Thursday, November 28, 2019

Today's mindset

To all my blog friends: I wasn't going to post today but your posts of thanks and gratitude inspired me to remember what this day is supposed to be. Thank YOU ALL! Have a lovely day.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

We survived the bomb cyclone!

I am very glad I came out Monday afternoon because of all the hype surrounding the 'bomb cyclone' that moved onto the Oregon shore yesterday afternoon. It was windy and we had a bit of rain but all is well here. I guess the snow that they were warning about along the I-5 corridor didn't really happen, except in the far southern part of the state where they closed  the interstate at the California border (we've travelled that way a few times over Thanksgiving when we went to visit Tim's sister and her family when they used to live in San Jose). So now it is just chilly here but we have a roaring fire going and have been enjoying the sauna every night so we're good. We have all the food in place for Thanksgiving dinner (duck breasts served over a melange of spinach, sweet potatoes and onions) and so we can just cozy down.

New Cast On

These are for Tim, I lost the ball band but it is one of those fun self-patterning yarns--I forget how satisfying they are!

New Book
Someone recently mentioned "The Starless Sea" on their blog yesterday and I remembered I had that on the Kindle, so I started it yesterday. So far, it is absolutely wonderful. I liked "The Night Circus" and often ask myself why I haven't re-read it, but "The Starless Sea" so far is amazing. I'm only about 11% into it (thanks Kindle) and I have really no idea what it is about but it doesn't matter, it is just a beautiful book.

Safe travels!
If you are driving somewhere on this busiest day of the year, I wish you safe travels and avoidance of the bomb cyclone.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Let it go and let it begin!

The family visit is over, I buzzed back to Eugene to teach on Monday, then brought the cat back out to the house. Let's just say we're both really exhausted, and looking forward to some quiet time in our house. We will have Thanksgiving just the two of us, and then friends are coming by on Saturday to see the house, then we go back to Eugene on Sunday. We'll be there for two or so weeks, then back out here for a longer stay for Christmas.


 We're expecting quite a storm today---rain here, snow in Eugene!--coming at not a good time for traveling over the holidays. Last night's sky was very dramatic.

A Finished Object
Socks on a plane! I finally finished them. I got in a panic on Friday when I was first coming out here because I couldn't find the project bag with the socks in it. It turns out it was in our 'travel bag' (the big bag that we take stuff back and forth in) and it had never come out of that bag (we call the bag the "Jimmy Bag" since my friend Jimmy gave it to us as a housewarming).

These look better close up as there is a cable that goes from toe to cuff.


Our good friends Joonghwa and Sooyung sent us flowers, as they do every Thanksgiving. Joonghwa was an exchange student from Korea in 2000 who took a summer school class I was teaching. We've stayed in touch as he went on for a Master's, a PhD, and finally as a tenure track professor in North Dakota. He met Sooyung at a conference we all go to and they've been married for several years and have a beautiful little boy, Jihoo or Jaden---and Jaden was Joonghwa's 'American name' that he adopted when he first came to the US. It is a very special friendship and they are both lovely people.

I missed you all--and thank you all so much for your words of support during the family visit.

Friday, November 22, 2019

What we all need

This is a freebie from Cozy Blue--you can download it here. If you want tips on how to transfer the pattern to cloth: I print the pattern on dissolvable material and then stitch through the cloth and the material. I use this stuff and after I finish stitching I dunk it in the sink and the paper dissolves. Pretty cool.

I'm at the beach house and Tim is returning with his family from the aquarium. . Remember: I can't change them, but I can change my attitude toward them.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

One thing leads to another

This has been a week of one s*%^ show leading to another s@(& show--a domino board of s#*& shows. And now I'm going to entertain some of Tim's family for a few days. Thanksgiving can't be here soon enough.

All I have to show you is this 'not a triangular shawl' so far:

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

A new cast-on!

I like to work on a Christmassy thing during Christmas (imagine that),  and this year I'm doing The Winter Holiday Shawl. I was going to use Cascade 200 in the stash but I didn't have a greenish color. I did, however, find some Rowan Felted Tweed, which is kind of scratchy but I think it will soften up when I wash it.

The colors, given that it is felted tweed, are a bit muted but so far I like how it looks. It is a forest green at the top, then kind of a bluish green, and now the red is being introduced. I think it might work out well.

Yesterday was atrocious as it was the first day of registration and the work I had done two weeks ago to make sure that registration went well--well, someone threw a spanner in the works and input some incorrect information into the registration programming black hole and it took hours to get it straightened out. I had also repeatedly told my grad students they needed to figure out the schedules by last Wednesday so they could get pre-cleared to register.  And of course four or five didn't listen, and I had to scramble to get that started (it takes a few days for clearances to go through, but that's their problem if the class closes).

But the day ended with--I think--everyone registered, so that's good.

A rainy day here, with lots of little tasks to keep me busy. I may cast on for a new tiny needle piece tonight. I guess you don't cast on for those, do you?

Sunday, November 17, 2019


First the spoiler alert.

I had shared with you all some images of The Great British Baking Shawl which is a MKAL. I generally avoid MKALs since I like to know what I'm knitting, but this sounded like fun and it has promises of being different. 

There are four clues (I think three have been released?). I am behind of course because I have just finished the first clue.

There are some very interesting stitches in this one. One is like a honeycomb stitch: 

And this has some elongated Vs in it:

And here's the SPOILER ALERT! It isn't a triangular shawl!  I looked at the instructions for the second clue and it involves putting one side of the triangle on a holder, binding off some center stitches, and then working out one side of the triangle. WHAT? I'm going to work on it today and will share some photos with you.


My friends Mark and Jess brought their three year old to the farm yesterday. Apparently she is alpaca crazy, and she just had the best time ever.

She is apparently very shy, but really was great interacting with the alpacas.

That smile in the bottom picture was pretty much her expression the entire time.

Focus time
Lots on my plate this week. Tim is over at the coast--some family from Missouri is coming out to see the house, and I'll go out there next Friday.  We've both been so busy it is kind of nice to have a little at home quiet time, although I already miss him so much.

It was an awful week this week at work--that's two in a row. My only wish is that I can hold on for three more weeks of the term.

Hope your weekend is good.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

How to make a bad day into a good one

1. Open a box of alpaca slippers that your twinnie made you.
2. Put on said slippers.

3. Enjoy.

In all its unwoven glory

It's the Crown Wools!

It's a big hunk of knitting--I have some leftovers from the four balls of sock yarn that I started with, but not a whole whole lot. It's about twice the length of a coffee table and this is a pretty big coffee table. So I'll take some time in the next week or so to weave in ends and then block it, and I'll show you it 'in the field' when I wear it out.

Here is a close up of the seed stitch border:

The Universal feeling seems to be that seed stitch is great but it would be even greater if someone else knit it for us. I didn't mind this because it was only ten or so rows. It does make a nice, kind of non-rolly finish although there's all kinds of rolling going on here.

I've got the Great British Baking Shawl in the works, and a holiday one I want to do, and you may have noticed I haven't had any tiny needle posts for a while so I need to start one of those too.

Hope your projects are all going well!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Eleven more rows!

And a bind off!

I've really enjoyed these last two sections, and now it ends with some seed stitch (not my favorite) but then it is done! Hooray!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Rollercoaster? Or Runaway Train?

It's that time of the academic term where the craziness piles on top of the craziness. We have four weeks left, and you throw Thanksgiving in there and it is a fast and speedy end to the term. The students have LOTS to do, which means that I have LOTS to do, and I'm also actively recruiting for our next Master's class, so I feel like sometimes it is a rollercoaster and sometimes a runaway train.

On top of that, I'm having some SERIOUS issues with a few people at work (admins) and need to be in a much, much better place with them or else I'm going to explode.

But let's talk about nicer things.

Crown Wools

I'm almost done with the 11th section!!!!

It's easily six feet long now.

I'm really enjoying section 11 which has a simple lace aspect and a cable.


I read a quick book called "Living with the Monks" by Jesse Itzler. I think it was on Prime for $2.99. Anyway--it was a fast read and pretty interesting--but he didn't really Live with the Monks--he spent two weeks there. And the monks were the Monks of New Skete--those famous dog training monks.  And he's a self-made gazillionaire married to the woman who founded Spanx. Anyway---it was pretty much what you would expect (they work hard! they are very focused! they don't care about stuff!) but it was kind of a fun read.

We watched "Laundromat" on Netflix last night--the Meryl Streep/Steven Sodenberg movie about the mess that the US financial system is in. It was interesting but kind of hard to follow if you don't know anything about international finance (that's me raising my hand). But. Meryl Streep.

The All-Day Thing
Averaged out, it was pretty good. Hearing from former PhD students and their accomplishments was great. My panel was well received. So that was the afternoon. The morning was a lot of people talking about themselves. That was not as interesting.

I need to rake leaves and do some work. It looks like a nice day so I'm happy to get going!

Hope your Sunday is lovely.

Friday, November 08, 2019

Another quick post

Today is the 25th's anniversary celebration of our Doctoral Program and for some reason we have to have an all-day event of people talking to celebrate it. I have to do a short talk on a panel about the future of media studies research (which, given I'm going to retire soon, I don't care about) so I'm hopefully going to sit i the back and get some 'real' work done.

The only good thing is that a few of my former students will be back for it, and it will be nice to see them (most of the ones I really care about will not come, but I talk to them a lot anyway).  One of my favorites, Kati, came in Wednesday and yesterday I took her to meet some special people.

She was a little tentative at the start but then made friends with them all.

I've done a little work on the 10th section of the Crown Wools. I think I'll focus on this for a while and get 'er done.

The section I'm working on is a fun smooshy stitch. I'll write more about it when I can catch my breath!

Finally, we've been watching a UK series on YouTube called "The Great Pottery Throwdown" which is basically the Great British Baking Show with potters. Tim is a potter (and I know how to throw on a wheel but I'm horrible at it) and it is pretty fun. I'm wondering though if you know nothing about pottery if it would make any sense at all.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

That cake shawl thing

It is coming along.

It's fun! And I like the colors a lot too. I've used 4 of the 12 so far!

A few other quick things:

-I'm selling bags as in handbags on EBay, not bags of stuff, although I would love to do that!
-I don't think I have anything else to explain!

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Pretty productive weekend--hooray!

We've had a very productive weekend in the decluttering department.  Between Tim and I, we have:

-shipped off four boxes of porcelain figurines (a nativity set) to his niece
-took 4 big bags of clothes and stuff to Goodwill
-took a bunch of used electronics and styrofoam to the 'Transfer Station' (one of my favorite euphemisms)
-put seven bags for sale on Ebay (and one has already sold!)
-Tim did a lot of sorting in the garage

It feels good to do another round of getting rid of stuff.

I had time to work on another panel of Crown Wools:

Here is a close up of the hunk I did, it is lace and I messed up a lot but I'm ok with it.
I did a bunch of grading and also got a bunch of manuscripts processed on the journal I edit.

It was a lovely and sunny fall weekend and we were out enough in it to really enjoy it.

Saturday, November 02, 2019

Saturday catch up

It's been a busy week and it is good to be on the weekend side. We don't have a lot planned except for a long walk and the Duck game later today. I'm looking forward to hanging out.

Here's this.
Very festive!

Art Forgery/Theft Books

I've been reading a few by an author named Aaron Elkins who has a few books on Kindle Unlimited. The first one I read was "A Long Time Coming" which is about stolen art from WW2 (but set in present day). Now I'm reading a book he wrote with her daughter (??) called "A Dangerous Talent" which is the first in a mystery series featuring art appraiser Alix London and there's faked painting and blown up casitas in Santa Fe and it is all quite exciting. Neither book is great literature but they're fun.

Did you know?
The yarn store Jimmy Bean's just bought Madelintosh? And they also own Namaste bags?

Oh yes I did
I'm not really a fan of MKALs but when I saw The Great British Baking Shawl I just jumped in. It takes 12 skeins of 130 yards each:

I wound up and labeled these when I got home from the faculty meeting yesterday. And as we were watching the final of the GBBS last night, it seemed only natural to cast on:

So it is MADNESS to have two big shawl projects going but whatever.

How are you today?

Friday, November 01, 2019

Two thirds done

The Crown Wools is 2/3 done, as of last night. I love it. Four more panels to go, and I think I'll have just enough yarn.

After this I'll start on the next sampler scarf that I need to wind yarn for this weekend.

It's been a busy week at school, with our 'Executive in Residence" visiting all week. It culminated yesterday with an all-day design charette with staff from Google, where the students designed things that Google will look at and consider developing. The students (these are our masters students) made a GREAT impression on Google, so that's a win as well.

M and Ms anyone?
We had one set of two little kids come by last night. Two kids. Last year we had more than 20, so of course I overbought on the treats. I know a gang of kids goes out together but we're at a 'pockets of darkness' part of the street so I guess we were avoided. Oh well.

I read a highly recommended book--"Lost and Wanted" by Nell Freudenberger. It is really interesting---so much stuff happens. One one level, an IT physicist is raising her son alone (by choice) in Cambridge, Mass. A former lover from undergrad is moving back to Cambridge and getting married. Her best friend recently died, and her friend's husband and child are also moving back. How these changes intersect with her carefully planned life is the focus of the book. It's good.

I'm reading an art theft/fakery novel right now, which is one of my favorite things (well, it's HORRIBLE but I love reading about it).

Two meetings
I have two meetings today and then I'm done. I'm more than ready for the weekend.