Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Color Purple

 Several years ago I bought a Hydrangea in April from Home Depot. The plants had colored foil covering the pot (for Mother's Day gifts). While my husband was shopping, I put a healthy dark pink plant in the cart. It was too early and much too cold to plant my Hydrangea outside, so I put the plant under a grow light and watered it regularly. Finally the plant was ready to go outside at the end of May. I had several large dark pink blooms and then the plant started to wither and die. My husband laughed at me for wasting so much time on this $10 Hydrangea. I loved this plant and knew it was probably going through shock. I felt sure that I could save it. I pruned the plant almost down to the ground and fed it Miracle Grow every 2 weeks and watered it daily. I consulted the internet Hydrangea sites for help but they all said that these type of plants never live when planted outdoors: they were meant for short term decorative use. Still I refused to give up! After 2 months of devoted care, my Hydrangea had some green leaves appearing on the stems. Before the end of the summer the plant had a few small blooms. The plant is now four years old and quite healthy. Apparently the Hydrangea didn't know that it wasn't supposed to thrive outdoors. I have been able to achieve this beautiful shade of purple by alternating feedings with acid and alkaline Miracle Grow. Every time I look at this Hydrangea, I am reminded that all things are possible with faith.

My latest projects are from French Girl Knits. I found this book at the Knitting Sisters in Williamsburg, VA. I was intrigued by the title and found a beautiful array of tops and sweaters in the book. Anjou, is an airy, lacy mohair top that is knit in Louet Kid 'N Linen. I love the way that this is turning out. The top is knit in one piece on circular needles and then the sleeves and hip band are knitted separately and grafted on.


I am also knitting Nadine, a lacy tunic knit in cotton and bamboo. The construction of Nadine is different from the usual knit  construction. The side panels are knitted first and then the main front piece is knitted side to side (horizontally) with lace shaping inserts on each side of the front panel. The side panels are then grafted to the main front panel. I am enjoying knitting this tunic. The original tunic was knit in Be Sweet cotton and bamboo, which was not available from my local yarn shop. I decided to substitute Valley Yarns Southwick from WEBS ( I have ordered from WEBS many times in the past but this is the first time that I have ever ordered one of their yarns.  I love Valley Yarns Southwick! It's reasonally priced at $5.49 for a 50 gram skein, making the total cost of my project less than $50. The yarn is luxurious- soft to the touch, drapes well and easy to knit with. I can't wait to finish this tunic.

Nadine knit in Valley Yarns Southwick.