spinning/silliness/sunday.

The sun came out yesterday while I was spinning the first bobbin of my first (of two!) bump of Hello Yarn shetland in Sour Fig, from the Fiber Club. I had to stop and take a picture. Twenty minutes later, my bobbin looked completely different:

I’m super excited to see how this ends up. I’m aiming for a 2-ply dk weight, but this stuff wants to be spun fine, so we’ll see what happens.

And now, the silliness:

I am a lucky girl.

Yep, another picture of this sweater. The fit is a bit awkward, the armholes are huge, the seams are wonky, even the ends are poorly woven in. I love the big ribbed collar, but I think the reason I wear this sweater more than any of the others I’ve made is that it was my first, finished in February 2008.

I wear it to late night reading groups, to dinner at friends’ homes. I pull it on to take Boh outside in the morning, I curl up in it on the couch. I buy groceries and write papers in it. It fits over many layers, even other sweaters, which is often how I wear it. It warms me, in more than the obvious way. I’ve been reading/discussing Rushdie this week, and these rather silly ruminations on my green sweater make me think of something his narrator says in Midnight’s Children. “Reality can have metaphorical content; that does not make it less real” (230, in my 1991 Penguin edition, though this was first published in 1980).

Time to slip my arms into the green sweater and get back to work.

objectivity and bias.

As an aspiring historian, I am certainly sensitive to questions of objectivity and bias. (In the realm of full disclosure, I don’t think history is about the pursuit of truth so much as the exploration of an expansive/infinite number of alternate tellings, re-tellings, and interpretations of the past, necessarily colored by the historian’s “present,” whenever/whatever that may be. I don’t think objectivity should be the goal. I’d rather we focused on interrogating our own perspectives biases interests contexts as part of wrestling with what how why we are arguing whatever we’re arguing.)

Anyway, Boh must have read your comments, because he called me on this. He wondered (to no one in particular, though I was the only one here) why certain people (ahem) think very carefully about how to accurately represent their sources in some contexts, but are perfectly happy to misrepresent, oh, I don’t know, a certain four-legged and important member of this household.

Boh wants you to know that he does not sleep all day. He does very important things.

You never take pictures of me doing other things. That’s why they think that. Show them that I can catch my ball! That I can jump high into the air! That I bark at potential intruders and guard our home! The problem, dear reader, is that my skills do not lie in the realm of photography, so I mostly have a blurry mess to share. Boh is right, though. He does appear very energetic in these photos.

I took about 43 other photos, all of them blurry.

I’m sorry, Boh, for not thinking about how I have been representing you. (I listened to the RadioLab “Animal Minds” episode last night while working on my snowbird, and I am certainly aware of my own anthropomorphizing here…)

Also, lest you think I only knit, and do not work, here’s what Boh and I have been up to this morning:

Yep, the semester has begun. Sigh.

bird/dog.

First of all, thank you for sending sweet thoughts of health my way. I am finally feeling like myself again. (For awhile there, I had no interest in sarcasm, which is when I knew I needed to get back into bed.)

Last night I allowed myself to break from my pile o’ reading to knit on snowbird and watch the SOTU. It is actually starting to look like the top of a cardigan, and the construction is super cool, so I snapped some pictures. Soon, I’m going to kitchener those panels of stockinette together and sew them to the body of the sweater — they form the start of this cardigan’s awesome collar.

I am in love with the tweedy look and texture of this yarn.

And now we transition from (snow)bird to dog. A few steps back and you get a better idea of what my cardigan photo shoot was like.

And here’s what Boh was doing last night. This dog was clearly not interested in the SOTU.

One more, just because.

Happy Thursday, folks.

hammie in handspun.

Saw these pictures of Hammie in the handspun baby belle I knit for her, and had to grab them to re-post over here. (Photo credits to W+L.) Baby Hammie and her awesome family are climbing and camping out West right now, and it makes me so happy that this sweater came with them on their trip to the States. All we ever hope for when we gift a handknit is that it will be used, worn, lived-in, loved.

sick day.

So, I made it until about 12:30 yesterday, and then I started feeling yucky again. I finished out the afternoon, got a ride home, and at the (very good) advice of a friend, preemptively arranged for a sick day. I don’t have any teaching obligations on Tuesdays, so I excused myself from today’s schedule, with the goal of getting better. At the very least, it should help that I’m going to avoid the cold/rainy twenty-minute walk to and from campus.

So, today’s plan?

Lounging on the couch in a cozy sweater, fleece pants, and handknit socks with Boh and a pile o’ mindless knitting. (Also on the agenda: Theraflu, a hot shower, herbal tea, copious amounts of napping. And reading — fingers crossed that I feel up to a little bit of work this afternoon.)

FO: handspun seaman’s cap (the fourth).

This is my fourth handspun seaman’s cap. Clearly, I love this pattern. (Also, I love this hat, but this one is most definitely hopping into the mail this week so that my brother gets his Christmas present before it is too warm for super squishy handspun hats.) I knit the large size, and used 150 yards of handspun superwash merino from Crown Mountain Farms in the albatross colorway — which is almost exactly what I spun from the 3.5 ounces I estimated I’d need. Yay! I hope he likes it.

I asked Boh to do an interpretive dance to demonstrate how I (we) feel about going back to school in a few hours. This was his response. He captured my feelings exactly — as did the weather — heavy rains and high winds today — which, unfortunately, does not seem super conducive to helping me to fully kick this cold. (More Theraflu for this rooster — I’m definitely feeling better, but, as it often goes near the end of a rapidly morphing sore throat to drippy nose to head cold to cough, despite feeling much improved, I sound worse! Or incredibly sexy, depending on how you look at it…)

Happy Monday, folks. Despite my whining, there is a lot to look forward to this semester.

brought to you by Theraflu.

Yup, that mug is full of Theraflu — and if I haven’t sung its praises here in blogland, I am now. I’ve gotten sick more in the last two years than in the several years before (I blame the undergrads and their germs). Also, I hate cold medicine — or rather, that foggy haze that seems to accompany the good parts of cold medicine. Theraflu, on the other hand, works quickly, forces the sick person to drink more liquids, and for me, anyway, does not create the kind of fog that can impair drivers or slow down traffic. Really, they should sponsor me or something. (Thus concludes the advertising portion of today’s post.)

For lunch, I made this rutabega chipotle soup, only I made it with a goldball turnip, a potato, and a chipotle in adobo sauce that was languishing in the fridge. It was so delicious, with just enough spice to clear out my sinuses, that I ate a second bowl. And then scraped the saucepan.

I cast on for Snowbird, in Queensland Kathmandu DK (after getting gauge on size 5 needles), and made some progress on the collar and yoke.

Boh made some progress on destroying his current tennis ball, and put in some quality time organizing his scraps of fleece.

Good work, Boh.

I had dinner with friends (pork and sweet potato fritters are definitely good for whatever ails you), and took along my fourth handspun seaman’s cap — the one for my brother. Amidst conversation and decadent bites of chocolate treats, I managed to make it all the way to the decreases, which means my brother should receive his Christmas gift before February. (Win.)

Today’s plan? Knit, read, cook, emotionally prepare for the start of the spring semester, and most importantly, convince this sore throat/head cold to hit the road. (Thanks for all of your happy, healthy thoughts. I’m feeling so much better today, and am aiming to be fully recovered by tomorrow.)

sick/swatching.

First, I have to tell you about these muffins.

I did not make them — my friend K. did. And then, after a lovely tea date, she left the rest here, which turned out to be an even better idea than I had initially suspected. See, a few hours after she left, I developed an acute sore throat, and nothing goes better with copious amounts of tea and hot toddies than¬† delicious, not-too-sweet muffins. Due to the sore throat, I did nothing but eat muffins (well, okay, and potatoes and soup), knit seed stitch, and then, late in the evening, reward myself with some serious swatching.

The yarns are, from the bottom, clockwise, Queensland Kathmandu DK, Berroco Ultra Alpaca, more Kathmandu DK on smaller needles, and Berroco Peruvia. (You may recognize the book as Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by Julia Child. Yes, I finally saw the movie, and decided that I needed to own this. I’m realizing that cookbook acquisition is one of the ways I cope.)

The verdict? I like them, and I think they’ll work for what I have in mind. More on that soon.

I caught Boh mid-lick, lounging with his front paws dangling off the couch, and had to share. I’m planning to take it easy today as well, in hopes that this sore throat/drippy nose will continue to improve, which means lots more knitting time — and more lazy time on the couch for Boh.

old sock, new sock.

Old sock — an On-Hold sock-in-progress from Socks from the Toe Up, initially begun for the KAL. (Looks sort of okay here, but the foot is baggy. I could really see the size difference when I compared this sock-in-progress to the superbly-fitting emerald city gusset heel socks I just finished.)

New sock. I love this yarn, which is Shibui sock in Ginger, and I’ve been feeling inspired by the (multiple pairs of) socks Lisa recently posted over at Knithound Brooklyn. This ribbed cuff is going to grow into a Gentleman’s Fancy Sock, from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush, with a few changes. Because these are definitely for me, and I want them to fit, I went down a needle size to 2.5 mm needles, and cast on 64 st instead of 80 to adjust the pattern both for my yarn and for my foot. Because I have less yarn that is called for, my pair will have to be a standard length, so I’m foregoing the (lovely) leg shaping included in the pattern.

No hurry on this pair — there are lots of other projects in my WIP pile that I’d like to finish up. It simply seemed ridiculous to not cast on for another pair of socks after frogging the old ones, and these will likely live in my bag and do their part to keep me company throughout the coming semester, which starts Monday.

Speaking of which, somebody (ahem) around here needs to be better about getting out of bed in the morning.

While this guy normally stretches, sighs, and stumbles out of bed mere moments after I wake up, today he wanted nothing more than to lay his head back down on the pillow and doze while I made the coffee, fetched breakfast, and the like. Life is so hard for Boh.

Finally, it seems it wouldn’t be a complete blog post over here at chez Rooster without a picture of a delicious dinner prepared from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking.

This is her Roasted Tomato and Paprika Soup, made with homemade stock based on her veggie stock recipe. This is the second time I’ve made this soup this month, and I’ll be making it again. (I’m also newly addicted to smoked paprika, and I blame this book.) Also, today over on 101 cookbooks, Heidi posted that she’s working on another cookbook! I’m glad to hear it, as this is one of my current favorites.

Off to bed — Boh is already there, of course.

FO: emerald city gusset heel socks.

I may have stayed up way too late to finish these…but here they are! These are the best-fitting socks I have ever made for myself, and I really enjoyed knitting the gusset heel. (No stitches to pick up! Woohoo!) I knit them on size 1 needles out of Yarn Pirate superwash merino in the emerald city colorway. I have a fair amount leftover, but I still need to weigh the skein to see exactly how much.

You may remember that this pair of socks was also an experiment with 8 inch hiya-hiya needles. I picked the second sock up again after allowing it to languish in my sock bag for months, and I had to readjust to these super short needles all over again. Once I got back into a rhythm with them, the second sock practically knit itself. The ribbing at the cuff, however, is a different story. Don’t get me wrong — these needles are awesome for stockinette sock speed — but working the ribbing and the bind off was a full-on struggle. I’ll remember that next time, and keep dpns or circs handy for any non-stockinette sections. I do think the hiya-hiya needles are wonderful for stockinette sock knitting — quick, quiet, and ladder-free!

In the spirit of the new year, I’m employing a critical eye as I look at my WIPs. Earlier this month, you folks helped me decide to frog my brompton cardigan and reclaim a sweater’s worth of Rowan Felted Tweed. Next up, a gorgeous pattern that I started as part of the Socks from the Toe Up KAL. (Yep, I’ve fallen off that wagon. Still LOVE the book, though.)¬† I’m knitting them out of Shibui Sock in the ginger colorway, and I’m worried that think they (or more accurately, the 3 inches of the first sock) might be too big. I’m going to dig out that project today and take a look.