After one false start (two weeks of gorgeous cool sunny weather followed by several days of disgusting hot 98% humidity horror), fall has finally arrived in a cold, grey, rainy kind of way. While I wish we could have enjoyed crisp sunny 70 degree heaven a little longer, this kind of autumn does have its compensations – namely, a roaring fire, snuggly kitty companionship, and an overwhelming urge to knit everything in sight. Very fortunate, since I have a mountain of things to knit before the holiday gift-giving season arrives. Although I don’t think I’m going to meet my goal of having a knit gift for every member of the family this year, I have a few done already and I should be able to knock out at least two more.
For as much knitting as I’ve been doing lately, I feel like I have disappointingly little to show for it. The sweater I cast on for myself is still only one sleeve and a tiny start of the body, despite being bulky weight yarn and completely simple. I still can’t find the time to figure out the last couple rows of my Damson shawl, and I haven’t knit a square for my sheep blanket in months. I absolutely must cast on a Christmas/Hogswatch stocking for my long-suffering housemate, and I have one other Christmas present to knit before the end of the month. At Rhinebeck I’ll be purchasing another sweater’s worth of yarn for the Harry Potter movie weekend I’ve planned. I had wanted to knit myself a pair of socks, too, but that will have to wait, I’m afraid.
I did finish a Christmas gift in just a few days this month, and a baby sweater for a couple of dear friends. The pattern is Willie, by Pamela Wynne, and the yarn is Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky in Honey, Lumberjack, and Hazelnut. Buttons are from forbeadintreasures on Etsy
I just adore this pattern for my dog-loving friends, especially with those buttons! It’s a quick knit and I found it to be great for learning intarsia. I just hope it fits properly – since I know less than nothing about babies, I just have to follow the pattern and hope it’ll fit comfortably for as long as possible.
We’re gearing up for fall and winter around the rest of our bare-bones homestead, too. The young roosters are getting big enough to start butchering, and the earliest hatch of pullets are starting to lay. The ducks are laying too, at a much better rate than I would have expected from Muscovies. We only kept two females, but most days we are getting an egg from each of them. We’ll be winterizing the barn soon to make sure the birds keep nice and warm. The herbs will be coming inside soon, as I try to overwinter as many as possible. I can’t believe we’ve been here over a year already, but starting the garden cycle over again is making it feel real at last!
I’ve also been delving into baking more yeast breads since it’s gotten cool enough to have the oven going. I have a go-to recipe for dinner rolls, and I have a decent rosemary bread that I make; it’s not crusty like I’d prefer, but the flavor and crumb texture is to die for. I’d like to nail down a recipe for sandwich bread and a crusty Italian-style bread I can use when I make garlic bread this winter, if possible.