Wednesday.

Where is the week month going?  The semester starts next week … and, let’s just say, I’m trying to ignore that.

August

 

Scenes so far.

You know, I can’t complain about August.  A certain Rooster stopped by Nashville last weekend and we had a delightful time together: good food, chatting on patios, walks in the park, ice cream, take-out, and a few adventures (planned and, um, not so planned).  It’s so nice when online friends become real-life friends!  Maybe next time we’ll even manage some knitting?

As you can see, August has been filled with many things … but not much knitting.  I’d like to think that ideas are percolating.  Many ideas about  light-weight sweaters.  Many, many ideas.  Here are just a few of my favorites:

LarchPaulie, and Hay;

Buckwheat, Alga, and Paris;

Audrey in Unst and Georgia;

Indicum and Tempest;

Manu, Whisper, and Featherweight

MandelWalnuss, and Boe (bonus points for German!)

I’m sure there are many more; I seem to be collecting them as I go.  Any favorites that I’ve missed?

My dream project, however, is the slightly bonkers 4 Flowerpot Sweater from Icelandic Knitting Using Rose Patterns.  I’ve gotten as far as shopping for yarn, reading through the directions, becoming very confused, and putting the book back on the shelf.  I have not given up, though.  Thing is, this is the kind of sweater I want to wear but do not want to knit.  A dilemma.

But now: back to work!  My knitting will have to wait …

so … it’s July.

How’d that happen?

It’s been one of those summers … I don’t know where it went.

Sunshine is the best.

Alice has spent most of her time snoozing in the sunshine, which … I have to say, isn’t the worst strategy.  This heat has been crazy!  And has left me feeling rather grumpy, slightly annoyed, and more than a little cooped up.  Maybe that’s why it seems like the past few months have blended into one long blur of bad television?

Gilbert.

The heat has also had the less lovely result of unleashing all manner of uncomfortable skin irritations and minor ailments on my Celtic self.  Turns out, I was so not made for this climate … hence, the bad television and lots of time on my couch.  Complete with an awesome crocheted birthday owl pillow from my amazing sister!  (His name is Gilbert.)

As usual, I had such high hopes, and can’t help but feel a little disappointed that the time has disappeared so quickly.

But!  Enough whinging.  There’s been plenty of good stuff keeping me busy: new books, visits from friends and family, lots of knitting, a celebrity at the coffee shop (took me quite a few afternoons to recognize Ben Folds), good food, sleeping in, birthday celebrations, and, you know, some work … and a trip back home to the Pacific Northwest.

How about some photos?

Finally!

New project!  It’s Permafrost, and it’s … very purple.  The construction is a bit different — spiral vs. pi — but so far, I’m liking it.  I did run out of yarn, though, so it’s on hold for the moment.  Right in the middle of a bunch of nupps.  Probably not a bad time for a break …

Less knitting, meant more time for nature!

Ape Cave.

Ape Cave!  Somehow, my sister and I never visited as kids.  It’s a cave … or, rather, a lava tube.  After hearing about it all my life, it was pretty fun: dark, cave-like, and luckily no bats.

Bridge of the Gods.

Bridge of the Gods.  Nothing like a trip to Skamania county … the only county where killing Sasquatch is a felony offense.  Seriously.

Cowlitz Black Bears for the win!

Cowlitz Black Bears for the win!  It was a really fun hometown outing — complete with bonkers games between innings, a slightly malicious mascot, and perfect Northwest summer weather.

Salmon Creek.

Salmon Creek.  We went in search of rocks … we found lots of mud.

It was a lovely visit home, and now I’m back in Nashville.  Time to get back to work.

Today, though, I’m working on arriving.  And maybe a little back-up knitting with bad television …

HipstaPrint

… it’s Saturday, after all.

 

this sweater is actually green.

Trust me.

in progress

I’ve been working on it off and on, here and there, ever since I finished the Noro! pullover.  Just simple evening knitting, no thinking required.  No pattern, just a top-down raglan in some ancient stash yarn with a cable I found in one of my Vogue Stitchionaries.  (Which I look at often, but rarely use.)

Right now, I’m working through the first sleeve.

(Nope.  Not this color either.  Seriously, it really is green.)

in progress

The semester is grinding to halt and I, for one, could not be happier.  It’s been another crazy year: job market, dissertation, interviews, teaching … In fact, yesterday I realized that I started writing my job letter six months after I defended my dissertation prospectus.  Madness.  Which also reminded me why I might not have had time to draft out that article or dedicate a lot of time knitting.

I miss knitting.  I miss the blue table; I miss this space; I miss you guys.  I miss having lots of ideas and colors and dream projects swirling around amidst all the other whirlwind commitments.

So that’s my summer plan: more knitting, more writing, more colors, more sharing!

et voilà!

Noro!

New spring break pullover!  It’s stripy and wonderful — and super quick to knit.  Dreamy, eh?  All for only 3.5 skeins of Noro Taiyo in a kinda crazy set of colors.

Noro!

I was inspired by the Equinox Raglan, but, in the end, the two don’t have much in common.  And I’m okay with that.  This one was knit with aran-weight yarn on US10.5/6.5mm needles — so a loose, almost airy kind of fabric that bloomed up very nicely after a quick soak.

(Okay, it might still be a bit damp …)

Hey world, here I am!

Did anyone else read that book growing up?  It was one of my favorites in sixth grade.  I either wanted to be Kate Bloomfield or have her as my best friend … and it holds up quite well, I’d say.  Or at least it did, the last time I was at home and read it again.

So, hey.  Here I am.  Things are hectic.  I’m applying for jobs.  Real jobs, that require a PhD.  That’s scary stuff.

I miss my knitting time.  I miss you guys.

log cabin

So here I am, taking Philippa’s advice and knitting some log cabin blankets for all the babies arriving later this fall.  It’s very satisfying, meditative  — and squishy — knitting.  The Noro makes it exciting.

And babies need things made with love.

log cabin

Just the ticket for my rather frazzled self.  Which is precisely my feeling about the Alison Krauss station on Pandora.  Why did I not discover Pandora until yesterday afternoon?  Why are Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn and Gillian Welch so good?

Sigh.  Questions for the ages.

log cabin

Right up there with why is Noro so pretty.

this is all i’ve got.

this is all i got.

Yep.  This is it.

The new semester started, and, well … you know how that goes.  Even after only two days.  So I’m waiting for my frozen enchiladas to heat up and maybe the house could some sprucing and … maybe I’m not going to think about that.

Also, it’s still hot here.  And please don’t look at that zit.  Concentrate instead on my awesomely sparkly finger nails.

The good news: I’ve got an awesome cardigan on the needles — in need of some serious tinking because I thought I knew better than the pattern (why do I always think I know better than the pattern?!) — using up some stash yarn.

Life is pretty darn good.  I’ll be back soon.

done!

such a big help

Look!  An almost instant FO … complete with cat.  Because it’s not blocking without Alice.

such a big help

So, hey, this is my bed.  And my new awesome GIANT shawl.  I don’t know if you can get a good sense of scale here, but it’s b-i-g.  That’s because it’s a fingering-weight pattern knit on bulky-weight wool.  Boom!  Baktus, chunky style.  (=4 [??] skeins)

I’m in love.  And I can’t wait for fall so that I can wrap myself colorful woolly garter chunkiness.

such a big help

If I can get it back from Alice, of course.

garter love

this weekend

This is how much knitting I accomplished this weekend.  Not even out of the bag.  To be fair, I was at a wedding in Virginia where it was approximately one billion degrees Fahrenheit.  Then there was all that driving.  Let’s just say I wouldn’t recommend undertaking an 11-hour drive in one day, then repeating the whole journey a day later in reverse.  The good news: my first trip to a Cracker Barrel!  And, you know, I got to take part in a friend’s very happy day.

Considering the trip, I guess it’s not surprise that when I got back home I was in the mood for an old friend and some garter stitch.

 

 

chunky!

My love for this yarn is well documented, so I won’t go into raptures again.  I think it always wanted to be garter stitch; I just had to stop and listen.  So far, I’m in love.  Sweet, woolly love.

 

chunky!

When I’m not freaking out about my dissertation, that is.  I really hate freaking out about my dissertation — it’s so predictable and unhelpful — but I’m having a hard time getting my schedule established and feeling productive.  Which leads to a lot of garter stitch.

chunky!

Sigh.  Garter stitch is the best.  This is going to become my outlandish woolly cape of fortitude and determination come fall …

 

socks and shawls

Thanks to a Friday night spent watching movies — The Mummy Returns, Harlem Nights, and Why Did I Get Married if you’re curious — this guy now almost has a mate.

Almost.

toddler socks

I had to reknit the heel at least three times because of funky stitch counts, foggy memories of what I’d engineered the first time around, and margaritas.  But now I’m really, really good at the yarn-over short row.  (Quite a nice method, methinks.  I prefer the join it makes with the instep stitches — very smooth and invisible thanks to that extra yarn over just begging to be k2tog-ed or ssk-ed into oblivion.)

Anyway, as it turns out, toddler socks are quite a bit more knitting than baby socks.  Amazing how much more work 8 extra stitches and a quite a few extra inches adds.  I’m not complaining, just revising strategy: in the future older siblings will receive a book.

In other news, I’m trying to figure out some travel knitting.  I’ll be gone for a bit more than 5 weeks and am trying to pack as lightly as possible.  So lace seems like the right choice: I’ve already got plans to take along Ms. Beauregarde — currently stuck in an especially boring and repetitive section with about 358 gazillion rows to go — but what else?  Since this is a working trip, complex charts (or, boring charts) might not be the best choice for public transportation or tired evenings.

The current frontrunner is Veera’s Stripe Study because it is both awesome and relatively portable, meditative but hopefully not tediously mindless.  Here’s where I’m getting stuck: color choice.  At first, I thought of grey and yellow … it didn’t look quite right.  So I went for less contrast: yellow on yellow.

hmmm ...

What say you, internets?  Is this just going to make me look like I’m wrapped in a traffic cone?

I feel that there is potential for this to look either deeply awesome or deeply horrible.  The orange would be the contrast stripe on the ochre background, I think: would this be the good kind of obnoxious color overload that I love so much?

The more I look at it, the more I think it just might work.  It would certainly be eye catching …

Alice is not convinced.  Or maybe she is.

Alice agrees.