Posts Tagged ‘garden’

Quiet Signs of Spring

My house smells like spring.

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I’ve never tried forcing bulbs indoors before, but it was a really good idea. This hyacinth smells so good, and it really is wonderful to see something blooming this early in March.

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There are also some tantalizing hints of spring outside. All of my spring bulbs have sprouted, and the overwintered alliums (garlic, chives, etc) are beginning to look happy and energetic again. We had 3 days in a row where the high was over 60 this week.

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And a sure sign of spring in the knitting world? Lace knitting has returned! I’m seeing more and more Ravelry and Instagram friends casting on lace projects, and my own lace shawlette test knit is underway in my Rav group! If you’d like to join in, be sure to check out the link!

Updates

So I suppose ya’ll are wondering where I’ve been lately, huh? Well, the biggest part of that answer is…work. Not the fun designing kind, but the (usually also fun, but currently exhausting) kind that pays the bills. I won’t bore you with the details. Instead, here are some more exciting things that have been keeping me busy.

strawberries

The garden is in full swing, with newly ripe strawberries every day, and plenty of blossoms on the blackberries and peppers. My tomatoes always seem a bit behind the rest of the garden, unfortunately. Last night we had some seriously unseasonable cold (although not frost, thank jeebus) and I had to get quite creative covering the more tender plants, most of which have been in the ground a good two weeks already.

shawl

Here also is a peek at an upcoming shawl design I’ve been working on. It’s deliberately smooshed and low quality, but you can probably get a good idea of just how lacy it is. It’s quite an involved little sampler of a project. I’ve also been back and forth a lot lately with the publisher and tech editor of that pattern collection I worked on all last summer and fall. These sort of things take an obscene amount of time compared to self-publishing, but it’s in the final stages now!

Now that test-prep is pretty much done with and it’s really just full on test-mode for the rest of the school year, I’m not bringing home quite as much work and am thinking again about KALs. There hasn’t been much input in the polls thread, so if you’d like to participate in a Feel Good KAL, please chime in! Likewise, if you’re interested in donating a prize I’d love to hear from you too. I have a few possibilities in mind already, but more is never a bad thing!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy “Do I get to pinch you?” Day, as my students seem to think of it. As you’ve probably seen in my previous posts, I have plenty of Irish heritage. However, St. Patrick’s Day in the U.S. is arguably not much about Ireland anymore, if it ever was. The kids and I did celebrate today though, with plenty of green and shamrocks. Hubby and I will also celebrate tonight with some Netflix and a pint of Irish red he brewed up for the occasion.

mohair sweater

Because I teach elementary school, the above sweater won out over my traditional Aran today. Sadly that may be the closest thing to knitting I get today, judging by the number of papers I have left to grade tonight. I am busily working away at two upcoming designs though, neither of which are quite ready for sharing yet. So in lieu of sneak peeks, here is some green from my garden!

daffodil bud crocus bud

I DO Believe in Spring, I do, I do!

Looklooklooklooklookit!

green

GREEN. The hyacinths have made an appearance, although worryingly the crocus have not. There are daffodil shoots poking their heads out of the leaves too! Every year the calendar says spring is coming, and every year, towards the end, I worry that it might not actually be true. But here is evidence!

I don’t even care that my kitchen floors will look like this for the next 2 months,

mud

or that my shoes and dog won’t look any better. I’m not sad about putting away knitting because honestly? Air conditioning is frigid here in Virginia. The knits will be made and worn all summer long. Besides, we’ve still got a few more weeks of frosty mornings for hats and blanket knitting. I went for a run today. Outside. As if I live someplace humans actually want to live. Spring might actually, finally be here. So excited!!

March is the Cruelest Month

Yesterday it was in the upper-40s here, and rained heavily. By evening most of the snow on the ground had melted off, and I noticed that my hyacinths were peeping up through the mulch out back! It was fabulous, and I wanted to share with ya’ll, but it was twilight already. So this morning I got up and aimed my camera out the window at the flower bed…

snowy hyacinths

Crap. It’s definitely snowing again. I knew it was in the forecast, but as warm as it was yesterday I just didn’t quite believe it would really happen. At the time of that photo there was about an inch on the ground, and my poor hyacinths may already have been done for.

romp

By the time we took the pup out for a romp after lunch – and boy does she ever romp when there’s snow on the ground – there was probably about 6 inches on the ground. At this point, the snow is up to about the middle of the wheels on the cars in the street – so 8 inches? Maybe? It is still snowing quite hard.

hot cocoa

Hubby and I are thoroughly snowed in. That means it’s time for hot cocoa (with a shot of Bailey’s, because this weather is not fair), Netflix, and a nice WIP for me. Come and get me when it’s spring.

P.S. I’m taking advantage of the extra time at home to make some plans for an upcoming KAL. Come take my polls here; I could really use your input!

New Toys!

I finally managed to replace my camera!

camera

Photo from the Amazon site.

That means no more cruddy cell phone pictures for you guys! The camera’s a bit more fancy than my previous, so I’m not entirely sure how to use all the features yet. I’ve got a pretty good handle on the basics after a quick couple experiments in the garden though.

garden

Did I mention how excited Hubby is that the irises turned out to be more or less Redskins colored? I’m more excited by how happy all the garlic next to the irises looks. The other new toy I got today isn’t directly crafting  related, but it does keep me sane enough to feel like knitting.

running shoes

New running shoes! They look so fun and shiny and clean in that photo, straight out of the box. Of course, within literally 10 minutes of taking them out of the box I was out the door on a run and they were muddy. So much for pretty! Aside from the fact that they’re a bit hotter than my last pair of running shoes (that counts on days like this where it’s in the 90s out!) I like them a lot. They feel lighter than my old pair, the laces stay tied, and they don’t make my arches hurt (yet). Plus I always feel so virtuous when I wear out a pair of running shoes! All in all a good day.

Purple People Eater

That was my nickname as a child. While purple is no longer my favorite color, there certainly has been an abundance of it around here lately. We seem to be in the “purple period” in the garden. Literally the only things blooming right now are purple flowers.

flowers

Specifically, while the crocus are pretty much done, we have hyacinths and anemone going. Please forgive the leaves everywhere; our white oak held on to some of its leaves all through the winter, but has apparently decided April seems like a good time to shed them.

In addition to the purple outside, a field trip and a party last weekend mean I had plenty of time to work on my purse socks. Indeed, one is finished!

purse socks

It uses the same cable as the Flutter sweater, with two of them on the instep and four on the leg. And of course, it’s purple!

Spring Fever

It’s been crazy-pants around here lately, but of a productive variety. I’ve put together 4 different swatches since Friday, and have managed not to neglect the current WIP (not listed on Rav) too terribly either. I’ve also put in an embarrassing number of extra hours at work and fulfilled a bunch of family obligations as well. I can only blame it on Spring Fever. Mother Nature is so busy getting stuff done; I can’t help but try to get stuff done too. Look what all this gorgeous weather has gotten me:

strawberry blossom

Strawberry blossoms!!!

Flourishing Fields Update

Last summer I got a new camera, and posted about how much better it is than my old camera. I’ve slowly been using it to take improved, updated photos of some of my patterns, while I also update the format of my old patterns to be more consistent.  It has been very slow going because I’m only doing it in my very limited spare time between current designs and the day job.  I channeled by typical springtime craving for all things green, and have completed my update of Flourishing Fields!

fields cover

Flourishing Fields, by Christina Loman

If you are a previous buyer, you’ve received an updated copy already, free of charge, via Ravelry or an email sent by Ravelry. Whether you are a previous buyer or not, know that the content of this pattern has not changed. These are still fairly simple cuff-down socks with the exact same cables as before. All that has changed is the format, plus a few new photos. Enjoy!

buy now

Contrast

So, it’s March. The robins came back weeks ago, my little garden is greening up nicely, and the daffodils and cherry trees are all full of fat little buds starting to open. It was in the mid-50’s yesterday.

tomato sprouts

The potential for yummy is growing!

Unfortunately, Mother Nature gets a little schizophrenic this time of year. It’s a good thing all of my plants are in movable containers, because I’m home for a Snow Day today. I woke up to this:

snow

Why yes, this is the closest to measurable snow we’ve had this year.

I know Spring tends to be indecisive and full of extremes around here, but the 2nd Snow Day of the year? In March? Really? Oh who am I kidding? I’ll take a day to sit at home and knit anytime.

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