We’ve reached that portion of this particular summer where life is crazy busy and time is of the essence! Not surprisingly, my blogging has been intermittent, my knitting erratic, and my spinning nonexistent. I returned from a brief-but-fun vacation in Cape Cod to over 100 work emails needing attention like right now and not one, not two, but three wholesale Sweet Sheep orders to sort out and set up! These are all good things (well, maybe not the work emails) but they do certainly add to the craziness of my brief two days at home before heading off for a week-long conference in Baltimore. (Ecological Society of America meeting, this eco-nerd’s paradise!) I managed to snap a few photos of my knitting before I left for the conference, so I’ll share those with you now. (Note: spoiler alert for July’s BMFA Rockin’ Sock Club colorway near the end of the post!)
I have finally begun the Black Tea hat I’ve been coveting since taking Thea Coleman’s class back in January, and it’s as delightful as I’d imagined. I did do some gauge-and-cast-on macgyvering, though, so we’ll have to wait until after blocking to see how I like the final hat. The cast on was for 120 sts at a gauge of 5 sts/inch, which would make for a 24″ hat, which is too big for me. I changed the ribbing a bit to remove some stitches and knit at a tighter gauge than called for, expecting the high cashmere content of the yarn to still give a nice drape to the fabric. Keep your fingers crossed!
All the road trippin’ lately has lead to some pretty solid progress on my Dotted Rays shawl, designed by Stephen West. Now that I’ve gotten into the rhythm of the short rows (and they’ve gotten quite long) it’s a nice,meditative knit. It’s a little unwieldy, though, so it’s mostly car and couch knitting.
This photo is a lie, as the skein has been wound and socks have been started. I have not been in love with the patterns included in this year’s club offerings, they just haven’t played very well with the variegation in the colorways they’ve been paired with (in my opinion). So I tried this skein as a pair of Smokestack Socks by Tanis Lavallee, but that wasn’t working for me either as the contrast in the yarn was a little too high and the pattern, while generally quite simple and lovely, was more than I wanted to keep track of for appropriate meeting knitting. So now I’ve begun a pair of Hermione’s Everyday Socks by Erica Leuder and I’m hoping that’ll work out a bit better.
As for reading, I’m near the end of a really excellent book called A Widow for One Year by John Irving. Please note that by excellent, I do not mean ‘pleasant’ or ‘light-hearted’ or ‘uplifting’. The story is intense, gripping, and written in a really fascinating narrative style. The narration continuously hints at what is coming in the future so it very subtly takes you back and forth in time and weaves together a few different lives in really compelling ways. The characters are not necessarily loveable, but you care about them anyway, and some truly graphic things happen (sex, violence, death), but you don’t want to put it down. This one was a completely random impulse buy at a used book store and I’m so glad I grabbed it, and look forward to reading more by the author (starting perhaps with The World According to Garp).
And that’s about all I’ve had time for! I have a few more days in Baltimore (hoping to hit up the aquarium tomorrow!) and while I miss my Fiasco and my kittens, I’m so enjoying being surrounded by an incredible number of intelligent scientists doing really important, creative work. BRING ON THE ECO-DORKS! (Which honestly pale in comparison to the other kinds of dorks who were at the same convention center last weekend. Ever hear of BronyCon? I witnessed it firsthand, and I have to say, the costumes and level of sheer fandom was amazing.)