autumn · daily life · projects · treats · yarns

rainy day

We have had drizzle or a light rain shower all day. The feeders are full and the birds have gathered to eat. Our hummingbirds have moved on. Oh, I love days like this. Wednesday night we were out and about wearing fleece and I got to wear a knitted scarf. Yay!

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Time to cast on for Eva’s sock. She chose some gorgeous Madelintosh yarn. The toe and cuff will be in the cream. She wants no pattern in the stitches and a full sock, no anklets.

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The pumpkin Eva painted with blues and greens has been nibbled on by the squirrels. I sprayed some nasty deer and rabbit spray on the pumpkins but the rain has rinsed it off. Our neighbor has two squirrel houses in the trees of her front yard and several, several piles of seed lining her side walk and drive. The squirrels flock around here. This is the third year we have had squirrels eat our pumpkins, since her first house went up. I noticed yesterday that they had discovered the pumpkin display belonging to the family across the street.

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Can you see the white of the pumpkin on the right? Hard to get a good photo on my phone, in the drizzly gloom, and from across the street…

Eva made some cookies and I baked them. This recipe made 40 good sized cookies using the scope we have ~ not sure the size but it looks like the average size you’d buy anywhere. I think this is the first time I did not forget a pan of cookies in the oven. They are chewy and delicious. No need for a slice of bread in the container with this batch.

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We took the girls to the roller rink with some friends last night. Mike and I don’t skate so I took Olivia’s anklet along. I still had all the ends to weave in. Junior high memories flood back when we are at the rink. Friday night skating parties with school were a big deal in the 80’s where I grew up. I had my sister’s white skates with pink wheels ~ insert how cool I was here.

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Tomorrow I will take four girls to the mall to look at bath and beauty products.

 

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autumn · daily life

it’s October

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Normally, I’d say ‘It’s October, already!’. But this year I’m saying, “Finally, it’s October!’ There are so many wonderful things about this time of year. I love it. The colors and the smell in the air. I am an autumn and winter girl and today is the beginning of my happy season.

We’ve had such late summer/early fall hot temps. But now that the calendar has turned to October, we have true confidence in the fact that the heat won’t last. It will get colder and it could happen any day. I will be able to get my warm snuggly cowls out. October also starts the holidays in this house. From now until the end of the year we have birthdays and our anniversary, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Last night the seasonal movies from Hallmark started. Two of us in this house were thrilled ~ two went to the basement family room and watched a movie about a military helper dog. I hope this isn’t the beginning of the end in my alliance for holiday cheesiness.

I love to sit outside in the cool mornings and drink my coffee, wait for the geese to fly over and listen to the train. I wait every year for the geese to fly over when I hear the train. I love the sound of the train in the distance. I remember when I was in my early 20’s I read Jack Kerouac and listening to the train has never been the same. The haunting and romantic hum of the locomotive working its way across the rails from one state to the next. Thinking about the people that have had a life riding those rails in the times of poverty, desperation or pure adventure. You had me at chug a chug a…

There is a pumpkin stand near our house. An old gas staton gets turned into a pumpkin market every year. They have pumpkin varieties that I have never seen. Every shape and color imaginable. The prices are wonderful. I just discovered it two years ago and it has been there for 20 I’m told. Guess I’m not very observant but in my defense it is because we always went to the pumpkin patches. The girls were young and a day at the pumpkin farm was something we all looked forward to every year. Riding the tractor out to the field to pick a pumpkin, roasting marshmallows, enjoying hot chocolate and a slices of pie, getting lost and frustrated in the corn maze…yep, all a thrill! And the apple cider donuts…

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I think we will have to make another stop for more pumpkins…

 

autumn · daily life · my mother's yarn · projects · treats · wip · yarns · yummy

applesauce cake and a hat

We are messy bakers in this house…

Eva was going to spend the night at a friends house last night and she thought it would be fun to take a homemade treat. September calls for a recipe with nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. Applesauce too? Even better, you know with that in the mix you will get a perfectly moist cake. We made the Spiced Applesauce Cake. This is a recipe from the Neely’s. Do you remember them? They were on the Food Network for awhile and did a lot of bbq recipes. My youngest loved that show and discovered the recipe while watching one Saturday morning so long ago (not that long since she is only 11). One thing we changed was the 2 cup applesauce amount. We used a cup of canned apple pie filling instead and chopped it small before adding at the end. I make this every year and this was the first year I added the pie filling. I’m so glad I did. Yummy!

Don’t let this picture ruin the recipe for you. I sprayed the pan but forgot the flour coat. The recipe does not tell you to flour but I like to when using a bundt pan. This cake would not even pretend to come out clean. When I tipped it over, only the bottom half came out. And you know that a bundt pan is not a pan that you can easily run a knife around to loosen and release. The brown sugar gives it a dark and lovely color. A scoop of ice cream or whipped cream is a nice side and I discovered this morning ~ cold butter!

I think I may make this cake again today but as a muffin. Maybe put a whole can of pie filling in and no applesauce. Stick them in the freezer for a quick grab and go snack.

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While the cake was baking I started on a hat for my mom. Just a simple and classic knit hat pattern by Marja Suomela, Hattara. I think you could easily make this hat with any yarn or needle size you had, just make sure you change your cast-on stitches accordingly. I used a lace weight yarn* (aka ~ thread with fuzz) and a sport weight** with an alpaca and silk blend. This is going to be a very warm and cozy hat.

I love how the combo of the yarn is making a tweedy fabric. I hope to get this finished in a few days and mailed off. I must confess that this was not my first cast on of this hat pattern. It’s my third. My mom has a small head and I tried the kid size first as that is usually the correct size for her. Me too. If you knit then you understand how the fabric gets bigger as you get into a few inches of knitting. This was not happening with the hat and I had to fiddle with the cast on amount. I am at 120 stitches on a size 3 needle. I think I have the code cracked and should be ok. I like to start with double points and then after I have joined in the round I do the magic loop method.

The yarns are:

*Karabella yarns, their lace mohair yarn, the color is 3519 and I don’t think its available anymore. There is a 3518 that looks similar…a very dark navy.

**Amano Yarns, Ayni  in Quartz Grey.