i’m balancing as fast as i can

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

nothing—and i mean nothing (not even strawberry shortcake)—tastes better to me than fresh-picked spinach. i’m completely thrilled that we finally have a successful crop. i pulled up all the plants this morning, which amounted to about 2 pounds of edible greens from my 1-by-6 ft planting box. we’ll sauté these lightly in garlic and oil, maybe with slivers of that ronde-de-nice squash we picked yesterday to eat with baked potatoes and salmon. my stomach is growling just thinking about it.

(i can’t help it; i’m just a lot more into savory foods than sweets)

another way i’m going to balance my day is to knit in the afternoon. it’s been ages since i did, and the lack of noticeable progress in my WIPs is showing it. i was thinking about this while i was out in the garden this morning and i realized something important. knitting is my career now, but i still think of the actual knitting as a “treat”—something i’m allowed to do when all my other work is done. i’ve been caught in a mindset where i don’t feel like i’m “working” unless i’m at my desk. this was ingrained in me during the very short time i worked in the corporate world and it’s been hard to shake; for many years i worked at home or in other designer’s studios and had no problem viewing my tailoring and patternmaking as real work.

of course, at my desk, i can invent all sorts of “important” things to do, like checking email too often (and answering ones that could wait), looking at ravelry to see if anyone has questions, fiddling with patterns that could just as easily chill, editing photos, etc.

the same thing goes for my fitness routine, which i struggle to maintain now, after years of making time for it easily, every day. i used to see it as a non-negotiable, absolute necessity for healthy living. now, it makes me anxious to spend that time away from work. very unlike me. i have to re-teach myself to appreciate and enjoy the flexibility that i’ve worked so hard to create in my life.

it’s a little brighter today and i managed to get a few nice shots of the small projects i’m working on.

i wish the scarves were a lot longer than the last time i showed them, but i’ve only managed a few repeats on each. pompa, however little, had the honor of being squeezed and hugged at TNNA by sylvie, who created the pearl bison yarn it’s knit with. i just love the open trails that zig-zag across this fabric; it will read as a very decorative piece to wear with dark, simple clothes—the kind of accessory that changes an outfit a lot (so it’s a good one to bring on a trip where you can pack only one suit or dress).

like i said, i added a couple of repeats to my green scarf yesterday in the dentist’s office. i’m having a difficult time getting a great photo of the yarn color, which is an absolutely gorgeous grass green, with dashes of sky blue and gold tones to add depth. but when i take pictures, i’m getting nothing close. it’s either that or this

and neither one is very accurate. the top one is closer, i guess. trust me though, it’s even more beautiful in real life.
i’m still loving this stitch pattern—it’s just perfect for taking along when i might have a few minutes to knit. the motif is so easy to work and to recognize what row i’m on. and yet, the fabric is complex and very pretty, like i spend a lot more time working for it than i do.

my secret project is truly shaping up to be finished soon; i think i can get most of it done this afternoon and evening. which means i can then devote myself more fully to the other projects i have on the needles (like nightingale and the maze sweater), as well as start some new ones.

i finally got a nice picture of the sailboat sock today, too—you can see now that the little ripples that run up the foot and ankle look like trails left behind by the boats in the cuff. i had a little crisis over how to end the top cuff the other day but, thankfully i had students in the house for classes and they voted on a solution that works.

and i was able to finish it up. the sock is a little big for me; i should have knit the smaller size for myself. i thought working on 2mm needles would make them small enough but not so. when i start the dark one in the neutral colorway, i’ll know better.

we’ve had a very chilly, rainy week here—heavy rain, too (the tornado sirens even went off during spinning class last night). i have a bit of cabin fever, which might account for the sudden need to escape my desk. it’s trying to brighten up out there now, so we’ll see—maybe i’ll even get out for a ride to clear my head.

the garden loves this weather though—i think the tomatoes doubled in size

and they’re covered all over with flowers.
the eggplant is really spreading its wings now, too—the leaves are getting to be that large, majestic size that shades the fruit so well from the sun

i’m especially proud and pleased with the way my seed bed looks now—although everything did not germinate evenly (some of the chard varieties are really spotty), some stuff is doubling daily, it seems

the rapini (far right) and asian greens (far left) are doing their usual standout job, making me feel like a real gardener. and the beets are doing much better this year than last. some chard came up well and some didn’t—it seems to be a crapshoot every year with that. i have to be honest about something though—i’m not sure which chard is which, or which row is beets. they all look the same right now. the bright yellow chard is obvious and there’s a white one i recognize. but there is a chard that looks exactly like the beets at this stage so i’ll have to wait some more to find out which is which.

the weather has been just perfect for growing greens—cool and rainy for 3-4 days at a time, alternating with 3-4 days of heat and sun. they love it. this rapini might be close to the picking point—i’m waiting to see tiny flowers that signal it’s time. seriously, even if you have reservations about the taste, growing rapini is so good for your head that it’s a must. as it happens, we love it in a few dishes (like our favorite soup).

yesterday when i was taking pictures of the orange lilies, i noticed that the dark red ones looked about to burst open. when i went outside this morning, they had

and with that, i think i’ll keep my promise to walk away from my desk to knit. tomorrow, we release the roger sock and reveal its special purpose.

25 thoughts on “i’m balancing as fast as i can

  1. Funnily enough, I had salmon, roasted potatoes and fresh sautéed spinach for dinner last diner. It was absolutely delicious. I love the green scarf. I hope you will be selling the pattern — I already have a yarn in mind…

  2. Whether you are at your desk or not, you are very productive!

    The sailboat sock is so cute!

  3. Anne, I’m in love with the green scarf. I can’t wait to see the secret project you’ve been working on for a while. David’s socks are knitting up real well. Such an easy pattern to memorize. I can’t wait to give these to Jeff.

  4. I love the green scarf. I can kind of see the colors you describe in the lighter photo. I hope I get a chance to see the scarf in real life sometime. Maybe at Sock Summit? And I love the sailboat sock!!! It is definitely on the must make list.

    Looking forward to the surprise vis-a-vis the Roger sock.

  5. Your garden makes ME want to garden–and I have the opposite of a green thumb.

    I also hear you on the weather–it’s been rainy here this week, and last night my cabin fever got so bad that I HAD to get outside, rain or no. Biking in the rain is no good, but maybe you could go for a run?

  6. Your knitting and gardens look wonderful. Will you replant the spinach and get one more yield before it’s too hot? And I’ve been waiting for the Roger Sock!!!

  7. The knitting is looking gorgeous, as is the garden! I totally hear you about the way The Desk just sort of sucks one in, even when it seems like life should be able to accomodate more time away from it…

  8. I really like how the green scarf is coming along. Can’t wait to see it completed and blocked.
    Your garden makes me wish mine was further along but we had a late start to spring but the plants are growing. Your’s makes mine look minature though. Can’t wait for the Roger Sock and the surprise you have in store for us!

  9. “…the fabric is complex and very pretty, like i spend a lot more time working for it than i do.” That is what I love about La Novia too. I am making it now and am absolutely charmed by the beautiful lace pattern that flows from a few simple-to-work rows. Your flower pictures are gorgeous. My red lilies just opened this week too (in New England), but no pretty pictures, alas. I am enjoying them as much as possible between the raindrops before the dung beetles devour them.

  10. is there a place online where one could buy sylvie’s yarns dyed? i’m having trouble finding anything but “ecru” on her website. for some of her yarns, there are pictures of dyed versions, but when you try to actually buy anything there are no color choices available.

  11. Your garden is looking great….as is my favorite green scarf!

    I completely understand the knit guilt. I keep telling Ken…..it’s my job now, but some how it feels so indulgent to sit and knit in the afternoon.

  12. will you just look at all that spinach! wow. 2 pounds?! that’s a lot of spinach.

    I’m glad to hear that you’re looking at taking good care of yourself. Working for oneself out of the home seems to require even more discipline, in that it is easy to ignore good self care, and just work every waking hour. (at least that is what I have observed in myself).

  13. Your comments about what makes “legitimate” work rang so true, Anne! I, too, feel that if I’m not at my desk then I’m not really working. This is definitely why I am nowhere near as prolific as I’d like to be with new designs. As for the exercise regimen, don’t get me started!

    Love the Roger sock… another winner in your line-up. All best.

  14. I love your blog, knitting and garden stuff, great pics…. thanks for sharing with us…

  15. I just love reading your blog, always full of pretty pictures and colours! I’m envious of your garden, I wish I didn’t live in a tiny apartment.. To be able to grow vegetables and herbs must be wonderful!

    I have to ask though.. In the last picture of the socks, there is … something pink in the background. I was debating if it was rude to mention it, but curiosity took over! What is that?! 😀

  16. OOOOH. What a nice garden. I live on a rather windy hillside and it’s been just plain cold. My lettuce and brussels sprouts are happy but the tomatoes and pole beans are sulking, as are the peonies.

    A woman I knew in NJ quilted for money as well as for fun. She could always do the designing and piecing efficiently (desk, sewing machine required) but the hand-quilting for her “income objects” was a problem because it didn’t happen at her work table.

    She was fortunate in having a largish workroom. She moved a comfortable chair and a good working-light floor lamp into that room, and when she had an income piece (or a tight deadline – Christmas and birthdays come to mind) she quilted in her workroom. Quilting in front of the TV, and quilting with her quilt group or her friends, was for non-work objects (most of the time).

    The added benefit for her was that her children understood that when Mom was in her workroom with the door closed she was really working and was not to be interrupted except in urgent circumstances.

    Finding time for exercise is an entirely different challenge. I feel your pain.

  17. I love rapini. Sadly, I’m the only one in my family who loves it, so I didn’t bother growing it in my garden this year. Maybe someday the kids will come around!

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