FO: hemlock ring.

First, the answer to the blocking dilemma: blocking trumps civilized meals at the table. I opted not to use pins — the ecowool was sticky enough that it seemed to stay where I pulled/tugged it, probably thanks to gravity, as most of the “petals” were hanging off the table. Despite rolling the blanket in a towel before laying it out to dry, I had to periodically wipe up puddles from beneath the petals.  Because this is a wedding gift, I decided not to spread it out again to photograph it — that just seemed like a recipe for a blanket covered in Boh-hair. So here’s a shot of the finished hemlock ring, folded and draped over a chair in the kitchen:

I am thrilled with how this turned out. Plus, I learned new things about lace knitting, casting on, and binding off, and I reclaimed some lace knitting confidence after my ishbel fail. Victory! I used just under 1.5 skeins of Cascade Ecowool (using US 10.5 needles as called for in the pattern) and I made the regular size, binding off at the marked row on the chart. And with the kitchen table back, I made pizza for dinner last night.

This is a tomato, basil, and mozzarella pizza — no sauce, just some olive oil brushed on underneath the toppings. This is might be my new favorite pizza combination — the tomatoes were so sweet — almost caramelized by the heat of the oven.

In the land of tomatoes, want to see what I have planned in the kitchen for tonight, tomorrow, and/or Friday?

Time to can some tomatoes! I’ve never done this before, and I’m psyched. My mom emailed me her recipe for sauce and scanned in her handwritten notes about canning whole tomatoes. I remember her doing this when I was little, and I am looking forward to having my own jars of tomatoes I picked on my shelves!

Also, my fridge was so colorful after I unloaded yesterday’s haul from the farm that I just had to take a picture. I also opened the fridge door and pulled out the drawers so that the boy could admire everything from the rainbow of goodness inside to the adorableness of the baby eggplants.

Last picture today: year three, day one. Me and my goofy grin are off to campus soon. A big year begins. But first, I’m going to knit another inch of that big, happy cowl-neck.

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hemlock blob, boh, buttons.

A podcast, an episode of Project Runway, and two mugs of coffee later, I present to you my hemlock ring, in blob form, and I love it. Now, where am I going to block this thing?

Boh has no idea.

Yesterday afternoon,  I quickly added a fourth (red) button to my Shalom, and then swapped out the less matchy orange button (second from the top) in order to make this wearable, and quick. See, yesterday was cold and rainy, and, let’s face it, rather unproductive. A coffee shop work plan took shape, and I decided that I needed to be able to wear Shalom. I think I will eventually swap out the orange buttons for red ones, but this worked wonderfully for yesterday’s coffee shop work date (followed by a french-fries-with-delicious-dipping-sauces-reward-for-reading date). Here are a few more Shalom pictures! (Tough to take good photos in artificial light. The blurry ones are my favorites.)

Back to the pile of reading!

beginning the bind-off.

This is going to take awhile, but boy, is it ever pretty! The knitted bind-off option for the hemlock ring involves a repeat that includes turning your work, and then knitting and purling into one stitch several times to create that lovely loop. Then you turn back and bind off those stitches, and continue on to the next grouping. Slow, but worth it, I think.

Also, last night we had a super easy, super delicious meal, completely inspired by this tomato tart over at inoakpark. I followed the recipe that K. links to, though I used slightly less butter in my crust, and didn’t need the additional tbsp of water. Also, I only slathered whole grain spicy mustard on half of the dough, as the boy is not a huge fan. I used mozzarella instead of goat cheese, fresh flat-leaf parsley for the herbs, and tucked a few stray rounds of zucchini into the gaps left by my tomato slices. The dough took less than ten minutes to make, and requires no resting time. Thirty minutes after that, this deliciousness came out of the oven. I’m not ashamed to say we polished off the entire tart. I will be making this again.

pancakes and procrastination.

My friend T. and I picked a few pounds of blueberries on Tuesday afternoon, which meant that on Wednesday, I made pancakes for breakfast and lunch.

Boh has continued his efforts to take over the couch at every opportunity.

And I have directed all of my powers of procrastination into my hemlock ring blanket. I’m sure I’ll be able to get back on track once I’ve exhausted the episodes of Arrested Development available on Netflix. (I’m halfway through Season 2.)

I’m still reading, just nowhere near as quickly or effectively as I’d like. Note to self: get on that.

pedaling/treadling.

Yesterday I finished plying the Spunky Club corriedale in New Day. This stuff is hanging to dry, and should be all done by the time I get back from morning yoga today.

And this stuff — well, it just called to me yesterday. This is the first bobbin of Pigeonroof Studios Merino in the Chard colorway.

And this is the second bobbin. This stuff really did spin itself, and I am excited for the squishy 2-ply it will become.

Remember that huge skein of Eco-wool I had on the swift the other day? It is destined to become a Hemlock Ring blanket. Jodi of A Caffeinated Yarn and I are doing a mini-KAL, and already I’m convinced that this project is building my lace confidence. So nice to knit lace on size 10.5 needles! I recognize that this picture doesn’t necessarily reveal ANYTHING about the pattern, but I’m a bit further along now, at row 30. I am just about ready to transfer this to circulars, and then it will be both faster to knit on, and easier to conceptualize. I’ll snap more pictures.

And then there’s this guy. He didn’t do much of anything yesterday…except demonstrate that he really is long enough to take up the entire couch. That’s my dog!