i heart patch pockets.

Of course, they are harder to see when Boh gets in the way of my photo shoot.

There. That’s better. Because I shortened the cardigan, I decided to shorten the pockets, so I only did a few rows of the double garter instead of the full edging. I’m hoping I can seam these well enough to make these pockets look as lovely as I know they can.

I ripped out the wonky cuff and reknit it — can you tell? Unfortunately, I realized that I must have done a few extra decreases that I didn’t write down, because the first sleeve fits well, and the second sleeve feels a little bit loose. It is possible that I will rip out and reknit the lower portion of sleeve number two…sigh. I should’ve been better about taking notes about my modifications. Good thing I’ve got plenty of yarn, especially now that I’m not knitting the hood. Ripping out the wonky cuff meant cutting my knitting, as the alpaca yarn is very sticky, and the garter rib is tight. These factors combined to form lots of knots. It wasn’t until I ripped back to the regular stockinette that I could just tug and unravel.

Good thing I heart those patch pockets. (And really, I heart this sweater. Which is good, because that double garter border is going to be a pain in the ass to knit.) You know what else I heart?

Grilled cheese. Especially with black olives and arugula. And a mug of tea. Okay, back to Tuesday. I’m spending the morning getting the house ready for a dear friend who will be back in town for a conference on campus this weekend. Boh and I are very excited that she’s staying with us!

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break out the alpaca.

Also known as the answer to evening and early morning temperatures in the 40s. Fall is here, and to celebrate, I’ve been working on my Kerrera. I finished the second sleeve this week, and aside from realizing that I did something wonky on the first sleeve and should probably rip back the double garter on that one and do it again, I’m pretty happy with how it is coming along.

Can you see that the sleeve on the right in this photo has a shorter cuff than the one on the left? I can, so I’ll probably attempt to fix that. Here’s a side/back view:

Something I noticed while snapping these pictures: this sweater is pretty heavy, and the drapey gauge I’m knitting it at isn’t necessarily helping. To counter this — and to increase my chances of actually finishing this before another winter goes by — I decided to look for alternatives to the large hood. I found this version by ravelry user belletrism, and I really like the wide collar. I knit the first few hood increases and finished off with some double garter. What do you think?

I really like it, and I think it will be cozy and floppy once I knit the double garter band along the fronts and the outer edges of this collar. I am a little worried about the sizing, as the weight may cause this to really stretch out as I wear it, so I’m already thinking about tossing this in the dryer after I block it (and it dries completely) to snug everything up a bit. I’m nervous about the idea, but I’ve read that a lot of people do this with handknits. Do you?

I hope you all have a fabulous, cozy Sunday. If I can get everything prepped for my class tomorrow, I’ll be spending my afternoon curled up on the couch with Boh and my Kerrera!

word count rewards.

I managed to transcribe a bunch of research photos and write 500 words, so when I got home from the coffee shop, I gathered up my sweet dog and a tasty beverage and headed to the dock. (Oh, and the latte and the brownie I enjoyed at the coffee shop? Those weren’t rewards. I call those “motivation.”)

It was a beautiful afternoon, and it felt like summer: at least 75 and sunny, with just the faintest hint of a breeze off the lake.

Sorry, Boh. You have to actually do the writing to enjoy the reward. I’m realizing this week that it feels good to just focus on one big thing, rather than the pile of tasks on my to-do list. I will need to start easing myself back into grading and prepping for Monday’s class soon, but for now, this glorious weather and the chance to get some of my own work done is really nice.

I was slow to leave the house yesterday, in part because I wanted to make something tasty in my new pot. After flipping through several cookbooks on my shelf, I settled on a recipe for a curry root vegetable stew with dumplings from Amanda Hesser’s huge New York Times cookbook. This is actually the first thing from this cookbook I’ve made — and I can’t wait to go back.

This came together really quickly, and the dumplings were hearty without being heavy. Plus, I got to use up some of my root veggie stockpile. And all I needed to do was heat it up again for dinner after hanging out by the lake with Boh. Win/win.

I’ll definitely make this again. Oh! And I even did some knitting yesterday. Check out my sleeve progress on Kerrera:

I added more decreases, working my way down to the smallest sleeve circumference for a slightly narrower fit, and shortened the sleeves by about 15 rows, as I want to make sure they aren’t super long after blocking. This morning I began the fancy double garter st cuff. More of that if I get a good chunk of work done today…

swoon.

Meet the newest addition to my kitchen: a beautiful turquoise-y blue 7 1/4 quart Le Creuset french oven. This arrived yesterday, an overwhelmingly kind birthday gift from my dearest friend, in celebration of my 30th birthday. I was so excited that I cooked my dinner in it, even though I didn’t really need quite so big a pot for this particular meal.

I made Deb’s garlic butter roasted mushrooms, and oh-my-goodness were they delicious. I can’t wait to make something else in my new pot today!

My WIP sorting a few days ago led me to pick up my Kerrera again, after months (maybe even a year?) away. I’d stopped after working the body and joining the shoulder seams. The next step was a short-row sleeve cap and the sleeves. I was a little nervous about the short rows, but the instructions for handling the W+T and the wraps on the following rows are very clear in this pattern, and that helped a lot. Now I’m working on the straight portion of the sleeve!

It feels fully like spring or early summer here, so even if I work diligently on this, I probably won’t get to wear it until fall, but that’s okay. It seems I’m always knitting out of season!

I’ve been enjoying my spring CSA greens every which way: on a sandwich with sprouts, under a fried egg, over rice — I can’t get enough.

And here’s a sweet shot of Boh, cuddling on the couch. He’s such a good boy. Alright, time to make a plan for the day. (I’m hoping I’ll get enough writing done that Boh and I can fit in a long walk.)

umm, yarn alert.

Two things:

And

Right.

So, the first picture is Peace Fleece, from kpixie. Over the weekend, while browsing through other people’s queues on Ravelry, I saw 28thirty, by the Zephyr girls, and the pattern and this yarn became an irrational need. In order to get the colorway I wanted (grass roots), I had to purchase a kit for the Everyday Cardigan — so now I already have the buttons and I’m sure I’ll use this pattern one day.

The second picture is from the WEBS Anniversary Sale — I am quite proud of the restraint I exercised with this order. (Give me a minute to explain.) This box is overflowing with yarn already intended to become gifts: enough Cascade 220 to make three more pinwheel blankets for weddings (though eventually I want one), two sets of 2 skeins of Berrocco Ultra Alpaca in manly colors, to become scarves for professors who wrote reference letters for me and provided guidance and advice during the application process, and then a bag of Ultra Alpaca in the colorway Yucca Mix, intended to become a cardigan that I hope will replace a commercial one that gets serious wear in my clothing rotation. All this, averaging under 6 dollars a skein!

That, my friends (in addition to my existing stash), should keep me plenty busy.

I am traveling for a mixture of work and play this weekend into next week — bringing the computer, camera and some knitting, so blogging may occur, but if not, don’t worry. No need to call in the cavalry!

Have a great weekend!