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This is the time of year when I start second guessing my past year’s knitting choices.  Clearly what I should have been working on, instead of lacey shawls, cotton anklets, and socks for other people, is sweaters.  Lots of sweaters Thick ones, thin ones, lacey ones, colorful ones, cabled ones, all kinds of sweaters.  Then I’d have something warm to pull on when the sky turns gray and cold, and the chill damp sets in.  Not that sweatshirts are a bad choice, and Lord knows I’m grateful enough for the one keeping me warm while I type this, but I’m a knitter.  Shouldn’t I have sweaters

It’s not like I don’t admire sweaters, research patterns, match up yarn options with the yarn in my stash.  I think it’s more that, while I’ve been able to amass the yarn necessary to knit several shawls, buying enough sweater weight yarn to knit one for myself is a bit… expensive, and hard to justify when I already have enough yarn to completely fill a large cedar chest, plus three or four blanket bags.  Plus, whenever I actually finish a project, my family has been quite helpful rushing in to fill the knitting gap that exists oh, so briefly.  Right now on my knitting needles I have Mom’s Queen Anne’s Lace shawl, Dad’s Bob Cratchit gloves (very close to done with the first one, I’m happy to say), a shoulder shawl for one sister, wristwarmers for another sister, Little Miss Stinker’s Christmas stocking, and the Triggy shawl for myself.  Plus I have Christmas presents to knit and sew, and crafting things to sell at the holiday craft fairs (assuming I decide to take part, which I’m not completely sure of yet).  So unfortunately I’m not seeing a whole lot of hand knit sweaters in my future.  But I can hope, right?

It’s funny how quickly Autumn came this year.  It feels like we went straight from high summer, running the fan all night, to cold and damp and needing quilts.  In retrospect, this past weekend feels a little like Summer’s last gasp.  I was down in Washington, DC with my family, witnessing my cousin AJ’s wedding, and helping out a little.  It was a beautiful wedding, very AJ, with lots of laughter.  It was also a weekend of reconnecting with people.  AJ has two brothers whom I’ve barely seen over the last ten years or so.  The older one disappeared straight from college into the mazes of Manhattan, only recently reemerging.  I’ve seen the younger a little more often, but not much.  It was good to see them at the wedding, to have actual conversations with them for the first time since we were teenagers.  The younger cousin even teased me about my split lip.  (I was wrestling with Boy-O at the hotel before the wedding, which turned into a pillow fight, which led to me getting accidentally punched in the mouth.  Boy-O felt kinda horrible about it, but not horrible enough to stop the pillow fight until we realized I was bleeding on the pillows.)  I like the men they’ve become, and I hope we don’t lose contact with one another again.

I also got to reconnect with a whole family of friends I hadn’t seen in seven years.  Crafty Minx and her husband Joe were dear friends years ago when they lived in Dayton.  I can’t tell you the number of afternoons I spent hanging out with CM and making things.  When her first daughter Pavlova came along, I visisted them in the hospital and baked the cake for her Baptism celebration.  When their second daughter came along, I did the same (flavoring it peach in memory of seeing her fuzzy head in the hospital, still a bit yellow from a touch of jaundice).  Soon after that I headed off for my first year on NET, and while I was gone, Joe (an officer in the Air Force) was moved from Ohio to Florida.  I visited them the summer after my second year of NET, but then for a long time our lives just didn’t seem to synch up.  Other sisters would visit them from time to time and bring back news of their growing family, and every once in a while Joe would come up to Dayton on business, but I myself didn’t have much contact with them.  When we found out that we would be going down to DC for AJ’s wedding, they opened their home to us for the weekend.

It was lovely getting to see them again.  Pavlova is eleven now, and starting to look like the graceful young lady she’s going to become.  Peach is a thoughtful little girl, and Ishmael (the tiny baby I thoroughly enjoyed the last time I visited) is a growing boy, already so tall, with an impressive vocabulary and a mischievous smile.  I had never met Fuzzy, the baby of the family, a little boy with an impish smile who likes nothing better than being cuddled.  They were a joy to stay with, although our time with them was very brief.  Hopefully I’ll be able to go back again sometime, and enjoy them more thoroughly!

Now we’re home again, and getting ready for the Big House Party on Saturday.  For the past three years, I’ve had a big party in September, but this year when September came around, I spent so much time thinking about it, trying to decide whether to have it or not, that it crept into October.  It’s going to be a joint party of all three roommates: myself, Johnnycakes, and Rosie.  I’m doing the food and they’re doing the drinks.  I’m going to roast a bunch of chickens in honor of the Feast of the Guardian Angels, which is the same day as the party.  A while ago I read somewhere that for Michaelmas (the Feast of the Archangel Michael) on September 29, it used to be a tradition in Europe to roast a goose, since the big white wings on the goose reminded people of the big white wings on an angel.  Since then I’ve had an ambition to throw a big party on Michaelmas and roast a goose.  Unfortunately, geese are expensive, so I’ve never been able to realize my ambition.  However, chickens are cheap, and perhaps the smaller chicken wings will be alright to honor guardian angels.  So we will have roast chicken, and it will be delicious.

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