OK, I admit it! I have a crush on Al Franken! (Sorry Franni!)


Autumn Glory

Things are getting busier as work duties shift, a new person in our lives gets more attention and we go into Fall full force. Most of all, the knitting has been a lot of fun. Last week it felt like I was living at the courthouse, although one day I was free to get some visits with clients in! Monday through Friday was the usual drill, with the occasional joyful music making interlude in bells and choir. We have begun ringing and singing some new Advent and Christmas music and it’s really been lovely. All that searching at the music shop has really paid off:)

Yesterday was a rainy autumnal day, but sometimes the dreariness of the sky makes an even better backdrop to the glory of the changing leaves. I set off to visit our daughter K and little Johnny out in Westminster. A perfect day for an indoor visit. I picked up some lunch for K and I to eat while Johnny slept – eventually. We had a nice quiet time, catching up and taking care of the baby (well, Gram played with the baby, LOL and got to feed him some of the time. K is doing a combination of breast and bottle, which is sensible, given the fact that she’s returning to work mid-December and school in January.
S arrived in the early evening, having spent the day at his church for a funeral. They are still unpacking from the move that took place the day before Johnny was born. He has really “chubbed” back up from his skinny post-birth weight:) Already he has such dark eyes and his hair is starting to lighten to a reddish brown, like his Daddy’s. I think he’s beautiful, of course, and please don’t try to disabuse me of that notion. It won’t work, trust me:) He looks like a little boy to me, too, strangely enough!
When night fell, I left for home, feeling somewhat guilty that I hadn’t stopped to see Madison and Ruby at their house four doors down, but I also knew that D was getting ready for her overnight shift and didn’t want to disrupt things – plus I had to get the car back to John so he could get to his night shift. So homeward bound for a quiet evening with whatever I could stomach on TV and my knitting.
Yesterday’s knitting consisted of a dozen or so more rounds on the Aestlight Shawl and it’s coming along a lot better with the Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine in the dark grey. I’ve finally begun the edging, and though right now it looks like a mess o’knitting, I think it will block beautifully. It’s a simple pattern, but like I’ve been told, the simplest ones are often the most beautiful.
I am also working on some Christmas scarves. I started a version of the herringbone pattern found in Henry. I tried that pattern about a half dozen times and frogged over and over again. I think the problem was it was too many stitches for my little mind to keep track of and I needed to turn things around. So, I cast on 48 stitches in the same Encore yarn I used for the Pretty Thing for S. And by George I think I’ve got it! Though I could do the Henry at this point, I think I’m sticking to the more traditional way of knitting up this scarf. And I’m going to change the yarn. First, because I only have a little under 2 skeins for this and this pattern eats up yardage like a gypsy moth on oak leaves. Second, because the drape is a little stiff. So… I thought I’d use my skein of Ultra Alpaca Fine in an autumnal red with the size 8 needles and see how that works. I may need to go down a needle size, but I think it will be softer this way. I’ll take pics and post them here so you, dear 2.5 readers, can be the judge(s).
And finally, here’s something I just started for “shits and giggles” as my daughter, S likes to say (sorry for the bad language). It’s a wrap I’m doing to use up the boxload of aran colored acrylic yarn. I changed the pattern to add a couple of rope cables between the lace pattern and I think it looks rather nice – maybe eventually it will be something for the couch on a cold winter evening. No pressure:)
On the other hand, it may not be a bad idea for a Prayer Shawl. I like to make things that are machine washable for them and this doesn’t look too bad for acrylic (just don’t get up too close, LOL!).
Well I think this evening is going to be a quiet one. There are a number of us who are scheduled to work today, so I may not have a very large dinner to cook. This is probably a good thing since I’ve got to get started on that Christmas sweater I’m supposed to be knitting, otherwise, it’ll be February before the recipient gets it! Pics to come once I get started.
Happy knitting everyone, have a great week, and if I don’t see you, God be with you ’til we meet again!

Hiatal Hernia?

Is that what they call it when your hiatus has gone on for far too long? Sorry to have been so MIA, dear .5 readers (I figure that’s what’s left, LOL!) But I’ve been gone for a very good reason. We have this new little person in our family and his advent has proved to be longer than anticipated. His mother was in labor on and off, had high BP, all sorts of things that blessedly were not as scary as they could have been. Suffice it to say, little John Cormac Simpson was born on October 5, 2009 at 8:56 PM Eastern Standard Time. He stole all of our hearts almost the second he came upon the scene and continues to do so on a daily basis! He is welcomed by his Nana Simpson, his Gram and Pop Gavigan, his numerous aunts and uncles on both sides of the family and his five cousins on both sides as well, to say nothing of his even greater extended family of great aunts and great uncles, his Great Grandma and Great Grandpa, second cousins and first cousins once removed! No orphan this child. He’s got his posse already in place:) I was not present at the birth, although the hospital would have let me had the parents desired it. But K’s sister, D, had been down the same road before and it didn’t seem fair for only one grandma to be there, so D was with her sister, which was just fine with me!
Life in general has gone on as usual. The day before he was born was a long haul. I did go with the choir (at K’s insistence, since she was going fairly slowly) to an Evensong service, but kept in touch via text messages. My choir family was with me on every update, lol:) At the same time, we were able to have a lovely service – there’s something so wonderful about Evensong. During the break afterward, as we toured the place where we sang (it was a Masonic retirement community in Hunt Valley, Maryland – Bonnie Blink), I sat outside on a bench by myself, thinking about all the relatives who had already died and was sorry they were missing this – but such is life, the ebb and flow of existence. Just this week I was telling someone that no one would remember my name in 100 years. That is actually a very comforting thought because it puts so much of what we worry about on a daily basis into perspective.
We are in full swing with choir and bell choir and Stephen Ministry and EfM. Work is picking up – thankfully all of us will have jobs through the end of next August. I am so happy about that!
Knitting has fallen somewhat by the wayside, but never fear – hours of sitting in the maternity waiting room (so others could stop in and see K and S) have resulted in two finished scarves – both of which have been sitting in the WIP pile for years! There’s another bit of yarn in that bag and I’m going to use it for a scarf for granddaughter R. The other two are for D and M, her mother and big sister, respectively.
S’s “Buttony” soldiers on. I’m at the deadly-stockinette-with-no-end-in-sight phase and it’s killing me! So I had to take a small break to knit this Pretty Thing by the Yarn Harlot herself, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. It
really is pretty – even S likes it!

And this bag o’ yarn is what I hope will be a nice Aran cardigan for Nancy this Christmas (I have no fear she will see this, as she is not a blogger type, LOL!). It’s getting to be a Christmas tradition with me, so that it’s not Christmas unless I’m knitting her a sweater!
While I’m posting for the first time in forever, I figured I’d do another book

review. KnitPicks, Amazon, and Schoolhouse Press (publisher) have Twisted Stitch Knitting: Traditional Patters & Garments from the Styrian Enns Valley and I just received it yesterday. It is a re-print and translation of three booklets (put together into one book) originally in German. And it is certainly a classic! Twisted stitches are created (in Western knitting) by knitting into the back of the stitch. What happens is that you elevate the stitch somewhat, while at the same time stretching it a bit, so that it’s not as bulky as a typical cable stitch, for example. The book is full of stitch patterns, one more beautiful than the next.

It’s just lovely work. I’m actually thinking of substituting some of these stitch patterns in part of the stockinette section of the Lorelei sweater I’m working on (from the Twist Collective).

Well, I’ve just come back from two services this morning and between both of them, we practiced Christmas music:) Nancy and her colleague and good friend, Jan, went to the music store in PA (and they allowed me to tag along and render what little assistance I could. Boy did she find some gems in the music:) We are singing some beautiful pieces for Christmas, plus there were some outstanding pieces for other times of the year. I love going along with them, because (1) it’s a nice change from my regular work, although it is work for them and (2) I am so in awe of people who make a living by their talents, especially musical talents!
Here in Merlin the leaves are changing colors, and the weather has gotten cooler, although we still have our moments of intermittent spring weather. But winter is coming and that’s as it should be.
We are having a full house tonight for dinner, so I’d better get cracking! Until next time, dear 3.5 readers, God be with you ’til we meet again!