long overdue mitt repair.

Last night, after taking way too long to read a relatively short book, I was itching to have that great feeling that comes with crossing a long-overdue task off of my list. Out came my thanksgiving day mitts: knit three years ago in a purple-y shade of Cascade 220, these were my go-to mitts until Boh managed to attack one of them in fall 2008 or winter 2009. Since then, they’ve sat patiently on top of a bowl of yarn odds and ends, waiting to be mended. And yesterday was the day. I dug out my very special set of knitting needles (from a woman I think of as an honorary grandmother) in order to find a set of size 5 dpns. (So great to be able to look up what needles I used on ravelry!)

And then I re-knit 15 or so rows, including the thumb-slot, and bound off, all while my dinner simmered away on the stove. The discerning eye can tell the old from the new sections, but after a bit of wear, and the gentle felting that happens to well-loved mitts, I think it’ll be hard to tell that anything was ever the matter with these mitts!

The dinner I spoke of (soon to be today’s lunch as well) was this potato-leek soup. Simple and delicious, all from farm food. I sprinkled some smoked paprika on top just before savoring this comforting bowl of soup. Can’t wait to heat up the leftovers!

And here’s Boh, sick of me putting the camera in his face and tempting him with dinner in order to get him to look at me. (He can be surprisingly — and adorably –stubborn.) I think he knows that we’re back to school today, and his routine is about to change for the worse. Shorter cozy reading sessions on the couch, more time alone at home…poor Boh. (Little does he know that once the semester is over, he’s getting a lake house! Thanks for all of your kind comments about that. It is wonderful to have that to look forward to, as this is going to be a crazy semester for me.)

Off to campus. (Sigh.)

for chunk.

(He has a real name now, but I sort of prefer Chunk, at least for this post. After all, he was known to the world as Chunk while I was spinning and knitting for him!)

This is based on the Pebble vest — and many of the modifications I found on Ravelry. I decided to knit this in the round and eliminate the side buttons. I must have cast on 4 times, each time decreasing the number of stitches in order to arrive at something that looked appropriate for a newborn but would also offer some room for growth. (I may have more details scribbled on the pattern I printed out, but I’m at my parents’ house now and don’t have those handy.)

I looked at a lot of different baby hats to get a sense for the number of stitches to cast on, and then used the Thorpe pattern as a guide. I used every last scrap of that FLUFF superwash merino handspun in Beach Day to finish binding off the hat. Whew!

I also wanted to make something soft and cozy for Chunk’s mom, A, so I got out the leftovers from two of the seaman’s caps I knit this fall and crossed my fingers that there would be enough yarn to make a pair of toast mitts. The handspun makes the gauge and color changes a bit wonky, but these are supersoft, and exactly the kind of thing I wanted to tuck into this package. These treats arrived in the Southwest on Wednesday, and I cannot wait to see how handsome Chunk looks in his new handspun duds.

Also — I’ve taken a bit of a digital vacation these last few days, so my apologies in advance if I don’t manage to motivate myself to take some finished photos of my mom’s Multnomah. I think I managed 5 repeats of the feather and fan lace. I’m quite pleased with how it turned out, even though I had to wrap it at 11 pm on Christmas Eve. I’ll be back to see my parents in January, and I’m intending to give it a good blocking then.

Boh and I are heading back to our bright green kitchen in the morning — more soon!

Ami of SourCherries is my favorite person. Seriously.

I participated in my first ever swap this month, hosted by the lovely Keri of Knitty Gritty Thoughts at the Fingerless Mitts for Fall KAL. (Also, my first KAL!) I was super excited to be paired with Ami of SourCherries because her photography is gorgeous, and thus worthy of her knitting. I received an incredible bounty of treats today:

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Take note of Ami’s beautiful handspun — the first I’ve ever owned. This will have to become something special for me. Also, Burt’s Bees treats (this lip gloss is the only “make up” I wear — how did you know?), a felted notions bag filled with a selection of teas, and  Dagoba chocolates. You don’t see the mitts in this picture because I’m wearing them. It is hard to take pictures of mitts that are on your hands. Exhibit A:

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Oh, alright. I guess I can take them off for a second.

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They fit perfectly, by the way.

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One more:

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These pictures are a bit unworthy of these gifts and the gifter’s photographic abilities, but it is absolutely pouring down rain, and this is forecasted to continue for a few days. Thank you, Ami, for such a thoughtful combination of treats, and for these incredibly luxurious mitts. I may put off eating dinner awhile so that I can enjoy wearing them!

On a related (?) note, Boh “enjoyed” a first today. I picked up this package at the post office and brought it home to open it. I let him out to romp around the yard like I always do, and began unloading. As I was bringing the package inside, I heard some squawking — also not unusual, as Boh tends to chase the neighbors young chickens, which wander the entire street, around our yard with his mouth open. (Very funny.) Today, however, he actually caught one, so I spent a good ten minutes chasing him around the yard yelling for him to “Sit!” “Come!” “Drop!” “No!”

Clearly all of his obedient tendencies go out the window when he has a chicken in his mouth. He finally dropped the bird and I was able to take a look — still alive. I took Boh inside and went back to the chicken, only to find her walking away, wobbling a little. (Our yard is fenced, and we have chickens as well, though they mostly stay in their coop.) Though Boh is often outside, those birds still find a way in. Maybe they love the smell of danger.