shake some action.

First of all, “Shake Some Action”┬áby the Flamin’ Groovies is the first track on my not-yet-finished 2012 mix. I heard it on an NPR All Songs Considered podcast about opening tracks on albums this morning (though the episode was from June 2010). I’m glad I didn’t get to this until today, because there’s something about this song that is spot-on for me right now.

I’m doing end-of-the-year things today. I made my 2012 list for the fridge (above), and I finally got around to pulling all of the books off of all of the shelves and grouping them by theme — you know, so the books I need for work are in the office. When I unpacked, the goal was just to get everything out of boxes and onto shelves. And then I never got around to organizing them. Now that my books are spread out across several rooms, I need to be able to find them. Also, the water damage of earlier this fall has been fixed, which means I am finally ready to fully re-inhabit my office. I hung my DIY-ed frame cork board (which has been leaning against the wall in the guest room for 7 months) and cleaned up the piles. I’m so happy with this space.

I even tried to snap a self-portrait. Here’s the best one:

Last night I had a hard time falling asleep. I ended up getting out of bed, chopping off several handfuls of my hair, and taking a shower. Now I feel a bit more ready for the new year. (I think I’ve told you about this before, right? That I tend to cut my hair when I am feeling stressed, and that it helps? There’s so much I can’t control in the world, but my hair? I can fix that. My curls hide a multitude of sins/errors, making it possible for me to literally cut off hunks without too much worry. I don’t recommend this if you don’t have hair with similarly awesome camouflaging qualities…)

I also found some time to knit on my touch of mink socks. I love them. (Next time I’ll snap a picture while there’s still a bit of daylight. This shot doesn’t do the yarn justice.)

Tonight, Boh and I are off to hang out with dear friends of the human and animal variety. We’re planning to enjoy dessert, bourbon, and board games. I’m not sure we’ll make it to midnight, but I trust that the new year will arrive, even if I’m not awake to ring it in. Here’s to 2012 — I’m sure ready for a new year.

when it rains, it pours.

Literally. And, apparently, inside.

Last night my yoga teacher mentioned that she had water in her basement. And then I thought to myself, hmmm, I wonder if my sweet old lake house is waterproof? When I got home last night, I did a carefully sweep of the basement and each room. Turns out, not quite. (By waterproof, I mean able to withstand the 5+ inches of rain we’ve had in the last 40 hours…)

I arranged some (colorful) buckets and mixing bowls under the leaks in the guest room (and a small drip in the office), and called my management company. They were here to take a look within ten minutes, and sent someone over to clean out the gutters and look at the roof first thing this morning. It sucks to have water damage, but it is nice to know that the folks that manage this rental are so responsive. Anyway, the guest futon mattress is waterlogged irreparably, so I’ve ordered a new one (guests can arrive in 5-10 business days), and properly disposing of the damaged mattress is on tomorrow’s list of adventures. (Hint: it involves a dumping permit and a visit to the county dump. So sad.) Unfortunately (fortunately?), futon mattresses are cheaper than my renters’ insurance deductible on overstock.com. So far, that’s the only casualty.

But that’s not what you came here for, is it?

I finished the decreases on my handspun seaman’s cap this morning, and I absolutely love the colors (even if they aren’t quite as vibrant as this photo suggests).

I’m not convinced that this style is the most flattering or practical for my head of curly hair, but I might keep it for myself anyway, if only for the beautiful greens, yellows, and browns in this yarn.

Okay, back to work. I’ve set up shop on the couch/coffee table so that I’m as far away from the fans/wet carpet smell as possible. And, of course, to be close to my silly, collar-adorned dog. (He hasn’t really left the couch this week — he seems to walk into all sorts of things with the cone on.)

FO: altitude.

188 yards of 2-ply that plumped up into a worsted-weight yarn. This yarn is deeper and darker (think true blue) than it looks here on the porch! A quick, satisfying spin — and oh my, do I love those bits of mustard yellow. It really feels like I’ve been making up for lost time at the wheel! Maybe the next thing I spin will involve thinner singles, or more than 2 plies.

And here’s a beautiful loaf of bread that I did NOT make. Instead, I picked it up with my farm share on Tuesday. One of my ABD presents to myself was the new bread share at my CSA. Locally grown and milled grain, locally baked. (And incredibly delicious.) It doesn’t get much better.

Except that it does! Carpooling to the farm means great conversation and company in the rows of flowers and veggies. We picked our first quarts of sugar snap peas yesterday. (E’s comment? “This tastes like summer.” So true.)

Also, how happy does this guy look? Very happy, maybe because he doesn’t have to get back to work? (Or happy because of the nice walk we took this morning?)

Now that I have a coffee table to work at, there’s no excuse. Time to start mapping out the dissertation. How about a look at some of the other rooms in the house?

You’re looking at the dining room, more bookshelves in my office, and my grandmother’s hutch (which I’m using as a dresser in my bedroom). I still have a list of little things to do — hide those cords, get an everyday tablecloth, decide on the layout of the guest room, etc., but on the whole, Boh and I are feeling pretty settled here. Back to it!

 

 

FO: cosmopolitan.

Quick post today, because my parents will be here in an hour to keep working! (Today is their last full day here, and we still have so many things on the list: swap out more storm windows for screens, clear off a few inches of compressed leaves from what I think is a stone patio out the back door, hang prints, decide about curtains/curtain rods, wash the outsides of the windows…) I’m excited to show you all of our progress very soon.

These pictures are of my finished skein and change of some SCF organic merino in cosmopolitan. I split the fiber lengthwise and was aiming for long repeats, and while there is more barberpoling than I was aiming for, I’m happy with the result. This is 230 yards (205 + mini-skein of 25) of squishy light worsted weight wonderfulness. I’m so excited to check out all the patterns you suggested for my Rhinebeck-cauldron. Any thoughts on this? It is super soft organic merino, so I’m thinking hat, cowl, or super simple fingerless mitts.

Time to pour the coffee and gear up for another day of home improvements!

FO: rhinebeck cauldron part 2.

This is the second half of my Rhinebeck/Cauldron experiment, 188 yards of squishy 2-ply (in 150 and 38 yard skeins). My initial plan was to make this into another eternity scarf, and while I’m not sure if I’m going to to follow that pattern exactly, I think this yarn still wants to become a big squishy ’round the neck sort of thing. I’ve got 400 or so yards total to work with, which gives me lots of options. What would you make with this? (Boh clearly has no opinion, as evidenced by these photos.)

Did you see the curry recipe Andrea posted last week? I made it on Sunday night, using tofu that I browned in butter instead of the seitan meatballs. Mine is a very different color (due, I think, to my use of a can of coconut milk instead of coconut flakes rehydrated in water), but I’m guessing it was the same level of deliciousness. Oh my. So good, so easy, so going into my kitchen recipe binder.

They are hard to see, but I’m pretty sure that this is a mother Merganser and a whole slew of ducklings. A few are riding on her back, and the commotion you see here is all the rest hurrying to keep up!

And here is Boh, happily lounging on the dock next to the picnic table. It is supposed to be HOT today, so I’m guessing we’ll find ourselves out by the lake this afternoon, though not until after we do a lot of work around the house. My parents brought a truck full of furniture yesterday — things from their basement and from my grandmother’s house (she just moved into a smaller apartment in an assisted living facility), and they’ll be here for a few days to work and play. We have plans to plant some containers full of herbs, replace the shower head, decide about a dehumidifier for the basement…things like that. I’ll have lots more lake house pictures soon!

red at night, sailors’ delight.

Or so they say.

Yesterday I started feeling better — hooray! I returned an overdue library book, did some grocery shopping, went to the bank, and when I got home, I decided it was time to (literally) test the waters. So I threw on a tank top and shorts, grabbed a towel and Boh, and we went for a swim. (And by swim, I mean I waded and coaxed Boh into a depth requiring that he swim. He did, but he didn’t seem thrilled about it. So we got out of the water, I hooked him to the picnic table at the end of the dock, and swam a few “laps” nearby.) It was cold, but refreshing, and surprisingly deep! There are stairs at water’s edge and then a ladder at the end of the dock — plenty of the kind of depth Boh likes at the shore (read: places he can stand without needing to swim), but at the end of the dock, definitely over my head. I’m not a big swimmer (I don’t like to get my face wet, though I did go through a phase in high school where my mom and I would swim laps at the Y), but one of my goals for this summer is to get into the lake regularly. (Tough, I know.)

Last night’s sunset was lovely, and I enjoyed it from the porch with my knitting, a small glass of a dear friend’s homebrew, and my sweet dog. Hello, June.

new couch.

Boh gave our new (to us) couch a full inspection before granting his approval. The couch is a little threadbare in places, but I like the shape, and the color will do for now. Maybe I’ll have to ask Eileen for advice on re-covering couches? Hers is gorgeous.

Still no knitting to share, but I’ll have an update soon. Instead, you get a picture of Boh lounging near yarn and fiber…