equilibrium.

cmf grey corriedale

cmf brown bfl

Believe it or not, I’ve been spinning faster than I’ve been stashing fiber. (The rate I’m knitting my handspun? That’s another story, but I’m working on it.)

Anyway, Chris over at Doodles In String has been encouraging me to spin for a sweater, and her kind enabling, in addition to last week’s realization that I had spun more than I had left to spin, required immediate action. On Saturday, I ordered a pound and a half each of grey corriedale and brown bfl from Crown Mountain Farms, and it was here on Monday afternoon. A few bumps of fiber are on their way here from places further afield, but I do feel that I am much closer to stash equilibrium now. Phew!

targheebob2

targheebob2dog

I spun up the second bobbin of AVFKW targhee in the Hibiscus colorway last night, (note the lazy dog in the background) and I’m hoping to start plying before I head to class this morning. Apparently this particular blend of reds and oranges routinely speaks to me: the throw on the couch above Boh is the same mixture of colors, and this morning, I put on my sassymmetrical cardigan, only to realize that I knit it in a very similar shade of malabrigo.

sassymmetrical in action

closeupsassymmetrical

I love this sweater, but I rarely wear it out of the house. I think this is because of a mixture of several factors: (a) it is bright (b) I don’t have a lot that seems to look “right” under it (c) cap sleeves in practice aren’t the most flattering on me (though I love them in theory) and (d) the texture and variegation of the malabrigo in this particular incarnation make it look hand-knit in a way that makes me a little self-conscious. Does that make sense?

Despite all this, I’m wearing it today, and it is making me happy.

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Lastly, my simple yet effective shawl is growing. It’s the wrong color family for today’s post, but I can’t get over how much I like the way this is knitting up. I’m thinking I may keep going once I run out of handspun and continue with some commercial yarn leftovers to give it a more finished edge.

This post’s title is also apt because I think I’m getting closer to a routine: I’ve made lists of my personal and academic priorities for this semester, mapped out a tentative breakdown for working at home with Boh vs. working in my office, and I’m feeling okay about it all. I guess it is about time to stop planning my work and get to it!

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two coffee mugs, a yardstick and a soup bowl…

…walk into a bar. Nevermind. Instead, they enable this rooster to attempt to determine (in an incredibly unscientific manner, mind you) if she has divided a skein of sock yarn into balls of roughly equal weight:

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This was necessary because yesterday I was determined to start a toe-up sock, encouraged by this tutorial over at knittingbybicycle. If one of the benefits of toe-up socks is being able to use up all of your yarn, I reasoned, I need to divide my yarn so that I can take full advantage of this approach to sock knitting. First I wound the yarn, and then I wound a ball from the ball I created, thinking I’d just stop when they looked about even. But even though they looked even, one of them seemed a bit tighter, and therefore, heavier. But I wasn’t sure: hence, the contraption pictured above.

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Here’s what I’ve got so far. I’m following the tutorial for the 64 st sock, which might be a tad roomy for me with these needles (US size 2, 3 mm) and this yarn (Madelinetosh superwash merino in colorway pool), but I figure I’ll rib the whole leg if that seems to be the case. It’s a bit too early to tell. Here’s another picture of the sock:

toe-up-tosh-21

I absolutely love the striping, and the yarn itself is wonderful to work with — it is slightly thicker than the other sock yarns I’ve used, and I’m finding that these are moving along quite quickly.

Also, I’ve added a bit to my sock yarn stash. I couldn’t resist the gorgeous pictures of Malabrigo sock yarn over at The Loopy Ewe. This came in the mail on Monday:

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From left to right: Malabrigo sock in Ochre, Boticelli Red and Alcaucil, and Cherry Tree Hill sock in Slate. This yarn is gorgeous. I was initially thinking that the darker shades would be good for boy socks, and I may make a dressier pair for my dad out of one of these skeins. I’ve ordered a few more options from Webs, and I’ll share those when they arrive. The particular boy I have in mind lives mostly in hiking boots, so something thicker (but still superwash) seems like a better fit.

Time for another cup of coffee and a bit of sock knitting before I tackle this morning’s pile o’ reading. The sun is shining here. Have a great Wednesday!

toe pick.

Anybody? (The Cutting Edge? Elementary school sleepovers?) Anyway, that’s what I think whenever I complete a heel flap. Can’t really explain it. See? Heel flap:

Toe pick! Also, it was very hot this week. So hot that I began second guessing my summer knitting plans. (Heading to Base Camp next week for the summer, and everything else I own is slowly making its way out of this teeny house and into a shiny storage unit.) I fell in love with this sweater from Knit.1 magazine: the gathered cardi. This is way cooler than I am, and may make me feel like I am playing dress up, but I really like it. I’m realizing as I pack that I may need to adapt my wardrobe a bit for graduate school, as I doubt it will require carharts and backcountry gear anywhere near as often. (Justification of need for sweater and thus, yarn, accomplished. You see, I don’t have any cotton in my stash!)

There it is: 8 skeins of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, in a mustardy-yellow/pea green shade. Won’t this be lovely with a big old wood button? Also, in the interest of full disclosure, here’s my stash.

It has been organized and in plastic tubs for a few weeks now, but today is the day it is going into the storage unit. I’ve made my summer knitting decisions, and I’m sticking to them. (Though my storage unit is easily accessible between the hours of 8 and 6 should I require anything additional on the days I come into town…) It is already in the car, and the clock has struck eight. Time to take more stuff to storage!

umm, yarn alert.

Two things:

And

Right.

So, the first picture is Peace Fleece, from kpixie. Over the weekend, while browsing through other people’s queues on Ravelry, I saw 28thirty, by the Zephyr girls, and the pattern and this yarn became an irrational need. In order to get the colorway I wanted (grass roots), I had to purchase a kit for the Everyday Cardigan — so now I already have the buttons and I’m sure I’ll use this pattern one day.

The second picture is from the WEBS Anniversary Sale — I am quite proud of the restraint I exercised with this order. (Give me a minute to explain.) This box is overflowing with yarn already intended to become gifts: enough Cascade 220 to make three more pinwheel blankets for weddings (though eventually I want one), two sets of 2 skeins of Berrocco Ultra Alpaca in manly colors, to become scarves for professors who wrote reference letters for me and provided guidance and advice during the application process, and then a bag of Ultra Alpaca in the colorway Yucca Mix, intended to become a cardigan that I hope will replace a commercial one that gets serious wear in my clothing rotation. All this, averaging under 6 dollars a skein!

That, my friends (in addition to my existing stash), should keep me plenty busy.

I am traveling for a mixture of work and play this weekend into next week — bringing the computer, camera and some knitting, so blogging may occur, but if not, don’t worry. No need to call in the cavalry!

Have a great weekend!

another convert…

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This gorgeous hat was made by its wearer — in just over 24 hours. The dear friend I was staying with in NYC asked if we could get her some knitting materials on Sunday evening. We made our way to Purl, and with 15 minutes before closing time, she made her decision: a very full red color of Manos del Uruguay, and some size 9 16 inch circulars. I helped with the cast on, and soon she had inches of ribbing completed. We decreased during the televised MLK Democratic Party debate on Monday night, made the pom-pom before bed, and it was ready to be worn on Tuesday morning.  She did a great job on this hat, and it looks beautiful, particularly with her all-black wardrobe (just kidding, JP).

Time to share a few NYC yarn acquisitions:

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This is a super soft cashmere/merino/mohair blend from School Products — about 500 yds of it. I am thinking this may be perfect for the Chevalier Mittens (ravelry link). I also picked up a few skeins of Koigu — too pretty to pass up.

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Also, though I have not yet entirely articulated my 2008 goals (soon, I promise), socks are quite central. I even joined the Yarn Pirate Booty Club in December to further inspire me to learn new techniques and try more complex patterns. I just received the January installment — my first — and while I will not post any pictures or details just yet (nobody wants to be a surprise spoiler), this yarn is every bit as gorgeous as the hype!

newsflash: yarn pile is becoming a mountain.

I promised that I would show you my recent yarn purchases, so here it goes. This makes me feel like a “real” knitter, as this is the first time I’ve ordered bags of yarn. (Danger! Photos and super pretty yarn ahead.)

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First up, a spontaneous yarn purchase. I have yet to make my first Clapotis, and I decided not to buy the Lion and Lamb because I could not rationalize the cost. And then…an angel posted this yarn on Destash. I got a very nice deal on it, and this colorway, Black Purl, is exactly what I would have purchased for myself. I am excited about this, but I think it will have to wait until after all of my holiday knitting.

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Malabrigo.

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And more Malabrigo. I think both sets of skeins are destined to become My So Called Scarf — one for me, one for a dear dear friend.

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Berocco Peruvia. What could this be for? Is it tilted? I think so.

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A massive skein of Eco-wool, intended to be the main color of multiple mittens.

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This purchase is Ravelry’s fault. I have 3 skeins of a turquoisey shade of Nature Wool, and was looking to find uses for it. I found too many, and decided that since I’d like to make multiple gifts a la Calorimetry with it, I would need more in order to make Fad-Classic.

And then… (Seriously, I didn’t intend to do this all at once, but the WEBS sale is truly excellent.)

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Cashmere. This was not on my list, but at the sale price, it seemed silly not to get some. I’ve never knit with cashmere, and I’m hoping that 2 hanks of this will be enough for the feather and fan neckwarmer in Knit2Together. (Also holiday gifts.)

Last, but not least:

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A whole bag of Araucania Nature Wool Chunky, which I am using for the Debbie Bliss Bolero Jacket, for those of you joining me for the first time. My current winding method involves two chairs, back to back, one with my big down jacket on the back of it. I was too lazy to move it at first, and now I realize that it actually stops the skein from sliding down the chair back. (Many of these yarns were photographed on my chairs: part of a 1960s yellow and chrome kitchen table set that I scored on craigslist when I moved to my current location. It makes me happy.)

Notes on my holiday knitting to come. Also, I am participating in my first ever swap, over at the Fall Fingerless Mitts KAL. I am very excited — but right now, I am also very sleepy. The whole “falling back” part of daylight savings has me exhausted.

like i really needed an enabler…

So…I am at work, but I somehow managed to place a serious internet yarn order. Ravelry makes it super easy to figure out which things in my queue that I can make from my stash, and which projects require additional yarn. In my defense, I don’t really own a sweater’s amount of anything, as I didn’t quite understand the yardage required to make different kinds of knitted accessories and garments when I was getting started. Well (rooster puts her foot down) that ends today. Or, err, when my large box of yarn arrives…

I promise to confess to each purchase when it arrives, with full photo-documentation and my intentions for each skein.

Happy Wednesday!