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!

classic.

This is my dad’s caesar salad — a staple of my childhood, and an oft asked for part of my repertoire. (All credit to Dad — I’ve never had a better caesar salad. Ever.) We had dinner at the home of friends on Wednesday, and the salad was requested. I had quite a bit of romaine leftover, and this afternoon, after submitting my grades (see what I did there?) I mixed up another big bowl all for me. It was the perfect way to celebrate the end of the semester. (Shout out to brokeknits — this salad on a teal sidetable is, of course, a nod to your signature photo-style.)

Please allow me an awkward transition as we move from a classic caesar to Classic Elite. See, I’ve got this gorgeous purpley laceweight, and I’m kinda sorta thinking it would be perfect with this dress, even though there isn’t exactly purple in the print. What do you think? Am I nuts? I feel like there might be the slightest hint of purple in the transitions from pink to grey, but mostly I’m thinking that this looks nice against the pale pink and the coral. More advice, please!

Also, here’s Boh, post-walk.

And while he napped, I spun the third bobbin of this luscious Hello Yarn targhee in Parritch.  Can’t wait to ply.  Happy Friday!

FO: garter yoke cardigan.

At long last, I sewed the buttons onto my garter yoke cardigan. I tried it on after the first four, just to make sure I liked the look of these buttons (which may or may not have cost me more than the Cascade 220 part of the sweater). I decided to do this late last night, so the pictures are less than awesome, thanks to the overhead lights in my apartment, but I think you’ll still get the idea.

I love this, and I’m especially glad that I knit this alongside Mick and Laura! I decided not to block my GYC, at least not yet, mostly because I am anxious that it will grow, and I don’t want it to get wider or longer. (Also, I’m lazy.) I’ll block it eventually… I’m still working on sizing sweaters, and I think I need to trust the idea of negative ease just a bit more, as I tend to knit my sweaters a little too big. That said, I’m very happy with this sweater, and I expect it will get quite a bit of wear!

Details:

Garter Yoke Cardigan, size 38, with a handspun yoke (out of 144 yards of Hello Yarn romney in Alpine) and a Cascade 220 body (814 yards).

I knit the yoke and sleeves on size 6 needles and knit the body on 7s, and I shortened the sleeves to 3/4 length.

Here’s an outtake — despite the blurriness and awkward angle, I like this one:

Hooray!

sweet sweater ISO right buttons to share…

…early morning cups of coffee,  stretches of reading and writing, long walks in the woods. Must be cute and functional, should be comfortable with handspun and commercial yarn, and available for the life of the sweater. Casual closures need not apply.

I’m heading to one of the local knitting shops today to pick up some test-knitting (I’ll ask if I can blog about it), so I really wanted to finish the second sleeve on my garter yoke cardigan in order to look for buttons! (Serious inquiries only, of course.) I do have more of the matte grey buttons that I used for my bracken vest, and I think those might be a good option, but I want to see what else is out there before I commit.

In tidying up my yarn corner (also known as the explosion of knitting projects near the base of the couch), I realized that I have more than 3 skeins of cascade 220 leftover from knitting this project, which means this was a super affordable sweater: just over 3.5 skeins of cascade 220, plus part of a skein of handspun for the yoke! I bet I have enough to make another. (Whoa there, rooster.)

boh battles the red vacuum cleaner.

(In place of Yoshimi and the pink robots, of course.)

Boh faces his opponent.

(This is a new development. Boh used to hide in his box whenever I would get out the vacuum cleaner. Now, he plays his own version of chicken with the machine: he runs towards it or waits for it to approach him, and then squeezes by it at the last possible moment.)

Boh dashing past the vacuum cleaner.

This is absolutely hilarious, and I wish I’d gotten better photos of the whole sequence. It is rather difficult to operate a vacuum cleaner with one hand and snap photos with the other.

Now, would you like to see some spinning?

Yesterday’s time out made it possible for me to sit down at the wheel and finish the second bobbin of this gorgeous Hello Yarn finn in the winter storage colorway.

This morning, I started plying the two bobbins together, and snapped a few photos part of the way through. This looks to me like it is going to be fingering weight rather than laceweight yarn when it is all plyed and soaked, and I’m thinking it might make a lovely shawl. (That will not be for me to decide, however, as this skein is intended as a gift for a knitter!)

It seems my time out has stretched well into Sunday. That’s the trouble with taking breaks: it is so hard to end the time out and jump back into the fray. Maybe after my afternoon yoga class…

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!

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.

adorabledog1

adorabledog2

(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.

adorabledog4

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.

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.)