The Rough and the Smooth

In the last few days, the postman has rung the doorbell to deliver some fabulous stash-building additions – as if I needed them which I can always use. Leanne at Beaverslide Dry Goods sent these tweedie beauties, both of which are 100% fine wool:

Prairie Aster, on the left, is a deeper, richer purple in real life. It’s a 2-ply fisherman’s weight, 210 yards per 4 oz. skein, and knits up at 4 st to the inch on #8 needles. Wild Myrtle, on the right, is truly indigo, with lovely neps of softer blue and purple. Also 210 yards per 4.5 oz skein, with 3-4 st per inch on #8-10 needles. I first heard about Leanne’s lovely yarn over at Jared’s blog brooklyntweed, and can’t wait to try it. Thanks for the tip, Jared.

I also received the latest installment of Sundara’s yarn through the Autumn Seasons Club. It’s the Autumn Rose Silky Merino at the bottom of the following group photo. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. But is it autumnal? I’d say no. And that was also my immediate impression of the Copper Over Bamboo Silk Lace (at left in photo) which was my first introduction to the Season’s Club. I’d been expecting a series of yarns in deeper colors like the top two, Bronzed Sienna and Mossy Sock yarns. I agree with Amy at Stash, Knit, Repeat on this.

After reading about Sundara’s yarns for months on other blogs and always missing out when I tried to purchase them from her website, I was excited to sign up for the Seasons Club when she announced it. To be fair, I have never been disappointed in either the quality of the yarn or in the colors themselves. Sundara is an extremely talented colorist with some of the highest standards I’ve ever seen. It’s simply that I gravitate toward the warm, rich fall colors and expected from her description that that’s what I would receive. So although I may not sign up again for a yarn club because obviously the color choices are at the discretion of the seller, it’s been a valuable experience.

More excitement in the garden! With a couple of sunny days in the 60s following hard on the heels of a week of soaking rain (and we seem to be out of danger… looks like we don’t have to worry about another drought summer this year), spring has popped. A walk around the house revealed the following yesterday: Narcissus everywhere.

We had given up the vinca for dead once we ripped out all the nasty junipers from the front yard and started from scratch. Slowly over the last year it has made a come-back and now is in full bloom, creating a carpet of ground cover among the roses and daffodils.

Of all the hellebores planted around the garden, these dramatic burgundy ones are my absolute favorites. Vaguely sinister, they face the ground, concealing their dusky beauty until you turn their blooms upward for a closer look.

Of course, we could get another month or more of rain, but the respite is lovely. Last year, the new plum tree produced sparse blossoms, and even sparser fruit – in fact, there was exactly one plum on the entire tree, and that was IT. So I find it vastly encouraging that this year the tree is covered with buds. We pruned it back hard last month when it was all just bare twigs, and it seems to have appreciated the effort. Now if only some of those blossoms will develop into fruit for this summer.

More of the crocuses opened in the rain. Lots of the yellows, a few of the whites like these, veined with the faintest lavender, and I think I spotted a couple of purple ones getting ready to bloom as well. More soon!

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