Friday, November 14, 2014

Seasonal Items

It seems that 2014 has been the year of the hat in my knitting life.  These two were knitted this week:

The hat on the right is the Able Cable hat and the hat on the left is the Jacques Cousteau hat.The yarn is Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride in worsted weight.  The color is Orange You Glad.

And there is some weaving finished:

This is the fabric right off the loom.

Here it is after wet finishing and pressing.  Uhm...there wasn't that much shrinkage.  Guess I should have put the coin in to show scale in both photo's.  But it does show how the natural colored polyflax yarn settled into the fabric.

This piece is a table runner:
The fabric is reversible.
There are 6 placemats to go with the runner which are waiting to be hemmed.  Black thread, short hours of daylight...sigh.

Right now the looms are naked.  So I guess I'll be putting on some warps this weekend.
Hope you can spend the weekend doing just what you want to do.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Just hanging around...

Something like this:
This little guy was hanging out right above where a park my car when it turned cold last week...around the same time that we set our clocks back.  But I doubt that turning the human clocks had anything to do with his own internal clock.  This past Monday was warmer and he has moved on, hopefully to a more suitable place to spend the winter.

There has been some finishing:
This is another prayer shawl that I will turn in at the prayer shawl ministry tonight.  Project details are at the link.  There are other things that are almost finished, but not quite.  So pictures later......

Books...There has been a lot of reading accomplished in the past few weeks.  Here are some I recommend:

The History of Rain by Niall Williams
This is one of those books that when I finished it I wanted to start over and read it again.  The narrator of the story is plain Ruth Swain, a 19 year old woman who is confined to the attic room in her family home after contracting a debilitating blood disease in her first semester at college.
The story is set in a small fictional Irish town named Faha, situated at the mouth of a river and where it continually rains.  I've tried writing a review, and can't seem to give the story justice.  So I will send you to this Guardian Review.  Though I recognize that this book may not be for everyone, I loved it and will definitely read it again.

Next on my list is The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell.  This British author is generally known for "chic lit" but in this story she deviates somewhat.  The story revolves around Lorelei Bird, the matriarch of the Bird family.  We move back and forth in time over a span of around 30 years with the Bird family which consists of:  the father, Colin, a university lecturer;  two daughters, Megan and Bethan; twin sons, Rory and Rhys; and of course Lorelei who is a hoarder.  The highlight of each year is the Easter Egg hunt which Lorelei orchestrates at first in a whimsical fashion, then over the years devolves into the obsessive behavior that characterizes her entire life.
The story is insightful and engrossing as we watch the family crumble under the weight of Lorelei's possessions.  There is guilt, anger, adultery, suicide, and ultimately reconciliation as the family digs their way through the mountain of possessions left in Lorelei's wake.
Best of all....that honey colored house they grew up in is in a lovely village in the Cotswolds.

For the next selection, it's back to the Irish, but now they are in Brooklyn for Alice McDermott's Someone: A Novel.  Marie Commeford narrates the story of her Irish Catholic family in Brooklyn, starting with her childhood in the 1930's.  As Marie tells her story, there is the continuing theme that we all experience disappointments and are knocked down by circumstances, but then along comes someone who helps us back to our feet, dusts us off, and enables us to move on.  The story is told in snapshots as Marie filters through her memory. Compassion and humor braided through this story of a very extraordinary ordinary woman.

So there you go...three books to get you through these dark, late autumn days.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Challenging times....

Sorry for the long radio silence.  The times have been challenging around here and not likely to change very soon.  2014 is not likely to go down as one of my favorite years.

Anyway, there has been knitting:

A baby sweater for a new grand-niece.  The pattern is Beribboned Eyelets by Rowena Hill. 

I keep saying that I'm done knitting for the grand nieces and nephews...and then I do it again.  The reality is this:  All of the child rearing guidelines have gotten so crazy that I don't know if buttons on a cardigan are appreciated.  Or if eyelets on a sweater precludes the use of said sweater.  Or even if a hand knit item is appreciated.  They are all geographically scattered so I don't see them in use and photo's have not been sent.  So this may be the last one.
Until the next time.

And a quick hat:

For a friend who was startlingly diagnosed with a brain tumor, reminding us all again that life can turn on a dime.  Fortunately her surgery went well and she reports that she is making progress daily.  She requested red and not wool.  So you can see that it is RED.  The pattern is Double Double Cloche and I promptly drove through Tim Horton's after I popped it in the mail.  But I drink it double doubles for me.

There has been weaving as well, but no photo's.  Save that for another day.

I'll leave you with some Pure Michigan Autumn:

The next to last one reminds me of several Robert Frost poems......