Fairy Okay, so we don’t do scary at Halloween. We do cute.  I confess I did not knit anything associated with Halloween this year.  I am thoroughly impressed and humbled by the efforts of some deeply committed knitting moms: Alison and Julia, just to name a couple. 

I finished knitting all the pieces of Kepler and the sleeve caps have to be reknit, they don’t fit, I am sure that was a row gauge issue with using a different yarn.  But it shouldn’t be a big problem and then it should seam together quickly. 

Hope everyone has a wicked good Halloween!

Eye Candy!

Candy_corn What candy better represents Fall than the classic, Candy Corn? When I was a kid we used to play a game with them where we could only eat them if we could catch them in our mouths after we threw them in the air.  I’m not sure who got to eat the ones that we missed – I don’t recall the details. Anyway, to me Candy Corn says Autumn. 

I want to start a new knitting project. Big surprise!  I have two on the needles now, the experiment, and Kepler.  The Kepler is moving right along, I stop and pet the cables often, I just love cables and the yarn is so wonderful.  I am finishing up the sleeve bands and then will begin the main bands for the body.  It’s pretty much all st st from then on, so it should be quick. 

Experiment The experiment with a different yarn is working out much better, but with some changes. I am using some Baruffa Aerobic extra fine merino that I bought from Norma last year.  Gauge is 25 st/4in on size 5US so it’s a much finer yarn and needles, and therefore, much slower, but this yarn is very soft and it has a drape the Jazz did not.  The yarn seems to be braided, which is interesting.  This will obviously take longer than I expected, but if Norma can knit a vintage sweater out of Koigu KPPPM, I guess I can handle these size 5 needles for the duration. Hey, Norma, race ya!

4_seasons Fish_wool Now, once I finish the cable bands for Kepler, I intend to start this sweater (one cable project at a time).  It’s the 4 Season Cable Coat from the May-July 2005 Cast On.  And I am knitting it in the called-for yarn, Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool.  I have decided that Cast On is one of my favorite knitting magazines. Of course, I don’t like everything, but what I do like and hope that others appreciate is that every issue has at least one, usually more designs knit using reasonable priced popular yarns that some yarn snobs might disparage.  I like the fact that they are making knitting accessible to all types of knitters, not just the ones that can churn out Rowan and Debbie Bliss sweaters at the drop of a well-knit hat, but those that may only have a Walmart or Hobby Lobby to supply them with yarn.  Not to mention that some people think wool is impractical in certain parts of the country.  I don’t happen to agree, but I understand the sentiment and appreciate if knitters don’t want to have to worry about how a knitted item is cared for.  Kandis thinks it looks like an old man’s sweater.  I don’t and I’m knitting it and I’m wearing it.  I have a sweater I knit with this yarn over 10 years ago.  I still wear it every year.

Things that are great about knitting this sweater in this yarn:

  • Fisherman’s wool has the natural oils still in it which makes it somewhat waterproof.

  • It only takes 5 skeins BECAUSE there’s 465 yards on each skein!

  • I paid $7.82 per skein which means – less than 40 bucks for a wool sweater, a long one! 

  • No big, agonizing decision about what color to choose, this yarn comes only in this natural color.

  • It will go with every damn thing I own.

What’s not to love?

Now, for those of you who love pumpkins too, check out this Flickr group – and eat some candy corn!

I am not feeling the love…

Sleeve I finished one sleeve – after several rips and reknits.  Still, I don’t like the fabric. It isn’t drapey enough – I think the yarn is too heavy.  I love this yarn but I think I have another one in the stash that I bought from Norma last year that will work better for the faux J.Jill sweater. 

So guess what I’m trying with the Jazz now?


I think it might work for Kepler. Do you think the color variation in the yarn obscures the braid? If the light hits it just so, I think it works.

October is always a bear for me.  Between Expo, offspring birthday, making sure the furnace works, digging out the winter clothes, coming up with Halloween costumes, our anniversary (7 years) well, things just get a little hectic. And Abby is going to be a flower girl in a friend’s wedding, and I have to make the dress.   KatrinaAnd we got a new kitty.  We adopted a grown kitty who had been at the shelter since August.  Found with a collar on and in very good condition, I can’t believe nobody claimed her, but we were very happy to add her to our little family. Abby named her Katrina.  I don’t know if she was influenced by all the news or came up with it on her own. She’s almost five, but I’m a little surprised at her choice. 

I played hooky the other day and took a trip out to the Hill Country.  Bamberger Ranch is one of my favorite escapes.  It’s not open to the public except for tours and workshops, but I volunteer for them, so they let me come and explore sometimes.  It was a perfect cool day after a rain.  Beautyberry The American beautyberries were in full fruit and we got to go in the Chiroptorium, I had never been inside before. We didn’t go much deeper than the entrance since there are still 3-6,000 bats still in there and it would disturb them if we went any deeper. Disturbing roosting bats is not good.  Not because they are dangerous, they aren’t, but because it upsets their metabolism.  Bat_1 This bat (Brazillian free-tail, Tadarida brasiliensis) I spied near the entrance clinging to a muddauber nest.  Unfortunately, this bat is deceased.  Yes, they can die and remain in that position. Because the Chiroptorium is a fairly new construction (yes, a man-made bat cave), and the bats have not been in residence very long, there is a lack of dermestid beetles in the cave. These beetles are the clean-up crew of bat caves.  They are carnivorous and feed on the dead and injured bats whose misfortune is to come within their reach. This bat left hanging on the walls to decompose is evidence of the the absence of the beetles, but hey, the bats weren’t even there the first few years so, we expect the beetles will eventually show up.

Dino_print I also got to visit the Dino Pavillion and here is a print – it’s over a foot long in length and is believed for be an acrocanthasaurus. The ranch protects these specimens with a roof, short stone wall and fence because once prints are exposed, they erode quickly because of the softness of the Edwards limestone.  The pavilion is used as an exhibit for the educational tours of bus-loads of school children that come to the ranch every year.

So much for the first half of my month of October.  The sweater machine needs to start chugging to life because it looks like it will be a cold winter.  I’ll post my experiment with the alternate wool for the Project sweater soon.