heels and a hap.

Crazy, right? I tend to always vote for sensible over sexy in the shoe department, but I’m attending wedding #4 (of 8 this year) next weekend, and I realized that I do not have non-summery shoes suitable for black-tie-optional affairs. (And, you know, teaching. I’m teaching a course I designed this spring, and I figure that being the “instructor of record” might warrant tall shoes. It could also be that I am missing M., a friend currently traveling the back roads of the deep South for research. She wears tall shoes.)

Anyway, I ordered two pairs, and decided to keep them both. Here’s the first pair. I actually wore these to the coffee shop earlier this week to “practice.” No wipe-outs. And I feel awesome in these shoes. (Years ago I would have shied away from shoes like this, both for practical — a broken toe from my rugby days — and political — as affirming certain cultural ideas about prettiness/beauty — reasons. The toe has healed, though, and while my politics are perhaps more radical and feminist than ever, they’re also more nuanced.)

So, I love them. And while they aren’t the most comfortable shoes I own (hello, flip-flops), they’re for me, and nobody else, and I think they’ll give me that extra boost of confidence I’m realizing I need to attend so many weddings this year by myself.

Speaking of which, also on the wedding to-do list was to decide on a gift. Ages ago I thought I’d knit a pinwheel blanket, which seems to be my go-to wedding gift knit, but when the time came to cast on (okay, really the time should have come a few weeks ago), I just wasn’t feeling inspired. I really like the idea of giving a lap blanket because it is cozy (perhaps cozy enough for two — and certainly cozy enough for two newlyweds) and not super gender-specific. This next wedding is the wedding of one of my best guy friends from college, so I want to knit something that feels like it is for him (though I also really like the woman he is marrying, and think they are a great fit).

After a lot of digging around ravelry, I settled on the Hap Blanket, by Ysolda Teague. I’m using two greens — a greyish green heather, and a deeper olive/army green for the contrast color, both in Cascade 220. I’m following some super thoughtful mods I located on a few projects: provisional cast-on, and revised numbers for worsted weight yarn. I don’t think I’ll have this done in time for the wedding, but I’ll bring it to knit on the plane, and then I can send it to the bride and groom shortly afterwards. (They’re getting married not where they live, so I feel like sending it to them at home is best.)

I love squishy garter stitch. So cozy and warm and home-y. Other things that fit this description?

Garlicky chard and toast. Also, this guy:

Yep. I love this dog. Boh and I are going to settle in for an evening of knitting on the couch. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Advertisements

pie.

Strawberry-rhubarb-basil. It could have used a little bit of sugar, as the rhubarb was very tart, but it was bright and fresh-tasting, and the basil even seemed to sweeten it a little!

Oatmeal-pecan. Pie you can eat for breakfast. You know, because of the oatmeal. (I’m baking pies for a friend’s wedding next month, so I’ve been baking and eating more pie in order to help her make some important decisions about fillings and crusts. Tough life, I know.)

Also, here’s some stuff that isn’t pie:

Dogs and books. And me. All in a big pile.

Tango, in a rare contemplative moment.

Remember what I was saying about kitchen mojo? This has been a go-to for me this summer, in part because mojo is not required. Also, the gratification is immediate. Which I like. I have been eating this on Tuesdays. And other days, too, but especially Tuesdays. I get home from the farm, slice into my weekly bread share loaf, cut up a tomato, a hot pepper, and find some cheese in the fridge. I turn on the broiler. I sliver some basil. I pile all that stuff on the toast (this week it is a rye with caraway seeds encrusted on the outside), slide it under the broiler, and wait less than five minutes, until the toast is dark around the edges and the cheese is bubbling and starting to brown. Then I take it out and make myself go in the other room, or take out the compost, or do something to not eat this right away, because I will burn my mouth. And then I take my broiled tomato toast to the porch to enjoy. Summer food, at its finest.

It is rainy this morning, and I have a hankering for knitting with handspun. Boh and I are headed to a family wedding this weekend, and amidst the packing (so much harder to throw stuff in a bag and go when you have to look pretty where you’re going) I’m hoping to find time to wind up some squishy comfort yarn. The grey, rainy morning might have something to do with that. Happy weekend!

jam/toast.

Friday morning, tomato jam and goat cheese on toast. This was exactly what I needed to start the last day of the (school) week. The jam is very sweet at first, and then the flavors smooth out a bit and there is a nice kick (from the chili flakes) at the end of a bite. I was concerned about the consistency of the jam — seemed a bit loose to me — but this was well within the range of the jam category, though I spread it with a spoon instead of a knife. I’ve been reading a bunch of food blogs that focus on preserving, and I’ve seen some discussion about how flavors mellow and meld as canned food sits on the shelf. Or in the fridge. This makes sense — the last jar of my summer 2009 dilly beans were different than the earlier jars. And some meals that are just alright as dinner are incredible as leftovers.

So I like this! It appeals to my love of savory breakfast food, and I’m interested to see if the flavors in this jam mellow over the next few weeks (for the jar in the fridge) and months (for the jars stacked on the shelf). My next plan is to slather this stuff on grilled cheese, and to think about using it as a sweet/spicy homemade alternative to ketchup (and someday, I’ll try my hand at making my own ketchup!).

Also, Friday morning it was chilly enough for a fleece vest and my handspun (knitted) toast. (I swear I wasn’t thinking about blog post content when I both ate jam on toast and then put on a pair of toast. But it works, doesn’t it? Silly rooster.)

Speaking of silliness, somehow the boy managed to get Boh perched on a chair. And then Boh serenely gazed out the window.

On Friday night, after a long week, we curled up and watched a movie, which meant that I finally picked up my idlewood. I am super close to separating the sleeves from the yoke. And I am super excited about this sweater.

Also, remember all that produce I posted about? Stay tuned for a whole slew of kitchen adventures…

pesto makes everything better.

I made a jar of homemade pesto on Tuesday morning, and yesterday, as soon as I had finished ripping out my ishbel and posting the sad photos here, I made a beeline for the stuff. Pesto makes everything better.

Boh and I took a nice, slow walk yesterday morning — extra slow, because this rooster pulled a hamstring in last weekend’s soccer match. Boh waited patiently while I photographed neighborhood flowers with my phone. Aren’t they lovely?

When I look at this photo I hear: “Now wait just a minute young lady…”

And this one! What a ham! Thank goodness for a decent camera phone.

And now, since this purports to be a knitting blog, I give you my citron. I’m in the middle of section 4, and I’m planning to add a few more sections to make a more substantial shawl. I spent a few hours on this last night while catching up on podcasts, and fell in love with it all over again. I intend to work only on this and the pinwheel for the next week, in hopes that I’ll finish both in time for the wedding. I’m counting on Boh to keep me on track.

for chunk.

(He has a real name now, but I sort of prefer Chunk, at least for this post. After all, he was known to the world as Chunk while I was spinning and knitting for him!)

This is based on the Pebble vest — and many of the modifications I found on Ravelry. I decided to knit this in the round and eliminate the side buttons. I must have cast on 4 times, each time decreasing the number of stitches in order to arrive at something that looked appropriate for a newborn but would also offer some room for growth. (I may have more details scribbled on the pattern I printed out, but I’m at my parents’ house now and don’t have those handy.)

I looked at a lot of different baby hats to get a sense for the number of stitches to cast on, and then used the Thorpe pattern as a guide. I used every last scrap of that FLUFF superwash merino handspun in Beach Day to finish binding off the hat. Whew!

I also wanted to make something soft and cozy for Chunk’s mom, A, so I got out the leftovers from two of the seaman’s caps I knit this fall and crossed my fingers that there would be enough yarn to make a pair of toast mitts. The handspun makes the gauge and color changes a bit wonky, but these are supersoft, and exactly the kind of thing I wanted to tuck into this package. These treats arrived in the Southwest on Wednesday, and I cannot wait to see how handsome Chunk looks in his new handspun duds.

Also — I’ve taken a bit of a digital vacation these last few days, so my apologies in advance if I don’t manage to motivate myself to take some finished photos of my mom’s Multnomah. I think I managed 5 repeats of the feather and fan lace. I’m quite pleased with how it turned out, even though I had to wrap it at 11 pm on Christmas Eve. I’ll be back to see my parents in January, and I’m intending to give it a good blocking then.

Boh and I are heading back to our bright green kitchen in the morning — more soon!

FO: handspun toast mitts.

five plum pie mitts FO1

five plum pie mitts FO3

These practically flew off the needles this weekend! I started with the toast/toasty pattern as a guide, and then decided on a thumb-hole, rather than the no-thumb or tip-less thumb options in the pattern. I love the look of a full thumb on fingerless mitts, but it always seems to impact their functionality for me: the thumb never fits quite right, and it seems to require that I take the mitts on and off a lot more to keep from spilling things on the thumb section. (Does that make sense?)

five plum pie mitts FO2

I used the 34 st cast on called for in the pattern, with size 6 needles, and made a 4 st thumb-hole. I’m wearing these as I type this morning, and I adore them.

thylacine fiber

Also, the last bit of my fiber splurge arrived yesterday: 2 braids of grey merino dyed with gorgeous shades of reddish orange from the thylacine on etsy. It is an overcast morning, and this picture does not even come close to doing this fiber justice. It is absolutely stunning, and I can’t wait to see how it spins up.

Enjoy the last weekend of summer!