Happy Labor Day! (belated)

I hope the end of summer finds you well and ready for new beginings this fall. We are already deeply embroiled in the start of school. The boy begins second grade -his first year with an agenda book (big deal) and without his big sister, who is now a big middle schooler (how many times can i say big in one sentence? It's the big time around here, i tell you!)

There can be no start to the school year without our very own Kensington Labor Day parade. The boy child marched with the cub scouts (and rode the cub mobile)

and the girl child decorated and rode on the church float

(she does "wholesome" well doesn't she?) She may as well ride while she can as she has a full schedule this fall, with starting middle school at a magnet for the visual and performing arts, starting year-round swimming, scouts, choir, etc. Stay tuned to see how it all goes down; I'm not even remotely sure.

Before summer ended, the kids went to their grandparents near the beach in Lewes, DE for ten days and gave the lovely Jack and I some time off. He finished an accounting course, then we headed off to the beach for a few days. All we did was sit on the beach,watch the olympics and eat, and did we ever eat! It was a crazy summer, with me working every other night and Jack in class on the nights I was home. A little like single parenting, with a lot of phone calls. Mostly we saw each other at swim and dive meets. Our long weekend away was a relaxing way to re-connect after all that craziness. And before he starts a master's program in accounting.

I know we'll be okay; many families have done this kind of things before and have managed just fine. I do have a bit of a pit in my stomach, but once we are going full speed ahead, i'm sure it will work out. the other change in our lives is that i'm now working days. I'm glad because it makes it easier to pace myself ( I don't dye for 4 hours and then go in an do an 8 or 10 hour shift in the hospital-very exhausting) and now i'm home when my babies get home EVERY DAY, as I feel I should be, and want to be.
Alright, enough blathering and belly-aching. I have been knitting and spinning and dyeing up a storm.

These are socks for the Lovely Jack, to keep his big tootsies warm. I knit them in the Sanguine Gryphon's traveller sock yarn in the colorway France. Absolutely beautiful. A perfect balance of tones and shades. Yum! She dyed these in my house last february with Lauren present and i liked them so much i bought them from her website a few weeks later.

The pattern is Wendy's generic toe up sock pattern. The man requires a very close fit, which, combined with a large ankle (he is 6' 3" after all), made the knitting a bit, well, let's just say, i ripped it afew times to get this right.

I have also been knitting a side to side cardi of my own design. Inspired by Gryphon's Fate Interrupted sweater and a gorgeous colorway i dyed to make a weeding present for some friends who married this summer. I started out trying to make a blanket but became frustrated with the mitered square pattern i was making up and frogged. On the way home from taking the kids to their grandparents, i was stuck in Chesapeake Bay Bridge traffic for 5 hours after a terrible accident and knit the better part of a front piece. since then, this thing has gone so quickly, i have been forcing myself to slow down. the yarn is Dragonfly Twist, a worsted weight merino yarn with one ply in superwash. the superwash takes up the dye differently providing a stripey look in the skein and a heathered look in the knitted piece. It's lovely, trust me. And the yarn is SUCH a pleasure to knit; so soft and springy. Even nicer than sock yarn; hmmm, perhaps i should order some for show season?

Mostly I have been spinning this yarn for a sweater for the lovely jack.

I bought this fleece in New Jersey last fall. it was a beautiful, fine Romney fleece that i purchased for $4 a pound. I have been washing and carding it ever since last October. It is a gorgeous charcoal grey color and so soft! I have been blending it with a bit of this merino cross that i have also been pricessing slowly, also purchased at New Jersey. The fleece is so soft and bouncy, but a bit short of staple and the color is putty. Not so nice. It does take dye well, and I have learned to live with lumps and bumps in my yarn (we call it "art" or "tweed"). The merino cross adds somebounce to the romney and i think in the end it will make it nicer to wear, although i wish i'd had the sence to dye it a bit darker before blending it with the nice charcoal Romney as it lightens the finished yarn. It is still quite pretty. hopefully i'll remember to show you the pattern i'm thinking of knitting from Norah Gaughn's Knitting Nature. It's cable pattern (my man likes arans) but not so traditional (I like less traditional).

Well, it's time for me to quit loafing, so i leave you with some yarn drying in the garden.