Category Archives: Coulee Region

Winning Team! And a new pattern to celebrate fall.

No, I’m not talking about the Brewers.  Or the Packers.  (Not that they’re not winning teams right now….)

First, though I have not been blogging, I have indeed been knitting.  Knitting a lot, actually.

One of the things I have been knitting, for a brief but intense time, was a dishrag, for DishRag Tag V!  Emily from YarnMiracle once again was kind enough to put this fun and amazing friendly knitting relay on.  On September 21st, the box came:

filled with treats and dishcloth cotton, and a finished dishrag!

These were from my teammate Kirsten in Michigan.  (Our team, number 9 on the list, was called the A-Nine-ilators!)

I picked up the cotton and my needles and began to knit, punctuated with a trip to the first meeting of the year (and my first meeting ever) of the local knitting guild, Three Rivers Knitting Guild.

Though I got it finished and the packaged mailed off via the Automated Postal Center that night, the USPS hijacked our package, holding it in Peoria two days past the promised delivery date.  Oh, no!

But despite this unforeseen delay: thanks to awesome teammates and speedy knitting all along the way,

Our team WON the DishRag Tag!

Woo-hoo!  We mostly won glory, but also very cool knitting bags. (The purple ones are coming to the A-Nine-ilators.)  Thank you, Emily!

Whew!   As the race just ended, to our glory, there is glory in the leaves around us also.  It’s probably peak color here right now, thanks to an early cold snap a couple weeks ago, though right now it’s incredibly warm for October in the midwest.  I haven’t had time for a proper photo shoot, but here are a few photos of trees within a half block of my house:

Maple putting on colors

See the leaves blowing off the trees, below?

(you may have to embiggen)

That was yesterday’s Saturday Sky, by the way.

Lastly, inspired by a ‘homework’ assignment for a Harry Potter-themed competitive knitting group (you would think I’m competitive or something), I just designed a fractal-inspired hat for fall. It’s not truly fractal, but Sierpinski triangles were hard to interpret in hat form. Instead, I modified a stitch pattern from Barbara Walker’s second treasury, frogged a few attempts at semi-clever decreases, and came up with this:

Pythagorean Triangles Hat.

It fits my lovely knit-model, the RockStar, it fits me

it even fits my husband.

Geometry is my daughter’s favorite area in math: maybe that’s why the hat seemed to make her so happy?

Pattern, Pythagorean Triangles Hat: download now

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The Longest Scarf Ever

Well, the longest scarf I’ve ever seen, anyway.

This.

This was rolled out (literally) today, as part of our area World Wide Knit in Public Day. The goal of community knitters was to knit a mile-long scarf. It didn’t quite make it, but it measured over half a mile, it seemed.

From the La Crosse Public Library, where last minute sections were added,

and then the unrolling (and simultaneous rolling up) started

down Main Street, past the Cathedral, a yarn shop (fittingly), a tattoo shop (also fittingly)

with help from many including smaller people,

past local downtown businesses

(attracting the interest of many in addition to the local business owners and patrons, including the police at one point)

crossing the street quickly in a daring, smoothly coordinated mission, and thence arriving across 4th Street before the yarn ran out.

This exciting feat of knitterly achievement and derring-do was the culmination of the Knit In Public celebration, “Yarnstorming”, put on by the La Crosse Public Library, with help from lots of volunteers including the relatively new “Three Rivers Knitting Guild”. I missed the first part of the day due to work, but arrived for prize drawings

(I won nothing, but knew a couple people who did), some great knitting time with friends, some snacks, and the Great Scarf Roll.

Oh, and yarnbombing yarnstorming viewing!

And viewed the yarnbombings outside, though it was a bit brisk to sit and knit outside, as the Saturday Sky kept promising sun and only delivering momentarily.

However, yes, of course I Knit In Public. (Not that that makes it any different from other days for me…)

My current projects are a Crazy Lace Citron Shawl, which I think I showed you the beginning of before, and a chemo cap, the second of two for The Loopy Ewe‘s Second Quarter Charity Challenge.

The Crazy Lace Citron Shawl is an idea from Ravelry, and I’m knitting it in my favorite Twisted Fiber Art hand-dyed yarn (I think I showed you this before, even being a Bad Blogger). It’s the Citron Shawl from Knitty, linked above, but the stockinette bands are replaced with small lace patterns of the knitter’s choice. I’ve knit one more repeat than the pattern calls for (I’m knitting it in a finer yarn, with lots of yarn available), but am now working on a big ol’ ruffle, which is taking me a while.

Here it is at last picture, last weekend:

Citron with remaining yarn and stitch patterns

And here is my chemo cap-in-progress, the Esprit Chemo Turban.

Chemo turban

Not too impressive yet! It will look odd right up until the time it’s on someone’s head, quite a number of inches from now.

So that’s what was on my needles on WWKIP Day 2011.

(Here’s what’s on someone else’s needles.)

How about your needles?

First Saturday Sky of the year

In my philosophical rambling yesterday, I forgot to show you Saturday’s Sky from New Year’s Day.

It was a cold and cloudy sky, as seen from our Riverside Park next to the Mississippi River.

(Cell phone pics, as I didn’t have my camera with me.)

The tiny specks in the upper left of this picture  (you WILL have to embiggen to see)  are eagles; I saw one closer as we were leaving.

There’s still some open water for them and the ducks,

though I don’t know quite what fish (or what else) the eagles eat this time of year.

We were at the park to take down lights from the annual Rotary Lights display, as part of a show choir fundraiser.  See the string of lights below: one of many many that we collected and wound on giant spools, while others dismantled the other parts of the display.

We were quite chilly in the -16 F (-27 C) wind chill

(a gentle zephyr from the south)

but the poor guys in the cherry pickers taking the lights down from the trees had the coldest job.

The Rock Star and I were glad to come home and warm up.

And Citrus was happy to help with that.

Mississippi Eye Candy Friday

Two short weeks ago, when I drove up to the Twin Cities for my uncle’s memorial service, I had to pull over just before the road veered away from the river, and take a picture.  The Mississippi was just starting to ice up a little, and the very late fall/early winter colors were gorgeous in the late afternoon sun.

early December Mississippi

Mississippi early winter panorama

That was two weeks ago. That was also forty-plus degrees F, three snow storms, and 24 plus inches of snow ago.

I’m thinking it looks rather different now.

Late Fall Eye Candy Sunset

I promised you the spectacular sight that met my eyes when I turned around, on my walk through the marsh Sunday night.  As I faced east to the bluffs, there were just pink clouds floating.  But when I looked back over my left shoulder to the west, where the sun was already down (and I had already seen and photographed this sky,

and thought the sunset show was about over):

The sky suddenly lit up.

And by the moment, started to blaze with more and more intensity.

About a quarter mile north of this spot is the La Crosse River. (In between are some singularly unphotogenic power lines and poles.)  I ran.

And was rewarded.

(Click to embiggen if you wish.)

My fingers were going numb from the icy wind (and no gloves), but I felt as though I were in the heart of a fire.

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and then it was gone.

Autumn Leaves, finished

“Autumn Leaves” being my name for my version of the lovely “22 Leaves Shawlette“. (Ravelry link)

Though the leaves here are also about finished for the autumn.

Yesterday’s Saturday Sky sunset.

I did indeed block the “Autumn Leaves” shawl last Tuesday. Then took the shawl off the blocking pads Wednesday. It took a bit longer to photograph the shawl on its own, given Thanksgiving preparations, and even longer to track my shawl model down at the same time that the sun was shining.

But here, for your knit-viewing pleasure, the finished shawl at long last.

It was pretty nippy out. I appreciate my model! (Note, she does work for chocolate.)

A detail of one of the 22 leaves, plus the edging I adapted.

The shawl was delivered to its recipient tonight. She seemed to like it!  I am pleased enough with how it turned out, and with knitting it, that I am considering knitting it again: for myself. And I rarely knit lace projects more than once, Girasole being the only other exception I can think of, right off the bat.  So that is very much a compliment and testimonial to the pattern.

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Oh, and thanks to Judith who was kind enough to wish me a happy birthday yesterday — which was indeed my birthday! I spent it largely knitting and relaxing at home during the day, which was amazing (and rarely happens), and then dinner with my daughters and husband. Today, much of the day was also spent knitting, relaxing, eating brunch with my extended family, and visiting friends (for fun and to deliver presents) — so the birthday celebration went on! Such a deal!

From tonight’s walk on the wild side in the wetlands:

I took a walk expecting to see some November-ish scenes, like this

or this. (As I obviously did.)

Even though the sun wasn’t warm any more, I felt lucky to see some sunset gold, here

and here

and fading pinks here over the bluff.

Moments after that last picture, though, I turned around to see something amazing. But…I’m going to save it for next Eye Candy Friday. This post is quite long enough, and stunning pictures are few and far between in late November!

Bluff Eye Candy Friday

Bluffs on an autumn morning, with a chilly fog.

(Click to embiggen, if you wish.)

I’m not sure what that weed plant in the foreground is.  But I think it may be an invasive species from Whoville.