almost there

Posted on Posted in designing, food and garden, lace/shawls, projects

i’ve been working with blinders on all week toward just two goals—putting inches onto the autumn mantle and writing the big fat pattern for it. we’ve eaten sandwiches and eggs for dinner the last two nights (courtesy of david; his eggs are sublime). and convenient as that may be, it leaves me craving lots more veggies and hot food—we are back to normal february weather here.

so first thing this morning, i made it my business to ignore the computer completely and get a big pot of soup going on the stove.

this is my own take-off on ribollita, a comfort dish that we love. in this version, i cook the soup as it normally would be done (no pancetta though; i use a little black salt to get a slight smoked flavor), but substitute tangy rapini (the last of it from my garden) for the black kale and at the end i add a big jar of roasted peppers which have been whirled through the food processor (i used to roast all my own peppers, but now some really good ones are widely available so i keep them on hand for when peppers are out of season).

wanna closer look?

mmm. i used tomatoes and basil from last summer’s garden, including some of the dried ones i put up, for a little extra flavor. we eat this soup with bread, which you can even add right to the dish to make it a thick, rib-sticking meal.

so while that’s cooking, i’ll show you the progress on the shawl

now that the rows are so much shorter, it’s going quickly—i’m really almost done. last night i got to the point where i can begin the shoulder shaping, when the piece will decrease even faster. i expect that later tonight i can get it completed at least to the neck edge, and possibly get the neck edging knit on. wow.

i’m going out to knit with friends this evening and won’t be bringing it along, so it’s possible i won’t completely finish it. but i’m so psyched—i never expected it to go so quickly.

truthfully, starting at the hem always seemed to me a sure way to make me hate knitting a shawl, if that was possible. those long, dreary rows at the beginning, so boring that mistakes are practically guaranteed, which you’d have to rip back hours of work to fix—none of that materialized. it has been all-fun all the way through

it certainly taught me a lesson—one that i seem to need to learn over and over—never judge.
and boy, did it make the pattern build a lot easier to do—no huge multi-page charts, phew.
and last night while i was working on it, i even had an epiphany about a very easy way to add another size to the pattern (we love multi-sizing, right?).

here’s a closer shot of the back panel and shaping which i haven’t had a chance to highlight yet

in my head, i couldn’t picture if this would be pretty or not, but it’s good, i think.
i can’t wait to see it finished now. i think i’ll be able to block it over the weekend and send it off on monday to visit kim and friends at SPA next weekend.

i was so happy with it last night that when we went upstairs to watch TV, i celebrated by getting the new shawl on the needles, instead of just knitting a sock in progress (i can do that while i’m visiting tonight)

this is the sample knit for new the boxleaf triangle pattern i have in progress—the one i knit for my friend kris a few of weeks back. here i’m using fleece artist cambyx, a limited-edition camel/silk blend, offered by evelyn at knitty noddy.

i’m using the hemlock colorway, a rich mix of woodsy greens, gold, and teal. love.

i’ve been saving the start of this project until i had the autumn mantle shawl pretty close to completion, because i know how addictive it’ll be (been there; will do it over and over, heh).
it will be the perfect traveling project to take along on our trip next week—we’re going to visit my mom, to celebrate a very important birthday on her horizon.

i’m planning on finishing the second tidelines sock this evening, too, which means i should plan another project or two to take along (you never know; we could get snowed in over there).

ok, now, i have a big-ass pattern to get back to, so i’m leaving you here—stay warm.

35 thoughts on “almost there

  1. It would be a good night for soup…hmm. The shawl is coming along beautifully! That Cambyx yarn is stunning-I’m a sucker for greens. I checked the site and there is no stock in any of the colors. Oh well, it’s not like I NEED it, but it would be fun to try out camel. Are you still wearing the scarf? 🙂

  2. Oh, wow — it’s looking gorgeous. I can’t wait! And that soup looks yummy, too; I wish I could invite myself over to have some 🙂 I’m so glad you’re doing a pattern for that other shawl — I may need to knit that up in the Sanguine Gryphon handspun I finished before Christmas…

  3. Love the soup – can hardly wait for the Autumn Mantle, and thanks for the midwinter eye candy all around.

  4. Yup, it’s definitely a dinner out of the garden (AKA freezer) day. I have bread baking, a rhubarb custard pie baking and there’s shepherds pie for dinner shortly using local beef, garden green beans, frozen/dried tomatoes and boxed mashed potatoes. With the rhubarb just starting to rear this year’s growth, I have to use up the end of last year’s rhubarb bounty!

  5. can’t wait for the autumn mantle pattern! i think i will knit it for a dear friend who i will be seeing this summer- a knitter who loans us a house right on coast in Maine! now that is a friend that deserves a handknit shawl!!!

    always love when you do food pictures, too, especially soup!

  6. Maybe it was the shots of the soup coming first but the autumn mantle shawl (and what a gorgeous shawl it is shaping up to be) looks just like the color of a good cream of tomato bisque soup. Love that colorway. We’re back to winter here in PA, too. We’ve alternated between blue skies and vigorous snow squalls all day. Brrr!

  7. I am on a strict no-yarn-buying policy because I have a small child, barely ever get to knit, and have six or, well, ten projects all queued up for when I *do* have a chance to knit.

    Reading your blog always makes this tough, but every time I see that Cambyx, in the hemlock specifically, I can FEEL my will weaken.

    It’s my birthday today … this might be the day that I succumb!

  8. wow, that shawl is flying. i forgot the implications of starting from the bottom – that it would go faster towards the end.

    the soup looks really good. warm. perfect for today.

  9. Looks like you are in the home stretch with the new shawl. I can’t wait to see it blocked.

    The soup looks really good. We had snow here this morning and they are calling for more this weekend.

  10. Beautiful knitting, as always! I’m so glad you mentioned the black salt. I’ve never heard of it and definitely need to get some.

  11. Mmmm, that soup looks delicious, just what me and my cold needs, maybe I’ll make some soup for lunch today…

    The autumn shawl looks delicious too, can’t wait to see it finished!

  12. The autumn shawl looks great . . . can’t wait for the pattern! I’d been going to use another pattern, but I think this one wil be a better choice for my mother’s shawl. I’m spining up yarn and I’m not confident that I’ll have enough yarn of a particular blend/color. Will be using 2, maybe 3, different blends.

  13. That autumn shawl is going to be stunning when it’s blocked. Soup is a lovely winter comfort food, isn’t it? We have a lot of it here, too.

  14. i just want to touch that leaf shawl!!! just curious. you seem to make a lot of shawls. do you wear all of them? gift them? store them? or display them?

  15. So, I want to know what is in the first bowl photo – dried tomatoes? We’ve been enjoying the roasted tomato “sauce” for everything this summer – the method you demonstrated.
    I might have to try this soup this weekend.
    I love that the shawl is kind of tomato-ey looking. Such a colorful post! Thanks

  16. Wow, I’m going to have to have that shawl. It’s really lovely (the arbor) Hope I have enough merino lace for it! I love the shape of it, too.

  17. Thanks for the link to the fab-u-lous soup. I was catching up on the blog reading and deciding what was for dinner and you made my day.

    Love all the beautiful photos of your knitting.

  18. The autumn mantle looks amazing!

    And that soup recipe you linked to was fabulous (your oictures were so tempting we made it for dinner last night). Just perfect for a cold blustery evening.

  19. The soup looks DELISH! And the autumn shawl is just outrageous. Finally dived back into palimsest – guess I had better hurry up and finish it! LOL

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