yarn and flowers

Today was, alas, an utter and total “Monday.” Or two “Mondays” rolled into one. Sometimes I’m not entirely convinced that the three day weekend thing is worth it – sure, having Monday off is great, but it seems like the rest of the week is all the more crammed. (Especially when you have a workaholic boss who still goes in on Monday, and thanks to a silent phone manages to produce a whole pile of work for everyone else PLUS a couple little fires that have nothing whatsoever to do with either the boss or the three-day weekend. Sigh.)

But then I look at my stash and my pictures, and the weekend was worth it. Even if I only get to pet my new yarn.

My mom and I went to the Great Lakes Fiber Show on Saturday, and did quite a bit of damage. This is normal for me, but my mom purchased a surprising bit of yarn for her – enough to make two sweaters. I’ve decided that I really only want to knit with yarns that I really, really, (really) like. Which for me means purchasing less commercial yarn and more from independent dyers. Two of my favorites, Briar Rose and Knitting Notions have been at Great Lakes at least as long as I’ve been attending. And just as in the last two years, I couldn’t resist their booths.


From Knitting Notions, I purchased three skeins of her Classic Merino Bamboo, which I think should be enough for a lightweight sweater (famous last words?). This is the same yarn I’m using for Crocus, and I love knitting with it. I did not, however, even look to see if she had a match for Crocus, as I decided to spend my money elsewhere. Another strategy for finishing Crocus will have to do.


Then from Briar Rose, a bit more damage. I waffled a bit about which color of Sea Pearl (a lovely, lovely tencel-merino blend–my Mare oscuro is Sea Pearl) to purchase, although they’re all so gorgeous, I don’t think I could have gone wrong. I finally settled on this pink, which is not a typical color for me. I bought two skeins, which I think would be enough for a lightweight sweater, or an extra-large shawl.


Then there was this little beauty: a skein of a merino silk blend, indicated as a limited edition. I love the rich plum color. It’s a fine laceweight, so I’ll have to find a pretty shawl or stole pattern for it.

Apparently I missed the cashmere at her stall (which is probably for the best…), although Anne informed me that this will probably become a new addition to Chris’s store. Uh oh.

There always seems to be at least one other purchase I make each year, from a stall other than Knitting Notions or Briar Rose. Last year was a hand spun for a sweater that hasn’t made it past a stockinette swatch. This year, this little beauty:


1600 yards of a silk/camel blend which is very soft–very nice to pet. It lists it as 7400 ypp, which I haven’t gone to the effort of “translating,” but visually I would say it’s either a very fine laceweight or perhaps a heavy cobweb weight. (Is there such thing as “heavy cobweb weight? That sounds like an oxymoron!) Based on memory alone, it’s slightly heavier than the yarn I’m using for Lerwick, which I believe would push it into laceweight territory.

As in the previous two years, after going to the show in the morning, my mom and I ate lunch and then headed over to Seacrest Arboretum nearby. As part of the local OSU extension, it’s free and open to the public, and we like walking around the flowering gardens.

This year the roses were in full display:




But the clemetis were trying not to be left out:


Across the street, some of my favorites, the bright red columbine, were waiting to greet me:


I’d never seen them in gold before:


Also favorites, the brilliant purple iris:


This showy yellow one made quite a display, too:


And the yarrow was just getting started:


Secrest is one of my favorite gardens to visit. It is very well landscaped, not just for pretty flowers, but for texture and variety. Even if none of the plants were in bloom, the textures and shades of leaf color are so well planned, it would still be gorgeous. We usually just visit the flowers, but there are a couple shaded foresty paths as well, not to mention all the tree plantings (which I understand were originally planted for study purposes).

Of course, my mom’s gardens are no slouch, either. Look, the peonies are in bloom!