FO: kerrera. (also, fall break.)

Actually, how about Fall Break first? I stopped to snap this picture on my walk to the coffee shop Friday morning. The leaves and the light are so lovely right now.

A lovely latte at one of my favorite places to work. I’m almost happy with my fellowship application, after lots of struggling and a two-week time-out.

Can you see that snake in the grass? Boh totally didn’t see it. (It was right in front of us on the paved path we walked on Friday, and then it slithered off to the side.)

Bright red leaves from my yard. Hello, fall.

Fall is for vests. Especially vests like this one, snagged from my mom, who wore it so well in the late 70s.

And here’s my Kerrera! I’m calling it done, even though the collar could use more of a blocking than the rest of it received this morning. (I put it in the bathroom while I took a hot shower and left the fan off.) The left arm is a little looser than the right between the wrist and the elbow, but I think I can live with that!

I absolutely love the length, and the way the double garter stitch edging hangs, especially in the back.

And of course, I love the patch pockets. I think this is going to get lots of use this fall as a cozy layer for working at home and as the perfect thing to throw on as a light jacket for walking Boh or sitting on the dock with a cup of tea! I think this is the most complicated knit I’ve attempted, and I’m really happy with what I’ve learned. This was the first time I knit anything with short row sleeve caps or patch pockets, and I think both turned out pretty well. (I also learned that I should take better notes — I clearly modified the decreases on one of the arms and did not write that down.) I used not more than 5 and a half skeins of Berroco Ultra Alpaca, which means I’ve got almost half a bag left — enough for another sweater!

Okay, back to commenting on papers. Happy Monday!

victory over double garter stitch.

First of all, this is how I felt yesterday. The head cold symptoms disappeared, but were replaced by a low grade fever and general aches, pains, and tiredness. So I focused on manageable tasks, and finished enough that I could justify curling up on the couch next to this dog.

And then I finished the double garter stitch edging on the other side. This edging really helps to add a bit of structure to the shape, and I’m feeling pretty good about the fit now that I’m this far along.

I think my Kerrera is going to be exactly the right length. (In this shot, I’m holding up one of the pockets so you can see what it looks like without the drooping that the seaming should fix.) I’m feeling much better today: still a bit tired, but I’ve got a lot more energy right now than I did last night at almost eight o’clock. This is a very good thing, because I’m hosting my reading group tonight. They’ll be here in fifteen minutes!

world spins madly on.*

I got up this morning, and pulled the covers up to half-heartedly make the bed. Usually, this is Boh’s cue to do some kind of dog stretch and get out of bed.

Today, he didn’t move. In fact, I put the kettle on, ground the coffee, and served up his breakfast, and he stayed in bed. It wasn’t until I grabbed the leash and opened the door that he reluctantly decided to get out from under the covers.

I feel your pain, Boh. I’m tired too.

Despite my sleepiness this morning, I do have some knitting progress to share. I woke up early yesterday to give myself a bit more knitting time, as I’ve been feeling a bit overextended this semester.

My Kerrera is starting to look like a cardigan! I’m into a very soothing stretch of stockinette, and I absolutely love how this Ultra Alpaca feels in my hands. Even though I should keep reading the book I have to teach this week, I’m going to try to squeeze in a few rows this morning before getting to work.

Time for coffee, but before I pour my first mug, I wanted to mention The Weepies. Their first two albums, Happiness (2003) and  Say I Am You (2006) — which I have only just learned are actually two shorter albums, rather than one full length album — are some of my favorite early in the morning or late at night things to listen to. (*This is the name of a track on Say I Am You. I’m listening to it right now.)

false start.

I know the Superbowl isn’t until Sunday — and let’s face it, I will be at yoga Sunday afternoon instead of anywhere near a television — but I couldn’t resist the penalty reference.

Today, my slow and steady progress on Kerrera came to a screeching halt. Somehow, I managed to drop some loops or otherwise majorly $%&* up the double garter stitch in such a way that I could not repair it. In fact, my attempts at fixing just made it worse.

I think that qualifies as a false start, no?

An hour ago, I was exasperated, so I took a few deep breaths, made a cup of strong cocoa, and decided to attempt productivity at something in the work pile.

After dinner, though, I’m casting on again.

KAL cast on.

Mick, Laura, and I had so much fun KALing with our garter yoke cardigans that we decided to do it again. We agreed on a start date of February 1, and I’m not gonna lie: the knowledge that at some point tonight I’d get to sit down with my needles and some luxurious Berroco Ultra Alpaca to cast on for Kerrera helped get me through a very long Monday.

After looking at other projects on ravelry and reviewing the pattern, I decided to cast on for the smallest size. I have a rather boyish shape — no hips, no waist — and the pattern seems to be written for women far curvier than this rooster. My plan is to work the hips for the smallest size, and then only decrease down to the body/bust stitch count for the 36.5″ size so that I’ll get a cardigan that skims my shape, rather than someone else’s. Good plan? Boh doesn’t seem to have much of an opinion on the matter at this point.

Something else that helped with a long Monday? This recipe for cheesy pasta. Simple, delicious, and sometimes exactly what I need.

I’m exhausted from a super busy day, but I think I’m going to make one last cup of tea and knit a few more rows before heading to bed.

Happy February, folks.