plugging, knitting away

almost. there.

Well, what do we have here?  That’s right: I’ve finally made it to the border of my latest stripe study.  Phew.  Unlike different lines, I had just enough yarn to get through the recommended number of stripes — I guess knitting lace-weight yarn on size US8/5.0mm vs. US9/5.5mm really doesn make a difference — though it does seem like I have tons of frank ochre left for a nice, wide border.  Sure, the knitting is a bit tedious, but I’m okay with that.  And I can’t wait to have a new super-light, super-soft shawl for fall.

Besides, it gives me time to think about all of the baby knits I need to get on the needles: there’s (at last count) one fall baby and one winter baby that will need something woolly.  That’s one thing I didn’t consider when I took up knitting, but geez, I got close to 30 (or now above) … and boom! baby town for all of my friends.  It’s great and I’m happy because they’re so happy, but … man, I’m just glad I have a reasonably large and varied stash.  Right now, I’m thinking some kind of vest-y easy-on, easy-off situtation: Pebble, maybe (which I think I first saw on the Rooster‘s blog in some very lovely handspun.) or else I’ll just stick with my standby: the EZ February baby sweater.  It’s a no-fail, always cute, and pretty straightforward.

(Apologies for the crap picture and weird light.  This was the best of a bad lot.)

Alice enjoying the sunshine.

In other news, here’s where Alice has been spending all of her time.  Ah, sunshine — a kitty’s best friend.


my desk.

my desk.

So, I organized my desk.  And put up a new shelf.  Obviously, this chapter is just going to write itself now.  Oh lordy, fellow dissertation writers out there, it’s time for a little Anne Lamott methinks.  Bird by Bird makes everything better.

“Your day’s work might turn out to have been a mess.  So what?  Vonnegut said, ‘When I write, I feel like an armless legless man with a crayon in his mouth.’  So go ahead and make big scrawls and mistakes.  Use up lots of paper.  Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist’s true friend.  What people somehow (inadvertently, I’m sure) forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here–and by extension, what we’re supposed to be writing.”  (Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott (New York: Anchor Books, 1994) 32).

Can I get an amen?

Seriously, I’m no evangelist but this book has gotten me through more writing crises than I care to count.  It’s my everything’s-going-to-be-okay talisman. 

boring sock progress

Sozialismus socks

Yep, more boring sock progress to share.  This is a long-long Hunterwasser sock that spent many, many months in the bottom of knitting basket: half-finished, hibernating in a project bag.  No doubt feeling lost and maybe a little bored.  In any case, in need of some soothing stockinette I picked it up again.

It started life as some kind of ribbed sock — madder ribbed, I believe — but that didn’t fit quite right.  So before abandoning the poor thing to craft purgatory, I’d started over in my favorite basic pattern: the Gentleman’s Plain Winter Sock.  It’s not the most thrilling of patterns, but I like the deep ribbing at the top and find it helps the socks to stay up quite well.  I am thinking that some more adventurous patterns might be just the ticket eventually — my sock drawer could certainly use some reinforcements, after all …

In a fit of almost knitting in public, I’d decided to take the sock with me to a goofy Elizabeth Taylor double feature happening at the local cinema.  Yet somehow, I managed to get out the door with no knitting and no time to turn around.  So it was a knitting-free couple of hours in the theater.  All in all, kind of a strange experience on a Saturday afternoon: it felt like I’d taken a rather long nap with rather strange dreams when, 4 hours later, I wandered back out into the sunshine and heat.  Perhaps the knitting would have helped?

Sozialismus socks

However … last night, I decided to start something completely different.  I’m working on the first sleeve right now — and am cautiously optimistic about this particular bulky sweater.  We shall see.  And then we shall post some photos.

In the meantime, the stripe study has not been forgotten.  Merely tidied away.


And now, it’s time to get to work.  I’m finding, predictably, this dissertation process a little difficult to grapple with — so much to do, but where to start?  At the end, of course; at least, that’s where I’m starting.

winners! and more stripes!

First off: winners!  Congrats to April and Noas’ Libellule!  Though the competition was not at all stiff, I hope you both enjoy the CD!  And the crazy sweater blueprint that seems to be included.  I’ve sent an email so we can figure out address details.

more stripes

In less exciting news, I’ve been slowly but surely working my way through another stripey project.  As you might notice (or I might have already mentioned), I totally swiped the color scheme from weaverknits’ yellow on yellow scarf.  The lemony yellow (= sauterne) works so well with the kinda avocadoy yellow (= frank ochre) and the Malabrigo is fabulously soft as always.

Now that the rows are getting longer, progress is slowing down … in fact, I might have picked up a long-forgotten half-finished basic stockinette sock the other night.  I’d forgotten just how satisfying the almost instant gratification of the basic sock can be — perhaps I should get back to working on filling my drawer for winter?  Besides, socks make the best gifts.

more stripes


Socks aren’t the only new project around here: just last week I picked up a fancy new computer with a really big screen.  It is perhaps my most awesome acquisition in quite a while.  So big.  So shiny.  It required some desk reorganization and I still don’t have everything set up, but so far — I am thrilled.  Now, if only it would write my dissertation for me.

I also picked up a drying rack at Target.  So it’s been all big news all the time lately.

more stripes

And now it’s time to get the day started.  Happy Friday!  (Wait, how did that happen again?  Sheesh.  Summer sure does fly right on by.)


free stuff!

I’m definitely tardy to the party on this one, but perhaps my dillydallying is someone else’s gain?

If you read knit blogs, you’ve probably already heard about Pearl and the Beard, their album, and their amazing three-person sweater.  It’s fun and stripey and knit in affordable yarn, so pretty much the perfect project, right?  Especially if you have a lot of arms or very close associates.

Somehow, though, I do not think my cat would be amused if I tried to get her involved.

The album sounds like it might be just about as much fun (if not so stripey): harmonies, clever lyrics, guitars, strings and percussion, maybe a little bit blue grass (there is a mandolin involved somewhere, anyway).  Something about it reminds me of really good dinners filled with friends and cheap red wine.  So the best parts of being a grown up.

Here’s a sneak sample of “Reverend”: Reverend.mp3

Do you want to win a copy?  Perfect — I’ve got one to give away!  In celebration of another tri(couleur), leave a comment on this post up until midnight on Bastille Day, July 14.


finish line!


So this blog and I are starting to feel like ships that pass in the night.  I’m going to work on fixing that over the course of the summer.

The good news: I haven’t quit knitting!  See the evidence above: a very large, very finished Different Lines shawl/scarf (scharf, if you will).  I was determined to use up as much of the Malabrigo lace as possible, which meant I added a couple of stipes and more contrast border.  It is gigantic, just the way I like it.  And so airy and light.

It kind of reminds me of Buster and Lucille II: “I know she’s a brown area, with points, and I love her.”


My sister and her boyfriend were just here in Nashville visiting and we did the town: Country Music Hall of Fame, Hatch Show Print, hot chicken, honky tonkin’, brewery tour, and all kinds of highjinx.  We also spent a lot of time just hanging out and crafting.  (The boyfriend’s craft happened to be playing Angry Birds, but, well … there was lots of crafting while he played.)

I love seeing my sister because we always have so much fun together.  This time was no exception — and we both ended up much farther along with our respective fiber projects (she crochets).  Pretty win-win.


Needless to say, I can’t wait for fall to wear this.  It drapes in a very natural, practical way that I think will mean this shawl might become a favorite.  The colors are awesome — I’m glad I went with the super soft yarn in the super vibrant colors.


And now after an early summer of adventure, hometown fun, and meeting up with some great knitters, it’s time to get down to work.   Hello, dissertation.

Happy 4th to those celebrating or just enjoying the holiday weekend!