Slippery Slopes

I find weeding the garden to be a very slippery slope. It all started earlier in the week when a playdate for my daughter resulted in the acquisition of some sedum plants that my friend wanted to be rid of. I planted them immediately — so excited to speed the landscaping project I’ve been slowly working on as my own plants get big enough to split. This led to added garden ambition yesterday.  I started by removing a diseased apple tree that had to come out. Then I had a big hole in the bed it was at the edge of so I transplanted some native flowers from the back yard to fill the space. Then I started weeding out the grasses that had been overtaking that bed. That made it look empty (there were A LOT of weeds), so I transplanted an echinacea. While walking the weeds back to the compost, I saw that hosta I’ve been meaning to split on the side of the house & the Russian sage I’ve been working on wrapping around the corner. So I split the hosta and spread it out to where I have been intending to move it. And monkeyed with that sage a bit. Then I started thinking about just diving in and doing a bit of a big wildflower transplant I’ve been planning. Thankfully it was dinner time, so I managed to step away from the shovel.

Another slippery slope – of course — is knitting. While I didn’t knit a ton this weekend, I did check off some big items from my to-do list that have been on said list for much too long.

First, I finally  worked up a small test swatch for my Sixareen Cape to be sure the bright pink would not bleed when I wash & block. I have had this project finished for well over a week, but it has sat. I have been dragging my feet on blocking not wanting to know if the pink would bleed, terrified that it would. This project definitely needs blocking and I have been kicking myself for the last month knowing I should have done a test swatch early on — you know, like back when pre-washing yarn would have been an option — to know if bleeding would be an issue.  Hindsight is 20/20 though, isn’t it? Especially when I have the ‘new project’ goggles on. This weekend though I finally worked up a small test swatch made from the pink (rosa rugosa) and white (egret) figuring this would offer the clearest indication as to whether or not I would have a problem. To my delight, there was absolutely no bleeding. I am officially set to wash & block this big project. I will probably throw in a good glug of vinegar just to be on the safe side, but I should block it within the next day or so, so it’ll be ready to share soon.

Next, I rewound & weighed my odds & ends leftovers from the Sixareen Cape. I was happy to discover I should have enough leftovers to knit up Kate Davies Peerie Flooers with them. Yay!

Then, of course, I finished up my Shalom Cardigan.shalom close-upWhile I certainly have the yarn left to do it & I have been considering adding sleeves since I began, I decided it would be much nicer as a vest. Perfect to just throw over a long-sleeved shirt to run the kids to school this fall. It is just a smidge more snug than I would have ideally liked, but I am fairly certain I will gain what I am looking for in washing & blocking. If for some reason I don’t, for a vest, it is just fine.

shalom-1I will share more photos once I get it washed & dried.

Having finished this sweater, I started another. Partly because that was the plan & partly because I couldn’t find my US1 to start a pair of socks (I found the needles this morning while cleaning my desk).

beginningThis is Rusted Root by Sarah Johnson (or Sarah Moore — the pattern says ‘Johnson’, Ravelry says ‘Moore’). This is a new designer for me & so far the pattern is just fine. I am a little bummed at the lack of a chart with the lace portion. I find charts make lace work much easier for me. Written instructions take me at least 3times as long to work from because — as silly as it sounds — I very easily lose my place with written instructions. I definitely prefer having a visual. I realize I could write my own chart from the written instructions to use, but I am apparently not that desperate to use a chart. But I digress.

This project is also my first time using yarn from Green Mountain Spinnery. Not normally available to me locally, I acquired this yarn in the find of the century at a thrift shop a few years back. Normally sold for almost $15/skein, I bought this yarn for $0.60/skein — the thrift shop’s designated price for a skein of yarn.  Yes, this sweater should cost me about $3 to make whereas if I bought the yarn today it would cost $72 + tax & shipping. Having spent some time with it now, I would gladly pay the $72! This is Mountain Mohair in the Raspberry colorway. This yarn is very comparable to Brown Sheep’s Lamb’s Pride worsted  as it is a single wool/mohair blend.  The difference is how the color is blended. The best way I can describe it is to explain via pixels — if we were comparing pixel sizes, the Mountain Mohair would use larger pixels than the Brown Sheep. Instead of relying on the dye to create the raspberry color, I can see the blending of purples, mauves, pinks, white, and bright red. The resultant color is just lovely — rich with variation to add personality, but masterfully blended. I am not sure if this is blending is characteristic of the yarn or just the colorway, but I will definitely be looking closely when I can see it in person at the WI Sheep & Wool festival where Green Mountain Spinnery is slated to be a vendor.

Finally, I popped in at my local yarn shop, FIrefly Fibers to pick up supplies for two upcoming projects.

henrie's yarnFirst, some Cascade Pima Cotton. My in-laws will be visiting later this week & I have promised my mother-in-law that I’d help her get started on a Capitol Square Market Bag. The plan is that I will work on the bottom before she arrives so she can dive right into the openwork section.

riptideSecond, I picked up an extra 2 skeins of Sweet Georgia Superwash DK. I’ve had 2skeins sitting in my stash since earlier this year & have started two different projects with it. The reason I failed? Really, I just want to make a particular sweater, so nothing else is measuring up. So, I finally just succumbed to the reality of the situation, bought the pattern & extra yarn necessary (while the same dye lot is still available) and am ready to go with it. I’ll tell you more about this project another day though.

For now, I must go as there are many preparations which need attending. Cleaning, washing, scrubbing, and — most of all — trying to avoid starting a monster gardening project 3 days before house guests arrive. It’s all a slippery slope though and the temptation to just keep tidying EVERYTHING is strong…  Wish me luck!