Thursday, September 29, 2016

It's a sweater

I hate seaming sweaters (and this one had a lot of seems) but it really came together easily. I think the seed/moss stitch on the sides where the seams are really help with that. I ordered buttons and they should be here today.

So hey Kathy, look at what I knit after being inspired by you!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Hello Rosalind

It has seemed like forever since I worked on anything other than Kathy's Cable Sweater, but I got to revisit Rosalind Franklin for a while:

This has very interesting construction, as the scarf changes direction for the second half. I'll do one more repeat on the whole chart and then start the second half.

I got home from work yesterday with a few hours to spare before the debate and so started seaming the cable sweater--got it all seamed and the button band 2/3 done. I'm almost done with it, yay! I'm looking forward to getting back to scarves and especially to the 12 days of Christmas mini mittens so I can finish those before Christmas decorating time!

My first day of school was fine. I'm pretty over it by now.

Monday, September 26, 2016

BTS Quora

Back to school, that is.

*Do you work better in groups or alone?
Definitely alone. I'm an introvert. Groups suck. The end. 

*Butter or margarine?
Butter. Margarine is worse for you than butter.

*For a day : no phone or no computer?
As Kathy the Quora Queen indicated, this one is easy, no phone.

*Gym shoes: wear them out or replace regularly?
I wear them out but then I do things like fall over all the time and thus need new ones.

*More likely to find in your couch cushions: money or needles?
I use cash for almost nothing, thus have minimal change, thus needles.

*What kind of knitting hurts your hands/arms/fingers?
Knitting with cotton yarn.

*How do you feel when someone asks you to knit for them?
I don't think it has ever happened. Maybe Tim has asked for something once or twice and then it's just 'ok fine'. 
*I choose my patterns based on : 
-the designer
-the difficulty
-ability to use stash on hand
I know which designers write interesting patterns that are well-written and understandable, so that's part of it. Difficulty: sometimes I want a hard one, sometimes an easy one. STash on hand-yes that is a part of it. So a bit of all three!

*I store my yarn in :
-plastic bags
-project bags
-bins and pots and pans
I have a wall of yarn with those soft sided cubes from Target for most (most!) of my yarn. The rest is in plastic tubs.

*Last company you called customer service .....
Can't even remember.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Laser focused

I was wrong in a previous post--I onlh had to do four repeats of the X before the decreases, and once I got to the decreases it went really, really fast.

So lookie there. I have two sleeves that look pretty identical. Now I have to block the whole thing and sew it together, which probably won't happen til next weekend--but we'll see.

Classes start tomorrow. I teach two classes, and I'm in class Monday and Wednesday from 9-12. That's a pretty good gig, as it leaves times for meetings and research. Last fall I also taught Fridays 9-12 and on Wednesday afternoons I often thought "well now I can start thinking about next we---oops, no, have to get through Friday." And we often have meetings on Friday afternoons so Friday became sort of a lost day. So I'm happy with the schedule.

I forgot one other book that I read. It was called "The Gilded Years" and it was about the first black woman who attended Vassar--except she didn't say she was black, she 'passed' as white as when it she was of college age (end of the 19th century) black women were generally banned from white schools. It is based on a real person--Anita Hemmings--and her story (her real story) is fascinating. Her 'novelized' story becomes sort of a sad romance (with a happy ending) but it was good--and it seemed to capture women's college life pretty well (although what do I know, really?). Anyway--it was a good book and I learned about a time of our history that I know nothing about.

Kathy asked how often I visited the alpacas. I'm planning to make time to go visit Tink every two weeks, if not more often. I find that visiting Aragon Alpacas is really calming to me, and I find myself stressing over everything, so that calming is needed. I went to see her Friday morning and the girls were all in the farthest away field--probably a quarter mile from the house (I may be exaggerating) and it was calming just to slowly approach them. Once I got close, I stood still for a while and let them know that I wasn't coming to hurt them. Tink's daughter (Georgia) came up and gave my face an overall sniff and then went over to Tink (I think to tell her that I"m OK....Georgia is very gregarious). I'd like them to all feel more comfortable around me.

We're off to Dorris Ranch, an old filbert farm, to walk the dogs. Enjoy Sunday!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Must. Finish. Sleeve.

I feel like I can't work on anything else until this sweater is done.
This is the second sleeve. There are four 'x' s before the decrease. I have done 2.5 xs. I think the decreases have an x and a half, but it will go fast once I get there.

So it is Friday, and I guess we're back on some type of a fall schedule. No long morning walks--it is already dark and rainy, so this morning when we got up I did some exercising (weights and the Pilates 100) so that felt good--haven't worked with weights for a few weeks. As some of you know, I took three different spills and scraped up most of my right shin while in Hawaii. The right leg is healing--and of course yesterday I took a spill on some gravel on a hill and messed up my left knee and the heel of my right hand. I'm a bit of a mess--I was incredibly sore yesterday (already had some type of sore muscle on my left hip) and as one of my colleagues suggests, I need to live in a bubble suit (it actually sounds kind of nice and cozy).

I did read two books over vacation. The first was Harmony by Carolyn Parkhurst. It is a story of a family with a daughter who is "on the spectrum" and they follow a specialist to live at a camp in New Hampshire and try some alternative therapy. It is told from multiple points of view and it is done well. I really enjoyed it.

I was kind of disappointed in Commonwealth by Ann Patchett. As some of you know, one of my absolutely favorite books of all time is State of Wonder. That book is a BIG book--big characters, big spaces, big stories. Commonwealth is the opposite-small and hard to like characters, small settings, small stories that all build up to the story of two different families over a period of a generation that are intertwined. I was really looking forward to it (maybe that is part of the disappointment?) but there you go.

Rachel asked about Tink, my new alpaca. Well, she has 'spit off' at least three times which is the best sign we have that she is pregnant. Two other pacas also have been spitting off. Tink will be due the first week in August (approximately) with the other girls due in the following weeks. So that's great news!

So there you go. That's my life in an nutshell.

Hope you have a good weekend--

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Farewell to summer

I"m back to work (classes start Monday--had an all day 'retreat' yesterday and a half day one tomorrow) and have dove back in to my academic work after our vacation.

For whatever reason, it is taking me longer to process big evens this year--I'm still processing the events with the 'pacas and processing Hawaii too. You are so close to nature there---it really is different in daily life terms to have the ocean so close and volcanoes right there (the lava levels in Kilauea Volcano were really high--we could see the lava bubbling up at the Visitor's Center a mile from the caldera). My highlights: snorkeling with green sea turtles, getting more comfortable snorkeling with reef fish, and petroglyphs (we visited three different petroglyph sites, all with different information about what the petroglyphs were doing there). We also took an inflatable kayak tour through sugar planation irrigation ditches and that was fascinating.

There were disappointments, of course, and they seemed to get magnified a bit this trip, but that's a lesson as well.

The dogs did great with their pet sitter Zach, and he did great with them.

I knit about four rows the entire trip.

I got home eager to finish my cable sweater, and went to pick up the second sleeve and was impressed by how far I got on it before I left. And then I went to look for the first sleeve--and couldn't find it. Yes, I did not finish the first sleeve before I left. But it is done now:

Is that upside down I can't tell and I'm too lazy to check.

Anyway--I'm 1/6 of the way through the final sleeve.

Hope all is well with you!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Back to it

Argh. As much as I enjoy kayaking this river of de Nile, I have to go back to work today. Double whammy of end of summer and end of vacation--ick.

Kathy of course has stuff to ask:

1. Are more likely to burn your tongue on dinner, or sit down to it already cold? 
(Definitely burn my tongue)

2. Do you own a pencil?
(I"m a professor, of course I do! I just never use them, except to fill out bubble forms.) 

3. When are you most likely to drop a stitch ? : 
during hat decrease?  in a complicated repeat that requires frogging to fix? knitting with zeros...period.
(When I knit lace, of course!) 

4. Last board or card game you played? 
(Hmm. I don't think Bananagrams counts as either, and that is about the only game we play.)

5. Flambeau

or Going to Seed. (socks that rock) 
(The red one)

SimplySockYarn Hedgehogfibers:

 Skinny Nutmeg 

or Fools Gold 

(Neither of these floats my boat--although if forced I would pick Fools Gold).

7.  Yarn barn kits

Cabled scarf or 


(The left one.) 

8. koliage or knitters pride needles? 

(I'm loyal to two needles: Susan Bates Casein and red Chio Goo circulars) 

9.  Cream, Half and half or Coffeemate?

(2% here). 

 Fresh Flowers
Walk in the Winter

(Definitely Fresh Flowers, WAlk in the Winter is too green for me).

Enjoy the visuals of the yarn today.  It is hard to beat looking at yarn isn't it? 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Aloha part 2

We are doing laundry, organizing our stuff, cleaning up and getting ready to come home tomorrow--Hawaii is so beautiful but I miss the dogs and cats and will be glad to be home.

We went to a luau earlier this week---we had been to one in Honolulu (at the Hilton Hawaiian Village) and were looking forward to this one too (at the Hilton Waikoloa Village). They were very different--the Honolulu one was huge and very 'theatrical' with a cast of 12 or so and many many costume changes--the theme was the history of Polynesia. This one was much smaller and more intimate, and focused on legends of the Big Island. The cast was smaller but very talented.

Tim and I both agreed that the food at this one was much better than the other and the drinks were nonstop and free! We sat next to a young Japanese couple with a one year old baby who was thrilled to spend some of the show sitting with me!

She has a great sense of rhythm and she loves the Fire Dancers! Here is one of them below:

Yes my leg is warapped up (I bet you didn't even notice that) since I had slipped on the lava beach while we were snorkeling with sea turtles---FWP! Here is an excerpt from the fire dance!

Monday, September 12, 2016

QUORA from Paradise

It is early  Monday morning here--Tim is still asleep and I am awake and sitting on the lanai and watching the Myna birds and doing Kathy's Quora:

Would you rather have someone sit by you and teach you a knit skill, or watch something on you tube and learn?
I'll go with Youtube for this one (a good Youtube not a crummy one)

What is the largest number of stitches you have ever had on a circular needle at one time?
I'm sure over 500--maybe once or twice--

Would you rather learn falconry or swim with a dolphin?
There's a big part of me that leans to the dolphin but that's just not good for them I don't think--I'll go with falconry

Coffeecake or cheesecake?
I'm good with either :-) --in my hometown of St. Louis they make a great coffee cake called Gooey Butter Cake.

Bacon or sausage?
Sausage first and bacon second

Do you use any solar energy?
We have solar powered outdoor lights that break all the time

Witchyporides again or Henpecked.? (Blue Moon Sock Yarns)
They're both good--I'll go with Witchypoo

How much does a wool cycling jersey cost today?
Ha no idea?

What handknit gifts get the most usage per year, in your family?
People HATE getting handknits from me---except Tim who happily wears hats I knit him!

Apple butter or applesauce?
Oh let's just go with butter!

Saturday, September 10, 2016


We have been on the Big Island for a week now and are lucky to have a few days left in our vacation--on Monday we'll head over to Volcano National Park for two nights and then come back here on Wednesday to fly home Thursday.

I thougt you might enjoy to see some pictures so far! I haven't taken a lot but here you go:

 These little Geckos are everywhere

 View from our villa--our good friend Steve gifted us the use of his villa for our vacation!

 Sunsets are different every night and absolutely beautiful!

 This is a night heron.
 Yep another one!

 Hawaii hair don't care

 This sunset is from the pool at 'the club'

 We went to Merriman's in Waimea--our first time at a restaurant wtih one Michelin Star. It was delicious!
 Oh hi pretty sunset

 Gone the sun
 We went snorkeling at this amazing beach today--Mauna Lani!

 Near Mauna Lani is a Petroglyph park--te rest of this post is just Petroglyphs so if they bore you then you can just end the post here!

The beach we went to yesterday had wild goats at the entrance!

Friday, September 02, 2016