FO: bracken (two ways).

bracken fo open up

bracken fo open


bracken buttoned


Buttoned, the vest is a little swingier (and looser) than I had imagined, but on the whole, I’m very happy with this.

I ended up using less than 5 balls of Jo Sharp Classic DK wool, which makes this an incredibly affordable project. (The yarn was a WEBS closeout.)

Bracken and I are off to campus!


bracken: blocking/before buttons.

bracken blocking

I gave bracken a nice soak and then tried to get a bit more length out of it as it lay drying on these awesome blocking squares. (These are from Knitpicks, and seriously, they cut drying time in half.)

bracken almost1

bracken almost 2

bracken almost 3

Blocking = magic. Everything relaxed and totally evened out, and I think the length is absolutely perfect. I think Boh agreed, because he kept trying to get in the picture.

boh with bracken

Now I just need to sew on the buttons! (Well, first I need to find some appropriate thread.)

bracken grey buttons

I was looking through my button jars for a set of dark brown buttons, but the ones I have are a bit shiny, so I think I’m going to go with the grey matte buttons on the left.

If only I could make such satisfying progress on my writing projects…


I did something totally stupid and avoidable yesterday while knitting on bracken and decompressing from a long and stressful day: I somehow managed to twist the vest around while picking up the ribbed button band/collar border. I noticed when I bound off.

I did not have the heart to take pictures, but I performed the equivalent of open heart surgery on my vest. I ripped out the seam between the front and back on the right shoulder, and then cut the ribbing. In my mind, I had envisioned being able to pick up stitches on both sides, knit, and kitchener (you know, sort of like making a thumb), but since I had to cut my knitting VERTICALLY, that did not happen. We’re only talking about seven rows here, but there were seven separate ends on each side. (Obviously. Just not to me BEFORE I cut.) So I picked out a few columns to get long enough ends to weave in or (ahem) knot, and then I re-seamed the shoulder, and then picked up stitches from the seam edge and knit a handful of rows in ribbing to fill in the gap I had created. Then I did the ugliest suturing anyone has ever seen, and decided that no one will notice. It looks a lot better now that I’ve picked up and knit the stitches for the armhole ribbing.

bracken needs buttons

Now it just needs buttons. The jury is still out on whether this is a flattering style on me. Bracken is getting a nice, hot, luxurious soak as we speak, and if everything evens out a bit (and if I can get a bit more length out of it) this could be a super fun layering piece. Remember my note on row gauge, and how I figured it was close enough? Those might be famous last words. My ribbing is another half-inch or so wider than the pattern calls for, which might make for some awkwardly fitting armholes. Fingers crossed…

sunset ithaca

So, that’s a bit of a mess, but to make up for it, the universe delivered one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve seen in awhile.

sunset windows

I love the reflection of the sunset in the windows of the house behind mine. What a way to welcome the weekend!


bracken try on2

bracken try on1

Apologies for the terrible photos — I realized this morning that I could really use an extra arm to help hold up the vest AND take pictures. (Cleaning the mirror wouldn’t be a bad idea either.) In these pictures, the vest looks super short, but that’s because I happen to be wearing a long shirt with pockets today. In real life, this seems to hit at the top of my hips, right around the waistband of my jeans, and I think that’s what I want.

Unrelated but adorable:

boh paws book

If you’re not going to read that, paws off.

boh forlorn

If anyone wants pouting lessons, I’m sure this guy has all the proper certifications necessary to teach beginner and advanced classes.

so good.

so good1

so good 2

This is what happens whenever I (a) put on socks or shoes or (b) put on another layer. It gets pretty cold in my apartment in the middle of the day, which means that I’m often adding layers without planning to go outside. Boh has developed a two-pronged strategy: (a) sit directly in front of the door and (b) sit up very tall, almost as if to say “See? I’m being SO good.”

brack inc

I managed another inch or so on my bracken vest this morning, and I’m optimistic about my productivity for the day: laundry is in the dryer, granola is in the oven, and it is time to dig into the work pile. Happy Monday!


“The creosote and tar smell of the railroad tracks woke him from the dreaming. The cinders made hollow crunching noises under his boots. He had come a long way with them; but it was his own two feet that got him there.” — Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony (1976) (My version is Penguin, 2006, p. 236.)


Do you ever read something that just takes everything out of you? I didn’t intend to just stop posting, but I read Ceremony this week and it stirred up a lot of things that I’ve been processing. Powerful books can be almost incapacitating. (This is good. Also, hard.)

boh knit corner

Boh started to worry about the knitting pile. He told me so.

bracken prog inc

As you can see, I’m making progress on Bracken. (You can also see that this Jo Sharp Classic DK wool seems to attract Boh hair.)

messy dumplings

I made myself a plate of very messy dumplings last night — the only wrappers I could find this week were enormous! I overfilled a few, and they ruptured in the cooking process…but they were still incredibly delicious.

cloud complex

(A few pictures from 2007 seemed appropriate, given Ceremony‘s mostly southwestern setting.)


bracken rib

“People say my hair looks like a rooster” is one of the Google searches that led someone to my blog yesterday.

Kind sir or lady with the rooster hair, you’re certainly welcome here, though I’m not sure my knitting is exactly what you’re looking for. (Although I did knit several hats last month…)

I managed to knit a few rows on Bracken yesterday, and I’ve finished the waistband ribbing.

Happy Wednesday, folks.

pie for breakfast/vestvember.

pear pie 1

I wake up when the light starts poking through my windows, so this whole daylight savings thing really works to my advantage. Don’t get me wrong, I hate that it is dark before I leave campus in the afternoons, but in terms of rooster productivity levels, 6:30 am as the new 7:30 am makes it seem like I have lots of time to get things done. So yesterday I baked myself a pie for breakfast — pear pie, to be precise.

pear pie 2 boh

Boh is guarding the kitchen. Or waiting for pie.

pear pie 3

I may have also eaten pie for lunch.



Never a dull moment with this dog around.


Ummm, have you guys heard about Vestvember? Yep, that’s right: VESTvember. Well, I’ve had the yarn and pattern for a vest sitting here for months, so I decided that since I’m a joiner (which is not necessarily the same as being a finisher…) I would at least cast on my vest project this month and enjoy all of the vesty inspiration occurring over on ravelry. This is Bracken, a button-up vest that I’ve been admiring for quite awhile now. I’m knitting it out of some Jo Sharp Classic DK Wool in a deep brownish purple. I got st gauge on size 6s, but my row gauge is a little bit off. It looks like the pattern includes lengths (inches/cm) in most places instead of number of rows to knit, though, so I should be okay.


You should totally cast on for a vest this month. (Everybody’s doing it.)

I tucked the remaining pie into the oven to warm when I poured my coffee, and delicious pear-y aromas are wafting towards the computer…time for breakfast!