Two weeks ago I heard the cicadas rasp away at their summer swan song. The chorus begins later than usual. When my grandfather heard them he would say, "six weeks until the first frost." Born in 1899 and raised on a farm in south central Nebraska, he could step outdoors, smell the air, look at the position of the leaves on a tree, and/or gaze at the horizon, watch the birds, and predict the weather. After he finished his gardening chores, he would pull an old metal lawn chair into the shade of an elm and enjoy an hour to himself. The heat didn't bother him. I can't say the same. I look forward to fall. Today is again miserably hot and humid. I may have ordered a skein of autumn colored sock yarn to encourage the season.
In the meantime, I cast on three projects. I bought a front-zip sweatshirt as a birthday gift for my great niece. A small family birthday party for a toddler was just what I needed last week. To spend time with young parents and their children gives me hope for the world. At any rate, the sweatshirt was the same size as the sweater I intend to knit for Norah. I measured it for chest circumference and then found the size/chest measurement in Ann Budd's Handy Book of Top-Down Raglans in the correct gauge. I cast on a more reasonable number stitches than my last attempt. I plan to use the pocket instructions from the Cricket pattern.
While I was figuring out what to do with the yarn for Norah's sweater, I cast on a pair of socks in a pattern called Couplet. This was the second pattern I tried with this yarn. I am pleased with this pattern/yarn combination.
I cast on a long scarf in the pattern Fractal Danger. The pattern by Hitchhiker designer Martina Behm, feels like a cousin to the Hitchhiker. The yarn, Rustic Fingering from Neighborhood Fiber Company, a non superwash single ply merino has a lovely hand. The owner of that company often gives a percentage of her sales to non-profits so I bought the yarn to support her business. Knitting and kindness are my weapons of choice. Although I might resort to tomatoes soon. I have sauced and frozen probably more than enough to get us through to next summer's harvest.
I finished listening to Band of Sisters. Once I got past the snarky behavior of the women (it got old), I appreciated it as another untold story about women. I wish I'd found the author's note before I began. Reading forward, I am going to look for those notes before reading a book. Listening to the chapters about these young women evacuating French refugees from oncoming German forces with the news of Afghanistan in the background was very eery.
I ordered a copy of The Lost Words by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris. A number of years ago the Oxford Junior Dictionary eliminated forty words having to do with nature and replaced them with words like broadband, blog, and cut-and-paste. This author and artist responded by creating a beautiful book of poetry and art depicting words like acorn, bluebell, adder, dandelion, fern, heron, kingfisher, newt, otter, willow, and more. Each word has three double-page spreads. The first uses the letters, line drawings, and negative space to announce the name of the poem, the second is the poem with a beautiful illustration on the adjoining page, and then the third is another gorgeous visual depiction of the word. This same author and illustrator created a second book, The Lost Spells. I look forward to sitting down with my grandchildren and looking at this book. Negative space intrigues me. The space around knitted stitches creates an eyelet or lace design. I also love the space around words and lines in poetry. The simplicity of the poems and artwork in this book is elegant.
I'm late today because Blogger wouldn't let me insert photos but linking to Kat and the Unravelers. I think they will still have me. Let's practice more kindness.