more booty.

Apologies for the blog silence — I headed home for that baby shower (taking an unfinished booty with me), and then took a brief trip to see my grandmother out of state, and then got back here on Tuesday morning to work on a grant application. Whew! Finished that yesterday, and blogging is at the top of today’s non-work to-do list.

Here’s an iPhone shot of the second booty, just before kitchenering, and then the pair, just before wrapping. My cousin seemed to really like them at the shower — let’s hope the baby does, too! I haven’t done any knitting since finishing these on Saturday morning, maybe because I don’t have any knitting that is both portable and free of charts or counting. I should probably fix that by casting on for something new for me, like socks, though I certainly have lots more baby and wedding gifts to knit over the next several months.

None of these are recent FOs, but here’s the pile of handknits I sent to Occupy Wall Street last week. The weather is getting cold, and these handknits can be more useful there than here in my basket o’ warm things. (Side note: I should really consider knitting myself another hat with a pompom.)

And here’s a shot of the lake. The fall color has been absolutely stunning this year, but even so, the transition to winter is sort of exciting because of the way my view is changing. Now that the leaves have mostly fallen, I can see the lake even from my perch on the couch in the family room.

On blog posts and traffic: I noticed that a lot of people (500+) visited my blog last week when I posted about the first booty. Perhaps they were expecting something else? I’ll let you know if the same thing happens today…

FO: elsa wool pebble.

I am so pleased with how this turned out. After a few false starts — once because I wasn’t happy with the stitch count (it looked too big) and once because I twisted my knitting when I joined it in the round (what? I haven’t done that in years!) — I got into a rhythm and just knit-knit-knit to get this done in time for Sunday’s shower. I made some modifications based on other projects on ravelry: used worsted-weight yarn and size 7 needles, CO 70 st, made the garter stitch sides 5 st, and knit in the round with buttons only at the shoulder, rather than all the way up the side. I used more of the elsa wool cormo from my idlewood (maybe just over half a skein?), and oh my goodness, do I ever love this yarn. Squishy, woolly, and absolutely gorgeous.

Pebble might be the perfect gender-neutral baby gift. (I’m all about not adhering to gender-specific colors, but I can’t help myself when it comes to patterns for baby knits. I’m waiting for baby M. to arrive, and then I absolutely must cast on for either a frilly girl cardigan or an “old man” style cardigan.)

Snowy and lovely outside. Off to campus!

 

february?

Whoa. This week totally got away from me. Last night I realized that I haven’t blogged since Tuesday! Consider today’s post a rather disjointed “show and tell” from the week.

Tuesday’s outfit, ready for dog-walking. (I love my Sorels — perfect for frolicking in snowbanks and walking through slush-puddles.)

Quick, warm, hearty lunch: sauteed mushrooms simmered in homemade tomato puree, pasta. I might have accidentally eaten the whole bowl. Sometimes it is hard to shake that “big spoon” mentality — I have to remind myself that I’m not camping, and that leftovers are not just allowed, but desirable! (Big spoon is where everybody takes another spoonful, and another, until it is gone. With a group, it isn’t that hard, and that way there is nothing to pack out — and you can do the dishes.)

A homemade treat from my friend M. She’s already finished with her comprehensive exams. Isn’t it beautiful? I can’t wait to try this pear-honey wine (also known as liquid encouragement).

No handknits in this picture, but one of those accidental outfits that somehow made it out the door. I like all the pinks and purples.

Mushrooms and komatsuna sauteed in a balsamic vinaigrette. I ate this over fresh spinach from the farm. A winter treat, to be sure.

Friday night. late. A hot toddy to keep me company while taking notes. So good.

Parsnip soup (with maple syrup and mustard) in a favorite mug. Baby-shower knitting. And reading. The shower is today, so I’ll post less cryptic pictures soon!

sweetness, a soaker, and first sweaters.

This dog has been such a comfort to me this week — a mixture of silly and sweet. Last night when I got home from a reading group, we played a game where I told him to sit, walked five paces, turned around and said, “Come on!” and he raced towards me. I think I got tired before he did. Dogs know when you’re having a hard time, and I am so thankful for Boh’s company right now.

I’m almost embarrassed to show you this — the beginning of a soaker that I started six weeks ago. It has succumbed to the curse of my in-the-bag knitting. It seems like I never actually work on the project I take everywhere. I can’t explain it. I started this alongside my dear friend T, who is expecting. (Yay!) We began them together, with the idea that I could help with troubleshooting if anything came up. T. has already made close to half a dozen of these sweet soakers, while I’m still knitting the ribbing of my first. (For shame.) At least I still have a few months before she’s going to need this!

I was talking with my friend P. yesterday about sweater-knitting — she called me on the way home from a yarn shop, her first sweater’s worth in the backseat. And as I bundled up to head out for a reading group last night, I grabbed my first sweater. The seaming is completely wonky, the ends are woven in weirdly, the size isn’t quite right…but I LOVE this sweater. Together with thrift-store boy jeans over long-underwear and a couple of long-sleeve layers, it was the answer to single-digit December temps — and to the transition I’m coping with right now. Handknits are magical like that.

for chunk.

(He has a real name now, but I sort of prefer Chunk, at least for this post. After all, he was known to the world as Chunk while I was spinning and knitting for him!)

This is based on the Pebble vest — and many of the modifications I found on Ravelry. I decided to knit this in the round and eliminate the side buttons. I must have cast on 4 times, each time decreasing the number of stitches in order to arrive at something that looked appropriate for a newborn but would also offer some room for growth. (I may have more details scribbled on the pattern I printed out, but I’m at my parents’ house now and don’t have those handy.)

I looked at a lot of different baby hats to get a sense for the number of stitches to cast on, and then used the Thorpe pattern as a guide. I used every last scrap of that FLUFF superwash merino handspun in Beach Day to finish binding off the hat. Whew!

I also wanted to make something soft and cozy for Chunk’s mom, A, so I got out the leftovers from two of the seaman’s caps I knit this fall and crossed my fingers that there would be enough yarn to make a pair of toast mitts. The handspun makes the gauge and color changes a bit wonky, but these are supersoft, and exactly the kind of thing I wanted to tuck into this package. These treats arrived in the Southwest on Wednesday, and I cannot wait to see how handsome Chunk looks in his new handspun duds.

Also — I’ve taken a bit of a digital vacation these last few days, so my apologies in advance if I don’t manage to motivate myself to take some finished photos of my mom’s Multnomah. I think I managed 5 repeats of the feather and fan lace. I’m quite pleased with how it turned out, even though I had to wrap it at 11 pm on Christmas Eve. I’ll be back to see my parents in January, and I’m intending to give it a good blocking then.

Boh and I are heading back to our bright green kitchen in the morning — more soon!

hooray!

First of all, yesterday started as a good day: the first day of my winter break. I spent all morning doing laundry, vacuuming, washing the pile of dishes that had accumulated in the sink, cleaning the countertops, relocating library books to somewhere that is NOT the kitchen table…all incredibly satisfying tasks when you’ve been unable to tackle them due to that whole limit on the number of hours in a day.

Anyway, I went to get the mail, and found an incredibly festive package waiting for me: part 2 of the blogiversary prize I won from Jodi over at A Caffeinated Yarn.

Jodi knit me this absolutely gorgeous (and oh so soft) Thermis — a pattern I have been admiring and intending to knit for months. I wore this all day yesterday. In fact, I decided that I absolutely could not remove it without deeply upsetting my neck and chin (both areas that would, of course, be nowhere near as cozy and warm in the absence of this handknit), so I attempted to photograph the rest of the goodies in the package in the mirror. Here’s my best attempt:

A mix cd (which I listened to several times yesterday), a knit counter, a box of holiday tea (which is quite tasty, by the way), a gorgeous skein of Mama Llama DK sock yarn in the Earth colorway, and a needle size/gauge ruler that is absolutely adorable. I feel like Christmas came early. Thank you, Jodi!

Yesterday included even more to celebrate! My dearest friends from my old home greeted their first child yesterday: a boy! His mom is the first person I taught to knit. I decided that I wanted to spin for this baby, and I told her that I was waiting to cast on to find out if the newest member of the family was a boy or a girl. She texted a few hours after the birth (mighty impressive!) to tell me I could start knitting! And knit I did. I am so pleased with what I made yesterday (the first of many gifts for Chunk), but I don’t want to ruin the surprise. Here’s a close up of the knit fabric.

After seeing some fantastic photos of Chunk’s nursery (which, ahem, used to be my room!) I decided that the skein of FLUFF sw merino in Beach Day was, in fact, perfect.

Yesterday also involved a knitting date with friend K, and a carrot souffle!

Today: more holiday knitting, yoga, and a nice walk with Boh. Happy weekend, folks!

FO: ribbed baby sweater.

oscar21

oscar1

Hooray! The seaming is finished. And it wasn’t even that bad. (Note to self: Remember this the next time I let a sweater languish because it needs to be seamed.) Baby sweater seams go super quickly.

Details:

Mission Falls 1824 Cotton, 3.5 (?) balls. (might have been 4.5)

US 7 needles

3-6 mo size.

I would definitely make this again.

The goal was to have this finished in time for my weekly independent study with my advisor — which isn’t for another two hours. Victory!

Time to get back to the book we’re discussing…

jam-ming?

Yesterday, while in the grocery store oohing and ahhhing over the strawberries, I decided to make jam. I love those little Ball jars, and they were on sale. Done and done. Once I arrived at this point (see photo) — the “bubbling mass”, as The Joy calls it, I reached a bit of a conundrum. The recipe directs you to set a timer and leave the berries alone until the beep. Then, you are to tip the pot so you can see the bottom to determine whether the liquid on the bottom is demonstrating a “tendency to set”. I ended up allowing my bubbling mass to simmer for double the allotted time, after which I think I talked myself into the presence of said “tendency”. It seemed awfully runny when I spooned the mixture into jars, but a few hours later, after a full cooling and some refrigeration, it seems that I have jam (even if it is not quite as sticky as I’d like). I made some more bandwagon bread to serve as a delivery system.

Time for a bit of knitting content — my BSJ is off the needles, and is patiently awaiting seams and buttons. I love the colors in this sweater, and I think it will be absolutely perfect for a fall baby. I seem to know several folks expecting an arrival this fall, so it is quite possible that there will be a few more of these adorable sweaters in my knitting future.

Also, it appears that you guys like pork! I had more visits to my blog yesterday than ever before — and there wasn’t any knitting content to be found. I’m glad you’re here.