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

IMG_0821

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!)

IMG_0827

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.

IMG_0834

Also traditional: the Christmas Bloody Mary. Yum.

IMG_0846

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.

IMG_0850

 

IMG_0859

Plyed, but not washed yet.

IMG_0855

A Boh interlude.

IMG_0864

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

IMG_0880

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

IMG_0887

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

IMG_0890

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.)

speed/altitude.

Last night I attended my first roller derby bout — fast and super fun.

I also spun up two bobbins of SCF corriedale in the Altitude colorway yesterday.

Boh lounged on the couch.

He also lounged on “his” rug. My parents brought this from my grandmother’s house — she made this decades ago, and even dyed the wool herself! Boh clearly approves.


Here’s a glimpse of the other side of the living room, now that I’m more settled. More soon!

cauldrons and cosmos.

Or, more spinning.

This is the second skein of cauldron/Rhinebeck, pre-soak.


And here it is, hanging to dry. (This strikes me as a temporary fix, as it probably isn’t a good idea to hang things on heating pipes when the heat is actually on…)

Boh and I spent more time on the porch yesterday: he surveyed the scene, ears twitching at every squirrel and chipmunk he spotted, while I picked out more fiber to spin. I managed to spin up both bobbins of Cosmopolitan, a Southern Cross Fibre Club organic merino.

Here’s the first bobbin. I’m aiming for a light dk-ish 2-ply that preserves the color progression. I split the fiber lengthwise, and weighed the two parts to make sure I was in the range of equal bobbins. The test will be whether my spinning is consistent enough. This felt really good in my fingers, but I am noticing that there is a bit of all those “getting back on the bike/horse/whatever” feelings, since it has been several months since I spent any serious time at my wheel. This morning my right thumb is a little sore from gripping the fiber too tightly. Part of my summer routine will be to get back into a comfortable rhythm with my spinning. And pretty soon I’m going to have to find that rhythm with my academic work, too. (I’m guessing I won’t have to readjust to avoid a death grip on the books I’m reading…)

I’ll probably post a whole cluster of photos once I feel like I’m mostly settled here, but today I’ll share this shot of the guest room. My mom is bringing me her old sewing machine, and I’m planning to put that in the corner underneath the windows. I like the idea of finding ways to use this room and enjoy it, even when I don’t have guests!

I snapped this picture of Boh right after I got out of bed — much later than usual — this morning. I’m still feeling a bit under the weather, and I’m hoping another day of porch spinning and lazing about the house will help me to shake this combination of head cold/seasonal allergies that’s had me feeling less than 100% this week. Sweet, sweet dog. Somebody has earned a stroll in the woods behind our house today.

porch spinning.

Yesterday I brought my wheel to the porch and spun the singles for my second skein of my Cauldron/Rhinebeck mash-up yarn.

This one is Hello Yarn Cauldron.

And this one is SCF Rhinebeck. I was having so much fun that I plyed them together as the sky grew dark. (Dark = no pictures of the 2-ply. I’ll take a few tomorrow.) Porch spinning might be my new favorite thing. Lots more of that to come.

sick day.

I have lots to show you: homemade fire-roasted salsa, Boh being silly, millet “fried rice” from Super Natural Cooking, the ingredients that go into a hot toddy…but tonight, I’ll just stick with these two pictures of the couch. This is what a sick day looks like. (And really, it’s been two.)

I started making a Daybreak shawl last night, but (a) there was counting involved, and the sore throat that had spread to my ears wasn’t having any of it and (b) my handspun singles were not so pleased with having to knit and purl M1L and M1R (or rather, I was anxious about it — the stitches around those increases were tightening, putting stress on a single that isn’t as strong as I’d like it to be everywhere). So I ripped it out and cast on another Simple Things shawl by Mary-Heather Cogar, using the handspun I’d initially set aside for Daybreak: 2 oz. of AVFKW bfl in the Sadia colorway, and what I think is 2 oz. of SCF club fiber in one of the Hades colorways. Today I knit stripes while watching all available episodes of The Voice and three (count ’em) movies on Netflix. I also drank more mugs of hot liquid containing one or all of the following than I can count: black tea, lemon juice, honey, apple cider vinegar, and whiskey. Hoping I’ll be on the mend tomorrow.

FO: rhinebeck cauldron handspun.

My rhinebeck-cauldron polwarth puffed up after a nice long bath, and now I love it even more. I even accidentally skipped the part where I count the strands and do the math because I just couldn’t wait to see it in squishy skein form. I’m going to conservatively estimate that this is about 150 yards of 2-ply worsted weight. And maybe I’ll be allowed to cast on if I can finish a book on postcolonial Vietnam today?

Last night I made this butternut squash lasagna. Which means I have delicious leftovers that should last much of the weekend. I didn’t have any mushrooms handy, so I upped the greens (used kale instead of chard) and sauteed them with onion and a carrot.

I think somebody is glad that it’s Friday.

a cauldron of rhinebeck?

Okay. You guys were totally right. All of my concerns about the way these two colorways (Rhinebeck, from SCF, and Cauldron, from Hello Yarn) went out the window when I wound this onto my niddy noddy and got to see it all together. Now it is hanging above the sink, and I can’t wait for it to be dry. The question of the day: do I have the patience to spin the other half of this, ply it together, and use it all for another eternity scarf or some kind of doubled over cowl? (Option B being to cast on for something NOW.) We’ll see…