Saturday, September 30, 2017

One Nutkin

Yep, the pattern is totally and completely lost. You can tell from the bottom of the foot (lower picture) that there's some type of pattern going on, but not really.

But the yarn is a great color for the fall, and i love the little white flecks in it as well (and how nicely it matches the counter!). So I'll work the other one and have a lovely pair of fall socks, probably before Halloween.

Week 1 is over, and it was Not Good, but much was accomplished---I finished three out of four chapters for a book I committed to, and revised a chapter for another book, so I'm ahead of my game right now.

We attended a good symphony concert on Thursday. The second half was a great Tchaikowsky (will go google now to see how off I am on the spelling). Wait one sec.

OK I almost had it: Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4.

Last night we watched a good movie called "The Big Sick". Rent it. You'll like it too.

And this morning I had a little time to spend with this independent young man.

I did get a few lovely cuddles in.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

In the pool

This is a plain old toe-up sock that I knit on in the car during our trip to the Hood Canal and in the faculty retreat. One is done. There is a lot of pooling. That pretty much sums up the sock.

We are having a brief burst of Indian summer which is nice. It was a bit of a disconnect then when I dropped by the Trader Joe's after running an errand to the mortgage office to see Pumpkin Everything. I bought pumpkin biscottis though. These have pumpkin puree in them (apparently many things that are called "Pumpkin Spice" are EXACTLY that--just the spices in pumpkin pie. Oops!).

We have the opening night of the Symphony tonight and are looking forward to it.

Trying to get back on a schedule after my lovely summer off.  Just to recap my knitting projects:
1. Need to finish the neckline on black and white sweater and weave in ends.
2. Need to finish the sleeve on the cable cardigan and weave in ends.
3. NUTKIN! Must Nutkin!
4. The sparkly blue scarf. That one is almost done.
5. The beaded scarf that is sitting in the knitting bag.
6. Citron (I have watermelon colored yarn)
7. Silver Storm (I"m sure I have some pretty yarn for this)
8 Glaswegian I've already cast on for this. The yarn is--interesting.
9. I have to find some cable socks to knit because I love cables. Any ideas?
10. Those little baby bonnets (must finish baby bonnets).

That's enough right?

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

One arm

I need to finish stuff.

So this is the cable sweater whose name I don't remember. It has one sleeve finished and the second one is on its way. It is somewhat soothing to do this, I had to put it away when it got hot this summer because of all that wool sitting on me but now it is cooler so it's better.

Classes started yesterday. I really don't want to go into details on this blog about my job and where I work but let's just say--you can cut the tension with a machete. Or a plastic knife.

I  went out to see Calypso today to calm down a little bit. He's a wonderful little guy.

Monday, September 25, 2017

First Day of School QUORA

*Did you have a hangout spot as a teen? Not really. I spent a lot of time at my friend Ricky's house though.
*Why did you choose the shirt you have on today? A white tank--needed a tank underneath a lightweight sweater
*What bill do you hate paying the most?  Phone. We need to get rid of our ladline.
*Do you prefer a zipped project bag?  I tend to keep all my projects scattered around the house  strategically placed where I can find them.
*Tell us about your favorite buttons you added to a project….I took a class in button making and those are fun.
*Shawls often list a wingspan for their results.  What’s your preferred wingspan?  I don't really have one, sorry.
*The shawl I’m knitting has a picot edge bind off.  Do you have a favorite bind off? Icord bind off.
*What is the age of the oldest  bride you know of?  (it can be a second marriage or the like) No one is coming to mind, I was 37 which seemed very old at the time.
*Do you order something if it is on backorder? Depends how badly I want it.
*Advice. …..are you a fan or not? I plead the 5th.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Did you notice? DID YOU??

I changed the background and layout of the blog.

Yes, it is eye-searing fall leaves. I'll have it up for a month or so til I replace it with a really pretty winter scene. You'll get used to the brightness, I promise (well, I guess I can't promise that).

So my summer is officially over as classes start Monday. I'm all set for the first day (and probably the first week) of classes (although I should have made sure I knew where my book was. I should dash in and check that out today).

Yesterday we had Calypso's first halter lesson. Every so often you need to put an alpaca on a halter--for breeding purposes, for shearing, for transportation. The first step is to get them used to the halter on their face, without a lead.

We put Tinkerbell in a halter and on a lead and put a little halter (SO CUTE) on Calypso and went for a little walk. He was fine and patient with us putting on the halter. He will probably buck a little when the lead goes on but so far so good.

I finished the dots scarf and now it is blocking:

I love how this looks but the kitting was a bit hard on my hands. Knitting the dots was a bit time consuming and kind of ending up hurting my fingers. But hooray for another wonderful Casapinka pattern.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Zero Week

The week prior to the start of classes is known as 'Zero Week" here, and I think it is because faculty have zero time. Most of the week is taken up with meetings to discuss either ideas that some admin got over the summer about extra stuff that the faculty should be doing, or stuff that could be probably better handled in an email. But whatever. Blah blah blah. I managed a quick visit to the farm yesterday to see the growing boy--he is eating grass and hay and is probably ready for pellets but hasn't tried any yet. We may try to start halter training tomorrow. It takes a bit of time for them to get used to the halter, but it comes in handing during shearing and breeding and vet visits.

I haven't shown you this for a while: it is a scarf that is made with blue sparkly yarn from STR:

It is a bit of a floppy yarn that needs a good blocking. It is a mock cable, which is the same thing that Nutkin is. So yay mock cables.

We've been watching "Top of the Lake: China Girl" on Sundance. It is one messed up plot (a good plot, just messed up). If you like flawed characters and messed up plots, this is one for you.

OH and we went to a special symphony concert with soprano Renee Fleming on Tuesday night. It was great--neither of us are big opera people but she did probably ten short arias (two or three minutes each) plus "I Could Have Danced All Night" and a Bjork song (there was other non-singing stuff by the symphony as well).  Really a treat to have a famous singer in Eugene.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Nutkin Progress

So I love knitting Nutkin, and I'm totally OK with the fact that the pattern is completely obscured.

Maybe not totally OK but I'm sort of OK.

We are a few days away from the autumnal equinox and it is really starting to feel like fall here. I turned the gas fireplace on the other day (although technically we didn't really need to). This is "0 Week" which is the week that faculty have to attend endless meetings to talk about things we'll never talk about for the rest of the year. Good times.

I have two book recommendations--I really liked "The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O" by Neal Stephenson and "Sourdough" by Robin Sloan. I'm excited to read Philip Pullman's new trilogy (the first book comes out in October).

I hope it is getting nice and fall-y where you are!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Quora Plus

The plus is a brand new picture of you-know-who:

Oh, and did you want a video of him eating hay? I can do that!
And now on to the Quora!

*Did you have troll dolls?   I did! I even had a troll house where they lived--it was a suitcase-like structure that opened up and the whole house was there.

*When was the last time you said, ‘Oh I can make that for a lot less” I know I've said this, but not sure when. I know that we had a similar conversation on vacation--the house we rented was on an oyster beach, and we were at a fish store buying things for cioppino and were buying some oysters even though we could have gone down to the beach and got them. However, beach oysters are not as easy to harvest as plucking the out of the tub at Hama Hama Seafood.

*What has been your most difficult knit or crochet project this year? The black and white fair isle, probably. It just took concentration.

*Have you ever broken a toe? Probably. I'm very uncoordinated.

*Name a children’s author or picture book you love- E. L. Konigsburg. "From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler"

*Who is the last cousin you have seen or had contact with?  (third cousins twice removed still count) Christmas cards from second cousins.

*Name a blog you will visit today-Kathy's blog!

*When was the last time you read a nutrition label? I read them pretty  much all the time as we try to eat low salt whenever possible.

*What is the last thing you used change (coins)  for? I remember distinctly that Tim paid cash for something when we were on vacation--I just can't remember what. OH it was at the Liliwaup store and we were buying breakfast for our last day.

*Do you have a digital antennae? NO? I don't even know what that is.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Home from Hood Canal

We're back from our week in the Hood Canal. It was very beautiful--the house was perched on a bluff overlooking the canal, and we could walk down to the beach and launch kayaks from there--and collect oysters for dinner. We kayaked and hiked and hung out with the dogs and it was quiet and peaceful. There aren't even CRICKETS there! At night it was the quietest place you could imagine.

Here are just a few photos, first with the view from the house:

We did a long hike to Lena Lake, gaining about 1500 feet in elevation over 3 miles:

We hiked to Murhat Falls, which was gorgeous:

But this has to be my favorite picture of all:

Friday, September 08, 2017

Wrapping it up

We head out for a week to Hood Canal tomorrow so today is kind of a nutty-get-ready-to-go day. I have all the big details taken care of and now just need to clean and pack (what other details were involved? Stopping mail, writing checks, stopping the paper, setting the timers on the light, arranging the pet sitter, and finishing this:

 and while I have it all seamed, I haven't yet decided what exactly to do about the collar or to weave in ends:

So. Many. Ends.

I was out at the farm saying goodbye to my boy today. He's almost 40 pounds. I'll have a few surprise posts when we're gone to remind you how cute he is. But for now:

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Nutkin update

I'm finished with the pattern on the foot--
and while I really like this yarn, I'm not sure it is the best Nutkin yarn. I like the colors though. I will carry on.

I think I missed my Blogaversery (sp?) with all the excitement over Calypso. It was August 2 and that marks 13 years of this blog. Golly. That's a lot of blog. I've met some great people and had a lot of fun and will keep blogging until they rip blogger from my digital cold dead hands.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Casting On

I spent a bit of time seaming the sweater yesterday (got both sleeves in, now I just have seams which should be easy to do) (famous last words) and cast on this:

It is the first of two Twister Bonnets. These are for two not-yet-born twins, Charlotte and Elizabeth.  Well I guess this is Charlotte's. Or Elizabeth's. I'll do a second one for the other one.

Did I tell you about the book I'm reading? The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.? It is by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland and it is long and complex and funny and fun.

Next up: Sourdough.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Labored Day

Labor Day was a day of work for us, which is kind of fine. The air quality this weekend has been hazardous for most of the weekend--HAZARDOUS!   "Health warnings of emergency conditions. The entire population is more likely to be affected."

The air has been yellow; driving to the farm Monday morning all the cars had their lights on. It is supposed to be getting a little better over the next few days, but it is really awful. It is all due to wildfires which basically are covering Eastern Oregon. Good times.

So here is what I accomplished on Labor Day:
1. Two mile walk with Tim and dogs
2. Sent individualized marketing emails to colleagues around the country for our new Master's program.
3. Deputy Editor work--assigning a revise and resubmit to a paper
4. Collected apples
5. Visited alpacas and distributed said apples
6. Grocery shopping
7. More apple collection
8. Read chapters and developed class discussion classes on said chapters.
9. Set up one of my classes on Canvas
10. Cleaned out the car that we're taking on vacation.
11. Started seaming this.

It takes a bit of concentration. But the sleeve problem should be barely noticeable.  I have teh shoulders  together and half of one sleeve set in.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Cast on!

I mentioned I'm joining the I Heart Fall KAL at Dee's blog and I was supposed to cast on on September 1 (or maybe that was the earliest cast on date? There are Rules. I should read them). Well, I cast on last night for Nutkin with a few alterations (does that count? Must. Read. Rules).
  1. I'm doing them toe-up.
  2. I'm mirroring the pattern as opposed to having the pattern be consistent.
I think #2 may help with some of the twisty issues some people report. I think it will just look better.

Pics or it didn't happen:

Very very smoky again today:

 That's Calypso this morning with no filter--just yellow air around him.

Hopefully the smoke will blow out tomorrow.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Labor Day Q+A

Happy Labor Day! Kathy's quora is labor themed today.

*Name a favorite current or past co-worker: I had a crazy coworker in Boston named Louise--a chain smoking Southie who taught me how to speak my mind. I named my bunny Louise after her (rest in peace Louise the bunny).

*What is your dream yarn themed job? Naming colorways!

*Do you go to a yarn shop where the Employees seem like your friends? Not really.

*What was your first paid job?  How much did you earn hourly? My first real non-family consistent job was a gift wrapper at Marshall Fields while I was in college. I made $3.25 an hour. I also got a big discount at the store.

*Did computer technology make your job easier or harder? Much much much much easier.

*Did you mother work outside the home? Yes, she worked 3 days a week as soon as I turned 3. She was an architect.

*If you could knit for pay what would you choose to knit?  (lets assume you get paid an outrageous amount!) Probably socks.

*IF ____________( yarn related company)  went out of business, I’d be sad. I'll say Miss Babs, although I'm sad whenever I hear a yarn company goes under.

And we're blocking!

I finished the second sleeve last night and gave the four pieces a good soak. Then I blocked as per my Twinnie's special method:

One piece on top of the other. So on the left hand side are the front and the back, and the right hand side are the sleeves.

The front and back have to match up perfectly, and from what I can tell this will be achieved. I had the exact same row count (with patterned pieces like this, getting them exactly the same was much easier than other projects) and this looks like it might be a perfect fit.

And here is my Lazy Knitter Secret about the sleeves. I finished the second sleeve last night after having to repeat a few of the patterns more than once, bound it off, and held it next to the first sleeve.

At first glance, it was exactly the same. And then it wasn't. The second sleeve was a bit shorter than the first. And guess where I made a mistake? The big section of black with white flecks. The second sleeve has fewer pattern repeats of that section.

Right in the middle of the damn sleeve.

I couldn't sleep last night trying to figure out my options. They were:

1. Unravel from the bindoff, add an extra section of repeats in the sleeve, and then knit the patterns at the top. Pros: would be exactly the same. Cons: I have already knit a couple of the patterns at the top over and over because of errors, and didn't know if I have the heart/patience to do it again. But clearly this choice is what a 'good' knitter would do.

2. Unravel from the bottom cast on to the beginning of the big black section. Then, separately, knit the ribbing and the pattern and the missing pattern, and then kitchener this to the existing section. Pros: probably a bit quicker than 1. Cons: the kitchener would probably look like crap.

3. Cut into the sleeve, separating the ribbing and pattern from the big black section, and then just knit 12 rows of the pattern and then find a way to join the three pieces (bottom of the sleeve, top of the sleeve, and the new piece) together. Pros: easiest to knit. Cons: I am insane if I do this.

4. Block the sleeves and see if you can 'gain' a bit of length with the shorter sleeve. By the time I finally went to sleep, though, of course the shorter sleeve was like a foot shorter (in my head) and I was sure this wouldn't work.

When I looked at the sleeves this morning, I figured I would give #4 a try because I can always do #1 or #2 at a future date) and I think it will work. Shh, don't tell anyone.

I am not a good cook, but here is my recipe suggestion: put about 2 T of olive oil in a pan. Then add chopped tomatoes from your garden (or Dominique's garden, if you're at my house), fresh basil from your (Dominque's) garden, chopped up onions and garlic, and let it simmer for about 15 minutes til the tomatoes are liquidy. Then add fresh spinach (and scallops if you need protein) and cook it about 8 minutes more. Serve in bowls with pasta and cheese. I used 3 tomatoes and a big handful of basil and spinach for the two of us. I salted the pasta water but didn't use any spices in the sauce. It was heavenly.

And oh yes.

Calypso, Juliaca (isn't she pretty), Tinkerbell and Catalina (who may be pregnant). And half of Tim.

Saturday, September 02, 2017


I always have vague knitting plans but rarely have deadlines for knitting. That's probably why I always have a bunch of things on the needles. But I have two projects with deadlines that I wanted to share with you--they're both in the early early stages.

First, I'm going to join the I (heart) fall KAL at Dee's blog. The official start date was yesterday, and the deadline is 11/22. I"m going to do Nutkin because why not, and here is the yarn I'm using:

 It is from Fab  Funky Fibers and it is filled with autumn colors--red and orange and really really dark blue and white specks. It reminds me of a campfire in the fall (since we can't have campfires here because half of the whole state is on fire).

The second project(s) will be two Twister Bonnets and I think these will be fast to knit up. One of my co-authors, Mike, and his wife Natalie are having twin girls in a few weeks (hence deadline). I think mid-October is when they think they'll be here. Elizabeth and Charlotte (beautiful names!). So they will each get a bonnet made out of this:

It is pink cotton, and since they live in TExas that should work for them. Here's hoping the pattern is as lickety split as I think it will be!

Friday, September 01, 2017

Right now

Loving: this little guy

Knitting: hoping I can finish the fair isle sleeve this weekend and put the sweater together next week. Also working in bits and pieces on this:
It is the mock cable scarf with twinkly yarn.

Reading: "Bear Town" by Fredrik Backman about a small town and their hockey team. So far I like it!

Missing: our little Stella.