almost agnes.

Here she is, with pockets, and all bound off. I’m not sure they’re visible in any of these pictures, but I decided to knit the pockets in grey Elsa Wool cormo leftover from my Idlewood.

There might be a glimpse of the grey contrast color in this shot.

A very happy rooster. Also, I’m going to pretend that I had just returned from yoga or something, which is why I’m wearing leggings. That I’m working from home, and not planning to see anyone but Boh most of the time might be closer to the truth…

Blocking on the dining room table. (Finally! I have somewhere to block things!) I keep going in there to see if Agnes is dry yet. I am incredibly impatient to wear this. And maybe to make another…

Also? Oatmeal with a dollop of homemade jam is delicious. I’m just saying.

Back to work. This dissertation prospectus is not writing itself, though I’ve given it plenty of opportunity…

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FO: elsa wool pebble.

I am so pleased with how this turned out. After a few false starts — once because I wasn’t happy with the stitch count (it looked too big) and once because I twisted my knitting when I joined it in the round (what? I haven’t done that in years!) — I got into a rhythm and just knit-knit-knit to get this done in time for Sunday’s shower. I made some modifications based on other projects on ravelry: used worsted-weight yarn and size 7 needles, CO 70 st, made the garter stitch sides 5 st, and knit in the round with buttons only at the shoulder, rather than all the way up the side. I used more of the elsa wool cormo from my idlewood (maybe just over half a skein?), and oh my goodness, do I ever love this yarn. Squishy, woolly, and absolutely gorgeous.

Pebble might be the perfect gender-neutral baby gift. (I’m all about not adhering to gender-specific colors, but I can’t help myself when it comes to patterns for baby knits. I’m waiting for baby M. to arrive, and then I absolutely must cast on for either a frilly girl cardigan or an “old man” style cardigan.)

Snowy and lovely outside. Off to campus!

 

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

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.