Last night Doc and I dragged ourselves off the couch and went for a walk with the catdog after dinner, and it was dark and windy and warm, and nobody else was around. Walking with Catdog means we stop every two steps to sniff individual blades of grass and single leaves, and to investigate pinecones, which look very suspicious to her in the dark. I talk to her constantly, and make little smooching noises, trying to get her moving again. She'd like to just stand there and sniff for the rest of all our lives. We just sauntered, and admired people's porches and the good kitchen smells coming from their open windows, and the air felt so, so good. I wore my new hat (the Thinking Cap by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas, in Shibui Cima, "pollen"--knit on a US 0, in case you love knitting or punishment) to keep the wind from lashing my hair into my mouth. We came home and the kitchen was lit up and cozy, and Catdog settled down on her fuzzy rug beside the fire, and four seconds later, the sky cracked open and it poured rain for an hour. We kept looking at each other and laughing. Getting caught in that would have put a swift end to the sauntering. Another thing: last weekend we went to a fundraiser dinner, and we won most of the raffle prizes. I once won a whole bunch of baked goods in a boy scout bake sale event when I was little, and this felt like that, like so lucky. These prizes were pretty good, too. Among the things I won were handmade beeswax candles, a Harry Potter-themed knitting notions pouch, and jars of honey that won a blue ribbon at the New York State Fair--ribbon included. Best, though, is that simple but life-changing book holder. Guys. How did I not know there was such a thing out there to be had? I don't have to choose an old book with a floppy spine that will stay open by itself? I don't have to prop it up with pillows? I have so many plain-stockinette sweater projects lined up and ready to go, and this little wire thingy means I will get some reading done this winter, while I do that. Seriously, life-changing. Speaking of plain stockinette sweater projects, I have been knitting like a maniac on my Pumpkin Spice/Autumn Leaves/Butternut Squash-colored project using my Mohonk from Jill Draper Makes Stuff. This yarn is so luxe. Baby pajamas soft, seriously. Velvety soft. In other, less successful yarn news, I had a moment of wild inspiration a few days ago, and thought to use turmeric to overdye some gray and oatmeal stash yarn leftovers and ends, hoping for muted gold. Turmeric is very yellow, and it was right there in the cupboard, so why not? My findings are these: a) YES! That's the color I want! Hooray! And b) turmeric is fugitive. I hung the beautiful antiquey brass and mustardy and polleny skeins to dry on the porch, and within an hour, the side toward the sun had faded. That was kind of disappointing, because the results had been just what I was looking for. Alas. When I get a moment, I'm going to try yellow food coloring, and see what that looks like. Might as well try, why not? Maybe it'll be perfect? Another thing: last week was freaky warm, so we sat on the beach and I hand-sewed another Alabama Chanin skirt, this time using two men's XL t-shirts and lined with cashmere sweaters from the thrift store. I am in constant search of more comfort, and this is it, totally. Cashmere. From the thrift store. How does so much cashmere end up in the thrift store? Do people think they have to dry-clean it? I have a whole drawer full of thrifted cashmere sweaters that are in my wardrobe rotation, and another whole bin of them for projects. The stenciling on this skirt was kind of a disaster, but the finished result is great, which proves the theory that Alabama Chanin will look good no matter what happens. I am so sold. What else. I made a linen dress, which despite my choosing the correct size, was enormous. I wore it around the house a few times, but it bummed me out, so I decided to learn something from it and got out the scissors. I slashed it down the front and back, taking out, I'm not kidding, fifteen inches of fabric at the hem, and then sewed it all back together again. I think I could have lived with taking out thirteen inches, but it is now wearable, and I love it. I will slash the pattern now, and the next dress I make should be perfect. Life is for learning, no? You can find out more about pattern slashing and alterations here. This has been a goal of mine for a long time, and I'm finally getting around to figuring it out. What a week. Love one another, be brave, help if you can, and listen to some Tom Petty. That's what I've been doing. You'll cry, but it'll be a good cry.