FO: calorimetry.

blackberry pancakes

In order to face the week, I needed blackberry pancakes. (Mondays can be tough!) I ate them for breakfast and lunch, and they helped, like they always do. Moving on…

five plum pie calorimetry

I knit this over the weekend for my friend H. (of wedding shawl fame) because tomorrow is her birthday! I just couldn’t wait any longer, so I gifted this yesterday, which means there is absolutely no danger of spoiling the surprise. I used more of my Hello Yarn Five Plum Pie handspun, and I still have about ten yards leftover — truly, a never-ending skein.

calorimetry button view

Calorimetry was one of the first patterns I attempted to knit — and while I finished it rather quickly, my skein of filatura di crosa 127 print (or whatever the pattern calls for, because I had not yet learned to substitute) won the day, and I finally understood why gauge matters. My first calorimetry was enormous! This time around, I read up on the pattern and followed some common modifications:

I cast on 88 stitches using size 6 needles, and worked only as many (decreasing stitch count) short rows as seemed like half of the width I was hoping for, and then completed the same number of (increasing stitch count) short rows to get to the other side, being careful not to run out of yarn.

calorimetry side

Yay! I tried this on to take some pictures, and now that my hair is longer, I really like this. I may need to make one for myself.

plied polwarth bw

I did manage to ply the polwarth. Here’s what it looks like before washing/thwacking:

prewash

This may be the softest, squishiest yarn I have ever spun. It is hanging to dry in the kitchen, and I can’t help but pet it each time I walk by.

superherohelmet1

In keeping with “hat-tober,” I cast on for yet another handspun hat — Cosy’s Super Hero Helmet Hat. I won the pattern on her blog a few weeks ago, and I am knitting it out of some of my earlier wheelspun: AVFKW Woolly Wonders corriedale in The Candle’s Nimble Flame. I’m using size 10.5 needles, and I love the squoosh of the garter stitch.

bohcouchsilly

Apparently Boh also had a very busy day. (While I read, wrote, cleaned, knit, plied, grocery-shopped, cooked, etc., Boh moved bones back and forth from his box, growled at the electrician through the window, took notes on squirrel movement, and perhaps dreamed of rabbits, chipmunks, and deer.)

FO: botanic hat.

botanic fo side

botanic fo1

botanic fo inside1

LOVE. This is the botanic hat, by Stephen West. I rarely buy hat patterns, but as more and more botanic hat projects began showing up on ravelry, I decided that I needed to knit this, and I justified my purchase by telling myself that this pattern would be great for gift knitting. I can’t say enough about this pattern or the finished product: the instructions are very clear, and the hat is truly reversible — the two sides are quite different. I will be checking out more of Stephen West’s hat and shawl patterns!

Details:

Hello Yarn handspun in Five Plum Pie (MC) and purpley Cascade 220 (CC).

US size 6 needles (did not go up to 7s after ribbing).

Followed instructions for the regular hat, and the result is a generously sized (covers the tops of my ears) snug hat.

botanic fo on blurry

As I was knitting, I was thinking that these colors are perfect for a dear friend of mine, but now that the hat is finished, it might be very difficult to remove it from my head. We’ll see. I’ll definitely be making more of these!

morehandspuncakes

I wound up two skeins of handspun last night with more hats in mind. This is Spunky Club dark bfl in myrtle, and AVFKW falklands in the silent undergrowth colorway. I’m going to cast on for a seaman’s cap with the myrtle today (after I grade another paper or two) to see how this yarn knits up.

In conclusion, hooray for handspun hats!

“now i find myself on the mountainside…”

“…where the rivers change direction across the great divide.” Other Voices, Other Rooms (Nanci Griffith) was on the stereo throughout a fun Saturday night at the home of friends, which prompted me to digitally dig out some Nanci to accompany me through my Sunday.

socks, chacos and mitts

Though it warmed up to the low 70s yesterday, the morning heralded the coming fall, and I certainly needed my socks and mitts for our first lap around the neighborhood. Today’s weather is supposed to be similar — in the 70s by mid-afternoon, but cool and autumny right now.

In preparation for fall — and for a great evening of knitting, wine, and pie — I cast on the Botanic Hat with my leftover Five Plum Pie handspun and some Cascade 220 leftovers.

botanic1 outside

I am loving this hat already: involved enough that I’m interested and paying attention, but simple enough that it qualifies as social knitting. I started on 6s as directed in the pattern, and then decided to stick with 6s after the ribbing instead of changing to 7s in order to compensate for the occasional variability (read: thinner sections) of my handspun.  Here’s a shot of the inside:

botanic2inside

I love that this hat is reversible! I’m thinking that it may become a go-to pattern for this year’s holiday knitting, which I guess I should start thinking about…

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!

why hello, skein.

fpp1

fppmacro

fpp2

fpp3

LOVE.

238 yds. of squishy 2-ply worsted weight yarn, from 4 oz. of falklands wool in five plum pie from Hello Yarn.

fpp nply full

fpp nply

I navajo plyed what didn’t fit on the first bobbin — so here’s 28 more yards of practice yarn. This is still overplied, but I’m getting into a rhythm with this technique. It is really hard to slow down my feet!

zucchini pickles

Also, zucchini pickles! I made these on Thursday, but the recipe said they’d turn a lovely shade of chartreuse after a day in the fridge. I know the green of my kitchen is tough to beat, but the zucchini really is absorbing the color of the brine. I’m taking these to a backyard bbq later today!

five plum pie.

First off, if you clicked through from Joy the Baker’s site because you, too, wondered if roosters wear shoes, welcome! I don’t have any pictures to prove it, but I did use my oven continuously yesterday (zucchini bread, granola, roasted potatoes). And I was barefoot.

(I won an awesome set of Baggu bags, and I can’t wait. In fact, I’ve been doing some serious winning lately, as I was the lucky commenter selected in Jodi’s blogiversary contest over at A Caffeinated Yarn. Yay!)

bob2plumpie

Amidst all the oven use yesterday, I did manage to get a lot of spinning done. I finished both bobbins of the Hello Yarn Fiber Club falklands wool in Five Plum Pie, and late last night, I decided to do a little bit of plying.

full bobbin

Which turned into A LOT of plying. That bobbin is so full that it no longer turns independently of the flyer. I’ll have more pictures of this 2-ply when it is done drying, but I’m really happy with how nicely the colors lined up. Instead of breaking the roving into 2 pieces, I stripped this in half lengthwise, and was carefully to spin them the same way to keep the color progression. In a lot of places, the colors match exactly, and the transitions between colors seem gentle and subtle. Also, not that it needs to be said, but this stuff was incredible to work with — smooth, even, and solid without being compressed. I fully understand the HY hype.

Public Service Announcement: Have you seen this navajo-plying video over at Spin-Off? I found this link through the Spunky Club on ravelry, and I feel moved to share. For folks new to navajo-plying, this video makes it really easy to see how it works and what it looks like. For old pros, the video demonstrates a particular way of holding the yarn and pulling out the loops that is easy on the shoulders and very rhythmic.

For those following my bat saga, Boh and I were winged-visitor-free last night. Here’s hoping it stays that way!

sweet peppers and plum pie.

(Hint. Only one of these things is actually in the kitchen.)

sweetpeppers1

sweet peppers

These are hands-down some of the prettiest peppers to ever grace my kitchen with their presence. Everything else from this week’s share (carrots, beets, potatoes, tomatoes, dill, basil, cilantro, cucumbers, zucchini, eggplant, endive, lettuce and garlic) went right into its place in the kitchen, but these needed to be photographed.

five plum pie

And here is the plum pie. Five Plum Pie, to be exact. This is the first colorway I received as a new member of the Hello Yarn Fiber Club in May 09 — 4 oz of falklands wool. I finally feel like my spinning is consistent enough to start playing with my slowly growing HY stash. I’m aiming for a squishy 2-ply, probably a dk to light worsted in weight, and right now I’m thinking that I would love a new cowl and/or set of mitts for fall…

saddag

It was too humid to do much of anything during the day yesterday, but once the evening arrived, Boh and I went over to see dog and people friends, eat delicious pizza and farm veggies, and take a lovely evening walk. (We also polished off a whole jar of dilly beans. I couldn’t wait any longer, so I opened one of the pints a few days shy of its 2-week pickling period. I need to pick more beans!)