Thursday, June 18, 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow?

The Garden of Creativity*:

Still busily knitting away with my focus being on my secret project. So, moving right along, next we come to the spinning area.

In trying to decide what to do next, despite the distraction of all the pretty colors and textures, I decided wool and alpaca were out - it's just too hot for that right now. Likewise the yak fiber, even though I've not ever spun it and I love trying new fibers, had to be eliminated due to the heat factor. Bamboo was also eliminated due to the fact that I had been spinning nothing but for what feels like months. That left me with silk, baby camel, and a blend of silk and linen. By virtue of being quite intriguing, the silk/linen blend won. I have become addicted. The softness and sheen of the silk is a delight; the roughness of the linen, not so much. But I am looking forward to seeing what some washings will do to it. It also spoke to me quite quickly about what it should become. Within the first few minutes of spinning, it was decided that this would be perfect for a summer shawl. I'll be doing the Triangular Summer Shawl from Knitted Lace of Estonia by Nancy Bush. I can hardly wait!

I've also been feeling a great need to branch out into other crafty areas, and have settled on a few sewing projects. Which works out well since I'm also needing a couple of dressier things for a trip I'll be taking, which, in it's turn, gives me a deadline to get things done by. In going through my fabric stash, I came upon a lovely, silky brocade that I decided would be perfect for a dress. And conveniently enough, my Serendipity shawl goes quite well with it. The other find was a very pretty, gauzy, floral print and matching lining (with all the notions) that I'll be making a skirt with. This is a project I'll be excited to finally get done, as I've had it planned for, literally, years.

The Garden of Plants*:

While I didn't plan ahead enough to get anything in the ground outside before the summer heat arrived, my indoor garden is growing quite well. This is something I delight in because for all but the last 5 or 6 years, I'd had a VERY black thumb. To the point that I merely had to be in the same general area of a plant and it would begin to wilt and die. Florists and nurseries would see me coming and lock their doors. Yards would scream in agony as I walked past them. Okay, so it wasn't quite that extreme yet, but all the plants that entered my house certainly seemed to find it inhospitable. And then one year, my mom sent me a plant that had such a zest for life that not even I could extinguish it. That plant grew and thrived and went through several repottings, teaching me how to care for, not kill, plants. Sadly, we went on vacation one year, and not even that hardy little fellow could survive the neglect that came from my not planning for it's care in my absence. It's memory and legacy lives on, however, in the houseplants that are currently gracing my abode. The cactus actually belongs to my son; a memento from a field trip to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum. The aloes came in a single small pot which they quickly outgrew necessitating a seperation. I had thought the trauma of the separation had killed the smaller of the two, that it had sustained too much damage to its root system. Thankfully, after a period where there was no visible activity with it, it has begun to grow again. This fern was purchased at the same time as the aloes in a tiny little pot. It has thrived through a move and transplants, and is in need of another move to a bigger pot. They are truely the best dollar store purchases I ever made. And funnily enough, they were purchased, not to beautify our home, but for a science experiment about the effects of sunlight on plant growth. This basket was a gift sent to my family upon the death of my mother. Since my father didn't believe he'd be able to keep all the plants going, and because he wanted to share them as memorials with my sisters and me, I brought it home. I feared, as first, that it wasn't going to survive the move (8 hours in a car and being moved to a different climate) because it began to wilt almost as soon as we walked in the door. After a couple of weeks, however, it decided that this really isn't so bad a place to live and is returning to health. And I'm so grateful to my houseplants, as they have given me the courage to try outdoor gardening again when the weather cools a bit.

*I do not, in any way, wish to imply that gardening with plants is not a creative pursuit. For the purposes of this post, however, this distinction between the two was necessary.

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