sensing a theme.

“Boh wants to go shopping.” (Clearly. Because he’s wearing a hat, a scarf, a down vest, and has a canvas tote bag on his arm.) I don’t think Boh would tolerate this from me, but he really likes the boy. And so, as you can see here, yesterday he got ready to go shopping.

It is so hard to be a big dog.

Oh, right. Some knitting! After finishing yesterday’s book, I realized that I really should cast on the pinwheel blanket I am planning to give my cousin on the occasion of her wedding, which is in a few weeks. I’m using Cascade 220 and size 7 needles. (Note to self: dedicate some time to citron, too!) I watched the pilot of Arrested Development (how have I not seen this show?) and listened to a few podcasts, and miraculously the fiddly mess that is this pattern in its earliest stages began to look like a real pinwheel. It took three tries for me to get this started — I’m not sure joining 5 stitches in the round will ever get easier!

Boh and I have plans for a woodsy walk with his best friend (and one of mine) later in the day. Happy Friday!

FO: parritch. (Also, peonies.)

It was humid this weekend, which meant that Parritch took forever to dry. Just before heading out to dinner on Saturday, I considered wearing the still slightly damp skein as a necklace. Awesome, no?

The colors are tough to photograph, but boy, are they lovely. This is 155 yards of sproingy, squishy 3-ply, in the Parritch colorway of some Hello Yarn Fiber Club targhee. I’m tempted to just turn it into a simple cowl, but I might also dig through my handspun pile to see if it might pair nicely with another skein or two so that I can make a bigger, floppier, cozier cowl – or a big comfy shawl. I’ve been inspired by some feather and fan shawls with lots of handspun colorways — and I do have a pile of handspun leftovers to throw into the mix. Just an idea. Also — I am toying with a big handspun pinwheel. Cosy over at cosymakes just finished one and I adore it. Also, I have some wedding gifts to knit this summer, and I’m thinking pinwheel lap blankets. I’ve given three as wedding gifts so far, and my friends seem to really like them. So, onto the eventual to-knit list: pinwheels for weddings, and a pinwheel for me!

Also, I said there were peonies. And there are. I clipped most of the blossoms that were starting to droop down over the driveway, which means there are small jars and vases of peonies in every room. I’ve had a rather exciting twenty-four hours in tenant land, as there is a new/substantial leak that has repeatedly filled my stock pot and prompted a ceiling tile or two to crumble to the ground in the middle of the night (hello, howling dog). I’m hoping the plumber will be here tomorrow. In the meantime, I’m going to keep spinning and enjoy my peonies. Want to see more of those Corriedale Seasick singles?

Be still my heart. This will definitely be a shawl. But which one?

cowls.

I know I’m way late to the party on this one, and I have to give Hilary credit — she was talking about knitting cowls out of all of the warm, beautiful yarn we were petting at my LYS, and suddenly I was buying this gorgeous skein of Manos to make a cowl for a friend. Over the weekend, while soup was being prepared, I made some serious progress on cowl #1. (So nice to be able to knit in the kitchen — not something you can do by yourself.)

Apologies for my dirty mirror. Here’s another shot:

I followed the worsted weight mods for the Dolores Park Cowl, but didn’t pay much attention to gauge or needle size (I used US 9s), so it turned out a bit more slouchy than I was expecting. It looks enormous on the table! I wore it around the house for a bit yesterday, and I’ve decided that I like it this way — with a sheepier yarn, perhaps it makes sense to go for something slouchier to improve comfort and create the right amount of warmth. I’m convinced now, but I NEEDED to make another just to make sure. I had some extra Malabrigo laying around, so I cast on 72 st, using the 9s again, and roughly followed the pattern, though I threw in a decrease row about 8 or so rows before the second purl ridge.

This is perhaps a tad snug — perfect in Malabrigo, but perhaps it would be annoying to a non-knitter in a different yarn? Also, this confirms for me that cowls should be bright! I think I’m going to hold onto this one, as it has already come in quite handy for keeping me warm while Boh takes care of his morning business. I’d also like to note that I began knitting this cowl yesterday, after beginning work on a paper for this afternoon, and that I completed the cowl last night. The paper is still only half written…

Also, I’m super excited to link to a shot of one of my pinwheel blankets in real life. Remember that wedding I went to in California last month? The one where I was weaving in the ends to the green pinwheel just before the ceremony, and thus had no picture of the finished product to share? The newlyweds in question purchased a house this year, and have been posting pictures of their progress as they turn it into “home”. Check out that blanket draped over a chair in the living room! One of these days I’m going to need to make a pinwheel blanket to keep, though I imagine Boh will fight me for it.

adventuring.

I headed west for the wedding of a dear friend: my first partner in crime at my first real job. The nature of this job required that we move to a brand-new-to-us city, find a house, establish a network, and jump into 18 hour days for almost 4 months. We emerged from that experience dear friends, and though I later left that job and he continued, we’ve each made an effort to routinely catch the other up on what is happening in our lives. The wedding was beautiful, and despite cross country flights and 1000+ miles of driving, I am glad I could be there to celebrate. I have no pictures to share of the event, as I was too busy enjoying it, and, if the truth must be known, finishing up their pinwheel blanket. I wove in the ends moments before the ceremony.

The remote location of the wedding and the red-eyed nature of my flight created a spectacular opportunity: Lassen Volcanic National Park.  I had never even HEARD of Lassen Volcanic National Park. I hit the road early on Sunday and managed to squeeze in two 3-mile hikes and an appropriate amount of oohing, ahhing and roadside reflecting before heading southward to catch my flight. And read. (Didn’t quite get all of that done this week…) A few pictures of my adventure:

More knitting (and new yarn) content soon!

inching along…

I didn’t post this weekend because I felt like I had nothing new to tell you — slowly making progress on my pinwheel (which NEEDS to be done this week), reading a lot of books, occasionally chuckling at the dog and his pouting, baking bread. You know, the usual. And then, I figured that while you might not enjoy me explaining these things in infinite detail, you might want to see the pictures. So that’s what I’ve got for you today.

another jellyfish.

My third pinwheel is growing…which is a good thing, as it needs to be finished for a wedding I am attending in a few weeks. The rest of my knitting doesn’t look much different from my last posts, so I’ll spare you from trying to figure out if I knit 5 st or 25 st on my other WIPs. I do have some productivity from my kitchen to share:

You’re looking at a soothing, spicy soup that did exactly what I needed it to on Tuesday: address my drippy nose, and transport me to somewhere else. I will certainly be making this again. (If you haven’t checked out Heidi’s recipe blog over at 101 cookbooks, what are you waiting for? That lemony stirfry on the front page is on my list this week.)

Also, a loaf of banana bread. I tend to poke my bananas every day or so to see if they are ready to be turned into bread, specifically, Mark Bittman’s version of banana bread. I like the addition of a little bit of coconut — adds texture and depth without being overly sweet. Yum!

This guy is ready for his close up. He wants you all to know that he is trying very hard to be good, but that sometimes life gest really hard. Exhibit A:

I took this picture out one of our windows, without using the zoom. It is almost too much for Boh to bear. Yesterday he may have attempted to jump through the [closed] window — he bumped his nose on the glass and flopped onto the bed, ready to make another go of it.

This week has had more of a rhythm to it, and now that I have a pile of books to read and think about, I have less time to worry about transitioning into an academic life. Looking forward to the week ahead — we’re finally past introductions and syllabi, which means it is time for “real” grad school to start.

Happy weekend!

pinwheels and parties.

Remember pinwheel blanket number two? The one I needed to finish in time for the pre-wedding party of two friends? Well, you can breathe easy. I finished it. (I mean, I may have blocked it in my car and woven in the ends on the back porch of a building said friends were standing in…but I finished it and they loved it. I’m hoping they’ll send me one of the pictures they took with it/me.)

I would have finished it earlier, I swear, except one of these two friends ended up coming into town and staying at my house on Wednesday to work with us for a few days. I couldn’t very well work on it in front of him, could I?

Anyway, the work we did required a road trip (with a slew of 7 year olds) to the base camp of the wilderness education foundation I work for. Though it was crazy, I did manage to snap a sunrise picture for you:

Looking northward, Friday, 5:50 am.

I did manage to find some evening quiet time to knit by the light of a cozy fire. My ankle socks (using the Super Simple Short Sock pattern by Radiant Twist) are progressing quite nicely. Have we talked about how much I love this yarn? (Yarn Pirate Merino Sock in Kalamata.) I really love how this project fits into the center zip pocket of my Namaste bag, which could be why they are moving so quickly…

Yep, there’s some pooling there, but I don’t care. I love it anyway.

I returned to civilization this morning, in a bit of a hurry to make progress on another big project: packing up my life. I move to base camp for the summer in a few weeks, and after that, I head to New Home to start graduate school. Didn’t make sense to rent my little house through the summer only to come back and pack everything, so pack up now I must. I think it will get easier once I actually go rent a storage unit this week so that I have a place to put all of the boxes I am filling. Today I’ve been working on the kitchen. See?

Off to pack some more and enjoy the evening light.

eye of newt?

or partridge. (Why is it called an eye of partridge heel?)

The zippered middle section of my new Namaste bag is just begging to be used for a sock project. I’ve been meaning to cast on for a pair of Super Simple Short Socks by Radiant Twist, and that whole incident with my car window (in which the nutkin mitts were stolen) means that I no longer have a knitted item made from my first Yarn Pirate Booty in colorway kalamata. I have half or slightly more than half of a skein left, and figured it should be perfect for these ankle socks. I think this pattern is really going to show off how gorgeous the yarn is — and if I can keep up the momentum with these, they will certainly get a lot of use this summer.

Lots of high school rugby watching and the fact that I was chauffeured around all weekend made for some serious progress on the second pinwheel. I’m up to 38 stitches between markers, and the blanket border begins at 44. Hoping to wrap this up and give it away this weekend, and I’m on track for that to happen, as the blanket has officially achieved “jellyfish” status. (Doesn’t it look like one?) It won’t be long now…

I am pretty sleepy this morning, even after a few cups of coffee. Stayed up super late last night organizing my life into piles and emptying my bookcase into boxes. This guy is tired too — not because he “helped” with all of the packing, but because we had a good frolic at the dog park yesterday morning.

It’s Monday, folks. I may look like this later today.

umm, yarn alert.

Two things:

And

Right.

So, the first picture is Peace Fleece, from kpixie. Over the weekend, while browsing through other people’s queues on Ravelry, I saw 28thirty, by the Zephyr girls, and the pattern and this yarn became an irrational need. In order to get the colorway I wanted (grass roots), I had to purchase a kit for the Everyday Cardigan — so now I already have the buttons and I’m sure I’ll use this pattern one day.

The second picture is from the WEBS Anniversary Sale — I am quite proud of the restraint I exercised with this order. (Give me a minute to explain.) This box is overflowing with yarn already intended to become gifts: enough Cascade 220 to make three more pinwheel blankets for weddings (though eventually I want one), two sets of 2 skeins of Berrocco Ultra Alpaca in manly colors, to become scarves for professors who wrote reference letters for me and provided guidance and advice during the application process, and then a bag of Ultra Alpaca in the colorway Yucca Mix, intended to become a cardigan that I hope will replace a commercial one that gets serious wear in my clothing rotation. All this, averaging under 6 dollars a skein!

That, my friends (in addition to my existing stash), should keep me plenty busy.

I am traveling for a mixture of work and play this weekend into next week — bringing the computer, camera and some knitting, so blogging may occur, but if not, don’t worry. No need to call in the cavalry!

Have a great weekend!

pinwheels and a new project

First of all, whoa! WordPress got fancy! (Overnight! This may take some getting used to.) Second, look at my pinwheel! Binding off 430 st took forever, as in, I had to call a friend to apologize for my lateness and explain that I was still casting off…

I really like this — which is good, because I am planning on making several. I followed the pattern exactly for this first pinwheel, and it only required about 2.5 skeins of Cascade 220. I think the size is just right for a cozy lap or reading blanket — perfect for the intended recipients. If you look closely at this picture of the center of the pinwheel, you’ll notice that it isn’t perfect: seems that when I switched from DPNs to the circular needle, I screwed up a YO or two. I realized this a few inches later, and a moment before I began ripping back, I decided against it. You see, this blanket is a wedding gift for a historian-to-be and his fiance.  They are new friends, and hopefully folks I will spend more time getting to know in New Home. This new friend and I spent a lot of time talking about scholarly processes, in a range of contexts. What better gift than a blanket with a few quirks? After all, marriage is process-oriented! These small “mistakes” will provide me with an entry point to write a little love note along these lines. Boh thinks so too.

He looks particularly worried, likely because he isn’t sure if we should block this to maintain the swirl of the pinwheel or if we should straighten it out. Life is rough when you have these kinds of things on your mind. Boh is also thinking about the Lace Ribbon Scarf from the most recent Knitty.

A friend had this on her dining room table yesterday, and a closer look revealed that this pattern is intended for sock yarn! I have been trying to figure out what to do with my February booty from the Yarn Pirate — gorgeous colors, but not really for me. Seems that the stars are aligned — or at least Knitty is aligned with my calendar of friends’ birthdays…

Alright — the sun is fully up, and it is time to get on with the day: long overdue breakfast date, rugby practice, dog play date, yarn shop outing…and then margaritas?

Ahh, Saturday.