school on monday.

When I was in college, “School on Monday” was one of the preferred cheers at the big football game that occurred the weekend before Thanksgiving, because we had the whole week off, while our opponents had to return to class for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before the holiday. I heard it in my head when I woke up this morning, only this time, I’m starting life as a professor on Monday. My syllabi are done, but I want to proofread them again before I make copies. And I need to plan out the actual Monday class meetings — one class is a seminar, and the other is a lecture. I’m nervous, of course, but also excited to be in the classroom again, and sort of ready to be done anticipating all of it. Next week I’m sure I’ll feel like I’ve been thrown into the deep end, but right now I feel sort of ready to jump, if that makes any sense. ┬áSo I have no idea how regularly I’ll be posting here as I settle into a work routine. So here are a handful of pictures from our preparation for the semester. Hope you’re all well.

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Popcorn.

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Huge mushrooms on the quad.

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This guy, posing.

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And watching me from the couch. (He does this a lot, and I find it so funny. At the lakehouse, the couch was pushed up against the wall, so this wasn’t really an option.)

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An orangey-rust flowy dress that makes me happy.

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A peach-blueberry pie I made.

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Patio furniture acquired! (Hooray for Craigslist, and for the young men who offered to deliver this to me because the table was about two inches too big to fit in my car.)

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Tomato tart. Which was enjoyed before that peach blueberry pie.
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Boh, with his new favorite toy, a plush bone he got from our new vet. Happy Friday, friends.

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?

a glimpse.

Much more to come once I recover from a weekend that involved 1600+ miles of driving, 13 pies, several sips of moonshine, and more love than I know how to describe. For now, a few photos — of Agnes, bound off (but sans pockets). I left her here because she was unfinished, but it was cool in the mountains, and I certainly would’ve worn her.

Also, a glimpse of early morning. A handful of wedding guests stayed in rental houses near the top of the mountain where the festivities occurred. I was the lone early riser, which meant that on Friday and Saturday morning I had a beautiful view, pieces of “test” pie, and my french press all to myself. I even managed to get some solid work done.

Today I have plans to unpack, cuddle with Boh, and recover from yesterday’s very long drive. Stay tuned for photos of all of the pie!

pie.

Strawberry-rhubarb-basil. It could have used a little bit of sugar, as the rhubarb was very tart, but it was bright and fresh-tasting, and the basil even seemed to sweeten it a little!

Oatmeal-pecan. Pie you can eat for breakfast. You know, because of the oatmeal. (I’m baking pies for a friend’s wedding next month, so I’ve been baking and eating more pie in order to help her make some important decisions about fillings and crusts. Tough life, I know.)

Also, here’s some stuff that isn’t pie:

Dogs and books. And me. All in a big pile.

Tango, in a rare contemplative moment.

Remember what I was saying about kitchen mojo? This has been a go-to for me this summer, in part because mojo is not required. Also, the gratification is immediate. Which I like. I have been eating this on Tuesdays. And other days, too, but especially Tuesdays. I get home from the farm, slice into my weekly bread share loaf, cut up a tomato, a hot pepper, and find some cheese in the fridge. I turn on the broiler. I sliver some basil. I pile all that stuff on the toast (this week it is a rye with caraway seeds encrusted on the outside), slide it under the broiler, and wait less than five minutes, until the toast is dark around the edges and the cheese is bubbling and starting to brown. Then I take it out and make myself go in the other room, or take out the compost, or do something to not eat this right away, because I will burn my mouth. And then I take my broiled tomato toast to the porch to enjoy. Summer food, at its finest.

It is rainy this morning, and I have a hankering for knitting with handspun. Boh and I are headed to a family wedding this weekend, and amidst the packing (so much harder to throw stuff in a bag and go when you have to look pretty where you’re going) I’m hoping to find time to wind up some squishy comfort yarn. The grey, rainy morning might have something to do with that. Happy weekend!

pie and plying.

First of all, thanks for all of your input on my handspun blanket. This time around, the oranges have it, and I am hoping to make some time to wind yarn later today!

I wore my Sunday Market Shawl yesterday, and it was just the burst of color I needed. I reach for this far less often than I thought I would — maybe because of the colors — but it certainly brightens my day when I wear it out of the house. Someday I’ll get around to actually blocking this…

Meet the first pie (for me) of fall. Pears from the tree in the yard of friends, plus one apple to fill out the pie pan, and a crumb topping. Delicious. In fact, this is reheating in the oven right now.

I plied most of my SCF bfl in the reflection colorway while the pie baked, and today I have plans to wash the yarn and set the twist.

Okay, time for pie!

flowers + pie crust = spring break.

And that was today. Windows open, music loud, pie in the oven. Boh spent the morning in a pocket of sunshine on the comforter, and I played in the kitchen and sat at my wheel. We are on spring break. (Which mostly means longer chunks of time to grade exams, read, write a conference paper — but also means we can justify things like longer, more leisurely walks, elaborate kitchen experiments, and having another beer — which is code for not working late into the evening.)

Happy weekend!

pie for breakfast/vestvember.

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I wake up when the light starts poking through my windows, so this whole daylight savings thing really works to my advantage. Don’t get me wrong, I hate that it is dark before I leave campus in the afternoons, but in terms of rooster productivity levels, 6:30 am as the new 7:30 am makes it seem like I have lots of time to get things done. So yesterday I baked myself a pie for breakfast — pear pie, to be precise.

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Boh is guarding the kitchen. Or waiting for pie.

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I may have also eaten pie for lunch.

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Never a dull moment with this dog around.

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Ummm, have you guys heard about Vestvember? Yep, that’s right: VESTvember. Well, I’ve had the yarn and pattern for a vest sitting here for months, so I decided that since I’m a joiner (which is not necessarily the same as being a finisher…) I would at least cast on my vest project this month and enjoy all of the vesty inspiration occurring over on ravelry. This is Bracken, a button-up vest that I’ve been admiring for quite awhile now. I’m knitting it out of some Jo Sharp Classic DK Wool in a deep brownish purple. I got st gauge on size 6s, but my row gauge is a little bit off. It looks like the pattern includes lengths (inches/cm) in most places instead of number of rows to knit, though, so I should be okay.

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You should totally cast on for a vest this month. (Everybody’s doing it.)

I tucked the remaining pie into the oven to warm when I poured my coffee, and delicious pear-y aromas are wafting towards the computer…time for breakfast!

2-ply and pie.

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Yay! My first wheel-plied yarn! Some ravelry forum advice confirmed my decisions to turn this into a 2-ply. My singles are a bit underspun to remain singles, so I’ll try again with something else. I am thrilled with how this looks all plied up — the wheel makes a huge difference with respect to evenness of the twist and the amount of time it takes to ply. This practically flew through my hands on Friday night. Here’s a close up:

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I’m still working on consistency, but for the most part, this looks to me to be worsted-weight yarn, with some thinner and thicker bits adding a touch of character. My math tells me that this is about 120 yds of subtly shaded goodness. What shall I make?

I believe I promised you pie: peach-strawberry-rhubarb, to be exact.

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M and I made a big batch o’ crust and then this delicious pie. Oh, and a big, green salad filled with radishes and beets from the farmers’ market to go with it. (I failed to photograph the salad.)

We had a lovely visit — so nice to have a dear friend here to walk, talk and bake with. Boh loved that she was here too.

Mostly unrelated, but I wanted to be sure to post this so that you know that I occasionally ruin things in the kitchen. Boh was the only witness this time.

beautiful beans

Aren’t these green beans lovely? (More green in my kitchen?!) On Friday I was planning to fix a late meal to tide me over until M’s bus got in around 11:30 pm. I rummaged through the cookbooks, and found a lovely green bean recipe in Supernatural Cooking, by Heidi of 101 cookbooks. The beans are tossed with lemon and lime zest and some fresh chives, all of which I had. I oohed and aaaahed over these as I mixed the beans with the other ingredients, sat down to take a bite, and promptly spat out a mouthful of very pretty beans. I’m pretty sure I grabbed a lime that had turned to the dark (rotten) side, as my beans did not taste citrus-y — just plain bad! I am looking forward to making this again with a lime that is NOT ready for the compost, as it sounds absolutely delicious and perfect for summer. I was so disappointed, but the beans were so pretty that I thought I’d snap a picture for you anyway.

Hope you’re enjoying the weekend. I can’t believe June is tomorrow. Crazy.

pie and daffodils.

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An oatmeal pecan pie and a fresh bunch of daffodils (with my whisper cardigan hiding in the background). The sun is shining brightly (and ever so warmly) on us today, and I am thankful for the coolness (literally) of my basement/first floor hybrid apartment. (The house is on a hill, so even though my apartment has full windows on 3 sides, it is technically the basement.)

Also, this guy wants you to know that he is on full alert:

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And he has good reason to assume the guard dog position! Today I got off the wait list and into the Hello Yarn Fiber Club, which means that the already-full blue bucket of fiber behind Boh will soon be overflowing…

Enjoy the sunshine! I’m off to class.

it has begun.

I am officially a graduate student. I attended my program’s orientation session yesterday, and classes start tomorrow. I don’t exactly know how to describe my feelings at this moment. Several years of work in a range of positions have helped to affirm that I want to become a scholar and a professor, and I am thrilled at the particulars of the opportunity in front of me. That said, I am also incredibly anxious, perhaps beginning to feel the self-doubt that will likely rear its head many times during the next several years as I work to explore the kind of work I wish to do, and the kind of scholar and teacher I will become.

I think quite a bit of this is reasonable at this point: I’ve been out of school, and thus out of situations that require my brain to operate in a critical, academic way, for four years. Many of the people in my program are younger, and thus, while the “life” aspects of graduate school may be newer to them, their brains are likely a bit sharper when it comes to seminar discussions and critical thinking and writing. How do you reclaim that chunk of brain power and work on expanding and refining these abilities? The only answer I can come up with is to just jump in, with an eye towards maintaining a balance in my life that includes cooking, running and knitting (while READING, and this week, attempting to reacquire enough language skills from college-land to pass a placement test…)

So, pie = balance. The pie above, by the way, is fresh peach and strawberry, with a dusting of a crumb topping. Yum!

Also, while the BSJ patiently waits for buttons (and seaming), I’ve cast on for something new:

It’s the Star Crossed Slouchy Beret, and it is moving quickly. I’m using Malabrigo in Verdes, and while I worried that the variegation would be too busy for the cabled pattern, I’m liking it so far. This is heading back West, to a dear friend who requested a green hat. I am excited to get this in the mail, as I’m sure the mornings are already turning cold in the mountains.

I’ve also begun making some lists for holiday knitting — more on that soon.