Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Last day of the year

What are you doing New Year's Eve?

Well, for me, I'm knitting since this is my week of knitting. :-) But you knew that.

NYE is a bit of an anticlimax this year (well, it is every year) because tomorrow is the ROSE BOWL and the Ducks are battling FSU and that is much more exciting. I'll wear my new jersey that Tim gave me for Christmas (and yes, you'll see pictures).

Most of yesterday was spent working on the band for Miss Jane's hat:

It is a very pretty cable and fun to knit. Hopefully I'll get done with that today.

Tonight we're cooking Mexican food and watching Amadeus. That should be fun.

I'm not really big on resolutions, etcetera, the one thing I will try to do is live more mindfully in the year to come.

Whatever you do to end the year, enjoy it and be safe and warm!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Halfway Scarves

So many things OTN. Oh well. There are about to be so many more!

Two scarves are halfway done--I know this because I've used half of the yarn that I have.

This is the lace one, that will look pretty when blocked (trust me).

/This one is my own design with reversible cables. You can see two cables on the bit to the left and one on the bit to the right.

Must go knit now.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Knitting week: so it begins

Part of Knitting week is having a lot of choice of projects. As if my WIPs weren't enough, I figured out a few other projects. From left to right:

-the reddish purple-ish yarn will go into mitts, mittens or gloves. I have a few patterns from old VKs that I might combine to do these. The yarn is Rowan True 4ply botany which has been in the stash forever.

-the white and dark green is for the Sanquhar Cowl, which is going to be a lot of work but I think it is so pretty. The yarn is Fyberspates scrumptious lace that I got from Little Knits.

-the light  purple yarn is Lark by Quince and Co in the Lupine colorway. This is for Miss Jane's Hat.

-the dark navy is for a felted Hat from an old issue of VK.

YAY! Now off to find needles.


Knitting Week at My House!

This week I am devoting to knitting (and doing a wee bit of reading to prep for class next term).

I didn't get a lot of chance to knit last week but I plan to make up for that this week!

Can you tell I'm excited?

One reason I'm excited is because I went through dozens of knitting magazines and pulled out patterns I"m interested in knitting and then recycled the rest. So I have a bunch of patterns to get excited about, plus yarn to knit many of them because I have a stash, and now our living room isn't overrun with knitting magazines. Yay!

I will need to do some winding to get started on some things but whatever. Yay!

I worked on this yesterday during football:

This is one front of the sweater, I have only about 32 rows til I bind off the shoulder and then knit the cable a bit more for the collar.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Holly Jolly

We're still enjoying the holiday here--we tend to take down the tree around the first of the New Year, we are not those people who pack away the holiday the minute that the date turns to the 26th or 27th. I love our tree and enjoy the lights and the ornaments so much, so it is really when the tree starts to become decrepit that we know it is time to take stuff down.

We had a lovely and busy holiday. We had a delicious dinner on Christmas Eve, talked with out of town family, and then watched the movie Holiday Inn. We usually alternate between "White Christmas" and "Polar Express" but I hadn't seen this movie and wanted to. Well, let's just say it doesn't stand the test of time. The story is that Bing Crosby runs an inn that is only open on Holidays. So there are lots of holiday-themed musical numbers and a love triangle story and that's about it.  It should be fun, except that Washington's birthday has the Louis XIV theme (not sure if that is right, I just kept thinking 'off with their heads'), Lincoln's birthday has the cast in blackface (or talking about being in blackface), and then there's this pro-WW2 propaganda segment for the Fourth of July. Just kind of odd.

Christmas day we had presents and breakfast and then drove up to Corvallis for dinner at friends'. Then Boxing Day we had brunch with in town friends.

Toys were desqueakered.



I was all holiday-ed out yesterday, and the weather got bad, so we watched a weird movie (Glorious 39) and just hung out.

I started this:


This is my version of the Irish Hiking Scarf. I have a reversible cable motif (one side has two cables, the top picture, and the other has one cable). I'm using Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk, I think it is discontinued but I do really love it. I have four balls, the pictures above used one ball so I do think it will be enough. And it goes fast.



Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve!

Happy Christmas Eve to everyone!

This is one of my favorite days of the year...I love how things are either DONE or they're NOT DONE and regardless, Christmas will be here tomorrow.

Tim took the day off and has already made Pot de Creme for several upcoming celebrations. He has a bit of prep left to do for tomorrow morning, and I'm all ready for that. I'll mix up the traditional artichoke dip for future celebrations after I finish here, then cook our traditional stuffed roast beast dinner later this afternoon.  Tomorrow we'll get up and have presents, then go over to Tim's boss' house in Corvallis for a late holiday lunch. Boxing day, we'll spend part of the day with our friends Steve and Jen and their kids. Phew!

The dogs get bows; Comet tore off Pilot's earlier this week so he got a new one today:




Comet should get a new one too as hers is a bit raggedy.

Have a delightful Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Ten on Tuesday...

..the pre-Crimbo edition--what needs to be done?

1. Fix cookie plates for neighbors.
2. Mix up dip.
3. Find bag for joke gifts for Christmas day joke gift exchange.
4. Figure out timing of when to call distant relatives.
5. Breakfast with baby Caroline.
6. Drug store for prilosec, yay!
7. Put away socks drying in bathroom.
8. Sweep up Christmas needles.
9. Push on tenderloin to see if it is defrosted.
10. Open Christmas cards...our new Christmas eve tradition.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Countdown to Crimbo

Apparently Crimbo is slang for Christmas in the UK. WHO KNEW?

Christmas activities this weekend included cookies, carols, looking at the tree, and this:



Home made toffee,,, very easy and quite delicious.

I returned to this scarf yesterday:






Kidsilk haze with sparklies in it.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

My friend Lauren (no knitting content!)

As I mentioned in my last post, my friend Lauren is dancing in the Eugene Ballet Company's Nutcracker.



The company has been touring since Thanksgiving--Lauren appeared a few times in late November and now has been performing with them for the last two weeks. Here's the thing: Lauren is not a young ballerina but a verified midlife woman who danced as a child. She is also a phenomenal author of literary nonfiction (here is her page on Amazon)--her last book, Counterclockwise, was about the aging process and what, if anything, we can do to reverse it (hence the title). It's not one of those Suzanne Sommers la la books, instead Lauren investigates the science of aging and undertakes a huge number of tests and procedures. She is an immersion journalist who is great at what she does.

Her latest immersion: to fulfill her girlhood dream and dance in the ballet. This wasn't an overnight 'oh let's see what this is like' idea...instead she's been working on this for almost two years. She's writing a book about it, which should be available in about a year.

We were so excited to see her last night--she appears in the first act party scene and for one dance she is center stage. She did great, and I was so proud of her. I was smiling the whole time.

Isn't she beautiful??
She's on the right. :-)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

And here's the front

Well, part of a front.
It is a pretty cable. Elsebeth Lavold is a very talented designer. This also shows the 'block' motif pretty well too.

Finished up the Christmas shopping today--tomorrow I'll do some grocery shopping for cookies and then tomorrow night we're going to the Nutcracker. My friend Lauren is dancing in it and I'm so excited to see her!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The back

Here is a horrible picture of the back of the Elsebeth Lavold sweater:

If you look closely you can see the blocks.

Today I'm going to sit in the sun (hopefully it will stick around) and work on the first front of the cardigan. There's a really pretty cable in it. So that will be a better picture for your enjoyment.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Fall term in the books

Well, kinda. Three prospectuses are still not turned in but I'm fine with that..the students are working on them, they are a bit challenging, and they'll get them done. Grades are turned in and now the holidays can begin! Holidays in terms of cleaning and getting ready for next term, and a bit of knitting and reading.

Somehow I missed the whole pom pom yarn period of knitting history, which isn't a surprise. However, I was looking around for cute and fast baby gifts and I found a baby blanket made with pom pom yarn. Someone posted that the yarn was incredibly soft and babies love it. So I found some on ebay and started this blanket. It is kind of fun to watch it grow so fast. This is one ball, and it barely fits on a 24" circular needle. There's a bit of treachery with this yarn as it falls off the needle very easily and is almost impossible (oh let's just say, it is impossible) to get it back on once it has fallen off. Thus, this was knit three times, the third time I added in lifelines and now feel better. Anyway, this is a gift for the daughter and son-in-law of a colleague I work wtih--theydon't know the gender, so this should hopefully work.

Holiday crafts around our house:

Tim's mom did this old fashioned Santa in counted cross stitch, it is really beautiful and has a place of honor in our hall.

I did this one before I took up knitting, it is a Mary Engelbreit pattern and makes me happy.




Saturday, December 13, 2014

Holiday decorations

Lots of people I follow online are posting pictures of their holiday houses. We do a bit of decorating but have always been kind of circumspect about it because of whatever animals we have at the time. As a result, I realized, we end up decorating around the ceiling a bit.

This Santa was bought in Rugby, Tennessee, and I absolutely adore it. It hangs in the entry to our living room.


Mrs. Santa was a gift from my Mom, and hangs in the entry hall. And to give you an idea of the grand size of our home, Mrs. Santa hangs about five feet from Santa.

We collect sleigh bells from Wallace silversmiths (one for every Christmas we've been married) and Tim created a beautiful display for them in the window of our little 'cozy room':
Tomorrow: holiday crafts.



Friday, December 12, 2014

Why?

  • Why is it so dark out and it is only 4:30?
  • Why did the Interim dean schedule a faculty meeting on the last day of finals week that barely achieved a quorum, had nothing of substance in it, and finished in half an hour?
  • Why, when you order stamps from USPS online, does it take 7-10 days to ship? IT IS THE POST OFFICE! 
  • Why did our festive holiday lunch run out of finger food ten minutes into the event?
  • Why am I so tired?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The waiting is the hardest part

Two out of three classes are graded.
The final class--thesis prospectus--is due in today (I said by the end of the day, but I don't think I said 5pm). Anyway, these are honors students and generally they are so on top of things that I really thought I'd open the email today and half of them would be there (two came in yesterday).

This morning: crickets.

I had planned to spend today grading til 3 and then go meet my friend Lauren for coffee. But I'm caught up on grading and just waiting.

So I put in a load of laundry, got in the shower, and when I got out of the shower the washing machine is making a weird beeping noise with the 'do' code. Does that mean door? It should mean door. I thought maybe we had a power surge or something so opened and shut the door and started it up again.

Crickets. Well not crickets, very annoying beeps and the 'do' code.

I jumped online and looked around a bit and finally scheduled the Sears people to come fix it. Luckily they had an opening this afternoon, which may impact my coffee with Lauren and would certainly take me away from grading if I have any to do, which I don't.

The plan now is to start grading tomorrow at 6:45 am and hopefully finish up before our end of term lunch and final faculty meeting tomorrow. That gives me roughly half an hour per prospectus which should be enough time. And I can finish up during the faculty meeting too.

I just want...I need...to be done.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Mindless project

For mindless times.

The other day I realized that I need more black socks, since just about everything I wear is black. I dug this (already wound up) ball out of the stash--it is blacker than this, really, and is Paca Peds, which may be discontinued. So far so good!

Monday, December 08, 2014

Socks for Tim


It has been black cats on the knitting blogs for a few weeks (the cuties at Kathy's blog got adopted, hooray!). I did these socks for Tim--I'm pretty sure they're String Theory Colorworks although of course I could be wrong).

If you look closely you can see Stella's eyes in the second picture. Yes, this is the cat that we almost put down a few months ago. She sleeps in a crate at night, is an enthusiastic litterbox user (YES!) and seems a lot less freaked out most of the time. Plus she likes socks.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

This week

It has been kind of a weird week--I feel like I never got back into the swing of things at work. This is the last week of classes (I have my final freshman interest group class tomorrow) and our grad students went out on strike. While I don't have any classes big enough to have GTF (grad teaching fellows), the mood on campus is very divisive. Unpleasant. Loud. No end is in sight.

I've had a cough this week and so much of the week (when I wasn't working) was sitting on the sofa and trying to rest the cough out. Today was the best day of the week but I'm still not great. We have tickets for the symphony tonight so I plan Dayquill and honey lozenges so I can go and enjoy the concert.

Monday night was the banquet for FIG faculty and assistants (FIGs are the aforementioned freshmen interest groups). Every FIG has both a faculty member and an undergrad assistant, and the banquet was to thank us all (we take on FIGs as overloads to our regular class schedules and get paid a bit for the work). My assistant, Casey, really worked hard and I know he really wanted to go to the banquet. That is the type of thing that generally I hate (strangers) but I knew he really wanted me to go. So we went.

And. It was themed. Dress-up themed. "Come as your favorite Wes Anderson character." Casey went as someone (?) from Grand Budapest Hotel, and I went as a crew member from The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. And of course only about ten per cent of people dressed up. But it was kind of fun.

So now I'm waiting til the grading comes in. Six page papers from 20 come in Tuesday, 25 page papers from 12 come in Thursday. And short papers from the FIG students tomorrow. These papers won't get the level of feedback that I usually give, and students seem OK with that. It shouldn't be too onerous to grade, and hopefully I'll be done early next week (if not before).

I've done a bit more work on the Elsebeth Lavold sweater, as you can see.

What's up with you?

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

New Project

I'm a big fan of Elsebeth Lavold. I think she's an incredible designer and I love that she is capturing ancient art and symbols into knitting patterns. I have a few of her books and now kind of want to buy them all (I got one on sale at the late great elann.com).

I cast on for Herkja:

This is the back--it is a basketweave pattern which isn't my favorite but if Elsebeth wants it, it will be done. You can see on the Rav link that there's a gorgeous cable in the front too, so that's my treat. The yarn is Silky Wool XL is a nice navy, bought on sale at Little Knits. I haven't knit with this yarn--I've knit with the regular silky wool--and so far like it very much.


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Taking advantage of a sunbeam...

..to show you the finished Clapo-Tkus.

Unfortunately, said sunbeam wasn't big enough to capture the entire scarf, but this is the best and most accurate representation of the colors that I can get without going outside into the cold.



Friday, November 28, 2014

Purple Friday

How are you spending your Black Friday? Tim is working and I"m doing this and that. We had a lovely and relaxing Thanksgiving--food and football, and Star Trek TNG.

This is very therapeutic (sp?) to work on:



Although as usual the pictures don't capture the colors well.

I'm on the decreases and starting to drop stitches--you can see that happening on the top picture. The top picture, though, doesn't really capture the color (I wish it did because that color is beautiful), the bottom picture does.

I'm so not in love with this yarn but I am in love with the pattern (Clapo-Ktus) and so I soldier on.  I'm disappointed that this yarn was sold as a 'gradient' yarn but it really isn't. Live and learn.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Clapo-ktus

Yes it is a real thing: see?

The pattern is great...easy to memorize, and I look forward to dropping the stitches once I"m halfway done.

The yarn is not so great, so I won't give the brand a mention here. I was led to believe this would be a purple gradient (it isn't) and the 100-gram promised ball is only 88 grams. It also feels sort of felted. We'll see how it turns out.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

More Vivienne

This is coming along:


Not overly fast, but it is fun to do and I like how it looks. Plus you can make a mistake and it won't show that badly. I'm not a huge lace person (understatement) but this seems to work well.

On Thursday, my office at school was broken into at about 3pm (I was working at home) and my school laptop was stolen. This is the second time that my office has been broken into and my laptop stolen in about a 15 month period, and I'm of course furious. I didn't lose any work (I store everything in Dropbox, which brings on its own set of concerns) but I seem to be seeing this as emblematic of the whole school's lack of attention to the things that need to be done on a day to day basis.

But enough of that. I cannot change the things I cannot change. So be it. Go Ducks!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Secret holiday knitting

Tim and I always exchange a 'home made' gift at Christmas, and I finished his gift today. I made it out of the Bijou Basin yarn that I bought at Black Sheep this past summer. The gift itself turned out well. I'll show you full photographs in a few weeks. Ho Ho HO!

Not much else going on of interest, with the regular end-of-term craziness and the upcoming grad student strike now seems to be a go. Oh well. It really won't affect me but it is just another piece of bad news happening at the University right now.

Today is Tim's birthday...I'm making him a nice dinner and then we'll go out on Saturday to King Estate Vineyards....we've never been. Looking forward to that.

I should have more to report but...I don't. Oh well.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Vivienne

I've done a bit of work on this scarf since Sunday, not a lot but one repeat out of a dozen or so are done:

Rowan Kidzilk Glamour, with teeny tiny tasteful sequins:


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Planning

As I think I mentioned earlier, there wasn't anything really enticing me to knit so I was feeling a bit at loose ends, knitting wise (HAHA loose ends).

But things have changed...mostly because I feel confident Arwen will be done by Thanksgiving and that's good! I have three shawls on the needles (I'll get to them eventually), a pair of mindless socks, those cable socks, and Tim's Christmas present. But I also plan to knit up these beauties:

This is going to be Vivienne, in Kidsilk Haze Glamour which is the one with little sequins.

This is going to be Clapo-ktus.

I also bought a bunch of Silky Wool XL on sale at Little Knits, and a book that has some gorgeous patterns for both Silky Wool and Silky Wool XL. I'll probably do another cable sweater (and who designs more beautiful ones than Elsebeth Lavold?) with that yarn.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Knit knit knit

Arwen's second side is done. Hoorah!

That is Pilot's head in the photograph, along with my feet.
Cold, rainy weather continued on Friday but today it was a beautiful winter day with sunny skies and highs in the 40s. I'll take that!



Thursday, November 13, 2014

Cold and Rainy

.
Brr.

It is cold and rainy here---our usual rainy season starts in October but came in a month late this year. In fact, I've been able to keep up my 4 mile walks with the dogs on Tuesday and Thursday at 7am until today, when it was just too wet to go. We eventually got out around 10:00 or so in a little break in the weather.

I'm a bit further along on Arwen than I thought I was,and only have the hood left of one side and the back. The back is maybe 25% done is all stockinette. So that should get wrapped up pretty quickly--I guess the fronts will be done in a week or so, and the back will eventually get done.

I took Jessie cat to the vet today for her weigh in, and she's gained a pound in two weeks. So that means we've basically figured out why she wasn't eating--she didn't like her food. Oh well. Our vet says it is a good sign her skin allergy hasn't come back but we need to be two months clear to make sure that the food is OK for her. So that gives us to about the first of the new year to be out of the woods.

Our grad students are probably going to go on strike, either the last week of classes ("Dead Week" which is anything but Dead) or finals week. Just another fun thing to tear the campus apart!

Hope you are warm and dry!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

One Down

I finished (finally) the first sock of this pair. Little cables and little needles are, well, challenging. Which is good, I like a challenge.


Top is the front, bottom is the back.
They are actually a bit brighter than this but the color is very close!
I had a catch up day--finished some grading, submitted some proposals, paid taxes, that kind of thing. A good day I must say!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Thank you KAT!

My Twinner organized the TIS swap, and look what arrived today from the amazing Kat in Novato, CA?
T is for Tablet, and I received a great journal with an S on it!
I is for initial, and I got Sweets, Stickers and Soak!
S is for Seasonal, and I got a beautiful hand made Christmas Tree Christmas Tree ornament (yes, I wrote Christmas Tree twice).

TIS a wonderful surprise!!

Sunday, November 09, 2014

That time of year

1. Four weeks of classes left, and my energy is at a low ebb. It always happens this time of the term--midterms are over, students are focused more on Thanksgiving than they are on school work, and it is hard to get the enthusiasm up.

2. Plus, the thought of grading makes me want to scream.

3. Plus, I'm tired of Arwen. Sorry Arwen. The good news is that I'm easily more than 3/4 of the way done--I'm more than halfway done on this side, and the other side is done, and at least half of the back is done, so it will be done. Just not soon enough.

4. Plus--there's nothing I'm chomping at the bit to cast on. Hopefully I'll find something to excite me soon.

5. I ordered stuff for Christmas today for family members--evergreen stuff from LL Bean. That tends to go over well.

6. Finally, I've had a bunch of credits at Elann.com for a while, but haven't found any yarn that I wanted. But! I remembered today they also have books and magazines. So today I went and used up all my credits on several pattern books. So that's a nice thing.

How are you?

Friday, November 07, 2014

The mitts!!

I still have ends to weave in, but ta da!

I love this yarn (Woolfolk). I have this kind in another ball of grey and in navy, and the thicker kind in (again) navy and grey which will be hat for Tim. It feels absolutely wonderful.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Did I tell you about Jessie Cat?

I know I mentioned she went for a weigh-in at the vet, and our incredible vet said "have we tried putting her back on her old food?"

She used to eat Core (after several changes of food) and she suffered from skin problems (this has been a long term condition, we changed foods several times).

We put her on venison food and her skin cleared up immediately. Apparently she also stopped eating at some point.

She's been back on Core since last Thursday or so and is chomping away. Hooray! Plus we have not seen any evidence of skin problems, but it is still early days.


Sunday, November 02, 2014

New sock

I have two pieces of mindless knitting going on. First is this sock for Tim:
The yarn is what---probably String Theory but I"m not sure. It is lovely thick sock yarn though. And the heel worked out perfectly.

My other mindless knitting is a big triangle that will make up the back of Arwen. Just in case you were wondering.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

PSA: How to make mittens from old sweaters

Someone shared this on FB yesterday, and it is awesome:

Make mittens from sweaters

I have several old cashmere sweaters that have worn out in the elbows but I can't stand the thought of throwing them away. That's nuts! So I can make a few pairs of mittens, keep one, give a few away as gifts, and then all would be good.

I will let you know how this works!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Morning Walk