scrap yarn: brilliant concept.

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I am excited about my Brompton cardigan — a bit nervous, as this is the first time I have tried to fit something to myself — but excited all the same. The fit in the chest seems perfect, but the armholes seemed a bit loose on me. The prospect of ripping back a few rows to take out the raglan increases in the arms seemed less than enjoyable, so I decided to divide and try it on again to get a better sense for how it will lay.

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This picture made me feel a bit better. It may be a tad loose, but I want the fit to be similar to Alice’s, with some positive ease so that it is comfy and can be worn over layers. The last 10 rows took forever, but those are also the longest rows, so I think the next bit will be  bit quicker (in my head, at least!). Have I mentioned (today) that I love Rowan Felted Tweed? It is gorgeous. I love the bits of orangey brown — they offset the blue-green color perfectly.

As the theme of the day is scrap yarn, I didn’t stop there.

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[Note to self: Shiny-ish yarn, unfinished, cropped sweater, arms length away — these do not make for flattering photographs.]

I present Rusted Root! I began this in September, and have been working on it whenever I am on an airplane. I may have to break that rule, as I just need to knit another 6 or so inches and then knit the ribbing on the bottom, neckline and sleeves. I switched from some hot pink plastic Susan Bates needles to my KnitPicks Harmony Options, and got this project all settled in a very pretty knitting bag. It would be great to wear this in a few weeks when spring arrives…

As I write this, there is a mixture of snow and freezing rain falling. Snow day?

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pears for crisp…

Recipe from Apples for Jam. (Self, you are so clever.) I know that I am super late to this party, but while I was in NYC, I found this cookbook by Tessa Kiros at Anthropologie for under ten dollars. No brainer. This weekend I made both the Pear and Berry Crisp (with pears, apples, and some frozen blueberries), and the Lentil Soup (with more liberal modifications based on the contents of my fridge and pantry). Balsamic vinegar with lentils is a brilliant idea, by the way, and here’s a shot of the crisp:

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Boh and I went for a great run along the river on Saturday, which is my way of telling you that I am eating this for breakfast momentarily. Before I can dig into the crisp, how about a bit of knitting? Still knitting away on Brompton (so excited about this) and several other projects, but again, knitting time does not equal visible knitting progress. More on those soon.

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I’m making serious progress on the Gathered Scarf. While not the quickest knit, due to all the needle switching and kfb/k2tog, this is a lot of fun. It doesn’t hurt that the yarn may be the softest I’ve knit with: Blue Sky Alpacas Suri Merino, for those of you just tuning in. In this picture, the scarf is not yet wrapped around my neck.

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Last night I started my third skein, and I think this is going to be long and luxurious. This is a pretty substantial knit, and while I wouldn’t call the scarf heavy, I think it will stretch out considerably with wear. I absolutely adore superlong scarves, so I think this will become fast favorite. It is starting to warm up here in the afternoons, so I better hurry up and finish it so I can wear it before next fall!

I think I mentioned that I was in need of an unplanned, relaxing weekend. If this picture is any indication, we were successful.

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Hope your Monday is off to a good start.

“i miss the barbed wire and the sage on that wild northern range…”

Eilen Jewell says that, or rather, sings that, in her song, “Boundary County”. I just bought the album, and I highly recommend it. She has this incredible lilt in her voice that just reminds me of mesas and prairies and desolate, beautiful landscapes. This is my roundabout way of telling you that it is good to be home. Each time I visit New York, whether for work or pleasure, I have a great time. I love visiting the favorite places of friends there, and this last time, the haunts and corners of the city we visited (shuffleboard bars, dog parks, noisy diners, cozy Italian restaurants) had me thinking that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to live in New York. (Victory for you, JP.)

Please accept this description in lieu of photos of cityscapes, as I failed to document the goings on around me — partly because of the cold (hands stayed in pockets!), but also because I hate that touristy feeling I get when surrounded by lots of other folks taking pictures of tall American buildings. I’d rather blend in and participate in daily life. Clearly, this conflicts at times with my desire to be a better recorder/documenter of my life. Something to work on.

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Speaking of working on, I have much knitting progress to share. First up, my Brompton progress. You will recall that I managed to acquire the yarn for this project and swatch just before leaving on Friday. I’m in the increase section, and I’m just about ready to divide the sleeves and body. Had to stop knitting on this on the plane home, as I realized it was about time to put it on waste yarn and try it on. This is rather difficult to do in an airplane seat.

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The color is far greener than this picture, but I love how this highlights the tweediness of the yarn and the beauty of the basketweave stitch. I was worried that a tweedy yarn would obscure the stitch detail, but I am really happy with how this is turning out.

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I also managed some progress on the gathered scarf. The Blue Sky Alpacas Suri Merino is so soft, and I love how this scarf is draping. This is a slower knit, due to the constant needle switching every five or so rows, but this is worth it.

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Also, ta-da! My first attempt at Magic Loop, in the form of Schrodinger’s Twisted Tweed Socks. I am very excited about these, as this method is so much faster and less fiddly than using DPNS — particularly valuable on an airplane. I am using KnitPicks circulars, size 2, 32 inches, and while the cable is nice and flexible, I did manage to yank the cable out of the needle. I don’t think I pulled very hard on the cable, so that was frustrating. I managed to push the cable back into the needle, but the join is a bit awkward, and a bit more predisposed towards separating again (happened once more, though I was being extra careful). I’m sure part of this is my fault — I know that tightening the first stitch too much is a common problem when learning Magic Loop, but I was a bit disappointed, as this is my first time using this particular circ, and the join will never be smooth.

Phew! Long knitting update. Sun is shining, and I have the morning to get my life in order before heading to the office this afternoon. Boh is curled up in his favorite spot, snoring. All is well.

on the road this weekend

Or, rather, in the air. Heading East for work. I’m not sure if I’ll have time and internet access for posting, but I am taking the camera, and I am determined to document the trip. (I’m writing this down here so that you can yell at me if I don’t do it.)

I pack light — small carry-on duffel (projector included), computer bag, and a cavernous purse that can fit inside the duffel if anyone gives me trouble about the whole “one bag + one carry-on item does not equal these + an oversized purse” thing. As I talk about knitting a fair amount here (no, really?), you may be wondering what I am bringing. After much deliberation, evening swatching, and frantic searching for size 5 options needles attached to a cable I think would be useful (to no avail), here is what I have decided on:

1. Materials to cast on for Schrodinger’s Twisted Rib socks, including the Magic Loop booklet.

2. The Gathered Scarf (Ravelry link), in Blue Sky Alpaca Suri Merino. I cast on for this on Wedneday night, and I really like the pattern. Here is an early shot of the scarf:

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Oh — and 3. Brompton (Ravelry Link) by Alice Bell. I am in love with this cardigan — to the point where my friend Ali and I scheduled a mid-work-day journey to our out of the way LYS to buy yarn. I ended up with 7 balls of Rowan Felted Tweed, which is gorgeous. Swatched last night, and because the Felted Tweed is on the DK/Sport border, I ended up having to go up a few needle sizes to get a more open fabric that is close enough to gauge. I have a 38 in bust measurement, and it is a layering cardigan, so I think I am going to make the 44, realizing that because my gauge is a little bit off, it may end up more 42-ish, which I think would be perfect.  The size 5s were for the neck of the cardigan. Still can’t find them, but am thinking that 4s will also work. Very excited about this sweater — I splurged on the yarn in part because I was thinking that if it didn’t work for this pattern, I’ll have it for the Tangled Yoke cardigan…but I really hope it works.

Must consume a bit more coffee and finish packing before my ride arrives in about 20 minutes. Have a great weekend!