Monday, June 04, 2007

The Sacred and the Profane

Yeah, that's an overstatement, but I've got two pictures to post today, and one is very pretty. The other-- no so much. I'll start with the good one.

This spring, I bought a bunch of bare root plants. I'm actually up to about 50% "promising" with them. I bought 4 astilbe crowns, and planted them this spring, before a nasty nasty cold snap that killed off their new little shoots. Now 3 of the four have finally re-sprouted, although yesterday I saw that one has gone missing. I don't know whether to blame kids or rabbits. I also bought a raspberry bush, which certainly seems to be as dead as a doornail.

I also bought a bare root rose. At out last house, there were three beautiful rose bushes there when we moved in (two dark red and one yellow). Two of the three bushes survived throughout the 7 years we lived there, we lost the yellow one a year after we moved in. I tried planting a few more, but tragedy usually befell them. Once, My toddler daughter fell right onto one, breaking it off at the graft.

But I got courageous this spring and bought one at Menards, a yellow Grandiflora named 'Gold Medal'. I figured it was worth a try here at the new home. I stuck it in the ground (also before that cold snap) and it actually took off! And now I have a single bloom on it. I'm so excited to have a new rose actually living to this point. I have taken way too many pictures of it, as there's a chance that I'll kill it before next spring.

Now to the considerably less pretty. I decided to use up all the wool that I've bought at my local thrift store this year, in a bag to be felted. I'm using a free pattern called the Felted "No Rules" Bag: I love anything without rules. So far, my total yarn cost is $2.05, but the trade off is that there is no pretty in this bag at all. It started out looking like a Green Bay Packers theme, but I did get that under control. No offense to the boys at Lambeau Field, but I'd rather not scream "Packers Fan" at the farmers' market all summer. I suppose if I had spent a wee trifle more time planning it out, it wouldn't be so ugly, but that's all water under the bridge now. I figure it will be a conversation piece. Maybe I'll give it a name like "Ode to Frugality" or "The Go to Hell Bag", so it seems like it was all on purpose. I firmly believe that in this life, you can get away with nearly anything, so long as you act like you know what you are doing.


  1. Lovely rose bush! My mom kept planting one and then killing it, year after year. Hopefully yours makes it on to next year and many years after!

    I don't think the bag looks too ugly and I'm sure it'll look way different when felted. Did you try felting a swatch of that white wool to make sure it'll work? I'd hate to see you put all this work into a bag and then have it not work out, since lots of white wool doesn't felt - they often bleach it instead of using actual *white* wool...

  2. Yes, I tested a swatch. I had already done the white stripes when I suddenly got scared about everything felting right, and knitted up a swatch. Thanks for the explanation, though. I had heard rumors about white wool and felting, but didn't know the 'why.'

  3. I'm glad you thought to check on it already. It's no fun having a felting project tank due to poor yarn choices!

  4. I adore your sense of adventure. I've never had much luck with astilbes. I've got one I've been dragging around for years but it never blooms. All the others got attacked by aphids as soon as they started blooming, promptly curled up and died. I've got one that is struggling right now. I hope you have much better luck!
    Roses like banana peels. ;o)