Sunday, November 11, 2012

New and Old

Hi, Knitters,
The two winners of the Winter Bliss Cowl pattern are stitchwitchy and NanaKnits4Us (both rav ids)! Congratulations! Lise (zenitude on rav) is sending you your patterns through Ravelry. Thanks for entering.

Yesterday was an unseasonably warm day for November in Wisconsin. I think it got up to the mid-60s. Often we have snow by this time of year so I had to take advantage.  I went to a different spot this time for a short hike. The different spot is called the Arboretum and it is another old favorite nature conservancy in Madison.

There is an area in the Arboretum devoted to all different types of pine trees and another devoted to different types of flowering trees. The flowering tree area is the best place to go in the spring. It is all so beautiful. The Arboretum is owned by the University of Wisconsin. We saw groups of college students working on different projects while we were there yesterday. They were fencing off areas for something, not quite sure what. There are many areas labeled and the trees are often labeled as well.

Click here for the UW Arboretum website.

I took these photos through Instagram on my iPhone. I love and enjoy Instagram so much, it is really a new passion of mine. I take lots of knitting and nature photos almost daily through Instagram. If you are interested in following me or checking it out, there is now a brand new way to follow Instagram on the internet. It is really fun and there are so many great designers and interesting people of all sorts of talents on here to inspire.

Click here for my Instagram webpage where you can check out my photos and follow updates!

What kind of leaf is this? Anyone? I know I know it but I can't remember. It looks like a golden fan to me. I gathered a few of these beauties to add to my growing leaf collection. TC and I have been pressing leaves this fall and then setting them out to admire.

On another old topic, I steeked my Calligraphy Cardigan by Hannah Fettig yesterday! I started this old cardigan a long time ago. I used a crochet steek. I added a steek to the front of the cardigan, it's not in the pattern, so I could knit in the round instead of back and forth. I am now adding on the ribbed buttonband. I hope I like this cardigan in the end as it has been a lot of knitting. My hopes are high at this point.

I finished a couple of old books, old in the sense that I had started them months ago and hadn't gotten around to finishing them. I do that sometimes. I love to read books, fiction and non-fiction, but I don't have a lot of time to indulge myself too much right now. I often start books and don't finish until a long time later.

I started reading Major Pettigrew's Last Stand way back on a spring vacation trip and just recently picked it up again to finish. It is a wonderfully written story about an older English gentleman, his family and small town, and the development of a very innocent new romance. It is a delightful read and a sweet story, and I highly recommend it. Thanks to Paula for the recommendation (I read and watch almost everything Paula recommends because I adore her taste).

I read this one in paperback book form, purchased at Barnes and Noble.

I also recently finished Hit by a Farm, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Barn. This is the story of a Minnesota author, Catherine Friend, who along with her partner, Melissa, drop everything and move to start a working farm. Catherine was supporting Melissa's lifelong dream of having a farm even though it wasn't a shared dream. This book is an account of their new things learned, the adjustment to farm living, and the daily trials and tribulations of farm life - good, bad and gross. There are some slightly graphic details about farming animals included so be warned if that's not your cup of tea. I'll admit to skipping over bits and pieces here and there.

I listened to Hit by a Farm on audiobook, purchased from iTunes. The book is read by the author, Catherine Friend, and her authentic Minnesota accent is charming if I do say so myself (I am sure I have my own Minnesota accent of sorts because both of my parents were born and raised in Minnesota). Catherine has a nice way of injecting humor and self-deprecation into situations that I enjoyed. She is endearing and honest.

It's a good book and if you are interested in the topic of starting a farm or just hearing about it. There is another book from Catherine after this one called, Sheepish. I may read this one, too, at some point. Thank you, AmyBeth, for this recommendation.

Click here to find out more about Hit by a Farm.

Last but not least, I have always enjoyed reading memoirs, especially from people who have led extraordinary or unusual lives and when there is a huge creative talent involved. When I saw that Rosanne Cash had released a memoir I downloaded it on my Kindle right away. This is another book I started quite awhile ago but just recently finished. Rosanne Cash has led both an extraordinary and unusual life and she has an incredible musical talent. How could her life not be these things with Johnny Cash as her father? The book is definitely about Rosanne's life, not her father's life, although he does play a part in the book.

I really enjoyed Composed for so many reasons. Roseanne is a great writer and story teller. She kept me on my toes while reading because she jumps around on the timeline a bit. This didn't bother me but I had to keep track at times. Roseanne Cash is honest and thoughtful. She has lead a life with huge successes but many struggles as well. I think her intention was to tell her own story about her life because there have been so many stories and versions told by others about her family. Her story is respectfully told through her own words. I recommend this book.

I read Composed on my Kindle, purchased through Amazon.

Click here to find out more about Composed.

These are just books from my own personal library that I wanted to share with you today. I have two more books I am reading, one in paperback book form and another on my Kindle. Who knows when I will ever finish but I'll keep you posted when it happens.

Happy Sunday!
best, susie