My not-so-spooky Halloween house

Hello and good Monday morning to you!

I think I've admitted here before that I'm a bit of grinch about Halloween. I have never gone into decorating my house too much with skeletons or witches, rarely dress up, and really can't think of much I like about Halloween except the candy, especially if it's chocolate. I do have a few Halloween decorations but mostly rely on darling little pumpkins for my decorations. I'm sure as Carter gets older he'll think I'm a real dud, but I save up all my holiday excitement for the worthier Thanksgiving and Christmas that is RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER!

We had the kids over for dinner this weekend. Lately I've been stuck on what to make for a two year old. He was a good eater at one time, opening his mouth while I would spoon in whatever we were having for dinner. He would gobble it up and open his little mouth for more. So dang precious, but all that has changed. Now he alternately loves then hates, then loves and hates again such kid-friendly mainstays as chicken, salmon, peas--potatoes even! Two year olds!

I decided to make tomato and wild rice soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, and green salad. Bless his heart, he loved my soup! Of course he also loved the sandwiches too but would not touch the kale salad. The week before we had him over for dinner and I had put a minuscule amount of salad on his plate: a postage stamp sized piece of lettuce, one pea, one skinny shred of carrot, and a razor-thin slice of radish. He poked at it and announced, "This is salad. Mommy and Daddy like this stuff but I don't." He did eat the main offering of spaghetti. Thanksgiving will be interesting. Last year he loved it all, turkey, potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and kept asking for more. If he eats half of what he ate last year I'll be thrilled!

As for Thanksgiving, I'm already thinking about it. I loved the simple table I created above for our family dinner and think I'll reproduce it for the big day. We will be small again this year, just six plus the baby. I'll still make a huge turkey because we love all the leftovers, especially turkey soup and plain old turkey sandwiches. Can you tell I'm ready?

I have three posts planned for the next few weeks; such an abundance of photos and blogging is a rarity for me these days. They are all knitting posts and one is about my recent yarn purchases in Copenhagen and Helsinki. I haven't started knitting with any of my new yarn yet as I've still got a few things on the needles I'd like to have done before the holidays.

This is a little pair of red shorts with cabled suspenders for Carter that I'd like to finish by the holidays.

Love the way the simple stitch pattern creates a quilted effect on two-year-old-sized Juniper by OGE.

This new cowl design from Andrea Mowry is addicting to knit and Spincycle is surprisingly soft against the skin.

This will become a darling garter stitch, over-sized cotton coat for Annie.

Mommy and Grammy took Carter to the pumpkin patch.
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Here is Kate by Libby Jonson. After a few wobbly starts with the lace section, I soon had it memorized and it was smooth sailing from then on. I finished it a bit ago and now that it's getting chilly I can finally wear it. There are so may reasons why I love this sweater. Besides the pattern being wonderful, the yarn was a dream, rustic and whole-wheaty hearty, a thoroughly charming old-fashioned knitting experience that is my kind of heaven.  As for the pattern, there were long stretches of soothing stockinette and an interesting bit of lace to keep your eyes on the project. I don't remember if the pattern called for picking up stitches around the arm scythe and knitting short rows down, but that is what I did and is my preferred type of sleeve construction.
Because the yarn was fun and old-schoolish (toothy and rustic) it’s not particularly soft and imagine I will always wear a tee underneath it to keep the itchies at bay.  The color is not really a gray, but more like a light fawn. This was the yarn I bought in Quebec City, and if I understood the saleslady correctly, they used to throw out the fleeces until someone decided to spin yarn from them. The sheep until that time were used for meat only and the wool was considered undesirable which surprises me, because, not even for rugs for heavens sake? Good news, the wool is being used now and came in natural, un-dyed colors; this gray/fawn and a natural white and perhaps a chocolate brown if I remember correctly. I recently returned to Quebec City (wow, twice as crowded as four years ago and it was “off season”, but still a charming little city) and purchased some more, so I have some white and a little bit more of this fawn color. I don’t know what I’ll make but I like having it in my stash. I have the sweater on now and it's warm and cozy. It has cling and zero drape and I like that. 
In these pictures we were headed out to the movies. We go once a week, always mid-week and always in the afternoon; we are retired and love to avoid crowds. We treat ourselves to popcorn and a coke for lunch and I bring a simple stockinette section of a project and knit away. It's a grand day in our opinion! On this day we saw The Peanut Butter Falcon. We both loved it and I think you may love it too. I think it's an indie film, certainly not a blockbuster in any way so you might have to look a little harder to find it. If you do see it please let me know if you liked it, but I have a feeling you will. BTW, we saw The Peanut Butter Falcon with very little idea of what it was about and I'm glad about that and think that may be the best way to see it. 
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Here are some action shots of Carter flying paper airplanes in the kitchen with Papa. We had not seen him in two weeks (too long!) so we asked for a sleepover. We stayed home and made pancakes, read stories, explored the back yarn, practiced jumping, and flew paper airplanes. We had a lovely time. He's wearing one of his new sweaters, the Fisherlad Guernsey for the Family by Melinda Goodfellow. Isn't it lovely? I'd like to knit one for myself! This pattern is a great beginner friendly pattern for someone who would love to try their skills on a traditional gansey sweater. I've knit mine in Rowan Handknit Cotton, lovely stuff and highly recommended, in size 2-4 which is a bit big on him. It's going in for a little knitting surgery today: I am going to tighten up the neck a bit and shorten the sleeves. Links are at the end.

Never enough bling!

Rowan Handknit Cotton is my favorite cotton yarn.
Toddler standing stool.

Carter is standing on a standing toddler stool when he was flying paper airplanes. We love it so much because it enables him to stand up next to us at counter height while cooking. He can crack eggs and stir batter and help bake cookies. He can climb up and down by himself and it's sturdy enough so he won't fall even if he's wiggly. It folds up and I store it in a closet and just bring it out when he comes to visit. I found it half price now on Amazon in four colors, white, black, gray and natural. Great for baking Christmas cookies this season and something we'll be using with him for years.

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