in the kitchen.

berriesx7

I picked 7 quarts of berries this morning. (Notice quart #7 — upper right, not in line with the rest. I learned today that a quart-sized yogurt container fits perfectly into the shallow outer rim of the cupholder in my CRV. Thus, I ate most of a quart on the drive home from the farm. Consider #7 to be exhibit A.)

berriesfreezing1

The  farm is offering unlimited berry picking as part of the share now that the strawberry patch is super ripe. I prepped most of what I picked today to be stored: trimmed off the tops, lined them up on a baking tray, froze them enough that they won’t stick together, and put them in small freezer bags so that I can slowly defrost them as I see fit later on this summer and fall.

glowingberries

I may go back tomorrow. There is nothing like picking berries in the sunshine; today it felt like a reminder that everything will be okay.

pestopasta

Last night (after an incredible yoga class that has me feeling a really good all-body ache today) I broke out one of only a few mechanized pieces of kitchen equipment in my possession to make garlic scape-arugula-cilantro pesto. For dinner, I tossed it with pasta, and sprinkled on some walnuts and parmesan, which were tasty, but totally unnecessary. This pesto can stand on its own!

pesto sandwich

For lunch today, I made what P (of the farm) calls “pan toast” (aka toast in a cast iron skillet) and made 2 sandwiches of greens, pesto, and a slice of swiss cheese. Heavenly.

pesto omelet

Because you can never eat too much pesto, for dinner tonight I made an omelet with eggs from P’s chickens, the last bit of the arugula I harvested, and of course, the pesto. I have a little bit left — enough for another meal or two that matches my kitchen!

You may be wondering about my knitting. Boh was quite worried about my progress on the lacy ribs socks, as is evident from the following photograph:

bohuneasysock

Good news! Boh can stop fretting (well, about the sock, anyway) because tonight I finished the first sock of the pair.

onelacysock1

one lacy rib sock2

I could have done a few more leg repeats, but I was starting to worry about the tightness of the bind-off and the fit of the ribbing — this was a problem with my last (the first) pair of toe-up socks. I was so excited about using all of the yarn that I don’t think I increased enough or in the right places to get a perfect fit around the fullest part of my calf, and the bind-off on those socks is a bit tight. (Also, to be completely honest, there is a timeframe for this KAL. I started late, so I’m cutting it close!)

I did the Russian bind-off here, and it created a super-stretchy cuff, which is perfect. I’m quite pleased with how this sock has turned out, but more importantly, I love that this week, with this sock, I’ve learned a new cast-on, a new bind-off, and a new heel!

Tomorrow, I will cast on sock #2.

happy dog mirror

Now there’s a happy dog. (He may be happy about my completed sock, but it might also have something to do with the walk we took down to the creek so that we could put our toes/paws in the cool water.)

Bedtime for this rooster. Happy almost Friday!

it really is magic.

lacyrib1

Have you tried Judy’s Magic Cast On? The instructions in Wendy’s book (printed with Judy’s permission) make this purchase already worth the cost. Here I am, 4 repeats into my first-ever socks on two circulars!

lacy rib on foot

I’m knitting the medium size to account for the stretchiness of the lace. I may also knit a slightly shorter foot to create a snug fit. I am absolutely thrilled with the way this colorway is knitting up, and I’m really enjoying knitting with 2 circulars! Victory all around, even if I am not able to finish these by the end of the month (and qualify for all of the incredible Socks From the Toe Up KAL June prizes). I don’t know why I didn’t try using 2 circulars earlier — it makes a lot of sense for a patterned sock — one needles has the pattern, and the other needle is the bottom of the sock, all in one place. Rather than become a hard-core advocate of one way to knit socks, I’m beginning to see the benefits of choosing needles that fit the pattern.  I may even have another go at Magic Loop (which I liked and have used for sleeves and things, but found a bit fiddly) — my Twisted Tweed Socks (rav link) were giving me some trouble around the heel, but maybe I need to try a different way of knitting those when I bring them out of hibernation.

Here’s one more close-up of my Lacy Ribs Sock:

lacy rib close up

Here’s hoping I can stick to my goal of equal amounts knitting/spinning and reading. I’ve put in some serious time on these socks in the last 12-14 hours, so as soon as I hit publish, I’m going to curl up with a book on the Gilded Age.

I think I mentioned something about farm shares and strawberries yesterday. Want to see this week’s haul?

csa green 3

Red lettuce, harukei turnips, kale, chard, broccoli, oregano, rosemary, basil, mint, 2 qts strawberries, more komatsuna,  mustard greens (!!), and a handful of calendula flowers to brighten my kitchen.

Time to get to work!

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.)

ishbel.

ishbelprog

ishbel-prog-2

The stockinette portion of Ishbel is absolutely flying! Talk about a satisfying knit. No visible progress to report on my 28thirty sleeves, but I am dutifully working on it at home.  It has taken me twice as long to upload photos for this post because I’ve been simultaneously eating half of one of these espresso banana nut muffins:

muffins

Soon I’m going to heat up some cheesy Sweet Potato Spoon Bread leftovers for lunch:

sweetpotato-spoon-bread

Both of these recipes are from Supernatural Cooking, the most recent cookbook from Heidi over at 101cookbooks. My kitchen binder of internet recipes has a healthy selection from her blog, and this cookbook does not disappoint — I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve made from it, and the book itself is gorgeous. Also, one more plug for those muffins — they use white-whole wheat flour, natural cane sugar, less butter than you’d expect, and yogurt. I was expecting the white-whole wheat flour to yield a pretty dense, dry muffin, and I was happily surprised with the result. These are light and moist, and I will certainly be making them again!

Boh is pouting because he can’t have either of these treats. I promise I’ll take him on a longer W-A-L-K today to make up for it.

Have a great weekend!

longer…

sleeve-is-longer

This sleeve is slowly lengthening. Why is it that the closer I get to completing this sweater, the slower my progress looks to me? This project is no longer appropriate for bringing anywhere except a designated knitterly gathering, both because of its size and because of the way I feel like my arms flail about as I tug on cables and untwist the sleeve along my way towards magic looping to the wrist. Whining aside, I love this and cannot wait to prance about in it. (Yes, I said prance.)

Because I have a serious problem with project monogamy, and because I had a lecture to attend yesterday, I cast on something new.

ishbel

It is true; I’ve caught the Ishbel bug. I’ve been resisting the urge to knit this for some time now: Lace is hard! Another fingering weight project when I still have socks on the needles? And then, after viewing many a lovely Ishbel, I saw this one over at brokeknits. I bought the pattern immediately.

I’m using some gorgeous slightly variegated deep purple Yarn Pirate fingering weight, and I’m hoping to successfully combine the small and large sizes — large st portion, small lace version, to use all the yarn. We’ll see how that goes!

A few more Boh pics that are too sweet and silly not to share:

boh-under-blankets

We may have fallen asleep here together on Monday night…

boheyesclosed

Someone is very pleased with his cookie. Time for me to get back to work!

FO: june bug socks

june-bugs-fo

Hooray! I love these socks. Not quite done in time to be appropriately celebrated as part of socktoberfest, but still the fastest full-size socks to come off of my needles to date. To review (raveled here): the yarn is Yarn Pirate BFL sock in colorway June Bug. The pattern is one of the basic Ann Budd patterns from Getting Started Knitting Socks – 8 st/inch, 72 stitches CO. I used 2.5 mm needles. These are a tad big around the ankles, but the foot and heel fit well, and the yarn feels like a dream on my feet. In fact, I may need to acquire some hip clog-like shoes in order to begin showing off handknit socks. Always on the incentive program, perhaps I’ll do some internet window shopping after I read another 100 pages.

Also, it is time to decide on patterns and yarns for the next pair(s) — anybody have favorite sock patterns for boys to recommend?

Happy Monday!

one sock…

My kitchener-ing is getting better. I love this sock, and I am beginning to see why in the blogs I read (anecdotally, anyway), folks who are in grad school might knit a lot of socks: it is nice to feel like you are making progress when you pick up and put down the needles in between endless amounts of reading. I plan to cast on the second sock after I prep for the discussion I’m leading in class today…