Saturday, October 30, 2010

October 30 - First Fire, 2010

Indiana finally decided to be seasonally appropriate with the weather. On Tuesday (I think) a big ole storm blew through and left behind autumn. Today is our first we-need-to-heat-the-house fire (opposed to an aesthetic fire). It's actually pretty warm outside - mid 50s - but our dang brick house is holding on to the recent cold. So the wood stove is lit! Last year our first fire was 3 weeks earlier - we went away to California, drank some wine and came back to winter.

Fortunately, I got some knitting done, just in time, including Bill's Six Animal hat. It's made of undyed alpaca from at least 4 animals (a gift from my mom from her first Rhinebeck) and the white stripes are a handspun merino and possum blend from New Zealand that Chris and Kelly were so kind to spin and gift to us. New Zealand possums are an invasive species and there is a big effort to encourage folks to kill them. Often when an economy is built around an animal there is an incentive to maintain the animal at profitable levels - which is contrary to wanting to eradicate it. In NZ (at least when we were there) it is illegal to keep (farm, breed) any possums. They all need to be wild-caught.

Also, in case you are wondering why anyone would want a possum hat, NZ possums don't look anything like ours. They are more like badgers. But, that's enough ecology. On to the knitting!

Bill's hat:

And a cowl for me:

Sugar, helping with the photos:

Bill, being artistic. Apparently cowls make great egg cozies:

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Friday, October 22, 2010

This autumn evening in pictures

Mostly Sugar Pie and knitting...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Report of....not from...Rhinebeck

This weekend is the NY Sheep and Wool festival, and I am not at it. It is about 800 miles away - you can't just make that trip willy nilly for every festival that happens to come up.

Worry not, fair reader. I am here to prove, mathematically - and beyond any doubt - that I am completely, totally and one million percent ok with that.

The weather report for Dutchess County is sunny and cool - perfect wool weather. Last year it rained. But....I'm ok with that.

These were my purchases last year (in the rain):

Surely, that looks like enough wool to keep a knitter happy for multiple years, right? You are correct. From that pile, I have completely used up 4 of the 15 yummies and 4 more projects are currently in progress. These projects represent only 47% of my total Rhinebeck purchases. I'm ok with that.

Clearly, if I knit at a consistent pace from last year, I still have a year to go before I run out of lovely, hand dyed yarn...that I can't purchase anywhere else and have to wait until one lousy weekend in October that requires me to drive 900 miles to obtain.

I also wound and attempted to knit with 4 additional yarns in the past year. Here is one failed attempt (Do you see the stripes?! I couldn't abide by the stripes):

So, there are 4 more only slightly molested yarns wound and ready to try again on a new project.

For the visual folks out there, let's take a peak at this information in a graphic format:

That sure looks like a lot of arrows. Eep.

But, we're still doing ok. Right? Still TONS of yarn to use in the next year or two before we need to go back to the most amazing, wonderful, beautiful, fun...I mean plain ole, boring, crowded Rhinebeck.

Just to make us all feel better, let's take a graphical look at the yarn we haven't even thought about using yet. The yarn that was so wonderful and soft and lovely that it was purchased (in the rain) and dreamed about the whole 1,000 mile drive back to Indiana, but just hasn't been allowed to be amazing yet. The virgin yarn I still pet lovingly and can't wait to find the time to cast on with.



I know it just looks like three projects worth of yarn. Three little, tiny...projects. But, we're not panicking. Nope. Not panic...three?? Just three?

Uh. Think....think... It's ok. That's still 27% of the yarn. That will last until...let's get out the calculator here. Still not panicking....punch in some numbers.

Um. Ok. That yarn should last until...January, 2011. I will run out of Rhinebeck yarn during the coldest, darkest most miserable month the year.

I'm not ok with that.

I've got to go... my mom should be wandering through the lovely buildings of the fairgrounds right about now. Gazing among the booths overflowing with the best yarn on the planet. I think there is still time to give her a list and my credit card number.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bernie in the fall

Bernie has been venturing out to the field with us these past few evenings. When we go to check on the birds and walk Sugar, the cat follows right on our heels.

He wanders around the pasture, but is never far from us. The turkeys find him to be endlessly fascinating and they follow him everywhere.

This freaks Bernie out. He puts his ears back, squats real low to the ground and runs to the nearest person as fast as his little legs will carry him. As amusing as that is, I'd rather our turkeys show a little fear of carnivores (no matter how tiny and ill equipped to eat them). The turks have a curiosity that is adorable, but I imagine they would also follow a raccoon or a fox right into their hole for dinner.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Socks of Autumn

I finished a new pair of socks this morning. They are the perfect fall socks - a great color, cozy and casual.

I also started my first ever colorwork. It is WAY FUN and I don't think I'll be able to stop. Ever. Except for when I'm squeeing with delight and asking Bill to "look at how awesome this is" every 28 seconds. He's very patient and sufficiently awed. It's one of the eleventy billion reasons I love him. (Another being his sweetness in taking the photos above.)

The design for this sock calls for yarn which is dyed in a gradient from one color to another. The sock starts like this:

...and ends like a photo negative - reverse of the colors it started with. In the middle it gets all blurry and muddled. It's wicked awesome.

This picture shows the colors much better.

I'm a little stuck at the moment on the instructions, but I'll get started knitting again soon.