Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Mardi Gras has come to town!

Well, not really---that's the lyric of a Mardi Gras song I really like. The video is there. Anyway--Mardi Gras isn't a thing here, and the only reason it is on my radar is because over the holidays we re-watched all of Treme and Mardi Gras is one of the themes of that show. So yeah. Happy Mardi Gras!

To celebrate, I have a sock to show you:

It is hard to see all the stripes but that shows you some of them. I did a bit of knitting this weekend--during the reading that I did and then four hours of cabling during the Academy Awards.

I feel a bit caught up, work wise, as the only things on my plate for this week are to work on a literature review for a group research project, to finish up the grant proposal, and to do some grading. Then, I can start digging into the reading for my spring classes!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Noro makes roving

--and other insights from Kathy's Quora. Go see the roving at her site!

And now the questions:
*Ever had a fruit bearing bush or tree?
We have a cherry tree in our small back yard. We often forget to harvest the tree, so it becomes snacks for the dogs and the birds.
 *Would you rather do the HARD part of your knitting early in the project phase or late?
 Huh, probably doesn't matter--I always have a mix of hard and mindless knitting happening.
*Is there something your parents let you “quit” as a child?  How did that work out for you?
Probably tennis? Don't really remember.
*Have you ever square danced?
This was part of 'gym' class in grade school. Ew, you had to touch boys. Sweaty boys.
 *Do you have something that only needs buttons to call it finished?
 Yes. I put some buttons on that sweater I finished and I don't like them, so I got new ones. They need to go on.
*Woody Allen.  yes or no?
 No really? REALLY? Yes, you must see Hannah and her Sisters and Husbands and Wives and Crimes and Misdemeanors and Annie Hall.
*Adorable Beret in OK yarn shop.  I think I’ll try to find the pattern.  Do you prefer a beret, a slouch hat, a stocking cap or a roll brim?   You can only pick one. :)
Slouch hat please.
*Do you follow the stars in the sky seasonally?
Not really. Like Kathy, I do like to see Orion.
*Breakfast wouldn’t be breakfast without:
*It’s Al’s 29th Birthday.  What wisdom do you have for a woman in her final year of her 20s?
 Al, even though you seem to be a very together person, the thirties are better than the twenties.  Keep being wonderful!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Special Saturday

We had fun all day on Saturday. We have both been working so much that I sometimes worry we forget to have fun.  Yesterday was a series of small pleasures that added up to a great day.

We slept late (for us) (8am), had a leisurely breakfast, and decided to take advantage of a beautiful if chilly day. We ate leftover pizza, then put the dogs in the car and went to Morse Ranch, a working Filbert farm right on the river. We took a long walk, and on the way back to the car, a really cute dog came running up to up, trailing his leash. He was calm enough for me to get his leash and then give Pilot to Tim to walk, and we continued walking back to the parking lot, the dog a fine companion. We were both pretty sure the dog wasn't abandoned (as unfortunately some are) and that someone was looking for him. About ten minutes or so after we started walking, the dog starting pulling on me--not that he wanted to escape, but just that his walk became purposeful. And then a man turned the corner, looked at us and smiled, and the dog was thrilled--he found his dad.

Apparently the dog (Neo) has yet to be fixed (that's happening this week) and apparently another dog that lived near the park was in heat, and that makes Neo go crazy. TMI, yes, but it is good to have an explanation, other than the guy lets Neo run wild in the park whenever he wants.

We hung out a bit on Saturday afternoon. I"m reading "The Fortunate Ones", and it is pretty good. It is one of those books that bounced between 'the present' and 'the past'--the past in this case being before and after WW2.  Basically, there's an Austrian woman in the WW2 whose family owned a painting called "The Bellhop" which apparently is a real painting. The painting gets stolen by Nazis. In present day, a different woman's family owned the painting, until it was stolen from their home. It was stolen when the  modern day woman was a teenager and had a party. And somehow, the two women (the Austrian woman, who is now elderly) and the modern woman meet, and that's where I am right now. I'm guessing that they will try to find the painting. Anyway--it is pretty good. And I like those 'back and forth' stories.

Then last night, we met our friends Steve and Jen at a new restaurant called "Novo Latin Table" and it was delicious. We had a bunch of appetizers including a delicious scallop cerviche.  The entrees were not too huge which was good because we ate a lot of other stuff first, and then ended with a delicious chocolate pudding with mole. And drinks. It was a lot of fun--the restaurant was lively but not loud, and it was just fun to be out.

And here's one of the current socks,  Zigzagular, taken under a bright light so you can see the zigzag on the black yarn (although it is still kind of a challenge).

I hope you have a great Sunday!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Slow knitting

I'm working on Kidalton and it is going very very slowly.

This is just a small small part of it because to knit this sweater, you knit the entire body all at once. And there is just nonstop cabling going on. So it is going very slowly. I can knit one row on the RS in about 20 minutes, and one row on the wrong side in about 15.

Tim got home safely at about 12:30 last night-I was in a deep deep sleep and barely remember but it is nice to have him home.

Thursday, February 23, 2017


So I got up very early this morning and have been cranking on stuff. I glanced at the clock a while ago and it was 10:30am. I did a bit more stuff and noted that I was getting hungry. It was still 10:30. Argh! The grandfather clock stopped! So now it is much closer to lunchtime and that's good.

I think getting up earlier kind of messed me up. But I got my annual review done (yes, the assessment of what I've been up to for this entire academic year, which is due halfway through the academic year.  Because this is how messed up the academy is). I also wrote a quick grant proposal for my colleague Mike and I to submit.

And there's this sock.

The pattern:  Zigzagular socks
The yarn: String Theory Colorworks in the Aquarius colorway.
This isn't the perfect yarn for this pattern, but I kind of don't care. I'll take a picture in better light because you can see the zigzags in bright  light.

I have so much variegated hand dyed sock yarn I'm going to focus on those patterns that use that type of sock yarn so I can stat to work through it. I turned the heel on the first sock yay!

Tim comes home tonight so I'm looking forward to that. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

I don't know why--

--but I kind of love this Pairfect yarn and the socks that it makes.

This is just the most simple and boring sock pattern ever (top down, do a cuff, stockinette blah blah) but for whatever reason I adore these socks. I think it might be because the ball is a center pull ball, and you don't know what color the next stripe will be until it comes out of the center. It's kind of magical.

Tim is off to a conference in Cali for a few days. It comes at a time when I don't have a lot of commitments at work so I can work at home a lot--curled up with the dogs. I finally have time to do some of the reading I need to do for a few research projects and for next term, and I need to knock out my part of a conference paper, finish up one more conference presentation, and write two small grant proposals. All these are manageable (plus grading, but that is manageable too).

I'll update you with more knitting since there will be a bit of extra knitting time this week.

Monday, February 20, 2017

If it is Monday, it must be Quora!

*How lost would you feel without your phone for a day?
I'd feel fine! I can go for days without looking at my phone. I am not of the phone generation! 
*Have you ever had Pavlova?
It is the national dessert of New Zealand (I might have made that up) and when we were there in 2015 we had a 'pav' almost every day. I love it. I love the pav. The best ones are the ones with custard inside.
*Have you ever seen a feral cat colony?
No I haven't. We do have some feral cats in my neighborhood but I would not call them a colony.
*Are you a loose knitter or a tight knitter?
I am a very very loose knitter. I could use a 5 needle for every project if I wanted.
*Do you play the lottery?
Occasionally. We had a bad week last week and so we did. We did nto win.
*If someone gave you the yarn, the pattern and a guarantee you’d knit it to perfection, what would you want to knit ?
Maybe something like Fox Paws or some other really involved colorwork thing.
*What’s your limit for a day of driving on a trip?  (hours? Miles?)
12 hours maybe?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

In retrospect..

..the yarn selection (Panda Silk) for these socks was sub-optimal.

But that's ok---I figured out how to do the tilted block pattern for socks and I'll probably make another pair at some point.

We watched the movie "Denial" last night and it was really good--based on the true story of a Holocaust Denier who sued a Holocaust historian for slander because she (historian) called him (denier) a liar. Good acting and lots of familiar faces (Moriarty from Sherlock places a good guy, and Mycroft Holmes is in there too).

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Tough week

I've had some losses in my life this week, and I just wanted to acknowledge them on my blog.
On Sunday, I learned a former student had died shortly after she had given birth. Goodbye, Jenny, you are a special person,  a very talented advertising professional and a light in the world.

On Thursday, I learned that my friend Patty, wife of my good friend Steve, lost a battle with a horrible illness. Goodbye, Patty, your smile and your love are unconditional. Rest peacefully my dear friend.

Yesterday I learned my former department head passed.  Mel, you taught me a lot about academia and you lived a long and happy and productive life. Sail on, Mel.

This morning I learned my colleague Sheila died unexpectedly. She and I served together on  the executive board of an academic organization, and she shared my desire to bring academia into the 21st century. Goodbye Sheila. I'll keep fighting the good fight in your memory.

I'm struggling to find the lessons in all these losses beyond 'life is short'. Maybe that is enough.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Non stop non stop

Man, this term has been particularly crazy. I thought the search committees were done but no, the people we want have made (perfectly reasonable) requests as part of their hiring package and I have to do stuff to get that done. It is tenure and promotion season and I stepped in to be chair of THAT committee (just for six months, how busy could it be?) and now that is hitting the fan as well. Plus we just finished admitting PhD and Master students, and I'm on THAT committee.

Today I need to edit three tenure reports, write a letter of rec, finish a draft of a syllabus and THEN I can do the research stuff I had planned for this week. Hopefully things will calm down next week (but that is what I thought this week, so who knows. I guess I just need to call this 'research term' a loss).

I did get three out of four presentations put together for a conference so I'm not quite as panicked as I might be, and I'm caught up with grading, and if I would just stop pfaffing (is that a word? yep googled it is) around on the Internet I'd have more time.

For stuff like this.

I forgot I still needed to do a second titled block sock, and found it while cleaning up the yarn room. So I got the leg done and now is the foot, which is basically mindless knitting that I can finish in an afternoon. Yay socks!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Who's Your Valentine?

I love how Valentine's Day is evolving (at least here in Eugene) to a day to celebrate and commemorate your love for others--not only those you know but those  you don't. At school, we have a fundraiser for our local food bank where we get chocolate for every donation. We raise a lot of money for people and transcends the day from all about ME to all about others. I like that.

Today, also, Tim is having his oral exams for his comprehensive exams. This is a Big Deal and probably the biggest and hardest hoop that one jumps through during the PhD journey (I know it was for me). I bought him lucky socks to wear (they say "take me to a brewpub") so I hope they bring him luck (which he doesn't need--he's well prepared).

And there is color-appropriate knitting to show:
This is another ball of the sock yarn called Pairfect (see the yellow yarn at the top of the cuff? That's how you know where to start so you get two exactly equal socks out of one ball). And it isn't this pink (these are for Tim)--the pink is really more flesh/peach toned.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Kathy's Quora

For the week of 2/13, from Kathy!
*What is your favorite fiber or blend to knit or crochet with?
 I think a nice  merino wool. Or a merino cashmere blend.
*What is your favorite fiber to wear? (cotton hands down)
 I think a nice  merino wool. Or a merino cashmere blend.
* Have you seen someone you know personally on television?  
Yes. I was a theatre  major in college for a year and many people from my school who were there around when I was there are on television (Kathy knows--I went to Northwestern, a well known theatre school). Probably the most recent sighting was my former roommate on the Fox show "Empire." But I also went to school with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Megan Mullaly and I see them all the time.
*Do you have a locket?  Who is in it? (I do.  I have a lock of hair in my locket.  A lock of my mom’s hair….Is that odd? )
I did get one for the my 16th birthday but a. I don't know where it is and b. I don't think there was anything in it.
*What is your favorite pizza topping?  (sausage…c’mon I’m Hungarian)
Spinach and artichoke hearts.
*The box of Valentine chocolates is in front of you.  What’s your pick of chocolates? 
Dark truffle or dark chocolate with nuts or coconut.
*Is there a state you haven’t visited that you’d like to visit? (Oklahoma…to see Al)
The only states I haven't visited are the Dakotas and West Virginia (I think)--and two good friends live in ND so a trip there may be in the works. 
*What’s the oldest thing in your wardrobe?  
I have a pair of courdoroy pants from a Benneton store on Michigan Ave in Chicago that I bought in 1987. They still kind of fit.
*When are you most likely to give up on a knit project?
a)when you decide the pattern was too hard
b) when you decide the pattern was too easy
c) when you make too many mistakes
d) when you realize you cannot knit another stitch with THAT yarn, whatever it is
I don't know--I think it is just too not interesting. 
*Name one thing you love about your husband/friend/or a family member:
Tim:he pushes me out of my comfort zone, he puts up with my craziness, he tolerates the yarn room, and he loves me. So that's four things out of a hundred reasons why I love him.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Casapinka Rocks!

I've made a few designs by Casapinka but I must say that One & Done is my favorite, and could be  my favorite pattern ever. If you liked or loved Clapotis, you will love this one.

You can see Pilot's snout and his shadow!

I used one skein of Socks that Rock--probably mediumweight---I forget how wonderful that yarn is but I was reminded when I did this scarf!

Here is the close up of the border:

It ends with a basic lace pattern.

It is now getting its bath.

I will definitely make another one (probably starting today or tomorrow).  It did indeed take the entire bit of sock yarn but I probably have a few extra rows in there.

Last night we watched "Snowden" which was good (Oliver Stone directed). I've sort of forgotten the whole Snowden thing and this movie helped to tell a (probably a bit biased) side of the story.

I finished reading "The Marriage Lie" which is kind of an interesting story of a woman whose husband dies in an air crash --- but he wasn't supposed to be on the flight. Or was he? Or did he? It was good in that 'spunky woman gets to the bottom of things' type of way. I'm now reading a good book called "Class" which is about two well-off, liberal white parents who are determined that their daughter will go to a public school where their daughter is the minority. Things go wrong, and it is an interesting story of when our ethical values clash and how we handle that--and ourselves.

Enjoy Sunday!

Thursday, February 09, 2017


Doesn't this look like a drunk ghost is wearing the sweater?

I have spent the morning begging people to review articles for the journal for which I serve as a Deputy Editor. This is not the most rewarding of academic endeavors.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Don't it always seem to go--

--that everything gets finished at the same time?

I finished the Someday Hat (sometimes hat? I really can't recall) and it looks great:

I didn't do as many repeats of the 'triangle' pattern as the pattern suggested--it called for seven and I stopped after four. It is still slouchy so that works fine. Too much slouch is just not that cute (in my opinion) (when you're not 21).

I also finished the light green sweater during the super bowl--I did the collar which took a long time and then wove in ends. It needs another block (I just steam-blocked it to sew it) and then it will be ready too.

I had another non-stop day yesterday--started work at 7:15am and stopped at 6pm, but in addition to my class I got a bunch of coding done on a social media project I'm working on with a colleague in Texas. And had three or four crises in between. Today I don't have to go in---I am going to finish an article and work on a couple other tasks and get ready for another crazy day tomorrow (non stop meetings and grading). But at least I feel I'm in a more control place, especially since I got that coding done. We are looking at how NFL teams talk about their participation in Breast Cancer Awareness Month on social media--and there are some interesting patterns.

Tim finished his comps--hooray---so proud of him. He defends a week from today.

Monday, February 06, 2017


This is a photo from the US Snowsculpting Championships that Kathy posted on her blog
#1 Can you identify the pattern? 
(Nope, sorry. It looks pretty simple though! )
I loved the owl and hawk on this sculpture.  #2 Have you ever held an owl or hawk?
(I can't recall but I think I might have held a hawk at some point.) 
I have to include Zach here.  He loves tortoises and sea turtles.  #3 Have you ever seen a sea turtle in the ocean?  
(Yes. This was a highlight of our last trip to Hawaii where we could snorkle with turtles. We had to hike to the cove but incredibly worth it!) 

 #4 Name a favorite Childrens’ Book. 
(IThe Betsy-Tcy series, and from the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil T. Frankweiler or something like that)) 
.  #5 What is your favorite blend of yarn? 
#6 When does Spring start for you? 
(We had a hint of Spring yesterday with the temps almost at 60 degrees. Today it is cold and rainy.) 
#7 Name something you wear that someone else knitted or crocheted for you:
(My colleague knit me some fingerless gloves that I love) 
#8 Do you prefer to drive at night or in the day? 
(I like driving during the day. I like when someone else drives at night) 
#9 Do you prefer curtains or blinds?
(Definitely blinds. We buy the ones that block out the light and love them) 
#10 Name a favorite salad dressing please!
(Cardinis Caesar Salad Dressing. And any honey mustard).

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Our holiday

As an advertising professor (and former practitioner), today is Our Holiday--Christmas, Easter, the 4th of July and all the good stuff all rolled into one single day (or four hour period) when people don't hate advertising: SUPERBOWL SUNDAY! I have to admit that the new tactic of releasing ads online early kind of ruins some of the fun for me, but whatever. SUPERBOWL SUNDAY! We're making egg rolls. :-)

And I'm going to finish this:

Pretty much, this just needs the collar knit on. And ends woven in. The seams are done. I'm looking forward to a finish.

Last night we watched the movie "Hell or High Water".  I just realized it is up for an Oscar. It was good--morally ambiguous, not really violent, Jeff Bridges is great---basically, what happens when you run out of options? We also started watching "Mozart in the Jungle" on Amazon--that's good too. We watched a few episodes of the Zelda Fitzgerald mini-series on Amazon and it was OK.

Go--whichever team you want to win!

Saturday, February 04, 2017

More One & Done

Wow, I made it through a very tough week, so yay me! I'm eager to treat myself with curling up with a good book and knitting and the Super Bowl this weekend.  More and more, I find it isn't about things but about the gift of time for myself that I really treasure and value. And of course, balancing that with time with my loved ones. 

One & Done is a terrific project:
It has a great rhythm (three kits, three purls) and then at the end I get to drop stitches which I love.

The yarn is Socks that Rock, probably medium weight, in  mix of grey, black, white and teal. Kind of hard to see in the photo, but a lovely mix. Socks that Rock (Blue Moon Fiber Arts) is really a terrific terrific yarn, and I forget how great it is. So this project takes me to my happy place.

Woah, this was a busy week. On my teaching days (Monday and Wednesday) I got in the office by about 7:15 and didn't leave until after 4: non stop teaching and meetings that whole time. On Tuesday and Thursday I met our candidates for breakfast at 8 and then hosted them for the whole morning, then spent the afternoon catching up. We admitted new doctoral students on Wednesday, I had a meeting about a proposed science communication project, and then I had a PhD defense on Friday. Friday afternoon I had to arrange things for a big meeting next Friday (personnel issues). So even though it was busy I accomplished a huge amount of things, so that's better than those weeks when I'm running around not getting anything done.

I also made a huge decision about my future path, and that put a lot of things into perspective.

Tim has been working on his comprehensive exams, and he will finish those this weekend (they were take home exams) so needless to say the level of tension is high at our house--but the end is in sight.

I have been (slowly) reading two books--Robbie Robertson's memoir (Testimony) and also the new book by Chris Bohjalian (Sleepwalkers (???)). But very slowly.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Sometimes hat

This is about all the knitting energy I could muster up this week--the Sometimes (Something?) Hat. The yarn is sock yarn called Tin Man, and it has cashmere in it, which makes it nice for a hat. I am guessing that the yarn was from the Wool Girl Wizard of Oz Sock Club that might have been ten years ago---anyway, it is one of those yarns that didn't really 'speak to me' until it did--last week.

This will be a very slouchy hat.

Tim is writing his comprehensive exams this week, so it is great that he has had quiet time at home while I've been incredibly swamped with searches and promotion and tenure stuff.

I'm looking forward to having some writing and reading time next week!