time = flying.

Instead of apologizing again for disappearing, I’m just going to share some pictures I snapped since last I posted. I’m feeling rushed in everything I’m doing right now, and I’m just not finding the time to knit, blog, and correspond. Out loud, I’m blaming commuting, but really I think it is just that there’s a lot of noise in my head, so much to do, so much I’m anxious about not doing, so much uncertainty all around. I’m finding it hard to quiet my head at the end of the day. Thanks for understanding if I’m not as present here as I’d like to be while I’m away from my home and regular routine. Sigh.

Want to see some pictures?

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Atrium linking the Portrait Gallery and the American Art Museum. Already one of my favorite spots in DC.

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Sunset, with the Washington Monument barely visible behind this tree. Snapped moments after leaving work for the day.

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My new Constitution mug, a must-have for all Americanists — and a birthday present.

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Another birthday mug — my friends know me well. This one was accompanied by some fancy espresso powder for baking. Stay tuned for kitchen adventures with that!

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Birthday flowers from K., who is dear to me and far away. I’ve been enjoying them every morning alongside my coffee and cereal.

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Sculpture Garden. I love this tree.

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The Capitol on a sunny day.

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The Portrait Gallery at night.

Happy weekend — and happy knitting! I’m hoping to do a little bit this afternoon.

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unintended absence…

Hi, you guys! Apologies for what has been an entirely unintended absence from the blog! I made it to DC on schedule, but accidentally brought a pretty nasty cold/flu with me. My first week was a bit of a blur, and now that it’s been almost three (?!), I’m finally settling into a rhythm. Here’s a little bit of what that looks like:

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National Archives at night. Last night, in fact. Snapped this on my way to meet a dear friend for dinner.

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My office — and my new shiny piece of technology. (I bought an iPad mini, and I love it. It has already been more useful than I could have imagined for my work. I’m reading and annotating articles and drafts, and using it as a second screen while reviewing documents and making notes. Super awesome.) Also, that’s a bowl of tabbouleh. I’m still getting used to packing my lunch every morning. At home, most days I split my work between home and campus or a coffee shop, and head back to the house to walk Boh and make lunch.

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Birds! I don’t intend to share lots of work stuff here, but I figured that knitters might appreciate these gorgeous, vibrant birds. (One of the people I write about in my dissertation was a naturalist who collected a lot of specimens for the Smithsonian.)

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Yarn! Foxflat was in town, and we met up to do some yarn shopping and tea drinking. Hooray for internet friends who become real-life friends!

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Consider this proof of our lovely afternoon (and my inability to keep my eyes open in photos). I have plans to knit a spring cowl ouf of that super happy Quince and Co. yarn. Also, I’m totally psyched about that sweater Katie is wearing — she posted about it here, and it is even more fantastic in person.

Alright, that’s what I’ve got for now. I’m embarrassingly far behind on replying to comments, but it’s on my to-do list. (Which, by the way, I’m working to digitize. I highly recommend Workflowy, and if you want to check it out, use this link, and we’ll both get a little extra space. No pressure, of course.)

Happy Groundhog Day — and happy weekend! More soon.

whoosh.

That, my friends, is the sound of deadlines passing. I’ve managed to stay on top of the stuff with deadlines set by other people, and I’m working on accepting that perhaps I was too ambitious in setting some deadlines for myself this winter break. Really hard to be in the right mindset to finish up a chapter draft while my house (and let’s face it, life) is in disarray. I do not like being in between. I know this about myself, and I should’ve been kinder to myself about what kind of writing was manageable during this period of transition. Lesson learned (let’s hope). In the meantime, I’ve got a head cold, and I’m mostly packed up. Heading to DC today, and hoping to leave the cold behind. Want to see some pictures from this week?

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Boh, contemplating the view from our friend M.’s window and wondering if anybody is going to fix him a drink.

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I finally blocked Agnes, and the neckline is more relaxed now (and so much more comfortable). The length is better too, though if I were knitting this again, I’d add a few more inches so that it hits at the hip when I’m not pulling it down with my hand in a pocket.)

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More Hudson Bay Inspired Blanket knitting. I love the way this is turning out. Endless garter stitch has been exactly what I’ve wanted to work on lately, so this is definitely coming with me to DC.

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Sweet, sweet dog. He’s settled in now at my parents’ house, and it sounds like all is well. The house has been so quiet without him here, and I’ve found myself listening for the padding of paws and the jingle of his collar. I know he’ll be much happier where he is, but this will be the longest we’ve ever been apart.

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A stunning sunset. Almost as if the universe wanted to leave me with a reminder of how much I’ll miss my cozy lake house. Fingers crossed that my subletter takes good care of it while I am away.

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Time to work through my last to-do list and hit the road. More from DC!

first tomato of the summer.

I broiled half of it on toast with cheese and basil, and I ate the other half with my hands. Hooray for the first tomato of summer!

Also, hooray for whisper! I’m starting to think I might need another. I absolutely love the neckline, and I’d love a longer version…

Here’s another knit in action: my very first wedding pinwheel blanket. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing this particular knit in all kinds of use — as a lap blanket, as a spot for a catnap, as a baby blanket, and last night, as a pillow for my favorite greyhound. The Cascade 220 I knit it out of seems to be holding up quite well, as I knit this during the summer of 2008.

Here’s another sleepy dog. I bet he wishes he had a pinwheel blanket for a pillow. Someday, Boh. Someday.

I’m gearing up for a research road trip, so yesterday I began the process of cleaning out my car. I don’t think I’ve ever actually emptied my car of cds. (I normally stick to clearing out the back, not all of the little compartments.) Anyway, it was fun to see just how many mixes I’ve received from friends since I bought my car six years ago. I spent some time trying out and then labeling all of the unmarked cds, ditching and re-burning the scratched ones, and putting them into books and cases. (I’m super glad that I import mixes I get in the mail to my computer before playing them over and over and over again. That way I don’t worry about breaking the cd!) That is the fun part of research road trip prep.

Lots more to do this week before I hit the road: finalize what I want to look at, confirm travel/housing plans, buy more dog food, pack…and grade the term papers from the summer course! Happy weekend to you!

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!

agnes in action.

I’ve been wearing Agnes pretty much since I returned home from last week’s research trip to the land of Mick. (How great is it that knitting friends live near archives?!) The weather has turned chilly and extremely fall-like, and Agnes is serving exactly the purpose I imagined for her: a cozy warm layer for mornings and evenings. (I’m wearing Agnes right now, and if I weren’t typing, my hands would be in the pockets.)

Stay tuned for some accidental socktober knitting — I’ve just turned the heel on my second unfancy sock!

i feel the need, the need for speed.*

Or handspun.

Maybe it’s the weather, but all I want to do is knit with squishy handspun. And I’m okay with that. A few days ago, inspired by Lisa’s latest, I cast on another seaman’s cap — for me! I think this is handspun from Pigeonroof Studios fiber, and it is lovely. (*If Top Gun pilots were knitters, this is how fast they’d be knitting. Maybe.) I’m knitting the medium size (co 96) on US 7 needles, and I’m really enjoying how the greens and browns and yellows are interacting. Cool, damp, and rainy again today, which means I’d love to have a handspun hat on my head very soon.

Boh’s (mis)adventures over the weekend meant that I never shared some photos from last week’s research trip here. All of these (including the seaman’s cap photo above) come from my iPhone — I’m consistently impressed with the quality of the camera, which makes it easier to snap pictures without feeling like a tourist. Like when you really like the new chairs in the library you used to study in. (Note: this library has been seriously renovated since I graduated.)

My pedicure from a family wedding a few weeks ago — which, let’s be honest, is the only time my toes are painted. I looked through all the color options, and settled on this shade of deep burgundy/red/brown, partly because I needed a dark color to hide my black-and-blue toenail (TMI?) and partly because of the name. Lots of nail colors have frilly names, but this one spoke to me: Mrs. O’Leary’s BBQ. Love.

Alright, time to get to work. It’s already a few minutes after 9. Boh is snoring, which means I should be reading…