Wednesday, October 28

Fall color and progress

Fall is one of my favorite seasons. The weather is crisp or frosty in the morning, sunny and warm during the afternoon, and cold at night.

This year it has been cold, overcast, windy, and rainy. I wouldn't be surprised if November is warmer than normal and more like October should have been.

We have had a lot of brilliant autumn color this fall. It came on very quickly and is leaving (LOL!) just as fast with rain and wind. Here's a picture I took of the tree across the street between rain showers this week. The colors almost glow, don't they?

The yellows, golds, and oranges are spectacular this year. Not a lot of red though I have seen some unusual pink tinted leaves. Another oddity this year is that some trees/leaves have mottled coloring on the leaves. See how these have tinges of different colors? Some leaves are rimmed along the edges with one color. I'll have to see if I can take some more pictures of these leaves so you can see what I mean. It is a very colorful, though brief, display.

Progress! Our patio room is one step closer to being finished. The electrician and the installers returned this morning. We now have electrical outlets and a ceiling fan. The special order windows have been installed, the ugly wall covered up, a new handle to replace our tarnished door handle, and all the windows are sparkling. The next step will be shopping for some ceramic tile for the floor. Once that's installed, we'll be ready to move into our new space.

Friday, October 23

Homeward Bound Scarf

Announcing a new lace scarf pattern. After much thought, I'm calling in Homeward Bound.

Bird wings soar over river and mountain lace motifs in this scarf to tell of the long flight home.

This simple lace scarf is knit from a single skein of fingering weight yarn (200 yards) on size 7 needles. Don't you love projects like this that use up those odd balls of yarn you have in your stash?

The scarf has no right or wrong side because it's in garter stitch (knit every row). This is a good project to tackle if you've never knit lace before. The blocked scarf is 6” x 60”. The pattern is five pages long and includes both written line-by-line instructions and a lace chart. (A stole version is now available. Look for Runes Stole in the sidebar.)

I used one skein of Jojoland Melody Superwash yarn for the sample. I love how the long colorways shade in this scarf.

The pattern is available in my Ravelry pattern store.

For more information, visit my Ravelry pattern store to see all my available designs, current pricing information, and purchase pattern downloads.

Monday, October 19

Construction continues

The patio room is up but not 100% finished. Here's what it looks like from the outside.

See the narrow boards at the top under the eaves? Those will be replaced with windows soon. They had to be special ordered to fit after the frame was up.

The next step is having an electrician come to wire up some outlets, a ceiling fan, etc. I'm waiting for a phone call as to when that will occur. Then Champion will come back to install those upper windows and fix the inside wall where they ripped the siding off the house. This is what it looks like right now. It can't be fixed until the electrician gets through poking holes in the wall. It will be covered with a white wall covering to match the rest of the room.

Once that's finished, we have to address the floor. Old rough, stained, concrete is not a nice surface for furniture. We've been debating our options. Carpet would be the cheapest option but not good for our allergies and hard to keep clean. A tile floor would be best if we can swing it. It will last a lot longer than concrete and be much easier to keep clean.

With our patio room having a south facing exposure, we will be able to take advantage of passive solar to help keep the room warm in the cold season. The lower winter sunlight will shine into the room and warm it up. We have a temperature sensor out there now that shows how much the temperature jumps when the sun is out. (Not much sun lately, but it has happened.) A tile floor in a mid to dark color would absorb more of the sunlight (heat) and radiate it back out at night to keep the room warmer during the colder months. The Hunter ceiling fan we're having installed in the room has a ceramic heater in it too. That will help add some extra heat in the winter.

Our kitties are enjoying exploring the new space. See the purple kitty hut in the corner? And a cozy rug to sit on and look out the new door. Plus a box and a folding chair serve as other viewing places. We're not moving any real furnishings out here until the floor goes in.

I'm so looking forward to being able to use this space for family gatherings, parties, and knitting/spinning frolics with friends. In the meantime, I have to be patient and wait until everything is finished.

Thursday morning I spotted our first snowflakes of the season. :( So far for the month of October, we have been below normal everyday. Not much different than the whole of 2009 for us. Our daytime temps recently have been in the 40's (she says incredulously)! They should be in the low 60s. I am so hoping that November turns out to be much warmer and includes a nice long Indian summer.

Here's a picture of a knitted scarf I finished last night. I posted it today for my test knitters to try out. I was thinking of calling it Starlight. Hmm, maybe Tilting Stars is a better name. What do you think?

Monday, October 12

Looks what's happening!

Champion started work on our patio room this morning! Yippee!

One of the walls is already starting to go up. This is so exciting!

I'm so happy that it wasn't raining today so they could start.

The downside is that someone has to be here while they work. They need access to electricity and since our outside circuit isn't working, that means I'm stuck at home while this is happening. It will be well worth being stuck at home for a few days to have the extra space. Woo-hoo!

As if this weren't enough, hubby decided to hire someone to finish some of the dry wall projects in our house. We're finally getting the doorway and pass through window in the kitchen finished and some holes closed up. These are leftovers from our kitchen remodeling project of 2003. LOL! I'm just happy that it's finally getting done. Once they put the final coat of plaster on the walls we'll be ready to paint. It will be so nice not to have holes in my walls and rough edges everywhere. :) (Now if I can only talk hubby into putting up my cabinet kickplates and getting a vent fan to put over my range. Hmm...

We're having late November weather here in northern Indiana. Our high temperatures this week are in the low 50's with night time temps dipping down to freezing. Brr! We harvested all the winter squash, peppers, tomatoes, and tender crops from the garden last week. We picked the few beans that were missed by the deer. There were only a few green beans and the rest we shelled because the seeds got so big. I cooked them up last night with some of our onions, chunks of our fresh potatoes, and a few strips of bacon for flavoring. Yum! They were delicious served with cornbread.

All that's left in the garden now are the cold tolerant crops like brussels sprouts, cabbages, carrots, and potatoes. Our temperatures are about 15 degrees below normal. If hubby's right, our November temps should be warmer than usual to make up for how cold it's been. I've gone from wearing capris and tank tops straight to jeans, long sleeves, and wool socks.

I finished a lace scarf over the weekend. Here's a picture of it. I'm working on enlarging it into a stole. The temporary name for it is Boxes. Don't you think it needs something much nicer than that? The design looks more like diamonds. Though after checking Ravelry's database, diamonds has been used a lot. If you have any ideas of what to call this design, post a comment(s) below. I do gift a free copy of the completed pattern to whoever suggests the name I give a pattern.

Saturday, October 3

Wisteria shawl - a crochet pattern!

I've been in a crocheting mood recently. Here's one of the latest things I've created. It's a crocheted shawl worked from the neck down like lots of knitted triangle shawls. Increases are worked at the edges and the center back. The design reminds of trailing blossoms of wisteria in the spring time.

I used 3 balls of Knit Picks Palette (693 yards) and a size J hook to give it nice drape. Palette is a softly twisted 100% wool yarn that's rated as a fingering weight. It's great for crocheting! Three balls will only set you back about $6.00. That's a bargain for shawl yarn. I liked using it so much for this project that I immediately placed an order for more colors. :) The Huckleberry Heather colorway I used was a birthday gift from a friend. (Thanks, Jamie!)

I blocked my shawl to open up the lace. It grew from 60" wide to 68" wide after blocking and in length from 28" to 33" at the back point. If you don't block your shawl (or use a yarn that won't hold its shape after blocking), you will have to make the shawl larger to compensate for the size difference. If you choose to use thicker or thinner yarn for the shawl, use a hook several sizes larger than usual for that weight of yarn. Just remember, if you make any of these changes that you need to adjust the amount of yarn you need.

The 3 page pattern includes both written instructions and a computer drawn crochet chart.The pattern can be found in my Ravelry pattern store. Have fun!
For more information, visit my Ravelry pattern store to see all my available designs, current pricing information, and purchase pattern downloads.