Monday, October 11, 2010

Double Digit October Update

It's unfathomable to me that we've already reached October 11th. This month is flying by, and I'd really like it to sloooooow dooooown now, please.

If I thought September was crazy-busy, October has been (and will continue to be) no less so. Especially our weekends. I can't remember the last time I had a relaxing, quiet, laid-back weekend, and I'd really like one...soon! The first weekend of the month was the local Apple & Arts Festival. Kevin and the kids take part in that, Kevin running the antique shingle mill and the kids working in the cider booth. I spent time there on Saturday, which turned out to be a good choice because the weather turned nasty by Sunday. I had my camera along but didn't take one picture. Oh well. Imagine throngs of people, lots of craft and food booths, apples and apple-themed things everywhere and an abundance of tractors and you've pretty much got it. (Honestly, I've taken pictures in past years, and aside from the age of my kids, they often turn out looking the same from year to year. LOL) :}

This weekend, our oldest son (the Marine) and his son came to visit. We've enjoyed having them here.

Zach and Kevin were doing manly-men things with chainsaws this past weekend.

Our grandson started kindergarten this fall. So hard to believe how much he's seemed to have grown up just in the few months since we saw him last! Today we hit the pumpkin patch, which was followed by pumpkin carving. Hopefully he realizes he won't be able to take his jack-o-lantern home with him on the plane.

This coming weekend I will most likely be laying low caring for Christopher, who is having his wisdom teeth removed on Thursday. I suppose this might count as a laid-back weekend, though I'm not sure how relaxing or quiet it will be depending on how much pain he is in. Then the following week, my mom and step dad will be arriving for a week's visit...we're very excited to be seeing them, as they only get up here once a year, at best. Not sure what all of the specific plans will be while they're here, but I imagine it will be kind of busy. The last weekend of the month is Halloween weekend, and I told the kids they could have a party. I think I may have been insane at that moment, but I'm remaining optimistic. It won't be a huge party, but it should be fun. Their friends are all nice kids.

In the mean time, knitting is taking place. I am still in the throes of Socktoberfest knitting. I finished my first pair for the month, the Ampersands I started last month. They're a gift pair, though I'd love them for myself! LOL

I've finished Clue #2 (the leg portion) of one of my Mystery Socks...need to get the second one caught up yet, so I haven't taken any more pictures of them yet. In the mean time, I decided I needed a pair of Halloween-ish socks for myself (I apparently forgot about my Zombie socks from last year...hmmm...), so I ordered a skein of yarn from Woolen Mill St. Yarns on Etsy, in the Jack the Pumpkin King colorway. I wanted to do something a little more challenging than a plain stockinette sock but not so challenging than I couldn't do it while watching TV. I opted for Riff from the latest issue of Knitty.

The twisted stitch pattern isn't showing up as clearly as it would in a solid or semi-solid yarn, but I still like it. It's been a fast knit to this point (despite the fact I misread the instructions for starting the gusset increases and had to rip back over an inch to rectify the situation). I'm now to the heel flap on the first sock though, and I've already tinked back a couple rows because I don't think I'm doing it correctly. The zigzag pattern goes up the heel and is supposed to meet the pattern on the front, and...well...I'm just not sure about it. I need to read comments from others on Ravelry and see if they have any insights. So, stay tuned!

I've made no progress on the one shawl that is on the needles, as I've been pretty dedicated to socks lately. I think once I finish the Riffs, I'll move on to shawl knitting since I'll still have the mystery socks to work on for Socktoberfest. Of course, I still also have at least one more pair of Christmas gift socks to knit up, so we'll see!

Oh, and lastly, have you heard about the new yarn by Jared Flood? I have to admit, I'm not as huge a Jared fan as some people -- nothing against him, his designs just don't always resonate that much with me. However, I venture to his blog occasionally, and when I did so last week, right after he introduced Shelter, I immediately fell for it. I love, love, love rustic farm yarns, and the colors Shelter came in made me giddy. It took a lot of self control not to order one of each, but instead I ordered three skeins of the Tent colorway just so I could check it out.

At first glance, it reminded me of Plymouth Tweed in appearance. However, this yarn has a sproingyness than Plymouth Tweed does not have. It is full of squish and loveliness and again, the colors are ridiculously awesome. I wore skein #3 around my neck for about 20 minutes to check out the itch factor...

I would not classify this as a "soft" yarn, but it was not at all itchy or scratchy. I wouldn't hesitate to use it for a scarf or mittens that would be directly on my skin. I'm not sure if I'd like it for a pullover that was going to have direct contact with a larger surface area of my body, but honestly...I've felt far less skin-friendly yarns. I'm really excited about this yarn and cannot wait to give it a try.

As a bonus, I love the fact that it's being spun in the US from American grown wool from American bred sheep. I also love that Jared has had such a hands-on role in its creation. (You can read his story about it in several recent posts on his blog. Clara Parkes also did an in depth review of Shelter last week.)

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