anybody out there?

Hello, friends. It has sure been awhile. (So long, in fact, that the jeans that were new in the last post ripped a few weeks ago and I went on an emergency jean-buying spree.) When I last wrote to you, Boh and I lived in the South, but we were getting ready to head West for a new job, maybe even THE job. (This one’s tenure-track, and partway through year two, I’m really happy here.)

Not long after we moved, I met a dude — from here, but newly returned. We figured out that we drove across the country the same week. Let’s call him Chefboyfriend — because yep, that’s what he does. We’re going on 16 months together, and all three of us (me, Boh, Chefboyfriend) are happy.

I’m not knitting a lot, but there are some long term WIPs on the needles. And also a book in the works. And I’m wondering to myself if restarting the blog might be a good way to work on my writing practice as I begin working to find regular time for my research again alongside my pretty intensive teaching schedule. So, no promises — we’ve seen how that goes — but I have missed this space. And all of you.

Would you like to see some pictures of my life since March 2016? Here’s a handful (or seven):

catchup - 47
New apartment.

catchup - 28
Not long after I moved out here, I went to a dear friend’s wedding in Portland. And wore pink!

catchup - 6
And I cast on a baby hat.

catchup - 44
I continued working on a long overdue wedding blanket…

catchup - 35
Boh and I explored our new home.

catchup - 27
More of that wedding blanket. (Yes, this picture is from more than a year ago, and no, it isn’t done yet…)

catchup - 18
I prepped for class on my patio and looked at the mountains.

catchup - 8
Chefboyfriend took me on lots of hikes and drives. This one, to see the aspens last fall, was pretty great.

catchup - 39
I set up (and sat down at) my wheel.

catchup - 2
And even spun some squishy two-ply yarn.

catchup - 51
More adventuring with Chefboyfriend.

catchup - 48
We drove out to see my little brother and meet the animals on his farm.

catchup - 21
We took our bikes to Canyonlands for spring break.

catchup - 12
And there’s been lots of chef-cooked food. Cornish game hens and asparagus here, I think.

catchup - 16
Buffalo chicken sandwiches with Anchor Bar wing sauce my parents sent us.

catchup - 10
Grilled butternut squash and pork loin.

catchup - 25
Scallops, enjoyed on the patio near the end of summer.

catchup - 3
More spinning.

catchup - 1
We bought a dresser and celebrated our adulting skills.

catchup - 24
Boh experienced Great Sand Dune National Monument.

catchup - 15
I baked several of these variations on the Smitten Kitchen raspberry buttermilk cake.

catchup - 30
A colleague invited me to guest lecture at Tulane, so we went to New Orleans and ate all of the tasty things.

catchup - 31
I got out the tent.

catchup - 20
And we camped in Yellowstone.

catchup - 40
And drove through the Tetons.

catchup - 38
I baked zucchini bread and muffins — and barely put a dent in the zucchini we’ve been getting in our farm share.

catchup - 34
Saw my first show at Red Rocks — The Avett Brothers with Shovels & Rope.

catchup - 49
We have a new bakery in town, and it turns out the baker moved from where I went to grad school! He used to bake the bread in my bread share and work at the awesome farm I belonged to there. These galettes are happy-making. And the bakery is an easy bike ride from the apartment.

catchup - 7
Boh remains sweet and silly.

catchup - 19
A pinwheel blanket I cast on before our summer road trip.

catchup - 32
A professor costume.

catchup - 9
Sour beers in bright colors.

catchup - 42
My office door.

catchup - 37
Boh, with an ultrasound haircut. We had a big health scare with Boh this fall. He’s certainly getting older, but for now, he’s doing pretty well — and running along our favorite path with me again. And frolicking. Here’s one last picture from our first hike after all the scary medical stuff:

catchup - 26
Hope you’re well, friends. And happy knitting!

Advertisements

dr. rooster

defense1

I’ve spent the week reading my dissertation.

defense2

And today, I put on one version of my professor costume (I will never not call it that, K.), and headed to campus for my dissertation defense. And after a lovely, productive conversation about my work, and congratulations from my committee, I came home and crossed the defense off my list for good.

defense3

And then a dear friend brought over beautiful flowers.

defense4

Aren’t they lovely? They’re my first fresh flowers of spring. What a perfect day for them. I think it will take awhile for today’s milestone to really sink in, but hooray!

Signed,

Dr. Rooster

FO: kerrera. (also, fall break.)

Actually, how about Fall Break first? I stopped to snap this picture on my walk to the coffee shop Friday morning. The leaves and the light are so lovely right now.

A lovely latte at one of my favorite places to work. I’m almost happy with my fellowship application, after lots of struggling and a two-week time-out.

Can you see that snake in the grass? Boh totally didn’t see it. (It was right in front of us on the paved path we walked on Friday, and then it slithered off to the side.)

Bright red leaves from my yard. Hello, fall.

Fall is for vests. Especially vests like this one, snagged from my mom, who wore it so well in the late 70s.

And here’s my Kerrera! I’m calling it done, even though the collar could use more of a blocking than the rest of it received this morning. (I put it in the bathroom while I took a hot shower and left the fan off.) The left arm is a little looser than the right between the wrist and the elbow, but I think I can live with that!

I absolutely love the length, and the way the double garter stitch edging hangs, especially in the back.

And of course, I love the patch pockets. I think this is going to get lots of use this fall as a cozy layer for working at home and as the perfect thing to throw on as a light jacket for walking Boh or sitting on the dock with a cup of tea! I think this is the most complicated knit I’ve attempted, and I’m really happy with what I’ve learned. This was the first time I knit anything with short row sleeve caps or patch pockets, and I think both turned out pretty well. (I also learned that I should take better notes — I clearly modified the decreases on one of the arms and did not write that down.) I used not more than 5 and a half skeins of Berroco Ultra Alpaca, which means I’ve got almost half a bag left — enough for another sweater!

Okay, back to commenting on papers. Happy Monday!

four.

Today is my blogiversary. Has it really been four years? To celebrate, I got my blog a present: its very own domain. You can now find us at barefootroosterDOTcom, though the wordpress home will automatically point you to the new domain. (Everything else is staying the same — still hosted at and by wordpress. I’m not that technologically fancy!) RSS feeds should still work, but if they don’t let me know.

Also, thanks for being here, for reading, for commenting, and for knitting, spinning, and cooking with me. I say this every year, and I’ll keep saying it because it is true: I’ve found more community on the internets than I ever thought possible. Thanks for being part of it.

pearl and the beard (and a giveaway!).

Yep, that’s a three-person sweater. And here it is on three people:

Amazing, right?

Yesterday I got an email asking if I’d be interested in sharing a bit about Pearl and the Beard on my blog. I get emails asking me to do this from time to time, and I usually ignore them. But I just had to learn more about this sweater, and I’m so glad I took the time to check out their music! It turns out that this band has exactly the kind of sound that is perfect for a summer Friday — I could describe them (and if I did, I’d say something like americana meets indie rock, or bowerbirds meets The Head and the Heart), but really, you should just give them a listen:

Here’s a link to a track from their new album:

And here’s a YouTube video that gives you a sense for how the cello, guitar, and percussion interact with three absolutely lovely voices:
More perusing of the band’s site revealed that not only do I like their sound; I like their politics. If you want to hear more, guess what! I’ve got a copy of Killing the Darlings, their latest album, to giveaway here!
Just leave a comment on this post — tell me what you’re listening to, what you’re up to this weekend, or what you think of this incredible sweater — for a chance to win! I’ll use one of those random number generators to pick a winner next week, so comment by…Wednesday? Yes, Wednesday, June 22.
And if you’re still thinking about the awesomeness of a three-person sweater, here’s one more video, featuring Jocelyn of Pearl and the Beard:
Happy weekend!

cauldrons and cosmos.

Or, more spinning.

This is the second skein of cauldron/Rhinebeck, pre-soak.


And here it is, hanging to dry. (This strikes me as a temporary fix, as it probably isn’t a good idea to hang things on heating pipes when the heat is actually on…)

Boh and I spent more time on the porch yesterday: he surveyed the scene, ears twitching at every squirrel and chipmunk he spotted, while I picked out more fiber to spin. I managed to spin up both bobbins of Cosmopolitan, a Southern Cross Fibre Club organic merino.

Here’s the first bobbin. I’m aiming for a light dk-ish 2-ply that preserves the color progression. I split the fiber lengthwise, and weighed the two parts to make sure I was in the range of equal bobbins. The test will be whether my spinning is consistent enough. This felt really good in my fingers, but I am noticing that there is a bit of all those “getting back on the bike/horse/whatever” feelings, since it has been several months since I spent any serious time at my wheel. This morning my right thumb is a little sore from gripping the fiber too tightly. Part of my summer routine will be to get back into a comfortable rhythm with my spinning. And pretty soon I’m going to have to find that rhythm with my academic work, too. (I’m guessing I won’t have to readjust to avoid a death grip on the books I’m reading…)

I’ll probably post a whole cluster of photos once I feel like I’m mostly settled here, but today I’ll share this shot of the guest room. My mom is bringing me her old sewing machine, and I’m planning to put that in the corner underneath the windows. I like the idea of finding ways to use this room and enjoy it, even when I don’t have guests!

I snapped this picture of Boh right after I got out of bed — much later than usual — this morning. I’m still feeling a bit under the weather, and I’m hoping another day of porch spinning and lazing about the house will help me to shake this combination of head cold/seasonal allergies that’s had me feeling less than 100% this week. Sweet, sweet dog. Somebody has earned a stroll in the woods behind our house today.