Sunday, May 20, 2007

Bonita Lilac

I had no idea what was growing in my own yard. We bought this house in November, and I noticed some sorry looking shrubs outside the fence at the corner. They had been invaded by an aspen, which was looking even sorrier and trying to take over the space right next to the fence. There were a lot of dead branches and some spotty leaves. K would trim it periodically, and I kept saying, 'trim it more; cut that dead stuff out; get rid of the aspen.' Spring came, and the shrub leafed out. I thought it was tolerable, and was mildly pleased when it sprouted pinkish flowers. (I'm not a real big fan of pink.)
Then earlier this week, May 15, I walked out in the driveway and thought "I smell lilacs." I had no idea where the smell was coming from, but I know lilac when I smell it. I have had a lot of lilac hand soaps, lotions, etc. This smell, however, was wayyy better than any commercial product. It was arresting.
Of course, you are way ahead of me--it was the shrub. It is still a little scraggly-looking, but the flowers, o my the flowers. So wonderful, and such a scent--I think I can smell it through the closed window as I sit here and type this. The whole town is covered in the scent, as almost every corner is home to a lilac bush. No wonder I've read so much about lilac bushes and memories of home. I just never knew what one looked like until now.
How appropriate, though, that the lilacs bloom at the same time that I was struck with inspiration on what to do with the Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere I impulse-bought at the Knit Happens sale.  After all, it is purple yarn. I didn't even want purple, but the color choices were limited by the mad rush of the sale. I mean, half-price yarn? It is understandable. I think it will work out nicely, and am hoping that I have just enough to knit Bonita.
I've decided to change the hem, and perhaps the sleeve edges. I picked an edging from Knitting on the Edge, swatched, adjusted the gauge (I'm off a stitch or two), and cast on for the size 34.5. It should work out to the size 37 considering the different gauge. That might be a bit large, so I'll be sure to check it a lot and decrease as I need to.
I decided to go with 18 points, erring on the too-large side. I don't want it tight over my hips, and I think the middle point of the nine on the front and back will line up nicely with the diamonds on the front of the shirt. I am thinking of building in decreases on the last row of edging. See how it blooms out when it changes to stockinette? Well, some of that is caused by the tight cast-on. I can fix that. However, I'm not sure if zapping in a bunch of decreases might not make the lace edging flare out, so I might just decrease gradually up the sides. Frankly, although my measurements are a uniform 36" in bust and hips right now, I know myself well enough to want to provide a little ease in the hips. I'm not always this trim.
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Michelle said...

That's going to be a very cute sweater. Can't wait to see your progress. Thanks for sending me the link to your blog. It's very cute and I love the story about why you picked the name. :D

ellen said...

Very pretty blog! Thanks for the link.