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.)

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last night.

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Last night this happened. Really. I almost hesitate to share because I don’t want to jinx anything. I got out my wheel, and spun a little bag of leftover Hello Yarn Targhee in the Sprout colorway. I listened to a podcast, drank some tea, and watched the sunset.

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And then I went inside, curled up on the couch, and pulled out my Snowbird. It actually smelled sort of damp and musty, probably from being shoved in a bag at the base of my fiber closet since at least December 2012. The “hard” part of this sweater is done — now there’s only knitting the body and adding the pockets. (Okay, and seaming the collar to the body. That might be hard.) I have a growing list of baby and wedding gifts to knit, but I might just cut myself some slack and try to finish the stuff that I both love and have let languish. Let’s see if I can keep this up.

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In other news, I spent Saturday night with my parents, and after we celebrated my grandmother’s birthday, we enjoyed a fire in the pit that’s built into the brick patio behind their house. Boh normally has to stay in his box for family gatherings (he is not very good with larger groups, especially if they include strangers), but when there were only a few folks remaining, I brought him outside to enjoy the fire.

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I think he liked it. I know I did.

Thanks, you guys, for all of your kind comments on my last post and my unintended absence. It means a lot to know you’re still here.

sickness/sweetness.

This is what canceling office hours and taking a sick day looks like around here. (Also, whoa. WordPress has a brand new photo upload interface.)

Fixings for a magically soothing beverage.

Said beverage.

My classroom, empty before our final meeting of the semester on Wednesday morning. (I was assigned a particularly beautiful room this semester. Last spring, my class on nature occurred in a windowless room.)

A little bit of spinning. This is the second bobbin of Sprout singles. Not sure if I am going to ply this or leave it as singles.

Boh, being silly, and using my knitting as a pillow.

Pure sweetness. I’m feeling much better today, and Boh helped.

Aaaaand he’s snoring. Time to finish my cup of tea and get to bed!

signs.

I don’t watch¬†Game of Thrones, but I’m pretty sure nothing says “Winter is coming” like a baby mouse scurrying around my dish rack. (Filled, of course, with no longer clean dishes.) This guy hid in this jar-shaped glass when he saw me. After I took his picture, I escorted him to the bottom of the driveway. And then I began the process of investigating for evidence of mice, and scrubbing and disinfecting everything. My love of old houses ¬†means I’m familiar with this process, but I was a little cranky about discovering this mouse late on Tuesday night just as I had finished all of my prep for my Wednesday morning class. Sigh. I understand that the mice are just looking for a cozy place to hunker down. I’m willing to negotiate: they can have the basement (which has an earthen floor — there’s no way I can keep critters out of there), but the kitchen is off limits. Hopefully I can convince them that it is in their best interest to agree to my terms now, before the cold really sets in.

But enough about that. How about some pleasant signs that cooler weather is upon us?

I wore my wurm cowl yesterday. And I totally want another one.

I drank my Thursday morning latte pretty quickly at the coffee shop yesterday. (And finally finished a workable draft of that fellowship application I’ve been complaining about!)

I wrapped myself in my stripe study shawl and sat on the porch with my first cup of coffee this morning.

Aren’t the leaves lovely?

I’ve been spinning! These are Targhee singles in the Sprout colorway from the Hello Yarn Fiber Club (April 2011). In the background you can see what are probably my last snapdragons of the season. Even if winter is still a ways off, the first frost is near. I picked those at the farm on Tuesday afternoon. Happy Friday!

troublemaker singles.

Don’t be alarmed; that’s just what this colorway is called: Troublemaker. I grabbed this off the shelf because I wanted to be spinning something, anything really. No project in mind, no particular goal save working at my wheel. This mixed BFL from Hello Yarn felt like butter, and at least in my hands, it wanted to be singles, so that’s how I spun it. When I was just starting to spin, everything I read said that once I got the hang of this, that it would be really hard to spin thicker yarns, especially thick and thin singles. They weren’t wrong. I was going for something a bit more uneven, but these singles look a lot more uniform than I was intending. I’ll keep working on it.

Hangers on the heating pipe. (Don’t worry. I’ll figure out something else once I turn the heat on.)

And from the other side. I snapped these late last night, and the colors are so much more beautiful and vibrant than even that first close up shot. Stay tuned for FO pictures once these skeins are dry!

into the woods.

The wild flowers along the lakeshore looked particularly green and vibrant yesterday.

Boh and I veered off a regular loop we tend to do at a park near our house. Instead of crossing a lovely wooden bridge, we took a small set of stairs off the south side, and found ourselves in the woods!

Boh loved our detour, and so did I. I’ve been walking in this park regularly since we moved to the lake house at the start of last summer, and this is the first time we’ve wandered along this path. We’ll be back, maybe even this afternoon!

While Boh snored, I dug out my languishing Buttercup. I knew I was close to finishing up the body, so I tried it on. (I debated whether to post this picture of myself on the internet because the neck is still too low and the body not quite long enough — both of which will be addressed before I’m done with the pattern — but I think this is okay to share.)

After snapping this picture (and measuring to determine how much more to knit on the body), I added a few more increase rows and another couple of inches of knitting. This morning I’m planning to listen to podcasts and finish up the feather and fan border. I will wear this sweater this fall! (Famous last words?)

I’m not sure Boh believes me. Or cares. I haven’t been knitting a lot lately, and I want to change that. I really enjoyed working on Buttercup last night — so much so that I worked until my hands were a little bit sore. I wasn’t quite ready for bed yet, so I sat down at my wheel.

I finished up spinning the first bobbin of Kitsune, a polwarth-silk blend from the Hello Yarn Fiber Club. I started this ages ago — maybe at the start of the summer? I’m not sure if this will stay as singles or if I’ll spin the second bobbin and ply them together. Either way, this will probably turn into a drapey shawl or cowl.

Boh and I are planning a quiet Labor Day — some knitting, some work, and a nice walk. Hope you have a lovely day!