finished!

I bound this shawl off the same evening I finished my last paper.  It was quite a day for finished projects.
This a pretty straightforward project: stockinette until I got bored; a simple eyelet and garter-ridge pattern repeated a few times until I started to run out of yarn; a garter-stitch border to keep the edges flat.  Easy-peasy.  And fully of soft bunnies!
The only little bit of cleverness is the mirrored decreases in the eyelet portions: right-leaning to the center stitch, left-leaning to the edge.  A silly detail hardly noticeable.
Unfortunately — or perhaps fortunately — it’s been much too warm here in the Northwest to get any actual wear out of this shawl, as the wool/angora blend promises to be quite toasty and soft.
ETA: I kinda fell down on the details.  So here’s the dirt:
pattern: my own, but it’s just stockinette and some eyelet rows
yarn: Cindy’s Treasures 85/15 wool + angora, 2 skeins (each 212 yds.)
needles: US8/5.00mm
size: wingspan = 54″, center depth = 26″
started: June 11, 2009
finished: June 26, 2009
All the details + more pictures here, of course.

I really need to take some pictures.

Until I do, this is all I have: some Trekking 6-fach, destined for a pair of Gentleman’s Fancy Socks.  These are a gift, and though I don’t know the gentleman in question very well, I hope he’s not too fancy for some quick-and-easy socks.  But when is Nancy Bush ever not the answer?
Actually, in the spirit of full disclosure, the socks are already underway.  Okay, the first one is almsot done.  Again: I need to take some pictures.
I can only plead a busy week:  There was working.  Then, on Wednesday I turned 29, which not only occassioned a much-desired morning off, but also a feeling of bemusement that I’ve made it so far with so little idea of the plot.  On Thursday I submitted paper number two, which means I think I’m done.  I would like to be more positive about this, but am afraid of tempting fate.  I do not need more fate in my life.  So for now, cautious optimism is as far as I’ll go.  On Friday, I drank beer and listened to ABBA.  It was lovely.  Now, it’s full-scale Tennessee relocation planning.
See?  Very hard to fit in photos.  I’ll get on that in the coming week, as I have some lovely wooly things to show.

this always happens

I think of my best answers much too late.  Only not, since it’s my blog.
But seriously, “favorite movies” and I forget all about my major old Hollywood crushes?!
I can only beg a writing-induced weakness of the mental facilities.
His Girl Friday is awesome.  So awesome, in fact, I want to be Hildy Johnson when I grow up.  You know, if that whole Hausfrau thing doesn’t work out.  (And I don’t think it will.  I do not appreciate the potential of the common-or-garden toothbrush to function as the superlative household cleaning instrument.  But I love cake.)
Bringing up Baby: also awesome.
Holiday: ditto.
The Third Man: see above.
And just for fun, here [opens youtube link: beware] is how I’d like to be spending my day, courtesy of a very and comically drunk Orson Welles.

more boring shawl progress.

Again, the title says it all.  I’ve mixed things up a bit, though, by adding some texture.  So far, I’m liking the pattern: it’s both simple enough for my tired brain and looks good with the yarn.  Not sure what I’ll do for the edging yet.  But since I’ve only just started the second skein of yarn, there’s no hurry.
Unfortunately, this leisurely pace applies only to my knitting.  I’m still slogging through paper number two, which is still holding steady at eight pages.  I would like it to be done very soon.  Because I am tired of thinking about it.  Why is it that papers seem to hold on the longest when you’re the most ready to be finished with them?  Sigh.
Perhaps some outlining will show me the light at the end of the tunnel.
</whine>

boring shawl progress.

The title pretty much says it all.
There hasn’t been much knitting going on around here, to which the slow growth of the as-yet-unknown shawl forelornly bears witness.  I still love the yarn and the little squirrel bag it all fits into so nicely, though.
The good news: on Monday I finished one paper, weighing in at a monster 35 pages (that’s including my ridiculously extensive endnotes).  The bad news: I still have another one to finish, currently holding on at a feather-weight 8 pages.  And today I would just rather not.
Luckily, Donyale tagged me for a meme!

The rules:

1. Respond and rework: answer the questions on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your invention, add one more question of your own.

2. Tag eight other people.

What is your current obsession?

Edmund Crispin.  An example, “Padmore uttered a single disclamatory vocable which would no doubt have blossomed into a full-length previous engagement if the Rector had given it the least chance.”  Another, “[...] and the Botticelli, Fen saw at once, was an almost supernaturally talentless picture [...].”  (Both from Glimpses of the Moon)

Procrastination.

What are you wearing today?

My usual: long-sleeved t-shirt, denim skirt (also long), silk springtime bandit.

What’s for dinner?

Omlettes.  My mom does the cooking when I’m at home, but we discussed this earlier today.  There was left-over bacon to be dealt with.

What’s the last thing you bought?

Oh goodness.  I think it was some used paperback detective stories.  But that was a while ago.  See answer above about being at home.

What are you listening to right now?

Larry the cat doing some serious laundry. (He’s got a dirty tummy, apparently.)

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?

Only an hour?  Hmm … I think I would go sit in my favorite café in Konstanz, the Café Adler, with a good friend.  Maybe take a walk by the lake.  And then eat some ice cream.

Which language do you want to learn?

Well, I would love to be really and truly native-speaker fluent in German.  I get by, but that’s not the same.  Or French.  I’ve been stuck at the intermediate level for years and have developed a strangely Germanic accent.  Finnish or Swedish would be awesome, too.  Because they’re practical, obviously.

What do you love most about where you currently live?

Friends.

What is your favorite colour?

I like bright colors.  Just about any of them, as long as they’ve got some saturation.

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?

I get excited when I get to wear my pink underpants.  Does that count?

What were you doing ten years ago?

June 1999: just finished my first year of college.  I was at home, probably not doing much of anything.  Being from a depressed mill town has the (dis)advantage of limited summer employment opportunities.

Describe your personal style?

I’m with Blue Garter on this one: definitely Northwest Casual.  Even though I don’t live in the Northwest anymore.  I’ll admit it: nothing feels so much like home as wearing socks and Birkenstocks.  It’s my favorite guilty pleasure.

If you had $300 now, what would you spend it on?

Some really hard-to-find British Golden Age detective fiction.

What are you going to do after this?

Work.  I’m going to try and beef up those eight pages.

What are your favorite films?

Don’t laugh: Mannequin and Grosse Pointe Blank.  I am not high brow.

What inspires you?

Color!  In the academic world, I seem to be drawn to topics/areas/authors that are largely ignored or forgotten.

Your favourite books?

It depends.  I love so many Golden Age detective fiction authors: Edmund Crispin, John Dickson Carr, Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Margery Allingham, Patricia Wentworth, Josephine Tey … and, and, and.  I also really love a book I first read in middle school and recently rediscovered on my shelf at home: Hey World, Here I Am! by Jean Little.  My academic life is mostly taken up with books I have to read, am supposed to read, or should be reading, but I do admire Elfriede Jelink and Ingeborg Bachmann; Rahel Varnhagen’s letters made me cry.

Do you collect anything?

I used to collect paper clips in high school.  I have a big chain of them in a drawer somewhere.  And yes, I was a big dork.  Now, being a sophisticated grad student, I collect Golden Age British detective fiction with hideous paperback cover art.

What makes you follow a blog?

Hmmm … personality, I think.  I like to get a sense of the person writing.

Do you like to comment on blogs or just lurk?

It depends.  Usually, it takes an initial comment here before I feel comfortable taking the risk.

What’s one thing you dream of doing?

I’ve always wanted to teach English in Germany.  I think secretly I want to be a German Hausfrau when I grow up.

What’s your favorite gulity-pleasure summer movie?

I love big, explosive, utterly craptastic thrillers/blockbusters/nonsensical trash.  Nothing more fun than driving into the Hamilton AMC 24 multiplex on a summer evening for a couple hours of absolute cinematic garbage.  Definitely one of my favorite Princeton memories.

I’m not going to tag anyone, but feel free to play along if you’d like!

85/15

As much as I love the kid silk haze, it’s not all that easy to knit.  Lots of mohair fluff wrapped around a tiny lace-weight silk thread … in short: a disaster waiting to happen if the knitter is less than attentive.  Unfortunately, that pretty much describes my state of mind lately when it comes to knitting.  I want relaxation, not further demands on my already weak system.
Enter my lovely local 85/15, a very manageable two-ply with a bit of heft and body.  Not to mention a lovely fuzzy halo, courtesy of the angora.  Right now I’m just enjoying the knitting … I don’t know what exactly this will turn into.  A shawl, certainly; a seraphim shawl, possibly.  I only have half the required yardage, but I love the idea of eyelets gaining momentum and transitioning into the main lace border.  Perhaps my brain could handle some basic modfications.
Until then, stockinette is just right.
p.s. The first comment on this post will be number 500!  Pretty crazy, huh?  I can’t handle putting together a celebratory contest thingummy at the moment.  Maybe, instead, we’ll have a “wow, I live in Nashville now” type random drawing featuring Dolly Parton or something.  Thanks for reading!

going local

I visited the farmers’ market over the weekend and stumbled upon some lovely local yarn.
Cindy’s Treasures yarn is not only handspun and hand-dyed from her own fiber animals, but the ranch is just a couple of miles up the road in Kalama.  (I heard Kalama High School was filmed for the Twilight movies.  Don’t know if that’s just hearsay, though.)
I picked out two skeins (about 200 yards each) of fingering-weight 85/15 wool/angora blend  in a natural color.  It’s so soft and lovely, I’m mulling over my shawl options.  If you’re in the area, I’d definitely recommend checking out her stuff: she has some lovely hand-dyed yarns, sock yarn, chunkier handspun … lots of options for such a small operation.
Speaking of shawls, the Wool Peddler shawl is going slowly.  In fact, though it has grown some, it still looks about the same:

wool peddler's

Unfortunately, kidsilk haze, wonderful as it is, does not lend itself to knitting while reading.  So thin and wispy, it just leads to disaster.  So, as I’m at home to work, this hasn’t been getting tons of attention.  Oh well.  Needs must and all of that.

hybridity v.3

pattern: Springtime Bandit hybrid (one leaf repeat + edge chart)
yarn: Colinette Jitterbug in Vincent’s Apron (approx. 1.25 skeins/400 yards)
needles: US8/5.00mm circs
size: 54″ wingspan, 23″ deep at center
started: May 11, 2009
finished: June 6, 2009
As you might infer from the yardage, this turned out kind of small.  So I blocked the bejeezus out of it … and, let me tell you, that Jitterbug really grows.  I don’t have blocking wires (yet) so I pinned out shallow scallops.  It’s soft and lovely.  And very, very yellow.

hybridity v.3

So yellow, it’s even bright on a grey northwest day.

limited knitting content

So, I’m back at home.  Trying to write. Writing.  Catching up on some sleep and relaxation.  And I don’t know why I’m compelled to write about being at home, but I am.

hybridity v.3

You see, I spent my high school years plotting my escape.  Our guidance counselor told us not to worry about college: it was too expensive, took too long, and didn’t prepare you for any kind of job we could get.  I went anyway.  So did most of my friends.  Because the only thing to do in town was leave.

Although not surprised, I was saddened to find out that my high school has the highest per capita drop-out rate in the state of Washington.  We’re a pretty small town with two relatively small high schools.  My alma mater is one of the 22 drop-out “factories” in the state.  40% of freshmen don’t graduate.  This is not good.

I shouldn’t be lucky to have gotten out.  But I am.  And that is what I can never communicate to the majority of my students in the Ivy League.  It makes me sad.  That’s all.