FO: turnstile.

IMG_2188

I LOVE this. And I can’t wait to make more. I might cast on another TODAY.

IMG_2187

I snapped these pictures very late last night. I figured I’d kitchener the two ends of the tube together right after dinner and then have plenty of time for other things.

IMG_2191

Wrong. The grafting took hours — in part because I haven’t kitchenered anything in quite a while, but also because to kitchener many many stitches you need to have a pretty long yarn tail, and it kept getting caught on the other needles, tangled, etc.

IMG_2194

But worth it? Totally. The stripes are addicting, and I anticipate wearing this (and any others I might make) a lot. My handspun eternity scarves might be the knitwear I wear most frequently, and I think this pattern (or some variation on it) is a great way for me to use beautiful sock yarn. (You know, because I’ve realized that I mostly wear socks with boots, so you can’t see them.)

IMG_2146

In other news, I took this dog on a great walk. It was clear we were going to get pretty muddy — this is a before picture.

IMG_2162

Doesn’t this picture just look like spring? So much growth in the woods.

IMG_2166
Happy dog.

IMG_2171

We were muddier than this toes/paws picture lets on. And we were quite content. (Though Boh needs to work on actually sitting on the blanket I keep in the back of my car for post-walk muddy dogs. He just moves it out of the way…)

IMG_2144

Also, we’ve reached that point in the spring where I can put on a fleece and take my coffee out to the porch. See that new french press? My dear friend D, the person who goes with that adorable dog who visited us last month, remembered me saying that my beloved stainless steel french press was on its last legs. The mesh ripped, so my coffee was rather gritty. That was a year ago. So when D came to visit, he brought this: a bigger press, which is stainless steel on the inside, but has an insulated bottom and handle so I don’t burn myself on it. And the lid has a screen, so there’s no chance of coffee grounds getting into my coffee. Also, no spillage while pouring, which means I can bring it out to the porch. Perfection.

 

Advertisements

not finished yet…

But look! Progress!

thuja-1

I cast on for Thuja today, two days before Christmas. I was planning to concede that I just can’t get it all done, and wrap up the yarn and some measuring instructions for my dad, but this morning I decided to throw that plan out the window and try to get at least one sock ready to wrap. I’ve been knitting most of the day, and I’m going to kitchener this bitch tonight. (Apologies if that offends. It’s late, and it is how I feel!) Here’s one more shot:

thuja-2

Remember those mittens I mentioned yesterday? The ones in Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton? Was I crazy? Cabling AND knitting a super dense fabric out of cotton? My hands did not like me very much last night, and I wasn’t happy with the fit as I made progress on the first mitten, though the cabling did look lovely. I frogged that, and then my mother, in a totally unplanned JoAnn’s encounter (we were looking for denim patches), picked out some polyester/acrylic blend Lion Brand Homespun, and requested a scarf. I was skeptical, being that I detest acrylic, but this isn’t looking too hideous, and she is really happy with it.

homespun-scarf1

I’m just improvising here with something super basic, and I’m pretty happy with it. I’d actually like to make some variation of this scarf, with alternating blocks of garter and stockinette, in a super-luxurious tweedy yarn.  This doesn’t need to be finished in time for Christmas — I just wanted to have something in progress to tuck into the gorgeous Namaste bag I’m giving my (mostly non-knitting) mother.

Alright, time to crawl into bed and kitchener before drifting off to sleep.

show and tell.

First:

Whoa. I stood outside, mug of locally brewed honey wheat beer in hand, staring at all of this for at least an hour on Tuesday night. We’re getting quite a bit of rain this monsoon season, and watching the storm clouds build is starting to rival knitting as my favorite Base Camp activity.

In the land of knitting, I have much to share — things both finished and received.

I received an unexpected gift this week in the form of this stunning merino-silk lace knit scarf. One of the parents I’ve met through work has become a dear friend, and in honor of my departure, she wrapped this up and gave it to me — and she didn’t even know that I am a knitter! This is absolutely gorgeous (second picture is truer to the color, first shows the detail a bit better) and I am overwhelmed by all of the love and effort that went into this.

This picture doesn’t quite do this super-cute cabled headband justice, but I love taking pictures on this quilt at the home of dear friends here in town. I taught one of our staff members to cable and together we puzzled out this pattern — intending to replicate a knit gift she had received — and then she made me one! There are several folks around Base Camp with their dirty hair fashionably accessorized/tamed by one of these cabled headbands. I’ve been wearing mine almost daily.

On to my super big news:

Can’t believe it took me 8 months to finish this — lost steam in the middle, but I picked this up again last week and it moved super quickly, perhaps because while I was knitting, I was daydreaming of wrapping myself in this while buried in grad school reading.

Pattern: You know the one.

Yarn: Brooks Farm Riata (2 large skeins)

Mods: Only one — I was nervous about having enough yarn, and at halfway through my supply, I noted how far along I was and decided to do one less repeat (11 instead of the 12) of the straight section. This turned out to be a brilliant move — I completed the shawl with a few yards leftover.

Thoughts: I love this — and despite how long it took me to complete it, I really enjoyed the process. I also learned quite a bit about dropping stitches, and way back in November, this pattern taught me how to purl into the front and back of a stitch.

I’m sure I’ll have lots of photos of my clapotis (and other recent FOs) in action come fall. An FO also means a new project — what could it be?

This is the beginning of sassymetrical, by gaysknits. I queued it awhile ago, but when I saw The Plucky Knitter’s version, I knew it needed to be next on the list. This pattern seems to be the perfect use for 3 skeins of Malabrigo in the cinnabar colorway. I’m excited about this, and a bit nervous because this is the first pattern I’ve modified to accommodate a yarn choice in a different weight. The pattern recipe is written for a dk weight, using size 6 needles, and thanks to gaysknits’ instructions, I’ve calculated my gauge, the number of inches I want my finished cardigan to be, and then made some guesses about proportions, particularly with respect to the sleeve stitches. Here’s what I’ve got:

The original is 28 inches around, made to fit a 32 inch bust (this makes sense for the way the cardigan hangs). I want to make mine to fit a 39.5 inch bust, so I want my finished sweater to be 36 inches around. My gauge in the Malabrigo using size 8 needles is 4 st/in, so 4 st x 36 inches = 144 stitches. I am unsure about how to determine the number of sleeve st to cast on when making a larger size, but I am hoping that I can just see how it feels as I go because of the top down raglan construction. I decided to cast on 36 for each front (because of the overlap, each front is the size of the back), 36 for the back, and 18 for each sleeve. Wish me luck!

Whew — lots of pictures and projects to share. In case you’ve been wondering about my houseguests*, I’ll leave you with this shot of them resting peacefully during the daytime (they’re out exploring when I am sleeping in my cabin, so I only see them when I return to grab things during the day):

* Please don’t worry about this — these bats are not aggressive, and the space they’re inhabiting is an open air structure — minimal risk for bites or disease transmission (which tends to occur, also rarely, in contained spaces without good air circulation). Additionally, the friends I’m staying with would like you all to know that I’m wearing my cross, eating garlic, and throwing salt over my shoulder. More soon!

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!

another FO!

Sometimes, while I sit at my funky 1960s kitchen table working on my laptop, the dog sits on the futon with a regal air that makes me wonder what exactly he is thinking. I had the camera handy yesterday, and managed to capture this:

dog-regal.jpg

I also finished yet another WIP: a simple garter stitch scarf made out of 2 skeins of very soft Patagonia cotton. Mel, of Pipe Dreams and Purling Plans, is also working on a garter stitch scarf, and her post reminded me to weave in the ends and tie this up with string for its intended recipient. This yarn was left over from a My So Called Scarf that I made for my mom last spring. I gave some of this stuff in an orangey colorway to a friend learning to knit, and when she turned it into a gorgeous garter stitch scarf, I decided to do the same with my leftovers.

garter-stitch-scarf-fo.jpg

This is a birthday gift for my landlord. She commented on how beautiful my mother’s scarf turned out, and I know she will really appreciate it. (I live in the back house on my landlord’s property, so I see them quite a bit and really enjoy being able to live by myself, but surrounded by the noises of children and chickens, and able to walk into the main house to catch up and have a cup of tea.)

garter-scarf-2.jpg

I hope she likes it.

garlic (and the weather allows me to debut a scarf)

I have a work share at my local farm. Last year at this time, I was rising before dawn once a week to schlep up to the fields in my work clothes to do things like weed winter lettuces, lay down and pick up drip irrigation tape, and plant garlic, all as the sun slowly rose above the mountains. Life was good. My work schedule makes a morning farm work share practically impossible this year, so I have the next best thing: a warehouse share. I spend a few hours each week restocking vegetables, sweeping up onion peels, making silly faces at the children who accompany their moms to veggie pick up — and, oh yes, volunteering to adopt veggies that don’t quite make the cut. Yesterday, I walked away with handfuls of loose cloves of elephant garlic.

garlic-2.jpg

Last night, I headed to a friend’s house for dinner, and brought a handful to share. We had a delicious Caesar salad — Papa Rooster’s own garlic-heavy recipe, actually, modified to include some scrumptious breaded calamari on top. Apologies — I ate it so quickly that it was gone by the time I remembered my camera.

In honor of the cold weather, please allow Boh to model a ribbed scarf I completed in April. I wore it yesterday, and it was ever so toasty. Details: Brown Sheep Top of the Lamb (2 skeins, I think). It wraps around my neck multiple times, which I absolutely love.

turquoise-ribbed-scarf.jpg