porch spinning.

Yesterday I brought my wheel to the porch and spun the singles for my second skein of my Cauldron/Rhinebeck mash-up yarn.

This one is Hello Yarn Cauldron.

And this one is SCF Rhinebeck. I was having so much fun that I plyed them together as the sky grew dark. (Dark = no pictures of the 2-ply. I’ll take a few tomorrow.) Porch spinning might be my new favorite thing. Lots more of that to come.

FO: rhinebeck cauldron handspun.

My rhinebeck-cauldron polwarth puffed up after a nice long bath, and now I love it even more. I even accidentally skipped the part where I count the strands and do the math because I just couldn’t wait to see it in squishy skein form. I’m going to conservatively estimate that this is about 150 yards of 2-ply worsted weight. And maybe I’ll be allowed to cast on if I can finish a book on postcolonial Vietnam today?

Last night I made this butternut squash lasagna. Which means I have delicious leftovers that should last much of the weekend. I didn’t have any mushrooms handy, so I upped the greens (used kale instead of chard) and sauteed them with onion and a carrot.

I think somebody is glad that it’s Friday.

a cauldron of rhinebeck?

Okay. You guys were totally right. All of my concerns about the way these two colorways (Rhinebeck, from SCF, and Cauldron, from Hello Yarn) went out the window when I wound this onto my niddy noddy and got to see it all together. Now it is hanging above the sink, and I can’t wait for it to be dry. The question of the day: do I have the patience to spin the other half of this, ply it together, and use it all for another eternity scarf or some kind of doubled over cowl? (Option B being to cast on for something NOW.) We’ll see…

together?

A few days ago, I decided I need another eternity scarf. The thing is, the pattern calls for the kind of yardage I can get out of two bumps of handspun, not one. After digging through my (more accessible) fiber bin, I surfaced with Southern Cross Fibres polwarth in the Rhinebeck colorway (Oct 2010 club fiber) and Hello Yarn polwarth in Cauldron (April 2010 club fiber). And then I opened up the bags on my already very full desk, and snapped this picture. So far so good.

Here’s the first bobbin of the SCF polwarth in Rhinebeck. This stuff spun super smoothly. I really can’t wait to spin the second bobbin’s worth.

And here’s an almost full bobbin of Cauldron. These colors are slightly more muted than the SCF (well, except for the super awesome bright green). Putting the bobbins side by side, I’m less sure of my pairing, but since the fibers themselves looked fantastic together, I’m going to start plying (maybe today?) and see what happens. Fiber experiment!

Okay, time to pour the coffee. This rooster is so ready for daylight savings to kick in, and not just because of the extra hour of sleep I’ll get tomorrow morning before yoga.

FO: fireside chat.

150 yards of soft, squishy 2-ply BFL from AVFKW. I am so happy with the way this poofed up with washing. Tough to photograph the subtle depth of this colorway — lots of different shades of pinks, some pale purple-y grays, even some taupe. (Not as orange as it looks above.) Even Boh approves.  This is destined to be birthday yarn for my friend H – she’ll get it soon. (I forgot to bring it with me to campus today.)

Gorgeous day today — clear sky, lots of sun. I owe Boh a long walk, so that’s where we’re headed.

sunday night spinning.

Last night, at about eight o’clock, I decided that I just couldn’t look at the pages of a book anymore. And so I dug out an unfinished spinning project: 3 oz. of BFL blend in the Fireside Chat colorway from the AVFKW Woolly Wonders Fiber Club. I’d already spun one bobbin, so I turned on an episode of Planet Money (great npr podcast, which you can find here), and spun the second half of the fiber, albeit a bit thicker in places than the first.

I made a half-head of romaine-sized portion of my dad’s caesar salad recipe (so good), and returned to the reading. (Sneak peak of my progress on the ripe bananas lap blanket test knit.)

And then I plied and washed the Fireside Chat BFL, and it poofed up. (Yay!) While in the kitchen, I snapped a photo of this very lonely cranberry muffin:

A dozen cranberry muffins – (one rooster reading + one boy writing a dissertation proposal) = one muffin remaining.

Must it be Monday?

FO: reflection.

Swoon. 178 yards of some of the squishiest, evenest, prettiest 2-ply bfl I have ever spun.  So excited to get this in the mail to a dear friend. (This is Southern Cross Fibres bfl, from the July 2010 Fiber Club, in Reflection.) There are some leftovers on my bobbins, so I should have enough for a small skein to toss into my bag(s) o’ handspun for later. If that doesn’t make Monday just a bit more bearable, I don’t know what does.

FO: brown alpaca.

Victory. 208 yards of 2-ply worsted weight rub-on-your-face-because-it-is-so-soft alpaca. I am so pleased with the result, and I can’t wait to show it to the friend who requested this spin!

And here’s a progress shot of the cowl — I’ve completed the neck decrease row, and now I’m increasing for the raglan neck/sleeves. Still in love with this. Tuesday is my non-campus day, so while I do have plans to do quite a bit of reading, I’m also planning lunch with a friend, a decent walk with Boh, and a trip to the farm.

waiting (for alpaca).

I am so impatient when it comes to handspun yarn. I hang it in the kitchen, on a hook over the sink that I imagine was intended for a planter, and I touch it every time I walk by. Which is a lot. Dry faster! I want to skein you up and admire you! Alas, the alpaca is still quite damp, but even now, I am starting to get a sense for the finished yarn, and I’m quite happy with the angle of the twist in the ply. It is still hard to tell exactly how soft this is going to be, but it feels lofty. Monday is my busy, all-day-on-campus day this semester, so maybe by the time I get home this evening, the alpaca will be dry.

I am also waiting for the coffee to be ready. (Or I was, when I took the picture. I’m now enjoying the first few sips from my mug.) Oh, Monday.

Hope your week is off to a good start!

charging/recharging.

So, school started on Wednesday. And even though I only had a few obligations on campus, and managed to can and cowl on Thursday (see what I did there? OED, here I come) the start of the semester is emotionally exhausting — something about trying to get comfortable in a slightly different routine. With all this in mind, my friend J. and I planned an afternoon hike, and it was just the kind of recharging we needed.

We headed out of town just after five, and hiked a nearby four-mile loop as we enjoyed the evening light. This really is my backyard — closer than my yoga teacher’s home studio, which is in one of the next towns over. Boh and I need to do this more.

When Boh and I returned, I made this colorful meal — nothing more than a bunch of farm veggies sauteed. I added some leftover rice from the fridge and it sopped up some of the broth created by the fresh tomatoes, and then I stirred in chunks of goat cheese feta to add a creamy texture. Super good, and just what I needed after that hike. This is the thing about cooking from a farm share — veggies that were harvested this week (often in the hours just before the afternoon member pick-up) are so full of flavor and earthy sweetness that you don’t have to do much of anything to them to make something absolutely delicious.

In between finishing one book and starting another, I inched towards the decrease row at the neckline of idlewood. Another inch or so and I’ll be there. I need to wind up another skein of yarn!

This morning, I worked on plying two bobbins of that super soft natural brown alpaca together. I tried to underply a bit, with the idea that a less tightly plied yarn would allow more a soft, alpaca-y halo in the finished yarn. It is soaking right now, so we’ll see how it turns out. On today’s agenda? Brunch with the boy, an afternoon birthday celebration near the lake, and a whole lot of reading/prepping for the week in between. Happy Sunday!