at year’s end: a baby hat, an eternity scarf, a hat project.

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A baby hat for my cousin’s second daughter, born a few weeks before Christmas Day. (I enjoyed some serious baby time on Christmas Day, the wee one out cold in my arms. This hat is too big for her, but she was wearing it anyway. Yay!)

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Our traditional Christmas Eve meal: French onion soup and quiche Lorraine. This might be the first time I’ve ever snapped a picture of it.

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Also traditional: the Christmas Bloody Mary. Yum.

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This is the beginning of a hat project for P., our October houseguest. Everything in the house broke that week, and P. was pretty awesome about helping with (read: doing) re-lighting the pilot light on my furnace, locating the source of the water spraying all over my basement, and keeping me company on the porch while we waited for the power company to check out a potential gas leak. These are not the sorts of things houseguests are supposed to do, and so I volunteered to make him a hat! Stay tuned for more in progress pictures of this handspun seaman’s cap.

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Plyed, but not washed yet.

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A Boh interlude.

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More Boh, and the beginnings of a handspun eternity scarf I knit for myself amidst work-related stress.

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That was fast. This is merino I spun at least a year ago and it is SO soft.

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Here’s the beginning of P.’s hat. Such lovely dude colors.

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And here’s Boh, cuddling with my bright pink Mara shawl. And that should get us to the New Year. I’ll be back soon with more knitting and spinning from the beginning of 2014. (And thanks, you guys, for the comments, and for being here. I’m sorry I’m so behind on comments. I might just archive them and try to start fresh with my responding. Thanks for understanding.)

FO: bronzed teal.

Hooray for handspun! That’s about 450 yards of light worsted/worsted 2-ply, spun from Pigeonroof Studios merino in Bronzed Teal. Boh seems sort of interested, doesn’t he?

Yeah, maybe not.

Anyway, I’m excited! I have no idea what I want to make.

I’m not sure I can count on Boh to help me pick a pattern — what do you think?

One more Boh shot: lounging in the sweet spot of sunshine.

stripeyness/happiness.

It’s Friday, and I’m making up words. Here’s why:

I know I’m late to this party, but I do think there is a connection between stripes and happiness. This mismatched pairing made me oh-so-happy on Wednesday.

A close-up. (Also, I’ve noticed that when I take pictures of what I’m wearing, I often have a hand on my hip. Is this because I just don’t know where to put it? Or has my subconscious received all sorts of messaging about how to pose that I just can’t help it? That’s what I think about when I look at this picture. Well, that and how much I love stripes.) This is what happens when I post right before bed.

Also, I’ve been spinning! This is Pigeonroof Studios Fiber in Bronzed Teal. I’ve got two bumps, and I’m spinning up a squishy light-worsted 2-ply. I should have about 450 yards when I’m done. And I’m almost halfway there!

Plying.

My lazy kate, propped up on a pile of books in my office. This was not really a good idea, as it toppled so many times I lost count.

Yarn, pre-soak. I snapped this picture because I was so pleased with how well-balanced this particular skein seems to be. Sort of hard to see that in the photo, but I’m really happy with it.

And then there’s this guy. I’m so very happy with him, too. The weather is supposed to be extra nice tomorrow, and I’m hoping we’ll get in a nice long walk. He’s earned it. Happy weekend!

FO(s): lucy socks and shaking leaves handspun.

First, thank you all for your kind blogiversary comments. I can’t believe it has been four years, and I hope I’m still finding joy in this space four years from now.

Yesterday I finished my Lucy handspun socks. I had a lot going on this week, and it shows in these socks: one of them seems a bit tighter than the other. I’m sure with a bit of wear the snug sock will loosen up. I’m fascinated by the way my emotions find their way into my knitting, by the physical (and often, subconscious) expression of things often kept inside, and by the porousness of boundaries. Stress in one area leads to tighter stitches in another. So it goes.

Also, I love these socks. So much. (And for future reference, they were 64 stitch socks, loosely based on the deeper heel flap option of the Knitmore Girls Vanilla Sock.) I did a less than perfect job of splitting my yarn, and I bet I could have added another inch to the leg of each sock. I tucked the leftovers into a bag of lots of colorful handspun bits and pieces. Looking forward to doing something fun with those.

Speaking of handspun, this gorgeous stuff has been patiently awaiting FO photos and a blog post. It is Hello Yarn Finn in the Shaking Leaves colorway, and I spun it as a 2-ply squishy worsted. I’m not sure what this wants to be: a hat? a squishy, simple cowl? It has been sitting here on the coffee table so long that I accidentally recycled the envelope I used to make my notes on the yardage. I think I’ve got somewhere between 140 and 180 yards.

Also, it has become fully fall here, which means I’ve been wearing my handknits. See?

The unfancy socks and terra. At the same time. Life is good.

Today, after a bit of reading, I’m picking up my dear friend H. and her son, and we’re heading to the orchard for cider doughnuts and maybe some apple picking. Later, I’ll be packing, as my last scheduled research trip starts tomorrow — back next weekend. I’m bringing both knitting and handknits with me, so I’ll aim to at least document them both in the wild.

weekend.

I’ve got something to say. All weekends are better with homemade french fries. My weekend is only half over, and these have already made it extra awesome. Another high five to Kaela over at local kitchen for these spicy oven fries. I used my first farm potatoes of the season. After I took this picture, I may have poured myself a generous amount of ketchup for dipping.

And then I finished the first Lucy sock, so named for the colorway, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Why have I not been knitting handspun socks all this time? I am in love with this sock. I cannot wait for there to be two.

Motivated by the awesomeness of my handspun sock, I sat back down at my wheel. You know, to finish whatever I’ve been spinning so that I can get started on another 3-ply. For more socks. It is a vicious, vicious cycle. This is an in progress shot of the second bobbin of whatever delicious Hello Yarn Fiber Club fiber I was spinning. (I just looked — Finn in the Shaking Leaves colorway, from January 2011.)

And here’s a picture of it plied. More of this soon, once it’s dry!

Can this dog get any sweeter? I managed to grab the camera with my right hand today after Boh put his paw on my left. He must have been transmitting some good, productive vibes, because even with all the fibery goodness, I managed to write a few pages today. And now it is bedtime.

FO: altitude.

188 yards of 2-ply that plumped up into a worsted-weight yarn. This yarn is deeper and darker (think true blue) than it looks here on the porch! A quick, satisfying spin — and oh my, do I love those bits of mustard yellow. It really feels like I’ve been making up for lost time at the wheel! Maybe the next thing I spin will involve thinner singles, or more than 2 plies.

And here’s a beautiful loaf of bread that I did NOT make. Instead, I picked it up with my farm share on Tuesday. One of my ABD presents to myself was the new bread share at my CSA. Locally grown and milled grain, locally baked. (And incredibly delicious.) It doesn’t get much better.

Except that it does! Carpooling to the farm means great conversation and company in the rows of flowers and veggies. We picked our first quarts of sugar snap peas yesterday. (E’s comment? “This tastes like summer.” So true.)

Also, how happy does this guy look? Very happy, maybe because he doesn’t have to get back to work? (Or happy because of the nice walk we took this morning?)

Now that I have a coffee table to work at, there’s no excuse. Time to start mapping out the dissertation. How about a look at some of the other rooms in the house?

You’re looking at the dining room, more bookshelves in my office, and my grandmother’s hutch (which I’m using as a dresser in my bedroom). I still have a list of little things to do — hide those cords, get an everyday tablecloth, decide on the layout of the guest room, etc., but on the whole, Boh and I are feeling pretty settled here. Back to it!

 

 

FO: cosmopolitan.

Quick post today, because my parents will be here in an hour to keep working! (Today is their last full day here, and we still have so many things on the list: swap out more storm windows for screens, clear off a few inches of compressed leaves from what I think is a stone patio out the back door, hang prints, decide about curtains/curtain rods, wash the outsides of the windows…) I’m excited to show you all of our progress very soon.

These pictures are of my finished skein and change of some SCF organic merino in cosmopolitan. I split the fiber lengthwise and was aiming for long repeats, and while there is more barberpoling than I was aiming for, I’m happy with the result. This is 230 yards (205 + mini-skein of 25) of squishy light worsted weight wonderfulness. I’m so excited to check out all the patterns you suggested for my Rhinebeck-cauldron. Any thoughts on this? It is super soft organic merino, so I’m thinking hat, cowl, or super simple fingerless mitts.

Time to pour the coffee and gear up for another day of home improvements!

FO: rhinebeck cauldron part 2.

This is the second half of my Rhinebeck/Cauldron experiment, 188 yards of squishy 2-ply (in 150 and 38 yard skeins). My initial plan was to make this into another eternity scarf, and while I’m not sure if I’m going to to follow that pattern exactly, I think this yarn still wants to become a big squishy ’round the neck sort of thing. I’ve got 400 or so yards total to work with, which gives me lots of options. What would you make with this? (Boh clearly has no opinion, as evidenced by these photos.)

Did you see the curry recipe Andrea posted last week? I made it on Sunday night, using tofu that I browned in butter instead of the seitan meatballs. Mine is a very different color (due, I think, to my use of a can of coconut milk instead of coconut flakes rehydrated in water), but I’m guessing it was the same level of deliciousness. Oh my. So good, so easy, so going into my kitchen recipe binder.

They are hard to see, but I’m pretty sure that this is a mother Merganser and a whole slew of ducklings. A few are riding on her back, and the commotion you see here is all the rest hurrying to keep up!

And here is Boh, happily lounging on the dock next to the picnic table. It is supposed to be HOT today, so I’m guessing we’ll find ourselves out by the lake this afternoon, though not until after we do a lot of work around the house. My parents brought a truck full of furniture yesterday — things from their basement and from my grandmother’s house (she just moved into a smaller apartment in an assisted living facility), and they’ll be here for a few days to work and play. We have plans to plant some containers full of herbs, replace the shower head, decide about a dehumidifier for the basement…things like that. I’ll have lots more lake house pictures soon!

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.