academic blocking.

Today is the day: I’m wearing my GYC out the door, and I’m thrilled about it. Which got me to thinking: wouldn’t it be great if blocking worked for papers, and not just for sweaters? I’m giving a paper in a few weeks that just isn’t quite ready. In a lot of ways, I’m happy with it, but it still needs to be tugged and stretched. The stitch definition could be more even, the hem straighter, the lines cleaner. I’d really like to be able to dunk this particular project into a warm bath with some soak, and then reshape it on my kitchen table in order to get the results I want.

Alas, I’m stuck with revisions, more reading, talking to myself in the shower, and occasional full-on questioning of what it is that I am arguing. This is yet another area where I think knitting has the right idea: a lot can be solved with a warm bath.

FO: garter yoke cardigan.

At long last, I sewed the buttons onto my garter yoke cardigan. I tried it on after the first four, just to make sure I liked the look of these buttons (which may or may not have cost me more than the Cascade 220 part of the sweater). I decided to do this late last night, so the pictures are less than awesome, thanks to the overhead lights in my apartment, but I think you’ll still get the idea.

I love this, and I’m especially glad that I knit this alongside Mick and Laura! I decided not to block my GYC, at least not yet, mostly because I am anxious that it will grow, and I don’t want it to get wider or longer. (Also, I’m lazy.) I’ll block it eventually… I’m still working on sizing sweaters, and I think I need to trust the idea of negative ease just a bit more, as I tend to knit my sweaters a little too big. That said, I’m very happy with this sweater, and I expect it will get quite a bit of wear!

Details:

Garter Yoke Cardigan, size 38, with a handspun yoke (out of 144 yards of Hello Yarn romney in Alpine) and a Cascade 220 body (814 yards).

I knit the yoke and sleeves on size 6 needles and knit the body on 7s, and I shortened the sleeves to 3/4 length.

Here’s an outtake — despite the blurriness and awkward angle, I like this one:

Hooray!

GYC.

gyc startofbody

Despite the fact that I haven’t actively listened to any Michael Jackson since the summer, every time I go to abbreviate the garter yoke cardigan as GYC (you know, when I label photos and such), I hear the chorus of PYT in my head.

gyc startofbody2

I’m just over halfway through the raglan increases now, and I’m hoping to separate the sleeves from the body before the end of the weekend.

one oz of cmfbfl

I started spinning my CMF bfl yesterday as well. I’m going to work through this an ounce at a time, with the idea that if I keep 4 bobbins in rotation, I can spin 3 ounces and then ply them together, and then start on the next skein. In a perfect world, I’d spin all the singles first and ply the earlier bobbins with later ones to help increase my chances of uniformity, but since I only have 6 bobbins, and no storage bobbins, I’m thinking that working through this a skein of yarn at a time is the way to go, both for my storage options and my momentum. Speaking of momentum, today I should probably aim for more reading/writing and less knitting and spinning. The pace of the semester is really picking up, which means the book piles are growing.

sauerkraut saute

I’m not even going to try for a smooth transition. I snapped this photograph of my lunch sauteing yesterday: fresh farm onions, bok choy, carrots, and homemade sauerkraut.

Time to hit the books. (Well, after I pour another cup of coffee and knit a row or two.)

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!

transitions.

moregarteryoke1

I couldn’t help taking more pictures of this, as I just love the way the transitions between the colors occur.

moregarteryoke2

I only knit about 5 rows yesterday, and late at night, at that, but it was enough to see the golden yellows and browns return, which made me quite happy.

kitchen scale and corriedale

Also, my kitchen scale arrived! I’m hoping to set aside a little bit of time this weekend to divide some of my Crown Mountain Farms BFL into ounces and do some sampling to plan for my first me-sized handspun sweater. (Yay!)

autumnal equinox.

Fall is arriving softly today, accompanied by a gentle rain. The sound of rain on aging leaves is calming. This kind of quiet — full of motion and whispers, rather than silence — is what I need this morning.

garteryoke1

The autumnal equinox is also significant for a knitterly reason: today marks the start of the garter yoke cardigan KAL that Mick, Laura, and I have been planning. I’ve cast on for the yoke with my Hello Yarn romney handspun in the Alpine colorway, and I’m hoping to get in a few more rows before I head off to class.

garteryoke2

Happy first day of Fall!

high.

You know, like alpine.

alpinemacro1

alpinemacro2

alpinefo1

I absolutely love the way the browns and golds interact with the blues in this skein. So pretty.

alpinemacro3

alpinemacro4

alpinefullskein

203 yards of 2-ply romney, from Hello Yarn, in the Alpine colorway. Romney is not as soft as the other fibers I’ve been spinning lately, but oh, that sheen. I wonder if this should become something sturdy, like mittens.

quiche

Yesterday’s quiche, and legwarmers:

legwarmers

Believe it or not, it was chilly enough to warrant wearing these around the house as I made coffee and rolled out pie crust yesterday morning. People routinely find their way to my corner of the internet by googling “legwarmers” and related terms, so I figured I’d announce that, yes, the mornings are cool enough that legwarmer season is officially open, at least for around-the-house wearing.

More soon, as I desperately need to make more progress on the wedding shawl…