Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Almost There

Ready for buttons!
All I have to do now on my Calligraphy Cardigan is attach buttons. I'm done both bands, and I even wove in every single little yarn end. I don't believe I have another sweater upon which I haven't ignored a little yarn tail under the arm or at the back of the neck.

I also found the perfect buttons at The Loop last week.

Aren't they pretty? I wasn't sure if they'd have quite what I had in mind, but it turned out what they had changed my mind. I'm easy that way.

I have a lot of yarn  left over, so I'm planning out some mittens or a hat- I think most likely a hat, because I have one extra button which I think would look cute on the hat band. I could go back and get another and have a matching button on each mitten but I don't think you'd see them, as the sweater cuffs are quite long.

I did another flower picture round-up:

Monkshood out front:

Purple coneflowers opening among the daisies. There are not nearly enough of them and I think next year I will start some more and double them up, so they add more color.

purple coneflower

Volunteer Violets

Volunteer Violets under the deck, that seeded from my pots last year. I could remove them, and keep a well-manicured, yuppie yard but they cheer me up every time I look at them- probably more than all the other flowers combined. Well, maybe not. It's hard not to smile at these:


And all of these:
flowerpots on deck

I am finishing up my new perennial bed along the front walk- once I get it mulched I'll take pics. So far I have a forsythia, two spirea, a rose and my weigela as the shrubs and I planted some vinca and red thyme as the ground covers. I know I will have to eventually move some of those but I don't want it to look sparse right now.

I've got another load of fiber to dye, and now that the boys are back in school, I think Thursday will be my color day. Whee! I'll take lots of pics!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Summer Knitting and Flowers

It's long past time for a blog post. I kept meaning to post all July, and update the blog with my alphabetiKAL progress and new garden pics. You'll have to just visit my flickr photostream if you want to fill in the gap. The delphiniums are worth going over to look at- they were absolutely gorgeous in their glory.

Right now, the stars of the garden are the daisies Daisies

The sweet peas
Sweet Peas

And the larkspur out front, which is blooming late and looking gangly- I figure due to the caterpillar assault it suffered in June.

The back garden bed is starting to come into its own. The lilies are done (they were gorgeous), but now the nasturtiums are getting going.
Back Garden

The night-scented stocks fill the backyard with their heavenly scent every evening. They're taller than I expected, so next year I'll plant them in the middle of the bed, and put the pansies at the edge.

The snapdragons I started from seed are just starting to open:

And the sunflowers that reseeded themselves are opening up too!

I'm excited about these because the varieties I planted last year cross-pollinated so I'm not sure what I'm going to get.

Do you remember that gigantic post all about how much of a pain that California Red fleece was? I did finish spinning it, and decided that for my August KAL project, I would knit it all up into a sweater. I found a great  pattern (Calligraphy Cardigan) with lots of stockinette which I figured would showcase the beauty of a hand spun, hand dyed yarn. I decided to dye it my favorite color of calligraphy ink- Shaeffer Blue-Black- but with more variation in the shades. This is what I came up with, and I'm pretty happy with it:

California Red & Alpaca

It was a challenge to dye- I decided the only way to ensure the colors came out more or less the same was to dye the whole 20 oz all at one time- and my dyepot is not that big- so I dip-dyed it and it worked just how I hoped. The skeins are not all exactly alike, but they are all similar enough that I don't have to worry about obvious, abrupt changes between skeins. In fact even the pooling is very well-behaved.

I was worried I wouldn't be able to finish a whole DK sweater in one month, so for the last 10 days I haven't touched any of my other WIP's and I have knitted like a fiend.

Calligraphy Cardigan

Um, I think I'll be ok. I might even consider picking up another project to give myself a stockinette break, because it does get boring, and my hand hurts after a while. (You know, like after three or four hours.) I love this sweater, though, and it fits perfectly (yay top-down!) and I am looking forward to wearing it this fall.

And I'm so, so glad I persevered with that awful fleece.