five (oops).

My fifth blogiversary was a couple of weeks ago, and I was out of town and totally forgot to post. This space continues to mean so much to me — it is a place to document my world and connect with folks who care about similar things (knitting, spinning, cooking, outdoor frolicking, sweet and wrinkly dogs…) as well as an opportunity to write something, and often to get unstuck (in lots of ways). I like having this record of sorts. I’m a historian, so I guess that shouldn’t be surprising, but perhaps because my academic life, though punctuated with deadlines, has reached the stage where I’m working on a Really Big Project, I particularly value this alternate way of documenting some of the other pieces of my life here in the blogosphere. Thanks for being here — for reading, for commenting, and for blogging! Now, about those socks.

Yesterday marked the ceremonial(?) putting on of the handknit socks — the first time this fall! (These happen to be handspun as well.) We’re expecting a solid seven days of rain from the storms converging on the East Coast this week, and last night, as I was leaving the house, it was just beginning to drizzle. These kept me cozy all evening. Are you wondering what’s under that foil?

Deb’s Apple Mosaic Tart with Salted Caramel. You should add puff pastry to your grocery list. Seriously. This tart was so easy that I felt guilty bringing it over to the home of D and T, even though T had seen it on Deb’s blog and requested it. (It felt sort of like microwaving my dinner might feel. You know, if I had a microwave.) These are the basic steps: put puff pastry in pan, add apples, top with sugar and butter, bake. While baking, melt sugar, add a few things, and brush the caramel over the top of the tart. And it is SO GOOD. And pretty. And because my apples were huge and a little soft, I didn’t make the spiral that Deb made. Still tasty, still pretty.

Here’s a snapshot from Friday’s Yoda Thorpe fitting. M brought over some gardening wire for the ears, and we added the appropriate level of wrinkling. I’m hoping to get a picture of M’s Sexy Yoda costume to share with you!

I’ll wrap up today with some sweetness. Boh has conjunctivitis, so he’s been extra cuddly. (Except when I put his eye drops in three times a day. Poor dog.) Yesterday he napped while I graded.

Good thing I’m right-handed! We have a few more papers to work on together today.

These are my favorite trees on campus. There’s something about the golden shade of fall leaves that looks extra brilliant on dreary days. At least I have these trees to look forward during this week of rain ahead. I hope everyone in the path of the Frankenstorm stays safe, warm, and dry.

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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.

three.

Hard to believe it has been three years since I jumped (fell?) into blogland, and without getting too mushy on y’all, allow me to just say that doing this, here, with you, has been more rewarding than I was even capable of imagining three Octobers ago.

One of the things I talked about in that very first post was how much I had learned from the online knitting community, and so it seems only fitting that as I celebrate my blogiversary, I am working on a testknit for someone whose blog was part of inspiring me to start blogging. (And she’s still teaching me new things!)

Here’s what I’ve got so far on my ripe bananas lap blanket testknit for Cosy. I was struggling with getting the lace to line up, and she helped me to see that I was knitting right, but reading wrong. (I was reading the chart as if it covered all the stitches, rather than exactly the number of stitches in each quadrant, despite all sorts of evidence on said chart suggesting how to understand it properly.)

Anyway, this morning I put the reading aside, and powered through a full lace repeat, happy to be “getting it” after lots of puzzling, unknitting, and re-knitting.

Thank you all for reading the blog, sharing your thoughts, and teaching me in so many ways. Here’s to another year!

hooray!

First of all, yesterday started as a good day: the first day of my winter break. I spent all morning doing laundry, vacuuming, washing the pile of dishes that had accumulated in the sink, cleaning the countertops, relocating library books to somewhere that is NOT the kitchen table…all incredibly satisfying tasks when you’ve been unable to tackle them due to that whole limit on the number of hours in a day.

Anyway, I went to get the mail, and found an incredibly festive package waiting for me: part 2 of the blogiversary prize I won from Jodi over at A Caffeinated Yarn.

Jodi knit me this absolutely gorgeous (and oh so soft) Thermis — a pattern I have been admiring and intending to knit for months. I wore this all day yesterday. In fact, I decided that I absolutely could not remove it without deeply upsetting my neck and chin (both areas that would, of course, be nowhere near as cozy and warm in the absence of this handknit), so I attempted to photograph the rest of the goodies in the package in the mirror. Here’s my best attempt:

A mix cd (which I listened to several times yesterday), a knit counter, a box of holiday tea (which is quite tasty, by the way), a gorgeous skein of Mama Llama DK sock yarn in the Earth colorway, and a needle size/gauge ruler that is absolutely adorable. I feel like Christmas came early. Thank you, Jodi!

Yesterday included even more to celebrate! My dearest friends from my old home greeted their first child yesterday: a boy! His mom is the first person I taught to knit. I decided that I wanted to spin for this baby, and I told her that I was waiting to cast on to find out if the newest member of the family was a boy or a girl. She texted a few hours after the birth (mighty impressive!) to tell me I could start knitting! And knit I did. I am so pleased with what I made yesterday (the first of many gifts for Chunk), but I don’t want to ruin the surprise. Here’s a close up of the knit fabric.

After seeing some fantastic photos of Chunk’s nursery (which, ahem, used to be my room!) I decided that the skein of FLUFF sw merino in Beach Day was, in fact, perfect.

Yesterday also involved a knitting date with friend K, and a carrot souffle!

Today: more holiday knitting, yoga, and a nice walk with Boh. Happy weekend, folks!

two.

friends1

Today is my second blogiversary. I’ve been here, in this place on the interwebs, for two years. It has become an incredible important part of my daily routine, my knitterly education, and my community. It seems fitting to me to share a few pictures that seem to evoke comfort, relaxation, and most of all, friendship. Boh has bonded with our guest this week, and he will be sad to see him go.

friends2

Thank you for reading and commenting here, and for sharing, encouraging, supporting, and laughing with me. Boh and I feel pretty lucky, and we’re looking forward to whatever year three may bring.

score.

win

Boh and I returned from my parents’ house to find a package of treats waiting for us: two books from Jodi over at A Caffeinated Yarn, in celebration of her blogiversary. I spent about an hour flipping through them last night (ignoring all the little things I should have been doing), and I can’t wait to spend more time with them. The Gentle Art of Domesticity is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It strikes me as a thoughtful and very personal set of intelligent insights on crafting, filled with inspiration ranging from the colors of hard candy to more obscure examples of European painting depicting the domestic arts. Mocha is filled with instructions for drinks, breakfast treats, and desserts, and I can’t wait to try out these recipes. (My friend K. has a milk frother/steamer, so we may have to try these at her house.)

Thanks, Jodi!