It has finally begun to look a feel like Fall around here, and just in time for Halloween. We had terrible winds the last two days, courtesy of the Superstorm, but no rain. However, in light of the devestation that took place in the northeast and midwest, we got off easy. But today is clear, cool, and perfect for trick or treating.
So, let's start with the knitting, and then if you want to keep reading, you can find out what I've been up to over the last month and a half. I actually have two projects that have been in progress for at least that long. The first is a pair of socks. I've completed the first one and started the second, but it is mostly languishing in a project bag.
I used the Strong Heel on this one. It's a fairly easy short row pattern with no wraps. I'm not sure I like how it looks, but it certainly fits well. I'm not sure if I'll use it for the second sock, or try the Fleegle heel.
I also finished a test knit that is now available on Ravelry - Serif Shawl. Go to the link to see some pretty finished ones. In the meantime, here's mine, unblocked.
Mostly garter stitch, it's a nice easy pattern that goes quickly in worsted weight yarn. Mine is Cascade 220 Heathers. Here's a closeup of the unblocked lace edge.
Then I finished the Journey Scarf.
The yarn is Universal Yarns Classic Shades in Sapphire. I got two skeins of it from a friend for my birthday, and as fate would have it, she gave it to me at knitting group the night I forgot my pattern. So I borrowed some size 7's and cast on. I think it will make a nice gift for my husband or son for Christmas.
My big finish was a pullover I started last February. I had completed everything but the sleeves when it got just too warm to work on a wool sweater so I stuffed it in my knitting bag and moved on. It was pulled out again with the hopes that it could be my SAFF sweater for last weekend, but the best I could do was finish sewing in the second sleeve while I was there.
This is the Katherine Pullover. The yarn has a history. Several years ago at SAFF, I bought two fleece. One was Corriedale and the other alpaca. Both were shades of grayish browns, and I had them processed into pencil roving with the intent to spin them into yarn for a sweater. Well, that was obviously not going to happen, and last year, I had Jen take the yarn to her mill to spin into a DK weight yarn. What I got back was over 4400 yards of very nice DK weight!! I used about 1550 yds for this sweater.
I like the pretty crochet edging around the v-neck, and the whole thing fits very well (even if the sleeves are a tad long.) What I did not like, and wish I'd taken time to change at the very beginning, is the rolled bottom edge. That is never a good look for me. So, I tried putting the same detail that is at the neck around the bottom.
It looks nice, but even with some steam blocking, I think it's pulling out a bit weirdly. I'm wondering if doing three stitches out of four would help that, instead of crocheting through every one. What do you think? But overall, I'm very pleased with the sweater and yarn combo and can't wait to figure out the bottom so I can wear it. Now, the color in the above photos are not quite right, so here's a photo that shows it better.
Ok, so that's my current knitting. Now to what else has been going on.
It's been a very busy month and a half, that's for sure. On September 22, we held the first Fun Day at the farm. The idea was to have a fun event that riders of all abilities could participate in, that would also bring people together. A course was set up in the four big pastures, including jumps, crossing the creek, stopping at a trivia station, and a place to get off and get a doughnut for you and your horse (I skipped that part, because I didn't need one and the horse didn't like them when he was with his first rider.) Afterwards, we had a lovely bbq dinner. Some young riders were lead by parents, others walked, while some galloped. Some were alone and some with a group. It was a beautiful day and a lot of fun. I was excited because I've never ridden in the pastures by myself before. No one was there to take my picture, but here is Silverado with my friend Katrina, who took him out about an hour before me.
We didn't do the jumps because he's an overachiever and neither Katrina nor I are ready for jumps. But we both enjoyed some good trotting and cantering. I had a blast and can't wait to do it again!
In early October, Jim had a conference to attend in Hollywood, Florida (near Ft. Lauderdale) so we decided to make a vacation of it. We went down on Friday and had the weekend before he had to start. Unfortunately, I was well when I got on the plane, and getting sick when I got off. It was some horrible sinus thing and I felt miserable all weekend. On top of that, it rained. A lot. We were able to find a little dry time, though, to visit a local nature preserve. We took a boat ride through the mangrove forest and out into a little lake, and then had a walk through the mangroves on a paved trail. There were lots of birds, and I caught this guy standing on a rail, watching a hawk in the tree above him.
We tried going to South Beach to see the Art Deco buildings and maybe get some lunch, but the rain was so bad we didn't get out of the car. The streets were flooded and there was no place to park - what a mess! I was there five days and pretty much never left the hotel except for these two excursions and going to dinner. But that was ok, because I needed the rest.
I was home for a day-and-a-half, and then flew off to Colorado to attend the wedding of my riding instructor's son. It was held at a charming little chapel just outside of Colorado Springs. I flew into Denver on Friday and got to the hotel just in time to change and meet friends to go to the rehearsal dinner in Colorado Springs. On Saturday, a couple of us drove into Old Colorado City to do some shopping and have lunch before the wedding. I found a little antique brass horse in one of the shops.
The wedding was so lovely! Both the ceremony and reception were very family oriented. I know that sounds funny to say about a wedding, because of course you would expect it to be so, but this one seemed even more so. The bride's dad sang at the wedding (I give him HUGE props for that - no way could I have held it together!) And he and her brother sang at the reception. Then, her parents, who took up ballroom dancing, performed a demonstration with some of their friends. Michael, the groom, took the floor with some swift disco moves that had everyone clapping. All in all, it was a wonderful event.
When the bride was coming down the aisle, I knew everyone would be looking at her, and no one at the groom. I remembered how much my son's face lit up when he saw his bride in her dress for the first time, and I knew Michael would have a big reaction, too. Here's the photo - isn't he fabulous!
Everyone left the next day, but I stayed over, figuring I didn't go all that way for such a short time. I started the day at the Garden of the Gods. I can't say I ever had heard of it before, and didn't know what to expect, except that I had seen it from the road on Saturday morning when we drove to Colorado City. Well, it's a wonderful area of huge red rocks, and is a city park of Colorado Springs. Lots of people who knew what they were doing with ropes and pitons were climbing the rocks, but I contented myself to drive around, stopping twice - once for a walk on the paved paths, and once to take a hike on a ridge trail.
Such a beautiful place, very tranquil despite the number of visitors there that day. I spent about three hours and could have lingered longer, but decided to get brave and drive up Pike's Peak.
Pike's Peak has an altitude of 14,115 feet above sea level, and is 31st in elevation among Colorado's 54 "Fourteeners" (mountains over 14,000 feet.) The road begins in a pretty aspen forest, with glimpses of the summit along the way.
About two or three miles in, a warning sign appears.
I didn't see or hear him, but it would have been fun!
After a while, the road gets a bit more challenging, rising steeply through hairpin turns with no guardrails. Above tree line, this is a bit unnerving, as all there is to see over there is a lot of air!! Worst of all, you can see how steep it will be coming down. Gulp!! All I could think was, "what have I gotten myself into??" Here's a shot of the road I took at the top.
But after getting up there, the views were definitely worth it. It had snowed on Friday night and Saturday, so there was about three or four inches around, but thankfully, nothing on the roads. After about 40 minutes, I steeled myself and started down at the recommended 20mph in 1st and 2nd gears. And guess what? It wasn't bad at all! There was very little traffic, and since I had come up later in the day, it was past time that people were being allowed up, so everyone was only going down. Definitely easier on the nerves.
After two excellent vacations, I returned home to plunge into preparations for our big farm fundraiser, the Fall Festival. This year, I was involved in the Silent Auction, which meant making bid sheets, logging donations, and generally getting ready for the big day. It was held Saturday, October 20, and we couldn't have asked for nicer weather. Ok, a little less wind would have been better, but it really was nice otherwise. We had food, pony rides, a really good dj, riding demonstrations, the silent auction, and a costume contest. Next year, I'm definitely taking part in that last thing. We had some very creative costumes. Here's Al and his friend Nancy. Al is a ..... Saw Horse. Hahahahahah!
To round out the month, last weekend, Diana and I went to SAFF (Southeastern Animal & Fiber Festival.) It's a yearly thing, and we love going not only for the shopping (of which there is lots!) but to be able to hang with our friends. Unfortunately, two of my dear friends from North Carolina were unable to make it this year, which was sad, but I had a lovely weekend otherwise. Did I buy stuff, of course! A little yarn, a pretty supported spindle that looks like an acorn, some soap, a little pottery sheep, a tiny wool sheep, and a couple of Christmas gifts. There were animals, too. Sheep, goats, alpacas, and llamas. Each cuter than the last, but cutest of all, this alpaca with her three week old cria.
On the way home, we stopped at the Spring Ridge Creamery for ice cream, and then in Dillard, GA, to visit some of the shops I've been passing on the way to our North Carolina property for the last 25 years (always with the husband, who does not want to stop - I wonder why?) Fun, fun time!
So, that's the roundup of what's been happening around here. I'm now going to try to find time to finish my two projects before the insanity of Thanksgiving and Christmas starts. The way things have been going lately, I'm not sure that's going to happen, but I'll make a start tonight when Diana and Hali come over for our Second Annual Halloween Knit, Pizza, Horror Movie, Pass Out Candy Extravaganza!!