hemlock blob, boh, buttons.

A podcast, an episode of Project Runway, and two mugs of coffee later, I present to you my hemlock ring, in blob form, and I love it. Now, where am I going to block this thing?

Boh has no idea.

Yesterday afternoon,  I quickly added a fourth (red) button to my Shalom, and then swapped out the less matchy orange button (second from the top) in order to make this wearable, and quick. See, yesterday was cold and rainy, and, let’s face it, rather unproductive. A coffee shop work plan took shape, and I decided that I needed to be able to wear Shalom. I think I will eventually swap out the orange buttons for red ones, but this worked wonderfully for yesterday’s coffee shop work date (followed by a french-fries-with-delicious-dipping-sauces-reward-for-reading date). Here are a few more Shalom pictures! (Tough to take good photos in artificial light. The blurry ones are my favorites.)

Back to the pile of reading!

half-calf.

I crack myself up. And yes, my coffee is fully caffeinated this morning (and every morning). More pictures of legwarmer numero uno? Why, of course!

I have not yet mastered the art of photographing my own legs. Clearly. I bound off very loosely, and I’m thinking that when I block these, I’ll tug a bit to get the ribbing a tad more snug. Otherwise, I’m thrilled with the length, the shaping, and the stripes! I’ll post my cast on/increase numbers when I finish numero dos.

After a very productive lunch date (and delicious sushi), a grad-student friend and I wandered over to a little antique shop downtown. Not only did I score a sweet, ruffly, polyester shirt in this adorable red print, but I also found these pins, which I intend to use to secure the many shawls I am going to knit this summer and beyond. Aren’t they gorgeous?

Also, this excursion solved a lingering dilemma. Remember my shalom button problem? (You know, four button-holes, three buttons, only two of which match each other?) Check out these glittery big red buttons. I’m planning to sew these onto shalom this afternoon, and send those orange buttons back to the jar. Hooray!

Happy Friday, folks! Hope your weekend is filled with sunshine and knitting.

Oh, and popcorn, popped on the stove. Definitely popcorn.

FO: shalom.

Boh is anxious about button selection.

And here’s what I settled on. (Boh’s anxiety was completely valid, by the way. Turns out I made four buttonholes. Didn’t realize that until I sewed on three buttons and tried on the sweater. I’m not sure yet if I’ll move the top button down, leave it as is, buy another funky orange button, or swap the buttons entirely. Thoughts?)

Here’s a full length shot, even though the brilliance of the sunshine puts me (and shalom) in shadow.

Have I told you lately that I love this sweater? School and life got in the way of me finishing this earlier in the spring. Despite the fact that it took me a few months to knit, this is actually a super quick, super rewarding knit.

Yarn:  2.75 skeins of Cascade 220

Mods: I followed the pattern, but I used worsted weight yarn and size 7 needles (thanks to all the shalom knitters on ravelry for their detailed notes). To account for my smaller gauge, I added a repeat of the twisted rib yoke section, and then pretty much knit until it seemed to hit me at the right spot. Oh — and I added a fourth buttonhole, even though there is not currently a button to pair it with.

Even though all of my decisions about sizing occurred totally on the fly, this might be my best fitting sweater to date. Go figure. The weather around here is spring-y, and not too hot, so I should have lots of opportunity to wear my shalom this week!

one more row.

I knit one more row on my shalom today. Boh napped. I managed to snap a picture.

Things are going to be crazy (and thus, sporadic around here) for another week or so, but after that, I’m really looking forward to catching up in blogland. I may not be commenting/responding as quickly as I usually do, but I’m still reading. (And Boh is still napping.)

ripped jeans.

I inherited these awesome ripped jeans several years ago from my dear friend champ, and changing out of skinny-conference-paper-giving-jeans into cozy sigh-with-relief-and-curl-up-with-boh jeans was exactly what I needed yesterday afternoon. (I know I tucked that into a ridiculous string of hyphenated words, but I gave my first conference paper yesterday, and I’m happy with how it went. Hooray!)

Also, I’ve done those dishes. Thanks, everyone, for your sweet responses to the giddiness of my last post. (I’m still grinning about all of that.)

Tonight, I made (and then ate too much) mushroom pizza. I also made some progress on my teal shalom. A few more inches, and I will be good to go.

I am still thrilled with the accidentally perfect sizing, and I’m pretty sure this is only going to require three skeins of Cascade 220. We’re getting into the crazy part of the semester — I’m expecting a huge pile of papers to grade tomorrow, and it is time for me to really get a move on with the writing I need to turn in next month, so my posting might be a bit erratic, but I’ll try not to disappear entirely. Spending time in this space makes me happy.

FO: tigerlily (and some shalom progress).

In an attempt to hide from reality (spring break is over, I’m heading to campus in an hour), I spun up the second half of my AVFKW falklands fiber in the tigerlily colorway yesterday. This is 48 yards of worsted weight, navajo plied yarn, from 1.5 oz of fiber — exactly the same yardage that I got from the first half. This clearly wants to be something paired — fingerless mitts, perhaps?

And here’s where I’m at with Shalom. I knit all of that stockinette on Saturday night, at a knit-friendly dinner party, and I’m hoping that I can maintain my momentum on this sweater now that spring break is over. (Can you tell I’m still pouting about that?) Despite my lack of a gauge swatch, plan, or pattern obedience, it appears that this sweater is the perfect size. Thank you, top down sweater construction.

Boh and I are off to take a quick walk this morning before I head to campus, as Mondays are pretty busy days. Hope your week is off to a good start!

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…

pizza/plying.

More playing in the kitchen this weekend: homemade pizza and these double chocolate muffins, with walnuts and almond extract subbed for the butterscotch chips and vanilla.

Also, some spinning. This is Southern Cross Fibre merino in Bluestone — my first club shipment! It arrived on Thursday, and by Friday afternoon it was on my wheel. I spun all 4 oz. as singles, and this morning, sat down to navajo ply the whole lot.

My Bluestone is taking a bath right now, and soon it will be hanging to dry in the kitchen. On the list for today? Reading and knitting on Shalom:

Shalom matches the book I intend to finish today! Happy Saturday, folks.

ravioli muscles.

Oof. First of all, my ravioli-making muscles are a little sore. (That’s a technical term — they are tiny, and located in the middle of the back.) This is a small (and totally worth it) price to pay for homemade ravioli, in case you’re wondering.

My friends D and T came over last night, along with their sweet dog Coltrane, for a special dinner sort of in honor of D’s recent birthday. Just as we were about to dig in, they said something like, “Wait! Don’t you want to take a picture for the blog?” They know me well.

I followed this ravioli recipe, and the resulting meal was incredible. We also enjoyed my dad’s Caesar salad recipe, and an apple pie. It was a super fun evening, and despite the fact that my parents’ pasta maker (which lives at my house) is missing a few pieces are really requires two people to properly operate it without lots of curse words, I am jonesing for more homemade pasta…

Also, I’ve finished the yoke of Shalom! I did do an extra repeat of the yoke pattern in order to get closer to the neck to armpit distance I need, and I am excited. It is a little small right now, but I’m confident (fingers crossed) that it will block out to the slim fit I’m hoping for. My button holes look a little messy — note to self — I don’t do the bind off/cast-on button holes well, but I’m sure I can clean that up a bit with yarn needle and some extra ends. Onward to the mindless stockinette portion!

Happy Friday!

FO: magic chip.

121 yards (from 3 oz) of navajo-plyed worsted weight superwash bfl in the magic chip colorway from the AVFKW Woolly Wonders Fiber Club. So, navajo plying a whole skein’s worth of yarn isn’t as scary as I thought it would be! Despite the occasional wrestling I did with this bfl and my not-always-consistent singles, I’m really happy with how this yarn turned out. Now, what should I do with it? (Do we think 120 yards is enough for toddler legwarmers? I know a 4-yr old who would love some.)

Also, last night I did this:

And I decided that I liked it so much that I shouldn’t risk it, so I ordered 2 more skeins of Cascade 220 in Caribbean. Fingers crossed that they match what I’ve got, or are at least close enough. I’m doing this sort of by the seat of my pants, after reading through lots of notes on ravelry. I’m using worsted, instead of heavy worsted weight yarn, but I’m not really changing the stitch count. I figure I’ll try this on once I’m through the yoke, and if it isn’t long enough or big enough, I’ll add another repeat of the pattern before binding off (or separating — I haven’t decided) the sleeve stitches and continuing on with the body. I want this to be snug, and I’m adding a few more buttons (3? 4?) than the original.

I realize that I have a gazillion things on the needles right now — but all of my sweater projects are in muted colors, and spring break demands something bright (and instantly gratifying).

I did manage to get through a fair amount of grading today, and Boh and I romped through muddy fields and meadows with our friends D. and Coltrane (the greyhound) this afternoon. There’s an apple crisp in the oven, and a pile of knitting awaiting me on the couch (next to a loudly snoring dog). These are the makings of a good, quiet evening.