Yarn Along and Craft On

Here’s my contribution to Ginny’s lovely Yarn Along and to Nicole’s Keep Calm, Craft On (Am I a bum for using one post to hitch up to two linkies?):

I’m knitting a hat for L’Oiseau — the pattern is the Striped Skullcap from the book Oddball Knitting by Barbara Albright.  The whole book is stash-busting patterns, and oh how I love stash busting.

This week’s reading and knitting

The special thing that drew me to this pattern, and what you won’t see on the Ravelry post, though, is the bead tassel that you add to the top of the hat.  When friends threw a baby shower for L’Homme and me, I badly wanted to duplicate something we had done for my friend Kira’s baby shower years before.  Ashley, the hostess, asked each guest to participate in a beading activity that is usually part of a blessingway: bring a special bead to add to a necklace for Mama-to-Be Kira, adding our own prayers, thoughts, wishes, hopes, etc. as we strung each bead.  The necklace turned out stunning.

Well, the whole beaded necklace thing didn’t work very well at a couples shower that included children and a camp-out.  Just too much going on, and very few guests remembered to bring beads, and we just ditched the beading activity (the husbands probably would have resisted anyway).  So I ended up with a small hodge-podge of beads instead of a cool necklace.  When I saw this pattern, I knew just what to do with these special, mismatched beads.  I can’t wait to finish it and show it to my dear friends who held the shower for us.

The hat-in-progress and the beads for the tassel

As for the reading, I’ve just finished (last night, so it still counts for this week’s Yarn Along, ‘kay?) This Life is in Your Hands by Melissa Coleman.

I’m going to cry a little more just thinking about it.  What a wonderful, moving book.

Melissa’s father, Eliot Coleman, is a hero of mine — he is one of the foremost experts on organic farming and has been a huge inspiration and teacher to me and L’Homme.  We have his books, we met him at a Georgia Organics conference, we use tools that he designed, and we follow his advice in our farming.  Melissa has written a memoir of life on their homestead in Maine and the tragic death of her sister and its effects on the family.  It was so compelling to get a peek into the life of a hero and his family.  I’m going to sit for a day or too without a book, just to let this one sink in a little.

Endless Autumn


Eliot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently came across this quote from George Eliot:

“Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”

Yes, so would I.  Years ago, I took a trip to Costa Rica.  It was supposed to be 10 days, but stretched out to 3 weeks because I didn’t want to come home.  When I did come home in mid-July, I immediately began mental planning to move to C.R.  I inventoried everything in my apartment to discern how much cash I could assemble, I listened to my Spanish language tapes a few dozen times, bought a Spanish-English dictionary, began researching “teach English overseas” websites.  I daydreamed about the conversation I would have with my boss to tell him I was quitting.

And then Fall arrived — I got home from work one evening, and That Fall Smell was in the cool dusk air.  And I gave it all up: pura vida and gallo pinto simply couldn’t hold a candle to wood smoke and chilly air.

Eliot’s quote reminded me of the movie Endless Summer, where two surfers follow summer around the globe so that they can have optimal surfing conditions.

So, I say forget summer (I already have), what fall activity would you want to carry on in every corner of the world?  Me, I’d have a campfire in as many chilly, gold shimmering, cold-smelling places as I could.  And I would inhale That Fall Smell deeply.