Monday, April 28, 2014


It's a sentiment that's echoed across great swaths of our country right now: I am so grateful for Spring. Grateful for green grass and sprouting perennials and gentle rain instead of snow.

I've mowed our little yard twice and feel thankful to need to do this chore.

This weekend I went to the IMA Perennial Plant Sale at our art museum. The grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art is one of my very favorite places. Each year they bring in perennials and have a weekend event to raise money for the museum. (The awesome list of plants is here. The only plant I wanted that they didn't have from the list was the Phlox paniculata Mystic Green.)  The sale is very busy and very well organized, and they always have interesting perennials I wouldn't find at a big box gardening store.

I came home with some gorgeous plants. Most of them are still small and not blooming, but I can show you pictures from the magic of the Internet that will show what they hopefully will become.

These are a few plants I bought.
Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost' image from here

Echinacea 'Pink Poodle' image from here

Linum Perenne 'Blue Sapphire' image from here

I also bought another Heuchera, and a couple wild gingers, an impulse green Rudbeckia, and... 

I planted them yesterday and it rained last night. That always feels like a gift from the Universe, a blessing to welcome the plants to their new home.

Knitting has slowed down now that there's green outside, but I do have something on the needles. Being lace, it looks like a wad of ick, but I have faith it will turn out okay.

Utsukushii (mine ravelled here), 

Happy Spring!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Chevrons, Please

One of my goals for this year was to make a pillow. I've been thinking about it for a long time, but I never got around to actually doing it. Putting it on my list of goals gave me a better shot at following through. I love to mark something off a list. I decided I'd do one of the chevron pillows from Knit Simple Holiday 2013.

Then I realized I didn't really need to mess with two different yarn colors. I bought three balls of Universal Yarn Deluxe Worsted Long Print n grayscale from Webs during their sale.

Why not let the yarn do all the work? I used the pattern from the Jaywalker socks (I've made 3 pairs of Jaywalkers--here, here, and here--it's a great stitch pattern) over 95 stitches.

Jaywalker Chevron Pillow (mine ravelled here)

I knit the front and back panels separately. Once they were finished and blocked, I sewed three sides, fit it over a 18" square pillow form, and sewed the fourth side closed. The pattern suggested inserting a zipper into the fourth side so you could take the cover off and launder it, but I don't know how to put in a zipper. So, I just sewed it shut and will hope any spills on it can be spot cleaned.

I'm proud of the way the seaming turned out on the top and bottom. I flipped the pieces so the zigs of the front fit into the zags of the back.

Still remaining on the 2014 goal list is a steeked sweater, namely the Falling Stars kit I purchased. I'm not sure I'm ready to tackle that yet. I've been avoiding it for at least a couple of years.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Saturday, April 12, 2014


The Curveball socks are finished. And not a moment too soon, let me tell you.

Curveball (mine ravelled here),
knit in Cascade Heritage colorway 5662

They're very pretty, and I will wear them all the time. I've found that I do not have enough red socks. The only other plain red ones I have are the Be Mine socks. Turns out that I wear red a lot.

But oh my wool, they took attention to knit. There's nothing wrong with the pattern. However, it's exactly the kind of pattern I don't enjoy knitting: Lots of purls and the sort of pattern that leaves me tied to the chart.

One would think that I would learn that this isn't the sort of sock I find fun to knit. I mean, it's not the first time I've done this to myself. Remember the Inlays? Tons of twisted cables and tied to the chart. How about Garden Gate? Those were even harder than the Curveball socks.

Yes, these are really cool. Yes, I love baseball. I love knitting. I love socks. Therefore I love these knit socks that celebrate baseball.

But seriously, a note to self: Stop doing this. Find easier patterns. You do not get extra credit for knitting hard stuff that makes you grumpy. Knitting is supposed to be fun.

In that spirit, I've started a pair of broken rib socks for Andrew. Much better.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Swirly Retirement

My mittens are wearing out. My Swirly Mittens 2.0 were finished in the summer of 2010, so they've had four winters of hard use. I should not complain about that.

I was still deeply saddened when I saw that they're wearing out. I've patched them in three different places, but I have to accept that the fabric is getting really thin in the places that get the most use. I cannot darn them forever. This is the latest hole:

I've darned them once again, but I think they deserve to be retired, perhaps to take a place of honor on a shelf above the fingering weight yarn. I imagine in the middle of the night, the mittens will tell stories to the skeins of fingering weight yarn, stories of their creation, of falling snowflakes, of holding a leash and a snow shovel and a bag, of being pulled on and off and being stuffed into coat pockets time after time after time. The skeins will sit in awed silence, hoping that someday they, too, will transform into something beautiful and useful and loved.

Damn. Now I feel guilty about all the unfulfilled yarn in my stash.

Before next fall, I need to knit myself a new pair. I've been narrowing down the choices. (You can see them on Ravelry here if you want.) For right now though, I'm still in mourning.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I Do Not Think That Means What You Think That It Means

I love my local library with my entire being. I grew up in a small town back in the day before interlibrary loans were very prevalent. We had a small library. You found a book on the shelves and you liked it.

Now I live in a city. A city with lots of books! And movies! And the ability to make suggestions for purchase! 

The world is at my fingertips. I just request something and, like magic, it shows up at my local library for me to pick up. You do not understand how exciting this is until you've lived years and years in a small town.*

Today I searched for the book Zen Confidential: Confessions of a Wayward Monk. The search yielded two results. One was the book I wanted.

The second was the fifth season of Deadliest Catch.

No system is perfect.

*With a great library and great librarians, don't get me wrong. They just don't have the resources that cities do.