dashing through the snow.

We only have a few inches here, but since I’m trying to get into the holiday spirit and Boh and I are hopping in the car this afternoon to head to my parents’ house, I’m going with “dashing through the snow” today.

I’m also dashing through my knitting, or trying to. Here’s mom’s Multnomah shawl. I’m three repeats (of 11) through the lace section, and I can get through a repeat in about half an hour. I’m planning to crank through as many repeats as I can tonight, early tomorrow morning, and tomorrow night (as I’ll be AT my parents’ house) — okay, maybe the next morning too — and then try to surreptitiously block and wrap this. I’m still packing/planning, but I think I’m going to tuck my blocking mats into a tote bag and try to do this right. We’ll see…

Also, my brother isn’t coming home for Christmas this year — he has to work the day before and the day after, so it just didn’t make sense. I mailed him a little something this week, but I am behind on his knitted gift. With the academic calendar as crazy as it is in December, I really need every last minute between the end of the semester and Christmas Day to get everything done! (And this year, I totally prioritized new baby knitting, but I’m not sorry about that! I’ve been excited about his arrival for months!)

Anyway, in keeping with my plan to knit everyone (well, everyone who likes wool — see Multnomah shawl above) something out of handspun, I’m making my brother some mittens out of oatmeal bfl (the lighter stuff) and dark grey local jacob. I’m going to use the Alex’s Mittens pattern by Rebekkah Kerner (whose handspun is awesome, by the way). The pattern has a nice, full hand, which I really like.

What else am I bringing home? I’m going to cast on the Lacy Baktus, finally, out of my AVFKW A King’s Ransom handspun, and I’m also bringing my GYC cardigan so that I can finally sit down and sew on the buttons. And that’s it! I always bring way more knitting than I can ever complete whenever I go home, and while options are nice, I’m working on developing more reasonable expectations so that I’m not just lugging a lot of things back and forth unnecessarily.

This is a little something I got myself for Christmas — 2 bumps of FLUFF bfl in Turkey Two-Step. I decided that I am not bringing my wheel with me this week, which means it has never left my house, despite the fact that it folds and has a carry bag. I am, however, planning to spend a week at my parents’ house in January, and I think I might bring it then. This fiber will have to wait until next week!

Also, yesterday I made peanut brittle, from Deb’s recipe. (Of course.) I made two batches, and I must not have cooked the first batch on high enough heat, because it did not solidify, and I ended up having to toss it. It stayed chewy, like caramel, which would have been fine, except that it was impossible for me to get the wax paper (even though I greased it) off of this batch. Boo. Glad I made a second batch, though because this brittle is fantastic — crunchy without being too hard to bite into, sweet and salty, yum. I think this is the perfect treat to counter all the Christmas cookies I’ll be baking with my mom tonight!

“no licking library books.”

So now they are almost all on the table.

When I hear myself saying things like “Boh, no licking library books!” I realize that this dog and I really are kindred spirits. I spent a semester or two cataloguing acquisitions in my college library’s dungeon-like basement, and I think the experience solidified my love of the library smell: you know, that musty, secret, layered, hidden whiff of something you just have to learn more about that hits you as you walk through the stacks. Boh clearly likes the smell of old books, too. Which is a good thing, because we’re surrounded by them.

My mom’s Multnomah shawl has entered blob stage, and I think the SWTC bamboo is knitting up beautifully. I’m a few rows from beginning the feather and fan lace, according to the pattern, but I think I might just keep increasing until it feels substantial enough — maybe until I get to the second ball of yarn.

Back to the kitchen table, once I make room for my laptop.

two weeks?

This is the beginning of Multnomah, a gorgeous garter and feather and fan shawl that I intend to make for myself someday. This version, though, is for my mom, and as she has some kind of wool sensitivity or allergy, I’m knitting it out of SWTC bamboo. This stuff is so shiny and drapey — perfect for a shawl. I’m just hoping I can get this knitted by Christmas Eve!

Also, thanks for all of your comments and emails about productivity — I made some good progress yesterday, and I finally have a better idea of where this project is going, at least for now.

I did want to clarify that I quite enjoy the organizational parts of writing: gathering books, making notes, arranging and rearranging, both physically and on the screen… For me, the pretend part is when I allow myself to stay comfortably in this category of organizational/planning tasks in order to avoid dealing with the central questions I haven’t quite figured out how to address in whatever it is I’m working on. I think sometimes I use this as a sort of mental crutch — and now that I write that down, I realize it sounds pretty nerdy. Organization is my crutch! (Would it sound cooler and more writerly if I added: “and whiskey” to that?)

Back to it!