graduation weekend, part 1.

So, it’s as official as it can be. Thought you might to see how we celebrated. Part 1 was quiet; instead of going to the big institutional stuff, Boh and I celebrated with good walks, knitting, and playing in the kitchen. (Part 2, which I’ll share once my dad sends me some pictures of me in my regalia, as requested, involved fancy robes, a poofy hat, and plenty of pomp and circumstance.) But first, Part 1:

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Couch lounging with this guy.

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And some working. This dog always lets me tuck my toes underneath him. I love that.

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He also sneaks over to the side of the couch he isn’t supposed to be on. (His blanket is on the right. He knows the rules, but still breaks them. Sometimes.)

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A little bit of knitting! Remember this? It’s Avery, a squishy, textured cowl. I’m knitting it in Malabrigo, and I hope it gets cold enough in my next home for me to wear it…

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Awkward before-the-gym picture — my bird tattoo is healing nicely. It’s been a month, and I’m finally getting used to it being there. (And I love it.)

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After a good run, and instead of attending convocation and the PhD hooding ceremony, I took Boh to a favorite spot of ours.

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I always admire this tree.

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We took the path down to the edge of the lake, and I think we both enjoyed the view.

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Boh wanted to play with this snail.

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This looks like a pretty good aisle for a graduation procession, doesn’t it?

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First basil harvest from the potted herbs I planted earlier this spring.

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I made a big batch of pesto, and also some pesto pasta salad. Leftovers are on today’s menu…

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early morning fog.

I don’t remember which morning I took these pictures — early last week, I think. I remember taking Boh out first thing in the morning, and going back for my camera. I love it when the fog rolls off the lake and hangs low.

Also last week: a claw! On a train! I was stopped for construction when I noticed that there is work happening on the train tracks. The claw was picking up new railroad ties from inside the car it was mounted on and slowly placing them along the tracks as the train chugged along very slowly. So cool.

Also cool? Prescription sunglasses! I cannot tell you how excited I am about these. Last week I went running without my contacts! I took long walks with Boh and didn’t squint! I even indulged in a bit of people-watching from behind my new shades. These are going to make it so much easier for me to work outside — at coffee shops and on the dock. Hooray!

And this? This is the cowl that will not end. (Also, the sweetest dog.) I really want to knit until I run out of yarn, but I am also ready to be done with this project. I’ll probably split the difference and spend a few more evenings on it and then just bind off.

Boh says hi. And that he loves belly rubs.

I love this mug. It’s filled with honey and a splash of apple cider vinegar dissolved in hot water — a remedy for a super sore throat, which is what I was dealing with on Friday. I thought I was massively allergic to something that just came into bloom, but I actually think I came down with an end-of-the-semester malady. It morphed into a full-on head cold yesterday, and I think I’m past the worst of it now. The good news? My grades are done, and I’m planning to drop them off on campus first thing this morning! (Which means that my summer starts today! Not vacation, exactly, but I’ve got a month before my summer TAing gig starts, and I’m looking forward to settling into a sustainable rhythm with my dissertation research and writing. More on that soon, I’m sure.)

Happy Monday!

spring blooms.

I snapped these photos with my phone on my walk from the coffee shop to my car last week — before the snow, sleet, and coldness that blew through here over the weekend. I do love spring. (Also, I love that purple paint job in the first picture!)

And here’s my sweet dog, keeping me company as I knit around and around on my lilac wine cowl. I could probably bind off anytime, but I sort of want to use up all the yarn. We’ll see…

round and round.

Apologies for the radio silence over here, folks. It’s been a crazy week or so — getting that draft of a chunk of the first chapter of my dissertation “ready” for a departmental colloquium happening later this week, teaching, and even a research trip (which, happily, meant not just super busy days at the archive, but also time spent hanging out with Mick of Much-Adored).

The only pictures I’ve been taking lately have been of documents, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been knitting — and I’ve got significant progress on my Lilac Wine cowl to prove it. I thought the 1×1 rib of this pattern would be annoying to knit, but instead I’m finding it incredibly soothing. It goes slower than stockinette, of course, but I don’t think I mind!

Here it is on a pile of books I should read. (For scale.) I can’t believe it is already almost mid-April. More soon!

daffodils, more dumplings, dessert…

And some other things that don’t begin with D.

Daffodils coming up near my front steps.

More dumplings.

These delicious Brown Butter Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies¬†from Joy the Baker.¬†(Public service announcement: browning butter can be dangerous. Or at least mine was — my butter did a fair bit of sputtering and spitting as the water evaporated. It was worth it, though.)

Lovely sunset.

Sweet dog.

Cowl knitting and spinach.

And some spinning! This is BFL from the Hello Yarn Fiber Club in “Scorch.” I spun it as a 3-ply, and while I think I began this (long ago) with socks in mind, I’m not sure there’s quite enough yardage. That’s okay, though. I still love it. There were 183 yards, pre-bath. More photos after I’ve set the twist.

And then I just wanted to keep going. This is “Floating Down” from the Hello Yarn Fiber Club, and I’m spinning this luscious BFL/Tussah Silk blend as singles. So, so pretty.

Okay, back to work. On today’s list? Commenting on papers, finishing a conference paper, and writing another page or two of this diss-chapter-chunk. (Later, I plan to reward myself with a movie and a margarita.)

saturday.

I took yesterday off. Like, completely off. And I’m pretty sure it was the first day in a REALLY long time that I did that. (I’m pretty sure I even did a little bit of work every day that I was out of town for my best friend’s wedding.) Back to yesterday. What did I do?

Well, I was lazy. And so was Boh. All morning. And then I went to pick spinach at my summer/winter farm’s open house. And on the way home, Boh and I spontaneously stopped for a quick walk along the rim of a nearby gorge.

So beautiful. And Boh was so excited. Then, I cast on a new knitting project with yarn recently released from a WIP, and learned a new-to-me cast on — the tubular cast on. By the time I cast on all 180 stitches of Lilac Wine, a simple cowl in 1×1 rib, I had gotten the hang of it. And then I made a quart of cold-brew tea and took the tea and my knitting out to the porch.

Except you can’t see any knitting in that picture, so here’s a shot from this morning of my progress so far:

The yarn is Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 in Nova Scotia (I think…that’s how long it has been since I first wound up this yarn and cast on a Milkweed shawl). I’m knitting it on 7s, and the ribbing was almost too loose at first, but now that I’m a couple inches in, I think I really like the drape I’m getting at this gauge. (I’m also expecting it to bloom a little bit when I block it.) This pattern seems like a really nice way to enjoy variegated yarn. Also, a great way to always have some easy knitting handy, which is part of why I cast on. My dear friends D and T (the folks with Coltrane, my favorite greyhound) invited me over for dessert, port, bourbon, and a movie last night — which meant that I needed movie knitting. All of my projects seemed be at spots requiring my full attention — or at least more than movie-watching attention — so I needed dto start something new. When I got to their house, this happened:

In fact, the second I turned off the car, this cat was on the hood, and it was a bit of a challenge to get myself out of the car without the cat coming in. (This cat belongs to a neighbor.) It then proceeded to settle itself right on top of the sunroof, so I snapped this picture.

Boh and I hope you’re having a great weekend. We have plans for a sunset walk and a drink on the dock with a friend. I’m doing some work today, but aiming for the kind of balance that actually makes it feel like the first weekend of spring break.

cowl time.

Like Hammer time, but not.

It’s official, folks. For the last several weeks, the weather has mostly been the kind of weather where you CAN wear a cowl, and you won’t be too warm. Today, though, is the first day where I feel like I NEED to wear a cowl or some other form of hand-knit goodness around my neck. I’m declaring it officially cowl time. Please adjust your behavior accordingly. (Boh will wait.)

Or maybe he’ll just continue to supervise the edging on my hap blanket.

I’m about seven rows in — so far so good. Happy Friday!