FO: kerrera. (also, fall break.)

Actually, how about Fall Break first? I stopped to snap this picture on my walk to the coffee shop Friday morning. The leaves and the light are so lovely right now.

A lovely latte at one of my favorite places to work. I’m almost happy with my fellowship application, after lots of struggling and a two-week time-out.

Can you see that snake in the grass? Boh totally didn’t see it. (It was right in front of us on the paved path we walked on Friday, and then it slithered off to the side.)

Bright red leaves from my yard. Hello, fall.

Fall is for vests. Especially vests like this one, snagged from my mom, who wore it so well in the late 70s.

And here’s my Kerrera! I’m calling it done, even though the collar could use more of a blocking than the rest of it received this morning. (I put it in the bathroom while I took a hot shower and left the fan off.) The left arm is a little looser than the right between the wrist and the elbow, but I think I can live with that!

I absolutely love the length, and the way the double garter stitch edging hangs, especially in the back.

And of course, I love the patch pockets. I think this is going to get lots of use this fall as a cozy layer for working at home and as the perfect thing to throw on as a light jacket for walking Boh or sitting on the dock with a cup of tea! I think this is the most complicated knit I’ve attempted, and I’m really happy with what I’ve learned. This was the first time I knit anything with short row sleeve caps or patch pockets, and I think both turned out pretty well. (I also learned that I should take better notes — I clearly modified the decreases on one of the arms and did not write that down.) I used not more than 5 and a half skeins of Berroco Ultra Alpaca, which means I’ve got almost half a bag left — enough for another sweater!

Okay, back to commenting on papers. Happy Monday!

four.

Today is my blogiversary. Has it really been four years? To celebrate, I got my blog a present: its very own domain. You can now find us at barefootroosterDOTcom, though the wordpress home will automatically point you to the new domain. (Everything else is staying the same — still hosted at and by wordpress. I’m not that technologically fancy!) RSS feeds should still work, but if they don’t let me know.

Also, thanks for being here, for reading, for commenting, and for knitting, spinning, and cooking with me. I say this every year, and I’ll keep saying it because it is true: I’ve found more community on the internets than I ever thought possible. Thanks for being part of it.

pearl and the beard (and a giveaway!).

Yep, that’s a three-person sweater. And here it is on three people:

Amazing, right?

Yesterday I got an email asking if I’d be interested in sharing a bit about Pearl and the Beard on my blog. I get emails asking me to do this from time to time, and I usually ignore them. But I just had to learn more about this sweater, and I’m so glad I took the time to check out their music! It turns out that this band has exactly the kind of sound that is perfect for a summer Friday — I could describe them (and if I did, I’d say something like americana meets indie rock, or bowerbirds meets The Head and the Heart), but really, you should just give them a listen:

Here’s a link to a track from their new album:

And here’s a YouTube video that gives you a sense for how the cello, guitar, and percussion interact with three absolutely lovely voices:
More perusing of the band’s site revealed that not only do I like their sound; I like their politics. If you want to hear more, guess what! I’ve got a copy of Killing the Darlings, their latest album, to giveaway here!
Just leave a comment on this post — tell me what you’re listening to, what you’re up to this weekend, or what you think of this incredible sweater — for a chance to win! I’ll use one of those random number generators to pick a winner next week, so comment by…Wednesday? Yes, Wednesday, June 22.
And if you’re still thinking about the awesomeness of a three-person sweater, here’s one more video, featuring Jocelyn of Pearl and the Beard:
Happy weekend!

cauldrons and cosmos.

Or, more spinning.

This is the second skein of cauldron/Rhinebeck, pre-soak.


And here it is, hanging to dry. (This strikes me as a temporary fix, as it probably isn’t a good idea to hang things on heating pipes when the heat is actually on…)

Boh and I spent more time on the porch yesterday: he surveyed the scene, ears twitching at every squirrel and chipmunk he spotted, while I picked out more fiber to spin. I managed to spin up both bobbins of Cosmopolitan, a Southern Cross Fibre Club organic merino.

Here’s the first bobbin. I’m aiming for a light dk-ish 2-ply that preserves the color progression. I split the fiber lengthwise, and weighed the two parts to make sure I was in the range of equal bobbins. The test will be whether my spinning is consistent enough. This felt really good in my fingers, but I am noticing that there is a bit of all those “getting back on the bike/horse/whatever” feelings, since it has been several months since I spent any serious time at my wheel. This morning my right thumb is a little sore from gripping the fiber too tightly. Part of my summer routine will be to get back into a comfortable rhythm with my spinning. And pretty soon I’m going to have to find that rhythm with my academic work, too. (I’m guessing I won’t have to readjust to avoid a death grip on the books I’m reading…)

I’ll probably post a whole cluster of photos once I feel like I’m mostly settled here, but today I’ll share this shot of the guest room. My mom is bringing me her old sewing machine, and I’m planning to put that in the corner underneath the windows. I like the idea of finding ways to use this room and enjoy it, even when I don’t have guests!

I snapped this picture of Boh right after I got out of bed — much later than usual — this morning. I’m still feeling a bit under the weather, and I’m hoping another day of porch spinning and lazing about the house will help me to shake this combination of head cold/seasonal allergies that’s had me feeling less than 100% this week. Sweet, sweet dog. Somebody has earned a stroll in the woods behind our house today.

classic.

This is my dad’s caesar salad — a staple of my childhood, and an oft asked for part of my repertoire. (All credit to Dad — I’ve never had a better caesar salad. Ever.) We had dinner at the home of friends on Wednesday, and the salad was requested. I had quite a bit of romaine leftover, and this afternoon, after submitting my grades (see what I did there?) I mixed up another big bowl all for me. It was the perfect way to celebrate the end of the semester. (Shout out to brokeknits — this salad on a teal sidetable is, of course, a nod to your signature photo-style.)

Please allow me an awkward transition as we move from a classic caesar to Classic Elite. See, I’ve got this gorgeous purpley laceweight, and I’m kinda sorta thinking it would be perfect with this dress, even though there isn’t exactly purple in the print. What do you think? Am I nuts? I feel like there might be the slightest hint of purple in the transitions from pink to grey, but mostly I’m thinking that this looks nice against the pale pink and the coral. More advice, please!

Also, here’s Boh, post-walk.

And while he napped, I spun the third bobbin of this luscious Hello Yarn targhee in Parritch.  Can’t wait to ply.  Happy Friday!

delphiniums.

So pretty. Also, a crucially important step towards completing a big pile o’ grading. (I’m making progress.)

Boh is not helping.

An idea — too orange, right? I had to check the handspun pile. Thank you for all of your shawl and shrug ideas. Right now, I’m leaning towards making a deep pinky-coral colored Citron. And then after that, I’ll make one in handspun. Got any leads on a really good deep pink/coral color in lace or fingering weight yarn? You guys always have the answers.

Also, I found some time to spin up a second bobbin of this Hello Yarn targhee in Parritch. I really have missed my wheel. Alright, back to grading!

boh, a book sale (do, a deer).

At $2.50 a book, I did very well at our local, twice-annual book sale. We’re planning to head back next weekend to check out the fiction, which will be 50 cents a book on Sunday. Awesome.

This picture does not do the subtle colors of Parritch, Targhee from the Hello Yarn Fiber Club, justice. I’m planning a three-ply, and this is bobbin number 1. I’m hoping to spend a little time at the wheel today, perhaps in between bouts of working on my last paper of the semester and grading final exams.

Here’s a knits-in-action shot from last week — looks like the weather is going to be cool and rainy again today, which means I’ll be able to wear my Shalom!

Which will bring us back to Boh, Boh, Boh, Boh, Boh.

FO: shalom.

Boh is anxious about button selection.

And here’s what I settled on. (Boh’s anxiety was completely valid, by the way. Turns out I made four buttonholes. Didn’t realize that until I sewed on three buttons and tried on the sweater. I’m not sure yet if I’ll move the top button down, leave it as is, buy another funky orange button, or swap the buttons entirely. Thoughts?)

Here’s a full length shot, even though the brilliance of the sunshine puts me (and shalom) in shadow.

Have I told you lately that I love this sweater? School and life got in the way of me finishing this earlier in the spring. Despite the fact that it took me a few months to knit, this is actually a super quick, super rewarding knit.

Yarn:  2.75 skeins of Cascade 220

Mods: I followed the pattern, but I used worsted weight yarn and size 7 needles (thanks to all the shalom knitters on ravelry for their detailed notes). To account for my smaller gauge, I added a repeat of the twisted rib yoke section, and then pretty much knit until it seemed to hit me at the right spot. Oh — and I added a fourth buttonhole, even though there is not currently a button to pair it with.

Even though all of my decisions about sizing occurred totally on the fly, this might be my best fitting sweater to date. Go figure. The weather around here is spring-y, and not too hot, so I should have lots of opportunity to wear my shalom this week!

brainstorming.

First of all, look at those eyes. Understanding that the last several days have been spent at the computer, Boh has been hanging out, looking forlorn, under my desk. The good news is that yesterday I turned in a big paper. Which means the worst is over, and while I still have a bit of reading, writing, and grading spread out over the next few weeks, I’m back. And happy about it.

And now I need your help! My cousin is getting married this summer, and I’ve been attempting to find a dress to wear. I’m thinking about this one:

(Forgive the awkward bad mirror picture.) She’s asked me to do a reading at the wedding, which is in a church, which means I need something to cover my shoulders. And here’s where the brainstorming comes in. Clearly, it would be awesome if I could knit myself something to go with this dress. What should I make? A shawl? A shrug? In what color? I’d love to hear what you think.

And I’ll have knitting and spinning to share soon — I promise.

pancakes/eggers.

A lazy Saturday brunch.

This evening’s activities: prepping for my final sections, snuggling with Boh.

Boh responds unfavorably to my attempts at photo composition.

I’m itching to spend some time with my knitting needles and my wheel. A few more days filled to bursting with meetings and final class sessions, and then I’ll have big enough chunks of time to warrant focusing on my end-of-semester writing, which will likely require some dedicated time for thinking (read: knitting/spinning).