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.