Monday, October 29, 2007

This is how we celebrate 18

Yesterday was my son's 18th birthday. We celebrated it traditionally, for us. As we've done most every year for a very long time, we had our annual birthday pumpkin carving party.

Aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents came for lunch. It just so happens that this year I may have served the best Sunday dinner of my life, so far. Not fancy, but delicious. This pork roast recipe is a good one. Add homemade apple sauce and garlic mashed potatoes, and well, it's poetry. Poetry with a good green salad, and bread, and some fantastic Dominican beans as well.

After lunch, there's gifts, and cake and ice cream, done in that order so that the more elderly grandparents can head home. Then the rest of us head to the back yard to carve our pumpkins.

And every year, we end up with a picture like the one at the top, and like this.

Pumpkins 2007

Here's another -- one of our best.

Pumpkins 2007

It was a good day -- a milestone in fact. I couldn't ask for a better son. I can imagine being a better parent -- there's even some things I'd do differently, if I could do it again. But I wouldn't have him be anyone else. He's smart, funny with a dry wit, and comfortable with who he is.
Next year, if he chooses a distant college, we'll miss him - but we'll probably still carve pumpkins to celebrate his day!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Frost is on the Pumpkin

and the mittens are on my hands!
Anemoi mittens
Anemoi Mittens, by Eunny Jang
  • Knit with one skein each, Blue Sky Alpaca, Alpaca Silk. Garnet and Ginger.
  • Knit on US size 0 needles. I used Brittany birch, and loved them.
  • Colors (main/contrast) are opposite on each mitten.
  • I omitted the part of the pattern that is repeated to add length -- I didn't just NOT repeat it, I omitted it entirely. I have short little hands.
  • Love them!
Anemoi mittens
Here are the palms.
Anemoi Mittens
This is how much yarn I had left.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Lion Paws - Finished!

Lion Paws
Here they are - my son's "Custom-fit garter stitch gloves" made with one skein of Colinette Jitterbug, in the Sahara colorway. Size 2 needles.

School colors are black and orange around here; and these are done in time for the last football game of the season. He's not a player -- he's the guy in the fan section dressed as an ersatz ninja, with warm hands. They're also part of his birthday gift. I'm just hoping nothing happens to them before it gets here. He's VERY happy with them.

This Colinette yarn is really nice. I haven't washed (or even blocked) it yet, but it feels similar in texture to Lorna's Laces Shepherd sock yarn -- dense and springy, but still soft. The colors in the picture are pretty true, although I had to take the photo at night with a flash. The boy in question leaves for school before the sun is up, and though it's still up when he comes home in the afternoon, the last ends weren't woven in till bedtime last night.

If you're interested in this pattern (and these would be a great alternative for socks as a Christmas gift) it's available from Joan Goldstein, P O Box 2556,
Bigfork MT 59911, h-jgold(at)bigsky(dot)net, for $8.

Last night I picked up my Anemoi mitten, which I wouldn't mind finishing before this last football game, myself. Somewhere, some time since I last laid it aside, I've lost one of my lovely, short, size 0 Brittany birch needles. [Insert expletive here *&^%.]

Monday, October 08, 2007

Fits like a . . .

Garter stitch glove
Glove!

One garter stitch glove done, one to go. Fun knitting, no glitches at all in the pattern, kid likes them. This is a palm side view.

On the afghan front, I think I'm going with the Felted tweed, but I haven't got my act together on quantities & ordering.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Advice, Thanks!

I talked to my sister the other day, and she mentioned that she thought the comments I've been getting about choosing the afghan yarn are the most interesting I've ever gotten. Which surprised me, since she's not a knitter.

Thank you for all your ideas and information. I think your comments have brought up the issues that have me in a quandary.

I prefer wool to acrylic, and regular wool to superwash. I've had some bad experiences with superwash wool that went limp as soon as it was washed. So you might expect me to take the advice of the folks who are suggesting Cascade 220, a yarn I love. But I'm sending this afghan with my son off to college (Lord willing). With any luck, he'll never wash it himself, but will bring it home to me. This is a kid who likes to be knit for, and has some concept that handknits needs special care. But there will be roommates, and well, things happen.

So, this weekend I went to both local yarn stores and made piles of yarn on the floor. This afghan needs eleven (!) colors. I tried Butterfly cotton, and Cascade 220 Superwash, Encore (colors are too, I don't know, wrong somehow), and another superwash yarn whose name escapes me. Better yet, I met Danette (of the comments) for coffee and got to see and feel her Rowan Felted Tweed.

This is totally aside, but Danette has a daughter who was in the same "magnet" elementary school as my kids for two years, and we'd never met. But now we have, which is terrific!

Anyway, this is what I'm doing now --
Colors
-- playing with colors of Rowan Felted Tweed. It's very soft, and sort of washable (the instructions say gentle machine washing is ok, but not drying). The colors are fantastic. It's pretty fine, so it won't make quite as big a blanket; or maybe I'll have to adjust if I want a generous size. The pattern DOES call for dk weight, however. It almost would be too light in weight as well, except that since this is a garter stitch blanket, it'll have a thicker fabric.

I'm not quite ready to order. But I'm getting there.

On a totally other subject, my friend Martha has a new blog. If you like knitting, spinning, or animals, you'll want to check it out. I know Martha from an on-line book group YEARS ago, so maybe there'll be some bookish talk as well.