oh, you knitters!

Posted on Posted in Bare Naked Wools, book reviews/events, designing, food and garden, lace/shawls

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you deserve flowers, you wonderful people!
when i see doug tomorrow i’ll be getting some numbers and even though i don’t know what they are yet, i KNOW they will be great. our red scarf fundraiser is off to a rip-roaring success—thankyouthankyouthankyou!

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and here are a few roses for good measure; if i could reach through the screen to hug you, i would.

saturday was a good day—after a terrific morning run in nearly 70-degree weather, i met with my afternoon class (they are working through love me two times) and while they worked away on their hem patterns, we chatted and i nearly finished up my big slow dog noodle wrap. just the BO left when i got home.

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by the time i got to the end of my blog for friday, i was chomping at the bit to knit these reds, so i caked up the yarn. and since it was so late at night, i thought it wouldn’t hurt to just cast on for the cowl i had in my head—you know, while no one was looking.

but i swear, i did not touch it after that until the wrap was completed. saturday night was another story—i bound off that evening while chatting with my friend katharine and after that, i headed upstairs for a date with the TV and my delicious red cowl project.

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late as it was (well after midnight), i dove right in and before i knew it, i had completed a half repeat of the pattern, changing shades every four rounds. isn’t the gradient amazing?

i’m not trying to tease you—your skeins are being shipped imminently. lillian and mary have been packing the ones we have, erica and david are working on the shipping labels; as soon as the rest of our order is onsite they will be on their way to you—hopefully on wednesday.

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on sunday morning, i tried out the wrap on myself like a big fat scarf and discovered that i love it—waaaay more than i thought i would. i dunno, i guess i was worried that it was looking a little grannyish on the needles, but it’s so not true, once you get it on (i love me some dramatic striping). you could totally rock this out with a cool looking jūl clasp. i know that’s what we’re going to do . . .

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after playing with it a bit, i ran a hot soapy bath for it and put it on to soak. yesterday was pretty busy all day, so i didn’t get to block it, but i changed the wash water for a second soak and then a rinse.

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one of the myriad wonderful things about natural shades is that you can soak them to fit your schedule, even if that’s a long time—they just get better and better). afterward, the fiber fairly glowed, mmm.

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anyone who fears that blocking will somehow ruin the depth of the stitch pattern is just wrong—if anything it makes it better, because clean, bouncy fiber offers much more highlight and stitch definition.

do you want to see the money shot now? of course you do and you deserve it, you wonderful knitters, you (sorry about the miserable light; it was a typically dark and overcast NE ohio day today).

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look at that—seventy six inches of bouncy, delicious wool, just waiting to wrap its arms around you. MWAH!

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remember how i was getting a little concerned about the dimensions, thinking it was going to grow all out of proportion? it didn’t; it’s a few inches bigger than the pattern estimates, but very much in the ballpark at nineteen inches wide; a great size for a cozy wrap. and because it’s knit on size 9US (5.5 mm) needles, the fabric is light and airy—not overwhelming. it can be bunched up into a scarf or draped around the shoulders.

i’m almost curious enough to knit a scarf . . . but i’m reining myself in because i have a very full knitting schedule for the next forever.

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instead, i’m satisfying myself with this cowl knit—quick and fun and fits in between all the sunday and monday tasks on my list. yesterday morning i added a second repeat while i sipped my coffee and listened to a book for an hour.

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i tried to get an accurate picture of the colors but as you can see it’s a little hard to pin down; it doesn’t happen just cuz i want it to, haha.

i had a lot on my agenda for yesterday and after working on a pattern most of the morning, i got outside to run (the weather is just too good to pass on it these days) and after a little more work at my desk, i went biking with david til dark.

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after a quick supper it was time to make soup—we eat a lot of soup in winter and since we are still picking hardy greens from our garden, i’ve been making large pots of it to put up in the freezer for later in the winter.

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last weekend i used our leeks, celeriac, and potatoes to make potato soup

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and while i was chopping those ingredients i chopped a little extra, then added a few other veggies to run a second pot with vegetable soup (david’s favorite).

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this weekend i started a pot with this colorful mirepoix and added hardy greens and beans to make ribollita, one of my very favorites.

i like the ribollita recipe from the rogers and gray italian country kitchen cookbook, but i’m sure there are as many wonderful recipes as there are great italian cooks. it’s a classic peasant soup that is intended to take advantage of what you have on hand—including leftover soup from the previous day, so the recipe is pretty much lawless. the only thing i would say is to make it far enough ahead to let the flavors meld for a few hours before serving.

this time, it came out so good. oh man, i wish you were all here to share it (it’s even better the next day). fortunately i made the biggest pot possible with the cookware i have and there was enough to eat a couple of times this week, with plenty to spare for the freezer.

another good end to a good day.

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in between all that other stuff, i’ve been steadily adding repeats to my lacy physalis shawl. i love how it’s working out; i was able to figure out a formula to do the short rows in an openwork mesh pattern so that you really have to just repeat four rows over and over. it’s one of those patterns that’s impossible to chart with the stitches aligned as they are in the work, so you have to trust the pattern (you can see that i’ve thrown in a lifeline, just in case that didn’t work and i had to go to plan B).

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but it definitely works and mine is growing. i think it will be nice if i add an option to the pattern for working the short rows in garter stitch however—for those that prefer it plain or don’t feel like a challenge. but honestly, if you are up for knitting something a little difficult that will sorta blow your mind, the solution to this is a beautiful thing and very satisfying.

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i keep showing photos of it looking awfully crumpled and well, not so pretty. because later when it’s blocked, it’s going to change a lot—it might even freak us out a bit. i think i can finish this up tonight so that when i unpin the wrap i can block out this lace—and then you’ll see what i’m talking about.

oops, david just let me know that supper is ready—ribollita and then cowl finishing and then lace knitting, here i come.

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just four rounds to go now til it’s done and this is the best photo of the colors yet!

 

11 thoughts on “oh, you knitters!

  1. I tell you, I have been a very good girl this year in the yarn (not) buying department. Those photos make me wish I had been just a little naughty and bought some of that red gradient. It looks stupendous.

  2. So glad I ordered that red! That physalis is looking gorgeous…can’t wait to see it blocked. I love soup in winter!

  3. Wow… I was having such a hard time imagining these all knit up… and while I love the red gradient, I ADORE the natural colors in that wrap! It’s so striking, the curves and style of it is so gorgeous.

  4. Eight inches (at least) of snow on the ground. Fun knitting and soup sound perfect for today! However, I am a cleaning fiend for a big family Christmas reunion at my house! Also, my husband doesn’t like soup (arrrrgh). However, the thought of a cowl in slow dog noodle is proving me up! Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Such beautiful projects and yarn! Do you freeze your ribolitto before or after adding the bread? It is a perfect cold day cooking project.

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