I have another cold. Head is achy, throat scratchy, and I am tired, oh so tired.
Maybe I will feel well enough for a post tomorrow.
Hope you are having fun sewing up Halloween Costumes!
I started knitting my Thinking of Autumn Hat in August, when it was still occasionally 95 degrees, the wind had just barely begun to blow and not a leaf had yet fallen. Still thinking and dreaming of Autumn. Of pears, leaves, wool, and rain.
Last week I finished this hat out of necessity. Our first rainstorm came and went dumping an inch of rain. The wind blows right through my favorite late summer cardigan freezing me to the bones while I watch hundreds of golden and red leaves fly through the air. I went searching for my bag of hats, scarves and mittens, but the bag is MIA. It is, I am sure, in some stuffed closet, on the bottom in the back where I wont find it until Spring Cleaning. So now this is the only hat I've got until I find the bag or knit more hats. Hmm, I wonder which will happen first...
This pattern is I heart pompoms by Karen Borrel (blog, ravelry). I used Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash in green. Its more of an army fatigue green then a true green. The yarn is great to knit with. Very smooth and flows easily on bamboo needles. I wasn't sure I would be able to finish the whole hat with one ball, but I ended up with just enough to finish the hat, the chain and one pom pom.
The pattern was very simple and easy to understand. I picked it because it is a simple repeat that is kind of monotonous and meditative without being dreadfully boring and tedious like 8 inches of stockinette. I also love the way the hat is drawn together on top with a drawstring. The holes are made with a yarn over, k2tog sequence so its not too advanced and the effect is really unique. I haven't tried this, but I noticed that you might be able to wear it as a cowl if you untied the drawstring and opened up the top. Just a thought!
I have no idea what to knit next. I think I might go for a pair of fingerless mitts. As I am typing this my fingers are feeling stiff and achy from the cold air. I love that fingerless mitts keep my hands warm without forcing me to sacrifice any dexterity in my fingers.
My mom tried hers on a blind friend and he was in love (with the gloves, not my mom)! He says that it is very important for the blind to feel the subtle nuances of their walking canes in the palm of their hand. Mittens and gloves get in the way of this so they often go with cold hands. Fingerless mitts solve this problem. They can slip their cane into the finger part while keeping most of their hand and fingers warm. If you would like to donate a pair of fingerless mitts to aid the blind you can drop them off at your local Association for the Blind.
So, have any good patterns I should try?
My friend Tina and I did an amazing thing a couple weeks ago. We built a table! A big beautiful coffee table for her new place. We used Ana White's amazing free plans for the Tryde Coffee Table. With only about $30 in materials we got a $400 table!
For both of us this was our first building project, first time using power tools. It took twice as long as we planned, but we had fun. I learned a lot. Like measure twice, cut once (should I have learned this sewing??). After cutting a board that we needed too short, Tom ran out and got us another one. Sweetheart that he is!
Then we were having a problem with our power drill bits getting stuck in the wood, but it turned out that we were using it wrong. You just pull up to get the bit out, no backing up nonsense. Then we realized that we would bend less nails if we pre-drilled the screw holes AND nail holes. Let me tell you, it is way faster to pound in nails to partially pre-drilled holes then to pound it half way in, wrench it out because it bent and pound a new one in.
Soon I am going to have to twist Tom's arm into helping me build one for our living room. Hopefully it wont take as long as the first one. Lessons learned!
I can't believe a week has gone by since my last post! I had myself convinced it hadn't been that long. This week has been sad. A relative passed away unexpectedly over the weekend. That was rough. While waiting for hospital updates I finished my Thinking of Autumn hat. Pictures to come. I am always amazed by how calm I feel when I knit. My mind is able to focus instead of flying off into a million different directions. The relative that passed away was young, a couple years younger then me. When someone younger then you passes away it is scary. It brings the fragility of life smack into your face reminding me to savor every moment I have with my family on this earth.
I promise the rest of this post is full of happier things. The other way I have been occupying my time is taking pictures of food. I have finally picked a photography project that I cant wait to see finished. I would like to make a family photo cookbook of my favorite and most memorable family recipes. I will cook them, photograph them and eventually make them into a book for us to keep. More on this in a future post.
Since I had food and photography on the brain I took some pretty pictures of our harvest. Hope they make you hungry!
Thank you for the birthday wishes! It was just us this weekend for our birthday. Our only plan was to avoid leaving the house for as long as possible, eat yummy food whenever we wanted, and to have fun together. We built a little table for the backyard out of scrap, fried chicken together at midnight, ate a cake of donuts (because neither of us like traditional cake), and otherwise enjoyed each others company. A perfect way to greet 28 and 33.
It may not be pretty, but it sure was delicious! Of course, we didn't eat them ALL!
The table we built, which still needs a coat of stain and varnish, was commandeered as a storefront. What began as a firewood stand quickly turned into a full hardware store.
Look what I got to start on! Guess who is already finished! Hers is gorgeous too!
I fiddled with a new recipe for pumpkin muffins. They came out moist and filled with Autumnal yumminess. I will share it later this week.
Meet Jane, my second try on a giant pumpkin. She is a little over a week old and about the size of a soccer ball! And NO HOLES! We might carve our names into her side so that they will scar over and get huge but I am a little worried about hurting this one. She is our backup in case James goes south.
James, the Giant Pumpkin, as he is now called, is still growing. His hole has gotten bigger and I am a little worried about what is going on inside. I am afraid when I open it up its going to look like the night of the living dead. Which is why I named it James. Like James and the Giant Peach. I know I am just a little crazy, but it makes life more interesting. The hole will be, with luck, used to our advantage. His nose or maybe a tooth? We will have to wait another couple weeks to see if he survives.
Here are my Apron and Pants from Carefree Clothes for Girls. This pattern came together quick! Did you all think so? My munchkin seems to like hers although she tells me that she likes her apron better with the opening in the front, like a vest. Its a good idea. Backwards it sort of defeats the purpose of an apron, but I see what she is getting at.
The pants were so easy that I want to make a few more pairs. It took me about 30 minutes to finish one pair. I bet if they were sewn factory style I could get 3 pairs done in an hour. I will need a warmer fabric for winter and they would have to be longer. At this length they are more like capris. Flannel would be great for pj's and corduroy might work for school pants.
I hope you aren't too intimidated by the coat project I planned for this month. I really think it is a lot easier then it looks. I am a little worried my little one is going to insist on pink again and I really really don't want to look at another bolt of bright pink fabric for a while. Anything other then pink. I think I will fight for gray to match the hat I just started knitting for her. It's a Star Crossed Slouchy Beret in the same gray yarn as my last Star Crossed Beret.
Now is the perfect time for a new hat. This past week the morning air has been icy cold and wet. I am scraping slushy water off my windshield and rubbing the fog off my windows before school every morning. All our knits from last year are in a bag somewhere crying for a wash. It might be time to air those puppies out before my ears start to freeze.
Tom and I are celebrating our birthdays on Monday and Tuesday. Mine is Monday, Tom's is Tuesday. We don't have much planned. I think we are going to stay near home, have some yummy food and build some furniture together. Sounds perfect to me.
Note: A couple things before I start today's post. My apron and pants are finished. I just need a little model to pose for me. Second, I have begun responding to comments in the comments section of the post. It has been hard for me to respond to comments in both the comments section and through personal email. I want everyone to benefit from the comments or questions so please don't hesitate to come out and say hi, share what you are doing and introduce yourself to me! I love to see who is actually reading this anyway. On to the post...
I have this cute square table. It isn't good for much because of its size, but it fits so well in the oddest places where nothing else will fit. Often times it doesn't have much of a home. It wanders around our house the first few months we move in looking for its permanent place.
In Santa Cruz this table lived in the bathroom. Which turned out to be not so good for the table. Hey, I am from the desert, we don't have to worry about things like mildew or even water spots. Water dries up so quickly that its not normally a problem. So the little table lived in that awkward space between the shower and toilet. The one nothing else can fit into.
Fast forward two years later, the little table is covered in water spots, rings from hot mugs of bathtime tea and a little mildew on the bottom of its legs from sitting on a wet floor.
After moving into our new house the little table was again hustled into an unused corner near the kitchen, a place where nothing else seemed to fit. Ignored, the little table settled into its new life as a clutter magnet.
There it sat for 6 months until one day I came across this series on refinishing furniture. Suddenly I remembered the little table, its water spots, mold and scratches. A perfect experiment. It couldn't get worse then it already was. The little table was taken to the garage, sanded within an inch of its life and restained.
The little table now sits in its new spot, a tiny space by the front door, where nothing else will fit. It holds a couple wooden bowls which catch keys and spare change as our family runs about its business. It has found its place and new beauty. I notice this little table everyday now. I love to run my fingers across the smooth wood savoring the silky feel on my fingertips. The stain brought new personality to the wood. Curves and knots I never noticed before were brought forth with a darker color and a little love.
As promised, by random number drawing the winner for this month is #3 - Sarah. Congratulations Sarah!
I love what she did with the back! (I love those adorable blond curls too!!)
The pocket is embroidered too! Vintage kittens should be embroidered somewhere in every little girl's wardrobe.
Have fun with next months project!