Change of Seasons

Goodness, but it’s been a while!

Such a busy summer with lots of weekend travels and working at the still-new-to-me job. But after a beautiful, long late summer Autumn is finally in the air and I have to say I am ready.

The past few weeks have been filled with canning (apples and salsa verde) and dehydrating (peppers, onions, and herbs). I’ve finally baked a few morning-coffee things, and cinnamon and spice smell incredible right now. It’s just so right for this time of year.

Nesting is setting in, too. I’ve made new pillow covers for some throw pillows, washed all the fabric curtains in the house, and am in the middle of a deep dusting everywhere. You know, the kind where you get up on a ladder with the vacuum’s hose attachment.

Knitting was almost non-existent around here this summer. After the Knot Hysteria retreat, it was as if I was topped-off on fiber for a while. But lately I’ve been churning out Puffs.

I’ve reached a grand total of 69. (I found 5 more on my desk after I took this photo!)

And… Angelberry is finished! As soon as it goes to its new owner I will post pictures of the final steps and the stole in all of its sparkling glory.

In a walk around the yard today (in between the rain showers), it’s evident that the transition of seasons is well underway. The hydrangea are getting rusty.

Brilliant colors are all around, but not quite yet everywhere.

The hosta are making one last statement of autumn beauty.

Benny and I saw our first spawning salmon of the year, and we were lucky enough to watch it wiggle its way up the creek.

Happy Autumn!

Spinning Flowers

I wanted to spin something different than I have before, so I pulled the most brightly-colored roving out of my stash, Dicentra Designs superwash merino top in a colorway called Aster.

Asters, courtesty wikimedia.org. Photographer Ettore Balocchi

But despite the colorway’s name, I couldn’t stop thinking of bright Violas as I spun this wonderful merino.

The resulting yarn is my thickest yet, a worsted-to-aran weight. About 3.5oz of merino fiber spun into 220 yards of 2-ply yarn.

Here’s to the hope of spring and brightly-colored flowers!

A New Year

Christmas decorations came down yesterday.  The familiar pictures are back and hanging in their usual places on the walls. After I’d put away the birds and berries and baubles, the house looked clean but felt empty. I did a little, too. So I created this tiny glowing garden to celebrate the new-turned year and to remind myself of the growth, rebirth, and promise of the coming spring.

Stockings and Scoundrels

Well, I’m going to call it ‘close enough’ for the header and let ‘er roll. I love this new theme, WordPress has been an awesome blog-hosting tool!

But on to business –

Stockings:

Back in April, I started these lovely stockings:

I have loved knitting with this colorway, called ‘Olympic Rainforest.’ It’s from Hazel Knits.

As I was working on the feet, the colors weren’t pooling too badly, but the resulting fabric didn’t really look as pretty as the yarn did in the skein. So I decided to look for a pattern for the leg that might break up the stripes. I was reading Yarn Harlot and she was dealing with a pair of sock that were pooling horribly. Her solution was a pattern called ‘Everybody Out of the Pool’ – a name that totally cracked me up. I didn’t need the whole pattern and didn’t want to buy it just for the anti-pooling, so I took a very good look in the Ravelry database at what others had done with the pattern and it seemed like it was a simple 3-row slipped stitch. I decided to give it a whirl and was so pleased to get this:

Aren’t they pretty? I love these socks.

Well, I managed to finish the pair in exactly 4 months: April 12 to July 12. That’s the fastest I’ve ever knit a full pair from start to finish. I think working both at the same time made a huge difference. Nothing (knitting wise) is worse than the glory of finishing one sock, in all it’s newness and beauty, and then having to slog through it’s mate where nothing new is there to surprise or enchant. This two-at-a-time deal is my new favorite.

So, the minute I’d finished sewing-in the ends (even before I’d taken pictures), out came new yarn that was next in my sock queue:

That’s ShiBui Knits Staccato yarn in the colorway ’50s Kitchen.’ It’s got a bit of silk in it, and the shine and feel of the yarn is not even kind-of captured in these photos. It’s lustrous and a little bit slick-feeling, with a sheen of polished brushed-metal. It seems like every yarn I knit with lately is more wonderful than the last! This treasure, which I bought at Knit|Purl (possibly my favorite yarn shop in the world) in Portland January 2010, is a joy.

I definitely wanted to do a leg pattern with these socks, too, to really highlight the colors. I pulled out a pattern I’ve been wanting to do for a while, Monkey by the incredible Cookie A.

And my ‘Kitchen Monkeys’ are underway!:

Scoundrels:

There has been some SERIOUS scoundrelization going on around here lately. Let me show you:

My mom and I have been conducting a contest to see who has the lawn most destroyed by moles by the end of the summer. Although she was catching up for a while, I do believe I am now kicking her butt.

 

Here is Mr. Mole’s front porch.

Next to that is a picture of a perfectly good baby pie cherry, just one of many that the crows are plucking off the trees and throwing on the ground.

 

Here we have the lone apple that managed to get pollinated. Yes, that is a worm hole.

Next we have powdery mildew on my geraniums… which I just planted less than a month ago. Thank you, Puget Sound weather. (BTW for those of you living away, the forecast for the next 10 days is exactly the same: high sixties for the temperature’s high, overcast, chance of rain. Awesome.)

And finally, the worst scoundrels of all.

Don’t let the happy faces fool you or suck you in. This is about 150lbs of Big Trouble (note caps) right here.

And the hands-down worst offender is….

… I’m certain that no one is surprised.

Sunshine Days


Over-wintered primroses that have bloomed in the last week. I took this picture during the last hour of golden sunshine this afternoon.

Despite my bold claim that winter is not, in fact, the boss of me. I am realizing how much the grey and wet has been affecting me for the past few months. All I’ve really wanted to do is curl up with a big ball of wool yarn and knit or crochet till my fingers fall off. However, the laundry doesn’t do itself (someone needs to get on that problem, STAT), so everything seems to be moving along more slowly than I’d like.

Particularly when distractions like the last few days have come along: SUNSHINE! Two days of sun and light have been just wonderful, and the boys and I have been outside every afternoon working in the yard.


Cleaning up a winter’s worth of dropped cedar branches and doug fir cones. My Supervisor watches from the top of the driveway to ensure all work is done correctly.


This co-worker appeared to be worried about my job security, since he spent most of the last 24 hours re-distributing sticks around the yard from the piles I’d raked.

It felt very good to get outside and work in the yard, to take a look at the earth and to see where buds are setting in anticipation of warmer weather and longer days. It’s much too early to garden in earnest, or even for me to disturb the soil much by removing mulch or pulling too many weeds; more cold and rain always comes before the end of February. But doing this bit of clean-up was just what I needed to get re-acquainted with my shrubs and moss and bits of earth. It’s been a fabulous few Sunshine Days.

First frosts

 
 

Frost on a Nettle, picture by Vincent van Zeijst

Yesterday and this morning have marked the first frosts of the year for us. It seems late in the year, but I’m not complaining! Windshields have been frosted, but so far the plants and our bit of lawn have escaped a heavy frost. With “partly cloudy” forecasts this week, we have a chance for a real, true, heavy frost. I’m looking forward to it a bit, a heavy coating of frost on a field, seen as the sun is just coming up, is one of my favorite sights.

I hope the weather has been seasonal and wonderful, wherever you are at!