Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My Mom went to Tibet...

...and "all" I got was this crazy yarn:

It's a laceweight (2 giant hanks of it - what to make? so many possibilities!), with a halo sort of like mohair, but it sticks to itself more and is a little coarser. And it's probably yak, though there was a bit of a communications issue - apparently not a whole lot of western tourists in Tibet want to buy yarn! Silly them.

It does smell a bit like a yak (I guess), and something about it drove the cat nuts:

I set in on the floor for a minute and she came running in and started licking and biting it, like it was coated in catnip. She's a fan of yarn, but not usually like this!

Apologies for the short posts this month! It's that time of year! Hope everyone had a lovely holiday! (Both our pumpkin pie (which I made) and the cranberry tart (by the BikeJerk) were delicious, though the tart got eaten days ahead of the pie!)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I'm so thankful...

That once a year this:

turns into this:

(that's a cranberry tart on the right...and YES, it is a weird 70's kettle!)

Happy Thanksgiving to all those who celebrate it, and happy desserts to everyone else!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Just a quickie

Here's my handspun as mentioned in the last post. Not perfect, but so pretty! I wish there was decent light so you could see the colors better, but what can a girl do?

It's a merino roving from Spunky Eclectic (bought at Mass. Sheep and Wool), in Toronto. The colors are pretty close to this, but in person it seems more....alive?

BikeJerk took me to the Mt. Auburn Cemetary today for the first time - designed by Olmsted, and ever so lovely. It's full of trees in so many lovely shades, I couldn't help but want to knit them....

Friday, November 9, 2007

My dog is shiny

(Cute shiny dog photo to distract from knitting-free post)

It's been sort of a crazy week around here - I'm just realizing today that it hasn't actually been extra busy, it's just harder to cope with it. Because I Haven't Had Coffee Since Sunday.

The BikeJerk's been having stomach issues for a while (work-stress related) and has quit eating and drinking any number of things that make life worth living (tomatoes, wine, cheese, spicy food). He had no problem quitting those things (except the mental anguish of a food-lover deprived of his previously iron stomach), and so I had no problem continuing to eat them in front of him, trying not to _visibly_ enjoy them. But it finally came down to coffee. And he loves coffee. A lot. It seemed like a little too much torture to continue to brew coffee in the house (filling it up with its lovely aroma) with him not able to drink any, so I stopped drinking it. [I know that die-hard coffee drinkers would just stop somewhere to get their morning fix, but I'm not that die-hard.] I never even had caffeine on a regular basis until about 4 years ago, but let me tell you, that doesn't make it any easier to stop. I feel much better now, but Monday and Tuesday were a haze.

Anyway, I hardly know how I've spent my time this week. There are new piles of books, so I assume I spent some time in the library. There are two balls of yarn to make the BikeJerk a new hat, so I deduce that I bought that. There's a lovely hank of handspun, which I must have spun, but it's all a blur.

There's a decent amount of knitting going on around here, but no pictures (even of the handspun - perhaps this weekend when I'm actually at home during daylight hours?): almost half of what's on the needles is secret for one reason or another, and most else is just tedious to share (yes, my scarf is now twice as long as it was, but it's still a rectangle. Nothing to see here, folks, just move along.). But I'll leave you with something that struck me last weekend. A woman at the knitting brunch I sometimes attend had a wonderful insight - maybe others have already realized this, but it struck me nicely: buying yarn (or spinning fiber, which was her example) is not just buying to have, like a lot of things are, but rather buying moments of happiness sometime in the future, when you'll sit down with your angora (or whatever), and do something you enjoy very much. Even though the happiness is somewhere in the future, even the act of buying the yarn partakes of the joy, because you can picture how happy and relaxed you'll be doing that knitting or spinning.

It's a lovely way to think of it, I think, though, to borrow a slogan from the liquor companies: Knit responsibly.

Friday, November 2, 2007

And what have we here?

Things that aren't socks? No way!

[Notice how I'm not even mentioning that the Red Sox SWEPT the World Series here? No sense in dredging up the past, right? After all, this is a socks-free post, and I feel I've sort of given up my right to gloat and cheer by allowing myself to get distracted all week by all the medieval Charlemagne material I've been forced to wade through (stupid dissertation research - so distracting)...]

I'm afraid to type this in fear that if I say that fall is finally here, the weather will suddenly change and it'll be 80 degrees and humid again tomorrow. Please, no more summer, honestly! Proof that it's autumn? I made my first apple pie of the season on Halloween - local Gravenstein apples, and my best crust ever - and the sedum has turned the loveliest shade:

I never knit scarves for some reason (too boring?) and yet I love wearing them - partially because when I moved north to New England, I finally discovered that they were more than just decoration! Also, they're pretty. This one is made from Yarn Pirate's merino/tencel sock yarn in Butternut (Booty club September (?)), and is a chevron pattern not entirely unlike that in the Jaywalker socks. This yarn didn't call to me for socks, but I really like it in this scarf. and it'll be so nice and soft on my neck.

And another autumnal scarf, for my brother:

This is from that cake of handspun that I flashed last post. I swatched several things, but everything seemed to get eaten up by the yarn. It ended up being plain old stockinette with a garter edging (I steam-ironed it and everything, so I hope it won't curl too much), which shows up the color variation as well as the sort of rustic and charming size variation in the spinning (since I'm not so good at the thicker spinning). It's a Christmas present, so more photos in December!

Almost immediately after I finished the thick spinning for that scarf, I (very slowly) spun up a whole lot of very fine singles as an antidote:

Which I just finished plying:

It's merino I dyed myself, and it turned out to be a thickish lace-weight. I haven't figured out the yardage yet, but as it's about 8 oz., it might be enough for a stole...and I do love how the colors ended up working!

I swear, this isn't a sock. Totally sock -free post, definitely...