boy (girl?) hat

adam-boy-hat.jpg

The Boy Hat, but with size 6 needles. This one may become a nailbiter near the end: only 99 yards of wool, pattern calls for 120 (and size 7s). I’m going to give it a try, as it is a great color for a friend who is celebrating a birthday this weekend. If it works, he’ll get it on time. If it doesn’t, it will become a boy (girl?) hat for me (my head is smaller), and he’ll get his handknit hat when he heads West for a snowboarding trip in a few weeks.

The yarn is Queensland Rustic Wool, and it is superwash. I think I’ve read that superwash stretches out quite a bit, so I went down a needle size to conserve wool and ensure a snug fit.  I should have thought about this when I cast on, but instead, I knit almost 4 inches on my size 7 circ and realized that the only way it might (1) be completed with the only ball of this I have and (2) fit well, was to make these changes. Fingers crossed!

you make my day.

today-sunrise.jpg

At first, I was going to tell you that this made my day, but then I learned that some  blogland love had been sent in my direction.

Thank you, Hilary, for listing barefoot rooster as one of ten blogs that make your day. Here’s the deal: you share ten blogs that make you happy, and comment on their blogs to let them know. (Please accept my paraphrased version of the rules.)

I had no idea how much I would enjoy the blogging community when I began nesting here in my corner of the blogosphere a few months ago. Thank you for welcoming me — so here it goes (sans actual button, as I don’t know how to do that in wordpress yet!):

[note: I just sat down and wrote lots of nice things about why these blogs and their authors make me happy, but then I decided that you should just go visit them and find out!]

The Yarniad

SourCherries

Cosymakes

Pipe Dreams and Purling Plans

Slipped Stitch

The Knitting Philistine

Baby Finds a Kazoo

Rhubarb Supreme

The Frayed Knot

Much Adored

I’m not much into memes, etc. but this particular (buttonless, in my case) button has been a great way for me to discover a whole slew of gorgeous knitting blogs.  Boh agrees.

before/after

Short, early post today, folks. This guy, also known as the animal (must insert photo pronto)

this-guy.jpg

woke me up in the middle of the night with a horrible rrrripp-ing sound. That’s right, he was yanking the polyfill out of my sleeping bag, while I slept in it. He has been in close proximity to this particular sleeping bag for the last several months, and apparently, last night the temptation became too much for Boh to bear. Luckily, I had some ripstop patching tape handy, so out of bed I leapt. I switched on the light, cursed a bit and got to work.

patch-job.jpg

It’s not knitting content, but it is crafty. The blues are a better match than they look in this picture, and the hole was by no means a clean job. He must have been gnawing on the nylon for awhile before I woke up. Sigh. Onward to the before/after pictures I have for you:

before-sunset.jpg

This is yesterday evening’s sunset — thick, reddish clouds hovering over the mountains.

after.jpg

And this is what I awoke to — the second time. We haven’t had snow on the ground in the valley since before the holidays!

prints.jpg

Alright. Off to work on generating some visible knitting progress and listen to the latest episode of Stash and Burn before work.

pears for crisp…

Recipe from Apples for Jam. (Self, you are so clever.) I know that I am super late to this party, but while I was in NYC, I found this cookbook by Tessa Kiros at Anthropologie for under ten dollars. No brainer. This weekend I made both the Pear and Berry Crisp (with pears, apples, and some frozen blueberries), and the Lentil Soup (with more liberal modifications based on the contents of my fridge and pantry). Balsamic vinegar with lentils is a brilliant idea, by the way, and here’s a shot of the crisp:

crisp-2.jpg

pear-crisp.jpg

Boh and I went for a great run along the river on Saturday, which is my way of telling you that I am eating this for breakfast momentarily. Before I can dig into the crisp, how about a bit of knitting? Still knitting away on Brompton (so excited about this) and several other projects, but again, knitting time does not equal visible knitting progress. More on those soon.

gathered-scarf-on-me-ip.jpg

I’m making serious progress on the Gathered Scarf. While not the quickest knit, due to all the needle switching and kfb/k2tog, this is a lot of fun. It doesn’t hurt that the yarn may be the softest I’ve knit with: Blue Sky Alpacas Suri Merino, for those of you just tuning in. In this picture, the scarf is not yet wrapped around my neck.

blue-shirt-scarf.jpg

Last night I started my third skein, and I think this is going to be long and luxurious. This is a pretty substantial knit, and while I wouldn’t call the scarf heavy, I think it will stretch out considerably with wear. I absolutely adore superlong scarves, so I think this will become fast favorite. It is starting to warm up here in the afternoons, so I better hurry up and finish it so I can wear it before next fall!

I think I mentioned that I was in need of an unplanned, relaxing weekend. If this picture is any indication, we were successful.

chillaxin.jpg

Hope your Monday is off to a good start.

friday night knitting

Friday night knitting is a special kind of knitting. After a long couple of weeks, and the prospect of an unscheduled weekend ahead, I looked at all of my WIPs, and decided I needed to do even less thinking. I dug through my yarn bins, and found a few balls of Cleckheaton Vintage Hues, the result of a good friend’s recent trip to Australia. The Yarn Harlot’s One Row Handspun Scarf seemed perfect for the yarn, and for the kind of knitting I was craving. I like the way the color changes are occurring — it is a bit Noro-esque, but the yarn is heartier and bulkier.

one-row-handspun-scarf.jpg

I am really happy with how this is turning out. I am not sure who this is for, as I don’t know how long it will be, but I love the way this yarn looks in this simple twisted rib pattern:

stitch-detail-one-row.jpg

Well, folks, that’s what I’ve got today. Planning some soup-making, lounging and an afternoon hike with the dog —  if I can get him to move from his current position:

horizontal-dog.jpg

silly dog friday.

Actually, every day is a silly dog day around here. Though I’ve been making some serious knitting progress, in the form of another foot of length on my gathered scarf, a few more pattern repeats on my magic loop socks, and even some decisions on how many more increases my brompton cardigan needs before I divide for the sleeves, it is hard to see this in pictures. Rather than bore you with the equivalent of the WIP photos I shared yesterday, I figured we’re due for some ridiculous dog pictures. Allow me to share a few from this week:

silly-dog.jpg

more-silly.jpg

That’s my dog: full of decorum, appropriateness, etc.  You can’t tell from the picture, but he is twitching and snoring, perhaps dreaming of having some uninterrupted time to throw and retrieve whatever ball of yarn is attached to my knitting needles and ALMOST within reach. Happy Friday!

another convert…

jills-hat.jpg

This gorgeous hat was made by its wearer — in just over 24 hours. The dear friend I was staying with in NYC asked if we could get her some knitting materials on Sunday evening. We made our way to Purl, and with 15 minutes before closing time, she made her decision: a very full red color of Manos del Uruguay, and some size 9 16 inch circulars. I helped with the cast on, and soon she had inches of ribbing completed. We decreased during the televised MLK Democratic Party debate on Monday night, made the pom-pom before bed, and it was ready to be worn on Tuesday morning.  She did a great job on this hat, and it looks beautiful, particularly with her all-black wardrobe (just kidding, JP).

Time to share a few NYC yarn acquisitions:

cashmere-merino-yellow.jpg

This is a super soft cashmere/merino/mohair blend from School Products — about 500 yds of it. I am thinking this may be perfect for the Chevalier Mittens (ravelry link). I also picked up a few skeins of Koigu — too pretty to pass up.

koigu.jpg

Also, though I have not yet entirely articulated my 2008 goals (soon, I promise), socks are quite central. I even joined the Yarn Pirate Booty Club in December to further inspire me to learn new techniques and try more complex patterns. I just received the January installment — my first — and while I will not post any pictures or details just yet (nobody wants to be a surprise spoiler), this yarn is every bit as gorgeous as the hype!

“i miss the barbed wire and the sage on that wild northern range…”

Eilen Jewell says that, or rather, sings that, in her song, “Boundary County”. I just bought the album, and I highly recommend it. She has this incredible lilt in her voice that just reminds me of mesas and prairies and desolate, beautiful landscapes. This is my roundabout way of telling you that it is good to be home. Each time I visit New York, whether for work or pleasure, I have a great time. I love visiting the favorite places of friends there, and this last time, the haunts and corners of the city we visited (shuffleboard bars, dog parks, noisy diners, cozy Italian restaurants) had me thinking that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to live in New York. (Victory for you, JP.)

Please accept this description in lieu of photos of cityscapes, as I failed to document the goings on around me — partly because of the cold (hands stayed in pockets!), but also because I hate that touristy feeling I get when surrounded by lots of other folks taking pictures of tall American buildings. I’d rather blend in and participate in daily life. Clearly, this conflicts at times with my desire to be a better recorder/documenter of my life. Something to work on.

cardigan-progress.jpg

Speaking of working on, I have much knitting progress to share. First up, my Brompton progress. You will recall that I managed to acquire the yarn for this project and swatch just before leaving on Friday. I’m in the increase section, and I’m just about ready to divide the sleeves and body. Had to stop knitting on this on the plane home, as I realized it was about time to put it on waste yarn and try it on. This is rather difficult to do in an airplane seat.

tweediness.jpg

The color is far greener than this picture, but I love how this highlights the tweediness of the yarn and the beauty of the basketweave stitch. I was worried that a tweedy yarn would obscure the stitch detail, but I am really happy with how this is turning out.

gathered-scarf-ip.jpg

I also managed some progress on the gathered scarf. The Blue Sky Alpacas Suri Merino is so soft, and I love how this scarf is draping. This is a slower knit, due to the constant needle switching every five or so rows, but this is worth it.

magic-loop-schrodinger-ip.jpg

Also, ta-da! My first attempt at Magic Loop, in the form of Schrodinger’s Twisted Tweed Socks. I am very excited about these, as this method is so much faster and less fiddly than using DPNS — particularly valuable on an airplane. I am using KnitPicks circulars, size 2, 32 inches, and while the cable is nice and flexible, I did manage to yank the cable out of the needle. I don’t think I pulled very hard on the cable, so that was frustrating. I managed to push the cable back into the needle, but the join is a bit awkward, and a bit more predisposed towards separating again (happened once more, though I was being extra careful). I’m sure part of this is my fault — I know that tightening the first stitch too much is a common problem when learning Magic Loop, but I was a bit disappointed, as this is my first time using this particular circ, and the join will never be smooth.

Phew! Long knitting update. Sun is shining, and I have the morning to get my life in order before heading to the office this afternoon. Boh is curled up in his favorite spot, snoring. All is well.

on the road this weekend

Or, rather, in the air. Heading East for work. I’m not sure if I’ll have time and internet access for posting, but I am taking the camera, and I am determined to document the trip. (I’m writing this down here so that you can yell at me if I don’t do it.)

I pack light — small carry-on duffel (projector included), computer bag, and a cavernous purse that can fit inside the duffel if anyone gives me trouble about the whole “one bag + one carry-on item does not equal these + an oversized purse” thing. As I talk about knitting a fair amount here (no, really?), you may be wondering what I am bringing. After much deliberation, evening swatching, and frantic searching for size 5 options needles attached to a cable I think would be useful (to no avail), here is what I have decided on:

1. Materials to cast on for Schrodinger’s Twisted Rib socks, including the Magic Loop booklet.

2. The Gathered Scarf (Ravelry link), in Blue Sky Alpaca Suri Merino. I cast on for this on Wedneday night, and I really like the pattern. Here is an early shot of the scarf:

gathered-scarf.jpg

Oh — and 3. Brompton (Ravelry Link) by Alice Bell. I am in love with this cardigan — to the point where my friend Ali and I scheduled a mid-work-day journey to our out of the way LYS to buy yarn. I ended up with 7 balls of Rowan Felted Tweed, which is gorgeous. Swatched last night, and because the Felted Tweed is on the DK/Sport border, I ended up having to go up a few needle sizes to get a more open fabric that is close enough to gauge. I have a 38 in bust measurement, and it is a layering cardigan, so I think I am going to make the 44, realizing that because my gauge is a little bit off, it may end up more 42-ish, which I think would be perfect.  The size 5s were for the neck of the cardigan. Still can’t find them, but am thinking that 4s will also work. Very excited about this sweater — I splurged on the yarn in part because I was thinking that if it didn’t work for this pattern, I’ll have it for the Tangled Yoke cardigan…but I really hope it works.

Must consume a bit more coffee and finish packing before my ride arrives in about 20 minutes. Have a great weekend!

same rules apply, champ. nothing to see here.

I really enjoyed making this hat — Malabrigo is particularly squishy in this k4,p4 rib pattern, and the way the decreases are incorporated into the ribbing so that the rib columns narrow to nothing looks fantastic. (Pattern: The Boy Hat. Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted. Needles: US 7.) Here is a picture of the hat unstretched.

champ-fo-1.jpg

Now take a look at it on my head (a bit smaller than that of its intended recipient):

champ-fo-2.jpg

Apologies for the awkward camera angles. I love this hat. I might need one.