First, the sweater.
See what I mean? It's too big.
this is Anne Hanson's India Print Henley, from Ann Budd's new top-down sweater book. I knitted it out of Fibranatura Flax, seven skeins, and just barely made it. I love the pattern - it's a lot of fun, and because it is knitted from the top down, there is absolutely not a single itty-bitty bit of seaming to be done. Happy day!
I spent the better part of the morning working on another kind of project altogether. I should say at the outset that gardening is not one of my strong suits. I love fresh produce, and I adore cooking with fresh herbs, but if living things can't jump up and down and demand to be fed, I tend to forget about them. (This means that pets and kids do just fine in my house - plants, not so much.)
(In fact, by way of quick proof, look at how well the chickens are growing!)(That is not their coop; it is their mobile chicken run, which allows them to be out in various parts of the yard during the day without us worrying about cats/hawks/dogs getting to them. Once they are fully-grown, they may not need it, but they are not, and they do.)
I have a garden bed that I dug out of the gravel parking pad the previous owners of the house had laid (cutting down two producing peach trees, if you can believe), but it's down the driveway, and easy for me to forget about, and given my aforementioned issue with keeping plants alive, and plants' demonstrated inability to make loud noises to attract attention, well. You can imagine.
There is an odd bit of space by our front walk that up until recently had been the home of many of the kinds of plants that the previous owner liked - palmy, subtropical-y types of things (not my cup of tea)(in fact, he had a habit of layering such plants in front of the plants that were already in the yard, which means that we have a half-acre of wildly over-planted property, and that I dislike half the plants we have; alas, they are often the plants that Rick likes). In the ten years since we've moved in, it had gotten immensely overgrown, and was utterly dominated by a sago palm that was at least six feet in diameter (I am not exaggerating here)(the sago took up almost the whole space on the left of the picture below, between the post and the black pot). Not only that, but all the growth was utterly blocking any light from getting into the room that is Rick's office (you can see that window in the second picture). So I decided it was time to clear it out. This worried Rick, for whom change is a bit daunting, but I convinced him (it helped that we decided to try transplanting the sago, so it felt less like whole-sale destruction). I should have taken a before picture, but once we got it cleared out, this is what I was left with.
I spent yesterday gathering things - plants, soil, pots, etc, - and once Rick headed out for a bike ride this morning, this bit of space and I spent some quality time together. I pruned the camellia. (And now, of course, that I spend blood sweat and tears trying to get it under control without getting rid of it, Rick agrees with me that it really doesn't belong there.) I planted and potted things. I arranged and rearranged. At the end of several hours of work, I ended up with this.
I have also been working in fits and starts on Color Affection. My gut feeling is that I'd be further along with this if it weren't for the fact that managing the three balls of yarn isn't easy. It's not so much having three balls on the go that's the issue, as the fact that they're those flat little balls that yarn like this tends to come in, which are worked from the outside in, rather than center-pull. This means that it's not possible to just have them sit nicely in a bag whilst I knit; they have to be able to roll around. It makes this less good for knitting in meetings than I'd hoped.
I've cast on for one more thing, and bought yarn for yet another, but I think those can wait until next time. It's time to settle down and knit by my incipient garden for now.