FO: reflection.

Swoon. 178 yards of some of the squishiest, evenest, prettiest 2-ply bfl I have ever spun.  So excited to get this in the mail to a dear friend. (This is Southern Cross Fibres bfl, from the July 2010 Fiber Club, in Reflection.) There are some leftovers on my bobbins, so I should have enough for a small skein to toss into my bag(s) o’ handspun for later. If that doesn’t make Monday just a bit more bearable, I don’t know what does.

reflection, almost.

Last night, in between chapters, I managed to wind my plied Reflection SCF bfl off the bobbin and onto my niddy noddy. And then I had to take a few pictures. I’m really happy with the balance of the twist in this yarn — no extra curly-qs before washing. FO pictures very soon! And happy Friday, folks!

pie and plying.

First of all, thanks for all of your input on my handspun blanket. This time around, the oranges have it, and I am hoping to make some time to wind yarn later today!

I wore my Sunday Market Shawl yesterday, and it was just the burst of color I needed. I reach for this far less often than I thought I would — maybe because of the colors — but it certainly brightens my day when I wear it out of the house. Someday I’ll get around to actually blocking this…

Meet the first pie (for me) of fall. Pears from the tree in the yard of friends, plus one apple to fill out the pie pan, and a crumb topping. Delicious. In fact, this is reheating in the oven right now.

I plied most of my SCF bfl in the reflection colorway while the pie baked, and today I have plans to wash the yarn and set the twist.

Okay, time for pie!

blanket possibilities.

Nope, no hidden meaning in this blog post title. I’m going to cast on a blanket out of mostly handspun as a test-knit for Cosy (you know, and a treat for me!), and I’m looking for some input!

Here’s the first option: greys, reds, burnt-oranges.

And here’s another: greys, yellows, greens, a touch of lavender. What do you think? Pairing solid/commerical yarns is tough enough, so I’d appreciate any thoughts you folks have about how to choose yarns for a project (ahem, for this project!) out of a pile of handspun. Thanks!

Other things going on around here:

I finished spinning the second bobbin of the SCF bfl in the reflection colorway. Boh helped.

A lot.

And I’m making progress on my windschief hat. The more I knit on this, the more in love I am with both the pattern and this yarn. In fact, I’m going to let myself knit a few rows before I dig into the work I’d like to accomplish before I head to campus…

rooster can can.

(A tired joke in canning circles, to be sure. But it is early, and I need a title for my blog post…)

On Sunday morning, I woke up early and set to making a full batch of tomato puree (a la Local Kitchen again). I paused mid-puree to take a picture. (That food mill was actually tucked way in the back of one of my kitchen cabinets when I moved in, despite the fact that my apartment was previously occupied by a solitary male undergrad who made a big mess of the stove and otherwise, to my eye, anyway, did not use the kitchen so much. Whenever I move out of this apartment, I’m taking it with me.) I simmered and simmered the juices from several quarts of paste tomatoes, and ended up with 7 pints of tomato puree.

I am in love with the super bright red of this puree — and am excited to be able to make homemade sauce from on-hand ingredients later this winter! (I also see adding this to hearty soups and stews.)

It is Tuesday again, which means farm day, and I am still struggling to put up all of the additional produce we picked in the fields last week! These peppers need to be frozen or pickled, and I’ve got a full canvas bag full of green beans that need attention.

The canning pot is on the stove, and the jars are on their way to being sterilized for a batch of dilly beans. I’m intending to pick as much as I can this afternoon and then try to freeze or can in all of my spare time this week. Temps have been in the high 40s at night here in town, and up at the farm, the first frost is imminent (after which, much of the field produce that is available for preserving/freezing will be done for the season). I’m just going to keep doing that can can until then — it is (and will be) super rewarding, but man, preserving is exhausting! I may have gotten into bed at 9:30 last night.

I did grant myself a small break from canning on Sunday night, and instead, sat down at my wheel to listen to a podcast or two and finish up the first bobbin of this bfl from SCF in the Reflection colorway. I love these colors, and am really excited to spin up bobbin #2, get this plied together and washed, and then in the mail to a dear friend who knits. (It would be nice to get this to her before the cold comes, so that she has time to knit herself something warm with it!)

Okay, time to pour another cup of coffee and get back to those beans!

reflection.

I put something new on the wheel yesterday. I have another bump of alpaca to spin for my friend, but I thought it might be nice to switch up fibers first — sort of a wheel palate cleanser, if you will. This is SCF bfl top in the Reflection colorway — the July 2010 club fiber, and the colors are so vibrant — very autumnal, with bursts of blue and purple. This will be a gift, and I am already excited about it — the colors strike me as just right for the knitter I have in mind.

I haven’t hit my stride yet in terms of this semester, and I’m hoping to get closer to a routine that works for (all of) me, and soon. I’ve been stressed out, tired, and rather cranky these last few weeks, and the knitting/spinning I’ve been doing has consistently made things feel just a little bit more manageable. I need to remember that.

FO: bluestone.

It’s official. I’m obsessed with navajo plying. And with Southern Cross Fibre. This merino might well be the squishiest thing to ever come off my wheel. 148 yards of plump worsted deliciousness, navajo plied, in the Bluestone colorway from the March 2010 SCF Fiber Club. I love this so much that I want to wear the hank doubled around my neck…and I’m thinking it should probably turn into a cowl, ASAP.

I went looking for something else to play with, and decided on this falklands wool from AVFKW in the tigerlily colorway. I split the roving lengthwise in half with the idea that the colors would repeat twice. And when I finished the first half, I decided to go for two mini-skeins so that I could navajo ply some more (instead of waiting until today).

I wrestled with this in places — in some spots, my singles were slightly overspun for navajo plying, and my lack of patience meant that in those sections, I had to deal with energized singles that hadn’t been given any time to rest. That said, I love these colors, and am psyched to spin and ply the other half of this fiber. What you’re seeing here is 48 yards of worsted weight yarn,  from 1.5 oz of fiber.

And here’s another shot of Shalom — I slipped this on yesterday to see if I wanted to add a fourth button hole (I do), and had to laugh at the exact matchiness of my t-shirt and yarn.

Alas, spring break has come to a close — and the grey skies are echoing a bit of how I feel today. I wish break lasted a bit longer, as I am just starting to feel caught up on a lot of of work, sleep, and play. I’m going to let myself do a bit more knitting and spinning today, amidst prep for the week, but I’m not going to lie: I am feeling a little bit pouty, and it will be hard to head to campus tomorrow morning…