Posted on Posted in designing, food and garden, projects

david has really outdone himself with his choices in tulips this year. we have a plenitude of these gorgeous, pale pink and green doubles, many of which have two flowers on each stem.

having grown up in the schenectady/albany area of new york state, home to the first dutch colony settled in america, i’ve had the good fortune to look upon a wealth of tulips during every spring of my life and they hold a dear place in my heart among flowers.

david, of course, picked right up on this and made tulips his first gift of flowers to me. during the years we lived in NYC, he made a point of searching out beautiful and unusual tulips to bring home, even if he could only afford one or two (the tiny, chocolate scented tulips that lasted but a few hours being the most rare).

and since we moved to our own house here in ohio, he spends some time each fall putting bulbs in the ground that will surprise me in the spring, just when i need it most. they pop up everywhere, in places i wouldn’t expect.

and oh boy, do i enjoy these few weeks when the bulb flowers put on their easter parade. this year the daffodils and hyacinth came and went in a flash, due to our mid-march heat wave, but the temperatures plummeted again just in time to slow down the blooming of tulips and jonquils (unlike everyone else i know, our jonquils bloom AFTER the daffodils, hmmm).

the other day i picked a big bouquet to have on the table for knitting class and it’s still looking wonderful—in fact, i think it has gotten better looking since monday. the jonquils have the loveliest light scent—not too heavy—while the tulips that were blooming that day have the most delicate of pink striping, sprayed with green.

david has really branched out in the variety department this year—where in previous years he favored mostly red and dark purple single blooms, this year we have some great ruffled ones in several new colors, that he must have ordered from a catalog—i’m thrilled.

when i step out the front door, there they are, bobbing their heads and waiting to be picked.

last week, i went out there to collect the mail and saw a familiar sight for  this time of year

a mess of dried grass and stuff all over the porch.

i looked up and

sure enough, there was a new nest in the spot favored by the robins. right on time too; we usually see a hatching around the middle of april.

i got up on the bench to take a closer look and saw that it was just a starter nest—robins usually build something deeper and sturdier than this loose jumble of material. a few days later i checked in and this time, found a fully-formed nest on top of that cushion.

you can see that the top part is much more tightly woven and compacted.

it’s strange, but i haven’t seen any actual bird activity, despite the progress on the building site and there aren’t any eggs in it yet. hopefully, there will be some soon, but it’s entirely possible that the whole project has already been abandoned—it wouldn’t be the first time.

it’s funny, because out of all the niches on our property, this one is in the second most trafficked area. i would think that would make it unappealing to the birds but apparently not.

because in our MOST highly trafficked area at the back door, another bird has set up house atop the old trellis, semi-hidden within the vines of my climbing hydrangea.

i noticed all last week that a dove was landing and taking off rather frequently from this spot, which i can see clearly form the window over the kitchen sink. then the other day, i noticed her sitting there for long stretches of time while a male brought food every so often.

i went upstairs to take a look from the porch outside of my workroom. she took off the minute i stepped out, but when i peeked over the railing

sure enough she was nursing an egg along—a good sized one too.

it’s the prettiest of spots; i’m glad to see she’s made a nice home there. sigh, i just wish amad was here to follow its progress; he would love this.

i bet that right about now, you’re thinking that i must have no knitting to share today and you’d be almost right—i have no less than four good-sized secret projects on the needles that i can’t show you. and those are just the ones i’m remembering off the top of my head.

but i do have my second kami bison plain jhayne mitt to finish.

with the sticks and stones sweater in the hands of the test knitters, i figured it was probably ok to cast on for one new thing that can be a public project.

so i wound up some nests of my own in this gorgeous dark gray color, which has a hint of fig in it—enough to make it highly changeable, depending on the light

it’s spirit trail holda, which you’ll remember was the terrific yarn i used for fartlek and tabata; i’ve got enough here for a nice, cozy sweater. jen and i have been planning it for a while and now that she has plenty in stock, she dyed up a batch for this project.

i’ve been planning this sweater for years, literally. the stitch pattern is an old favorite from one of my first books of stitch patterns; it’s the perfect thing to show off the soft luxury of this yarn. simple to work, but so effective. i swatched it months ago with some leftovers from my tabata, in colorway fig.

the fabric is light but warm, which is just what i was looking for—the sweater is longer and looser in the body, sort of kimono inspired, with wide front bands, but more tailored sleeves. kind of a bathrobe sweater, but nice. if i was any good at fashion sketching, i’d draw it for you, but i’m not.

and it knits up super fast on size 4.5 mm needles; who doesn’t love that? with such a large stitch pattern and not-so-close fit, the sizing will be more general and to the wearer’s taste. i’m making mine pretty loose—about 45 inches around, the size of my current bathrobe sweater. i can wear this width if i size my shoulders correctly; a loose fit is not the same as a sweater that is too big.

after a couple of false starts to decide the exact placement of the pattern, i’m well inot my first front piece. i’ll pack this for my trip next week, as it is such a good traveler, requiring very little brain power or support materials to sit and work with.

ok, then, i gotta dash—we have an appointment with a banker in an hour or so and i look an absolute fright. i also have not been out of the house in several days (trying desperately to get work done before i go away), so a run or a bike ride is at the top of my wish list for later this afternoon.

oh ps: i picked a nice bunch of slender asparagus yesterday evening; something tells me we’ll be having that with eggs for dinner.

35 thoughts on “nesting

  1. Nice seater pattern.

    Have to comment on how thoughtful and observant David is. And how beautiful the flowers are.

  2. That David – so amazing! He’s a keeper for sure. But you knew that!

    Love those ruffly tulips, and the dove’s nest and egg are so beautiful.

    And a Holda sweater? in Fig? Swoon! I have only one skein of fig in my stash – must remedy that if there’s an entire sweater developing! What a wonderful idea.

  3. Nice blue ceiling on your porch! The tulips and other flowers are exquisite–excellent choices, David. I especially love the delicate pink tulips in the second photo.

  4. The swatch is beautiful–the stitch pattern is just elegant. I can’t wait to see the sweater.

  5. A loose slouchy sweater in Holda? Be still my heart…

    Many years ago I had an office on the top floor of a townhouse, with a window that drew a lot of birds. A pair of mourning doves nested on the sill several seasons in a row; I got to see the birdlets hatch, learn to fly and leave the nest. So exciting!

  6. Such lovely tulips! I love all the spring bulbs, but I think tulips have to be at the top of the list, especially the nice ruffly double ones.

  7. Oh Anne! I am just picturing that sweater in aubergine, you bad, bad woman you!!! The tulips are gorgeous. A couple of years ago we visited the Keukenhof park near Amsterdam and the displays of tulips were just unbelievable.

  8. David is so sweet ~ definitely a keeper!
    I love your new sweater! Can’t wait for you to be done and have a new pattern for us! Not rushing you of course!

  9. Such a beautiful Garden. David is truly wonderful. the knitting looks great and I can’t wait to see the secret projects.

  10. loooove that bouquet that you made – it just looks so natural and wild and blowsy, i can just imagine the smell 🙂

  11. oh anne i cannot decide if i love the tulips or the nest the very best! all signs of warm weather to come – so beautiful. and of course that Spirit Trail Holda is to die for!

  12. It’s bird season around my neck of the woods. We hear them chirping in the early hours of the morning. Lots of little baby birds. They keep us awake, but it’s hard to begrudge them.

  13. Wonderful spring post, thank you Anne! Big smile. And I see another Knitspot sweater in my future. . .

  14. Such beautiful tulips! David did a wonderful job with the selection.

    Some male birds build several nests to entice the female bird to mate with him. Maybe that is why the robins nest has been empty at times in past years?

    You know Ive been dying to see the new sweater!!! Such a pretty pattern!

  15. that david is quite the gardener. I should consult him about flower choices. yours are beautiful!

    i am excited to see the sweater in fig. i love that colorway too. it already looks like something that i would love to wrap up in!

  16. I like the sweater, too, but thanks especially for sharing your spring flowers and birds. We are behind you a little bit and are enjoying our daffodils. I look forward to the tulips and must have my guy plant lots of them next Fall, God willing.

  17. Thanks for sharing your beautiful tulips! Last week my sister was visiting from Florida and she was excited about seeing tulips and made me see them in a new light. Now I am happy to see them when I’m walking around Chicago.

  18. Oooooh…that David is a keeper! how wonderful to have surprise tulips! Can’t wait to see the finished sweater…a looser fit is so different for you. Happy Easter!

  19. Your flowers are lovely and I wish I had a little garden patch too. My grandmother was an avid gardener and I spent many, many summer days with her in her garden. I miss it and her very much.

    Most importantly, does David have a single brother??? I hope you’re not going to rob those nests for your dinner tonight…

  20. Gorgeous pics of blossoms, birds and yarn! You brought back memories for me with your mention of Schenectady. My Grandmother had a ceramic shop for 50 yrs near Baldwinsville (west of Syracuse). During the last dozen years or so when Grandpa could no longer lift the heavy molds, we would go to Schenectady to buy greenware. There was a very large ceramic place there, but I don’t remember it’s name. I know it wasn’t far from Friendlies where we’d always go for lunch when we were done filling the station wagon.

    Will you be at the NY Sheep and Wool Festival this fall? I’m thinking of traveling back home to NY so Mom and I can go. It’d be great to meet you 🙂

  21. Doves are not…how shall I say this…not the brightest crayon in the box. They will choose the dopiest places to build their nests and don’t even seem to notice when their eggs fall all over the place. But they are so sweet, in their own dim way. Enjoy!

  22. Hi, I am a knitter and long time follower of your blog. Today I found your tulips absolutely stunning. I am an artist-watercolor and pastel mostley. I was wondering if you would give me permission to paint some of your tulip pictures. Such inspiration!

  23. Tulips are my favourite as well. Just shared your pics with my Mom who is in the hospital. Our tulips are up here in northern Ontario, but not blooming yet. Mom quite liked the double pale pink one in the first photo. May I ask the name? I have the blackest of thumbs, but Mom is quite the gardener, and would love to plant some this fall.

  24. Beautiful tulips!

    Any chance you might expand more on the proper fitting shoulder for a loose fitting sweater?

  25. For a few years, I had a mourning dove nest in my hanging planter and it was so fun to follow from the eggs to the babies. She would let me get pretty close and take a picture, and when she was gone the babies were so cute! Mourning doves are one of my favorite birds.

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