Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mostly about My Boys--and some knitting

We had a very special weekend. Our two younger sons came home to be groomsmen in a wedding. Since they both live out of state we only get to see them about twice a year. It is a big event for us to see them, especially together because they are such good friends and we love the interaction. They are friends of both the bride and the groom. Their "ladies" came also and I am fervently praying they will someday be daughter-in-laws. (It's looking pretty good for both at the moment but don't tell anyone!)

I think they are all adorable. The day of the wedding the boys left the girls at the house while they went to the winery to help set things up and have the photo shoot. Being a mother of all boys, it was fun for me to observe the feminine activities, with them painting their nails, doing hair, etc. I had a blast and it was great to get to know them better.

The wedding was held at a local winery, a lovely setting. After the dinner reception the guests moved from the tent to the lawn and patio for dancing. We were first blessed by a gorgeous sunset followed by a clear sky studded with stars.

On the Knitting Front:

Last September my mom, dad and I visited my brother in West Hollywood, home of Knit Cafe. I've been holding off on buying the book, Greetings from Knit Cafe, because I didn't think there was much in there that I would actually make. When my LYS had a 20% off sale I finally broke down and bought it because there was one pattern for a baby sweater that I thought was quite unique. Anyway, after brunch on Saturday the girls were looking at Greetings from Knit Cafe and they both loved the lace skirt that is on the cover. They both said it reminds them of clothing from a store called "anthropologie". (Again, a new world with these young women.) I have since joined a group on Ravelry of people who like that clothing line and there are well over 3,000 of them in the group. The more I thought of it, the more I liked the idea of knitting the skirt. I've since added several more skirt patterns to my Ravelry queue. I'm going to knit one for the more petite of the girls because (1) she was the one who first saw the skirt and commented on it (2) plus she is smaller by at least 5" of skirt length, and (3) she's more likely to be a DIL at this point. Well, that seems to be as good a criteria as any.

This is the little sweater that is knit from side to side. I hope I'm not breaking any copyright laws here. I do recommend buying the book.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dew Spangles

We received early morning gifts from our Creator God and busy spiders. Last night when I was coming home from church I was awed by a huge orange harvest moon. So beautiful.

A few of our maples are starting to turn to red and yellow. And yet, we still have butterflies coming to the garden. This Painted Lady is basking on the lavendar.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

It's a Blue Ribbon Day

Joy gave me a blue ribbon from the Blog County Fair (I made that part up about the fair) Thank you, Joy! Joy is a knitting friend from WAY Back. I believe I met her at my first Elizabeth Zimmerman Camp in 1978 in Shell Lake WI. I have not been to Camp for several years (piping took over my life) and lost touch with friends I had made there. Joy and I reconnected through Ravelry. Ravelry rocks!

There are so many blogs I enjoy and oh dear, it is hard to pick just four. These are some that I frequently visit along with many others!

Jen 's blog is always interesting. Her not-so-little family is as charming as their names suggest and they are lovely models for Jen's knitted creations. I've learned to understand autism better through Jen's beautiful little girl, Olive. Jen's knitting is full of bright colors and lots of fun details plus she cranks it out fast!

Green Woman is a friend I met through the P.E.O. Group on Ravelry. We're both serving as president of our local chapters this year and have learned to know one another better through our tentative first months at the helm. She is a perfectionist and her lace knitting is GORGEOUS!

I am one of many fans of Little Jenny Wren. Her writings of her daily life in Tasmania remind me of the seasons in another hemisphere. She handcrafts the most beautiful dolls, usually with handknitted clothing, which are sold in her Etsy Shop.

Now we travel to the northern part of Norway where Britt-Arnnhild lives, near Trondheim. My connection with the Scandinavian countries is strong. I learned to knit while spending a year in Denmark as a student. My husband and I spent a month of our honeymoon backpacking in Norway and visiting his relatives there. Britt-Arnnhild is a gifted writer and has an eye for photography as well. How she keeps up with all her blogs, I do not know, especially when you consider that she is writing in English, not her mother-tongue of Norwegian.

Here are the rules:

Post the award on your blog.
Add a link to the person who gave you the award.
Nominate at least 4 other bloggers and add their links.
Leave a comment at the recipients’ blogs so they can pass it on.

I am very tempted to list more blogs that deserve a Blue Ribbon (you know who you are!) but it is time to tidy up the house before bedtime. Thank you, again, Joy!

Fairy Garden of Fun Fungi

The rains came. We had record rainfall in the wake of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, although no personal flooding in our home. Oak Creek, at the bottom of our ravine, was overflowing and dark brown.

The damp earth produces a fairy forest of toadstools in our mulched beds. There are several hundred on this cool damp morning. By 9 a.m. they are all shriveled.
Beautiful, aren't they? I made a feeble attempt at indentification but gave up. If anyone knows what these are, please let me know. I am not planning on eating them, just curious.

Those are tiny fungi in the center of the photo, about 1/4 the size of a pencil eraser.
Even better than the fungus: I saw a pileated woodpecker today outside our porch windows! I first heard it's call and raced to the window just in time to see this prehistoric-looking beauty scuttling on the trunk of a maple tree. My camera wasn't too far away but I didn't want to risk precious time viewing the bird. I had a feeling the pileated woodpeckers lived in this woods but we had not seen one until now.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's Pumpkin Season

The giant Guernsey is a bit unwieldy for portable knitting. I've been trying to think of something cute to make for my neighbors who are adopting a set of twins. I usually avoid knitting the same thing twice in succession unless it is fairly small. My friend Sarah reminded me of these cute pumpkin hats which I have never made before. Of course they are simply a stocking cap in pumpkin color with lines of purl to make the pumpkin ribs. I combined two patterns. You may notice that the hat on the far left has a wilted vine. That is because I decided to be a Wee Smarty Pants. The curlicue stem pattern (Crazy Aunt Purl) said to cast on 19 stitches VERY loosely. Well, backward loop cast on is quite loose and hey, maybe I could avoid two extra ends to sew in if I just used the existing green thread at the top. The result is a wilted vine, which isn't half as cute as the perky vine in the middle. That is my favorite. Then I made one with a plain blunt stem in a slightly larger size. I KNOW that twins mean two babies, ok? There is another set of twins out there that I never made anything for and I'm sure they are going around pumpkinhead-less right now. One more hat to go. Oh yes. In a moment of desperation, I bought acrylic yarn because it was the right color and readily available. This self- avowed yarn snob is going to admit that it isn't really THAT BAD! Acrylic has improved in the last 25 years but it is still plastic and not as nice for the heads of wee babes. When this is gone, I'm going back to natural fibers. Really.

Dishcloths with cheap cotton are another diversion. They are good learning tools and wow, those "ombre" yards do hold my interest. The center cloth is my absolute favorite. It is a lace variation of the well-known "Grandmother's Favorite". Love that lace in the middle.

The Mason Dixon Log Cabin cloth was fun until I realized all the ends that I would need to weave in. Twenty-eight to be exact. The photo was taken after I had dealt with about 1/2 of them. It is a great way to use up odds and ends of cotton.

I've actually knitted about 7" of the second sleeve since the photo was taken. I'll finish it this week. I panicked and ordered two more skeins of yarn from Halcyon and now I think I may actually eek it out with the original 10 skeins. This thing is a pain to turn in my lap now but I'm forging ahead.

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