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26 September 2016

Summer Is A-Goin' Out (we hope!)

Here on the farm, after days of the hottest September I can remember -- we have rain! And cooler temperatures!  Have you heard the old English folk song, "Summer is a-comin' in"?  Well, I'm hoping that this weather sings a different tune, namely, "Summer is a-goin' out"!

There's not much autumn color in the neighborhood yet.  The weather's been too hot and too dry.  But, after a day of housework and homework and reorganizing my yarn stash (that was the most taxing bit!!), the man and I went for a ramble yesterday, and found some signs of the changing season.  Up the road a few miles, a farmer had set out squash and pumpkins for sale on the honor system.

As we drove through Bardstown -- which has been named (again!) one of America's 10 Most Beautiful Small Towns by the folks who make such lists -- we saw this display of pumpkins and mums, which fairly sparkled with gorgeous fall colors.

Near Bardstown, a farmer was harvesting his feed corn with a combine.  We pulled off on the shoulder (verge) so I could get a photo of his bounty.  If these ears are representative of the whole crop, that man will have some fat and happy cows this winter.

Although we found yesterday's heat oppressive -- at 4 PM, the thermometer on the porch was still hovering above 90°F (32°C) -- our furry friends didn't seem to mind.  It was just the perfect day for an all-out tug of war challenge between the beagles ...

...while Steve did his best imitation of the Egyptian Sphinx in the shade of the porch.

Last night, we heard a commotion in the hall and discovered that Jack, one of the indoor cats, had caught a mouse.  The beagles decided they needed to assist -- and the mouse got away, into the kitchen.  We thought Jack might go after it, but he never had the chance.  We have another indoor cat, Katie, who was an adult when we found her big-eyed and hungry almost 14 years ago.  She recently stopped eating for a day or so, and we thought it was the end; but she still has a few tricks in her bag.  With one swat of her dainty paw and one quick snap of her jaws, our three-pound cat dispatched the errant mouse.  I tried to get a photo of her for this news item, but she's not a very social cat, and disliked having her nap interrupted by the paparazzi.

Now to show you what I've been working on!  While we were in Bardstown yesterday afternoon, we went to the campus of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth.  Their grounds are beautiful at any time of the year, and I thought they would make a good backdrop for my latest projects.  (I should mention here that those wishing to visit the SCN campus and take photos should first review the order's photography policy, available on their website.)

When I shared my Jean Patou-inspired baby dress with you a few weeks ago, I said that I wanted to make another one ... and I've done it!

The dress pattern is Knitting Pure & Simple's Baby Dress #1403 by Diane Soucy ($7.00).  The hat pattern is the Berry Baby Hat by Michele Sabatier (free!), which I modified to omit the I-cord stem at the top.  Both  dress and hat are knit from Knit Picks's Swish DK yarn in Green Tea Heather and White.

The pattern for the crocheted maple leaf appliques is Maple Leaf by Laura Eccleston (free!).  I used two sock yarns by Knit Picks for the leaves: the red leaves are made from Hawthorne Fingering Kettle Dye Yarn in Picnic, and the yellow leaves are made from Stroll Tonal Sock Yarn in Poppy Field. I used three different sizes of crochet hooks to achieve different sized leaves:  2.25mm, 2.75mm, and 3.25mm.

Back when I was looking for a baby dress pattern for our little Sam, I came across the vast and wonderful collection of patterns by a company called Suzie Sparkles.  Dresses, bonnets, booties, cardigans (and some grownup-sized stuff, too!) -- I seriously want to collect them all!  I started off with just one pattern, however:  the Poppy Dress ($6.50).  It wasn't exactly what I wanted for Sam's heirloom dress, but it worked up beautifully in Knit Picks's Swish DK "Serrano" yarn.

This pattern offered three sleeve options: cap sleeve, short sleeve (shown), and long sleeve.  I think this is a feature of all the Suzie Sparkles patterns, which makes them very versatile and a good value for the money.  But regarding my photo above, I have to admit something to you:  I overblocked this dress.  Yep, I was so enthused about the lace pattern that I blocked a size 6 month dress into a size 12 month dress!  No worries, though, because Swish DK is machine washable and dryable, and I'll just wash and reblock it later this evening.

I already have another project in the works -- this one with a bit of a Christmas theme -- and I learned this week that a friend is about to become a grandma for the first time!  Her grandlittle is due in May, so I'll need to order some cotton yarn .... maybe some cotton/bamboo blend ..... my mind is already planning dainty little things .... wonder if I can squeeze a few yarn dollars out of the household budget .....!

Well, that's all the news I have for this week.  Thanks for stopping by, and remember to share these posts with anyone you think might like them!  I'm off to update my Ravelry and Instagram accounts as soon as I post this, and you can always find me on Facebook.  I'll see you next week! :)

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