Wednesday, May 6

Energetic, Rooted, & Spare

Today's essential oil blend: frankincense, elemi, yuzu, patchouli.

Tuesday, May 5

More Knitting

Here's what I've finished lately. The star is this new Clapotis, in pink.

I was desperate for an early spring scarf; it had to be soft and beautiful and fun. It also had to be adaptable, so that it could keep me so warm that it could replace winter's sweaters and cowls, and yet unlike those winter woolens it could easily be unwrapped to provide a little less warmth, for balmier days. And it had to brightly chase away winter's drabness. With the black and white Clapotis I had the right yarn, and the right pattern, but not the right colors. So I chose another colorway, "rupestre", which after a quick search seems like it's named after a flowering sedum. It's really the perfect color for me--I thought it might be, since the lipsticks that suit me are usually this color too. And the color goes well with my favorite dark green trench coat. I wanted this scarf so much that I spent two days doing nothing but working on it, in order to finish up the second half.

I also finished two more Ariosa Cowls. Brioche is such a relaxing way to knit, it somehow seems to pleasantly stretch the hands after lots of regular knitting. The first one is my favorite, in Silk Garden scraps:

And the second one is with Silk Garden Chunky, a yarn with a softer texture but duller colors:

This pattern is so hard to decipher. I got stuck on the join, even though I'd done it once before, and even our brilliant knitting instructor took awhile to puzzle it out again. This time around I drew a diagram for myself, so I hope that for future Ariosa Cowls that'll be easier.

Since finishing these projects I've mainly been knitting a Karius with Kauni EQ, a rainbow yarn. It's a simple pattern, great for knitting while traveling as I was. I'm now setting that aside to focus on the Baby Surprise Jacket, which is made much easier, because Schoolhouse Press just published a new version of the pattern, which is far more detailed and accessible to the not-quite-genius-knitters among us! All of which was great timing for me. I'm still swatching and deciding which yarn to use, and having lots of fun with color.

Saturday, May 2

May Day Play in the Dirt

I spent yesterday doing some long-awaited gardening. It's traditional for me to start gardening later in the year than is ideal, but in this case I was waiting on a new planter... and then I was waiting on a replacement part... and then there was the ski trip and so on. Oh well, it's sort of luxurious to start gardening on a very summery May 1st. I even got a pleasantly mild sunburn.

There's isn't much to show for it yet. I shifted a lot of potting soil (full of marigold and violet seeds) from planters and pots that are being given away or retired, and transplanted a lavender, late tulips and a straggling patch of violets, as well as some gooseflower roots that I hope are still alive. I also brought our Christmas tree outdoors and moved the worm bin. And I planted some seeds: morning glory, moonflowers, sweet peas, scarlet runner bean, butterfly bush, mammoth dill, and flax. Here are some pictures. On the further end of our porch you can see the old planters which still hold soil and plants. As far as the rubbermaid bins go, one holds extra potting soil, and the other one is what we receive our grocery order in, we just store it out on the porch.

I think for this year I'll add some organic fertilizer to the potting soil, order another planter, use up a lot of my old "what was I thinking buying all these" seeds, and fill in with some transplants from the nursery. As far as long term decisions go, I'll leave most of them to next year. In general I struggle with this kind of small scale gardening because there's so much that I want to do, I try to do a little of everything and the containers end up rather chaotic. I think that the kind of porch garden that would make me happiest at this point is a low-maintenance one with greenery in the winter and flowers in the warm seasons, as much vines as possible over the porch rails, and a modest production of vegetables such as cherry tomatoes (mmm).

I also brought some chickweed that I was pulling up into the kitchen, and added it to a turkey and cheese sandwich that was sadly lacking in greenery.