a grown-up rooster?

So, yesterday this rooster voluntarily bought a blazer. My first thought, in the dressing room: Wait — does this make me a grown-up? (As soon as I walked out of the Gap, I called my mother. I knew she’d be proud. I mean, I did own a blazer in high school, but it was more of a costume. I wore it for Mock Trial. This time, I actually went looking for the blazer.) Feel free to skim down to the actual knitting at any time, because I’m going to keep talking about this. Every season, but in the summer, especially, I try to purge things I don’t wear/don’t need from my closet/life. And this year I had a realization. I am harboring two entirely different wardrobes: one for the girl who lives in ripped jeans and beat-up carhartts, fleece, long underwear, plaid shirts and puffy vests while she camps, cooks, and wanders, and one for the girl who wears dark jeans, big jewelry, and aims to at least feel like a confident/hip grad student as she attends classes and meetings, reads, and teaches section. The line between these two roosters is blurrier than I’m making it sound here, and I hope it stays that way. I don’t want to lose that first girl — and I’m not just talking about attire — to the second. And I don’t think I will, though I want to be mindful of the ways in which my life has changed over the last few years. I had to chuckle, though, when I realized that I could no longer just get rid of things I haven’t worn in the last year — because the next time I’m in the desert, the next time I’m pitching a tent, the next time Boh and I are adventuring — I’m going to both want and need that stuff! Besides, there’s something about a blazer that dresses up even the rattiest, most comfortable shirt.

Finally — some knitting! I’m making progress on my textured shawl. I love the way the textured stitch looks in this handspun, but I’m anxious about the size and drape of the overall shawl. I’m going to keep knitting, though, and then cross my fingers and block the hell out of it. (Good plan, right?)

It is zucchini-time at the farm, which means it is zucchini bread-time in my kitchen. Here’s the first loaf of the summer. Yum.

Boh wants you to know that he is being VERY good this morning.

A knitterly friend has proposed a trade: I’ll spin this fiber, and she’ll do something painterly (her work is stunning) or sewing-related for me! I am really excited to dive into this spinning project. These bags of natural fiber are both labeled alpaca, though I’m thinking that the brown stuff is a blend…or at least baby alpaca. It is so much softer! I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Happy Friday!

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there and back.

Apologies — I didn’t intend to just stop posting this week! I think I’m still recovering from my whirlwind 36 hour (+travel time) trip to LA for the wedding of a dear friend. I’m up early this morning, enjoying a full mug of coffee before heading off to an 8 am yoga class, and I have some photos to share. (Not much knitting, I’m afraid.)

The hotel was less than 3 miles from the Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. How could I not go? (Especially after TAing a class this spring that covered the Reagan presidency.) Let’s just say that the view was fantastic. The rest? I was surprised at the lack of any sort of coherent narrative (triumphant or otherwise) about Reagan or his presidency. Don’t get me wrong; there was quite a bit of material suggesting that Reagan single-handedly won the Cold War, but it was repetitive and rather disjointed. Instead, the focus seemed to be on the spaces Reagan inhabited: “his” Air Force One (commissioned in 1973, decommissioned in 2001 — he logged the most mileage and negotiated to display it when it was retired), a Cadillac from his motorcade, a replica of his Oval Office, and a scale model, dollhouse style, of the entire White House.  I have lots more to say about the ways the volunteer tour guides described the various exhibits, as well as the mandatory posed photo at the entrance to Air Force One (not unlike those roller coaster photos you have the option to purchase at an amusement park), but I’ll stop there for now.

The wedding took place at a stunning temple high above the Simi Valley. I posted a handful of photos from the pre-wedding receptions and the ceremony itself on Flickr, if you’re interested. (Click through on the sidebar.)

Despite the briefness of my trip, I had a fantastic weekend. It was so nice to catch up with dear friends, and especially wonderful to see the bride and groom so happy.

Boh stayed with his best friends this weekend, and when I picked him up (after a red-eye and an hour and a half drive from the airport), he didn’t seem to want to leave. Once we got home, however, he made himself comfortable. Here he is after our much needed afternoon nap on Monday.

This pizza was made with bbq sauce. Note to self: in the future, check the cupboard for tomato sauce BEFORE making pizza dough. (You know, if tomato sauce is important to you. The bbq sauce was actually pretty awesome, and I’d do this again.)

I call this “unstuffed zucchini.” Last night I looked at my farm share and thumbed through a favorite cookbook full of recipes contributed by CSA farmers, and stumbled across a whole page of ideas for stuffings to use in vegetables. This is a mixture of onions, tomatoes, chopped basil, garlic, ricotta and mozzerella. I sauteed the veggies, mixed in the cheese, and then instead of stuffing the zucchini, I simply chopped it up with some summer squash, poured the stuffing on top, and baked it until it developed a nice crust (45 minutes or so). Let’s just say there isn’t any left.

And there you have it. I’m about 15 rows from the end of my hemlock ring, and I will be almost sad to finish it. I’m going to have to make another, as this one will soon be winging its way to LA in honor of the union we celebrated last weekend.

In other news, the boy returns tomorrow. Hooray!

pancakes and procrastination.

My friend T. and I picked a few pounds of blueberries on Tuesday afternoon, which meant that on Wednesday, I made pancakes for breakfast and lunch.

Boh has continued his efforts to take over the couch at every opportunity.

And I have directed all of my powers of procrastination into my hemlock ring blanket. I’m sure I’ll be able to get back on track once I’ve exhausted the episodes of Arrested Development available on Netflix. (I’m halfway through Season 2.)

I’m still reading, just nowhere near as quickly or effectively as I’d like. Note to self: get on that.

paws off, please.

Somebody really likes my hemlock ring blanket.

Unfortunately, lace (even with heavy worsted weight yarn on big needles) + dog paws does not equal a good idea. Poor Boh.

Here he is again for scale — as you can see, I’ve begun the feather and fan section of the blanket, and might need to start looking for a longer circular. I’m using something in the 32 inch range right now, and I can see that this is going to start growing exponentially very soon.

Also, last night I made zucchini and onion pizza. I think I might have the leftovers for breakfast. Yum!

FO: chard.

This stuff was so soft and pretty that I had to take a few pictures before I set the twist. I snapped these while I waited for the sink to fill up!

This is 211 yards of squishy, soft, light worsted-weight 2-ply spun from Pigeonroof Studios merino in the chard colorway. I am in love. I haven’t spun merino in awhile, and returning to it felt luxurious. Just what I needed this week.

Also, I’m almost to the feather and fan section of my hemlock ring. I’m really enjoying this, and I’m planning to sit down with this before today’s soccer game. I think this project is helping me to rebuild my lace confidence — I’ve had to rip back a few times to catch small errors, and being able to read my lace and solve my stitch count issues feels really good! Also, I put just a little bit of ice cream in my coffee this morning. Clearly a good move. Happy Sunday!

FO: new day (also, zucchini and chard).

This is 150 yards of squishy, shiny, 2-ply made from 4 oz. of Spunky Club corriedale in the New Day colorway. The orange bits are my favorite part.

And here’s the zucchini ricotta galette I made for dinner last night. (I had company.) When Deb posted this recipe recently, I knew I had to make it. I think I’ve made every galette recipe she’s posted, and they’ve all been absolutely delicious!

I’m part of the way through plying the Pigeonroof Studios merino in the chard colorway, and I am absolutely loving the way the colors are combining. So pretty! In fact, pretty enough that I might put off the reading I must finish before my afternoon meeting to ply just a little bit more…

pedaling/treadling.

Yesterday I finished plying the Spunky Club corriedale in New Day. This stuff is hanging to dry, and should be all done by the time I get back from morning yoga today.

And this stuff — well, it just called to me yesterday. This is the first bobbin of Pigeonroof Studios Merino in the Chard colorway.

And this is the second bobbin. This stuff really did spin itself, and I am excited for the squishy 2-ply it will become.

Remember that huge skein of Eco-wool I had on the swift the other day? It is destined to become a Hemlock Ring blanket. Jodi of A Caffeinated Yarn and I are doing a mini-KAL, and already I’m convinced that this project is building my lace confidence. So nice to knit lace on size 10.5 needles! I recognize that this picture doesn’t necessarily reveal ANYTHING about the pattern, but I’m a bit further along now, at row 30. I am just about ready to transfer this to circulars, and then it will be both faster to knit on, and easier to conceptualize. I’ll snap more pictures.

And then there’s this guy. He didn’t do much of anything yesterday…except demonstrate that he really is long enough to take up the entire couch. That’s my dog!