in which cute snoring trumps knitting.

[Lots of Boh pictures today, folks, and minimal knitting. Oops.]

ready for waist shaping

I managed to knit a few more inches to the next buttonhole yesterday, which means it is time to begin the waist shaping. I do think I’m feeling even healthier today, which means I can no longer justify the knitting to reading and writing ratio I’ve been employing over the last few days. (On the whole, a good thing!)

Now, onward to that ridiculous dog.



(Note that my 28-thirty features prominently in this particular photo. I intend to wear it today as well, as it really does add just the right amount of warmth on these overcast, windy days.)

adorable dog3

The snoring was particularly loud, due, I think, to the fact that Boh’s face and feet are propped up against the back of the couch.


Are you taking my picture again? Really? Come on.

adorable dog6

Well, fine. Take all the pictures you want. I’m ignoring you. See? My eyes are closed and I’m making my silly snoring sound again. (Note that back ear.)

We hope you’ve enjoyed this Boh interlude. We’re back to our regularly scheduled Wednesday — which will require a second cup of coffee.

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.)


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.)



Boh laid like this, stretched out on the bed, for a few hours yesterday, totally contented after some much needed time spent frolicking amidst the falling leaves. After I crossed the last item off of my long around-the-house to do list (I’m not ashamed to admit that it was “take a shower”), I got out the scale and divided the first 4 oz. of CMF bfl into ounces, and then divided one of those ounces into thirds.

I was intending to spin the whole ounce, if necessary, to figure out how to approach my sweater spinning project, but at the end of the first third of an ounce, it seemed like there was enough to make a mini sample skein of 3-ply. I very unscientifically wrapped part of what I’d just spun onto two toilet paper rolls (counting to 100 each time!), and rigged them up on my lazy kate so that I could quickly ply 3 strands together.


I soaked the skein, set the twist, and measured the wpi.

bfl wpi

Finished, my sample skein looks to be 12 or 13 wpi: a 3-ply worsted weight.

mini skein bfl 3ply

I’m not going to swatch yet, as I don’t have a specific sweater pattern in mind yet, but I am going to keep my mini-skein and some of my sample singles nearby as I start spinning. Hopefully I’ll end up with a whole sweater’s worth of fairly consistent worsted weight bfl!


In other news, last night I finished the handspun garter yoke of my garter yoke cardigan. It sort of snuck up on me, so I didn’t switch my needles up from 6s before the transition to the Cascade 220 as I had originally planned. I started with the 7s on my first non-handspun row. I have plenty of the Alpine romney left, so I’m thinking I may use it for the cuffs of the sweater, and maybe even to finish up the waistband. We’ll see!



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


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!)

garter = good.

gyc yokeinprog

There’s a lot going on this week, and at this point in the semester, I’m trying to do a lot of planning in order to feel a bit more in control of my life. When that stuff gets slightly overwhelming, I’ve found that garter stitch can help: it offers soothing repetitive motion, the comfort of productivity, and sends my worries to the back of my brain. This is exactly the right cardigan to be working on right now!

gyc yokeinprogress2

I absolutely love how this looks in my handspun. My stitch counts are slightly off, because when I picked up the wraps, I didn’t knit them together with the stitch they were wrapping, so I’m at 152 st instead of 147 at about 20 rows in. I’ve done some quick math that will allow me to fix that in the next increase row.



And Boh is, well, Boh. Here, it appears that he is helping with some of that worrying. He has his own schedule of napping, tail-chasing, walking in the woods, bone-sorting, etc. to plan out.

autumnal equinox.

Fall is arriving softly today, accompanied by a gentle rain. The sound of rain on aging leaves is calming. This kind of quiet — full of motion and whispers, rather than silence — is what I need this morning.


The autumnal equinox is also significant for a knitterly reason: today marks the start of the garter yoke cardigan KAL that Mick, Laura, and I have been planning. I’ve cast on for the yoke with my Hello Yarn romney handspun in the Alpine colorway, and I’m hoping to get in a few more rows before I head off to class.


Happy first day of Fall!

a broad margin.



” I love a broad margin to my life.” I’ve been reacquainting myself with Thoreau this week, and this particular line from the opening paragraphs of “Sounds” in Walden (Beacon Press, 2004) was rattling around in my head as Boh and I took a nice long walk through the local preserve that surrounds the reservoir for New Home’s drinking water.




This place is, quite literally, in the margin of the physical space I occupy here: a bit further afield from our daily walks, and in the opposite direction from campus, but part of my world all the same. For me, a broad margin suggests a willingness to review, reflect, comment, engage; in my reading and writing, the margin is the place for conversation, questioning, response. This place, not far from my door and yet far enough, seems to provide me with critical distance from (and at the same time, intimate connection to) myself.



It might not look like fall out my bedroom window, but in these woods, autumn is everywhere. The rustling of the wind in the trees, the scent of leaves drying, the gentle crunch under my sandals: this is my favorite season.



Our walk turned out to be more important than I realized when Boh and I set out on Friday morning. You see, after we returned, I set about my day, which included a bit of grocery shopping. I park my car on the street in my quiet neighborhood, and really relish the fact that I use it only a few times a week. It seems that sometime in the last 36 hours, someone crashed into my driver-side mirror, smashed the glass, and drove away. No note, no nothing. The damage is slight, and certainly repairable — really, I think it just the mirror that needs replacing, and I have complete coverage on my car, so it isn’t really about the cost. I’m just so disappointed that someone decided that it was okay to not take responsibility for their actions. I think our morning walk made it easier for me to take a few deep breaths and continue on with my errands.


And so, in an effort to feel better about the universe, I decided to finally tackle the big bag o’ beets in my fridge. (How’s that for a transition?) I found a recipe in The Joy of Pickling that was intriguing: cider vinegar, cloves, all-spice, cinnamon sticks, etc. I slurped up a spoonful of the brine before I poured it over the pints of beets, and it was tasty. I’ll let you know in about three weeks, once these beet slices are appropriately pickled!


I realize this post is becoming a bit epic, but I figured you might want to see what I’m knitting. I started a pair of toast/toasty in my Hello Yarn handspun in the Five Plum Pie colorway. I’m using 6s, and I’m hoping the fabric will be dense enough to keep my hands warm as morning and evening temperatures continue to drop.


Also, I’m swatching for a super-exciting KAL that has been in the works for awhile now: Mick of Much-Adored, Laura of Happy Trails and I are going to knit the garter yoke cardigan. We’re beginning on the first day of fall, so I’m plotting and swatching so that I am ready to go. I’m thinking of using my Hello Yarn handspun romney in the Alpine colorway (browns, blues and greys) with some soft brown Cascade 220 heathers. I got stitch gauge (row gauge slightly off) with 7s in the Cascade 220, and now I’m thinking about the handspun. I’m thinking that I might knit the yoke with 6s and just keep trying it on to make sure the sizing is okay, because my handspun is occasionally uneven (read: thinner), and I’d like a dense, neat-looking garter stitch. That seems reasonable, right?

Thanks for indulging my Thoreauvian ramblings on this fine Saturday morning. Time for another cup of coffee and a bit more quality time with Mr. Henry David himself.