you gotta keep ’em separated.

gyc sleeves divided

My sense of humor is returning, which makes me hopeful that I’ll be back to my usual (healthy) self today. A few weekends ago, I was having a conversation with my officemate about The Offspring. (He LOVED them, and even seemed a bit nostalgic for the days when they were on the radio all the time.) Thus, the title of today’s post. I sat down to think of a way to indicate that I had finished the raglan increases and divided the sleeves from the body on my garter yoke cardigan, and The Offspring came to mind.

gyc sleeves divided2

I know you can’t tell from the photo, but I’m thrilled with the fit so far. I was too lazy to put this on scrap yarn, so it is still on a slightly too small circular.

gyc sleeves divided3

gyc sleeves divided4

When I joined the Cascade 220 and began working the raglan increases, I have to tell you that I had some doubts about my color choices — I just wasn’t sure that this brown was the right match for this handspun. I think I just needed to see more of the brown to get a sense for what it will look like, because I absolutely love this. Also, I think this is the first sweater I’m making with Cascade 220, and I am thoroughly enjoying knitting with it. I might need to acquire a bunch more the next time Webs has that incredible anniversary sale…

cmf bfl skein1 prewash

Here’s the first skein of my Crown Mountain Farms brown bfl before washing and setting the twist.

cmf bfl skein 1 fo2

And here it is, all finished and ready to wait patiently for the other skeins. This is 150 yards of 3-ply worsted weight. If I can maintain this yardage per each 3 oz, I should be able to get 8 skeins, or about 1200 yards, to work with.

cmf bfl skein 1 fo3

More gorgeous fiber came in yesterday’s mail, which certainly improved my mood. (I am not a very good sick person — too impatient and pouty.) I’m planning to head to campus for a little while today, but don’t worry, I’m going to take it easy to ensure that I’m over this little weekend flu bug. (Which means I’ll probably do some more knitting. And annotating.)

tomatoes, 28thirty, three-ply.

roasted tomatoes

Yesterday started out well. I blogged, put some tomatoes in the oven to roast, put on a handknit sweater, did some reading, and went out to brunch.

wearing 28thirty

While I did all of this, my head became rather congested, and by the time I got home after brunch, I was starting to feel achy. Blah. I decided to go to the grocery store because if I was getting sick, I wanted to do so with a replenished refrigerator, and while I was packing my eggs (yummy, local eggs that you can pack yourself at my local coop), I dropped one of them, which seemed to confirm that I was not really at 100% yesterday.

So rather than annotated a less than fully formed bibliography, I did the things I absolutely needed to do, watched guilty tv online, drank a lot of tea, and late at night, forced myself to eat something. (Somehow I forgot to eat dinner. When I am not hungry, something is not quite right.) Oh, and I plyed my first skein of my CMF bfl sweater spinning project.

first skein cmf bfl 3ply

LOVE. This morning, as I wait to see if this was just a 24-hour bug or if I am going to feel lousy again (I always feel good in the early mornings, even when I’m sick, so I’ve learned to delay all decision-making about the day to mid-morning), I’m going to set the twist and hang my pretty yarn to dry.

Fingers crossed that today I’ll feel better. That bibliography is not going to annotate itself!

GYC.

gyc startofbody

Despite the fact that I haven’t actively listened to any Michael Jackson since the summer, every time I go to abbreviate the garter yoke cardigan as GYC (you know, when I label photos and such), I hear the chorus of PYT in my head.

gyc startofbody2

I’m just over halfway through the raglan increases now, and I’m hoping to separate the sleeves from the body before the end of the weekend.

one oz of cmfbfl

I started spinning my CMF bfl yesterday as well. I’m going to work through this an ounce at a time, with the idea that if I keep 4 bobbins in rotation, I can spin 3 ounces and then ply them together, and then start on the next skein. In a perfect world, I’d spin all the singles first and ply the earlier bobbins with later ones to help increase my chances of uniformity, but since I only have 6 bobbins, and no storage bobbins, I’m thinking that working through this a skein of yarn at a time is the way to go, both for my storage options and my momentum. Speaking of momentum, today I should probably aim for more reading/writing and less knitting and spinning. The pace of the semester is really picking up, which means the book piles are growing.

sauerkraut saute

I’m not even going to try for a smooth transition. I snapped this photograph of my lunch sauteing yesterday: fresh farm onions, bok choy, carrots, and homemade sauerkraut.

Time to hit the books. (Well, after I pour another cup of coffee and knit a row or two.)

transitions.

moregarteryoke1

I couldn’t help taking more pictures of this, as I just love the way the transitions between the colors occur.

moregarteryoke2

I only knit about 5 rows yesterday, and late at night, at that, but it was enough to see the golden yellows and browns return, which made me quite happy.

kitchen scale and corriedale

Also, my kitchen scale arrived! I’m hoping to set aside a little bit of time this weekend to divide some of my Crown Mountain Farms BFL into ounces and do some sampling to plan for my first me-sized handspun sweater. (Yay!)

equilibrium.

cmf grey corriedale

cmf brown bfl

Believe it or not, I’ve been spinning faster than I’ve been stashing fiber. (The rate I’m knitting my handspun? That’s another story, but I’m working on it.)

Anyway, Chris over at Doodles In String has been encouraging me to spin for a sweater, and her kind enabling, in addition to last week’s realization that I had spun more than I had left to spin, required immediate action. On Saturday, I ordered a pound and a half each of grey corriedale and brown bfl from Crown Mountain Farms, and it was here on Monday afternoon. A few bumps of fiber are on their way here from places further afield, but I do feel that I am much closer to stash equilibrium now. Phew!

targheebob2

targheebob2dog

I spun up the second bobbin of AVFKW targhee in the Hibiscus colorway last night, (note the lazy dog in the background) and I’m hoping to start plying before I head to class this morning. Apparently this particular blend of reds and oranges routinely speaks to me: the throw on the couch above Boh is the same mixture of colors, and this morning, I put on my sassymmetrical cardigan, only to realize that I knit it in a very similar shade of malabrigo.

sassymmetrical in action

closeupsassymmetrical

I love this sweater, but I rarely wear it out of the house. I think this is because of a mixture of several factors: (a) it is bright (b) I don’t have a lot that seems to look “right” under it (c) cap sleeves in practice aren’t the most flattering on me (though I love them in theory) and (d) the texture and variegation of the malabrigo in this particular incarnation make it look hand-knit in a way that makes me a little self-conscious. Does that make sense?

Despite all this, I’m wearing it today, and it is making me happy.

simpleyeteffectiveblob

Lastly, my simple yet effective shawl is growing. It’s the wrong color family for today’s post, but I can’t get over how much I like the way this is knitting up. I’m thinking I may keep going once I run out of handspun and continue with some commercial yarn leftovers to give it a more finished edge.

This post’s title is also apt because I think I’m getting closer to a routine: I’ve made lists of my personal and academic priorities for this semester, mapped out a tentative breakdown for working at home with Boh vs. working in my office, and I’m feeling okay about it all. I guess it is about time to stop planning my work and get to it!

lucy in the sky, skeined.

lucyFO1

lucyFO2

My apologies, up front. I have A LOT of pictures of this skein of handspun.

lucyFO4 macro

lucyFO3

lucyFO5 macro

Just one more. Okay?

lucyFO6 macro

3-ply, 325 yards of almost 4 oz of Crown Mountain Farms Superwash Merino in (wait for it) Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. I didn’t measure wpi, but it is definitely sock yarn, slightly thicker and squooshier than the blue Spunky Club sock yarn I finished a few weeks ago. I say “almost 4 oz” because I stopped plying when I could not fit any more yarn on the bobbin, rather than when one of the bobbins ran out.

nplylucy

I navajo plied one of the leftover bobbins, and here’s how it looks, unwashed. The trick really is to just slow down. I did this while listening to NPR’s coverage (downloadable!) of Billy Bragg at the Newport Folk Festival, and I found myself treadling very slowly along with his guitar.  There’s something really quite graceful about navajo plying, and I’m excited to keep practicing.

I have more spinning to share — my wheel was looking so empty that I just had to start a project. Or two.

singles shetland41

This is the last of my AVFKW shetland in Fruit Loops — 68 yards of singles. While the rest was done on a spindle, I spun this on the wheel. Not sure what the collection of singles skeins will become, but I’m quite happy with the lot of them.

indigowensleydalebob1

And this. I only intended to start this last night, but I ended up spinning a whole bobbin’s worth. This is AVFKW Wensleydale in Intergalactic Space Travel, dyed with indigo, which, as expected, turned my fingers a gorgeous shade of blue. I’m still learning about how dye and fiber react, and with this stuff, I could really see how the saturated spots were different (and more difficult for me to spin) than the lighter sections. I’m aiming for a worsted-ish 2-ply with this, but it might turn out more thick and thin, as the coarser, more saturated parts were making it really tough for me to get into a rhythm and find some level of consistency. I’m really interested to see how this yarn feels once it has had a good soak, as the indigo really changes the feel of the wensleydale.

savoryzucchinibread

(One of these things is not like the others…) A friend from my high desert knitting group emailed me this recipe for a savory zucchini-cheddar bread, and I baked a loaf yesterday afternoon. I used monterey jack instead of cheddar, and upped the dill to make up for my dwindling supply of parsley, and whoa. My go-to zucchini bread is more of a breakfast loaf, but this makes it possible to have zucchini bread at every meal. So delicious.

Three weeks until the semester begins — I can’t believe it. Time to get to work!

boh in the creek with potatoes.

And plying. (Forgive me. I finished plying the Crown Mountain Farms Superwash Merino in the Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds colorway late last night. And now “Boh in the creek with potaaaaatoes” is in my head.)

Lots to share today! First up:

flowers

Some of the many reasons I love my farm. There is nothing like wandering through rows and rows of flowers, scissors in hand, carefully selecting a big bunch for the week. After snapping this photo, I put a vase (or mason jar) in every room. It was pretty hot yesterday, so the veggies went straight into the fridge, but this week’s haul included eggplant, tomatoes, 5 lbs of potatoes (more on those later), cabbage, carrots, chiogga beets, basil, oregano, dill, parsley, zucchini, summer squash, cucumbers, and 3 quarts of beans — green, yellow, and the flat roma beans — that I picked myself while talking garlic and dilly beans with other CSA members in the fields.

It was too nice a day to sit inside and work, and the rain we’ve had has meant that Boh and I have a been a bit more sedentary than I’d like, so we hopped in the car and drove a few miles to the trailhead of one of our favorite walks, which gently slopes down to follow the pebbly banks of a good-sized creek.

monkeyrun1

monkeyrun2

I know he looks concerned (doesn’t he always?), but Boh does seem to be taking a shine to the water. He waded alongside me this time without complaint, and when I encouraged him to swim a bit in the slightly deeper sections, he tentatively reached out one paw, and then the other, to doggy paddle. (Last time, he pulled back on the leash hard, as if to say, “Are you crazy? I can’t reach the bottom!”)

monkeyrun3

Proof that we are both in the water. (Nope, I didn’t get a haircut — that’s just the part that does not fit in a ponytail blowing around in the breeze.)

monkeyrun4

I even got some reading done while Boh and I dried off in the sun.

Now, about those potatoes. The bad news is that potato and tomato blight have finally showed up on the farm. This was expected; the blight has been sweeping the Northeast for the last several weeks. The farmers sent out a really great email explaining what that means — and highlighting what is so incredible about the CSA system of farming: we all buy in and share this risk, rather than simply leaving the farmers to handle it all. So, the bad news is that the potato and tomato crops need to be mowed and burned so that the spores do not survive. The good news is this: we’ll probably get tomatoes from the farm greenhouse for a few more weeks, and we get our potatoes NOW. While blight is not damaging/dangerous in the least to humans, it does mean that potatoes do not store well at all, which is a major bummer in the land of root vegetables.

This translates to one simple directive, which made me smile when I saw it scrawled on the chalkboard above a huge, lovely crate of potatoes: “Gorge Thyself.”

potatoessalsaverde

I love potatoes. Have I told you that yet? Roasted potatoes are serious comfort food for me. I like to roast potatoes in the oven for about an hour, and then either add lots of herbs for the last few minutes, or simply pour the potatoes in a bowl and liberally apply ketchup. Yum! Last night, I enjoyed a more glamorous version of this meal, thanks to this post over at Orangette.

salsaverde

I tossed my potatoes in Orangette’s salsa verde (subbing red wine vinegar for lemon juice/zest), and it was so good that I found myself wiping the bowl clean with slices of bread to get every last bit of this capery, garlicky goodness. You should make this. Tonight.

full bobbin cmf lucy

Last, but certainly not least, I present the yarn that has inspired today’s silly blog post title. This is a mighty full bobbin of Crown Mountain Farms Superwash Merino in Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. I tried to ply this with a little less twist than my last 3-ply, in order to make sure there would be a little bit of room for the yarn to bloom. I’m aiming for squish instead of just sturdy twist, and so far (it is still hanging to dry), I’m really happy with it.

cmflucyniddynoddy

Awkward, late night niddy noddy picture. Details to come once this is all skeined up and ready for her close-up!