Slump

These winter months are somehow so tiring. I guess most of us feel that way.

I am proud of myself for managing anything. Have I filed some papers? Good work, me! Made dinner? I have now exceeded expectations!

It’s nice to sit and work on quiet projects. I have a shawl-wrap thing in progress. I nose through my stashes of fabric and yarn, thread and other small things, making plans. It’s a good time to look through what I’ve already made and enjoy it.

I’ve been wearing this sweater constantly. It was a second version of Junko Okamoto’s wonderful Teru pattern. I didn’t do the color work in the pattern, instead adding bits of color as I wanted to here and there.

The day I took this photo I wore it with one of a bunch of tunic tops I’ve made, I think they’re from the pattern book Adult Couture Dress & Smock Blouse by Ryoko Tsukiori. I did them years ago and I can’t remember for sure. Some of my books have very similar patterns so it gets confusing sometimes.

March is the time for blue poppies to bloom in the greenhouse at Longwood Gardens. My son and I took a detour one day to visit them, and that felt really nice.

This week, I summoned the courage to use the last of this favorite printed fabric. Gabrielle, in this photo, was not convinced it was a good idea. That’s okay, because it’s not her fabric.

Making the cuts with scissors is a commitment. I’m making a Nani Iro pattern, this one-size tunic-dress.

The one-size garment patterns from Japanese designers are very compelling, I think, and I find myself reaching for those garments the most lately. They’re comfortable without being gym clothes, the lines are interesting and I love the details.

Seed Time

This summer, there is a chance both my sons will be working full-time, which will leave me home alone. It has been almost seventeen years since I had that much time to myself. I am a little drunk on the possibilities at the moment. Also worried about being lonely, but trying not to think too much about that.

I’m planning my garden. It’s easy to buy all the seeds in a rush of enthusiasm during the winter, but I am working very hard to keep my expectations manageable.

I order from one vendor, Baker Creek, for simplicity’s sake. Their seeds have been the most reliable for me, and I like the selection.

Here are this year’s picks:

Pole Beans: I love to have a pole bean growing. They’re so pretty.   Blauhilde

Bush Beans:  I don’t love growing bush beans, but crave yellow beans and don’t like the looks of the ones in our supermarkets.  Meraviglia di Venezia 

Cucumbers: We eat so many cucumbers in the summer. On their own, in salads, pickled…I can be sure we’ll eat everything we grow. I’ve chosen two. Marketmore 76 Dragon’s Egg

Eggplant: We don’t eat much eggplant, but I’ve grown this variety before and it worked well in our yard. I’m planning to try some recipes with it. Rosa Bianca

Peas: I’ve been dreaming of these peas, and it’s almost time. Look at all the tendrils you can eat! They sound like the most delicious thing in the world to me right now.  Magnolia Blossom Tendril 

Hot Peppers: We love serranos and pickle them along with cucumbers and other vegetables, and also eat them fresh. I chose the Black Hungarian for excitement, and also because I don’t bother with bell peppers. I’ve never had much success with them, so I figured a mild hot pepper would be a good consolation prize. Serrano Black Hungarian

Summer Squash: I’ve intended to grow this zucchini for years. Last summer, I figured I’d skip growing zucchini since I could find locally-grown ones at the store. Can you believe they didn’t have any? I thought that was the weirdest thing.  Ronde de Nice

Tomatoes: My husband and I always get a little tomato-crazed. I need to calm down and choose only a few.

Green: We’ve grown these before, and they did well. They’re delicious. Green Zebra 

Pink:  This one will be new to us. German Pink

Black: I’m gambling on this one even though I did terribly with the regular pink Brandywine tomatoes. True Black Brandywine 

Blue: I’ve never grown a small tomato or a blue tomato, so I’m very excited to try these. Blue Cream Berries

That’s it! It’s not too much, I don’t think. We’ll see.