shake some action.

First of all, “Shake Some Action” by the Flamin’ Groovies is the first track on my not-yet-finished 2012 mix. I heard it on an NPR All Songs Considered podcast about opening tracks on albums this morning (though the episode was from June 2010). I’m glad I didn’t get to this until today, because there’s something about this song that is spot-on for me right now.

I’m doing end-of-the-year things today. I made my 2012 list for the fridge (above), and I finally got around to pulling all of the books off of all of the shelves and grouping them by theme — you know, so the books I need for work are in the office. When I unpacked, the goal was just to get everything out of boxes and onto shelves. And then I never got around to organizing them. Now that my books are spread out across several rooms, I need to be able to find them. Also, the water damage of earlier this fall has been fixed, which means I am finally ready to fully re-inhabit my office. I hung my DIY-ed frame cork board (which has been leaning against the wall in the guest room for 7 months) and cleaned up the piles. I’m so happy with this space.

I even tried to snap a self-portrait. Here’s the best one:

Last night I had a hard time falling asleep. I ended up getting out of bed, chopping off several handfuls of my hair, and taking a shower. Now I feel a bit more ready for the new year. (I think I’ve told you about this before, right? That I tend to cut my hair when I am feeling stressed, and that it helps? There’s so much I can’t control in the world, but my hair? I can fix that. My curls hide a multitude of sins/errors, making it possible for me to literally cut off hunks without too much worry. I don’t recommend this if you don’t have hair with similarly awesome camouflaging qualities…)

I also found some time to knit on my touch of mink socks. I love them. (Next time I’ll snap a picture while there’s still a bit of daylight. This shot doesn’t do the yarn justice.)

Tonight, Boh and I are off to hang out with dear friends of the human and animal variety. We’re planning to enjoy dessert, bourbon, and board games. I’m not sure we’ll make it to midnight, but I trust that the new year will arrive, even if I’m not awake to ring it in. Here’s to 2012 — I’m sure ready for a new year.

touch of mink.

That’s the name of this Plucky colorway. And I love it. I can’t believe this is my first time knitting with Sarah’s yarn. It’s awesome. (Thanks, Chris, for including it a prize package I won on your blog awhile back!) These are vanilla socks. I took the wound yarn cake with me on my research trip, cast on while waiting for my flight to depart, and then didn’t pick it up again until I was flying home. I hadn’t finished the ribbing by the time my plane landed, and since then, I’ve been knitting up a storm. (I’m turning the heel right now. Pictures of that tomorrow.) Anyway, despite showing up to my friends’ apartment with a 24-hour stomach bug, the trip was productive, fun, and energizing.

Last night I reheated one of the baguettes K. and I froze from our kitchen adventures this summer, and then cooked some komatsuna in olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. And then I knit some more.

Boh did this.

This might be my favorite picture from my trip, and fellow historians will understand why. I was looking at archival materials held in a place other than a formal archive — which meant I could keep my stuff nearby, and bring a latte to keep me company. Don’t worry — this picture is the closest that coffee ever came to that box of old stuff. After I snapped this picture, my lunch bag and my latte went to another table! I certainly understand why there are rules governing conduct in archives, and I am happy to follow them, as I like being able to look at stuff from a really long time ago. Days spent in archives, though, tend to be a little rough: I’m often strapped for time on these short research trips, and the rules mean I end up under-caffeinated, dehydrated, and hungry by the end of the day. It felt like a real treat to be able to fetch boxes myself, sip coffee at a safe distance from my materials, and interact with a wider range of people, by virtue of occupying space at a table in the middle of the office that was so kind to host me for a few days last week.

More (knitting) soon!

slow.

Do you have those days that seem to take forever to progress? Yesterday was that kind of day. I tried to fill the hours, but the time refused to pass.

All of that changed just before evening, when I ran into a friend on the street, finally started another book, met friends from out of town for a great dinner, relaxed with the dog, and (wait for it) chased our friend, the bat, out of my apartment with a broom around midnight.

cofeebydesk

An incredible lightning storm and the ruminations of my brain kept me up quite late last night, so the morning’s cup of coffee must again feature prominently in today’s post.

More glimpses of yesterday:

undergrowthprewash

undergrowthonboh

I finished spinning and plying the AVFKW falklands fiber in the silent undergrowth colorway, but I couldn’t capture the depth of the browns and greens with yesterday’s overcast sky (even with the change of background.) The skein is still hanging to dry — I’ll try again tomorrow.

vanillatoe2prog

worriedonbed

A bit more of the toe of my second vanilla sock, and a particularly concerned Boh. It must be Monday…

this and that.

I’m sitting here, coffee in hand, looking through the photos I took yesterday, and there is not much of a theme. It seems that I did a little bit of everything yesterday, so please excuse this post’s lack of focus.

First up, a few more pictures of the silk, which is now dry and in skein form. (Still no good rhymes for tussah, I’m afraid.)

silkskein4

silkskein3

silkskein2

Swoon.

Next, a few shots of Mara, blocked and dry. (Hmm, maybe there is a theme?)

marablocked1

marablocked3

marablocked2

It was incredibly hot and humid yesterday (see below photo of Boh), but I couldn’t help wrapping Mara around my shoulders and snapping a few pictures in my (dirty) mirror.

bohinsun

I also baked brownies:

brownies

Finished a vanilla sock:

halfavanillapair

Made some progress on my Milkweed Shawl:

milkweed prog

Oh, and tried crack, in the form of Crown Mountain Farms Superwash Merino. I’ve been hearing about this stuff on numerous podcasts (The Manic Purl, Gives Good Knit, and The Knitmore Girls), and after attaining a sock weight 3-ply yarn, I decided to go ahead and order a little bit to give it a try.

cmf1

Late last night, I told myself I would just split this lovely superwash merino in the Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds colorway nto 4 oz. chunks, and then divide one of those halves into 3 parts in preparation for spinning more 3-ply sock yarn.

cmfbob1

And then I sat down at the wheel.  This stuff is awesome.

That’s all I’ve got today. Happy Friday!

treadle, treadle, treadle.

cvm bob2

I could not stop spinning yesterday. I finished the second bobbin of this gorgeously rich cvm from cosy, and debated plying it right away. Instead, I set this bobbin aside to rest, and dug through my fiber stash.

jacob roving

This is 4 oz. of jacob wool from a farm just outside of town. I picked this up a few months ago at an LYS nearby. (I have the details somewhere in my fiber bin, but I would have to put down my coffee to look for it. Priorities.)

I’m not sure what I was expecting when I sat down to spin this, but oh_my_goodness. This fiber is incredibly soft, and however this was prepared (I’m still learning all my fiber preps/names) left a lot of air in the roving, which made this wool practically spin itself.

jacob first bob

And here’s the progress I made on the second bobbin(!) last night:

jacob bob2

It doesn’t look like I’m going to finish my KAL socks this month, and I think Boh might be okay with that.

bohlayoncouch

I’m interpreting this to mean that he understands that sometimes one has to spend the day (or the weekend) at the spinning wheel.

bohwithsockprog

Here’s my (our?) progress on the emerald city vanilla sock. I’m really getting the hang of the hiyahiya needle, and I’m finding that I can get more done (when I am not forgetting to knit because crazy things are happening on The Wire) because I do not have to look down to either pick up the other circ or rotate to the next dpn. Here’s a close up:

sockwithpaws

Happy weekend, all! I’m going to finish up this cup of coffee, pour another, and sit down at the wheel.

kip: kraut-in-progress.

picklingcrock

Exhibit A: 1 gallon pickling crock, acquired on ebay.

kraut-i-p

Exhibit B: Kraut-in-progress. (Note: this is not an exercise in instant gratification. While sauerkraut requires regular checking, skimming, etc., it takes several weeks to be ready to enjoy.) This is my first attempt at kraut, and I am so excited. I always LOVE kraut made by friends (including those pictured further on down the post), and can’t wait to have my very own supply.

treman falls

To celebrate being home, Boh and I met up with friends (of the animal and human variety) for a lovely hike through a local state park.

dogs at treman

We followed up the hike with ice cream, beer, homemade bread and fancy cheese. Not a bad Sunday afternoon, if you ask Boh. (I would agree.)

Finally time for a knitting update, don’t you think?

onhold ip

I must confess that I did not touch my on-hold socks while galavanting ‘cross the nation. Sorry, Boh. I knit a few more repeats this morning out of guilt, and the rows seemed to fly by. Have I mentioned yet that I love this yarn? And that I am actually enjoying reading the chart? I know I still have eleven days to finish the pair. In all of our recent travel and excitement, Boh seems to have forgotten about his supervisory role. We’ll see how long that lasts…

mara ip

Mara continues to be blob-like. I’m into the second skein of beaverslide, and I’m going to keep increasing until I’m at the recommended width of 46″. I’m at about 40″ now. I’m okay with a shorter ruffle than the pattern calls for, so long as the wrap is a good size. This is turning out to be great TV knitting, if only I could keep my hands moving during on-screen suspense!

vanillasock ip

I managed to knit a few more inches on my plain vanilla toe-ups, due to some car maintenance that took a bit longer than it was supposed to. I’m just about ready to begin the heel, and I think I am going to attempt Wendy’s gusset heel. Despite a sort of annoying join on these needles, these socks seem to be moving right along. My current sock obsession may necessitate more short circular needle acquisition of the knitpicks variety…

loveart spinning

I also managed to sit down at my wheel this weekend, and it felt good to get reacquainted with my current spinning project: Spunky Club corriedale/nylon blend in Soul Windows. I finished the first bobbin of what I hope will be a 3-ply sock yarn. I know the yarn is way out of focus in this picture, but I really like the way this shot turned out — my lazy kate is on top of a pile of cookbooks on top of a bookshelf.

Coming down the pike:

fleeceartistmilkweedyarn

This lovely Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 sock yarn is soon to become Laura Chau’s Milkweed Shawl. The backwards loop group over on Ravelry is hosting a KAL that began on July 15, and once I make more progress on my on-hold socks, I intend to cast on and tackle my lace anxiety!

cotolinoforbuttercup

Here, I present my only yarn purchase of the trip — 8 balls of Queensland Cotolino, on sale at my old LYS. These are destined to become Buttercup — the modified version with slightly longer sleeves and a slimmer shape, I think.

It feels good to be blogging in “real time” again. Happy Monday, all!

two pairs concurrently?

bohyarnpiratesock

You’ve got to be kidding me.

emeraldcity1

emeraldcity2

Don’t worry, Boh. I’m making good progress. See?

onhold wip

I even cast on my On-Hold socks for the KAL and knit the toe AND one whole pattern repeat.

bohypsock2

You still look very, very worried.

Maybe it’s because you’ve seen me knitting quite a bit on something that is not a sock?

bsdmara

(Boh is actually laying on my bed, whimpering quietly to himself as I write this. I thought it was sock-related, but upon investigation, it seems that he managed to drop his bone between the bed and the radiator. Opposable thumbs are required for retrieval. The whimpering stopped the moment I returned the bone.) Don’t worry, big dog. We’ll be okay.