Thursday, October 20, 2016

Snowflakes and Apples

Hi, Knitters,
I hope you are all having a good week. The fall weather has been on the warm side this year and we have been enjoying it as much as possible. We can't take the warmer weather for granted around here as winter is right around the corner.

I want to thank you for the support for the Mitten Knitting Season pattern sale I had over the last week. It was a hit and so I hope to see lots of your Waiting for Winter Mittens all over the place, stacks and stacks of them. My daughter gifted the mittens I knitted for her cross country sister at the last meet. I didn't hear much about it so I hope she likes them. And I have to say that if I don't hear anything about a gift, knitted or not, I never worry about it. It doesn't bother me at all not knowing if the person likes it because the fun for me is making the gift. After that I let it go. Although it is added fun if you do hear that the gift is enjoyed, of course.

Now, you may be wondering why I have the photo of a hat I designed in 2014 as the first photo. Yesterday or the day before that I noticed that my hat pattern, Split Back Snowflake, was getting some attention on Ravelry. It was rising back up in the Hot Right Now Patterns on Ravelry. Sometimes these things happen and I assume it's been mentioned somewhere or someone is knitting it and posting about it but I didn't know what was up this time.

I posted the original photo of my niece wearing the hat on my Instagram and people started letting me know that Staci Perry of Very Pink Knits had been posting about knitting her own Split Back Snowflake Hat. Staci is a prolific knitter, designer and knitting teacher and she has a very popular YouTube Channel called VeryPink Knits, where she does loads of tutorials and tutorial-style projects. You should definitely check her out. Thank you, Staci, for knitting the hat! 

Here is the back of the hat and thus the reason for the pattern title. The cable-rib brim is worked flat and then it is joined to begin working in the round for a short ribbed section and then moves into the colorwork section of the hat. When the hat is worn it should be tipped back a bit which makes the flat section hug the back of the neck (perfect for a low ponytail, too!) and the split creates earflaps to boot. There are so many good things about this hat. It is perfect for a new-to colorwork and new-to cable knitter because the patterns are simple and a hat is small with small sections of each. The hat also provides good variety for interest and moves quickly on the worsted weight yarn.

If the split back detail is not for you there is a more traditional option in the pattern, too.

The photos above show the traditional brim with a simple 1 by 1 rib to turn up or to wear down for a slouchier fit.

With two skeins each of two contrasting colors of Quince & Co. Owl you can get two hats including the pom poms. Three skeins of Owl will get you one hat, either version.

Anyway, it's been fun to revisit the Split Back Snowflake Hat pattern. My niece is the model and she is just so darn cute. 

Now for another subject, apples and apple picking. For the last ten years that I've been writing this blog I have talked about my love for apple picking and pumpkin picking in the fall. It has been a longstanding autumn tradition for us to head out and pick those apples. We like trying all sorts of kinds of apples and I am always fascinated by the variety and tastes and textures.

This year we focused on Northern Spy, Jonagold and Cortland for our picking. My son and his wife, and one of my daughters joined us so it was a small group by our standards but we had a blast and the weather was gorgeous.

I love how the rows of apple trees look so unassuming but when you get in there and look the apples are everywhere. We had the best weather. Oh, and I just remembered that as we were walking out of the rows of trees I ran into my buddy Jaala Spiro of Knit Circus with her kids. That was fun.

The apples this year were big, gigantic even. Some of the apples we picked were the largest I've ever seen.

In 2010 I posted about making applesauce in the oven and I shared my No Recipe Baked Applesauce recipe. Click here if you want to read about it!  I use this guide every time I bake applesauce and it never fails. In the old post it was fun to see TC playing her French horn in the background and my then newly remodeled kitchen. Seems like a long time ago. 

 Married life agrees with them!

I've made apple crisp and applesauce and I've eaten a lot of apples for snacks over the last week or two. I love it all. I've also blended a generous amount of cinnamon into plain cream cheese and added raisins for dipping with sliced apples. It's all so good and delicious.

I can't think of a better way to celebrate autumn each year. 

The colors are finally changing around here and it never gets old. The photo above was taken with my phone and I can't believe how good it turned out. My husband was with me on a hike and I told him how the landscape looked just like a painting. Then later when I looked at the photo I had taken it really looked like a painting in the photo. Sometimes it is hard to capture what you see in a photo. This time it worked.

The photo above was taken on my run in the late afternoon yesterday.  It was a pretty good view.

Right before I ended my run and headed home I stopped to take one last photo. You know, having a phone with a camera is one of the best things ever. I really enjoy being able to capture moments in time so randomly. (This makes me sound old but when you don't have a cell phone until you are in your mid-forties you can understand that it seems pretty wonderful.)

Have a great rest of your week, dear Knitters. I'll be back soon with more.
xo ~ susan