The adventures of a knitting grandmother

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She spins, she knits, she blogs about it all.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Why waste time waiting for kids to wander up the driveway?


Monday, October 29, 2007

October 007

October has to be my favorite month of the year. While I love color in all it's many expressions throughout the year, the yellows, oranges, reds and greens of October truly can make my heart stand still.
Heaven, to me, is colored in autumn.
For quite a while, when I was quilting, I was collecting all the autumn and leaf print fabrics I could find, as well as any patterns with leaves or fall themes. Someday I will get back to quilting, and I will stitch the leafy autumn quilts and pillows I still dream of.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Walk With Me in the Corn Maze

The last half of my week in Michigan, Son and DIL and the grandbabies flew out to join us. On Saturday we made an adventure out to the Cider Mill and Corn Maze. The day was brisk and cold and I had my handknits ready to go. The Silk Garden Hat, my Malabrigo Fetching Mitts, and the River Rocks Monkey Socks (in their debut appearance) were all worn and highly appreciated. There was a petting farm with goats, sheep, ponies, and ducks.

There were playgrounds and mountains of straw bales for climbing. There was the cider press, of course, with amazing fresh unpasteurized cider and a bakery with freshly made doughnuts. There was a little food stand with excellent french fries and other goodies. (No truth at all to the claim that tons of fresh air and walking makes good food taste even better, ;-) don'tcha know.) There were corn fields and pumpkin fields, hay rides and of course the corn maze.
Granddaughter Nikki loved seeing the corn cobs still on the stalks. This was the first time any of us had done a corn maze. This one was about two miles long, and took about an hour.

Before we left for home we bought Winesap apples, which I carried home on the plane with me the next day. I also bought carmel apples and chocolate walnut fudge, which were devoured for dessert that night after dinner. Too bad I couln't bring home a three month's supply of cider and doughnuts. For that matter, it's too bad I couldn't bring back the incomparable Michigan landscape

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Remedial Knitting, Lesson One

Last night I was knitting away, determined to finish the October scarf (the Multidirectional Scarf), and was getting right to the end when I realized that I was running out of yarn before I was supposed to. I was getting three and a half short row sections out of each skein of Noro, but now at the end I wasn't getting the planned on half section. After scratching my head and thinking a few uncivilized thoughts, I realized that the end of the scarf was wider than the beginning.

Somehow the scarf had grown wider and the short row sections were longer. After examining the scarf, I found the spot where I had started inexplicably adding stitches, totally obliviously. So much for a mindless knit. There was nothing else to do except frog the thing back. Halfway back. No finishing this last night for me.
Remedial knitting, lesson one. Even with a mindless garter stitch scarf, count the stitches at least once every fifteen minutes.


Friday, October 19, 2007


Last Wednesday my mom took me to an LYS which she remembered being not too far away. After a couple false starts we did find the shop and it was by far one of the nicest shops I have been in. Meaning, more wonderful yarns around every corner and shelf than I could almost deal with. Thank goodness I had a strict budget and I did actually stick with it.

There was lots of Noro and I got these two skeins of Kureyon (the green skein is #95 and the purply one is #207) to make the Child's Rainbow Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. It will be for granddaughter Nikki one day when she is a little bigger. She liked the colors plenty when she saw them. But I may knit this up rather soon, as the colors are really screaming at me to be worked with!

There was Koigu, but not enough for me to make up a Charlotte's Web, which I was really hoping to do. But I came home with two skeins (bottom) of the orange/brown/yellow P611, and two skeins (top) of Claudia Handpaint fingering in Honey. This is my first Claudia Handpaint and I'm afraid that it may be my downfall. I was thinking of making socks with these, but then realized that I might like them better as the Chevron Scarf, also from LMKG. The colors look much better together in person than they do in the picture. So that's the current plan there.
Then, five skeins of Malabrigo. I nearly passed out when I found the Malabrigo wall in the store. (Right above the Cascade 220.) The two skeins on the left are Marron Oscuro and they aren't as reddish as the camera makes them look; then there are three skeins of Cognac. These are going to be used for hats, mitts, and scarves. I'm leaning a lot towards knitting Grumperina's Sharfik with the Marron.

And that, my friends, blew the yarn budget for this trip. And I'm not at all surprised that I tended heavily to fall colors.
I came pretty darn close to finishing the Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf. I've loved knitting with these gorgeous autumn colors, and it was a great pattern to knit while visiting, talking, riding in the car to Frankenmuth and cider mills, etc. I've been asked why, as a desert dweller, I'm knitting scarves and buying yarn for more. Let's see:

1. Most of my relatives live in northern states. Scarves are great gifts.

2. If I visit in winter, I will need an entire wardrobe of lovely scarves to wear and to dazzle the locals.

3. It is frequently quite windy here in Arizona. I can't stand a cold wind on my neck. So the scarves are quite useful here as well.

4. It's fun. And I can splurge on decadent yarns without exceeding the budget.

I could continue, but you know how it is.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

October in Michigan

It's been four years since I went "home" for a visit, and something like eighteen years since I was in Michigan in October. The trees were just beginning to turn, not as spectacular as I would have hoped for, but the weather was wonderfully cool and crisp. (Except for Monday when we arrived. It was hotter in Detroit than it was in Phoenix. But only for the one day.) It was good to move back into "my bedroom" again for the week, and equally good to stuff myself with my mom's cooking and all sorts of Polish and Michigan goodies. (Kruschiki, anyone? Kishka? Pierogi? Or some fresh lake perch? Did anyone hear the rumor that I am particularly fond of frog's legs, something which my children cannot fathom?) Fortunately the couple pounds I put on came off quickly once I came home.

On Tuesday we drove a little ways north to Frankenmuth, a German town that caters to the tourist trade. It is very picturesque and certainly well decorated in fall flowers for the season. There is lots of shopping to do there and the bug bit me as well, although only mildly. I didn't see any yarn shops, which helped my budget out, at least that day. And I resisted the many temptations at Bronner's CHRISTmas Store. I think it was because the store is so overwhelming -- too much to see all at once. It is also a town for German restaurants and bakeries. We had lunch in Zehnder's basement cafe, where they heaped my plate full of many more German goodies than they should have. Fried chicken, bratwurst, kraut, bread, spaetzle, and green beans, all for $7.95. I'm almost ashamed to say that I ate nearly all of it. And we bought a carmel apple at the bakery. Not just any carmel apple, mind you. Carmel, several kinds of nuts, and white and dark chocolate drizzled over it all. It made a great dessert at home later that evening. I should have taken a picture first, before it all disappeared.
Wednesday was spent searching out and shopping at a marvelous LYS. Pictures to come soon, as well as of the project I nearly finished during the week.

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Friday, October 05, 2007


It's been another one of those time-consuming medical weeks that have become all too familiar around here lately. Outpatient surgery for another family member, and three days at the pharmacy trying to sort out prescriptions and pounding my head against figurative walls. (I've been tempted to do a post entitled "Walk With Me Wednesday Through all the Pharmacies I Have Known", but I digress.) All is well, but I'm worn out from the caretaker role this week. This year has certainly been one for medical issues right and left.

Once again Project Spectrum got away from me. And now I find that the Red Scarf Project is running and is almost finished! Guess I really missed that one somewhere. Now I won't have anything knit for this time around. Too bad, I was planning on this for December and January knitting.

It's time again for Socktoberfest. I'll still be working on the On-Your-Toes socks and the Welsh Country Stockings. I'm still determined not to start any of my new sock yarns until the Welsh Country Stockings are finished. Too bad Joe has such big feet!

I've also joined a Read and Knit-Along. I've had the Anne of Green Gables books for several years, but have only read the first book and Anne's House of Dreams. This will be a nice incentive for me to read all eight books. Some of the members are going to knit Anne-themed projects, but I'm just going to continue with the knits I've currently got on the needles. I've already read the first book and started the second.

This is the first Anne book I owned. I found it years ago in a used bookstore/antique shop. It's a very early edition and I do treasure it.

Next week I am abandoning the family to their own devices and flying out to visit my family in Michigan. I haven't been out there for a visit in over four years. I'm greatly looking forward to seeing the autumn colors and enjoying the last of the corn crop and the prime of the apple crop. We're planning a day trip for fresh cider and doughnuts, a treat I haven't had in years.

Knitting to take along? The On-Your-Toes socks and a new knit: I'm going to do a diagonal rib scarf with this Noro from the stash. It will make good airplane/travel knitting. I don't want to take anything too involved to work on because most of what I knit will be taking second place to visiting, etc. And -- a special treat -- son and DIL and grandbabies will be coming in to join us for a couple days later in the week! So there will be much fussing and playing with babies to keep me occupied!

The Cherry Leaf Shawl is about half finished. I'm already looking ahead to the next shawl I will work on, and Clapotis is right up there at the top of the list. I bought this yarn about a year and a half ago specifically to do this pattern. The colors are autumnal enough for me; funny how I get to crave colors depending on the season!

And finally, what would Friday be without Friday's Flowers? The big lantana bush is going wild since the temperatures have cooled down a bit.

I'm off to pack. See you again in about ten days, unless the possibility for remote blogging presents itself. Happy knitting!

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