Top: This caterpillar moved surprisingly FAST and cast a huge shadow.
Middle: Big spider with a cat's face on it's back. Orange and black butterfly that showed up on a warm day last week, landing first on this larch tree and then right onto my October sock in progress. I wanted to get a picture of a black widow spider found at a friend's house too, but was too creeped out to do it.
Bottom: Cottonwood branches that fall in windstorms look like knobby and gnarly old witch's fingers. Mushroom colony at the park.
Socktoberfest is coming to a close and somehow I managed to rather madly get all the yarn I had hoped to either knitted up or on the needles. It was a great challenge. My whole stash of fall sock yarn (read: has orange in it) has been used, even the one's I didn't care for much. Now, I'll be free to knit up the hand dyed yarns from this year during next year's Socktoberfest, as rumour has it there will be another one. There are so many other socks to check out from the list of participants on the sidebar over at Lolly's site, it's going to take all of November to see them all. Thank you for the motivation and all the kind words from everyone, and to Lolly for such a great idea.
The vintage Halloween postcard was found here.
MUST go finish costumes NOW. Thank goodness fleece is forgiving.
This has been the super-duper-secret-behind-the-scenes-sock-knitting going on this month. I really wanted to get these done for Halloween but wasn't sure if I would so I didn't mention them. They were going to be over-the-knee socks for warmth's sake, but I think that those don't really stay up due to all the knee bending when you walk. I even bought some matching red elastic to sew into the top of the sock if necessary, but I don't think they'll need it.
They are knit with only two 50 gram balls of Regia Nation Stripe, the toes and heels from doubled Elann Sock It To Me solid colors. This is where the magic of 3 knit x 1 purl ribbing really shows: They fit nicely at the ankle over 56 stitches and stretch all the way up and over my (inherited from my Dad) calves... with no shaping what so ever. The cast off was done extra loose with needles several sizes larger than the 2's used for the rest.
I can't wait to wear these tonight. We have two Halloween parties to go to, one with kids and one without. These are going to be fun to wear whenever, but they'll be so versatile (and warm) as a costume element. They can be used for a witch, an elf, for Pippi Longstocking, etc. Plus, I still have two balls of the same in blue and white, and one more of the red and white. Maybe short peppermint striped socks? And, don't you think that new patch of psoriasis on my knee adds a little something to the witchiness of the costume? I didn't even notice it until I saw the picture.
That's a pileated woodpecker that stopped by for a visit last week. It's the kind this fellow was modelled after, I'm sure. It was pecking so fast at that tree stump that it was difficult to get a clear picture of it.
Couldn't help but add on the bottom pic. These are one of C's favorites. I usually try to pick up on a few bags this time of year to stock a stash for him in a drawer at the shop but this year I got the one last bag on the shelf. Yum!
We may not have the hardwood forests of the midwest and the east, or even west coast, but some of those trees are hardy enough to be planted in parks and gardens. They really do make the most fabulous leaves for playing in. E and I went to town together in search of googly eyes to use on our Halloween crafts and stopped to play in the park where we found one good tree to play under and a "web" to play spider on top of. (I was never that brave when I was that little.)
We do, however, have a sort of secondary fall. When the deciduous trees are finishing dropping their leaves, that's when the larch trees on the northern slopes of the mountains start to turn yellow and drop their needles. I didn't catch any pictures of them at the height of their color due to the fog. It drove me crazy knowing they were out there turning color and that we just couldn't see them. When the clouds lifted, there was snow on top of the mountains, too. Traipsing out with me to get the picture of the larch, E called out, "Mama, I found a flower for you!" I expected a dried out flower head, but our blue-eyed boy walked up with a bluebell, still blooming on October 27th!
The October Socks are for C and are Meilenweit Safari #2070 knit on #2 dpns over 60 stitches.
You can call it what you will: a yard sale, a rummage sale, a garage sale, a moving sale, an antique sale, an estate sale, a G sale, but it's all the same to me. Sweet. Who has a sale on a damp and chilly Tuesday in the end of October, anyways? Well, this woman did and it was called almost all of the above. I went to her same "Moving Sale" about a year ago, but this was the real thing, her place having finally sold and her having to be out by the middle of next month. I've hardly done any rummage sale-ing all summer, so it was fun checking out all the old rusty things, and fielding the boys' questions: "What's this?" and "What was this used for?" and speculating on it, frequently not having answers for them.
We walked away with yet another wire metal basket and this little tin with a few rusty nails and springs inside. It wasn't until I got home until I realized that the bottom side had printing on it, too. It's the exact same size as an Altoids tin but a little deeper and now holds my bobbins. Reminds me of a much hipper predecessor to the Target and Home Depot logos of today.
All the pictures were taken on our way to and from town the other day, having lunch out just the boys and I (I don't think we've ever done that since E was born. Usually we just get bagels on the run), getting groceries, going to the post office, dropping packing materials at the local shipping store and plastic bags at the thrift store for reuse, and stopping at that sale on the way home. Once home, I put the kettle on to boil for tea (another old thrifting find, btw).
I have a new found love for all this fog. Looking out the kitchen window this morning I found everything covered in what could have been mistaken for spun sugar. I must have taken at least 30 pictures, but figured that sharing any more than these five was a bit excessive. Didn't even see a single weaver of these webs, though. Ah, to spin and weave like that!.
Another magical thing about the fog we accidentally discovered last night is that, if you go outside with a lantern in thick fog and hold it down low behind you (have someone else hold it or you could set it on the ground) you can cast crazy giant shadows in front of and UP ABOVE you onto the fog. It was pretty wild. Keeps it from being too spooky out there in the dark. I'll have to try this again sometime.
Other fog related fun has been when E has been catching glimpses of the sun through the fog and says, "There's the moon!" and R argues back "No, it's the sun!" and the bantering begins back and forth, and all that I can hear in my own head is "I say 'tis the moon that shines so bright..." and " 'tis the sun, and not the moon, which shines so bright...".
So, we're finally working on my room. It has been my dream room for several years, now. I've imagined it in my head a hundred times.
It's not easy deciding what to do in this space. I've been seeing and reading about other dream rooms and crafting rooms aroung the web. I'm always so torn between so many different styles, loving something about each of them: Neutral? bright colors? spare? cluttered? (well, it's bound to be cluttered) modern? country? asian influenced? scandinavian influenced? and on and on... A bit or none of it all? Does it really matter as long as it's comfortable and functional? I've been collecting some pieces of furniture and lamps here and there., but don't know how it will all work in there. We need to find a futon couch first and then see how everything else will fit in around that.
C's step-brother and his girlfriend are moving up here from Saint Louis sometime in the next couple of weeks and will need a place to stay for awhile until they find a place of their own. Just the motivation we needed. We spent the last couple of weekends putting up drywall, putting the finish on the tongue and groove boards we had sitting in the shed that will go where the insulation shows on the side walls in the pictures above.
The top picture is the view from the doorway, the next row is looking left and then looking right from the same vantage point, and the bottom picture is looking from the far wall, back towards the door.
While I was staining boards with a light white wash stain(barely noticable, really) the boys were out on the deck drawing murals on the scrap pieces of drywall. Entertainment enough.
Last night, I drove to our local, new knitting night under clear blue skies, and a few hours later, we walked out the door straight into a white washed wall of fog. It was a slow drive home watching out for deer and curves in the road. We taught my SIL to knit and guess what? She LIKED it! When I told C that we were going to bring his sister into the fold, that we were going to lure her over to the other side into the knitting world, he just said, "Poor woman." Not sure if he was joking or not.
The light has been rather strange the last three days. We're fogged in and clouded over all day until about 2 hours before the sun goes down when, the sky turns clear blue in what seems to be only a matter of minutes. It makes for difficult picture taking AND gloomy moods. So these are the best that I have.
So, although the length of these socks fell shorter than my usual ones, the sock yarn itself ended up not falling short at all. This turned into a bit of an experiment and as you can see, it ended up making not one, but three pairs of short socks. On the right are the first pair sized for C. He ended up preferring the ankles to be a bit longer, so I extended them with a bit of solid colored Elann Sock It To Me yarn, and they're reinforced with a green sock reinforcing yarn. On the right is another pair that fits me, with a bit of the same solid yarn used at the ankle and also as the heel and toe reinforcement. There was even enough to make a tiny almost matching baby pair that will probably get kicked off the recipient's tiny feet quicker than the sky turns blue.
When I went to weave in the ends, turning the socks inside out, I noticed that the insides look a bit like a truck seat cover.
I just couldn't pass up the speckled squash and the goofy gooseneck gourd at the fruit and veggie stand last week. The squash is destined for our tummies soon and the gourd will hopefully dry well and become a birdhouse or, if we're lucky, maybe even a gnome home in the spring.
I've been meaning to take a picture of this shrug knitted sometime late last winter to add to the pre-blog photos. I was wearing it the other day and finally decided to pull out the tripod in hopes of getting half way decent pictures of it. It wasn't all that easy even with the help of the tripod. This is the Pashmina Shrug from Interweave Knits, Spring 2003. I've no idea what size I made but the yarn is Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino from stash. I bought it on sale online for another project thinking it was more of a steel grey than the steel blue that it is. The edging, knit separately, had to be sewn on a couple of times before it came out right. It fits quite well, needs to be tugged into place every now and again, and the back fits better than it shows in the picture.
As for the bugs, the boys have been interchangeably mixing up the words, saying things like, "You're wearing your grub today!" and "Look, Mama, I found a shrug in the garden!" I can't bear to correct them.
Other similar mix ups that I love hearing: "Floop" is some sort of mix of flip, flop, and the likes. The classic "aminal". "Am-blee-ance" for ambulance. And our all time favorite, "our-chother", a mix of ourselves and eachother, as in "Don't help us. We want to do it with our-chother". I know there are more than these, but I just can't think of them right now.