worst of all, you never call baby when you say you will.

Yep, I just found the song in my iTunes library to accompany this morning’s blogging. Just picture me sitting here with my cup of coffee doing the “wooowooo” section that comes right before the big build up to “Why do you build me up, buttercup baby, just to let me down…” It seems that I typed “butter” into the iTunes search field, so now we’ve got The Band doing “Mystery Train” with Paul Butterfield. I’ll take it. Anyway, despite the obvious connection to “Build Me Up Buttercup,” bits of the song do seem relevant to my feelings about this sweater. I’ve got lots of pictures today of me in the sweater in various stages of the rest of the knitting.

Here’s Buttercup after binding off the body. In this picture you can totally see when I put it away for several weeks — that line around my middle is not my shorts showing through; that’s a crease from where my circular needles lingered for all too long.

Here’s a close up of the neckline. I picked up stitches as directed, but knit a few extra rows to bring the neckline in a little bit. I love this neckline, and I think it is pretty flattering. The challenge will be what to wear underneath it because of how open some of the lacework is.

In this picture, I think I’ve got one of the sleeves finished, and I’m wearing the top over a black dress with a fairly deep v-neck.

Here’s a full length shot, over a long-sleeve tee. I’m hoping that blocking will take care of that wavy bit near the bottom, and I’m hoping to get just a little more length out of it so that the finished sweater will be in between a regular sweater and a tunic.

Yay! I like this one.

And here it is, blocking on the dining room table. I’m not really sure how this fabric will behave. I’m pretty sure I blocked my swatch, but such a small square of knitting doesn’t really offer a lot of certainty when I want to know how a whole sweater of cotton-linen yarn is going to act. I’m a bit worried that the ¬†weight of the sweater will drag down the neckline as I wear it. Have you guys ever put a cotton-linen blend in the dryer on low? If this opens up too much, I might attempt that.

I’m happy with the choices I made to knit a slightly more fitted version of this sweater, as I’m not sure I can pull off any more yellow. Also, I like a gentler A-line shape, and this way, I had plenty of yarn. I sort of can’t believe that this only took 6.5 balls of Cotolino. (I had 8, and was worried I wouldn’t have enough to knit the sweater as written. Each ball is 105 meters.)

Oh, and Boh says hi. Stay tuned for some FO pictures after Buttercup is blocked. Fingers crossed!

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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…

blocking/waiting.

It’s been about 36 hours, and my idlewood is almost dry. It should be ready to wear tomorrow. (Yay!) That’s not the only thing I’m waiting on, though. I woke up Monday morning feeling lousy, and I only felt worse as the day went on. I shook a lot of hands and ate a lot of communal food this weekend, and I’m pretty sure I was exposed to some form of the flu. Yesterday was a day of fever, chills, and fogginess. Oh, and Chinese take-out. (Ordering the take-out was the hardest thing I did yesterday.) I’m cautiously optimistic that today will be a little better, but really, it’s too early to tell. I’m just going to focus on giving myself the time to recover, and I’m going to try not to feel guilty about how much work I could be doing if I felt better.

More soon. (Because I might not be able to read when my body and brain feel like this, but I can knit.)

rowan to the rescue.

As you can see, I’ve been knitting away on the textured shawl this week. And last night, after a lovely late night beer and knitting date, I realized that I was getting very close to the end of my handspun. This morning, with my coffee, I knit a few more rows, and then gambled (poorly) about whether I’d have enough to bind off on the right side. This is a photo of the gamble, alongside my proposed solution. (Remember the sweater I frogged awhile back?) I made it halfway through the bind-off row when I ran out. Luckily, even though the Rowan Felted Tweed stands out against the backdrop of the textured shawl in this photo, one strand, on the edge of half the shawl, blends right in. I spit-spliced and continued binding off, and then raced against the clock to soak the shawl and pin it out before power-walking to campus to teach section this morning.

I stretched it out as much as I could, though the cast on edge is a bit tight, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the whole thing relaxes into a cozy, comfy, drape-y shawl.

And now I have a few food pictures to share from the week. (Yep, no transition. Sorry about that.)

Last weekend I made a pan’s worth of eggplant parmesan using a big, beautiful farm eggplant. It was awesome. And last Friday (I think) I made gazpacho.

This was so good. Exactly what I needed on a very sticky day. Here’s the recipe. We ate it with toast and cream cheese, and it hit the spot. I will definitely be making this the next time I have a handful of super ripe, juicy tomatoes.

Happy almost weekend! (And if you’re on the East Coast, happy arrival-of-weather-that-is-suitable-for-knitwear!)

FO: simple things.

This was exactly the kind of knitting I needed this week: simple, fast, and beautiful. I knit this simple things shawl out of Socks That Rock Mediumweight in the Gypsum colorway (thanks Laura!) on size 4 needles. Because the STR was a 380 yard skein, I added a full 10-row repeat of the garter eyelet border pattern to the edging, and I still have a little bit of yarn leftover.  I snapped these photos while still in my pajamas this morning, and before Boh and I headed off to make pancakes with our friend T. and pick greens at the farm, I gave this a warm bath and pinned it out on my kitchen table.

The STR seemed to relax nicely, and I think I’ll be quite happy with the blocked size of the shawlette. More pictures soon!

academic blocking.

Today is the day: I’m wearing my GYC out the door, and I’m thrilled about it. Which got me to thinking: wouldn’t it be great if blocking worked for papers, and not just for sweaters? I’m giving a paper in a few weeks that just isn’t quite ready. In a lot of ways, I’m happy with it, but it still needs to be tugged and stretched. The stitch definition could be more even, the hem straighter, the lines cleaner. I’d really like to be able to dunk this particular project into a warm bath with some soak, and then reshape it on my kitchen table in order to get the results I want.

Alas, I’m stuck with revisions, more reading, talking to myself in the shower, and occasional full-on questioning of what it is that I am arguing. This is yet another area where I think knitting has the right idea: a lot can be solved with a warm bath.

throw down your heart.

Or in this case, finish peeling the beet and add it to the pot. It does look like a heart though, right? This post shares its title is with a Bela Fleck album (vol. 3) I received in the mail along with a beautiful hand-stamped valentine that is already on the fridge. This music, a combination of Bela Fleck’s banjo and the voices/instruments he encountered as he traveled through several African countries, makes me smile. And I need that today.

To continue with the music references, I give you my garter yoke cardigan, revisited. (Yes, I’m a nerd.)

(That is a cardboard box behind my arm — the cardigan hangs straight down.)

I attempted to block it longer and narrower in both the sleeves and the body, and I think I managed to turn this into a leaner, slouchier cardigan.

Boh seems to agree. I’m going to wear this out of the house this week!