precision.

cupcakescale

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

cupcakemeasuring2

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.

whisper arm1

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

whisper underarm detail

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:

stripesblocking

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:

yokehandonhip

yokebackview

yokehandinpocket

One more:

yokehandinfront

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:

3quartsstrawberries

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.

csaweek2

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:

gratin

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:

secondstripesleeve

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:

tireddogs

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!

one, two…

secondsleeve

This morning I began the second sleeve of stripes!(!) More significantly, the beginnings of cuff number 2 (with its lovely corrugated ribbing) sat in my bag waiting patiently as my graduate school career moved from one to two.

It’s strange, but I don’t actually feel as though I’ve finished anything, perhaps because I am already looking ahead. Today’s committee meeting helped me to more clearly see the meaning in the work I’ve done, but more importantly, it did some helpful pointing towards where I might want to go in year 2.

In keeping with this broad theme of progress (small p), I’m excited to show you a few pictures of that gorgeous melon-y targhee:

targhee1

targhee2

This is my most even spinning to date, and I am absolutely in love with this fiber. I’m aiming for a strong 2-ply with a consistent wpi — maybe it will be sport weight? We’ll see. (Did you notice how I threw “wpi” in there? My measuring tool arrived today, so I’ll have that info on my next finished yarn.)

I left my laptop and camera here when Boh and I went to spend a few days with my parents this week, so I can’t show you all of the gorgeous plants and flowers in the yard, or the delicious food we ate, or even the socks I finished (yay!) and deposited with a love note on my uncle’s porch on my way out of town.

Boh and I are off to meet friends (human and animal) at the d-o-g-p-a-r-k to celebrate. Happy almost weekend!

3-ply and peonies.

peonies in kitchen

I have been anxiously waiting for what I think are peonies to bloom along the driveway. (Correct me, dear readers, if these are not peonies.) They began to open this week, and I noticed that some of these blossoms were getting too heavy to hold up their own heads. I figured I could help with that, and gathered the droopy ones to enjoy indoors. I think I cut 6 or 7 blossoms, which I am now inhaling in every room of my tiny apartment. I miss the desert, but this is something I could never do there: take my scissors outside and cut a few fragrant flowers to lift my spirits while I work.

I heard some great live music with a friend last night, so I was out late. (I’ve mentioned Eilen Jewell here before, and my recommendation stands — she and her band have a new album out that has a bit of a rockabilly feel to it. I really appreciate that she both writes her own hauntingly sorrowful music AND reclaims old-school country-western and rock — covering Loretta Lynn, Charlie Rich, Them, etc. But I digress.) Boh and I slept in, made coffee, and I sat down to my first attempt at a 3-ply yarn.

3plymyrtle1

3plymyrtle2

This was a whole lot of fun to ply — there’s something about watching the twist move through 3 strands of yarn that is absolutely captivating. I have no idea what weight or yardage this is going to turn out to be, but I’m excited to find out. I’m quite pleased with the amount of twist I put into these singles, and I’m considering this yarn a step in the direction of handspun sock yarn.

What about that stripey sweater, you ask?

sleeve progress1

I’m knitting away on the sleeves and loving it. Boh and I are heading home tomorrow to spend a few days with my parents, and I’m planning to bring this with me. I’m hoping to finish up my uncle’s socks today, and perhaps get this 3-ply washed, dried, and skeined up.

Also, in case the degree to which I am addicted to spinning was unclear, this is what is sitting next to my computer:
pileohandspun

A great big pile o’ handspun. Yum. Happy Sunday!

corrugated ribbing and cvm.

And cuffs, and cosy (fiber etsy shop here), if that helps to emphasize that somehow the letter C is at play here today.

First, the ribbing. I know I have been going on and on about this sweater, and also that it is a bit unfair that I have been doing so, because you can’t exactly go right out and knit it yet, but I can’t help it. I cast on the first sleeve late last night (after digging through every bin of knitting-related stuff in my apartment to find my size 8 dpns), and I just have to keep talking about it.

cuffs1

cuff2

I love this ribbing, and someday, in the not too distant future, I will be making mittens that start this way. Whitney, are you trying to trick me into colorwork? Because if this ribbing is technically colorwork, it isn’t that scary. (This is how it starts, anyway…)

The next C is for CVM, or california variegated mutant, which, apparently, is a kind of sheep. Cosy’s shop update last week included lots of this stuff, and I needed some. (Needed.) I sat down at my wheel this morning after a cup of coffee with the idea that I would just spin a little bit, see how this fiber felt in my hands, and then move on to other things.

impatienscvm1

impatienscvm2

2 bobbins and 4 oz. later, I realized that I really liked it. (Shocking.)

impatienscvm3

I spun this using my mid-sized whorl, thinking that this might help me to get a bit more twist in my singles, and in this regard, I think I was successful. At the very beginning, I thought I’d aim for a singles yarn, but now that I see my two bobbins, one slightly brighter and one a bit paler, I think they will be lovely as a 2-ply, and maybe even lovelier knit up as the yoke to a garter-yoke cardigan?! I do have some grey cascade 220, and some heathery navy blue as well…

inches and handfuls.

These were my units of measure today.

Exhibit A (inches):

stripesoncouch

(I love this picture. Can’t exactly explain why.)

bodystripes

And here it is, all 17 inches and change of the body of my stripes! sweater. I don’t think I’ve ever knit so quickly in my life. Certainly, I am currently feeling the need to distract myself; to fill the days. There is something else though, something I can’t quite pinpoint, that makes this project hard to put down. Perhaps it is the surprising softness of the eco-wool. Maybe it’s the short pattern repeat, the next stripe’s color(s) revealed in just four (three, two, one) more row(s)…

All I know is that I’m finding a particular kind of fulfillment in this project, and I’m grateful for it. Next up? Stripey sleeves!

Exhibit B (handfuls):

dinnerinpan

dinnergreens

Tonight’s dinner: an innovative greens recipe from a cookbook compiling recipes from farms and CSAs across the country. The basic premise is that you mix up a vinaigrette, boil some of it and throw in sliced mushrooms, and then later add some hearty greens and cook until wilted. Toss this stuff with less hearty greens, add some goat cheese, and add more of the dressing. I used kale, arugula, and spinach from my share, and I can’t wait to make this again. (That cookbook, for those interested, is this one.)

Exhibit C (toys?):

poutingbohwithpile

Boh, with his pile of scraps and bones…

I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep up this daily blogging all summer, but for now, it adds some quite welcome structure to the day, as a friend thoughtfully noted earlier this week.

More soon!