Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Some stuff I've been up to lately.

I took a long weekend upstate to visit my parents, which included a trip to the lovely Troy Farmers' Market.

The trip was actually a late Mother's Day gift for, um, my mom, to help her sort through some family photos. I had never seen many pictures of her as a kid and almost none of her parents as young people, so that was really fun. Unfortunately, she wouldn't let me take anything with me and I didn't feel like taking a lot of photos of photos, so all I have to show is this one side by side comparision of me on the left and my mom on the right, each of us squeezing our respective large-headed younger brothers.
I did stick post-its to a big pile of truly fantastic shots that she promised to have copied for me, but my breath, it is not held. I may try to steal them next time I'm there.

I went to a Yankees game with my friend Josh, who was visiting from San Diego. I always root for any New York team that happens to be playing, so I was happy.

I went to Secret Science Club last night for a fantastic lecture about a plant-collecting expedition to Papua New Guinea, but it was so crowded I could only see half of the screen. Dr. Pell is giving the same lecture at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden sometime this fall, so I may go see it again.

I seem to have knit almost a whole sweater without ever mentioning it here. I started it in mid-July to take on a business trip, lot of unshaped stockinette in the round, and now the body and sleeves are done and I'm well into the yoke.
It's all handspun, mostly from Fantom Farm, with a couple of odd skeins thrown into the mix. The body and sleeves are one batch with the yoke using these guys:
My original plan was to do some kind of stranded colorwork, but it just wasn't happening. The colors are all too close, which wouldn't have bothered me especially if I did something small and subtle, but the yarn itself is far too variable. Most of it is more or less a light worsted weight, but some of the yarns veer closer to sport and some closer to bulky and I knew that either stripes or stockinette would end up looking puckered and crappy and sad.
So I hit on the idea of doing single stripes in seed stitch, which happened to be the edge treatment I had chosen even back when I was thinking stranding, and has the benefit of blending disparate yarns in a way that makes them appear surprisingly cohesive.
I'm really happy with the way it's turning out. I saved a skein of the body yarn to do an inch or so at the top, plus the band, then I'll steek the front and use it for button bands too. And I expect I'll have enough left of some of the yarns, if not all of them, to make some elbow patches. The yarn for the body is, without question, the lightest, loftiest woolen spinning I've ever done (go me!), but I'm not convinced it's going to wear well. In fact, I'm pretty much convinced that it won't. So: prophylactic elbow patches, which I expect will lend me an air of professorial authority. You have been warned.

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