rain encourages worms (wurm?)

Apologies for my lame attempt at connecting this evening’s steady rainfall with my current handspun hat-in-progress, the oh-so-lovely wurm. This is the knitting that lives in my bag, which means I mostly pull it out before yoga, or when I have less than 15 minutes between obligations. (More than 15 minutes, and I’m probably reading.)

It was a long Monday, so I came home and put on my cozy green sweater and my super-ripped up jeans. I actually did the same thing when I got home today. Sigh.

Boh curled up on my toes while I finished a book for a discussion tomorrow, and then he settled into a deep snore-laden sleep. Sweet, sweet pooch.

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FO: tigerlily (and some shalom progress).

In an attempt to hide from reality (spring break is over, I’m heading to campus in an hour), I spun up the second half of my AVFKW falklands fiber in the tigerlily colorway yesterday. This is 48 yards of worsted weight, navajo plied yarn, from 1.5 oz of fiber — exactly the same yardage that I got from the first half. This clearly wants to be something paired — fingerless mitts, perhaps?

And here’s where I’m at with Shalom. I knit all of that stockinette on Saturday night, at a knit-friendly dinner party, and I’m hoping that I can maintain my momentum on this sweater now that spring break is over. (Can you tell I’m still pouting about that?) Despite my lack of a gauge swatch, plan, or pattern obedience, it appears that this sweater is the perfect size. Thank you, top down sweater construction.

Boh and I are off to take a quick walk this morning before I head to campus, as Mondays are pretty busy days. Hope your week is off to a good start!

FO: bluestone.

It’s official. I’m obsessed with navajo plying. And with Southern Cross Fibre. This merino might well be the squishiest thing to ever come off my wheel. 148 yards of plump worsted deliciousness, navajo plied, in the Bluestone colorway from the March 2010 SCF Fiber Club. I love this so much that I want to wear the hank doubled around my neck…and I’m thinking it should probably turn into a cowl, ASAP.

I went looking for something else to play with, and decided on this falklands wool from AVFKW in the tigerlily colorway. I split the roving lengthwise in half with the idea that the colors would repeat twice. And when I finished the first half, I decided to go for two mini-skeins so that I could navajo ply some more (instead of waiting until today).

I wrestled with this in places — in some spots, my singles were slightly overspun for navajo plying, and my lack of patience meant that in those sections, I had to deal with energized singles that hadn’t been given any time to rest. That said, I love these colors, and am psyched to spin and ply the other half of this fiber. What you’re seeing here is 48 yards of worsted weight yarn,  from 1.5 oz of fiber.

And here’s another shot of Shalom — I slipped this on yesterday to see if I wanted to add a fourth button hole (I do), and had to laugh at the exact matchiness of my t-shirt and yarn.

Alas, spring break has come to a close — and the grey skies are echoing a bit of how I feel today. I wish break lasted a bit longer, as I am just starting to feel caught up on a lot of of work, sleep, and play. I’m going to let myself do a bit more knitting and spinning today, amidst prep for the week, but I’m not going to lie: I am feeling a little bit pouty, and it will be hard to head to campus tomorrow morning…

pizza/plying.

More playing in the kitchen this weekend: homemade pizza and these double chocolate muffins, with walnuts and almond extract subbed for the butterscotch chips and vanilla.

Also, some spinning. This is Southern Cross Fibre merino in Bluestone — my first club shipment! It arrived on Thursday, and by Friday afternoon it was on my wheel. I spun all 4 oz. as singles, and this morning, sat down to navajo ply the whole lot.

My Bluestone is taking a bath right now, and soon it will be hanging to dry in the kitchen. On the list for today? Reading and knitting on Shalom:

Shalom matches the book I intend to finish today! Happy Saturday, folks.

ravioli muscles.

Oof. First of all, my ravioli-making muscles are a little sore. (That’s a technical term — they are tiny, and located in the middle of the back.) This is a small (and totally worth it) price to pay for homemade ravioli, in case you’re wondering.

My friends D and T came over last night, along with their sweet dog Coltrane, for a special dinner sort of in honor of D’s recent birthday. Just as we were about to dig in, they said something like, “Wait! Don’t you want to take a picture for the blog?” They know me well.

I followed this ravioli recipe, and the resulting meal was incredible. We also enjoyed my dad’s Caesar salad recipe, and an apple pie. It was a super fun evening, and despite the fact that my parents’ pasta maker (which lives at my house) is missing a few pieces are really requires two people to properly operate it without lots of curse words, I am jonesing for more homemade pasta…

Also, I’ve finished the yoke of Shalom! I did do an extra repeat of the yoke pattern in order to get closer to the neck to armpit distance I need, and I am excited. It is a little small right now, but I’m confident (fingers crossed) that it will block out to the slim fit I’m hoping for. My button holes look a little messy — note to self — I don’t do the bind off/cast-on button holes well, but I’m sure I can clean that up a bit with yarn needle and some extra ends. Onward to the mindless stockinette portion!

Happy Friday!

FO: magic chip.

121 yards (from 3 oz) of navajo-plyed worsted weight superwash bfl in the magic chip colorway from the AVFKW Woolly Wonders Fiber Club. So, navajo plying a whole skein’s worth of yarn isn’t as scary as I thought it would be! Despite the occasional wrestling I did with this bfl and my not-always-consistent singles, I’m really happy with how this yarn turned out. Now, what should I do with it? (Do we think 120 yards is enough for toddler legwarmers? I know a 4-yr old who would love some.)

Also, last night I did this:

And I decided that I liked it so much that I shouldn’t risk it, so I ordered 2 more skeins of Cascade 220 in Caribbean. Fingers crossed that they match what I’ve got, or are at least close enough. I’m doing this sort of by the seat of my pants, after reading through lots of notes on ravelry. I’m using worsted, instead of heavy worsted weight yarn, but I’m not really changing the stitch count. I figure I’ll try this on once I’m through the yoke, and if it isn’t long enough or big enough, I’ll add another repeat of the pattern before binding off (or separating — I haven’t decided) the sleeve stitches and continuing on with the body. I want this to be snug, and I’m adding a few more buttons (3? 4?) than the original.

I realize that I have a gazillion things on the needles right now — but all of my sweater projects are in muted colors, and spring break demands something bright (and instantly gratifying).

I did manage to get through a fair amount of grading today, and Boh and I romped through muddy fields and meadows with our friends D. and Coltrane (the greyhound) this afternoon. There’s an apple crisp in the oven, and a pile of knitting awaiting me on the couch (next to a loudly snoring dog). These are the makings of a good, quiet evening.

FO: loch (and more spinning).

Swoon. 506 yards of laceweight/light fingering in a stunning mohair/nylon/merino blend from the Hello Yarn Fiber Club, colorway Loch. I took A LOT of photos of this stuff, which are all on flickr, if you want more. See, I was feeling so pumped about how these singles turned out that I just had to get something else on my wheel.

I decided that I wanted to try navajo plying a whole skein of something. I mean, I practice navajo plying with my leftovers every so often, but I haven’t put the time in to really get comfortable with the technique. So I dug through my fiber stash, and pulled out Magic Chip, a lovely pastel colorway from the AVFKW Woolly Wonders Fiber Club in superwash bfl.

Here’s the bobbin in the afternoon sunshine.

And here’s Boh, resting in one of his cutest positions: legs out straight in an X.

And here they are together — Boh snored right through all of my navajo plying.

I wound this onto my niddy noddy, and marveled at how different navajo plyed yarns are before finishing — way more balanced, because the twist can’t travel the length of the yarn, only the length of the loops.

I showed it to Boh, and after giving it a good sniff, he decided to snuggle it, eyes closed. That’s my dog. Now it’s hanging to dry.

Next up? Well, tell me if I’m crazy, but I found these two skeins of super happy turquoise Cascade 220 while I was digging through my fiber stash, and I would love to have something like Shalom to wear as spring approaches. Some knitters have managed to eke out a short-sleeved cardigan in 450 yards or so, and I’m tempted to try it. Other thoughts on patterns? I’ve moved these skeins to the kitchen table to keep me company while I grade.