Getting ready for fall here is really all about getting ready for winter. Traditional fall -- colorful leaves, bright blue sky, crisp air -- means we are only a few weeks away from chilly gray skies that promise snow.
Ten Things I Do To Get The House Ready For Fall.
Take screens out of the windows to improve the view. This takes about five minutes -- easy peasy.
Replace the pots of flowering plants on the front stoop with mums. I have prepared for this by neglecting the pots for a week -- they are looking a little droopy. We haven't had a killing frost yet, although it has been close, so I really should keep watering them.
Bring in the umbrella from the deck table. This one is especially easy this year, since that umbrella never made it out onto the deck in the first place.
Move all the deck furniture to one side, stack the chairs. This probably won't happen until Halloween or so. The move is just so we can have Younger Slave Son use the snowblower on the deck once or twice.
Put my down comforter back into its cover -- extra warmth! This may happen sooner rather than later. I have been a tiny bit chilly when I first get under the comforter.
Dream about wearing winter woolens.
Pull the dock and boat out of the lake. I wish -- they haven't been in the lake for a couple years.
I have been knitting fingerless gloves all summer to sell as a library fundraiser at our local farmer's market. The market is sponsored by the library building committee, and the Friends have a booth there.
I knitted all summer and all I got done was five pairs?
Clockwise from upper left: JoJoland DK superwash merino, no particular pattern; Fetchings (with a couple extra cable twists because faulty pattern reading), Knit Picks Wool of the Andes superwash; two pairs of Susie's Reading Mitts (more on these below) from some Drops alpaca left over from a Red Scarf Project scarf a couple years ago; another pair of Fetchings (more below), KP WotA superwash.
The variegated ones were the first pair I knitted. Easy peasy, I can make a dozen pairs by the time fall comes!
Then I started a pair of the red alpaca ones. Between user error and doggie interference, I probably knit three or four pairs of these in order to get two finished pairs. As much as I love the finished gloves, my less-than-stellar execution is keeping me from attempting a third pair from this pattern. The alpaca is all gone now; I am hoping that knitting a pair in a less fuzzy yarn will eliminate most of the user errors. ::fingers crossed::
The gray Fetchings are a little long because I inadvertently added a couple extra cable twists at the finger end. Pattern reading = a good thing, often neglected.
The blue Fetchings followed the pattern much better... almost.
See? If I wasn't so fond of the color I might set these on fire.
I didn't notice the longer cable section on the first one (at right) until I had knit the second glove and woven in the ends on the first. Self-disgust prevented me from frogging and reknitting. Maybe next week.
I got kind of burned out on fingerless gloves, especially given how much trouble I was having with user error. Put them aside to knit a lacy cowl. And cast on a scarf/stole ( broke my yarn fast to buy this yarn). And cast on a scarf. And cast on a shawl. More on those another time.
After working the library booth at last Saturday's market, I was re-invigorated about fingerless gloves. I bound off and wove in the ends last night on this pair; tonight I will add the thumbs.
If you look closely you can see the three sets of butterfly stitches on each one.
The color is wayyy off in that photo (bad indoor light, no time to get a better shot). Color is more accurate here.
You know I am a voracious reader. This post is right up my street.
Ten Eleven Books That Have Stayed With Me Long After I Read Them.
A Wrinkle in Time / Madeline l'Engle. I read this when I was about 12 when it was new, and I always remembered it with affection. Reread it in about 1990 when Elder Son was at an age when I thought he might enjoy it; it didn't age quite as well as I had hoped but was still good.
Winterdance: The Fine Magic of Running the Iditarod / Gary Paulsen. One of my favorite books ever, maybe because I have a weakness for north-woods-wilderness-type stories. (Especially if they involve dogs or other animals.) This is a nonfiction account of Paulsen's training for and running two Iditarod races. It is hilarious and profane and spiritual and totally enjoyable.
The Exception / Christian Jungersen. A suspenseful psychological semi-thriller set at a Danish NGO that researches genocides. I use the term "suspenseful" here to denote "could barely breathe and lay awake at night after reading."
Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead / Ayn Rand. I was, like many people, a devotee of Ayn Rand when I was about 17. Happily, I outgrew her. But the books were powerful and still linger in my memory, not necessarily in a good way.
The Stand / Stephen King. My favorite Stephen King book. I reread it every few years.
Prodigal Summer / Barbara Kingsolver. The image of the mountain breathing (exhaling at morning, inhaling at evening) is still with me. And how the protagonist solved the problem of how to make her land sufficiently profitable without growing tobacco.
Never Cry Wolf / Farley Mowat. This one is a classic of animal behavior. As a young naturalist, Mowat lived for a time in the remote woods and tundra of northern Canada to study wolves. I read it in high school; perhaps it was the basis of my love of such stories.
War for the Oaks / Emma Bell. The book is modern urban fantasy. The reasons I loved it were 1, it was set in Minneapolis, and b, it took me back to my early 20s in that city, hanging out on weekend nights with my friends, skinny dipping at Hidden Beach at 2am and eating breakfast at 4am at the Embers at 26th and Hennepin. (Neither of those two things occur in the book, but it had the same feeling I remembered.)
We Wish To Inform You That We Will Be Killed Tomorrow With Our Families / Philip Gourevitch. Nonfiction about the 1995 genocide in Rwanda. As much as humanity said, "Never again!" after the Holocaust, genocide continues.
Mountains Beyond Mountains / Tracy Kidder. Nonfiction about Paul Farmer's health campaigns in Haiti. Farmer is a Harvard-trained doctor and anthropologist who founded Partners in Health and invented effective and low-cost ways of delivering good health care in desperately poor countries. His approach made me consider other NGOs in a different light.
Nickel and Dimed : On (Not) Getting By in America / Barbara Ehrenreich. Author is an investigative reporter; this is her account of her -- ultimately unsuccessful -- attempt to live on the minimum wage in several different cities in America. Eye-opening.
Note: We were in Sioux Falls last weekend visiting Elder Son, and this week was a blur of catching up and volunteerism. And our internet was out until Thursday afternoon. And the dog ate my homework. More links next Saturday (I hope).