FO: windschief #2.

Apparently I shouldn’t  even decrease the crown of a hat before fully completing the day’s first cup of coffee. Part of the way through both the hat and my first mug, I realized that my stitch counts between markers were slightly off. And being mostly pre-coffee, I decided to fake it, and left out a decrease in one section and decreased in a non-decrease row right before the decreases switch from every other row to every row. And on a human head (mine, above), I think any slight wonkiness is hidden by the variegation in the yarn and the general awesomeness of this pattern. So I’m calling it good. We’ll see if I can get some boy-modeled shots to share.

And now, the details. This is the windschief hat by Stephen West, size M, knit in Malabrigo Worsted in the verdeazul colorway, as directed, on size 6 and size 7 needles. I used what looks like half (or slightly more than half) the skein. And at this moment, I’m too lazy to go into the kitchen and weigh it. So you’ll have to trust me on that. Also, this pattern? I still love it.

Alright, time to finish this mug of coffee and get ready for the day. Is it Friday yet?

FO: the second half.

Here’s the rest of the grey alpaca. The top skein (you know, the one closer to the book I should be reading right now), was the softest, highest quality fiber in the bag, and I think you can see the difference when looking at these skeins side-by-side. There’s 70 yards of the softer alpaca, and then another 116 yards of the coarser stuff, bringing the whole lot to 339 yards of light-worsted singles. Can’t wait to see what N. decides to knit out of this stuff!

Last night, after a long day and a dinner of leftovers, we took a break from the kind of work that requires full mental concentration and picked up projects that would allow us to listen to an episode of This American Life. I worked on B’s windschief hat, and I am now ready to start the decreases. He should have a hat to keep him warm by the end of the week. In fact, maybe I’ll knit a few rounds before I tackle the writing I need to do today…

lakeside.

We spent Saturday afternoon by the lake, on a blanket, reading. Looks cozy, but actually it got pretty windy, and after an hour or so we retreated indoors for nachos. I rewarded myself with a margarita. See, all this is relevant because in these pictures, even though you can’t see it, there is yarn in my bag. Malabrigo, to be exact. And it is destined to become another windschief hat. This one’s for the boy.

I cast on with my coffee this morning, before my 8 am yoga class. The colorway is verdeazul, and already I love the combination of the malabrigo worsted and twisted rib — so squishy! I’m planning to curl up with Boh and the boy this evening and knit some more ribbing. After all, it is fall break…

FO: windschief hat.

Last night I finished the windschief hat — and I absolutely love the asymmetry of the design and the stitch definition of this madelinetosh yarn. As you can probably tell, this hat isn’t for me (too big, and not necessarily a good match for my bouncy short hair — I think slouchier hats work better for me), but for a very dear friend with a new haircut and a few rounds of chemo in front of him. I’m hoping this provides warmth and comfort over the next month or so — you know, so I can continue to give him a hard time about everything else, like I always do!

Details: Windschief Hat, by Steven West, knit out of a bit more than half a skein of  madelinetosh tosh worsted (now I think this is called tosh dk), size Medium, using US size 6 and 7 needles, as directed. I knit to 6 inches instead of 5.5 inches before the decreases because the other Stephen West hat I knit (the botanic hat) seemed a bit small to me. I can’t say enough about how smart-looking this hat is. I think it’s a fantastic design and a fun knit that seems perfect for boys who don’t like fancy hats — and girls who like architectural details.

blanket possibilities.

Nope, no hidden meaning in this blog post title. I’m going to cast on a blanket out of mostly handspun as a test-knit for Cosy (you know, and a treat for me!), and I’m looking for some input!

Here’s the first option: greys, reds, burnt-oranges.

And here’s another: greys, yellows, greens, a touch of lavender. What do you think? Pairing solid/commerical yarns is tough enough, so I’d appreciate any thoughts you folks have about how to choose yarns for a project (ahem, for this project!) out of a pile of handspun. Thanks!

Other things going on around here:

I finished spinning the second bobbin of the SCF bfl in the reflection colorway. Boh helped.

A lot.

And I’m making progress on my windschief hat. The more I knit on this, the more in love I am with both the pattern and this yarn. In fact, I’m going to let myself knit a few rows before I dig into the work I’d like to accomplish before I head to campus…

cake for breakfast.

Nope, not birthday cake. Just cake leftover from saturday night.

We watched a movie last night, which means I got some dedicated knitting time. My windschief hat is flying, and I am absolutely in love with the way this yarn is knitting up. The depth of color! The stitch definition! Discuss.

And here’s one more shot of Boh and the birthday boy, because today is the day. Aren’t they sweet?

sundays are for birthday brunches.

The boy is celebrating a birthday this week, so yesterday we headed west, one lake over, for a special birthday brunch. On my plate: poached eggs on top of sausage smoked in house and grilled focaccia bread, with incredible rosemary roasted potatoes. And a glass of organic local grape juice. On B’s plate: focaccia french toast with raspberry puree, rosemary roasted potatoes, and a link of a different homemade, in-house smoked sausage. And a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice. And coffee.

B, looking serious. Also, a jazz band! They did a blues-y cover of Springsteen’s Hungry Heart. Swoon.

The view from the porch of the cafe — looking out towards the lake.

And here we are. (I share these here even though clearly I have much to learn in the taking-attractive-photos-of-yourself-with-your-arm-outstretched department. I also have a perpetual problem with closing my eyes during photos.)

And here’s the beginning of my windschief hat. I am very excited about this. Time to start thinking about making dinner after a very long Monday on campus.

saturdays are for dinner parties.

Dear friends came for dinner last night. (Boh was on cloud 9.) Y’all know I love to play in the kitchen, but I especially like cooking both for and with D and T — we have similar tastes (well, aside from D’s brutal hatred for all things eggplant), we belong to the same farm, and we always have a good time together. They brought homebrew, a bottle of homemade limoncello for my freezer(!), beer brewed with Japanese hops for us all to try (it DOES taste like “sunshine in a glass”), and tortilla chips for the mostly-tomatillo-with-a-peach-thrown-in salsa I made. And I decided to test out some new-to-me recipes based on what could be found in my fairly full fridge. After lots of drooling over recipes on my computer screen, I settled on two ideas from Deb over at smitten kitchen: scalloped tomatoes with croutons, and everyday chocolate cake. I paired the tomatoes with a salad of very peppery arugula, cherry tomatoes, goat cheese, and cherry tomato confit with a homemade vinaigrette with a bit more honey than I usually use. I was really happy with how everything turned out — these recipes have earned spots in my kitchen binder!

Also, here are the results of peaches +bourbon, take two. I did use the immersion blender to make this more sauce-like, and I’m thrilled with the consistency: thicker and smoother, but with chunks of peach.

And here’s what I’m casting on later this morning. I’ve been meaning to start a hat for D. He’s sporting a new haircut these days, and as the weather gets a bit colder, I want to contribute a hat or two to his headgear collection. I was inspired by the Windschief that Laura posted yesterday, so I hopped over to Ravelry to look through other people’s FOs, and ultimately, purchase and print out the pattern. I’m using tosh worsted in malachite, and I’m psyched to cast on.

I really should be reading all day today, but I’m going to allow myself at least a little bit of time for knitting…