five plum pie.

First off, if you clicked through from Joy the Baker’s site because you, too, wondered if roosters wear shoes, welcome! I don’t have any pictures to prove it, but I did use my oven continuously yesterday (zucchini bread, granola, roasted potatoes). And I was barefoot.

(I won an awesome set of Baggu bags, and I can’t wait. In fact, I’ve been doing some serious winning lately, as I was the lucky commenter selected in Jodi’s blogiversary contest over at A Caffeinated Yarn. Yay!)

bob2plumpie

Amidst all the oven use yesterday, I did manage to get a lot of spinning done. I finished both bobbins of the Hello Yarn Fiber Club falklands wool in Five Plum Pie, and late last night, I decided to do a little bit of plying.

full bobbin

Which turned into A LOT of plying. That bobbin is so full that it no longer turns independently of the flyer. I’ll have more pictures of this 2-ply when it is done drying, but I’m really happy with how nicely the colors lined up. Instead of breaking the roving into 2 pieces, I stripped this in half lengthwise, and was carefully to spin them the same way to keep the color progression. In a lot of places, the colors match exactly, and the transitions between colors seem gentle and subtle. Also, not that it needs to be said, but this stuff was incredible to work with — smooth, even, and solid without being compressed. I fully understand the HY hype.

Public Service Announcement: Have you seen this navajo-plying video over at Spin-Off? I found this link through the Spunky Club on ravelry, and I feel moved to share. For folks new to navajo-plying, this video makes it really easy to see how it works and what it looks like. For old pros, the video demonstrates a particular way of holding the yarn and pulling out the loops that is easy on the shoulders and very rhythmic.

For those following my bat saga, Boh and I were winged-visitor-free last night. Here’s hoping it stays that way!

blurry.

sunset2041

sunset2042

Apologies if these make you dizzy. Yesterday was a blurry kind of day, so it seems only fitting that the pictures I attempted to take of a stunning sunset turned out this way. (It probably didn’t help that I was fresh out of the shower, still in the process of getting dressed, and therefore more than a little exposed to a backyard mob of mosquitoes that made keeping the camera steady more than slightly difficult.)

A bit of a sock is all I’ve got for you today:

sock2inpr

Oh — and my bat came back last night for round 3. My landlord will be here in half an hour to strategize. Hope your day is bat-free!

spindled shetland singles.

(And other stuff, too. But first, the shetland.)

bohspindle

I was digging through my fiber bin yesterday, and found some shetland in progress on a spindle, as well as some singles stored on metal knitting needles, patiently waiting to be plyed or finished. I worked on the shetland for a little while, and just had to snap this picture of Boh, laying on my left foot, back arched and ears-a-flapping, directly underneath my spindle.

shetlandsinglered hanger

This is shetland from A Verb For Keeping Warm in the Fruit Loops colorway. I have a little bit left to spin of the brown and red section, but the spindle was getting heavy, so I wound it onto the niddy noddy and set the twist. I did the same with the stored singles from the other half of this bump, which was much bluer/multi-colored.

shetland singles skeins

Picking up my spindle yesterday felt sort of funny after all the wheel spinning I’ve been doing, and it took me a few yards (or 10) to get back into a rhythm. Soon I’d like to work on thicker, even, low-twist singles on the wheel, as I really like the way these smaller skeins of shetland turned out. (The thinner, more uneven yarn on the right is the earliest spindling in this picture, before I was doing things like making plans for the kind of yarn I wanted to spin. Fun to be able to see my progress in these side-by-side singles.)

shetlandsingles2

Yardage: 145 yards of the reddish-brown shetland, 88 yards of the blue-multi shetland, and 96 yards of the thinner blue shetland. (I found a new way of doing math that is a bit easier than the 32 and 36 inch increments: Total number of strands x 5 (my niddy-noddy is 1.5 meters, or 5 feet) and then divided by 3 (3 feet =1 yards) = total # ofyards. Thanks, ravelry!)

Progress report on my Beatles’ song-inspired CMF colorway:

lsdbob2one

lsdbob2two

Bobbin #2 is moving right along. The colors are hard to capture when the light is wierd, but these pictures are pretty accurate — I love that chunk of super-bright turquoise on the right!

zucchinipancakes1

After the dilly beans, I decided to keep on tackling the zucchini that is taking over my fridge. Last night, I made a big batch of summer squash and zucchini pancakes.

zucchinipancakes2

They aren’t super pretty, but they were VERY tasty. It’s a good thing I made a hearty meal, because about an hour after I had settled in with my knitting to watch an episode or two of the second season of Mad Men, a fairly large bat began flying around my apartment. (Story to follow. If you don’t like bat stories, stop reading now.)

It is unclear how he got in, which is a little disturbing because my landlord had called to say that the folks upstairs had seen a bat in the basement. (The house is on a hill, and my apartment has great natural light on three sides, but is technically the finished side of the basement because of the building’s orientation. The idea that there is a way to move between my bright  and cheery apartment and the dark and scary basement is not encouraging.)

It is roughly roosting time, and while I have shared open-air spaces with bat families before (see posts from last summer), I am not that interested in sharing my in-town, rather small apartment with a winged rodent (as my father calls them).  I trapped the bat in my bedroom, shut the door, and packed some fabric at the base of the door so that the bat would not be able to squeeze underneath. I got out my headlamp, grabbed a dinner knife, and went outside to pry the screen off one of the bedroom windows to give the bat a clear escape route. And then I waited.

And waited.

I finally opened up the bedroom and took a look around, and it appeared that the universe had righted itself. So I replaced the screen, and went back to my evening plans. And then Boh started to bark in the direction of the 1960s-style dress I have hanging on my bedroom wall. I went back in the bedroom, only to find my bat peaking out from behind the Jackie O-inspired wide neckline of the dress. I closed the door, repried the screen off the window, and watched through the window as the bat yawned and found a cozy spot to take a nap. This bat was serious about moving in.

I called my dad for advice, and in between comparisons to a situation in which he’d had to deal with a hummingbird trapped in the garage (NOT the same thing as a bat in the bedroom), reminders of  a summer vacation we’d taken when I was a baby that involved bats and netting over my crib at night, and a lot of laughter on his part (“Well, do you think it is a vampire bat? How big are its fangs?”), he recommended broom warfare and gave me a pep talk.

At about 11 o’clock last night, I put on my raincoat, pulled the hood up over my hair (to prevent any sort of accidental touching of the bat or entanglement in my curls), barged into the bedroom, and took a golf-like swing at the wall, sweeping the bat towards the window, and likely disorienting it with the force of the blow.

It landed, stunned,  in a plate full of shiny jewelry on a shelf near the window. I picked up the plate and set it on the ledge, and gently poked the bat with the broom bristles until it flopped out the window.

And, that, my dear friends, is the complete story of Rooster vs. Bat, 2009.

That (hopefully) concludes our bat content for the year. More knitting, spinning, and cooking to come!

to the bat cave?

Um, yes. That is correct. This bat has taken up residence in the rafters of my little cabin. So far we’ve managed to get along just fine. These pictures, surprisingly, were taken at about 10 am, when I returned to my cabin to grab something and heard a strange scratching noise. This fella was attempting to inch his way along the central roof beam, and I believe the light was making it a bit difficult. Anyway, here are a few pictures (excuse the darkness/blurriness) of the gathered cardigan in that same cabin:

Though I recognize that this sweater is neither my style nor cut to be the absolute most flattering on me, I do love it. The back is far more swingy than this picture suggests, which may make it hard to wear, but I’m hoping I can rock it over lots of layers. I’m working on sleeve #2 now, and am hoping to find the perfect big wooden button for the front. This is my second time using Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, and I am even more pleased with the drape and stitch definition this time around. Also, stress (common this time of year) makes me buy yarn. Look for some confessional photos soon…

Sunset earlier in the week. More soon!