Friday, October 31, 2008

Boo!


Happy Halloween! Two hulking grey hawks perch themselves on the barren branches of a dead tree in the woods across from my house. Every morning they watch us walk to the bus stop, never moving. Every morning I ponder their silent silhouettes, glad such beautiful creatures are part of my routine. This morning, as I crossed the street to my driveway, they both swooped at me and screeched, scaring me to death. I am sure there must have been a mouse I didn't see, but I really would rather believe they were just celebrating Halloween and getting a good laugh from startling me.
I am consoling my hurt pride with the awesomeness I received in the mail from Irene. Look at those cute Eddie Caps (link to pattern in her sidebar)! The kids love them and I have already put my tote bag to good use. Thank you Irene, you are too generous (and ultra talented).

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Mitt in Time

Many of my regular readers will have noticed I have used Knit Picks yarn for several finished objects lately. I am burning through a huge order I placed many months ago. Since yarn is not an essential (don't hate, just relate) to the family of 4 budget in trying economic times, I am using every single inch I can. This Victory Knitting has had two pleasant effects: less odd balls rolling around the stash and a queue of quick projects. My Toasty mitts are made from leftover gold (Felicity Hat) and grey (Liam's sweater). I even have enough of the grey to make another pair of mitts or a hat. I am earmarking anorexic cakes of sock yarn for bookmarks, cozies, ornaments, and baby socks. All of this wee knitting is my equivalent of canning vegetables for the winter. These mitts knit up in a few hours yesterday and I wore them to the bus stop this morning. Huzzah.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Baby Gifts


Pattern: basic top down raglan with a cable, basic beanie with 6 cables
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Superwash 'squirrel heather'
Needles: US #8 circs and DPN's
This set is for Liam, Cutest Baby Ever, who has been delighting the world for a couple weeks now. I planned to make a cabled set because let's face it, with a nickname like Liam, you can bet your Celtic Knots I'm going to cover you in cables. The only deviation from my original plan was to leave the sleeves off the sweater. Liam lives in sunny Florida, and I know from experience, babies will be fine in long sleeved tees under a vest or short sleeved sweater because of the 3 blankets we pile on them "just in case". My children now prefer to run around in the buff, probably a direct consequence of my swaddling them as if we lived on the tundra. The dashing Liam was kind enough to model . He also has wiggle room to grow- that is what I call a knitting success. One day I hope to meet Liam in person and kiss that peaceful face.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Felicity Hat

Pattern: Felicity by Wanett Clyde
Needles: US #6 and 8 circs
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Superwash 'gold'
This little hat was a super easy knit. I cast on 80 instead of 70 and followed the directions from there. The pattern states the wearer of the hat can celebrate their hipster chic. I don't know about that. I could very well be celebrating being the muffin man (do you know him?), the baker (sans butcher and candlestick maker), or now that I see it on my head, Grumpy Dwarf. Regardless, I love this slouchy, odd, really comfortable hat so much I took pictures of my own head in the backyard when neighbors were around. My son sagely asked if I was doing my yoga. Yes, honey, if that is less embarrassing, I am.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pumpkins, Of Course

What would a blog in October be without the pumpkin hunting pictures? This one was my favorite; such a nice shape with all those fabulous bumpy bits. Knitting is in full swing around these parts with socks, a hat, baby gifts, and mitts in various stages of completion. Some people experience a seasonal drowsiness when the days get shorter and the weather colder, but I have the opposite reaction. My little brain gets all active and fidgety and the next thing you know I am cranking out knits, letters, drawings, and stories late into the night. Since self diagnoses is one of my favorite hobbies, I'll call this condition SCD or Seasonal Creative Disorder.

Monday, October 20, 2008

History Lesson


Last weekend, my husband and I took a long anticipated trip to Franklin, Tennessee. The weekend was perfect. Touring the battlefield and surrounding plantations was interesting, and the weather was beautiful. What I hadn't planned was falling in love with this small city in a big way. I can't recommend a visit highly enough, especially in the fall; the patchwork leaves on the mountains was breathtaking. The highlight was the Classic Franklin walking tour we took with Rene of Franklin on Foot. Absolutely worth every penny. Rene is an amazing docent who fleshed out the history of the town from the late 1700's to modern times, including a chance to sit among a priceless art collection (I won't spoil the surprise.)

The old retired guys and myself were there with civil war maps in hand, lingering over every plaque and asking a million questions, while the wives and Hubby gamely watched on, wondering when this would all end so they could get an iced tea somewhere. I couldn't help but see parallels between the viscious battles of the 1860's and the modern day cat fight we call a political campaign. Superficially, some of the verbiage is the same: campaigns, attacks, battleground states, opponents, a nation divided, war chest. Standing in front of historic homes riddled in bullet holes, witnessing neighboring modern houses with opposing candidate signs in their yards, and then standing over the blood stained hearth bricks and floors in Carnton, brought home just how little we have advanced as a nation at all. Here we are 144 years later with race and economics still pitting neighbor against neighbor. My hope is that we don't forget what the previous centuries of American men and women lived and died for: liberty to make our own decisions and accept the tremendous responsibility for each other that particular freedom entails.

A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.
Thomas Jefferson

We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.
George Bernard Shaw

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ever and Anon: Headless Hessian Socks

"The dominant spirit, however, that haunts this enchanted region, and seems to be commander-in-chief of all the powers of the air, is the apparition of a figure on horseback, without a head. It is said by some to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper, whose head had been carried away by a cannon-ball, in some nameless battle during the Revolutionary War,and who is ever and anon seen by the country folk hurrying along in the gloom of night, as if on the wings of the wind...
Such is the general purport of this legendary superstition, which has furnished materials for many a wild story in that region of shadows; and the spectre is known at all the country firesides, by the name of the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow. "

With the aide of Jack O' Leena, I recovered the head of the Hessian and commemorated the moment ever and anon in my socks. The horrible hunt was dicey to the bloody end as he was hot on my heels, but all is well that endeth well.


Go here for a terrific audio download of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (more satisfying than a political debate, trust me.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Oak Socks


Yarn: Knit Picks Kettle Dyed Essential 'oak'
Needles: US#1 DPN

Last month Irene of Mushroom Villagers left a comment about how much she loved my socks and wished she had a pair to keep her warm. I could not live with myself knowing that a fellow crafty blogger would have to face a cold North Western winter with out the essential woolen footwear. I sent her an email asking (begging) to let me knit her a pair. She received them and took much better photos of them.
Thank you for the well wishes for my son. He is doing much better, but had us pretty scared for a few days. After many tests the docs determined he had a sinus infection that then infected his tonsils and epiglottis. After a massive shot of antibiotics and box of Popsicles he was up and running again. I am back from Franklin, TN and will fill you in on the trip later in the week as well as a sneak peek of my 'Headless Hessian' socks for Halloween...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Waiting

Today has been about waiting. Waiting for a fever to break. Waiting in the doctor's office. Waiting in the exam room for the blood work, the x-ray, the diagnosis. Waiting for a definite answer but finding only educated guesses. Waiting for the prescriptions to be filled, the take out to be made, the traffic light to change. Waiting for my son to get better. During all of this waiting, I didn't keep my constant vigil up for the first sign of Autumn. When I forgot to wait, she decided to wait for me and set the sugar maple in my yard on fire so I could find my way home.
Autumn Day
by Rilke

Lord: it is time. The summer was immense.
Lay your shadow on the sundials
and let loose the wind in the fields.

Bid the last fruits to be full;
give them another two more southerly days,
press them to ripeness, and chase
the last sweetness into the heavy wine.

Whoever has no house now will not build one anymore.
Whoever is alone now will remain so for a long time,
will stay up, read, write long letters,and wander the avenues,
up and down,restlessly, while the leaves are blowing.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Bird In Hand?

To my horror , I discovered a small hole in a sweater I have come to love so much I bought shoes to match it. I think I got them both from Target. I couldn't let the sweater go so instead of relegating it to 'the wear around the house and hope no one rings the doorbell' kind of clothing, I got crafty. I mixed inspiration from Alabama Chanin, Anthropologie, with a dash of Sally Shim for good measure. I used small scraps of Joel Dewberry fabric and Pigeonroof Studios sock yarn to create this fix. I will let the edges fray in the wash so it is imperfect and casual. Be honest, do you think I can wear it out without people thinking I am the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz, or should it be shunned and locked away in the house for fear the villagers might discover my un-holey secret?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Blue Jay Socks

Yarn: Knit Picks Kettle Dyed 'jay'
Needles: US#1 DPN

I used to have a big orange cat. I was 5 and convinced him to leave the house he lived in to live with us by depositing copious amounts of cheese singles in a designated spot on the driveway. I still remember the exact place along a crack in the pavement. I also remember the blue jays that attacked him regularly. They would screech and swoop at his backside and ol' Tom would just keep walking with an air of indignation and a cotton ball sized brain full of righteous hate. Do you remember too, Mom? These socks are for you. May they bring you as much joy as I would see in Tom's yellow eyes when he would deposit a blue jay in a designated spot by the kitchen door.

I finished these at 9pm last night in a mad rush because today I am casting on for Socktoberfest socks. The first pair will be black will skulls on them. I love Halloween and if I did not admire Helena Bonham Carter so, I'd kick her to the curb and marry Tim Burton just to watch him doodle all day. Oh, October, you make a girl ghoulishly giddy.