March 2009




This week has been swallowed up by science, but the forsythias in the middle of campus are blooming and I had a bit of knitting time last weekend.

Tomorrow, I am off to the frozen north.  My parents have been saying that almost nothing is green yet, so I expect I’ll appreciate Philadelphia weather even more next week.


I left work earlyish this evening, so it was still quite light outside, and these cherry trees waylaid me for a few minutes. (I saw daffodils blooming this morning, too!)


This is the new knitting I mentioned–a lace scarf from the baby camel/tussah I spun right after Rhinebeck, made up of two lace patterns from Knitted Lace of Estonia.  I’ve just finished the border pattern and expect to start the center pattern this evening.

This afternoon was just beautiful (and even slightly too warm–about 63ºF!).  I was knitting while waiting for my lunch (at one of the local food trucks), and I was reminded of how gorgeous silk blends look when sunlit.



Alas, I think I failed to capture the sparkle, but the color’s nice in these pictures.

There are also lots more things flowering now, including the lenten roses:

• New knitting content will be delayed.  I swear I have 2.5mm needles and more than one set of 2.75mm, but they’re hiding.  And my mini-swatches (15sts, 4 rows) say that 2.25mm is too small and 3mm is too big.

• Adamas continues to grow.  I’ve been very impressed at how much it does so when it’s my carry-around project, so, despite the fact that it’s a bit big for carrying everywhere, I’ll probably keep doing that for a while.  And I appreciate the simplicity of the lace pattern more if I’m also trying to pay attention to other things.

• I saw a very interesting sweater (on a person) at the art museum last Friday: it looked like a Fair Isle-type sweater with the pieces inside out, so the floats were on the outside.  It made me wonder if it’d been made by a very proud knitter….but I wasn’t feeling outgoing enough to ask about it.

• It took about a week, given how much time I was spending either at work or out with my parents, who were in town, but I finished carding my February Spunky Club fiber into batts:



These are mostly all the New Day corriedale, but I added some tussah silk, some icicle (dyed red/orange/yellow), and a couple of teensy bits of sari silk. I’m plotting a few color combinations of my own to dye and then card, but it’ll be quite a while before I have time to act on said plans.

• Getting up early is really, really hard.  It’s great for my work schedule to have a walking-to-work partner, but my sleep schedule has not caught up well enough for me to fit in much pre-work running (the only time of day that works well for me), and housework is taking extra tolls.

• Lack of time for basic housework does mean that I finally tried the Vietnamese chicken hoagie from Fu-Wah (my local deli) last night–it’s not bad, and I like the inclusion of cucumber in addition to the pickled carrot & daikon, but I think I still prefer the tofu version.

Yesterday was absolutely beautiful–some of my favorite weather. Sunny, gorgeous to look at, warm enough to not completely freeze but still cool enough for a fleece vest, a handknit scarf, and handknit mitts.





(I also saw a few open blossoms on a cherry tree, but the light was wrong and I was in a hurry.)


Not much fibery stuff to show, because my parents are in town and we’ve been going out to dinner (it’s hard to knit on the bus when I’m also trying to keep my leftovers from falling off the seat next to me), but I can offer a highly enthusiastic recommendation for the Italian restaurant we went to last night: Bistro La Baia. Everything, from the bread through the mussels, baked mushrooms & shrimp, salmon with mustard sauce, salmon with walnuts and citrusy cream sauce, lobster ravioli, and tiramisu, was delicious. (That’s two appetizers, three entrees, and one dessert, for three people, with about two meals’ worth of leftovers.) And it was very reasonably priced. … Can you tell I’m planning to go back there?

Much as Mel (and I) relished the open-window weather over the weekend, I’m glad it’s cooled off a bit–I got to wear my new cowl last night and this morning.



This is the Darkside Cowl, knit out of most of a skein of Malabrigo Worsted in Melody, on a 5mm bamboo circ. It’s long enough to cover my nose if it’s really cold, but it squishes nicely if I don’t need that much of a shield.  And, as Anju pointed out, the pooling/striping is reminiscent of Mel’s subtle tabby stripes.

I’ve also finished some yarn:


This is two Abbybatts in Brick House, plied together. 72g, ~350yds. I’m not yet sure what it’s going to be when it grows up, but I think it’ll join forces with this batt:


This is another Abbybatt, of different composition (corriedale/mohair/silk, 50/25/25), in Ashes. It’s drafting beautifully…

New knitting content soon.  For now, I’m treating myself to winding the yarn.

I saw the first open crocuses of spring this afternoon!



And Mel is enjoying the newly-reopened windows:




After the 70ºF afternoon, that handspun vest I’ve been contemplating seems much less urgent…



From a Saturday walk a couple of weeks ago.

I’d been holding off on posting until I actually finished something, but I think it’s time to post a bunch of progress photos. The biggest block of fiber time is going into this:


I am slow at spindle-plying, but it’s a lot of fun. It’s also been pointing out how uneven my spinning is when it’s spread over the course of several months and many different contexts. Still, the intended purpose (lace) is reasonably forgiving of irregularity.

I spun both batts into singles on one of my Bosworth spindles, and it didn’t take long into the plying for me to decide that that spindle seemed too neglected to ignore. It’s now got a mini-batt:

so sari

I am amazed to find myself intentionally spinning novelty yarn–it’s pretty eyelash-y–but I really love it. I don’t think I’d want most of my yarn to be like this, but it’s a great bit of frivolity. The only downside is all of the sari silk that escapes the yarn and gets everywhere else.

I’ve also been doing a bit of wheel-spinning, continuing on the Good Fortune batts I showed a few weeks ago:

good fortune in progress

This is going to be a long-term project, for sure, but all that green…and sparkly bits… I think it’s going to keep my stitch-to-stitch attention pretty well when it grows up into yarn and becomes some sort of shawl. Adamas is growing a bit, too, but not all that much since its last photo. Knitting time has gone into this:


With any luck, I’ll still have a day or two to wear it this year. It’s certainly cold enough now, though we didn’t get anything like the snowstorm predicted for Sunday night into yesterday… (We might have gotten 4-5 inches. It blew around enough that it’s hard to tell. But nothing like the 10″ that people were getting all excited about.)


Still pretty, though.