simple rib blues.

I did some great work on my latest pinwheel blanket yesterday — and I’m really excited to finish this because I can’t wait to send it off to the newlyweds I have in mind. (There are, in fact, three recently married friends of mine who are also sometime-readers of this blog. They know they’ll be getting something hand-knit, so I feel like it is okay to share this stuff. If I kept my wedding-gift-knitting secret, I’d have nothing to share on the blog! If you’re reading right now, this may or may not be for you! There. Now we’ve got some suspense.)

Now, on to the simple rib blues. Ever get those? When all of a sudden you feel like something is taking forever, and you just need to finish it now? That’s how I felt yesterday. I was catching up on Stash and Burn, and realizing that I haven’t done very much Rooster knitting, so I picked up my Lilac Wine cowl. During the semester, this was exactly the kind of knitting I needed — soothing and satisfying. But last night, I needed to finish it. Maybe it has to do with the fact that it is summer, and I’ve got fewer things (okay, right now I have one huge dissertation-shaped thing) on my plate, but all of sudden I was so sick of this ribbing! I had been planning to knit until I ran out of yarn, but I looked at my never-ending ball of Fleece Artist Merino and decided that I couldn’t wait that long.

So I slipped my cowl over my head, needles and all, and took a look in the mirror.

And I decided that it was big enough. So I went back to the pattern to look at the instructions for the tubular bind off, only to discover that it is super tedious: four set-up rows, and then kitchenering all the way around the 180 stitches of this cowl. Nope. Not happening. So I looked at some other projects on ravelry, and decided to do Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off instead.

And now it is blocking on the dining room table. It feels so good to have this off the needles. I’ll post FO pictures once it is dry.

Unrelated, but here’s what I ate for dinner the other night: a spinach and arugula salad with beets and carrots, all from the farm, plus a fried egg. Yum.

And then there’s this guy. This is the face he gave me when I tried to convince him to get off the couch and go outside before bed last night.

And here are his ears, flopping in the wind. Sweet, sweet dog. Happy Wednesday!

PQRS: an alphabet post.

P. As in, peonies the size of my head. Also, Pearl and the Beard. (Have you entered the album giveaway yet? You have until Wednesday to comment on Friday’s post!)

Q. For quantity. As in, how many retro table and chair sets can I fit on my porch? Also, aQua. (4 chairs and a table for 20 bucks, thanks to Craig and his marvelous list.)

R. Ricotta. Rich, homemade ricotta from Deb over at smitten kitchen, to be precise. This is Really good. Like, change-your-plans-for-the-day good. Whole milk, some heavy cream, lemon juice, and salt. The only reason I can come up with for not making this as soon as possible is that you need to go get a meat or candy thermometer. You should maybe go do that now.

S. Salad. And not just any salad; Summer Salad. Here at Casa Rooster, a Summer Salad is a salad that is eaten out of a larger-than-normal bowl.

Yup.

S also stands for Stripes. I’ve been making progress at a leisurely pace on my handspun stripey shawl, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. Boh seems to like it too.

Happy Monday, folks. Hope your week is off to an excellent start.

lake house.

As you can see, we are hard at work. I am so lucky to have friends who are excited to spend their first hours of freedom from teaching and exams painting my new house.

First dinner — local pizza — on the porch.

Last night’s meal: homemade bread courtesy of Ethel Louise and a spinach salad. You’re going to be seeing a lot of this porch!

I just folded my Lendrum and put it in its fancy bag for the first time. I’m so excited to get my yarn and fiber organized in my office (I guess my books will have to go there too) so that I can get back to spending quality time at my wheel!

There will be internet at the house on Friday, which is when I plan to introduce Boh to his new home. More soon!

exam (knitting) prep.

So this morning I made an important decision: I settled on my exam knitting project. I know I said I was going to get going on the second sock, but I’m decreasing the first toe right now, and I just don’t think I’m going to feel like kitchenering and knitting the ribbing on sock #2 before Tuesday. Which means I need something pretty and soothing to knit on, just a little bit, this week.

Lately I have become obsessed with Veera’s Stripe Study Shawl, especially the versions that are made in neutrals. I want this one — but I want to knit it out of my stash. This morning I went stash-diving, coffee in hand. I came up with some gorgeous color combinations, but I’m just in love with the idea of natural/grey. Ideally, the grey would be less severe, but this Trekking Pro Natura in a charcoal-ish tone is what I’ve got in the right weight and yardage, so I’m going to give it a go. This natural yarn is local, organic wool, and I’ve got almost 800 yards, which means I’ll be able to use it again in another stripey shawl. Yay!

Unrelated, but I snapped some pictures of Boh making his crazy face.

It might look like he’s not having a good time, but trust me: this is the face he makes when he is very happy about being scratched. He almost looks like he has bug-eyes! Silly dog.

Last night some of my cohort got together for a delicious dinner at E.’s place: homemade pizza and two colors of Jello! I made salad with farm spinach I picked in the greenhouse last weekend, and it reminded me of how excited I am for spring and summer vegetables. Today I’m going to try to crank through the big ideas of a handful of books so that I can keep my plan of a book-free Monday. Knitting, dog-walking, yoga, good food: all of these are on the list.

saturdays are for dinner parties.

Dear friends came for dinner last night. (Boh was on cloud 9.) Y’all know I love to play in the kitchen, but I especially like cooking both for and with D and T — we have similar tastes (well, aside from D’s brutal hatred for all things eggplant), we belong to the same farm, and we always have a good time together. They brought homebrew, a bottle of homemade limoncello for my freezer(!), beer brewed with Japanese hops for us all to try (it DOES taste like “sunshine in a glass”), and tortilla chips for the mostly-tomatillo-with-a-peach-thrown-in salsa I made. And I decided to test out some new-to-me recipes based on what could be found in my fairly full fridge. After lots of drooling over recipes on my computer screen, I settled on two ideas from Deb over at smitten kitchen: scalloped tomatoes with croutons, and everyday chocolate cake. I paired the tomatoes with a salad of very peppery arugula, cherry tomatoes, goat cheese, and cherry tomato confit with a homemade vinaigrette with a bit more honey than I usually use. I was really happy with how everything turned out — these recipes have earned spots in my kitchen binder!

Also, here are the results of peaches +bourbon, take two. I did use the immersion blender to make this more sauce-like, and I’m thrilled with the consistency: thicker and smoother, but with chunks of peach.

And here’s what I’m casting on later this morning. I’ve been meaning to start a hat for D. He’s sporting a new haircut these days, and as the weather gets a bit colder, I want to contribute a hat or two to his headgear collection. I was inspired by the Windschief that Laura posted yesterday, so I hopped over to Ravelry to look through other people’s FOs, and ultimately, purchase and print out the pattern. I’m using tosh worsted in malachite, and I’m psyched to cast on.

I really should be reading all day today, but I’m going to allow myself at least a little bit of time for knitting…

two-quart/two-ply.

2qt

Midway through my dinner — a salad comprised of red lettuce, mustard greens, radishes, harukei turnips, tomatoes, avocado and a homemade vinaigrette, I realized (a)  that I was eating out of a 2-quart metal mixing bowl and (b) that I hadn’t even considered eating out of a cereal bowl.

Ridiculous — and completely awesome.

Something else completely awesome? This targhee 2-ply:

targhee2ply

targhee2ply2

The actual color is in between: not as pink as the first picture, but more vibrant and shiny than the second. It is amazing what light coming through the window will do to the same bobbin! If I’ve done my math right, we’re looking at 327 yards of 2-ply — no wonder it took almost twice the amount of time I had budgeted for plying this morning!

Time was budgeted because today Boh and I are heading to the north country to stay with my dear friend P. and help out in the land of CSA veggies, piglets, and farmers’ markets. We’d be on the road already if it weren’t for the plying that I absolutely HAD to do this morning — that way, the yarn will be dry by the time we return.  (Obsessed? Who, me?)

muffinsforroad

Baked some muffins for the road, washed and hung the yarn to dry, even vacuumed the spot usually occupied by Boh’s box. Time to hit the road! Have a great weekend.