Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Spring, Glorious Spring!

Sorry about the long absences from blogging. It has been such a glorious spring here in Minnesota that I've been spending all my free time working on the gardens.
One of the new, exciting things I found is a special service Holasek Greenhouses offer every spring. They sponsor open houses in March, when you bring your pots in, get to fill them with free dirt and then purchase beautiful hot-house grown annuals and perennials to plant in the pots. Then you register the pots with Holasek and leave them in the greenhouse until you are ready to put them out in May.
I took full advantage of this service this year, planting over 20 pots with plants. I ended up picking up my pots a little early. We have had such a mild and warm spring that I risked putting the pots out a little early. So far, so good, although I do have old sheets ready in case I need to cover items to protect from frost.

I've also been freshening up the garden beds, weeding, dividing perennials, replanting the divisions, setting out annuals and generally working myself sore and silly. But I love it. The garden beds look so fabulous this year.

I have been getting socks done. Because I still have all the usual running and waiting for kids, I still seem to be making tons of progress on TUSKAUFOFE.

The second of the plain, vanilla socks was finished several weeks ago. These are for my hubby, hence the wonky toes. My sock blockers are too small for his socks but they looked way too wimply without something stretching them out. These socks used the gusseted heel, which I absolutely love. They tend to hug the heel better than the slip stitch heel I've always used and are much smoother. Total winner in my book.

I also finished the third plain, vanilla socks, using Lorna's Laces sock yarn I purchased at Shepherd's Harvest several years ago. I love the yarn - EXCEPT where it pooled around the heels. This yarn would have worked much better with a contrast short-row heel or with an after-thought heel. I also ran out of yarn before the cuffs were as long as I wished. Had I known they'd be this short, I might have substituted an hemmed cuff instead of ribbing.
Finally, I am nearly finished with the Dead Simple Lace Socks. I finally broke down and bought a pair of Addi Turbo needles in size 0, so I didn't have to refigure all the heel shaping instructions. I did substitute the gusseted heel for the short row heel in the pattern because I do like it so.

Well, I need to go get the oil changed on my car and start running kids everywhere again. The only advantage to all this end-of-year running is the extra enforced sock knitting time.
Then maybe you'll find me back in the garden tonight for a little more weeding and planting.
Ahhhhh, I love spring!


Lynne said...

Lovely garden shots.

The sock knitting is pretty; I especially love the second pair. The colours in that yarn are gorgeous.

Rani said...

Your flowers look spectacular. I've heard of that service, but have never tried it. What a treat to get your gorgeous pots back home.

You have been mucho productive on the sock knitting. Sheesh. I am just hating this EZ baby sweater. It's just staring at me from my night stand. . . . mocking me . . .

Ellen said...

Lovely yard and beds - mine still have junk in them from last year.