blue button, purple project and a sweater’s worth…

Check out my sweet button! One of our interns at Base Camp surprised me with this after one of our weekly food-buying trips. The colors are a bit weird in this shot (in town, enjoying a bed, a ceiling fan and a leisurely morning, and the shades are still drawn) but let me assure you that the mustardy green of the sweater makes the blue button really stand out. Perfect. I am really proud of this sweater, but it may take a bit of wearing for me to feel like it is “me” enough to get someone to take some modeled pictures for me to post. (Also, it doesn’t *quite* fit with my Base Camp wardrobe…)

A fast internet connection and the ability to post in bed this fine holiday morning means I have a lot to share with you. In my last post, I mentioned a new project: Fad Classic by Wendy Bernard. I’m using Araucania Nature Wool in a purpley-grey color, and I really love how this stitch pattern looks with the subtle variegation of the yarn. I’m also feeling really good about the progress I’m making as a knitter. I tried to start this project last fall, and I just couldn’t wrap my head around the way the straps are knit — 2 at a time from the top shoulder seam, doing the front first, pulling out the cast on and knitting the straps down for the back before joining in the round. While it was a bit fiddly and I was slightly paranoid about twisting everything, it is clear to me that my knitterly abilities and confidence are growing with each project I tackle. (Yay!)

Alright, onto the yarn purchasing. As we’ve covered here before, yarn buying is a valid form of therapy. There’s lots going on over here with work, family and my upcoming cross-country move and transition to graduate school, and some of it is a bit overwhelming. In packing up my stash (and sneaking peaks at all of your stashes via ravelry), I realized that though I have plenty of yarn, I don’t have much in sweater quantities, and so I’ve been focusing on addressing that whenever I get stressed out. Also, as this is my first summer as a sweater knitter, I’m having a hard time saying no to all the beautiful fall/wintery yarn that seems to be on sale while the weather is hot. A quick look at some of my latest acquisitions:

Sooo, from the top: Queensland Kathmandu DK in light grey and rust, Malabrigo in Chestnut, Nashua Creative Focus Worsted in delphinium, and Nashua Creative Focus Superwash in Brite Orange, along with some discounted books I’ve had my eye on. (Full disclosure — there’s some Peace Fleece in the mail.) Though that orange is much “briter” than I expected, I think it will work nicely in something stripey. As you can see, there are many sweaters in my future.

In other news, the rains have begun. People always give me a funny look when I mention that the Southwest has a monsoon season, but it’s true — Right around the 4th of July, the afternoon thunderstorms increase in regularity, and sometimes we even get a full evening of gentle rain. Here are a few pictures of an approaching storm earlier this week:

And Wednesday’s (blurry) sunset:

Feels good to get all of this uploaded and shared. I’m way behind on comments, but I’m still here, and I’m almost caught up on blog-reading. Hope you have a lovely 4th of July — I’m spending mine at the rodeo!


almost (FO) gathered cardi

These pictures are incredibly awkward, but I think you get the idea. I took these in my cabin late at night, so I’m wearing a hooded sweater underneath the cardi in these pictures. I’m envisioning wearing it with lots of layers as a swingy over-sweater kind of a thing. I’d call this an FO, as blocking out here at Base Camp is highly unlikely, except that I need an appropriately large and funky button to make this wearable. Hoping to find some time to play at Goodwill or the flea market the next time I run errands in town. 

In keeping with my routine of photographing the sky around me, I think this summer you’ll see more evening than morning skies here at the blog. I love the transition from day into night, and I often find myself strolling back down the road after feeding Boh his dinner, sighing at all of the beauty around me. A few shots from earlier this week:

I cast on for a new project as soon as I finished the cardi knitting. Pictures soon!

to the bat cave?

Um, yes. That is correct. This bat has taken up residence in the rafters of my little cabin. So far we’ve managed to get along just fine. These pictures, surprisingly, were taken at about 10 am, when I returned to my cabin to grab something and heard a strange scratching noise. This fella was attempting to inch his way along the central roof beam, and I believe the light was making it a bit difficult. Anyway, here are a few pictures (excuse the darkness/blurriness) of the gathered cardigan in that same cabin:

Though I recognize that this sweater is neither my style nor cut to be the absolute most flattering on me, I do love it. The back is far more swingy than this picture suggests, which may make it hard to wear, but I’m hoping I can rock it over lots of layers. I’m working on sleeve #2 now, and am hoping to find the perfect big wooden button for the front. This is my second time using Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, and I am even more pleased with the drape and stitch definition this time around. Also, stress (common this time of year) makes me buy yarn. Look for some confessional photos soon…

Sunset earlier in the week. More soon!

can we make it last like a musical ride?

Title courtesy of Neil. These days, my late evenings have been filled with flickering campfires, a handful of friends warbling and strumming the depressing ballads of Mr. Young, and (many) beverages of the wheat variety. Go ahead, feel sorry for me. (My days have been both full and early. I’m going to need to get a bit more sleep in the coming weeks…) Anyway, I’m in town for the evening to run some errands before heading back out, and have worked up the motivation for a post. After all, I have sweater progress to share!

This is really coming along. I am halfway through the portion below the gathered section — which is significant, because in order to create that pintuck effect, you actually double the body stitches at the “gather”, making the knitting seem extremely slow-going. This sweater has gorgeous drape, and I am excited to complete it. My only concern is that it won’t be “me”, but I’ll have to finish it to find out.

Here are a few pictures from the week:

Boh has found a dear friend — I think he’s going to have a good summer frolicking with Oso.

Some Indian Paintbrush I stopped to photograph on my morning walk to the office. More soon. Have a great week!

second home.

A dear friend came out to Base Camp for some weekend adventuring to my second home/other mother here in the Southwest. It might be the last time I’m there for awhile, as I will no longer be a day trip away come fall. It was luxurious to ramble southward along the lava flow, eat treats, sample a range of agave-based mixtures, peer at the surface of the moon, and soak beneath the milky way in a hot tub long after midnight. (I’ll spare you the photo-documentation of some of that…)

In the morning, we had ice cream in our coffee and set to making pie. Ali is very good at mixing crumb crusts! While the pie was baking, we sat out on the back porch, enjoying the mountains, the sunshine and the company.

And the local, organic goat cheese. Okay, and we did some knitting.

As you can see, I’m making some serious progress on my gathered cardi. I have a few more increase rows to do before I knit the buttonhole and put the sleeves on scrap yarn. I’m really enjoying this — I love the seed stitch border!

Though these trips are never long enough, it was a wonderful weekend. My daydreams of a piece of land and a small pre-fab structure to escape to have resurfaced. Sigh. Someday…

goodbye, little house.

On our last morning in my casita, Boh and I woke to a red sunrise:

And then we packed and packed, took a trip to the dump to get rid of some unsalvageable oversized things, made one final run to the storage unit, and handed in the keys. Goodbye, little house!

I’ve moved in with dear friends here in Albuquerque for the weekend, and though I am still recovering from all of the early morning moving I’ve been doing, there has been a bit of time for knitting.

This is Sunday Market Shawl #2, and it just needs to be soaked and blocked — a bit of a challenge when you are no longer in your own house — but I am very happy with how this has turned out. Dream in Color Smooshy is magical, and I look forward to making socks with it. I’m excited to see how big this becomes after blocking. Right now, it is probably just under 66 inches, and about 16 inches wide.

In other news, finishing the knitting portion of the Sunday Market Shawl meant that I could cast on for a new project! Though I really should’ve started a third pinwheel blanket, I couldn’t help it. I have been thinking about that Gathered Cardi from Knit.1 since I purchased the magazine, and the yarn was right on top in my Base Camp yarn bin. Last night I did a cheater’s swatch (not quite 4 inches…) and cast on. (It should be fine — I’ve used this yarn before, and my needle-size guessing seemed to produce gauge. Famous last words?) I’ve got about an inch of the seed-stitch collar:

I have one more day here — heading to Base Camp tomorrow. Though I am technically homeless right now, I am enjoying a pretty luxurious life. Check out my morning set up here:

I haven’t quite figured out a plan for posting this summer, as my internet access will be slightly limited, and I’m not sure if I am going to hook my laptop up to the office network out there. At the very least, you’ll get updates when I come into town. Please know that even if my own posting is rather sporadic, I will still be reading!

Happy June!

toe pick.

Anybody? (The Cutting Edge? Elementary school sleepovers?) Anyway, that’s what I think whenever I complete a heel flap. Can’t really explain it. See? Heel flap:

Toe pick! Also, it was very hot this week. So hot that I began second guessing my summer knitting plans. (Heading to Base Camp next week for the summer, and everything else I own is slowly making its way out of this teeny house and into a shiny storage unit.) I fell in love with this sweater from Knit.1 magazine: the gathered cardi. This is way cooler than I am, and may make me feel like I am playing dress up, but I really like it. I’m realizing as I pack that I may need to adapt my wardrobe a bit for graduate school, as I doubt it will require carharts and backcountry gear anywhere near as often. (Justification of need for sweater and thus, yarn, accomplished. You see, I don’t have any cotton in my stash!)

There it is: 8 skeins of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, in a mustardy-yellow/pea green shade. Won’t this be lovely with a big old wood button? Also, in the interest of full disclosure, here’s my stash.

It has been organized and in plastic tubs for a few weeks now, but today is the day it is going into the storage unit. I’ve made my summer knitting decisions, and I’m sticking to them. (Though my storage unit is easily accessible between the hours of 8 and 6 should I require anything additional on the days I come into town…) It is already in the car, and the clock has struck eight. Time to take more stuff to storage!

scrap yarn: brilliant concept.


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.


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.


[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?

“I would like to reach out my hand…”

“Send Me On My Way” by Rusted Root is in my head this morning. Why, you ask? Well, serious progress has been made. To be honest, I worked on Rusted Root while traveling to and from the East Coast for a family wedding in September. The hours flew by, and when I returned, my Rusted Root looked like an actually sweater. Then, it languished. I got it out to take pictures for the blog, and looked at it a lot when contemplating what to work on, but ultimately, decided that I didn’t have the patience at the end of the day to keep track of the lace pattern.

Enter the first work-related trip of the year — to Indianapolis and back. Determined to force myself to work on Rusted Root, I packed it and the lone Tiger Sock I have been working on.


I’ve finished the shaping, and now I just need to work the lace repeat until it is long enough, pick up stitches to finish the neckline and sleeves, and I will be done. This pattern is a lot of fun to knit — a great mixture of plain stockinette and a beautiful leaf pattern that appears as I work; great for airplanes and airports.


I did have a MacGyver moment on the way there: I didn’t bring a yarn needle for weaving in ends, etc. because I didn’t think I would get far enough to need one. I forgot about  needing to put the sleeves on scrap yarn. I packed light — not even a crochet hook in my plastic bag. I had a too-small stitch holder and my sock project, and that was it. I got out a size 0 needle (from the sock) and decided that I could use it to simulate a crochet hook and loop the scrap yarn through the live stitches in the same way that I would use a needle to pick up and fix dropped stitches. I wish I had taken pictures, as I was seriously proud of myself at the end of the process, but I figured that would be too wierd to attempt on a crowded airplane…

Soon, I will put all the stitches on scrap yarn and try on my Rusted Root. I am already excited to wear this.


By the way, Indianapolis was beautiful -rainy and full of brightly colored leaves, both on the trees and covering the narrow neighborhood roads I was driving. More soon — the Purl Scarf is coming along nicely.