socks


Last year was quite something. I’ve started several draft posts since the last time I blogged here. They’ve all started with something like “it’s been such a long time since I posted!”. But every time, I’ve gotten sucked into Doing Stuff again before I came anywhere near catching up on post-worthy events, which then made catching up here seem even more daunting.

I’ll cover the most important things, then, and I’ll mention the other interesting things as they come up. The biggest change since June is that I’ve moved to Boston. I’m still doing a combination of freelance editing, job-hunting, and Etsy-shop-running, but in my own space, and back in a city.

The other big not-work event since my last post was a spinning workshop with Abby Franquemont. I spent a few days at the end of June on apartment-hunting in Boston, before carpooling up to Newburyport for Abby’s Drafting Methods class. It confirmed that I need to spin more cotton, not that I’ve actually spun much more cotton since then. (In my defense, most of my leisure spinning lately has been walk-around-town spinning, and I’m not confident enough with cotton for that yet.)

I’ve also been knitting, still, primarily on my fall-colors shawls:

I’m nearly halfway through the edging on Desdemona.
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And I’m probably about two-thirds of the way through the edging on About Damn Time, but I haven’t totally decided yet.
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Of course, I’d finish both of those shawls sooner if I hadn’t picked up Spring Mix again:
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And started yet another pair of socks:
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At least these socks have a decent chance of being finished this year, since they’re not only handspun but stockinette (nice yarn and easy to pick up after being distracted for a while).

In 2013… I’m hoping to show up here a little more often, to actually finish some of these fiber projects, and to get back to doing science. I think all of that is doable.

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The fall jamming edition:

cranberry applesauce

I’m calling it cranberry applesauce, though apple cranberry sauce would be similarly appropriate. It’s got a flavor much like cranberry sauce (with undertones of apples, scotch, and various baking spices), but the texture of mostly-homogenized applesauce. I cooked it for a really long time to get the apples to cook down that much. I don’t buy cooking apples, since my main use for apples is eating them whole (well, okay, biting pieces off, but not cutting with anything other than teeth)–I just cook with the squishiest of the generally crisp apples I like to eat. This means that jamlike things take longer.

In other appley news, I’ve gone through enough of the 20-pound bag of Gold Rush that I bought a month ago that I happily signed up to get another one a week from Sunday. Mmm, apples.

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I’ve been doing a bit of fibery stuff, to try to stay sane for working a lot. The most recent spinning:

acadia
I decided I needed some plain wool to spin, of a breed I hadn’t spun before, and for which I didn’t have any particular project in mind. So I dug my Acadia out of the fiber pile (it’s a stack of bins, or it’d be spread all over the floor) and set out to spin a 3ply. The talk seems to have been right–Finn is quite nice to spin. That’s one ply all spun and the second one started.

I’ve also been knitting some; I’ve nearly finished turning the heel on that sock. Yes, it takes more than a week to turn a heel when I’m only knitting a row or half a row or something at a time. Maybe this weekend? Of course, I’m also planning to start a new pair of socks: I’ll need concert knitting, for someplace darker than World Cafe Live.

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Sunset on Tuesday.

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From Madison Square Park last Wednesday (the 25th)–this was intended for last Friday’s eye candy, but I didn’t have my computer with me and thus never quite managed to borrow enough computer time to post. I got a “look, someone’s taking a picture!” comment while I was stopped to take this. I was amused.

Also from my Thanksgiving trip to New York:
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We went to see the Mapping the Hudson exhibit at the public library, and stopped first in the children’s room to see the original stuffed animals that were the basis of the Winnie the Pooh stories. They’re clearly well-loved… And Piglet is a lot smaller than I’d’ve guessed!

I haven’t done all that much fibery stuff lately, but I knit half a sock heel at the Paul and Storm/Jonathan Coulton show last night. They turned the (rest of the) lights off after the intermission, and I couldn’t see well enough to pick up the wraps as well as the stitches, so I’ll have to finish it either at lunch or this evening. (The concert was great, though.)

Last night, as I was waiting for the bus to go to fiber night, I realized that the batt I was spinning was a good match for the skirt I was wearing:

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Heh. Maybe I’ll eventually wear that skirt with a shawl containing that batt… That’s an Orange Blossom Abbybatt all spun; I’ve moved on to another, in Hibiscus. (The plan: ply Hibiscus with Orange Blossom, Girl Drink Drunk, and the remaining Hibiscus. Have a set of orangey pinkish yarns for a shawl.)

I got some knitting done on the bus, too (and at Rhinebeck, for that matter), so I have a bit of sock toe:

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Not much other spinning or knitting, though–my at-home fiber time (as well as about half the housework time) this week has gone into figuring out how to weave patterns with two heddles. Maybe I’ll post pictures over the weekend, when I might get better light.

• I finished reading the 20 Aubrey/Maturin novels, in only about a month. I highly recommend them. (I do read quickly, but not usually quite so quickly for so long.)

• I started knitting a sock with my superwash BFL sock yarn, and I spun some superwash merino for the baby hat that I’m going to knit instead of socks:

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The yarn is from Boogie’s heather batts, in Golden Banana, but I’ve been thinking of the yarn as chocolate-mint.

• There are ducklings in the biopond!

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(Turtles are out, too.)

• There are columbines in the garden around the biopond:

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• I’ve been listening to a less-focused playlist recently, including a lot of music I haven’t played in the last couple of years.  I continue to be impressed by how much I associate certain songs with certain time periods.

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I finally have shoes that are perfect for wearing with them.  These are my shoes for Too Cold To Not Wear Socks (below 40ºF) While Too Wet To Have Exposed Sock Toes.  (This isn’t counting the waterproof hiking boots that I also use as snow boots when there’s snow.)

(Yes, I am too lazy to hem my jeans.)

(Socks pictured are these, my most-worn handknit socks.  Not just because they were the first pair I knit for myself.)

Though I packed two shawl projects last week, I didn’t work on either one. Instead, I spent a fair amount of time spinning:

targhee on a kundert
targhee, on my Kundert. I’m not at all confident that the cop will slide off, so I’ll probably just wind it off.

abby batt
the second Brick House Abby batt. I’m really looking forward to plying these and seeing how they turn out.

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And I spent most of the “official” party time knitting on my chocolate cherry sock, which now has a heel:

chocolate cherry sock
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Down-time knitting went toward this scarf, which I’m trying to use to learn (improve enough for practicality) Continental knitting:

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The scarf is going fine, but I’ve been wondering why Continental is cast as more lefty-friendly. I’m not convinced. I still think it’s likely to be more efficient once I improve, but it seems to me to require more complex activity from my right hand than does my version of English knitting.

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