handspun! Also, a road trip and a favorite house guest.

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Finished two-ply handspun. I don’t remember what this is, but it is wonderfully squishy, and will make a lovely winter hat, or maybe a pair of mitts.

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The blob of this pinwheel continues to grow. I only have a few more rows until I’m at 450 stitches, but as you can imagine, these are LONG rows. Hoping to get this to the baby I began it for before said baby is a toddler…

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I pickled some radishes.

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And some beets.

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And then I drove to New Mexico to see dear friends and pick up a favorite houseguest to bring home with me.

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While in Albuquerque, we enjoyed tasty Mexican desserts.

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And beer.

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And I brought back a lot because Chefboyfriend couldn’t make the trip with me.

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Once home, I graded in a coffee shop.

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I drank beer that “tastes like wizards.”

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And captured this stunning sunset.

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Went for a hike. (That’s favorite houseguest on the left, and Chefboyfriend on the right.)

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Admired fall yellows.

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And appreciated the beauty of a bright, crisp, October afternoon.

april (almost there).

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Hi, friends. Boh had a rough week. Those of you who’ve been here awhile can probably tell that this face is not Boh’s regular sad face.

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He did not feel good on Wednesday, and was having trouble getting up onto the couch. He tried to jump up into the car and missed, which broke my heart. So we went to the vet.

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And after lots of bloodwork to rule out the scary stuff, the diagnosis was that he tweaked something in his back. Armed with pain meds and orders to not jump, play, or take walks for a week, we headed back home.

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And the weather turned into pretty good hunkering weather. The fog sat low over the lake, which made the yard look eerie.

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Eerie but lovely.

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And look! Spring might be here soon. The daffodils are trying, anyway.

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Somebody’s feeling a little better. Good enough to make that super quizzical face at the huge pile of paper on my lap. (That’s a draft of my DISSERTATION, you guys!)

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And here’s a roasted beet salad I made the other night. Farm beets, homemade dressing, and bread I picked up at opening day of our farmers’ market.

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Beer to help with the grading. (I’ll confess, I picked this half because I miss the West, and half because of the sheep. Beer for knitters?)

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Still sleepy, but he’s definitely feeling better. The sun is shining today, and I’m so ready for Boh to finish his meds so we can get back to all of our favorite spots. Happy spring, friends. (And maybe there will be some knitting soon? I’ve got a blanket to finish, and I did recently offer to make someone a hat…)

confession.

It has been weeks since I last did any blog-reading. So it isn’t just that I’m blogging irregularly. I’m also totally behind on everything happening in the knitting, spinning, and cooking blogosphere. I (partially) blame the death of Google Reader. I like routines and systems, and even though I’ve been using Feedly, I don’t like it anywhere near as much. And then, of course, the work is piling up: dissertation-writing, lots of conferences, fellowship applications and (eek!) even a job application or two.

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But this helps, right?

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And this?

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I snapped this picture of Boh hiding amongst the book piles earlier today.

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And here’s what I had for dinner: a farm veggie stirfry. It was just what I wanted to eat — comforting and autumnal, if that makes sense. I’ve spent today (and yesterday, too) getting resettled here after almost two weeks of research in DC. Want to see what that looked like?

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Chai and a cookie at my favorite spot to unwind after a day at the archives.

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Pickling all the things at Champ’s apartment.

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Mini-galettes filled with butternut squash, caramelized onions, fontina and sage.

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DC sunset from Champ’s balcony.

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Homemade rice cakes in both sweet and savory flavors.

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Oh!  And a self-portrait snapped in a well-lit restroom, which I’ll share so you can see my new bag in action.

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It is enormous and I love it. I had a great time in DC, but I am happy to be home. Happy almost October, blog-friends!

august?

Time for more apologizing. (And for getting used to a new version of WordPress. This is fancy!) I don’t know why I’m not knitting, and I don’t really know why I’m not blogging. But I’m not quite ready to give up on this space, and I hope you’re not ready to give up on me. I’m hoping to get back into a groove one of these days.

Until then, though, you get pictures of what we’ve been up to, both here at the lake house and further afield. Since I last blogged (in June?!), I’ve TAed an intensive 3-week summer course, joined my family for a week on the gulf coast of Florida, spent a weekend in the Catskills saying goodbye to a dear grad school friend who is moving/moving on to take a postdoc, given a paper at my first non-grad-student conference (yay!) and visited my younger brother in Colorado. (Whew!)

Want to see some of that? Here you go:

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During that three-week course, Boh spent a lot of time entertaining himself.

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And there were strawberries.

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Cuddling the papers to grade…

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Frolicking at a nearby park on our way to the farm.

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First farm tomato!

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Delicious.

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Writing.

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Bird-watching, coffee-drinking, breakfast-eating, all from the balcony of the condo my parents rented on the gulf coast of Florida.

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Seashells collected on morning walks with my mom.

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Beautiful beach.

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A snapping turtle greeting me (and Boh — see his nose in the lower left-hand corner?) in the Catskills!

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Catskills relaxation.

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And some more.

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Sam, my brother’s horse.

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Colorado National Monument.

And now — just today, actually — home again, this time for awhile. Time to settle back into lake house life, which I’m hoping will include lots of writing…

Thanks for reading, friends.

FO: peace fleece pinwheel.

A lot of Friday Night Lights went into the making of this Peace Fleece pinwheel blanket. I ran out of yarn with about half of one wedge to bind off, and managed to use some handspun in a similar color. I used up all of my remaining Peace Fleece in this colorway, and if I were to knit this again in the same yarn, I might consider going up a needle size, more for comfort while knitting than anything else. I’m really happy with the way this pattern looks in a tweedy/flecked woolly yarn. The weather is turning cold, and I’m excited to get this belated wedding gift in the mail!

Cool weather means it is time to break out the knitwear. I wore my whisper cardigan with jeans and a scarf for a lunch date with friends last week. I really like this sweater, and I’m thinking about knitting another in fingering weight yarn.

Aren’t the zinnias I picked at the farm last week lovely?

One more: Boh being silly under the porch table. I brought this weekend’s pile of grading out here this morning, and Boh insisted on keeping watch from this position while I worked. Happy weekend!

oh, hi!

See this? It’s my new bone. Amy ordered it for me to replace the one I’ve been slowly sharpening into a weapon. I think she thought it would be just like the old one, but oh boy oh boy, this one is about three times the size. She’s been busy this week.

The other day she made zucchini fritters with her farm veggies.

They looked (and smelled) delicious. And none of them fell apart. She thinks it is because she actually took the time to squeeze the excess moisture from the veggies before mixing them with the eggs and flour and spices.

She also pitched our tent in the front yard! I think this means we’re going on a trip. She even scrubbed the fly, laid it to dry in the sun, and then patched the hole that was forming on the side you can’t see in this picture. I think I’m going to get to sleep in this soon. (I like our tent.)

I haven’t seen her knitting this week, but I know she has plans to cast on another project for the road. (And I know she’d really love to finish that super cool beret she’s test knitting before we leave!)

Okay, time for a nap.

first tomato of the summer.

I broiled half of it on toast with cheese and basil, and I ate the other half with my hands. Hooray for the first tomato of summer!

Also, hooray for whisper! I’m starting to think I might need another. I absolutely love the neckline, and I’d love a longer version…

Here’s another knit in action: my very first wedding pinwheel blanket. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing this particular knit in all kinds of use — as a lap blanket, as a spot for a catnap, as a baby blanket, and last night, as a pillow for my favorite greyhound. The Cascade 220 I knit it out of seems to be holding up quite well, as I knit this during the summer of 2008.

Here’s another sleepy dog. I bet he wishes he had a pinwheel blanket for a pillow. Someday, Boh. Someday.

I’m gearing up for a research road trip, so yesterday I began the process of cleaning out my car. I don’t think I’ve ever actually emptied my car of cds. (I normally stick to clearing out the back, not all of the little compartments.) Anyway, it was fun to see just how many mixes I’ve received from friends since I bought my car six years ago. I spent some time trying out and then labeling all of the unmarked cds, ditching and re-burning the scratched ones, and putting them into books and cases. (I’m super glad that I import mixes I get in the mail to my computer before playing them over and over and over again. That way I don’t worry about breaking the cd!) That is the fun part of research road trip prep.

Lots more to do this week before I hit the road: finalize what I want to look at, confirm travel/housing plans, buy more dog food, pack…and grade the term papers from the summer course! Happy weekend to you!

cup(pow) of lilac wine?

Forgive me. I’m doing that thing where I try to link all the things I want to tell you about in a phrase. It’s okay if you want to roll your eyes. But when you’re done with that, look at this:

After I posted about recap mason jar lids for narrow mouth jars, blog friend dearmary offered to order me a cuppow coffee lid for wide mouth jars as part of an order she was planning. We met on Thursday, and talked for an hour. (And she not only brought me the cuppow; she also brought me a jar and a sweet, stripey handknit mason jar cozy!) All of this affirmed what I already knew to be true: blog friends are the best.  Also, the cuppow has my highest recommendation. I filled it with a latte right away, and when I was done, I flipped the lid inside out and put the regular mason jar lid disc over it, sealing in any remaining coffee drips and making it possible to toss the whole thing in my bag. I am going to use this ALL THE TIME.

I finished blocking my lilac wine cowl and snapped a few FO pictures.

I ended up using between 2/3 and 3/4 of my skein of Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 sock yarn. I could have kept going; I intended to, even, but I developed some sort of lilac wine fatigue last week and was ready to bind off.

I think I’ll get a lot of use out of this — in overly air-conditioned lecture halls and during in-between seasons, especially.

I took a few photos of the cemetery on my walk down the hill from campus. I’m captivated by the house-style mausoleums built into the hillside.

Can you tell we’re onto the random pictures from my iPhone segment of the blog? I’ve been eating strawberries twice a day this week. (I picked a gallon last week at the farm, and I’ve managed to eat them all. So good.)

More pesto, this time with garlic scapes and farm basil.

And then there’s Boh and his pile of paws. I’ll post photos of the weekend adventures that prompted such deep sleep soon.

wednesday, start to finish.

Yesterday morning, I swatched for Buttercup with my coffee. I bought the yarn for this three summers ago, when I was back in the southwest the summer after my first year of grad school. It’s Queensland Cotolino, and I’ve got 8 balls of it. 8 balls x 105 meters = roughly the amount required for the XS size. Good thing I’m not working on a Ph.D. in math…

So I swatched on 5s, and got gauge. But then I went down a needle size, because I know that this is going to grow when I block it. I like the drape with 4s, and it isn’t so tight that I will hate knitting it. Decision made. So I unraveled what I had, because I’m going to need every last inch of this stuff. Normally I swatch — for real — and wash and block the swatch to make sure I’m happy. This project officially goes in the “by-the-seat-of-my-pants pile.” I don’t think I’m going to go as A-line flowy as the pattern suggests, though I do want some of the increases. Also, everything I read on ravelry suggests that I should go down a size so that the neck isn’t too low and open. I’m knitting the small, and we’ll see what happens. Worst case? Someone I know will get an adorable summer sweater.

Then I had radish toast for lunch. (Radish toast, in this iteration, is toast, butter, arugula, radish slices, and salt and pepper. It is even more delicious than you think it is. Trust me.)

My progress right after lunch, strawberry smoothie in hand. (Note: I picked a gallon of strawberries at the farm on Tuesday, and I’ve already managed to eat 3 quarts. I’ll probably polish off the last one today.)

No, I do not normally stand like this. But these are the jeans I bought to replace the ones I ripped. And they are straight — or even tapered — at the leg. And that wasn’t clear in the pictures I snapped where I was standing not awkwardly. So here you go. I think I like them.

Boh and I took an afternoon walk with our friend J. and the dog she is taking care of this week. It was lovely.

More buttercup. I’m really enjoying the feel of this yarn, at least right now. And the stitch definition makes me swoon!

So does this sunset — truly the golden hour.

peonies to pinwheels.

I picked this peony at the farm last week when I went to pick up my first summer share. It is almost ready to bloom. (And I appreciate that it is taking its time. It’s the perfect company for me as I wrestle with writing a conference panel proposal this week.)

Sweet, sleepy Boh.

New dress and scarf! I wore these to campus on Friday. So comfortable and easy. (And all because I dragged myself to the Gap to replace the jeans I ripped a few weeks ago.)

I had Tango again this weekend. The dogs played so hard that they were happy to hang out with me as I worked on the couch.

And then yesterday we had a last-minute visit from my brother — and his sweet dog, Dexter! We went to the farmers’ market, ate strawberries, olive bread, and french radishes on the porch, and took a nice long walk.

And then I finally transferred my pinwheel blanket in progress to an appropriately sized needle. I’m almost through the first skein of Cascade 220. (And I’m planning to knit it to a 3-skein size.) So far so good! Now, back to Monday!