thirty.

My parents sent flowers, which was super nice. Boh was intrigued.

And silly.

And here’s some knitting — another striped, sweet baby hat. It’s been a crazy week — and it isn’t over yet. I’m hoping for some serious knitting time this weekend — stay tuned!

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overwhelmed.

I’ve certainly been feeling the less-than-awesome kind of overwhelmed this week. Which is why I’m pretty psyched to get to share (another) example of the good kind of overwhelmed.

This delicious Fine and Raw almond chunky chocolate bar arrived in a box of fibery treats from dear knithound. I sat down at the kitchen table and savored it. (And then thought you might to at least see the wrapper. This stuff is incredible!)

Along with that chocolate (which I’m not sure if I should describe as heavenly or sinful), knithound sent me three special bundles of undyed luxury fiber: an ounce of merino/cashmere, an ounce of oatmeal cashmere, and an ounce of a yak/tussah silk blend, all from The Yarn Tree. I keep opening the bags to pet them.

You may have noticed that I haven’t really been spending much time at the wheel lately — there’s just so much to do. But these — these might be just the right amount for a small break, time to decompress, or work through an idea. I might even dig out a drop spindle for one of these fiber bumps.

Thank you, knithound, for this overwhelming (in the good way) box of luxury. And thanks to all of blogland for your kindness and comments on what it means to grow older and to reflect on experiences and expectations these last few weeks.

treats.

Homemade strawberry-balsamic syrup on top of my morning granola. (I might have done this every day this week.)

A different kind of treat arrived in the mail this week: mitten cuffs from brokeknits, thoughtfully knit over 29 st to mark my 29th birthday. So sweet, and one of the best ways I can think of to make reading and writing a bit cozier.

I wore them all day today, and stayed warm as the wind howled.

twenty-nine.

Yesterday I turned twenty-nine. I’ve been thinking about this birthday a lot, and trying to come to terms with where I am in my life right now, versus where I might have loosely imagined I’d be when I turned twenty. I remember feeling anxious about twenty. I had just decided not to become a doctor, and so many things were unknown. It was exciting, but scary, too. And twenty, well, twenty marked the beginning of what then seemed like the decade that would determine so much of what my life would be: graduation, the start of a career, a family? The idea that this would be the decade for all of those things weighed heavily on me.

And now? Well, I have to admit, I thought I was beyond thinking about these kinds of expectations for myself, but this birthday has brought a lot of those thoughts back. Intellectually, I am quite comfortable saying out loud that I am happy with the decisions I’ve made, and the unexpected places they’ve taken me. Emotionally, though, I think it is okay to acknowledge that maybe I’m not where I thought I’d be at twenty-nine, at least in the non-academic parts of my life, and that I’m a little bit sad about that. And that’s okay. I no longer feel like my twenties will determine my future, and I have a much stronger sense of myself than I did at twenty.

So Boh and I celebrated quietly yesterday, with an extra-long frolic in the snow, and dumplings. This is the kind of meal I rarely prepare for myself — it is a lot of work for just me. But yesterday, I decided that I would give myself extra time in the kitchen, instead of putting something to simmer on the stove so that I could continue to read. (And I’ve got leftovers for tonight.) I’m sure I’ll do some celebrating with friends this weekend, but yesterday was what I needed. I crossed some things off of my to-do list, indulged a bit in the kitchen and outside, and knit a few more rows on my terra shawl.

Here’s to twenty-nine.

cake for breakfast.

Nope, not birthday cake. Just cake leftover from saturday night.

We watched a movie last night, which means I got some dedicated knitting time. My windschief hat is flying, and I am absolutely in love with the way this yarn is knitting up. The depth of color! The stitch definition! Discuss.

And here’s one more shot of Boh and the birthday boy, because today is the day. Aren’t they sweet?

sundays are for birthday brunches.

The boy is celebrating a birthday this week, so yesterday we headed west, one lake over, for a special birthday brunch. On my plate: poached eggs on top of sausage smoked in house and grilled focaccia bread, with incredible rosemary roasted potatoes. And a glass of organic local grape juice. On B’s plate: focaccia french toast with raspberry puree, rosemary roasted potatoes, and a link of a different homemade, in-house smoked sausage. And a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice. And coffee.

B, looking serious. Also, a jazz band! They did a blues-y cover of Springsteen’s Hungry Heart. Swoon.

The view from the porch of the cafe — looking out towards the lake.

And here we are. (I share these here even though clearly I have much to learn in the taking-attractive-photos-of-yourself-with-your-arm-outstretched department. I also have a perpetual problem with closing my eyes during photos.)

And here’s the beginning of my windschief hat. I am very excited about this. Time to start thinking about making dinner after a very long Monday on campus.

knits/no knitting.

I haven’t picked up my needles this week, which makes me sad. I’ve been wanting to blog, but I couldn’t come up with anything to show you!

So yesterday I decided that even if I didn’t have any knitting, I could at least post a few pictures of knits, to continue with my occasional posts that feature knits-in-action.

Mara-in-action. Whenever I wear this, I am happy. The cheeriness of the pink, the squish of the beaverslide — this shawl generates happiness.

And now, a confession. I haven’t yet worn my garter yoke cardigan out of the house. I’ve worn it several times, but only when I am home. I love the squish, I’m thrilled with the handspun yoke, but the fit just isn’t quite right on me. Something about it being too big to be a fitted cardigan, and too small to be a slouchy cardigan. See?

I haven’t blocked this yet, in part because I can’t decide how to make it fit better. I’m thinking about aggressively blocking it to make it longer and narrower — sleeves too. What do you think? (I took this picture half an hour ago, but I am already wearing a different cardigan. Boo.)

Now, insert an appropriate transition here, because I don’t have one.

For my birthday, my friend K. baked me the most delicious cinnamon raisin swirl bread ever. I have been eating it for breakfast, snack, and dessert. (Well, and I might have eaten some of it as part of a breakfast-like dinner on Tuesday. But don’t tell anyone.) In fact, I intend to eat the last two slices for breakfast in a moment.

More knitting soon, I hope.