Cricket Chorus

Surrounded by a loud cricket chorus, the sound almost deafening.  The tempo is prestissimo this warm evening.

The past four months seem to have passed at up-tempo speed. Often people declare they can’t wait for fall, especially after the record days of temperatures in the nineties. I won’t miss the scorching hot days but I will miss the long warm daylight hours.

The last time I posted I had no idea that the very next day we’d receive news that Ed’s best friend, fishing buddy, Saturday morning coffee chats and confidant had unexpectedly, shockingly died in his sleep in the early hours of the morning. He was only 2 months into his 66th year.

Eric was almost bigger than life, unlike anyone we’d known before. There will never be another person like him; witty, an engaging story teller, an excellent preacher, friend, a laugh that invited others to laugh with him; the voice of a thousand characters; loved art, theater and a good book, and a deep thinker. He challenged us to think, to laugh, to look at life from different perspectives. He loved Jesus, his family, and his close friends with loyalty and abandon.

Ed misses Eric as the friend of his heart, I miss his encouragement and exhortation, especially in ministry and sermons. He sat in the front pew his final Sunday at church fully, enthusiastically engaged in the worship and message.

Summer seems to have passed as fast and blurred as the frantic pace of the crickets chirping outside. So many things happening, yet not.

On one level it doesn’t seem like much was accomplished. Work swung into a different rhythm getting the new website built, transferred, and the new cart working.

Oral surgery, avoiding the dentist, more oral surgery.
Low energy. Slow walks.
Books, friends from far and near. One week slipping into the next. Sunday message to Sunday message to primary focal points of the week.
Baking cakes each Wednesday for Ed to share with the dinner crew.

For long lengths of time I’ve avoided most social media, swooping in only long enough to get a sense of what’s happening. I rediscovered how much I love reading good fiction. And weaving.

The sweater for grandson Gus was finished in time for his 10th birthday.

After struggling for over a year to complete a sweater for Gus the Anker’s Summer Shirt was knit in just under a month, by far the quickest I’ve knit a shirt. It helps to have a straight forward, knit in the round from neck down pattern.
Yarn: Cascade Avalon, a cotton acrylic blend. I normally avoid acrylics but was captivated by the color. There was no resisting it.

This was a fun pattern, one I will most likely knit again.

Now that a post has been written after this long dry spell perhaps more will be forthcoming before the days of summer fade, the crickets’ chorus slows and memories dim.

The crickets’ song is slowing down as the warm of the day fades. Darkness is complete, bed is calling.


Finished Mitts

The fingerless mitts are finished.
There were a number of false starts before finally settling on a pattern that shows off their beautiful color.
Pattern: Amanda’s Christmas Wristlets  with several modifications, including adding 3 ss rows and 2 ribbed on the thumbs; extending the length at the wrist and hand; changing from US6 / 4mm to US 5 / 3.75mm needles for the ribbing at the fingers.

Once the pattern and yarn began getting along nicely they knit up quicker than I’d hoped. I just might cast on for another pair. Or two.

Yarn spun out of  Picperfic  fiber titled Wylie a delicious blend of 60% Polwarth, 20% Yak, 20% Mulberry Silk. Colourway: Doris
Chain-plyed to keep the colors together.
(If you missed reading what I wrote about spinning the yarn and want to know more details here’s the post.)

With only 6 days left in November I’d best get cracking on what to spin for the YarnTools Ravelry December Challenge. If you love spinning with one of our Jenkins spindles and you haven’t joined the forum please do! We’d love to have you.

Our three year old cat approves of the mitts.
Grateful for:
– a pleasant, busy work day
– encouragement from friends
– the slant of the sun against glowing yellow and red leaves
– the ability to bring a bit of joy into a life of someone who’s life turned upside-down.
– good health!

Back to the Beginning

Four more rounds were knit.
The gusset was well started when I knew…Still too big.

The generous positive ease doesn’t show up in the picture but it was there. My daughter likes her fingerless gloves snug.

The other factor was how the straight stockinette showed off the colors which were muted in the waves.

They’ve been frogged. I’ll use lace weight yarn with less color changes to make her some gloves to use at work.

I really like this yarn and am keen to make something before November is over. I better figure out what hat to knit.

Strong winds and rains have been blowing about since last night with numerous short breaks. My neighbor JG and I were thrilled when to have calmer weather at our regular walking time. We didn’t get quite to the top of the hill before the gusts came back whipping the firs, oaks and maples lining the road. Some smaller branches flew through the air causing us to rethink continuing up through those trees as the wind is always stronger up there.

I was astonished that all day long the helicopter assisting in the Christmas tree harvesting continued its circling round and round gathering bundles of trees then dropping them off at the staging lot next to the road.  A very skilled, and fearless pilot must have been at the controls.

Here’s a better picture of the wolfhound, Seana, taken today.

A little knitting

Made a bit of headway on the mitts today. Yesterday I decided to start the second mitt when I reached the gusset increases while at the party. I didn’t think I’d get as much knitting done and hadn’t taken the pattern. Grabbing a round, straight handled spatula from my daughter’s counter I rewound the ball to free up the yarn end that was trapped in the middle.

I was too tired this afternoon / evening to accomplish much knitting. Only managed to complete the seven round chart of the pattern on the new one plus a couple of rounds of the gusset increases on the first one. It’s far enough along that once again it appears they still might be too big for my slender daughter’s arms.
(That mess of loose yarn going up the center? Keeping track of chart repeats.)
The yarn is my handspun from the Sept/Oct Yarn Tools Ravelry forum challenge.
Fiber: Picperfic  Wylie: 60% Polwarth, 20% Yak, 20% Mulberry Silk. Colourway: Doris 107 grams, approx. 150 yards

These colors have been speaking to my heart since I first saw the picture of the fibre on Picperfic’s website. If the fingerless mitts do end up too sloppy for my daughter I just might frog them and make a hat for myself.

Here’s a shot from last night’s birthday party. The three best friends were having a blast playing dress up. Little brothers wanted to be included.
The girl with the purple sweater is our granddaughter. 🙂 Such a cutie!

Patterns and a Designer

Sunday I went through all my patterns for hats, scarves and fingerless gloves noting those that could be done with less than 140 yards. The list was weeded down to two: Selah’s Zig Zag Hat, by Susan Black, and  Amanda’s Christmas Wristlets. I had thought one of these would at least be cast on and a good start made today.

This morning an email notifying of a “Like” by Nothingbutknit2. A link to one of her post titles caught me attention so I clicked on Sunday Suggestion.

Am I glad I did! Blog author, Karen had written about a knitter/designer/spinner, Jenjoyce who’d lost her house, and everything, escaping with only her husband, dog and a few possessions, in the horrific firestorm that swept through Santa Rosa and the mountains of that area in N. California.

It’s hard to know how to help when these types of disasters happen. We can give to responsible, reputable organizations that are already in place but it seems more personal when we can directly help someone, even a little bit. Friends had reached out to Jen to ask what they could do, how they could help.  I encourage you to read for yourself Jen’s posts about the fire; see the pictures of the land she called home, her knitting/walking trails, the house that she and her husband built. They built, themselves over years of weekends and vacations.

The answer? Support her by buying one (or many!) of Jenjoyce Design patterns.

Jen has designed many lovely patterns to choose from! Jen has designed mittens, socks, cowls, scarves, leg warmers, hats, cardigans, sweaters, t-shirts, vests…I did use some restraint.
Tomorrow I’ll cast on for the first one, either the Altitude Mitts – Lace, or the Altitude Mitts – Ridges. These aren’t the only patterns I fell in love with and purchased. I hope numerous people will step up, buy some patterns; to give her a measure of hope for the future.

Mystery Blanket

One morning my walking partner and I were both low on energy so when we decided to turn off just before the road turns to gravel for the last long stretch of the uphill route we often take.

Coming to the last house before the road bends around a corner I suddenly stopped. A blanket airing out on the porch railing had caught my attention. The bright, cheerful colors called me to come closer.

As I approached astonishment and admiration grew. It drew me nearer. Was it really what it appeared to be?

The sun skimming around the side of the house cast a halo around it, dazzling me even more.

Throwing some caution to the wind I had to see it up close, never mind if someone inside was watching via a security camera!

Do you see those squares? The details? It had to be a hand knit blanket! In complete awe of this masterpiece I threw all caution to the wind and mounted the porch steps determined to ring the doorbell and get information. Had it been made by a resident knitter?

Aside from the monthly spinning group, and the Aurora Colony Handspinners Guild meetings in a different town it’s rare that I get together with other spinners or knitters. I’ve thought about trying to start a weekly or even bi-weekly knitting / spinning group here in town but have been reluctant at the idea of adding another weekly obligation to my schedule. I’d love a casual, local group that I didn’t have to be in charge of or anyone have the expectation that I’d always be there.

Two dogs ferociously barked behind the closed door. To no avail. The door stayed closed between us. I turned to admire the blanket, longing to hold it so I could really examine the stitches and patterns.
In the end I resisted out of respect for the people of the house. The blanket hasn’t been hung over the railing on the days that we’ve walked by since that late September day.

Someday I might feel bold enough to knock at the door again to have a chat about a knitted blanket that captured my admiration.