Thursday, October 30, 2008

Coming out of Hibernation

are the brown Trekking (XXL) color 183 socks that were started last October. The first one was cast on 10/12/07 and finished 12/30/07 with its mate cast on 12/30/07, supposedly to prevent the dreaded SSS (second sock syndrome).

By casting on the second one immediately I did prevent that problem, but by then I was bored with the brown color and wanted something brighter. The project went into hibernation and into the antique trunk that was one of the ones immigrating from Sweden about 1905 with my paternal grandfather, then was a tool chest in the garage for decades before Russ restored it. Until then, I had no idea the chest wasn't black.

This morning, Karen on LI teased me about having only 4 WIP's on my Ravelry project page. Immediately I was reminded of these socks. Out of the oak chest they came to be newly photographed to resuscitate them.

While in the photo mode, I also took the Pansy outside in the sunny but cool air for an update. The background in this shot is simply the angle of the sun on the grass. Here we had no accumulating precipitation from the mammoth storm. It has been something like 750 miles across.

Pansy is just starting on the Left Wing. We won't talk about my misreading last night and adding stitches I didn't need to add during last night's political infomercial. OK?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Time for Fibernating

is here.

The weather prognosticators were right this week when they predicted rain, wind (up to 40 mph sustained for 30 hours)and a variety of frozen particles. They didn't predict the 12 hour water main break and lack of water Monday from 3PM to Tuesday 3 AM.

Looking across a neighbor's driveway, here are this morning's flurries. Much as I don't want to see them, they are better than last night's sleet and ice pellets. If you're hungry for the white stuff, click on picture to enlarge and become enmeshed in white.

The flurries don't show up much against these trees on the northeast side of the house.

So, what does Fibernating do in this mess?
She goes into her new stack of reading.
Friend Gwen sent me this pattern a few weeks ago, which I have been amiss to post. Aren't those alpaca socks the cutest? On a day like today, the merest hint of alpaca socks is more than a little comforting.

After seeing in the Ravelry Book Club group that they were reading this book, I ordered the 3 book set. They've been a long time in coming and they still haven't found one of the three, even though stated they were all available. 13th century Wales is pulling me into its web.

On Monday the mailbox contained this fabulous book. It's M'Lou Baber's Double Knitting which I had preordered at 2.75 and for which M'Lou had signed a book plate. I thought it would be difficult to top the beauty of The Opinionated Knitter, but M'Lou and SHP have created one of the most gorgeous books I have ever seen.

And yesterday what did the mail box hold but a surprise envelope from Cathy! She had been up in Madison and found this new magazine, "Knitcircus". I had seen it via Ravelry blogged about and available online, but the print copy is much nicer. Glossy paper. Tasteful advertisements. Beautiful layouts and charts.

Thank you.

Time to go fibernate now.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Preparing for the seasonal changes

is what we've been trying to accomplish the last few weeks.

Last Sunday before we went on the park walk, DH changed out three storm doors from screens to glass. These storm doors and windows were installed in 1959 and have treated us well. They are aluminum and we always went with products that were made by Alcoa, since that is where my father was a tool and die maker.

Each day this week I've been looking out the window behind the TV, or out the window by the washer in the basement to see this glorious maple midget. It's only about three and a half feet tall but bushy because it grows through the state cyclone fence and has been cut off several years. With these predicted fronts going through this weekend, leaves will be dropping sooner than we desire, but on schedule with Mother Nature.

Just up the cyclone fence line, the honeysuckle is again blooming in October, just as it did last year when I posted it. You can tell the sky wasn't very blue yesterday and it surely doesn't show blue this morning.

DH wanted me to take this shot through one of the dining room windows this morning of the well (and thermometer showing 52 drippy degrees)with the maples, pine and witch hazel across the fence and the lilac tinging color change just outside the window.

It's the Saturday sky of October. Though not the Saturday sky I've been showing the last four Saturdays during our leaf peeking, this one has brought us 1.2" rain so far. We were 3/4" below average, so some rain is needed. We do not need what is to be mixed with more rain on Monday and Tuesday, s---,brought to us by a deeply seated Alaskan cold front plunging into the middle of the Gulf of Mexico before it's done.

Yesterday I picked spinach and swiss chard for a yummy potato/swiss chard soup recipe we enjoyed at Sarah's in July. Since there have been two decent frosts on the garden so far, the beets have had time to sweeten and I pulled those yesterday. We savored beets with dinner, plus I had two quarts left over for the freezer. These beets were from a four year old partially used seed packet. I prefer to save unused seeds and plant them another year. There are also certain seeds I harvest and plant the next year. There haven't been any saved seeds that haven't germinated except two free carrot packets.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pansying and Guernsey Buttons

lying in the sunshine....

It's about time to give a Pansy update.

Section 1, the Right Wing, is completed. Up at the top on the needles are three rows of increase section, the Back. (Click on pic to embiggen!)

Last night I was "just a-knittin' along", but there was this little nagging feeling each time I was increasing the knitting stitches by three at the end of the odd numbered rows. I was increasing from 7 to 10 to 13 to 16, etc. There was this stockinette "V" developing. It was a very nice stockinette wedge that was grounding the miniature leaf pattern. The increasing was half completed. But it just didn't seem right.

OK, so I read the instructions yet again for at least the twentieth time. Oops. Nagging feeling was right as always. Frogged back to last row of Right Wing and knit 3 rows before trudging up the stairs to bed.

The buttons I ordered from KnitPicks on their sale through the end of the month came today. The plan is to use them on the Guernsey Vest. So, here are 4 of them on the vest, hanging out on the backyard park bench in the sunlight. What do you think? (Click to really see them!)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

When Autumn Leaves start to Fall

not all the trees are even changing color yet.

Russ has been really surprised this year as we've been documenting the changing season, to realize that here, this year, the trees are changing slowly and yet every day differences are apparent. He remembers the leaves seeming to change all at once when he was growing up in Wisconsin.

Tawny just enjoys all the new smells every week. And he was so excited to go for his park walk today that he was "just a-dancin'". Here Tawny is watching one of the walkers along the trail who seemed like a good person with whom to play but who just gave him a hand signal of greetings and continued on down the trail.

Here's a comparison with last week's colors including the boat house, a flock of geese and the bridge in the background.

As the leaf canopy rains down, the under layers start to turn color. A first more general and still patchy frost over night with a low of 30 brought many leaves down in the early morning.

Mallard pairs are enjoying the day. They did not come for any bread, but I was within 5 feet of them here.

The Great Blue Heron is back this week in the same spot as two weeks ago. Click on the picture, then look about half way down and you'll see it.

Again a comparison from two weeks ago of the same view over the lake.

One of the old country roads held this wonderful surprise for us today as it's like driving through jewels entering Northmoreland Park.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

1 Day Past Peak

is what we decided the leaves were out Dime way. Russ said that Thursday and Friday the leaves were still on all the trees and were magnificent. Today, after the front went through yesterday, much of the earliest color was now grounded. (CLick on any picture for closeup.)

This first view is a one week update from one of last Saturday's photos. I still wanted the cows in the pasture, but the grrls were just coming out of their barn from milking when we passed.

I simply turned around from the pasture and this was what had been behind me! Not too bad a scene in itself.

Up on Ridge Road are these trees in a lovely yard. A leaf carpet can be wonderful to play in and to mulch, but can't say much for it otherwise!

We stopped to get eggs from Kota's family. While stopped and talking with his dad, I looked up to see this oak cathedral overhead. It reminded me so much of being in the back seat of the '55 Buick Special and all the trees looked like this from my child's perspective.

Does this scene also look familiar? On Airport Road, this is a one week update from last Saturday.

The barn remnants of the (now an industrial park) Park's family dairy farm, Farmers Delight Dairy, glow amongst the foliage.

One of the least known but highest architectural local monuments to John Augustus Roebling of Brooklyn Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge fame, is the Hyde Park pedestrian bridge connecting Hyde Park to Leechburg. See this newspaper story written recently.

Back home again we are to the maples still just turning while the witch hazel's leaves are raining down to cover all below.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Growing Seasonal

72 degrees, grey and occasional sprinkles fill this day.

And yet...

... it's a great day to spread Pansy cheer. (Wanna see more closely? Click on pic!)

Pansy is on the second set of 4 diamonds per row. Probably tonight she will have the first set of five across. Considering that these diamonds are smaller than the swatch, there will be two sections of 5 diamonds each, then the garter border and then..and then...the wedge!

Pansy is seen here on the mantle, perched on her cone of Bordeaux.

Before a storm might totally dislodge the cinnamon fern fronds, I wanted to share their multitude of Fall coloring.(Click for detail.)

Beside them this afternoon I planted the hanging basket of New Guinea Impatience...we'll see if they will make it through the winter.

And then there are the two parsley plants from a hanging basket planted in what is to become an herb garden. Also planted were asparagus plants/roots that a fellow driver gave Russ yesterday. No picture since it isn't really very exciting in October (as opposed t0o the garden planted in Spring) to see a little patch of freshly dug and watered soil.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Having grown up with sickles and scythes and loppers and electric hedge trimmers, I thought everybody knew how to use them.

We have a "before" with my shadow,

a "during" with trimmings on the ground,

and an "after" with all raked but frontal clouds moving in.

I was coming awfully close guessing how much time I had before the front spread its grey fingers my direction.

Monday, October 13, 2008

When's Leif Erickson Day?

Here in SW PA, Columbus Day is a Very Big Deal. Pittsburgh has one of the largest Columbus Day parades. We used to always get the day off school. Italian flags ruled the airways.

I always made sure I wore my Swedish colors as schools sang Columbus' praises and asked, "When's Leif Erickson Day?"
Hey, Leif was on the continental U.S.
Columbus wasn't.
(Teachers looked abashed and laughed as though embarrassed, never telling me it was an uncelebrated-here October 9.)

What happens after a walk in the park on a perfect October weekend after which is predicted two weeks of temperatures falling precipitously?

Dog bath!

Nothing like a wet dog to brighten the afternoon LOL.

And how about a Pansy Shawl update? She's further along now, but her right wing is a fledgling. As she's knitting up considerably smaller than the garter stitch swatch, there appears to be a need to extend her diamond rows beyond expectations.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

For Linda (Lloie's Cardigan)

A monitor shot from 2.75 of Lloie's Cardigan... 3 colors in one row, in particular the red row. I believe I remember Meg saying that this row could be duplicate stitched, if preferred. (Click for bigger, better viewing!)

The pullover, also in the new 'Wool Gathering', also has that touch of red for a three color row. (Click to Really See!)

"Knitter's Choice!"

Walkin' th' Dog

Another Sunday walk in the park.

All these colors at once along the trail as Tawny investigates and Russ enjoys the 77 degree early afternoon.

Shooting across the lake, much like a picture from last week, there is not even a hint of a breeze. Geese are heard nearby...

There are some geese...see, right through the leaves? All pictures are clickable to 'embiggen', as always.

Here, looking from just down from the breastwork of the dam toward the boat dock and bridge at other end, there are a few ducks and geese nearby. Even a few bull rushes prefer this narrow stretch of boggy ground.

Milkweed and wild currants and blackberries glisten in this open space between the trail and the lake.

Nearing the parking lot, Russ spots a dew-covered daisy (at 1 PM!)

Back at the parking lot, looking at the bridge which carries vehicles and pedestrians and 'doglinks', there are a fisherman and a picnicking family behind me. The fisherman had caught 'only two little bass', but two are better than none!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Color Gazing

Yesterday and today were perfect Fall color gazing days.

Yesterday the camera was at the ready to capture a honeybee on the galardia by the pond. I know I have featured these flowers here, but I love them and they won't be here after a killing frost.

For once I actually walked over to the township office across the creek to pay the water bill. Along the way is a small bridge crossing that creek over which is Rt.356. Your eyes are not deceiving you, this bridge was built in 1930.

Today Russ and I went color gazing and fuel tank filling. (We found regular at $3.19 but while we were at the grocery store, the pumps outside were being filled by the tanker truck and the price there had been $3.29 when we went into the store but was $3.23 when we left!)

The best color gazing in the area right now is along one of Russ' bus routes, so all these leaf pictures are from along roads he drives daily. All pictures are clickable.

We are not at color change peak yet. That should be next weekend, though a storm the middle of the week may hurt the beauty.

Many say Vermont has the best Fall color. Some say Wisconsin has the best. In a good color year, Pennsylvania rivals any state in the color department.