Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Mid-August Notes

This mid-August morning I felt a touch of fall in the air. The ornamental pear in our front yard sports one branch of yellow. The color change seems early but whenever autumn arrives it is very welcome. A white breasted nuthatch hops head first down the limb of the birch and finches feed in the dappled sunshine. As I divided iris yesterday, two monarchs fluttered between the blanket flowers and the zinnias. This afternoon we are back to summer. 

Small knitting projects appeal to me these days. I finished a hat for my daughter-in-law's Christmas gift. I recommend the Modern Rib Hat by Susan B. Anderson if you are in the market for a multi-sized free hat pattern and don't mind knitting ribbing. The ribbing makes a soft squishy hat. Jacque loves stocking hats and wears them indoors and out during the winter so it is fun to knit them for her.  

I cast on a pair of cuff down socks from a pattern I've had in my Ravelry library for quite some time. The designer lives just down the road near Omaha. I bought the yarn, dyed here in Lincoln, at a local yarn store. They won't be travel knitting so they are truly Nebraska socks. The slip-stitch pattern on the side of the leg adds interest to a vanilla sock. I tried a pattern for toe-up socks but between the cast on and texture of one stitch cables I decided it wasn't for me. I prefer to knit top down socks as I know how to knit them to fit.

I knit a few rows on a shawl in progress but not enough to photograph. My daughter has requested a large warm shawl she can wear around the house this winter so I am looking at patterns I already own. I don't mind supporting independent designers but as I looked through my library of books and in Ravelry I wonder why I don't use what I already have purchased. 

Since I am linking with Kat and the Unravelers, I will write about my reading. I finished The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd. Although the dialogue was a little stilted at times, the story was engaging. I enjoy historical fiction presented from a unique point of view. If you are offended by the idea of Jesus having a wife then this book is not for you. For me, the relationships the main character, Ana builds with other women are the strength of the novel. Wherever she lives, Ana creates a sisterhood. Her outspoken, wise, sad aunt was my favorite character. Be forewarned that women in that time and place had no rights and were treated as commodities and property. In an author's note at the end of the book, Kidd scrupulously identifies fact and fiction in the story. I wish I had read that note first. 

Last but not least, our mayor did what the governor would not do. She mandated masks. This week the Covid positivity rate in Lincoln has declined to 5.6%. Last Wednesday, the public schools opened with a six hundred page plan created with input from the public health department. Remote learning is an option for families. This means teachers are juggling in person and remote teaching at the same time. The high schools have alternate scheduling so only half the student body is in the building most of the time. Students and teachers are wearing masks. It will be interesting to see what happens. I am ever so grateful to be retired. 

I wish you safe August days. 

Ravelry links to projects: hatsocks


  1. That's a cute slip stitch pattern on the side I will look that pattern up. So glad my family is not in school, university or grad school right now1

  2. I am so happy I do not have a school aged child. This would be SUCH a hard decision to make.

    Our black walnut tree is starting to turn yellow and both dogwoods are starting to show fall color.

  3. We've had a little taste of fall here, too, lately, and it's very welcome after all the dry heat we've been suffering through. As I type this, it's actually 54 degrees outside!

    My daughter is headed back to school, in person, in about a week and a half. I'm still worried, but we've been hearing regularly from the school about all the precautions they're taking. I am glad that they're taking it all very seriously -- and they're allowing anyone who feels uncomfortable in any way to switch to remote learning at any time.

  4. My worry for students having to navigate school in these times is high. Everything they have to do is the antithesis of how we are. It is a challenge and I am happy that right now, my children are not having to make those very hard decisions!

  5. Cute hat and I like the blue yarn for your socks. What is the pattern?

    I'm another person who is so happy not to have a school-aged child right now. I can't imagine the stress that would bring me.

    Each day I am noticing a touch of Fall in the air. It is lovely!

  6. Do you log your monarch sightings into Journey North? They are a citizen scientist organization gathering data on many species that migrate in the US.

  7. Sadly, I am kind of glad that the positivity rate in my county is around 10%. I am terrified of going into school. I work in a huge high school that is at 116% of capacity in terms of student numbers. I am hoping for a year of virtual school or a vaccine!

  8. I like that hat but it is a lot of ribbing. The school where I used to work is doing in person for younger students but online for older. They can keep smaller groups in elementary but 7-12 is more complicated and those students are less likely to follow the rules. We will see. It is hard on everyone.

  9. my husband is in academia and that is the reason he retired. It's nice not to have to deal with it. Love that hat! I'm enjoying the coolish mornings these past few days and how it feels like fall is around the bend.

  10. What a great hat! (And I'm one of those weird knitters who LIKES knitting ribbing, so I thank you for the recommendation.) School is SUCH a challenge right now . . . for teachers, parents, and students. There don't seem to be ANY good solutions available at all. (A good time to be retired, indeed.)

  11. Coolish mornings sound delightful. and I'm getting close to casting on some socks. It almost feels like September :-) I still have The Book of Longings on my bookstack and everything I've heard from folks who've read it make me know I'm going to love it!