Tuesday, May 30, 2017

What Day Is It?

I always get a bit confused during  Monday holiday weeks. Monday is usually my 'ten hours at school' day, so it was lovely to have a day yesterday where I didn't have to do that! Plus---the great countdown to the end of the term has begun. I have two classes left for each of my classes (yes, there are two weeks left. Yes, I am making liberal use of 'work days').

Tim was working a lot this weekend on his dissertation, so I did a lot of reading and knitting (and weeding). The first of the Spidey Socks is done:

The foot has little tiny spideys on it:

And the back has cables for the ribbing.

These are good socks. :-)

Plus, the reading results in the first two Bingo squares being x-ed out:

"Bird or Animal on the cover": Chaos Monkeys, about Silicon Valley. Monkey on cover.
"Latest book by an author you love": Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwang. He writes hysterical books about wealthy people in Asia. This is the third in a series, and they've all been good, over the top, and laugh out loud.



Monday, May 29, 2017

Qu qu qu qu quora!

Happy Memorial Day! We are having a quiet day, although I may make a chocolate silk pie for dinner just because I can. Yesterday we hung out, walked, I read and knit, and then we watched "Bloodline" on TV.

Kathy has questions.

Monday Q and A:
*Is there a person you think of on Memorial Day who served and gave a life? I'm not sure I know anyone who died in battle, but I'm thinking of my friend Eli's stepdad who contracted Agent Orange in Viet Nam recently died from Parkinson's. He'll be buried in Arlington National Cemetery this summer.
*Do you have a patriotic dessert ? Ha no I don't. I didn't even grow up in a household where we had a patriotic dessert!
*Will you see fireworks or hear them tonight? No thank goodness---Pilot the dog gets completely freaked out by fireworks. We have a law here that the only days fireworks are legal are 7/3-5 and New Year's Eve. Mostly, I think, because we can get so dry here in the summer that they become very dangerous.
*What is something you have created in red, white and blue? I  might have some socks? I don't really know. I don't sound very patriotic, do I? This trend will continue.
*Have you ever grilled something that was a flop? I'm not a great cook, but I can grill pretty well. I'm sure I made something that fell apart, and overcooked the chicken, etc, but in general I'm OK with the grill.
*Do you have a red white and blue: pair of earrings, scarf or pillow? Are you surprised the answer is no?
*Have you ever visited a country and not felt welcome as an American? I don't think so. I'm thinking of the last places outside the US we've been. In New Zealand we were very welcomed. Before that, we were in Canada and they're just so nice there. In Italy I think people saw me just as a tourist, didn't matter from where. Where else have we been? We were quite welcomed in Costa Rica. So, no.
*Name a historical fiction or non fiction book you love that takes place during a war- Brideshead Revisited.
*Name a State you want to visit . I've visited almost all of them, so I'll have to say North Dakota. I haven't been there, and our friends Joonghwa, Soojung and Jaden live there!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

MOREning Rays

See what I did there?

Anyway--this is a fun shawl. It's either knit or purl most of the time, except when you do YOs and then drop stitches, and then every so often you kf/b and it gets a lot bigger.

We are having a beautiful weekend, and we'll take advantage by hanging out on the patio, weeding, taking long walks (already did one today) and, for me, taking deep breaths to power through the last few weeks of class.



Thursday, May 25, 2017

In a calmer place

This week was frantic. Grading, reading theses and things, prepping, running over to the architect's to look at some changes to the house plans---just a lot was going on during the first part of the week. Yesterday Tim went to an overnight conference and that added in an additional level of stress (taking care of dogs and cat on a day when class tends to go til 5:30 or so). I finished up class early, came home (two defenses yesterday on top of class) and chilled out by watching old episodes of Friends.

And I started this, the Morning Rays Shawl.



If you are a loyal reader of my blog, you know I love  a drop stitch. Plus I have this skein of Dashing Dachs that is in sunrise (or sunset) colors, so I thought it was a good fit. I think I'm right.

I'm kind of caught up going into the long weekend. I have class today but about a fourth of the class will be missing (because why have a three day weekend if you can have a five day weekend?). I'm kind of at the 'whatever' place with this.

The weekend is unplanned except for some errands (drugs for Stella the cat) and coffee with my friend Lauren. It is supposed to be another nice one.

To close, here is the flower garden this morning. First, the digitalis.


Two colors of bearded iris.

Poppies (say it in a Wicked Witch of the West voice, please).





Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Hello summer!

It is hard to believe that the cold and rainy weather is gone, but it looks like it might be. Yesterday was almost 90 out (class outside) and today is supposed to be in the mid 80s (class will be outside). It is really hard to teach when it is so nice out. What am I saying, it is hard to concentrate when it is so nice out!

We took advantage of the first nice weekend--we weeded on Saturday and kayaked on Sunday. It was our 'shake down' cruise---we went to the canoe canal where we stretch out our muscles and become amazed that we haven't forgotten how to paddle after a long winter.  We came back from the kayak and drank shandies on the patio and that was lovely as well.

I finished this scarf--it is blocking right now and looks good.


I also decided to try Summer Book Bingo again this year--here's my card:
I am not good at Summer Book bingo.

Back to grading!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Quora Today

My blog friend Kathy lost her mom and the funeral is today. As a result, the Quora is a bit on the somber side.

*Do you have a favorite funeral song?
I like a good sung version of the 23rd psalm.
*I would stick a cigarette in my mom’s casket if I could.  Did you put anything in your loved ones’ casket with them?
I'd probably put in a necklace that Tim often wears, and maybe a bottle of beer. 
*I love that the Jewish tradition is to sit shiva.  Shiva is the first 7 days of mourning.  There is an Irish tradition called Month’s Mind where you go to mass and have a meal in the loved one’s honor a month after the death.  Do you know of other such rememberences?
I like the Jewish tradition of putting stones on a grave to 'keep the souls down'. 
*I’m probably going to plant something for mom in the woods or put out a special bird house or feeder in her honor.  Any other ideas?
I love the idea of planting something--as well as the bird house, maybe in her favorite colors? It would be a fancy house, I imagine. 
Sending so much love to Kathy today!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

More Spider

I have other stuff to show you, but I spent a bit of time on this last night and got to the heel turn:

There are three little spiders on the foot. And the best thing is that Tim likes them so as these are for him that is a good thing!

In other things:
  • I'm reading 'StartUp: A Novel' and I've just started it so I'm not sure how good it is yet.
  • On the television, we are watching "Shetland" on Netflix and "Victorian Slum House" on PBS. Both are good. We also have the latest season of Silicon Valley on DVD and it is so funny. So so funny.
  • I got home from the faculty meeting at about 3:30 yesterday so spent some time pulling weeds.
  •  
We have three weeks of classes left, but this was the last week I have 'something' on every day. This week was even extra busy because I had the Undergraduate Symposium on Thursday evening, so after my class on Thursday (which ended at 3:30) I hung out til 5:15 and then went to the symposium. Saw all the students that I know and I think they appreciated that I was there.

This last three weeks will be really busy (well, last four but the last week is finals week and I don't have anything except grading).  I have two doctoral defenses on the horizon, plus four or five undergraduate thesis presentations and two thesis prospectus presentations. I have the dissertations all read and the thesis are read (I think) but the prospectuses (prospecti?) have not come in. Plus I have one faculty personnel committee 'task' left.

I'm really looking forward to summer. Can you tell?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Spider socks

These are fun, but take concentration, and my brain is pretty full right now:


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Welcome to winter!

It is cold and wet outside. Our forecast says only one more day of this, but it is time for winter to be over.

But on to more interesting things, like my knitting!

 So I joined this in the top down top---I think it is called "By The Seashore" or something like that. It has some modifications on the way the yoke is made but is a pretty basic top.

I've also been busy working on the spider socks and on the shawl, and I'll show you those later.

In other news, we watched "Hidden Figures" over the weekend and it was really good (if a bit long, but there were three different stories that needed telling and so that took a bit of time). We also have been watching the mystery series "Shetland" on Netflix, which is also good. I've been reading "American Wife" by  Curtis Sittenfeld -I read it a long time ago, but I really like her writing style and the book is good.

Hope your week is warming than  mine!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Quite the Quora!

From Kathy!

*Did you get or give flowers this weekend, Mothers Day weekend?
I received lovely cards from the cats and the dogs and the bird. My mom got a card and cookies. So, no.

*Did you send your loved ones off with the same phrase every day?
No--I don't think so---"be careful" and "I love you" are often saiid though.

*Can you watch a commercial?  Or do you have to flip or speed through?
I teach advertising so I can watch commercials like a champ.

*How many blogs do you read regularly?
I have 60+ on my feedly list, but many are not active. I read much of what comes up, but I always read blogs from Kathy, twinnie, and others. So probably ten I read no matter once.

*Have you had a dream about knitting?
Yes, mostly anxiety or stress related dreams. 

*What is the total number of live stitches in your work bag now?
Counting in my head. 220 on the top, 68 on the socks, and probably 80 on the scarf. So about 400 or so.

*Name a meatless meal-
Burritos with rice, beans and cheese. 

*Number of times you have moved since you have been 21.
7
*Chips or popcorn?
Oh popcorn definitely. But if the choice was Fritos or popcorn it would be Fritos.

*Last piece of advice someone gave you that you didnt like!
Can't think of it but I"m sure it is out there!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Saturday Sleep-in

For the first time in many weeks, we slept in today (sleep in  meaning 8am, which is not sleeping in for most people but it is for us). It is cool and rainy which also signals 'sleep in' to us--in the summer when the sun is up by 6am we tend to be much more awake earlier.

But on the other hand--another cool and rainy weekend is in store. That's really OK, although I would like to get out and pull some weeds. But that might not be in the books.

So we just finished week 6 (out of 10) and this was my catch up week as many members of the school were on a student trip to NYC. It was nice and quiet--I finished a paper, I got a study set up, I didn't feel overly pressured to get stuff done. Next week will be regular-busy (plus the Undergraduate Research symposium next Thursday evening--a bunch of our students are presenting) and then week 8 will be regular busy, but then there's Memorial Day and the final slog. The end is near, my friends, the end is near.

I did cast on for the spider socks:

You can see four of the legs and the trunk of the spider here. These will be for Tim, even though he finds them a bit sinister. The yarn is Patons Kroy in a smoky blue, it is a bit more blue than it looks here.

Here is the back (sorry it is fuzzy):

It is a RT cable which is kind of a fake cable, which I like too.

So that was knit in about three hours--I'm guessing I will finish the leg today or tomorrow.

We started watching "Shetland" on Netflix---it is a mystery set in the Shetland islands and the people on the show wear the best knitwear. Plus it is not at all gory (you see people after they were killed) which is my speed.

Enjoy your weekend, and Happy Mother's Day to my mother friends!



Friday, May 12, 2017

May Flowers



I didn't get my act together to take pictures in the sun, but here are a few pictures on another cloudy day. The top one shows columbines, the middle one the field of foxgloves with a few irises in the distance (the irises naturalized like a mofo for some reason) and the bottom one is the wisteria.

I did cast on for the spider socks but didn't get a whole lot of time to work on them--we had the symphony last night and it was an excellent program with the Alpine Symphony by Strauss. We also heard Beethoven's Egmont Overture and then Bruch's Violin Concerto with an amazing young violinist, Ryu Goto. It was a great evening to close out this year's concert series.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Cullum is done!

I really like it a lot.

I ended up picking up (maybe) too few stitches to do the neckline but I think it still works out. This has such nice drape--it is that linen yarn from Knit Picks. I probably only used about four balls so it is a relatively affordable knit. The yarn is Lindy chain which is $4.49 a ball---but watch for it to go on sale, as it does every so often. Anyway, I like this a lot--I'm wearing a cami underneath it because it is kind of sheer, but I do like it.

Yay!

And I need to find something new to cast on. I'm thinking about Spider Socks for Tim---I'll be off to check what is in the stash that might work (pretty sure there will be something there).

In other news:
  • Rain is back. Boo. I got to have class outside yesterday and that will be the last time for at least a week. But it was fun.
  • We gave up on Season 3 of "The Affair" last night. 
  • Tonight is the symphony, the final concert of the season as well as the final appearance by the current conductor. 
  • I'm reading a book but I can't for the life of me think of the title. Will update you later.
Hope all is well in your neck of the woods!

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Getting it done

 Cullum is almost done--please forgive the awful photo:

There's a fancy bottom of lace edging and then some more stockinette and then I'm done. I might even get it finished today, as my class is cancelled for today and I'll have some extra time at the end of the day. Class is cancelled since half of the students in my department are on a trip to New York and so I cancelled today's class but will have class on Thursday.

I've mostly been working on this top, as it is very close to being done and I'm very close to being done with it. I like it though--the linen is kind of fun to knit with and it should be a nice top for summer.

Because summer is coming! After a brief peak at summer last week, we are in the midst of spring--40s in the morning and 70s in the afternoon. Thank goodness for leggings!

Not much else to report--I'm sure I've been doing things but the thought of formatting a ton of references is looming and now I will go do that.



Monday, May 08, 2017

Quora Time!

Kathy's Quora is better than coffee.  OK not really but I do look forward to Mondays and Kathy's questions.

*Do you prefer an analog or digital clock?
We have a digital alarm clock that I can't see (it is on Tim's side) because alarm clocks make me anxious. I like analog ones better. All my watches are analog.
*How good is your sense of direction?  (we are talking about times when you do not have your phone to use as a compass) (the good old days, of I say we go this way, and he says, nah we go this way)
Not that great. I can do cities with grids, that's about it.
*What do you like to knit in worsted weight yarn?
Cable sweaters.
*What was your favorite subject in school?
Espanol!
*Have you pulled weeds yet?
Yes, a few but I need to do more. Did a bit weed whack on Saturday.
*Do you figure out who you caught a cold from? (the blame game)
No---working at a University, everyone is sick all the time.
*Are you ripping out everything you knit this weekend?
Why no, Kathy, I'm not--are you?
*Do you have your appendix?
I do!
*Do you have your tonsils?
I don't! Nor my adenoids!
*What would you name a colorway today based on your morning weather?
Spring chill!

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Saturday Saturday Saturday!

We had a few summer-like days during the week and then it turned cold and rainy yesterday.  Loyal readers of my blog will remember I was whining about a busy grading week and as of now, I have two papers left to grade, so I am winning the grading war.

Yay!

I spent some time yesterday calculating the students' peer reviews of their presentations. I have every student rate every group presentation other than their own, and it always interests me how some groups generate a pretty high (or low) consistency in ratings from their peers, and others are all over the place. Anyway, I think this exercise helps students take a bit more ownership of their work.

I cast on for a new top yesterday, called "At the Seaside". It is a free pattern on Rav and I like it a lot. It is knit in the round and it is a bit fiddly to get it started (it is top down) but so far I like it. I'm using Rowan Calmer that has been in the stash and am shaking up the striping pattern a tiny bit:

I think this will end up very cute.

In other news, the second round of flowers are blooming. First--this is hard to see, I apologize--are the wisteria. This wisteria plant has been in our possession for years, and just began flowering last year. I'll try to take a few more pictures today because this is truly one of my favorites.

The Bleeding Hearts continue to co-exist with some dandelions (don't judge).


We are going to have another bumper crop year of digitalis (aka fox glove) and the first one has bloomed.





And one of my favorites are the columbine, but these are having a pretty slow start this year:

I (obviously) took too many of these before the sun got into the front yard (the front yard faces west) so will try again today if the sun is out later.


 


Thursday, May 04, 2017

In the midst

It is kind of a middle point for me. I'm about halfway through the term and I'm in the midst of a grading frenzy. The last five (six with finals) weeks are crammed full of stuff, as well as getting summer research projects organized, but once I get through this week it will all be manageable.

Can I just say, thank goodness for daily planners. I'm old school and use a (hot pink patent leather) Filofax and I like it much better than any type of online thing that other people use. I just am not tethered to a device enough, and I am tethered to my Filofax. Yesterday I spent much of my time rescheduling student presentations for the last few weeks of school and it all went fine. I know when students need to reschedule they get pretty freaked out so if my Filofax provides the illusion of calm and control, well, that makes me happy.

This week I have 23 2 page papers, 18 5 page papers and 7 group projects to grade. The group project presentations are today, and the rest of the papers are (mostly) in and  (somewhat) graded. In the next five weeks, I have two doctoral dissertation defenses and six honors thesis defenses. Plus two honors prospectus presentations. 

Yesterday, though, as the 5-pagers were submitted in drips and dabs, I got a second research project organized for the summer. So this gives me three projects for the summer: the revision of the book "Hitting the Sweet Spot" and two research projects about 1. perceptions of Hello Kitty Makeup and 2. framing of news articles on the Hawaii Sunscreen ban.

I love research, because I can do nutty stuff.

In other news:

1. I'm reading "The Circle" and it is very good.
2. We're watching Season 3 of "The Affair" and it is very sinister.
3. I recorded "Victorian Slum House" and am eager to watch it because I love those british reenactment shows and lord knows the US would never do a series like that "Chicago Housing Project House" isn't going to get a lot of viewers, although I think it would be funny.
4. Weather is gorgeous, I had class outside yesterday.

And this.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Wool rock rug video


Because you asked. Tim is making one!

That scarf

This one. It's done.

It is beaded silk, so it should be a nice summer scarf.

Now I have to find something new to cast on! Or else go into the Big Basket of Unfinished Things and start there.



Monday, May 01, 2017

Quick Quora

Visit Kathy's blog for images etc to help answer today's Quora.

*Do you think I should add more fringe to the Fezzik kitten?|

SSomehow this got erased..but I think Fezzik is fine!

*Do you ‘trust’ superwash wool?

I tend to not treat my socks as precious, so yes, I do trust it but I also live with the consequences of it. Luckily if Tim's socks felt, then they tend to fit me. 

*Can you go to the Movies and not have popcorn?

We prefer to watch movies at home, and always have popcorn. Almost always.

*Do you close you eyes during certain scenes at the movies?
I have been known to do this, yes.

*What is one thing you simply couldn’t eat if a host made it for you for dinner?
This hasn't happened, but I don't think I could eat veal. I don't cook lamb (lambies!) or pork (although Tim does) but I will be polite and eat those. But veal, I think no.

*What is a pattern part that will keep you from knitting that pattern?
Hmm. Nothing probably, except if the lace is really really complicated then I probably won't sign on.

*Do you cook with flower petals and flowers?
No. This is almost as funny as last week's snood question.