Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Cabin fever strikes

My to-do list was oppressing me this weekend. I wanted to accomplish something that felt authentic and significant. I had a little conversation with myself:

Me: (inspired, out of the blue) Why not start a sweater?
Me: A sweater?! That's not something you just start. You have to plan for that.
Me: No you don't! Loosen up. Be spontaneous!
Me: (moaning a bit) But I have sooo many projects that I should be finishing....
Me: You have enough real-life responsibilites oppressing you. Knitting should be a space of unencumbered freedom!

I had to admit that I was right. Ten minutes later I was swatching with a pine green worsted wool that I'd picked up years ago from a local farmer's market. I'm making a Forecast sweater, switching it up with a size 8 needle and a horseshoe cable. It's incredibly satisfying. Goes perfectly with snowy cabins and steaming mugs of lapsang souchong tea. I worked steadily on it this weekend an have almost finished the yoke.

As it's all squashed on a 32" circular, it's rather hard to photograph in an informative way. The needle is too small to fit around my shoulders. The fabric collapses into a blob when it's on its own. But I managed to find someone with smaller shoulders to show you:

Friday, February 16, 2007

And repeat

That's how my watchcap pattern should have ended, because apparently that's what I'm doing. Not long after finishing up Mountain Man's rusty one, I've made myself a black one. It's marvelous, and I'm happy to have one for myself, but now I've had enough (it's a rather tedious thing to knit three times!). I photographed it on Wednesday in the midst of the snowstorm.
And a glorious snowstorm it was!! Almost two feet of beautiful, sparkling, powdery snow (check out the picnic table in the photos below). Although my back and shoulders are killing after spending 6-7 hours shovelling over the last two days, I'm amazingly happy to have snow like this.

But there's a wisp of heartbreak in all this snowy joy. What makes it more precious, but at the same time harder to purely delight in, is the fact that this is a despairing fleeting experience. We have to move this summer. Chances are good that we're going to a hot and sunny climate, which is so against my nature that I'm afraid I'll wither and die. That's the real, unsaid reason behind all my blues lately. And with that, let me preserve some of this snowstorm in a few snapshots:

Monday, February 12, 2007

keeping warm

Gorgeous sunset this morning, with a spectacular, warm, tangerine glow behind the mountains. It took me a minute to run and get the camera, and the glow was already dissipating by the time I snapped this, but I wanted to remember this beautiful moment.

In other news, it's been very, very cold here! And I've been trying to keep my man warm with a new hat:
Pattern: Cambridge Watchcap
Yarn: Berrocco Ultra Alpaca, "Redwood Mix," 1 skein
Mods: Mountain Man likes his hats on the shorter side, above his ears actually, so I only knit 8.5" before beginning the top decreases.

The fact that I'm blogging only about the finished object means that I've already broken my resolution to blog more about my incremental progress. But it went quickly and would've made for terribly boring blog fodder. Also, I've only got dial-up now that I'm back up in Vermont, which has proven to be a bit of a disincentive for blogging.

Monday, February 05, 2007


Mountain Man recently told me, in a not-really-joking and not-very-complimentary way, that I was a "knitting fanatic." It's true that in the face of academic misery and the semi-isolation of moving back to Vermont, I've increasingly focused on my knitting, relying on it for solace and release. So I can't say that he's wrong. But it does mean that I should yammer about it to the blog instead of to him!

In the spirit of blogging more about my incremental progress, here's the project that I'm currently focused on:
It's a Clapotis-style scarf, knit out of a wool yarn that I'd dyed with cochineal insects. The base yarn is Licorice Twist, so called because one of its three plies is absorbs dye more readily. The shocking pink color and the curl of the scarf make me think of this project as Peppermint Twist.

The Clapotis pattern is easy to modify for size, but it turns out that the 'size' is a moving target. This scarf is 5.25" wide before dropping stitches, broadening into 6.5" with dropped stitches, but then eventually twisting into a 2" diameter tube. The good thing about a scarf, though, is that all of these sizes would work. And while my full-size Clapotis (the only picture is on my very first blog entry) took me a-g-e-s, this is flying by.

Friday, February 02, 2007

baby saves drowning woman

I've been in a bit of a bad mood recently, largely due to the existential woes of coming up with a dissertation topic. I'd even run into a bit of rocky ground with knitting, with lots of mis-fittings and rippings out (didn't quite feel up to blogging about it). In the midst of this, it was a special treat to receive this unexpected and wonderful photo:
Remember the rustic baby sweater that I'd knit in September? This is the darling baby for whom that sweater was intended, and the sweater actually fits now!! It's incredibly gratifying to see my handknits in action, so to speak (I actually remember Veronique saying that getting a photo of a baby wearing your handknits is the holy grail of knitting). This photo came out of the blue, and I am so appreciative of the thoughtfulness behind it. Thank you Morgan, and congratulations on your beautiful baby!