It was a quiet Friday, spent trying to catch up with the week: lots of list-making and stock-taking, but also a longer walk to the reservoir with Boh to clear my head and stretch his (okay, our) legs.
It was a proper eve of Halloween — the sky was grey, the wind, howling, and the familiar scent of leaves settling and decomposing whirled about us. The seasons are starting to turn again, but there are some leaves, branches, whole trees, even, that seem to resist. These solitary bursts of yellow made me smile, and I found myself looking for pockets of color in the muted beauty of these woods.
Everything always seems more manageable after a walk along this path.
The oven helps, too. A friend of mine from college has this gorgeous cupcake website that you should all check out, and yesterday she posted a recipe for savory cheddar and scallion cupcakes. Moments after reading this, I was in the kitchen melting butter and measuring out flour. Yum.
I also finished the first bobbin of Winter Storage, and I’m hoping to start the next one this afternoon — but only if I can get some writing done today.
I’ll leave you with a bit of Boh humor. I caught Boh admiring himself in the mirror yesterday. He was so engrossed in his own reflection that I was able to snap a few pictures before he starting looking at me in the mirror. Silly, silly dog.
Thank you for all of your happy thoughts about Tuesday’s lecture! I finally was able to do a bit of knitting and spinning last night in order to recover from all of the week’s stress and extra adrenaline, and I decided to reward myself by spinning a special treat: a gorgeous batt from Amondale Farms that Lisa Knithound sent my way as a Rhinebeck souvenir. (I was going to try to crack a Halloween joke or two about batts/bats…but I won’t.)
I know, Boh does not look pleased. But these are his colors! Lisa said that this batt reminded her of the southwest, and I agree: these colors make me think of the gorgeous sunrises I witnessed almost every morning when I lived there. I did a little bit of reading about spinning batts, divided the 1.5 oz. batt into two equal chunks by unrolling the rectangle and splitting it down the middle, and sat down at the wheel.
I mostly used the long draw technique to spin this, but I did a lot of smoothing of the single before I let it wind on to the bobbin, so it certainly wasn’t a “true” long draw. I let the singles rest an hour, and then plied them together!
Here’s the plied batt on my niddy noddy…
And here is my finished skein: 51 yards of lofty 2-ply that runs a bit thick and thin, from dk to worsted.
I’m already thinking about turning this into a calorimetry for me!
Spinning and plying this batt last night just made me want to get something else going on the wheel. It was so much fun to try something new — this is my first batt! — that I decided to take my fast flyer out of it’s plastic wrap and put it on my wheel.
This is Finn, from the Hello Yarn Fiber Club, in the Winter Storage colorway. I’m aiming for a 2-ply light-fingering/laceweight.
Nope, no pigtails yet. And nope, I didn’t finish my plain and simple pullover, though I do have progress to share.
Yesterday was kind of a big deal for me because I gave my first-ever lecture. I’ve done a fair amount of talking in front of people before, and I generally don’t mind it once I get going, but there was something different about this, in terms of the significance of the opportunity: this was a chance to do the thing I want to do, a chance to practice a big part of the career I’m working towards, and I was really nervous. I worried about all the usual things: that I’d talk too fast, that it wouldn’t go well, or worse — that I wouldn’t like it.
I still have a lot to think about in terms of planning and pacing a lecture, and quite a bit to learn, but I did enjoy myself yesterday, and the students even laughed at my jokes. And there won’t ever be a “first” lecture again — just a “next” one.
Onward to my pullover progress:
Under Boh’s watchful eye, I finished the body, and moved on to the next step in the pattern, which involves working the front stitches back and forth. I panicked, thinking that there was no way I had a set of size 2 straight needles, but some digging through my vintage lot of aluminum needles (an ebay acquisition born of my new-knitter excitement a few years ago) yielded a mismatched pair.
As you all noted, Boh takes his job very, very seriously. I wish he’d step up and supervise the huge pile of grading I have to get through today…
Inches, that is. (Actually, more like a smidge under fifteen when laid perfectly flat, but hey, I’ll take it.) The pattern says to knit 16.5 inches for my size, but as I am a little anxious about running out of yarn (and short-waisted, and generally seem to knit my sweaters a tad too long), I’m going to knit to 15.5, the length for the smallest size, and call it good.
Last night, friends hosted a Radio Party potluck, which meant we all brought food, drank wine, and listened to This American Life at the appropriate time. I got in about an hour and a half of solid knitting on my plain and simple pullover, and I’m going to try to finish the body before getting back to my pile of grading this morning.
Also, for documentation purposes, I snapped a picture of my hair last night.
I’m aiming for low, braided pigtails. Not quite long enough yet, but getting there…
I’m test-knitting this adorable short-sleeved pullover for veera, over at 100% rain. The stockinette portion is taking me forever, which makes me feel like a super slow, and thus, ineffective test-knitter. (I have actually found myself wondering if Boh is ripping out inches of knitting while I am asleep.)
The good news is that I’ve got thirteen solid inches of the body, and I only need a few more. The other test-knitters have been posting pictures of their projects on ravelry, and the results are absolutely lovely.
Just over half a skein of Araucania Nature Wool later, I have a second super hero helmet hat. This hat is all about instant gratification, and the squoosh factor is incredible. I made the 68 st Medium this time, and it fits nicely without being too snug. (Again, good for all of this hair!)
There’s nothing quite like garter stitch at the end of a long day. I had to cast on for another.