Monday, October 20, 2008

Crisp Fall Air

Last night, for the first time this fall, I was cold when we walked Max.  There had been a few times when we were chilled when we left the house, but walking warmed us up.  Last night, even with my fleece jacket, I was still cold.  I'm so excited.  I love fall.  I wish we had a longer fall season.   I know that winters aren't very cold here, but it seems like the leaves change while its still hot out, so that when it finally is cold, its gray and drab outside.  We don't get much time to enjoy the cool air and beautiful colors.

Its perfect sweater/mittens/scarf/hat weather, which is ideal for a knitter.  Today I wore a knit sweater to work, although I didn't make it.  Its my Eddie Bauer cabled cowl (?) neck sweater.  Its in a nice tan and even though its a cotton and synthetic blend, I still  love it!

I'm not totally a yarn snob.  I use acrylic for my donations, especially baby knits, and even for baby gifts.  I just can't see a baby in a cashmere blend sweater.  I don't even have a baby and I know that's impractical.  I am so excited because Wal-Mart (I know I know) is selling Simply Soft Eco.  Simply Soft is the best acrylic, in my opinion, because it is very soft and has great colors.  But Simply Soft Eco is made from recycled plastic bottles!  This is awesome.  The package says 100% from recycled plastic bottles.  I am excited because if you've read The World Without Us you know that plastic is the bane of the earth and is going to overwhelm us one day with all of our trash.  Recycling it is great, but there aren't a ton of uses for recycled plastic.  Now us knitters / crocheters have away to give back!

Speaking of babies.... they're everywhere.  Two weekends ago we went to a baby's baptism reception where the guest of honor was adorable in a long christening gown.  Her mother asked me to change her into her real clothes (ok, I volunteered), and I learned why baby clothes area always snap or button up.  This poor baby was swaddled in two layers of cotton with only a neck hole and a small slit with a couple of buttons.  It took DH and I at least five minutes to get it off.  She kept squirming and I was afraid I'd rip an arm off if I pulled too hard.  Luckily, no limbs were rended and I deposited her in her mother's arms with her cute little jean outfit in about five minutes.

This morning, while walking the Blue Mutt, I came upon another baby.  He wasn't alone though, his mother was holding him and their new puppy Seargent, a Welsh Corgi.  Seargent really wanted to play with the Blue Mutt, and they are about the same size, so we let them scrabble for a few minutes.  But they kept getting tangled and I had to go to work, so I said goodbye.  But she seemed very nice, and I liked her baby and dog too.

This past weekend, DH and I spent running around.  Saturday, the animal rights group I am co-president of had a bake sale.  I had come up with the idea so I was sort of the mastermind.  I also baked (with much help) 6 batches of cookies (18 dozen cookies).  We didn't have too many cookies left and made a few hundred bucks.  I'm so excited to give this money to the charities we chose, which are the Athens Area Humane Society and the Madison Oglethorpe Animal Shelter.

Knitting wise, I've mostly been doing some Preemie hats for charity.  I usually send them to Stitches from the Heart in California, but next month, Main Street Yarns and Fibers is collecting them for a local charity.  They're doing a night where you can come and knit them and get food and possibly win something, I think.  But I figured I could just drop by all the ones I've done and save on postage (with my budget being what it is).  

Stitches from the Heart does send them across the country, but I like the idea of helping out local charities as well.

My stitch markers are coming along!  I think I'm going to have close to 100 for SAFF this weekend.  Sunday DH and I came up with something to hold them, using all of our carpentry skills.  I think it's perfect and will allow them to be seen well and accessed easily, without being a mess of little baggies.  All that's left is to finish the last few I can make with the supplies I have, make the tags and put them on the stand.

I'm so excited about SAFF that I can hardly stand to get through this week.  But I do love my schedule this semester with only four days of classwork!

I don't think I ever put pictures of my dying experiments on here, so here are some:

The first is Osage Orange from my friend Susannah's yard.  This is bark shavings, I believe.  With an alum mordant, it gives a beautiful buttery yellow, much less garish than the Marigolds. 

The second is black walnuts.  I let them steep, in the green/black hulls for a few days, and then dunked the pre-soaked fiber in with no mordant.  I've done it twice now, and both times I get this light taupe color.  Its an ok color I guess, but I was hoping for a darker brown.

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