FO: cider press hat.

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Here are a couple of pictures from that walk I told you we took on Sunday.

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I wore my new hat. (I’m much happier with it than I appear to be in this picture. This is clearly me focusing too much on keeping my eyes open.)

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I cast on the hat from the Cider Press Set, an Amy Christoffers hat and mitts pattern pair that I purchased a few weeks ago when they were on sale. This ribbed and waffled combination is awesome: squishy, stretchy, and oh-so-warm.

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Also, totally addicting to knit. I made this hat out of most of a skein of Berocco Ultra Alpaca, and I love it. Good thing this color has my brother written all over it, or I’d keep it too! (I might make one for me out of handspun.) I used US 4 and US 6 needles because I couldn’t find my 3s and 5s.

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Hooray for last minute (and late-night) Christmas knitting. I’m so excited to send this, along with the rest of his present, to my brother, who has to stay in Colorado for the holidays.

FO: joyride.

This is my favorite of the pictures I snapped of myself wearing Joyride, the beret I test-knit for foxflat this summer. (Project details on ravelry.) You can really see the colors and the shine of the yarn, and I love the way the lace looks. This pattern is aptly named — so much fun to knit! Unfortunately, I’m not convinced that this style of hat works well with my overly fluffy head of curls. (Or maybe I need to develop some more confidence?) I’ve got some more pictures to show you, and I’m thinking that I might ask a friend with straight, longer hair to model this so I can take some pictures worthy of my gorgeous FO. Also, I promise to take them somewhere other than my kitchen.

Here you can really see the color progression. I absolutely love the way this knit up, and I think this pattern would be lovely in a solid, semi-solid, or variegated colorway. The lace pattern and the dropped stitches seem to pair well with the yarn I chose. If you want to make one of your own, you can purchase the pattern on ravelry here!

Want to see more pretty things? Of course you do.

These are my new tall shoes: cork wedges from Born (on sale at Zappos). I wore them to a meeting on campus last week and found them to be easier to maneuver in than I expected. (And they’re comfortable!)

Also pretty: a stunning bloom in one of the many campus gardens. Just what I needed on the first day of class.

on a joyride.

I’m a couple of repeats into Joyride, this fabulous testknit beret by foxflat. I was initially worried that the colors would be a little bit too busy for the pattern, but so far I like the way it looks! The lace repeat holds my interest without requiring my undivided attention, which is just what I need this week! (All of my knitting seems to be taking place during lecture.)

And then there’s this guy. I rolled over this morning after my alarm went off, and this is what I encountered: Boh, fast asleep, his head on the pillow. Sweetness.

when it rains, it pours.

Literally. And, apparently, inside.

Last night my yoga teacher mentioned that she had water in her basement. And then I thought to myself, hmmm, I wonder if my sweet old lake house is waterproof? When I got home last night, I did a carefully sweep of the basement and each room. Turns out, not quite. (By waterproof, I mean able to withstand the 5+ inches of rain we’ve had in the last 40 hours…)

I arranged some (colorful) buckets and mixing bowls under the leaks in the guest room (and a small drip in the office), and called my management company. They were here to take a look within ten minutes, and sent someone over to clean out the gutters and look at the roof first thing this morning. It sucks to have water damage, but it is nice to know that the folks that manage this rental are so responsive. Anyway, the guest futon mattress is waterlogged irreparably, so I’ve ordered a new one (guests can arrive in 5-10 business days), and properly disposing of the damaged mattress is on tomorrow’s list of adventures. (Hint: it involves a dumping permit and a visit to the county dump. So sad.) Unfortunately (fortunately?), futon mattresses are cheaper than my renters’ insurance deductible on overstock.com. So far, that’s the only casualty.

But that’s not what you came here for, is it?

I finished the decreases on my handspun seaman’s cap this morning, and I absolutely love the colors (even if they aren’t quite as vibrant as this photo suggests).

I’m not convinced that this style is the most flattering or practical for my head of curly hair, but I might keep it for myself anyway, if only for the beautiful greens, yellows, and browns in this yarn.

Okay, back to work. I’ve set up shop on the couch/coffee table so that I’m as far away from the fans/wet carpet smell as possible. And, of course, to be close to my silly, collar-adorned dog. (He hasn’t really left the couch this week — he seems to walk into all sorts of things with the cone on.)

creation/destruction.

On Tuesday afternoon, inspired by a recent clip from Jimmy Fallon’s late night show (where he and his guests built snowmen on the roof and then tackled them), several of us gathered in a local park with the same concept in mind. (The whole afternoon was my friend M.’s idea. Brilliant.) Here is my jackalope snowman. In this image, he has both arms, though I had to keep replacing his right arm because every time I turned around, Boh was gnawing on it.

When it came time for the destruction part, Boh was not helpful. My friends were able to jump on their snowmen. Boh, on the other hand, came to a full stop just in front of the jackalope, so I had to settle for pushing ours over. Here’s a shot of Boh in full retreat:

Nice to have a few action shots of my wurm hat. It’s the knit I grab the most — from handspun, and it has just the right amount of slouch.

I was absolutely unproductive yesterday, and this morning is looking like a wash. The upside? I might have found my next home. A HOUSE. On The Lake. Fingers crossed.

FO: felicity.

I accidentally finished this hat instead of finishing a book yesterday. Oops! I used Araucania Nature Wool (about 2/3 of a skein), size 6 and 8 needles, and I cast on 90 instead of 70 stitches. And then I followed the pattern. Now, I’m going to show you a picture of me wearing this hat. I don’t think this is the kind of style that works well on short, big hair. Good thing the intended recipient has smooth, shiny hair. So it should work, right? (The other concern I have is that it looks really awkward not on a human head, you know? Too big, and sort of weird. Oh, well. Maybe this will be a test of how well my brother’s girlfriend receives handknits?!)

This hat is poofier than it looks in this picture. Trust me.

Boh was passed out in the background when I was getting ready to take this picture. And then I said, “Are you hungry?” Which was sort of cruel, as it was not yet dinnertime.

There is nothing cuter.

Also, remember how I won amazing peach rum preserves over at Libby’s blog? Well, I dug into one of the jars today, and this stuff is INCREDIBLE. Note to self: make A LOT of boozy peach preserves next summer.

Tomorrow I am going to a dance party. For my favorite (almost) eight-year-old’s birthday. And you know what I’m giving him? Yarn.

I’m told I’ll get to do the Macarena.

felicity, more faking it.

A crappy picture, I know, but it highlights the super cool backlit keys of my new toy. Also, it helps me to demonstrate just how quickly this is knitting up. I snapped that photo on Thursday afternoon.

I took these a few hours ago. I’m finally knitting a felicity hat– or, perhaps more accurately, I’m self-soothing with stockinette. I finished my grading on Wednesday afternoon, and I jumped right back into my own work yesterday. Today? Well, let’s just say that the semester caught up to me. I’ve done some reading, and a bunch of little things, but mostly I’ve been watching The Good Wife and working on this hat.

I had decided that I wasn’t going to knit any holiday gifts this year, but then I remembered that my brother’s girlfriend will be joining us for Christmas morning…and while everyone else in my immediate family has already received a handknit accessory (or several), she hasn’t. And her hair isn’t as big as mine, so I think this hat will suit her. (And I’ll get to try it on. I’m not convinced that these snug at the forehead, slouchier in the back hats are ideal for someone with a head full of curls.)

More in the faking it department:

Derrida or not, this whole trying to at least look put together thing is a great idea.

Also a great idea? Things, a to-do list (and so much more) program written for Mac. Not to get too nerdy on you (ha!), but I’ve been trying to think more about my workflow, and get as much of my life/work onto my computer as I can. I have never been able to keep a digital calendar, and I finally figured out why: I rarely use my calendar for time-specific events and appointments. Sure, they’re there, but really, I use all the space outside of the appointment slots and calendar boxes to jot notes, ideas, to-dos, etc. Enter Things, recommended by my dear friend S. So far, it seems to be working with my brain. I tell you all of this to (a) alert you to the fact that you can try it for free for 2 weeks and (b) to set up the next photo. I’ve been putting scheduled events as well as to-dos into Things, and I happened to enter in a party (theme: sparkles) that a friend of mine was hosting for the end of the semester. I am rather hermit-like, and I was all set to curl up with Boh on the couch on Wednesday night, when I saw my Things list. I had done everything on my list except attend the party, which had just begun. So I changed into sparkly clothes, and made an effort to be social. And I had fun!


You can’t see them, but I wore tuxedo pants that have a black sequined stripe down the side. Amazing. Anyway, when I got home, I clicked the box next to the last thing on my list. Which was incredibly satisfying.

I should read, but I’m probably going to watch one more episode of The Good Wife before I do.  Happy weekend!

FO: windschief #2.

Apparently I shouldn’t  even decrease the crown of a hat before fully completing the day’s first cup of coffee. Part of the way through both the hat and my first mug, I realized that my stitch counts between markers were slightly off. And being mostly pre-coffee, I decided to fake it, and left out a decrease in one section and decreased in a non-decrease row right before the decreases switch from every other row to every row. And on a human head (mine, above), I think any slight wonkiness is hidden by the variegation in the yarn and the general awesomeness of this pattern. So I’m calling it good. We’ll see if I can get some boy-modeled shots to share.

And now, the details. This is the windschief hat by Stephen West, size M, knit in Malabrigo Worsted in the verdeazul colorway, as directed, on size 6 and size 7 needles. I used what looks like half (or slightly more than half) the skein. And at this moment, I’m too lazy to go into the kitchen and weigh it. So you’ll have to trust me on that. Also, this pattern? I still love it.

Alright, time to finish this mug of coffee and get ready for the day. Is it Friday yet?

FO: the second half.

Here’s the rest of the grey alpaca. The top skein (you know, the one closer to the book I should be reading right now), was the softest, highest quality fiber in the bag, and I think you can see the difference when looking at these skeins side-by-side. There’s 70 yards of the softer alpaca, and then another 116 yards of the coarser stuff, bringing the whole lot to 339 yards of light-worsted singles. Can’t wait to see what N. decides to knit out of this stuff!

Last night, after a long day and a dinner of leftovers, we took a break from the kind of work that requires full mental concentration and picked up projects that would allow us to listen to an episode of This American Life. I worked on B’s windschief hat, and I am now ready to start the decreases. He should have a hat to keep him warm by the end of the week. In fact, maybe I’ll knit a few rounds before I tackle the writing I need to do today…

“one day i’ll be a better writer…”*

We saw Sharon Van Etten and the Bowerbirds at a neat bar near the water this week. Sharon Van Etten (pictured in the crappy photo from my phone, above) is worth checking out, if you’ve never encountered her music. What you see is what you get up there — a girl and a guitar — but man, can she write a song. And her voice — soft, clear, haunting. Check out a video of her at SXSW here.

I also recommend the Bowerbirds. Who doesn’t love a band with an accordion, a snare drum, and a homemade xylophone? Check out their tiny desk concert at NPR here.

So, some fun stuff (read: late nights) this week, but also lots of work. Which made for a very tired rooster. Thursday night I made a big pot of cauliflower soup, and while it was simmering, I slathered peach butter made by my friend K. on slices of beer bread. Yum.

And today, when I got home from campus, I curled up on the couch, watched Bones, and made progress on windschief hat numero dos, out of malabrigo in verdeazul, for B. Malabrigo is the perfect yarn to knit with on a cold and rainy day. Planning an evening of soup, knitting, and maybe a movie. I’ll get back to the pile of books tomorrow. Happy weekend, folks, and thanks for all of the sweet blogiversary wishes.

*This is a line is from “Much More Than That” by Sharon Van Etten.