(re)starter.

I have been meaning to post about my birthday present from Ethel Louise (welcome to blogland!) for about six weeks now. (You know, because my birthday was six weeks ago.) Ethel is a fantastic baker, and she gifted me my very own sourdough starter, complete with bread-baking instructions. I was going to wait until I actually baked bread to share this, but let’s face it — that might not happen until after the exams are over. I ignored all non-writing responsibilities last week, and then panicked about forgetting to feed my sourdough starter (it still needs a name) its weekly meal. Ethel says it is very, very hard to kill (unlike my motivation).

Last night I gave it white and whole wheat flour, and happily watched as new bubbles rose to the surface. I need my brain to start bubbling with thoughts again, too, as I am by no means done with this exam process! (Just past the most anxiety-inducing one of the three.)

More knitting soon, I promise.

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knits/no knitting.

I haven’t picked up my needles this week, which makes me sad. I’ve been wanting to blog, but I couldn’t come up with anything to show you!

So yesterday I decided that even if I didn’t have any knitting, I could at least post a few pictures of knits, to continue with my occasional posts that feature knits-in-action.

Mara-in-action. Whenever I wear this, I am happy. The cheeriness of the pink, the squish of the beaverslide — this shawl generates happiness.

And now, a confession. I haven’t yet worn my garter yoke cardigan out of the house. I’ve worn it several times, but only when I am home. I love the squish, I’m thrilled with the handspun yoke, but the fit just isn’t quite right on me. Something about it being too big to be a fitted cardigan, and too small to be a slouchy cardigan. See?

I haven’t blocked this yet, in part because I can’t decide how to make it fit better. I’m thinking about aggressively blocking it to make it longer and narrower — sleeves too. What do you think? (I took this picture half an hour ago, but I am already wearing a different cardigan. Boo.)

Now, insert an appropriate transition here, because I don’t have one.

For my birthday, my friend K. baked me the most delicious cinnamon raisin swirl bread ever. I have been eating it for breakfast, snack, and dessert. (Well, and I might have eaten some of it as part of a breakfast-like dinner on Tuesday. But don’t tell anyone.) In fact, I intend to eat the last two slices for breakfast in a moment.

More knitting soon, I hope.

soup, a stroll, a sock, a seaman’s cap.

Yep, this post is brought to you by the letter S.

Leftover soup is one of my favorite things. It makes for the perfect lazy lunch. This is carrot soup (from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking) with smoked paprika on top, and beer bread (a fantastic recipe I got from Jodi, who found it here) toasted in the oven. I’ve made this bread three or four times already, and it is wonderful. After a cozy lunch at my yellow table, Boh and I headed out for a longer walk, thanks to the sunshine and slightly warmer temperatures.

Handknit socks in hiking boots — also one of my favorite things.

Sigh. (Also an S-word, if you’re keeping track.)

Boh made silly, sleepy faces while I did some reading, and then I made some serious progress on a toe up, gusset heel sock and my brother’s seaman’s cap. See?

Hope your Sunday involves (or at least invokes the spirit of) soup, strolling, sock-knitting, silly dog faces, etc. More soon.

monday mitten.

Two pictures, one mitten. This is the first mitten that I am ostensibly knitting for my brother. This is my first wheelspun yarn, oatmeal bfl from paradise fibers, and while I had to cast on about 5 times to get a cuff that seemed snug enough with my lumpy bumpy yarn (note to self: 36 st), I am in love with this mitten. The thing is, this mitten is probably not long enough to fit my brother with a bit of ease, despite my constant measuring and re-measuring against my mom’s hand (bigger than mine).

I think the decreases occurred much faster than I was anticipating (I mistakenly expected that the decrease rows would occur every other row), but it is possible that my subconscious wanted me to knit these to fit MY hands instead. I finished this first mitten (well, sans thumb) before Christmas, but I haven’t decided whether to rip back and make this bigger and knit another, or to finish the pair and keep them, and knit a new pair for my brother. What a dilemma, right?

Also, last night I cast on a lacy baktus in my handspun AVFKW merino/silk in A King’s Ransom colorway. Believe the hype: this pattern is addicting.

Today, Boh and I are doing laundry, cleaning the house, frolicking in the snow, organizing the closets — and eating this delicious traditional Czechoslovakian bread called hoaska that my dad makes every year for Christmas. (Boh is not eating the bread. Or helping with the rest of these tasks.)

Yum. I can’t believe they let me leave with almost a third of a loaf! It might be time for another piece…

foliage.

oct six mile1

oct six mile2

I stand in pretty much the same place to take my pictures of the reservoir near my house, so you can really see how much the leaves have changed over the last few weeks. Yesterday was the perfect day for a walk through the falling leaves.

bread inside

bread marmalade

We baked a loaf of no-knead bread, and enjoyed it with delicious marmalade brought home from a friend’s summer in France (thanks, K!) as our dessert last night.

joshandboh

Also, I thought you all might enjoy a picture of Boh’s “Um, can you wake up now?” technique. He has certainly made a new friend this weekend!

More knitting soon, I promise.

almost…

write

I’m in the homestretch: writing my last paper of my first semester of grad school. Oh, what’s that I’m wearing?

action

More knits in action: thanksgiving day mitts, clapotis and le slouch. It’s cold in my apartment! Also, someone has earned his socks, though he won’t get them til next week:

m-bread

Fact: fresh bread makes paper writing ever-so-much more bearable.

Hope you’re well. I’ll be posting more knitting progress when I actually get to pick up my needes again — there is a looming pile of holiday knits waiting for me once I’m done writing…

brought to you by the letter B.

Brussel sprouts…

Boh asleep on my Bed (note that his head is on the pillow. Silly dog)…

Beret #2. How did that happen?

(no-knead) Bread #4. This time I used bread flour, and Boy is it Beautiful!

I didn’t actually plan for today to be sponsored by the letter B, but it is nice when things turn out that way. Here are the details of my accidentally cast-on and completed star crossed slouchy beret #2:

Yarn/needles: Malabrigo leftovers from Foliage and sassymmetrical, US 11 needles.

Mods: A bunch on this version: On the increase row after the first pattern repeat, I did K3, M1, rather than K2, M1, to make it slightly less slouchy. The second time through, the pattern directs you to do a repeat and a half. I eliminated the half repeat, and began the decreases, knitting the appropriate cable row partway through the decreases. Also, I did some stripey stuff to stretch the Cinnabar color a bit further, and I like how it turned out. Again, the cables and the large needle size make the resulting hat super squishy and soft. It will be easier to put Beret #1 in the mail with this one here for me to enjoy.

Time to slice into that Bread…