every day is Caturday!

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Alice has something important to tell you all:

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There’s a kitten in the house now.  This teeny guy (only 1.2 lbs.!) was in the hedge by my apartment building, mewing for all he was worth.  I got him out and …  now, after an early-morning trip to the vet and plenty of kitten food, he’s snoozing in my bathroom.  Since I only have two rooms with doors, we really didn’t have a lot of options.

He and Alice are going to get to know each other slowly.  We’ll see how it goes.

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His name is Eugene.  He is adorable.  But, oh my, I haven’t had a kitten in a long time.  I don’t know what I’m going to do when he’s not so worn out …

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Alice is afraid her days of whiling away the afternoon on her favorite living-room pillow are over.

autumn adventures

Well, I certainly didn’t mean to disappear there for a while.  Let’s catch up, shall we?

I went to Milwaukee for a conference.  And had a good time — saw some good panels, got some good feedback, caught up with a few friends, rode the polka escalator (at the Milwaukee Convention Center, definitely worth the visit), saw the Bronze Fonz.  You know, the usual.
Bronze Fonz.

And the memorial to letter carriers.  That was a kind of happy accident, as it’s tucked back on a quiet street.  Or, at least, a street quiet late on a Sunday afternoon.

letter carriers

Then, what I’d been waiting for!  My sister was in Milwaukee in the spring — also for a conference — and she told me about Mader’s.  It was fantastic, and so so much fun after a German studies conference. And the perfect way to end my first trip to Milwaukee.

Knight's Bar.

And, surprisingly enough, there’s even been a little time for knitting.  Though not nearly as much as I might hope.

Still, I managed to finish up the i-cord bind off on the body of my Walnuss — now to battle my way through the sleeves.  I really do think this has interview-cardigan potential …

More I-cord.

I also finished up Budgie a week or two ago — it’s a very quick knit.  The seaming, however, is giving me fits: I don’t know what it is, but I simple cannot get the sleeves to seam evenly.  At the time, I thought “maybe i’ll just knit these in the round” … then, decided I’d follow the pattern.  So, really, I brought this upon myself.  Still, I’ve got some time to figure it out.

I used some ancient stash Kureyon for the contrasting stripes, and I really love how the colors worked out on the body and sleeves.  It took a little fancy footwork to make sure everything matched up, but definitely worth it in the end.

However … not so with the i-cord edging.  Looking back, it probably had something to do with picking up too few stitches, resulting in unsightly bunching.  At the time, I decided to just go with garter stitch to finish.  We’ll see, I might go back to the i-cord.  If I ever get the arms seamed, that is.

Now, I just hope it will fit …

Budgie!

more knitting.

No, really.  I’ve been knitting.  Hard to believe, right?  Somedays, I have trouble believing it myself.

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The semester has started in its usual whirlwind.  Why this still surprises me, as I begin my ninth year of graduate school … that is a mystery for the ages.  I have a great belief in “this time it will be better,” meaning “this time, I’ll feel like I have it together.”  It never happens that way, but I always try again.  Persistence is key, I find.

Knitting doesn’t hurt, either.  My knitting basket is filled with half-finished projects that I’ve fallen out of love with.  So it goes.  Last night, desperate for a little instant gratification, I cast on for Budgie, an adorable stripy baby sweater.  I thought I could handle a baby sweater.

And, so far — two sleeves later — I’ve not been wrong.  All to the good, since the baby in question will have his first birthday this fall with or without my gift arriving on time.  Though, it would be nice if I could make that deadline, at the very least.

shoulders!

It’s deadline time around here again.  The job list just came out.  It’s a bit like Hollywood movie: breathless anticipation, crushing disappointment, romance, thrills, chills, twists and turns, a roller coaster of emotions.

Needless to say, I don’t think I’m quite ready to face another round of applications.  It’s such a weird space, that I’ve decided is not unlike falling in love: if it happens, it happens and there’s just not a whole lot you can actually do about it.  I mean, applying is like going on a date, you try to put your best foot forward (cover letter, curriculum vitae, etc.) and hope something clicks.  Unfortunately, it’s also every bit as awful as actual dating.  The serenity prayer is really my only hope.

Well, that and knitting.  As you can see, the Walnuss is coming together quite nicely.  I separated the sleeves and joined the body, and even tried it on.  It fits!  Which is very good news, indeed, since it was looking pretty small on the needles.  But cardigans always do, I find.

I’m thinking this has “interview cardigan” potential.

pleats!

Finally, the best part about having a friend in Switzerland?  Chocolate!  That comes in the mail!  That’s right: Schoggi-Mail let’s you send Swiss chocolate like a postcard.  Genius.  Delicious genius.

Schoggi-Mail

there has been knitting.

No, really.

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On Saturday afternoon, despite rather grumpy about the heat, my knitting and I strolled over to Centennial Park (home of my favorite monument) to meet some friends for a little music and ice cream.  Well, the ice cream wasn’t planned, but it was delicious.  There were shady trees, good music, and the chance to just relax for an hour or two.

Walnuss and I are definitely going back next week.

So far, I’m loving this cardigan.  The construction is clever — new to me! — but easy enough to follow.  It’s like an adventure, having never knit a saddle shoulder from the top-down all in one piece before (or, really, ever).  At first, I simply went on blind trust, as I had no idea what my knitting was doing.

What is most surprising, though: just how fast Walnuss is coming along.  I’ve already separated the arms and am working, working … but, seriously, it doesn’t seem to be taking all that much longer than a worsted wool.  And, of course, the Malabrigo Sock is lovely stuff to work with.

And now, I should get the day started.  I’ve somehow picked up a couple of new assignments — tutoring, assisting — in addition to the usual researching and writing.  It’s exciting, but, well, tiring.  Happy Wednesday!

good morning, Parthenon!

I believe my love for a certain bonkers structure edifice here in Nashville is rather well documented.  That said, I was up extra early this morning — thanks, Alice! — and, in an uncharacteristic fit of Monday-morning-this-week-will-be-different optimism, decided to set out for a walk.

After all, at a little after 7 in the a.m. it was still bearable outside.  But only just.

Good morning, Parthenon!

So, good morning, Parthenon!

And now, I’m back home enjoying my coffee, feeling quite smugly pleased with myself.

In other news: stitchery!

Stitchery.

Treat yo self, um, 2012!  That is for my sister … who — perhaps foolishly? — once casually mentioned that she’d like one of those subversive cross stitch pieces.   (Have I already told you that?  Probably.  Sorry.)  Obviously, I said: “Treat yo self!”  It’s a pattern, available here, just in case you’re also in the mood.

“This is not Love and Hip Hop — you need to get it together, okay?” has become a go-to mantra for a friend and me.  (See: here, around the :50 mark.)  What better way to welcome her back to Nashville?  Also, this is where I learned that I don’t like figuring out letter spacing or charting … so, it’s totally worth buying a pattern to do it for you (when available, of course).  I’ve still got a border to add — which I started late last night — and I’m dubious about placement.  We shall see.  Sigh.

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Finally, Alice has been taking it easy.  I love her little snoozing face.

Happy Monday!

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 …

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… it’s Saturday, after all.

 

my weekend

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I spent a good part of my weekend around this table in Rhode Island.  Turns out, the smallest state in the union is pretty pleasant — and conferences are pretty exhausting.  Which I knew, but had chosen to forget.  Luckily, the conference hotel was deeply awesome (with some seriously comfy beds AND a giant chair that made me feel a little like Edith Ann) , and there were plenty of friends to catch up with.

Knitting, however, had to take a back seat.

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What you see here is a Leaves of Grass shawl waiting patiently for the rest of its knit-on border.  Man.  That’s a lot of stitches.  Also, it is giant: perfect for that chair.