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.


Avi Abrams said...

The sweater does look gorgeous, so worth all this effort.
And the night scents in the garden are heavenly...

Crystal said...

I love sweet peas, too bad there is not a smell coming through the screen :)