sock satisfaction.

Remember this sock? The decidedly unfancy sock (so named because it was once the beginning of a gentleman’s fancy sock, and then I needed something mindless to knit on during a lecture, so it became stockinette, or unfancy) that I think I said I was going to finish before my exams? Well, last night, I was rooting around in my knitting bags looking for something simple to work on, and I found this, a row or two away from kitchenering. Yes, that’s right: kitchenering.

So I did.

And it felt great. About as great as actually writing 500 or so words yesterday. So I cast on the second sock. In looking for something to knit on yesterday, I realized that I have a lot of sock yarn. And that I like big (read: larger than one skein) shawls. Which means lots of stripes in my future, but also that I should try to re-find my sock mojo. So I’m on that.

FO: agnes.

Someday I hope to take pictures of this sweater in the wild (and in natural light). But for now, I think I have to accept that these pictures, snapped last night in my ugly hallway (and while the sweater was, to be honest, still a little damp) will have to do, because it is going to be almost 80 degrees outside today. Beautiful, but not Agnes weather. (And I might be pouting a little bit about that.)  Blocking has loosened up and evened out everything, of course, and now Agnes is perfectly cozy without being sloppy, if that makes sense. You can still see the spot where I dropped down to increase several times after the fact — on the back of the right shoulder (which is why I took that silly picture)– but it is way less noticeable than it was before blocking. When I make this again (because I could probably use at least two more of these sweaters), I might double up the purl rows at the pockets so that whatever contrast color I choose stands out even more. Also, I think this sweater will be an important part of my dissertation writing process.

On that note, here’s another installment of “fake-it-’til-you-make-it” here at Chez Rooster. On Saturday morning I realized that I needed to put on a button-down shirt to make myself do some writing. And it worked. Never have I been so happy to get 200 words out of my fingers and onto the screen.

And here’s my next project from Wool Book One: Avery. I’m making this cowl in two skeins of Malabrigo in the perfect shade of rusty red-orange. To wear with my Agnes, of course.

brown sugar.

Brown sugar cookies. What a brilliant idea. I saw these over at Joy the Baker and I had to make them. You should, too. Trust me. You won’t be disappointed. I ate a few (okay, a handful) on Wednesday night, and then I took the rest to reading group on Thursday. Good thing, too, or I would have eaten them until my stomach hurt. So good that I even forgot to be impatient about Agnes, for a little while at least. She is still blocking on the dining room table. Maybe tomorrow the sweater will be dry enough to wear?

Happy Friday!

almost agnes.

Here she is, with pockets, and all bound off. I’m not sure they’re visible in any of these pictures, but I decided to knit the pockets in grey Elsa Wool cormo leftover from my Idlewood.

There might be a glimpse of the grey contrast color in this shot.

A very happy rooster. Also, I’m going to pretend that I had just returned from yoga or something, which is why I’m wearing leggings. That I’m working from home, and not planning to see anyone but Boh most of the time might be closer to the truth…

Blocking on the dining room table. (Finally! I have somewhere to block things!) I keep going in there to see if Agnes is dry yet. I am incredibly impatient to wear this. And maybe to make another…

Also? Oatmeal with a dollop of homemade jam is delicious. I’m just saying.

Back to work. This dissertation prospectus is not writing itself, though I’ve given it plenty of opportunity…

pecan, peach, and apple-rhubarb.

Pies. (13 of them. 12 for the wedding, and one to enjoy for breakfast the day of the wedding. It just so happened that the groom came by and was able to start his very special day with pie.)

Next, pies on the pie stand. (Made by — and borrowed from — a local blacksmith. I’m not sure if you can see this detail in these photos, but the mathematical symbol for pi is etched into each foot of the stand.)

The peaches were local to the wedding, and the apples came directly from the wedding site.

This was a particularly beautiful wedding — perhaps because of its intimate connection to place, and, I think, because of all the extra specialness that comes from offering so many people the opportunity to give meaningful work in celebration of dear friends.

An early morning shot of the view most of the way down the mountain (and about 40 minutes into a 14 hour drive on Sunday). And now I’m home, mostly recovered, and trying to get work done before I head off on yet another research trip next week. Stay tuned for more pictures of Agnes!

a glimpse.

Much more to come once I recover from a weekend that involved 1600+ miles of driving, 13 pies, several sips of moonshine, and more love than I know how to describe. For now, a few photos — of Agnes, bound off (but sans pockets). I left her here because she was unfinished, but it was cool in the mountains, and I certainly would’ve worn her.

Also, a glimpse of early morning. A handful of wedding guests stayed in rental houses near the top of the mountain where the festivities occurred. I was the lone early riser, which meant that on Friday and Saturday morning I had a beautiful view, pieces of “test” pie, and my french press all to myself. I even managed to get some solid work done.

Today I have plans to unpack, cuddle with Boh, and recover from yesterday’s very long drive. Stay tuned for photos of all of the pie!

arms of agnes.

Sleeves, really, but arms just sounds better. Right?

I finished the first sleeve with my morning coffee. (Still a bit bleary-eyed here.)

And then I made an old school bowl of oatmeal, inspired by my empty fridge (tomorrow is farm day) and, as always, by Heidi and Super Natural Every Day. I added peanut butter, agave, yogurt, milk, and peanuts to my bowl. It was delicious. And deserving of hipstamatic iPhone photographs. (All that remained when I decided to snap a picture was Heidi’s cookbook and this pile of ingredients.)

Here’s a fancy shot of that first sleeve. The hipstamatic effects seem to lessen the impact of this particularly ugly corner of my house (just outside the bathroom door).

Boh seems pleased with my progress.

After a fairly productive day of reading, errands, and yoga, I knit a few inches of the second sleeve. I’m gearing up for a whirlwind weekend trip to the North Carolina mountains to bake the pies for a dear friend’s wedding. The forecast is for cooler weather, and it would be amazing to be able to take this sweater with me for early mornings/late evenings. And maybe to keep me company on the long drive — all the way there on Thursday, all the way back on Sunday. Boh will hold down the fort here with our friend R. while I’m gone. Lots to do before I leave — in addition to the rest of Agnes!

more agnes.


Getting ready to bind off the body stitches this morning.


Bound off! I added 2.5 inches to the length, below the pockets, so that this would hit me just below where most of my pants sit on my hips. I’m both stunned and pleased that my back-of-the-pattern math seemed to yield a sweater that fits me well! (I’m a little anxious about the blocking — it might just get steam-blocked due to shower-proximity rather than a full out soak, as I don’t want it to grow too much.)


We’re trying things with the cone off today. So far, Boh has been mostly good about not licking his still-healing scar.

And then I made pancakes. These are a little grey/blue because of the blackberries in the batter, and they were delicious. I made a whole batch, and just finished off the rest for “lunch.” I didn’t even add any syrup to these — the berries were enough. (So good — the first from the farm this season!)

Here’s one more dark hallway shot of the first sleeve in progress. So far, my math guesstimating is working out well. I’m trying to be good about writing down how I’m adjusting the pattern so I can make the right sleeve match the left.

Time to put down the knitting for awhile — friends of ours (two-legged and four-legged friends) are on their way to hang out and take a walk along the path in the backyard. And the sun is out. A new week has begun.

nothing but knit.

(Apologies for the bad pun. I can’t help myself.) You’re looking at today’s plan: if we do nothing, nothing bad can happen. I realize there are several flaws in my logic, but you know what? Today, it worked. After taking a friend to the airport early this morning, I climbed back into bed with Boh and slept in. Then I curled up on the couch with Agnes, a movie, and some podcasts, and knit, knit, knit. I’m loving my Agnes pullover, and I’ve only got a few inches of ribbing to go on the body.

Here’s to a new week! (Back to work tomorrow.)

uncle.

It has been quite a week, dear readers. Quite. A. Week. Broken window, injured pup, wasp sting, leaky house, waterlogged mattress, and today’s addition? Expensive car repairs. (The good news? My car is no longer squeaking/groaning in reverse. Which is important, because I’m driving it a lot this fall.)

Here’s my message to the universe: uncle. I give up. You win this week.

I recognize that all of these mishaps/messes/expenses are quite small in the grand scheme of things. I am quite lucky to have what I have, be where I am, and do what I do. I get that, and I don’t mean to just whine self-indulgently here about problems like these. So instead, I’ll tell you about that bowl of ice cream. Oooh, and that swatch.

First, the ice cream. Chocolate ice cream was on sale, so I bought some. Also, randomly, I bought a jar of peanut butter. (It wasn’t on my shopping list.) Last night, I thought to add a few spoonfuls of peanut butter to my dish of ice cream. I think you should try it. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Now, the swatch. It’s for Agnes, by Melissa LaBarre, and it’s from wool, book one, available at Quince and Co., with designs by Melissa and Cecily Glowik MacDonald. Honestly, I’ve been looking at this collection because of Avery, a gorgeous textured cowl that can be doubled up around your neck. But the more I looked at the pictures, the more I began to need Agnes — a sweet but simple pullover knit in bulky yarn — with pockets! This is a comfort sweater. And with everything that happened this week, last night I decided I needed one. The thing is, I don’t own any bulky yarn. I do have some EcoWool, but I wanted to knit Agnes in something with a little bit more color than the greys and browns I have. And I do have some Peace Fleece, which would probably drape nicely on bigger needles, but I want this to be both sheepy and soft, the kind of sweater I’ll want to pull on when I climb out of bed to make the coffee. Let’s face it: I pretty much knew I wanted to make this out of Beaverslide, and I’ve got plenty in the winter wheat colorway.

So I swatched. And while this stuff is lovely on 9s/10s (I think I thought I was swatching with bamboo and then metal 10s, but the metal needles are actually 9s), it does not want to be knit looser. So I looked at the pattern, and (famous last words from this historian) did some math. And I came up with my own numbers to make my 3.5 st/inch gauge work.

And then I started knitting. And I did some more knitting this morning, breaking my rule about knitting before coffee. (I may have dropped a stitch marker when I picked it up this morning, which meant my raglan decreases were off in one section. So I replaced the marker, and dropped down 8 rows to add increases every other row on either side of the marker. I was able to get three of the four increases in there, and faked the fourth. It is really tight, but I’m hoping when I block it that section will even out. If not, I can live with it. I just needed to keep knitting.) I also knit until dividing for the sleeves while waiting for the expensive repairs on my car this morning. And really, I’m only not knitting right now because I’m blogging.

And here’s what I’ve got so far. I hate things tight around the neck, so I cast on and knit the ribbing loosely. I think when the weight of the sweater is there, it will open up even more, and be just where I want it.

I repeat, this is not a mock turtleneck, even though it looks like one.

Bear with me. I managed to capture some silly Boh faces. Here he is, with his tongue out.

And here he is, mid-yawn. As you can see, the bandage is off, and his cut is healing very nicely. A few more days in the cone should do it.

Would you believe I’m still knitting from the first skein? Awesome. Time to wind another and keep knitting.