shoveling, sour cherries, sweetness.

As you can see, today’s post is also sponsored by the letter S. Despite yesterday’s whining about the snow day that was not to be, all of my students showed up for section. If things had been reversed, I would’ve picked snowshoeing over school, so they all get a great big high-five. When I returned home, a mountain of shoveling awaited me.

The door to my apartment is on the back of the house. I’d say my part of town got about 15 new inches of snow on Thursday and Friday, and then some high winds helped to create some substantial driveway drifts! I shoveled a winding path from the street, zigzagging around the cars in the driveway, and around the back of the house to my door. Every time Boh and I walk down it, I feel like I’ve created some kind of Olympic ice luge or bobsled track. I also had to dig out my car, which I did in two 1-hour chunks.

My friend T. did quite a bit of shoveling yesterday too, and she came over last night to commiserate with a bit of wine and some sour cherries, which we promptly turned into coffee cake!

T. is a teacher, and she used part of her snow day to defrost these cherries and pit them. (So even though I didn’t get a snow day, I certainly got to enjoy the spoils of a snow day project!) We made this coffee cake, and it was fantastic.

T.’s sweet dog, Coltrane, came over to play with Boh, and once we convinced him to get up on the couch, he decided to spend much of the evening lounging.

Best friends. (Though Boh was whimpering a bit at the idea that he had to share his couch with Coltrane!)

One last picture — I think I am subconsciously responding to all of the bright whiteness outside! A glance in the mirror had me laughing at my apparent attempt to wear all of the colors of the rainbow at once. Silly rooster!

wishful thinking.

Yesterday morning, here’s how much snow had managed to accumulate and drift under the overhang at my apartment door. It snowed continuously all day, and well into the night.

I can only get the door open this far. Usually Boh can nudge open the screen door with his nose, even if it is closed, because the door doesn’t close very tightly. Today, he needed help. In many places, the snow is deeper than my almost-to-the-knee boots!

I love the way the boughs outside my door droop with the weight of the snow.  I also love running around with Boh in the snow — there is so much that he prefers to gallop, or hop sort of like a rabbit, rather than take one step at a time. (No pictures of that — we were too busy playing!)

Snow is part of life where I live, but because of the sheer volume that has fallen continuously over the last 30 hours or so, I was hoping that perhaps my university would declare today to be a snow day. Local schools were closed yesterday, and they are closed again today. I woke up to the news that my university is delayed: the first classes of the day are those scheduled to begin at 10:10.

What time do I TA? 10:10.

Sigh. At least my walk to campus will be beautiful. And it is snowing again.

Happy Friday!

in-my-bag knitting.

I’ve been carrying my handspun lacy baktus around with me, and even though I love how this looks, I find that I’m not taking it out of my bag to work on in those in between moments: after class, between appointments, before yoga. Even though the pattern is super easy to memorize and to read in my work, I don’t always remember where I am, and I think the knowledge that I’ll have to do a little bit of thinking to figure out how to pick up where I left off has been stopping me from pulling this out when I have a few minutes.

So yesterday, I decided to move my baktus to the pile near the couch, and cast on something new to carry around with me.

Yep, this is another seaman’s cap. I’m making this one medium-sized, with a particular friend in mind, though if the colors end up feeling a little too crazy, I’ll keep it and make her something slightly more subdued. I think I do best with in-my-bag knitting that is in the round and very simple: rib or stockinette. This is the worsted-ish Crown Mountain Farms superwash merino I spun up a few months ago in the rest of the Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds colorway. I thought I would knit this into mittens, but I think it is a bit late in the season to gift mittens. (Let’s face it, it will be March before this is done, and probably even closer to spring before I get this in the mail.)

Yesterday, for both lunch and dinner, I made Deb’s vegetable dumplings. Last year, as you may recall, my kitchen was the site for many a dumpling recipe test. These emerged victorious. Make them. You will not be sorry.

I’ll leave you with Boh. I eventually made him move so that I could make the bed, but I think he has the right idea. It is snowing here, and I’d like nothing more than to spend the day hunkering. Alas…off to campus.

academic blocking.

Today is the day: I’m wearing my GYC out the door, and I’m thrilled about it. Which got me to thinking: wouldn’t it be great if blocking worked for papers, and not just for sweaters? I’m giving a paper in a few weeks that just isn’t quite ready. In a lot of ways, I’m happy with it, but it still needs to be tugged and stretched. The stitch definition could be more even, the hem straighter, the lines cleaner. I’d really like to be able to dunk this particular project into a warm bath with some soak, and then reshape it on my kitchen table in order to get the results I want.

Alas, I’m stuck with revisions, more reading, talking to myself in the shower, and occasional full-on questioning of what it is that I am arguing. This is yet another area where I think knitting has the right idea: a lot can be solved with a warm bath.

goodies.

At least prepping for reading groups involves both reading AND baking. These are Deb’s our favorite chocolate chip cookies, and they are super tasty, despite the fact that I may have slightly overcooked some of them because I was too busy reading…

Also, check out what arrived today! I won the blogiversary giveaway over at Doodles in String — as commenter #1. Chris blogs about all sorts of inspiring knitting and spinning, so you should head over there if you’ve never been. These goodies are awesome: gorgeous yarn, beautiful fiber, and a book filled with patterns for kids. (And while I do not have children, all of the babies I’ve been knitting for lately are growing!) Thank you, Chris!

And since I don’t have any new knitting to share, here’s another knit-in-action. Remember this?

I realize it is hidden under several layers, but today I’m wearing my Rusted Root. I haven’t worn this in ages, and I have no idea why.

Alright, off to a new reading group. Happy almost weekend!

world spins madly on.*

I got up this morning, and pulled the covers up to half-heartedly make the bed. Usually, this is Boh’s cue to do some kind of dog stretch and get out of bed.

Today, he didn’t move. In fact, I put the kettle on, ground the coffee, and served up his breakfast, and he stayed in bed. It wasn’t until I grabbed the leash and opened the door that he reluctantly decided to get out from under the covers.

I feel your pain, Boh. I’m tired too.

Despite my sleepiness this morning, I do have some knitting progress to share. I woke up early yesterday to give myself a bit more knitting time, as I’ve been feeling a bit overextended this semester.

My Kerrera is starting to look like a cardigan! I’m into a very soothing stretch of stockinette, and I absolutely love how this Ultra Alpaca feels in my hands. Even though I should keep reading the book I have to teach this week, I’m going to try to squeeze in a few rows this morning before getting to work.

Time for coffee, but before I pour my first mug, I wanted to mention The Weepies. Their first two albums, Happiness (2003) and  Say I Am You (2006) — which I have only just learned are actually two shorter albums, rather than one full length album — are some of my favorite early in the morning or late at night things to listen to. (*This is the name of a track on Say I Am You. I’m listening to it right now.)

throw down your heart.

Or in this case, finish peeling the beet and add it to the pot. It does look like a heart though, right? This post shares its title is with a Bela Fleck album (vol. 3) I received in the mail along with a beautiful hand-stamped valentine that is already on the fridge. This music, a combination of Bela Fleck’s banjo and the voices/instruments he encountered as he traveled through several African countries, makes me smile. And I need that today.

To continue with the music references, I give you my garter yoke cardigan, revisited. (Yes, I’m a nerd.)

(That is a cardboard box behind my arm — the cardigan hangs straight down.)

I attempted to block it longer and narrower in both the sleeves and the body, and I think I managed to turn this into a leaner, slouchier cardigan.

Boh seems to agree. I’m going to wear this out of the house this week!

boh reads, while i knit and eat cake.

I took a break from my work on Friday night to make another cup of tea, and I returned to find that Boh had decided to sit, and then lay, with my book. If only he could help with the reading. I alternated reading chapters with knitting increase rows on my snowbird cardigan, and now I’m working on the first sleeve.

This is the first pattern I’ve knit that calls for knitting the sleeves before the body, and I think I like this approach: after knitting the longest rows — the raglan increases — I get to knit the shortest rows!

Also, the birthday celebration continued on Saturday. Boh’s favorite people and his best dog friend Coltrane came over with a full-on triple-decker coconut cake! (Which, by the way, is every bit as delicious as it looks. I might eat part of this piece for breakfast.) We ate cake, and then took a nice wintry walk. Boh snored, with his head on my lap, for the rest of the afternoon.

The combination of the cold weather and my need to feel extra cozy means I’ve been wearing a lot of handknits lately. I snapped this picture yesterday morning before heading out to a nearby coffee shop to get some reading done. (With some books, I just need a bit more din to stay focused.)

Yesterday I was looking for an extra layer, and dug out my sassymetrical, which provided just the right amount of warmth under my slouchy navy (store-bought) wear-all-the-time cardigan. And that’s today’s handknit-in-action.

(I feel sort of weird taking pictures of my outfits in the mirror, but these are the photos that I really like to see on other people’s blogs and on ravelry — how they actually wear the stuff they make. Sometimes seeing a handknit incorporated into someone else’s wardrobe convinces me that I could/would wear said handknit.)

Alright, enough of that. Happy weekend, folks. I’m off to curl up with my (canine) valentine to knit a bit/read a lot.