just what i needed.

That song by The Cars always makes me smile. Back in 2004, I found myself road-tripping across the country with a new colleague, en route to our new jobs as part of a youth voting initiative. Things that stand out from the drive? My first experiences with ‘driving’ stick (think me doing the driving, and my friend P. doing the shifting), and a lot of time spent trying to figure out what The Cars are actually saying after the line, “I guess you’re just what I needed.”

“I needed someone to –eed.” (The answer is that it alternates: feed and bleed.)

Anyway, I bring all of this up because Mary, a ravelry friend of mine, seemed to know just what I needed this week:

On Thursday, I returned home from campus to discover that she’d gifted me the pattern for Terra, a gorgeous shawl by Jared Flood designed to highlight his new yarn line, SHELTER.

After making it through what I absolutely needed to get done this week, I came home yesterday and spent some time indulging in a little daydreaming about what yarn to use for this absolutely stunning shawl, and I settled on some seafoamy green, tweedy Peace Fleece. And I can’t wait to cast on.

Mary, this was just what I needed this week. Thank you.

I also finally got around to winding yarn for the next sections of my ripe bananas lap blanket testknit (say that five times fast). Note that one of these balls is hand-wound — I think it took me awhile to get the rhythm of the niddy-noddy down, and some of my early skeins are twisted. I did some intense handspun wrangling to get all of this untangled and into a tidy ball. This kind of mindless task was also what I needed yesterday. So it’s cool.

Lastly, another action shot of my textured shawl recipe shawl. I do wish it was a little bigger, but it really is perfect for when I just need a little extra warmth on my walk to campus in the morning.

Alright, time to earn some more knitting and outside time by finishing off another book in the pile. Happy weekend!




A bunch of folks from my department went out for Korean food this week, and I ate some incredibly yummy (and spicy) kimchi. My farm share included Chinese cabbage, and while I had initially been envisioning a hearty stir-fry, kimchi thoughts took over when I opened my fridge to make lunch on Friday. I got out The Joy of Pickling (I can’t recommend this book enough), and there were a handful of kimchi recipes to choose from. I started with the basic recipe, soaked my cabbage in brine from 12 hours, and then yesterday, added the scallions, garlic, ginger, pepper, and sugar. (Go get a pickling book for ratios and instructions!) I didn’t realize that kimchi only needs to ferment for 3-6 days, which means that I’ll get to taste-test this week!

food mill applesauce

Yesterday afternoon, I realized I was pouting, so I decided to be proactive about it. Applesauce makes everything better, so I dashed up to the orchards and picked out a peck of Golden Delicious and a peck of Cortland apples. Fifteen minutes later, I was chopping apples in the kitchen, and soon the apples were simmering away on the stove. I made two batches. I leave the skins on, and then I pour the whole pot-full through the food mill to smooth out the sauce. Yum.

try on p and s1

try on p and s 2

Also, look! My plain and simple pullover is growing! I decided that it might be a good idea to try it on, and I am quite happy with the fit. This is going to be the perfect drapey short-sleeved sweater to pull on over a long-sleeve tee. Also, this marks the end of the first ball of yarn — 665 yards (8 oz) of local fingering-weight undyed alpaca.


Time for yarn-winding! Also, how did it get to be November? (For the record, I did not knit a single sock this October. I’m nothing if not consistent…)


No new knitting progress to share, but I did manage to wind all of this yarn over the weekend — no small feat, given the number of tangles I encountered. Luckily, the colors are so deep and vibrant that it was worth it. Yarn is Fleece Artist Somoku, in colorway Masala. I ordered this (from yarn4socks, great service!) with the intention of using it to make myself a Sunday Market Shawl that would be a bit wider and longer, more airy shawl than scarf — something to cram into my bag for class, where the temperature seems to range from stuffy and overheated to incredibly over-airconditioned. Other patterns I should consider?

Happy Monday!