Writer, Textile Artist, Plantswoman

Month: March 2024

Needlecraft Updates

Knitting productivity is rampant! I’ve blocked three shawl-scarves and started another shawl with Stolen Stitches, Cois Farraige (Seaside). I literally knitted myself out of a migraine last night with working out this pattern. Sometimes, when you’ve taken everything in your medicine chest for the thing, deeply concentrating on something other than your headache will get you some relief.

Two of the shawls were 1 skein projects I found on Ravelry when I looked for what I could do with two skeins I had bought when the yarn shop in Warren, RI folded. That was probably over 15 years ago and I finally was able to do something with them. I finished knitting them around Christmas but, since I didn’t have anyone in mind, they just sat there, unblocked, unfinished. Talking to a neighbor today, I learned that her sister, Patricia, is in hospice and I asked would she like anything… maybe one of these shawls. My neighbor thought it would cheer her up no end so I went straight to work with blocking it. It should be dry tomorrow and be ready to be sent up when my neighbor goes to visit her sister in Waterford city. That is the trick, for me, of getting something finished—figure out who will get it.

I’m not sure who will get this one, but since I was doing the one, I may as well do both. Normally I would block using the interlocking mats, blocking wires and pins, but that was being used for Patricia’s shawl, I took a leaf out of Carol Feller’s method of using interlocking exercise mats… more than twice the size of my fancy blocking mats. Well I didn’t have those but I did have my yoga mat! I just unrolled it and set everything up on the floor. My studio is DEFINITELY a NO GO area for the CAT now!

Finally, I have my Grianchloch shawl all blocked and finished. It is so lovely and light and soft. I can’t wait to wear it. I have bought MORE yarn for another just like it in blues for my dear friend June who is almost always wearing something around her neck 🙂

March may be half over but it can be a very long month if there’s no knitting to do. I don’t think that’s going to be a problem!

Signs of Spring Garden Post

While the weather is nothing to boast of—3 1/2″ of rain over the past two days, much of it last night—the temperatures are rather mild. A quick gander around the garden shows signs of spring that gladden the heart.

I planted 16 seed potatoes in two of the raised beds outside my studio so we could just nip out and dig some up for dinner in June. I might do a few in bags. I’ll be sowing peas in a week or so, as soon as I get fresh seeds from Quickcrop.

I’ll probably sow some lettuce in the greenhouse along with some Bishop’s Children dahlias and a few other flowers. It’s just getting warm enough to spend some time out there, although not dry enough to clear everything out and get things in order. Lots of things to pot up (dahlias, pelargoniums, and some peonies I got on sale that we’ll want to plant out in a new area.) But all that can wait until the end of the month. March is still too soon I think. Too much rain and too many weather surprises.

Grianchloch MKAL shawl done!

To be honest, the finishing of a knitting project is hardly ever my favorite part. Blocking, weaving in the tails of the yarn, all a bit fussy and laborious. And yet, on a misty, rainy day, with no new project on the needles, what else can you do? So, to the sink to wash and wet the garment, wrap it in a towel and squeeze out any extra moisture, and on to the floor to open it out with long wires, pins and interlocking blocking squares.

It took a few hours but I’m happy with how it is shaping up—literally.
I carefully closed and latched the door. If there’s anything the cat likes more than going to sleep on the quilt stretched on my frame, it’s finding T-pins (or ANY kind of pin or needle) to play with.

And now, I need a nap.

© 2024 Roxanne O'Connell

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