Not the War of the Roses

Well thanks to Clare and Jeanne (A Bluestocking Knits) I now have two ways to remember white rose for York. Yorkshire is big in cricket, so cricket whites

and York peppermint patties are white inside:

I did to go TNNA again, the big needlearts trade show.  We had a book signing for Wearwithall and people really were waiting in line to get the book.  I was worried no one would show up. Here’s the line at the Unicorn (book distributor) booth, with browsing while you wait:

Scott, Theresa and Sarah are in the author’s booth.  Since we didn’t all fit, Shelly and I stood outside, chatting and signing.  It was so much fun!

But home to the heat of the summer and the garden. We have lots of honeybees this year, which I hope is a good portent for the health of bees.

I have to say, though, that much as I enjoy having a garden, some summers gardening feels less like a rewarding hobby and more like an episode of Battlefield.  I snorted out loud last night when I saw a woman on Masterpiece Mystery drifting about the perfect garden in her flowing nightdress and robe,  waiting for the maid to bring her morning tea.  I, on the other hand, woke up this morning and lay in bed pondering the slaughter of my latest nemesis, squash bugs.  Is it because of the mulch?  Are the squash plants on the other end of the garden bug-free because they weren’t mulched?  One website recommended row covers, which have to be removed for pollination, unless you pollinate by hand.  By hand.  As if.  Yeah, right about the time the maid brings tea, the gardener will be pollinating the winter squash.  (Guy says he doesn’t want to be that closely involved with the sex life of winter squash.) I went out in torn shorts and a raggedy t-shirt (my flowing gown was in the laundry) to do battle and saw that the pollinating was happening in the good old fashioned way:

The ethnic cleansing of the Japanese beetles continues unabated, and we are doing constant battle with the squirrels over the hazelnut bushes.  This is the first year that the bushes have really produced, but the lovely giant green nuts are fast disappearing, and I am chasing squirrels away all the time.

The wet spring and crazy heat have created a weed crop that might feed the entire city if I could figure out which ones were edible.  This is a fallow spot where I’m layering the weeds that won’t fit in the compost, in hopes of having it be nice and fertile for next growing season.

The roses were lovely but then the heat has caused everything to bloom and bust.  My white phlox have all turned that nasty magenta ‘eschewed’ by garden writers.  The wild Turks-cap lily and globe thistle are the only things that look decent in that bed.

My late summer lilies are already in full bloom, at least for a day or two.

I do have to say, after all this whining, that I am grateful that I don’t have to rely on my garden for my winter food.  My little plot helps me appreciate the struggles that farmers endure.  I feel sorry for those in the UK with a wet, cold summer that has produced little in the way of crops.  Apparently the Times of London has printed an opinion piece opposing the rain.

I have been doing some knitting, in spite of the heat.  These little cuties will be a free pattern on the Wearwithall website, to go with the baby sweater and tunic.  I wanted to put them in the book, but there wasn’t room.  I added short rows in the back is to accommodate cloth diapers.  I didn’t know cloth took up more space than disposable.  Good thing I have some diaper-dealing mamas in my circle of friends.

What do you think?  Striped cuff, or solid?

15 responses to “Not the War of the Roses

  1. I watched that same episode of Masterpiece and had the same sort of reaction! Solid cuff please.

  2. Solid cuff, please!

    That Times of London bit just made linkity. 🙂

  3. There’s a brilliant picture doing the rounds of facebook and so on over here. A finger pointing at a patch of sunlight on a window sill with the caption, ‘This is sunlight, do not be alarmed, share this image and educate others.’.

    Personally I’d be more unhappy with the heat you have than I am with the wet, but agriculture-wise it is getting rather worrying. And today’s news is that a lot of UK fruit trees are showing no sign of fruit after an early spring followed by some hard late frosts killed all the blossom.

    I quite like the stripey cuff 😀

  4. Solid cuff.

    I just finished reading “Turn Here, Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works” by Atina Diffley, a memoir of the woman half of the team that owned and operated Gardens of Eagan. She talks a fair bit about weather and its effect on their crops; also, about how to deter squash beetles. (Sorry, I don’t grow squash so I don’t remember what she said.)

  5. I kind of like the solid with the short-row banding on the butt. FWIW.

    We here in NM don’t have a lot of bugs. Of course, we also have almost no rain, so that’s an issue in and of itself for getting things to grow. 😛

  6. Just be glad your plants are growing! I love the cool weather we’ve been having, but it’s taken a huge toll on gardens and plants. None of the plants on my balcony are growing like they should. Usually I have to fight to keep them at bay, now I desperately hoping that something will happen before winter sets in. They are miniscule and pretty much pointless right now.

    And yeah, my flowing gowns are all in the laundry too. They also bare a startling resemblance to Hanes Beefy-Ts (hey, they flow! Sort of. Billow?)

    Another vote for solid cuff.

  7. And that should probably be bear a resemblance… I’m going to beg lack of English usage. It’s getting rusty.

  8. Adorable! I’d say solid–and if you can think of some way to incorporate making the cuff stay rolled up for when the kiddos are shorter, then then down when they grow, it’d be a real asset on this kind of garment.

  9. Pingback: Stumbling Over Chaos :: That week when linkity got so crazily out of hand, I don’t even know what to say

  10. Ah, so it’s you who’s having the good weather, is it? Although my cousin in Indiana says it’s too hot there, and his daughter in Phoenix has to wear flip-flops beside the pool because it’s too hot to go barefoot. The hard lives some people have.

    Solid cuff.

  11. Dude. I am totally impressed. I go to my farmer’s market and gladly (gladly!!) pay the lovely people there to grow my produce – I am not as patient as you (nor do I have a flowing white dress, even in the laundry). All of your growing looks amazing, though – your hard work is paying off. (And I think I like the solid cuffs.)

  12. I always have the time to drift into my dew covered garden sipping tea in a billowing white negligee 😉

    Gardening is b***** hard work. Just like raising kids but with more bugs, perhaps.

    Solid cuff, please.

  13. I’m late with my answer, but I like the solid cuff. Also, I LOVE the short row gusset on the bottom — so cute!

  14. Solid blue cuff. I would kill for some rain. It’s so dry here in Western New York, the leaves are falling off the trees. Even the cicadas sound plaintive.

  15. OKAY, so now it’s raining. Hard.

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