Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Yarn along -- Sugar snaps and baby sweaters

I've been so preoccupied with thoughts of baby goats this morning that I totally forgot it was Yarn Along Wednesday.

So here's what I'm reading and knitting this week:

I'm still working on last week's chunky baby cardigan. I'd been looking for a 'stock' baby sweater pattern that would be a good quick-knit gift, so I decided to try this one.

Thing is, I'm liking the pattern but not loving the yarn. It's a Lion Brand Homespun yarn synthetic. I wanted to use something inexpensive as I'm just test driving the pattern but it's just not the same as real wool and real homespun. I also think I'm a bit short in yardage, but we'll see.

But the book I just started reading -- that I'm loving! When the folks at publishing company Thomas Allen & Son asked if I'd be interested in a review copy of Andrea Bellamy's new book "Sugar Snaps and Strawberries", I jumped! She's the green thumb behind the lovely Heavy Petal blog, which is devoted to urban organic gardening.

Featuring beautiful photographs and a stylish design, the book offers advice and information on finding, assessing and using even the smallest of growing spaces. Later chapters cover the nitty-gritty basics on garden planning, soil testing, sowing seeds, garden maintenance, making the most of limited space (think succession planting, interplanting, vertical gardening, and so on) plus harvesting and preparing for next year. She also includes a substantial list of edibles from A to Z.

There are also DIY instructions on how to make seed bombs (or balls) (the activist in me loves this idea!), building a raised bed and preparing a container for planting. She also provides handy quick reference lists on the top power plants (aka dynamic accumulators), top 10 easiest edibles and ornamentals for part shade, just to name a few.

Even though this book is about 'simple solutions for creating your own small-space edible garden' (that's the subtitle), I'm looking forward to learning about some better ways to work with my own garden.


Tracey said...

I understand about the yarn as I am going throught the same thing here. Thanks for the post on the book as we are in full garden mode.

Mama Pea said...

Heck, I wouldn't give the synthetic yarn sweater a second thought. Just whomp on through it and if you're happy with the pattern, go ahead and make it again with some nicer wool yarn. (Gak, I don't mean to sound like a yarn snob!) Give this sweater to a shelter or charity where someone will cherish it because it's hand knitted and easily washable.

The gardening book looks very interesting. You can never have too many gardening books!

Fiona said...

Tracey -- I'm just gearing up for full garden mode! There are some cold season seeds that I should have started, but my order is MIA!

Mama Pea -- Don't worry... I'm something of a yarn snob too! I guess that I've been spoiled with such lovely yarn that the synthetic just isn't as nice to work with. From a washability & wearability perspective, it's great for babies, though. I like the shelter idea - thanks!

Amy said...

Just popping in to say "Hi" as part of Yarn Along.

Annie's Granny said...

You're so lucky you know how to knit. I had/have two left thumbs, so never could learn to knit or play the piano! I must say, at least I'm not a yarn snob. I washed Mr. Granny's good wool sweater, and now it will fit my two year old granddaughter. I'll take all those acrylic yarn castoffs, gladly!

Fiona said...

Granny -- you with two left thumbs? I don't believe it. :)
I didn't used to be such a yarn snob until I started knitting more seriously. As I started using more and more beautiful natural fibres (it all started with alpaca!), I didn't enjoy working with the acrylic stuff anymore -- it just feels unnatural and doesn't knit up as nicely. That said, the finished garment is much easier to keep clean!

Erin said...

I admit I've dabbled in seed bombs in my neighborhood LOL, or "guerrilla gardening" as it's called around here. I'm surprised you haven't started yarn bombing yet - another blogger I follow in D.C. had photos up of the local knitting bomb gang who decorated the trees in a park one night, too funny!

Andrea Bellamy said...

I'm a year late, but thanks for the lovely review of my book! Hope you're finding it helpful as we move into spring :)

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