normal, shitty loop.

I’ve begun sharing this space with dear friends from my “real” life, and their reactions are a lot of fun. (Hi, you guys! I’m glad you’re here.) One friend, whose lovely daughter was the recipient of the first baby bib I knit, wondered why it had taken me so long to tell him about my knitting blog.

“Are you worried about me meeting your knitting friends?” He asked.

Another friend took a look through the posts and told me that he was particularly intrigued with the magic loop method.

“I’m so glad you’ve learned how to do the magic loop — it is clearly much better than normal, shitty loop.”

That’s right. My friends are awesome. (I have some great pictures of you guys, but I’m not sure you want them on the internet…)

A few pictures of the beginning of spring here —

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Screen door.

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Rain clouds.

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Black bean salad. (Okay, this is more of a summer thing, but I got a massive bunch of deliciously smelling cilantro in my CSA box, and this salad is a staple in my kitchen, thanks to a summer spent living in Minneapolis with a friend who is queen of these kinds of salads.)

Happy weekend!

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birthday sky.

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Wow. I didn’t even see all those birds perched on the top branches of that tree in my neighbor’s yard. Clearly the universe knows that today is my birthday — what a beautiful way to begin the day!

No big plans over here: took the day off from work, crawled back into bed to lounge with the dog, having lunch and dinner with friends, hoping to get a nice run in this afternoon…taking a rooster day.

I do have some knitting progress to share with you:

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It is official: I am a convert to the magic loop method. These socks are flying — and using a long circular means I am not searching under the couch for the needle I dropped. I also really like the way this pattern is working up. These are Schrodinger’s Twisted Tweed Socks, and I’m using Trekking XXL, the recommended yarn, which I happened to have.  I took this sock with my yesterday to my Democratic Party Ward Meeting to elect delegates to the pre-primary convention, which was fascinating. The protocol requires that you have to sit for 30 minutes after the meeting has been formally opened so that each ward can confirm the voting credentials of the folks who show up. I managed to finish turning the heel, all while participating in the democratic (and Democratic) process. This pattern has a short row heel, and I think I need some advice. Take a look at my first attempt:

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I am practically positive that I did the wraps correctly, and it looked very pretty before I put this on to take a look, and then these holes became evident. The pattern said that it didn’t matter how I picked up the wraps, so long as I was consistent. Maybe I should twist them? Advice on how to do this better on the next pair would be much appreciated. In the meantime, I am thinking that I can do some cheating on the inside at the end of this sock to sew up these gaps. I am approaching these as a “learning” pair of socks!

“i miss the barbed wire and the sage on that wild northern range…”

Eilen Jewell says that, or rather, sings that, in her song, “Boundary County”. I just bought the album, and I highly recommend it. She has this incredible lilt in her voice that just reminds me of mesas and prairies and desolate, beautiful landscapes. This is my roundabout way of telling you that it is good to be home. Each time I visit New York, whether for work or pleasure, I have a great time. I love visiting the favorite places of friends there, and this last time, the haunts and corners of the city we visited (shuffleboard bars, dog parks, noisy diners, cozy Italian restaurants) had me thinking that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to live in New York. (Victory for you, JP.)

Please accept this description in lieu of photos of cityscapes, as I failed to document the goings on around me — partly because of the cold (hands stayed in pockets!), but also because I hate that touristy feeling I get when surrounded by lots of other folks taking pictures of tall American buildings. I’d rather blend in and participate in daily life. Clearly, this conflicts at times with my desire to be a better recorder/documenter of my life. Something to work on.

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Speaking of working on, I have much knitting progress to share. First up, my Brompton progress. You will recall that I managed to acquire the yarn for this project and swatch just before leaving on Friday. I’m in the increase section, and I’m just about ready to divide the sleeves and body. Had to stop knitting on this on the plane home, as I realized it was about time to put it on waste yarn and try it on. This is rather difficult to do in an airplane seat.

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The color is far greener than this picture, but I love how this highlights the tweediness of the yarn and the beauty of the basketweave stitch. I was worried that a tweedy yarn would obscure the stitch detail, but I am really happy with how this is turning out.

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I also managed some progress on the gathered scarf. The Blue Sky Alpacas Suri Merino is so soft, and I love how this scarf is draping. This is a slower knit, due to the constant needle switching every five or so rows, but this is worth it.

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Also, ta-da! My first attempt at Magic Loop, in the form of Schrodinger’s Twisted Tweed Socks. I am very excited about these, as this method is so much faster and less fiddly than using DPNS — particularly valuable on an airplane. I am using KnitPicks circulars, size 2, 32 inches, and while the cable is nice and flexible, I did manage to yank the cable out of the needle. I don’t think I pulled very hard on the cable, so that was frustrating. I managed to push the cable back into the needle, but the join is a bit awkward, and a bit more predisposed towards separating again (happened once more, though I was being extra careful). I’m sure part of this is my fault — I know that tightening the first stitch too much is a common problem when learning Magic Loop, but I was a bit disappointed, as this is my first time using this particular circ, and the join will never be smooth.

Phew! Long knitting update. Sun is shining, and I have the morning to get my life in order before heading to the office this afternoon. Boh is curled up in his favorite spot, snoring. All is well.