Golden leaves, knitted leaves

October 20, 2006 at 3:01 pm | Posted in country living, family, food, free knitting patterns, knitting, recipes, yarn | 14 Comments

Fireflys Autumn Colors Number 1When I make my special cranberry apple pie during the holidays, I save a bit of crust to cut into the shape of leaves to decorate the center of the top crust. I usually cut out four leaves freehand, place them in the center and then form three berries for the center of the leaves. It makes a beautiful presentation.

It is raining here again, as it has for the past three days. To me, this weather looks and feels much like winter because this is about what winter was like in Los Angeles. I realize I am in for true winter before long and I know there will be discomforts I am not accustomed to. Some well-intentioned people here in the community have warned me and made jokes about what my first winter will be like; how unprepared I most likely am for the reality of it versus my preconceived ideas of it. What they do not know is that I have a secret weapon to draw on: I am hearty inside, where it counts most. A strong suit of mine in life is my ability to persevere and to find goodness and beauty and things to be grateful for even in very difficult situations.

Fireflys Leaves of Autumn Number TwoMy father tells me I am like blue steel: steel that has been heated to the brink over and over again until it is tempered, beautiful, and incredibly strong (well, I don’t know if he said “beautiful”, but it sounds good). My father is a wonderful man … both of my parents are wonderful people. No, seriously … I know many people would say that about their own parents but I say this not because they are my parents but because of the fine spirits I have found them to be during my lifetime — really getting to know them as people — especially during my adult years. We have become much more than family; we are truly stalwart friends to each other on whose strength and loyalty each can depend no matter the circumstances. Together they and my children and I have weathered storms and circumstances that might bring others to their knees.

From leaves, to blue steel, to honest freindship of kin … and back again to leaves. The leaves on the deciduous trees in western New York are going through the many stages of brilliant color changes in preparation for their eventual dropping to the ground. Many are already dropping, others are changing from yellow and gold to rust and brown. Still others have not yet begun the journey from green to yellow to peach to orange and so on. It is a magnificent ballet of life outside, in the trees. As a breeze or strong gust of wind blows, some number of leaves join in the current and swirl around, dancing by my window as I type these words to you.

Fireflys Leaves of Autumn Number ThreeYesterday I walked across the road to the bank overlooking our river and shot some photos through the leaves to the pulsing current of the river below. Last week’s snow and this week’s rain have given the river height, speed, and flow. We hear it coursing by in the background from inside the house, a relaxing steady sound. I am in a land of so much water, I am delivered from a land so dry … I will survive the winter emotionally no matter what it brings. Yes, I am up north and this will be a real winter the likes of which I have not seen in North Carolina as a child, in Los Angeles as a teenager and adult, or in Denver as a visitor the past several years. It will be terribly cold at times, but I will remain warm and grateful inside … and luckily I do have this charming, very warm new husband to cuddle up to if things get really bad.

Speaking of warmth, on Monday I will share with you my recipe for Butternut Squash Soup … which can be made with other winter squash as well. I started making my squash soup in Los Angeles for my children and I; we would have it with fresh homemade yeast bread. Oh yum, yum, yum. I have made it twice now in New York from squash purchased from a roadside farm stand. We will be having it again sometime this weekend; it will warm both your belly and your mind, as it does mine.

Fireflys Lavender HatI completed stage one of my Lavender Hat and am sharing the pattern today, because for some people stage one of the hat will be hat a’plenty. Over the weekend I have a band for the hat (stage two) I am knitting to add for warmth … one of the special features I hinted at earlier in the week. I added the knitted leaves on top as a decoration because I am in love with the beautiful leaves of fall, and because they remind me of the leaves on my pie crust mentioned above (I will be sharing that pie recipe soon, I promise). This hat is designed to match the Lavender Scarf pattern I published on an earlier blog.

Tomorrow night we go on the hayride … I hope you and yours have something dear planned for this weekend.

Have a beautiful day, and a great weekend as well!



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  1. What great photos! As someone who has never seen fall, I am always amazed at the colours of the fall foliage. Thank you for sharing yours.

  2. While you are in a part of NY state that gets hard, cold winters with LOTS of snow, there is something so inherently easy and wonderful about winter. The south has hurricanes; the middle of the country has tornados; and the west has earthquakes. We get very little of that. Instead we have snow, blizzards and ice. But unlike all those other catastrophes where they will destroy your life and home, we can hide inside all warm, snuggly and happy (unless the power goes out, but that isn’t always as bad as it sounds). Of all the hard things nature throws our way, I’d take a blizzard any day.

  3. I love the addition of the leaves on the top, my goodness, you are a lot like me! I add leaves to scarves, hats, whatever I can, I love them!
    How wonderful to hear that you have such a fulfilling relationship with your parents! Makes me miss mine all the more, we, too, had this type of bond, it is very special!

  4. That is an absolutely lovely hat! I have naturally curly (as in “big”) hair so I can’t wear a lot of hats but I think I might be able to pull this one off… And it’ll match my scarf! Thanks for sharing your lovely pattern…

  5. I think curly hair under this hat would be lovely … wish mine was curly for that purpose!


  6. I didn’t like living where the change of seasons wasn’t remarkable. Winter is just great sweater and wool sock weather!

  7. Thank you for sharing the pattern! I do get cold pretty easy, so I don’t believe this will be too warm for here. After peeking through the trees at your river, I feel a sense of “cooling down” too. Although it’s in the confines of an AC unit by day, the nights are changing a wee bit. I look forward to the squash soup recipe! I love making soups and breads for dinner in the winter months!

  8. Those are some beautiful pictures of Autumn in New York.

    Winter gets cold, but that’s no big deal. That why we have heat in our homes. The worst part is when it gets too cold to go outside for any length of time and the cold snap lasts long enough for cabin fever to set in. Knitting, cooking and baking help with that as well as having friends in now and again or attending an event outside of the house. Winter is a state of mind and if you are ready to entertain yourself indoors, you are set.

  9. The foliage is breathtaking! The butternut squash soup sounds delicious too. I am sure you will fare well during your first winter in NY. You have knitting on your side and a fab soup. 🙂

  10. There is a jester who nibbles deliciously in the Fall at leaves, with a merry windy laugh! I am a Virgo, of September 2nd, emphasis on the EMBER of the Harvest to my ear anyway … I love the decay and the fight of fire and cold you hint at in belly and brain and husband and hearth. The river has friction yet too now, and the ice will come, biting in Jest! It is a cruel joke, deadly serious, but we all must face bitternes with mirth if we can!! — Le Vierge, with seeds to sow

  11. Lovely hat, and as always, lovely photos. Have you considered selling your shots?

  12. Thank you so much for commenting on my blog. I have two other blogs, but this one I am focusing on my all the things I find beautiful. I am sure that you will do just fine your first winter here in the east!!

  13. Hi firefly! Lovely writing…one can just visualize the setting. I live in a very winterous area…the great Pacific Northwest. I grew up in Leavenworth when we had a normal 5-6 feet of snow evey year. I like all the seasons. You are from a good mold…you will enjoy it. I love bringing in the wood and building fires. And learning to knit will be a big plus for this winter. I had a great relationship with my parents as well. My dad was good pioneer stock. He passed over in Sept. and I miss him greatly. He was truly an earth angel. His request was to stay in his little home and be carried out and that’s what i did. It wasn’t always easily..I left my home every week to stay over night with him for a couple days and then a caregiver would spell me. We took turns. I will never regret one minute. I long to see him for even 2 minutes. I will continue to learn from him. He lived about 21 miles from me. His 1/2 acre of property and little house is simply magical to me. Enjoy all the time you can with your family. I’ll email again another time.
    ~ Lin ~

  14. Hi, I enjoy your photos very much and also love the fall colors. When my husband passed from this world in 9/1999 the color of his eyes were the beautiful orange/yellow/brown/gold of the leaves in fall. I told my daughter it looked as if a light shone from behind his brown eyes. I search each fall for that color and still will keep searching, I haven’t found it in one single leaf yet.
    Thank you for the hat pattern it is gorgeous.

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