Tuesday, October 10, 2006

fall's harvest

I've had such a fun long weekend that I'm dragging my feet about getting back to working....

Welcome to our Sukkah! On Friday night, we started celebrating outside! On Sukkot (here's another link to explain this harvest holiday, if you're interested), it's traditional to invite guests to eat, drink, and celebrate outside. We had a big dinner party, with as many guests as would fit inside our sukkah (4, plus us and two dogs) and ate a warming beef and vegetable stew, couscous, green beans with a walnut viniagrette, challah, wine or juice, and for dessert, an apple crumb pie. It was a great party on a crisp clear night, with a huge harvest moon.

As a result of the lovely fall weather, I've been doing lots of sniffling, coughing, and otherwise acknowledging the joys of ragweed season. This has limited my outdoor time during the holiday, but not my fun! I got a special treat sent to me from Sarah in England, of Carpe Diem! fame.You see, I admired Sarah's lace shawl, knit of pearl sea silk yarn. She said, no problem, I have extra, I'll share! As you can see, I was so stunned by her generosity that I had to show it off. Not just a bit of yarn odds and ends, but a subtle pearl/gray/cream silk, a great handmade pottery plate filled with whimsy (can you see the flounder? The biologist husband smiled and pointed it out right away, )and... a bar of organic lavender milk chocolate! What a gift. It made me stop sniffling for several minutes as I admired everything. Sarah, how did you know we love whimsical pottery and chocolate around here?

On Sunday I felt motivated to do some (indoor) things and dyed 3 more lbs of the caramel Cotswold wool. It's drying in the basement, but one batch is a peacock/blue gray color, and the other is a silver/green/brown color. Dyeing is always a surprise, but I think these colors will look good when they are carded up. Now I just have to ship it off to be carded. Good thing I'm done with this batch, because I just got over 10 lbs washed and carded wool back from the processing mill yesterday! I'm getting ready to hibernate and spin for winter...or at the very least, use wool as insulation...

Finally, I should acknowledge that I did really spend hours grousing on the couch because of the allergies. I was really bad at maintaining the grumpy part for long, though, because I started working on this silk, slip-stitch dress top in between coughs. (notice the silk theme?) Several years ago, my brother-in-law took me to a neighborhood yarn shop in Sarasota, Florida when I was visiting. I found a long ago discontinued Anny Blatt yarn from France, 100% silk, on sale, in these two shades of teal. I hope it will become something lovely to wear to weddings and other festivities; I'm making it up as I go along. It is indulgent just to touch it, and makes a scrunching crunch as I knit. For the technically minded out there, It's knit on #6 needles, (4mm), in the round, and I've knit over 9 inches since Saturday. It's that good. Reminds me of a luscious cup of French hot chocolate, but it's fewer calories.

It's killing me to -step-away-from-the-silk-knitting, but I must mention two upcoming bits of news! I'm working on an article about my marigold dyeing experiment for the new ezine, Fiber Femmes, and as soon as the yarn arrives, I start knitting my next design for Magknits. More soon on all this fibery excitement! sniffle. cough. wait for first frost...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

ooooh! I've always wanted to knit with sea silk! It's lovely stuff.

I like the pattern you chose for the other silk, too - really highlights both colors.

October 11, 2006 at 6:45 PM  
Blogger vanessa said...

wow, what a thoughtful surprise!
hope your allergies are better :-)

October 13, 2006 at 6:42 AM  

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