“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.


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.


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.


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.


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:


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.


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


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

if your name is champ, and you want to be surprised, mark this item as read and continue on with your day.

Seriously. I figured that since you know I am making you a hat, I can post about it here, but on the off chance that you do not want to be aware of my progress on it until it has arrived, I am giving you the option to walk away. You’ll have another moment to think about it, because this morning’s sunrise was quite red, and I managed to hold the dog’s leash in one hand and the camera in the other. (These efforts yielded one non-blurry photo.)


Alright. Make up your mind, Champ.



So, one of my favorite people who lives far, far away is due for a knitted item, and he has requested a hat. I’ve been looking at patterns on Ravelry for a few weeks now, and yesterday I settled on the boy hat (ravelry link). The pattern is for a 23 inch head, give or take, and the boy in question has a 23.6 inch noggin circumference. Perfect! I particularly like the way the decreases are incorporated into the pattern. I’m using a green/blue colorway of Malabrigo, and I love the way the colors are showing up in the ribbing.


Have a great Wednesday!

another FO!

Sometimes, while I sit at my funky 1960s kitchen table working on my laptop, the dog sits on the futon with a regal air that makes me wonder what exactly he is thinking. I had the camera handy yesterday, and managed to capture this:


I also finished yet another WIP: a simple garter stitch scarf made out of 2 skeins of very soft Patagonia cotton. Mel, of Pipe Dreams and Purling Plans, is also working on a garter stitch scarf, and her post reminded me to weave in the ends and tie this up with string for its intended recipient. This yarn was left over from a My So Called Scarf that I made for my mom last spring. I gave some of this stuff in an orangey colorway to a friend learning to knit, and when she turned it into a gorgeous garter stitch scarf, I decided to do the same with my leftovers.


This is a birthday gift for my landlord. She commented on how beautiful my mother’s scarf turned out, and I know she will really appreciate it. (I live in the back house on my landlord’s property, so I see them quite a bit and really enjoy being able to live by myself, but surrounded by the noises of children and chickens, and able to walk into the main house to catch up and have a cup of tea.)


I hope she likes it.

scorched wool smells bad.

Ask me how I know this:


On our snowshoeing adventure, my mitts got a bit too close to a barrel stove (read: I used one of them like a hot mitt to open the door), and it seems the fire (and handle) had grown incredible hot. This was great for my cold toes, and bad for one of my mitts. Luckily, I already had a pair of mitts on the needles. I got around to finishing these this morning, and I have to say, I love this pattern (Ravelry link) by Twinknit. This is the second pair I’ve made, and they are nice and long and they fit snugly enough to do things while wearing them (you know what I mean). Plus, the cables are simple and beautiful.


This may become my “go-to” mitt pattern. Here’s a classic coffee mug shot, though I could not position the camera in such a way to use the timer to get both mitts in the picture — and Boh could not be enticed to push the button.


I’m taking it easy today, doing some recharging after a very full weekend and working to stave off the beginnings of a cold/sore throat. I have some traveling for work coming up next weekend, and it will be much more productive if I am healthy. I will likely begin winding yarn and choosing a pattern for my next pair of socks. I am thinking about Schrodinger’s Twisted Tweed Socks, as I have some Trekking and the pattern is already written for Magic Loop (no extra thinking or converting necessary for my first attempt at this method). I’ll keep you posted!

Also, if you need some inspiration, check out this gorgeous cardigan over at slippedstitch. This cardigan has already sent me digging through bins of yarn to figure out what I could use to make this. I aspire to this kind of beauty in my knitted things — which reminds me — soon, I shall post on my knitting resolutions for 2008. The list keeps growing, and I will have to edit and prioritize in order to settle on something remotely attainable.

Tiger Socks!


Victory! I cast on for these, my second ever pair of socks, in July. Frustrated with how often I was dropping stitches when I tried to watch movies AND work on them, these ball band pattern simple merino socks (so named by me because this yarn is in the Tiger colorway) traveled everywhere with me for weeks without a single row of progress. I picked these up again right about the time I began blogging, and became determined to complete them.


In fact, this was the project in my (cavernous) bag the day I serendipitously came upon a group of friendly-looking women knitting at a coffee shop near my house. These socks made it possible for me to join them that evening, and I have been knitting with them on Tuesdays ever since.


I am very happy with the way these turned out. The second sock is better than the first, and I like that I can see the progress I’ve made. With the pair of socks in my hands, the kitchener stitch at the toes looks a bit messy, but on my feet, it looks much better. I’m excited to choose my next sock project — hopefully using the Magic Loop method.

By the way, it is quite difficult to take pictures of socks on your own feet, particularly if the “hold legs in air while sitting on couch” method allows far too much mess into the camera frame…


I’ll leave you with a shot of this morning’s sunrise. Have a great weekend!