Category Archives: Garden

May Showers….

Do at least lead to May (and June) flowers.

New lilacs

Late, but oh, so welcome.

First Green


Nothing Gold Can Stay

Robert Frost

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay.


Descending rapidly from the sublime to the mundane, this particular gold did not stay, mostly because I ripped its little roots right out, as it was grass invading my flower bed. But let us pass on, shall we?

Here’s a more poetic illustration for the Frost poem, actually, the tulip bulbs starting to come up, which you saw last week:



A week from today; in fact, in one week and one hour (if the train is not excessively late), I will be boarding the Amtrak Empire Builder en route to Seattle and thence to Blue Moon Fiber Arts Sock Camp.

Tina Newton, the dyer-founder of Blue Moon, is teaching a dyeing class this year at Sock Camp.  We don’t really know what exactly is going to happen, other than our ‘homework’ is partly to notice colors around us in nature.  We also are to bring examples of our favorite colors and colors that are not, shall we say, in our comfort zone.

So, Carrie at Irishgirlieknits had the idea of using our blogs as a color notebook.  Expect to see some meanderings in photo and words all week.

Colors in nature are somewhat constrained here right now.  But there are a few early greens in my yard today, the first FULL day of spring!  And it amazes me how different they are when you really look at them.


Like the daffodils with a sidecar weed: the daff leaves and their bloom looking almost bluish-green, but yellow-green at their tips still, and the weed a warm mossy green, though with a slight sheen.


Or the dormant lavender just waking up, a pale purplish-grayish-green.

But when in the sun, the light catches the silver and hides the green.



The palest fuzzy green of the mullein.  (Don’t you want to pet it?  It’s as soft and fuzzy as it looks!)


Green toned down with dark red veins — penstemon.

And lastly, what I think of as a classic ‘spring green’ — rhododendron.


Mmmm spring!  At last!

Tomorrow:  Saturday Skies with more colors, and Knitting News.

Garden in the Snow Eye Candy Friday

From earlier this week.


So far, in less than a week, we’ve had snow, rain,  above-freezing overnight temps (not usual this time of year), a sudden plunge to subzero Fahrenheit (also not typical this time of year here), another 5 inches of snow (these photos were taken then), a bit of sun (enough to lead to icicles yesterday) and now more snow overnight.  It’s still coming down thickly, so another snow day for the kids.

And it’s not even winter on the calendar yet…


N is for No-Name Hat

One of a (planned) trio of sibling hat designs, test knit up in Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Bulky, in Cranberry. (A little darker than it looks in the photo.) This is version 2 (with 8 cables) under the ‘Hat Without a Namet’ page.

This more softly spun 3 ply yarn does not make the cabling ‘pop’ quite the way the gorgeous “Buxom” yarn (received through the Twisted Big Needle Yarn Club, so I’m sorry, you can’t get your hands on any — yet) does. Planned version 3 (I just want to test knit it first to see if it fits an adult human) will be similar to the hat I made of the ‘Floozy’ colorway Buxom yarn

except with six cables instead of eight. Because this hat is a bit roomy-feeling, even though my head’s big (read–can’t wear most women’s hats).

I do have ideas for Names now. (Names — because there are variations on a theme, here.) I probably know what they will be Named, but will wait until I’ve test knit all three hats and can present them together.

Nobody told me, as I got into designing more, and now in the Age of Ravelry, how crucial Naming would be! Can’t have the same Name as someone else’s design, if at all possible. (Hint: Don’t even go down the “Twisty” or “Twisted” path.)

I need to find yarn more similar in characteristics to the Buxom, though, to test knit with, and preferably a photogenic, lighter-colored non-variegated one, to show off the pattern.

Well, today and tomorrow I’ll get that chance! I am going on a knitterly ROAD TRIP! To “Wonderful Madison, Jewel of Wisconsin“, where tonight I get to meet up with Dale-Harriet and Beth face-to-face at the incomparable Sow’s Ear Friday Late Night Knit Night. I am very psyched! Apparently a pig needs to accompany me & hang out with the Hog & Bloggers. I think I’ll wear my knitting tattoo…. Then tomorrow, I should have time to visit Lakeside Fibers, which I’ve never been to.

An Eye Candy Friday Flower for you from the garden, hanging out with the No-Name Hat — and I’ll see you tomorrow!

Eye Candy Friday Among the Sedum

Eye Candy Friday in the Wetlands

AKA ‘the marsh’, this is part of the reason that La Crosse has been relatively protected from the floods to the south, the west, the east. We’ve had flash flooding over the past two weeks, yes, and unprecedented miles of highway including the interstate are still closed in southwestern and southern Wisconsin.

But this wetland area, which usually does NOT resemble a lake, is our natural containment system for water dumped from the sky in large amounts as we’ve been having. No real levees here; there’s parkland along much of the Mississippi in La Crosse itself which lets the water level creep up without much fuss (though neither the Mississippi, nor the two other rivers that come into the Mississippi at La Crosse are near flood stage right now). Most of the time, there are trails through the marsh on which I and the girls go for ‘nature walks’ or bike rides. Right now, the trails are newly closed as the water is reportedly waist deep and flowing quickly in places.

Despite the barricades, some are still using the paths, though, as we saw last night when the Gothlet and I walked over to check it out (Lisa, this is the area you asked about, a mile north of our house). I don’t think the water bothers this trail user, though.

Developers have been trying to fill in and pave over the marsh for longer than I’ve lived in La Crosse, given that La Crosse is challenged for space, being squeezed between bluffs and the Mississippi river. I’m so glad that their efforts have been heartily resisted by most La Crosse citizens.

Though we’ll all be enjoying a bumper crop of midwestern mosquitoes in the next month. That will be true of all our waterlogged Northern states, no doubt, marsh or no marsh.

The storms came with sudden warmth. Indeed, my peonies which had been in the bud for two weeks were just waiting for it to warm up; when I came back from Chicago, having been gone only three days, they were all in full bloom, finally

though most of them were sideways from the storms.

Here’s looking forward to a few days without rain — it finally didn’t rain today!*

And remember — World Wide Knit In Public Day tomorrow, June 14, 2008!

Me, I’m driving to Viroqua, Wisconsin, where one of my favorite yarn shops is having all sorts of fun things happening. Have fun knitting wherever you find yourself!

*I can’t fricking believe this! As I got ready to publish this post — out of an almost entirely clear sky with the moon shining — suddenly it started to rain, loudly and heavily. It only rained for less than a minute, literally. Just enough to make a liar out of me. I guess that was a ‘widely scattered shower’….

A Flower on the Edge (of Eye Candy Friday)

My peonies have been on the edge of blooming for two weeks now, I swear. They need some warmth. It’s warm and muggy here in Chicago; I don’t know about back home.

Based on your preferred rockers, I will happily traipse up and down the floors of the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago and show you all the cool stuff! The manager said it’s okay. (And may I add that you guys have very good taste. Sez me.)

Speaking of Rock, my Preteen’s garage band debuted today. I missed it. I am really bummed! This is a very good meeting (knitting opportunities aside) and I had planned to go for the last three months. And the Preteen, being a preteen, only told me a week ago that her band was going to play for the first time ever at the middle school talent show, on the last day of school. Never mind that the school didn’t really encourage parents to come due to space considerations; my husband was there; there is, hopefully, some photographic evidence. They played a Green Day song, “Holiday”, (link is to the live video on YouTube: warning, strong language in the intro) a pretty in-your-face anti-war song if you don’t know it. (Um, they had to leave out the lyrics of the bridge for school, a bit inflammatory perhaps. And needless to say, the intro was not the same, though perhaps implied….) She sings and plays electric guitar. She got a double dose of rock & roll genes, I think (though I embarrassed her when I wore a Pink Floyd “Dark Side of the Moon” T-shirt in public last weekend. “Mo-o-om! What are you wearing THAT for?” The two friends with her upbraided her: “That’s one of the greatest albums ever!” So double embarrassment; your mother doesn’t dress the way a mother is supposed to, and then your friends think she’s cool….)

But I wish I’d been there. Even Bob Dylan’s black Levi’s that I go by many times a day on my floor (not to mention his Gibson) doesn’t quite make up for it.

However, I had a great time in the gift shop buying souvenirs for my entire family of rockers.

I forgot to pack my camera cable, but Radio Shack is half a block away, and I bought a card reader that plugs into the laptop. So tomorrow night, I can show you what I’ve been up to, after the meeting.

Bonus Front Yard Friday Eye Candy

I swore I hit publish last night; ah, well, here are last night’s tulips!

On coming home from work tonight, the front yard tulips were so pretty in the setting sun, that I had to share. Double bonus Front Yard Tulips!

Apricot Beauty.


Back Yard Eye Candy

I love the color of these tulips.


Time’s running out to enter the Blogiversary Raffle! Donate, then email me before midnight Sunday, May 11, to have a chance to win fabulous prizes!

G is for Garden

This is my quintessential Garden picture, a lucky shot from my front steps of the late afternoon sun shining through a Carpathian Bellflower (Campanula carpatica).

You may have seen this in miniature as my avatar, as I love it so much (not that I really think of myself as a purple flower).

I am not a Gardener with a capital G. I’m too busy sometimes, and I tend toward the easy-care rather than the delicate. I do water (though mulching helps lessen the need for that and conserve resources as well), and weed when I have time, and I do love to get out in my Garden and Grub around.  It Grounds me.  So necessary, after all the intensity at work, and Two-Daughter-Drama at home.

But what makes me the happiest is just to be out in my Garden to see the Green and the colors. And to take pictures, so I can remember the Garden during the long, dark, dreary winter. And now, the Hither part of Hither and Yarn allows me to share the photographs with you (as opposed to with my family, most of whom are singularly unenthusiastic about them). Thank you, to all who over the last year have complimented me on my Garden photography!  I’m glad you like the pictures.

Here are some of my favorites over the last year of gardening and blogging.

G is for Garden.