Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween/Cubbies Quora

Happy Halloween! The biggest Cubs fan has questions!

*Tricks!  Many tricks last night at the Cubs World Series game. 
Did you see the catcher Ross catch and drop a foul pop up only to have Rizzo catch it before it hit the ground?
Um, sorry, but no--we did jump back and forth between the Cubs and the MNF game to keep up though!

*Are you planning to have a Halloween Candy today?

OH I'm sure we'll break in to the M&Ms.
*Would you knit an accessory for your pumpkin.  No judgement I promise!
Those are quite cute, but I have neither brown nor orange yarn in the stash.
 Did you carve a pumpkin?
We didn't thisyear. It always depends how busy we are. We're busy, no pumpkins.

 * I finished my third Pekpeka Seventh Hat.  The big blue one is for me!  Knit with Zara.  How many hats to you have to wear this winter? 
I have a bunch of hats. These are really cute though.
*Did you knit during the World Series game last night?
Yep. I worked on the Koi Pond and the Christmas mitten.

*Do you have a knit plan for the week? 
Not really....

*Just for Halloween.....Have you ever made that bundt cake with leftover Milky Way bars?
No, haven't made a bundt cake for years, but that sunds great.

*Did you ever have to admit to eating something unhealthy to a doctor or nurse?  
Ha no!

*What frightens you more ? Dropped stitches or yarn chicken?
I don't know what a yarn chicken is!

OH. Just googled. It makes perfect sense. It is when you *THINK* you have enough yarn to finish something but you're not sure. You just keep knitting anyway to see if you can make it to the end.

Yarn chicken is definitely frightening. I am pretty good with dropped stitches.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

4/7 Swans

I am woefully behind on my "12 Days of Christmas" mini mittens but I have about 2/3 of day 7 done. This is done in green (dark green) yarn as I got a bit tired of the black on white motif. I'll do one more in color and then do the last four in black so it has some sense of balance to it. That is, of course, assuming it all gets done, which of course brings to mind "never assume...."

As I wrote in my last post, it is a busy time of the year with grading etc. I also had two journal submissions returned for a third revision which is good news, because they are both likely to be published, but the both still need some work. I gave my classes tomorrow as a 'work day' so I should be able to finish those papers off, and then prep a new book for classes, and so then I'll be ready for when 16 8-page papers get turned in on Wednesday.

This week was also the official 'finale' of the 100th year anniversary of the School of Journalism and Communication at the UO, my academic home. The celebration coincided with the fall meeting of our advancement council (big donor alums who come to campus, give us 'advice', and then return six months later to give us more 'advice'. The people are great but the whole exercise is odd).

Here was my Thursday and Friday, which aren't teaching days for me. Thursday started with a pre-dawn walk with the dogs and then a training session for my new 'job' as Deputy Editor at a journal (I had to learn how to work the website).  Then a phone call with a donor on his way to to campus. Then a meeting of the graduate committee, followed by another meeting with a donor, followed by a meeting with a bunch of donors. Then home to feed the dogs and change clothes, and go back to school for the 100th anniversary dinner celebration which included eight speeches and just lasted forever. Friday back to school for panels by the donors and work on a research project with one of my PhD students. Just a lot of people contact for me.

In other words, I'm participating in an interesting FB experiment that is sort of a chain letter with favorite books. You send someone a book and then give friends the name of someone to send a book to. I sent one book to someone, and so far have received two books so I'm ahead of the game. Kind of a cool idea.

Hope all is well in your neck of the woods!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Catch up

It is the middle of the term and hence very busy around here--my class has four written assignments in a row and of course that means I have to grade them all.  It's all good though--it is an honors class and they are very very chatty.

I have been working a lot on Koi Pond:
And it looks good (imho). I have a few wide stripes left and then a 100 row border. I'm getting a bit worried about having enough yarn though.

I finished "Barkskins" and then I read a nonfiction book called "Astoria" which is about the founding of Astoria, Oregon. It is fascinating---I have visited Astoria and knew it was somehow related to the Astor family but had no idea that it was the second major exploration of the Columbia River after Lewis and Clark. I really liked it a lot, even though it was very difficult to read (lots of conflicts between easterners and native americans, most of them very bloody) and the author (Peter Stark) paints a vivid picture of how dreadful both the overland and the sea voyages were.

Other than this--there's a conference deadline next week and I'm working on two papers that are pretty much done, I have to finish a few proposals (one book, one program) and need to start thinking about next term (yikes!).

Monday, October 24, 2016

World Series Quora

?What is your favorite fabric to wear?
 Cashmere, although a nice soft wool/cotton blend is good too.

Who woke you up this morning?

Last time you had to turn off the announcers and turn on the radio for a sports event?
I can't stand listening to Phil Whosit who does CBS football games.

Last fast food item you ate?
Gosh I don't know!

Last item you had knit regrets about?
I have a lot of scarves that  I forget to wear, but no regrets really.

Last time  a family member said to you,
"When are  you going to finish that thing?"
Not me, but this happened to Tim--a neighbor saw him working on his boat and asked what he did with all the others. There are no others. :-)

Are you still working on a New years Resolution?
I don't think so!
Last great amatuer photo you saw?
I don't notice things like that, but that makes me feel bad so I"m going to start noticing.
Do you feed the birds?
If I remember. Which means no.

Do you know someone who is an organ donor recipient or donor?
I'm a donor but I haven't had to donate yet. :-)

Friday, October 21, 2016

Done and done!

Not only did I finish this cowl (Beacon Rock) but I wove in the ends and gave it a little bath.

I love it. It is so soft and cozy, wraps around twice without feeling like it is choking me, and is so cheerful. I love these colors!

The yarn is from Sweet Georgia Yarns and was a mini skein set called "Party of Five". I used (almost all of) 105 yards of five different colors. Starting from the bottom in the photo above the colors are orchid, clementine, tangerine, persimmon and dutch. The colorway is called Jelly Bean!

Yesterday was a bit of a lost day. I didn't sleep well and then had various meetings and phone calls throughout the day--that was fine because my brain wasn't going to focus well on anything. I went to the symphony last night--Tim is away and my friend was going with me but she wasn't feeling well, so I went outside of my comfort zone and went by myself. It was Mahler's Sixth, which I really wanted to hear, and it did not disappoint.

Oh my. The public station I listen to is doing a fundraiser and apparently they are playing ONLY Grateful dead music all day.

That should be interesting.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

TWT: The best breakfast

Carole and Kat have started Think Write Thursday and today's prompt is the best breakfast.

I like breakfast a lot. I might even argue it is hard to have a bad breakfast. As a result, arguably the best breakfast has little to do with the food and more to do with the place and the people. So here are the ones that stick in my head:

-the breakfast at IHOP that my friends 'kidnapped' me for--for probably my 18th birthday.

-the breakfast at a homestay in Holland when I was in college where we had poached eggs with chocolate sprinkles for breakfast.

-the breakfast at the Athenaeum in London after a long flight--toast in little toast holders and the waiter asked whether I wanted my coffee 'black or white', with my mom and godmother.

-the breakfast sitting around the table at Chalet Romantica in Pahia, NZ where there were eight of us--an Aussie couple, a Kiwi couple, a Canadian couple, and us. Fascinating conversations.

-breakfast overlooking Kilauea at Volcano house in Hawaii, with Tim.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Statistical head hurts

I've spent the morning doing two statistical things: first reading a draft of a results chapter for one of my students' dissertation, and then writing up a factor analysis and regression analysis for an extended abstract proposal. These make my head hurt, mostly because they are so damn boring (the chapter wasn't that boring, the write up is). I should just do a pomodoro and finish it up but I cannnntttttt. So anyway.

I'm doing a surprise Christmas gift for Tim so Tim, you should stop reading this now. I will show some pictures in a bit.



OK--wanna guess what I'm doing?

Not knitting! How about that!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Quora breaks my brain

Once again we enter Kathy's interesting little world and answer her random questions that kind of hurt to answer. You'll have to visit her blog for the answers to some of these.

Some superfun friends visited Saturday.  I made them sit on a limb for this photo. 3 of them were terrified.   Q: Guess which one is the flight attendant...(Left to right: Dayna, Matt, Nick and James): I think it is Nick.

The fall is really here.  I needed to change up my knitting this weekend. I was all unsettled and wonky until I found some flame orange in my stash... Q: Guess what I'm knitting....So the question is "Guess what Kathy is knitting" because you all know what I'm knitting. And I have no idea. A scarf. Yes, a scarf. Wait a second, no, socks. 

* Someone killed a mouse that dared come in the house this weekend.  When I saw the scene of the murder I shrieked and had Fireman come take the body away.  Mice unnerve me. Perhaps thats why I have four cats :)  Q: Which one of my cats got the mouse?  The one that isn't Miss Pie. The big one.

*Allison helped me figure out a pattern yesterday. 
There's a four row repeat. 
Row 1 and 3 are the same. 
This meant if I wasn't paying attention,
I wasn't sure if I was on Row 2 or row 4. 
Q: How many were going to St. Ives?  Stop it now.

*If you have a Ravelry account and we are friends, 
I stalked your projects this weekend looking for inspiration.
Q: For your last project what was the inspiration:
a blog post, the yarn, the pattern? I mostly get inspired by patterns.

*Q: If Dee and Judy met on a car trip midway, what state would they end up in? (hint I've been there)  My guess: Tennessee

*Q: Taxes? Katherine, when you move to the country and your cats catch mice, can you deduct their living expenses? I know the answer to this one! No.

*Q: Whose nervous about my Cubs?  Me!

*Q: Made crockpot Italian beef for guests this weekend. 
Chuck roast, garlic, Pepperoconi, seasoning.
Guess what we made for dessert and whose Blog the recipe came from?That sounds good. I have no idea.

Q: When you pick up your knitting, does your mind wander or focus? Depends! Usually I can focus for a while before I wander.

Sunday, October 16, 2016


The cowl with the granite stitch is halfway done:
I'm using a set of five gradients, and I am a bit more than halfway done through the third hunk. It reminds me of peanut butter and jelly, which is always one of my favorite colorways.

We have had a very rainy weekend. I finished "Barkskins" and started on the new Maria Semple book called "Today it will be different" (or something like that). It is pretty good, not as good as "Where Did You Go Bernadette" but still good. And kind of a nice change from Barkskins.

We did watch "Mascots" last night on Netflix and while it wasn't Christopher Guest's best work, it was still good. Plus, it has the return of Corky St Clair from "Waiting for Guffman" so that is worth the whole thing!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Balancing it out

Here's a question that sounds like a Kathy Quora question: would you rather have a week filled with huge ups and downs or a week that is all on an even keel? Of course we can't really choose, can we: life is what it is and the only thing we can control is how we deal with things.

This week has been an up and down week, with some major bumps in the road professionally (people flip flopping, trying to take over things that they shouldn't take over) but a few nice things have happened. I was asked to write an article for a very prestigious journal of Amazon Mechanical Turk because (to paraphrase the person who asked me) I am clearly the expert on this topic in the field of communications (!!!!). Of course I said yes. So that's nice. And I was asked to be the Deputy Editor of a journal I have published in before and truly respect--the journal wants to increase its editorial presence in the US (the editor is a Brit who lives in France, the other Deputy is my good buddy Gayle who is Australian and lives there). Then several positive meetings with grad students and a couple of projects moved forward (there's a deadline for a conference early in November, and I'm working with two students on papers for that). And I had a lovely lunch with one of my PhD students, Nets from Ethiopia, and we got his dissertation proposal organized. So that's all good.

And the Koi Pond has grown:

And there's a new Christopher Guest movie on Netflix and that makes me happy too.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A Little Color

It is not a pretty fall here---we had a very dry summer so there isn't a lot of color in the trees, our winter rains started early and all is grey. I like fall (although we do seem to have to deal with a LOT of humidity in PNW terms this fall)--I like the cool temps, the fireplace burning off dust, the dark mornings and the early sunsets, and winter is also nice here, but it just seems so BROWN and somber.

Plus life here is a bit brown and somber--a lot of change at the UO (but that's always the case), a lot of pressure to fulfill goals that aren't really faculty goals, a formerly unbeatable football team that can't win a game to save their lives and believe me, that does effect students--nothing bad or awful, just somber.

So let's knit bright colorful things!

This is a cowl in granite stitch that is fun to knit. I'm using five different colors in an ombre colorway (orangish to pinkishpurplish) and the next time I update this I'll include info on the yarn. Lots of fun.

And this:

A Koi pond, using seven different colors (yes, there are tow different light blues and there's also a brown that is hard to see). This is also very cheery and a lot of fun, using a stich (knot stitch, I think) that I haven't used before.

So that makes things brighter.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Kathy's Quora

 * Name a book or movie that your mom Loved:
Marjorie Morningstar (the book, although I know it was a movie). I liked it too.
*Who was the last nice stranger you met?
Hmm. Can't think of one right now but will ponder.

*How many inches did you knit up this weekend?
Maybe about four or five? I am working on a new cowl that has a LOT of stitches on the needle so it takes a while.

*What shape are your knit/crochet hands, in ?
These are our tools!  
Mine are messed up like Kathy's. I grabbed Pilot's retractable leash last weekend (long story) and got what I can only call a rope burn on my hands. Luckily it is not impeding the knitting.

*I'm knitting with a pair of plastic size 10 needles. 
Does that make you cringe?

Not at all! Some of my favorite needles are by Susan Bates and I like how they are warm and slightly bendy. And not epensive. 

*Miss Pie has figured a way to squeeze through the gates to get upstairs by us.  Her sight is poor.  Her will is strong.
Will she or wont she end up in our bed this week?
Yes she will. Interesting, we call one of our dogs Widget (her real name is Comet but she is a little widget).

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Binding off

I am almost out of yarn so here I am, binding off:
This seems pretty small but I think it will block out to be uch longer (I hope. If not, I'm not sure waht this will be. But I think it will).

I really like this a lot, I'm happy I did it, and I'm excited to move on to new things! More on those in the days to come.

I'm reading "Barkskins" by Annie Proulx, how do you pronounce her name, do you know? It is epic and beautifully written and sad. Apparently there is a new genre called "Cli Fi" which is climate-based fiction, and this is an interesting example of that. It starts in the Canadian forest in the 18th century. Epic!

Hope your weekend is good!

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Quick on a Thursday

You will need to turn your head sideways to see the six geese a layin (and only three eggs between them) but I'm back in the mitten swing--and halfway done with the 12 days (yay!)

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

More Rosalind

Here's the current status of the Rosalind Franklin shawl--I've finished the 'sideways' part and now am working on the vertical part, which gets connected to the sideways part as you knit it.

You can see I've 'connected' about two-thirds of the 'vertical' part--connected is the wrong word because I'm knitting the vertical part WHILE connecting it so there's that.
Here is a close-up. This is fun to knit. I'm also using Cobasi which I love.

The weekend was pretty quiet---Tim did a lot of studying, the Ducks played horribly, and it was kind of rainy. I read a really good book called "Mercury" by Margot Livesay. Livesay hasn't written a lot (maybe eight novels?) but every one has been good. This is a story of what happens to a family when one member becomes obsessed over something outside of the family (Mercury). I almost didn't read it because Mercury is a horse but honestly, the horse part is secondary to the family disintegrating story. And I love a good family disintegration story.

Yesterday was a 10-hour Monday with all.the.stuff needing to be done but I had several lovely chats with students so that was nice. I often refer to Fall term as going from 0 to 60 in a matter of seconds but this year it has seemed like 0-80. But the new me, I just float on above it all. Sort of.

Monday, October 03, 2016


Kathy, as usual, has a bunch of Monday questions!
*Which did you last wear? Flannel shirt or Sweatshirt?
Despite the aesthetics of the PacNW, I don't wear flannel, so the answer is sweatshirt.  

*Which chart is easier for you to read? Fair isle or Cables?
I do a lot more cabling so reading cable charts is second nature. I"m not as good at reading fair isle, and often end up counting colors as opposed to knowing what comes next based on the chart.

*Do you prefer a turtleneck or a cowl neck?
(Neither, really. I used to like turtlenecks but they make me look funny. Cowls seem sort of non-committal.

*Have you been on a ghost walk?  Where?

*What is the bulk of your stash...
sock yarn? Worsted? Bulky?

*Have you tried acupuncture?  Would you?
I don't think I've tried it myself but we've used it on the dogs. I would try it, and often think about it. 

*Have you eaten Halloween candy yet this year?
Nope. If I buy it I'll eat it. And I'm working on healthier eating.

*Have you seen Christmas decorations yet?
No I haven't but I haven't been looking because it is too damn early. 

*What's your charity of choice to donate to ?
Greenhill Humane Society 

*You are at the apple orchard,
do you buy  apples? donuts? cider?
Probably cider and then I forget it has no preservatives and it goes bad.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

One down....

...and lots and lots to go.

The first week of classes is in the books--the first week of Fall term is always kind of odd. Lots of people not knowing where they are going. People dropping and adding classes (although not so much here as other places, we're on quarters-you can't really miss a week and be in a good place as a student). My classes are both honors classes and so those students tend to be a delight.

Environment wise, we have a new Dean and that is putting a lot of people off with not knowing how things will change. I take the perspective that the Dean doesn't have complete control over everything we do and I'll just keep doing things the way I have successfully done things, and let the chips fall where they may. It takes too much energy to stress about academic things I cannot control (which is most of academic life) and so I'm actively working to put that stress and energy into more productive outlets. And it seems to be working well--I got a lot of stuff done this week that sets the stage for future research work so I'm happy about that.

Knitting wise, I've returned to the 12 Days of Christmas mittens:

Number 6 is, of course, six geese a laying so you can see four of the geese and two of their eggs.

See, six?

I did #5 in gold (of course) so my thought is to do the 'middle' four in colors and the final four in black and white and that will give the garland a bit of a pop of color. I really like the ones in color more than the b/w ones. Even multicolored would be fun, using red and green.

I finished a book called "The Dollhouse" by Fiona Davis and it was good. I like mysteries that move between the present and the past, and this was one of those. The Dollhouse is the Barbizon hotel, which I guess now are high-end condos but used to be a famous residence for women. It moves between the present and a mystery that occurred in the 1950s.

Have a great weekend!