(salad) spinning.

I’m not sure I can convey to you how very excited I am that Santa Claus brought me a salad spinner. (And a big, pretty one, at that.) I could not wait to get my greens home from the farm today so that I could play with my new toy.

Other new toys? These jar glasses from my mom’s kitchen (because I already drink out of a ball jar), and rainbow mixing bowls. Also, the kind of rolling pin that feels really good in your hands.

(Disregard that dog bone behind my right foot.) I scored two corduroy dresses — this one, and the same in purple — at the online sale at anthropologie. And new boots (thank you, REI dividend)! I promise to display them more prominently soon. I expect that these wardrobe additions will help in my continued quest to “fake it ’til I make it” at all sorts of things.

Despite the worried face, I think Boh is happy to be home in our apartment after a lovely week spent at my parents’ house. He is snoring and twitching (dreaming?) on the couch next to me right now. More soon.

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accidental cowl.

While I was looking for yarn to give to my 8-year-old knitting friend, I came across a ball of Blue Sky Alpacas organic cotton — originally intended to be turned into something for my mom a few years ago. Whatever it was — mittens, maybe?– I ripped it out, rewound the stuff into a ball, and tucked it away somewhere.

Anyway, on Sunday I’d come across yet another cute cowl made from this simple pattern by sketchbook, the person behind orange flower yarns, on ravelry. On a whim (and needing an easy knit to take with me to the birthday party), I cast on this cowl for my mom. (She has a wool sensitivity, so everything I make for her is cotton, silk, or bamboo.) Once I started, I really couldn’t stop. You know how it goes sometimes — you can see the progress you’re making, you wonder how much you’ll be able to knit before the ball runs out — and you just keep going.

My mom actually requested an infinity scarf a few weeks ago. It won’t be done for Christmas, but I’ll wrap up the yarn, which she picked out (and which just arrived) — a gorgeous skein of worsted 100% silk from Blue Moon Fiber Arts in the Blackbird colorway (thanks to Mick for sharing info about this stuff on her blog several months back). Now she’ll have something small to open that she can actually wear!

It’s funny how once I said out loud that I’m really not knitting any gifts this year, a hat and then a cowl practically flew off my needles. Must be something about not feeling the pressure to knit for other people. I’m going to have to remember this!

I’ll leave you with a sweet shot of Boh:

We woke up yesterday to falling snow. He seemed reluctant to get up for the day, and I don’t blame him. Today I might have turned off the alarm and cuddled with him for an extra half hour.

Today I’m running lots of last minute errands before heading to my parents’ house tomorrow. Not sure what my blogging frequency will be like once I’m there, so just in case: Merry Christmas! Boh and I hope your holidays are filled with (woolly) warmth.

FO: felicity.

I accidentally finished this hat instead of finishing a book yesterday. Oops! I used Araucania Nature Wool (about 2/3 of a skein), size 6 and 8 needles, and I cast on 90 instead of 70 stitches. And then I followed the pattern. Now, I’m going to show you a picture of me wearing this hat. I don’t think this is the kind of style that works well on short, big hair. Good thing the intended recipient has smooth, shiny hair. So it should work, right? (The other concern I have is that it looks really awkward not on a human head, you know? Too big, and sort of weird. Oh, well. Maybe this will be a test of how well my brother’s girlfriend receives handknits?!)

This hat is poofier than it looks in this picture. Trust me.

Boh was passed out in the background when I was getting ready to take this picture. And then I said, “Are you hungry?” Which was sort of cruel, as it was not yet dinnertime.

There is nothing cuter.

Also, remember how I won amazing peach rum preserves over at Libby’s blog? Well, I dug into one of the jars today, and this stuff is INCREDIBLE. Note to self: make A LOT of boozy peach preserves next summer.

Tomorrow I am going to a dance party. For my favorite (almost) eight-year-old’s birthday. And you know what I’m giving him? Yarn.

I’m told I’ll get to do the Macarena.

felicity, more faking it.

A crappy picture, I know, but it highlights the super cool backlit keys of my new toy. Also, it helps me to demonstrate just how quickly this is knitting up. I snapped that photo on Thursday afternoon.

I took these a few hours ago. I’m finally knitting a felicity hat– or, perhaps more accurately, I’m self-soothing with stockinette. I finished my grading on Wednesday afternoon, and I jumped right back into my own work yesterday. Today? Well, let’s just say that the semester caught up to me. I’ve done some reading, and a bunch of little things, but mostly I’ve been watching The Good Wife and working on this hat.

I had decided that I wasn’t going to knit any holiday gifts this year, but then I remembered that my brother’s girlfriend will be joining us for Christmas morning…and while everyone else in my immediate family has already received a handknit accessory (or several), she hasn’t. And her hair isn’t as big as mine, so I think this hat will suit her. (And I’ll get to try it on. I’m not convinced that these snug at the forehead, slouchier in the back hats are ideal for someone with a head full of curls.)

More in the faking it department:

Derrida or not, this whole trying to at least look put together thing is a great idea.

Also a great idea? Things, a to-do list (and so much more) program written for Mac. Not to get too nerdy on you (ha!), but I’ve been trying to think more about my workflow, and get as much of my life/work onto my computer as I can. I have never been able to keep a digital calendar, and I finally figured out why: I rarely use my calendar for time-specific events and appointments. Sure, they’re there, but really, I use all the space outside of the appointment slots and calendar boxes to jot notes, ideas, to-dos, etc. Enter Things, recommended by my dear friend S. So far, it seems to be working with my brain. I tell you all of this to (a) alert you to the fact that you can try it for free for 2 weeks and (b) to set up the next photo. I’ve been putting scheduled events as well as to-dos into Things, and I happened to enter in a party (theme: sparkles) that a friend of mine was hosting for the end of the semester. I am rather hermit-like, and I was all set to curl up with Boh on the couch on Wednesday night, when I saw my Things list. I had done everything on my list except attend the party, which had just begun. So I changed into sparkly clothes, and made an effort to be social. And I had fun!


You can’t see them, but I wore tuxedo pants that have a black sequined stripe down the side. Amazing. Anyway, when I got home, I clicked the box next to the last thing on my list. Which was incredibly satisfying.

I should read, but I’m probably going to watch one more episode of The Good Wife before I do.  Happy weekend!

double cowl.

Sort of the winter equivalent of the double rainbow, I would argue.

Vegetable stock is simmering on the stove. Squash and mushrooms are roasting in the oven (on their way to becoming this). One of the veggie drawers in the fridge is freshly washed. I even scrubbed the mat that goes under my dish-drying rack. Many of you know what this means: there are final exams covering every inch of my kitchen table. I’m about two-thirds of the way through my grading. At least I’ll have soup to keep me going.

One of the good things about grading final exams? The final, which for me, meant two and a half hours of knitting time, interrupted only by the occasional student question. I managed to both knit and kitchener my soaker (clearly I’m a bit out of kitchener practice). Maybe I’ll let myself pick up and knit a leg cuff tonight.

Good luck to everyone working through end-of-semester writing and grading!