at year’s end: a baby hat, an eternity scarf, a hat project.

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A baby hat for my cousin’s second daughter, born a few weeks before Christmas Day. (I enjoyed some serious baby time on Christmas Day, the wee one out cold in my arms. This hat is too big for her, but she was wearing it anyway. Yay!)

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Our traditional Christmas Eve meal: French onion soup and quiche Lorraine. This might be the first time I’ve ever snapped a picture of it.

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Also traditional: the Christmas Bloody Mary. Yum.

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This is the beginning of a hat project for P., our October houseguest. Everything in the house broke that week, and P. was pretty awesome about helping with (read: doing) re-lighting the pilot light on my furnace, locating the source of the water spraying all over my basement, and keeping me company on the porch while we waited for the power company to check out a potential gas leak. These are not the sorts of things houseguests are supposed to do, and so I volunteered to make him a hat! Stay tuned for more in progress pictures of this handspun seaman’s cap.

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Plyed, but not washed yet.

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A Boh interlude.

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More Boh, and the beginnings of a handspun eternity scarf I knit for myself amidst work-related stress.

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That was fast. This is merino I spun at least a year ago and it is SO soft.

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Here’s the beginning of P.’s hat. Such lovely dude colors.

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And here’s Boh, cuddling with my bright pink Mara shawl. And that should get us to the New Year. I’ll be back soon with more knitting and spinning from the beginning of 2014. (And thanks, you guys, for the comments, and for being here. I’m sorry I’m so behind on comments. I might just archive them and try to start fresh with my responding. Thanks for understanding.)

happily, predictably…

10nov09

The cold weather has returned, and with it, a little bit of knitting mojo. Wrapped in my Mara shawl and with my Terra on my lap, I finally finished my Snowbird cardigan. All that remained was an inch of one pocket, sewing the pocket linings, and weaving in the ends. It took a couple of hours (and several podcasts), but I did it. Here’s a pre-blocking shot:

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(Forgive my bleary eyes and pjs.)

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And here it is, blocking on the dining room table. The sleeves fit perfectly, but the body is a bit loose. Shouldn’t matter too much because it is an open cardigan, but depending on how it fits when it is dry, I might (gasp) toss it in the dryer to snug it up a bit. Stay tuned.

10nov12

It felt so good to be knitting that I even managed a couple of repeats on my Bristol hat. (Funny how that happens when the deadlines feel overwhelming. I’ve got a conference paper, a talk, a job application, and some dissertation chapters that need finishing on my plate right now…)

Want to see what else has been going on around here this week?

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No idea what’s going on in this picture. (And please, disregard the newsprint filled with dissertation-related list-making on the wall behind him.)

10nov05

Last bare-legged day of the season, I’m guessing. (These boots are in terrible shape, but I can’t bring myself to retire them…)

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An impromptu dinner party on Monday night, complete with butternut squash galette.

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Glorious sunlight on the good walk we’ve been aiming to take at least once a week.

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Boh, not at all interested in the epic waterfall behind him.

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One of us will not be mistaken for a deer.

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Tuckered out. I woke up yesterday to find Boh with his head on the pillow next to me. Silly, silly dog.

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One more bit of silliness: sharks surround Manhattan. Just a little bit of Friday night fun with sharks from M’s sharknado Halloween costume…

Hope you’re all well. I still haven’t found a solution to my Feedly problem, and it feels so strange to be blogging while I feel so behind on all of your adventures. Forgive me. And happy knitting!

the usual?

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Things have been rather quiet around la casa Rooster this week. We’re in transition: I’m trying to wrap up some applications and a chapter draft, and I’m also trying to get my house ready for a subletter and my life ready to move to DC for a couple of months. All that means I’m also gearing up to take Boh to stay with my parents. I know he’ll love it there, but I’ve been realizing that “the usual” — which mostly consists of quiet dog-cuddling while I work — is going to change, at least for a little while.

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Also, it’s cold! Hence knits in action. I also recommend squishy garter stitch blanket knitting.

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I love the way this is knitting up.

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One more sweet Boh picture. Yesterday he figured out that this corner of the coffee table base is the perfect size and shape for his head. Silly, silly dog. Okay, back to the to-do list!

knits/no knitting.

I haven’t picked up my needles this week, which makes me sad. I’ve been wanting to blog, but I couldn’t come up with anything to show you!

So yesterday I decided that even if I didn’t have any knitting, I could at least post a few pictures of knits, to continue with my occasional posts that feature knits-in-action.

Mara-in-action. Whenever I wear this, I am happy. The cheeriness of the pink, the squish of the beaverslide — this shawl generates happiness.

And now, a confession. I haven’t yet worn my garter yoke cardigan out of the house. I’ve worn it several times, but only when I am home. I love the squish, I’m thrilled with the handspun yoke, but the fit just isn’t quite right on me. Something about it being too big to be a fitted cardigan, and too small to be a slouchy cardigan. See?

I haven’t blocked this yet, in part because I can’t decide how to make it fit better. I’m thinking about aggressively blocking it to make it longer and narrower — sleeves too. What do you think? (I took this picture half an hour ago, but I am already wearing a different cardigan. Boo.)

Now, insert an appropriate transition here, because I don’t have one.

For my birthday, my friend K. baked me the most delicious cinnamon raisin swirl bread ever. I have been eating it for breakfast, snack, and dessert. (Well, and I might have eaten some of it as part of a breakfast-like dinner on Tuesday. But don’t tell anyone.) In fact, I intend to eat the last two slices for breakfast in a moment.

More knitting soon, I hope.

MIA (mara in action).

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Monday.

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Tuesday.

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18 rows to go. I was intending to work on it tonight, but I accidentally (?) had a few beers after class today, and really should not work on it.

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Late last night, after doing substantial work on the shawl, I decided that while I could no longer look at lace charts, I wasn’t quite ready for bed. So I spun a bit of luscious falklands fiber.

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This is the first of four ounces of lovely falklands fiber in the hollyhock colorway from A Verb For Keeping Warm. There are two ounces of this green, adn two in a lovely pinky-pale purple. I’m spinning each color separately into a 2-ply, with the thought that I’ll make something stripey…eventually.

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This is what Boh looks like right now, and I’d say it accurately conveys how I feel at this particular moment — and it is only Tuesday. Hello, September.

know your parts.

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My new favorite shirt: Know Your Parts, from AVFKW. It was a little chilly yesterday when Boh and I stepped out for our morning stroll, so I grabbed Mara, and snapped a photo in the mirror:

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I love my Mara, and I realized something incredibly practical about this shawl (and who knows, maybe all wool shawls) — the wool grabs a bit, which means that Mara stayed put on our stroll — a particularly important detail when you’re walking the dog and holding keys, phone, leash, and a certain pup’s “business,” if you will.

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I wore my spinning wheel t-shirt while spinning the second bobbin and plying the 2 together. (See that transition?) I still noticed a difference in the saturated versus the more lightly colored fiber, but this bobbin was easier to spin. My troubles might have something to do with needing to adjust to the incredibly long staple length of the wensleydale.

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126 yards of 2-ply wensleydale from AVFKW in the Intergalactic Space Travel colorway. There is something a bit otherwordly about the sheen of this stuff, don’t you think?

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Boh certainly seems to like it.

Time to pour another cup and get to work. Happy Friday!

this and that.

I’m sitting here, coffee in hand, looking through the photos I took yesterday, and there is not much of a theme. It seems that I did a little bit of everything yesterday, so please excuse this post’s lack of focus.

First up, a few more pictures of the silk, which is now dry and in skein form. (Still no good rhymes for tussah, I’m afraid.)

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Swoon.

Next, a few shots of Mara, blocked and dry. (Hmm, maybe there is a theme?)

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It was incredibly hot and humid yesterday (see below photo of Boh), but I couldn’t help wrapping Mara around my shoulders and snapping a few pictures in my (dirty) mirror.

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I also baked brownies:

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Finished a vanilla sock:

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Made some progress on my Milkweed Shawl:

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Oh, and tried crack, in the form of Crown Mountain Farms Superwash Merino. I’ve been hearing about this stuff on numerous podcasts (The Manic Purl, Gives Good Knit, and The Knitmore Girls), and after attaining a sock weight 3-ply yarn, I decided to go ahead and order a little bit to give it a try.

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Late last night, I told myself I would just split this lovely superwash merino in the Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds colorway nto 4 oz. chunks, and then divide one of those halves into 3 parts in preparation for spinning more 3-ply sock yarn.

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And then I sat down at the wheel.  This stuff is awesome.

That’s all I’ve got today. Happy Friday!

disaster averted.

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Disaster. (Note the amount of yarn remaining, and the number of stitches yet to be bound off. This is take 2 — I was keeping an eye on the remaining yarn as I knit the last few rows, and ended up ripping back a row to make sure I’d have enough. You can see how well that turned out for me.)

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Averted. (Those of you who read regularly probably have a sense for how much pink/magenta/fuschia I tend to knit with, and thus how much I have in my stash, in any fiber — very little to none. At the point of absolute despair, I went digging in the drawer where I keep dishcloth cotton and textiles I rarely use. And then I saw this yarn, knitpicks shine, tucked in the back, patiently waiting to become a Picovoli tee or something like it. The colors match EXACTLY. Phew.)

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I am quite pleased with how Mara turned out.

(Details: 2 skeins Beaverslide Dry Goods lambswool in colorway snapdragon. Size 8 needles. A yard or two in Knitpicks Shine.)

Actually, I’m way more than pleased, as evidenced by my willingness to don a lambswool shawl in crazy humidity and take 50 pictures. (Yep, fifty.)

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By the way, it is incredibly difficult to take a non-blurry, over-the-shoulder photo of the back of a shawl. I’m just saying. I promise to take “real” FO pictures of this post-blocking, when I can stand to actually put on some clothes that I might actually wear this with!

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And now for an awkward transition! Mara is blocking on my kitchen table (note the darkness of the wet cotton on the left there. It blends in perfectly when dry). I cut several containers (vases, mason jar, growler) worth of flowers at the farm yesterday, some of which you can see in this late-night blocking shot. Here are a few more:

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It was so hot and sticky yesterday that I wanted to get my veggies straight into the fridge after their rather humid car ride back to the farm. Here are a few photos of parts of this week’s haul:

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3 quarts of beans, hand picked by moi, and some herbs.

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Some of the best tomatoes I’ve ever tasted, straight from the farm’s passive solar greenhouse.

Lastly, a sock update:

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I think Boh has given up on my KAL socks, but he has kept a watchful eye on this pair. I’m into the ribbing now, so it won’t be long before I cast on sock #2!

ribbing.

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Lest you were beginning to think that I had crossed entirely over to the dark side of the spinning wheel, I present some serious progress on Mara. After reading lots of posts over at the Mara KAL in the backwards loop group on ravelry, I decided to modify the ribbing slightly, opting for a k3p2 rib instead of a k2p2.

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The pattern calls for 4 inches of ribbing after the inch of transitional rib to finish off the shawl. I don’t have enough of this luscious beaverslide to do that, so I’m pretty much ribbing until I run out. I’ll be happy if I can get 2 inches or so, and I’m hoping to finish this tonight at a new knit night (say that five times fast) I’ve been attending!

The urge to finish this despite warmer temps that are not so conducive to the wearing of squishy wool shawls comes in part from even more new projects on (or soon to be on) the needles.

swatch alpaca

Veera, of 100% rain, put out the call for test- knitters for her plain and simple pullover, and since her sweater is already in my ravelry favorites, I couldn’t help but volunteer. The sweater is knit in fingering weight yarn on smaller needles, and when I looked at the specs/yarn requirements, I realized that this is the perfect sweater for 2 fat skeins of local alpaca in my stash that have long been searching for a pattern to partner with.

local alpaca skeins

I think this is a perfect match — the drapeyness of the alpaca will complement the pattern’s minimal shaping, the foldover collar will hang beautifully, and I will get a short-sleeved, super-soft alpaca sweater that won’t be so warm that I can’t wear it indoors! More on this soon,

Silk update:

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I spun most of the orange section of my sunburst tussah silk. It shines like this picture, but at this point, the color is more orangey than red:

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I’m really enjoying the process of spinning this — a totally different feeling than wool. I’m hoping my singles will be strong and even enough to stand on their own in a brightly colored shawl for fall.

Alright, time to get to work!