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Autumn is a lovely time to be in Vermont. We headed down to the local winery to play tourist during their harvest festival. It’s the sort of place that really is fun, even for Windsor. We all took a ride in the hay wagon
But we didn’t get to do much of the winery tour itself. Turns out that’s too boring for a hungry little girl who was promised grape juice…
They have a gorgeous old farm wagon set up for decoration. The patriarch of the family came out to tell us about it while I was busy taking photos. His story is that they used these wagons, pulled by horses, to harvest corn when he was very young. Then the wagons sat, neglected, in a barn for decades. Until someone thought they’d make pretty decorations. Someone was right:
The tractor pulling the hay wagon was a bit of a scenic piece too… Windsor loved it.
But possibly her favorite part was this little garden path. Not really related to the harvest fest, but kids are so good at finding places to play when you give them a little space!
My garden has been very neglected this year. By which I mean, I harvested some peas back in June – and that’s about it. My energies have just been focused elsewhere this year. Luckily for me, we still have something to harvest. All those fruits we planted a couple of years ago are finally coming into their own. The elderberries started to ripen two weeks ago, and man do the birds eat those quickly!
The plums started to ripen around the same time, a few are still left on the trees
And you can spend an entertaining couple of minutes watching the chickens search out the concord grapes still on the vines
I’m working on elderberry jam – or jelly maybe, anyone have a recommended recipe? Honestly so far I’m working on picking those tiny little berries off their clustered stems. Maybe I’ll make grape jam again this year. Last year’s batch is almost gone, and it is (was) delicious. Not sure what we’ll do with the plums. So far eating them fresh seems to be the fastest option.
What have I been up to? Well let’s review:
It’s been a busy summer! Neil is on a new work schedule which means I have more evenings alone. I thought this would mean more design time. But it also means more of doing everything on my own. Sadly my Meristem vest is still here
But I am down to the hems, so maybe by next week I’ll have something new to show off!
When I have time to knit, these days, little things are often best. Finishing something up quickly feels like progress even when it really was just a couple of rows per evening.
The toddler socks were finished at knitting camp this summer.
I ended up using leftovers from three different skeins of yarn. Once again I’m left thinking there’s no good way to keep socks on this child’s feet. These are not too tight in the leg, the instep (which I knit higher than usual) or the foot. Yet somehow they slip down any time she’s wearing them. She has very chunky feet, I might just have to wait a few years…
As if those weren’t speedy enough, I knit a coffee cup cozy next.
And I’m wondering what would happen if EVERYONE got one for Christmas this year. So quick, and so satisfying.
That’s not a typo- I actually have another meristem vest in progress right now just for me! The sample I knit for Twist is a 34″. Which isn’t a great look, since I really think this garment needs a hint of positive ease, see what I mean?
So I’m knitting another one for me. And I’m making some changes (don’t look so shocked.) first, the yoke is knit in two colors, with the cables in some handspun from the deep stash.
That coral/pink/sherbert is my handspun, the other yarns are cascade 220 sport (gray/brown) and Elisabeth Lavold silky wool (dusty rose). Both are functionally sport weight yarns, which tells you my second change: gauge. If you want to know all the tricks for working this chart in two colors please check out my Ravelry notes. The process is a bit complex…
But once I got past that yoke the garment has been smooth sailing. I’m knitting the 40″ size and hoping the vest will be around 38″ because of the difference in gauge. Will my plan work out? Will I have enough yardage?? Stay tuned…
My latest pattern was published yesterday in the 7th anniversary edition of Twist Collective. Meristem is a tunic length vest designed with casual elegance in mind. It is a simple, cozy garment perfect for the transition to autumnal weather. The front yoke features a slipped branching cable pattern. You can favorite and queue Meristem on Ravelry. You can also see more pattern details, over at Twist Collective.
The yoke of the vest is knit sideways, with stitches picked up along the bottom edges and knit down for the body. The cables look simple enough, but I went through more than a few swatches to get them figured out! The cable over garter stitch looked so good in my submission swatch, I was sure that with the stitch definition of Valley DK it’d be a breeze. But once I had the yarn in hand I couldn’t get the cables to stand out the way I expected in my first swatch. So I tried twisted stitches (looked lumpy). I slipped the cables on the WS rows (too elongated). I was preparing myself for an awkward email to the editor saying the chosen yarn wouldn’t work – then I tried one more thing. I blocked my swatches.
And you know what? That made the initial swatch (from my very first try) look gorgeous. Lesson relearned yet again. Always block your swatch.
Like many (most) knitters out there I remember when the first issue of Twist was unveiled. I remember because there was nothing else like it at the time. And it was gorgeous. I’ve been lucky to work with Twist on several other occasions (Verbena, Trefoil, and Cambridge Cables) and every time I have loved the experience.
The Twist Collective team includes wonderful photographers, brilliant technical editors, and people behind the scenes making all those pretty PDFs and magazine pages. I hope you’ll take a moment to click through a few ads and support the people who support Twist. And of course please buy a pattern or two ;-)
I’ve been at a conference all week. It’s wreaking havoc with my schedule, but I have gotten a lot of knitting done:
That’s an almost complete pair of toddler socks. An almost complete boot topper design. And an almost complete toddler sweater. Notice the “almost complete” everything needs ends woven in and a good round of blocking. The toddler sweater still needs one quarter more cable edging knit. I love cables and I’m still so done with this edging…
The socks are just scrappy little things that have been my glove-box project for months now. They’ve actually been in progress so long that her feet grew. I made the second one with a longer foot than the first, then ripped out the toe on the original and made it to match.
The boot toppers are a quick knit using up some leftover Fleece Artist BFL that I adore. This pattern will (with any luck) be out in the fall. I need some photography. And some layout time. Oh yeah, right, that…
And the sweater is Camden. Poor, long neglected Camden is almost done! Pretty sure I’m knitting the 2T size – and also pretty sure it’s bigger than all the 2T clothes she owns so far. It’ll actually be perfect for growing into this winter.