Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat???

Can you believe that October is over??? If you ask me, it's really some kind of cruel trick, especially considering we've had no real "Autumn" to speak of. Here in East Tennessee we've had nothing but record drought and record high temperatures. Today, on Halloween, my rose garden looks more spectacular than it has all year. Go figure? The little sticks of lantana that I planted back in May have grown into an enormous hedge where, this afternoon, I had my first little Trick-or-Treater come to visit. Isn't that a spectacular photograph? I was stunned by the beauty of this Monarch butterfly perched on the lantana.

I haven't posted in a week (blame Ravelry), so I have lots to say. Of course I can't resist a beautiful baby, especially when that baby is my great-niece. My nephew, Tyler, and his wife, Mary Katherine, had their first child back in June while Tyler was in specialty training with the Navy. He graduated last week and is on leave for a few days before he has to report for duty at Pearl Harbor (I know, rough assignment--Hawaii!). I don't they were in TN more than a day before making a bee-line to our place so that great granddaddy Plaas and great aunt Kristina could get their hands on baby Isabella. Oh she is just too cute for words! She totally looks like her daddy...everything except the red hair :-) She has the same tiny ears, and cheeks and chin, and....there's a lot of Plaas in that child. Bella loved my Father...she couldn't take her eyes off of him, which simply delightful to us all. I was thrilled to get this especiialy good picture of Bella with my Mom.

I've been doing my fair share of knitting this week too. After excessive agonizing over what should be my next lace shawl project, I finally cast-on. The funny thing was I pored over a long list of "wanna knit" shawls for weeks only to rather spontaneously jump in an cast-on for a mystery KAL (Mystic Waters) after liking the image on the 1st chart. I didn't think about it much, I just grabbed some purple cashmerino I recently acquired from ColourMart and started knitting. I'm not quite finished with the 1st clue and the 2nd one was released today, but I'll catch up. So far I'm quite pleased with the outcome :-) You never know with "mystery" knitting... bwah-ha-ha-ha

I couldn't focus exclusively on the Mystic Waters Shawl because I was busy with a lace scarf project I volunteered to do. I love Sandy, the owner of my closest LYS, The Yarn Haven. She has been so gracious to me and I'm thrilled she opened her shop in a location that is literally just across the street from where I live. I want her to do well. So when I dropped in about 2 weeks ago I was thrilled to discover she had added Madil Kid Seta to her lace yarn section. But when she showed me this viscose thread the vendor had persuaded her to buy as a carry along fiber for the MKS, I had serious doubts about it's "marketability". So, in a moment of spontaneity I volunteered to come up with a lace scarf design using both yarns and knit a shop sample for her. If folks could see how they could make something wonderful with these fibers, then I knew it would sell.

I left the shop with my offer open and the next day Sandy emailed me back to take me up on it. I was quite excited and went over to pick up the yarn. I bounced a few ideas off on her at the last FNKC meeting and went home to finalize my design. It was to be for newbie lace knitters, something easy to knit, yet pretty enough to make for holiday gifts. The picture here was taken after 2 days of knitting. I used size 8 needles and the yarns together were bulkier than my norms, so my body protested with screaming pain in the forearm. I had to slow down for a few days until the flare subsided, but even still I had the scarf finished in only 11 days. It could easily be knit in a week as I'm not a particularly fast knitter (I'm good, just not fast ;-)

I took the finished scarf to Sandy this afternoon. We were both thrilled with the outcome. I'll post my details and photos (hopefully) tomorrow. I still need to finish writing the pattern up. I promised to deliver it on Friday when I head over for the next FNKC gathering. This was so fun and I was pleased to be able to do it just because, not for money or to get anything back for myself--well, other than the sheer joy of doing a good deed for a really good person. That's the best part of all :-)

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