Thursday, May 5, 2011


My semester is over.  Done.  Finito.  I have a vast, expansive summer ahead of me and dude - I couldn't be more excited.  Grad school's hard.  Don't get me wrong, I loved everything about it, but man!  That was a lot of work.  I think the most exciting thing about this summer, though, is that I'm still very excited about the clarinet.

You may remember that last year after I graduated I flew halfway around the world just to get away from my clarinet.  I learned a new language and explored a new musical tradition unlike anything I had known before to get away from the clarinet.  This summer, however, I have big plans for me and the practice room.  A whole list of plans: music to learn, techniques to perfect, orchestral excerpts to tackle...  I'm not burnt out, which is a fantastic feeling (and probably even more fantastic for my future.)

I also have big plans for my knitting.  Sweaters, scarves, mittens, hats, vests, socks... the list goes on.  (Don't you love that time of year when you can make all these plans and actually believe you will have the time in which to do them?)  I'm not making definite plans for myself, though, because stressing about knitting is stupid.  I'm going to just do what I want.  Except for, you know, those projects that I actually need to do.  (Tom's afghan, anyone?)

I was waiting for the rain to stop so I could go out and photograph some of my projects for you, but I finally gave up and dragged myself out to the park in the rainy, 43F weather and had a fantastic time.

Everything was so... ALIVE!  It was gorgeous, and I tried not to mind the rain.  There were new things popping up everywhere.

I think this rain is going to make for a very beautiful Spring and Summer.

I'm almost done with a Boneyard Shawl I'm knitting out of my own handspun.  I finished the spinning a few weeks ago and cast on before I had a chance to photograph the finished yarn.  You all know what yarn looks like, though.

I've always given my handspun away, so this is my first time actually knitting with it.  I love the way this scarf is turning out and I can't wait to wear it.  Only a few more rows left!

The day I was finished with my semester I hopped in my car and drove straight home.  Imagine how surprised I was to find myself instead at the yarn shop!  Really, my subconscious is powerful.  As I was getting out of the car, I even said to myself that I wasn't going to buy anything.  I just wanted to "look around."  Who does that?  Who goes to a yarn shop to "just look"?  It's not like I don't already know what they sell there.

But then I stumbled upon the sale yarn and couldn't resist.

Manos Del Uruguay Wool Clasica in "Putty", with "Chestnut" and "Umber" contrast colors to make this vest.  I already started it and I'm loving this yarn.

As I climbed into bed last night I thought, or rather my subconscious suggested, "I'm gonna love that sweater."  It turns out my subconscious envisions the vest with sleeves.  I wish it would have spoken up when I was buying this yarn in the first place.  What do you all think?  Sleeves?  No sleeves?  I don't know what I would wear it with as a vest, but at the same time, I want a vest (at least consciously.)

I'm heading to my first knit night at the yarn shop tonight and it's possible they may still have some left of that main color on the shelves.  I'll let you know what my subconscious decides.

P.S.: I'm driving 16 hours to Minnesota tomorrow, and then 5 hours to Wisconsin on Sunday, and then 5 hours back to Minnesota again on Sunday and then I promise to reply to all of those comments and emails in my inbox.  Promise.  Also, my computer screen is doing something and it looks expensive.  I'm hoping it will fix itself and not continue to get worse until it no longer works.


  1. So beautiful!

    Btw, it's May. Baby, spring is HERE!

    Have a wonderful safe trip, sweetie.


  2. ok, i made a vest over a year ago cause i had this great vision for two colors of yarn i was in love with. it's finished and i haven't worn it once because i couldn't think of what i could wear it with.

    oh, and congrats with finishing the semester!

  3. Congratulations on graduating and being still full of energy! It sounds like you have an exciting summer ahead.

  4. Congrats on your graduation! Quite an accomplishment. And, the Boneyard is gorgeous with your own handspun. btw, I'm from Wisconsin and hubby is from Minnesota. We met at St. Olaf College. Have a great trip!

  5. Sleeves, please. I will never ever ever pick a vest instead of a pullover. Pls to b knttng slvs kthxbai.

  6. Peter, I am very happy for you that you finished your first semester! Yes, graduate school is a different experience than undergraduate work, but I find that it is more deeply enriching. I hope that you continue to love your clarinet and studying music. I hope that you enjoy this time of your life and live it to its fullest!

    Have a safe trip back home! BTW, I laughed my butt off thinking of the yarn store. I'm exactly the same way. Oh, I'm just going to look around, but inside, I always know that I can't resist. Happy knitting!

  7. Hey you! So glad to see you posting again, especially with such verdant loveliness to share. And while the scenery is lovely (as is the yarn), I'm in love with your shawl. I don't normally do neutral naturals, but I think it's perfect for you. I want to see a close up of your spinning, it looks great from here and I'm always in awe of beautiful spindle spun yarn. Mine never looks that good.

    Enjoy home, your family, and your passion for music. I'm very glad that your music AND knitting mojo is back online.

  8. 1) Holy crap, a blog post!

    2) Don't complain about spring rain. I love spring rain. I don't get any spring rain down here and I miss it.

    3) Great pics.

    4) Your handspun looks awesome, as does your scarf.

    5) I love that you're the only one with that vest project posted on Ravelry.

    6) Who needs sleeves? Just go shirtless underneath the vest and it will be perfect for summer.

    7) One of my previous comments was totally sarcastic. I'll let you pick which one.

  9. Congrats on getting through your first year, and safe journeys home. Don't try to knit and drive, okay? ;-)

  10. You are so funny. I'm glad you get a break, and I know you will enjoy every minute of it! It looks so green and lush in your pictures. We're actually fighting a pretty serious drought down here, so things look a little less bright and green. Your vest colors are beautiful, and so is your awesome handspun shawl!

  11. Oh my! I want to spin some yarn for a Boneyard. It looks stellar! And I know I'm going to love that vest. The wool is so natural and wonderful.

  12. I read that you were done with your semester and my brain immediately screamed "Not Fair!" I don't know why it wouldn't be fair, I'm sure you worked hard, took all your finals, and it's just the way your schedule happened to work out, but something in my gut is telling me that the fact that I still have to take to finals while you buy yummy sale yarn is "not fair"... Clearly my gut reasons the same way a 7 year old does.

    1) I hear you about the spring rain, Portland has had 200% of the rain we usually get in the spring.

    2) What fiber did you spin you boneyard yarn from?

    3) Is there more?

    4) Where can I get it?

    5) Drive safe.

  13. Congrats on making it through Spring semester! Its winding down over here, only a few days left and then graduation! Woo!

    I can't wait to see the vest :D

  14. Your photos are amazing as usual, beautiful shots of the greenery. I too giveaway my handspun but sometimes it's nice to keep some for something special and your Boneyard looks great so it's a keeper :)

    LOVELY yarn !

  15. Congrats on finishing out the semester!! It's good to hear that you have an exciting summer of knitting "planned".

    Your handspun Boneyard looks fantastic. Someday I will learn how to spin...

    Also, love your photos of the moss and mushrooms!