400+.

soulwindowsplied

drying

Hooray! My math skills tell me that I have at least 400 yards of 3-ply here (426, to be precise). I’ll figure out wpi once the skein is dry, but I am thrilled! There should be plenty here for a pair of socks.

I gave this an extra long soak because of how energized it seemed. (Am I supposed to let my plyed yarn rest, too?) You can see that it is a little curly-q-ish down near the bottom of the hanging loop, indicating some overplying, but on the whole, I’m quite happy about this. I’m still looking for that balance between overspinning/underspinning and over/under plying. (And maybe I’ll be forever looking for it!)

Anyway, I was so excited about how this turned out that I just had to sit back down at the wheel, even though it was WAY past my bedtime.

cvm sunset

This is the first bobbin of 2 oz of CVM from cosy in a colorway named sunset. I just sat down and spun, without a plan. I am already seeing that my default spinning is getting thinner, and that I need to really think about what I’m doing to make a thicker, even yarn. I love the richness of these colors — the perfect antidote to a rather rainy summer?

bohispatient

This guy thinks so (or not). I looked up from plying/spinning several times yesterday to find Boh hinting that he might want more attention. We took an extra walk around the neighborhood last night, and we have plans for either a hike or a trip to the d-o-g-p-a-r-k today.

calendar

Also, it is getting to be that time! I realized that this is the last week of my calendar yesterday, and stopped by the campus store to pick up an 09-10 replacement. I love starting a new planner. (Yes, I am a big nerd.) Yesterday I copied pertinent pieces of the fall campus-wide schdule into my calendar and thought a bit about classes/plans for the coming semester, which felt good to me.

That’s enough school talk for a Friday. Have a great weekend!

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dillweed/milkweed.

pickles

Dillweed. (In the pickles. These are half-sours, from The Joy of Pickling.)

milkweed

Milkweed. (Shawl by Laura Chau.) I’m only 8 rows in, but I’ve decided that although I am way more comfortable with written directions, I’m going all-chart, all-the-time on this one.

I went back to the LYS having the sale yesterday to get a smaller hiyahiya needle for my vanilla socks. Either I didn’t get the right size earlier in the week, or my gauge loosened up a bit in the switch from 2 circs to 1. While working hard to ignore all of the yarn on sale, I decided to treat myself to an addi lace needle for the milkweed shawl, and already I’m glad I did. (My size 4 knitpicks harmony tips are otherwise occupied at the moment, and I knew I wanted sharp needles for this project.)

vanilla emerald

I didn’t spend a super long time knitting yesterday, but I made serious progress on this sock — I think the hiyahiya is growing on me, and while I’m not sure how well these needles would work for more complicated socks (duller tips and not a lot of give on the needle because the cable is exactly the right size for the stitch count, rather than a bit smaller), these may become my go-to stockinette sock needles. Also, they are QUIET. No clicking, clacking, or fiddling.

gussetheel closeup

Also, (drumroll) my first true gusset heel! I worked the heel turn on 2 dpns and then went back to the hiyahiya. Have I mentioned yet how fantastic Socks From the Toe Up is (today)? No? I continue to recommend checking it out.

One more:

soulwindowsplying

Consider this a plying teaser. I plied for a few hours yesterday, and there is still quite a bit of yarn left on the bobbins, which I am taking as a very good sign in the yardage department. Still aiming/hoping/wishing for sock weight and yardage! Stay tuned…

hiyahiya.

hiyahiya1

Whoa. Yesterday I felt compelled to do something about those needles with the other-than-smooth join. They were driving me crazy! The internets told me that a LYS is having a sale on everything this week, so I dropped by to look ONLY at needles. I was debating between 12 and 16 inch addis, and the (super nice) salesgirl asked if I’d seen the 9 inch hiyahiyas. I didn’t quite understand at the time that 9 inches was short enough to work them on circs the way I’d knit a hat, but at half the price of addis, I grabbed 2, as the join looked so so so smooth.

After one round with the hiyahiyas, I was ready to write this off as a failed experiment and give these needles away. And then I went to ravelry, stalked these needles in forum posts, and realized that it takes time to get used to knitting with needles that have a less-than-2-inch tip.

hiyahiya2

So I tried again, focusing on keeping my hands relaxed, and boy does this speed up the sock knitting! I’m not sure if I’ll use these on all of my socks, but I’m going to try to complete at least this plain-vanilla-sock with my new 9 inch hiyahiya as part of a “get-to-know-you” experiment. As you (and I) can see from this picture, I was getting a bit of laddering with the annoying needles. Not so with the hiyahiya.

sockprogress

Have you guys tried these needles? What do you think?

Other things occurring around chez rooster:

bread

I let this no-knead loaf to rise extra long (about 18 hours for the first rise) and I think that is the trick. One of my best loaves in recent memory.

soulwindows thirdbob

I did A LOT of spinning yesterday, and finished the third bobbin of Soul Windows just before bed last night. This last one has more green and brown than the other two bobbins, and I am interested to see how it will look all plyed up. Still keeping my fingers crossed for enough yardage for socks. I may start that tonight.

bohandbone

Also, Boh asked me to tell you that he did A LOT of work on his bone collection while I was spinning. They all know now who’s boss. (Boh.)

On today’s list: making pickles, plying, prepping for a meeting with my advisor, practicing some rusty language skills, and all sorts of other things that may or may not begin with p.

I stand corrected.

That’s right. Remember when I said (yesterday) that it seemed as though Boh had forgotten about his supervisory role?

bohtalia1

Our dear friend T came over yesterday, bearing blackberries (for muffin-making) and some close-to-completed Thanksgiving Day fingerless mitts.

bohtalia2

Boh loves T, but he seemed to take a particular interest in her knitting progress.

boh talia concerned

See? Here he’s a little bit worried about that thumb-hole part of the pattern.

bohandtalia laydown

Phew! Boh can relax a little bit now.  (Note T, displaying a completed thumb-hole.)

blackberry muffins

And here are those muffins, made with blackberries picked from T’s yard! We didn’t quite achieve our goal of the perfect muffin top, but even so, these are very tasty. Perhaps we’ll make another attempt with the big muffin tin, which allows for more completely filled muffin compartments, thus creating opportunity for the muffin tops to expand.

ridiculousboh

Clearly, Boh had an exhausting day at work. (He is actually fast asleep and snoring in these photos.)

ridiculousboh2

Man, I love this dog.

kip: kraut-in-progress.

picklingcrock

Exhibit A: 1 gallon pickling crock, acquired on ebay.

kraut-i-p

Exhibit B: Kraut-in-progress. (Note: this is not an exercise in instant gratification. While sauerkraut requires regular checking, skimming, etc., it takes several weeks to be ready to enjoy.) This is my first attempt at kraut, and I am so excited. I always LOVE kraut made by friends (including those pictured further on down the post), and can’t wait to have my very own supply.

treman falls

To celebrate being home, Boh and I met up with friends (of the animal and human variety) for a lovely hike through a local state park.

dogs at treman

We followed up the hike with ice cream, beer, homemade bread and fancy cheese. Not a bad Sunday afternoon, if you ask Boh. (I would agree.)

Finally time for a knitting update, don’t you think?

onhold ip

I must confess that I did not touch my on-hold socks while galavanting ‘cross the nation. Sorry, Boh. I knit a few more repeats this morning out of guilt, and the rows seemed to fly by. Have I mentioned yet that I love this yarn? And that I am actually enjoying reading the chart? I know I still have eleven days to finish the pair. In all of our recent travel and excitement, Boh seems to have forgotten about his supervisory role. We’ll see how long that lasts…

mara ip

Mara continues to be blob-like. I’m into the second skein of beaverslide, and I’m going to keep increasing until I’m at the recommended width of 46″. I’m at about 40″ now. I’m okay with a shorter ruffle than the pattern calls for, so long as the wrap is a good size. This is turning out to be great TV knitting, if only I could keep my hands moving during on-screen suspense!

vanillasock ip

I managed to knit a few more inches on my plain vanilla toe-ups, due to some car maintenance that took a bit longer than it was supposed to. I’m just about ready to begin the heel, and I think I am going to attempt Wendy’s gusset heel. Despite a sort of annoying join on these needles, these socks seem to be moving right along. My current sock obsession may necessitate more short circular needle acquisition of the knitpicks variety…

loveart spinning

I also managed to sit down at my wheel this weekend, and it felt good to get reacquainted with my current spinning project: Spunky Club corriedale/nylon blend in Soul Windows. I finished the first bobbin of what I hope will be a 3-ply sock yarn. I know the yarn is way out of focus in this picture, but I really like the way this shot turned out — my lazy kate is on top of a pile of cookbooks on top of a bookshelf.

Coming down the pike:

fleeceartistmilkweedyarn

This lovely Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 sock yarn is soon to become Laura Chau’s Milkweed Shawl. The backwards loop group over on Ravelry is hosting a KAL that began on July 15, and once I make more progress on my on-hold socks, I intend to cast on and tackle my lace anxiety!

cotolinoforbuttercup

Here, I present my only yarn purchase of the trip — 8 balls of Queensland Cotolino, on sale at my old LYS. These are destined to become Buttercup — the modified version with slightly longer sleeves and a slimmer shape, I think.

It feels good to be blogging in “real time” again. Happy Monday, all!

road trip, part 4: old friends, new research.

grandbasin amyforscale

birdcage carforscale

Cryptic, yes. But these two images make me very happy.

Boh and I spent 4 days with college friends (and their growing family) in a lovely midwestern city on our way home. It was the perfect balance of work and play: the chance to participate in the excitement of family life — babies, toddlers, new homes — and to dig into the resources of a local archive as part of an ongoing research project. I hope I’ll be able to return soon to enjoy both the materials in this collection and the proximity of dear friends I see nowhere near often enough.

pinkflowers

Boh and I returned home late Friday night, and Saturday morning I headed up to the farm to gather veggies (including cucumbers, zucchini, beets, carrots, kale, herbs, lettuce and an early greenhouse tomato!) and to pick a few flowers. I don’t know what these are, but I love them!

pinkandcalendula

I picked some calendula too.

Thus concludes my road trip series — we’re all caught up now! There’ll be some knitting content around here soon, I promise.

road trip, part 3: desert sunset.

sunset1

When I first moved to the desert (long before Boh and I were pals), I used to head up to the foothills to watch the sunset. On my last night in town, I took Boh to my favorite outcrop of rock to enjoy the view.

foothills2

foothills3cholla

I accidentally hit a wierd button while resizing this photo, and got a washed out version that I sort of like:

foothillssunsetenhanced

Here’s a dark version of that shot:

foothillssunsetdark

It was an appropriate way to end a lovely week. The high temps (in the low 90s, even at 8 PM) meant that Boh and I had the foothills to ourselves, and it was nice to have some quiet time to reflect on all that has happened since I first began spending the sunset hour up here.

The next morning, Boh and I began the journey east, fortified with a mug of coffee, a pile of homemade cookies, and an abundance of green chile to bring home.

(To be continued…)