FO: new new shale cowl.

I was skeptical when I started knitting the new new shale cowl. I just wasn’t sure that the dark variegated silk was the right match for this pattern, but I’m glad I stuck with it, because I think this is beautiful, and a great fit for my mom. I hope she likes it. (Remember, this is a Christmas present. She picked the yarn, which I wrapped up for her, and then she chose the pattern.) I’ve decided not to block it, so that my mom can decide if she wants to stretch/open up the lace a bit more — if I were keeping it, I think I’d leave it as is.

This was my first time knitting with Blue Moon Fiber Arts Luscious Silk, and my, oh my, was it a pleasure. I used just over half the skein (to my eye, anyway), which means I’ll have to figure out what to do with the leftovers. (I know, tough life.) I followed the pattern to the letter on this one — needle size (6), length, pattern, etc. The pattern was easy to memorize, and the repeats felt rewarding, you know? A very pleasant knit, and one I’d consider making again, for me — maybe in handspun?

Also, I’ve got another soup recipe recommendation for you. Last night I made this red lentil soup, though I made mine with those neat-looking French (blue) beluga lentils. I think that’s what they call them. Anyway, super tasty — and more complex in flavor than a basic lentil soup. I don’t know if it was that I used homemade stock and added some homemade canned tomato puree instead of tomato paste, or just the addition of lemon juice and cilantro at the end, but this was really fabulous, and I’m looking forward to eating the leftovers for lunch. (Cooking note — I simmered my soup about 10-15 minutes longer — I just think the lentils I substituted needed more time. Also, I left out the water.)

Time to pour the coffee and get back to the books.

indirect enabling.

That’s right, folks. I’ve got a story that starts with Mick and ends with new earrings. See, weeks ago, Mick invited me to try Pinterest. (Which is a super cool way to make virtual pinboards and share them with the cloud. Turns out I went to school with the dudes behind this new way to organize awesomeness.) Anyway, when I was sick earlier this week, I decided to play around on the site. And I found so many pretty things, one of which really stuck with me: this pair of earrings, made from clock hands. And so I decided to get myself an early birthday present. I mean, I’m a historian. How can I not have earrings made out of clock hands?

Exactly.

Aren’t they incredible? I love that a pair is one hour hand and one minute hand. They’re made of brass, so they’ll tarnish with wear. Which I’m extremely excited about. I’m justifying these as an early birthday present to myself. (Well, and as part of my professional duty. Or something.)

I wasn’t joking when I said I might not take my idlewood off. Today, after a much needed early morning yoga class, I put on a “real” outfit and walked in the snowy sunshine down to the coffee shop to read. The only question I have right now is what color I should knit this in next. And I’d cast on immediately, if it weren’t for all this reading. Well, and that new year’s resolution I made to actually finish the sweaters I’ve got on the needles. More on that soon.

Also, just so you don’t think I take pictures of myself all day:

Here is yesterday’s work, a cup of tea, and a new (new?) shale cowl for my mom. She picked out this 100% silk yarn from Blue Moon Fiber Arts as her Christmas gift (I think I have Mick to thank for talking about this yarn several months ago on her blog), and asked for an eternity scarf. But then, as we looked at pattern pictures, it became clear that when she said “eternity scarf” she meant “lacy cowl.” I’m glad I waited to consult with her about the pattern! My parents are driving down to take me out to dinner on Friday, and I’d love to have this ready for her to wear. We’ll see…