minimal knitting content, but look — snow!

As promised, here are a few pictures of our adventures about 100 miles west and about 3000 feet higher. First, a traffic jam. The guy in the pickup ahead of us was asleep at the railroad crossing. After about 15 minutes and a phone call to our destination (in which we considered leaving the car and climbing through the spaces between the stalled train cars), we turned around.

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some weather-appropriate graffiti:

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The sky, particularly when it is this color, is one of my favorite parts of being out here:

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Boh and I took a walk before heading back yesterday morning. I love the way the early mornings seem to make everything glow.

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Oh, right. I’ve also been knitting. Here’s a shot of Mom’s Montego Bay scarf. I’d say it is a bit over 3 feet in length, so I am more than halfway. I’d love for it to be perfect, but that is not quite happening. I’ve done some ripping back because I’ve messed up my counting or dropped a yarn over, but the stitches are so small that I am realizing that I can hardly see the rows where that happens, so I am leaving it. Also, under a time crunch. Full disclosure aside, this is GORGEOUS. Nice to have a lace pattern that is a bit forgiving when you discover a mistake 3 inches back….

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I just hope I can get it finished in time!

take 2

Quick post this morning, as Boh and I are heading to a favorite place for the day (for work!). We’ll be back tomorrow. I did not take my own advice this weekend, and settled down with foliage and my first cup of coffee on Saturday morning. An hour later, I realized that somewhere I had screwed up the leaf lace pattern, and even after undoing, one stitch at a time, multiple rows, I couldn’t find the error. I think this hat is for me, and I don’t want to feel that tinge of guilt when I wear it (you know the one), so I ripped the whole thing out, rewound the yarn, and put it aside.

Last night, fully caffeinated and in need of some procrastination-enabling, I picked it up again. Take 2:

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Oops — you can’t see the knitting. Just Boh’s response to my perfectionist tendencies. Let’s back up:

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I am just a bit farther along than I was when I decided to rip it out, and I am glad I did. So is Boh, though you’d never know it from his expression/the position of those ears!

Mom’s Montego is coming along, slowly but surely. More soon!

oops!

But not really. We interrupt this regularly scheduled program to bring you spontaneous knitting.

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In preparation for my cross-country drive(s) next week and next year, I bought myself an iPod Classic. Clearly, it needed a case. It is after 9 PM, and I still haven’t had dinner. Instead, I sat down and cast on for this sleeve by Amy Arifin (Ravelry link).

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I am super excited about this. I received the original iPod as a gift before a semester spent mostly in the backcountry (oh, the irony) in 2003, and it clocked in at 5 GB. It served me well, and retired to the pasture of technology that no longer functions over a year ago. I replaced it with a shuffle, which, by the way, is perfect for running, and holds about 200 songs.

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This baby is 80 GB. Holy cow. I got an adapter to play music through my CR-V’s radio, and I cannot wait to swap the handful of tired mix cds on rotation for access to my entire music library. I am planning to supplement the 40 GB of music I already have with a whole slew of podcasts and audiobooks. I enjoy driving, and I am looking forward to having some dedicated “me” time. Well, me and several thousand other interstate drivers…

More soon on my mom-tego progress. (Oh, Lord. Time for dinner.)

to do: yo, k2tog, assemble camping gear

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Next week, Boh and I are jumping into my CR-V and heading East. It will take us somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 hours to get home, at which point, we will throw ourselves into holiday baking and lounging with the family. This is big for Boh — he tends to be afraid of new folks, particularly men (of which there are 2 in my family). After Christmas, we’re heading even further East to go snowshoeing/wood-stove heated cabin hopping (with some winter camping/lean-to sleeping in between) with the lovely recipient of that blue purl scarf (here). We are excited — and when we get excited, we make lists, a la the above picture.

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Appropriately staged, this picture demonstrates how things are going on that list — notice that the list is mostly obscured by the Montego Bay scarf. I managed to make it double in length yesterday while watching The Queen, with Helen Mirren. I know I’m a bit late on this one, but even without all the Oscar hype, she truly is fantastic.

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I think this looks even bigger when I lump it all together. I feel better about this rush because it seems like a lot of us are experiencing the stress of holiday knitting. I may be a bit sleep deprived, but the knitting is still fun. Stay tuned for more Montego progress. (Every time I type “Montego”, I think of the Beach Boys. Funny.)

longer…

I’ve done some cursing, ripping, a lot of counting, and maybe a wee bit of fudging thus far, but despite it all, the Montego Bay scarf is coming along.

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I stayed up too late and got up early, but we are approaching 12 inches, people. Note to self: do not work on Mom’s Montego before consuming an entire cup of coffee. You’ll thank me for this.

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gorgeous morning.

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Here’s what I saw when I stepped outside with the dog this morning. I can’t think of anything that calms and readies me for the day the way this kind of sunrise does. (Well, sunrise AND coffee.)

Last night I reheated that curried soup and it was even more delicious the second day. Another picture, because I put it in one of my bright Le Creuset vintage pots — total ebay score.

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Last night, I cast on for the Montego Bay Scarf, by Amy Singer (Ravelry link). I’ve been planning to make this for my mom, but was a bit late in ordering the yarn. It arrived yesterday, and I’m hoping I can get it done before Christmas. She has this fabulous bronze dress that looks incredible on her, and I think the Mineral colorway of this HandMaiden Sea Silk will complement the deep bronze of that dress. (We have a bunch of family weddings to attend in the coming year, and I’m hoping that she can wear this scarf with the dress.) Also, my mom has a wool allergy, so finding things to make for her can be a bit challenging, just because non-wool fiber is unfamiliar territory for me.

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What do you think — can I finish this in time? Happy Tuesday!

Ami of SourCherries is my favorite person. Seriously.

I participated in my first ever swap this month, hosted by the lovely Keri of Knitty Gritty Thoughts at the Fingerless Mitts for Fall KAL. (Also, my first KAL!) I was super excited to be paired with Ami of SourCherries because her photography is gorgeous, and thus worthy of her knitting. I received an incredible bounty of treats today:

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Take note of Ami’s beautiful handspun — the first I’ve ever owned. This will have to become something special for me. Also, Burt’s Bees treats (this lip gloss is the only “make up” I wear — how did you know?), a felted notions bag filled with a selection of teas, and  Dagoba chocolates. You don’t see the mitts in this picture because I’m wearing them. It is hard to take pictures of mitts that are on your hands. Exhibit A:

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Oh, alright. I guess I can take them off for a second.

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They fit perfectly, by the way.

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One more:

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These pictures are a bit unworthy of these gifts and the gifter’s photographic abilities, but it is absolutely pouring down rain, and this is forecasted to continue for a few days. Thank you, Ami, for such a thoughtful combination of treats, and for these incredibly luxurious mitts. I may put off eating dinner awhile so that I can enjoy wearing them!

On a related (?) note, Boh “enjoyed” a first today. I picked up this package at the post office and brought it home to open it. I let him out to romp around the yard like I always do, and began unloading. As I was bringing the package inside, I heard some squawking — also not unusual, as Boh tends to chase the neighbors young chickens, which wander the entire street, around our yard with his mouth open. (Very funny.) Today, however, he actually caught one, so I spent a good ten minutes chasing him around the yard yelling for him to “Sit!” “Come!” “Drop!” “No!”

Clearly all of his obedient tendencies go out the window when he has a chicken in his mouth. He finally dropped the bird and I was able to take a look — still alive. I took Boh inside and went back to the chicken, only to find her walking away, wobbling a little. (Our yard is fenced, and we have chickens as well, though they mostly stay in their coop.) Though Boh is often outside, those birds still find a way in. Maybe they love the smell of danger.

clap your hands for so-called foliage!

Yes, that’s right. I’m still only about a third of the way through the first cup of coffee on this fine Monday morning, and I’m trying to make sentences out of my current WIP names. I was hoping for natural light, but it is overcast and I am impatient. Bear with the gloomy photographs.

As my incredibly creative sentence indicates, I have, indeed, cast on for Clapotis. You know where to find it.

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I cast on for this (multiple times) a bit more than a week ago, but couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to do a pfb. Knittinghelp.com to the rescue! I wanted to keep this one quiet until I was sure I was ready for the pattern, but I am past the set up rows and into the increase section.

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Also, you know I’ve been working on my second My So Called Scarf from Sheep in the City (Ravelry link – coffee hasn’t kicked in yet.) This is sort of hard to photograph because it is so dark. Also, I chose a less variegated Malabrigo, and I am really liking this. Originally, I thought I would keep this for me, but now I am not so sure. I am only about halfway through the first skein, and I have thought about making a shorter “tucker” scarf. Do we think this colorway/pattern is appropriate for/would be willingly worn by boys? Discuss.

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Lastly, another WIP I am super excited about — also in Malabrigo: Foliage! (Ravelry link) I bought this yarn at Loop when I was in Philadelphia in September, intending to cast on immediately. I tried to — really, I did. I just couldn’t join 8 stitches in the round without twisting them or getting confused about which side of the needle was next because it was such a small loop. I must have worked and reworked the first two rows, trying to get them right, for an hour one evening. Broken, I set it aside for another day. Picked this up yesterday and cast on without a problem. I’ll take it! I’ve completed the first 19 rows for Version 2, and am ready to begin the pattern.

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I am in love with Malabrigo. Sigh.

Time to go face Monday. What did you work on this weekend?

logic board, schmogic board.

My MacBook has returned victoriously, though you wouldn’t know it by the look on my dog’s face:

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Seriously? Seriously. This dog is a comedian. Because I am so thrilled to have my computer back, please allow me to share an excessive amount of pictures of my weekend with you. Knitting content below, I promise, but first, to demonstrate how much I trust y’all, a funny Saturday morning picture:

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The answer is “No” to all of the questions you are asking. (“Are you a speed skater?” “What about a super hero?” “Did you actually buy those?” They were a gift.) I went for a run on Friday with the dog, and wore these under my shorts for added protection from the gusty winds in the bosque. Saturday morning, pre-sunrise, the dog was begging to go outside, and I was awake, so I pulled these on to keep me warm. Upon returning inside, I realized how ridiculous I looked, and snapped this photo. Feel free to laugh out loud. I share this with you in part because I settled in with a cup of coffee, episodes of CraftLit and Cast On and some knitting deserving of some attention: my Fleece Artist Tiger Socks.

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See? Now you can enjoy my completed sock without being completely distracted by the glow of my electric blue spandex. Maybe I kept them on for the whole morning. I am really proud of this sock — the first of my second pair ever. There are still a few teeny mistakes here and there, but overall, the heel is solid, the stitches are tight and even, and I even kitchenered the toe! I was so excited about all of this that I immediately cast on for the second sock. I asked Mr. Claus for some long sock circs and a Magic Loop book, and I want to finish these before I hear those reindeer hoofs on my parents’ roof. (This is going to be a long post — I’ve only been blogging a short while, but I missed you this week.)

Onward to more knitting:

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I finished another garter brim hat — a bit too big for my small head on purpose. Not sure who this will go to, but I love this. My Thanksgiving host called this my “watermelon” hat, and I like the name.

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You may notice the style of this photo — consider it a tribute to cosy of cosymakes. The pattern is hers, and can be found on her blog for free here. I love the photos she takes of her hats, and thought that I would display the result of her scrap-happy celebration hat pattern in a similar way. Thanks, cosy! This hat is made of Cascade 220 and Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran Tweed scraps, and is destined to go to my brother — the brim yarn is leftover from the pair of Dashing I made for him.

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Boh and I went for a hike in the rain this weekend — we were the only ones out wandering, and it was absolutely beautiful in that foggy, forlorn, expansive kind of way. The weather was the kind that makes you want to eat soup, and, inspired by this post by Amy at angry chicken, I modified a Moosewood recipe for curried spinach and pea soup to be a warm, soothing mixture featuring kale, potatoes and Thai chile paste.

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That’s all for now. I did even more knitting than I ‘ve posted here this weekend, and perhaps in the morning light, I’ll be able to take a few more pictures to share.

P.S. I’m sure you all already know about how fantastic the CraftLit and Cast On podcasts are (links above), and that I’m just a little late to the party, but on the off chance that you haven’t given these a listen, go download an episode. You won’t be disappointed.

beginnings

My MacBook is at the Apple Store receiving a new logic board from a “genius”, so I am without current knitting photos for a few days. To tide you over, I thought I’d share a few “firsts”: my puppy and my knitting.

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Here is my first project: a multi-colored garter stitch scarf made from several shades of Cascade 220. (We’ll ignore my childhood pot holders for now.) I thought these colors would be pretty together, but not so much. In pairs, they look great, but all three don’t really do it for me. In real life, the lighter green is brighter, and the stitches are a bit too loose for a hearty scarf. You may notice that two of these yarns became the pom-pom garter brim hat I wear whenever the weather warrants ear coverings. I still have this, but it stays inside, if you know what I mean.  Hard to believe this was just over 9 months ago.

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This is Bohpenyang, my puppy, on the day we met. He looked so sad at the shelter that I wasn’t sure he was the one for me. I’m glad we went for it. I know it sounds sort of ridiculous when I say it out loud, but I can barely remember life without my dog. It is a truly wonderful thing to build a relationship with such a loyal, quirky companion.

Updates on my current WIPs when my computer returns…