“i got here followin’ the southern star…

I crossed that river just to be where you are…” Dylan kept me company on my drive to (and from) the north country. I’ve been overusing the word “lovely” lately, but I don’t care. Boh and I had a lovely weekend catching up with a dear friend/accomplished farmer: roaming amidst cattails and piglets, grinding coffee with a crank, frying eggs recently gathered, sweetening coffee with maple syrup and knitting in morning light. Here’s a whole slew of photos from the trip:

I needed a good dose of mountain air and that feeling that accompanies spending time with dear friends. Being geographically closer to my “people” is one of the best non-academic parts of my new life as a grad student. (Thanks, P. Looking forward to my next trip up.)

goodbye, little house.

On our last morning in my casita, Boh and I woke to a red sunrise:

And then we packed and packed, took a trip to the dump to get rid of some unsalvageable oversized things, made one final run to the storage unit, and handed in the keys. Goodbye, little house!

I’ve moved in with dear friends here in Albuquerque for the weekend, and though I am still recovering from all of the early morning moving I’ve been doing, there has been a bit of time for knitting.

This is Sunday Market Shawl #2, and it just needs to be soaked and blocked — a bit of a challenge when you are no longer in your own house — but I am very happy with how this has turned out. Dream in Color Smooshy is magical, and I look forward to making socks with it. I’m excited to see how big this becomes after blocking. Right now, it is probably just under 66 inches, and about 16 inches wide.

In other news, finishing the knitting portion of the Sunday Market Shawl meant that I could cast on for a new project! Though I really should’ve started a third pinwheel blanket, I couldn’t help it. I have been thinking about that Gathered Cardi from Knit.1 since I purchased the magazine, and the yarn was right on top in my Base Camp yarn bin. Last night I did a cheater’s swatch (not quite 4 inches…) and cast on. (It should be fine — I’ve used this yarn before, and my needle-size guessing seemed to produce gauge. Famous last words?) I’ve got about an inch of the seed-stitch collar:

I have one more day here — heading to Base Camp tomorrow. Though I am technically homeless right now, I am enjoying a pretty luxurious life. Check out my morning set up here:

I haven’t quite figured out a plan for posting this summer, as my internet access will be slightly limited, and I’m not sure if I am going to hook my laptop up to the office network out there. At the very least, you’ll get updates when I come into town. Please know that even if my own posting is rather sporadic, I will still be reading!

Happy June!

pinwheels and parties.

Remember pinwheel blanket number two? The one I needed to finish in time for the pre-wedding party of two friends? Well, you can breathe easy. I finished it. (I mean, I may have blocked it in my car and woven in the ends on the back porch of a building said friends were standing in…but I finished it and they loved it. I’m hoping they’ll send me one of the pictures they took with it/me.)

I would have finished it earlier, I swear, except one of these two friends ended up coming into town and staying at my house on Wednesday to work with us for a few days. I couldn’t very well work on it in front of him, could I?

Anyway, the work we did required a road trip (with a slew of 7 year olds) to the base camp of the wilderness education foundation I work for. Though it was crazy, I did manage to snap a sunrise picture for you:

Looking northward, Friday, 5:50 am.

I did manage to find some evening quiet time to knit by the light of a cozy fire. My ankle socks (using the Super Simple Short Sock pattern by Radiant Twist) are progressing quite nicely. Have we talked about how much I love this yarn? (Yarn Pirate Merino Sock in Kalamata.) I really love how this project fits into the center zip pocket of my Namaste bag, which could be why they are moving so quickly…

Yep, there’s some pooling there, but I don’t care. I love it anyway.

I returned to civilization this morning, in a bit of a hurry to make progress on another big project: packing up my life. I move to base camp for the summer in a few weeks, and after that, I head to New Home to start graduate school. Didn’t make sense to rent my little house through the summer only to come back and pack everything, so pack up now I must. I think it will get easier once I actually go rent a storage unit this week so that I have a place to put all of the boxes I am filling. Today I’ve been working on the kitchen. See?

Off to pack some more and enjoy the evening light.

“why is bad taste ubiquitous?”

That has absolutely nothing to do with any of the knitting I am going to share with you, even though my clapotis looks more like a blob and less like a glamorous french scarf. Worked on (the also ubiquitous) clapotis yesterday while watching Helvetica (which is far more fun and dramatic in a German accent), and one of the font designers may have said this when asked about Helvetica’s popularity. Love it. T-shirts may be necessary. I’m told that preliminary research into whether or not this could be printed in Helvetica has begun.

Anyway, lots of pictures today. I left the house early yesterday in order to do laundry before work — no time for blogging. First off, I roasted some fennel for dinner on Tuesday night. Yum!

Next up? This morning’s sunrise:

Oooh. Pretty.

Now, onward to the knitting progress.

I am moments from the halfway point of my clapotis (which I am making in Brooks Farm Riata, for those keeping score). I’m not sure if I’m going to have enough yarn to knit the pattern as written — If I can get through the 6th repeat of the straight section before switching to the next skein, I’m golden. If I only get through five, I’ll shorten the straight section by a repeat or two. Now that I am dropping stitches in each repeat, the knitting is moving along more quickly — and it is good TV/conversation knitting, except for the SSK and YO in one of the rows — I may have fudged this a few times so as to not rip back, as Riata is fairly sticky and I don’t think the errors are noticeable in the least.

Boh is a bit concerned about dropping stitches, as is evident from this photo:

I’m not sure that there is anything Boh isn’t worried about…

spring sunrise.

treeshadow.jpg

I had prettier pictures of the sunrise and the mountains this morning, but I wanted to share this one — see the leaves on the trees? So nice to see green around town here in the Southwest.

Also, even though I’m not sure that you can tell that I’ve made progress, here is a picture of what I have been referring to as the jellyfish:

jellyfish.jpg

I’ve started the seed stitch border. It is hard for me to tell how big it is going to be — I want this to serve as a cozy lap blanket for curling up with a good (or required) book. I am planning to make a handful of these this spring as gifts, and I find myself knitting quickly in order to see if this is going to be the size I am envisioning…

Happy Friday!

friday.

mar-28.jpg

In a bit of a hurry this morning — heading to work early — but I glanced out my window and saw this. Also, Hilary of The Yarniad tagged me for a book meme yesterday. Apologies for my lack of links — if you want to know more, these should all be easy to find on Amazon or wherever.

1. What book are you currently reading?

I am between books at this split second, and am enjoying this week’s New Yorker, but next on the pile is The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. I should have read this a long time ago — no excuses. A new friend shared his copy recently, which has rightfully moved it to the top of my reading list.

2. When you think of a good story, what are the first three books that come to mind?

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close — Jonathan Safran Foer

This is perhaps the most moving book I have read in recent memory. Relevant, heartbreaking, beautiful. Sometimes I catch myself being snobby about books, particularly more recent fiction. This helped me to break through that. Foer’s storytelling is excellent, and it is heightened by his attention to style and po-mo elements of narration/the relationship of the author to the reader. The way the words are presented on the page enhances their impact. I bought several copies of this book when I first read it and mailed it to everyone I swap books with.

Blood Meridian or the Evening Redness in the West — Cormac McCarthy

This is not a happy book; in fact, it may be the most violent I have ever read. A professor in college cited this, along with Lolita, by Nabokov, as the most important books in 20th century American lit. That isn’t why I keep coming back to it, though. This is why:

“The jagged mountains were pure blue in the dawn and everywhere birds twittered and the sun when it rose caught the moon in the west so that they lay opposed to each other across the earth, the sun whitehot and the moon a pale replica, as if they were the ends of a common bore beyond whose terminals burned worlds past all reckoning” (86).

Haroun and the Sea of Stories — Salman Rushdie

This is pure magic — a perfect read aloud book that children can enjoy, but is really very much for grownups. Water Genies, Processes too Complicated to Explain, Disconnecting Tools, Oceans of Notions…really. What are you waiting for?

What 3 books would you recommend for summer beach reading?

First of all, I’m swapping beach for mountains/high desert — which is where my current job takes me each summer. Secondly, I’m including poetry. Sorry if that means I am breaking the rules.

Harvest Poems — Carl Sandburg

I always look for this in used book stores — it is the perfect collection to share — great for tossing into a bag to take with you, no matter where you are going. My copy has a broken spine, and seems to attract pine needles, campfire ash and the occasional postcard from a friend.

Black Mesa Poems — Jimmy Santiago Baca

More poetry — my summers require that I pack light, which means I often choose books I will want to return to over and over again. And because, unfortunately, this name is lesser known beyond these parts, a line from a poem (titled, “What Could Have Been and What is) to tempt you: “Had I not become a poet, I would have been a bandit in the mountains, her eyes say.”

The Stars — H.A. Rey

Because the summer sky is like none other. I always say I’m going to learn more about what appears as the evening turns from blue to black, but I rarely do. This is a book I remember from my childhood — a sea-faring (and far more sky-knowledgeable) friend and I purchased copies for ourselves 5 years ago as inspiration to be able to do more than ooh and ahh.

4. Any knitting books you care to share?

Reading? Not so much. Drooling over for inspiration? Yes indeed. Current favorites? Knitalong, by Larissa and Martin Brown, and Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush are the ones I was flipping through last night…

I gather that I’m supposed to tag more folks — and as I like reading suggestions, here are my three: Mick at Much Adored, Macoco at Craft Pirate and Mel at Pipe Dreams and Purling Plans.

Happy Friday!