So what with spring being almost here and all, my thoughts have been turning more and more to herbs and flowers and gardening and being outdoors. I found a list of books I really want to get.
- Compendium of Herbal Magic by Paul V. Beyerl
- Compendium of Symbolic and Ritual Plants in Europe
- Earth Wisdom by Glennie Kindred
- Farmer’s Almanac
- Green Mantle: An Investigation into Our Lost Knowledge of Plants by Michael Jordon
- Green Witch Herbal: Restoring Nature’s Magic in Home, Health, and Beauty Care by Barbara Griggs
- Hedgerow Cookbook by Glennie Kindred
- Herbal Healers by Glennie Kindred
- Herbal Medicine Maker’s Handbook: A Home Manual by James Green
- Master Book of Herbalism
- Mastering Herbalism by Paul Huson
- Tree Medicine, Tree Magic by Glennie Kindred
- Tree Wisdom by Jacqueline Memory Paterso
Feel free, friends and family!
May Day, or the first day of May, is what a lot of people consider the “real” first day of spring. Me too, kinda. March is just too wintry, and April is pretty fickle weather wise, leaving May to bear the burden of being real spring. In Russia, when it was still the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic, it was the only two-day holiday. It’s the International Labor Day. It is associated with the Pagan holiday of Beltaine – the feast observing the start of summer, and is something of a fertility celebration day.
Maypoles (an ancient fertility ritual dance) are popular in some countries – although one has to ask if all these people having their children dance around a Maypole know what they’re doing.
For me, here’s the best thing about May Day:
I have set what must be my best time ever for a knitting project. I made a cap for a friend who was just diagnosed with cancer in just 24 hours. It’s beautiful, and I hope she likes it. It’s called the Lace-Edged Women’s Hat, from Head Huggers. I used not quite a skein of Debbie Bliss’ Cashmerino DK in a buttery yellow color (Yellow 12, I believe, originally purchased from River Knits in Lafayette, IN).Â When I took pictures, there were some cheery daffodils waiting to be included in the photo session!
Here’s a better picture of the hat:
I’m quite pleased. I’ll give it to her next week, so if anyone reading this knows of whom I speak – say nothing! I want her to be surprised.
As you can see from the pictures, spring has truly sprung – for real! There’s no going back now. Here’s the cap sunning on the deck while taking in the view of the back yard:
Then it was on to the front yard so as to enjoy some rays while reclining in the magnolia:
Then the hat kindly allowed the Gnome to try it on:
Spring has sprung – contrary to the evidence presented to me this morning in the form of snow on my windshield. While it remained cold today – barely 40Â°F – the sun was shining most of the day. I even got to enjoy a little of it while I took a few springy pictures around my front yard. Here’s the irrefutable proof:
Purple Springy Thing with sprouting bulbs – tulips, I think – although it could be jonquils…
Lilac buds – soon to be bursting into bright pink glory.
And the best picture I may have ever taken – a magnolia bud…
This is one that I planted last fall, so it’s the first spring we’ve had it.
On the knitting front, I’ve almost finished the Lady Eleanor – all but the fringe (pictures once it is finished). I’m doing that tonight while I knock out the last few episodes of Stargate SG1. One of my favorite shows of all time. It went downhill after Jack (Richard Dean Anderson, formerly of MacGyver fame) left, but still a great show. But I digress…back to knitting…I can drool over RDA in some future post :).
Also almost finished are my garter rib socks. Part pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks (Charlene Schurch), part knitting on the fly. My first try at that, and so far I love them. Done in Knit Picks Essential Tweed, Plum. Two skeins, size 2 needles. The only thing is that they’re a little large, so next time I use size 1 needles.
This is one of them, the other is still on the needles but should be done tonight.
The Cobblestone Pullover for DH is progressing. I have about 8 inches done from the bottom, and it’s a super easy knit. Garter and stockinette stitch.
See that stitch marker? I made that. Yep. Me. What you can’t see is the needles. They’re the Knit Picks Harmony Interchangables. I love love love them. They’re so beautiful, though, that they tend to slow me down. I find myself knitting slower so as to admire the way they look dipping and pulling through the loops….oh my goodness….yummm.
Now, lest I jinx myself yet again, here are a couple of pictures of my pool from a mere two weeks ago as a goodbye for now.
I obviously wasn’t thinking clearly when I posted about those subtle but undeniable signs of spring, and it has come back to bite me on the posterior. It’s snowing. Yes, large identifiable snow flakes. Covering my car, the grass, the buds on the magnolia, the dogs… There is even a hint of ice forming on the newly thawed pool. I even washed the car a few days ago, further dooming myself to more winter.
On the knitting side, miracles have happened. The Lady Eleanor (started in March last year) is so close to being finished that I may be able to wear it next weekend. I have three more tiers to go plus the fringe (the part that actually attracted me to this pattern in the beginnings). I’m so excited! Pictures will be forthcoming soon…