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  • The wok would look nice as a functional decoration piece, with yarn arranged in it (kind of like a fruit bowl for fuzzies).

  • I can almost smell those peonies – gorgeous. They clearly benefit from your loving care And a beautiful annual tribute to Mary Jane.

  • I have a skein of Caterpiller Green’s Yellow Light that has been sitting on my coffee table in a pretty silver tray for two weeks looking so beautiful that tonight I thought,”I really like it as an accent piece”. Yarn as decor? I’m ok with that.

  • I love your peonies! Up here in NY, they are about a month away from blooming. My dog likes them too – he thinks they are called “pee on these”.

    • Ha! I love it. 🙂
      We’re still waiting here in Massachusetts, too.

      • Saw peonies in bloom yesterday in NYC, Fort Tryon Park. Just one of the plants, though. A pure, refreshing white one.

  • Peonies are my favorite and yours are fantastic. I have part of one of my mom’s.

    We’ll all have to go to Huntsville, take pictures and run them through a palette generator to find the source of inspiration.

  • I’m guessing the sock yarn will knit up into narrow stripes, assuming 64 stitches around. And I want some.

  • How do you manage to get all the ants out of your peonies to bring them in? I tried soaking them in a bucket of water, but I still had ants crawling all over the house. So now I just enjoy them outside only. : (

  • Your peonies are just beautiful! I had some from my grandfather’s garden, and a careless and thoughtless contractor completely destroyed…despite my warnings to “cause no harm” to them. I was devastated, needless to say…and Mr. Not-so Wonderful contractor offered some plants from his wife’s garden as compensation. It’s a good thing he couldn’t read my mind as I was being less than kind!
    My peonies are all pink but I’m going to find some white ones to plant this spring…they’re just elegant!

    • I can just imagine what his wife said when he told her he was digging up her garden to replace plants he’d destroyed in someone else’s garden.

  • Thank you for the post! I am originally from Huntsville. I love the references! For those of you from out of the region, everyone there had a school field trip to the Space and Rocket Center, which had to include a purchase of the freeze dried ice cream. Yum/Yuk

    • Holy cow. I thought Ann was kidding about that ice cream.

  • I have a flat basket of yarn in my office as decoration. It looks beautiful and is cheaper than an oil painting; and once in a while I actually knit with a skein of it.

  • you have such a knack with story telling…and the peony’s look delish….do you have another Nashville novel in you?

  • Well, I for one can certainly relate to your yarn bender. I’m listening to a book right now called ‘Buyology’, and I’m pretty sure I’m falling victim to every yarny email I get. Which is a considerable quantity. When will I ever learn? I have yarn around and under my desk at home, and I’ve been seriously considering that decorating trend at work.

    Thanks for your post – delightful, and adorned with luscious flowers!

  • Peonies always bring to mind two things. My favorite aunt who lovingly tended bushes of them after my uncle died as they were his favorite. She didn’t like them all that much as they seemed to attract ants, lots of ants, but she moved them from one house to another because they had been his favoirtes. The other thing? Ants, of course! Yours are looking exceptionally beautiful.

  • I have a peony question – when do you move them? There’s a bush at my house that would be so much happier if it weren’t right where everyone climbs over it to get off the patio, but it always feels like the wrong time of year to move it.

    • Late fall after the leaves die down (don’t ever mow them off until they are dead) or early in the spring when the leaf buds just start to show. If it is a large plant, use a sharp spade to divide into several plants before trying to lift–dig deep. Just make sure you get a couple of the leaf “eyes” with each clump. I moved some this spring after their leaves were formed and they are doing just fine. They like really rich soil around them. Water in once and leave them alone. If it is hideously dry, another one or two waterings at least a couple weeks apart is fine.

      • Everyone says you have to be really careful about moving peonies. But I chopped some roots in half in June (at my grandmother’s funeral) and transplanted them to my yard and they did great (maybe died back a little then but came right back) and then this spring I dug them up as the first leaves were coming up and moved them to another spot and dang if they haven’t bloomed again! Those same white ones pictured above.

        What is it the make people say – if you don’t hack it, you don’t own it!

  • That skein looks lovely! The magic of multicolored yarn is for the most part it CAN do a bunch of different things depending on how many you cast on & what kind of patterning you use. So much possibility in one skein of yarn! Check out the Pooled Knits group on Ravelry if you want you head to explode.

  • Those peonies are beautiful. Mine, here in Western N.C are buds just about to open. I adore them. My very favorites though are the ones blooming in the cemetery in Deadwood S.D.- they were in full bloom in late June early July when I was there unattended and magnificent. Quite a cemetery and quite some peonies!

  • Is there a technique to determine if it is striping or flowing waves of color when looking at just the skein? I like Cascade Yarn’s site as they show a knitted up swatch.
    I do love such yarn, watching the developing pattern makes size 2 needle knitting doable!

  • Hey all!

    What a treat to see my yarn here 🙂 I’m not sure if I’ll spoil too much of the mystery to share this, but the actual, specific inspiration for the Huntsville colorway is…..

    The Saturn V rocket.

    The first thing I noticed was the red lettering and black stripes, and when I saw the rocket displayed in its separate sections, I loved the gold and steel gray colors on the ends of the sections.

    • Thanks for the inside info! Now I’ll always think of that colorway as Saturn V. Off to get some . . .

      • You’re welcome! I’m getting another batch ready for Hook-a-Frog as fast as I possibly can–all this rain that’s made my plants all happy is making yarn take FOREVER to dry 🙂

    • That’s awesome! What a fun place to find inspiration.

  • I reckon the wok is easier to maintain but I know nothing about peonies except that deer like to eat them in the bud. I didn’t know Albert and Mary Jane but have always wished I had. Sigh….

  • Before we moved to our present home 9 years ago I was lucky enough to tend a patch of antique peonies…I often wish I took them with me. It was a lovely and tender sight each Memorial Day sharing their beauty with families long ago.
    I’d be inclined to crochet that yarn.

  • Heading out to cut a bouquet of pink peonies by my front door. I’m taking them to work (my local library) for everyone to enjoy. Now to find the right container, and probably a frog to hold the stems in place. Love your white ones. My irises are glorious right now too.

  • I always think that a pretty skein of yarn does well worn around the neck as an instant, no-knit cowl. Makes it easy to give the yarn loving pats and adoring glances throughout the day.

    • Good move. Several years ago, Anthropologie actually charged money for such cowls (or should we say “cowls”) with a few beads strung on them. I kid you not.

  • I have a soft spot for EZ’s Baby Surprise Sweater–have never been disappointed with the “unveiling” of the striping/colors! And somehow some baby somewhere is always the PERFECT recipient!
    This colorway seems like it would suit either boy or girl–and could inspire our next generation of space explorers!

    • What a good idea. I have been wanting to knit a Baby Surprise for a long time, and we have a new little baby girl in our family!

  • I very occasionally buy irresistibly-colored yarn without having any intention of turning it into anything else. Sometimes it’s already enough.

  • My mom was an avid flower gardener–she even wrote a book on growing flowers in Southeast Alaska (where she lived). She always said the starts she got from other gardeners and flower growers were the best, and shared her own flowers and shrubs with everyone. I grew up weeding both the flowers and the big food garden and never realized how much I had absorbed from her about gardening until I was on my own and planted me own garden as a young adult. Now my grown daughter asks me to come visit her each spring to “help” plant her garden. Those peonies from your husband’s grandmother are a real treasure–hope you pass them along to any grandchildren you may have…

  • Lovely peonies! Plants and bushes received from family and close friends are the best!

  • I feel a kinship with Albert, as I’ve been known to once in awhile fall prey to the lures of infomercials and shopping channels. But what I really want to know is what happened to the wok?

  • The peonies are gorgeous. Mine are still just red shoots, pushing out of the ground. Yarn as décor, as one reader suggested? I like it.

  • I do miss peonies. They don’t grow well here in California.
    They are such a luscious flower.

  • Peonies are my favorite flower and yours are lovely. I’m going to miss mine in Virginia this year as we have temporarily relocated to Vermont,where not only are the peonies not blooming yet, the trees don’t even have leaves! My daughter is house sitting and will share with me via pics. Thank you for sharing yours.

  • Lovely peonies. We don’t get them until June up here.

  • I recently knit a baby sweater with a skein of handpainted sock yarn I’d had for years. The yarn pooled in a nice way in the body of the sweater, and not at all in the tiny sleeves. It was a fun knit. Thanks for the lovely images of the peonies. Can almost smell them.

  • This made me laugh. I just this minute had taken three lovely skeins of baby blue brushed alpaca out of their mailing envelope (where they’ve been languishing) and set them up next to my computer so I could bask in them awhile before actually, you know, thinking about knitting them up. I guess everyone does this?

  • Great post,The peony pictures brought back memories of my first home. It wad a row home with a postage stamp size yard, an elderly couple lived 2 wire fences away and there were peonies in a good 2/3 of their yard, I could smell their lovely fragrance at my house.
    The lovely old woman would spend hours in that garden primping her peonies in the spring.
    Thanks for the memory.
    I have 2 plants in my garden yet to bloom after 10 years , been moved to new location last year hopefully they like this spot better.

  • I can feel the cool silkiness of the peonies against my face from my childhood. A big black ant crawling on my wrist. Their light fresh scent.

  • Heirloom peonies! Be still, my heart…

  • Oh, Ann, you’ve made me homesick on Mother’s Day Eve! I wish I had had the foresight to salvage my mother’s peonies before we sold her house. She had beautiful white ones like yours. Thanks for helping me recall such a sweet memory of those sticky, ant-covered buds, bursting with anticipation of lush blooms!