FO: houseguest handspun seaman’s cap

For those of you who’ve been following along, last month I finished the handspun seaman’s cap for P., our October houseguest. He was kind enough to send along this shot of the hat in action AND to let me put his face on the internet:

Pepe

Pretty sure this picture comes from some ice caves in the Apostle Islands. (P. works remotely, and is adventuring westward. Right now, I think he’s in Montana.)

This was a super fun project to work on, especially because P. gave me extensive feedback on the fit, both during and after the knitting. (And he picked out the fiber.)

Sounds like this time around the fit in the crown is just right, but the ribbing could be more snug. (Snugger? That can’t be right.) I wonder if the issue is the sproinginess (to continue making up words) of my handspun? (I am a little rusty in the spinning department these days.) I couldn’t have knit the ribbing on needles that were any smaller, and the stitch count seems to be right for the rest of the hat. Would a 1×1 rib be tighter than a 1×2 rib? You know, for next time.

Alright. Time to stop writing on the blog and get back to writing the dissertation. Happy Monday, folks.

the new year.

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This is what getting ready for a conference looks like, especially as I’m still working to put together appropriate academic “costumes” for myself.

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The conference I attended just after New Year’s was back in DC, which meant plenty of time to see dear friends. And admire bike racks outside coffee shops.

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No trip to DC is complete for me without Teaism. Its proximity to the museum I was working at last winter helped solidify it as the place for comfort food: really good chai, restorative spicy chicken noodle soup, amazing salty oat cookies. The polar vortex extended my DC trip, which mostly meant I ate more of all of the things at Teaism.

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I’ve been borrowing this sweatshirt for more than a decade. How crazy/wonderful is that? (Just when I’m visiting and cold.)

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A beautiful latte at the Tryst inside the Phillips Collection.

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And my lovely workspace inside Champ and N.’s fantastic apartment.

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The hat for P. wasn’t quite right (he tried it on in DC) so I ripped back and reknit it.

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I think it turned out even prettier the second time around, and I’m hoping it fits perfectly. I’m in between knitting projects right now — I need to find something simple and soothing to balance everything else going on in this week before the semester begins. So much to do!

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

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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!)

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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.

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Also traditional: the Christmas Bloody Mary. Yum.

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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.

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Plyed, but not washed yet.

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A Boh interlude.

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

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

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

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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.)

when it rains, it pours.

Literally. And, apparently, inside.

Last night my yoga teacher mentioned that she had water in her basement. And then I thought to myself, hmmm, I wonder if my sweet old lake house is waterproof? When I got home last night, I did a carefully sweep of the basement and each room. Turns out, not quite. (By waterproof, I mean able to withstand the 5+ inches of rain we’ve had in the last 40 hours…)

I arranged some (colorful) buckets and mixing bowls under the leaks in the guest room (and a small drip in the office), and called my management company. They were here to take a look within ten minutes, and sent someone over to clean out the gutters and look at the roof first thing this morning. It sucks to have water damage, but it is nice to know that the folks that manage this rental are so responsive. Anyway, the guest futon mattress is waterlogged irreparably, so I’ve ordered a new one (guests can arrive in 5-10 business days), and properly disposing of the damaged mattress is on tomorrow’s list of adventures. (Hint: it involves a dumping permit and a visit to the county dump. So sad.) Unfortunately (fortunately?), futon mattresses are cheaper than my renters’ insurance deductible on overstock.com. So far, that’s the only casualty.

But that’s not what you came here for, is it?

I finished the decreases on my handspun seaman’s cap this morning, and I absolutely love the colors (even if they aren’t quite as vibrant as this photo suggests).

I’m not convinced that this style is the most flattering or practical for my head of curly hair, but I might keep it for myself anyway, if only for the beautiful greens, yellows, and browns in this yarn.

Okay, back to work. I’ve set up shop on the couch/coffee table so that I’m as far away from the fans/wet carpet smell as possible. And, of course, to be close to my silly, collar-adorned dog. (He hasn’t really left the couch this week — he seems to walk into all sorts of things with the cone on.)

i feel the need, the need for speed.*

Or handspun.

Maybe it’s the weather, but all I want to do is knit with squishy handspun. And I’m okay with that. A few days ago, inspired by Lisa’s latest, I cast on another seaman’s cap — for me! I think this is handspun from Pigeonroof Studios fiber, and it is lovely. (*If Top Gun pilots were knitters, this is how fast they’d be knitting. Maybe.) I’m knitting the medium size (co 96) on US 7 needles, and I’m really enjoying how the greens and browns and yellows are interacting. Cool, damp, and rainy again today, which means I’d love to have a handspun hat on my head very soon.

Boh’s (mis)adventures over the weekend meant that I never shared some photos from last week’s research trip here. All of these (including the seaman’s cap photo above) come from my iPhone — I’m consistently impressed with the quality of the camera, which makes it easier to snap pictures without feeling like a tourist. Like when you really like the new chairs in the library you used to study in. (Note: this library has been seriously renovated since I graduated.)

My pedicure from a family wedding a few weeks ago — which, let’s be honest, is the only time my toes are painted. I looked through all the color options, and settled on this shade of deep burgundy/red/brown, partly because I needed a dark color to hide my black-and-blue toenail (TMI?) and partly because of the name. Lots of nail colors have frilly names, but this one spoke to me: Mrs. O’Leary’s BBQ. Love.

Alright, time to get to work. It’s already a few minutes after 9. Boh is snoring, which means I should be reading…

FO: lucy seaman’s cap.

Special thanks to Boh for his assistance.

I LOVE this. I was initially a bit anxious about how bright and crazy this might look all knitted up, but there was no need to worry. I can’t wait to get this in the mail. Officially, we’ve got a few more weeks of winter (and probably at least a few more unofficial weeks where this is going), and I’m hoping this hat will provide a dear friend of mine with some warmth and happiness during the slow transition to spring!

Details:

Seaman’s Cap, by Brenda Zuk, size M, knit out of Crown Mountain Farms superwash merino handspun in the Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds colorway. I think I used about 140 yards of squishy heavy worsted to knit this hat. I used size 7 needles for the whole thing, mostly because I was too lazy to find 6s for the ribbing.

And now I can cast on something else in handspun! (This is yesterday’s skein of sour fig, already caked and ready to go.)

in-my-bag knitting.

I’ve been carrying my handspun lacy baktus around with me, and even though I love how this looks, I find that I’m not taking it out of my bag to work on in those in between moments: after class, between appointments, before yoga. Even though the pattern is super easy to memorize and to read in my work, I don’t always remember where I am, and I think the knowledge that I’ll have to do a little bit of thinking to figure out how to pick up where I left off has been stopping me from pulling this out when I have a few minutes.

So yesterday, I decided to move my baktus to the pile near the couch, and cast on something new to carry around with me.

Yep, this is another seaman’s cap. I’m making this one medium-sized, with a particular friend in mind, though if the colors end up feeling a little too crazy, I’ll keep it and make her something slightly more subdued. I think I do best with in-my-bag knitting that is in the round and very simple: rib or stockinette. This is the worsted-ish Crown Mountain Farms superwash merino I spun up a few months ago in the rest of the Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds colorway. I thought I would knit this into mittens, but I think it is a bit late in the season to gift mittens. (Let’s face it, it will be March before this is done, and probably even closer to spring before I get this in the mail.)

Yesterday, for both lunch and dinner, I made Deb’s vegetable dumplings. Last year, as you may recall, my kitchen was the site for many a dumpling recipe test. These emerged victorious. Make them. You will not be sorry.

I’ll leave you with Boh. I eventually made him move so that I could make the bed, but I think he has the right idea. It is snowing here, and I’d like nothing more than to spend the day hunkering. Alas…off to campus.

FO: handspun seaman’s cap (the fourth).

This is my fourth handspun seaman’s cap. Clearly, I love this pattern. (Also, I love this hat, but this one is most definitely hopping into the mail this week so that my brother gets his Christmas present before it is too warm for super squishy handspun hats.) I knit the large size, and used 150 yards of handspun superwash merino from Crown Mountain Farms in the albatross colorway — which is almost exactly what I spun from the 3.5 ounces I estimated I’d need. Yay! I hope he likes it.

I asked Boh to do an interpretive dance to demonstrate how I (we) feel about going back to school in a few hours. This was his response. He captured my feelings exactly — as did the weather — heavy rains and high winds today — which, unfortunately, does not seem super conducive to helping me to fully kick this cold. (More Theraflu for this rooster — I’m definitely feeling better, but, as it often goes near the end of a rapidly morphing sore throat to drippy nose to head cold to cough, despite feeling much improved, I sound worse! Or incredibly sexy, depending on how you look at it…)

Happy Monday, folks. Despite my whining, there is a lot to look forward to this semester.

brought to you by Theraflu.

Yup, that mug is full of Theraflu — and if I haven’t sung its praises here in blogland, I am now. I’ve gotten sick more in the last two years than in the several years before (I blame the undergrads and their germs). Also, I hate cold medicine — or rather, that foggy haze that seems to accompany the good parts of cold medicine. Theraflu, on the other hand, works quickly, forces the sick person to drink more liquids, and for me, anyway, does not create the kind of fog that can impair drivers or slow down traffic. Really, they should sponsor me or something. (Thus concludes the advertising portion of today’s post.)

For lunch, I made this rutabega chipotle soup, only I made it with a goldball turnip, a potato, and a chipotle in adobo sauce that was languishing in the fridge. It was so delicious, with just enough spice to clear out my sinuses, that I ate a second bowl. And then scraped the saucepan.

I cast on for Snowbird, in Queensland Kathmandu DK (after getting gauge on size 5 needles), and made some progress on the collar and yoke.

Boh made some progress on destroying his current tennis ball, and put in some quality time organizing his scraps of fleece.

Good work, Boh.

I had dinner with friends (pork and sweet potato fritters are definitely good for whatever ails you), and took along my fourth handspun seaman’s cap — the one for my brother. Amidst conversation and decadent bites of chocolate treats, I managed to make it all the way to the decreases, which means my brother should receive his Christmas gift before February. (Win.)

Today’s plan? Knit, read, cook, emotionally prepare for the start of the spring semester, and most importantly, convince this sore throat/head cold to hit the road. (Thanks for all of your happy, healthy thoughts. I’m feeling so much better today, and am aiming to be fully recovered by tomorrow.)