it's in the air

Just back from a long-ish dog walk, and realizing that it's turning into my favorite time of year.

Yes, the lawn is crispy, and the pretty flowers are few and far between, but there's a nostalgic twang in the air. There's a moment when you leave the house in the morning when you wonder if you'll need a scarf -- and then decide not. We're in shorts-and-T-shirt mode, but some mornings you need a hat, and you realize that the slow slide into more and more layers is beginning.

The days also don't seem quite as glaringly bright, and there's a whiff of cool on the air -- perhaps from the collective exhalations of teenagers looking at the calendar, sighing, and counting their remaining days of freedom.

And, let's face it, no matter how old I get, I still lust after back-to-school supplies.

We grown-ups don't get the luxury of a life change built-in at this time of year, and I think that's sad. I, for one, get a little thrill from putting together the Fall class mailer for Churchmouse (it'll be coming out next week!) -- it's my chance to participate in that 'back-to-school' vibe. And I love any excuse to be thinking about sweaters, so it's no wonder I look forward to the day I can pull them all back out from storage and start wearing them again.

One of my favorite things about living in Berkeley was the microclimate: just a titch different from the peninsula, across the Bay, where I grew up. Berkeley gets morning fog from The City (SF) year-round, which means that nine months out of the year you've got "Sweater-and-Shorts" weather. Fabulous.

Up here in the Pacific Northwest, we get an actual Winter (okay, so it's not Minnesota, but hey -- we need gloves for a few months!), so our Sweater-and-Shorts season is shorter than California's. That doesn't mean I don't savor it, of course. The few weeks in September when my lower half stays in Summer while my upper half heads to Fall is a very comfortable time.

So, to celebrate, I have an (almost) finished sweater to show off!

This is "Lily," from Marie Grace Designs: knit from the top-down, with a cool little special yarn-over increase at the raglan lines, and a feminine-without-being-girly picot edge at the cuffs.

Yarn: Marianne Isager "Alpaca 2", a wool-alpaca blend that is to die for, dahling.
8 skeins; held doubled throughout.
Needles: US 5 (3.75mm) Addi Turbos

Mods: decided against the picot edge along the bottom hem, and worked I-cord bind-off instead all the way around bottom, along front edges, and around neckline. Worked two large-ish buttonholes at base of V-neck shaping, to accommodate a tie or a button closure (snaps of that next, when I get those finished).

I also decided not to work the sleeves in the round and seam them instead (shock! horror!). I know, I know, I'm usually the no-seam evangelist, but with the 50% alpaca content in this yarn, I was worried that my gauge might shift from flat to circular knitting: and the sleeves are (naturally) the only place in the pattern where you work in the round.

Which explains why my close-up of the picot sleeve hem features a tell-tale yarn end: I haven't actually sewn the sleeve seams yet. I'll grab an hour this afternoon to get that done, and hopefully post final final snaps of Lily in the next day or two.

Can't wait to trot her out (with a pair of denim shorts, of course!

Happy fall knitting, y'all.