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.

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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.)

saturday.

It is already this kind of day. And I’m okay with that.

I started knitting my brother’s (now incredibly delayed) Christmas present out of my CMF superwash merino albatross handspun. You may be wondering why that doesn’t exactly look like a mitten. My little brother has been having some trouble with his back the last few weeks, and he isn’t really spending a lot of time walking outside. (You know, or standing up straight.) I wear hats inside to stay warm and cozy, but I rarely wear full on mittens in the house. So I cast on another seaman’s cap for him, and after four or five rounds, I am already in love with the way this yarn is knitting up.

Happy weekend!

pretend productive.

Let me explain: I did spend a few hours on my writing yesterday, but in a “pretend productive” kind of way — you know, the kind of productive where you don’t actually increase the word count. Now, I would argue that one of the challenges in grad school — and really, academia more broadly — involves coming to terms with what it means to be productive. Sometimes, even when I don’t write anything down, I do some really important thinking that makes it possible for me to write somethingĀ  substantial when I return to the project. That’s not what I mean by “pretend productive.”

“Pretend productive” is when you read comments you’ve received on drafts, track down citations, request books that you know you should look at from the library, rearrange the piles or files you’re working from…and then (and this is key) derive a false sense of accomplishment from these tasks — and stop working.

I was “pretend productive” yesterday. I don’t really have pictures of what that looks like, but I think you get the idea. I do have pictures of fibery productivity, though.

First, my friend H (you may remember her as the recipient of the purple ishbel/springtime bandit brokeknits mash-up wedding shawl) came over to make applesauce and do some knitting. Boh assumed his supervisory role, and did a very good job of keeping our feet warm.

As you can see, this hat is way too big for me — which is a good thing! It should be perfect for my dad. (Apologies for the blurry photos.)

This is the largest size of the seaman’s cap, knitted even longer than the pattern called for, and made out of my handspun — Southern Cross Fibres polwarth, spun as a worsted weight 3-ply. (I still have about 80 yards left, so I may try to incorporate stripes into mittens or a manly cowl or something. We’ll see.)

H. asked me to show her how my wheel works, and because I had emptied all of my bobbins, we had to decide what I would spin next. I decided on the second 4 oz. of Crown Mountain Farms Superwash Merino in Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, spun as a fatter 2-ply. I started it to show H., and found it so captivating that late last night, I made myself a cup of hot cocoa and kept going.

I am in love with this, and all I want to do right now is spin the second bobbin. Alas, today I MUST be “real” productive. I received some great advice last night about how to get work done when there is really fun knitting in the house: lock it in the car. I may have to banish the second bobbin’s worth of fiber to the backseat today…

Stay tuned for pictures of the buttons that perfectly answered yesterday’s personal ad, as well as (I hope) a triumphant report about my productivity…

sleeping in.

I turned off the alarm last night so that Boh and I could sleep in — both a reward for some good progress on a paper I’m working on, and preparation for more writing today. (I tend to wake up with the sun whether I want to or not, but today I managed to sleep until 8. Victory.)

This dog did not want to get out of bed.

I managed a few more inches on my third handspun seaman’s cap. This one is made from Southern Cross Fibres polwarth 2-ply in the Boogie Wonderland colorway, and I just love how it is knitting up.

I am feeling way behind on life: thank you notes, holiday gifts, letter-writing, even cooking through my farm share (my winter share starts Wednesday!) — but at this very moment, I’m actually in an okay place with my academic work, and if I can just maintain that, I will be very happy. (Which means I need to get started on today’s writing goal — another 5 pages?)

treats.

Several treats have arrived here at chez Rooster over the last few weeks, and I am overwhelmed. (I’ll have another to share once I’ve settled on the best way to display it!)

haber fiber

A dear friend found herself at the Common Ground Fair in Maine in September, and picked up six ounces of gorgeous wool/merino blend fiber dyed in lovely blues and greens from Friends’ Folly Farm. It arrived over the weekend, and I can’t wait to get this on the wheel.

seaman 3

Last night, Boh and I headed over to see our favorite greyhound and his people. Popcorn was popped, NPR was switched on, andĀ  I started my third seaman’s cap. This one is out of the dark green polwarth from Southern Cross Fibres that I spun a few weeks ago.

stripes too warm

Yesterday morning I pulled on my stripes! sweater, thinking that maybe it was getting cold enough that I’d need the warmth as I sipped my coffee. I was too warm after only a few minutes…but soon!