fruit of the vine

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

our strawberries are ripening one after the other now and each day we pick a few more. the first day we each ate one, but now we’re saving them up til tomorrow when we might be able to actually make a dessert with them.

(i just love looking at the delicate white and greens ones, too)
david figured out the the “critter” who ate the first two was a slug; since then he’s been holding vigil over the plants and snatching the berries before another attack. he also started saving coffee grounds to spread around the plants (slugs hate caffeine and scratchy stuff like grounds and glass).

in the slug’s defense, it was at least considerate enough to eat the whole berry; only the stem and a trail of slug slime remained.

while i was out there this morning, i took another look around to make sure everything else was slug-free and what i found next just about floored me

and not only that but this

these are the plants from my friend kris that got a worrisome sunburn the day i put them in the ground. they seem to have recovered . . . i don’t think i’ve EVER had tomatoes on the vine this early.
now, i’m not saying that planting by the biodynamic calendar is what’s making the garden so happy this year, but i’m sure as heck gonna do it again next year. every single thing i put in on planting day is growing like it’s on steroids.

the only thing not growing?? the asparagus (grrr), which did not go in when the calendar said so.
even my spinach seeds have germinated close to 100 percent—a FIRST for me—and are producing big, lush, dark green leaves.

beckie came over last night to join us for supper and knit for a while on her sweater. i dunno why, but i didn’t get a picture of it—next week i will. she also helped me out by modeling the roger shocks for a photo shoot.

the socks, unfortunately turned out to be a little small on david but they fit beckie perfectly and she is turning into quite the sock model (sorry kim, i have to admit, she’s giving you a run for your money . . .). when i started art directing things a little, she informed me that she’s seen enough modeling photos to have learned the ropes already. and truthfully, she’s right; she’s a breeze to work with.

i got started on a new scarf while we chatted—i noticed sunday night that i am heading for TNNA with a serious lack of take-along knitting. i have just four projects on the needles; one is secret, one is too big to take anywhere, and another is too complex to work on while consuming alcohol socializing in a rowdy party professional atmoshphere—not good travelers.

and i have just one sock project on the needles at the moment. i thought a couple of little scarves might do. i have a skein of shivaya cashmere lace in the beautiful sea grass colorway that i’ve been wanting to break into

i realized recently that i have no scarf in this cheery green, yet it’s a color i gravitate to. i played with a couple of stitch patterns (cashmere is very soft, so it often takes some experimenting to find the right thing), and settled on this little variation on a trellis or grapevine pattern. it is JUST the ticket—i already have it memorized and it weighs nothing to take along. perfect.

the night before last, i got out a skein of fibre isle pearl bison, a merino/seacell/bison/cashmere (is that enough luxe for you?) blend that sylvie sent me a while back. it’s been wound in a ball for several months because i thought about using it to knit hoarfrost, then decided to go with a blue colorway. so it’s been at the front of my queue, waiting for me to decide what to knit with it

the yardage is just enough for a little scarf in a very open stitch pattern, i think. i’ve had my eye on this motif for a while—i keep seeing royal flags in it. the yarn complements it well because it has a tight twist that gives the stitches a crisp edge. this will make a very pretty accent scarf at the throat of a jacket or sweater or even a dress—not warm, but a real attention-getter, i think.

monday during classes i worked away on nightingale and added another repeat or two

it’s definitely growing—i’ve been making sure to spend a little time on it every day or two and that’s working out well. now that it’s bigger, you can really see the soft washes of color throughout the piece that really make it for me. the subtle color changes are the perfect accent to the delicate lines created by the yarnovers and decreases in the sheer fabric. i can’t wait til this is done; i know already that this is destined to be one of my favorite dress-up pieces.

seeing as i am leaving friday for columbus and TNNA, i better get back to work now. i’m hoping to finish my secret project before i go and i must get david to model his own namesake socks today for a photoshoot so i can release that pattern soon. by the way, you should see the killer pair that jocelyn made for chris’s booth—she wrote a nice blog post about them yesterday. and carol c knit a pair too, but i can’t find her on ravelry (send me your link carol!).

alright, off to take care of the rest of today . . .

30 thoughts on “fruit of the vine

  1. Anne, both your plant projects and your lace projects are growing nicely! The pearl bison is so pretty! It’s definitely in the right hands.

    Tell David that slugs like beer. If you put little dixie cups of it around the plants (buried up to ground level), they dive right in! I think they’re cheap drunks, so you don’t need the expensive stuff.

  2. Yay for your strawberries! Ours have already finished producing for this summer, but we planted 25 new plants for next year. What is this biodynamic calendar you speak of? I want plants on steroids too. 🙂

  3. Another idea to rid the garden of slugs would be to sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the plants. Love the berries and the projects. It’s good that you have a few new projects for ‘socializing in a professional atmosphere’ at TNNA…lol

  4. Your strawberries look great! What time of year is the best to plant them? I am thinking ahead for next year.

    I love the seagreen scarf…both the color and the pattern!

  5. Your garden (and, of course, your shawls) are so lovely. I too had the best spinach year ever, and I picked the last of it today. But my “summer” veggies (peppers, squash, tomatoes) are still a long way from anything edible. The lettuce and broccoli are doing fine, though.

  6. I absolutely can’t wait for this pattern! You’re sock designs are the one that my husband likes. Believe me, it took a lot (I mean a lot) for him to leave the plain ribbed socks but once I started knitting your designs, we both were happy. Enough variation within the stitch design that I don’t get bored but not too much that Jeff thinks it’s “girly”

  7. Don’t drown the slugs in beer!!! Oh, my! No! Cruel! They are pests, though, for sure. Lovely lace.

  8. aren’t fresh (local) strawberries the best? My mom picked some at a farm over in paris last week and they were oh so yummy!

    such pretty new scarves! i think i’ve seen the trellis motif (or similar) in a stitch dictionary before and liked it then. it looks really lovely in that colorway – perfect for this green season!

  9. We had enough strawberries for a small helping of strawberry shortbread each. And i have a few tiny tomatoes, but i cheated and got a big plant at the farmers market. Perhaps I’ll bump into you at TNNA.

  10. Those are seriously delicious strawberries picked at the moment of perfection – just the right combo of tang and sweetness.

    Thanks for the tip of the grounds warding off the slugs! Much better than excurciatingly killing them with beer or salt.

    I’m ever in awe of how many items you are able to design and knit so quickly.

  11. Wow! Your berries are beautiful!!! They’re so clean! Our Farmer’s Market has had some beautiful berries…very sweet and juicy!

    Have fun at TNNA!!

  12. Hi,

    i also should have new scarves and i am waiting for the patterns…..
    and also this one which is growing, i am so curious

    the berries are wonderful, here ingermany, especially in baviera it is so could that they do not become sweet

  13. Can’t wait for all of these patterns, Anne! I also love being able to discover new yarns through your blog.

    You would love Germany in the summer/spring–white and green asparagus is everywhere!

  14. Everything is stunning as usual! Human hair clippings also work wonders in the garden keeps away most pests from slugs to deer.

  15. Lovely WIPs, gorgeous strawberries!

    Thanks for the coffee grounds tip. We have giant slugs in the garden – yeccch – and last year I tried some non-toxic stuff called Sluggo that seemed to work well.

  16. Thumbs up on all WIPs but the Nightingale is gaw-jus and my needles awaiteth patiently!! Since I have been known to kill silk flowers, your garden is amazing to me! Brava!

  17. mmMMMMmmmmmmm strawberries… I don’t think the strawberries up here in Manitoba have caught up yet…
    Love the grapevine scarf!!

  18. Anne
    You are all through a project I am doing. I am using Chris Bylsma’s Take Two jacket pattern, in Briar Rose fiber in the same colourway as David’s Christmas sweater, and am going to splurge on this gorgeous laceweight cashmere yarn by ArtYarn (Cashmere 1)from Knit-purl in the most beautiful lavender and use it for Fernfrost to go with the sweater. I think it the most lovely lavender I have seen, if it is close to their website photo an Knit-Purl. You are a Svenghali!


  19. Ha Ha!!!! Well Beckie is so hot and sexy, I can never compete!!!! She looks like she’s saying, “wanna piece o this???” I MISS BECKIE!!!!!!

  20. Sluggo is a really good product to discourage those pesky slugs – it really works, is non-toxic to animals, and safe to use around veggies 😉

  21. Our strawberries (in MD) are ripening, too. I have a problem with ants getting to them, so I am being vigilant in picking promptly. they taste so good!

    I may have to try that coffee ground thing for the slugs, though. I walk barefoot a lot and there’s not much worse than stepping on a slug with bare feet. UGH.

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