Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Being a little squirrelly.... - Donna Alward

I get a little squirrelly in September.  No, not nuts, though some might debate that.  And the online dictionary does say it means "eccentric" or "flighty" (I had to look it up, as the more I looked at the word the odder it appeared).

But squirrelly in the way that squirrels put by for the winter.  They hoard.  They prepare.  Like that.

Every year I say it - I love autumn.  I love the smell and the mild days and cool nights and the colours and how it feels like back to school. I love being back in a regular routine and feeling settled.  Fall also means I have this weird urge to organize.  To freeze things. To bake. To knit or sew or something.  It brings out the nurturing side of me like nobody's business.

So this fall you'll likely find me working at my desk as something simmers in the crock pot, maybe with a pumpkin bread in the oven or muffins made with the berries I've frozen cooling on a rack. You'll probably find me in the evenings reading a book by the fireplace or working on my latest knitting project watching a dvd. At some point I'll organize the basement. Start making Christmas lists. And I'll love every minute of it.

I might even be ultra-efficient and combine a few tasks - like knitting gift bags to put Christmas presents in.  I love them.  They last and last and last and you can put really cute holiday ribbons in for the ties.  I bought holiday sparkle yarn last year at 50% off just for this purpose!

So in keeping with that, here's a super easy pattern for a Bottle Bag:

Using 5.5 mm or US 9 needles (I like a tighter stitch so I use 5 mm) cast on 55 stitches.

Knit 5 rows garter stitch

Eyelet row: K3, yfwd, K2tog. Repeat to last stitch, K1.

Beginning with a purl row, knit 13 inches in stocking stitch, ending with a purl row.

To work the bottom of the bag, cast off 42 stitches, knit to end of row (13 stitches).

Continue in stocking stitch for 3 inches, ending with a purl row and cast off knitwise.

To finish: sew the side seam, then sew base to the sides of bag.  Weave ribbon or cord through the eyelet row to close. Ta da!

Oh yeah - and the other thing I'm doing this fall? Celebrating some new releases.  Like Proud Rancher, Precious Bundle that is out in October in the UK from Mills and Boon (and coming to the US in February). Click on that link and you can read a first chapter!

Are you as crazy about fall as I am?  What activities do you like to do in the autumn?


Christina Hollis said...

That's a great make, Donna. My daughter wants to learn to knit, and this will be an ideal starting point!

Donna Alward said...

Yes - easy stitches and no narrowing or increasing!

Yesterday I made a quadruple batch of muffins...

Liz Fielding said...

I've just finished a bolero for the baby granddaughter, Donna and now I'm embarking on an utterly gorgeous poncho thingie. It's lovely to have rediscovered knitting. Great winter hobby.

Pamela Callow said...

I love fall, too! You need to post your pumpkin bread recipe, Donna. I would love to try it!


cheryl c said...

I love fall! I am starting to decorate the house with pumpkins, scarecrows, mums, etc. I like to make soup and cornbread. We are also big college football fans, so we have Saturday football parties with our family.

gigi said...

I love to make homemade soup and chili when the weather turns cooler.

Donna Alward said...


Cheryl - I am stopping to pick up my mum pots tomorrow to replace the summer pots on my front step. I love mums and the warm colours!

Pam - you have given me an idea for next month's post! :-)

Myrna Mackenzie said...

Donna, that's just my kind of pattern! Fall is one of my favorite seasons. I love to go hiking when the weather is this nice and the colors are so pretty.

Pat Cochran said...

Fall is my favorite time of the
year! I too make big plans and list upon list of all that I want to do.
Then I end up having to set much of
it aside because I've not planned
enough time to do it all! LOL!

Pat Cochran

Amazingrose said...

I love home made soup.

kimmyl said...

The fall is my fave. I love going walking, baking and planting flowers. I just bought a bunch of mums. Burgundy and yellow.