daffodils, more dumplings, dessert…

And some other things that don’t begin with D.

Daffodils coming up near my front steps.

More dumplings.

These delicious Brown Butter Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies from Joy the Baker. (Public service announcement: browning butter can be dangerous. Or at least mine was — my butter did a fair bit of sputtering and spitting as the water evaporated. It was worth it, though.)

Lovely sunset.

Sweet dog.

Cowl knitting and spinach.

And some spinning! This is BFL from the Hello Yarn Fiber Club in “Scorch.” I spun it as a 3-ply, and while I think I began this (long ago) with socks in mind, I’m not sure there’s quite enough yardage. That’s okay, though. I still love it. There were 183 yards, pre-bath. More photos after I’ve set the twist.

And then I just wanted to keep going. This is “Floating Down” from the Hello Yarn Fiber Club, and I’m spinning this luscious BFL/Tussah Silk blend as singles. So, so pretty.

Okay, back to work. On today’s list? Commenting on papers, finishing a conference paper, and writing another page or two of this diss-chapter-chunk. (Later, I plan to reward myself with a movie and a margarita.)

FO: parritch. (Also, peonies.)

It was humid this weekend, which meant that Parritch took forever to dry. Just before heading out to dinner on Saturday, I considered wearing the still slightly damp skein as a necklace. Awesome, no?

The colors are tough to photograph, but boy, are they lovely. This is 155 yards of sproingy, squishy 3-ply, in the Parritch colorway of some Hello Yarn Fiber Club targhee. I’m tempted to just turn it into a simple cowl, but I might also dig through my handspun pile to see if it might pair nicely with another skein or two so that I can make a bigger, floppier, cozier cowl – or a big comfy shawl. I’ve been inspired by some feather and fan shawls with lots of handspun colorways — and I do have a pile of handspun leftovers to throw into the mix. Just an idea. Also — I am toying with a big handspun pinwheel. Cosy over at cosymakes just finished one and I adore it. Also, I have some wedding gifts to knit this summer, and I’m thinking pinwheel lap blankets. I’ve given three as wedding gifts so far, and my friends seem to really like them. So, onto the eventual to-knit list: pinwheels for weddings, and a pinwheel for me!

Also, I said there were peonies. And there are. I clipped most of the blossoms that were starting to droop down over the driveway, which means there are small jars and vases of peonies in every room. I’ve had a rather exciting twenty-four hours in tenant land, as there is a new/substantial leak that has repeatedly filled my stock pot and prompted a ceiling tile or two to crumble to the ground in the middle of the night (hello, howling dog). I’m hoping the plumber will be here tomorrow. In the meantime, I’m going to keep spinning and enjoy my peonies. Want to see more of those Corriedale Seasick singles?

Be still my heart. This will definitely be a shawl. But which one?

the future is bright.

At least, that’s what my dear friend P. said last Friday night when she looked at that tray o’ dumplings and slipped on her shades. It has been a week of visitors — meaning lots of extra puppy love for Boh. See?

P. made a quick stop-over on a cross-country drive, and then D. pressed pause on his whirlwind of round-the-globe travel/work to spend a few days in my smaller-town life. We also made dumplings (an homage to the vast number of dumplings we used to routinely inhale when we were roommates on the other side of the world), curled up with the dog — and made blueberry pancakes.

It is just us again. Here is Boh’s response:

I think he misses our house guests.

Today I did lots of laundry and end-of-the-semester apartment cleaning. The books keep multiplying, and while I foresee adding another bookshelf in the very near future, I decided to spend some time making more room on my existing shelves. (This is clearly code for further compressing my stash into my yarn containers to shift the ratio of yarn: books on my shelves…) Also, I finally sat down and plied up that gorgeous targhee from Hello Yarn in the Parritch colorway.

This may be a bit overplied. I am giving it a nice warm soak right now, and I’m hoping it will relax into a squishy 3-ply.

I even have some knitting to share! This is my citron shawl. The first few sections have gone quite quickly, though I realize I’m going to slow way down as my stitch count continues to increase. I am having a great time with this project — it requires just the right amount of attention, and the Classic Elite Silky Alpaca Lace is lovely.

Happy weekend!

jowly.

Yep, that’s a word. In fact, it is the perfect word to describe this dog.

bohfloppylips furtherback

bohtwofloppylips1

Let’s look at that face from the other side, shall we?

boh2floppylips2

Boh is actually using his paws to support all those wrinkles on his face. Being jowly is tough. It’s a wonder he’s able to get through the day.

seaman's hat myrtle1

I started another handspun hat last night. This is the seaman’s cap, and I am using my first 3-ply handspun: dark bfl from the Spunky Club in the myrtle colorway.

seaman's hat myrtle2

I’m starting to think that it might be more accurate to name this month “hat-tober” over here at Chez Rooster…

bohfloppylip1

I have a busy day ahead of me, but Boh will likely be doing more of this.

and then there were two.

skein2 cmfbfl fo

Two  skeins of handspun Crown Mountain Farms brown bfl! This second skein (on the left) is 166 yards of 3-ply. I decided to use the bobbins from the first skein, and two of them still had a bit of yarn leftover from the first round of plying, so I divided these three ounces to account for the additional fiber and hoped that everything would even out. So with that in mind (slightly more fiber), I’m really happy with the consistency of my spinning! Here’s a close-up of the second skein:

skein2 cmf bfl macro

Boh and I walked down to the reservoir to stretch our legs and check out the fall foliage, and we were not disappointed.

smc4 leaves

smc1

smc3

smc5 boh

Making time to do this is important to me. There’s something about being in a relationship that made it easier to leave all of the work that piles up and prioritize spending time together. This fall, I’m really trying to make sure I take some of that time for myself.

The weather this weekend was absolutely lovely, and I’m hoping for an October filled with cool mornings, crisp fall breezes, and clear skies.

not-work.

You know, the opposite of work. (Both are occurring this weekend, but the not-work is more fun to photograph.)

hiding1

Boh likes to “hide” behind or underneath the blanket on my bed. He also likes to chew on it, or pretend to chew on it, as a way of getting my attention.

hiding2

I see you.

slowroasttomatoes

muffins

Slow-roasted tomatoes and raspberry muffins. There was also applesauce — a lot of it — but I didn’t take any pictures. Oh, and some knitting!

botanic inprog

I am ready to start the decrease rows, and I am absolutely in love with this hat.

pastrycutter

I also adore this pastry cutter — a lovely surprise from a friend who found this at an antique shop and knew that I’ve been looking for a a pastry cutter with a wooden handle. I may have to make up a batch of pie crust to welcome this into my kitchen.

cmf bfl skein2 plied

cmf bfl skein2plied closeup

This is how I know that I’m feeling better. Last weekend, I could not spin – too much work and motion for my tired body and achy head. This weekend, I finished spinning all 3 bobbins of singles, let them rest for 10 hours, and late last night, after a fun evening out with friends, I decided to sit down and ply so that I could set the twist and hang the yarn to dry overnight. (It’s almost dry!)

getbacktowork

I think this is Boh’s “get back to work” face.

you gotta keep ’em separated.

gyc sleeves divided

My sense of humor is returning, which makes me hopeful that I’ll be back to my usual (healthy) self today. A few weekends ago, I was having a conversation with my officemate about The Offspring. (He LOVED them, and even seemed a bit nostalgic for the days when they were on the radio all the time.) Thus, the title of today’s post. I sat down to think of a way to indicate that I had finished the raglan increases and divided the sleeves from the body on my garter yoke cardigan, and The Offspring came to mind.

gyc sleeves divided2

I know you can’t tell from the photo, but I’m thrilled with the fit so far. I was too lazy to put this on scrap yarn, so it is still on a slightly too small circular.

gyc sleeves divided3

gyc sleeves divided4

When I joined the Cascade 220 and began working the raglan increases, I have to tell you that I had some doubts about my color choices — I just wasn’t sure that this brown was the right match for this handspun. I think I just needed to see more of the brown to get a sense for what it will look like, because I absolutely love this. Also, I think this is the first sweater I’m making with Cascade 220, and I am thoroughly enjoying knitting with it. I might need to acquire a bunch more the next time Webs has that incredible anniversary sale…

cmf bfl skein1 prewash

Here’s the first skein of my Crown Mountain Farms brown bfl before washing and setting the twist.

cmf bfl skein 1 fo2

And here it is, all finished and ready to wait patiently for the other skeins. This is 150 yards of 3-ply worsted weight. If I can maintain this yardage per each 3 oz, I should be able to get 8 skeins, or about 1200 yards, to work with.

cmf bfl skein 1 fo3

More gorgeous fiber came in yesterday’s mail, which certainly improved my mood. (I am not a very good sick person — too impatient and pouty.) I’m planning to head to campus for a little while today, but don’t worry, I’m going to take it easy to ensure that I’m over this little weekend flu bug. (Which means I’ll probably do some more knitting. And annotating.)

tomatoes, 28thirty, three-ply.

roasted tomatoes

Yesterday started out well. I blogged, put some tomatoes in the oven to roast, put on a handknit sweater, did some reading, and went out to brunch.

wearing 28thirty

While I did all of this, my head became rather congested, and by the time I got home after brunch, I was starting to feel achy. Blah. I decided to go to the grocery store because if I was getting sick, I wanted to do so with a replenished refrigerator, and while I was packing my eggs (yummy, local eggs that you can pack yourself at my local coop), I dropped one of them, which seemed to confirm that I was not really at 100% yesterday.

So rather than annotated a less than fully formed bibliography, I did the things I absolutely needed to do, watched guilty tv online, drank a lot of tea, and late at night, forced myself to eat something. (Somehow I forgot to eat dinner. When I am not hungry, something is not quite right.) Oh, and I plyed my first skein of my CMF bfl sweater spinning project.

first skein cmf bfl 3ply

LOVE. This morning, as I wait to see if this was just a 24-hour bug or if I am going to feel lousy again (I always feel good in the early mornings, even when I’m sick, so I’ve learned to delay all decision-making about the day to mid-morning), I’m going to set the twist and hang my pretty yarn to dry.

Fingers crossed that today I’ll feel better. That bibliography is not going to annotate itself!

sampling/yoking.

bohbedbone

Boh laid like this, stretched out on the bed, for a few hours yesterday, totally contented after some much needed time spent frolicking amidst the falling leaves. After I crossed the last item off of my long around-the-house to do list (I’m not ashamed to admit that it was “take a shower”), I got out the scale and divided the first 4 oz. of CMF bfl into ounces, and then divided one of those ounces into thirds.

I was intending to spin the whole ounce, if necessary, to figure out how to approach my sweater spinning project, but at the end of the first third of an ounce, it seemed like there was enough to make a mini sample skein of 3-ply. I very unscientifically wrapped part of what I’d just spun onto two toilet paper rolls (counting to 100 each time!), and rigged them up on my lazy kate so that I could quickly ply 3 strands together.

samplingonknee

I soaked the skein, set the twist, and measured the wpi.

bfl wpi

Finished, my sample skein looks to be 12 or 13 wpi: a 3-ply worsted weight.

mini skein bfl 3ply

I’m not going to swatch yet, as I don’t have a specific sweater pattern in mind yet, but I am going to keep my mini-skein and some of my sample singles nearby as I start spinning. Hopefully I’ll end up with a whole sweater’s worth of fairly consistent worsted weight bfl!

yokingdone

In other news, last night I finished the handspun garter yoke of my garter yoke cardigan. It sort of snuck up on me, so I didn’t switch my needles up from 6s before the transition to the Cascade 220 as I had originally planned. I started with the 7s on my first non-handspun row. I have plenty of the Alpine romney left, so I’m thinking I may use it for the cuffs of the sweater, and maybe even to finish up the waistband. We’ll see!

lucy in the sky, skeined.

lucyFO1

lucyFO2

My apologies, up front. I have A LOT of pictures of this skein of handspun.

lucyFO4 macro

lucyFO3

lucyFO5 macro

Just one more. Okay?

lucyFO6 macro

3-ply, 325 yards of almost 4 oz of Crown Mountain Farms Superwash Merino in (wait for it) Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. I didn’t measure wpi, but it is definitely sock yarn, slightly thicker and squooshier than the blue Spunky Club sock yarn I finished a few weeks ago. I say “almost 4 oz” because I stopped plying when I could not fit any more yarn on the bobbin, rather than when one of the bobbins ran out.

nplylucy

I navajo plied one of the leftover bobbins, and here’s how it looks, unwashed. The trick really is to just slow down. I did this while listening to NPR’s coverage (downloadable!) of Billy Bragg at the Newport Folk Festival, and I found myself treadling very slowly along with his guitar.  There’s something really quite graceful about navajo plying, and I’m excited to keep practicing.

I have more spinning to share — my wheel was looking so empty that I just had to start a project. Or two.

singles shetland41

This is the last of my AVFKW shetland in Fruit Loops — 68 yards of singles. While the rest was done on a spindle, I spun this on the wheel. Not sure what the collection of singles skeins will become, but I’m quite happy with the lot of them.

indigowensleydalebob1

And this. I only intended to start this last night, but I ended up spinning a whole bobbin’s worth. This is AVFKW Wensleydale in Intergalactic Space Travel, dyed with indigo, which, as expected, turned my fingers a gorgeous shade of blue. I’m still learning about how dye and fiber react, and with this stuff, I could really see how the saturated spots were different (and more difficult for me to spin) than the lighter sections. I’m aiming for a worsted-ish 2-ply with this, but it might turn out more thick and thin, as the coarser, more saturated parts were making it really tough for me to get into a rhythm and find some level of consistency. I’m really interested to see how this yarn feels once it has had a good soak, as the indigo really changes the feel of the wensleydale.

savoryzucchinibread

(One of these things is not like the others…) A friend from my high desert knitting group emailed me this recipe for a savory zucchini-cheddar bread, and I baked a loaf yesterday afternoon. I used monterey jack instead of cheddar, and upped the dill to make up for my dwindling supply of parsley, and whoa. My go-to zucchini bread is more of a breakfast loaf, but this makes it possible to have zucchini bread at every meal. So delicious.

Three weeks until the semester begins — I can’t believe it. Time to get to work!