tenacity and adaptation

Posted on Posted in designing, projects

a wise weed once said: “when your stem weakens, lean on a rock and get on with it.”

i have no idea what this weed is, but suddenly, this year, we are overrun with it between the pavers out back. and since we don’t have tons of time to deal with weeds this week, they are blooming. and they’ve turned out to be so pretty, now i don’t want to pull them out. sigh.

we are destined to have a city wilderness out there.

ugh, we are in the second week of gray, drizzly, chilly weather. typical month of may in NE ohio.
i wonder if i’ll ever get used to it; in NYC (where i used to live) may is one of the two most dazzlng months of the year (the other being october). i enjoy NYC throughout the year, but i think anyone who lives there will agree there is a certain joie vivante in the air during those months, and sadly, though i instinctually prepare for it each year, i haven’t experienced it in ohio. no matter—july and august are splendid here.

still i tried to find a couple of things in the yard to perk me up. there’s been a tremendous slowdown in new growth out there, so there’s not much emerging now

these hydrangea buds on my climber are just beginning to open. and that weed up there.
we still don’t have our vegetable garden in but we’re working on it. by the end of the weekend we should be done, and then there will be lots to keep an eye on as the plants grow, flower, and bear fruit.

but i did get a few good shots of this, which has been chasing off the chill and gloom

this beauty arrived yesterday from jocelyn. how incredible is that?? and these photos really don’t show off the richness of that green to its proper advantage.
jocelyn and i decided to gift our star shawls to each other, after we’d finished them . . . isn’t that cool? i love that sort of exchange; we’ve been working together for a while now so it feels extra-special to know that we each have something the other has knit.

and in an oddly wonderful turn of coincidence, she received my package yesterday too, so we even got to celebrate together.

yesterday in class i worked on the second diamond sock—no, i haven’t finished the first (not even close!), but while knitting the first one i began wondering if the stitch motif would look better flipped in the opposite direction,

here is the first sock, on which i have now completed the heel. see how the purls form a ridge at the top of the stockinette heel? it makes a nice contrast. flipping the pattern will change the look and place stockinette points at the top of the heel, which might be more flattering to the ankle than that purl ridge running straight across (i have thick ankles so i’m sensitive about these things . . .).

i decided i really needed to know right away which i’d like better, and started the second one to get a comparison. in my mind (sorry to mention the scary place), i like the second one better already, but i’m trying not to be biased.

(BTW, steve says: “now that’s a sock.” he probably doesn’t give a whit about which end of the motif is up, but i’m happy that he’s happy.)
i haven’t gotten to the heel yet but already there are a couple of things i like better. with the purl-end up the motif makes a much nicer contrast and transition from the ribbing than in sock #1

which then makes the little stockinette pyramids really pop. so on that alone i made the decision to write the patten with the motif reversed. my only concern is that at the toe it might look a little blah, but actually i’m not THAT concerned. the stockinette points will make up for it.

ok, now that i revealed how very much indeed i think about knitting stitches throughout the day (and night), and actually catch myself conversing to myself about and with them, i feel like i’m standing here in my underwear, so maybe we should move on to the next item.

i started a scarf. a deep, squishy, yummy, warm one . . . this is what this weather is doing to me. i’m knitting with the same (luscious) yarn and stitch motifs as the mitts i finished the other day . . . it will be a lot more stunning when it gets longer.

the first caterpillar sock is almost done, but i’ll save that til tomorrow. i am spending most of the day writing a pattern for a big project that remains unnamed. and thinking about another big project i CAN talk about to be started soon. then this evening i am going to knit with my buddies (and greatly looking forward to getting away from the computer).

ok, time to get back to the drawing board.

41 thoughts on “tenacity and adaptation

  1. Wow. Strange as it seems to me, I actually see what you mean about flipping the pattern on the diamond sock. It really does make the overall pattern stand out more.

  2. Too much grey and drizzle here too. My garden is still so sad looking.
    The shawl is beautiful. I have always loved the idea of a knitting exchange and often find myself sending shawls off to friends…it would probably work a bit better if I had plans to receive one in exchange, but I like to send them anyways!
    The scarf is also looking beautiful!

  3. Right now, I like the second sock better, too. But I really liked the first sock when it was at the same stage as the second sock is now. The first sock seems to have flattened out in its overall impression. It will be interesting to see how the two compare when both are done. Are you planning to go with a “mismatched” pair? Or are you going to reknit or knit one to match the winning design?

  4. I agree flipping the pattern has made a huge difference! I can’t wait to see it completed. I think I am going to knit that shawl pattern, just need to make sure that I have enough of the yarn in my stash first.

  5. I learned so much from this post! Who knew that just reversing the knits and purls would make such a huge difference? (Well, okay, you did.) I agree, version 2 is much more crisp-looking. I like it better too.

    And I think that when a weed is pretty enough, it automatically becomes a wildflower. So you have wildflowers between your pavers, and if you like them, then it’s okay to leave them there. 😉

  6. If it helps, it has been a cool rainy may here in the NYC metro area this year. But I do agree, normally May and October are the most spectacular months.

    The shawl is really beautiful. I am such a fool for green! Lovely!

  7. I like your second sock better too, the relief and shape of the diamonds is so much more apparent.
    And what a lovely shawl! It rivals any of the plants in your garden…

  8. I hear the weather should shape up just in time for the weekend. hooray!

    I’ve been meaning to tell you that I am now completely infatuated with spinning and have spun up all the denim wool I had Sunday, plus two other bumps I bought over the last year. Everything is plied, even. I feel like I’ve finally gotten the hang of it! hooray!

  9. My goodness. What a thrill to see the green shawl in your garden! There will be pictures of the blue shawl posted tomorrow (when I have good light to show off that lovely blue!!)(and when I’m willing to take it off of my chilly shoulders, ahem). I love the way the second sock looks — I wonder if doing a star toe would play up the downward pointing knit triangles? I spun wildly last night to be ready for some mitts! 🙂

  10. I love that you and Jocelyn traded shawls. Fun! Definitely like sock #2 better. Love how the purls come down from the ribbing, and the knit triangles grow down… Yup. Much betterer.

  11. May is definitely one of the perks of NYC. Now August on the other hand…UGH! It’s like living in soup.

    The scarf colors are gorgeous!

  12. I think the weed is daisy fleabane, but maybe New England Astor is another name for it? That’s one that doesn’t bother me, so it gets to live. Both socks look nice, but I think I like the more subtle patterning in the first sock. Maybe you should finish both and photograph both of them for the pattern you will be producing and give instructions for each version.

  13. It’s fleabane. Very useful plant. But then to me all plants are pretty useful. Not a ‘weed’ among them.

  14. The green shawl is beautiful! (oh that reminds me, are the kits up yet? gotta remember to go look – drat – after talent show…)

    I agree about the sock. And I think your mind must be a fascinating place to visit. I don’t think I’s have the stamina needed to live there though. I don’t know how you do it!

    There’s a climbing hydrangea?

  15. May and October are spectacular in NYC…I’ll always be a New Yorker in my heart. I like the second diamond sock better, too!

  16. I love the shaw. such a beautiful pattern too. We keep saying “we need to plant a vegetable garden”but as of this day no garden out there that I can see. We may just end up without one if we don’t get on it.

    I somehow happened onto your blog and am so glad that I did.

  17. I really like your deciding to run your diamond socks with the diamonds running up and down. I did a pair using the diamond idea as a starting point but wanted pyramids turned sideways to make pennants to represent the Red Sox winning the World Series last year. I love the different look you get with geometric shapes simply turning them different directions in different types of yarn. Mine are on Ravelry under HokieKnitter but they’re not half as striking as your’s are.
    It’s the first blue sky day here in my part of VA, too, and it’s usually in the ’80’s by now. I still haven’t dared put any tomatoes out.

  18. I hate to say it but I like the second sock better too. I like how those little triangles pop out. I is very pretty yarn!

    I love the scarf even better than the mitts. I am definitely gonna have to make that one!

  19. So much to see today!
    I would have to say my heart goes to the second sock too, though I didn’t know it would till I saw it. The top looks crisper, neater, and I like your reasoning about the heel etc.

    I also endorse daisy fleabane as what I know your little out-of-place wildflower by. I like it. New England Asters bloom in the late summer to fall, though in the same family.
    Thanks for taking the time to take pictures and share, with all you do!

    And, by the way, though I may not talk to stitches much except occasionally as I do them (pleading or scolding!), I do have stitch dictionaries by my bedside; frequent bedtime reading.

  20. Without reading through all the above, I’m probably repeating. Right now, the second sock has a much more clearly defined diamond/pyramid pattern. And I think it holds up better to the colour variegation.

    When I’m awake at night, usually worrying about undone things at work, I deliberately think about knitting instead – stitch patterns, construction of pieces, some sticky spot I’m in. Doesn’t help me sleep faster, but I’m a much happier tired person. And I’m not willing to get up and actually knit at whatever hour that happens. There’s a reason I’m in bed!

  21. Doesn’t everyone talk to their knitting? Oh…huh…well, at least it’s not just me! =)

    It’s funny; I looked at the sock pictures before I read the text (I’m impatient like that sometimes), and I was thinking almost your exact same words; the ribbing looks better, and the pyramids do stand out beautifully in the second sock.

    I hope your springtime gets more springy. Ours did the same thing. It started out warm, sunny, and gorgeous, and now we’re back to raw and rainy. Summer is coming, though…

  22. we call that flower “magurit” in Danish, and it’s a flower not a weed (but I guess that depends on whether it is wanted or not).

    I like the second sock better too, but my mind might also just be a scary place!

    Off to study for exam (good to have nice blogs to look at in breaks).

  23. I like the reversed purl sock, more organic, less organized and straightlaced. Just as I was reading about it, I was thinking: But what does Steve think? ha ha ha

  24. Are you going to the Great Lakes Fiber Show in Wooster this weekend? It should be a great weekend for it!

  25. Jocelyn is such a sweetie – and that shawl is so YOU! Green is perfect!
    I’m working on my Star shawl and so enjoying the pattern.

  26. Anne- The shawl looks beautiful in that color- I don’t know who got the better deal there.

    It’s really cold up here- hoping for some warm weather so I can enjoy my porch.

  27. Oh, I love the weed picture. It’s a poem in one photo. I definitely need to think of this. I Wish you had notecards with this image on it. Hint, hint.

    I like the 2nd sock, too. There is proof to the doubtful, of how different knitting can be “upside down.”

  28. As an architect, I think Steve will appreciate the details of the motif change. There are few on this earth who care about such things. As a former architect and current knitter myself, I believe architects to be of that breed.

  29. You’ve got to pull up those daisy looking weeds. They multiply like bunnies! I don’t know what they are called either, but I can’t seem to get rid of them.

  30. The tenacity of that little weed reminds me of an old Sci Fi novel called “Earth Abides” and I do believe she will, no matter what. This was a shining example…
    Thank you for showing the shawl in a different color. I liked the pattern, but I *really* like it now (and will purchase), since seeing the pattern stitch just a little more clearly in Jocelyn’s version. Not to say that yours isn’t absolutely, perfectly beautiful…

  31. That weed photo, with your title as a caption, would make a wonderful motivational poster. I’m not generally much for such things, but in this case, it’s so touching, I’ll make an exception!

  32. Wow Anne, your shawl from Jocelyn is just yummy beautiful. You are lUckY!!

    I have to put my two cents worth in on the socks motif (even if it doesn’t count lol ;))! I agree with you whole-heartedly! Plus one other thing, the stockinette points just look “better” to me somehow pointing “up” (I don’t know why).

    I LOVE the looks of the new scarf you are knitting, the yarn and colors are so pretty.

  33. So much in this post!

    1 – I like the new orientation of the motif, but I loved the subtlety of the first. Either way, the socks are great.

    2 – NE Ohio – where I was born and bred (shouldn’t that be bred and born?). We always did the big garden planting on Memorial Day, so you aren’t behind.

    3 – Both you and Jocelyn have wonderful shawls. I watched yours develop on her blog. I’m glad she led me to your blog!

    4 – Fleabane, yes. Not such a nasty weed as it is easily pulled and doesn’t bite you when you do it, unlike thistles.

    5 (really relevant to an older post) – Does the Brambler pattern have any tendency to curl? I’ve been looking for the right pattern for some luxe yarn – this may be it, but I don’t want to fight curl.

  34. If it’s any comfort, this May in NYC has been cold and rainy with only a day here and there where it’s nice and optimistic out.

  35. I really love sock #1, I guess I march to a different beat 🙂

    Anne you are so prolific, do you knit in the shower? heh

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