FO: LMKG tea cozy

Last night, after a delicious bellyful of sushi (two words: garlic sashimi), I returned home to finish the tea cozy, and I am really pleased with how it turned out.

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Here is a close-up of the top:

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I listened to the most recent episode of the Knitpicks podcast while I worked, and Kelly Petkun was talking about a French press cozy. I could most certainly use one of those, as each morning I pour the first cup of coffee from my press into an insulated mug so that it will stay warm until I am ready for it.

Hope you have a lovely weekend!

daily anticipation

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Boh was up before 6 today, which means I didn’t have much choice. I begin each morning with a press pot of coffee. The dog is no longer scared of the sound of my coffee grinder, which is a step in the right direction.  I don’t exactly require coffee to function, but I do strongly believe that my daily happiness level is directly related to how much coffee I have consumed. I do, occasionally, go without, just to remind myself that I can, but today is not one of those days.  This morning I snapped a photo (before promptly dropping my camera — I think it is okay) while (sort of) patiently waiting for my coffee to be ready. Push the plunger down too soon, and it sputters, sending grounds and coffee all over the counter and chastising me for not being able to wait my turn.

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Here’s where I am with the tea cozy: it is 17 inches long — 6 more to go and then seaming and finishing. Knitting this has been calming — perhaps because it is my answer to that feeling of helplessness that seems to accompany tragedy — but also because I really like the stitch pattern. The p1, ktbl rhythm is very nice, and the definition of the twisted stitches is particularly stunning. I have some scarves planned as thank you gifts for three men who helped me with something earlier this fall, and I think this stitch pattern will be perfect.

I must get back to it, but before I pick up my needles again, I want to say thanks — for wandering over to my corner of the web, and for returning. I’m having a lot of fun here.

getting cozier…

As in, my tea cozy is growing. I came home to a gorgeous sunset behind the chicken coop:

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I spent all unallocated evening time working on the tea cozy, and became so engrossed in my work that I forgot about the beets I was roasting in the oven. Normally I roast them for a bit over an hour, depending on their size, and it was a good 2 hours before I remembered them. They are still wrapped in foil in the fridge, intended for salads or to be eaten alone. We’ll see if they are still delicious. Here’s an updated shot of the tea cozy — it isn’t quite this red in “real” life.

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I’m going to try to get a few more inches done before work. Wish me luck!

spontaneous cast on

A family that is very dear to me has experienced what can only be described as tragedy: the loss of a wonderful person — son, brother, friend — to an act of senseless, seemingly random violence. There is a celebration of his life this weekend, and the final spreading of ashes, and I am planning to head down and spend the night with them.

Last night, at knitting group, I asked, “What do you knit for someone who is dealing with that kind of loss?” In addition to the obvious: listening, hugging, being present, I have been feeling the need to “make”. A tea cozy was suggested, and upon thinking more carefully about the intended recipient, this is just right. I cast on last night, and am setting other projects aside in hopes of completing this before this weekend’s celebration.

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After looking through my pattern books, I settled on the Cashmere Tea Cozy from Last Minute Knitted Gifts (Ravelry link). I love the way this is gathered at the top, and I really like the simple stitch pattern. I am making this in a reddish-orange-brown (sort of like the color of adobe) in Cascade 220 Heathers, and the stitch definition is beautiful. It would be perfect for a man’s scarf.

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I have just under 4 inches completed, after starting with size 8 needles and deciding to go down to 7s for a tighter fabric (a decision which enhanced the stitch definition) last night, and knitting to an old episode of Cast On this morning before work. I think I will be able to get this done by Saturday morning. Suggestions for special tea to accompany this?

logic board, schmogic board.

My MacBook has returned victoriously, though you wouldn’t know it by the look on my dog’s face:

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Seriously? Seriously. This dog is a comedian. Because I am so thrilled to have my computer back, please allow me to share an excessive amount of pictures of my weekend with you. Knitting content below, I promise, but first, to demonstrate how much I trust y’all, a funny Saturday morning picture:

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The answer is “No” to all of the questions you are asking. (“Are you a speed skater?” “What about a super hero?” “Did you actually buy those?” They were a gift.) I went for a run on Friday with the dog, and wore these under my shorts for added protection from the gusty winds in the bosque. Saturday morning, pre-sunrise, the dog was begging to go outside, and I was awake, so I pulled these on to keep me warm. Upon returning inside, I realized how ridiculous I looked, and snapped this photo. Feel free to laugh out loud. I share this with you in part because I settled in with a cup of coffee, episodes of CraftLit and Cast On and some knitting deserving of some attention: my Fleece Artist Tiger Socks.

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See? Now you can enjoy my completed sock without being completely distracted by the glow of my electric blue spandex. Maybe I kept them on for the whole morning. I am really proud of this sock — the first of my second pair ever. There are still a few teeny mistakes here and there, but overall, the heel is solid, the stitches are tight and even, and I even kitchenered the toe! I was so excited about all of this that I immediately cast on for the second sock. I asked Mr. Claus for some long sock circs and a Magic Loop book, and I want to finish these before I hear those reindeer hoofs on my parents’ roof. (This is going to be a long post — I’ve only been blogging a short while, but I missed you this week.)

Onward to more knitting:

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I finished another garter brim hat — a bit too big for my small head on purpose. Not sure who this will go to, but I love this. My Thanksgiving host called this my “watermelon” hat, and I like the name.

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You may notice the style of this photo — consider it a tribute to cosy of cosymakes. The pattern is hers, and can be found on her blog for free here. I love the photos she takes of her hats, and thought that I would display the result of her scrap-happy celebration hat pattern in a similar way. Thanks, cosy! This hat is made of Cascade 220 and Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran Tweed scraps, and is destined to go to my brother — the brim yarn is leftover from the pair of Dashing I made for him.

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Boh and I went for a hike in the rain this weekend — we were the only ones out wandering, and it was absolutely beautiful in that foggy, forlorn, expansive kind of way. The weather was the kind that makes you want to eat soup, and, inspired by this post by Amy at angry chicken, I modified a Moosewood recipe for curried spinach and pea soup to be a warm, soothing mixture featuring kale, potatoes and Thai chile paste.

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That’s all for now. I did even more knitting than I ‘ve posted here this weekend, and perhaps in the morning light, I’ll be able to take a few more pictures to share.

P.S. I’m sure you all already know about how fantastic the CraftLit and Cast On podcasts are (links above), and that I’m just a little late to the party, but on the off chance that you haven’t given these a listen, go download an episode. You won’t be disappointed.

swap.

No, not the fun kind. I’m talking about a modem swap. More time on the phone with my ISP this weekend. The good news: swapping modems is free, whereas the initial solution would run me about 300 bucks. The bad news: the modem won’t arrive until the end of the week. You know the drill: all nonessential email will remain unanswered until I can surf the web in my PJs from the privacy of my home.

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More good news: an FO to share. I finished the blue purl scarf. I wrapped it around myself in celebration, and I must say, the idea of keeping it did scamper through my innermost thoughts. Luckily, it kept on scampering, as this scarf is intended for my very best friend. I’ll see her in a few weeks, and the weather on the East Coast should make this scarf wearable immediately. I’ll be bringing mine as well, just in case the temptation to wrap myself in one of these wonderfully long scarves becomes unshakable on my flights East.

Here are a few blurry shots of me modeling the scarf. (Dog is still working on “stay”. He can’t take pictures yet.)

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A few more, to tide you over during my internet blackout:

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Also…I found myself without a mindless knitting project today, so I cast on for another garter brim hat from LMKG. I wear the pom-pommed version I made for myself all the time. Not sure if this will be a gift or if it will jump into my knitted accessory rotation.

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Also, Cosy over at Cosy Makes nominated me for a You Make Me Smile award here — yay! Thanks, Cosy! I cannot hide my blog-norance (blog+ignorance?) — I don’t know how to add a button to a blog entry. Help, please.

new scarf in progress

I have been wearing my new legwarmers non-stop. They are so cozy and warm, and thin enough that they can either be concealed under jeans or used to display my love of the 80s. Now that they are finished, I am out of knitting sans counting — I need something for after a long day of work or for before my coffee has taken effect in the morning. Enter Purl Scarf #2, intended for a friend I will see later this month, stage right.

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I started this last night while watching an episode of Heroes (via Netflix), and I already have about a foot completed. The jury is still out on Heroes — I am a bit lost now that I’ve finished all twenty billion episodes of Twin Peaks Season 2 (and caught up on Stash and Burn).

Details: Manos del Uruguay in a dark blue (color A?), Madil Kid Seta in an electric blue (no tags) and Knit One Crochet Too Douceur et Soie in Color 8645. I think. I’m using size 13s instead of 15s and I cast on 20 st instead of 16, just like the one I made for myself.

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Also, in green Debbie Bliss Bolero Jacket news, I have finished the back and the right and left fronts. On to the sleeves. I like how quickly this is knitting up, but my progress also means that soon I will have to learn how to seam…

legwarmers and sugarplums

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When I was a little girl, I took ballet lessons. I dreamed of Balanchine, of Coppelia, of tulle and tutus. I practiced A LOT. I danced en pointe; my toes bled; my body ached. I pulled on these legwarmers last night around midnight, having just woven in the ends, and felt the urge to “gran ron-de-jaum”, to “jete”, “gran pas-de-sha”; to waltz through the kitchen the way I used to do just before dinner time, forks and knives in my hands. (It was far more fun to set the table while waltzing.)

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(Apologies for the dark, grainy picture. The urge to plie struck late last night. This was taken in the mirror.) These legwarmers are looooong. 26″ in length! I thought about binding off many times, but I am glad that I persevered: these are long enough to be scrunched and still reach up to my knees. They are incredibly soft, have a nice depth to the color, and are very warm. The nights are getting colder here, and I decided to wear them to bed last night. I woke up with the sun, about ten minutes before my alarm, with a cold nose and toasty calves.

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one legwarmer down

I’ve finished one legwarmer, and boy is it soft. I love the combination of Cascade 220 Heathers and Madil Kid Seta. I wore one around the house for much of the evening yesterday. Here’s the best shot I could get in the dirty mirror in my dark bedroom.

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This picture highlights that I love all forms of turquoise. It’s funny; I never would have highlighted blue-greens as my favorite color a few years ago. I truly fell in love with turquoise: the stone, the antique jewelry, its cultural significance and, apparently, the color, when I first came to the Southwest. I tend to like turquoise stones and jewelry with a lot of green and brown in it, rather than the the bluer stuff that is truer to the color turquoise. All of this turquoise talk leads me to another FO that is getting a lot of early morning wear these days: the Pashmina Cowl from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, by Joelle Hoverson. I used just under 2 balls of Classic Elite Princes and size 5 needles, and this kept me busy during lots of Netflix DVD viewing. I loved knitting with Princess — super soft, and the end result has nice drape, but also retains some of the shape. Note the color…

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Would it be weird if I wore one legwarmer to work today? It is Halloween. Discuss.

FOs below!

I’m back in my own house now, and Boh is fast asleep. Nonstop playing is exhausting! I can’t help myself. Before I get to the results of my own playtime with yarn, I have to show you some doggy pictures:

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Adorable. I love those dogs too, but I am glad to be back in my one-dog house. I managed to wrap up a few projects today, and I am really happy with the way they turned out. First up, the Baby Bib O’ Love from Mason Dixon Knitting. This was a super fast knit, and very enjoyable. This would’ve been done earlier, but Boh decided that he loved it too, and managed to chew through one whole stitch. I secured it with a fairly subtle knot (yikes, cardinal sin!) but it was still a bit obvious, so I decided to try my hand at some simplistic embroidery. Cosette, over at cosymakes, does some beautiful embroidery on the hats she makes, and her work inspired me to attempt to do something eye-catching to draw the viewer away from Boh’s teeth marks.

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I know that pooling is generally frustrating, but in this case, I like how crazy this bib came out. I mean, I wear mostly neutral colors, but the 1-year old this is for seems to love bright colors (and, surprisingly, me!). Today is her birthday — Happy Birthday Ava!

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I am excited to get this in the mail tomorrow.

I also finished the turquoise pair of Fetching, for a friend who is about as far away as you can get from where I am. (I used to be that far away too.) It is pretty hot there, but I think these will be a nice way to keep her hands warm while she rides her hot little Honda motorbike around town. (E –excuse the spoiler. I’m sharing now in case your package ends up in Nigeria. Oh, and boh mi ban ha, mi tan ha.)

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While house-sitting, I managed to watch a lot of really bad television instead of crossing things off my list. I am learning that this is one of the dangers of knitting — because I am moving my hands and creating something, I can justify some seriously marginal activities, just because I can knit while doing them. Here’s my progress on the LMKG legwarmers. They are intended to be super long, which will allow for some serious scrunching. I love the combination of the Cascade 220 Heathers and the Madil Kid Seta. I’m about about 22 of 26 inches on the first one. Can’t wait to wear these!

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Alright. Time to make a cup of tea and stop procrastinating.