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.

fruit cup.

Fruit for breakfast, in all forms. Soon the strawberry rows will be open for u-picking at the farm I belong to, and I can’t wait.

The professor I TAed for this spring invited me to join his neighborhood coed over 30 soccer team, and yesterday was our first match. (Nope, I’m not quite 30, but apparently being a woman trumps being old enough, and my “extreme youth” is not a problem.) Let me just say that I didn’t FEEL any younger than anybody else on the field yesterday! Despite today’s aches, I had a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to my weekly summer soccer game — something I haven’t done since I was a little girl.

I’ve made progress on legwarmer numero dos, thanks to a laid-back un-birthday bbq for a knitterly friend on Saturday night, and a This American Life listening gathering, complete with beer and dessert, last night.

And now, some Boh to help with Monday morning. I did not do this to him, but once it was done, I couldn’t help but take a picture. Poor Boh. Life is so hard sometimes. Time for more coffee and a little bit of knitting before I start today’s reading.  Hope your week is off to a good start!

half-calf.

I crack myself up. And yes, my coffee is fully caffeinated this morning (and every morning). More pictures of legwarmer numero uno? Why, of course!

I have not yet mastered the art of photographing my own legs. Clearly. I bound off very loosely, and I’m thinking that when I block these, I’ll tug a bit to get the ribbing a tad more snug. Otherwise, I’m thrilled with the length, the shaping, and the stripes! I’ll post my cast on/increase numbers when I finish numero dos.

After a very productive lunch date (and delicious sushi), a grad-student friend and I wandered over to a little antique shop downtown. Not only did I score a sweet, ruffly, polyester shirt in this adorable red print, but I also found these pins, which I intend to use to secure the many shawls I am going to knit this summer and beyond. Aren’t they gorgeous?

Also, this excursion solved a lingering dilemma. Remember my shalom button problem? (You know, four button-holes, three buttons, only two of which match each other?) Check out these glittery big red buttons. I’m planning to sew these onto shalom this afternoon, and send those orange buttons back to the jar. Hooray!

Happy Friday, folks! Hope your weekend is filled with sunshine and knitting.

Oh, and popcorn, popped on the stove. Definitely popcorn.

smarter?

Boh: Umm, do these make me look smarter?

Rooster: Most definitely.

I’m almost to the cuff of legwarmer numero uno, and if I can keep up this knitting pace, I should be able to wear these to yoga next week. (The class I like to go to on campus starts up again for the summer session on Monday, and the room is always cold. These will be perfect.)

from scratch.

Time to stop petting my handspun and start knitting with it! Boh and I spent our lazy, rainy Sunday morning listening to podcasts and winding yarn into cakes. Well, and then taking pretty pictures of them. I have plans to cast on projects in all of these yarns…this week, even!

Following Adrian of Hello Yarn’s recipe, I cast on a legwarmer out of my Hello Yarn patchwork merino 2-ply handspun. This stuff is super soft and squishy, and I am obsessed with the way it is striping. (It has doubled in length since I snapped this photo.) I cast on 48 stitches to start, and will post my notes once I finish the pair.

Here’s another shot of those stripes, against a less busy (Boh) backdrop.

Making yarn cakes is exhausting, clearly. Alright, time for some coffee and morning knitting. I can’t wait to get back to my legwarmers — and then, back to work. Happy Monday!

FO: seasick.

405 yards of corriedale singles in the Hello Yarn Fiber Club colorway Seasick. More swooning over here, folks. These colors are so vibrant! I might have spent a good hour on ravelry yesterday drooling over handspun shawls. So many I want to make! (Also, this is way more fun than compiling a draft reading list for my comprehensive exams.)

I might have started spinning more singles. This is BFL from A Verb For Keeping Warm in Sadia. I’m thinking this might become the contrast color in a handspun daybreak shawl? Happy June!

FO: parritch. (Also, peonies.)

It was humid this weekend, which meant that Parritch took forever to dry. Just before heading out to dinner on Saturday, I considered wearing the still slightly damp skein as a necklace. Awesome, no?

The colors are tough to photograph, but boy, are they lovely. This is 155 yards of sproingy, squishy 3-ply, in the Parritch colorway of some Hello Yarn Fiber Club targhee. I’m tempted to just turn it into a simple cowl, but I might also dig through my handspun pile to see if it might pair nicely with another skein or two so that I can make a bigger, floppier, cozier cowl – or a big comfy shawl. I’ve been inspired by some feather and fan shawls with lots of handspun colorways — and I do have a pile of handspun leftovers to throw into the mix. Just an idea. Also — I am toying with a big handspun pinwheel. Cosy over at cosymakes just finished one and I adore it. Also, I have some wedding gifts to knit this summer, and I’m thinking pinwheel lap blankets. I’ve given three as wedding gifts so far, and my friends seem to really like them. So, onto the eventual to-knit list: pinwheels for weddings, and a pinwheel for me!

Also, I said there were peonies. And there are. I clipped most of the blossoms that were starting to droop down over the driveway, which means there are small jars and vases of peonies in every room. I’ve had a rather exciting twenty-four hours in tenant land, as there is a new/substantial leak that has repeatedly filled my stock pot and prompted a ceiling tile or two to crumble to the ground in the middle of the night (hello, howling dog). I’m hoping the plumber will be here tomorrow. In the meantime, I’m going to keep spinning and enjoy my peonies. Want to see more of those Corriedale Seasick singles?

Be still my heart. This will definitely be a shawl. But which one?