nothing to see here, folks.

That’s right. No knitting. I did pull on a handknit, handspun hat the other night, though, walking home from an incredible Neko Case concert. (Go see her on this tour. Amazing.) The hat was cozy and comforting. Maybe with the weather turning, I’ll find my way back. Things these days are full out: dissertation writing, course prep, job and fellowship applications, side projects. I seem to still be trying to be on top of my to-do lists for fall — how is tomorrow November?

The good news is that there’s plenty of sweetness ’round these parts. See?

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Pie, the product of a request for a crust lesson. (We had a fantastic houseguest earlier this month.)

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And then there’s this kind of sweetness.

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And this. Love this dog.

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Oh, and I guess I should show you this — closest thing I’ve got to knitting is knits in action. Grabbed my Kerrera sweater from the bin a few mornings ago when the temps dropped down into the 30s. (Forgive my filthy mirror.) I’m not quite ready for it to be this cold, but I imagine this will be in heavy rotation on cold mornings. Which knits do you wear when it starts to turn cold?

golden weekend.

In surgeon-speak, a “golden weekend” is a weekend you’re not working or on call. For my dear friends in St. Louis, these back-to-back days of family time are precious — and noted as such on the calendar that hangs in the kitchen. I had a golden weekend of sorts. I managed a kind of balance between writing the dissertation, playing in the kitchen, prepping class, and walking with Boh amidst golden light and fall leaves.

Oh how I love fall.

Fennel slaw fromĀ The Sprouted Kitchen: A Tastier Take on Whole Foods. Do you read their blog? You should. And you should totally consider purchasing their gorgeous cookbook. This fennel slaw was simple and unexpectedly delicious. And after spending a couple of evenings flipping through the cookbook, I was inspired to make this pot of white beans:

Even though I didn’t have all of the ingredients called for, these beans and leeks are amazing. (And I say “are” because I’ve eaten them for two meals, and I’m psyched to have them again for lunch today, maybe this time on toast.)

I dug out my Agnes to wear while I worked on Sunday morning before the sun warmed the house up. I tug at it a little bit — it is slightly short, and the neck is a bit snug. I don’t think I ever blocked this, so once my dining room table is free (I’m slowly moving everything back into the kitchen), I think I’ll give it a good soak and pin it out to dry!

I almost wore my Kerrera on the walk I took with Boh, but I decided I’d be too warm. (That turned out to be a good choice. Soon…) It also needs blocking, or at least the collar does.

And in the knitting department, I present to you Yoda Thorpe! Since snapping this photo, I’ve used the sides of a coated green hanger to thread through the ears, and now it needs some more seaming to support the additional weight. I think M. is going to be a fabulous Sexy Yoda for Halloween.

There’s a pile of grading waiting for me today, which means that instead I’m making granola, doing laundry, and generally catching up on life this morning. Pretty soon I’ll have no choice but to sit down to comment on papers…

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!

one side seamed.

Apologies for the weird lighting. I’m just so excited about how the left pocket looks that I can’t wait for a sunny day to show it to you. Up close, my seaming isn’t perfect, but this looks much better than I anticipated it might.(I’m not super confident about my seaming skills.)

It took all of last night’s presidential debate (and two glasses of wine) to weave in all of the ends and seam one of the pockets. I decided not to push my luck by attempting the second so late in the evening. Seaming one pocket really helps me to see how much I like this sweater! If I can make enough progress on a fellowship application today, maybe I’ll let myself seam the second pocket.

And here’s a shot of my family room, ready for Tuesday night’s reading group. We had a great turnout, and I ended up needing to grab a few more chairs from the dining room. I love that I have enough space to take a turn at hosting. Most of the time it’s just me and Boh here, and it is always nice to fill this room with friends.

Stay tuned for finished Kerrera pictures soon!

victory over double garter stitch.

First of all, this is how I felt yesterday. The head cold symptoms disappeared, but were replaced by a low grade fever and general aches, pains, and tiredness. So I focused on manageable tasks, and finished enough that I could justify curling up on the couch next to this dog.

And then I finished the double garter stitch edging on the other side. This edging really helps to add a bit of structure to the shape, and I’m feeling pretty good about the fit now that I’m this far along.

I think my Kerrera is going to be exactly the right length. (In this shot, I’m holding up one of the pockets so you can see what it looks like without the drooping that the seaming should fix.) I’m feeling much better today: still a bit tired, but I’ve got a lot more energy right now than I did last night at almost eight o’clock. This is a very good thing, because I’m hosting my reading group tonight. They’ll be here in fifteen minutes!

double garter stitch and grading.

And new glasses! These are also from Warby Parker. A few weeks ago, in the middle of lots of stuff that was making me cranky and stressed out, I ordered some frames to try on at home. I totally fell in love with these red ones — Marshall, in Rum Cherry — and decided that a new pair of glasses might make everything a little better. And they did.

This is the outfit I put on to wear my new glasses to an event on campus. My dear friend Eileen, who stayed with me while in town for a conference this weekend, even noticed (without prompting) that all these blues made my glasses look even more red and fabulous. Hooray!

In other news, I finished one side of the front edging of my Kerrera! This is what half a sweater looks like. (Please ignore all of those ends waiting to be woven in.)

And here’s a side view. The double garter stitch edging is worked perpendicular to the body, which adds some structure and helps with sagging and stretching. I’m so close — just the edging on the other side and all of the finishing to go!

One more shot. I dug out my favorite rugby sweatshirt to watch the team from my alma mater play the team from my current institution. I’m super active in alumnae stuff, but I don’t get to watch the team play very often, and I had a lot of fun cheering on a group of fabulous women as they rucked and mauled and tackled on a gorgeous fall afternoon. (WRFC = Women’s Rugby Football Club.)

I’m a bit under the weather today after a busy week and weekend, and I finally gave in and took some cold medicine an hour ago. I’ve got a little bit of grading and some class prep to do and I’m aiming for an early bedtime. I can’t believe tomorrow it will be October!

i heart patch pockets.

Of course, they are harder to see when Boh gets in the way of my photo shoot.

There. That’s better. Because I shortened the cardigan, I decided to shorten the pockets, so I only did a few rows of the double garter instead of the full edging. I’m hoping I can seam these well enough to make these pockets look as lovely as I know they can.

I ripped out the wonky cuff and reknit it — can you tell? Unfortunately, I realized that I must have done a few extra decreases that I didn’t write down, because the first sleeve fits well, and the second sleeve feels a little bit loose. It is possible that I will rip out and reknit the lower portion of sleeve number two…sigh. I should’ve been better about taking notes about my modifications. Good thing I’ve got plenty of yarn, especially now that I’m not knitting the hood. Ripping out the wonky cuff meant cutting my knitting, as the alpaca yarn is very sticky, and the garter rib is tight. These factors combined to form lots of knots. It wasn’t until I ripped back to the regular stockinette that I could just tug and unravel.

Good thing I heart those patch pockets. (And really, I heart this sweater. Which is good, because that double garter border is going to be a pain in the ass to knit.) You know what else I heart?

Grilled cheese. Especially with black olives and arugula. And a mug of tea. Okay, back to Tuesday. I’m spending the morning getting the house ready for a dear friend who will be back in town for a conference on campus this weekend. Boh and I are very excited that she’s staying with us!