i love, love, LOVE the rustic crookedness of the meandering lines and the texture of the leaves which are sliced by double rows of simple decreases. i love it the same way i love the morning glory pattern—big and open-hearted love.

the yarn is deb’s merino laceweight (which is divine) in the rubicund colorway. i wasn’t sure if i should work it on size 6 or size 5 needles, so i did two swatches.

and guess what? they both block out to be the same width, even though i did not stretch them differently. the length on the size 6 swatch is a little different (and there are more rows in that swatch so it’s deceptive).

but get this—they feel different. i can’t explain this. they definitely look and feel different. the only thing i can think that might describe what is happening here is what stephanie always says: swatches lie.

now, i haven’t found that to be terribly true for me . . . i mean needles lie sometimes (they do SO); i have knit things with needles of differen brands that are “the same size” only to find that the gauge changes noticeably. but here we have something different. in fact, i don’t think these pieces are lying, even—no!—they’re being smart asses, that’s what.

i think i prefer the size 6 swatch a little more.

so all in a tizzy to feel closure on something, i wrote up the whole pattern and it just needs to be test knit. i like that.

this is a fairly simple, beginner-to-intermediate lace project. it is knit in two halves from hem to center back and grafted together. it has one main stitch pattern and a simple edge, that makes for a complete repeat of 16 rows. engaging rows . . . i thoroughly enjoy watching this vine pattern descend from the needles.

i might sneak this one onto my needles (even though i’m not supposed to be knitting this), and treat myself to a few rows of it now and then until the Big Secret Project is done.

42 thoughts on “i couldn’t help myself

  1. I love the subtle colorplay in that yarn, and I like how it works with the pattern. The yarn is like the left hand in “Heart and Soul”, hitting the same handful of notes again and again. The lace is the melody, jumping all over the treble keys.

  2. Everything, all of it, good. Very, very good. Girl slow down! I haven’t even started my bee’s yet and your all ready making me another must knit this now design. I’m really loving the leaves.

  3. Lovely stitch pattern! I can’t wait to see it in something bigger than a swatch. Judging from your pictures, the colorway you are using is beautiful as well: I really like the subtle variations of color I can see in the yarn.

  4. Ok. No fair. I not only want that lace…I want those tomatoes! Gosh they’re gorgeous! (The hot peppers, too!)
    But wow, that rosey lace…
    I know I’ll be back to see what comes of it!
    ((hugs))

  5. Oh, the lace is tooo beautiful.

    Do you want a beginner/intermediate test knitter? I’d love to get my hands on that pattern. 😀

  6. Lovely! And do you have avocados in that sandwich with some cream cheese? If so, that is my idea of a PERFECT summer sandwich. (or sam-wish if you are from Joisey).

  7. Others may be swooning over the lace, but I’m swooning over the sandwich. My favorite August sandwich has always been tomatoes on white bread with lots of Hellman’s mayo.

  8. I would like one of those sandwiches please! The lace is beautiful and in such a gorgeous colour. Can’t get enough orange and red at the moment, especially orange. It looks great!

  9. So it seems I simply love every pattern I’ve seen since I started ‘watching’ you work (and I’m patiently waiting for the orchid lace gloves cuz I just have to knit them!). But this? It’s not even done and this has to be my favorite. I love that pattern and I say treat yourself! Knit some rows over the next couple weeks! 🙂

  10. be still my heart.. glorious leaves… lovely. gorgeous. can’t wait to see more. Anne, you are truly a magician of design. I think I would be content to knit all your patterns for the next 5 years or so 🙂

  11. Very pretty! The double vine pattern is very lovely. I think it looks a little like seaweed and would also be pretty in greens/blues.

    Yummy looking sandwich too!

  12. Anne–see what I mean, just a total knitting genius–that’s what you are (even without trying 😉 ) Good grief, that pattern just makes me smile. I like the swatch that has a few more rows in it too btw. (and your sandwich made my mouth water because tomatoes are my fav!)

  13. Well, what can I say that hasn’t been said already ? It’s really lovely Anne, have fun knitting on it now and then ! It will be you little treat.

  14. I love your garden shots – they always make me smile. i feel the same way about our tiny garden! It’s a little spot of peace in my crazy life 🙂

    Your swatches are just gorgeous too – The stitch pattern and the yarn work wonderfully together, looking forward to seeing it knit up!

  15. I know I keep saying that each project you do is the prettiest one yet……….and here I am again, oh my! I LOvE the colors in Deb’s yarn and the lace, oh the lace is gorgeous!!

    PS………..needles DO lie and I like the sample on size 6 too 🙂

  16. The lace pattern looks perfect for the fearless fiber yarn in my stash. Is 800 yds enough? See you in class!

  17. Beautiful!!! I adore the pattern, love the yarn!

    Those little lettuces look like they will fare well. Perhaps it was your technique, but perhaps it was also the plants themselves. Some things tolerate root disturbance much better than others. I’m not sure about chard versus lettuce, but it’s a thought.

    Um, can I come over for a sandwitch? Those tomatoes and that bread look soooo good!

  18. Oh, can I come over for a tomato sandwich? That looks sooo scrumptious.

    I am so glad you are putting the double vine lace in a pattern – that was on my “things I want to knit when I have time to figure this out” list – I have been wanting to make a scarf/stole in that lace pattern to show off some divine silk/merino laceweight and you are already doing it and added a pretty little border too!

    YAY for you and your great designs and for reading my mind about what I wanted to knit next. (and we won’t mention that I haven’t knit the second half of the bee stole – I hope I don’t get Second-half-of-stole-syndrom with it!!)

  19. the sandwich looks divine – there is truly nothing like fresh, fresh tomatoes!! The new project looks really pretty – one needle size can make loads of difference in the feel of a fabric for me – my gauge may only be a 1/2 st difference, but the density of the fabric it creates are worlds apart….

  20. I love the edging – also, that particular lace pattern’s been a favorite of mine since I saw it in (I think) Suzanna Lewis’ book. Definately fun edging to put on it!

    Gretchen

  21. I agree with Michelle (above). I can’t keep up!!! You’re amazing. Oh, please stop showing the tomatoes. . .my mouth is drooling into the computer! Gorgeous produce, yarn, design, designer.

  22. The lace pattern is to die for. I hope someday to finish knitting at least one of your beautiful stoles or shawls.

    And not only do you have enchanted needles, but a green thumb as well!

  23. This is my time of year. Every day – freshly picked tomato sandwiches. Is it lunchtime yet?

    Love, love, love the beautiful new pattern. Perhaps it’s time for me to move on from feather and fan.

  24. Wow! I just bought your bee stole pattern and I already see myself buying this one in the future. I am definitely a new lace knitter – but your ideas are just so inspiring! Thanks!

  25. I just finished the bee shawl, and it was a wonderfully fun knit.

    The new stole is just gorgeous. I second the comment by errs…if you need a test knitter, let me know!

  26. Oh wow, I just LOVE that color, and of course, lace . . . ahhhhhhh. Can’t wait to see it! (Cruel woman, tempting us with gorgeous pictures, and then witholding the full thing . . . . 🙂

  27. The part of the chilli peppers that burn our hands are the seeds, so don’t handle the seeds with your bare hands, scrape them off with a knife and your hands will be fine 🙂 By the way, they look just like the ones we eat here!

  28. What a splendid colorway that is–rosy and peachy and just generally fantastic. And it’s so well named! 🙂

    I like the stitch pattern, too. I can see why it tempts you so.

  29. Wow! It is so pretty!! I am excited to see what the entire thing looks like.

    Love the garden shots. Everything is so bright and colorfull.

    I will keep my fingers crossed for the lettuce.

  30. Fresh Tomato Sammich!!
    The double vine is very pretty and summery. It’s all about the fabric you like with lace. In this case, the swatches don’t lie.

  31. Oh I can’t wait till that pattern is issued…next Monday????? ..just kidding but I will be purchasing it for SURE!!! Just simply gorgeous.

  32. Hmm, that new little lovely is working up fine. I really like the swatch on size 6 needles too. Your garden harvest looks pretty tasty too.

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