Saturday, August 29, 2015

One down

One sleeve that is.

Sleeves aren't very exciting but it IS exciting to have one sleeve done--one more sleeve and this sweater is done--except for the collar and the blocking and the sewing up.

But yay! I like a lot. I do like the moss stitch and it keeps the knitting from the evil 'rowing out' that can occur.

Not much else to report: it did rain last night and it was lovely to lie in bed and listen to the rain, along with the distance little rumblings of thunder. The air is fresh and clean this morning--and cool--and there is a great breeze.

I finished a 'cozy' mystery about a knitting shop called "The Postman Always Purls Twice"--it was in the new book section at the library. It was by (I believe) Anne Canedo and it is a series about the Black Sheep Knitting Group and how they solved a mystery. Spoiler alert: they solve this one too. But I needed a nice light thing so that was just the thing.

Now I am reading Black Chalk which is as far away from a knitting cozy as you can get. I got this book since reviews mentioned it was like "The Secret History" which is one of my favorite books ever. It is a mystery set in Oxford (in the 80s) and NYC (present day) and that is about all I know so far (I don't even know what the mystery is!).

Also today, Tim and I played around with some potential shadowbox arrangements of the tiny shells we found on a beach in Paihia in New Zealand. I'll end with one arrangement.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Around and around

The hat continues.

It needs to be blocked and stretched out, obviously, as opposed to beret looking but I think it will turn out well. I'm almost out of the ball of yarn so I will finish this up with the black. It is still fun but the fun is slowing down and now I just want it to be done.

I finished "Contrition" was a good book but wrapped things up too neatly. As I mentioned yesterday, the story is about a woman who was adopted at birth and as an adult learns her father was a famous painter and her sister is a cloistered nun. The characters are good and it wasn't too religious-y but I kind of disliked the overall idea that the main character's two life choices were a. nun or b. tabloid reporter.

I am also reading "Swann" by Carol Shields which is about an undiscovered poet and what happens when she is discovered. It seems pretty good. I haven't read any Carol Shields (how did I miss the excitement over "The Stone Diaries"?) so I'll keep going with this for a bit.

Other than that, just spending time walking the dogs and waiting for the rain to come!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Day Late

Yesterday was National Dog Day (or some such) and I forgot to post something, but let us celebrate today, shall we?

Pilot! Note his bright and shiny new collar with airplanes and stars (pretty much like his old collar except not filthy). We love this guy so much, even when he's grumpy and when he eats all the good stuff off the counter. Yesterday we celebrated with a bath and watched him go nuts because being wet is not one of his favorite things. He's so soft and smells so nice now!

Comet! She's become such a self-confident girl after a horrific start to her life. She loves Pilot and Jessie (cat) but of course loves Tim and I the most. She's starting to calm down around strange dogs too. We love her energy and her playfulness. We also love that when Pilot gets tired during their rough and tumble sessions, he lays on his back and lets her wrestle with whatever she can get her jaws on (legs tail cheek ear etc).

Jeanie! Obligatory knitting picture.

So here's what's new here:

1. WEATHER! We are supposed to get rain tomorrow---more rain than we have had in about six months. Delirium ensures.

2. READING! I'm reading "Contrition" about a woman who finds out her birth father was a famous artist and her previously-unknown twin sister is a cloistered nun (main character adopted at birth). It is an interesting book about religion and vocation and art and destiny.

3. WATCHING! We finished "The Affair" last night. The last two episodes were incredibly rushed and it left us with a cliffhanger but still good.

4. WORK! I concentrated on a revise and resubmit yesterday so I feel less slug-like.

How are you?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

My brain on summer

This time of the year, I love the 'quarter system' which means we start at the very end of September and go through the beginning of December, and then have a lovely three week break.

It all quickly goes to hell when we go back the minute New Year's is over and trudge through til mid-June, with only a week of crazy catch up aka "spring break" to give a little relief. But for now, I'm just going to love having my Summer Brain be fully (dis)functional for a few more weeks.

I have little piles of work--some coding for a project over there, an outline for a project I really want to work on over here, a major grant-funded project that I need to get moving on more than I have wayyyy overrrr therrrrrree but all I really want to do is reading knitting books and do craft projects.

Here's the front of the  Catholic sweater with its confusing 'placket'. I also jumped in on the first sleeve and have it about a third done--yay me!

I also found the PERFECT Christmas knitted gift for Tim and I also have yarn for it but it is sort of a big project and so I probably won't have it done til next Christmas. I already have a Christmas idea for him but you will learn more about that next week, during EXPERIMENTAL CRAFT WEEK!

Yes, my summer brain and I are going to have an experimental craft week next week since Tim is going to be out of town and I will need some fun things to keep me entertained. Stay tuned!

Monday, August 24, 2015


Much of the smoke has dissipated and it seems better out today--our morning walk was much less hazy than yesterday. There's also a chance (hahahahah) of rain at the end of the week so that could clear some stuff out--we need the rain so, so bad.

This is coming along nicely:

I am working on the fourth row--hopefully there is enough  yarn to do maybe eight rows? That would make a nice slouchy hat--I think--and then I'll finish it off in black.

I am in the Entrelac Groove and can knit on this without the instructions and can get a row done in about 90 minutes watching stuff on TV--so this could get finished relatively soon.

The yarn seems like the perfect choice--mini mochi--hooray!

Other than that, it was a quiet weekend. I read 'The Little White Horse" by Elizabeth Goudge--it is one of her children's books that JK Rowling really loved--it is fine but a bit twee. I also made a bit of headway in "The Luminaries" and have been reading "China Rich Girlfriend" by Kevin Kwan--he writes these comedy of manners novels about asian culture which are delightful. Teaching at a west coast school, we have quite a few asian students and many of them seem pretty well off--  mostly I see nice cars and the women in high heeled Christian Louboutin shoes (you can tell by the red soles).
We don't have a big asian population in the Journalism school--I think many of them are in the business school and in the art/architecture school. So the book helps me understand them a bit more.
Plus it is just a hoot.

Other than that, we watched A LOT of The Affair and it is so, so twisted. I love it.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Smoky Sunday

There are many wildfires in the Pacific Northwest this year, and while none of them are close to us (thank goodness), the smoke has been sucked down into the Willamette Valley. The Air Quality was at unhealthy levels by the end of the day yesterday and currently it is at unhealthy levels already (10am on Sunday). So my guess is that we may be pretty sedentary today--we may try a paddle early afternoon before it gets too bad.

I've been working on the 'front' of NDDG, and have much of it done:

There's a 'henley' type opening and a 'placket' and i can't quite visualize it right now but I think it will be good once it is done. It will take a few more hours for the other side and then comes the JOY OF KNITTING SLEEVES but this knits up pretty fast.

Friday, August 21, 2015

I Heart Entrelac

So this happened yesterday:

I really love entrelac--it is just knitting but it seems to go faster than regular knitting and just looks so fun. I've never been afraid of picking up stitches and when you did entrelac in the round you do need to pick up stitches from the wrong side--as long as you *remember* to do that it works out fine.

My first Entrelac piece was the Lady Eleanor shawl but I didn't do the fancy fringe.  I also did the Stain Glass bag which isn't really entrelac--I could have sworn I did an entrelac bag but I'm not seeing it anywhere in my house.  Anyway--I love knitting it but in reality it is a little 'too much' in terms of design and color for a woman who prefers to wear black and grey. So the hat should be a good compromise.

OH and I missed my blogiversary this month--as of August 2nd I've been blogging for 11 years. That kind of astonishes me--that's a long time to be knitting as well as blogging. I feel like I should be a better knitter (oh I'm a brave knitter but I'm not a great knitter) but hey. I enjoy it and that is the important thing.