another post from last week?

Hi, folks. Rooster here. Another doozy of a week — the start of classes (including mine!), and the work of adjusting to a new routine, a new commute (from the lake house), a new pattern for Boh. Here’s hoping I’ll figure out where blogging fits into all of that very soon. All went well this week, but there’s just so much to do. And I’ll keep attempting to cross things off of my ever-elongating to-do list after I write this post. Guess what? I’ve got (gasp) photos of actual knitting!  (Though the knitting occurred last week.)

Here’s that vanilla sock in Plucky yarn I started earlier this month. I began the toe decreases on a bus almost two weeks ago, when I was headed to a bachelorette gathering. I only had super short hiya-hiya circular needles with me, and the decreases were not so fun to try to work with those — just not enough give to comfortably do ssks and k2togs, and the bumpiness of the bus didn’t help. I really should put this back into my bag (with the dpns I need to keep decreasing), especially now that my commute involves a short bus ride each morning and afternoon!

And here I am, working on the border of the wedding hap blanket I’ve been knitting…ahem…as a gift for two lovely people who got married in November. I’m so close. C+A, it’ll be done soon! Promise!

And I’ve got big plans for this yarn. Wedding shawl plans — for my best friend. She’s getting married in March, and she picked the yarn and the pattern. More on this soon. (On today’s to-do list? Wind this yarn!)

I’ve been wearing handknits, especially my cowls, this week. I love this wurm cowl so, so much. Handspun around my neck is one of the best things I can think of right now.

More handspun around my neck. Remember when I made this stripey shawl over the summer because I was sick and didn’t have the focus necessary to follow the instructions for the Daybreak shawl? (One of these days I’m going to actually knit that.) I love the colors, and the drape of this fabric of loosely knit singles is fantastic. And I love how it sort of goes with this cardigan I picked up on clearance at Banana Republic when I was visiting my parents for Christmas.

And then there’s this guy. No knitting in this picture, but an extra dose of cuddly sweetness. I’m happy to have Boh to keep me company as I tackle a draft of a grant application today…

shake some action.

First of all, “Shake Some Action” by 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.

expanding my vocabulary.

Gougeres. Say it with me. (Actually, I don’t know how to say it. Also, my French pronunciation is terrible. See the trip I took to Montreal and Quebec City with the boy from three winters ago.) The good news is that proper pronunciation is not required to enjoy this treat.

And then I made some white bean dip with rosemary and garlic infused olive oil. Also courtesy of Heidi at 101 cookbooks. (This recipe was from one of her cookbooks. Which are awesome.) Anyway, I actually called up friends of mine before eating this for lunch because these seemed too good not to share. We had dinner instead, and I brought the tray of unbaked gougeres I had tucked into the freezer and the leftover bean dip. I will definitely be making both of these recipes again. Soon.

Speaking of vocabulary, I don’t think there’s a word for this.

Or this. Boh loves to smash the flat part of his forehead up against things (like me) while he takes his morning nap. The sweetness, it’s too much.

I’ve got words for this — two, in fact: heel flap! Remember the super short hiya-hiya circular needle I posted about a long time ago? I dug it out for the stockinette section of the leg of this sock and all of a sudden it was time to work the heel. Love. My fingers got used to the needle after only a few rows. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to knit a few rows before Boh and I retire for the evening.

touch of mink.

That’s the name of this Plucky colorway. And I love it. I can’t believe this is my first time knitting with Sarah’s yarn. It’s awesome. (Thanks, Chris, for including it a prize package I won on your blog awhile back!) These are vanilla socks. I took the wound yarn cake with me on my research trip, cast on while waiting for my flight to depart, and then didn’t pick it up again until I was flying home. I hadn’t finished the ribbing by the time my plane landed, and since then, I’ve been knitting up a storm. (I’m turning the heel right now. Pictures of that tomorrow.) Anyway, despite showing up to my friends’ apartment with a 24-hour stomach bug, the trip was productive, fun, and energizing.

Last night I reheated one of the baguettes K. and I froze from our kitchen adventures this summer, and then cooked some komatsuna in olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. And then I knit some more.

Boh did this.

This might be my favorite picture from my trip, and fellow historians will understand why. I was looking at archival materials held in a place other than a formal archive — which meant I could keep my stuff nearby, and bring a latte to keep me company. Don’t worry — this picture is the closest that coffee ever came to that box of old stuff. After I snapped this picture, my lunch bag and my latte went to another table! I certainly understand why there are rules governing conduct in archives, and I am happy to follow them, as I like being able to look at stuff from a really long time ago. Days spent in archives, though, tend to be a little rough: I’m often strapped for time on these short research trips, and the rules mean I end up under-caffeinated, dehydrated, and hungry by the end of the day. It felt like a real treat to be able to fetch boxes myself, sip coffee at a safe distance from my materials, and interact with a wider range of people, by virtue of occupying space at a table in the middle of the office that was so kind to host me for a few days last week.

More (knitting) soon!