FO: kerrera. (also, fall break.)

Actually, how about Fall Break first? I stopped to snap this picture on my walk to the coffee shop Friday morning. The leaves and the light are so lovely right now.

A lovely latte at one of my favorite places to work. I’m almost happy with my fellowship application, after lots of struggling and a two-week time-out.

Can you see that snake in the grass? Boh totally didn’t see it. (It was right in front of us on the paved path we walked on Friday, and then it slithered off to the side.)

Bright red leaves from my yard. Hello, fall.

Fall is for vests. Especially vests like this one, snagged from my mom, who wore it so well in the late 70s.

And here’s my Kerrera! I’m calling it done, even though the collar could use more of a blocking than the rest of it received this morning. (I put it in the bathroom while I took a hot shower and left the fan off.) The left arm is a little looser than the right between the wrist and the elbow, but I think I can live with that!

I absolutely love the length, and the way the double garter stitch edging hangs, especially in the back.

And of course, I love the patch pockets. I think this is going to get lots of use this fall as a cozy layer for working at home and as the perfect thing to throw on as a light jacket for walking Boh or sitting on the dock with a cup of tea! I think this is the most complicated knit I’ve attempted, and I’m really happy with what I’ve learned. This was the first time I knit anything with short row sleeve caps or patch pockets, and I think both turned out pretty well. (I also learned that I should take better notes — I clearly modified the decreases on one of the arms and did not write that down.) I used not more than 5 and a half skeins of Berroco Ultra Alpaca, which means I’ve got almost half a bag left — enough for another sweater!

Okay, back to commenting on papers. Happy Monday!

into the woods.

The wild flowers along the lakeshore looked particularly green and vibrant yesterday.

Boh and I veered off a regular loop we tend to do at a park near our house. Instead of crossing a lovely wooden bridge, we took a small set of stairs off the south side, and found ourselves in the woods!

Boh loved our detour, and so did I. I’ve been walking in this park regularly since we moved to the lake house at the start of last summer, and this is the first time we’ve wandered along this path. We’ll be back, maybe even this afternoon!

While Boh snored, I dug out my languishing Buttercup. I knew I was close to finishing up the body, so I tried it on. (I debated whether to post this picture of myself on the internet because the neck is still too low and the body not quite long enough — both of which will be addressed before I’m done with the pattern — but I think this is okay to share.)

After snapping this picture (and measuring to determine how much more to knit on the body), I added a few more increase rows and another couple of inches of knitting. This morning I’m planning to listen to podcasts and finish up the feather and fan border. I will wear this sweater this fall! (Famous last words?)

I’m not sure Boh believes me. Or cares. I haven’t been knitting a lot lately, and I want to change that. I really enjoyed working on Buttercup last night — so much so that I worked until my hands were a little bit sore. I wasn’t quite ready for bed yet, so I sat down at my wheel.

I finished up spinning the first bobbin of Kitsune, a polwarth-silk blend from the Hello Yarn Fiber Club. I started this ages ago — maybe at the start of the summer? I’m not sure if this will stay as singles or if I’ll spin the second bobbin and ply them together. Either way, this will probably turn into a drapey shawl or cowl.

Boh and I are planning a quiet Labor Day — some knitting, some work, and a nice walk. Hope you have a lovely day!

wednesday, start to finish.

Yesterday morning, I swatched for Buttercup with my coffee. I bought the yarn for this three summers ago, when I was back in the southwest the summer after my first year of grad school. It’s Queensland Cotolino, and I’ve got 8 balls of it. 8 balls x 105 meters = roughly the amount required for the XS size. Good thing I’m not working on a Ph.D. in math…

So I swatched on 5s, and got gauge. But then I went down a needle size, because I know that this is going to grow when I block it. I like the drape with 4s, and it isn’t so tight that I will hate knitting it. Decision made. So I unraveled what I had, because I’m going to need every last inch of this stuff. Normally I swatch — for real — and wash and block the swatch to make sure I’m happy. This project officially goes in the “by-the-seat-of-my-pants pile.” I don’t think I’m going to go as A-line flowy as the pattern suggests, though I do want some of the increases. Also, everything I read on ravelry suggests that I should go down a size so that the neck isn’t too low and open. I’m knitting the small, and we’ll see what happens. Worst case? Someone I know will get an adorable summer sweater.

Then I had radish toast for lunch. (Radish toast, in this iteration, is toast, butter, arugula, radish slices, and salt and pepper. It is even more delicious than you think it is. Trust me.)

My progress right after lunch, strawberry smoothie in hand. (Note: I picked a gallon of strawberries at the farm on Tuesday, and I’ve already managed to eat 3 quarts. I’ll probably polish off the last one today.)

No, I do not normally stand like this. But these are the jeans I bought to replace the ones I ripped. And they are straight — or even tapered — at the leg. And that wasn’t clear in the pictures I snapped where I was standing not awkwardly. So here you go. I think I like them.

Boh and I took an afternoon walk with our friend J. and the dog she is taking care of this week. It was lovely.

More buttercup. I’m really enjoying the feel of this yarn, at least right now. And the stitch definition makes me swoon!

So does this sunset — truly the golden hour.

FO: floating down.

Which, incidentally, also describes my back pain: floating down in intensity. I’ve got a massage scheduled for as soon as I’m done teaching tomorrow morning, and that should make it a lot better. Thank you for all of your kind comments. I’ve been trying to take it easy while still getting  my work done. It’s going to be another busy week… (I feel like I’ve been saying that a lot this semester!) Anyway, do you want to see some handspun?

I thought so.

This is Hello Yarn 75% BFL/25% Tussah Silk in Floating Down, spun as singles. I ended up with just over 400 yards of this delicious stuff. What should I make?

Boh is excited.

Or not. (Silly, silly dog.)

We took a long, slow walk with a friend and her dog on Friday, which seemed to help with my back twinge. Along the way, we saw this bald eagle! (Apologies for the poor photo quality — I took this with my iphone, and zoomed in as much as I could.)

We also saw this Great Blue Heron. Boh and Madigan were too busy focusing on all the Canadian Geese to notice.

I got sorrel in my CSA box this week, and sauteed it with butter and onions and leftover rice. It was delicious.

And last night, I made a big batch of Heidi’s Millet Fried Rice, from Super Natural Cooking. I’d forgotten how much I like millet — and how much I like this recipe. Basically, you cook the millet, and when that’s almost done, you make a super thin egg pancake, by melting butter with some toasted sesame oil in a large pan, beating a couple of eggs as if to make an omelette, and then pouring in the egg. You swirl the eggs around to get a really thin layer, and then fold the eggs over on themselves once they are cooked enough to let you do that. Shortly after that, you remove the egg from the pan, and then stirfry whatever veggies you’re using in a super hot pan, and then you add the millet, some soy sauce, and then you slice the egg pancake into strips and add that, too. I topped mine with onion sprouts and some canned roasted red pepper, both from my spring CSA box. I might have eaten this for lunch and dinner today, too.

Also, last night was Earth Hour, and I participated by turning off as much electricity as possible in my home, and lighting some candles to read by. While I believe that lifestyle activism on its own isn’t enough, I like doing this, and it is nice to remind myself how much I enjoy turning everything off for awhile. I certainly recognize my own privilege in all of this –and that not everyone has the power to make this choice. Still, this is about mindfulness for me. I didn’t really plan ahead, in terms of what I might read, so I was scrambling for something as the official time approached.

I ended up spending part of my hour reading some Mary Oliver poems. The book I’m teaching this week opens with Oliver’s Wild Geese” as the epigraph, which I read to my students on Wednesday. It begins, “You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees/ For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.” It was nice to read it by candlelight.

Looks like today’s photos are all in pairs. I like it. Also, Happy April!

saturday.

I took yesterday off. Like, completely off. And I’m pretty sure it was the first day in a REALLY long time that I did that. (I’m pretty sure I even did a little bit of work every day that I was out of town for my best friend’s wedding.) Back to yesterday. What did I do?

Well, I was lazy. And so was Boh. All morning. And then I went to pick spinach at my summer/winter farm’s open house. And on the way home, Boh and I spontaneously stopped for a quick walk along the rim of a nearby gorge.

So beautiful. And Boh was so excited. Then, I cast on a new knitting project with yarn recently released from a WIP, and learned a new-to-me cast on — the tubular cast on. By the time I cast on all 180 stitches of Lilac Wine, a simple cowl in 1×1 rib, I had gotten the hang of it. And then I made a quart of cold-brew tea and took the tea and my knitting out to the porch.

Except you can’t see any knitting in that picture, so here’s a shot from this morning of my progress so far:

The yarn is Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 in Nova Scotia (I think…that’s how long it has been since I first wound up this yarn and cast on a Milkweed shawl). I’m knitting it on 7s, and the ribbing was almost too loose at first, but now that I’m a couple inches in, I think I really like the drape I’m getting at this gauge. (I’m also expecting it to bloom a little bit when I block it.) This pattern seems like a really nice way to enjoy variegated yarn. Also, a great way to always have some easy knitting handy, which is part of why I cast on. My dear friends D and T (the folks with Coltrane, my favorite greyhound) invited me over for dessert, port, bourbon, and a movie last night — which meant that I needed movie knitting. All of my projects seemed be at spots requiring my full attention — or at least more than movie-watching attention — so I needed dto start something new. When I got to their house, this happened:

In fact, the second I turned off the car, this cat was on the hood, and it was a bit of a challenge to get myself out of the car without the cat coming in. (This cat belongs to a neighbor.) It then proceeded to settle itself right on top of the sunroof, so I snapped this picture.

Boh and I hope you’re having a great weekend. We have plans for a sunset walk and a drink on the dock with a friend. I’m doing some work today, but aiming for the kind of balance that actually makes it feel like the first weekend of spring break.

a winter walk.

Last Saturday morning, Boh and I woke up early, and part of the way through my first cup of coffee and my bowl of muesli, I had a thought — wouldn’t my sweet dog enjoy a special walk? So we bundled up, hopped in the car, and enjoyed a solid hour of cold-weather Saturday morning strolling. (Well, I strolled. Boh mostly bounded.)

This is Boh waiting patiently while I photograph the waterfall.

It was a crisp, clear morning, and the sun was just starting to break through the trees to hit the path as we walked back toward the car.

Awesome tree roots.

Walks are much more pleasant with hand knits. (In particular, my thanksgiving day mitts.) Happy Friday!

more fall (this time, with handknits).

Yesterday afternoon I met up with dear friend T. and her very handsome son W. for a walk in a nearby state park. Boh was so excited to be on an adventure that he could barely hold still to have his photo taken!

The weather is growing cool and crisp, and these awesome birthday mitts from brokeknits were just what I needed. Hooray for mitt weather!

After our walk, it was time for me to get back to work, and there was no way that was going to happen curled up on the couch with a very happy dog. I put on my wurm cowl and headed out to a coffee shop.

I think this is going to get a lot of wear this fall and winter. Thanks, you guys, for convincing me that the colors wouldn’t be too crazy for me. Off to yoga!

recalibration.

Yesterday I made veggies and poached eggs, inspired by this recipe. I listened to loud music as I chopped veggies, and then sat down with the latest New Yorker on the porch to eat the first half of this. (The second half was dinner.) In between, Boh and I went on an outing, to one of our favorite places to walk. You know, before we had a path in the backyard. He needed an adventure, and I needed some spices from the farm market nearby. So off we went.

I think we both really needed an hour away from everything. We put our paws in the creek, and enjoyed the beginnings of fall colors. And the warmth of the sun. It’s going to turn cold again this week.

One more shot of Boh, ever vigilant at the door. He works so hard. And I’m trying to. I’d really like to send off a draft of my prospectus today. I was aiming for the weekend, but today’s a holiday (for some) right? So today would still count as making my self-imposed deadline…

boh knows best.

I left off yesterday by saying that I owed Boh a good, long walk. All this reading, writing, and grading has meant a slew of shorter-than-they-should-be walks for my favorite four-legged companion. I was thinking about it as something for him — but really, it was exactly what I needed, too. (Funny how that works.)

Late afternoon light.

Intrepid adventurers?

I love this tree.

The reservoir, late fall.

We needed that. (Way more restorative than the fancy coffee drink I splurged on yesterday as I headed home from campus.)

soup, a stroll, a sock, a seaman’s cap.

Yep, this post is brought to you by the letter S.

Leftover soup is one of my favorite things. It makes for the perfect lazy lunch. This is carrot soup (from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking) with smoked paprika on top, and beer bread (a fantastic recipe I got from Jodi, who found it here) toasted in the oven. I’ve made this bread three or four times already, and it is wonderful. After a cozy lunch at my yellow table, Boh and I headed out for a longer walk, thanks to the sunshine and slightly warmer temperatures.

Handknit socks in hiking boots — also one of my favorite things.

Sigh. (Also an S-word, if you’re keeping track.)

Boh made silly, sleepy faces while I did some reading, and then I made some serious progress on a toe up, gusset heel sock and my brother’s seaman’s cap. See?

Hope your Sunday involves (or at least invokes the spirit of) soup, strolling, sock-knitting, silly dog faces, etc. More soon.