Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Busy week

So it is Tuesday of my busy week (two candidates for an endowed chair visiting, I'm running the search committee) and about an hour ago I was so tired I thought I was going to pass out. It is a mix of not sleeping because anxiety and then having to be 'on' for two days in a row (and two more to go). The anxiety is from colleagues blowing off commitments. Jerks.

So I came home and did a hip hop workout followed by a pilates stretching workout (thanks Comcast) and now I feel a bit more human.

Better pictures today:

These were the pieces of the sideways mittens.

And you put them together and voila! Mittens!

I would agree with Rachel that these don't fit like mittens in the round, but they were a fun knit for this bright yarn.

Hope your week is going well!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Questions from Kathy

Kathy's blog has a wonderful photo with a line that says "The best way to predict the future is to create it." So join me in creating a good future. And with answering questions.
Kathy took a walk and found a bell that said ringing the bell would generate a miracle. She asks:
*Who would your ring the bell for? For all Americans.
*Do  you have a quote that soothes you? The thing that is important is the thing that is not seen.
  *I’ve been knitting Dee’s Take Five sock pattern all weekend.  I could not believe that Dee’s pattern has been chosen by THOUSANDS to knit per the Ravelry site counter. I’m so proud of her.  Who else among you has a Ravelry pattern?
I have three or four, none of which are popular. 
*  What is one of your all time favorite patterns!? Clapotis!
*Have you tweaked a recipe and had it turn out well? Hmm not sure. Probably but it scares me.
* Have you seen a drone yet in your area ? Yes. I was walking to a building on campus and there was a drone over me. That was kind of cool

*Have you entered a contest lately? I enter any contest that gives away yarn or a knitting book.
*Can you share a meatless dinner idea? Quiche. With spinach and bacon. Oops. Hod the bacon.
*What is the last movie you watched?  Do you watch more in summer or winter?
We watched Sully on Saturday. It was good (not great). I don't think the seasons effect our movie watching--we tend to watch on Saturdays.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Planning, winding, photo-ing

So yesterday I wrote that I wasn't sure what would come in the knitting, so I did take a bit of time to think things through. And once I thought things through, I wound some things up:

Note: I think I need to change the settings on my camera--everything is so dark! Anyway, clockwise from the very top: some blue (not purple) Cascade (3 balls) for a cable sweater (yes I have more), some dark striped yarn for socks for Tim, the light blue yarn is for Folklore Socks, moving to the left hand side is yarn for One & Done and the brownish yarn is for the Sometimes Hat.

I did cast on yesterday, for both the Sometimes Hat:
And also for One & Done:
Yes, I really need to lighten these up.

In other news, I made Toll  House Cookies yesterday and did a lot of reading. It will be a very hectic week coming up so I'm gathering my resources.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Verified Knitting Content

Doesn't this always happen: when you have multiple projects in the works, they all seem to end at the same time? I find myself in that place I get to REGULARLY where the projects I am working on are finished up and I really am not sure what comes next.

I think I don't know what comes next mostly because I need to wind a bunch of hanks for projects and yeah. Winding hanks.

So here is that sweater, that has almost all the seams done except sleeve seams:
Yeah sideways. Sorry. But it looks good!

And I"m making these mittens that need to be seamed but look cool. I think I found these via Rachel?
Sorry for the  horrible photo:

Both of these are done, excpt I need the cuff for the other one. They look better in real life, I promise.

As I look at these, I realize that I have scoffed in the past at people who take classes on 'how to photograph your knitting' but I'm not scoffing now.

Life is busy--I'm chairing two committees that are very active now (one search, one personnel) and serving on a third search committee, and trying to keep on top of my writing since this is my 'writing term'. That is going better than anticipated. My friend Charlie Robertson and I are updating a classic book in the advertising literature that hasn't been updated since 1998. I'm just about finished with the 'easy' updates (basically adding examples of recent ad campaigns that illustrate the concepts in the book) and now we're moving on to talking about some of the bigger issues that affect campaign planning. So basically, I'm about halfway done with the updates, so I'm happy about that!

Hope all is well with you.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Little things/big things

Sometimes little things (like someone sending you something just because) leads to big things (feeling that our horrible world might not be that bad).

My twinnie sent this to me in memory of my alpaca Brownie. I'm telling people she knit it. Because she could if she wanted to.

As my twinnie, she also loves the Ducks and so included this:

My twinnie is the awesomest twinnie in Twindom.

And in case you are wondering, we are Twinnies in Spirit but not in blood, but Spirit Twinnies are the best. Twindom and elswhere.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Jack Spratt Sleeves


So all I have to do is sew the sweater together. I have another one I want to start and that involves winding yarn etc and I should really finish this one first.

But the sleeves are done! That's what non stop Sunday football will do for you!

Really busy at work, but have cast on for some mittens and am going to give the two color brioche another try.

Read "Heat and Light" by Jennifer Haigh, about fracking, and wow.

Monday, January 23, 2017


I'm CRUSHING my to-do list today so I thought I'd take a second and quora.

What fear have you conquered? Fear of being underwater and not being able to breathe. I'm even going to try a pool session for scuba this year.
*What’s your favorite spicy  food? Thai or Indian.
*What’s a color you never wear?  Yellow. And rarely green and orange--even though I'm a 'Spring'
*When sock knitters want a bigger needle project, what do you knit? Cowls! (edited--originally said cows)
*When did you last read Shakespeare?  Hmm not sure. I've watched it though (the Hollow Crown).
*Are you gregarious or solitary? Solitary and an introvert.
*What’s your favorite cookie recipe and why? I love chocolate crackle cookies.
*Do you dip your PB and J in milk? I don't eat PB and J!
*Do you feel you are becoming a better knitter or have your skills leveled off? Trying to be better, but failed with two-color brioche yesterday.
*When’s the last time you broke a needle? Probably a few days ago, I break small needles all the time.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Speedy Sunday

  • Tried a two color brioche faux cable pattern today. #fail I think I'll try just a plain two color brioche without the fancy stuff to see how it goes.
  • Packers. Sad face.
  • Sherlock this season. Sad face.
  • The new Diet Dr. Pepper Little Sweet commercials: love them. 
  • Am working on sleeve number two because of two color brioche fail.
  • I taught myself to knit during the Superbowl---more than a decade ago I think. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Silk Reyna with Cat

Yes, that little black blob is our little Stella cat, who rarely is photographed.

I finished the Reyna (made it a bit smaller) with an icord bind off (you can see it at the bottom of the multi colored section) and that is the best bind off in the world. I need to block this and I think it will be gorgeous. I love knitting shawls but it is never cold enough to wear them, so this one will be just right. I have enough left over (plus a third skein) to make a pretty scarf too. Yay yarn!

I'm taking a social media hiatus for the next few days because Life.

I did get a bunch of stuff done though. I was invited to write a journal article about a methodology I use--they asked in September and it is due in March, and I just finished the final edits on the draft during office hours last week. So that's nice to get that done. I also have a few more chapters (these are reallyreally short chapters) done on the book (my goal is a chapter a week, and I got three done this week, so I'm ahead!) so that is good. My class seems to be going well and the extra busy-ness with searches and the like are also OK.

Plus, the snow is all gone!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Pretty much nothing

I have nothing, really, to show.

I started a new potholder and it all went to pot (there's a trick, I think--the loops have to get a bit stretched out or it is impossible to bind it off. It took two tries with the first one I did).

The sleeve is still getting its cap shaped.

Reyna is being bound off.

I do have this sock:

I'm working on the foot.

Where does the time go? I seem to spend a lot of time organizing things for various committees I"m on at school. That is a huge time suck, and for a variety of reasons extra organizing stuff got dumped on me. Luckily a lot of this will be over by early February.

And as I think I mentioned earlier, I got a writing project organized and am trying to get my head in that. This is an unusual project in two ways. First, I"m working with a non-academic co-author in the UK--a brilliant advertising person. So that's unusual in a good way, but scheduling/deadlines etc are different for a non-academic. SEcond, we're updating a book about account planning that was first published in 1998--pre-Internet, basically----and so there's a lot of stuff to keep an eye out for. We need to update the examples, of course, and then recognize that a lot has changed although the basic premise of the book is the same.

I read a novel called "Big Law" which you can read if you can get it at your library and you really care about how big law firms work/don't work. It wasn't that good.

We watched the new PBS show "Victoria" last night. Is it the next Downton Abbey? Not quite yet. Although I do love Rufus Sewel.

Monday, January 16, 2017


 Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.-MLK

 Today is MLK day, and I plan to read a bit of his work and think about being a better person. We need his wisdom now more than ever, I think.

Even though the term has just started, I'm using today as a catch up day to get some writing things finished, do some class organization, and read. Usually I'd be in class and meetings all day, so this is a good day to have some focused time for writing. I finished a chapter that I hoped to finish this week already (mornings tend to be my best writing time) so I feel a bit on top of things.

I worked a lot over the weekend, too, and I really have to learn to stop that. I have colleagues that take disconnected days over the weekend and I'm not sure I'm ready for that. Maybe a disconnected half hour (haha).

Kathy has some questions for us:

#1. Do you use a mannequin, prop or person for modeling your knits?
I will sometimes do a selfie, but not often.
#2. Do you know anyone who has gone through the ice?
Well that's kind of a bizarre question--and no. Thankfully!
#3. Do you wear reading glasses, bifocals, contacts?
All of the above. I wear contacts and need readers when I wear those. When I'm not wearing contacts, I have bifocals (or progressives).
#4 Have you tried a new skill yet in 2017?
Jeez, Kathy, it is only mid-January! No I don't think so. Maybe? I don't know.
#5. Name a favorite President of the USA.
Mr. Obama.
#6. When was the last time you were lost? (parking lots count)
Thinking---thinking-----sometime over the holiday I was heading somewhere and it took a few loop arounds to get there.
#7. What yarn type is most prevalent in your stash?
Sock yarn for sure.
#8. Since we are in an ice storm, name something you like over ice.
Ginger ale.
#9. What time did you fall asleep last night?
10:15 ish.
#10. Share a winter memory of your MOther….
When I was young (under 12) my mom used to take me ice skating. She didn't wear pants until I was a teenager, so she'd be out there in a skirt skating around. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A sleeve

Not too exciting, eh? But, I must get the sleeves finished so I can finish the sweater so I can move on to other sweaters.  So one must suck it up and make sleeves, even if they are dull dull dull.

Today is Sunday--yesterday went by quickly although not much was going on. I've been reading "In This House of Brede" by Rumer Godden--recently re-released (apparently). It is about nuns in England, mostly in the middle of the 20th century. I guess Godden wrote a book called "Black Narcissus" about nuns in the Himalayas and she got a bit of push back about not knowing a lot about nuns. So this book was her response.

That story may be apocryphal, but that's what I've read.

I just looked at Wikipedia and there's a TV film of "In this House of Brede" starring Mrs. Peel (aka Diana Rigg). That might be worth watching.

We went to a new restaurant for dinner last night (new for us) with our friends Steve and Jen--Tacovore. They have lots of different types of tacos--I had one with chicken and mole and one al carbon. And chips and guac. And a nice big margarita.

I have tomorrow off (MLK day) and will have half a writing day and half a reading day. We have so many people coming out for job visits I have to make sure I give myself time for writing as this is my official 'writing term' and if I don't keep up I'll big in kind of big trouble with my book project.

Not to put any stress on myself or anything.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Amorphous Blog photos

It's Reyna, which I started earlier this week (maybe last weekend). The yarn is a beaded silk. I did the first 'half' with blue and green variegated, and then I switched to a multicolor variegated, and then I'll do a bit of the darker color at the end. This is one of those shawls that needs a good blocking. I'll have plenty left over, plus I have another skein in very brights, so I'll put them all together into a scarf with mesh stuff so the beads look good.

Wednesday was a nutty day--my first day back with nonstop catchups and student issues, and then yesterday I gave myself a writing day. I have a book project that I have been stalling on getting going--it is a major revision of someone else's book that was written in the late 1990s, so lots has changed in the communication industry. My co-author is an ad person who lives in Scotland, so that adds to some of the challenges. Anyway--I got it all organized yesterday, got a revision plan together, and worked on the first part of the book and have a first pass to send to him to discuss. So I feel at least that I did something on it. The book isn't due til August but this term (through March) is my optimal term to get stuff done on it.

I had some bad news about one of my former PhD students and I'm hoping doesn't mean that 2017 is starting off where 2016 ended.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Tilted Block socks

Tim gave me Norah Gaughan's "Knitted Cable Sourcebook" for Christmas. It is a great book--only a few patterns but lots and lots of cables. I will be knitting socks using lots of these cable charts.

The first one I did was take the "Tilted Block" chart and turn it into a sock. I had to start it three times, finally realizing I wasn't going to be able to knit this in the round (various reasons, mostly about the placement of the cables--however now that I did one I could figure out how to do the second in the round but I probably won't because they might look different).

Phew! That was a long sentence.

Here is how it looks without the seam in the back (I will be seaming this, but I"m doing the rest of the foot in the round.
 And here is a fuzzy photo of how it might look when it is done.

Monday, January 09, 2017

First day fail

Today is supposed to be the first day of winter term, but the lingering effects of the winter storm from Saturday caused the UO to cancel classes (but not close the school). We did a bit of shoveling last evening and now the driveway is an ice rink, but it isn't below freezing and should melt a bit later today.

I sent instructions out to my class to read the syllabus and several other things and will just jump in with both feet on Wednesday.

And now in a not-regularly-scheduled Quora, Kathy asks:

How do you Hygge?

I make the bed every morning (we used to just throw things higgledy piggledy but now I try to make the bedclothes nice and tight), we heat up hot things for our feet, and I decluttered my jewelry drawer yesterday.
Have you ever tried to feed the birds by hand?

Yes, at the Cathedral in Milan. The pigeons there are just waiting for you to buy grain from some guy with a cell phone who will take your picture for you. Avoid this guy at all costs. 

Pets, can be….well messy.  What’s your best cleaning advice?

Abandon hope? We do have a cordless bagless vacuum that does better on fur than most other ones, but still not great. 

Have you emailed a famous person?

I don't think I've emailed but I've tagged famous people in tweets and they've responded--most recently, Lyle Lovett. 

Are you making a Hat for the PussyHat project?

Did you have to check up on a gift knit to see if got there?
No, because it got to the recipient (Tim!).
Would you even think of 17 pairs of socks in 2017?

Sure. I am not sure what I'd do with them all.
Did you watch the Golden Globes?
 No. We watched the Packers game and then we read for a while, then watched an old episode of 'Treme'.

What’s your quickest/fastest/ knit Stitch type?

I'm with Kathy--stockinette.
Have you had a recipe fail lately?

I made a Christmas cookie recipe that someone on the Internet said was the best ever. Let's just say it wasn't.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Snow day again!

We're having another storm---it started as ice this morning (chunky crunchy ice), then went over to snow (maybe 1 or 2 inches) and now it has turned to (I think) rain. We got the dogs out during the snowy part so that timing was good. I had done some stocking up at the grocery store so we have plenty of stuff, and the temps are supposed to warm up for the rest of the day so it should clear out. I'm a bit concerned with class on Monday as Portland (2 hours north) is going to get hit harder than us and many of our students will come back from there tomorrow, and it might be a bit rough. We'll see.

I started Reyna last night:

I think I made one before. This one is going to be in two colors of Darn Good Yarn beaded silk--the first skein I"m using is blues and greens and then the second skein adds in brighter pinks and reds and it will be lovely light scarf. Plus beads! Already on the yarn!

Stay warm, since apparently the WHOLE WORLD is getting snowed on today.

Oh and happy St. Distaff's day--the day after the 12th Day when people are supposed to go back to work (or more specifically, women are supposed to go back to making cloth). 

Friday, January 06, 2017


I finished off the front:

Yes you must turn your head sideways. And there's a little wrinkle in the middle of the big section that doesn't show up in real life--I just laid it out oddly.

Today is the last day before I go back to work (well obviously I don't have to go back to work over the weekend). I already did my one 'short' task and will work on another short task and then plan to stretch out on the sofa and read "In this House of Brede" this afternoon. A little gifty to myself.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Fo #2

So I guess officially I'm numbering my FOs now. :-)

Blogger doesn't seem to be willing to upload the photo, so I'll try it later. They are the socks that are two identical socks from one ball--Regia Pairfect. There's a 'lead' yarn so you'll know when the patterned yarn is starting. I think this is genius. The socks are just plain socks.

The little dusting of snow turned into about four or five inches, and then it got cold so it is icy out there now. The sun is coming out and it should warm up to about freezing so that should take care of the snow on the street. It really is pretty.

I'm reading "Lab Girl" by Hope  Jahren and thinking about using it for my science literacy class in the spring. I hope to read for an hour a day for work so I can identify some good readings for that class.

Hopefully I'll have the photo for you soon!

I had to do some magic but here are the socks. Tim likes them!

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Snow Day!

We get so little snow here that everyone freaks out when we have what would be called a 'light dusting' in Chicago or Boston. K-12 schools are closed, community colleges are closed--UO is open but there are no classes til next week, so my guess is that it is business as usual today. I don't have any reason to go in so I'll hunker down here.

I can't remember any time that the UO closed because of snow when classes were in session--we've had bad snowstorms (like 6 inches, with ice) but the two I recall came during finals weeks. Snow days to most of my colleagues and I are like MLK day--a day where for whatever reason classes aren't held and you can get some good writing done. 

The top picture is our patio when we got up this morning (maybe around 6:45 am)--I love the snow in the bird bath.

This is looking across the street at our neighbor's house, once the 'sun' had 'come up'. Anything that looks like sun is the reflection of the lights in our office.

I'm getting back in the work swing of things. Instead of trying to tackle a major hunk of something (which has me screaming no on the inside) I'm doing little chunks of things that need to get done--instead of sitting down and going through 44 PhD applications, I'm doing five a day until the meeting to discuss them. Instead of revising an entire article, I'm doing a section at a time. So that is helping. I also want to set aside an hour or so a day on non teaching days for reading for my spring term class.

A little knitting has gone on:

This is the front of the sweater---I'm up to the raglan decreases so it will go quickly from here on in.

I've started exercising again, after taking some time off when the cable was out and then with the holidays--wow, I will use any excuse not to exercise, won't I? I've been doing a mix of some cardio and some core, and for two days in a row I've ended with ten minutes of the most elementary yoga that one can do. I really need to stretch out, and this little practice On Demand has Rodney Yee (yoga genius) doing some very basic poses (triangle pose, tree pose, mountain pose, downward facing dog and sun salute, among others) that really do help to stretch me out. So good for me.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

First FO of 2017!

So I'm technically kind of cheating on this one. This is the Manning Park Hat (pattern from Ravelry) and most of the knitting was done yesterday (New Year's Eve) but I haven't woven in the top end of sewed the little tiny seem in the ribbing. So let's just say that this is the first FO of 2017!

I think I skipped a row on this but I'm not sure. Matters little. The dark yarn, which looks blue in this photo, is actually a dark grey (the ribbing and the bottom are the same yarn). I used two different yarns (one was Wool People, the other might have been Cascade) but both were worsted. And it took about six hours to do the whole thing, so it is a very satisfying knit. I'm sure I will make another one.

It is now about 3pm on New Year's Day and we've had a busy couple of days. Yesterday Tim spent much of the day cooking our New Year's Eve Mexican-esque Feast, which included tuna ceviche, mexican meat balls, and a green chile/pork stew. Yum! We also had leftover chocolate mousse that Tim makes for Christmas. And cookies, of course. We watched two movies for our festivities. First, we watched a movie called  "The Man Who Knew Infinity" which is the story of a mathematical prodigy from India, Srinivasa Ramanujan, who went to Oxford in the 1910s to be mentored by Professor Harold Hardy. Tim had heard of him but I hadn't. The story is fascinating, the movie is a bit--sentimental maybe? A bit heavy handed on foreshadowing? But if you get DVDs from Netflix, put this one your list. The second one was called "Equity" which starred Anna Gunn (Schuyler from Breaking Bad). It was a pretty typical Wall Street Insider Trading story. It was OK, but as our second movie during a late night it was fine--plenty of intrigue and a shallow plot that made it easy to follow. Plus, I made the hat. We were actually not even tired and had plenty of energy to comfort Pilot during the inevitable fireworks.

Today we got up fairly early for New Year's Day, had a leisurely breakfast, took down the tree and put all the decorations away, went to Michael's for memory wire, and then chopped down a mugo pine that fell down during the storm. Tim clipped all the branches off both the Christmas tree and the mugo--I made a pile of mugo branches to take to the alpacas, and stuffed the rest of the branches in the yard recycling toter. Now we're tired. :-)

Hope your New Year's is going well and that you have a FO of your own soon!