FO: magic chip.

121 yards (from 3 oz) of navajo-plyed worsted weight superwash bfl in the magic chip colorway from the AVFKW Woolly Wonders Fiber Club. So, navajo plying a whole skein’s worth of yarn isn’t as scary as I thought it would be! Despite the occasional wrestling I did with this bfl and my not-always-consistent singles, I’m really happy with how this yarn turned out. Now, what should I do with it? (Do we think 120 yards is enough for toddler legwarmers? I know a 4-yr old who would love some.)

Also, last night I did this:

And I decided that I liked it so much that I shouldn’t risk it, so I ordered 2 more skeins of Cascade 220 in Caribbean. Fingers crossed that they match what I’ve got, or are at least close enough. I’m doing this sort of by the seat of my pants, after reading through lots of notes on ravelry. I’m using worsted, instead of heavy worsted weight yarn, but I’m not really changing the stitch count. I figure I’ll try this on once I’m through the yoke, and if it isn’t long enough or big enough, I’ll add another repeat of the pattern before binding off (or separating — I haven’t decided) the sleeve stitches and continuing on with the body. I want this to be snug, and I’m adding a few more buttons (3? 4?) than the original.

I realize that I have a gazillion things on the needles right now — but all of my sweater projects are in muted colors, and spring break demands something bright (and instantly gratifying).

I did manage to get through a fair amount of grading today, and Boh and I romped through muddy fields and meadows with our friends D. and Coltrane (the greyhound) this afternoon. There’s an apple crisp in the oven, and a pile of knitting awaiting me on the couch (next to a loudly snoring dog). These are the makings of a good, quiet evening.

FO: loch (and more spinning).

Swoon. 506 yards of laceweight/light fingering in a stunning mohair/nylon/merino blend from the Hello Yarn Fiber Club, colorway Loch. I took A LOT of photos of this stuff, which are all on flickr, if you want more. See, I was feeling so pumped about how these singles turned out that I just had to get something else on my wheel.

I decided that I wanted to try navajo plying a whole skein of something. I mean, I practice navajo plying with my leftovers every so often, but I haven’t put the time in to really get comfortable with the technique. So I dug through my fiber stash, and pulled out Magic Chip, a lovely pastel colorway from the AVFKW Woolly Wonders Fiber Club in superwash bfl.

Here’s the bobbin in the afternoon sunshine.

And here’s Boh, resting in one of his cutest positions: legs out straight in an X.

And here they are together — Boh snored right through all of my navajo plying.

I wound this onto my niddy noddy, and marveled at how different navajo plyed yarns are before finishing — way more balanced, because the twist can’t travel the length of the yarn, only the length of the loops.

I showed it to Boh, and after giving it a good sniff, he decided to snuggle it, eyes closed. That’s my dog. Now it’s hanging to dry.

Next up? Well, tell me if I’m crazy, but I found these two skeins of super happy turquoise Cascade 220 while I was digging through my fiber stash, and I would love to have something like Shalom to wear as spring approaches. Some knitters have managed to eke out a short-sleeved cardigan in 450 yards or so, and I’m tempted to try it. Other thoughts on patterns? I’ve moved these skeins to the kitchen table to keep me company while I grade.

FO: lacy baktus.

Here’s my lacy baktus, relaxing atop one of my sources. (I finished the paper, for now, and submitted it this morning!)

And here it is blocked and wrapped around my neck. At first, I thought it wasn’t long enough because the skinny tails didn’t quite wrap twice around my neck, and I didn’t like the way they were hanging. And then I realized that I could just tie a bow instead of a single knot, and those ends wouldn’t droop down.

Details:

I used size 7 needles, in order to get more drape and length out of my rather small skein of handspun merino/silk in the A King’s Ransom colorway from AVFKW. I think I used about 160 of 188 yards. (I began decreasing a tad early to allow for the variability in the yarn.)

This is such a great pattern for handspun or for variegated yarns — I will definitely be making more of these!

baktusing.

Ta-da! It turns out that all I needed to do to finish my languishing lacy baktus was to take it out of my bag and put it in the knitting pile near the couch. (Well, and knit on it for two more hours.)

In addition to my knitterly productivity, I spent some quality time with the paper I’m revising this weekend, and while it isn’t done yet, it will be ready on time. (Tomorrow.) I turned around in my chair sometime yesterday morning, and this is what I saw:

My sweet dog, waiting patiently for playtime.

I made the Pioneer Woman’s fancy macaroni on Saturday night as a gooey, hearty reward for my steady progress on this paper, and it was divine. (A bit too decadent for the regular rotation, but the perfect treat!)

Happy March!

monday mitten.

Two pictures, one mitten. This is the first mitten that I am ostensibly knitting for my brother. This is my first wheelspun yarn, oatmeal bfl from paradise fibers, and while I had to cast on about 5 times to get a cuff that seemed snug enough with my lumpy bumpy yarn (note to self: 36 st), I am in love with this mitten. The thing is, this mitten is probably not long enough to fit my brother with a bit of ease, despite my constant measuring and re-measuring against my mom’s hand (bigger than mine).

I think the decreases occurred much faster than I was anticipating (I mistakenly expected that the decrease rows would occur every other row), but it is possible that my subconscious wanted me to knit these to fit MY hands instead. I finished this first mitten (well, sans thumb) before Christmas, but I haven’t decided whether to rip back and make this bigger and knit another, or to finish the pair and keep them, and knit a new pair for my brother. What a dilemma, right?

Also, last night I cast on a lacy baktus in my handspun AVFKW merino/silk in A King’s Ransom colorway. Believe the hype: this pattern is addicting.

Today, Boh and I are doing laundry, cleaning the house, frolicking in the snow, organizing the closets — and eating this delicious traditional Czechoslovakian bread called hoaska that my dad makes every year for Christmas. (Boh is not eating the bread. Or helping with the rest of these tasks.)

Yum. I can’t believe they let me leave with almost a third of a loaf! It might be time for another piece…

FO: paw (a king’s ransom).

I’m sorry about the silly title of today’s post, but with this photo, can you blame me? (Also, I haven’t poured my coffee yet.)

188 yards of 2-ply, dk to light worsted, from 1.5 oz of superfine merino and 1.5 oz. of merino/silk in A King’s Ransom from AVFKW. This is going to become a Lacy Baktus, but I am not allowed to cast on until I finish writing and grading. (I am not allowed to cast on until I finish writing and grading. I am not allowed…)

Also, I snapped more photos of Boh being adorable yesterday. I can’t tell if he is curling up in more photo-worthy poses this week, or if I just notice it more because I am just a few days from being done with the semester and it feels like he is rubbing it in.

A few more days and I’ll be able to do this too!

beach day, skeined.

I have no words to describe how much I love this skein of yarn. I mean, I may have pulled back the covers on my bed in order to properly photograph it against a suitable backdrop. (Okay, and I cuddled with it a little. Don’t tell anyone.)

This is 160 yards of squishable 2-ply in what looks to be a worsted to heavy worsted range, from 4 oz. of FLUFF sw merino in Beach Day. This was my first FLUFF spin. Halfway through the second bobbin, I may have emailed to get on their fiber club waiting list…

And then I spun some more. See, I accidentally happened upon a Baktus-Along thread in the Snobby Spinners group. I wasn’t planning to find something else to spin for, but a headache that would just not go away changed my plans last night at the very last minute. (Do you ever have headaches that you think are just related to food/hydration that then refuse to go away after you feed them dinner and lots of water? That was me last night, and I would’ve just dealt with it if the plan hadn’t been to go hear some live music. Headache + loud = unhappy rooster. So I pouted a bit, and then sat down at my wheel.)

Right, Lacy Baktus. I dug through the handspun pile, and didn’t find anything that begged to become this pattern, so I overturned a bucket of fiber and fished out A King’s Ransom from the AVFKW Woolly Wonders Fiber Club: 1.5 oz of superfine merino and 1.5 oz of 80/20 merino/silk. Meanwhile, Boh did this:

This is the superfine merino, which is full of subtle color changes.  I wrestled with this fiber a lot in sections, and I wonder if I should’ve tried to open it up a bit before spinning.

This is the merino/silk blend, and it spun like a dream. So fast, so smooth. Part of the way through my first cup of coffee this morning, I sat down to start plying:

Despite what it looks like (you know, that I spent the WHOLE day spinning), I actually wrote a few more pages yesterday, and did some good thinking about my project whilst spinning. I did not, however, begin tackling the pile of grading. (Yesterday, my headache was the excuse.) Today, I need to get on that.

fo: super hero helmet hat.

super hero helmet hat 1

super hero helmet hat 2

This is perhaps the squishiest, warmest hat I’ve ever made. (It may also be the biggest hat I’ve knit, but I’ll get to that.) I was so excited to discover that I won this pattern over at Cosy’s blog because I’ve been meaning to purchase this pattern, especially now that I have a pile of handspun that is just begging to be knit into smaller projects. I settled on some of my early wheelspun: AVFKW corriedale in The Candle’s Nimble Flame.

Using size 10.5 needles, I cast on for the larger size medium (if you have the pattern, you’ll know exactly what I mean), and knit to the decreases. The hat is knit back and forth, so I wrapped it around my head and realized that it was going to be way too big. I tend not to swatch with hats, as most of the time it seems like I can eye it and the hat will fit someone, but I hadn’t really taken into account how thick and thin this handspun is, and clearly my powers of estimation are less accurate when evaluating something knit flat. I frogged what I had and started over, casting on 8 stitches fewer and beginning again.

I finished late last night, and I absolutely love the earflaps and the shape of the hat. It may still be a bit big — I didn’t think really think about row gauge, and I probably should have accounted for that in adjusting for my surprisingly thick yarn.

super hero helmet hat 3

That said, this may become my go-to hat for super cold days, dog-walking, hiking, etc. I can fit my growing expanse of hair under the hat (see first picture), no problem, and this hat is loose enough that I can stay warm without flattening my hair while out walking with Boh. (This matters on days where I have to head back to campus for afternoon and evening events.)

Most importantly, this is an incredibly satisfying, soothing knit. I have a lot going on this week, and I just really needed to finish something last night — to feel productive, to see progress on at least one task, and I think finishing this super squishy hat and snapping a few (bleary-eyed) pictures helped me to sleep more deeply.

I might even cast on for another before the day is over.

Thanks, Cosy, for a clear, cute, satisfying, straightforward pattern. I highly recommend the Super Hero Helmet Hat!

Any and all wonkiness in the land of sizing rests solely on me, the variation in my thick and thin yarn, and my lack of patience! (I just needed to get to that garter stitch happy place, and ignored gauge issues in order to blissfully knit back and forth — and I do not regret it!)

FO: calorimetry.

blackberry pancakes

In order to face the week, I needed blackberry pancakes. (Mondays can be tough!) I ate them for breakfast and lunch, and they helped, like they always do. Moving on…

five plum pie calorimetry

I knit this over the weekend for my friend H. (of wedding shawl fame) because tomorrow is her birthday! I just couldn’t wait any longer, so I gifted this yesterday, which means there is absolutely no danger of spoiling the surprise. I used more of my Hello Yarn Five Plum Pie handspun, and I still have about ten yards leftover — truly, a never-ending skein.

calorimetry button view

Calorimetry was one of the first patterns I attempted to knit — and while I finished it rather quickly, my skein of filatura di crosa 127 print (or whatever the pattern calls for, because I had not yet learned to substitute) won the day, and I finally understood why gauge matters. My first calorimetry was enormous! This time around, I read up on the pattern and followed some common modifications:

I cast on 88 stitches using size 6 needles, and worked only as many (decreasing stitch count) short rows as seemed like half of the width I was hoping for, and then completed the same number of (increasing stitch count) short rows to get to the other side, being careful not to run out of yarn.

calorimetry side

Yay! I tried this on to take some pictures, and now that my hair is longer, I really like this. I may need to make one for myself.

plied polwarth bw

I did manage to ply the polwarth. Here’s what it looks like before washing/thwacking:

prewash

This may be the softest, squishiest yarn I have ever spun. It is hanging to dry in the kitchen, and I can’t help but pet it each time I walk by.

superherohelmet1

In keeping with “hat-tober,” I cast on for yet another handspun hat — Cosy’s Super Hero Helmet Hat. I won the pattern on her blog a few weeks ago, and I am knitting it out of some of my earlier wheelspun: AVFKW Woolly Wonders corriedale in The Candle’s Nimble Flame. I’m using size 10.5 needles, and I love the squoosh of the garter stitch.

bohcouchsilly

Apparently Boh also had a very busy day. (While I read, wrote, cleaned, knit, plied, grocery-shopped, cooked, etc., Boh moved bones back and forth from his box, growled at the electrician through the window, took notes on squirrel movement, and perhaps dreamed of rabbits, chipmunks, and deer.)