buttercup update (and other stuff, too).

It is time to increase a little bit so that the top is a little bit swingy. (Due to yarn concerns, I omitted the body increases earlier in the pattern, but I think I’ve got enough to start adding a few more stitches.)

I made some potato salad last week. And then I took it with me to campus, and enjoyed it with last week’s New Yorker.

Raspberries from the farm. Yum.

This is how I dealt with Saturday night’s power outage. Not a bad way to keep cool. (I was worried that this chardonnay was going to warm in my slightly-less-cool-by-the-second non-electrified fridge.) The power was out for about three hours, and I was able to get some grading done as the sun set.

I snapped this while dashing down my steps to get to campus on time. So lovely, and I almost missed it.

Somebody was afraid of the fireworks on Monday night. Poor Boh.

Remember these socks? I turned the heel in class on Tuesday. Thus concludes today’s installment of show and tell. More soon!

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!

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.

writing is hard.

Extra hard, you might say, with a work companion like this guy. I swear he gets cuter all the time. The good news? All those hours spent staring at my screen yesterday are turning into a bit more productivity today. And that’s despite having an absolutely lovely handspun sock to work on:

This might be the prettiest sock I’ve ever knit. It makes me want to spin sock yarn. Which I’ll do. After I’m done with this prospectus. Back to it!

sock satisfaction.

Remember this sock? The decidedly unfancy sock (so named because it was once the beginning of a gentleman’s fancy sock, and then I needed something mindless to knit on during a lecture, so it became stockinette, or unfancy) that I think I said I was going to finish before my exams? Well, last night, I was rooting around in my knitting bags looking for something simple to work on, and I found this, a row or two away from kitchenering. Yes, that’s right: kitchenering.

So I did.

And it felt great. About as great as actually writing 500 or so words yesterday. So I cast on the second sock. In looking for something to knit on yesterday, I realized that I have a lot of sock yarn. And that I like big (read: larger than one skein) shawls. Which means lots of stripes in my future, but also that I should try to re-find my sock mojo. So I’m on that.

mirror, mirror.

Idlewood. Again. Clearly I need to make another — after my exams. I snapped this picture before heading to one of my reading groups, where we discussed an excellent graphic novel (Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home) and talked about memoir, history, and voice — and about what makes something not feel self-indulgent. Which got me to thinking about blogging, especially because lately I’ve been snapping pictures of whatever I’m wearing (knits or otherwise) and posting them here. (Which seems incredibly narcissistic.)

On some level, blogging is self-indulgent. Really, all writing is. And I’m okay with that. The question we were wrestling with on Thursday night had more to do with the reader’s experience than the decision to write (or blog), and we kept returning to things like empathy, linking the ordinary and the particular to bigger (in this case, literary) themes, leaving space for interpretation rather than limiting how the reader understands and situates a particular moment, encounter, memory.

I want to think more about blogging as a form and as a personal process. How do conversations about blogging connect with discussions about memoir? In these genres, how do form and content interact? Can we identify conventions particular to blogging? In my own work, I’m thinking a lot about how I use the first person — what am I signally by choosing the personal pronoun? Am I actually revealing something personal, or is it a technique to make the reader identify with the “I”? (I’ve taken to calling this the “pretend personal” voice.) How much do I protect or reveal — here? In my academic writing? Once I’m on the other side of these exams, I’d like to spend some time (and space, maybe here?) thinking through, or maybe more accurately, writing with these questions.

Time for another picture of what I’m wearing? Clearly.

No knits in this shot, just a scarf that hasn’t been in rotation for awhile. Still faking it ’til I make it, and most days, I think it’s working. I managed to grade 10 papers yesterday, all dressed up. (She says, still in her pajamas.)

I knit less than five rows on this sock, and soon I’ll be ready to start decreasing for the toe. Ideally, I’ll finish the first sock this week, cast on the second and get through the ribbing before my first exam. That way I’ll have easy knitting handy to help with hard thinking.

Finished the carrot soup leftovers yesterday. There is another pot of this in my (near) future.

inching forward.

I’ll start with the knitting progress, as it is the most tangible. I spent a few hours knitting last night, and gained an inch or two on the foot of the first sock of this pair. The pooling is horrendous, the sock seems a little big to me, but you know what? I love this yarn, and I am going to love these socks. These were once too-big toe up socks from a KAL oriented around Socks From the Toe Up, and then they were a pair of the Gentleman’s Fancy Socks (from Knitting Vintage Socks, maybe? I’m too lazy to look), and then they became basic stockinette “vanilla” (as the Knitmore Girls say) socks because I needed something to knit on during a lecture about nineteenth-century spirit photographs.

This is from a morning last week, but it could be today, as Boh has decided that today is the kind of day for getting back into bed. It is slushy and rainy outside, and I don’t blame him.

I was really on a pizza-making kick last week. This one was so delicious that there weren’t any leftovers…

This weekend, Boh and I headed home for my family’s annual February turkey dinner, where everybody gets together for a low-stress Thanksgiving-like meal. The food was delicious, and it was great to lounge around my parents’ house with family. And Boh got a bath. (He’s thrilled.) I think I did more driving than reading this weekend, but the change of scenery helped me finish up a draft of a research proposal, so I’m calling it a productive weekend. Plus, my parents sent me home with enough leftovers to feed me through Tuesday!

Alright, time to start the week.

 

new chairs.

Craigslist victory! Now, where to put them?

Someday, these might be on the porch of that lake house.

A mixture of veggies on the stove. These colors make me happy.

Terra helped me grade 40+ response papers last night and this morning.

I turned the heel of the first of two long-neglected plain and simple socks. It helped with Monday.

Back to the chairs. I love them. In fact, I might sit in one while I read tonight’s book…

 

old sock, new sock.

Old sock — an On-Hold sock-in-progress from Socks from the Toe Up, initially begun for the KAL. (Looks sort of okay here, but the foot is baggy. I could really see the size difference when I compared this sock-in-progress to the superbly-fitting emerald city gusset heel socks I just finished.)

New sock. I love this yarn, which is Shibui sock in Ginger, and I’ve been feeling inspired by the (multiple pairs of) socks Lisa recently posted over at Knithound Brooklyn. This ribbed cuff is going to grow into a Gentleman’s Fancy Sock, from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush, with a few changes. Because these are definitely for me, and I want them to fit, I went down a needle size to 2.5 mm needles, and cast on 64 st instead of 80 to adjust the pattern both for my yarn and for my foot. Because I have less yarn that is called for, my pair will have to be a standard length, so I’m foregoing the (lovely) leg shaping included in the pattern.

No hurry on this pair — there are lots of other projects in my WIP pile that I’d like to finish up. It simply seemed ridiculous to not cast on for another pair of socks after frogging the old ones, and these will likely live in my bag and do their part to keep me company throughout the coming semester, which starts Monday.

Speaking of which, somebody (ahem) around here needs to be better about getting out of bed in the morning.

While this guy normally stretches, sighs, and stumbles out of bed mere moments after I wake up, today he wanted nothing more than to lay his head back down on the pillow and doze while I made the coffee, fetched breakfast, and the like. Life is so hard for Boh.

Finally, it seems it wouldn’t be a complete blog post over here at chez Rooster without a picture of a delicious dinner prepared from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking.

This is her Roasted Tomato and Paprika Soup, made with homemade stock based on her veggie stock recipe. This is the second time I’ve made this soup this month, and I’ll be making it again. (I’m also newly addicted to smoked paprika, and I blame this book.) Also, today over on 101 cookbooks, Heidi posted that she’s working on another cookbook! I’m glad to hear it, as this is one of my current favorites.

Off to bed — Boh is already there, of course.