picking up.

Well for one, stitches. (Time to start knitting the edging!)

Also, work. I’ve managed to get a decent amount of reading done since Thanksgiving, which is good. (I’m not counting today…)

And myself, too. I bought some holiday booze this week — a small indulgence, a reminder that fancy things can be just for me. You know, like extra olives and good gin while cooking dinner. I’m trying to remember to be good to myself. (B. left a year ago today. And what a year it has been — my exams, moving to the lake house, writing the dissertation prospectus, all this research travel. I think I get an extra gin-soaked olive or two for all of that.)

Picking up….? I’ve got nothing for this one. Boh looks pretty happy with the pace of things around here. Can you believe it will soon be December? Stay tuned for more pictures of the hap blanket edging. And give yourself a treat. You deserve it.

 

back.

Weekend highlights from the iPhone: First, Boh claimed a small rug near the fireplace as his own. (This became prime real estate when a fire was actually burning in the fireplace, which occurred at least twice during the holiday weekend.)

Yes, Dad, I’ll have a martini with my transcription, thankyouverymuch.

Proof that bathroom mirror photos can be way more glamorous. (Note the poinsettia in the shower.) I found this awesome 100% wool sweater of cable-y goodness in my childhood closet (which is now mostly filled with my mom’s stuff). I think I asked for this for Christmas about ten years ago, and Santa delivered. And within a few years, somehow, it seemed out of style. To be fair, I moved to Southeast Asia and then to the desert, where a super-dense sweater might not be the first thing to reach for. And I didn’t yet knit. Anyway, I’m so happy to have found it. I pulled it on this morning over whatever I was wearing as I worked, and I love it. I imagine this will be a go-to sweater for taking Boh out as the mornings get colder.

Time to unpack and then enjoy the leftovers I brought home with me!

thankful.

For so much, but these days, especially for this dog. This has been a weird semester for me: I’m not teaching, and I’ve been traveling a lot, which means I’ve spent a lot of time alone, working (or trying to work). Trying to both get my research done and make sure Boh is happy while I’m away has been a bit of a scheduling challenge, but I wouldn’t change my decision to add him to my family 4 and a half years ago for anything. His routine — and companionship — have been incredibly important for me, especially these past few months. And since this is probably the month of his birth, and he’s turning five this year, I’m taking a moment to be thankful for his wrinkly face and his place in my life.

There are so many people friendships moments words that I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving. I’m so lucky to have so many reminders in my life — of what’s good and true, of what’s worth fighting for. And in focusing on Boh in this post, I don’t mean to downplay those at all.

But this year, this fall in particular, I’m appreciative of what it means and how it feels to have the company of a sweet dog during a mostly solitary semester.

Boh and I are headed to my parents’ house tomorrow morning, and we’re taking along the hap blanket — so stay tuned for more actual knitting! (The wedding, by the way, was lovely. A chance to laugh and reconnect with dear friends, and even to get some quality hang-out time with the groom, who easily makes it onto my list of all-time favorite people.)

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you celebrating this week, and safe travels.

heels and a hap.

Crazy, right? I tend to always vote for sensible over sexy in the shoe department, but I’m attending wedding #4 (of 8 this year) next weekend, and I realized that I do not have non-summery shoes suitable for black-tie-optional affairs. (And, you know, teaching. I’m teaching a course I designed this spring, and I figure that being the “instructor of record” might warrant tall shoes. It could also be that I am missing M., a friend currently traveling the back roads of the deep South for research. She wears tall shoes.)

Anyway, I ordered two pairs, and decided to keep them both. Here’s the first pair. I actually wore these to the coffee shop earlier this week to “practice.” No wipe-outs. And I feel awesome in these shoes. (Years ago I would have shied away from shoes like this, both for practical — a broken toe from my rugby days — and political — as affirming certain cultural ideas about prettiness/beauty — reasons. The toe has healed, though, and while my politics are perhaps more radical and feminist than ever, they’re also more nuanced.)

So, I love them. And while they aren’t the most comfortable shoes I own (hello, flip-flops), they’re for me, and nobody else, and I think they’ll give me that extra boost of confidence I’m realizing I need to attend so many weddings this year by myself.

Speaking of which, also on the wedding to-do list was to decide on a gift. Ages ago I thought I’d knit a pinwheel blanket, which seems to be my go-to wedding gift knit, but when the time came to cast on (okay, really the time should have come a few weeks ago), I just wasn’t feeling inspired. I really like the idea of giving a lap blanket because it is cozy (perhaps cozy enough for two — and certainly cozy enough for two newlyweds) and not super gender-specific. This next wedding is the wedding of one of my best guy friends from college, so I want to knit something that feels like it is for him (though I also really like the woman he is marrying, and think they are a great fit).

After a lot of digging around ravelry, I settled on the Hap Blanket, by Ysolda Teague. I’m using two greens — a greyish green heather, and a deeper olive/army green for the contrast color, both in Cascade 220. I’m following some super thoughtful mods I located on a few projects: provisional cast-on, and revised numbers for worsted weight yarn. I don’t think I’ll have this done in time for the wedding, but I’ll bring it to knit on the plane, and then I can send it to the bride and groom shortly afterwards. (They’re getting married not where they live, so I feel like sending it to them at home is best.)

I love squishy garter stitch. So cozy and warm and home-y. Other things that fit this description?

Garlicky chard and toast. Also, this guy:

Yep. I love this dog. Boh and I are going to settle in for an evening of knitting on the couch. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

more booty.

Apologies for the blog silence — I headed home for that baby shower (taking an unfinished booty with me), and then took a brief trip to see my grandmother out of state, and then got back here on Tuesday morning to work on a grant application. Whew! Finished that yesterday, and blogging is at the top of today’s non-work to-do list.

Here’s an iPhone shot of the second booty, just before kitchenering, and then the pair, just before wrapping. My cousin seemed to really like them at the shower — let’s hope the baby does, too! I haven’t done any knitting since finishing these on Saturday morning, maybe because I don’t have any knitting that is both portable and free of charts or counting. I should probably fix that by casting on for something new for me, like socks, though I certainly have lots more baby and wedding gifts to knit over the next several months.

None of these are recent FOs, but here’s the pile of handknits I sent to Occupy Wall Street last week. The weather is getting cold, and these handknits can be more useful there than here in my basket o’ warm things. (Side note: I should really consider knitting myself another hat with a pompom.)

And here’s a shot of the lake. The fall color has been absolutely stunning this year, but even so, the transition to winter is sort of exciting because of the way my view is changing. Now that the leaves have mostly fallen, I can see the lake even from my perch on the couch in the family room.

On blog posts and traffic: I noticed that a lot of people (500+) visited my blog last week when I posted about the first booty. Perhaps they were expecting something else? I’ll let you know if the same thing happens today…

booty.

I’d prefer booties, but I only have one. See, I started (and finished!) this booty the same day I bound off the second unfancy sock in this gorgeous shibui sock yarn. And then I set it aside smugly, thinking that I had plenty of time remaining to finish the second booty in time for a baby shower that wasn’t until November. Except now it is November. And the shower is Saturday. Guess what I’m doing tonight and tomorrow morning, if necessary? (You guessed it.)

The front view is a little awkward, but I love the garter stripe. (In fact, that’s a big part of the name of this pattern: garter stripe baby socks.) I made a few modifications after looking at ravelry projects: basically, I eliminated the toe ridge and knit a regular toe, kitchenering when I had 12 st remaining (6 front, 6 back).

The good news? I think I managed to use my need to knit this booty to finish the revisions on my prospectus. It is sitting here, all pretty and printed out, waiting for me to read it one more time before sending it off to my chair. Sometimes I find it challenging to stop certain kinds of tasks from filling the time available (mostly my own writing, probably because it can always be better), and the deadlines I set for myself don’t always work. I may have met my (self-imposed) deadline for these revisions because of the firm deadline for the second booty. Maybe.

Anyway, enough rambling about that. Time to walk Boh and knit this (adorable) booty!