Spring is definitely springing around here. The weather has been spectacularly beautiful for the last couple weeks. Warm and sunny, hot on some days. The garden is growing as if it were June already. Proof below… check out the incredible wildflower meadow beside my deck!
Not only do we have this glorious field of purple and gold, we have the promise of fragrant blooms. This is especially wonderful since we planted four new lilacs two years ago and last year’s buds were all frost-killed due to an unseasonably hot March followed by a very cold April. Just looking at the blooms swelling, I can almost smell the loveliness.
Clearly, the garden has been intensely creative lately. As for me, well… despite evidence to the contrary above, I’ve been pulling misplaced plants and tidying the garden. I am trying to embrace my inner ecologist (hang on… I am an ecologist) and accept the wildflowers (not weeds) which grow abundantly in my yard. We’ve been out on the deck barbecuing a lot lately. Many dinners in the warmth, even back in April. I’m sure we’ll pay the price for this early spring delight but I’ve been enjoying it as much as possible.
I haven’t been drawing as much as usual but I have been knitting plenty. Two projects going now. The one on the right is Dreambird… 1/2 to 2/3 done. The one on the left is Jaybird.
Had to add Jaybird to the WIP list because I needed something I could do without thinking about the pattern while waiting for various piano, swimming and squash lessons… and orthodontic appointments.
I mentioned in the last post that things have been very creative around here. Less zentangle than usual and flurries of other activities to abide by the “create every day” rule. Does spring cleaning count as creativity? That’s been going on as well. But mostly, daily tangling has been sidetracked by a flurry of knitting.
Friday was the first day of a KAL (Knit A Long) for the Dreambird shawl. To prevent abandoned wip guilt, I spent a lot of time leading up to last week finishing the yet to be named wrap that was on the needles. Both are shown in this post.
So… the Willow green/yellow wrap is done. Ummmmm. Kind of. I ran out of the yellow yarn and thought I was at the finish line. I finished the last colour stripe and bound off the wrap. And I took it outside to see if I liked the colour or not. I like it. I think. Maybe. Only one problem. Unless I shrink by about 3 feet and 100 pounds, there is no way it’s long enough to be a wrap for me. Lesson #3 on this wrap… triple read the ball band. I needed about 400 meters of the yellow. I had been looking at several possibilities and neglected to triple check. It was the other skein that was rejected that had 400m. This one only had 250m. Oops. Frog it or find someone tiny to give this to… hmmmmm.
The good news is that I have two balls of each of the yarns for the Dreambird. There will be leftover yarn, I’m quite sure. I showed the yarn choices in the last post about it. Yup, I did. Guess what? I knit the first feather and background sections and didn’t like the green. So much for swatching to confirm my choice, eh? Friday afternoon, I stopped by one of my favourite yarn shops and found a perfect sock yarn to use instead. Alpaca sock yarn… can you say soft? My feet might be jealous.
I took a picture of the progress so far. Four feathers done and lots to go. We had a bright moment in our dreary spring morning so I lay the wrap out carefully to take its picture and went to get the camera. This is the resulting photo.
Finally, spring has sprung. The sun has been shining. The temperature has been well above freezing. The buds are swelling. I saw spring bulbs pop out of the ground in a neighbour’s garden. The birds have been singing their hearts out. The weather has been teasing us. It snowed on April Fool’s Day and I barbecued in the snow again last night. But… spring is coming. I can feel it.
Still need another wrap. KAL starts next Friday. Yarn has been chosen, and swatched. Yes, Stuart, I’m taking your advice. I’m pretty sure I won’t change my mind at the last minute. The pattern sits on my desk in front of me. Can’t wait to cast on. Want to join me? The pattern is Dreambird by Nadita Swings on Ravelry. The pattern is available for purchase through Ravelry (about CDN$5 after the exchange). The photo really doesn’t do justice to the lovely, subtle colours of the yarn I’ve chosen. Misti Alpaca, in a dark, cool green and Noro Silk Garden Sock Yarn. Did I mention that I can’t wait to cast on?
First, I have to finish this one. In addition to being another layer to wrap around my neck this piece has been a second exercise in getting continental knitting into the muscle memory. The pattern is a wickedly simple but effective one called Sonnensegel by Ulrike Altrogge, free on Ravelry. When I chose the yarn, I thought that the solid was a lighter tone of the green fleece beside it. Beautiful spring willow green. Exactly what I need while the grey muck of winter’s end is hanging on. I was indoors under fluorescent lights. I should have taken the skein outside for some real light. Lessons in yarn selection that I’ve learned in the past but apparently forgotten. Always check in natural light. Hmmmm… it’s very yellow, isn’t it? Second lesson – if you start knitting and the colour is wrong, stop knitting! I continued anyway. Should have frogged it early on and chosen a different solid. Too late now since it’s a fuzzy mohair blend and I’d sooner rip out my eyelashes than try to frog that. Don’t get me wrong, the colours are lovely together, very vibrant. But yellow is just not my colour. If I don’t finish it before I start the Dreambird, I’m afraid I won’t pick it up again and I’ll have another WIP that gets pushed to the bottom of the pile. Then again, maybe the yellow is greener than I think. Really depends on the lighting and the proximity of the green fleece. I’m going to continue knitting and decide when it’s finished.