Sunday, October 25, 2009

Punkin Snatchin' 09

We walked along the field on a brisk Autumnal day surveying the fallen. As far as the eyes could see, a testament to the battle so recently waged. In the distance, the warrior returns, triumphant, with the trophy held high....

But seriously, this weekend we went to the Pumpkin Patch and got ourselves some punkins. We made our way over to Eckerts, in Belleville, IL to find the perfect pumpkins for Halloween. Eckerts is really pretty fun since you get to ride on a trailer pulled by a tractor out to the patch and then walk among thousands of pumpkins and find the one that is just right for you. We had a really great time walking around a looking at all the options. Here's Franny with just a few to choose from.
And as you will see, everyone was victorious in the end in finding the right one.

The colors of the peach trees in the background were an amazing backdrop to a field of pumpkins. We spent some time in the Country Store after the ride back and I bought some Apple Butter, Pumpkin Butter, and an Apple Stollen we had for breakfast this morning. All-in-all it was a really great day.

So, what have I been knitting? Well, a variety of little things have been on my sticks lately. I've managed to end up with so many things in process that I'm now madly trying to work through several of them before I let myself start anything new. First is my current pair of socks. I only let myself knit one pair of socks at a time because I don't trust myself to finish the pair otherwise (the dreaded "second sock syndrome"). This pair is a plain jane toe up sock without much going on. I started it on the plane ride to see my mom and I didn't want to have to think while I was working on it. It's great travel knitting and I'm planning on taking it with me on the day trip I have tomorrow too. The really nice thing is I haven't had airport security even blink since the needles are so small. Kinda hard to be threatened by a glorified toothpick.

I have decided I really like toe up socks. I think I'm going to have to get Wendy Knits "Socks from the Toe Up" book and try out some of her patterns next.

I've also finally gotten back to my second full size sweater. I started this simple Raglan style cardigan but when I went to work on it a few weeks ago, I realized I had made a mistake about 12 rows back on one of the raglan increases. Well, it took me about a month to get up the nerve to pick it up and drop down 12 rows of raglan increase stitches and then figure out how to reconstruct them back up to the row I was on. This was less daunting to me than the idea of ripping out 12 full rows of stitches since each row is well over a hundred stitches. Once I actually got around to dropping those stitches it only took about an hour to get them all picked back up and get on my merry way. How cool?

I'm really enjoying the Cascade 200 yarn too. I haven't really used it a lot but I can see why it is a "workhorse" yarn for so many people. This particular color is Mallard and it is a really pretty heathered yarn. When you get up close you can see the pretty flecks of purple and it just has a nice depth. I can't wait to wear this sweater!

It's getting close to the holidays so I've been doing a bit of work for those too. I've decided I'm not really going to knit much for holiday gifts this year but there are a few special projects being planned. The first, and probably the most special, the a stocking for my niece. I don't know about you guys but when I was little, my grandma made me a Christmas Stocking that I still use to this day and it means more to me than most other things I own. Well, since Grandma is no longer with us and my mom is not really the "crafty" type, I decided I needed to make a stocking for Eva and carry on the tradition. I bought the yarn, Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick, before I knew what pattern I might end up making with it. I figured at worst I would just to a random stripe pattern with it. However, while cruising the Webb's catalog, I came across the pattern for the Spotted Christmas Stocking and I decided to do that instead. It's been a good pattern so far because not only is it looking cute, but I'm learning new techniques. This is my first experience with an afterthought heel which is all I have left (it's going where you see the weird half stripe of green). I also learned how to do a knitted hem along the top of the stocking so that's pretty cool; two new techniques and a great present that I hope will be loved for a lot of years to come.

The last thing I have this week is a neat knitting heirloom I was gifted. My mother-in-law brought over a knitting bag that was her grandmother's and gifted it to me. It's in amazing condition and I am truly appreciative and honored. I hope great grandma Eva (funnily the same name as my niece) would be happy to know this bag made it to me. I can promise it will be used with love and hopefully for many a project. I think the cardigan shown above will have the honor of being the first project to be housed in the new bag. I'm excited to start using this piece of knitting history.

Well, time to get back to knitting. I hope you are doing the same. :)

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