delphiniums.

So pretty. Also, a crucially important step towards completing a big pile o’ grading. (I’m making progress.)

Boh is not helping.

An idea — too orange, right? I had to check the handspun pile. Thank you for all of your shawl and shrug ideas. Right now, I’m leaning towards making a deep pinky-coral colored Citron. And then after that, I’ll make one in handspun. Got any leads on a really good deep pink/coral color in lace or fingering weight yarn? You guys always have the answers.

Also, I found some time to spin up a second bobbin of this Hello Yarn targhee in Parritch. I really have missed my wheel. Alright, back to grading!

too cool for school?

sockswithchacos

I realize there is a serious debate raging out there in the universe about whether this is acceptable, but I do it all the time. I usually wear my Chacos with commercial wool hiking socks, but yesterday I decided to try it with hand-knit socks. It was a cool, grey but not rainy day, and it was so nice to be able to look down and admire my pretty socks!

handspunshawl1

handspun shawl2

I finished my shawl yesterday! I ended up using some leftover purple Araucania Nature Wool from my fad classic to lengthen it by a few rows and create a crisper edge.

handspun shawl3

The shawl isn’t huge, but it can wrap around my shoulders, though I think I’ll probably wear it more like a scarf. In order to get a bit more width, I soaked the shawl and pinned it out to block.

handspunshawl4block

handspun5macroblock

It should be dry this afternoon. I’ll say it again: these blocking squares are awesome.

hibiscusFO1

hibiscusFO2

Here is my very happy skein of AVFKW targhee in the hibiscus colorway. I spun up 3 oz., which yielded 240 yards of 2-ply in a dk weight. Targhee may be my favorite fiber to spin — I cannot get over how soft and squooshy this skein feels!

hibiscusFO3

On the list for today? A mixture of school (reading), life (a few groceries), and play (a long walk with Boh). Happy Friday, folks!

yarn in the sink.

Last night I stayed up late to finish plying my never-ending bobbins of targhee together. I wound it onto the niddy noddy, counted the strands, took a few pictures, and then placed it in a hot water bath with some soak wash. About 30 seconds later, I realized I was incredibly tired, and went about getting ready for bed: I straightened up the kitchen, took Boh out, put on my pajamas, etc. And then I went to brush my teeth, only to look down and realize that there was yarn in the sink. (I may have used a colorful word or two.) I stayed awake for another ten or fifteen minutes in order to give the yarn the bath it deserved, and then rolled it in a towel, snapped/thwacked a few times, and finally hung it to dry.

plied hibiscus

Here it is, pre-bath, nestled on one of my favorite (store bought) sweaters. This stuff is soooo soft, and it is almost dry. (I keep petting it whenever I am in the kitchen.)

leftovers hibiscus

Here’s what was leftover on one of the bobbins. This is one of my most consistent spins to date, so this massive imbalance on the bobbins indicates to me that it might be time to acquire a kitchen scale so that I can split my fiber more evenly, particularly as I start thinking about bigger spinning projects.

fluff fibers

Lastly, this came in the mail yesterday: 2 bumps of superwash merino from FLUFF fibers in the Beach Day and Jungle Flowers colorways. Yay!

still waking up.

goodmorningboh

It was hard to get up this morning, and I’m nowhere near full alertness. I’m mostly through my first cup of coffee (and will need a second). Boh has already given up, and is currently mid-snore.

hibiscus

I started plying the AVFKW targhee in hibiscus yesterday, and I’m hoping to finish this today so that I can get ready to do some sampling for my first sweater-spinning project!

sye shawl washed up

I snapped this picture while waiting for my french press to finish working its magic — seems I stopped knitting mid-row last night because I just had to get into bed. The colors are way off in this picture, as the shawl is resting on the arm of the couch underneath a very bright lamp, but I liked how it looked as I stumbled kitchenward to put water on for coffee this morning.

Things were a bit rushed yesterday, so I didn’t take any pictures of my farm share, but since I’ve been documenting my weekly haul here, I picked 4 quarts of raspberries and a quart of blackberries in the fields, and then picked up lettuce, a few pounds of heirloom yellow and purple carrots, cauliflower, hot peppers, red peppers, italian eggplant, bok choi, basil, and the last red tomato of the season.

Off to pour cup #2…

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.

simpleyeteffectiveblob

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!

walk/wool/work.

plain and simple 9in

Yesterday, thanks to a fairly productive Saturday, Boh and I were able to take a nice long walk down to a local preserve that also happens to house a big reservoir for New Home’s drinking water. As we walked and the wind rustled the leaves on the trees, I realized that it truly smelled like fall. We spent the rest of the day snoozing (Boh) and alternating between spinning, knitting, reading, and writing (me).

targheeoranges1

I started spinning this targhee — 3 oz. from AVFKW in the Hibiscus colorway.

targheeoranges2

I’m planning a 2-ply, and I’m hoping for enough yardage to do a densely knit pair of fingerless mitts (I think). Note the pooch asleep in the background.

bohasleepcouch1

bohasleepcouch2

It is so hard to be a dog.

norwegianskein1

Here’s the first skein of that norwegian top from Paradise Fibers: 156 yards of 2-ply, worsted weight, from 4 oz. of fiber. I love the sheen of the yarn and the depth of this grey.

norwegianskein2

This is not the softest skein on the planet, but it strikes me as workhorse yarn that would be great for hats and mittens. I’m interested to see what this will feel like knitted up.

How did it become Monday again? I may indulge in a little bit of knitting before I head to campus to face the universe…

it’s a lovely day.

targheeskein2

You may recall that the title of this blog post is also the name of this gorgeous melon-y colorway in Targhee from the Woolly Wonders Fiber Club at A Verb For Keeping Warm. I hung this to dry (on a hanger hooked on a planter-less planter chain over the sink) and headed north to my dear friend P’s farm. I returned to find this dry and ready to be skeined and admired. (It is currently sitting here right next to my computer so that I can pet it while I type…)

targheeskein1

targheeskein3

This is 327 yards of fingering weight yarn — 16 or 17 wpi. (I think I’m measuring this correctly — when I put a lot of tension on the yarn and wrap it tightly, I get 21 wpi, or solidly laceweight, which doesn’t seem right. When I do this gently, with just enough tension for the yarn to lay flat on the wpi tool, I get 16 or 17, and that makes more sense to me. Is that right?)

See my pretty wpi tool on a bed of targhee?

targhee wpi

I am really happy with this yarn — thanks for all of your encouraging comments. I’m having a lot of fun charting my progress with the wheel, and I’m glad you’re enjoying it too.

Now, about my weekend. I kept meaning to take some photographs of the gorgeous rows of arugula, pea shoots, flowering potato plants, a whole slew of onion varieties, garlic, tat soi, gourmet lettuces, mustard greens, broccoli, beets, spinach, chard, baby kale (and the list goes on), but the camera was inside, and I was outside. (There are also laying hens, broiler chickens, and piglets growing into pigs on the farm.) When I visited P. this fall, she was wrapping up a transitional growing year with a different CSA and working to prepare these fields for cultivation. We spent an afternoon at this land then, and it was absolutely incredible to see that picture in my head transformed into a thriving 3+ acres of veggies and livestock.

I helped wherever I could, harvesting some serious poundage of arugula (and eating handfuls in the field), cutting pea shoots, and bundling cilantro stems together for a Sunday farmers’ market. I love markets, and it was a lot of fun to see the experience from behind the table.

I hit the road on Monday morning laden with arugula, a braising mix of baby kale, red mustard, and chard, a couple dozen eggs from the hens, and pride and appreciation for P. — in my mind, she is doing something both incredible beautiful and critically important — connecting people to the food they eat by mindfully growing a sustainable, natural harvest.

I wish I could show you the land there, but all I managed to photograph is P’s home — a one-room hunting shack she re-floored and fitted with shelves, a loft, and her keen sense of style:

casadelpaige

casadelpaige2

I saw this place when it was first delivered to the farm, and P. has truly transformed a run-down refuge from bad weather into a magical haven for her few hours of sleep during harvest-time. (Up at 4:50 for morning chores.)

Next time (which will hopefully be another weekend this summer) I’ll take more pictures!