Friday, March 31, 2017

Well that went by fast

Today is the last day of Spring Break. It was a good week, as mostly what I wanted to do is prep for spring term. I'm teaching two classes, one of which is new, and yesterday I got that pretty much pulled together (last task: discussion questions for all classes posted on Canvas). So bring it on, I guess. I have two afternoon classes and I haven't taught afternoons for two years so we'll see how this goes.

The back of the summer top is finished:

I didn't have quite enough of the two blues so I added a bit of light pink in at the top. It looks fine. It is using up stash. I'm not sure why this is taking me so long but yeah.

The UO Ducks are in the final four! I'm not a basketball person but it is nice that they are doing well. Plus, in my bracket, I have both UNC and UO in the final four so I'm guaranteed a team in the finals. This is BIG NEWS for me as I am known as the person who always has the worst, worst bracket imaginable. 

Not sure what else I'll do today--I'm having rescheduled coffee with Lauren and then we're meeting our architect later. Will probably just putter this morning.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Lots of pictures

Spring break isn't really a break for the professors I know. If you are on Quarters, you are finishing up one term and going 100 miles an hour to get ready for the next one. If you are on semesters, you're taking a deep breath before the wind down to summer. In fact, the thought of summer is the only thing keeping me going. Summer and Memorial day, actually.

The conference deadline isn't helping, but I think my work on those papers is pretty much done.

My coffee date got cancelled yesterday, so since it wasn't raining (it is supposed to rain all day today) I bopped out to see the alpacas. It was great to see everyone looking dry and fluffy. We'll shear in about a month. Tink 'spit off' when I was in Boston, as did the other two girls who are pregnant*.

Speaking of alpacas:

These socks came from my twinnie. If she keeps this up, I will be clad head to toe in alpaca gear. Thank you Kim!

Twinnie also sent this yarn:
The yarn is called Twinnie! And the color is Wonka Bar! Kim has some too and we're having a KAL and knitting the same pattern: the coastal shell cap. Because we both love coasts and shells.

I finished these socks yesterday:
These are the underwhelming dragon scale socks. Meh. But I do kind of like the colors. I have enough left over for mitts.

Back to break work now!

*Female alpacas ovulate on demand, and so you always must separate the males and females unless you want to breed. One sign that females are indeed pregnant is if they spit at a male that gets too close to them. So Ann 'spit tests' the girls by putting them in a small pen and then bringing any of her males into the pen. Hopefully much spitting ensues.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

One (more) and done

Today is the second day of spring break and so far it looks like this break will be a catch up for work punctuated by little period of fun. Ah well. The challenge of the quarter system.

A conference deadline is Saturday and I'm working on three different papers in three different capacities--one is pretty much done, one is about 80% done and the other--I'm not sure. I'm not even planning on going to the conference, truth be told, but I told others I would help them out. So yesterday I caught up on all the stuff that fell between the cracks while I was gone.

I did do a bit of work on the second one and done:
This is in a bamboo cotton blend which should work for spring, hopefully.

OH also yesterday I did some clothes shopping. Spring work clothes here are hard--the temps can swing 30 degrees in a day, so it is hard to find clothes that work well in those situations. Plus, I'm not really comfortable wearing anything other than black and blue so that works against me as well. But I went to J Jill at the mall and tried on a bunch of stuff, ended up with three dresses (one black but sleeveless, one black with flowers, one grey and white) and a blue floral skirt, so I should be set. I teach M-Thurs in Spring so that means four days of 'professional' wear as opposed to the two or three I regularly have.

Today's plans: work on a tenure and promotion review, work on a call for papers for a special issue I"m going to edit, and meet my friend Lauren for coffee later in the afternoon. I started a new book--it is a series and it might just a young adult series--called Ink and Bone---kind of Harry Potter ish so I like it so far.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Last March Quora

Don't you love Kathy's Quora?  Such a nice way to start the week.

*Do you have any teams left in the Final Four?
YES! I DO! Can you tell I'm excited? I moved up from 24/24 to 19/24 and I still have the Duck and UNC, so I will have someone in the finals!
*How do you lose 8 pounds in a day?
One would have to cut off a body part, I imagine.
*In a word describe the weekend’s weather in your neck of the woods-
*Would you rather knit a shawl in a gradient yarn or change colors yourself and deal with the weaving in of ends?
Do I even have to answer? Of course a gradient.
*Would you rather have a creme egg, a marshmallow egg, a peanut butter egg or a malted milk ball egg?
I'd rather have a nest made out of chocolate and coconut with jelly beans for eggs.
*Would you rather knit a crescent, rectangle or triangular shawl?
Definitely rectangular.
*Are Knitting /Crocheting Magazines interesting to you anymore?
Not printed ones, no.
*Do you own a cowboy hat?
Um, no.
*Have you ever worn bib overalls?
Maybe once? Definitely not a regular part of my wardrobe.
*Whats the largest size circular needles you own?

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Home from the Hub

I got home last night from the Hub of the Universe where I attended an academic conference and had a lot of fun. I left on Wednesday--it is a long flight from  Eugene to Boston, I arrived around dinnertime and it was cold and windy. The hotel was a few blocks from my first apartment in Boston (off of St. Botolph, for those who know the Prudential area) and so I bundled up and walked around there. Then dinner and off to bed.

This is the view from my hotel window. Top floor. Not shabby.

Yes, those are sailboats out on the Charles.

Thursday I got up and walked down to Boston U to hang out with my former colleague Chris in the morning. Then I came back to the hotel, changed, gave a presentation, worked with a co-author for a few hours, went to the opening reception, then went to dinner with my publisher (la ti da) and then back to the hotel. Friday I had a panel at 8:30, presented a paper at 10, had lunch with my former colleagues from UT, met with a Very Famous Marketing Professor from Harvard (la ti da again) who I have known for a few years (he has some connections to UO) and we had a lovely catch up. He is old as the hills and I worry he won't be around, so that time with him was precious. THEN--changed my clothes, took the T to Harvard Square, met my best friend from Boston Elizabeth (I was her Maid of Honor), we walked around Harvard Square and then back to her house, I met her kids (I was staying at her house when her oldest was born--her oldest is now graduating from Brown) and then we (Elizabeth, her husband John, her two kids) drove up to Tyngsboro for dinner with her Mom and Stepdad. We laughed all night. Saturday I had one last panel at 8:30, met with my proteges Joonghwa and Soojung, then took the T to the airport for the long flight home.

It was busy. Busy and fun. Fun and busy.

I didn't knit.

Next week is spring break so I will knit and catch up and get the final stuff done for spring term. Luckily the long plane ride got me caught up on a ton of stuff.

More knitting next time, I promise.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Clearing the Decks

I'm off to Boston tomorrow, and have spent most of yesterday and most of today getting stuff ready. There's really three aspects: 1. getting all my stuff ready for the conference (I'm in four different sessions), 2. getting all the stuff done that I won't have time to do while I'm in Boston and 3. getting the house in some order so Tim doesn't have to worry about too much house stuff while I'm gone.  I'm almost there. (Note to self: HEADPHONES).

Here's the status of the top:

It is a beautiful sunny day today and so you can get a much better idea of the colors in this photo.

So I've noticed something: whenever I catch up and get some stuff off the to-do list early, a bunch more stuff pops up. If I hadn't finished stuff early, would this additional stuff pop up?

I know I need to say no to stuff but when I get a request for a letter for a colleague or a student that I like a lot then I feel bad about saying no. But it is soon to be 'external review' season (when I get asked to evaluate other scholar's work at other institutions) and I think I'll be saying no to some of those. But we'll see.

Have a good rest of the week and see you soon!

Monday, March 20, 2017

First Day of Spring Q&A

Kathy has a bit of spring fever.  And questions.

*Sure sign of spring: Bugs.  Has anything bitten you yet?
I don't think so (that is kind of my standard answer to Kathy's quora). I did wake up a sleeping baby garter snake in the garden yesterday while I was weeding. It wanted to bite me but its mouth, stretched all the way open, was the size of a pistachio. I don't really like snakes (understatement) but this was truly a little baby one and pretty cute, for a snake.

*Do you knit for practice?  I don’t mean for gauge.  I mean a stitch pattern?
 No. I just jump in and if it has to be frogged, it has to be frogged.
*Have you tried the ONE TOUCH Latte for your coffee?
I have never heard of it.

*Persill laundry detergent seems to be the new laundry fad.  Have you seen it, tried it, Liked it?
 We're pretty laundry detergent brand loyal. It has to work in the HE machine and it has to have no smell. We used Tide til our store stopped carrying it, now we use Planet.

*When’s the last time you wore a handknit you created?
 Socks, on Saturday. Between socks, mitts and scarves, I generally wear a hand knit every day.

*Does having more sunlight in your day make you more active?
 We tend to get out more, and do an evening walk once it warms up.
*I love to laugh. Who is the last person who made you laugh?
Tim and I laughed about something yesterday, he tends to make me laugh on a fairly regular basis.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Not much to see today

It is a rainy Saturday. Again.

Spring is coming so late here---the grape hyacinths are just starting to come up, and they are usually up toward the end of February. My daffodils finally bloomed, and whatever tulips are going to bloom seem a week or two away. Deer have eaten most of them (after being spared last year). Sigh.

I've knit on this.

As I mentioned, I need to color block this since I only have random balls of Rowan Calmer left. I thought I could do it with two colors but it looks like I'm going to need three colors (and maybe even four colors, as I only have one ball of one color so the top stripe might be pale pink in the back and white in the front). We'll see.

Here are a few life catch ups (if you came just for knitting you are welcome to go now):

-Reading: I read "Old School" by Tobias Wollf (I'm going through a bit of a literary boarding school phase), it was a good story. Before he was well known, Tobias Wollf came to a short story writing class I had as an undergrad--I think he was buddies with the professor, who I think was (at the time) editor of a literary magazine called TriQuarterly.  Now I'm reading "The Chilbury Ladies' Choir" which by its description sounds like another Plucky British Women During the War novel, but it seems to be a bit more than that. Plus, I love the structure of the book, it is an epistolary novel (and yes, I had to google it because I knew the phrase started with epis but then couldn't remember exactly what it was) (and in defense of my ignorance, it isn't like that is a phrase I toss around all the time). It is good. More on that as I get further in.

-Knitting: going to dive into the stash to figure out what to take for plane knitting this week when I go to Boston. I think I'll probably cast on for another One and Done and want to see if I have any STR in my stash.

-Indie dyers--I haven't bought sock yarn for a while as my stash is quite complete, thank you, so I haven't really been tracking the success (or lack of same) of indy dyers. But the other day I pulled something out of my stash and wanted to see if it was self-striping or variegated. I googled it (and Rav-ed it) and found the dyer was out of business. I then randomly pulled out some other yarns and found that those dyers had gone out of business as well. I then checked out a good online store, Loopy Ewe, and saw that their list of dyers was much, much shorter than my recollection of their stock when I regularly shopped there. And then looking around Rav, I noticed that several indie dyers (and a bigger yarn company, Fiesta) are out of business. And sadly, some of these go out of businesses with unfilled orders (and angry customers).

It seems like one of the biggest problems is with yarn clubs---dyers 'sell' slots in a yarn club upfront, get the $, and the down the line find that they can't fulfill the orders from the club.  Now of course this doesn't happen with all yarn clubs--and this has never happened to me, knock wood (although there are other reasons why yarn clubs just aren't for me). So I feel bad about dyers going out of business, and I wish there was some sort of business training for people so they wouldn't get into this bind. It is always, always challenging for artists to run the 'business' side of their company. I do wonder if we are moving away from an indie dyer situation in the knitting world.

-House: we had another meeting with the architect yesterday afternoon (our second this week) and the inside is almost where it needs to be. We also saw some preliminary drawings for the outside. It is moving fast and is very exciting!

-Boston: I go to Boston next week for a conference. In addition, I'm reconnecting with old friends from the six years I lived there. I'm excited to see them, especially my friend Elizabeth (I was her maid of honor).

That's it from here!

Friday, March 17, 2017

In Honor of St. P!

Happy St. Patrick's day! It is not a huge day here in the PacNW--nothing like when I lived in Chicago (green river) or Boston (lots and lots of Irish people). I remember that when I was an undergrad, I was often at O'Hare on St. Patty's day traveling somewhere and that was my first introduction to green beer.

So in honor--here is the first dragon scale sock which has an awful lot of green in it!
And so you can see the scales up close and personal:

These are fun to knit but I'm not sure if the effort is worth the result, as the scales are very hard to see. Maybe it is the yarn I chose?

Got a bunch of grading wrapped up so I'm feeling pretty on top of things (for once). This kind of nice thing happened--I got an email asking me to speak at a conference in June about Mechanical Turk (one of my research areas). And, for the first time EVER, the organizers offered to pay my expenses and give me an honorarium. I know that happens to other people quite a bit, but never to me, so this makes me feel like I'm kind of an expert in something (even if it is something kind of dull like methodology). It is in Nashville at Vandy (ANCHOR DOWN!) which is the alma mater of my twinnie.

We had the symphony last night and it was very good. Bartok in the first half and Mozart and Strauss in the second half. This was not a 'challenging' symphony by any stretch of the imagination but we were both so tired it was perfect for us.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Wrapping up Winter

Winter term, that is. My last class was yesterday morning, and I spent quite a bit of time grading projects and calculating participation grades. This was one of the lowest performing upper level classes I've ever taught--the students almost never read comments on written work, so the work didn't improve one week to another. I even encouraged them to read the comments. Oh well, horse, water etc.

My colleague Nicole and I had a chapter accepted for a book, which is nice--we're 'double dipping' with a conference paper we're writing. There's a nice pipeline out there for me which is good, because honestly nothing is more fun in my job than getting a notice that your paper or chapter was accepted. I've had a good run this year (sabbatical a year ago, thank you) and have had seven or eight acceptances this year. That will slow down considerably now. But that's fine.

We met again with the architects yesterday and they had some preliminary sketches. They are looking good--we asked for some tweaks (actually, it was more "take this side of this plan and this side of this plan and mush them together") which they seem fine with. And Tim got in touch with the guy who sells Tulikivis (they are big fireplace/heaters: and they are having a sale so we can get the Tulikivi we want on sale. So that's good news.

And the tax return is in.

I'm working on the summer top that Kathy did:

I'm using Rowan Calmer in two shades of blue (even though this looks more grey, I'll show pictures with the lighter yarn next time). I will do a color block because I don't have enough of one color in the stash and I really want to get stash knit down. This is a good 'mindless knitting' project and hopefully it will be done so I can wear it this summer.

How are you?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Dragon Scales

I've seen lots of patterns for Dragon Scale socks and such--the cool ones are crochet which are 3D. Of course, I cannot crochet for the life of me, so I'll do some flat ones.

So these are socks done in the pattern. In retrospect, the scales aren't 'popping' as much as I'd like, so I think next time I'll try these with a YO instead of a M1R and a M1L.

This is a good pattern for variegated yarn, although it is kind of hard to see in this picture.
That's a little better.

I'm not sure what the yarn is but it is kind of nice and summery so I like it.

This is week 10 of our term--the last week of classes before finals week and then spring break. I am ready for the final presentations tomorrow--grading tools ready to go! The grant proposal is submitted. I also submitted a book chapter proposal and that got accepted (yay)--we are double dipping on that with the paper that is due for a conference in a few weeks. I have my presentations for the Boston conference all done and will rehearse those on the plane. So I feel a bit---dare I say---caught up?

Monday, March 13, 2017

Multiple Quora!

The ever accommodating Kathy gives us two options for Quora: a snowstorm Quora and a non-snowstorm Quora! I will of course do the non snowstorm option, as we get one or two snowstorms every decade and then have no idea what to do with them. Today it was 50 degrees when I left the house at 7:20 so no snow in sight.

Group two: the lucky ones right now.
  1. What is your favorite warm weather yarn? I don't have a favorite, and I do very little warm weather knitting but I have big hopes for a linen/cotton blend.
  2. Do you eat corned beef and cabbage? Even though I am Irish by Marriage, no.
  3. How many pairs of sandals do you own? Do flip flops count? If not, maybe one or two? If flip flops count, maybe 8?
  4. Do you miss the snow? (cause I’ll send you some!) I like the snow, in small amounts, in a place where a car is not necessary.
  5. How do you deal with humidity and your hair? Luckily we don't have humidity here to any degree. But I do have to deal with going out in the rain. I have a very powerful flat iron. It is my friend. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017


I can tell I haven't been 100% for a few days since the only things I have wanted to knit are very straightforward (ie no cables) (or lace) (or anything that involves complex thoughts). As a result, look what are done:

I even did a load of socks this morning so they're ready for wearing (and I did snip off the long ends).

These look good--as a reminder, these are the 'pairfect' socks from Regia. This yarn is one-ball that has a long lead yarn (the yellow---see it at the top of the cuff) that shows you where to start so the two socks are exactly equal. This is genius. Here is a warning, though: this is a center pull ball and by the time you get to the second sock, to quote Yeats, "the center cannot hold". So I would advise you to wind this into a ball from the get go, or know you'll have to wind this into a ball to do the second sock.

In retrospect, though, I could have knit this from the outside in and done a toe-up, which I might try on the next socks I do from this yarn.

I also cast on for a summer top--the Drop Shoulder Tee--that Kathy just finished. I'm going to use up stash and do a 'color block' version in Rowan Calmer. It is pretty basic to knit and I can knit and read while doing it.

I finished a book called "The Hollywood Daughter" which is a novel about a girl (teen-aged) who grows up in Hollywood during the Hollywood Blacklist period. The main character is a huge fan of Ingrid Bergman, who was of course 'exiled' from Hollywood for a while due to her affair with Roberto Rossellini. It was pretty good--it did a fine job of recalling that period in film history.

I'm about to finish "The Animators"--remember when I said I needed something with a bit more depth. Well, this one is giving it to me. It is about two young women who meet in art school who create animated films that address the challenges they faced growing up, and how those challenges they faced as children manifest in their current lives. And the challenges are not of the "I didn't get invited to a slumber party" kind of challenges--these are tough situations these kids dealt with. It is an interesting way to consider the role of art and creativity in our lives, but this novel is raw. It isn't going to be for everyone. (For whatever reason, I thought it was going to be about the struggles of women in the 1950s working for Disney. I guess that is a different book. Or I made that up).

Last night we watched "Manchester by the Sea" and so I guess that made yesterday a day of rawness and grief and sadness, entertainment wise. MbtS, as you know, was nominated for a bunch of awards and won best screenplay and best actor. It has a great cast including (I just learned) Baryshnikov's daughter Anna.

We visited the Home Show yesterday to start to get ideas for the new house. And had a lovely walk and lunch out. A busy day, all in all.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Less Oof-y

As Erica suggested, the bug is running its course and I feel better today--thank you for the good wishes. I felt kind of blah last night but had a great night's sleep and now am feeling pretty exhausted (boo) but the stomach cramps are almost all gone (yay). And I'm blah enough to rationalize missing a faculty meeting, which is fine since the main topic is All The Money We Do Not Have.

So in between my malaise (I love that word, and I love when Tim says it because he can drag it out so well) I've been doing a bit of this:

It is called the Monoshone Creek Cowl and it was meant to be in a bulky yarn but I'm not a bulky yarn woman, so yeah. It is an eight row pattern that looks very cool. I hate moss stitch, but luckily the most number of moss stitches is 11 or so---I can handle that.

There are two interesting aspects to this pattern. First, it is supposed to be cast on with a provisional cast on but Kim Knits don't play that. The pattern, clearly knowing me and my lack of enthusiasm and coordination for the provisional cast on, suggested the backwards loop cast on. So I did that, and I can see how easy it will be to put the stitches back on the needle for a graft.

Second, this pattern has an ingenious 'icord' edging. On every row, right side or wrong side, the first three stitches are knit and the last three are slipped with yarn in front. When you knit the first three stitches, then, the sort of faux icord forms on the edges. Edges don't flop around or curl under inappropriately. It is genius, I tell you.

I was playing around with stitch patterns for a new sock (I wanted to try a different pattern in the Zigzagular sock) and after spending some time drawing stuff I realized I was drawing a double helix and lots of those charts are out there. DOH! Plus I should just knit on the three things I have and not get distracted by other things.

Enjoy Friday!

Thursday, March 09, 2017


Tuesday afternoon something went wrong, tummy wise. I was fine for the first half of Tuesday but by the time Tim got home I was doubled in half on the sofa, with chills.  Tuesday night I slept quite fitfully and at 4:30 am got up and cancelled my 8am class and my morning appointments--the chills were gone but my tummy still hurt a lot. I felt a bit better Wednesday late morning so went in for a meeting and then a meeting with an architect (more on that later). Today my tummy is still quite tender (I skipped exercising, but would use just about any excuse to skip that!) but I slept well last night so feel a bit better today.

I think it was only the third time I cancelled class in 25 or so years of teaching so I felt OK about it. 

I could only concentrate on the most basic knitting:

I did go through patterns on Tuesday to see what to start next but nothing really 'spoke' to me. Of course that will change though! I might just do my own take on Zigzagular with some other type of pattern on the side.

So the BIG NEWS is that Tim and I met with the architecture firm who is going to design our new house! We are going to build a house on the Oregon coast on the property we've owned for a long time--we've been saving our pennies for a while and are now ready to begin! We met the architect a while ago at a Home Show and he and Tim (and our builder, who is out on the coast) got together a few weeks ago to visit the site and to have a powwow. He has great ideas (his name is Nir, by the way) and his firm does gorgeous work, so we are glad to be moving forward. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 07, 2017


I love the idea of the Zigzagular socks, but the actual execution wasn't the best.

First, the yarn wasn't a great pick--you can't see the zigzags in the black yarn.
Second, the actual zigzag part serves as sort of a giant 'rib' in the sock, which works OK but is a bit wonky.

Oh well. As soon as I finish this post I"m going to go look at what I want to knit next. I know some things have whispered 'knit me next' but not sure exactly what I'll start. You'll be one of the first to know!

Today I'm working at home and am tying up lots of loose ends. We have a good version of the grant proposal (it is due in a week) and now I think it is just tweaks, so check that one off the list. The four presentations for the Boston conference are done (the biggest one--a paper I authored on the connection between curiosity and creativity) needs one more look-see but then that is done. I finished  my personnel committee reports, the 'official' proposal for a new Master's program that now goes on to Higher Ups at the University for review, I finished a break-even analysis for said program, and I finished my annual report (which is oddly due in the dead center of the academic year). These were all things that were in a 'mostly done' phase and it is now nice to have them be completely done.

So the only big outstanding thing is the paper that is due April 1, and I'm targetting Thursday and Friday mornings for work on that. So that's a good thing.

Today is incredibly rainy--got the dogs around the block but that may be it for today. They're fine with that.

OH and I put a pot of chili in the slow cooker, so dinner is covered too. I make myself tired sometimes, but I do love a focused day at home.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Quick Quora Break

Nonstop nonstop again today and I have someone coming in in seven minutes so let's see if I can get the QUORA done before then!

* Aren’t tiny skeins of yarn adorable?  Yes, Kathy, yes they are. However---all I can see when I look at them is ends to weave in. 
*How many KITS of yarn and pattern do you have in your stash? "Official" kits--like they were purchased as yarn and pattern together--maybe three? I also went through a period where I created my own kits that I was going to do kind of a 'grab bag' for myself, but those are pretty much sitting around together not knit up yet.
*Have you ever seen a snow rainbow? No but I really, really want to.
*Have you tried virtual reality glasses on? Just once at a conference and it made me somewhat ill
*What is the farthest thing OUT marked on your calendar right now? Like what do we have plans for on a calendar? I have all our symphony dates on our calendar, so I guess mid-May for that
*What one item in your wardrobe is most lacking?  In other words, what do you need to shop for soon? White shirts because I always need white shirts.
*How many National Parks in the U.S. have you been to? Honestly? Not that many. Rocky Mountain, Glacier, Crater Lake, Glacier Bay (In Alaska, I think that is a national park), Great Smoky Mountains, Grand Canyon, Volcanoes---I think that is it? Seven out of 59? I think I just wrote my bucket list.
*What will you do with a single skein of handspun in dk weight that’s pure wool?  A cowl knit in linen stitch. Does it have more than one color?

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Snow Day

You've all seen what I"m working on, knitting wise, so I thought I'd take a 'snow day' from knitting content and share some other content with you. First, it really is a snow day:

My poor spring bulbs are all covered with snow---daffodils in the top photo and grape hyacinths in the bottom. We just have a bit down here (we're at about 440 feet of elevation) but my friend Nicole lives up in the hills and already has a few inches. It is not the latest we've had snow here (one year we had snow during winter term finals week, which is right around St. Patrick's day) and we had a long streak with no snow in January and February so I'm not complaining.

Yesterday it was supposed to rain all day but as we were sitting around in our PJs after breakfast we noticed the sun was out and there was blue sky, so we threw on clothes and took the dogs for a long walk (about 3 miles) up in the hills near our house. Luckily the weather held for our walk and then turned when we got home, so yay for us!

Last night we watched "Girl on a Train" and it was good--I had read the book and thought the ending was different but apparently I was thinking of a different book with an unreliable narrator.

I've read a few books lately--nothing that good, a mix of chick lit and mystery/thriller.

1. "On Turpentine Lane" by Elinor Lipman--Lipman is one of my favorite authors of all time, but her last few books have not resonated with me as much as her earlier ones (if you're looking to read some of hers, read "Then She Found Me" or "The Inn at Lake Devine" or "The Way Men Act".  Anyway, this story was about a woman who buys a house where there may or may not have been a murder and there's infidelity and romance and it is all a bit muddled. For Lipman friends only.

2. "The Pretty One" by Lucinda Rosenfeld--this one came up on the Kindle as "what others who read Elinor Lipman also read" and this one was very very Lipman-like, three sisters and they all have a pretty specific identity in their family and those identities get mixed up with Life Happens. Lipman, as a matter of fact, has a similar type of story in her book "The Ladies' Man" which I like more than this book. But this was  a fast and enjoyable read.

3. "You Will Know Me" by Megan Abbott--this was the mystery. There are a lot of moving parts but the basic story is: there's a teenager who is a gymnastics prodigy, and the boyfriend of one of the coaches at the gym is murdered. Whodunnit? I pretty much figured out whodunnit very early on and you probably will too. But it was OK.

These books were all 'knit and read' books--it is easy to read them while knitting. But you could figure that out. I think I need a book with more 'meat' next--I have a biography of the Mitford sisters and I might dive into that next.

Today I also want to think about what to knit next--the Zigzagular socks will probably be done in the next few days as will the mindless stripey socks. I have a pile of patterns and so will be able to dig in on those to figure out what is next.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Friday friday friday friday friday

Yay for Friday! This week went by fast. I have a few deadlines coming up: a grant proposal on the 15th, four presentations for a conference the following week, and then a deadline for another conference the following week. Plus grading for the end of the term coming up and two thesis defenses--I have both syllabi done for next term so that's a good thing.  The presentations are 85% done, the grant proposal is probalby 75% done, and the conference submission is maybe half done--I'm hoping my co-authors pick up the slack.

Good things this week: one current PhD advisee and one former one got great new jobs, and a third former advisee is also in line for a great new job. I'm so happy for them!!  I picked up another PhD student that I think I will enjoy. I got some reading for my class done. I feel almost on top of things. We had good news about our lot on the coast (in that we can build pretty much what we want to build). So yay!

And the sweater is starting to look like, well, a sweater:

I brightened it up a bit so you could see the cables.

Thursday, March 02, 2017


Today has been a day of juggling: working on a paper, working on a grant proposal, job recommendation phone call for a former student, another former student needing help negotiating for a new job, and then the constant flow of emails back and forth. Plus prepping for next week's class (week 9 out of 10, almost done, yay!) as well as a personnel committee meeting for tomorrow.

But I did take some time out to photograph the first Zigzagular in all its unphotographable glory:

I give up with these. I mean not on the knitting--I kind of love knitting these--but with taking pictures of them!