happily, predictably…

10nov09

The cold weather has returned, and with it, a little bit of knitting mojo. Wrapped in my Mara shawl and with my Terra on my lap, I finally finished my Snowbird cardigan. All that remained was an inch of one pocket, sewing the pocket linings, and weaving in the ends. It took a couple of hours (and several podcasts), but I did it. Here’s a pre-blocking shot:

10nov10

(Forgive my bleary eyes and pjs.)

10nov11

And here it is, blocking on the dining room table. The sleeves fit perfectly, but the body is a bit loose. Shouldn’t matter too much because it is an open cardigan, but depending on how it fits when it is dry, I might (gasp) toss it in the dryer to snug it up a bit. Stay tuned.

10nov12

It felt so good to be knitting that I even managed a couple of repeats on my Bristol hat. (Funny how that happens when the deadlines feel overwhelming. I’ve got a conference paper, a talk, a job application, and some dissertation chapters that need finishing on my plate right now…)

Want to see what else has been going on around here this week?

10nov02

No idea what’s going on in this picture. (And please, disregard the newsprint filled with dissertation-related list-making on the wall behind him.)

10nov05

Last bare-legged day of the season, I’m guessing. (These boots are in terrible shape, but I can’t bring myself to retire them…)

10nov03

An impromptu dinner party on Monday night, complete with butternut squash galette.

10nov01

Glorious sunlight on the good walk we’ve been aiming to take at least once a week.

10nov06

Boh, not at all interested in the epic waterfall behind him.

10nov07

One of us will not be mistaken for a deer.

10nov04

Tuckered out. I woke up yesterday to find Boh with his head on the pillow next to me. Silly, silly dog.

10nov08

One more bit of silliness: sharks surround Manhattan. Just a little bit of Friday night fun with sharks from M’s sharknado Halloween costume…

Hope you’re all well. I still haven’t found a solution to my Feedly problem, and it feels so strange to be blogging while I feel so behind on all of your adventures. Forgive me. And happy knitting!

FO(s): lucy socks and shaking leaves handspun.

First, thank you all for your kind blogiversary comments. I can’t believe it has been four years, and I hope I’m still finding joy in this space four years from now.

Yesterday I finished my Lucy handspun socks. I had a lot going on this week, and it shows in these socks: one of them seems a bit tighter than the other. I’m sure with a bit of wear the snug sock will loosen up. I’m fascinated by the way my emotions find their way into my knitting, by the physical (and often, subconscious) expression of things often kept inside, and by the porousness of boundaries. Stress in one area leads to tighter stitches in another. So it goes.

Also, I love these socks. So much. (And for future reference, they were 64 stitch socks, loosely based on the deeper heel flap option of the Knitmore Girls Vanilla Sock.) I did a less than perfect job of splitting my yarn, and I bet I could have added another inch to the leg of each sock. I tucked the leftovers into a bag of lots of colorful handspun bits and pieces. Looking forward to doing something fun with those.

Speaking of handspun, this gorgeous stuff has been patiently awaiting FO photos and a blog post. It is Hello Yarn Finn in the Shaking Leaves colorway, and I spun it as a 2-ply squishy worsted. I’m not sure what this wants to be: a hat? a squishy, simple cowl? It has been sitting here on the coffee table so long that I accidentally recycled the envelope I used to make my notes on the yardage. I think I’ve got somewhere between 140 and 180 yards.

Also, it has become fully fall here, which means I’ve been wearing my handknits. See?

The unfancy socks and terra. At the same time. Life is good.

Today, after a bit of reading, I’m picking up my dear friend H. and her son, and we’re heading to the orchard for cider doughnuts and maybe some apple picking. Later, I’ll be packing, as my last scheduled research trip starts tomorrow — back next weekend. I’m bringing both knitting and handknits with me, so I’ll aim to at least document them both in the wild.

another stripe.

Still here, still knitting! I didn’t mean to disappear this week. I was just waiting until my stripe study shawl “looked” bigger. As the shawl grows, each stripe takes longer. I’m not convinced that I’m doing the increases at the off-center center correctly, because the point of the dark stripes looks a little wonky. I wonder if a less open increase, like a kfb, might help with that. (Because I’m totally going to knit this again. And again.)

I’ll leave you with some visuals that demonstrate to me that spring is almost here:

Me, last week — wrapped in my terra shawl, a warm sweater, long underwear, and warm house boots.

Me, yesterday: in a lightweight shawl, a floral print, and pink! As I type this, the sky is clear and the birds are chirping. I’m headed back to the library as soon as it opens, but first, Boh and I are going to take a nice walk. Happy weekend!

new chairs.

Craigslist victory! Now, where to put them?

Someday, these might be on the porch of that lake house.

A mixture of veggies on the stove. These colors make me happy.

Terra helped me grade 40+ response papers last night and this morning.

I turned the heel of the first of two long-neglected plain and simple socks. It helped with Monday.

Back to the chairs. I love them. In fact, I might sit in one while I read tonight’s book…

 

(almost) FO: terra.

Excuse the crappy late-night photos. (And the pjs.) I finished the sewn bind off on terra last night, and immediately draped myself in it. And when I woke up this morning, I wrapped it around my shoulders and made the coffee. Today was not the best of Mondays. Terra helped. And is helping, in just the way that handknits can.

There’s granola in the oven. And I might eat some for dinner. After that, I’m going to curl up with Boh (and terra) and prepare for Tuesday.

EZ’s sewn bind off.

Alright, you’ve got me. I might have finished knitting my terra shawl instead of a book on the Gilded Age last night. I’m going to finish that book this morning. Really.

I’m not going to lie; all the way through the knitting, I had been thinking that there was no way I was going to do a sewn bind off for the hundreds of stitches in the last row of this shawl. And then, last night, I shamed myself into it. Don’t you always say that you love the process of knitting? Don’t you like learning new techniques? You’ll think about not doing the special bind off when you wear it, won’t you? Yes, yes, maybe…

I’m so glad I listened to myself. And, well, Jared Flood, master of lace and all things EZ. The sewn bind off isn’t hard. In fact, it’s pretty rhythmic and relaxing. And it looks gorgeous — even and polished. The catch? It takes forever.

You’re looking at almost two hours worth of binding off, and I’m just past the halfway point. (Granted, it will go faster as the tail of my working yarn gets shorter and shorter.)

Boh, as always, is humoring me. (Hey, this is what happens when you decide you don’t want to get off the couch so I can take a few pictures against a lighter backdrop.)

He has big plans for our Sunday: sleep, chase (his) tail, take a walk, practice his catching skills (he can now catch a tennis ball most of the time if I give him a nice underhand toss), sleep some more. Me? Back to the Gilded Age.

terra, tretorns, and everything in between.

Literally. See, I finally uploaded about thirty pictures from my camera, and they start with my progress on terra’s lace, and end with my new rain boots, acquired in a ridiculous end-of-winter clearance. Let the show and tell begin.

Terra. I’ve got less than ten rows remaining, but these are some loooong rows. I am so excited about this shawl, but it’s probably going to be mid-March before I finish it. And I’m okay with that.

Homemade pizza with local swiss chard that I picked, blanched, and froze at the end of fall. Making pizza for one means leftovers!

Idlewood in action. Again. This might be the most wearable sweater I’ve ever knit, and is part of the uniform I think I’m accidentally adopting. Part project fake-it-til-you-make-it, part I-really-hate-it-when-winter-slush-and-salt-soak-the-bottoms-of-my-jeans, I’m realizing that some combination of leggings, boots, shorter skirts or dresses and slouchy, layered sweaters seems to be what I’m wearing most days. Somehow it seems to fit with 29. I can’t explain it.

Boh has the right idea. Usually he gets up with me, but lately, as soon as I groan and turn off the alarm, he settles into some part of the warmth I’ve generated, and I get up to make the coffee. Cuteness.

Yes, that’s right. I received a valentine in the mail from dear friend E., and this is what I found when I opened the rather battered and clearly re-taped envelope. At least the candy thief opted to reseal and re-mail the envelope. The valentine is of course the part that matters to me, and the whole thing gave me a good laugh yesterday, which might have been just what I needed after a long day on campus. Plus, it gave me a great story to leave on E.’s voicemail.

Rubber rain boots. Necessary for spring. Also, for lake houses. (Yay!)

The madness of desk #2, above, is a good indication of how frazzled things are right now. I’m not sure about my posting frequency these next few months — I’ll be here, but there might be lots more of these disjointed “show and tell” style posts for awhile, and a little less knitting. And I’ve clearly been more than a little delinquent in the land of comments. I’m going to do my best, but I have no idea what I’ll have time and energy for. I’m planning to read until I can’t read anymore for the next six weeks, and then my exams begin. Let’s just agree that if all goes well, there will be lots more knitting, spinning, cooking, and blogging come May! Thanks for being here in the meantime.

twenty-nine.

Yesterday I turned twenty-nine. I’ve been thinking about this birthday a lot, and trying to come to terms with where I am in my life right now, versus where I might have loosely imagined I’d be when I turned twenty. I remember feeling anxious about twenty. I had just decided not to become a doctor, and so many things were unknown. It was exciting, but scary, too. And twenty, well, twenty marked the beginning of what then seemed like the decade that would determine so much of what my life would be: graduation, the start of a career, a family? The idea that this would be the decade for all of those things weighed heavily on me.

And now? Well, I have to admit, I thought I was beyond thinking about these kinds of expectations for myself, but this birthday has brought a lot of those thoughts back. Intellectually, I am quite comfortable saying out loud that I am happy with the decisions I’ve made, and the unexpected places they’ve taken me. Emotionally, though, I think it is okay to acknowledge that maybe I’m not where I thought I’d be at twenty-nine, at least in the non-academic parts of my life, and that I’m a little bit sad about that. And that’s okay. I no longer feel like my twenties will determine my future, and I have a much stronger sense of myself than I did at twenty.

So Boh and I celebrated quietly yesterday, with an extra-long frolic in the snow, and dumplings. This is the kind of meal I rarely prepare for myself — it is a lot of work for just me. But yesterday, I decided that I would give myself extra time in the kitchen, instead of putting something to simmer on the stove so that I could continue to read. (And I’ve got leftovers for tonight.) I’m sure I’ll do some celebrating with friends this weekend, but yesterday was what I needed. I crossed some things off of my to-do list, indulged a bit in the kitchen and outside, and knit a few more rows on my terra shawl.

Here’s to twenty-nine.

knits in the wild (and shh, don’t startle it — actual knitting progress).

Yesterday. (Garter yoke cardigan.)

Today. (Idlewood.)

I’m about a third of the way through the first lace chart of the edging for Terra. I cannot wait to wear this — maybe it has something to do with the snow that just keeps falling? (I’m not complaining. I love snow.) Hoping to knit a few rows after I finish today’s reading. Stay warm!