Wednesday, November 26, 2014

This and that and a lull

Just a slight one. It's such a busy time of year and the past week has been full. Too full to do much knitting; probably 6 rows at most. But I'll catch up when the frenzy dies down.

Car inspection, registration, start the snow blower, use the snow blower, clean a bit, re-arrange a bit in preparation for the upcoming holidays, finish some home projects such as painting the upstairs bathroom, put a shelf in above my desk, and find ways to make housekeeping easier. But not too easy, joy is in the doing, after all. Just a little easier like moving the toaster oven to a more convenient location and cleaning the cast iron cookware.

I'm not worried about the knitting taking a rest. It's a good thing now and then. I must say I've been on quite a lace kick since mid-summer.

Discovered some new to me music recently. I find it enormously exciting to discover an artist I've never heard of before, even though they may have been around for some time. Such are the two recent musicians whose music I recently stumbled upon. Absolutely love their music.

A young man who goes by the name Passenger:

And a man named Jose Gonzalez:

Part of the recent home improvements has been an effort to make my Christmas cactus happier. It's in its second year with me and is blossoming just beautifully. I've had it resting on a wooden board protruding from the window sill, so on Sunday I made a brand new macramé holder for it. I'm happy because it looks so much nicer than the board it replaces, and I think the cactus is happy to have a brand new house.

Did I mention the beloved snow blower? Yes I did. I started it up this afternoon for it's first run of the season. Snow started falling around 1pm and has been going non-stop. Several inches already. So absolutely gorgeous up in these hills, and when the snow blower is not running there's a most soothing silence and stillness. Luckily I was able to get one last walkabout the labyrinth yesterday and I suspect that will be the last until spring thaw. It felt really good to walk it after a week-and-a-half, like a breath of fresh air, a bath for the soul.

I picked up some Balsam Fir incense over the weekend. Do you remember it? I love the stuff (brings back memories) and what a atmosphere it creates inside the house. In the high days of summer the sense is of wanting the outdoors to flow in, around, and out of the house--blurring the lines between inside and out. Now, approaching the depths of winter, these walls are a solid barrier creating very distinct inside and outside spaces, thankfully. Indoor heating. Now there's something I'm thankful for on this eve of Thanksgiving. And modern medicine, and transportation, and convenience. So much to be thankful for. And I, personally, have much to be thankful for.

Tomorrow I'll join some homeless students at Plymouth State Univ, along with a few professors, and my neighbor (who invited me) and her college-aged children for a Thanksgiving dinner. I think it's going to be quite lovely.

Last but not least, I'm joining a community orchestra with my cello. First rehearsal will be next Wednesday evening. I'll report back.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Slight interruption ...

Golly, 2 weeks since my last post!

I've been taking stock of all the recent changes. Long gone are the green leaves of summer. Their kaleidoscopic display is fallen and the earthy-toned remains are now covered by an inch of frozen water molecules, like frosted flakes.

The outdoor decor is under cover, the dead garden remains heaped upon the compost pile. A goodly amount of wild blackberry bushes have been pulled out by the roots and the task will resume next spring. The spring bulbs made it into beds and the dahlias and gladiolus are tucked in for the winter, down stairs. The gasoline powered machinery is drained of fuel and secured for the next 4 (or so) months. I wrapped a wire cage around the Buddleia and half filled it with some spent leaves; hoping it will do more than just survive the cold months ahead.

I like the light at this time of year (what little there is of it). I like the way it reflects off the snow and makes my rooms brighter. I like the winter sky, the greys, the blues shining through the trunks of trees now unimpeded by foliage. I can see clear through the woods from here to the road. It makes for a cinematic background.

The spring yellow shawl was interrupted so I could make a scarf to go with the Aran vest I made earlier this year. I wanted to have a "Christmas outfit". The scarf was fast to knit up and not very taxing. It's called "Stained Glass Lace Scarf" and the pattern is by Anna Dalvi. Available through Ravelry. I think it's a nice companion to the vest:

Changes ...

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Stole finished ...

The stole I began 2 years ago is done. This is the one I found in a box at the back of the closet back in July. A box from the move, full of items I'd plum forgot about! It feels good to have it finished after all this time; there's so much satisfaction in finishing a project.

It came out OK. It has had a series of issues which I've had to contend with. First there was the big color pool which became noticeable shortly after it was started. That pool is not as visible now that the shawl has been blocked and I think I'm going to simply leave it be. Then, while it sat in the closet, it provided a snack one night for a moth after a quick nosh. It was only 2 small holes and luckily it's easy to hide the patch up in the lace. It's almost impossible to see where the moth left it's mark. And, of course, there are the odd mistakes here and there, again all but impossible to find.

The pattern is called "Print O' The Wave Stole" designed by Eunny Jang. A nice, nice pattern.

I have slight misgivings about using a variegated yarn. The pattern would be clearer without the distraction of color. But still, it's not bad looking.

I bought a new skein of Italian Merino while in NYC last week and yet another shawl is in the works. This one is called Echo Flower and in my opinion, it's a real looker. I'm going to make the shawlette version in this gorgeous, spring color (great color to be working with at this time of year!):

I worked on it last night and we had knitting group this afternoon so I have a little to show, but it's not looking like much yet:

Speaking of this time of year... It was 30 degrees this morning, howling winds, power outage, and the clocks turned back. What happened? It was August just a few weeks ago! Thankfully, power was restored after a couple hours.