howdy stranger

So it’s been a while.  How about we start there?  March has been crazy busy in all kinds of good ways, few of which have had much to do with knitting … let’s recap:

I finished physical therapy, defended my dissertation proposal (!!), and then, as if by divine design, spring break appeared; I did nothing but watch Law & Order and knit until: friends!  Three very special ladies descended upon Nashville — and my apartment — for a seriously good time.  (They are now all bona-fide PhD professional ladies, so … I’ve kept the discretion to a maximum.)

First, there was hot chicken at the hot chicken shack:

pickle button!

Oh yeah, I finished my cardigan (Shalom in EcoWool) — just in time to add pickle buttons.

The next night there were fancy drinks downtown …

fancy cocktails

… followed by some honky tonking on Broadway.

Broadway

Robert's!

The Stage

It was one of the best night’s out ever: we bought cowboy boots from someone named “Brad Butter” (it was embroidered on his shirt), put on our best clubwear, and danced till the honky tonks closed.

After that, we pretty much decided to concentrate on eating as many fried/ butter-positive foods as possible.  Luckily, Nashville is that kind of town.

There was pickle tempura …

pickle tempura

… and, the next morning, delicious biscuits to go with country ham, plenty of bacon, hashbrown casserole, and other assorted side-dish staples for breakfast (at 3 in the afternoon).

biscuits!

Finally, I met my Waterloo: the sidecar.

sidecars; or, my Waterloo

The ingredients might look innocent, but don’t be fooled.  We toasted, we lounged, we watched It’s Complicated, I gave away almost all of my handknit socks to very deserving recipients …  And then it was time for everyone to get back to their real lives.

It was a wonderful, tiring, just-right long weekend.  Such reunions are made possible, and so much sweeter, by distance … but how I do miss easy proximity and that casual by-chance glass of wine on someone’s couch in the evening.  And how lucky I am to have had a weekend of nothing but laughter and fun and friendship.

[thanks to M. and B. for all the fabulous photos]

Friday’s just the day before the weekend

plaid!

I believe I’ve mentioned how much I enjoy Michael K. for my daily gossip and sass.  Well, homegirl is tired.  I think the plaid was the only thing that got me through Friday … it was mostly successful: lesson plan, study, teach, cafeteria lunch, meeting, collapse.

You got to know when to fold them.  Which is why I’m watching Toddlers & Tiaras and thinking about bed, not wading my way through the rest of the 19th century.  Who needs any more realism than reality television?  I’m even too tired to knit.  These exams have got to get finished soon.

Anyway, the skirt: wool plaid from Joann fabrics, Simplicity 2698; zipper put in by a seamstress because my sewing machine was having none of it.  This is no masterpiece of construction (except for the zipper) and is riddled with all kinds of amatuer mistakes, but it holds together, is cute and swingy and makes me pretty happy to wear.

Also: how did I ever forget just how warm a stranded hat could be?

curses on my dark apartment

red boots!

This is the best I could do with an auto-timer and a dark day in Nashville.  I love the cardigan, though, and have worn it for the past couple of days straight.  It’s a perfect weight for Nashville: the wool makes it warm but the shorter sleeves and open front make it very wearable in relatively mild weather.  Cascade 220 is the best, as far as I’m concerned: no pilling yet (and I’ve been wearing the heck out this cardigan), great stitch definition, minimal stretching.  And it’s affordable.  In a million colors.

I’ll count my ball bands and put the details up on Ravelry soon.

I’m also attempting the Rooster’s strategy today: fake it to make it.  As I understand it, awesome boots are essential.  So since these new red ones (on sale!) arrived yesterday, it seemed a shame to leave them in the box.  And with a head cold that won’t quit, getting out of the house was my only option for getting anything done.

red boots!

What do you think, dear internet?  Do these make me look stumpy?  I love them and will be keeping them (so comfy for walking!), but I nonetheless suspect that they bring out the stump.  Not that it takes much.