urgent cuteness.

Babies in handknits are adorable — but you know what is even better? The baby of dear friends, wearing something I made for him. LOVE.

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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!

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.

the perfect combination.

Spinning and reading, the heft of a pile of hardcover books and the squish of handspun skeins, superwash merino and the late nineteenth century…

I was so excited about how this was looking that I stopped plying to grab the camera.

This is 170 yards of super squishy heavy worsted 2-ply from the second 4 oz. of Crown Mountain Farms superwash merino in the Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds colorway. LOVE. Love so much that I could set aside my writing and grading and cast on for mittens for me right now. But I’m not going to. Why? Because I don’t have to do what the yarn says all the time. Really.

Actually, I spun this with a particular as yet not fully formed human being in mind, but now that I see it all skeined up, all that pink might get in the way of my plans to knit a non-gender specific baby something. Thoughts? (Sorry guys, if you were hoping to be completely surprised. While I’m sort of banking on the fact that you’re too busy prepping for the big day and might not read this, I do need the advice of the internets.)

Which brings me back to my love affair with my wheel, and my decision last night to start spinning some FLUFF superwash merino in Beach Day.

(Artificial evening light above, natural morning light below.)

I think what I really need to do is swatch to see how the colors look all knitted up. And keep spinning this bee-yoo-ti-ful FLUFF fiber. Oh, and keep writing. Perhaps in the reverse order.