ugly dumplings.


But boy, were they ever good, and a perfect way to mark the conclusion of a work-filled, exhausting week. The next 18 or so dumplings were much prettier, but I happened to have the camera out to document the first batch.

Have a great weekend!


purple potatoes, pickled onions and progress.

Apologies for my kindergarten-esque approach to blogging this week. I’m going to chalk it up to the fact that my brain is tired — first “real” meeting with my committee this morning. It will be fine, but the meeting does have the word “exam” in the title, and I’m still a tad nervous.

Onward to the letter “P”.


Purple Potatoes. These are, in fact, from my friend P.’s farm! Aren’t they beautiful?


Pickled Onions — from  (where else) Smitten Kitchen — Deb made a pickled red onion and escarole salad last week that sounded incredible, so I made the onions, put them on a bed of spinach and fried an egg to make it dinner.


Progress. This baby is going to arrive any moment now, and I really would love to be able to give this to my committee chair next week. I have a knitting date right after the meeting with my committee. Knitting friends + garter stitch = therapy.

Happy weekend.

more letter b’s.



Baking… (triple ginger cookies from 101 cookbooks, and some giant muffins from one of many Moosewood cookbooks in my collection)


Baby Surprise Jacket… (the chair of my committee is expecting a baby boy to arrive next week)


and Brightness, in the form of new green sheets and a comforter. I’m still looking for a pale quilt or blanket to fold on the end of the bed for Boh to lounge on. This makes a huge difference in the overall cheeriness of my room!

Must get back to reading — hoping to settle into a routine/rhythm for this semester by the end of the week.

Happy Monday!

the calzone report.



Despite my success with pizza dough earlier this week, it seems that I still have a thing or two to learn about calzones, and in particular, the behavior of white-whole wheat flour. I made exactly the same dough recipe, but with white-whole wheat, and it just did not rise this time, which yielded a rather dense calzone dough. These were good, but an airier, dare I say, doughier crust would have made them fantastic. Well, that and not eating an entire loaf of farmers’ market bread BEFORE putting the calzones in the oven.



I’m pretty sure I’m ready to jump back into the land of productivity, and my new sheepy slouch will certainly make it a slightly warmer leap!

Details: Le Slouch, by Wendy Bernard.US 7 needles, sheepy Romney/Corriedale blend worsted from the Merck Forest and Farmland Center. CO 74 st, knit 6.25 in before decreasing. I’m not letting Boh get this one.

sheepy slouch.


The spring semester starts Monday, and there are certainly productive things I could be doing (like brushing up on my skills in a certain language so that I can pass a translation test whenever my department decides they’ve found someone to administer it), but instead, I’m knitting a hat. Boh ate my favorite squishy malabrigo cabley slouchy hat (see previous post), but instead of replacing it with a malabrigo look-alike, I’m craving something a bit sheepier, if you will. Enter my second le slouch. This one will be slouchier than the first, and a bit tweedy in appearance. I’m knitting it out of a Romney-Corriedale blend purchased as part of last winter’s snowshoe adventure at a farmland trust in Southern Vermont. I modified the cast on # slightly in order to accomodate my desire to knit the hat on 7s — in part because my 8s are in use, and in part because I want a denser fabric. Hoping to have this warming my ears soon!


I finished these thank you-dishcloths yesterday, which means I’ll have no excuse if they aren’t in Tuesday’s mail. You heard it here first! Also, we were invited for dinner at a friend’s house a few nights ago, and bread was requested, but it was too late in the day to start my go-to no-knead bread. I opened Mark Bittman’s big yellow book, and found a recipe for a lighter whole wheat bread using baking soda, yogurt and honey, and ta-da:


A hearty, wheaty quick bread that has been great with morning omelettes. I’ll be making this again.

Rather than take advantage of the free time to get ahead on reading, thinking, language study, etc. this weekend, I’m planning to knit and spindle away the afternoon before a planned evening of hunkering. There will be calzone-making, movie-watching and wine-drinking here at Chez Rooster — the dough is steadily rising!

the perils of pooches (and some oh-nine goals).


One minute, the hat was where it always is when it is not on my head: in the basket by the door. The next, Boh is galloping gleefully through the apartment, a destroyed star-crossed slouchy beret in his mouth. At least he looks sad, right?

A few other things I’ve been working on:


Reacquainting myself with my kitchen (yay!) through pizza-making. (If you haven’t checked out Smitten Kitchen, do so now. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, etc. I love Everything I Make from Deb’s blog, and you should see the pile of printed out recipes in the kitchen queue.)

Also, dishcloth knitting — some thank yous for hosting us on our north country adventure:


Apologies for my link-laziness: it is unlikely that I will actually connect these patterns to their internet homes. Quick rav searches should do the trick…

So! I’ve been making lots of lists, clearing space on my bookshelves for a new semester’s pile o’ reading, and thinking big thoughts about what I’d like to accomplish this spring, and this year. I won’t bore you with the Grand Academic Plans And Worries just yet, but I do have lots of exciting knitting ideas. I recognize that purely by virtue of writing all of this down, I will not accomplish all of it, but at least I’ll be able to come back to this post for inspiration, should I need it throughout the year.

First up: sweater knitting, or rather, sweater completion!

Right now I have Brompton and 28thirty on the needles. I’m happy with how they are coming along, and I just need to find some slightly longer chunks of knitting time to feel like these are worth pulling out — a row here and there simply doesn’t work when you are trying to keep track of increases or knitting huge rows. I desperately want to wear these, though, and I really think I can get Brompton finished in time to turn it into the cozy grad school cardigan I have been envisioning forever!

Other sweaters on the list:

Valia (Santa brought me a bag of gorgeous Malabrigo and the pattern, and I’d love to have this ready for next fall’s holiday trips home, if not sooner.)

Drops Jacket (I’ve had yarn for this forever, love all the FOs I’ve seen, and my apartment gets cold in the afternoons. This is obvious, right?!)

Cobblestone (for me), Tangled Yoke, Salina, Francis…I have yarn that would work for all of these, and they all have long stretches of stockinette: exactly what the frazzled grad school mind requires.

Next up: Socks! I’ve been a member of the Yarn Pirate Sock Yarn Club this year, and I have a gorgeous stash of Georgia’s yarns, but I’ve been slow to turn them into socks. I’ve unsubscribed after this 3-month round as a way to motivate myself to knit with what I have. I think socks have finally clicked for me as great mindless knitting — I can now turn a heel on a basic sock without having to dig for the instructions, and socks really are perfect take-to-school for extra free moments waiting to meet with professors or for class to start.  No specific pattern goals here, except to master the art of both toe up socks (I’m working on my first pair now) and the short row heel (mine are always hol-ey. I think Cat Bordhi will rescue me on this one, as a knitting friend pointed out last year).

I’m also working on learning to cable without a cable needle, so this year, I’d like to develop confidence/comfort with this technique.

Spinning goals: I think I’m finally getting the hang of (and the addiction to) spindle-spinning, and to this end, I want to make time each month to work on my spinning and learn how to ply. By the end of 2009. I’d love to spin up a 3-ply sock yarn to knit (toe up?) socks with.

All that should keep me busy, don’t you think?






I’m home, after a week filled with north country hiking, Quebec snowshoeing, catching up with a friend who makes incredible lemon meringue pie in Montreal, and even working on a sock by the woodstove, glass of wine in hand, with a fellow knitter. Much french bread was consumed, and many kilometers were walked/hiked/snowshoed. Thus, success. The prospect of returning home was made a bit easier by the sight of these two:



My brother was kind enough to come to town to house-sit and hang out with Boh. Looks like they had a good time. Also, since this space purports to be about knitting, here’s that sock I mentioned:


It is the first sock of a second pair of Thuja, knit with a 48 st cast on. These are for my uncle — I wrapped the yarn for him to open on Christmas, but I wanted to measure his feet before beginning these. Nobody likes to receive (or knit!) socks that don’t fit.

Must go check on the pie in the oven — 09 knitting goals coming soon…



I’ve been thinking a lot about how to sum up my 2008. This is one of the pictures I’m most proud of from this year, and in looking back over my photos and posts, I think it is representative of much of what has occurred in my world over the last 12 months. I snapped this photo in July, during the evening light of a brief break in a classic southwestern summer storm. This year I worked through new and challenging situations at work, agonized over and then got into graduate school, packed up my life and moved it East, and returned to academic life, to a path that I hope to make a career of. I finished my first sweaters. I developed enough confidence in my sock knitting to gift them. I’m learning to spin. I’m in my 15th month of blogging.

There is quite a bit of turmoil in the photo above, but it works: the picture as whole is stunning, full of beauty. This year contained more drama and difficulty than those in more recent memory,  but it was also filled with unexpected color and opportunity.

I’m off to the north country tomorrow for a week of adventuring with the boy. Oh-nine knitting goals to follow shortly after I return.

Happy New Year, blogland.

turn a spindle, turn a square


And here’s what I was working on while skein number 1 was hanging to dry. This is the first half of 4 oz of Finn in colorway Equilibrium, the November installment of the AVFKW Woolly Wonders Fiber Club. Here’s the beginning of the second half:


This is more of a complex chestnut brown than it looks. Silly me for photographing it on a brown chair. I clearly took this picture before my morning coffee. I’m planning to attempt plying on my spindle when I finish spinning this up. I think these colors look lovely together, and “Equilibrium” suits them perfectly.

I’ve also been working on turning another square:



I had to have one for myself — I’m hoping that the decrease seams will become more slouchy with a good blocking. (Apologies for the blurriness on this shot — all I can say is that my arm is a bit tired from all of the spindling!) Details: Grey Cascade 220 and Araucania Nature Wool Chunky leftovers, size 6 and 7 needles, as directed. Also, even though I’m using the notes to get the stripes to line up, it doesn’t look quite right. I ran the tails of both colors up the seam to fill in a few gaps that formed during color switches. Maybe I need to pull the yarn tighter as I’m carrying the strands along inside.

Totally unrelated, but I found myself wearing my malabrigo cowl on my head. And I like it.


Still thinking about my knitting plans for 2009…