“Night Garden”

I have a new blanket ready for a fall show in November! These sweaters sat stacked together for months, awaiting some time on my calendar to put them together. This is “Night Garden.” 

While I was sewing it, when our temps were a bit warmer, it evoked for me the feeling I have when my hubby and I sit out on our little street-facing balcony on a quiet evening, enjoy a glass of wine together and watch our neighbors walk with their spouses, their dogs, their babies.

Now that the weather is cooler, though, I just see “fall” all over this blanket. Funny how my feelings change through the seasons. We use our wool blankets all year long.

I was lucky enough to have my daughter and two of her wonderful college roommates agree to model, and even luckier that the rain stopped long enough for some photos. That their T-shirts serendipitously complemented the colors in the blanket — that was a bonus :)

“Night Garden” (70″ by 85″)

The winner is…marigolds!

Patty, you hit it right on the head.  And the rest of you, I freely admit these happy flowers could look like a whole variety of things that are orange :).  Thank you, all, for throwing in your ideas (both here and on Facebook) — it was fun to see!  Keep reading to see where the idea for this blanket came from…

Where I live, it’s about time to start some seeds indoors.

Now, I’ve started lots of seed by direct sowing (and I’ve got my dependable favorites), but only a handful of times have I gone to all the effort of starting seeds indoors to be ready for planting out in May.  The first time was when we moved to Michigan from California; I was an eager new gardener.  And I was well-rewarded because, with beginner’s luck, I had chosen…marigolds!  Not the dinky annuals you get at your big-box nursery, but luscious 3′ tall plants, full of gorgeous, golden pom-pons of yellow and orange.  They earned a very warm place in my heart for treating me so well.

This large throw is just right for napping under while dreaming of the summer garden. It’s also great for cuddling under to watch Oscar-winning movies as they come out on DVD.  And it’ll wear right into summer as a picnic blanket.  (Popcorn grease or sub-sandwich mayo will wash out in the gentle cycle of your washing machine.  Felted wool is pretty hearty!)

“Winning Marigolds” (56″ x 76″ )

This blanket has already gone to a good home.

Just a peek

It’s just about March.  March means spring (at least to those of us here in the northern hemisphere–sorry, Peter!).  It means a few more days with lighter jackets and, here in Illinois, a few more days of rain instead of only snow.  And, for a lot of us who haven’t seen much grass through the past months, it means dreaming about gardens.  So I figure it’s time to give you a peek at my latest project, a spring blanket.  It’s not finished, but it’s close.

Anyone care to have a guess at what kind of flower it is?

“Indian Summer”

To my mind, some of the best days of fall are when balmy breezes drift back for a week (or more, if we’re lucky) and tease with their warmth.  While the earth’s colors change from the hot summer colors to the cool autumn ones, we also shift our gears down a notch — and enjoy the last lazy outdoor days.  This blanket, made up of several sweaters of cashmere and lambswool, comfortably embodies that lazy warmth.

“Indian Summer” (Size: 60″ x 76″)

This blanket has already gone to a good home.

“Roasting Chestnuts”

Red and green can go together any time of year in my book, but I did make this blanket with Christmas in mind. Here, the black sets them both off while a spruce green cashmere binds the blanket. Just makes me want to curl up and watch “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

“Roasting Chestnuts” (Size: 60″ x 75″)

This blanket has already gone to a good home.

“Door County Woods”

We lived here in northern Illinois just a couple years before discovering the quiet and beauty of Door County in Wisconsin. And thus began several summers of packing up our two daughters and camping up there, usually at the very top of the peninsula. (Our favorite place: Wagon Trail Campground.) For some reason, this blanket makes me think of a hike we took through Newport State Park. The woods were dark and glorious (although my husband, who has mosquito-magnetic blood, was busy slapping away), and the trail led out onto a barren white beach on Lake Michigan, where we tender-footedly braved the pebbles in the water to climb up a rock island. I love this blanket.

“Door County Woods” (51″ x 69″)

This blanket has already gone to a good home.