sickness/sweetness.

This is what canceling office hours and taking a sick day looks like around here. (Also, whoa. WordPress has a brand new photo upload interface.)

Fixings for a magically soothing beverage.

Said beverage.

My classroom, empty before our final meeting of the semester on Wednesday morning. (I was assigned a particularly beautiful room this semester. Last spring, my class on nature occurred in a windowless room.)

A little bit of spinning. This is the second bobbin of Sprout singles. Not sure if I am going to ply this or leave it as singles.

Boh, being silly, and using my knitting as a pillow.

Pure sweetness. I’m feeling much better today, and Boh helped.

Aaaaand he’s snoring. Time to finish my cup of tea and get to bed!

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troublemaker singles.

Don’t be alarmed; that’s just what this colorway is called: Troublemaker. I grabbed this off the shelf because I wanted to be spinning something, anything really. No project in mind, no particular goal save working at my wheel. This mixed BFL from Hello Yarn felt like butter, and at least in my hands, it wanted to be singles, so that’s how I spun it. When I was just starting to spin, everything I read said that once I got the hang of this, that it would be really hard to spin thicker yarns, especially thick and thin singles. They weren’t wrong. I was going for something a bit more uneven, but these singles look a lot more uniform than I was intending. I’ll keep working on it.

Hangers on the heating pipe. (Don’t worry. I’ll figure out something else once I turn the heat on.)

And from the other side. I snapped these late last night, and the colors are so much more beautiful and vibrant than even that first close up shot. Stay tuned for FO pictures once these skeins are dry!

my end of the deal.

You know, the deal I make with Boh all the time: he is a good boy, and I take him on good walks. I’ve been slacking a bit with regard to my responsibilities in the W-A-L-K department, especially these last few weeks. With my writing deadline behind me (last week’s colloquium went very well), I set out to make things right.

On Saturday we headed up to campus to wander the little paths, shortcuts, and suspension bridges tucked all around it.

Here we are after our walk. I know Boh just looks worried, but trust me, he had a great time. (And snored for hours to prove it.)

Today it was absolutely gorgeous out — sunny, and into the high 80s. After a busy morning on campus, I took Boh down to one of the parks at the base of the lake. We walked until he seemed a bit too hot (after all, he’s still wearing his spring coat), and then headed back to the house, where he lounged next to my spinning wheel in the shade of my office.

See? What a good boy. I finished spinning the second bump of the Pigeonroof Studios fiber in bronzed teal, and I’m psyched to ply it. Stay tuned for yarn pictures!

FO: floating down.

Which, incidentally, also describes my back pain: floating down in intensity. I’ve got a massage scheduled for as soon as I’m done teaching tomorrow morning, and that should make it a lot better. Thank you for all of your kind comments. I’ve been trying to take it easy while still getting  my work done. It’s going to be another busy week… (I feel like I’ve been saying that a lot this semester!) Anyway, do you want to see some handspun?

I thought so.

This is Hello Yarn 75% BFL/25% Tussah Silk in Floating Down, spun as singles. I ended up with just over 400 yards of this delicious stuff. What should I make?

Boh is excited.

Or not. (Silly, silly dog.)

We took a long, slow walk with a friend and her dog on Friday, which seemed to help with my back twinge. Along the way, we saw this bald eagle! (Apologies for the poor photo quality — I took this with my iphone, and zoomed in as much as I could.)

We also saw this Great Blue Heron. Boh and Madigan were too busy focusing on all the Canadian Geese to notice.

I got sorrel in my CSA box this week, and sauteed it with butter and onions and leftover rice. It was delicious.

And last night, I made a big batch of Heidi’s Millet Fried Rice, from Super Natural Cooking. I’d forgotten how much I like millet — and how much I like this recipe. Basically, you cook the millet, and when that’s almost done, you make a super thin egg pancake, by melting butter with some toasted sesame oil in a large pan, beating a couple of eggs as if to make an omelette, and then pouring in the egg. You swirl the eggs around to get a really thin layer, and then fold the eggs over on themselves once they are cooked enough to let you do that. Shortly after that, you remove the egg from the pan, and then stirfry whatever veggies you’re using in a super hot pan, and then you add the millet, some soy sauce, and then you slice the egg pancake into strips and add that, too. I topped mine with onion sprouts and some canned roasted red pepper, both from my spring CSA box. I might have eaten this for lunch and dinner today, too.

Also, last night was Earth Hour, and I participated by turning off as much electricity as possible in my home, and lighting some candles to read by. While I believe that lifestyle activism on its own isn’t enough, I like doing this, and it is nice to remind myself how much I enjoy turning everything off for awhile. I certainly recognize my own privilege in all of this –and that not everyone has the power to make this choice. Still, this is about mindfulness for me. I didn’t really plan ahead, in terms of what I might read, so I was scrambling for something as the official time approached.

I ended up spending part of my hour reading some Mary Oliver poems. The book I’m teaching this week opens with Oliver’s Wild Geese” as the epigraph, which I read to my students on Wednesday. It begins, “You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees/ For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.” It was nice to read it by candlelight.

Looks like today’s photos are all in pairs. I like it. Also, Happy April!

OWCH.

So, I went to bed last night sleepy after a good day of work and play. And then I woke up around 5 am — or rather, I think I went to roll over, and a not-so-pleasant twinge in my back woke me up. I think my hours of writing are catching up with me. Anyway, it took me forever to get myself out of bed and to the Advil. I was very sleepy, and muttering things like, “I need help. There’s no one here to help me” to myself. (Not helpful.) Poor Boh was very confused. The Advil helped me to get back to sleep, and when I actually got up, it became clear that while I was a bit more mobile than I’d been in the middle of a REM cycle, I was not doing a good job of turning my head to the right. OWCH.

Some stretching, some coffee, and a phone call to a massage therapist, and I’m feeling a little better. I’m functioning, but slowly. (And I’ve got an appointment for a massage.) If this is what 30 feels like, I don’t like it one bit. I’ve got a conference paper and a diss-chapter-chunk to finish up, both of which will likely progress more slowly now that my neck and back are in revolt. Boo. Allow me to distract you (and myself) with some pictures of very pretty fiber:

Floating Down (Hello Yarn Fiber Club, 75% BFL/25% Tussah Silk) singles on the bobbin.

A close-up, pre-soak.

Draped over my arm. Aren’t these colors lovely?

The whole thing, ready to air dry. I’ve got just over 400 yards of singles here, and I can’t wait to cast on something in it. I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to take a few days off from yarn and fiber to let this twinge in my neck/back heal, but at least I can daydream about shawl and cowl patterns, right?

daffodils, more dumplings, dessert…

And some other things that don’t begin with D.

Daffodils coming up near my front steps.

More dumplings.

These delicious Brown Butter Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies from Joy the Baker. (Public service announcement: browning butter can be dangerous. Or at least mine was — my butter did a fair bit of sputtering and spitting as the water evaporated. It was worth it, though.)

Lovely sunset.

Sweet dog.

Cowl knitting and spinach.

And some spinning! This is BFL from the Hello Yarn Fiber Club in “Scorch.” I spun it as a 3-ply, and while I think I began this (long ago) with socks in mind, I’m not sure there’s quite enough yardage. That’s okay, though. I still love it. There were 183 yards, pre-bath. More photos after I’ve set the twist.

And then I just wanted to keep going. This is “Floating Down” from the Hello Yarn Fiber Club, and I’m spinning this luscious BFL/Tussah Silk blend as singles. So, so pretty.

Okay, back to work. On today’s list? Commenting on papers, finishing a conference paper, and writing another page or two of this diss-chapter-chunk. (Later, I plan to reward myself with a movie and a margarita.)

weekend.

I’ve got something to say. All weekends are better with homemade french fries. My weekend is only half over, and these have already made it extra awesome. Another high five to Kaela over at local kitchen for these spicy oven fries. I used my first farm potatoes of the season. After I took this picture, I may have poured myself a generous amount of ketchup for dipping.

And then I finished the first Lucy sock, so named for the colorway, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Why have I not been knitting handspun socks all this time? I am in love with this sock. I cannot wait for there to be two.

Motivated by the awesomeness of my handspun sock, I sat back down at my wheel. You know, to finish whatever I’ve been spinning so that I can get started on another 3-ply. For more socks. It is a vicious, vicious cycle. This is an in progress shot of the second bobbin of whatever delicious Hello Yarn Fiber Club fiber I was spinning. (I just looked — Finn in the Shaking Leaves colorway, from January 2011.)

And here’s a picture of it plied. More of this soon, once it’s dry!

Can this dog get any sweeter? I managed to grab the camera with my right hand today after Boh put his paw on my left. He must have been transmitting some good, productive vibes, because even with all the fibery goodness, I managed to write a few pages today. And now it is bedtime.