Sunday, October 14, 2007

Embracing the Autumn

Random post with random pictures. My brain is full up with weekend. It was a good one (mostly).

I was all set to post a bunch this weekend and then a friggin' miracle happened and there was SUNSHINE and WARMTH this weekend. After a couple weeks of rain, cold, blah, the weather did some kind of weekend wonder and turned all lovely, and I freely admit I wasn't much interested in sitting inside with the computer.
The purple coneflower is holding its own, still.

One of the local plant nurseries has an apple festival every year, so we always go hit that up for some of my favorite pie apples, Mutsu apples. I discovered them 3 years ago the first time we went to the apple festival.

They're OK to eat, but they make the most fantastic pie ever. (Of course, that's to my taste: I'm not a huge fan of tart-tart-tart apple pies. I like a sweet-tart mix. Your Mileage May Vary. The Mutsus have got this ethereal spiciness to them and they stay firm after cooking. Winner!) The nursery brings in about 40-50 different apple varieties, plus pears and asian pears, and lets you try a little sample of each. They also have most of the varieties for sale for 79 cents/pound. This is kind of my own official beginning of eating-apples season (I've been eating pears for a couple weeks now, my very favorite variety of all time: Cascade. They are probably the ugliest pears ever, all bulgy and lumpy, but they're SO TASTY. And they don't go all soft and mealy like Bartletts do sometimes. YUM).
The Japanese maples are gorgeous this time of year.

So we are PREPARED for apple pie now. I also scored some unfiltered apple cider (maybe more on this later. It means a lot to me personally). Although tonight we had onion soup and I didn't feel up to an additional apple pie, so maybe tomorrow on the pie. The soup worked out pretty well (1st time on this particular recipe). It involves a crapload of onions (seriously, they filled a huge bowl once they were chopped), cooked for an hour until they are goo, then cooked some more with broth.

As for gorgeous, so are the Silvervein Creeper vines (or it might be Boston Ivy, I'm no good at telling the difference. I just know it turns bright crimson about now). I wish I could get that true red color in a picture.

Anyway. This is the MITYN (more information than you needed) part of the post: I had kind of an unexpected incident with my eye today. First, my eyes are not that great. They kind of have minds of their own when they come to focus distance (I'm nearsighted), and they keep getting worse, almost every year. But I do actually treasure my eyesight and when some weird thing happens with my eye and I call the 24-hour nurse line and they sound very, uh, WORRIED about it all and tell me to hit up the urgent care center, I got a bit nervous. Worse than nervous, I had a little breakdown.

Thank goodness for K, he was wonderful and drove me to urgent care, where I proceeded to wait an hour while my symptoms abated. I spent maybe 3 minutes with the doctor after all that time, which distilled to: wait and see. Sigh. I'm actually more relieved than put out, because when WEIRD THINGS HAPPEN WITH YOUR EYE I get very... nervous. But dammit I want my 2 hours of sunny Sunday back. This evening has been a long long stint of no-focus time, as the 24-hour nurse line recommended I take out my contacts (an excellent idea) and I am lame and have yet to update my backup glasses to my latest prescription, and so they give me headaches. That's OK, you can still cook onion soup without being able to make out details. It's amazing how the human eye, even though vague blurry outlines of things, can still detect movement.

I DID get another repeat on the Arabesque stole done, in that hour of waiting-for-ugent-care. Thank goodness I could still knit even though my hands were shaking. But I didn't work on what I really need to work on, which is Sport, from Rowan Pipsqueaks.

This is the pretty pattern picture for Sport, plus the yarn I'm using. Spanish Red, that's the name of that color of cotton. Mmmm, red.
Sport, from Rowan Pipsqueaks by Kim Hargreaves.

I decided by fiat that knitting front & back separately on a ribbed piece wasn't something I was interested in, so I just knit it in the round from the bottom up, dividing front and back when I hit the armholes.

I had some confusion around the back neckline but I figured that out and now it matches the front nicely. And... I am at a dilemma point.

The number of stitches at the top of the sleeve, as written, isn't going to be big enough for the armhole. I did knit it exactly to spec, but I guess my row gauge must be off, because it's not going to be big enough. Or at least I don't think that it's going to be, based on my stitch gauge (spot on the pattern) and the number of stitches expected.

The Zulu Cape Daisies have been pretty spectacular and long lasting this year. I'm definitely growing these from seed again next year.

I'm considering whether I should knit the arm separately, or should I pick up the stitches and knit down from the armhole. It's a square set in sleeve, so not really all that hard to match. Maybe the pattern MEANS you to stretch the sleeve, so purposefully called for fewer stitches at the top of the arm. The yarn is a DK-weight cotton, so I'm worried that if I pick up the stitches, I will get a droopy arm. Also, this is for a 2-year-old, who could maybe use the extra firmness of a backstitch-stitched-sleeve.

Do you have any comments? Recommendations? I have got to finish this soon, it's already cotton-sweater weather. Any suggestions would be vastly appreciated. Meanwhile the lace scarf in my head keeps bubbling around.

No comments: