on a joyride.

I’m a couple of repeats into Joyride, this fabulous testknit beret by foxflat. I was initially worried that the colors would be a little bit too busy for the pattern, but so far I like the way it looks! The lace repeat holds my interest without requiring my undivided attention, which is just what I need this week! (All of my knitting seems to be taking place during lecture.)

And then there’s this guy. I rolled over this morning after my alarm went off, and this is what I encountered: Boh, fast asleep, his head on the pillow. Sweetness.


(almost) FO: ripe bananas lap blanket.

I say almost because I haven’t blocked this or woven in any of the ends. But I bound off yesterday while taking a break from this paper, and I am in love. I decided to go with a slightly browner shade of grey for the border because the center color seemed a bit too bright next to the red, yellow and brown handspun.  Boh is shedding right now, and the kitchen table was covered with stuff yesterday, so I couldn’t find a good spot to photograph the blanket in full-on square form. I’ll do that soon, so you can see what it looks like unfolded. Thanks to Cosy for a great pattern (coming soon!) and for her knitting advice and support. This rooster can now read a chart written for a round project (yay!) and experienced the bliss of really getting into a lace pattern.

Oh, right. The details: Ripe bananas lap blanket, by Cosy, pattern forthcoming. (I used the pattern as written, save a few purl rows, which I omitted at a few of the yarn transitions.) I used US 7 needles, and a mixture of yarns,  including Brown Sheep Top of the Lamb worsted, handspun targhee (fiber from AVFKW), handspun CVM (fiber from Cosy), handspun shetland singles (fiber from AVFKW), Cascade 220 heathers in a rusty red, handspun corriedale (fiber from Spunky Eclectic), and Cascade Ecowool. The finished size, which I know you can’t see, is a substantial lap blanket — perfect for curling up under while reading for my comprehensive exams.

Happy weekend, folks. Back to writing!


(Nope, not talking about the applesauce! I’m only halfway through the bushel.)

I walked into the university bookstore on my way to lecture yesterday to grab a few more brightly colored pens, in anticipation of the scribbling I’ll be doing as I revise my own work this weekend and the pile of papers my students will be turning in on Monday. On my way in, Plenty, by Diana Henry, caught my eye. I picked it up, and after flipping through it, I walked all the way around the table it was on in order to find the other copies. When I wasn’t able to locate them, I decided that I just couldn’t bear to put this copy down, and so it came home with me.

I don’t think I’ve ever taken pictures of the inside of a cookbook before, but this book is gorgeous. Thick paper, saturated colors, beautifully-staged photography, mouth-watering recipes — all aimed at the “home cook.” (That’s me!) This cookbook contains a nice range of meat and veggie options, with lots of discussion about leftovers. This is a cookbook about eating and living well while being conscious of the politics of growing, preparing, and eating food. I’m a mostly-vegetarian cook because I can’t always source (or afford) the kind of meat I am comfortable eating — meat from animals raised kindly and locally, on farms that care about long term ecological health. Diana Henry provides advice for a cook with my politics, and offers an impressive number of recipes for “less popular” cuts of meat — the kind that maybe someone like me can afford from a local farmer. She thinks about refrigerator continuity — a weekend roast that serves as the base for several other possibilities later in the week.

Can you tell I’m excited about this book?

I am also incredibly excited about this blanket — so much so that I’d like to submit it instead of the paper I’m revising to my department for consideration. (Too bad that’s not really an option.) I’m working on the last section of the blanket before the border, and I cannot wait to curl up with this on the couch. Hopefully I’ll have some FOs around here soon, in both written and knitted form…


still ripening.

As you can see, I’m making good progress on my ripe bananas lap blanket. (I’m aiming to finish it this weekend!) I wrapped up the lace section with the red and taupe shetland singles, and then switched to some Cascade 220 in a heathered, rusty red to keep the darkening gradient going. (In case anyone is wondering, 1.4 oz of Cascade 220 is pretty much exactly how much yarn you need to knit 1.5 inches of this blanket on 7s when the stitch count is in the 450 st range and increasing. Phew!)

Next up, more handspun. As soon as I get this Spunky Club corriedale in the New Day colorway wound into a ball, I’ll be on my way.

And here are the veggies I roasted for dinner last night: potatoes, fennel, and beets, all from the farm. Yum.

ripening bananas.

Here you can see the darker orange handspun I transitioned to when I headed back to the beginning of the lace chart. (This is actually CVM farm wool, purchased from Cosy, so of course it had to go into my testknit of her fabulous ripe bananas lap blanket pattern.)

And here’s the blanket with about eight rows of lace and increases to go. I wasn’t sure how far I’d be able to knit with the orange CVM farm wool, and as you can see, I finished a row with about 5 yards left — perhaps not enough to get all the way around again. So I went back to the pile of handspun I set aside for this project, and wound a smallish skein of shetland singles in reds and taupes into a ball. I think this will be perfect for the rest of the lace section, and it will complete the lighter to darker gradient I’m going for.

I am planning to knit knit knit on this over the weekend!


Yep. That was the problem. I accidentally yarn-overed at the start of a lace row, when I wasn’t supposed to. And then, in my uncaffeinated stupor, I proceeded to attempt to account for the fact that my stitch count was off, all the way through each section. I know better than to do that, at least when I’ve had my coffee.

I realize that to the untrained eye, these pictures look pretty much like what I posted yesterday. The knitter, however, will notice a key difference: yesterday’s photo has lots of extra yarn in it, suggesting the un-knitting that has just occurred; today’s photos have no such excess yardage, suggesting that things are moving along as intended. And they are. I re-knit the offending row — AFTER a full cup of coffee.

And now I’m off to campus. But since it’s Friday, I’ll leave you with a dose of sweetness:

I thought Friday would never get here. Happy weekend!

repeat after me.

I will not knit anything that isn’t garter or stockinette before finishing my first cup of coffee. I will not knit anything that isn’t garter or stockinette before finishing my first cup of coffee. I will not knit anything that isn’t garter or stockinette before finishing my first cup of coffee. I will not knit anything that isn’t garter or stockinette before finishing my first cup of coffee. I will not knit anything that isn’t garter or stockinette before finishing my first cup of coffee. I will not knit anything that isn’t garter or stockinette before finishing my first cup of coffee. I will not knit anything that isn’t garter or stockinette before finishing my first cup of coffee. I will not knit anything that isn’t garter or stockinette before finishing my first cup of coffee. I will not knit anything that isn’t garter or stockinette before finishing my first cup of coffee. I will not knit…

Sigh. I’ve been un-knitting this morning for almost twice as long as I knit. And I know better. Is it Friday yet?

happy lace.

Isn’t it, though? Last night I proctored a prelim. I brought reading to do, but I was up and down to answer questions every ten minutes or so, and just couldn’t focus on my work. Luckily, I had tucked the lap blanket I’m test-knitting for Cosy into my bag, and as the students worked, I got through another repeat or two. I love the slight variegation in this orangey handspun.

Also, I wore my garter yoke cardigan on Wednesday, and snapped a photo before dashing off to lecture. There’s something not-quite-right with the fit/style of this for me. I think the sleeves are a bit too wide to be 3/4 length, and buttoned up, I feel sort of matronly. (This might just have to do with the fact that I spend most of my time on a college campus.) Anyway, I decided to wear it over a super bright mustard-yellow shirt, and I think that worked. Thus concludes this edition of “knits-in-action.”

I’m off to the land of my bright college years for the weekend. Not looking forward to the drive, but so happy that it is finally Friday.

just what i needed.

That song by The Cars always makes me smile. Back in 2004, I found myself road-tripping across the country with a new colleague, en route to our new jobs as part of a youth voting initiative. Things that stand out from the drive? My first experiences with ‘driving’ stick (think me doing the driving, and my friend P. doing the shifting), and a lot of time spent trying to figure out what The Cars are actually saying after the line, “I guess you’re just what I needed.”

“I needed someone to –eed.” (The answer is that it alternates: feed and bleed.)

Anyway, I bring all of this up because Mary, a ravelry friend of mine, seemed to know just what I needed this week:

On Thursday, I returned home from campus to discover that she’d gifted me the pattern for Terra, a gorgeous shawl by Jared Flood designed to highlight his new yarn line, SHELTER.

After making it through what I absolutely needed to get done this week, I came home yesterday and spent some time indulging in a little daydreaming about what yarn to use for this absolutely stunning shawl, and I settled on some seafoamy green, tweedy Peace Fleece. And I can’t wait to cast on.

Mary, this was just what I needed this week. Thank you.

I also finally got around to winding yarn for the next sections of my ripe bananas lap blanket testknit (say that five times fast). Note that one of these balls is hand-wound — I think it took me awhile to get the rhythm of the niddy-noddy down, and some of my early skeins are twisted. I did some intense handspun wrangling to get all of this untangled and into a tidy ball. This kind of mindless task was also what I needed yesterday. So it’s cool.

Lastly, another action shot of my textured shawl recipe shawl. I do wish it was a little bigger, but it really is perfect for when I just need a little extra warmth on my walk to campus in the morning.

Alright, time to earn some more knitting and outside time by finishing off another book in the pile. Happy weekend!


I followed your excellent advice, and thus, victory is mine. I located some leftover yarn, ripped back four or five rows, picked up the stitches, and re-knit the very top of the cuff. Because the needles I used the first time are otherwise occupied, I decided to use slightly larger dpns and just do a regular bind-off so that the cuff would match its partner.

Also, I finally managed to successfully cast on the baby blanket I am test-knitting for Cosy. I still haven’t decided which bit of handspun to use next, but I located some leftovers in a pale grey when I was digging for the yarn to do my sock repairs, and it seemed like the perfect shade for the blanket’s middle section. I had a bear of a time casting on — which I blame not at all on the pattern, but on the general fiddly-ness of casting on a small number of stitches on dpns to join in the round, and then managing a slew of markers in the early rows. I think I’m in the clear now, and I’m excited to keep increasing!

Time to pour the coffee and earn some knitting time by working through another book on the list. (Also, I’m bundled up in my Mara shawl and my legwarmers this morning. I love wrapping myself in handknits.)