Lhude sing cuccu

Published on Thursday April 3rd, 2008

Last week was my spring break, but the glorious weather was reserved for this week. Our vacation saw some beautiful sunbreaks, but we were precipitated upon in every possible manner, too: rain, hail, sleet, and snow each made forceful appearances. But this week has brought sun to bask in, and the first spontaneous neighborhood gathering of the season despite chilly temperatures after sunset. Four families sat on our northerly neighbors’ front steps for wine and chat and baby squeezing: this camaraderie is one of the chief reasons I love living on my street.

The garden is stirring, the lilac is leafing out, and I’m sowing hollyhock and sweet pea seeds in my meager patches of full sun. (I had to try with the hollyhocks, because I’ve always wanted some, and because these are called Outhouse hollyhocks. How could I resist? My friend Betsy, who tends the school gardens, shares my fascination for plants with charming names. You should have heard us exulting over the seeds for French Breakfast radishes (which we decided are probably what Anais Nin liked to eat before a productive morning’s work writing her erotica), Bloody Butcher corn, Moon and Stars watermelons, and some lettuce with a German name that allegedly means “speckled like the back of a trout.”)

Spring felt so irresistible this week that I went on a little spree, thanks to last year’s birthday generosity from friends:

Whee, fabric! I have a cute (and easy, Vogue promises) summer dress pattern for this. I’m going to practice on the Alexander Henry in the middle, and once I’ve honed my skills (invisible zippers, yikes!), make a second in the beautiful Japanese Kokko at left. I also picked up Bend-the-Rules Sewing, of which I have read much good on the blogs. And that yarn lurking in the background? It’s Classic Elite Soft Linen, and it’s for an Indigo Ripples skirt. Katrin and I have been promising each other a two-woman knitalong for this pattern, and when I saw Clara Parkes’s review of the Soft Linen, I knew I’d found my skirt yarn. All the wool and alpaca content means it won’t be a true hot-weather garment, but there’s plenty of ventilation in that peek-a-boo lace, and in Portland I’ll get more wear out of a skirt that I can pair with tights when the temperatures are lower.

Oh, and the post title? If it looks like gobbledygook, you may not have been nourished on enough medieval English rounds in your childhood. This is the best Spring song I know.

10 Comments to “Lhude sing cuccu”

  1. Pigwotknits Comment Says:

    Sing cuccu! Which will now be stuck in my head all day.

    Isn’t spring a wonderful thing?

  2. Seanna Lea Comment Says:

    Our spring has started in the Boston area with the light cold spring rain. It’s a middling gray out, but it no longer feels absolutely frigid.

    I love the white fabric. It is so clean and wonderfully seasonal.

  3. gleek Comment Says:

    super cute fabric!!! drool.

  4. Veronique Comment Says:

    Hollyhocks are so pretty! Perhaps the French term will make you like them even more: rose tremiere.
    And now I’m off to read the review of Soft Linen 🙂

  5. whitney Comment Says:

    Oooh, cute fabric!

    I can’t wait to see your hollyhocks if they work out…I love hollyhocks, my grandparent’s house in Missouri always had oodles of them around. And “Outhouse Hollyhocks”…what a great name!

  6. heather Comment Says:

    hee! i planted outhouse hollyhocks this year for exactly the same reason – the name is utterly endearing, and the fact that they were actually used in fashionable yards for discreetly indicate to the ladies where the facilities lay – what a great combination of garden form and function.

  7. Kristen Comment Says:

    Now I am going to go around muttering about lewd singing cuckoos to myself. 😉 Your fabric and yarn are both lovely!

  8. Debby Comment Says:

    Oh, summer dresses and skirts to make~ That sounds heavenly.

    I miss having hollyhocks. Do you have trouble with borers there? I stopped growing hollyhocks here because of them.

  9. Valerie Comment Says:

    What beautiful fabrics! I love the Alexander Henry one. You’ll love Bend the Rules Sewing, it’s a great book.

  10. Wendolene Comment Says:

    I love Old English, spring, and that fabric! (not necessarily in that order) I can’t wait to see how the dresses come out.