Sunday, May 18, 2008

Rosy Summer Days

Since the weather has been so excellent here, my mother and I decided to spend some time yesterday in Pella. I wish I'd taken pictures of the drive, since the scenery was excellent - Iowa is really very pretty in the springtime - but instead I saved up all my pictures for once we arrived in Pella itself. For those of you who aren't familiar, Pella is a little dutch settlement in central Iowa. Every year, like they do in Holland, this community has 'Tulip Time', during which they elect a Tulip Queen and the whole city is in beautiful, beautiful bloom. Unfortunately, most years, I've been at school and have had to miss out on the first few days of the tulip festivities, but this year because the weather was so cold for so long, the blooms have lasted a little longer than expected. So we got lots and lots of pretty tulip pictures, meaning this post is going to be rather picture heavy.

I think lately tulips have ended up being my favorite flower, mainly because I've rediscovered much of their beauty through Jane Brocket's blog, Yarnstorm. She's a self-diagnosed tulipophile, and I think she's turned me into one, despite the fact that we probably only have a total of three living in our garden at home. There is something so lovely about a tulip - from the broad, flat leaves, to the skinny stem, all in such a lovely pale mint green, up to the bulbous blossom at the end, whether it is tipped in pointed ends or unfurled like a peony. I love tulips! And someday I hope to have a cutting garden - a garden where instead of growing the plants just for them to stay outside, you bring them indoors and put them in vases. While I'm not much of a green thumb, I'm hoping that something like tulips and daisies might flourish wherever I end up. While in Pella, we saw not only the regular sorts of tulips, but some 'exotic' varieties - including ones with pointed tips that opened from the center like a starburst. They were bright yellow and stuck into someone's front yard arrangement along with all sorts of other types. Some had a ripped fabric looking edge that flared out and gave them an interesting look as the occasional breeze came by and shuffled their petals around. My absolute favorite sorts of tulips were the kind that my mom calls 'double bloom' - they've got almost three times as many petals, and while we saw them in lots of lovely colors, there's something rich and velvety about the darkest purple ones.

As always, there so much going on besides just flowers and visits to Pella! Yesterday when I got home I was greeted by a package - the malabrigo I won in the Malabrigo Junkies' Malabrigo March contest drawings! The Junkies are perhaps one of the friendliest and most active groups on Ravelry, and I highly recommend joining, especially if you knit with malabrigo (but also especially if you don't - you'll change your mind in a few minutes, I promise!) For awhile after Malabrigo March, I thought I would get out of knitting with Malabrigo for awhile - despite it's lovely single ply, it's soft and fluffy chunky varieties, the bright and shiny colorways of Aquarella's thick and thin strands - I was ready to move on to something different. Like a sweater in Cascade, or a pair of socks in Smooshy Dream in Color. Of course, the Junkies could never let me get away with this, and I found myself winning two skeins for being a moderator for the group. Who knew that people actually appreciate being bossed around and properly organized? They should have known I'd do it for free! (Just kidding, of course. I really would do it for free, but I do hope I wasn't too horribly bossy!)

Anyway, on to the goods! I won a skein of worsted, always a staple favorite, that will probably become a cowl inspired by the ever-brilliant Julie Frick of Fricknits. She's been dubbed the 'Cowl Queen' of Ravelry, and while a lot of people know her from her Ravelraiser efforts, I met her during Malabrigo March, where she was so helpful she should have been a moderator! The colorway I received is called 'Purple Lime', and I'm not sure if it's a new color or a color that won't get sold, but I hope it's going to be available because the yellows an oranges are simply divine! Take a look for yourself - it's pictured above.

What else did I win? What? That wasn't all? Actually, to tell the truth, I wasn't expecting the worsted at all, but rather this little gem:

Pretty, isn't it? This is the brand spankin' new yarn from Malabrigo Yarns - and get this, this smooshy soft goodness, at 440 yards, is SOCK YARN. Yes, Malabrigo will be making sock yarn - can you imagine how quickly that will sell out? I sure can. They've set the release date to either sometime this summer or fall, probably more towards fall, and it's so new that even the colors don't have names yet! The tag on this just says "test color". I am absolutely in love with it already, and haven't decided on a pattern. I'm sort of leaning towards another pattern from my sock book - "Favorite Socks" from Interweave Knits, since most of them call for a similar amount of yarn. It'll be awhile before they get started, I have so much on my plate right now, but I'm certainly tempted. (If you have a suggestion for pattern, please please leave it in the comments!) The reds are divine, ranging from a rich maroon to a pale red-violet, though I don't think they'll pool or stripe, since Malabrigo is pretty good about doing things of that nature, and it's mostly a semi-solid yarn. There's something lovely about the sheen, and I'm sure there will be even more pictures in posts to come.

There are things new on the apartment front, too. Looks like I'll be getting an unfurnished place of my own just north of campus, not far really, and I went ahead and bought these cups at the local antique store. They're porcelain from Japan and have the most lovely enamel painting on them in the best colors. I think they pretty much sum up my decorating taste.

Japanese Cups          Japanese Cups II

1 comment:

  1. How wonderful to have won yarn, and great yarn at that. Congrats!


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