Here it is, May already, and it is finally spring. It tends to come on sporadically here in Colorado, but, because my other big thing is gardening, it does tend to divert me a little from knitting mode. This year, our heavy snowfalls and a couple of good rainstorms made for a record crop of weeds, so I have kept up my weeding and mowing and mulching, and dug two new garden beds, both small. The flowers have lasted in this cool spring, and they’ve been everything spring flowers ought to be.
The apple tree, unless we have one of our hailstorms—which can turn an entire garden to something resembling cole slaw in ten minutes—will have a crop, and a huge one. Here it was in bloom, with every flower a prospective apple. Two years ago, a June hailstorm destroyed the crop, and much else, and last year it was a late snowstorm just at blooming time. I’ve got my fingers crossed
This year, with luck, Alex the Postman and I will rent a cider mill and press, and turn the crop into cider. I’ll use some apples to make and freeze pie filling, too. But I will never again can 15 quarts of apple sauce, as I did three years ago. The spare apples go to a friend who keeps alpacas.
Spring inspires me really to look at color, and think about color schemes for knitting. The deeper green leaves and blue flowers of forget-me-nots, the fresh green and white of lily of the valley, the many colors of the iris, the tulips and grape hyacinths all make me consider colors I don’t often consider using.
But, yes, I have been knitting. Jannette’s Rare Yarns had some tempting but otherwise unaffordable discontinued Rowan yarns on deep sale. I turned a bag of ten balls of Bulky Tweed into this sweater, which I’d thought was for fall, but wore nearly every day for the last three weeks. A quick knit, on large needles.
After some careful measuring and swatching, I sort of freehanded this, and worked it upside down, not knowing how far the yarn would go. The pockets came first, as duplicate swatches. Then fronts knit up from the rolled waistband; the back the same. Then I put them together, applied the doubled collar, and picked up for the sleeves. When they were done, I picked up under the rolled hem for the waistline, thinking I’d knit until I ran out of yarn, but even after the button and buttonhole bands, I had enough yarn left for a hat. I love the colors.
And I’ve just finishing this big shawl/afghan for an old friend from my grammar school days, who is facing 15 weeks of chemo for lymphoma. It’s just a big mitred garter stitch square in various greens, blues, and purples, some from stash, some from a local sale that gave customers 30% off on every yarn in the place. This was inspired by both what I had and by a season of greenery, grape hyacinths, forget-me-nots, and now the blooming iris, not to mention the blue and white school uniforms we wore as girls. Pleated skirts, and middy blouses with detachable collars! We are getting old, aren’t we?
Otherwise, in news of interest: The Red Scarf Project has changed its timing. It will now be accepting scarves from 1 September through 15 October for fall giving that will serve their college students—all kids coming out of foster care—for the entire winter. See their website for the new schedule. Even in high summer, a wooly red scarf isn’t too much to manage, so please do make at least one, and send a photograph to one of the knitalongs (you can Google up several), or to me, for posting here.
If you haven’t subscribed yet to the new Cascade e-newsletter, I’d urge you to do that, http://www.cascadeyarns.com We’re trying to figure out how to archive my columns for those, and maybe even the ones for yarn shop owners, either on the Cascade site or with this one.
As we approach Memorial Day, and the weather gets warmer, I hang the bunting on the porch for the summer, and get ready to knit out there on warm summer evenings. My next project is a classic Breton sailor’s jersey in red and white, using Cascade’s Sierra cotton. Now I have to catch up with patterns, or recipes—as I call some of them—for you. I promise I’ll do that.