Wednesday, September 30, 2015

0 to 60

It is always crazy at the start of the term--you have to go from 0 to 60 in a matter of moments. IT is a huge upheaval in how my life has been going all summer and it is quite jarring. But anyway, onward we go.

Here's the tree skirt--a bad picture from the iPhone:

I still love it!

What else what else?

  • Reading: I read a book called "Dangerous Girls" (blah) and I also finished "Black Chalk" (good). I started 'Fates and Furies' and I"m not crazy about it so far but I'll keep going with it.
  • Watching: Are you watching "Indian Summer" on PBS? It is good--it is also cinematographically (pretty sure that isn't a word) gorgeous! The color and lighting are both amazing.
  • Llama excitement: three llamas got loose in our neighborhood today! The animal control people were called and were not sure what to do. The owner finally showed up--I offered to help but he said he had it taken care of--I don't think he did

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

ToT: The Education Edition!

Today's Ten on Tuesday is great: ten things you wish you could learn instantly!

This one is particularly easy for me since I have subscribed to the Craft Gossip blog and every day get about twenty new craft projects I could try. They all involve some type of supply purchase AND learning curve and of course most of the things would just sit in the junk room until we moved but I WANT TO TRY ALL THE THINGS!

So here are my ten:

1. Tie dying with tumeric. Just because that was one of the craft gossip things today: tie dying a scarf with tumeric. I'm not even sure what color tumeric is--I just want to tie dye with it.

2. Paper marbling: it is so pretty! What do you do with marbled paper though?

3. Sewing on a serger. I can't really even sew on any type of machine except a seam. But sergers look big and fun.

4. OK now onto more serious stuff: I'd like to learn how to whip egg whites without an electric beater in a way that my arms don't fall off.

5. Languages. All the languages. Well mostly italian, maori, dutch and mongolian.

6. Crochet. My fingers are too fat and crochet is too fiddly.

7. Motors and how to fix one. I don't know anything about them other than they frighten me.

8. To fly a plan. Because it might come in handy some day.

9. To read a river and be a white water rafting guide. I can't read rivers--I've tried but I just don't get it.

10. Derivatives. Just because I need a mathy thing on my list.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Pink for Days

Well I guess just pink for A day, because I spent time knitting on this yesterday:

So  yeah, here it is in sun and in shade for your viewing pleasure.

I have two more repeats of the cable before the shoulder shaping and then the back will be done. I think the back is the most involved piece because the front has a nice v neck so it won't be quite so much to get that done. But I still like this even if it does take me away from my beloved Christmas Tree Pie (skirt).

Yesterday was a beautiful fall day--we went to a birthday part for a 1-year old (one of my PhD advisee's daughter) and that was nice in a 'what are we doing here' kind of way. Then we bought straw for the backyard. Our backyard is small and kind of a mess--nothing really grows and it gets very muddy once the rain starts. We've found, though, if we spread straw all over the yard it keeps the dogs less muddy. So we hauled home two bales and spread them out. Then we got a pizza and watched the disastrous Duck game where, according to our local paper, the Ducks were 'booted out of the national spotlight'. Ouch.

Today is a hang-around day as I will force myself back to the reality of school starting again. Yes, other schools have been on for weeks. We are just beginning.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Another wedge

I finished the second wedge of the Christmas tree skirt yesterday:
You can start to see how this creates sort of a 'circle'. I still really enjoy this knit and it goes pretty quickly--I can knit a wedge in maybe three hours so I might even get this finished during football season and before Christmas this year!

I've also been knitting on the pink sweater and enjoy that too--it is a bit more 'mindless' than the tree skirt. I need to finish up the baby jumper for the baby that will be born in November (still have time on that one though...not much though!).

In other news:
-I need a good book. I need to dig into 'Black Chalk' instead of picking it up and putting it down. I started "A Spool of Blue Thread" and put it down pretty quickly.
-The Symphony was good--one world premier (ok) and one amazing violinist (Benjamin Bielman). The highlight was 'An American in Paris'.
-LIBRARY BOOK FOUND! Funny how that happened.
-New Zealand won their second 'test' (match) quite handily, and again the combination of live radio and online updates helped us follow the game.  GO ALL BLACKS!
-And Go Ducks and Go Broncos!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Short and sweet

I'm sort of addicted to the 'Craft Gossip' blog and wanted to share with you something I found today: how to make your own yarn swift! All you need is a lazy susan and an expandable coat rack (and pegs): here is how!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

So much fun!

I highly recommend this Aran Tree Skirt for a project. It is just fun to knit. I can't really remember the last time I had such fun knitting something!

Here is one 'wedge' (out of 11, maybe fewer) plus a few rows on the second wedge--you can see where it is 'turning' a bit to create a circle.

I think it is fun for these reasons:
-every row is different
-it isn't very long at all so the rows go fast AND
-after the fifth row, short rows are used to create the wedge and so there are fewer stitches with every row (the last row is four red stitches)
-it just looks so cool!

I love cables so this is a perfect project for me!
And in other news:

WORK: classes start Monday and while syllabi etc are done I still need to prep classes for next week.
SYMPHONY: for the second year we've taken a subscription for the Eugene Symphony and tonight is opening night! Four pieces including 'An American in Paris'. We're looking forward to it!
READING: I read a YA book called "We Were Liars" by E. Lockhart. It has won a ton of awards. It was OK. Spookily enough there was a Harvard mention (the Grandfather went to Harvard and wanted the grandkids, the main characters of the story, to know he might leave his fortune to Harvard) but just a brief passing one. It was OK, the book....oddly, it was a very very similar plot to a book I read last summer called Belzhar (which was published four months after We Were Liars) so once I read the 'twist' I felt sort of like "been there done that".
Now I'm reading "Black Chalk" after having put it aside for a bit.
LIBRARY ANNOYANCE: I returned several books at the library automated return chute last week and one of them is still showing up as 'checked out' even though I know I returned it because it has a very distinctive cover. I let the library know and they said they'd look for it but if it isn't returned within 30 days of the due date I am liable for the cost of the book plus a fine of 50 cents per day. Now I"m ok for paying for a lost book (these things happen) but I'm not OK with the extra overdue fines since I LET THEM KNOW THE BOOK DIDN'T GET CHECKED BACK IN! I've looked all over the house and it isn't here (which of course it wouldn't be because I remember turning it in) so I'm a bit annoyed with the library (as you might be able to tell).

Hope your week is good.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Hole in the Head Wednesday

I need another project like I need a hole in the head, but I went ahead and cast on for a Christmas Tree Skirt yesterday just because I wanted to do a Christmas Tree Skirt. The pattern I'm doing is Teva Durham's Aran Tree Skirt from the book Handknit Holidays--the book has been out for ten years and I knew I wanted to knit the skirt the minute I saw it, but it hasn't been the 'right time' til now (because with a project like this, December 15 is not the right time unless I"m planning a year ahead).

So far:

It is interesting construction--wedges made with short rows. First you knit the red stitches and then the aran stitches, each row about 3 sttiches shorter than the previous one.

The actual pattern uses bulky wool (and I think it is doubled) but I'm going to make a smaller skirt. I'm using Fisherman's Wool for the aran part and Cascade 220.

There are two camps for Christmas Tree Skirts. I'm in the 'wrap the skirt around the bucket that is holding the tree' camp. There is also the 'spread it out around the bottom' camp (and I think many people are in this camp and I THINK this pattern falls into this camp) so a smaller one will be fine.

The skirt we have now was made in my pre-knitting days--it is embroidery with sequins--white on white. It is pretty but SO 1990s!

I bet I have you thinking Christmassy thoughts now!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

ToT: Best friends!

Today's Ten on Tuesday is ten things you like to do with your best friend. Tim (my husband) is my best friend and here are things we like to do:

  1. Walk the dogs--as we don't have kids, our dogs are our kids and our first dog, Cody, made us a family.Walking our dogs Pilot and Comet is always a lovely part of the day.
  2. Walk without the dogs--we try to go around the block every evening for a relaxing catch up that doesn't involve picking up poop.
  3. Kayak--out in nature on the water is a great place for us.
  4. Trying new restaurants--being adventurous!
  5. Saturday lunch--we try to go out for a pub lunch every Saturday at one of our many local brew pubs.
  6. Cook--we may get in each other's way but being together in the kitchen can be a lot of fun.
  7. Travel--we find that we get along really well in the car, so long car trips are pretty fun for us.
  8. Bananagrams--especially in the winter we can get pretty cutthroat on this. Scrabble is out.
  9. Sunday mornings with the paper, reading parts out loud.
  10. Just hanging out on the patio. The rainy season will start soon so we are getting every patio moment available.
Pretty simple I know--but simple is good. Really good!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Tons o' Teal

So this is neverending stockinette stitch before I get to the interesting yoke--aka the Tucker sweater.

Fascinating, no?

Classes begin a week from today. I went in today and updated my calendar (yee) and did my to-do list. I tried to start on it ('cause honestly there's a lot of put-yer-head-down-and-get-er-done stuff on there) but I just didn't want to do any of it. So I came home, put a pot of chili on the stove and now I'll pretend it will all go away.

I really thought I could generate some level of caring for this year but apparently not yet.

Reading: I'm reading "Brutality" by Ingrid Thoft, one of the Fina Ludlow novels. Fina is a private eye who lives in Boston (and she did go to Harvard Square in this book but there is minimal Harvard mentions in this book). This one is either the third or fourth in the series, and I really enjoy them. I really like the independent character of Fina who has a lot of complicated relationships with family in the books. Anyway--if you like good mysteries/page turners with strong women characters, try some of Ingrid Thoft books.

Rugby World Cup: the New Zealand All Blacks won their first game against Argentina but it was a struggle. They are ranked (the All Blacks) first in the world right now so hopefully it was just nerves yesterday. I 'watched' the game by looking at live updates on the RWC phone app, following Tweets, and occasionally listening to the radio announcer. Not a recommended way of sports viewing.

Hope you're falling in love with fall!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Amazing Day!

Before I get to the knitting, I want to tell you about our amazing day yesterday--we went over to the Coast to meet with a potential builder and it went great!

Background: we've owned a lot on the coast for 11 years in a little town called Pacific City which is about a 2 hour 15 minute drive from here (that is, if the road that is the 'short cut' isn't closed, which is was yesterday, but that's a story for another time). It is about half a mile from the ocean as the crow flies, but it is up on a hill and there's a river and a creek in between. It takes maybe five minutes to drive to the ocean--we could walk but it would be down a windy hill that is kind of out of the way. It is a few hundred feet above the shoreline.

So we are in a good place, finance wise, and think it would be a good time to build. This would probably be a weekend place for a few years but then hopefully we'll move there full time (at least I want to retire pretty soon given the awfulness of my work environment, Tim would probably keep working for a while. The house is an hour or so from where he works but we'll figure that out when the time comes).

Anyway, it was a lovely day--close to 70 degrees and no wind at all--and we chatted with the builder and then went and looked at the lot and then walked the dogs on the beach (and more success--Comet had half a dramamine and did not get car sick at all!). So a great day.

This is exciting and scary and you'll probably here more about it than you want to!

Knitting: I finished the hat and started on mittens because I think I have enough yarn left over:

 The hat still needs the ends woven in (obviously) and a good blocking: I love how the top of the hat looks.

Here is the cuff of the mitten(turn your head sideways please):

I"m making up the mittens as I go along (as I did the hat) so there were several false starts with these, but I think I know what I want to do.

Reading: I read "The Half Brother" by Holly McCraw. It is about a young man who graduates from Harvard (seriously. What is up with me and Harvard books. I swear to you I did not know this) and then goes to teach at a private school. He falls in love with the daughter of the Chaplain but there is a VERY BIG SECRET that is uncovered halfway through the book. Then his half brother comes to teach at the school and he falls in love with the daughter. Anyway. It isn't that great. I really zipped through the end.

Watching: we finished up Poldark last night---sigh. So many trials and tribulations.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Friday and a hat

I survived our retreat yesterday  (mostly by skipping out early) and came home to join Tim for a walk with the dogs, during which the heavens opened up and we got as wet as wet can be (and we live in was really torrential for a while). Today I went in and met with a student going abroad (to South Africa) to talk about her thesis and also cleaned my office, throwing away tons of paper. It felt great!

KNITTING! This is the hat I"m knitting with Big Bad Wool that I won in the KH/KC contest.  I first did a band doing a loose braided cable (with the darkest yellow):

And then I picked up stitches and am knitting around for a lighter yellow part:

And I'll figure out a way to finish it when I get there.

READING: I finished "The Admissions" (it was good) and also read a book called "The Ice Twins". This one is really spooky--in fact I couldn't read it before bed it was that spooky. The book starts out with a couple moving to the far northern part of Scotland after the husband, Angus, inherits an island from his grandmother. They are moving with their 7 year old daughter, Kirstie. We learn early on that the couple had another daughter, Kirstie's twin Lydia, who died in a fall from a balcony six months before the start of the book. At the end of the first chapter, the mother (Sarah) asks Kirstie if she is ready to go somewhere and Kirstie says "why are you calling me Kirstie? I'm Lydia." And off we go.


BIG NEWS: we are meeting with a builder on the coast tomorrow to talk about building a house on the coast! More news on that soon!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Taking Stock

Today is my last day of summer break--classes don't start for a week and a half, yet, but starting tomorrow I have 'back to school' activities every day til the end of next week. Most of these activities are sitting in a meeting and saying something about myself while listening to others say stuff about themselves. It is not fun.

So today I'm going to do some of the things I love best--knit and read--and not think about the Times Ahead (this is a touch term coming up--I have three classes and a pretty busy schedule).

I'm also reflecting about the summer, and if I had to grade myself I would give myself a 'B' (I'm a pretty easy grader though). I have to remind myself that I don't get paid in the summer so don't really have to work at all. Anyway, this summer I:

-finished the MTurk book
-revised two papers for revise and resubmit reviews
-collected data for my organic paper
-wrote two papers (and submitted them) about how people think about the words 'fee' and 'tax' with my friend Sid
-wrote a panel proposal for a conference
-did some work on two other studies: the green opinion leader study and the creative crowdsourcing study--these two studies are the reason for my 'B' since I should have gotten much farther on them. Oh well.

I'm tentatively planning a sabbatical for winter term so I can work on those last projects--we'll see how that goes.

OK so more interesting stuff:

KNITTING: Sous Sous is coming along:

This is the back with three repeats done (I think the back as a whole is eight repeats). This is a good approximation of the color too.

HEre is a closeup of the cable:
This yarn (kid classic by Rowan) gives incredible stitch definition.

Also cast on for the hat I'm making out of some of the gift yarn (Big Bad Wool) and I'll post that tomorrow.

Have to figure out what to take to the retreat tomorrow for mindless knitting.

READING: I'm still reading "The Admissions" but took a break to zip through a book called "Bradstreet Gate" about a murder at Harvard. Yes I'm on a Harvard kick right now. Anyway, I got the book from the library because it was called similar to "The Secret History" which is one of my favorite books of all time. However, "Bradstreet Gate" is no "The Secret History" but it was fine for a quick page turner.

I started thinking on the walk this morning about my five favorite books of all time (that I could read again and again) and they are:

-The Secret History
-State of Wonder
-Harry Potter (all but if I had to pick I'd pick "HP and the Goblet of Fire"
-I Capture the Castle
-Little Women

I do note that four out of five have young adults as the primary character(s) and that three out of five involve academic institutions so there you go.

FOOD: I made King Ranch Chicken last night and it was yummy.

WATCHING: We are trying to finish up Poldark. Trying.

That's it from here--we are due for a rainy day and that makes me happy.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

ToT: Fall Foods

Carole asked what foods I'm looking forward to eating now that fall is a-comin'. After I signed up for a bunch of crafty blogs I've been seeing a lot of new recipes that I'd like to try out, so it should be a yummy fall. Here is my list:

1- Chili--I might even make this today
2 - My favorite pasta with chicken sausages, tomato paste, mushrooms, fennel and spinach
3 - King Ranch Chicken (ETA: I decided on the walk this morning to make this)
4 - Brownies (sure I can eat them in the summer--just can't bake them!)
5 - Pot pie soup--just found a recipe the other day
6 - Tira misu (see above)
7 - Stew! Slow cooker stew!
8 - Mashed potatoes--go so well with heavier foods
9- Baked squash (not really, just running out of stuff)
10 - Peppermint Lattes because that means Christmas is coming!

Off to walk the dogs!

Monday, September 14, 2015


The weekend was a mix of fun and quasi-disaster.

Just a quasi-disaster, though--we drove an hour east up into the Cascades to go kayaking at a favorite place that we haven't been to for a few years--Blue River Reservoir. There are always lots of little newts in the water that make it a fun paddle. I checked online to find out what the parking fee was and saw that there was a fire ban (most recently posted on September 1) but that was all the 'news'. So off we go, and we get there and the reservoir had been 'drawn down' in July. That means: no water. No kayaking.

So we drove BACK into town and did a trip on the canoe canal which was fine but not what I had really envisioned. Oh well.

Other than that, it was a weekend of finishing and football.

The Catholic sweater got finished---the only challenge was that there were stitches 'held' on the back neck (on waste yarn) but the pattern never tells you what to do with them other than the collar gets attached. I checked some notes on the Rav and most people just went ahead and bound those off so that is what I did.

I'll take a pic with this on--the collar could probably be about an inch more but it is fine.

And there is a non-working button:

This has been in my very tiny button stash for a while so now it will be on this sweater.

I knit a lot on Sous Sous and also wound some of my gift yarn for a slouch hat.

Football--Ducks lost (boo), Broncos won (yay), Tennessee won (yay Marcus!).

Reading: finished "Movie Star by Lizzie Pepper" (it was fun but serious at the end) and started "The Admissions" by Meg Mitchell Moore (and it may be Meg Moore Mitchell, I'm not sure). It is good too--about a family where the daughter wants to get admitted to Harvard and only Harvard. But the whole family has secrets that they won't admit to (get it?).

TV: in addition to too much football we watched the first episode of "Top of the Lake"--it is from last year (or maybe the year before?) but it is on the Netflix and you should give it a try, it is interesting--plus New Zealand.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

fee fie FO

Yep, it is a finished object! The Jeanie shawl!

This is how it looked before blocking:

And here is how it looks now:

I'm pretty proud of this one!

Friday, September 11, 2015


And I do mean GOODNESS!

Some of you have participated in the Knitter's Hunk/Knitter's Chick Extravaganza that is hosted by my twinster Kim's blog---the people who nominate the eventual winners are treated to a lovely surprise prize box. I must disclose that this is the second time I've won--the first time was when I nominated Johnny Depp. This year none of my Hunks made it very far (and honestly, I thought David Beckham was a shoo-in) but two of my Chick nominations were the finalists (Tina Fey and Meryl Streep) and Tina eventually won (the Hunk was perennial Twinster paramour Sam Elliott). Anyway--giftees arrived this afternoon and LOOKEE!

There are three skeins of Rhichard Devrieze yarn in 'wintergreen'--I've heard of but never touched this yarn--it is gorgeous Next are three skeins of "Big Bad Wool"--50% merino and 50% baby alpaca in three colors: koi, dreamcycle and linen. This is definitely going to be a slouchy hat--probably with a cable band (but do I start with linen or with koi? Probably koi) Next is two balls of Stroll Kingering in Cupcake Multi: browns and pinks (lovely). Then cute puppy toys from Kim's etsy store Then two books: "colour me girl crush" which is a fun coloring books and a pattern for a sideways vest. THEN some knitting accessories including needles, a notion case, stix fix which I have no idea what it is but can't wait to find out) and..


Can't wait to try that!

Last but not least, two skeins of KPPPM which is probably one of the best yarns in the world and FINALLY LAST a copy of the infamous Color Grid which I know my twinster uses all the time! Can't wait to try that out too!

So thank you Kim and thank you everyone who participated in the KH/KC! What a lovely gift!

NOW I'm going to think of a nice way to pay such generosity forward--suggestions welcome!

Sous sous

So so I started started sous sous:

It zips along quite quickly, and I really like working with Rowan Kid Classic (although I am already worried I won't have enough--argh! The color is discontinued but it does look like I can find it at a few online stores and have reached out to someone on Rav who has it for sale). The stitch definition is really good, so this project is a big thumbs up for me!

I am almost done with the attached bind off for Jeanne--I should probably just sit down and FOCUS and finish that off. I also want to take some time today and at least start on the sewing up of the Catholic sweater.

What else? Reading: I finished the book that I referred to incorrectly last Wednesday: "In a Dark, Dark Wood" by Ruth Ware. You should read this--it is really good and it is a page turner--and it isn't very long--you could read it in one sitting. If you like thrillers/mysteries.

Last night I started "Movie Star by Lizzie Pepper" which looks to be a somewhat silly book but maybe I need that right now after so many dark books. Plus I'm feeling--well not blue exactly, just DISAPPOINTED that the summer is over and work is loooooming.

I subscribed to a blog called "Craft Gossip" and honestly, if I was retired, I could just do crafts all day long. And live in a crazy craft house.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

You go girl!

Today Queen Elizabeth is recognized for serving longer than any living monarch. I have always been fascinated with royalty ever since I heard the abdication speech. I know a lot of people (many in the UK) think royalty is a waste of time and money.  I can see their point but I do love me some royalty.

THANK YOU to all my new visitors who dropped by yesterday from Carole's blog (home of the Ten on Tuesday). I hope you'll come back!

So here is what I'm up to:

  • Finished one side of the shawl:
Sweet Jesus on a Pretzel this thing takes forever. I don't know why. I do love the drop stitches though! I'm about 1/4 of the way done with the second side.

  • Cast on for this:

This is Sous Sous--which I started with a different yarn but decided the yarn I had used originally would be better in a different sweater so now I'm making Sous Sous with this pink yarn from Rowan.

  • Reading: finished "Past Imperfect" (it went on too long) and now I'm reading "In the Deep, Deep Woods" by Ruth Ware. It is someone like "Gone Girl" in that something happened but you don't know exactly what or why from the get go. It is fairly short and zips along. And its British so it has that gong for it (see note above regarding Queen Elizabeth).
So that's me--what's up with you?

Tuesday, September 08, 2015


Today's Ten on Tuesday is ten things I did this weekend. Since I pretty much blogged every single detail of my boring life, I almost skipped this one but then realized that I could take a step back and reflect for a bit and in addition I really have no knitting to show. So ONWARD!

  1. Walked with dogs--we took a 3 mile or so walk every morning. For a while I took my iPhone and listened to music on these walks but then I realized I was missing a lot of things (birds, animals, quiet) so now I walk without music and try to experience what the dogs experience. Amazingly, it makes the time go by really fast.
  2. Walked by myself--on days when I spend a lot of time alone I find that a brisk walk around the block connects me to the earth and is a great break (and I get a few more steps in).
  3. Knit--I focused on finishing up some things and not rushing through to finish them. I also spent time looking through my stash and thinking about what to knit next. That's fun.
  4. Rugby--I watched the USA-Australia Rugby game and appreciated how well the American announcers tried to explain the crazy game of Rugby to US viewers.
  5. Read--I already wrote about how much I enjoyed "The Bellwether Revivals"--I also posted that on Twitter and @-signed (what is the right term?) the author and he send me a DM (cool!)--I also found that another person decided to read the book so that's good. It's fun to help authors on social media and I do think they appreciate it.
  6. Movies from my past--I started a few old movies that were on TV and found out that they really didn't hold up over time. Example: the Steve Martin version of Parenthood. At the same time, I found that "This is Spinal Tap" indeed DOES stand up over time especially with the news about the new archeological finding near Stonehenge ("no one knows why they were there or what they were doing...")
  7. Cooking--I ate lots of salad and made my favorite corn and black been salad, which is basically corn and black beans and green salsa. Serve it over rice. Yum.
  8. Cleaned! I did a mammoth straighten up on Sunday before Tim got home; I also did some work outside to de-spiderwebfy the spider condos that have been established this summer.
  9. Investigate--I did a bit of a deeper dig on the refugee crisis to understand a bit more about it.
  10. Contemplate--I thought a lot. I started thinking about flags and the nature of flags and patriotism for a paper I'm thinking about writing. That led me into love of country and what is related to that and an examination of my own feelings in that area. So yeah--a bit 'life of the mind' for me this weekend.
It was different but good.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Back to normal (ish)

Tim got home last night--hooray! He had good flight connections and the drive back to Eugene from Portland was traffic free. The dogs let us sleep in til 7:30 so that was nice and then we took a walk in the coolness of the morning. It is supposed to get warm again but it is really enjoyable to have to wear a sweatshirt in the mornings.

Yesterday I straightened up the house and started and then discarded two books (one called "The Blondes", one called "Infinite Home")...neither really grabbed me. I started reading another book by Julian Fellowes called "Past Imperfect" which so far is good.

I started a new sweater (this is the Tucker sweater *I think* from the new IK):

Not much to see here since I just started it--the actual color is somewhere between these two, a lovely teal blue.

I also started the bind off for Jeanie--it is an attached bind off that is done with eight stitches with some cabling in there and is kind of fiddly:

And for whatever reason is taking forever--it probably took me about three hours to do about half of one end last night. However, I did take numerous breaks to drop stitches since that is the fun part.

Happy Labor Day!

Saturday, September 05, 2015

(Almost) Finished Project

So what did the beads turn into? This!
It is a beaded bracelet! And for some reason it looks really awful in that picture, probably because it is not done yet as the clasp keeps falling off so this is just sort of loosely wrapped around my wrist.

Here is how it looks close up:

The beads, yarn, clasp stuff and threader (and recipe) came in a kit from Laura Nelkin--but now that I have the recipe I can try other materials. I like how the beads look but honestly I like a much more structured bracelet--this one just feels sort of not substantial (and given that it is just a few yards of laceweight and some beads, it really isn't). I'm going to soak it to see if it tightens up a bit. And the clasp that came with the kit is sort of dysfunction so I may rethink the clasp. I have some stuff from my 'beading phase' a few years back so I can probably find a better clasp.

I also have some stainless steel yarn in the stash (from Habu maybe?)(and I have lots of it) so I'm going to try this again with that yarn to see if it gives me a more 'bracelet'-y feeling bracelet (if that makes any sense at all). I do have wire but I hate knitting with wire.

I used size 0 dpns for this and since there are only four stitches on the needle it works fine.

What else to tell you? Still very cool here--slept great last night since Pilot decided to sleep at the foot of the bed instead of in the geographic center of the bed and I had more room to stretch out. I'm LOVING "The Bellwhether Revivals".  As I mentioned in my previous post, it is very much like "The Secret History"--twin siblings from a well off family, an outsider who joins the clique, and what happens when feelings of superiority go very very wrong. I think it was published about ten years ago (oops scratch that--I just googled it and it was published in 2012) and the author is Benjamin Wood.

That's about it from here--oh I also cast on from that sweater from the new IK (the one with the cable yoke) and there's an awful lot of Stockinette in the round before it gets interesting at all. Oh well.

Friday, September 04, 2015


 I did finish the second sleeve yesterday (must finish must finish must finish) and boy that took a long time. But I did finish it, and then soaked the whole sweater this morning. It is now blocking outside (the sleeves are on top of one another, as are the body pieces--I'll flip them in an hour and let them dry a bit more and then separate them--this makes sure the two piece get to be close to the same size.

So next up: a hat (chunky yarn), mittens (chunky yarn) a cowl (little yarn with beads) and another sweater (the one with the cool yoke). I'll have to figure out which to start on--most things are pretty mindless and I do still want to work on Jeanie.

And ready for more experimental crafts?

In which I prepare for the next experimental craft


I strung 400 or so beads onto laceweight yarn for the next experimental project.

I really thought this would be a pain but it actually only took about an hour. I used a floss threader that came with the bead kit I bought and it worked really well--the biggest problem was dropping the floss threader on the floor and then taking hours to figure out where it went. I need to go see if I have some size 0 or 1 dpns to finish this project but I don't think it will take too long.

I started "The Bellwhether Revivals" and it is reminding me a bit of one of my favorite books of all time, "The Secret History".  I also watched "Out of Africa" while finishing the sleeve and man, that movie is beautifully shot but slow slow slow.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Craft Experiment #1

I'm not doing that well with 'Experimental Craft Week' because I've been actually working quite hard (research projects) and trying to finish the second sleeve for the Catholic sweater so I can get it sewn up. But I did do an experimental craft yesterday!

In which Kim needle felts

Have you ever done needle felting? I haven't (well until yesterday). I wanted to do this because there is something I want to make for Tim for Christmas and needle felting seems to be a good way. Plus I had bought a kit on sale last Christmas so had all the stuff. (All the stuff means: roving, a felting needle, and a small piece of foam core).

It is a sheep. It is one of those stylized "Shawn the Sheep" type sheep which was done making tiny needle felt balls and needle felting them onto an egg shaped body, adding a head and little feet.
Needle felting doesn't need water (who knew??) and you can sort of sculpt the felted wool as long as you don't mind poking yourself incessantly or remembering to use the foam core as a backing for poking.

So yeah, that is all it is--poke poke poke. It might come in handy when I am feeling like I want to hit someone at work--sort of a craft person's voodoo doll.

I have a book on tiny little felted things so I might try some little things that don't require a whole lot of shaping on my way to make Tim's present.

Bottom line: needle felting is quick and fun and I might even have a bit of aptitude for it. Materials are inexpensive and dangerous.

And here is the top of the hat I posted about yesterday:

And in case you can't see the black swirly clearly

A few other things:

-BRRR it was 48 this morning and 65 in the house and foggy--a great morning for a walk! Now it is clear and still beautiful.
-I finished "Snobs"--it was OK---I think it was Fellow's thesis that the Upper Classes in the UK will never change.
-I watched "The Big Chill" last night--haven't seen that movie for a long time. Kevin Kline was (is still) SO CUTE!

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Well lookee here!

The hat is done!
I'll have to take a picture of the top so you can see how well the black works with it but here it is! this fits great--just the amount of slouchiness that I was looking for!

Sorry that the background looks so skewed.

I spent a lot of yesterday working on a paper about Google Maps--one of my honors students did her undergrad thesis on how people use Google Maps and I'm crafting it into a conference paper. It is going pretty well, I may try to submit it to a conference that closes at the end of September. We'll see about that!!

I want to knit a pair of mittens and found some black what-might-be-cashmere in the stash so I may whip that up. I also have some beaded yarn that is a carry-along that could be kind of fun to use on the cuff.

Here's a FWP for you: Firefox broke. Yes, my web browser on my home laptop just stopped working (so now on this computer I don't have firefox or the period key or the comma key---maybe I need a new laptop?). So after a few seconds of panic I downloaded Chrome and put all my favorite websites on the bookmark bar. Crisis averted.

Reading: I'm reading "Snobs" by Julian Fellowes, the producer (I think) of Downtown Abbey. It is a novel and it is pretty fun but then I have a thing for English upper classes.

Watching: Last night I *tried* to watch "Into the Woods" on DVD--I got it from Netflix knowing that Tim would probably not enjoy it at all (and after suffering through an hour of it--that was confirmed). I saw the Broadway show with the original cast and the cast was good but it just wasn't that magical--it was too stagey---and I believe it was shortened a lot too. Anyway I turned it off after an hour and back it goes.

It rained again last night--not a heavy rain but things are starting to green up just a little. Our park was hardly watered at all this summer and now neighbors are dragging their own sprinklers over there to water some of the trees which are quickly browning out. The park has a small stand of redwoods (seven--I counted this morning on our walk) and they look in distress. Hopefully we'll have more rain and things will slowly get better.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

ToT: the legible edition

Ten ordinary things that bring you joy--

-the first time you light a fire in the fireplace in the fall
-dogs asleep on either side of me
-a great cup of coffee
-clean socks
-remembering passwords
-deer in the neighborhood (even if they eat all the flowers)
-chatting with the neighbors on their porch
-when my Fitbit buzzes when I reach 10000 steps


10 Seemingly Ordinary Things That Bring You Joy

-the first time you light a fire in the fireplace in the fall

-dogs asleep on either side of me
-a great cup of coffee
-clean socks
-remembering passwords
-deer in the neighborhood (even though they eat all the flowers)
-chatting with neighbors on their porch
-when my fitbit buzzes after I reach 10000 steps