Sunday, August 31, 2014

Walk This Way

These days, I am walking for my health, and though my mile is still 18 minutes, it's getting faster (slowly, if that makes any sense at all).

My path is not flat. We live close to the highest point in our small town, which means that while the walk out may be downhill, the walk back is not.

This morning I watched squirrel races as I walked on the paved area near our elementary school. (Click to embiggen so you can see one of the racers.)

Yesterday, I spotted these which appear to be fall-blooming crocus. (from the web, search on fall-blooming crocus) Crocus kotschyanus (formerly known as Crocus zonatus) is a somewhat weedy species usually flowering in October. It has a bad reputation not only because it is a rampant self-seeder, but also because many forms have flowers that are woefully undersized. There is a form in commerce that appears to be badly infected with a virus, as the flowers are not just small, but seriously deformed. A good form of Crocus kotschyanus with flowers of reasonable size is worth having, however. In some lights the flower color approaches a delicate pink, and one can forgive a self-seeder of such beauty.

And a few days ago while walking at lunchtime near where I work, I spotted these.

I'm pretty sure they won't flower or go to seed (seem to be a bit "seedy" already, though).

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Another Batch

Here are another few of the fair entries for this year.

At right, an adult cap. This was the first item I finished since the last fair, and truthfully, I nearly entered it as fair isle.

Yarn is a blend of wool and ack. Pattern?? Who the heck can remember?

This year's Red Scarf Project scarf.

Baby set (2- or 3-piece) using a very old pattern from Spinnerin (c) 1975 The New Wee Moderns (so, before I was knitting for my own kids) for the hat and booties. The sweater is a basic top down with the same texture knitted in.

Yarn is Cascade Cherub (all synthetic) that I am dearly glad to (finally) be rid of.

Cowl from (I think) an IK special edition. Yarn is Fibranatura Baby Merino, another one I'd love to be done with. The color is called Johnny and is blue, tan, and olive drab.

Felted "other," a cute little vase knit from the last of some Noro Kureyon that I had stashed a good long time. Pattern from one of the newish Cascade books.

This one was fun to knit and felted up quite nicely. I will probably use it just for show. Perhaps with some dried grasses.

Felted purse. Needs a button in the center of the flower, I think. Too late now!

Yarn is from SERRV (fair trade non-profit). Want more. No longer available. Drat!

Lap robe in the Mason Dixon ball band dishcloth pattern.

I used Decor/Encore odd balls in 3 colors.

So now you have seen everything I photographed before dropping my stuff at the fairgrounds. And now, I wait.

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

It's Time For the Fair!

The Great Allentown Fair starts next Tuesday. It's a tradition that goes back only a very few years. The old tradition was more of a harvest fair, in late September. Now, it's the last hurrah before school starts. I am thinking that the new tradition has something to do with kids skipping school to go to the fair. . .

Also, traditionally (in a tradition that goes back about 8 years), I enter a number of knitted items. This year, that number is 30.

Only a sampling is shown here, and since I have dropped everything off at the fairgrounds (yesterday morning), more pictures will have to wait until the results are in and I pick up my stuff.

First up, a dressy shawl in organic cotton. IK pattern, I think.

Followed by a scarf from one of the One Skein Wonders books in Noro sock yarn, stashed for a good long time while I looked for the perfect pattern.

The pattern is deliberate bias and the long stretches of color show it off well.

This is Adult Scarf, fine yarn.

The sweater I finished earlier this year in Puno (alpaca) color mulberry. The yoke is patterned, the body and 3/4 length sleeves ribbed (really wide rib). This one is for me.

And I look forward to wearing it this fall.

IK pattern.

Fair Isle, any garment in a variety of odds and ends of wool. The pattern is from Anna Zilboorg's 45 Fine and Fanciful Hats. This is one of the berets in the book.

I'm pleased with how even my stranding is.
I fell in love with this pattern the first time I saw it on Ravelry: Sheep In the Meadow pillow cover in odd bits of wool/ack blend (Encore, Decor, Easy Wool).

I had vowed not to buy yarn for these projects and I (mostly) kept that vow (see below), so my cover is smaller (the pattern calls for chunky yarn, I used worsted weight) but the size is perfect for the form I had on hand and for lumbar support on my desk chair.

These little ladies made me break my promise as I had no washable yarn in suitable skin and hair colors in sufficient quantity to make the knitted doll I had in mind.

So off I went to Joann's (coupon(s) in hand) to buy flesh (I was looking for peach) and something suitable for hair.

Vanna's Choice for the skin in the only even close to pinky flesh tone I could find (and believe me, I looked). WoolEase  in a medium brown made up the hair.

This project brought me right down to the wire. I was embroidering features at 8 pm Thursday.

Jean Greenhowe pattern.




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