(almost) FO: ripe bananas lap blanket.

I say almost because I haven’t blocked this or woven in any of the ends. But I bound off yesterday while taking a break from this paper, and I am in love. I decided to go with a slightly browner shade of grey for the border because the center color seemed a bit too bright next to the red, yellow and brown handspun.  Boh is shedding right now, and the kitchen table was covered with stuff yesterday, so I couldn’t find a good spot to photograph the blanket in full-on square form. I’ll do that soon, so you can see what it looks like unfolded. Thanks to Cosy for a great pattern (coming soon!) and for her knitting advice and support. This rooster can now read a chart written for a round project (yay!) and experienced the bliss of really getting into a lace pattern.

Oh, right. The details: Ripe bananas lap blanket, by Cosy, pattern forthcoming. (I used the pattern as written, save a few purl rows, which I omitted at a few of the yarn transitions.) I used US 7 needles, and a mixture of yarns,  including Brown Sheep Top of the Lamb worsted, handspun targhee (fiber from AVFKW), handspun CVM (fiber from Cosy), handspun shetland singles (fiber from AVFKW), Cascade 220 heathers in a rusty red, handspun corriedale (fiber from Spunky Eclectic), and Cascade Ecowool. The finished size, which I know you can’t see, is a substantial lap blanket — perfect for curling up under while reading for my comprehensive exams.

Happy weekend, folks. Back to writing!

ripening bananas.

Here you can see the darker orange handspun I transitioned to when I headed back to the beginning of the lace chart. (This is actually CVM farm wool, purchased from Cosy, so of course it had to go into my testknit of her fabulous ripe bananas lap blanket pattern.)

And here’s the blanket with about eight rows of lace and increases to go. I wasn’t sure how far I’d be able to knit with the orange CVM farm wool, and as you can see, I finished a row with about 5 yards left — perhaps not enough to get all the way around again. So I went back to the pile of handspun I set aside for this project, and wound a smallish skein of shetland singles in reds and taupes into a ball. I think this will be perfect for the rest of the lace section, and it will complete the lighter to darker gradient I’m going for.

I am planning to knit knit knit on this over the weekend!

happy lace.

Isn’t it, though? Last night I proctored a prelim. I brought reading to do, but I was up and down to answer questions every ten minutes or so, and just couldn’t focus on my work. Luckily, I had tucked the lap blanket I’m test-knitting for Cosy into my bag, and as the students worked, I got through another repeat or two. I love the slight variegation in this orangey handspun.

Also, I wore my garter yoke cardigan on Wednesday, and snapped a photo before dashing off to lecture. There’s something not-quite-right with the fit/style of this for me. I think the sleeves are a bit too wide to be 3/4 length, and buttoned up, I feel sort of matronly. (This might just have to do with the fact that I spend most of my time on a college campus.) Anyway, I decided to wear it over a super bright mustard-yellow shirt, and I think that worked. Thus concludes this edition of “knits-in-action.”

I’m off to the land of my bright college years for the weekend. Not looking forward to the drive, but so happy that it is finally Friday.

FO: parritch. (Also, peonies.)

It was humid this weekend, which meant that Parritch took forever to dry. Just before heading out to dinner on Saturday, I considered wearing the still slightly damp skein as a necklace. Awesome, no?

The colors are tough to photograph, but boy, are they lovely. This is 155 yards of sproingy, squishy 3-ply, in the Parritch colorway of some Hello Yarn Fiber Club targhee. I’m tempted to just turn it into a simple cowl, but I might also dig through my handspun pile to see if it might pair nicely with another skein or two so that I can make a bigger, floppier, cozier cowl – or a big comfy shawl. I’ve been inspired by some feather and fan shawls with lots of handspun colorways — and I do have a pile of handspun leftovers to throw into the mix. Just an idea. Also — I am toying with a big handspun pinwheel. Cosy over at cosymakes just finished one and I adore it. Also, I have some wedding gifts to knit this summer, and I’m thinking pinwheel lap blankets. I’ve given three as wedding gifts so far, and my friends seem to really like them. So, onto the eventual to-knit list: pinwheels for weddings, and a pinwheel for me!

Also, I said there were peonies. And there are. I clipped most of the blossoms that were starting to droop down over the driveway, which means there are small jars and vases of peonies in every room. I’ve had a rather exciting twenty-four hours in tenant land, as there is a new/substantial leak that has repeatedly filled my stock pot and prompted a ceiling tile or two to crumble to the ground in the middle of the night (hello, howling dog). I’m hoping the plumber will be here tomorrow. In the meantime, I’m going to keep spinning and enjoy my peonies. Want to see more of those Corriedale Seasick singles?

Be still my heart. This will definitely be a shawl. But which one?

fo: second super hero helmet hat.

super hero helmet hat green

green super hero2

Just over half a skein of Araucania Nature Wool later, I have a second super hero helmet hat. This hat is all about instant gratification, and the squoosh factor is incredible. I made the 68 st Medium this time, and it fits nicely without being too snug. (Again, good for all of this hair!)

fo: super hero helmet hat.

super hero helmet hat 1

super hero helmet hat 2

This is perhaps the squishiest, warmest hat I’ve ever made. (It may also be the biggest hat I’ve knit, but I’ll get to that.) I was so excited to discover that I won this pattern over at Cosy’s blog because I’ve been meaning to purchase this pattern, especially now that I have a pile of handspun that is just begging to be knit into smaller projects. I settled on some of my early wheelspun: AVFKW corriedale in The Candle’s Nimble Flame.

Using size 10.5 needles, I cast on for the larger size medium (if you have the pattern, you’ll know exactly what I mean), and knit to the decreases. The hat is knit back and forth, so I wrapped it around my head and realized that it was going to be way too big. I tend not to swatch with hats, as most of the time it seems like I can eye it and the hat will fit someone, but I hadn’t really taken into account how thick and thin this handspun is, and clearly my powers of estimation are less accurate when evaluating something knit flat. I frogged what I had and started over, casting on 8 stitches fewer and beginning again.

I finished late last night, and I absolutely love the earflaps and the shape of the hat. It may still be a bit big — I didn’t think really think about row gauge, and I probably should have accounted for that in adjusting for my surprisingly thick yarn.

super hero helmet hat 3

That said, this may become my go-to hat for super cold days, dog-walking, hiking, etc. I can fit my growing expanse of hair under the hat (see first picture), no problem, and this hat is loose enough that I can stay warm without flattening my hair while out walking with Boh. (This matters on days where I have to head back to campus for afternoon and evening events.)

Most importantly, this is an incredibly satisfying, soothing knit. I have a lot going on this week, and I just really needed to finish something last night — to feel productive, to see progress on at least one task, and I think finishing this super squishy hat and snapping a few (bleary-eyed) pictures helped me to sleep more deeply.

I might even cast on for another before the day is over.

Thanks, Cosy, for a clear, cute, satisfying, straightforward pattern. I highly recommend the Super Hero Helmet Hat!

Any and all wonkiness in the land of sizing rests solely on me, the variation in my thick and thin yarn, and my lack of patience! (I just needed to get to that garter stitch happy place, and ignored gauge issues in order to blissfully knit back and forth — and I do not regret it!)