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!

two-quart/two-ply.

2qt

Midway through my dinner — a salad comprised of red lettuce, mustard greens, radishes, harukei turnips, tomatoes, avocado and a homemade vinaigrette, I realized (a)  that I was eating out of a 2-quart metal mixing bowl and (b) that I hadn’t even considered eating out of a cereal bowl.

Ridiculous — and completely awesome.

Something else completely awesome? This targhee 2-ply:

targhee2ply

targhee2ply2

The actual color is in between: not as pink as the first picture, but more vibrant and shiny than the second. It is amazing what light coming through the window will do to the same bobbin! If I’ve done my math right, we’re looking at 327 yards of 2-ply — no wonder it took almost twice the amount of time I had budgeted for plying this morning!

Time was budgeted because today Boh and I are heading to the north country to stay with my dear friend P. and help out in the land of CSA veggies, piglets, and farmers’ markets. We’d be on the road already if it weren’t for the plying that I absolutely HAD to do this morning — that way, the yarn will be dry by the time we return.  (Obsessed? Who, me?)

muffinsforroad

Baked some muffins for the road, washed and hung the yarn to dry, even vacuumed the spot usually occupied by Boh’s box. Time to hit the road! Have a great weekend.

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.)

stirfry1

stirfry2

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!

targheebobbin3

targhee bobbin2

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

stripesagain

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…

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!

skeined.

myrtleskein

Spunky Club Dark BFL in colorway myrtle, 4 oz.

183 yards of 3-ply, dk to light worsted (says my eye).

wpi: soon.

I caved and acquired a tool to measure this on etsy. I hope it will be here when I return from my parents’ house on Wednesday.

darkbflmyrtleFOcloseup

Yay! I’m thrilled with this. Now, what to do with it?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch:

targheeinprog

I couldn’t help but put something on my empty, forlorn-looking wheel. This is targhee from the Woolly Wonders Fiber Club at AVFKW. It is so smooth and shiney that even now, this photo is distracting me from my attempts at description. This is 3 oz of deep melon-y beauitfulness in the It’s a lovely day colorway. Although the Lendrum does fold and travel, I’m going to leave it here to await my return, mostly because I might ignore my family in order to keep spinning, and that would be poor form.

One more WIP today:

thujaturnedheel2

I turned the heel of the second thuja sock for my uncle last night, and am planning to work on it a bit more before Boh and I hop into the car. I will get these done in time to deliver them, I will get these done in time to deliver them, I will get these done in time to deliver them…