FO: snow drops and snap peas shawl.

I did a lot of knitting last week (and Boh did a lot of sleeping). We spent a good deal of time in this position on the couch, and we finished the shawl with plenty of time for blocking and packing.

Here it is, almost done.

Blocking on the dining room table. (So nice to have a table that is big enough for a substantially-sized shawl.) Speaking of, I ended up knitting a size in between the medium and large sizes — I did one less overall repeat, just to make sure that I wouldn’t be rushing, and I’m really happy with the sizing. I do need to work on my blocking skills — I’m not so good with the long flexible wires for blocking a shawl into a perfect half-circle, as you can sort of tell. There are a couple of scalloped edges, but I aimed to make them symmetrical so that it wouldn’t look sloppy.

This lace pattern is gorgeous — and not too difficult to execute, which was perfect for this project and the timeline I was working with. I knit this on size 7 needles, using Shibui Sock in the Pagoda colorway. Right after I cast on, I panicked about not having enough yarn (I had about 600 yards) and so I ordered another few skeins, which was a great idea. For a size a bit smaller than the large, I used almost half of a fourth skein. And now there’s plenty of yarn for something fun for me — tall socks? My very own shawl?

Here’s a crappy mirror shot of me wearing the shawl, for scale more than anything.

And here it is, Snow Drops and Snap Peas, all folded up and ready to be packed and then gifted to the bride.

And here’s a glimpse of my maid of honor bouquet — so lovely. I don’t have any pictures of the wedding to share, but my head is filled with wonderful images of my dearest friend, radiant and happy, marrying her partner. The weekend was filled with celebration, and I’m so thrilled to have been able to be part of it. There’s something really special about getting to participate in your best friend’s wedding, and it meant a whole lot to me to get to support her in all the small ways (bouquet-holding, dress-bustling) and to get to write a toast for M. and her husband(!). I’m still on a bit of a high from the whole thing, even as I’ve been struggling to jump back into the pile of things that must get done.

Off to campus!

snow drops, snap peas, sh*t together.

Apologies, friends, for my utter lack of posting. Surprisingly, it has nothing to do with a lack of knitting. I give you exhibit A:

This is the Snow Drops and Snap Peas Shawl, by Kirsten Kapur. I’m knitting it out of Shibui Sock in the Pagoda colorway, and I absolutely love the way it is coming along — which is a good thing, because I absolutely love the person it is for: my best friend. She’s getting married in a few weeks, and I’m her maid of honor. She picked the yarn and the pattern, and I think they look fantastic together. The only question is whether to make the medium or the large, and I’m hoping to be on top of this enough (hence the last part of this post’s title) to go big. The pattern is written for a sport-weight yarn, and while Pagoda is closer to fingering weight, it has a bit more heft and sproing (technical terms) than a lot of sock yarn. I’m knitting this on 7s, and I’m into the 6th repeat (of 10, if I am able to knit the large). Basically, if I spend an hour or so on this every day for the next ten days, I should still have a cushion for dealing with a super long bind off and any mishaps along the way. And then it needs to be blocked and color-set with vinegar during the soak. It would be the opposite of awesome if this bled onto M’s stunning gown.

I know I said exhibit A like there would be other examples of my knitting, but really, this is it. (There is other knitting — including gifts for other dear and recently married friends — but this shawl has a firm deadline. It isn’t a wedding shawl if I don’t finish it in time for the wedding!) I’ve finally got a dress and a pair of tall shoes, I’ve begun making notes for my toast, and now I just need to finish knitting the shawl.

I do have a couple more pictures for you, though:

Latte art and a pile of grading from earlier in the week.

And some serious Boh-snuggling. (Ooh, and the flats I bought myself for my birthday.) Happy knitting!

pecan, peach, and apple-rhubarb.

Pies. (13 of them. 12 for the wedding, and one to enjoy for breakfast the day of the wedding. It just so happened that the groom came by and was able to start his very special day with pie.)

Next, pies on the pie stand. (Made by — and borrowed from — a local blacksmith. I’m not sure if you can see this detail in these photos, but the mathematical symbol for pi is etched into each foot of the stand.)

The peaches were local to the wedding, and the apples came directly from the wedding site.

This was a particularly beautiful wedding — perhaps because of its intimate connection to place, and, I think, because of all the extra specialness that comes from offering so many people the opportunity to give meaningful work in celebration of dear friends.

An early morning shot of the view most of the way down the mountain (and about 40 minutes into a 14 hour drive on Sunday). And now I’m home, mostly recovered, and trying to get work done before I head off on yet another research trip next week. Stay tuned for more pictures of Agnes!

a glimpse.

Much more to come once I recover from a weekend that involved 1600+ miles of driving, 13 pies, several sips of moonshine, and more love than I know how to describe. For now, a few photos — of Agnes, bound off (but sans pockets). I left her here because she was unfinished, but it was cool in the mountains, and I certainly would’ve worn her.

Also, a glimpse of early morning. A handful of wedding guests stayed in rental houses near the top of the mountain where the festivities occurred. I was the lone early riser, which meant that on Friday and Saturday morning I had a beautiful view, pieces of “test” pie, and my french press all to myself. I even managed to get some solid work done.

Today I have plans to unpack, cuddle with Boh, and recover from yesterday’s very long drive. Stay tuned for photos of all of the pie!

there and back.

Apologies — I didn’t intend to just stop posting this week! I think I’m still recovering from my whirlwind 36 hour (+travel time) trip to LA for the wedding of a dear friend. I’m up early this morning, enjoying a full mug of coffee before heading off to an 8 am yoga class, and I have some photos to share. (Not much knitting, I’m afraid.)

The hotel was less than 3 miles from the Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. How could I not go? (Especially after TAing a class this spring that covered the Reagan presidency.) Let’s just say that the view was fantastic. The rest? I was surprised at the lack of any sort of coherent narrative (triumphant or otherwise) about Reagan or his presidency. Don’t get me wrong; there was quite a bit of material suggesting that Reagan single-handedly won the Cold War, but it was repetitive and rather disjointed. Instead, the focus seemed to be on the spaces Reagan inhabited: “his” Air Force One (commissioned in 1973, decommissioned in 2001 — he logged the most mileage and negotiated to display it when it was retired), a Cadillac from his motorcade, a replica of his Oval Office, and a scale model, dollhouse style, of the entire White House.  I have lots more to say about the ways the volunteer tour guides described the various exhibits, as well as the mandatory posed photo at the entrance to Air Force One (not unlike those roller coaster photos you have the option to purchase at an amusement park), but I’ll stop there for now.

The wedding took place at a stunning temple high above the Simi Valley. I posted a handful of photos from the pre-wedding receptions and the ceremony itself on Flickr, if you’re interested. (Click through on the sidebar.)

Despite the briefness of my trip, I had a fantastic weekend. It was so nice to catch up with dear friends, and especially wonderful to see the bride and groom so happy.

Boh stayed with his best friends this weekend, and when I picked him up (after a red-eye and an hour and a half drive from the airport), he didn’t seem to want to leave. Once we got home, however, he made himself comfortable. Here he is after our much needed afternoon nap on Monday.

This pizza was made with bbq sauce. Note to self: in the future, check the cupboard for tomato sauce BEFORE making pizza dough. (You know, if tomato sauce is important to you. The bbq sauce was actually pretty awesome, and I’d do this again.)

I call this “unstuffed zucchini.” Last night I looked at my farm share and thumbed through a favorite cookbook full of recipes contributed by CSA farmers, and stumbled across a whole page of ideas for stuffings to use in vegetables. This is a mixture of onions, tomatoes, chopped basil, garlic, ricotta and mozzerella. I sauteed the veggies, mixed in the cheese, and then instead of stuffing the zucchini, I simply chopped it up with some summer squash, poured the stuffing on top, and baked it until it developed a nice crust (45 minutes or so). Let’s just say there isn’t any left.

And there you have it. I’m about 15 rows from the end of my hemlock ring, and I will be almost sad to finish it. I’m going to have to make another, as this one will soon be winging its way to LA in honor of the union we celebrated last weekend.

In other news, the boy returns tomorrow. Hooray!

bachelor buttons and wedding pinwheels.

Bachelor buttons in the late afternoon.

One and a half rows to go on the wedding pinwheel. (I will finish it today. I must, if I’m going to block it before I head home for the wedding!)

Tuesday = farm day. Thus, my kitchen overflows with flowers.

If I were to hang this photo on the wall, its caption would read: Pesto. Soon.

The boy and I picked about 12 pounds of sugar snap peas today…and ingested another pound or so, I’d imagine. After a string of hot, humid, sticky days, today was perfect. Breezy, partly sunny, and cool. An afternoon in the pea patch followed a morning spent with my friend T. picking strawberries on the second last day of the season.

A perfect day. These are destined to become jam.

I love summer.

And now, back to that pinwheel.

beauty.

crock o flowers

The wedding was beautiful, and the bride looked absolutely radiant in the shawl. (Pictures soon!) On Saturday morning, I helped to gather and arrange flowers before the ceremony — dozens of vases filled with local blossoms. I stopped by this afternoon to take a pickling crock full of flowers off the happy couple’s hands. (See below.)

flowersgrowler

flowersbed

flowerswindow

flowerslamp

flowerstable

Sigh. So nice to have a house full of lovely flowers — especially after such a lovely celebration.

curlingupwithboh1

curlingup2

Boh and I did some serious lounging this morning as I recovered from the evening’s late night (which, for me, means I was out past 10) festivities.

wrinklyboh

quichesun

And this quiche just came out of the oven — a grad school friend is coming over for dinner. Perhaps later I’ll find some time to curl up with my knitting…