FO: peace fleece pinwheel.

A lot of Friday Night Lights went into the making of this Peace Fleece pinwheel blanket. I ran out of yarn with about half of one wedge to bind off, and managed to use some handspun in a similar color. I used up all of my remaining Peace Fleece in this colorway, and if I were to knit this again in the same yarn, I might consider going up a needle size, more for comfort while knitting than anything else. I’m really happy with the way this pattern looks in a tweedy/flecked woolly yarn. The weather is turning cold, and I’m excited to get this belated wedding gift in the mail!

Cool weather means it is time to break out the knitwear. I wore my whisper cardigan with jeans and a scarf for a lunch date with friends last week. I really like this sweater, and I’m thinking about knitting another in fingering weight yarn.

Aren’t the zinnias I picked at the farm last week lovely?

One more: Boh being silly under the porch table. I brought this weekend’s pile of grading out here this morning, and Boh insisted on keeping watch from this position while I worked. Happy weekend!

first tomato of the summer.

I broiled half of it on toast with cheese and basil, and I ate the other half with my hands. Hooray for the first tomato of summer!

Also, hooray for whisper! I’m starting to think I might need another. I absolutely love the neckline, and I’d love a longer version…

Here’s another knit in action: my very first wedding pinwheel blanket. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing this particular knit in all kinds of use — as a lap blanket, as a spot for a catnap, as a baby blanket, and last night, as a pillow for my favorite greyhound. The Cascade 220 I knit it out of seems to be holding up quite well, as I knit this during the summer of 2008.

Here’s another sleepy dog. I bet he wishes he had a pinwheel blanket for a pillow. Someday, Boh. Someday.

I’m gearing up for a research road trip, so yesterday I began the process of cleaning out my car. I don’t think I’ve ever actually emptied my car of cds. (I normally stick to clearing out the back, not all of the little compartments.) Anyway, it was fun to see just how many mixes I’ve received from friends since I bought my car six years ago. I spent some time trying out and then labeling all of the unmarked cds, ditching and re-burning the scratched ones, and putting them into books and cases. (I’m super glad that I import mixes I get in the mail to my computer before playing them over and over and over again. That way I don’t worry about breaking the cd!) That is the fun part of research road trip prep.

Lots more to do this week before I hit the road: finalize what I want to look at, confirm travel/housing plans, buy more dog food, pack…and grade the term papers from the summer course! Happy weekend to you!

autumn is for knitters.

You know, like Virginia is for Lovers. Snapped these last two shots this morning before dashing out the door to meet a friend for breakfast. It is a grey fall day, perfect for a knitted layer like whisper, which is currently adding just the right amount of cozy to a day of reading on the couch. (I’m reading, not writing, today because I finished a draft of my prospectus last night. It’s still very much a draft, but it feels good to have something real on paper.)

whispering?

You know, the act of finishing off a whisper cardigan. I snapped these photos last weekend, before a super busy week of research travel.

I think I’m going to love this sweater. I bound off moments after these photos — just needed to make sure it seemed long enough — and then promptly tucked it into my knitting bag for safekeeping while I was away. On the list for this week? Blocking the bottom edge to reduce the rolling. And then, if it stays cool and gray, wearing it out of the house! (I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: I clearly didn’t give any thought at all to the placement of the mirror in my new home — I need to place one somewhere other than a dark hallway near the bathroom with yellowish light.) Also, I didn’t even need to break into the third skein of this Knitpicks laceweight yarn. Real FO photos to come once it is blocked.

Oh, and that blueberry crumble I posted about last week?

It was delicious. More soon.

mojo?

Have you seen mine? Because I’ve had a hard time finding it lately in the knitting/spinning/blogging department. (Also, the dissertation department.) But you know what? I’m newly resolved not to let it bother me. I’m sure it will come back; after all, this space is dear to me.

But enough of that. Want to see what I’ve been up to this week?

Swimming. (Suit drying on the porch.)

Eating. (More specifically, eating tomatoes: in tarts, broiled on bread with cheese, and straight from the cutting board.)

Picking flowers. (And putting them all over the house.)

Lounging with Boh.

And today? Well, today I’m taking Saturday seriously. I slept in, made pancakes, read for pleasure, and frolicked a bit with Boh. I even put on my swimsuit in order to encourage the sun to come out. See?

Still rainy, but it might clear up enough for me to take a quick dip.

I’m also macerating blueberries on the kitchen counter. Later today, they’ll become this blueberry crumble. (Berries courtesy of Laura.)

I don’t have any new pictures to share of my Whisper cardigan, but I have been knitting on it. Photographic evidence soon. Happy weekend!

shhh…

20110728-020205.jpg

Greetings, readers, from somewhere that is neither here nor there. I really have been meaning to blog, not least to share about the fantastic weekend I spent with blog-friends-turned-real-friends, Mick and Laura. (Would you believe that we didn’t really do any knitting or spinning because we were too busy talking, eating, and drinking?)

Anyway, I’m on a fancy bus pointed towards a city with a library that has some stuff that might be useful for my dissertation, and now seems as good a time as any to (a) try to get back into a blogging rhythm, and (b) learn how to use wordpress on my shiny iPhone. (I hate to admit it, but I do think the iPhone may be a factor in my recent blogging slump. The teaching definitely kept me super busy earlier in the summer, but I’ve also noticed that the camera on the iPhone is so good that I rarely reach for my regular camera, and I am not in the habit of daily syncing my phone with m computer. Bottom line? I’ve been slow to upload photos, and that seems to be disrupting my blogging routine.) I am going to try to be better- and maybe wordpress on the iPhone will help!

So, to connect back to today’s post title, does anybody recognize the knitting in my lap? That’s right, it’s my whisper cardigan, and it is almost done! I grabbed it because it is small and light, and at a place where the knitting is easy. Most of my WIPs are at stages that require more concentration than I have right now. I’m so happy to be knitting on this again!

More soon!

precision.

cupcakescale

That’s right, folks. I broke out my “scale” yesterday.

cupcakemeasuring2

I needed to divide some gorgeous yarn pirate superwash bfl in the cupcake colorway into 2 balls in anticipation of today’s events; namely, the arrival of Socks From the Toe Up by Wendy Johnson. I learned of a massive KAL beginning this month and working, month by month, through the whole book. Chrissy of the Manic Purl podcast is participating, and her review of the book and discussion of the KAL piqued my interest. I checked out the group and decided that this might be just the motivation I need to keep working on my sock skills (and knit down some of my sock yarn stash).

Here’s one more picture of the yarn, which I will be using to knit the Lacy Ribs Socks for the June KAL.

cupcake measuring

This pattern seems to work well for handpainted and variegated yarns, and to be honest, I grabbed this from my stash because I wasn’t quite sure about the colors, and thought this pattern would be a good way to use it. Wound up, however, I adore it, and I cannot wait to get started!

Also in the land of precision (sort of): a whisper update! I returned to my ribbing, and late last night, bound off the collar stitches.

whisper arm1

Here’s a close-up of the ribbing-that-seemed-as-though-it-would-never-be-completed:

whisper underarm detail

It seems strange to not be posting Stripes! pictures. Do you want to see a few more? Good.

stripes and skirt

stripeyoke closup

I snapped these yesterday after grafting the underarms/weaving in the ends and before dunking the sweater into a warm bath, where it promptly absorbed ALL of the water my teeny-tiny bathroom sink can hold. Here it is, blocking on the kitchen table:

stripesblocking

I started reading a serious book yesterday, and it felt good to do some “work.” I’m planning to do more of that today, but the real news is that Tuesday is farm share day! The u-pick strawberry limit has been upped to 8 quarts (I picked 3 on Sunday), so I am planning some quality time in the berry patch this afternoon as well.

If you’ve been thinking about doing more sock knitting, check out the Socks From the Toe Up KAL group on Ravelry — super well-organized and epic in scale. (Plus, there are some great monthly prizes.)

that other stuff.

sillydog

Lots o’ pictures today — I have a (digitized) pile of shots (like this one) to share! Yesterday, the wheel won out, and rightly so. I may have spent another hour and a half spinning last night. I’m still breaking the yarn every so often because I haven’t quite balanced the pull of my bobbin with the speed of my treadling, so I was getting underspun yarn that wasn’t quite strong enough to be pulled onto the bobbin. (Does that make sense?) I am already way better at starting and stopping the wheel, and at sliding the guide around to get a more evenly filling bobbin. Though the specific mechanics are the same, drafting with your hands in your lap is different from spindle spinning, but I like it. (I like them both.) More writing today, but I will be rewarding myself with time at the wheel — that luscious undyed oatmeal BFL is going to be all spun up by the end of today.

First up: Food. Here’s a picture of the last piece of quiche. I forgot to take a “before” shot. We were too busy eating.

last piece quiche

A strawberry cake I baked last night, totally impulsively. Deb at smitten kitchen posted this around dinner time, and I could not resist.

strawberrycake

Pile o’ cookbooks — they looked pretty to me when I was in the kitchen snapping food pictures.

pileocookbooks

Those pears need to become pie, stat. We’ll see how far I get with the paper today. This next one does not fit into a category, but it was chilly early in the week, and I was wearing my 28thirty for added warmth. (I’m one of those people who would rather throw open the windows and put on a sweater than keep them shut and not need layers.)

28thirty in action

I love it. I may have made the upper sleeves a tad tight — in response to how loose the shoulders seemed — but I think with a little more wear, these will stretch just enough.

Next: Work photos.

workspace2

This enormous primary source was way too big to rest on the desk next to my computer, so we had to curl up on the couch. Boh was not pleased that the book took his spot. There’s my whisper, about an inch into the ribbing, for “thinking” while working.

yarnwinding

Yarn-winding is work, right? Here’s my technique. I’ve got about an inch and a half of the whisper ribbing, and I’m ready to start the second ball. I’m glad it is already wound!

spinning corner

Okay, one more wheel pic. This is my spinning “work” space, at the moment. Bright yellow bowl for fiber, sturdy chair to sit in, rug for wheel to stand on…Have I mentioned yet that I love my new wheel?

Blogging helps me to get words in my fingers — time to pour the coffee and switch over to academic writing. Have a great day!

sleeves and shetland.

First of all, THANK YOU for all of your kind comments re: the stress of the end of the semester and my very exciting should-be-here-on-Tuesday purchase. Yay!

I turned in paper #1 on Saturday, and paper #2 Wednesday at noon. Yesterday I spent the afternoon cleaning: kitchen, trash, 4 loads of laundry, vacuuming, etc. and even made a trip to a great farmstand to replenish my dwindling supply of fruits of vegetables. I actually enjoy a lot of the parts of keeping house, but these tasks are extra-enjoyable when you’ve had to neglect balance in favor of meeting a deadline or two. One more project, due at the end of the month, and it will be summer, which to me, means the chance to read more slowly, keep getting to know New Home, and enjoy the company of the dog (and my spinning wheel)!

Enough daydreaming, it will be here soon enough! Last night I finished up the sleeves of my whisper cardigan – time to pick up a zillion stitches! Must fortify myself with coffee first.

whispersleeves1

whispersleeves2

I’m pretty bleary-eyed in these pictures, but you can see how the cardigan fits across the shoulders. Here’s one more:

whsiper sleeves3

I lengthened the sleeves — they are about 9 inches long — a half inch of 1×1 rib at the elbow, and then 8.5 inches of stockinette. I decided to make the 22 inch size across the back, and I’m happy with that choice. I’m still on my first skein of shadow, which is hard to believe. While knitting with laceweight on 7s is still slower than knitting worsted, it isn’t as slow as I thought it would be. I’m hoping to keep making steady progress on this sweater, as it seems like the perfect amount of warmth to keep tucked in a bag for when the sun sets!

Also, in anticipation of my Lendrum, this week I returned to some shetland I had started, but with an actual plan: to try to keep the colors separate and spin fatter singles. While I might not have been able to detect the differences in spinning one wool vs. another a few months ago, I am really understanding what differences in staple length and stickiness mean for spinning. I’m really happy with this so far:

shetland singles fruitloops

The fiber is shetland from the AVFKW fiber club. The colors are so rich — and coming off on my hands a bit, but I don’t mind.

Alright! Boh and I have plans to spend some serious time at the d-o-g-p-a-r-k today. He was very patient during all of the paper-writing, and has earned a lot of playtime. Happy Thursday!

whispering.

Excuse the rooster-still-in-her-pjs-photographing-herself-in-a-dirty-mirror nature of these pictures. (Yup, still abusing the hyphen.)

whisperside

whisperfront

I know these pictures leave something to be desired, as they don’t really give you a good sense of the actual knitting, but I love this sweater. For laceweight yarn, it is moving quite quickly. I’m past the lovely center back gather and plan to log a few more inches at a lecture this afternoon. Hooray!

In less happy news, this guy has not been feeling so hot the last few days. Here’s what he looked like on Wednesday: swollen eye, puffy ears. Boo.

sickboh

After talking with the vet, it seems like he was having some kind of reaction. The swelling has gone down, and with the help of some antihistamines, he is almost back to his sweet silly self. Here he is, napping in the morning sun:

sleepingboh

I’m hoping he’ll be up for a frolic of some sort this weekend, as the forecast is for sunshine and relative warmth!