Humulus is like potato chips, I guess

Last November, I finished up a Humulus sweater. The result was ... fine. But it wasn't what I'd envisioned, dang it. Rather than live with minor disappointment (and because the sweater was purloined by the Elder Teen once I mentioned that I'd likely not wear it), I made myself one two sizes larger.


Yes, yes. I finished it just in time for summer, which is how most of my sweater knitting ends. But that's fine, really. I know winter will be around again -- and that Scott and I are on our way to Iceland in July, where the summer temps warrant some wooly goodness* in your suitcase just in case.

* Wooly Goodness would be a great drag name, imho.

actual knitting content, song of the sea

I still knit, btw. 

Way back in November, shortly before I was planning to run the New York City marathon, my Best Running (and Knitting) Pal Lisa gave me a skein of yarn for luck. It was Manos del Uruguay Algeria, a mostly wool blend, in a gorgeous blue, which she was trying to match to the race’s colors. 

I hemmed and hawed to do my best to match yarn to pattern. Eventually, I did. 


The pattern is Louise Zass-Bangham’s Song of the Sea. I had to adapt it a little bit -- only one row of the tiny waves -- because I ran out of yarn. No matter, it is still big enough to wear doubled as a cowl.


Thanks again, Lisa! Yarn is always the best gift.

actual knitting content, socks!

Yes, I do still knit. I offer the following as proof:


(It's a challenge to take a picture of your feet in socks, btw.)

Hedgerow socks, using Sundara yarn from the 2014 Knitter's Review Retreat Stash Lounge. This is the second pair of Hedgerows I've made. It's such a great pattern -- well written and the pattern stitch is just complicated enough to be interesting but not so complicated that you have to pay a ton of attention. I suspect at least one more pair in my future.

Next up: a sweater, once I marshall my mental reserves to read the pattern and wind the balls. As one does.

progress, sort of (actual knitting content)

I've been diligently knitting away on my Chimera sweater. The back is done and blocked:


(Yes, there is a cable error on the back. I'm going to fix it in post-production.)

Also done but not blocked is one sleeve. The other sleeve is about halfway knitted. Also done and blocked are the fronts. Except:


While pinning the fronts out for blocking, I noticed that they were identical, rather than mirror images. Which means that I have knitted to right fronts because I fail at directions. And given that the Tween was with me as I was pinning them out, I couldn't swear for hours on end about it; not because she can't handle swearing but because I'm trying to model pragmatic behavior in the face of adversity. Or something. 

At some point this week I'll be ripping out one of those fronts and trying again. Whee.

The corgi would like you to know that it is snowing here, which is her favorite precipitation, even though this picture doesn't really convey that:


some labors

Today in the U.S., it is Labor Day, where we celebrate Unions and working. Because life is like that, I will be working, despite the fact that I am in a Union. My Union, however, will mark the occasion with snacks out on the quad. I shall grab my protest cookie between classes, hum a few bars of "Look for the Union Label," and teach. 

There were other labors this weekend.

One of the things I miss about Austin are the Czech communities between it and Houston. Specifically, I miss kolache. So I made some.


Blueberry, this time. They turned out OK. The doughy part was a little tougher than I'd like but totally not a deal breaker. Maybe you have to know where Pilsen and Brno are in order to get the dough right.


I've also been knitting. I'm surprised, too.


This is the back of the Chimera Cardigan.  And, yes, there is a mistake in the cables, which I didn't notice until it was far too late to do anything about it. I can live with it, though. 


Because how delicious are the rest of the cables? None more delicious.

a day in the life

College classes started yesterday, which means I'm back to the day job, which is teaching a couple of said college classes, which shouldn't effect you, dear reader, at all. But it might - because my kids will be going back next week and there will be a good 10 days or so of utter bedlam. More than usual, that is. 

I feel a little like this: 


I don't know what that means, either. I was just stuck for a segue and really like this glass art that we saw in Tacoma.

Speaking of glass and days of tumult, there was another installation that I was drawn to.


At first, it was the colors that caught me and how much these rectangles look like calendar grids.

Because, as it turns out, they are.


(click to make big. also: click here for more about the artist.)

What struck me after reading this is how fiber artists do this as well. I can think of at least two patterns that translate days into colors. Can I find links to those patterns now? No. No, I can not. 

But your collective memory is much better than mine. Can you think of any fiber artists who use their work to abstractly document their days?

ETA: Found one of the ones I was thinking of. Still tempted by it.

the benefits of living in a small town

When I was working at the Toad on Saturday morning, an acquaintance slipped these across the counter:


Cable close-up activate!


Lovely, eh? I have added them to the box.

(The why part of the mitten knitting is explained here, btw. Knit on!)

And now a question...

Way back in 2012, I had the honor of taking Amy Herzog's Knit to Flatter class at the Knitter's Review Retreat. During the class, I fell in love with Chimera and wanted to knit it right that second. I had to wait until her book came out, tho, which was for the best, because I already had too much to knit at the end of last year.

The book is now in my hot hands and, given that I just had a birthday, I have a little bit of money to spend on yarn. But I can't figure out which color to choose. I'm trying to decide between Kittywake, which would be the practical choice because it goes with almost everything I own, and Parsley, which would be the more fun choice to knit and to wear during the long, dark winter. Thoughts?

actual knitting content + how green are my feet

An update on the mitten tree (and if you've not read about said mitten tree, start here): 

Lots o' folks are knitting their hearts out or, at least, have told me they are knitting their hearts out. WOOT! I say. Please let me know when you need a mailing address. I'd like to have mittens in hand (heh) by the end of October 2013 -- but remain ever flexible.

The lovely Dorothy suggested a mitten pledge program, where mitten makers could let me know how many pairs per month they planned to make. I think this is a lovely idea. Maybe I could make a sidebar on this here blog that indicates pledges and/or pairs received? Please leave your thoughts about this in the comments.

I did finish some actual knitting last night, which means I'll be able to start a pair of mittens soon. I have the yarn picked out and everything.


My Turbo Toes (rav link) came out a little big - but I suspect that will change the first time I wash them. 


They will, however, make a fine replacement for the pair destroyed by the accursed hound.*


I'm thinking about taking this little walnut sized ball of leftover yarn and making a new toe for the chewed on black sock. Not sure I'll have enough, tho. Hrmph.


* Technically, not a hound but a herder. 


actual knitting content + animal butts

You can stick a fork in Sothia.


(I'm glad my neighbors weren't home when I was wandering around our yard with a shawl and a camera.)


It's a fun knit* - except for the last few rows of the ruffle that make you want to take up a more sensible hobby - and I might do another one. Or not. I may have already started something else.

When I downloaded these pictures, I found a few more from the Boy.


Dog butt. And shoes. Oh the shoes.


Cat butt. No shoes.


* Before you ask, Madelinetosh (LOVE!) Merino Light in Cathedral and Ink. One skein of each. I have one skein of Catherdral left over, which means that you'll probably see it again because it is gorgeous. Reminds me of stained glass windows.