knits in the wild (and shh, don’t startle it — actual knitting progress).

Yesterday. (Garter yoke cardigan.)

Today. (Idlewood.)

I’m about a third of the way through the first lace chart of the edging for Terra. I cannot wait to wear this — maybe it has something to do with the snow that just keeps falling? (I’m not complaining. I love snow.) Hoping to knit a few rows after I finish today’s reading. Stay warm!

indirect enabling.

That’s right, folks. I’ve got a story that starts with Mick and ends with new earrings. See, weeks ago, Mick invited me to try Pinterest. (Which is a super cool way to make virtual pinboards and share them with the cloud. Turns out I went to school with the dudes behind this new way to organize awesomeness.) Anyway, when I was sick earlier this week, I decided to play around on the site. And I found so many pretty things, one of which really stuck with me: this pair of earrings, made from clock hands. And so I decided to get myself an early birthday present. I mean, I’m a historian. How can I not have earrings made out of clock hands?

Exactly.

Aren’t they incredible? I love that a pair is one hour hand and one minute hand. They’re made of brass, so they’ll tarnish with wear. Which I’m extremely excited about. I’m justifying these as an early birthday present to myself. (Well, and as part of my professional duty. Or something.)

I wasn’t joking when I said I might not take my idlewood off. Today, after a much needed early morning yoga class, I put on a “real” outfit and walked in the snowy sunshine down to the coffee shop to read. The only question I have right now is what color I should knit this in next. And I’d cast on immediately, if it weren’t for all this reading. Well, and that new year’s resolution I made to actually finish the sweaters I’ve got on the needles. More on that soon.

Also, just so you don’t think I take pictures of myself all day:

Here is yesterday’s work, a cup of tea, and a new (new?) shale cowl for my mom. She picked out this 100% silk yarn from Blue Moon Fiber Arts as her Christmas gift (I think I have Mick to thank for talking about this yarn several months ago on her blog), and asked for an eternity scarf. But then, as we looked at pattern pictures, it became clear that when she said “eternity scarf” she meant “lacy cowl.” I’m glad I waited to consult with her about the pattern! My parents are driving down to take me out to dinner on Friday, and I’d love to have this ready for her to wear. We’ll see…

 

FO: idlewood.

I was feeling lousy when I took these pictures, so ignore the other things I’m wearing. I promise to more fully document Idlewood “in the wild.”

Swoon. That cowl! So big and cozy. In case there was any doubt, I love this sweater. Idlewood might be the most wearable sweater I’ve ever knit. I knit the 36 and 3/4 inch size, and I think a little bit of negative ease is the way to go here. I used Elsa Wool Cormo, worsted weight (but spun woolen), and I cannot wait to find an excuse to get more of this stuff — undyed, and oh so pretty. Conservatively, this took 3.5 skeins, or about 875 yards, though I don’t think I used fully half of the fourth skein. (Which means I’ve got a skein and a half for mittens, or a hat, or something wonderful for me, me, me.)

I’m sorry, Boh. Am I boring you?

Boh has been such a good sport while I’ve been sick this week. And so funny, too, in his attempts to entertain himself. I mustered up enough energy to play yesterday. It was the least I could do.

I credit my (almost-there) recovery to this incredibly delicious soup, delivered to my door by K. A hearty veggie soup with fresh herbs, it was exactly what I didn’t know I wanted to eat on Tuesday.

Thanks for all your kind words and happy thoughts — I am feeling much better, but I’m planning to take it easy (while working) these next few days to make sure I’m completely over this flu…which I hope means I’m going to make a little bit of time for knitting. If you’re anywhere that snow is falling, I hope you are cozy and warm in your handknits. We got several inches yesterday, and the internets tell me that it feels like -7 outside!

blocking/waiting.

It’s been about 36 hours, and my idlewood is almost dry. It should be ready to wear tomorrow. (Yay!) That’s not the only thing I’m waiting on, though. I woke up Monday morning feeling lousy, and I only felt worse as the day went on. I shook a lot of hands and ate a lot of communal food this weekend, and I’m pretty sure I was exposed to some form of the flu. Yesterday was a day of fever, chills, and fogginess. Oh, and Chinese take-out. (Ordering the take-out was the hardest thing I did yesterday.) I’m cautiously optimistic that today will be a little better, but really, it’s too early to tell. I’m just going to focus on giving myself the time to recover, and I’m going to try not to feel guilty about how much work I could be doing if I felt better.

More soon. (Because I might not be able to read when my body and brain feel like this, but I can knit.)

idlewood, before blocking.

First off, thanks for all your kind comments about that silly blister-burn on my thumb. It healed very quickly, and I was so busy this weekend (headed out of town to see old friends and help out with a crazy few days of interviews for an organization I adore) that I didn’t even think about it until I was driving home this morning. I got minimal sleep, but managed to hop into my car this morning feeling restored in other categories. It was fun — and honestly, necessary for me — to slip back into non-profit life for a weekend, to remember that I really like working with people, to feel useful and productive, to cross things off long lists. (Grad school life is sort of the opposite these days, though I know it won’t always be this way.) I’m super tired from driving 500+ miles and working 12+ hour days (and playing afterward), but I’m so glad I went.

Instead of returning home to keep reading, I took a nap. And since then, I’ve been focusing on smaller tasks around the house, one of which was to finish up idlewood!

I’m really happy with this sweater. It is a tad snug at the waist/hips, but I’m counting on it to bloom and relax just a smidge after blocking. (It is soaking right now.) FO pictures soon!

Tonight? More knitting, cuddle time with Boh (he had a fantastic weekend with K., one of his favorite people) and early to bed. I’ll pick the reading back up tomorrow…

this heart’s (thumb’s?) on fire.

Do you know that song? Seems like song lyrics are all that pop into my head when I’m sitting down to write a blog post. Anyway, this is a great (upbeat, yet sweet) song by Wolf Parade. Unfortunately, it came to mind today because of a minor kitchen disaster that occurred yesterday.

I was making this squash pasta. And somehow, in the process of beginning to move the roasted veggies into the big pan on the stove, I knocked the large roasting pan and it began to fall. I should have backed away and let my dinner make its own mess. But I am a silly rooster, and I just couldn’t. Instinctively, I grabbed the (very hot) roasting pan. Everything still fell, but I managed to acquire a blistering burn on my thumb in the process. Now, I’m no stranger to kitchen burns, having worked for a few summers as a cook for backpacking expeditions, but this one is photo-worthy. Avert your eyes if pictures of blisters gross you out. (Sorry.)

Owch. The thing is, what I was most worried about was whether I’d be able to knit. You see, I worked all day with the idea that I’d give myself an hour to keep knitting on idlewood. (I salvaged about half the squash from the floor, mixed it with the pasta, as in the above photo, and ate it anyway. It was delicious.)

Good news. That blister, while a little tender, did not get in the way of more idlewood progress. I knitted the last few rows of the body and bound off this morning. I love the cowl. Swoon.

This fits perfectly (over my pajamas). I’m still not sure about the pockets — I have a pretty straight/boyish shape, and I’m not sure I want to add more to the hips. What do you think? I’m going to aim to finish the sleeves so that this is wearable (maybe tomorrow?), and if I can do that, I’ll probably wait to block it and decide about the pockets until I get back from my weekend adventures.

Another great line from that song?

sometimes we rock and roll / i’d rather stay at home in real life

this heart’s on fire

still life: dog with sweater.

Clearly, Boh understands portraiture.

And…not so still.

This is what yesterday looked like. Me, rotating from kitchen table to couch and back again. Boh, moving between couch, floor, and bed.

Also, this whole faking it thing? Works for more than just post-relationship sadness. I didn’t leave the house yesterday, but I dressed for work — button down shirt, earrings, cute boots — and I honestly think I was more productive. I’m going to try that again today. (I wonder, does it work if I just wear the same thing?)

Today? More reading. Also? More knitting. I’ve got about two inches left on the body of idlewood, as you can probably tell from that top picture. I’m heading out of town on Thursday afternoon, and I’d love to be able to take this sweater with me.

the lights go on.

The pull of the couch, knitting on idlewood, snuggling Boh, and watching Dollhouse was too great yesterday.

Luckily, I recognized this early, and, after a little bit of yoga, marched myself down to a coffee shop to at least start the day by getting some work done.

(Also, I took extra care to be wearing handknit socks to start the new year. This pair, with the gusset heel, might be the best-fitting pair of socks I own.)

Anyway, back to the coffee shop. I was the only person there. And heard a beautiful song that sounded like Beirut. When the coffee shop is empty, you can ask the barista about the music. Check out “Scenic World,” from a 2006 LP, Lon Gisland. This is now the first track on my January 2011 mix. (And this post’s title is the first line of the song.)

After a few hours of good work, I might have come home, taken Boh for a walk, done some laundry, and indulged in the morning’s temptations. As soon as I finish my coffee, though, here’s where I’ll be:

Good luck settling into 2011! More soon.

accidental cowl.

While I was looking for yarn to give to my 8-year-old knitting friend, I came across a ball of Blue Sky Alpacas organic cotton — originally intended to be turned into something for my mom a few years ago. Whatever it was — mittens, maybe?– I ripped it out, rewound the stuff into a ball, and tucked it away somewhere.

Anyway, on Sunday I’d come across yet another cute cowl made from this simple pattern by sketchbook, the person behind orange flower yarns, on ravelry. On a whim (and needing an easy knit to take with me to the birthday party), I cast on this cowl for my mom. (She has a wool sensitivity, so everything I make for her is cotton, silk, or bamboo.) Once I started, I really couldn’t stop. You know how it goes sometimes — you can see the progress you’re making, you wonder how much you’ll be able to knit before the ball runs out — and you just keep going.

My mom actually requested an infinity scarf a few weeks ago. It won’t be done for Christmas, but I’ll wrap up the yarn, which she picked out (and which just arrived) — a gorgeous skein of worsted 100% silk from Blue Moon Fiber Arts in the Blackbird colorway (thanks to Mick for sharing info about this stuff on her blog several months back). Now she’ll have something small to open that she can actually wear!

It’s funny how once I said out loud that I’m really not knitting any gifts this year, a hat and then a cowl practically flew off my needles. Must be something about not feeling the pressure to knit for other people. I’m going to have to remember this!

I’ll leave you with a sweet shot of Boh:

We woke up yesterday to falling snow. He seemed reluctant to get up for the day, and I don’t blame him. Today I might have turned off the alarm and cuddled with him for an extra half hour.

Today I’m running lots of last minute errands before heading to my parents’ house tomorrow. Not sure what my blogging frequency will be like once I’m there, so just in case: Merry Christmas! Boh and I hope your holidays are filled with (woolly) warmth.

leek confit and lazy boh.

What does a rooster with allergies and a sinus headache do after teaching on Thursday? Make leek confit, of course. (And do laundry. And make more chile verde base. And vacuum. And scrub the dish drying rack. I have a problem with sitting still.) This recipe for leek confit also comes from Local Kitchen — so simple, so tasty. We followed Kaela’s advice and spooned this over a bowl of noodles with salt, pepper, parmesan cheese, and a little bit of goat cheese. Super easy, and so good.

I realized yesterday that I haven’t been posting as many pictures of Boh lately. Don’t worry, he’s still working just as hard as ever.

Yesterday I snapped a quick picture of my freezer. Not too much room left  — which is a good thing. Seems I am way better at playing in the kitchen than I am at reading books these days.

And here’s a shot of my idlewood — almost time to divide for the sleeves. I managed to knit a few rows while watching the first episode of Bones (Season 6) this morning, which was a lovely way to start the day. And right now, there are peaches simmering in bourbon and sugar on the stove. (Not a bad way to spend the afternoon…)

Happy first weekend of fall!