Posted on Posted in designing, food and garden, projects

these are the gorgeous plants my friend kris grew and gave to me for our garden; just take a gander at the thickness on those tomato stems—whoa. and there are basil, eggplant, squash, cucumber, parsley, and pepper plants too—a little of everything. i can’t tell you how grateful i am that kris includes me in her list of plant recipients every year.

then this morning i went with beckie to an organic plant sale at crown point farm, a local ecology center.

i added to my tomato plant collection and got some thai basil. i would have taken photos, but it was mobbed (though it was a polite, cheery mob). as well it should be—the plant selection was fantastic, with both unusual and more common, favorite varieties represented. the health and beauty of the plants was impressive. i was a little overwhelmed with the crowd and the selection, and forgot to go back and pick out a few of the interesting squash varietals i meant to try. oh well, that’s what next year is for.

it was very efficiently managed, too, so we were done pretty quickly and home again by 11 am.

which means that i can knit the rest of the day. but first, a few photos of some new socks i just had to put on the needles in the last couple of days (don’t worry, the second mitt is on the needles, too). i’m trying not to get carried away; i have immensely enjoyed working on one sock at a time, and finishing them quickly during the spring. i’m between big projects though, and this was bound to happen. i figure that with three started, i have stuff laying around to grab and go for a while.

first—and most momentous, i think—i have finally succumbed to knitting up some socks in a bamboo blend yarn.

i KNOW. it’s only been around forever, now. and debbieKnitter has only been extolling it’s virtues (wears like iron, steve loves it, etc) to me for over a year now. and i’ve only had this yarn in my stash about the same amount of time. so long in fact, that briar rose no longer carries it (there were issues obtaining it on a consistent basis i believe). i’ve always been squeamish about starting something with it. i worried that it would not feel nice between my fingers when i knit, that it would be too shiny, that it would make a shapeless sock. i guess i’m just not very adventurous.

i have several skeins of it though, and i thought david might like some socks that he could maybe wear on warmer days. i dunno—suddenly it made sense to try it instead of just conjecture on what i might not like about it.

and now i feel like a total jerk—because i love it, and i do think it is the answer to making him some cooler, long-wearing socks. DUH. the colorway is beautiful (natch), but i really like the way it feels both to knit with and in the fabric; it’s not at all limp the way i thought it would be (based on the panda wool i’ve seen people knit with in class—nice for babies and kids, mebbe not so sturdy for manly men). and the shine simply doesn’t jump out in the fabric, the way it does on the skein. just in case, i picked a stitch that would work with the shine and i probably didn’t even need to.

jeez, i think i might have to try a tencel blend next, too (i’ve used it for a shawl, but not for socks yet.). hmmm, should i be scared of myself when i’m in this mood?

then i got a much-awaited package in the mail from adam

it’s a different batch of the same colorway i talked about a couple of weeks ago, this time in a new yarn base that adam is currently dyeing with (the sport weight i had, he no longer carries). so, we are off to (caterpillar) races once again with this project, yay.

i know it’s a little silly, but i’ve had this project on my mind for over a year, and it just won’t go away, so indulge me this. and look, now we have two colorways to play with. adam is a little worried that the mustard/gray mix (bottom, formerly known as grey poupon) might not work with the stitch pattern (p-shaw—i SO see caterpillars there), so he dyed up a nearly solid colorway as well, just in case.

now, you know what i think? i think that the original colorway is still my first love, and that it looks just like a monarch caterpillar. and the other one? love that too (ok, maybe just a little less), and that one looks a lot like a wooly bear caterpillar. (and just look at what that one becomes . . . are you gasping?)

anyway, back to the yarn—it’s incredible. it’s a bit heavier than a lot of other merino sock yarns—but not enough to go up a needle size or anything—which makes the fabric knit on 2.25mms nice and sturdy-feeling. it’s higher-twist than some—a plus in my book—but not so much that it feels too texture-y, if you know what i mean. in addition to his selection of nerdy goodness, adam has a wonderful feature in his shop where you can even order a custom color. and he has spinning fiber, too.

adam will be producing kits for the sock (hopefully in both colorways. hint, hint, this is where you might want to leave a comment if you have a strong opinion—wooly bear or monarch), which you will be able to pre-order as soon as he gets a link up in his shop.

lastly on the knitting list today is the yarn for the next little nothing

i know we have purple fans out there and i’ve got a cute pattern for this silk/cashmere blend from lilith at this one will work up a bit quicker since it’s a fingering weight. it is the color of those incredible deep, dark purple iris that are blooming about now (or maybe they’re over most places, but it seems i saw them here still).

ok, then. i’m going to toddle off to knit and get ready for a spinning class that starts here tomorrow. the first week is always chaotic; beginners get easily frustrated because spinning can be surprisingly hard to get started with (though, once learned, it feels almost like idiot work, albeit elevated, heavenly idiot work). it should be good blog fodder too, hehe.

i’m baiting them through the first week or two with the prospect of a trip to the wooster fiber show on the third week (can you believe it’s almost memorial day again??). wish me luck.

12 thoughts on “bamboozled

  1. I, too, see caterpillars! Their little stripey bodies line up perfectly in the yarn and your pattern. Both colors are great. Your whole entry is great — nourishment for body and soul.

  2. Oh, yummo on the yarn pics! I just love all the yarns you get, and the colors are so beautiful. Can’t wait to see what you create with it all!

  3. The plants look great, we have a local market that sells nice ones like that too. I love the yarns you have aquired and look forward to hearing the spinning tales.

  4. I definitly see the caterpillars in the varigated colorway and I absolutely love it. They look great I hope he makes kits with that colorway.

  5. Thai Basil? Wow! I would love some of that. Remember how I envied your tomatoes last year? I have FORTY-TWO tomato plants to plant!! What was I thinking?! They are Heirloom, Green Zebra, Black Prince, Cherry, and Big Boy (you know, you gotta love the name!)!!! We have a vegetarian restaurant here, that serves an Heirloom tomato salad in the summer, with basil, mozzarella, olive oil. . . I love it! You see where this is going? I just don’t know where I’m going to put them!
    As for the socks, I love BOTH of them. You have to make both. Both. Both. No option.

  6. You make me smile…I had flipped the calendar and thought I’d try the caterpillar stitch for a sock. Then life stepped in and I didn’t get to it. And then, by the time I get to my desk again, you have a caterpillar all knit up for me to look at! You’re amazing!

  7. You know just telling us all about all these wonderful yarns and projects just keeps us salivating!

    I so wish I could take a spinning class from you. I know I would love it.

    Have a great week!

  8. Monarch. I like the purple too. A lot! And I wish I could take any class from you! But spinning would be especially good. I need to spin more. Right now I can’t stop sneezing and sniffling enough to even knit much let alone spin. Stupid hay fever seems to have raised it’s ugly head for some unknown reason.

  9. Holy Cow! I leave for a few days, and a whole crop of new knitting projects comes up! I want to be you when I grow up 😉

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