Home Sweet Home

We’re not completely unpacked and settled, but we’re getting there. Enough so that I didn’t feel (too) guilty enjoying the first lazy Saturday morning in months. And yesterday morning was a gorgeous one — sunny with a hint of chill in the air. So nice after July’s record-breaking heat.

I hadn’t realized how much I missed our three-season porch until I grabbed a cup of coffee and a book, laying back on the loveseat with the backdrop of blue skies and leafy old trees. After finishing up the highly enjoyable The Age of Miracles, I even knit for a good hour. Ah, bliss…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m not alone in loving this cozy spot. Both kitties have gladly taken up their porch perches again. (Chloe can be seen peeking in on the right.) And anywhere there’s a lap and a view is just perfect as far as Violet is concerned.

Life is pretty sweet these days and I’m feeling truly blessed. When I made the decision to move back to MN without a job lined up, I was filled with anxiety…tempered only so slightly with the knowledge that I’d been freelancing and saving for the transition and was fully prepared to take whatever contract work I needed while looking for my next gig.

How sweet and unexpected that the universe dropped a dream job in my lap. While the challenge of building a new website is daunting to be sure, I’m loving being back in the world of education and being back at an organization with some of my favorite people in the world. All this while surrounded by family and dear old friends. Bliss squared.

Now, a good six weeks in, I’m finally feeling rested enough after the crazy transition — left my job in ABQ on Friday, drove with Izzy and the pets all weekend, arrived in Minneapolis Sunday night, and was at work Monday a.m. at the new job — that I can start to take moments like yesterday morning. I even blocked a shawl in the afternoon. Photos and that update soon.

FO: Tweedy Cowl

Waste not, want not? Well, maybe want less. Loved the yarn used for the Penelope “sisters,” so I  was happy to discover I had enough green left over for this small infinity scarf/cowl.

Pattern: Nederland Circle Scarf by Cecily Glowik
Yarn: Queensland Collection Rustic Tweed in Forest Green

This is the time of year when I really start appreciating Albuquerque — chilly days with fading leaves instead of falling snow. Perfect Thanksgiving weather.

Monsters and Scarves and UFOs, Oh My!

There’s been lots of knitting lately — between Izzy’s skating lessons and her twice-weekly OT/Brain Training sessions, I’ve managed to squeeze in a remarkable amount of  “out and about” needle time. Concentrated, at-home finishing time? Seemingly impossible to find. Evidence:

A. Woodsmoke Scarf that only needs a half-dozen kitchener stitches (yes, I still fear them) and blocking
B. Tweedy Cowl that needs, geez, four ends woven in and blocking
C. Two Penelope Monsters that have been blocked and stuffed and only need assembling
D. Most shameful of all, a Transverse Cardigan that needs 1-1/2 side seams and buttons sewn on (and that’s been at this state for nearly a year)

To motivate myself this weekend to finish up at least the monsters (one of which is now an overdue birthday present), I’ve set that finishing as a hurdle for casting on a Chadwick with the two skeins of Tanis Fiber Arts I splurged and ordered recently (Mallard and Chestnut). Seriously, folks, the colors of this yarn are even more stunning in person.

My plan has one major flaw, though. I have 1-1/2 hours of lobby time tomorrow evening during Izzy’s OT session. And no way, no how can I sit there without any knitting. Looks like I have a Scarflette to cast on… Make that re-cast on. (But that’s a story for another day.)

PSA, Fellow Knitters: Tanis just launched a line of Merino-Cashmere-Silk yarn, and she’s giving away a skein with a pattern she designed. Enter before Halloween! (And any family looking for Christmas ideas, consider this a big-ole-hint! 😉

Go Heavy on the Greens

When it comes to the Pogona, load up on whatever color it is you’re using. Seriously. The two skeins I’d purchased had 24 yards more than the 380 the pattern called for, so I figured I’d be safe. I’m always under in yardage used.

Well, I was just hitting a center triangle length of 12 inches (far from the 15 called for by the pattern before the edging) when I pulled out the kitchen scale. At best, I could hope for 4/5 more rows. Frantic call to my LYS the next morning, followed by lunchtime yarn run for the one (and only) skein left in the dye lot.

This has me seriously confused. I had gauge. As did many of the others who I’ve since read about on Ravelry. But then there are just as many people who made the shawl with the called for yardage or even less. If anyone can explain this phenomenon, please drop me a comment. Best guess I can come up with is that it all hinges on row gauge (which the pattern doesn’t specify).

 

 

 

 

 

 

But all’s well that ends well — with another 162 yards. And Crystal Palace Panda Silk Print was a joy to work with (52% bamboo with merino and silk rounding out the 100).

I got to try out my blocking wires for the first time. So much easier. Terrific investment, I’d say, not that anyone asked. Only problem is they were so easy to work with that I overdid the blocking by several inches. But since I wanted this shawl/scarf for the summer, I guess airy is good?

New Yarn!

Are there sweeter words in the English language? Tonight, I arrived home to find the purchases I made with my KnitPicks gift card (an utterly fabulous holiday present) a day earlier than expected. Hands down, best moment of the day.

First up, my choices for the Fiddlehead Mittens, which Chloe was kind enough to inspect without prompting. It’s the new Chroma (worsted) in the Galapagos and Bittersweet Heather colorways for the outside, Gloss DK in Woodland Sage for the inner mitts.

And then an assortment of other goodies. The far-left skeins of Gloss Fingering in Robot and Cosmos are intended for the Woodsmoke Scarf by Jared Flood (Brave New Knits). The other three fingering skeins, though, have yet to be spoken for (Imagination Hand Painted in Mermaid Lagoon, Stroll in Blue Violet Tonal). Hmmm, socks? Shawls? Both? Let the Ravelry browsing begin.

Taos Wool Festival!

Headed north Friday night to Taos with my friend Jane, whose husband hosted a sleepover extraordinaire for their daughter and Izzy — backyard camping, telescope viewing of Jupiter, Saturday morning pancake making, and a visit to Explora … all before ferrying the girls to their ice skating lessons, then pizza for lunch and “Little House of the Prairie” viewing. I’ll, of course, leave it to Jane to decide whether she wants to submit the Husband of the Year paperwork, but I do think he’s sure to place if not win the whole thing. Just sayin’.

With the lure of yarn winning out over our desire to enjoy Saturday morning solitude/sleeping in, we were up and ready to meet for the free hotel breakfast at 8 a.m., only to find the place overrun. So we headed into town, found the World Cup Cafe, and paid for coffee and pastries definitely worth the price. We then arrived at the festival, beating a few of the vendors. Definitely a plan I’d advise — we were able to do a full circle before the crowds descended and only had to deal with elbow-to-elbow tents and lines for our purchases.  As way of comparison, I’d say the festival is about 1/3 the size of Maryland Sheep and Wool (which I was last at when Izzy was a baby), but there was certainly no shortage of yummy yarn. Here’s what I finally decided on.

The 500-yard skein of Brooks Farm Duet is going to be a lighter-weight version of the oscilloscope shawl and the terra cotta Striations skeins (75% mohair, 25% wool) along with the buttons (purchased later at Common Thread in the Taos Plaza) are designated for a Transverse Cardigan. Now, which to start first?