it’s unmistakable

a week ago we were sweating through the evening, waiting breathlessly for a cool breeze to relieve the sticky heat of the day; blanket knitting was entirely out of the question.

this week, overcast and chilly, has brought a completely different air to the house—suddenly, it’s the end of summer and the signs are all around us; rich amber leaves are falling from trees and shrubs in round little piles along the walkways, the top quarter of the suger maple is bright gold, the kids are back in school, and evening falls all too early, especially on gloomy days like we’ve had this week. once the mail carrier switches to long pants, you know that summer is fleeing.

the toad lilies are blooming—like all of the flowers this year, they are more plentiful than in the past several seasons.

oh, we may have our warm fall days, but they are noticeably shorter and i’m pretty sure we’ve seen the last of the hot nights and humid afternoons. autumn is here . . .

and with it, the heavy-duty knitting commences.

rosebuddie, the thought of which made my skin prickle with rejection last week, is suddenly welcome on my lap and i spread it as far over my legs as i can manage while working the edging. that little bit of cashmere content in the MCN luxury yarn goes a long way to making it super-snuggly.

two sides done and the third begun—it’s getting there.

and i think the pattern is almost through proofing now, so we should be ready to release it pretty soon, yay. this is a wonderful fall and winter knit—the bright color is easy to see at night and the patterns are relaxing and simple enough to work while watching football or bike racing; what more could you ask from a big project?

i’m almost done with the second sleeve for the vintage shirt i’m knitting in spirit trail sunna. i just love the gorgeous bottle green colorway—i confess i’m probably wasting more time than necessary by stopping to admire the fabric, but c’est la vie. i’m just sorry i can’t provide you with a little feel . . . seriously, it’s crack for the soul. here’s a sample of what i’m talking about

i mean, how gorgeous is that stockinette? now, stocking stitch is easy to work, but it’s a mean and thankless taskmaster for integrity—it’s not many a yarn that will offer up such a perfectly consistent, smooth stockinette fabric. we are talking high-stakes knitting here, since so much of this sweater is an unbroken landscape of delicious stockinette. it’s gotta look good; you need a yarn that can stand up to the challenge. i’m glad i took my time and held out for the right yarn; it’s perfect.

and that’s not even getting into how nice it is to work with, how lovely it feels going through my hands—a big bonus when knitting plain fabric. i’m just dying to start the patterned front . . . i may even cheat a bit and knit the hem ribbing tonight so i’ll be all set to dive into texture when i finish the sleeve.

as i was saying last time, all of that stockinette can make me crazy after a bit, so i’ve been working on a few small fancy projects to keep things lively. i even finally resuscitated this lace beret i started in the spring and never finished (it got too hot for it to make sense).

it’s not that i lost interest—not at ALL; i really, really want a lace beret. but i had several false starts with this project and got frustrated that i might ruin the yarn before i hit on a good composition and size. and then the weather got very warm—that was the last straw.

we are looking at the beautiful merino/silk yet lace yarn from miss babs in colorway outback, a subtle combination of rich, warm hues that reminds me of hellebores.

so i wanted a motif that had the rounded, voluptuous shapes of that flower. a couple of patterns didn’t work out, then the sizing was all off and i thought that’s where i left the project—in need of complete reworking.

but the other night, in search of something different to knit for an hour or so, i unzipped the project bag containing this piece and found i had a plan in place and had the ribbed brim already knit—eureka! in my allotted hour, i knit the bottom part. yesterday morning i charted out the decreases for the top and last night, in another hour or so of knitting, i got almost to the end. talk about serendipitous surprises—this one takes the cake; i think this new version is just right.

i have some yummy sport in the same colorway to knit another sample and then i just have to figure out a matching accessory—maybe wristlets?—to go with it.

meanwhile, the fingerless mitts are progressing, though the progress may not be so evident. but i can now pull them onto my hand for a test of how they look

not much more to go on this one, actually.

what’s really missing (and leaving a big hole behind, i might add) is my sock mojo. i dunno if anyone has noticed, but i haven’t picked up a sock since june, when i finished two pair in quick succession for club deadlines. something about rushing out those last two pair has knocked my affection for socks back a step. and it’s showing

while i have piles of girl socks to spare (left side of shelf), my inventory of man socks it pitifully low and the season for them is right around the corner. when i saw my brother last weekend, he made noises about the socks he favors (my handknit ones) and david is always in need of a fresh infusion come november.

i know i have a couple in progress laying about, but i need to plan some new ones. i’m a little hard-pressed for fresh sock ideas, though. and my brother made it clear that his one pair of two by two rib ones are his favorite. just shoot me now.

at least there’s colorful yarn, right?

34 Responses to “it’s unmistakable”

  1. Mary-Heather says:

    Oh my word. That’s your sock pile when you’re slacking on socks? I AM A WORTHLESS SLATTERN!

    You are so inspiring, always!

  2. Ah, ribbing, yes that will suck the mojo right out of you! I just ripped out a whole waistband (5″ wide!) of twisted rib as I had stupidly cast on ten extra stitches. What a waste.

    Surely there is Indian summer to come?? We’re expecting high 80′s here this coming weekend. The tomatoes are depending on it.

    The green sweater will be glorious. Can we ever have enough green sweaters? I don’t think so.

  3. unless I miss my count, you’ve got well over 9 pairs of girl socks. How do I convey the injustice of this fact?!!!! I’m slaving away in the garden and you are amassing socks…knit before the summer prevailed – socks to see you into fall. It’s just wrong.

  4. nathalie says:

    Wow – I can’t believe all the leaves on the ground already! I saw my first yellow/orange-topped tree this morning on my way to work … we’re behind you by a couple of weeks, I think.

  5. cherie says:

    I do need a seriously good audiobook in order to carry out enough 2×2 ribbing and stockinette for a pair of man-sized socks. SO very thankful that son #1 has never expressed an interest in handmade socks–he wears a size 12! And, if the truth is told, husband prefers worsted-weight socks (for inside his hunting boots) over fingering or sportweight, so I may actually never have that problem again!

  6. Beth says:

    I love the color composition in that last photo! I want yarn with those colors. :) Good luck with those socks. I was thinking of knitting socks for my husband for Christmas but I don’t know if I have it in me.

  7. Kat says:

    Are you suuuuure? Almost a whole month until the equinox yet… I find it’s always a mistake to get excited about fall weather before then ;)

  8. Susan-from-Athens says:

    Fall weather? Lucky, lucky girl. We’re still at 39 centigrade here. It is hot!

  9. allison says:

    Oy, the plain-ribbed man sock!
    That hat is looking just fantastic – I’m a new convert to Miss Babs, and I can’t get over all the beautiful colorways :)

  10. janna says:

    hee-hee — you have no idea how happy it makes me to hear you say that too much stockinette or 2×2 ribbing makes you crazy, too! I’ll tell myself I can’t knit anything else until the boring whatever is done, and then I proceed to do all sorts of other things — clean the kitchen, dust, etc. — to avoid that plain knitting.

    Cooler here, too – the last two days have been in the high 70s and sunny and just plain beautiful. The leave have just barely begun changing.

  11. LynnH says:

    In Lansing, we were hotter than usual for weeks. Today, I wore a sweater and legwarmers. Predicting mid-40′s tonight, I am not pleased.

    At times like this, my mantra is “I’m not in charge. My city is friendly but Jan-Feb can be mean. We get little sun in winter. One day at a time, and today was truly lovely.

  12. Denise says:

    I think that I recognize Bougainvillea in those mitts. Lovely!

    - Denise (dlotter on ravelry)

  13. Stephanie says:

    The leaves here are turning too. I’m afraid the colors won’t be as good this year – maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    Kudos to you for knitting socks for men. I hope they don’t have huge feet.

  14. Kim says:

    Holy SMOKES Anne!!!! Really??? Summer’s over??? Wow. Really?? I have to say, that made me a bit jealous for a minute or two. . . .

  15. Terri says:

    This evening Youngest Son declared that is smelled like Halloween. Oldest Daughter confirmed that when she was out earlier in the day the air smelled different. How is it that the seasons change so fast?

  16. Rani says:

    I was out for a walk yesterday and heard the familiar crunch crunch under my feet! AhhhhH!

    Fall is really just around the corner.

  17. Pat Dixon says:

    Finished the ‘Beet’ socks soon after they arrived..I just couldn’t lay them down..fun, fun..Thanks.. I’ve gone from sweater knitting to socks, to mitts..what you don’t do for a Granddaughter..living in Northwest Seattle..
    Can’t wait to see more of the Shirt..

  18. MaryjoO says:

    I always enjoy your posts, I always enjoy your projects and I always am thrilled that you so often share your progress process too! But I’ve always wondered about something — and I hope you’ll “share” this too:

    somewhere in this post (can’t find it now though) you mentioned doing something “in your allotted hour” and I was wondering if you have a disciplined day LOL — as in xx time for knitting, xx time for gardening (and thinking!) xx time for designing, xx time for paperwork …

    Part of my curiosity stems from loving to read, and admiring from afar the discipline that writers have to have to get work done. So I’m thinking … she (you) is just like a writer — her “craft” is her work, which is part of her overall life, and she seems lucky to love what she does. . But I sure wish we all would give knitters more professional respect for what they do! Not sure I am conveying my thoughts properly here, but I can’t but help be in awe of designers like you.

  19. MaryjoO says:

    PS have forgotten to also mention that I LOVE that you are now both on Twitter and Facebook! I don’t want to sound like a silly “fangirl” but it is really great, if I am on one of those sites, to see what you are up to.

  20. Kaye says:

    I really enjoy your blog. It has brightened gloomy Winter days for me here in New Zealand. As much as I feel for you as you observe the early signs of Autumn, I have to say how happy I feel to be seeing the signs of Spring here…..magnolia flowering on the front lawn, daffodils blooming and some lovely sunny days with blue skies…..lambs and calves leaping around the paddocks.
    It has also been inspiring to see all your beautiful garden produce, as I go through my seed box deciding what seeds I need to buy and get planted up over the next few weeks.
    So thanks for the knitting and gardening inspiration.
    Greetings from New Zealand,
    Kaye.

  21. Cathy says:

    Question about your brother’s 2×2 socks. I am knitting the same pattern for my grown sons for Christmas and am certain they would NEVER wear anything else. This is the first time I have made socks for them so measuring was not an option. I cast on 72 sts on 1.5mm using Trekking yarn. I knit the cuffs 9 inches – they look a bit long. What length do you knit for a man’s sock?

  22. Tasha says:

    So this might be a silly question, Anne, but do you ever knit socks that you don’t design yourself? Do you ever just grab someone else’s pattern & knock it out? Your statement about not having any fresh ideas prompted that question (I knit purely from patterns & rarely even change up the written patters – there are so many great designers & I’m generally a direction follower for all things!)

  23. Neuroknitter says:

    25 days 9 hours 35 minutes and some change, to be almost exact!!! I love this post…the light and air are changing here in the Pac NW, too…autumn is definitely around the corner…I’ll be sad to see our wimpy summer leave, but I am looking forward to my favorite time of year!

    And, since you mentioned it, I did notice the paucity of sock knitting going on (or not!) around these parts! I’ll be free after mid-September for some test knitting!!! :) :) I hope that’s encouragement rather than determent!!

    Happy weekend, Anne!! :)

  24. Susan in Guelph says:

    I’m with Rani. I think that I have echoed Rani on other occasions, actually…hence….ahhhh, fall IS around the corner! Thanks, Anne, for sharing the hope of the fall that is to come.

    Thinking about fall makes me want to cast on a few cardigans. Might your secret project be a cardigan????? I am most curious!

  25. Ann says:

    Now that it’s getting colder for you, it means that it’s getting warmer here & I don’t look forward to summer. I do agree that ribbed socks are the best for men as my husband prefers them too. He had just worn away 2 pairs this winter & I had only knitted him 1 pair.

  26. Vicki says:

    Such luscious knitting! beautiful colours as well as textures. As for the lack of sock love, I hear you. I am there at the moment too. I am sure it will pass – eventually. thanks for all the gorgeous knitting and the beautiful photo at the end. I read your blog and want to rush off and knit!

  27. Michelle says:

    Knitting lace again, because I’m in isolation with a dog recovering from surgery. I love your patterns. They are great for quiet knitting. Working on les Abeilles.

  28. Laurie says:

    More fabulous knitting. :-) Love that rosebud blanket so much. I hope your weather stays cool. Last week down here in Columbus I, too, thought autumn had arrived…today it’s 90 again and will be that and more for most of the week. More summer…bummer… :-)

  29. Lanafactrix says:

    Oh, I envy you so–it’s still miserable down here in Maryland. Not that I’m letting that stop me from knitting, but it’s lace and socks (instead of the sweater pattern I WANT to work on).

  30. josiekitten says:

    Those same tell-tale signs are here in the UK too. We just got back from 2 weeks in Greece, and were so cold last night that we had to light the woodburner! We have some major tomato harvesting to do now, and I can see myself being glued to the cooker over the next couple of days, making tomato sauce and soup!

  31. Tara says:

    Man socks are the WORST! I realize it’s not your style, but that’s when self-striping yarn comes in handy, at least for me! Because the day I knit a pair of stockinette black socks will be the day that Hell freezes over.

  32. It was cool here last week too but we’re back up to 90 plus today. It’s been an amazingly warm summer but I find that with A/C and wool free yarn my knitting enthusiasm doesn’t suffer too much. Your rosebuddie is stunning. Love it!

  33. ccr in MA says:

    The knitting is all so gorgeous, but what really got me was that first photo. It so perfectly captures the time of year, still green and growing but the leaves starting to come down… Very nice!

  34. PC Boxen says:

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