August 2010


• I was on vacation last week. I visited my parents and had basically the most slothful vacation ever. It was great.

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(The cosmos and sunflower were cut flowers from the farm; the copper beech is in my parents’ backyard.)

• I did, in fact, take my sunflower shawl with me, in case the airport/airplane was cold. They weren’t–in fact, they were rather warm–but it got chilly in the evenings. I love Vermont summers. (I did not, however, remember to take a better photo. And then I left it there.)

• I packed two knitting projects and three spinning projects, only to knit less than in a normal week. I made enough progress on the silk plying to have finished it yesterday, though…Photos soon.

• Mel really missed me. So much that 8 hours of my company on Sunday wasn’t enough to keep him from waking me up several times on Monday morning, something he only really does when he wants to play.

• Echo Flowers continues to grow, and I’ve gotten pretty bored with the blossom pattern. I now really dislike the 3-into-9 stitch, but I have another 4 or 5 repeats to knit before I switch to the border pattern.

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• That means that the past week’s evening knitting time has gone to recharting the border pattern for my Chai Phoenix shawl and winding a plying ball from my Grim singles.

• Except that some of it went to carding: I took a couple of club fibers from Spunky Eclectic and combined the red/pink/brown bits into 154g of batts.

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• Half of those batts somehow totally filled a bobbin on my Lendrum (not really packed tightly, but still…).

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• And here’s another sunflower, from my parents’ backyard, just because.

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This is the photo I was looking for a week and a half ago, when I missed ECF:

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It’s from a couple of years ago, but I’d just passed those flowers again. (They’re still there now, but they’re definitely past their prime.)

I’ve been putting off posting some of this stuff, waiting for better pictures, but that may take quite a while… (I had considered taking some knits to my parents’ house for photos, but I think I’m going to need all the room in my suitcase for other things, like hiking shoes and my bike helmet.) So! The photos aren’t great, but here’s some stuff.

I finally blocked my Sunflower shawl, which I finished knitting about a week before I moved:

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That’s one of the yarns from last year’s Tour de Fleece, knit into a slightly-modified Little Arrowhead Shawl.

And I knit a Pretty Thing cowl out of my Frosted Forest handspun:

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There are downsides to living three times as far from work, now, but one of the advantages is that I get dedicated knitting time on the subway, trolley, and bus. (No, my commute isn’t that bad. I take the subway to the trolley in the morning, which takes about 35 minutes if I get the timing right, and I generally take the bus halfway home and then walk the rest of the way, so I get at least a minimal amount of exercise.)

The current transit knitting is an Echo Flowers shawl:

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It’s a bit bigger now than that photo shows, but I’m still in the blossom chart. I will be very happy to be done with the 3-into-9 stitch, but it is pretty. I’m especially enjoying the sparkle. (It’s my Good Fortune handspun, from batts from Enchanted Knoll Farm.)

My biggest TdF accomplishment, or at least the thing from the Tour that I’m most excited about, is the “discovery” (after prodding from several people, including Abby) that winding plying balls in a different way (round rather than caked, but with distinct courses rather than as round and smooth as possible) makes it easy to ply while walking.

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The plied yarn here was spun with the plying ball either pinned to my pants pocket or held in my hand; I’ve spent the last couple of weeks’ walking-spinning time on the (larger) plying ball in the back.

And….there’s been science, and more science (anyone good at making Excel do stuff? please comment if you’re willing to help), and a couple of sorta disappointing concerts, and some sample-knitting (hmmm, looks like I didn’t post that first sample-knitting thing here. it’s fun, for small-to-medium lace projects, though I think I’ll want to keep any 800+-yard shawls I knit. or at least the first six or seven of them.)… And I finally dug out my carder this afternoon, and finished carding a couple of handpainted tops. I’ll try to get photos in the morning. Seriously, though, when I’m not being hit over the head with the downside of ignoring color theory, blending batts is a lot of fun.

The weather continues to be dreadful, but I got consolation prizes this morning: pears, asian pears, plums, and two kinds of apples, all from the semi-local farmers’ market. (It took me about 40 minutes to walk there today, by which point I was dripping with sweat. I hate needing it, but I love air conditioning.)

Mmmm, apples.  They are totally the answer to Not Cooking Because I Want To Make Batts.

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These are from Monday, in the garden near my lab.

I’m really going to try to post something substantial this weekend…but it’s bedtime now.