Today I:

  1. pruned our plum trees,
  2. fertilized the azaleas, rhododendron, and camellias,
  3. sprayed an oil spray on the pear and fig trees to protect them from the customary spring aphid infestation,
  4. sprayed the peach tree against the dreaded peach leaf curl,
  5. and folded and stored the tomato cages (we just ate the very last one in our salad last night – hard to believe – it was one of the rock-hard green ones that took three extra weeks to ripen off the vine).

It was a singularly productive morning, reminding me that there is really no such thing as down-time in a garden. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been so sure that nothing much is stirring in the garden, but all that time outside today showed me just how wrong I was. There was this:

And this:

And several of these crocuses just beginning to stir:

With the garden in order, I can focus on other things, such as a week-long trip out of town starting Monday. Though I have the packing for colder weather to plan for, it’s the knitting projects I worry about the most. Which yarn to pack, and how much? How many sets of needles, and in which sizes? There are a couple more hats I’ve promised as gifts for others, and should definitely be able to knock those out.

I could bring yarn to finish the sleeves for my daughter’s cabled pullover, and probably should because it could fulfill my NaKniSweMoDo requirement for January, but for some reason long airplane rides put me in the mood for little somethings closer to instant gratification. Have also been swatching for a couple of secret projects, and might want to get those started.

At least the Drops jacket is complete, finally. That lovely and warm tweedy yarn is from the wonderful Leanne at Beaverslide Dry Goods, and the iridescent buttons are from the amazing notions floor at Britex Fabrics in downtown San Francisco.

The third – and final – collar version works for me (yay!) and looks just fine after the two butt-ugly unsuccessful earlier attempts. It needed a nice curve of short-rowing across the back for better shaping and drape. As difficult as it is to photograph oneself modeling a sweater, I’ve done my best here to catalogue the final version:

And then my husband arrived home in the nick of time to shoot a few more full body shots. If only he wouldn’t keep trying to get me to smile.

That big, obnoxious brooch on the collar was a bargain at Banana Republic not too long ago, and it adds a nicely gaudy and flashy discreetly sparkly finishing touch to the jacket. That’s me in a nutshell: I’m like a magpie. If it’s sparkly, shiny, or otherwise reflective and bright, I want it. Though the mock gemstones are not actually purple but more of a pale mauve that I would not ordinarily find attractive, they pick up the yarn color surprisingly well. The photos below are much more accurate in terms of the true color of the yarn.

Be back in a week, unless I find a moment to blog on the road!

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