Ba-baaai, summer! Bwah!

Published on Tuesday September 27th, 2011

Time to say goodbye, Ada style, with a vigorous kiss blown at the end, to the briefest summer in my memory. All night, dozing lightly with one ear cocked upstairs for baby sounds — the only way I seem to know how to sleep anymore — I heard rain on the pavement. This morning I put on a wool sweater (Pas de Valse), a wool hat (“Mama HA’!” exclaims my small one, reaching to pull it off my head and flop it over her face for peekaboo), and wool socks. (Darned if those aren’t still the best-looking socks in the drawer, despite having been knit in 2005. My admiration for Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock grows annually.) Ada is in her reversible brioche cardigan (blue side out today) and her new boots. The boot leather squeaks and she steps tentatively in them, unaccustomed to the stiff soles.

We replenished the bird feeders this morning and discovered a mouse had moved into the seed bin on the back porch. I spotted the evidence right away, but didn’t expect to see Mouse herself peeping up at me from a hole in the bag, all sleek fur, bright eyes, and quivery whiskers. Ada, having been recently enchanted by a pet rat at the tea shop, thought we should pick her up and get to know her properly, but we didn’t. I am tenderhearted about mice, although I sincerely hope this one’s family isn’t expecting to move in with us for the winter. (The cat should be an effective deterrent. For all his faults, he’s a competent hunter and also pulls his weight when it comes to chores like dispatching house centipedes with alarming legs. (Don’t google them. If you don’t know what they look like from personal experience, thank the appropriate deity and go on your blissfully ignorant way.) And while the dog is useless against the creepy crawlies, she’d be thrilled to go all buddy-cop with Mingus on a mouse if he wouldn’t end her for cramping his style. So I’m not too worried about a rodent invasion.) But I’ll be devising a way to lock down the bin lid more securely. In the mean time, the finches seem untroubled to have shared some of their sunflower seeds. I’ve never seen a handful of birds tuck in with more vigor. They must realize summer is fading, too.

While the featheries are plumping up for winter, I’m feeling ready to turn my attention back to the thickest and warmest projects in my knitting basket. If you’re a knitter, there’s an excellent chance you already know what this is…

MiteredCross (1 of 1)

… but don’t tell, okay? Here be secret knitting. And speaking of miters, I’ve nearly finished my Mitered Cardigan: a seam to graft, buttons to attach, ends to weave, and then I cross my fingers and block this sweater like the dickens and, if all else fails, maybe take up running in case there’s a spare inch or so that could come off my middle.

The goose is getting fat.

Published on Friday November 18th, 2005

You know the holidays are approaching fast when the restaurant next door turns on their tree. They’ve smothered this poor ailanthus in hot pink lights. I don’t just mean they’ve draped the strings among the branches. No, they’ve outlined every solitary twig. And it’s HOT PINK, people. It looks like a giant faux-coral accessory for a fish tank. Anyway, the tree went on this past Sunday. So I knew I’d better speed through the toe of these socks, my first completed Christmas knitting.

Specs: Feather-and-Fan pattern, my own variation, in Mountain Colors Bearfoot “meadow”. I used US#1 needles on the cuffs, but switched to #0s for the heels and feet. We have scrawny ankles and narrow feet in my family. Shapely, womanly calves? Not so much. We’re plenty womanly elsewhere, thank you very much, but not south of the knees. My mum picked this yarn out on a visit to the LYS on her birthday in June, when I was home for my wedding. She isn’t a knitter and I’m not sure she could sit still long enough to learn to be one, but she has fine taste in sock yarn. Maybe in another twenty years or so, if she’s slowed down a tiny bit, I can teach her. It would be fun. In the meantime, I’ll just knit for her.

O Happy Day.

Published on Friday November 4th, 2005

Yes, my friends, here you see the maiden voyage of HMS Swift, winding her very first 500-yard skein of Brooks Farm Duet. As this operation went swimmingly, she proceeded to wind the rest of the Rhinebeck haul and then all of Lisa’s Rhinebeck yarn. Swifting is so pleasurable that I would have gladly wound about eight times as much yarn for Lisa free of charge, but she traded me the Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted she had left over from her Clapotis. I’d been eyeing it for the class I’m taking tonight – my very first knitting class, and it’s with Annie Modesitt! I’m going to learn combination knitting and how to create circular fabric. The project is the circular cardigan on the cover of the Fall issue of Vogue, which I quickly dismissed as Not My Bag. But then I got to thinking that the construction was really pretty neat and easily applicable to other garments, so I started imagining a toddler-size version in entirely different colors with a simple picot edge instead of all that boucle. So I’m going to see what I can do with Lisa’s sea green yarn and a couple of beautiful skeins in the colorway Seaside. Wish me luck!

Few posts would be complete without a gratuitous sock picture, so here’s the second Bearfoot feather-and-fan sock romping at The Cloisters in the beautiful weather we had last weekend:

I love Socktoberfest.

Published on Sunday October 30th, 2005

Well, I’ve finished two Socktoberfest socks…but they don’t match. It’s not really second-sock syndrome, because I did cast on for the second feather-and-fan sock right away. But I couldn’t resist the siren song of my Claudia Handpainted any longer. And then I knew I was going to need the size 0 Addis back again when I got to the feather-and-fan foot, so I thought I’d better just go ahead and finish my retro ribs. Here are the two of the most mismatched socks imaginable:

This picture also demonstrates the utter lack of autumn foliage – these are the two trees on the inside of my block (I’m sitting on the wall around my patio), devoid of the pretty bronze-yellow leaves they were showing this time last year. And in another oddity of this year’s strange weather, Retro Rib stops to smell the roses:

Two of my three roses are still blooming. This is my “New Dawn” climber.