acceleration.

It’s that time of the year and semester where everything is speeding up. I don’t think I’ve knit a stitch all week! (Well, that’s not entirely true. I did knit and then unknit a couple of stitches on J’s fingerless mitts to teach her how to make a thumb-hole.) There are two weeks of classes left, I’m scrambling to get a more complete draft of the first chapter of my dissertation together, Thanksgiving is approaching, I’ve been showing my home to potentially subletters (I’ll be out of town for a couple of months for research this winter), and basically, my head is spinning. I had to look at my phone to see what, if anything, I photographed this week, and here’s what I found:

Another dutch baby (why are they called that?) from Deb’s cookbook. Full disclosure: I just pulled another one out of the oven. I cannot wait to eat it.

J, working the thumb-hole on her first fingerless mitt!

Boh expressing…something.

I had nothing to do with the preparation of this incredibly delicious pumpkin-themed meal (pumpkin ravioli in sage-butter, pumpkin cheesecake for dessert). All I did was snap this action shot.

Out. Cold. Friday afternoon. This is how I felt yesterday afternoon, too. Hope you’ve got a wonderful weekend planned! More from us soon.

FO: handspun toast mitts.

five plum pie mitts FO1

five plum pie mitts FO3

These practically flew off the needles this weekend! I started with the toast/toasty pattern as a guide, and then decided on a thumb-hole, rather than the no-thumb or tip-less thumb options in the pattern. I love the look of a full thumb on fingerless mitts, but it always seems to impact their functionality for me: the thumb never fits quite right, and it seems to require that I take the mitts on and off a lot more to keep from spilling things on the thumb section. (Does that make sense?)

five plum pie mitts FO2

I used the 34 st cast on called for in the pattern, with size 6 needles, and made a 4 st thumb-hole. I’m wearing these as I type this morning, and I adore them.

thylacine fiber

Also, the last bit of my fiber splurge arrived yesterday: 2 braids of grey merino dyed with gorgeous shades of reddish orange from the thylacine on etsy. It is an overcast morning, and this picture does not even come close to doing this fiber justice. It is absolutely stunning, and I can’t wait to see how it spins up.

Enjoy the last weekend of summer!

scorched wool smells bad.

Ask me how I know this:

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On our snowshoeing adventure, my mitts got a bit too close to a barrel stove (read: I used one of them like a hot mitt to open the door), and it seems the fire (and handle) had grown incredible hot. This was great for my cold toes, and bad for one of my mitts. Luckily, I already had a pair of mitts on the needles. I got around to finishing these this morning, and I have to say, I love this pattern (Ravelry link) by Twinknit. This is the second pair I’ve made, and they are nice and long and they fit snugly enough to do things while wearing them (you know what I mean). Plus, the cables are simple and beautiful.

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This may become my “go-to” mitt pattern. Here’s a classic coffee mug shot, though I could not position the camera in such a way to use the timer to get both mitts in the picture — and Boh could not be enticed to push the button.

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I’m taking it easy today, doing some recharging after a very full weekend and working to stave off the beginnings of a cold/sore throat. I have some traveling for work coming up next weekend, and it will be much more productive if I am healthy. I will likely begin winding yarn and choosing a pattern for my next pair of socks. I am thinking about Schrodinger’s Twisted Tweed Socks, as I have some Trekking and the pattern is already written for Magic Loop (no extra thinking or converting necessary for my first attempt at this method). I’ll keep you posted!

Also, if you need some inspiration, check out this gorgeous cardigan over at slippedstitch. This cardigan has already sent me digging through bins of yarn to figure out what I could use to make this. I aspire to this kind of beauty in my knitted things — which reminds me — soon, I shall post on my knitting resolutions for 2008. The list keeps growing, and I will have to edit and prioritize in order to settle on something remotely attainable.

“you’re the reason i’m a travelin’ on…

Don’t think twice, it’s alright”. Sigh. A favorite Dylan song — impossible to have just one. Anyway, I can throw that one into the title because I am, in fact, travelin’ — home from the East after several days of work and play. Here are a few pictures from the trip:

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This was home, once.

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Here is the purl scarf on its intended owner/wearer, my best friend. She wears it well, no? We did lots of catching up — which, even though we talk VERY regularly, is best done in person — over eggs, sushi, cheesy movies, malai kofta, coffee, hot chocolate — and knitting, c.f.

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(Is that a proper use of c.f., Ms. Esquire?) Note the beginnings of a garter brim hat! This looks much better than my first knitting project. I worked on these mitts — made from this recently posted pattern over at Twinknit.

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I finished these very quickly, thanks, in part, to my role as a wannabe chaperone at a prep school Saturday night concert. When someone has to repeat songs in order to fill the allotted time, be grateful you have knitting!

Courthouses are cold. I give you one solution:

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Also, because this blog needs even more cuteness, behold the dog. I wrapped him in a blanket, and he really didn’t know what to do.

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I’ll be home soon, but it will still be a few more days before I am posting regularly. Turns out my logic board is busted, and my MacBook needs a bit of professional love in order to connect to the web via my ethernet cable. I’m dropping it off in the morning.

I bow to the swatch gods…

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because I don’t want to upset them!

The fingerless mitts turned out very nicely. I decided to end the second one a few rows early in order to use only one of my 2 skeins of this Artyarns Supermerino, but I estimated the gauge correctly and they fit very well. I bet I could get away with even fewer stitches just to eliminate the worry of running out of yarn. I will most certainly use these guidelines again — I love these mitts, particularly the way they show off the yarn.

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I am planning to put them to good use today — the dog and some friends and I are off to play outside for the day. Coffee? Check. Thermos of tea for later? check. Bone for the dog in the car? Check. Warm clothes? Check. Camera? Check plus.

I am ready for some outside time. Hopefully I will have pictures to share when I return…

more fingerless mitts…

Good morning! Here I am, coffee cup in hand, to tell you about what happened last night. I wound one of my skeins of Artyarns Supermerino, and it felt so soft and wonderful between my fingers that I decided to cast on before bed. I knew exactly what I wanted to make: these. I’m not quite sure how I stumbled upon Sheepish One, but she has some beautiful pictures of her knitting (including some very cute Halloween stripey socks.) Her pictures of the mitts she made as a test knit for The Plucky Knitter prompted me to check out the etsy shop, and her yarn is gorgeous — and on my wish list. Anyway, I love the mitts at Sheepish One because they are simple: no lacy pattern or cable to detract from the beauty of the yarn. Turns out, she used these guidelines at knit and tonic. (Can you tell I’ve recently learned how to insert links?)

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In real life, the colors are deeper — more reds and purples than hot pink. I cast on 46 stitches on size 5 needles, thinking I wanted these to be dense and cozy, and that if the ball band gauge was 4.5 st to the inch on size 7s, but the yarn felt thinner than the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran I used for Fetching, maybe I could get something like 6 st to the inch on size 5s. Note: I am living on the edge here: no swatching. I know, I’m testing the gods of gauge. I’ve lost at this game once before, with Calorimetry, but mitts are so quick to knit that it seems silly to knit and bind off a full gauge swatch when I can just rip it out if it doesn’t work. Famous last words? We’ll see.

halloween ideas…

holding pumpkin

I’m still working my way through Twin Peaks, Season 2, and, needing some mindless knitting (so that I could keep my eyes on David Duchovny as Dennis/Denise, the DEA agent) AND inspired by the bright red mitts over at Flintknits, I cast on for the fingerless mitts from LMKG. I’ve come to two conclusions:

1. These are easy and fun to knit. A smidge tight, though I tried to BO loosely. I think they will stretch a bit. It isn’t quite cold enough for them right now, but I’m wearing them anyway. (Details: size 6 needles, Brown Sheep Nature Spun worsted, color is Navy Nite, spelled THAT way.)

2. I should be the Log Lady for Halloween. Apologies to those unfamiliar with the escapades of Agent Dale Cooper and Sheriff Harry S. Truman.

Time for more coffee. I need to learn how to link to other folks when I talk about them. Hints?