Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Wit and Whimsy

Warm days and cool nights are creating a beautiful autumn in Southeast Nebraska. The birch outside my window is dropping butterscotch leaves. Some leaves on a branch are green while others on the same branch are gold. The ash trees in the neighborhood are the real show stoppers this year. Their leaves meld from green to gold to deep crimson with purple undertones. Someday I'm going to knit a shawl with those colors. Sadly the days of these trees are numbered as the ash borers came to town last summer. I mean to soak up their fall beauty. Tonight may bring the first frost of the season. I am going to pick one more bucket of cherry tomatoes. I have quite a few on the counter but it is hard to let them go. 

Last week I decided to try one of the pumpkin patterns popping up on Ravelry. This sweet project added a little whimsy and respite from the news. I found the bit of pumpkin yarn in my stash. The ball band is long gone but I remember standing in a yarn shop with my sister when we chose it. The plan was to use it in a scrap afghan that I later frogged. Anyway it was a fun little project. 

In other knitting notes, I finished this hat. The pattern has some nice touches including beads in the lace section. I've never beaded anything but maybe someday I'll give it a try with this hat. I've knit the pattern once before and will probably knit it again. The question is do I buy another skein of this yarn in order to make matching mittens? Is it any wonder my stash never seems to become smaller? Mind you, I am not complaining. This year, like every other knitter, I have been grateful to have a stash.

Since the hat is finished, I cast on a baby sweater from leftover yarns. Years ago I answered a trivia question on an early KnitPicks podcast and won two skeins of Stroll. I chose the purple colorway and knit a pair of socks. At a slightly looser gauge, the yarn makes a nice washable baby garment. I don't have much of a plan except to make all the ribbing purple. It was a good way to practice short rows around the back of the neck. 

I am enjoying working on this shawl for my daughter. Last weekend, I finished it per pattern instructions. Since I had a skein and a half of yarn left and she wanted a large warm shawl, I took out the binding and put the stitches back on the needles. The strip of ribbing above the garter edge didn't appeal to me, so I pulled the shawl off the needles and frogged 32 rows. The ribbing might have blocked out nicely but why follow a pattern when you can improvise? I am now knitting another textured section of the shawl. When it is finished, I'll see how much yarn remains and decide what to do next. My knitting mantra is "if it's worth knitting once, it's worth knitting twice." 

I am reading City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert for my book group discussion in November. The prose is full of witty descriptions and similes. I can't say it is great literature but it's fun and fluffy. In the evenings, I read essays from Books and Portraits by Virginia Woolf. Several years ago when we were able to congregate in small places, I purchased this collection on a book group outing to a local used bookstore. All the essays are thoughtful, some touching and others contain a touch of Woolf's acerbic wit. A few are written about people I am not interested in so I won't read this book cover to cover. Still, rediscovering it on my shelf was a pleasant surprise.   

I link to Kat and the Unravelers who are also knitting and reading. Wishing you a little wit and whimsy during these beautiful October days. 

Ravelry Links 


Frosted Lilac Hat

Little Nugget Baby Sweater

Winter Shawl


  1. Okay, I think I need a pumpkin or two! Once this baby hat is done, that might go with the acorn mix! :)

  2. I've been tempted by Kat's acorns (but haven't knit any yet) and now by your pumpkin! I'm anticipating a bit of time next week, so I just may end up with a pumpkin on the needles. I love that you are knitting the blue shawl your way - large as your daughter requested and without the ribbing that didn't suit you. I'm dreaming of a shawl in your glorious ash leaf colors!

  3. Love your little pumpkin. That color is beautiful.

    The hat is sweet too. I think it would look very nice with some beads.

  4. Hello - you have some beautiful knitting projects. I have wanted to read that book by Elizabeth Gilbert. Maybe you can tell us how you like it. Enjoy the rest of the week.

  5. It looks like you've been doing some very satisfying knitting lately. A friend of mine went on a real bender with some of those pumpkins last year, and I find them charming (but I don't really have much of a desire to knit one myself).

    Stash issues aside, isn't it lovely to pull out yarn and remember exactly when and where you bought it? I love how my stash contains so many memories.

  6. Love that you are making the shawl your own way. And the pumpkin! Sweet and gorgeous yarn.

  7. maybe I need a knitted pumpkin in my life...Your photos are cheery and delightful, love that you are making serious progress on your knitting and I wish I was a little bit ahead than where I am on my knitting goals. Today is another day!!

  8. I love your little, knitted pumpkin! I knit pumpkins for my kids a couple of years ago (different pattern), and someday I really ought knit one for myself. :-) I love your approach to knitting your daughter's shawl. Trust your instincts . . . is always a good idea.

  9. I often say I'm going to be more timely about reading blogs, but honestly, sitting down for a quiet couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon and catching up on a week, enjoying the comments of other bloggers, ... might be more my style. The pumpkin is great (as are Kat's acorns, and Kym's bunnies) and I love enjoying them without any itch to make them myself. I wound a skein of yarn this morning that I bought last September when my mom and I visited Espace Tricot in Montreal before we sailed on our most-divine Canadian cruise. I have many happy memories of buying the yarn that sits on my shelves. I'm going to enjoy the knitting all the more for recalling those happy times (than you for the reminder!) ALSO - LOVE the thinking behind putting your daughter's shawl back on the needles. It's going to be an amazing warm hug from you!

  10. Oh my wordy. You ripped all that back / I think I shall make a sign of your saying: If its worth knitting once, it is worth knitting twice! Love it .
    You can't lose with buy a bit more yarn if that 's what you want for a set. Then again, scraps often tell us much later what they want to be! Love your knitted pumpkin. Someone at a Vendor booth at Rhinebeck was selling pumpkin kits....I guess, tis the season!?

  11. Oh my goodness! The pumpkin is adorable and I must have a few. Love the color you used.