FO: agnes.

Someday I hope to take pictures of this sweater in the wild (and in natural light). But for now, I think I have to accept that these pictures, snapped last night in my ugly hallway (and while the sweater was, to be honest, still a little damp) will have to do, because it is going to be almost 80 degrees outside today. Beautiful, but not Agnes weather. (And I might be pouting a little bit about that.)  Blocking has loosened up and evened out everything, of course, and now Agnes is perfectly cozy without being sloppy, if that makes sense. You can still see the spot where I dropped down to increase several times after the fact — on the back of the right shoulder (which is why I took that silly picture)– but it is way less noticeable than it was before blocking. When I make this again (because I could probably use at least two more of these sweaters), I might double up the purl rows at the pockets so that whatever contrast color I choose stands out even more. Also, I think this sweater will be an important part of my dissertation writing process.

On that note, here’s another installment of “fake-it-’til-you-make-it” here at Chez Rooster. On Saturday morning I realized that I needed to put on a button-down shirt to make myself do some writing. And it worked. Never have I been so happy to get 200 words out of my fingers and onto the screen.

And here’s my next project from Wool Book One: Avery. I’m making this cowl in two skeins of Malabrigo in the perfect shade of rusty red-orange. To wear with my Agnes, of course.

FO: windschief #2.

Apparently I shouldn’t  even decrease the crown of a hat before fully completing the day’s first cup of coffee. Part of the way through both the hat and my first mug, I realized that my stitch counts between markers were slightly off. And being mostly pre-coffee, I decided to fake it, and left out a decrease in one section and decreased in a non-decrease row right before the decreases switch from every other row to every row. And on a human head (mine, above), I think any slight wonkiness is hidden by the variegation in the yarn and the general awesomeness of this pattern. So I’m calling it good. We’ll see if I can get some boy-modeled shots to share.

And now, the details. This is the windschief hat by Stephen West, size M, knit in Malabrigo Worsted in the verdeazul colorway, as directed, on size 6 and size 7 needles. I used what looks like half (or slightly more than half) the skein. And at this moment, I’m too lazy to go into the kitchen and weigh it. So you’ll have to trust me on that. Also, this pattern? I still love it.

Alright, time to finish this mug of coffee and get ready for the day. Is it Friday yet?

FO: the second half.

Here’s the rest of the grey alpaca. The top skein (you know, the one closer to the book I should be reading right now), was the softest, highest quality fiber in the bag, and I think you can see the difference when looking at these skeins side-by-side. There’s 70 yards of the softer alpaca, and then another 116 yards of the coarser stuff, bringing the whole lot to 339 yards of light-worsted singles. Can’t wait to see what N. decides to knit out of this stuff!

Last night, after a long day and a dinner of leftovers, we took a break from the kind of work that requires full mental concentration and picked up projects that would allow us to listen to an episode of This American Life. I worked on B’s windschief hat, and I am now ready to start the decreases. He should have a hat to keep him warm by the end of the week. In fact, maybe I’ll knit a few rounds before I tackle the writing I need to do today…

“one day i’ll be a better writer…”*

We saw Sharon Van Etten and the Bowerbirds at a neat bar near the water this week. Sharon Van Etten (pictured in the crappy photo from my phone, above) is worth checking out, if you’ve never encountered her music. What you see is what you get up there — a girl and a guitar — but man, can she write a song. And her voice — soft, clear, haunting. Check out a video of her at SXSW here.

I also recommend the Bowerbirds. Who doesn’t love a band with an accordion, a snare drum, and a homemade xylophone? Check out their tiny desk concert at NPR here.

So, some fun stuff (read: late nights) this week, but also lots of work. Which made for a very tired rooster. Thursday night I made a big pot of cauliflower soup, and while it was simmering, I slathered peach butter made by my friend K. on slices of beer bread. Yum.

And today, when I got home from campus, I curled up on the couch, watched Bones, and made progress on windschief hat numero dos, out of malabrigo in verdeazul, for B. Malabrigo is the perfect yarn to knit with on a cold and rainy day. Planning an evening of soup, knitting, and maybe a movie. I’ll get back to the pile of books tomorrow. Happy weekend, folks, and thanks for all of the sweet blogiversary wishes.

*This is a line is from “Much More Than That” by Sharon Van Etten.

lakeside.

We spent Saturday afternoon by the lake, on a blanket, reading. Looks cozy, but actually it got pretty windy, and after an hour or so we retreated indoors for nachos. I rewarded myself with a margarita. See, all this is relevant because in these pictures, even though you can’t see it, there is yarn in my bag. Malabrigo, to be exact. And it is destined to become another windschief hat. This one’s for the boy.

I cast on with my coffee this morning, before my 8 am yoga class. The colorway is verdeazul, and already I love the combination of the malabrigo worsted and twisted rib — so squishy! I’m planning to curl up with Boh and the boy this evening and knit some more ribbing. After all, it is fall break…

boh reads, while i knit and eat cake.

I took a break from my work on Friday night to make another cup of tea, and I returned to find that Boh had decided to sit, and then lay, with my book. If only he could help with the reading. I alternated reading chapters with knitting increase rows on my snowbird cardigan, and now I’m working on the first sleeve.

This is the first pattern I’ve knit that calls for knitting the sleeves before the body, and I think I like this approach: after knitting the longest rows — the raglan increases — I get to knit the shortest rows!

Also, the birthday celebration continued on Saturday. Boh’s favorite people and his best dog friend Coltrane came over with a full-on triple-decker coconut cake! (Which, by the way, is every bit as delicious as it looks. I might eat part of this piece for breakfast.) We ate cake, and then took a nice wintry walk. Boh snored, with his head on my lap, for the rest of the afternoon.

The combination of the cold weather and my need to feel extra cozy means I’ve been wearing a lot of handknits lately. I snapped this picture yesterday morning before heading out to a nearby coffee shop to get some reading done. (With some books, I just need a bit more din to stay focused.)

Yesterday I was looking for an extra layer, and dug out my sassymetrical, which provided just the right amount of warmth under my slouchy navy (store-bought) wear-all-the-time cardigan. And that’s today’s handknit-in-action.

(I feel sort of weird taking pictures of my outfits in the mirror, but these are the photos that I really like to see on other people’s blogs and on ravelry — how they actually wear the stuff they make. Sometimes seeing a handknit incorporated into someone else’s wardrobe convinces me that I could/would wear said handknit.)

Alright, enough of that. Happy weekend, folks. I’m off to curl up with my (canine) valentine to knit a bit/read a lot.

equilibrium.

cmf grey corriedale

cmf brown bfl

Believe it or not, I’ve been spinning faster than I’ve been stashing fiber. (The rate I’m knitting my handspun? That’s another story, but I’m working on it.)

Anyway, Chris over at Doodles In String has been encouraging me to spin for a sweater, and her kind enabling, in addition to last week’s realization that I had spun more than I had left to spin, required immediate action. On Saturday, I ordered a pound and a half each of grey corriedale and brown bfl from Crown Mountain Farms, and it was here on Monday afternoon. A few bumps of fiber are on their way here from places further afield, but I do feel that I am much closer to stash equilibrium now. Phew!

targheebob2

targheebob2dog

I spun up the second bobbin of AVFKW targhee in the Hibiscus colorway last night, (note the lazy dog in the background) and I’m hoping to start plying before I head to class this morning. Apparently this particular blend of reds and oranges routinely speaks to me: the throw on the couch above Boh is the same mixture of colors, and this morning, I put on my sassymmetrical cardigan, only to realize that I knit it in a very similar shade of malabrigo.

sassymmetrical in action

closeupsassymmetrical

I love this sweater, but I rarely wear it out of the house. I think this is because of a mixture of several factors: (a) it is bright (b) I don’t have a lot that seems to look “right” under it (c) cap sleeves in practice aren’t the most flattering on me (though I love them in theory) and (d) the texture and variegation of the malabrigo in this particular incarnation make it look hand-knit in a way that makes me a little self-conscious. Does that make sense?

Despite all this, I’m wearing it today, and it is making me happy.

simpleyeteffectiveblob

Lastly, my simple yet effective shawl is growing. It’s the wrong color family for today’s post, but I can’t get over how much I like the way this is knitting up. I’m thinking I may keep going once I run out of handspun and continue with some commercial yarn leftovers to give it a more finished edge.

This post’s title is also apt because I think I’m getting closer to a routine: I’ve made lists of my personal and academic priorities for this semester, mapped out a tentative breakdown for working at home with Boh vs. working in my office, and I’m feeling okay about it all. I guess it is about time to stop planning my work and get to it!