When You Fall, You Fall Hard...

...off the knitting wagon. And blogging wagon, for that matter. Some things happened, and some other things, and then some things... no sense rehashing that now though, it's all old news. I'm starting fresh. 

I have an embarrassing number if UFOs (to me), so I picked one that was fairly close to being finished. Remember the Tilted Duster? A little sluthing determined that the last time I mentioned it here was in October. The last photo was back in September (go, search if you must - I'll wait). It was in a holding pattern waiting for a certain book to arrive. It arrived all right, and I even experimented with my fancy-pants plan for the bind-off edge (using tubular BO for double rib!!!) and then... nothing. I did manage to participate in the Knitting Vintage Sock Swap, though I failed miserably at getting my package out even remotely on time (I was about, oh, 6 weeks late or so). I even failed to take a single picture, which is highly uncharacteristic of me, but luckily my swappee, Cherie, both liked the package and posted a few pictures on Flickr. They even fit her!! The pattern is Child's Sock in Miranda Pattern, from Knitting Vintage Socks (duh). The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill in Green Mountain Madness.

Anyway. Tilted Duster. I pulled it out of the closet and decided that if I attempted to bind off in tubular BO for double rib (which actually looked quite good on my test swatches) would take me 23 more months to finish (it's a tad intense). Instead, I finished the last pattern repeat on the skirt, bound off normal (I think it's called one over bind-off?) and picked up the stitches for the collar. This all happened last night. I have since knit about an inch and a half of the collar. I only had about 100 stitches to pick up, since I used a slip stitch edging, instead of 130 (or more) but there was no way I was going to add extra stitches to the picked-up edge. One-hundred stitches (102 actually) it is, and I'll only go back and "fix" it if it looks really bad. The thing that really ticks me off about the whole thing is that if I had just buckled down last fall I would have had another sweater in, like, two days. Seriously. The sleeves are already knitted and I have the buttons for the closure. All I need to do is finish the collar, set in the sleeves, and weave in about a million ends (I have no idea why I did not do this as I went, but TD looks like the FSM right about now).

No photos of TD, but I do have a couple of non-knitting views to share.

Lactuca sativa

Lettuce, my friends. Growing in a window box on my balcony. This was one of the "crops" I planted last November. Surprisingly, everything has survived, and some things have done exceedingly well, including the lettuce. I have planted seeds from 2 different packs, "Pot & Patio Blend" and "Wild Garden Mix". I don't know which are which. I do know that lettuce appears to be one of the easiest things to grow from seed in small containers. What could be better than stepping outside to pull a few fresh leaves of a variety of salad greens to put on your sandwich or to toss with a light vinaigrette! I highly recommend it to everyone. (It is much better than watching sad supermarket heads of lettuce, shipped from who-knows-where (probably Mexico) wilt in your crisper. Cheaper too. And prettier.)

Tropaeolum minus

Nasturtiums, Tip Top Alaska variety, also planted last fall. I had originally planned on having the nasturtiums climb up the rails of the balcony to partially disguise the ugly that is the car park below, but they never got very tall. Upon further research I discovered that, whoops, this variety is a "compact border variety". It only gets to about 8" tall. Hmph. Well, the foliage is very pretty anyway (its variegated - it's supposed to look that way!) and nasturtiums are edible (both the leaves and the flowers). I'm hoping they will bloom in the spring.

You saw the favas last time. They are doing incredibly well, not to mention are really interestingly pretty and fragrant, and my two varieties of peas (snow peas and snap peas) are blooming now too. Peas like cooler weather, so I think it was a good move planting them in the fall to give them plenty of time to grow before the heat sets in. Maybe I'll take some photos next time.

Cheered by my apparent success, two weekends ago I planted some more of the seeds, so as to insure a continuous harvest. Both varieties of lettuce that I planted (I do like my lettuce) sprouted in just under a week, and the ching-chiang after about 10 days. I have hopes for the basil and delfino and parsley, though the seeds are getting a bit old. I still dream of the days when we had 3' tall basil bushes in San Diego (I'm not exaggerating - they were bushes, and they were 3' tall; I should have taken photos, no one believes me). Will 2008 be the year of the basil bush? I've got new chives going as well, and most of the woody-ish herbs from last year (marjorum, thyme, mint, catmint) are still doing well. Next I need to figure out what my design plan will be for the balcony.

Did I mention spring is here?


At 6:39 AM, Blogger peaknits said...

Good to hear from you - sometimes life is just like that and you need a break. I hope everything is getting on track for you and can't wait to see that Tilted Duster.


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