FO: agnes.

Someday I hope to take pictures of this sweater in the wild (and in natural light). But for now, I think I have to accept that these pictures, snapped last night in my ugly hallway (and while the sweater was, to be honest, still a little damp) will have to do, because it is going to be almost 80 degrees outside today. Beautiful, but not Agnes weather. (And I might be pouting a little bit about that.)  Blocking has loosened up and evened out everything, of course, and now Agnes is perfectly cozy without being sloppy, if that makes sense. You can still see the spot where I dropped down to increase several times after the fact — on the back of the right shoulder (which is why I took that silly picture)– but it is way less noticeable than it was before blocking. When I make this again (because I could probably use at least two more of these sweaters), I might double up the purl rows at the pockets so that whatever contrast color I choose stands out even more. Also, I think this sweater will be an important part of my dissertation writing process.

On that note, here’s another installment of “fake-it-’til-you-make-it” here at Chez Rooster. On Saturday morning I realized that I needed to put on a button-down shirt to make myself do some writing. And it worked. Never have I been so happy to get 200 words out of my fingers and onto the screen.

And here’s my next project from Wool Book One: Avery. I’m making this cowl in two skeins of Malabrigo in the perfect shade of rusty red-orange. To wear with my Agnes, of course.

almost agnes.

Here she is, with pockets, and all bound off. I’m not sure they’re visible in any of these pictures, but I decided to knit the pockets in grey Elsa Wool cormo leftover from my Idlewood.

There might be a glimpse of the grey contrast color in this shot.

A very happy rooster. Also, I’m going to pretend that I had just returned from yoga or something, which is why I’m wearing leggings. That I’m working from home, and not planning to see anyone but Boh most of the time might be closer to the truth…

Blocking on the dining room table. (Finally! I have somewhere to block things!) I keep going in there to see if Agnes is dry yet. I am incredibly impatient to wear this. And maybe to make another…

Also? Oatmeal with a dollop of homemade jam is delicious. I’m just saying.

Back to work. This dissertation prospectus is not writing itself, though I’ve given it plenty of opportunity…

arms of agnes.

Sleeves, really, but arms just sounds better. Right?

I finished the first sleeve with my morning coffee. (Still a bit bleary-eyed here.)

And then I made an old school bowl of oatmeal, inspired by my empty fridge (tomorrow is farm day) and, as always, by Heidi and Super Natural Every Day. I added peanut butter, agave, yogurt, milk, and peanuts to my bowl. It was delicious. And deserving of hipstamatic iPhone photographs. (All that remained when I decided to snap a picture was Heidi’s cookbook and this pile of ingredients.)

Here’s a fancy shot of that first sleeve. The hipstamatic effects seem to lessen the impact of this particularly ugly corner of my house (just outside the bathroom door).

Boh seems pleased with my progress.

After a fairly productive day of reading, errands, and yoga, I knit a few inches of the second sleeve. I’m gearing up for a whirlwind weekend trip to the North Carolina mountains to bake the pies for a dear friend’s wedding. The forecast is for cooler weather, and it would be amazing to be able to take this sweater with me for early mornings/late evenings. And maybe to keep me company on the long drive — all the way there on Thursday, all the way back on Sunday. Boh will hold down the fort here with our friend R. while I’m gone. Lots to do before I leave — in addition to the rest of Agnes!

more agnes.


Getting ready to bind off the body stitches this morning.


Bound off! I added 2.5 inches to the length, below the pockets, so that this would hit me just below where most of my pants sit on my hips. I’m both stunned and pleased that my back-of-the-pattern math seemed to yield a sweater that fits me well! (I’m a little anxious about the blocking — it might just get steam-blocked due to shower-proximity rather than a full out soak, as I don’t want it to grow too much.)


We’re trying things with the cone off today. So far, Boh has been mostly good about not licking his still-healing scar.

And then I made pancakes. These are a little grey/blue because of the blackberries in the batter, and they were delicious. I made a whole batch, and just finished off the rest for “lunch.” I didn’t even add any syrup to these — the berries were enough. (So good — the first from the farm this season!)

Here’s one more dark hallway shot of the first sleeve in progress. So far, my math guesstimating is working out well. I’m trying to be good about writing down how I’m adjusting the pattern so I can make the right sleeve match the left.

Time to put down the knitting for awhile — friends of ours (two-legged and four-legged friends) are on their way to hang out and take a walk along the path in the backyard. And the sun is out. A new week has begun.

nothing but knit.

(Apologies for the bad pun. I can’t help myself.) You’re looking at today’s plan: if we do nothing, nothing bad can happen. I realize there are several flaws in my logic, but you know what? Today, it worked. After taking a friend to the airport early this morning, I climbed back into bed with Boh and slept in. Then I curled up on the couch with Agnes, a movie, and some podcasts, and knit, knit, knit. I’m loving my Agnes pullover, and I’ve only got a few inches of ribbing to go on the body.

Here’s to a new week! (Back to work tomorrow.)

uncle.

It has been quite a week, dear readers. Quite. A. Week. Broken window, injured pup, wasp sting, leaky house, waterlogged mattress, and today’s addition? Expensive car repairs. (The good news? My car is no longer squeaking/groaning in reverse. Which is important, because I’m driving it a lot this fall.)

Here’s my message to the universe: uncle. I give up. You win this week.

I recognize that all of these mishaps/messes/expenses are quite small in the grand scheme of things. I am quite lucky to have what I have, be where I am, and do what I do. I get that, and I don’t mean to just whine self-indulgently here about problems like these. So instead, I’ll tell you about that bowl of ice cream. Oooh, and that swatch.

First, the ice cream. Chocolate ice cream was on sale, so I bought some. Also, randomly, I bought a jar of peanut butter. (It wasn’t on my shopping list.) Last night, I thought to add a few spoonfuls of peanut butter to my dish of ice cream. I think you should try it. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Now, the swatch. It’s for Agnes, by Melissa LaBarre, and it’s from wool, book one, available at Quince and Co., with designs by Melissa and Cecily Glowik MacDonald. Honestly, I’ve been looking at this collection because of Avery, a gorgeous textured cowl that can be doubled up around your neck. But the more I looked at the pictures, the more I began to need Agnes — a sweet but simple pullover knit in bulky yarn — with pockets! This is a comfort sweater. And with everything that happened this week, last night I decided I needed one. The thing is, I don’t own any bulky yarn. I do have some EcoWool, but I wanted to knit Agnes in something with a little bit more color than the greys and browns I have. And I do have some Peace Fleece, which would probably drape nicely on bigger needles, but I want this to be both sheepy and soft, the kind of sweater I’ll want to pull on when I climb out of bed to make the coffee. Let’s face it: I pretty much knew I wanted to make this out of Beaverslide, and I’ve got plenty in the winter wheat colorway.

So I swatched. And while this stuff is lovely on 9s/10s (I think I thought I was swatching with bamboo and then metal 10s, but the metal needles are actually 9s), it does not want to be knit looser. So I looked at the pattern, and (famous last words from this historian) did some math. And I came up with my own numbers to make my 3.5 st/inch gauge work.

And then I started knitting. And I did some more knitting this morning, breaking my rule about knitting before coffee. (I may have dropped a stitch marker when I picked it up this morning, which meant my raglan decreases were off in one section. So I replaced the marker, and dropped down 8 rows to add increases every other row on either side of the marker. I was able to get three of the four increases in there, and faked the fourth. It is really tight, but I’m hoping when I block it that section will even out. If not, I can live with it. I just needed to keep knitting.) I also knit until dividing for the sleeves while waiting for the expensive repairs on my car this morning. And really, I’m only not knitting right now because I’m blogging.

And here’s what I’ve got so far. I hate things tight around the neck, so I cast on and knit the ribbing loosely. I think when the weight of the sweater is there, it will open up even more, and be just where I want it.

I repeat, this is not a mock turtleneck, even though it looks like one.

Bear with me. I managed to capture some silly Boh faces. Here he is, with his tongue out.

And here he is, mid-yawn. As you can see, the bandage is off, and his cut is healing very nicely. A few more days in the cone should do it.

Would you believe I’m still knitting from the first skein? Awesome. Time to wind another and keep knitting.

ribbing.

mara rib1

Lest you were beginning to think that I had crossed entirely over to the dark side of the spinning wheel, I present some serious progress on Mara. After reading lots of posts over at the Mara KAL in the backwards loop group on ravelry, I decided to modify the ribbing slightly, opting for a k3p2 rib instead of a k2p2.

mara rib2

The pattern calls for 4 inches of ribbing after the inch of transitional rib to finish off the shawl. I don’t have enough of this luscious beaverslide to do that, so I’m pretty much ribbing until I run out. I’ll be happy if I can get 2 inches or so, and I’m hoping to finish this tonight at a new knit night (say that five times fast) I’ve been attending!

The urge to finish this despite warmer temps that are not so conducive to the wearing of squishy wool shawls comes in part from even more new projects on (or soon to be on) the needles.

swatch alpaca

Veera, of 100% rain, put out the call for test- knitters for her plain and simple pullover, and since her sweater is already in my ravelry favorites, I couldn’t help but volunteer. The sweater is knit in fingering weight yarn on smaller needles, and when I looked at the specs/yarn requirements, I realized that this is the perfect sweater for 2 fat skeins of local alpaca in my stash that have long been searching for a pattern to partner with.

local alpaca skeins

I think this is a perfect match — the drapeyness of the alpaca will complement the pattern’s minimal shaping, the foldover collar will hang beautifully, and I will get a short-sleeved, super-soft alpaca sweater that won’t be so warm that I can’t wear it indoors! More on this soon,

Silk update:

shinytussah

I spun most of the orange section of my sunburst tussah silk. It shines like this picture, but at this point, the color is more orangey than red:

orange tussah

I’m really enjoying the process of spinning this — a totally different feeling than wool. I’m hoping my singles will be strong and even enough to stand on their own in a brightly colored shawl for fall.

Alright, time to get to work!