another post from last week?

Hi, folks. Rooster here. Another doozy of a week — the start of classes (including mine!), and the work of adjusting to a new routine, a new commute (from the lake house), a new pattern for Boh. Here’s hoping I’ll figure out where blogging fits into all of that very soon. All went well this week, but there’s just so much to do. And I’ll keep attempting to cross things off of my ever-elongating to-do list after I write this post. Guess what? I’ve got (gasp) photos of actual knitting!  (Though the knitting occurred last week.)

Here’s that vanilla sock in Plucky yarn I started earlier this month. I began the toe decreases on a bus almost two weeks ago, when I was headed to a bachelorette gathering. I only had super short hiya-hiya circular needles with me, and the decreases were not so fun to try to work with those — just not enough give to comfortably do ssks and k2togs, and the bumpiness of the bus didn’t help. I really should put this back into my bag (with the dpns I need to keep decreasing), especially now that my commute involves a short bus ride each morning and afternoon!

And here I am, working on the border of the wedding hap blanket I’ve been knitting…ahem…as a gift for two lovely people who got married in November. I’m so close. C+A, it’ll be done soon! Promise!

And I’ve got big plans for this yarn. Wedding shawl plans — for my best friend. She’s getting married in March, and she picked the yarn and the pattern. More on this soon. (On today’s to-do list? Wind this yarn!)

I’ve been wearing handknits, especially my cowls, this week. I love this wurm cowl so, so much. Handspun around my neck is one of the best things I can think of right now.

More handspun around my neck. Remember when I made this stripey shawl over the summer because I was sick and didn’t have the focus necessary to follow the instructions for the Daybreak shawl? (One of these days I’m going to actually knit that.) I love the colors, and the drape of this fabric of loosely knit singles is fantastic. And I love how it sort of goes with this cardigan I picked up on clearance at Banana Republic when I was visiting my parents for Christmas.

And then there’s this guy. No knitting in this picture, but an extra dose of cuddly sweetness. I’m happy to have Boh to keep me company as I tackle a draft of a grant application today…

delphiniums.

So pretty. Also, a crucially important step towards completing a big pile o’ grading. (I’m making progress.)

Boh is not helping.

An idea — too orange, right? I had to check the handspun pile. Thank you for all of your shawl and shrug ideas. Right now, I’m leaning towards making a deep pinky-coral colored Citron. And then after that, I’ll make one in handspun. Got any leads on a really good deep pink/coral color in lace or fingering weight yarn? You guys always have the answers.

Also, I found some time to spin up a second bobbin of this Hello Yarn targhee in Parritch. I really have missed my wheel. Alright, back to grading!

ready to go.

readytogo1

readytogo2

(Note to self: while the blocking mats are awesome for blocking, they are not the most attractive background for knitting photography.)

So here it is, in pile form, ready to be delivered to the bride. (It did grow and open up quite a bit — ahh, the magic of blocking — but there was no way I was going to try to photograph that in the mirror BEFORE pouring my coffee this morning.)

Thanks for all of the encouragement this month, with this shawl and with lace knitting in general! I’ll try to get a picture of the shawl in action this evening.

nick of time.

I finished the shawl. In order to do so, I took it with me to a meeting of a group that the bride is also part of. She is getting married tomorrow, so she wasn’t in attendance today. I was the bleary-eyed/loopy person introducing herself by way of explaining that I was so close to finishing something for the wedding, and that I was working on it during the meeting (charts and all) because otherwise I might not get it done in time to block it. After all, wedding shawls don’t really count if they aren’t done in time for the wedding, right?

unblockedshawl

Unblocked shawl.

blocking

blockingshawlcloseup

I splurged and acquired the Knitpicks blocking mats and blocking wires in order to properly finish this project. I pinned the shawl out around three o’clock this afternoon, just over 24 hours before the ceremony. Eight hours later, it is almost dry, and I think these mats are really speeding up the process. (Phew!)

I’m so pleased with how this shawl turned out, but mostly, I’m incredibly relieved that it is finished. I can’t wait for H. to wear it tomorrow evening at the reception! I spent the afternoon cleaning my apartment, playing with Boh in the big field behind the elementary school in my neighborhood, and cooking up a celebratory meal: eggplant parmesan (from Mark Bittman’s big yellow book) and mexican hot chocolate pudding (from mostly foodstuffs).

pudding

eggplant parm

bohsadeyes

Boh REALLY wanted some of my eggplant. Or maybe he’s making that face because he adores H. and knows he isn’t invited to the wedding tomorrow?

Happy weekend, folks.

t-10 minutes.

asleep

LONG day. I intend to be right here, under the covers, very soon. No knitting photos, but I did knit 2 more rows of the wedding shawl. For those of you keeping track, I still have 16 more to knit. It would be great if I could finish the whole thing tomorrow.

awake

Oh, I’m sorry. Did I wake you? Maybe you should get off my side of the bed.

MIA (mara in action).

wearingmara1

Monday.

wearingmara2

Tuesday.

laceshawlalmost

18 rows to go. I was intending to work on it tonight, but I accidentally (?) had a few beers after class today, and really should not work on it.

hollyhock1

Late last night, after doing substantial work on the shawl, I decided that while I could no longer look at lace charts, I wasn’t quite ready for bed. So I spun a bit of luscious falklands fiber.

hollyhockbob1

This is the first of four ounces of lovely falklands fiber in the hollyhock colorway from A Verb For Keeping Warm. There are two ounces of this green, adn two in a lovely pinky-pale purple. I’m spinning each color separately into a 2-ply, with the thought that I’ll make something stripey…eventually.

dogtired

This is what Boh looks like right now, and I’d say it accurately conveys how I feel at this particular moment — and it is only Tuesday. Hello, September.

banditry.

hshawl1

H’s wedding shawl (an ishbel/springtime bandit hybrid inspired by brokeknits) is coming along. Yesterday I finished one repeat of the leaf pattern, and decided to do another. I have plenty of yarn, so think I am going to aim for 3 leaf pattern repeats before I begin the edging.

hshawl2

hshawl3

I know I’ve written about my lace anxiety here, and I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to all of you for your encouraging words and happy thoughts. You’re right — it isn’t so bad! (And I’m saying this after spending much of yesterday morning ripping back about an hour’s worth of work to find an error.) You heard it here first: I like lace knitting!

hshawl4

The wedding is in 2 weeks, and I’m aiming to have this ready to block by September 1. Back to it!

a special shawl, another sock.

heathermalabrigo

One of my favorite people here in New Home is getting married next month. Remember that first pinwheel blanket I knit as a wedding present? It went to the folks who hosted me when I came to visit last spring. Apparently, when H. saw this blanket last summer, she said something like, “Where did that come from?” And when they replied that I had made it for their wedding, she responded, “Well, I want to get married if it means Rooster will knit me a lap blanket!” With this in mind, I asked H. for a few color suggestions, as they are moving into a new-to-them home this month.

Last week, H. asked if, instead of the blanket, I might be willing to knit her something to wear at the outdoor reception as the sun goes down. She came over to look at patterns and yarn, and we settled on this deep purple malabrigo sock yarn to go with her pale grey dress and soon-to-be husband’s purple tie.

This means I’ve cast on yet another project — and this one has a firm deadline! Here’s what I’ve got so far:

hshawl

I’m knitting a modified springtime bandit, following the brilliant mods of brokeknits: fingering weight yarn, plain triangle shawl to start, and then the leaf pattern and edging. You can see hers here — and I highly recommend taking a look. I have been drooling over her version from the moment she posted it on her blog!

I’m honored to be able to do this for H., and I hope the knitting goes smoothly. I’m aiming to be done with the knitting by September 1, which gives me time to block it before the wedding on the 5th.

diamondguernseytoe

Also, last night I cast on another sock. I know, I know, I didn’t finish the on-holds by the end of July, but I need to catch up, right? These are the Diamond Gansey Socks from Socks from the Toe Up — the August selection for the KAL — and I am using Araucania Ranco in a pale blue, with a size US 1 needle, magic loop.

bohlooksaway

When Boh saw what I had done, he looked away in disappointment and disgust. I know he doesn’t think I can get back on track with the KAL and finish these socks on time. I’ll just have to try to prove him wrong.

One more photo on this fine Monday morning:

lsd bob3

I’m into my third bobbin of the Crown Mountain Farms SW Merino in Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, which means I should be able to turn this into a 3-ply by the end of the week.

Which only means more socks, of course! Boh is glaring at me from his perch on the couch…