daffodils, more dumplings, dessert…

And some other things that don’t begin with D.

Daffodils coming up near my front steps.

More dumplings.

These delicious Brown Butter Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies¬†from Joy the Baker.¬†(Public service announcement: browning butter can be dangerous. Or at least mine was — my butter did a fair bit of sputtering and spitting as the water evaporated. It was worth it, though.)

Lovely sunset.

Sweet dog.

Cowl knitting and spinach.

And some spinning! This is BFL from the Hello Yarn Fiber Club in “Scorch.” I spun it as a 3-ply, and while I think I began this (long ago) with socks in mind, I’m not sure there’s quite enough yardage. That’s okay, though. I still love it. There were 183 yards, pre-bath. More photos after I’ve set the twist.

And then I just wanted to keep going. This is “Floating Down” from the Hello Yarn Fiber Club, and I’m spinning this luscious BFL/Tussah Silk blend as singles. So, so pretty.

Okay, back to work. On today’s list? Commenting on papers, finishing a conference paper, and writing another page or two of this diss-chapter-chunk. (Later, I plan to reward myself with a movie and a margarita.)

weekend.

I’ve got something to say. All weekends are better with homemade french fries. My weekend is only half over, and these have already made it extra awesome. Another high five to Kaela over at local kitchen for these spicy oven fries. I used my first farm potatoes of the season. After I took this picture, I may have poured myself a generous amount of ketchup for dipping.

And then I finished the first Lucy sock, so named for the colorway, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Why have I not been knitting handspun socks all this time? I am in love with this sock. I cannot wait for there to be two.

Motivated by the awesomeness of my handspun sock, I sat back down at my wheel. You know, to finish whatever I’ve been spinning so that I can get started on another 3-ply. For more socks. It is a vicious, vicious cycle. This is an in progress shot of the second bobbin of whatever delicious Hello Yarn Fiber Club fiber I was spinning. (I just looked — Finn in the Shaking Leaves colorway, from January 2011.)

And here’s a picture of it plied. More of this soon, once it’s dry!

Can this dog get any sweeter? I managed to grab the camera with my right hand today after Boh put his paw on my left. He must have been transmitting some good, productive vibes, because even with all the fibery goodness, I managed to write a few pages today. And now it is bedtime.

FO: rhinebeck cauldron part 2.

This is the second half of my Rhinebeck/Cauldron experiment, 188 yards of squishy 2-ply (in 150 and 38 yard skeins). My initial plan was to make this into another eternity scarf, and while I’m not sure if I’m going to to follow that pattern exactly, I think this yarn still wants to become a big squishy ’round the neck sort of thing. I’ve got 400 or so yards total to work with, which gives me lots of options. What would you make with this? (Boh clearly has no opinion, as evidenced by these photos.)

Did you see the curry recipe Andrea posted last week? I made it on Sunday night, using tofu that I browned in butter instead of the seitan meatballs. Mine is a very different color (due, I think, to my use of a can of coconut milk instead of coconut flakes rehydrated in water), but I’m guessing it was the same level of deliciousness. Oh my. So good, so easy, so going into my kitchen recipe binder.

They are hard to see, but I’m pretty sure that this is a mother Merganser and a whole slew of ducklings. A few are riding on her back, and the commotion you see here is all the rest hurrying to keep up!

And here is Boh, happily lounging on the dock next to the picnic table. It is supposed to be HOT today, so I’m guessing we’ll find ourselves out by the lake this afternoon, though not until after we do a lot of work around the house. My parents brought a truck full of furniture yesterday — things from their basement and from my grandmother’s house (she just moved into a smaller apartment in an assisted living facility), and they’ll be here for a few days to work and play. We have plans to plant some containers full of herbs, replace the shower head, decide about a dehumidifier for the basement…things like that. I’ll have lots more lake house pictures soon!

cauldrons and cosmos.

Or, more spinning.

This is the second skein of cauldron/Rhinebeck, pre-soak.


And here it is, hanging to dry. (This strikes me as a temporary fix, as it probably isn’t a good idea to hang things on heating pipes when the heat is actually on…)

Boh and I spent more time on the porch yesterday: he surveyed the scene, ears twitching at every squirrel and chipmunk he spotted, while I picked out more fiber to spin. I managed to spin up both bobbins of Cosmopolitan, a Southern Cross Fibre Club organic merino.

Here’s the first bobbin. I’m aiming for a light dk-ish 2-ply that preserves the color progression. I split the fiber lengthwise, and weighed the two parts to make sure I was in the range of equal bobbins. The test will be whether my spinning is consistent enough. This felt really good in my fingers, but I am noticing that there is a bit of all those “getting back on the bike/horse/whatever” feelings, since it has been several months since I spent any serious time at my wheel. This morning my right thumb is a little sore from gripping the fiber too tightly. Part of my summer routine will be to get back into a comfortable rhythm with my spinning. And pretty soon I’m going to have to find that rhythm with my academic work, too. (I’m guessing I won’t have to readjust to avoid a death grip on the books I’m reading…)

I’ll probably post a whole cluster of photos once I feel like I’m mostly settled here, but today I’ll share this shot of the guest room. My mom is bringing me her old sewing machine, and I’m planning to put that in the corner underneath the windows. I like the idea of finding ways to use this room and enjoy it, even when I don’t have guests!

I snapped this picture of Boh right after I got out of bed — much later than usual — this morning. I’m still feeling a bit under the weather, and I’m hoping another day of porch spinning and lazing about the house will help me to shake this combination of head cold/seasonal allergies that’s had me feeling less than 100% this week. Sweet, sweet dog. Somebody has earned a stroll in the woods behind our house today.

pounding mill press and plying.

 

I ordered some absolutely gorgeous note cards from Pounding Mill Press, and they arrived yesterday. (Full disclosure: M., of Pounding Mill Press, is a friend of mine. Rather than tell you this to suggest that I might be biased, I do it in order to be able to take a moment to comment on her general awesomeness, which makes me recommend her stuff, her style, her cupcakes all the more. She also does custom projects — lots more info on her site.) Anyway, I ordered these blank-on-the-inside alphabet cards, and they are exactly what I was hoping for.

M. tucked in a sample note card or two in a different designs, and some engraved pencils that clearly I can’t live without, despite not knowing I needed them. I can’t decide which to sharpen first: Love is a Battlefield, or A Man, A Plan, A Canal, Panama.

If you, at this very moment, are realizing that a package of palindrome pencils would make your writing, grading, grocery-list-making, etc. infinitely better, these are available in the Pounding Mill Press online shop. (I just checked. I can think of at least ten people who would LOVE these.)

When I read these out loud to Boh, he looked at me like this:

I don’t think he liked “Go Deliver A Dare Vile Dog” so much.

Last night, at bedtime, I was feeling antsy. My reading went slowly yesterday, and I just needed to either get something else done, or unwind some more. I had just read Laura’s post about 2010, where she talks a bit about spinning, relaxing, and mind-wandering, so I got out my wheel (which needed to be both tightened and oiled — the weather has changed A LOT since the last time I did any spinning) and sat down to ply.

This is the first half of an experiment I described in this post – SCF Rhinebeck and Hello Yarn Cauldron, plied together (both polwarth). The process of plying these last night was exactly what I needed to decompress after some difficult reading, but I’m not sure about the pairing yet. I’m really happy with what you can see here on the bobbin, but there is a bit section where red and green are plied together in the middle, and it might just have the effect of muting each color. I’ll have to see what I think once it is washed and skeined, and then I can decide if I want another skein just like this, or if I want to do something different with the other half-bumps of each colorway. Either way, nice to be sitting down at my wheel again. I hope I can make time to spin this spring.

together?

A few days ago, I decided I need another eternity scarf. The thing is, the pattern calls for the kind of yardage I can get out of two bumps of handspun, not one. After digging through my (more accessible) fiber bin, I surfaced with Southern Cross Fibres polwarth in the Rhinebeck colorway (Oct 2010 club fiber) and Hello Yarn polwarth in Cauldron (April 2010 club fiber). And then I opened up the bags on my already very full desk, and snapped this picture. So far so good.

Here’s the first bobbin of the SCF polwarth in Rhinebeck. This stuff spun super smoothly. I really can’t wait to spin the second bobbin’s worth.

And here’s an almost full bobbin of Cauldron. These colors are slightly more muted than the SCF (well, except for the super awesome bright green). Putting the bobbins side by side, I’m less sure of my pairing, but since the fibers themselves looked fantastic together, I’m going to start plying (maybe today?) and see what happens. Fiber experiment!

Okay, time to pour the coffee. This rooster is so ready for daylight savings to kick in, and not just because of the extra hour of sleep I’ll get tomorrow morning before yoga.

FO: garland.

This is 268 yards of dk-weight navajo-plied Hello Yarn targhee in garland. This isn’t the whole four ounces — more like 3.25, I think. I filled a bobbin, let it rest, and started plying, and I’m not sure if I’ll make another mini-skein just like this, or save the fraction of an ounce for an all-mixed-up leftovers skein. I love this, and I’m starting to feel like I’m getting the hang of navajo-plying! Hooray! (Also, I’m still getting to know my camera, and these definitely don’t do the skein justice.)

Look! A reorganized spinning corner! I walked by this desk on Monday — it was about two blocks from my house. And then I backed up, picked it up, and carried it home. It fits perfectly into this little nook between the door and the heater, and now there is more storage space and work space in my apartment.

This is Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club corriedale in the New Day colorway. When I finished the garland, I just had to get something else started on the wheel…and suddenly I had two bobbins of this stuff. Planning to sit down and ply right after I finishing posting!

Yesterday was farm share pick-up day, and I gathered a whole bag of flowers in the fields. I love being able to fill my apartment with flowers I’ve picked myself.

And I’m knitting something new! More on this project next time.