turnstile progress.

While Lila was blocking, I may have cast on something else: turnstile. Warning, folks: this pattern is addicting. There’s something about the helical stripes that makes it impossible to stop. And the pattern provides some amazingly effective advice on how to switch colors for super smooth striping.

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I chose three colors I love, and cast on.

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And pretty close to immediately, it was time to start striping. (It certainly didn’t hurt that I was binge-watching Veronica Mars at the time.)

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I love these colors, and I’m thinking this is going to be perfect for late spring and for all summer activities that include air-conditioning!

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Boh doesn’t seem to mind this project, either.

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I’m making the largest size (but in fingering weight yarn instead of sport), and I’m about halfway done. Here’s hoping I can maintain this knitting momentum!

stripeyness/happiness.

It’s Friday, and I’m making up words. Here’s why:

I know I’m late to this party, but I do think there is a connection between stripes and happiness. This mismatched pairing made me oh-so-happy on Wednesday.

A close-up. (Also, I’ve noticed that when I take pictures of what I’m wearing, I often have a hand on my hip. Is this because I just don’t know where to put it? Or has my subconscious received all sorts of messaging about how to pose that I just can’t help it? That’s what I think about when I look at this picture. Well, that and how much I love stripes.) This is what happens when I post right before bed.

Also, I’ve been spinning! This is Pigeonroof Studios Fiber in Bronzed Teal. I’ve got two bumps, and I’m spinning up a squishy light-worsted 2-ply. I should have about 450 yards when I’m done. And I’m almost halfway there!

Plying.

My lazy kate, propped up on a pile of books in my office. This was not really a good idea, as it toppled so many times I lost count.

Yarn, pre-soak. I snapped this picture because I was so pleased with how well-balanced this particular skein seems to be. Sort of hard to see that in the photo, but I’m really happy with it.

And then there’s this guy. I’m so very happy with him, too. The weather is supposed to be extra nice tomorrow, and I’m hoping we’ll get in a nice long walk. He’s earned it. Happy weekend!

sunset and sweet stripes.

On Tuesday afternoon, the last day of January, it was easily in the mid-fifties here. And on my enclosed porch, it was a warm and cozy seventy degrees, due to a handful of hours of direct sun. I put on my flip-flops, brought my teaching prep to the big yellow table, and enjoyed my view of the lake. And when it got too dark for actual work, I just sat and took in the sunset. (And snapped a few pictures of it for you.)

It was a lovely way to say goodbye to January.

And here are the sweet stripes I made mention of: a basic baby hat, modeled on one of the many awesome hat patterns in cosy‘s book, Knit One, Embellish Two. I knit this with grey Cascade 220 and some super soft undyed mystery yarn that I think was left over from something my friend M.’s mom was making. I did more subtraction to turn a child’s hat into a baby hat, and I’m hoping it fits the wee one in question, born on Sunday morning. It went into the mail on Monday, so I’m counting on it arriving today. (I may also be counting on the new parents, one of whom is at least aware of this blog, being too busy to find this sort-of-spoiler alert.) This was so much fun to make that I’ve cast on another. I’m sure I can find a baby to put it on.

I’m reaching back to Monday morning (excuse the artificial light) for this knits-in-action shot of my Idlewood. This is the first time I’ve worn it this year, and I love it just as much as I did when I finished knitting it. I even put it back on as a cozy layer as I was walking out the door to yoga on Monday night, and when it was time for savasana, I pulled the huge cowl up over my head for deep relaxation. I may need to make another. Or at least put it on to help me with today’s tasks: a grant application, a student recommendation letter, and maybe, hopefully, some time spent going through my research.

PQRS: an alphabet post.

P. As in, peonies the size of my head. Also, Pearl and the Beard. (Have you entered the album giveaway yet? You have until Wednesday to comment on Friday’s post!)

Q. For quantity. As in, how many retro table and chair sets can I fit on my porch? Also, aQua. (4 chairs and a table for 20 bucks, thanks to Craig and his marvelous list.)

R. Ricotta. Rich, homemade ricotta from Deb over at smitten kitchen, to be precise. This is Really good. Like, change-your-plans-for-the-day good. Whole milk, some heavy cream, lemon juice, and salt. The only reason I can come up with for not making this as soon as possible is that you need to go get a meat or candy thermometer. You should maybe go do that now.

S. Salad. And not just any salad; Summer Salad. Here at Casa Rooster, a Summer Salad is a salad that is eaten out of a larger-than-normal bowl.

Yup.

S also stands for Stripes. I’ve been making progress at a leisurely pace on my handspun stripey shawl, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. Boh seems to like it too.

Happy Monday, folks. Hope your week is off to an excellent start.

light/tunnel.

Yesterday it was cold enough for me to wear my Stripes! Yay! I’ve put it on a few times since I finished it over the summer (as you know) to admire it, but it hasn’t really been cold enough for me to do more than wear it for ten minutes in the morning. Yesterday, though, it snowed much of the day, and the temperature was well under freezing. It’s cold again today, so the first thing I did when I got out of bed was pull on Stripes! (Well, and pull on pants over my also very stripey long underwear. Too much information?) See that second picture? That’s me hugging myself. This sweater makes me want to curl up with Boh.

Particularly when it’s like this outside:

This sweater also helped me to provisionally conclude my writing project. I’m going to read it again today, and then turn it in for comments. Last night, I filled that first bobbin with most of the first braid of Pigeonroof Studios fiber:

Today’s plan? Grade one last paper, sit down with the calculator and figure out my students’ grades for the semester, and read through my draft one more time. Hence the title of this post.

Thanks for all of your encouragement this week. Here’s hoping that the light appears soon for you guys, no matter what kind of deadlines you’re dealing with!

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.

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Last night, Boh and I headed over to see our favorite greyhound and his people. Popcorn was popped, NPR was switched on, and  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!

spinning/stirfry.

(The strawberries are just implied. I don’t have any pictures of them today, but don’t let that fool you; I’m on my 5th quart this week.)

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Last night’s dinner — a stifry loosely based on a recipe in Heidi Swanson’s Supernatural Cooking. (I highly recommend flipping through it the next time you’re in a bookstore!) This is a basic sesame oil stirfry, and while my ingredients were the green things overflowing my refrigerator (garlic scapes, broccoli, komatsuna, chard, cabbage, radishes, scallions, ginger), I followed Heidi’s lead and added lime juice and chopped basil and mint just before eating — yum!

After dinner, I sat down at the wheel to work on that delicious melon-y targhee. After another hour or so today, I’m almost done with the second bobbin — I can’t wait to ply this!

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Also, I finally took stripes! off the kitchen table today. It was sooo close to dry when I put it on before breakfast:

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Even though there was terrible light this morning (raining all day today), I think the vibrant colors of the Noro stripes really stand out in this photo. I know it is only June, but there is a part of me that will not be sad for cooler fall weather to arrive because it means I’ll get to wear my stripey sweater…

precision.

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That’s right, folks. I broke out my “scale” yesterday.

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I needed to divide some gorgeous yarn pirate superwash bfl in the cupcake colorway into 2 balls in anticipation of today’s events; namely, the arrival of Socks From the Toe Up by Wendy Johnson. I learned of a massive KAL beginning this month and working, month by month, through the whole book. Chrissy of the Manic Purl podcast is participating, and her review of the book and discussion of the KAL piqued my interest. I checked out the group and decided that this might be just the motivation I need to keep working on my sock skills (and knit down some of my sock yarn stash).

Here’s one more picture of the yarn, which I will be using to knit the Lacy Ribs Socks for the June KAL.

cupcake measuring

This pattern seems to work well for handpainted and variegated yarns, and to be honest, I grabbed this from my stash because I wasn’t quite sure about the colors, and thought this pattern would be a good way to use it. Wound up, however, I adore it, and I cannot wait to get started!

Also in the land of precision (sort of): a whisper update! I returned to my ribbing, and late last night, bound off the collar stitches.

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Here’s a close-up of the ribbing-that-seemed-as-though-it-would-never-be-completed:

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It seems strange to not be posting Stripes! pictures. Do you want to see a few more? Good.

stripes and skirt

stripeyoke closup

I snapped these yesterday after grafting the underarms/weaving in the ends and before dunking the sweater into a warm bath, where it promptly absorbed ALL of the water my teeny-tiny bathroom sink can hold. Here it is, blocking on the kitchen table:

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I started reading a serious book yesterday, and it felt good to do some “work.” I’m planning to do more of that today, but the real news is that Tuesday is farm share day! The u-pick strawberry limit has been upped to 8 quarts (I picked 3 on Sunday), so I am planning some quality time in the berry patch this afternoon as well.

If you’ve been thinking about doing more sock knitting, check out the Socks From the Toe Up KAL group on Ravelry — super well-organized and epic in scale. (Plus, there are some great monthly prizes.)

from yolk to yoke.

I wish I had taken a picture of my most recent quiche — it would be perfect for my cheesy blog post title. Stripes! is the first bottom-up, yoked sweater I’ve ever knitted, and thus I rarely type “yoke.” “Yolk,” however, is a word that gets a lot of play here at chez rooster. Aside from the obvious rooster-chicken train of thought, eggs are a staple in my kitchen. (In fact, fried eggs, homemade toast, and some avocado slices comprise one of my favorite pre-seminar lunches.) Therefore it should come as no surprise to you that every time I sit down to label photos or type about my stripey sweater, my fingers seem to want to refer to the upper portion of this sweater as a yolk, rather than a yoke.

No more. Why, you ask? Because I have actually gone and knitted a YOKE. See?

yoke middecrease

[Boh still can’t work the camera; forgive the dirty mirror and awkward self-photography above and below.] Here is the yoke mid-decrease, and here are several photos of the yoke as it exists at this very moment:

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One more:

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I love love love this sweater. (You will too.)

I knit this with an inch and a half of ease, which seems to be the right fit for something I intend to be worn over a layer or two. I knit the sleeves to be a bit long for pulling down over my wrists — in these photos, they look a little baggy, but I think once I graft the underarm seams that won’t be a problem, as I was happy with the fit on my arms before I joined the sleeves to the body.

I have been knitting on this nonstop: several hours when I got home from a barbecue last night, and then for about 3 more hours this morning. I just couldn’t put down the yoke. I’m hoping to bind off, graft the underarms, weave in the ends, and get this baby blocking by the end of tomorrow! I’ll do a real FO post with measurements/specs/details once it is ready to wear.

On a note entirely unrelated to sweater yokes or egg yolks, except maybe that the activity I’m about to describe occurred in the general proximity of chickens, here’s a photo of today’s haul:

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My CSA does a bunch of u-pick produce, and with all the rain we’ve seen this week, the farmers sent out an email saying that the season picking quota thus far had been upped to 5 quarts! I picked up the owners of that lovely greyhound pictured earlier in the week (they are also members of my csa), and we spent an hour or so in the strawberry patch, picking and eating, the sun shining and a slight breeze blowing. All those strawberries had us thinking about ice cream, and we headed up along the lake a few extra miles to a local creamery for a treat. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon…

more greens.

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Radishes, crunchy salad turnips, red head lettuce, spinach, endive, chard, broccoli raab, arugula, basil, mint… life is pretty good. My trip to see my parents threw off my farm pick-up schedule, so yesterday I went and gathered about half the week’s offerings (in quantity) so that Tuesday I’ll be ready for more.

The (enormous) head of endive and what was left of last week’s kale went into a gratin with red potatoes and sweet potatoes, cheddar, and a sauce made of milk, flour, onions and garlic. Here’s a close up:

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Yum. I barely made a dent in this 9×9 pan of deliciousness, which means I have plenty of leftovers to enjoy.

Also, greens are starting to show up in my second stripey sleeve:

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I am so excited to join the body and sleeves together and begin work on the yoke. Maybe I’ll get that far today…

Unrelated, but thought you might enjoy seeing Boh and his dear friend Coltrane resting on my floor after some d-o-g-p-a-r-k playtime:

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What are you up to today? Over here, no-knead bread is rising, my knitting is calling, and Boh and I have plans for a long stroll along a creek near our house. My WWKIP day activities are being delayed until Tuesday night– an inaugural meeting of what may become my summer knitting group.

Happy weekend!