Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Morning Walk

The dogs and I enjoy our morning walk--it is often so quiet and calm out, and I have time to think and plan. I never listen to the radio and rarely talk on the phone (plus, two dogs) and it is just special. This morning it was dark when we started by lightened up gradually (we started a bit after 7). Today our walk was to the 'new neighborhood' which is up the hill from my neighborhood--it takes about five or ten minutes to walk there. 

Well, unlike my neighborhood (which I guess would be the 'old neighborhood), the 'new neighborhood' people keep their outside lights on all night. So enjoy the holiday lights in the new neighborhood!

First is Strider and Luna's house (dogs, of course. I know people by their dogs).

Then we walked by Ida's house (Ida is a new pup and lives in a house that looks like a gingerbread house).

Then a bunch of bright houses in a row_

I think those are reindeer? And one more.

It is so lovely to walk through a neighborhood of lights.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Sunday Craft Day

Yesterday was cold and rainy, and so after walking the dogs in the morning I decided to just stay in. I worked on three different projects--the grey sweater, the secret project, and the Mystery KAL.

The MKAL is called 'midwinter moon' and the idea is that you start in the dark (like it is out now) and then move to the light. So here are the first 40 or so rows:

There are two colors here--the darkest (the biggest parts) and the medium (the lighter lines). The first 'clue' is this pattern repeated over and over, so I may be at the point where I can knit and read and do this. I like it so far.

I'm reading (along with "Once Upon  a River") a book called "The Dakota Winters" which is about a family named Winter who live in the Dakota apartment building in New York (that surprised you, didn't it? Honestly, I would generally quickly pass by a book called "The Dakota Winters" because I think it would be about--well---winter in North Dakota. But it isn't, it is interesting, and set in the early 1980s which was of course the heyday of my youth.  There is a sense of dread that is building and of course John Lennon was killed in front of the Dakota and he is a character in the book (and it isn't weird at all, I promise).

I needed a day like yesterday, and was joined by my loyal companion Pilot.

Today the rain has turned into thick, thick fog.  It was dark when we walked this morning and it is always a bit strange to be out as the day is starting when there is a heavy fog:

It was foggier than that looks.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Colors for your Sunday

Yesterday was a bit of a lost day--we got up very early so I could take Tim to the airport and then I was kind of out of it all day (except I did get a good chunk of the surprise gift done).  I do have some things to show you thought:

First, the blossom cowl (very early days):

I'm using a self striping yarn from String Theory. This is so cheerful! I was working on it at the faculty meeting on Friday and someone asked me "how does the yarn know exactly when to change color?" I think I gave her a head tilt and said 'well I guess it is magic.'

I signed up for a Mystery Knit Along even though that way madness lies. It is the Midwinter Moon MKAL sponsored by Blue Moon Fiber Arts. They had a good deal on kits for this one, so I wound it up yesterday.

The two on the right are different, I promise. One  has blue in it, the other doesn't.

The clues come out every week, and the first clue has 148 rows and there is no way I'll get that done in a week. And the last line of the pattern makes me smile: "Leave all sts on the needles with Colors A and B attached, and set aside to wait For Clue #2!".  WAIT FOR CLUE 2! HOW I LAUGH!

Finally, I visited the farm yesterday and had a good catch up with Ann. She had showed me some yarn from Kokopelli (Calypso's dad) that she dyed a few weeks back and I really liked it but had no clue what to make. Well the new Knitty has a project called Kilim and I think that one will work well. Here are the colors I've chosen:

I think these could be very cool. The one on the far right is a purple yarn.

 I think that's it from here!

Friday, December 07, 2018

Questions from Kathy

I have a busy meeting day today so I wasn't going to post but Kathy asked some questions so here you go, a post!

*How difficult is it for you to throw out a broken ornament or decoration?
IT'S HAAAAAARD. Why is that so I wonder?
*Is anyone you know counting the days to the Solstice as if the day is going to magically BE the cure for SAD?
Definitely counting the days. 
*Do you own an apron?
Yes and I even use it occasionally
*What’s your favorite way to use up yarn leftovers?
I should say "I wind them up into mini skeins and then create a one-of-a-kind keepsake baby blanket for every baby that every friend has ever had." But the real answer is "wait til they get hopelessly tangled with one another and then chuck them in the bin."
*Mini skeins…yes or no?
See above.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Silver Bells

Not a lot to show on the knitting front, although I did finish the 'body' of the grey sweater and last night did one last row of horizontal stitch (it takes a while. Each stitch gets knits twice and there is much to-and-fro of the stitches so it took about an hour to do that row). I also had insomnia the night before so I was not in a great place to do anything too intense yesterday. I also did my required time on the surprise present and I THINK I CAN GET IT DONE! Although I think Miss Mindy's thought that a half an hour a night would be sufficient was a little off.

So in lieu of knitting, here are our silver bells.

We have one of these bells for every year we've been married--my mom gave us the first twenty (one each year) and then she stopped so we guy them for ourselves. I should polish them more (I have actually polished them a few times so I'm not a total laggard). Each one has the year on it and a little design and they're all different (design wise, that is, obviously the years are all different).

We hang these from a high window ledge that also serves as Tim's cactus garden, and we like it so much we won't be taking these out to the coast til we move there permanently.

Let's see, what else. I finished grading and submitted grades. Yay! That kind of gives me the day off today and i have meetings all day tomorrow. I did just find out that a manuscript just got returned as a 'revise and resubmit' and it's from a good journal that I've never published in, so that is good, and we'll work some on that during the break. I have two other papers that I'm working on with co-authors but I'm trying not to start any new topics even though I really want to (ok maybe I will). I also have three things--no four things---out under review right now so those should start coming back soon. Ah academia.

I just started "Once Upon a River" by Diane Setterfield--she wrote 'The Thirteenth Tale' which has always been one of my favorite books. I have just started it but so far it is great!

We are having our last few 'winter' days---it has been quite frosty on my early morning walks with the dogs. The way it (it being weather) tends to work here on the West Coast is that we get a high pressure system and it gets cold, and then the high pressure system goes away and it gets a bit warmer and we get rain. Winter weather is rare but is getting more common (maybe a little snow once a year, but no one knows what to do with it here). So I'll be sad to say goodbye to cold mornings (although sometimes there is fog, and that is the worst) when the rain comes later.

There is your weather report for the day.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Sometimes you just have to pivot

So, you may recall I was working on a gift for Tim for Christmas (we give each other a hand made gift every year). Since he reads my blog, I've just sort of teased the gift, and it looked a bit like this:

Here is the thing. I was NOT feeling this project. I wasn't enjoying knitting it, I am far behind on where I should be with this one, and it was a chore, not a joy. (You note the past tense. You know what is coming, don't you?)

I'm pivoting. I was out running errands yesterday and found something I wanted to make for him that I was so much more excited about. And yes, we are just a few weeks from Christmas but Store Person told me 'half an hour a day every day and you'll have it finished' so we'll see. Tim is going off to a conference next week so I will have time to work on it beyond the half an hour a day so we'll see if it gets done.

This Christmas is all about the pivot. We are taking most of our decorations to the coast so we have just a small tree and a few things up in the Eugene house.

It's kind of weird to not have the house all Christmass-ed out, but it is OK.

And one tradition not to give up is the swag on the door.

Wish me luck with my pivot!

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Because you can't get enough--

--of my grey sweater.

Even though it seems like I can only knit three or four rows in an evening, it is progressing. Here is the measurement of the armhole:

which suggests that I am about an inch away from starting the 3" of ribbing for the bottom.

Or else I'm ready for the ribbing--do you stretch out your knits to add that extra inch that will allow you to move on to a more interesting part?

Now on to CONTROVERSY IN THE FIBER WORLD. Or I guess the clothing world.

First, Clara Parkes (who ran the late Knitter's Review website) got into a little slap down with Duluth Trading Company: read about it here.

And then, a Canadian sheep farm got upset about these tags on Lucky brand clothes:

And published this on their Facebook page:

Now, I have to admit I have a fake-fleece coat (purchased from LL Bean 7 or 8 years ago). I feel a bit guilty but I also feel a bit OK because I've only washed it once or twice (yes, that is once or twice too many). It is important to think twice about those things now, I think. 

Morning Walk