FO: handspun seaman’s cap (the fourth).

This is my fourth handspun seaman’s cap. Clearly, I love this pattern. (Also, I love this hat, but this one is most definitely hopping into the mail this week so that my brother gets his Christmas present before it is too warm for super squishy handspun hats.) I knit the large size, and used 150 yards of handspun superwash merino from Crown Mountain Farms in the albatross colorway — which is almost exactly what I spun from the 3.5 ounces I estimated I’d need. Yay! I hope he likes it.

I asked Boh to do an interpretive dance to demonstrate how I (we) feel about going back to school in a few hours. This was his response. He captured my feelings exactly — as did the weather — heavy rains and high winds today — which, unfortunately, does not seem super conducive to helping me to fully kick this cold. (More Theraflu for this rooster — I’m definitely feeling better, but, as it often goes near the end of a rapidly morphing sore throat to drippy nose to head cold to cough, despite feeling much improved, I sound worse! Or incredibly sexy, depending on how you look at it…)

Happy Monday, folks. Despite my whining, there is a lot to look forward to this semester.

the perfect combination.

Spinning and reading, the heft of a pile of hardcover books and the squish of handspun skeins, superwash merino and the late nineteenth century…

I was so excited about how this was looking that I stopped plying to grab the camera.

This is 170 yards of super squishy heavy worsted 2-ply from the second 4 oz. of Crown Mountain Farms superwash merino in the Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds colorway. LOVE. Love so much that I could set aside my writing and grading and cast on for mittens for me right now. But I’m not going to. Why? Because I don’t have to do what the yarn says all the time. Really.

Actually, I spun this with a particular as yet not fully formed human being in mind, but now that I see it all skeined up, all that pink might get in the way of my plans to knit a non-gender specific baby something. Thoughts? (Sorry guys, if you were hoping to be completely surprised. While I’m sort of banking on the fact that you’re too busy prepping for the big day and might not read this, I do need the advice of the internets.)

Which brings me back to my love affair with my wheel, and my decision last night to start spinning some FLUFF superwash merino in Beach Day.

(Artificial evening light above, natural morning light below.)

I think what I really need to do is swatch to see how the colors look all knitted up. And keep spinning this bee-yoo-ti-ful FLUFF fiber. Oh, and keep writing. Perhaps in the reverse order.

boh is concerned.

What’s the matter, big dog?

If you’re worried about the fact that I spent my first hour today doing this:

Don’t be. I’m not going to ply it with the first bobbin until I make sufficient progress on that other stuff. Really.

And don’t worry, we’re still going to take a nice W-A-L-K today.

Happy Friday, folks!

pretend productive.

Let me explain: I did spend a few hours on my writing yesterday, but in a “pretend productive” kind of way — you know, the kind of productive where you don’t actually increase the word count. Now, I would argue that one of the challenges in grad school — and really, academia more broadly — involves coming to terms with what it means to be productive. Sometimes, even when I don’t write anything down, I do some really important thinking that makes it possible for me to write something¬† substantial when I return to the project. That’s not what I mean by “pretend productive.”

“Pretend productive” is when you read comments you’ve received on drafts, track down citations, request books that you know you should look at from the library, rearrange the piles or files you’re working from…and then (and this is key) derive a false sense of accomplishment from these tasks — and stop working.

I was “pretend productive” yesterday. I don’t really have pictures of what that looks like, but I think you get the idea. I do have pictures of fibery productivity, though.

First, my friend H (you may remember her as the recipient of the purple ishbel/springtime bandit brokeknits mash-up wedding shawl) came over to make applesauce and do some knitting. Boh assumed his supervisory role, and did a very good job of keeping our feet warm.

As you can see, this hat is way too big for me — which is a good thing! It should be perfect for my dad. (Apologies for the blurry photos.)

This is the largest size of the seaman’s cap, knitted even longer than the pattern called for, and made out of my handspun — Southern Cross Fibres polwarth, spun as a worsted weight 3-ply. (I still have about 80 yards left, so I may try to incorporate stripes into mittens or a manly cowl or something. We’ll see.)

H. asked me to show her how my wheel works, and because I had emptied all of my bobbins, we had to decide what I would spin next. I decided on the second 4 oz. of Crown Mountain Farms Superwash Merino in Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, spun as a fatter 2-ply. I started it to show H., and found it so captivating that late last night, I made myself a cup of hot cocoa and kept going.

I am in love with this, and all I want to do right now is spin the second bobbin. Alas, today I MUST be “real” productive. I received some great advice last night about how to get work done when there is really fun knitting in the house: lock it in the car. I may have to banish the second bobbin’s worth of fiber to the backseat today…

Stay tuned for pictures of the buttons that perfectly answered yesterday’s personal ad, as well as (I hope) a triumphant report about my productivity…

and then there were two.

skein2 cmfbfl fo

Two¬† skeins of handspun Crown Mountain Farms brown bfl! This second skein (on the left) is 166 yards of 3-ply. I decided to use the bobbins from the first skein, and two of them still had a bit of yarn leftover from the first round of plying, so I divided these three ounces to account for the additional fiber and hoped that everything would even out. So with that in mind (slightly more fiber), I’m really happy with the consistency of my spinning! Here’s a close-up of the second skein:

skein2 cmf bfl macro

Boh and I walked down to the reservoir to stretch our legs and check out the fall foliage, and we were not disappointed.

smc4 leaves

smc1

smc3

smc5 boh

Making time to do this is important to me. There’s something about being in a relationship that made it easier to leave all of the work that piles up and prioritize spending time together. This fall, I’m really trying to make sure I take some of that time for myself.

The weather this weekend was absolutely lovely, and I’m hoping for an October filled with cool mornings, crisp fall breezes, and clear skies.

not-work.

You know, the opposite of work. (Both are occurring this weekend, but the not-work is more fun to photograph.)

hiding1

Boh likes to “hide” behind or underneath the blanket on my bed. He also likes to chew on it, or pretend to chew on it, as a way of getting my attention.

hiding2

I see you.

slowroasttomatoes

muffins

Slow-roasted tomatoes and raspberry muffins. There was also applesauce — a lot of it — but I didn’t take any pictures. Oh, and some knitting!

botanic inprog

I am ready to start the decrease rows, and I am absolutely in love with this hat.

pastrycutter

I also adore this pastry cutter — a lovely surprise from a friend who found this at an antique shop and knew that I’ve been looking for a a pastry cutter with a wooden handle. I may have to make up a batch of pie crust to welcome this into my kitchen.

cmf bfl skein2 plied

cmf bfl skein2plied closeup

This is how I know that I’m feeling better. Last weekend, I could not spin – too much work and motion for my tired body and achy head. This weekend, I finished spinning all 3 bobbins of singles, let them rest for 10 hours, and late last night, after a fun evening out with friends, I decided to sit down and ply so that I could set the twist and hang the yarn to dry overnight. (It’s almost dry!)

getbacktowork

I think this is Boh’s “get back to work” face.

sensing a theme.

bohinknitcorner2

bohinknitcorner1

(Note the pile of knitting projects in this particular corner.)

bohcouchthurs1

I never get tired of taking pictures of this dog while he sleeps, which is a good thing: he seems to be napping 90% of the time.

cmf bfl skein2

I started working on the first ply of the second skein of my Crown Mountain Farms brown bfl. This is a sign that I’m feeling better — over the weekend and throughout this week, the treadling motion and sitting up straight at the wheel seemed like too much for me. It felt good to sit down and spin a bit just before bed last night. (Yay!)

Boh and I have big plans to catch up on reading/writing, tackle a big pile of grading, and make some knitterly progress on a few things this weekend. Happy Friday!