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 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 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

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.