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!

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!

bracken: blocking/before buttons.

bracken blocking

I gave bracken a nice soak and then tried to get a bit more length out of it as it lay drying on these awesome blocking squares. (These are from Knitpicks, and seriously, they cut drying time in half.)

bracken almost1

bracken almost 2

bracken almost 3

Blocking = magic. Everything relaxed and totally evened out, and I think the length is absolutely perfect. I think Boh agreed, because he kept trying to get in the picture.

boh with bracken

Now I just need to sew on the buttons! (Well, first I need to find some appropriate thread.)

bracken grey buttons

I was looking through my button jars for a set of dark brown buttons, but the ones I have are a bit shiny, so I think I’m going to go with the grey matte buttons on the left.

If only I could make such satisfying progress on my writing projects…

disaster averted.

disaster

Disaster. (Note the amount of yarn remaining, and the number of stitches yet to be bound off. This is take 2 — I was keeping an eye on the remaining yarn as I knit the last few rows, and ended up ripping back a row to make sure I’d have enough. You can see how well that turned out for me.)

averted

Averted. (Those of you who read regularly probably have a sense for how much pink/magenta/fuschia I tend to knit with, and thus how much I have in my stash, in any fiber — very little to none. At the point of absolute despair, I went digging in the drawer where I keep dishcloth cotton and textiles I rarely use. And then I saw this yarn, knitpicks shine, tucked in the back, patiently waiting to become a Picovoli tee or something like it. The colors match EXACTLY. Phew.)

mara fo whole

mara and ring

I am quite pleased with how Mara turned out.

(Details: 2 skeins Beaverslide Dry Goods lambswool in colorway snapdragon. Size 8 needles. A yard or two in Knitpicks Shine.)

Actually, I’m way more than pleased, as evidenced by my willingness to don a lambswool shawl in crazy humidity and take 50 pictures. (Yep, fifty.)

mara whole2

By the way, it is incredibly difficult to take a non-blurry, over-the-shoulder photo of the back of a shawl. I’m just saying. I promise to take “real” FO pictures of this post-blocking, when I can stand to actually put on some clothes that I might actually wear this with!

mara blocking

And now for an awkward transition! Mara is blocking on my kitchen table (note the darkness of the wet cotton on the left there. It blends in perfectly when dry). I cut several containers (vases, mason jar, growler) worth of flowers at the farm yesterday, some of which you can see in this late-night blocking shot. Here are a few more:

flowers1

flowers2

It was so hot and sticky yesterday that I wanted to get my veggies straight into the fridge after their rather humid car ride back to the farm. Here are a few photos of parts of this week’s haul:

beans

3 quarts of beans, hand picked by moi, and some herbs.

tomatoes

Some of the best tomatoes I’ve ever tasted, straight from the farm’s passive solar greenhouse.

Lastly, a sock update:

hiyahiyasock progress

I think Boh has given up on my KAL socks, but he has kept a watchful eye on this pair. I’m into the ribbing now, so it won’t be long before I cast on sock #2!

precision.

cupcakescale

That’s right, folks. I broke out my “scale” yesterday.

cupcakemeasuring2

I needed to divide some gorgeous yarn pirate superwash bfl in the cupcake colorway into 2 balls in anticipation of today’s events; namely, the arrival of Socks From the Toe Up by Wendy Johnson. I learned of a massive KAL beginning this month and working, month by month, through the whole book. Chrissy of the Manic Purl podcast is participating, and her review of the book and discussion of the KAL piqued my interest. I checked out the group and decided that this might be just the motivation I need to keep working on my sock skills (and knit down some of my sock yarn stash).

Here’s one more picture of the yarn, which I will be using to knit the Lacy Ribs Socks for the June KAL.

cupcake measuring

This pattern seems to work well for handpainted and variegated yarns, and to be honest, I grabbed this from my stash because I wasn’t quite sure about the colors, and thought this pattern would be a good way to use it. Wound up, however, I adore it, and I cannot wait to get started!

Also in the land of precision (sort of): a whisper update! I returned to my ribbing, and late last night, bound off the collar stitches.

whisper arm1

Here’s a close-up of the ribbing-that-seemed-as-though-it-would-never-be-completed:

whisper underarm detail

It seems strange to not be posting Stripes! pictures. Do you want to see a few more? Good.

stripes and skirt

stripeyoke closup

I snapped these yesterday after grafting the underarms/weaving in the ends and before dunking the sweater into a warm bath, where it promptly absorbed ALL of the water my teeny-tiny bathroom sink can hold. Here it is, blocking on the kitchen table:

stripesblocking

I started reading a serious book yesterday, and it felt good to do some “work.” I’m planning to do more of that today, but the real news is that Tuesday is farm share day! The u-pick strawberry limit has been upped to 8 quarts (I picked 3 on Sunday), so I am planning some quality time in the berry patch this afternoon as well.

If you’ve been thinking about doing more sock knitting, check out the Socks From the Toe Up KAL group on Ravelry — super well-organized and epic in scale. (Plus, there are some great monthly prizes.)