Spin and Spring

I’ve finished a few more spinning projects and thought I’d share them, matching them with a corresponding early Spring photo from our yard.

Handspun Wool/Alpaca/Silk
Emerging Spring - Wild Ginger

Approximately 835 yards of 2-ply yarn, spun from about 18 oz. of alpaca, silk and wool fiber. I’ve matched it with some delicate wild ginger coming up through some rocks.

Handspun Fairy Blend
Emerging Spring - Moss

The sparkly bits in this luxurious blend of alpaca, bison, wool, ramie and tencel remind me of the wee shoots of new growth on a patch of moss. I spun approximately 170 yards of 2-ply yarn from 2 oz. of fiber.

Handspun Alpaca & Silk
Emerging Spring - Hepatica

And, this 70/30 blend of alpaca and silk, spun from 4 oz. of fiber and yielding 190 yards of 2-ply yarn, is paired with one of the first flowers of Spring (at least in our yard) – Hepatica.

Apart from some stubbornly cold temperatures, I think it’s safe to say the spell of Winter has been broken.

Goals, Growth and Gains

May is a big month for us. For starters, Virginia sets herself a goal of knitting 52 pairs of socks each year, with May being the final month. She made her goal, ending with a cabled sock knit using lovely Casbah yarn. The pattern is by Cynthia Levy (Ravelry link)

Socks (52 of 52)

May is also when plants really start to take off in the garden. Last year, I spent a lot of time hearing about all the growing things on a secondhand basis, and imagining it weeks at a time from my very beige and closed-to-the-world room. I am happy to say the tomatoes, peppers, beans and who knows what else I started are faring pretty well.

Bean Sprout

Two days after I took the picture of the above bean sprout, it was practically a foot high. And, our potted tomatoes seem to be enjoying their location on our deck. Portability equals access to more sunlight in our tree-heavy yard.

Potted Tomato

Of course, not pictured here are all the wild and crazy weeds that also love this time of year. But, green is good and being able to get my hands dirty is also good. Even while tackling the toughest of weeds, I need only remind myself of last year, and the chore suddenly turns into a privilege.

And, last, but certainly not least, May is when we gain another year on our anniversary count. As of May 26, we will have been married 9 years.

May 26, 2001

Time flies, a lot good and bad things happen. But, I believe, not a better pairing will you find.

May 26, 2001

Much to See, Much to Do

The problem with waiting so long between blog posts is that stuff starts to pile up. Unfortunately, I’m going to leave you with a bunch of stuff to look at, but not much to read (it’s a beautiful day and our yard is calling to me).

Virginia finished up another crochet afghan. This one is made up of granny squares, using Jamieson’s Spindrift.

Crochet Granny Square Afghan

(More photos can be found on our Flickr page)

She also finished a tank, knit using Louet’s Euroflax Linen.

Essential Tank

The pattern is the “Essential Tank” by Wendy Bernard in her book Custom Knits.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any finished socks. She’s started a renewed effort to knock off 52 pairs by the end of May (I think she’s at 40, having started last June).

Socks (36 of 52)

Socks (37 of 52)

Socks (38 of 52)

Socks (39 of 52)

The Garden
I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to feel the sun and dirt on my skin. There’s nothing like being shut up in a hospital room for three month-long periods, and then told to not go near the stuff for the rest of the year, to really make you appreciate the sore muscles, new calluses and dirty hands that come from playing in the yard.

Brick Path in Cutting Garden

Our “cutting garden” got a bit of a facelift with a newly-bordered brick path. And, speaking of cutting gardens, our house has vases in practically every room. Nothing brightens the room more than a bouquet of daffodils.


I was also given a couple of black raspberries from a coworker’s yard. They seem to be thriving from the transplant, and hopefully will even produce something this year.

Transplanted Black Raspberry

No more talk. Must go play. So, if you are thinking about staying inside today… get off your ass and get out there. Enjoy the fresh air, sun on your skin, dirt in your fingernails.

Spring Fever

It would be an understatement for me say I can’t wait for Spring, and the warm weather it will bring. We had plans last year of taking some of our yard and using it for growing some staple veggies (tomatoes, red peppers, beans, etc…). Needless to say, we were thwarted in our attempts. And, as I spent last March and April observing the changing of the seasons from my hospital room, I couldn’t help wondering about the year to come. Well, Spring is around the corner and I’m plowing ahead with last year’s plans to start some seeds indoors and get some homegrown goodness to enjoy this Summer.

Seed Packets

It might be a tad bit early to be starting some of these plants indoors (given that the danger of frost doesn’t end until mid May). But, I’m starting them anyway… well, at least some tomatoes, red peppers and some hot peppers. Perhaps I will start some more in a couple of weeks and stagger them in the hopes of staggered yields come July and August. We shall see.

Peat Pots

I’m no farmer, but it sure is fun to think about dirt and sunshine and fresh food growing. So what if I’m a little early?