Friday, April 29, 2016

Brave New Knitting

While digging in one of my stash bins* I found a huge hank of fingering weight yarn--the label doesn't give me any information other than there is kid mohair in there but I know it isn't ALL kid mohair. It is a Special Yarn and I've been thinking about a Special Pattern for this yarn.

Tim wound the whole thing, by the way.

After looking at a lot of things, I have decided on a shawl pattern called Morvarch by Lucy Hague. Here is a quote from the RAV page:

"The construction of this lace-weight shawl is rather complex and unusual. The shawl begins with the centre square, worked outwards in the round. Then, two of the edges around the square are filled in with short rows, and the body is worked in stocking stitch, finished with lace ribbing. After this, the other two edges of the square are filled in and rest of the shawl is worked exactly as the other side."

I cannot get my mind around that. At all. At all. So wish me luck!

*I have three major storage areas for yarn. In one closet are two pull out bins for odds and ends. I have three big bins in another closet. And then I have cubbies on the wall in the guest room. I have too much yarn.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Nova Scotia

I'm kind of loving the Nova Scotia cowl--you can see from its poised position on top of our printer that I've added in the third color (toward the top--the light blue) and this is just a happy cowl.

This is all done with slipped stitches--no colorwork! So that's fun too. I'm using Calmer, a discontinued Yarn of Wonder that I weep about every day because it is no longer with it (ok that's an exaggeration--but this is a wonderful cotton blend that feels great to knit up and to wear).

ALMOST halfway through the term, as my colleagues on the semester system are moving into finals week. Jealous of them now but I get that time back in August and September (we don't start until the end of September) and so get to enjoy the glorious summer in Eugene.

I read "Eligible" which is Curtis Sittenfeld's retelling of Pride and Prejudice. It is pretty good even when you know the story. She does a fun job of updating it to the current day with realistic characters and situations. Nicely done! Now I"m reading a mystery by Charles Finch. Have you read those? They seem pretty good!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Carole's Ten on Tuesday today is the movies I have to stop and watch while I am channel surfing. Interestingly, I'm not really a channel surfer unless Tim is out of town and I'm bored. But if I was channel surfing, these are movies that I could start in at any time and know exactly what was going on and love the movie:

1. The Big Chill. For so many reasons but especially for the young Kevin Kline and William Hurt and the big old house. Kevin Kline grew up in my suburb of St. Louis so I have a special affinity for him.  Plus, the music.

2. St. Elmo's Fire. Before it came out it was being called "The Little Chill" but it really wasn't that good. This had much of the so-called Brat Pack in it, great music, and a pretty cute performance by Rob Lowe. Whatever happened to Mare Winningham?

3. Wall Street. I don't know why but I love this movie. Two Sheens! Darryl Hannah in a yellow suit with taxi cab trim! What's not to love?

4. Fatal Attraction. I guess I went through a Glenn Close and Michael Douglas phase.

5. Dirty Dancing. As easy as it is to mock the hell out of this movie, it is really a good story with good music, fun dancing, and scenery chewing acting. No one puts Baby in a corner!

6.Annie Hall. It doesn't really matter where you come in during this movie, does it?

7. Hannah and Her Sisters. Again, doesn't really matter. Both #6 and #7 are a series of wonderful little stories that make me happy.

8. Dog Day Afternoon. Probably one that you should watch from the beginning but I've seen it enough times that I don't have to.

9. When Harry Met Sally. Such a sweet and wonderful movie, even if they have the geography of Chicago all messed up.

10. Four Weddings and a Funeral. It has the timeline built right into the title. It is Woody Allen - esque in its little stories format. It has a cute Hugh Grant before he got icky. It is british. All good.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday Meme

*1 Have you washed your winter woolens and put them away?
Yes I have--just this weekend--just like the Mother of all Memes

*2 What do you wash your wools and knits in ?
We have a front loader so I just use that on handwash (if I remember) with a little bit of Tide

*3 Do you have a favorite iced beverage in the warmer months? 
I gave up Diet Coke this year so I think it will either be ginger ale or La Croix sparkling water

*4 Would you consider yourself or a family member in your house to be a nosey neighbor?
Probably--we live on a dead end street so we call kind of look out for each other

*5 Time when you were so hungry you ate something and thought it was amazing, when you knew it wasn't. 
Hmm--anything when I'm really hungry tastes great--Taco Bell?

*6 I read that department stores are going to have to close many sites.
I'm guilty, I order by mail.
Is there a store you would really miss if it closed a building but stayed open on line?
Not really--I do order most stuff online--

*7 What was your most recent purchase related to knitting?
Probably some chiagu circs with a red cord in size 5--I can knit just about anthing on those babies!

*8 Do you use a row counter?
Yep --I would say 90% of the time

*9  What is the main color of the current project you are devoting your precious knit time to:
Either red (the sea tangles scarf) or peach (the top)

*10 What is the shortest and longest your hair has ever been?

Longest: Grew it as long as it would grow--past my shoulders--for my wedding
Shortest: I got it almost all cut off twice--once before I went to Europe in college (so I didn't have to take a bulky blow dryer--it was 1974!) and once before we went to Costa Rica in 2005 (a few places we stayed had no electricity)--the Costa Rica haircut was great since I broke my collarbone while I was there and needed something 'wash and go' while I healed!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday snaps

I cast on for Papeda this past week. It wasn't on my original list but I saw it and it looks like a nice breezy summer top with some interesting detail on it (there's a wee bit of lace at the seam on the bottom and around the neck). I had used some bamboo yarn on another project that I wasn't liking, so I frogged that and used it for Papeda--the back and front are knit separately and then joined together, and that is what you see here:

The irises are still coming:
And this poppy is so big it can't stand up straight:

And here is the wildflower section of the garden:

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Nova Scotia

I cast on the for the Nova Scotia cowl (240 stitches!) and joined it to knit in the round (and didn't mess it up!) and so far I love it:
I have at least two (maybe three) different groups of yarn that I think would look great with this pattern. I'm starting with some Rowan Calmer in three colors: a teal blue, a light blue, and a kind of sea green (that looks yellow here).

Here are all three colors in a different light.

Anyway--it is a fun knit, good for TV watching, and I think I can see myself knitting many of these.

In other news: the tulips have departed the garden but have been joined by:
what looks to be lots and lots of irises. I ran into a colleague yesterday who mentioned it was a 'good winter' for irises--not sure what that means but I think they'll look great.

It is supposed to be a cool and rainy weekend here so lots of knitting should happen. I started putting away winter clothes yesterday as well so there's always the closets to straighten out if I get bored.

We are on a 'wait and see' plan with Pilot right now to see if his lump gets smaller.

Friday, April 22, 2016

And Friday

Well this has been a week.

I'm sad about Prince--he was always one of my favorites and his impact on art and music is huge. And I'm a bit freaked out because he is my age. It is challenging for me to believe that he was just 26 when he did Purple Rain and it was 1982 when he did 1999. If you like his music, it really stands the test of time.

I also really appreciated his business sense (he had complete control of his image and never let it go) and also that he mentored other acts. I always found Morris Day and the Time to be fun to listen to and watch (I mean, who can't hear "Jungle Love" and start dancing? What? You don't know that song? Ohwayohwayoh). And Sheila E. And ETA to add Wendy and Lisa who are now creating music for TV and film--they did the "Nurse Jackie" theme.

He will be missed greatly.

In other news: I'm still plugging away on the Sea Tangles scarf but it seems like I knit and I knit and it grows a centimeter:

I guess I should have knitted this on even bigger needles.

And I did finish the socks:
And I did cast on for something new which I'll show you once things get a little further along.

Other than that, I've been working on my class, on finishing up a book project, and lots of the effluvia that comes with being a professor. What is something nice that happened to you this week?

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Poem in Your Pocket Day

Today is Poem in Your Pocket day and I'm sharing a poem by Sara Teasdale.
I somehow discovered Sara Teasdale in high school and fell in love with her poetry--she was kind of a midwestern, accessible Emily Dickinson. She was a native St. Louisan (as was I) but moved to New York in her early 30s. She won a Pulitzer Prize in 1918.
I was so enchanted with her that I wrote a screenplay about her life story for a class in college. It must have been the dullest treatment ever because even though she was an amazing poet she lived a very quiet life--she basically wrote poems, was in love with someone unattainable, married a dull man, and committed suicide before her 50th birthday. Cheery, no?  That might have suggested to me that Poet as Career was a non-starter.
So here's my poem for PIYPD:
THE LOOK by Sara Teasdale

Strephon kissed me in the spring,
Robin in the fall,
But Colin only looked at me
And never kissed at all.

Strephon's kiss was lost in jest,
Robin's lost in play,
But the kiss in Colin's eyes
Haunts me night and day.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

If these were your socks...

...they'd be done right now.
But these are not yours, they are mine, and so they are not done...and in fact one needs a toe reknit because Comet grabbed it and used it as a chew toy.

So I'm off to finish that. And then--CAST ON FOR SOMETHING!

I'm not sure what.

I am trying a new blog layout. Not sure if I like it yet. Comments welcome.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Tot: Albums!

Carole's question today was about which ten albums you listen to all the way through. EXCELLENT PROMPT! Here are mine:

1. Rumor and Sigh by Richard Thompson
2. Crowded House by Crowded House
3. History Never Repeats by Split Enz
4. Sweet Baby James by James Taylor
5. Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
6. Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits
7. Nothing Rhymes with Woman by Carbon Leaf
8. Abbey Road by the Beatles (although you could put any Beatle's album in here)
9. Girlfriend by Matthew Sweet
10. Soundtrack to "High Fidelity" by Various Artists

There are a lot more-- A LOT MORE!!-- but this is a start1

Monday, April 18, 2016

Monday Monday

And time for a meme!

1. What's the most you would pay for a skein of sock yarn? 
$26 --sock yarn is crazy expensive these days--and I have more sock yarn than I'll ever need--is that TMI?

2. What part of a pattern intimidates you? 
when you have to do two things simultaneously like decrease for an armhole and a neck!

3. What is the most delicious thing you have eaten lately?
I had a caesar salad with chicken that was served with fries on top--pretty delish!

4. If you had the grave misfortune of being in a fire, would you grab your stash or your FO's?
HA! I couldn't grab the stash--honestly I'm too busy grabbing the dogs and the cats--

5. What is a big compromise in one of your relationships?
(sshhhhh you can tell us!) 
Let me think on that one and get back to you

6. Do you bathe your pets?
The dogs get a bath once a year particularly if they are getting very itchy

7. Have you ever been bitten by your pet?
Yes---Comet has bit me once by mistake when I was trying to separate her from Pilot--and then she bit me when we got charged by the deer last summer--I think she was telling me to protect her!
8. How do you deal with pooling colors?
I love them for their challenges

9. Have you knit a Christmas or Holiday gift for 2016?
Oh lordy Kathy what a question!

10. Do you enjoy Monday Memes?
I love them!!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sunday updates

It's been a busy week (as I wrote about previously) but yesterday was a very low key day---Tim worked on a paper and I did some gardening, we have a nice walk with the dogs and a good lunch at our favorite pub, Chow, and I hung out on the patio until the sun went behind the clouds and it got a little chilly. 

I finished the CoBaSi socks for Tim (still need to weave in some ends). These turned out nicely (love this yarn) and they are also somewhat matched, which is I didn't try to do but it just sort of turned out that way. So that's good. I also cast on for a tank--not the one in the list but one from a new publication. I'll find the name and post it later. I have like two rows done on that so there isn't much to show. I did frog a top that I had started but wasn't excited about to get the yarn back.

Reading: I read "The Madwoman Upstairs" by Catherine Lowell. It is a novel about a young woman who is the last descendant of the Brontes and her messed up life. It is kind of lighthearted and kind of serious. I blasted through it--highly recommend. I also read 'The Girl in the Red Coat" yesterday--this is the "Gone Girl" "Girl on a Train" genre and it was just OK. I had read great reviews but honestly I think I've read enough 'kidnapped child' stories to date.

Watching: We are watching Season 2 of "Hinterland" on Netflix and also "Mr. Robot."

Flowers: here are a few shots of the garden--first, the trellis with the wisteria:

And the bleeding hearts.

The bleeding hearts are naturalizing which is great. The wisteria have been in progress for about a dozen years and finally look how I wanted them to look the first year!

A bit of a quieter week coming up---we found a lump on Pilot's chest last night so we'll get him to have that checked out. Hold a good thought that it is a benign nothing lump!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Busy Times

It has been a bit nutty around here--Tim has been in Corvallis for four out of five days this week and so that always throws us off. He stayed over night last night as he had a dinner last night and then meetings today. Yesterday I had an eye doctor appointment, then a defense, then came home and graded and then went to the symphony--got home about 10:30, talked to Tim, then of course couldn't sleep. This morning I got up at 6, worked out, went to a donor breakfast, came home and graded (and Skyped with my friend Lauren in Austria) and then graded some more.

Now I'm just tired.

And the knitting is not Moving Forward. I want to cast on something new but I"m trying not to. Plus I just found a cute new tank pattern in the new Twist collective: Papeda. I may have to go look to see if I have something in the stash I can use for this.

And the Sea Tangles should just be much farther along by now:

But it isn't.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Thinking ahead

So I have BIG KNITTING PLANS yet I must finish things that are on the needles. So here is my tally:

On the needles:

1. Just Because socks Funny that I was asked about the best way to fix socks--the other day Comet got a hold of the finished Just Because and basically ripped out the toe. Luckily I'm pretty sure that I can figure out how to fix it but gah. So basically--I'm maybe 60% done?

2. Sea Tangles no where near done.

3. High seas maybe halfway done?

4. Bamboo socks

5. A top that I started but got bored with

What I want to knit:

1. Irina Pullover This is so pretty. I have some Elsebeth Lavold in a dark teal in the stash that I can use on this.
2. jessica Tank I have some black yarn in the stash.

3. Torquata I have some silver/grey yarn for the middle and some variegated yarn from Mountain Colors

4. Nova Scotia cowl This just looks fun. I have a few different options--one in kind of muted tones and one in brighter tones. Looking forward to this one!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


I'm a big reader and Carole's prompt today is a great one: 10 Books That Made ME Want to Drop Everything and Read.

Here goes:
1. Little Women. I was very young the first time I read this and remember not knowing what era this was set in or even where in the world this was set. As a girl growing up without a father, it made me feel less of an outsider (of course Mr. March comes back, blah blah, but whatever).

2. I Capture the Castle. I was in High school when I found this in my high school library and have probably read it every year ever since. Again, I had no idea what era this took place in but I did know it was England. Again, a girl with an absent father who Managed OK. This book might have started by life long anglophilia.

3. Harry Potter (we'll put all of them under one number). Such wonderful escapism. And boy with absent parents who Managed OK. I like #4 the best--which is your favorite?

4. State of Wonder. I know this is a highly controversial choice since many of us just want to slap the narrator in the face for much of it. But of course it has to go on the list since girl with absent father etcetera.

5. E, The E Before Christmas, and E2 by Matt Beaumont. A very funny group of books set in a London ad agency (anglophile) and it is all done in emails/memos etcetera. He knows his territory.

6. Brideshead Revisited. I can't recall if I read the book before I saw the BBC version but it doesn't matter--simply one of the most beautiful and evocative books ever written.  Et in arcadio ego.

7. The "Discovery of Witches" series--this is one of the series heralded as the 'next Harry Potter' and the premise sounds goofy: what happens when a witch and a vampire fall in love? But there's academia and science and history and challenges and a girl with an absent father who runs into him in Shakespearean England and I really like them!

8. The Thirteenth Tale. Such a good and evocative mystery.

9. Anything by Elinor Lipman. She writes light novels with great characters (strong women) that I can read over and over and over.

10. The Dive from Claussen's Pier. I haven't read this in a while but I want to go read it again now.

I'm eager to read everyone else's and get some good reading ideas!

Monday, April 11, 2016

If it is Monday... must be Monday meme!

1. What did you do during the Masters?

I worked in the garden! Sorry golf fans.

2. What is your most recent knit fail/change my mind/don't want to knit this afterall?

I have a shawl that has been languishing for years. It is Romeo.

3. When was the last time you walked in the rain?
The last time it rained here--which was probably last Tuesday? It is supposed to start raining again tonight though.

4. Do you like to get yarn as a gift?

I do, but it doesn't happen very often.

5. When is the last time you had to repair a handknit?

Socks need repair all the time. All. The. Time.

6. If someone was going to knit you the perfect sweater would it be a Fisherman's Irish sweater or a Lopi ?

Definitely fisherman's knit.

7.   When was the last time you raised your voice?

Last Wednesday at a contentious meeting.

8.  Do you take blog photos with your phone or a special camera?

I have a point and shoot and the IPhone camera: the point and shoot definitely gets better iages but the iPhone is more convenient.

Are you a golf fan? I would imagine it makes for great knitting time!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

One down!

Of these socks!

Things I like about this pattern: nice lace pattern that looks a bit cable-y, BEADS, and you can do either a 'long toe' or a 'short toe' depending on where the 12-round pattern ends on your foot. OH and a fun and unique heel.

It does need a block so I'll do more pictures when the #2 is done.

Watching: we watched "Carol" last night--it was a gorgeous film. And we're also watching "Mr. Robot" which is simply messed up. ALso enjoying the new season of "Grantchester" on PBS and Tim tolerates watching "Mr. Selfridge" with me.

Reading: "The Anniversary" by Liane someone the Australian author. It is lightweight which is what I need right now!

Saturday: long walk, brunch and an afternoon nap. And Tim made pretzels!

Today: long walk and then ??

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Magpie Knitting

I have a very short knitting attention span these days and I want to cast on for All The Things. I have Too Many All The Things on the needles yet still find stuff I want to make. I think when I get stressed and busy at work, I transfer that emotional business on to the knitting. Yay me!

And so we have this:

This is the Sea Tangles Scarf which is interesting--the pattern maker created a spreadsheet so that every scarf turns out differently. What makes this work, imho, is the yarn--it is Habu Textiles Silk Stainless Steel--I had it in both red and white in the stash. It is working up to look like a net that someone found in the sea. I love it, and it will be a great summer scarf. I'll make one in white too.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

I See High Seas!

I returned to the High Seas after ignoring it for a bit. For a lace pattern, it is incredibly easy to get back in the groove.

I'm anticipating that three balls of Kidsilk Haze will work for this--I'm about halfway through ball two.

I had an AWFUL day at work yesterday, with stupid colleagues saying stupid things in two different stupid contexts. Luckily, some logical argument solved the problem with the first one. The second one, well, that is ongoing and still stupid.

What is new with you? I feel so rushed these days but hopefully things will calm down.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016


--I am eating a LOT of goldfish and taking VERY FAST walks with the dogs. It has been That Kind of a Day.

But just to entertain you, here is a CoBaSi sock in the colorway Slate. For Tim.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

ToT: The Calm the F&%* Down Edition

Well, that's not EXACTLY how Carole framed the prompt for today but that is in general how I think about it. It often seems that either I am having to calm the f*&@ down or I'm telling someone else to do it. OK that's an exaggeration. Let's say instead that I can get wrought up pretty easily.

1. Breathe. It is a cliche but it is a cliche because it works.
2. Just stop. I stop what ever I'm doing and then I breathe.
3. Eat. I know I shouldn't but sometimes crunching on goldfish (the cracker kind) gets that stress out.
4. Walk the dogs. They know something is up when we are moving very fast around the neighborhood. Luckily they don't ask a lot of questions and always keep up.
5. Write an email and not send it. Or write a post/response to a blog in my head and not post it.
6. Alternatively, write something and show it to someone (Tim, or my friend Lauren) and see if it is too nasty. Revise if necessary. It is always necessary.
7. Pull weeds. Yay spring!
8. Stop and think about all the nice things in my life. And baby rabbits.
9. Journal it (if I can find the journal, and if I can't...argh!).
10. Scream, but only in my head.

Monday, April 04, 2016

Once again Kathy gets in my business

Today Kathy asks:
*Do you Listen to  or watch any Knit Podcasts?
No--I am also not big on audiobooks.
*Do you purchase pattern books now that you have Ravelry? 
I've pretty much stopped buying physical books and am thinking about selling/donating most of mine.
*Do you have a photo of yourself knitting?
I have one that I took knitting at a waterfall in Costa Rica. I'll have to dig one up.
*Do you have a photo of a relative who has passed knitting or crocheting?
Nope. I don't know anyone who actually knit other than  my mom, and she didn't do it often: she has yet to shed her mortal coil.
*What is your favorite two color combination?
Hmmm. This is a good one. Purple and white (go U Northwestern). Pink and Black. Red and Black. Navy and white. Let's go with Navy and white. Or grey and white. Or grey and pink. Or grey and blue.
*Have you ever had an injury that prevented you from knitting?
Prevented--no. I wore those carpal tunnel gloves for a while when my wrists really hurt. But even when I broke my collarbone I was able to knit.
*Do you know a man who loves to knit?
No in real life.
*Have you ever been asked to knit something for pay?
Not in real life.
*Have you knit with Quivet?
HA HA no. But one time we were in Alaska and Tim was encouraging me to buy some--however he read the price wrong and the real price was 10X what he thought it was. Interestingly, we went into a gallery right before (or after, can't recall) and I did the same thing to him!
*Do you play the lottery and would you giveaway yarns if you won?
Yes because you cannot win if you don't play (best ad slogan ever of all time ever ever). Would I give away yarn if I won? I haven't thought about it but why not??

Sunday, April 03, 2016

A Flip-Flop Day

With apologies to my midwestern readers, it was a gorgeous spring day here in the PNW. I ended up in flip flops for much of the afternoon--FLIP FLOPS! ON APRIL 2!

We started the day with a morning spent in the back yard cleaning and getting ready for patio season. Generally this happens on Memorial Day weekend. But it was so beautiful out we spent the morning weed whacking the dog's yard, cutting down tree limbs that were hanging over our neighbor's yard, sweeping up dead leaves and pine needles, pulling up those little weeds that grow between bricks on the patio, and cleaning off the patio furniture. It looks great out there now!

And here are a few photos of the tulips, that are still going strong!

There's also some hopeful indications from our recalcitrant wisteria that it may choose to bloom again this year, for the second time ever!

After we did yard work we went to lunch at our favorite dive--Chow. Then we came home, grabbed the dogs, and went for along walk along the river. They enjoyed it, as did we. And my Fitbit is happy I'm not the biggest slacker on the planet.

Then we came home and sat on the cleaned off patio and relaxed a bit.

I'm still enjoying working on the turquoise socks:

That picture, while cockeyed, is much closer to the color than previous pictures.

We watched "Steve Jobs" last night and it was really good--much better than the Aston Kutchner (sp?) movie. I finished the book "The Nest" which was OK--kind of light but kind of serious. I'm now reading "The Mark and the Void" which is interesting--cynical and odd, but good so far.

The first week of spring term is over. It is weird going back to so much busy work but I'll handle it. :-). Nine more weeks.