3-ply and peonies.

peonies in kitchen

I have been anxiously waiting for what I think are peonies to bloom along the driveway. (Correct me, dear readers, if these are not peonies.) They began to open this week, and I noticed that some of these blossoms were getting too heavy to hold up their own heads. I figured I could help with that, and gathered the droopy ones to enjoy indoors. I think I cut 6 or 7 blossoms, which I am now inhaling in every room of my tiny apartment. I miss the desert, but this is something I could never do there: take my scissors outside and cut a few fragrant flowers to lift my spirits while I work.

I heard some great live music with a friend last night, so I was out late. (I’ve mentioned Eilen Jewell here before, and my recommendation stands — she and her band have a new album out that has a bit of a rockabilly feel to it. I really appreciate that she both writes her own hauntingly sorrowful music AND reclaims old-school country-western and rock — covering Loretta Lynn, Charlie Rich, Them, etc. But I digress.) Boh and I slept in, made coffee, and I sat down to my first attempt at a 3-ply yarn.

3plymyrtle1

3plymyrtle2

This was a whole lot of fun to ply — there’s something about watching the twist move through 3 strands of yarn that is absolutely captivating. I have no idea what weight or yardage this is going to turn out to be, but I’m excited to find out. I’m quite pleased with the amount of twist I put into these singles, and I’m considering this yarn a step in the direction of handspun sock yarn.

What about that stripey sweater, you ask?

sleeve progress1

I’m knitting away on the sleeves and loving it. Boh and I are heading home tomorrow to spend a few days with my parents, and I’m planning to bring this with me. I’m hoping to finish up my uncle’s socks today, and perhaps get this 3-ply washed, dried, and skeined up.

Also, in case the degree to which I am addicted to spinning was unclear, this is what is sitting next to my computer:
pileohandspun

A great big pile o’ handspun. Yum. Happy Sunday!

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“i miss the barbed wire and the sage on that wild northern range…”

Eilen Jewell says that, or rather, sings that, in her song, “Boundary County”. I just bought the album, and I highly recommend it. She has this incredible lilt in her voice that just reminds me of mesas and prairies and desolate, beautiful landscapes. This is my roundabout way of telling you that it is good to be home. Each time I visit New York, whether for work or pleasure, I have a great time. I love visiting the favorite places of friends there, and this last time, the haunts and corners of the city we visited (shuffleboard bars, dog parks, noisy diners, cozy Italian restaurants) had me thinking that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to live in New York. (Victory for you, JP.)

Please accept this description in lieu of photos of cityscapes, as I failed to document the goings on around me — partly because of the cold (hands stayed in pockets!), but also because I hate that touristy feeling I get when surrounded by lots of other folks taking pictures of tall American buildings. I’d rather blend in and participate in daily life. Clearly, this conflicts at times with my desire to be a better recorder/documenter of my life. Something to work on.

cardigan-progress.jpg

Speaking of working on, I have much knitting progress to share. First up, my Brompton progress. You will recall that I managed to acquire the yarn for this project and swatch just before leaving on Friday. I’m in the increase section, and I’m just about ready to divide the sleeves and body. Had to stop knitting on this on the plane home, as I realized it was about time to put it on waste yarn and try it on. This is rather difficult to do in an airplane seat.

tweediness.jpg

The color is far greener than this picture, but I love how this highlights the tweediness of the yarn and the beauty of the basketweave stitch. I was worried that a tweedy yarn would obscure the stitch detail, but I am really happy with how this is turning out.

gathered-scarf-ip.jpg

I also managed some progress on the gathered scarf. The Blue Sky Alpacas Suri Merino is so soft, and I love how this scarf is draping. This is a slower knit, due to the constant needle switching every five or so rows, but this is worth it.

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Also, ta-da! My first attempt at Magic Loop, in the form of Schrodinger’s Twisted Tweed Socks. I am very excited about these, as this method is so much faster and less fiddly than using DPNS — particularly valuable on an airplane. I am using KnitPicks circulars, size 2, 32 inches, and while the cable is nice and flexible, I did manage to yank the cable out of the needle. I don’t think I pulled very hard on the cable, so that was frustrating. I managed to push the cable back into the needle, but the join is a bit awkward, and a bit more predisposed towards separating again (happened once more, though I was being extra careful). I’m sure part of this is my fault — I know that tightening the first stitch too much is a common problem when learning Magic Loop, but I was a bit disappointed, as this is my first time using this particular circ, and the join will never be smooth.

Phew! Long knitting update. Sun is shining, and I have the morning to get my life in order before heading to the office this afternoon. Boh is curled up in his favorite spot, snoring. All is well.