Thursday, November 29, 2018

Slow Going

My best laid crafting plans did not come to fruition. I started on a new counted cross stitch but it is challenging as I was used to perforated paper and now it is all tiny holes.

But it is started.

Two and half hours of work, right there.

It's busy at work--end of term stuff and I have one semi-problematic student who doesn't listen well and it is coming back to bite him when he didn't change something in his thesis and now it is down to the wire and he needs help with getting the thesis done and he exhausts me.

I also finished this:

Not exciting but it is a textbook. 450 pages! I have three co-authors but two were worthless. I have one more book project to finish by the end of the year (probably two days of revisions) and then I think no more textbook writing for me.

In terms of reading--I'm reading my friend Lauren's new book called "A Grip of Time". Lauren runs a writing group at the Oregon State Penitentiary and she works with men who are serving life terms. The book is great--it will change the way you think of other people. It comes out in April and I hope you all read it. You won't be sorry!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Nothing to see here

I posted so many photos on Sunday that I have nothing to show you!

The grey sweater is slowly growing, and you can now see the armhole:
And we are becoming quite competent at building fires.

It is very rainy here and maybe some crafting might occur this afternoon.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Packing it up

Today is Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend, and that means we close down the house here and head back. We'll be back in a few weeks for a longer visit over Christmas and are looking forward to that. This weekend seemed to sort of fly by.

First, I've done our Christmas decorating for the house here (kidding) (sort of):

Yesterday we drove up to Garibaldi to a tiny little restaurant with wonderful seafood. There's a port at Garibaldi (would it surprise you to know that there aren't that many ports in our area? Garibaldi to the North is 30 miles away, Netarts is a bit closer, maybe 15 miles North, and then to the South you have to go to Newport which is about an hour away). We walked the dogs around the port--there were lots of boats there--and drove back along the ocean (we drove up inland).

This morning the sunrise was gorgeous.

I did finish the mitts. They're upside down here:

And a few rows were added to the grey sweater, but it doesn't look very different. I have about 2 or 3 inches added since the underarm join, and I have a lot more (8 or 9). This is upside down too. I'm having some photo issues this morning.

Hope your day isn't as upside down as mine!

Friday, November 23, 2018

A bit of a limbo day

We're having a bit of an odd day here, mostly because we need to keep the house perfectly clean and straight and so that limits what we do.

Right now, a professional photographer is here taking photos of the house for our architect. So this morning involved vacuuming and putting things away and of course things start to go wrong. I got the dust cyclinder of our new vacuum cleaner jammed in incorrectly and it took Tim about an hour to take it apart and fix it. We had to put a lot of things like the electric toothbrushes away so now the house sparkles (according to Tim).  And later this afternoon our neighbors from Eugene are coming by--they got a last minute booking in Pacific City and will come over for a drink and to see the house.

It was pouring down rain this morning, but all of a sudden it just magically cleared up and now we have this:

I brought three projects out with me--the mitts are almost done, the grey sweater slowly grows, and the new cross stitch project needs the lighted magnifying mirror that I did not bring up with me. Curses!

Thanksgiving wrap up:

  • We brought out a TV and set it up Wednesday night, only to find the cable wasn't working. We called Thursday morning at 8:30 and said they could have a guy out by 10am. We didn't really believe them but the guy came out and fixed it. I guess it might be because we have the business service on the coast, but not complaining. Because one holiday tradition is to watch the Dog Show and so we did.
  • Dinner was duck breast, three sides, and chocolate peau de creme. The three sides were baked sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts cooked in duck fat, and a potato/artichoke heart salad. Everything was delicious, and it was very festive.
  • I finished two books yesterday. The first was the second book in the "Morrigon Crow" series which is one of those series trying to be the next "Harry Potter." I've written about it before and it is a good book but not great--there's some good 'world building' in it and interesting characters but it is trying a little too hard to be Harry Potter while not being Harry Potter. I also read "The Library Book" by Susan Orlean which was great, especially if you are a reader (which I know most of you are!). It is a book about libraries in general and the LA Library Fire of 1986 in particular. The only challenge I had with the book is that it is very put-downable and I read other things in between, when I should have just finished it off. I'm also reading "Nine Perfect Strangers" by Liane Moriarty and I want it to be over now, but I'm only about 70% done.
  • Yesterday's weather included lots of downpours and windy winds and even a thunderstorm. I guess that is winter on the Oregon coast.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Thursday, November 22, 2018

I hope you have a lovely and relaxing day filled with people you love.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Greetings from the Coast!

I came over to the coast house yesterday morning and Tim got here later in the afternoon. I toted out the dogs and the bird, food for Thanksgiving (although I left the beer in the garage--drat!), pillows (we've been toting pillows back and forth but that's a disaster waiting to happen), tools, and Christmas lights. Tim brought out a television and a stand for it.

Driving out, I passes at least half a dozen fire engines on the Interstate. They were from coastal communities in the Northern part of Oregon, and I guessed they were returning from fighting the Cali fires. I opened the sunroof and gave them a 'thumbs up' as I encountered them--I hope they saw. They deserve so may thanks.

It was Tim's birthday yesterday and we celebrated by going to a restaurant in Lincoln City (about 20 miles south of here) because all the 'good' restaurants in our little town shorten their hours in the Winter so they're only open Thursday-Sunday.  So we went to a place called Kyllos that is right on the beach (although it was dark, so who cares) and has great seafood. It was jam packed---maybe people started their vacation early? Or everything is closed so that's where everyone went? Anyway, it was lively and fun.

I gave Tim a bread rising bowl and tickets to see Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt in February, so birthday celebrations will continue.

Yesterday was lovely when I arrived--almost 60 and sunny. That has all changed as it is supposed to be rainy and windy through Friday. However, now that some of the leaves have blown off the trees, we have a bit more of a view. This is Cape Kiwanda, which you can now see from the southwest corner of our driveway (and future pickle ball court) and from the southwest corner of the deck.

I brought out the mitts to finish off while we're here (along with the grey sweater) and photographed them on the granite. You can now see the beads!!

Finally, did you see what Kathy knit? This has to be the cutest thing ever. Small animals born in winter often need help staying warm--Ann (at Aragon Alpacas) tries to have crias (baby alpacas) born in summer but sometimes you can't help it. Tinkerbell's next cria is due at the end of April/start of May, which I think is plenty of time for Kathy to knit a cria sweater (just kidding Kathy).

Monday, November 19, 2018

Backs and fronts and lots of color

I have joined the sections of Boxed and Cabled and am working on the entire body right now. Here is the front:

This color is pretty close to the color--not as muddy as some of my other photos. 

This is the back (it is all bunched up on the needle):

Yeah looks like crap, sorry.

And I organized this yesterday:

Happy color.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Forgot to title this one!

My task yesterday was to finish off the cross stitch banner, and I took photos along the way. I had to do a bit of 'retrofitting' as you will see.

First, here were all the 'unfinished' flags:


Just so you know, these are not big. They are probably 3" wide by 4" high and so it isn't a big exciting banner.  I wanted to give it more 'oomph'.

Also, before I cut them out, I realized some were not centered correctly--look, for example, on the 'r' and the 't' in earth. I knew I had to do something to compensate because I didn't want them to look off center, so I had cut the notches to be centered with the letter and then had to figure out how to make it look OK.

Also (so many also's!) I needed to put a backing on these, and the recipe recommended brown craft paper.  First came a glue test, where I tested both 'clear' and 'white' Glue.

I glued a bunch of scraps of the perforated paper onto brown paper and labeled them all, then let them dry. Clear glue, spread out thin, won. I drew an 'edging' of glue---

And then spread the glue thinly,

And then plopped the flag on.

When I came to a wonky flag, I put it on so the point was centered.

And then I let it all dry.

You can kind of see the scale of the flags---the glue bottle at the top is a standard size bottle of glue, and it is about the same height as a flag.

After it all dried, I used washi tape to create a border around each flag. This allowed me to do a bit of 'cheating' on the ones that weren't quite lined up correctly, and the final flags are all the same length, although width varies a tiny bit.

And here they are a bit close up:

Now I need to string these on ribbon and then hang them up. I think the border would look OK a bit thinner, so I might trim them down, but I also like how they look so nicely framed.  So obviously there is a bit more work to go but I'm close to having this done.

While I was waiting for the glue to dry, I popped out to the farm. It was almost 60 degrees and sunny, and the grass is growing like nobody's business. The boys were down at the far end of the field:

And while I walked down to say hello, they were much more interested in teh green grass.

I did get this #nofilter shot of Chanel and Tripoli:

At the end of the afternoon, I finished "Becoming" and it was good (spoiler: I got a bit bored during her description of the first campaign). In the evening we finished off "House of Cards" which was......ok. Just ok.

Enjoy Sunday!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Hello Friday!

Hey there Friday. You're very foggy and dank but that's ok, I love you anyway!

The Box and Cable sweater is coming along. Here is the current progress:

The construction is interesting on this. What you are seeing is the back (with the cable) and the two 'front' parts that will make the front part of the sweater. I have a few more rows to go on the 'right' side of the front, and then this whole thing will be joined in the round, and then I pick up stitches for the sleeves.

The 'V' will be behind my neck (where the piece 'splits' to form the front) and then it just hangs no buttons or anything, no real neckline). And the cable continues down the sleeves.

So yeah, interesting. I keep having to look at the picture to remind myself how it looks.

I sometimes mock the "Craft Gossip Newsletter" here (and will continue to do so!) but today's newsletter provided an interesting idea, particularly for quick holiday gifts:

This is a crocheted coaster and it is pretty cute. I don't crochet but I could easily make this as a knit square. It is done with cotton yarn, and the full crochet pattern is here.

And just so I get a bit of mocking in: this was also featured today. You print this out and put it in a frame and your Thanksgiving decorating is done.

I don't think Martha Stewart would approve.

Last night was the symphony. It was an interesting program (I guess my word today is interesting). Two pieces I loved: The Brandenberg (sp?) Concerto and a Mozart piece (German dances). One piece I kind of liked---Bernstein's "Fancy Free" (it is Bernstein's---centennial? Of his birth? And lots of orchestras are doing Bernstein stuff) . The fourth piece was contemporary and it was interesting (there's that word) and some of it was lovely and other parts were weird.

Here is a little video of a rehearsal that will share what the group was like (it is only a minute long).

I'm off to meet my friend Lauren and then come home and knock out what needs knocking out.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Let the Wrap Up Commence!

There's a lot of wrapping up happening around here.

1. The term is wrapping up! It seems like it just started but that is how life goes with 'quarters'--once it starts it just flies. Very different from after the holidays, when we have two terms back to back.  Anyway--I have only three class meetings left, two days of which are student presentations, so the pressure feels off there. I will have a bit of grading but that tends to go quickly.

2. I need to wrap up Tim's birthday presents--we'll celebrate on the coast and so his things need to be toted out there. One thing is somewhat fragile so I'll have to figure out the best way to tote that. We're taking out mostly pillows and a TV this trip so maybe I can snug the thing in the pillows.

3. I'll start to wrap up TG dinner grocery shopping today, getting the 'non perishables' today and the veggies on Sunday. We are having duck breast and those are in the freezer already.

4. I'll wrap up the ordering of Christmas cards as I've found a good photo of Calypso for the cards.

Things that are NOT wrapping up (but that is ok):

1. This surprise present (I've been too caught up in the cross stitch, but am not worried about getting this finished).

2. Michelle Obama's memoir, "Becoming." It is just delightful.  I'm almost 30% done and I really don't want it to end.

3. "The Library Book" by Susan Orlean is also good and I'd rather not finish it as well.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

All the little problems

Yesterday was the first day of registration for winter term, and it was the first time our graduate program person had responsibility for registration, and it was a bit of a train wreck. I had emails about registration issues starting at 7am! Luckily it was all taken care of by the start of class at 10am, and dealing with registration is better than coffee!

Some of the problems included:
-student had a registration hold because she was lacking immunizations
-student couldn't register for more than 16 credits
-classes had disappeared

But I think things are all on the correct path right now. Time will tell.

I finished the final two letters:

Well, I guess the dove of peace isn't actually a letter.

On the way home yesterday I bought brown craft paper, glue, and a hole punch so I can start work on finishing these off.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Remembering to be grateful

You know what I'm grateful for--you wonderful knitters who share your crafts with us via your blogs.  I think a lot of what once were craft blogs just devolve into whining and complaining, and I need to stop reading those.  I get that people need to vent sometimes, but when every post is a litany of how the world has wronged you--well, I feel bad for those people but I need to move on.

I'm also grateful for this:

My first attempt at a panorama shot of an incredible sunset last night.

And I'm also grateful for a FINISH!

I kind of 'shortened' the end of the pattern (I maybe knit half the rows specified) but I felt the size was good. There are some pretty textured stitches in here, many you can't see because they appeared in the black section (ooops). However, you can see the little sparkles in the black yarn and the sparkles are kind of quiet and delightful.

Enjoy your Monday.  And thank you.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

A few more letters

I'm down to the second-to-last little banner on the Christmas banner---my goal is to finish this by Thanksgiving and that should be easily met.

The R and the T look good, but the H might be my favorite letter.

It is cool and foggy this morning--not much on the agenda for the weekend although if I have the energy I may rake some leaves.

I'm reading "The Library Book" by Susan Orlean and so far it is very interesting--about a fire at the LA Public Library.

Nancy had asked about beads--in terms of whether I plop  them on one at a time or whether I string them all one before. Well, I am a plopper--I use the tiny little crochet hook and put them on whenever needed. I think I did the stringing thing once and while I enjoyed it, I don't have a lot of patience sometimes and just want to knit the thing.

Are you a plopper or a patient stringer?

Friday, November 09, 2018

Zoom zoom zoom zoom zoom

Isn't November just zooming by? It is less than two weeks til Thanksgiving, 11 days til Tim's birthday, and 11 days til we decamp for a five nights to the coast house. The only thing that really means is that I have to have Thanksgiving shopped for before we leave (we are thinking duck--and I have a few sides that are supposed to be good with duck). (Dessert. Must think dessert).

We do have a grocery store in town on the coast--it is called Chester's and as benefitting a grocery store in a vacation town, it is well stocked in frozen pizza, chips, ice cream, and beer and wine. It also has a liquor 'aisle'---in most of Oregon, you can only buy hard liquor at a hard liquor store, but I guess in small towns they make exceptions? It's the same with gas--you can't pump your own except in small towns (and on Native American casino property). So anyway, I don't think we'd find duck at the Chester's. We can also drive 15 minutes to Lincoln City but I think I'll just organize it all to be able to tote it over before we go.

There has been a bit of knitting, and this is the 'boxed and cabled' pattern. I'm kind of a sucker for interesting/non conventional sweater patterns, and this is one. I'm currently working on one of the front 'sides':

Right now it looks like of baby poop brown but it is actually dark gray--I guess it is a warm dark grey and that is why it looks kind of brown on the iPhone.

And it's cold here! 28 degrees this morning. There's frost on all the roofs. I don't think I have any place I need to go today--and there's chili in the refrigerator that I made yesterday. Chili is one of those few things I make well, and yesterday I grilled the meat and the veggies on the grill  and just threw them in a pot with crushed tomatoes and beans and it turned out delicious. 

I'm reading "Nine Perfect Strangers" by Liane Moriarty and on one hand it is taking a while to get started and on the other I've only been reading it about ten minutes a night for the past three nights so that might explain that. I don't know why but this year's time change really messed with me, sleep wise, and it shouldn't---shouldn't one be really tired when one's 'normal' bed time comes around? Yeah, not me. But I might be back on track now.

Have a lovely day! Thanks for visiting the blog!!

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Did you ever have one of those thoughts?

You know, those thoughts that go something like--"wasn't I working on a project where I put beads on something? What was that project?"

That was me yesterday. I was sorting quickly through my memory trying to figure out what project  I was trying to recall (answer: beaded mitts). So I'm either too busy or have too many projects, probably both.

The cowl is coming along:

I worked on this while watching "The Romanovs" last night on Amazon. Have you seen it or heard about it? It is by the guy who did Mad Men and is an 'anthology' of stories about people who descended from the Romanovs (the Russian monarchy). We've seen two in the series (they drop every Friday, and there are currently five) and they're well done and well acted and ODD. Which sometimes we need.

There was frost on rooftops this morning and Thanksgiving is two weeks away!

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Quiet Tuesday?

This is the first day in a long time I haven't had to be somewhere or had a deadline hanging over my head that had to be attended to. I have a research grant proposal deadline on 12/1 but that is done save for a final spell check and pulling some references from Google Scholar (maybe ten?). I would guess maybe an hour or so and that's done. Another revise and resubmit paper is due 1/20/19, and that is pretty much done (again, a final spell check and some formatting). My syllabus for Winter term is done (!!!!!).  I have two book projects that need some attention but the publisher is way behind on his publishing stuff (he's a small, one-man shop) and so I'm not in any rush to get those done.

It feels kind of nice. I feel like I can breathe a bit and not rush from one thing to another. I do need to go by the post office and mail a package for a swap I'm doing on Ravelry, and pick up milk and those things are so much less stressful than, say, figuring out if a paper is plagerized (and not even a student paper--a paper submitted to a journal I deputy edit).

I've been working diligently (ha!) on the banner for Christmas, and have two more letters almost done:

I find that I like getting the 'big hunks' of things done and then I can go back and fill in the 'details' later. This is an A and an R, in case you were wondering.

Thank you for your nice comments on my WIPs!

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Another catch up

I know I posted a lot of catch up alpaca photos on Saturday, but a few more catch ups for you.


I have the back yoke done of boxed and cabled:

The construction is interesting--you knit the back yoke, then pick up stitches for the front (two sides), and then I guess you knit the back and then the sleeves.This is the whole back yoke. It needs blocking because right at the center it is a bit poofy--the back was a bunch of short rows.

It is a pretty cable though.


"The Lost Book of the Grail" by Charlie Lovett. It is the story set in modern times of people in Barchester looking for a lost book that could indicate where the Grail is. It goes back in time to how the book got 'lost' in the first place and now I want to go to Glastonbury and visit all the King Arthur places.

-the new season of "House of Cards" (though I took a snooze during it last night)
-the new season of "Rake" (Australian show)
-the new season of "Poldark" because Ross Poldark is a cutie (yes, Tim knows about my little crush on Ross Poldark).

Now that is a catch up!

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Catch up

It's Saturday hooray!

Yesterday became a bit of a lost day. The washing machine guy was scheduled to come between 1 and 5, so I was just sort of 'on hold' waiting for him. The amazing thing is that after I got back from the farm (more on that soon) I turned on the machine one more time. And voila, it worked. I decided to still have him come over since maybe it was something he saw all the time and had a hint on how to make it happen again. So yeah, he finally arrived at 4:35 and had no insights at all. Oh well. I did pay for the call (he offered not to charge me) but that's OK because if/when it happens again they'll come out for free, they have all the data about the washer, and I'll be on the top of the list.

I figured out the horizontal knitting, and it was much easier than the written directions suggested. There's a good video on it:

OK on to the good stuff. The cowl is moving forward:

It is a fun knit.

And it was a bit of a grey and drizzly morning, and I had a nice type with all my buddies at the farm. 

Tripoli is getting big and he loves to give little nuzzly kisses. His fleece is beautiful, and he mostly grey underneath.

I was trying to get some good Calypso pictures for a Christmas card. This is good (good ears).

This is Calypso's dad Kokopelli.

Here is Calypso with my other boy, Atom, int he far background and Kalahari (I think. It may be Strider).


Calypso ears down.

Calypso with Atom in the back.

Tripoli doing the Tripoli Trot.

Catalina with Marigold the Llama in the background.

Calypso and Atom.
 More of that cute little face.

Mother and child reunion.