shawls and scarves.

They are the best knitted things for coping with a never-ending winter. I haven’t picked up the needles in the last month, but I have been wrapping myself in warm things. And some of the times I do this, I remember to snap a picture. So, some knits in action. (And, of course, Boh in action.)

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Snowbird and Boh keeping me warm on the couch.

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Stripe study shawl.

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Just Boh in action. Here he’s “helping” with my pile of grading.

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Handspun eternity scarf — it matches my jacket perfectly!

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Lightweight cowl — I don’t even remember the name of this pattern, but it’s got a loose-knit ribbing that drapes beautifully.

Spring break starts this morning, which means I can pause all of my teaching prep (for most of the week, anyway) and focus on my dissertation. I’m hoping to get a lot of writing done, and Boh is hoping for longer walks. Seems reasonable. (And maybe there will be time for knitting?)

signs.

I don’t watch¬†Game of Thrones, but I’m pretty sure nothing says “Winter is coming” like a baby mouse scurrying around my dish rack. (Filled, of course, with no longer clean dishes.) This guy hid in this jar-shaped glass when he saw me. After I took his picture, I escorted him to the bottom of the driveway. And then I began the process of investigating for evidence of mice, and scrubbing and disinfecting everything. My love of old houses ¬†means I’m familiar with this process, but I was a little cranky about discovering this mouse late on Tuesday night just as I had finished all of my prep for my Wednesday morning class. Sigh. I understand that the mice are just looking for a cozy place to hunker down. I’m willing to negotiate: they can have the basement (which has an earthen floor — there’s no way I can keep critters out of there), but the kitchen is off limits. Hopefully I can convince them that it is in their best interest to agree to my terms now, before the cold really sets in.

But enough about that. How about some pleasant signs that cooler weather is upon us?

I wore my wurm cowl yesterday. And I totally want another one.

I drank my Thursday morning latte pretty quickly at the coffee shop yesterday. (And finally finished a workable draft of that fellowship application I’ve been complaining about!)

I wrapped myself in my stripe study shawl and sat on the porch with my first cup of coffee this morning.

Aren’t the leaves lovely?

I’ve been spinning! These are Targhee singles in the Sprout colorway from the Hello Yarn Fiber Club (April 2011). In the background you can see what are probably my last snapdragons of the season. Even if winter is still a ways off, the first frost is near. I picked those at the farm on Tuesday afternoon. Happy Friday!

stripeyness/happiness.

It’s Friday, and I’m making up words. Here’s why:

I know I’m late to this party, but I do think there is a connection between stripes and happiness. This mismatched pairing made me oh-so-happy on Wednesday.

A close-up. (Also, I’ve noticed that when I take pictures of what I’m wearing, I often have a hand on my hip. Is this because I just don’t know where to put it? Or has my subconscious received all sorts of messaging about how to pose that I just can’t help it? That’s what I think about when I look at this picture. Well, that and how much I love stripes.) This is what happens when I post right before bed.

Also, I’ve been spinning! This is Pigeonroof Studios Fiber in Bronzed Teal. I’ve got two bumps, and I’m spinning up a squishy light-worsted 2-ply. I should have about 450 yards when I’m done. And I’m almost halfway there!

Plying.

My lazy kate, propped up on a pile of books in my office. This was not really a good idea, as it toppled so many times I lost count.

Yarn, pre-soak. I snapped this picture because I was so pleased with how well-balanced this particular skein seems to be. Sort of hard to see that in the photo, but I’m really happy with it.

And then there’s this guy. I’m so very happy with him, too. The weather is supposed to be extra nice tomorrow, and I’m hoping we’ll get in a nice long walk. He’s earned it. Happy weekend!

resolved.

One of my resolutions for 2012 is to develop a writing practice. Writing a dissertation is really different from writing a colloquium paper, or a seminar paper, or a conference paper, or an article draft. I’m not going to sit down and crank this out in a couple of weeks, deadline looming. And even if I could do that, I certainly don’t want to. This is my primary job for the next few years, and I want to like doing it. Which means I need a rhythm, a routine. And now that I’m done with my fall semester and its accompanying whirlwind of research travel, it is time to get settled — and serious — about developing the habits I’d most like to have as a writer, teacher, and historian. And so far so good. I snapped this picture this afternoon, before beginning day 3 of plan write-every-day. Right now, the goal is to form the habit. I’m not necessarily writing the dissertation yet, but I’m writing about it, and thinking in a more dedicated and targeted way about my sources, my actors, and my argument(s). And it feels good to me. (Note to self: remember this feeling.)

Here’s another shot of the office, from the porch looking in. I took this because of the view I was enjoying looking out on Monday. See?

So lovely. I was too busy writing to capture today’s afternoon and early evening light, but it was beautiful — sort of like this, but with flurries of snow.

And because in theory, we all show up here because there is knitting, here’s what I wore to campus (first day back there since the end of August) today: my stripe study shawl, boots, leggings, a dress, and a slouchy sweater. It was nice to say hello to the folks in the office, chat with my chair, and cross a bunch of logistical things off my list. Hooray!

Time for dinner, some knitting, and a book.

autumn is for knitters.

You know, like Virginia is for Lovers. Snapped these last two shots this morning before dashing out the door to meet a friend for breakfast. It is a grey fall day, perfect for a knitted layer like whisper, which is currently adding just the right amount of cozy to a day of reading on the couch. (I’m reading, not writing, today because I finished a draft of my prospectus last night. It’s still very much a draft, but it feels good to have something real on paper.)

back to life/back to reality.

You guys remember that song, right? Okay, hold on, I need to Google it. Soul 2 Soul, Back to Life (However Do You Want Me), big hit in 1989.

Anyway, this jam (isn’t that what we used to call them?) popped into my head when I was thinking about how the routines are starting up again all around me, but that I’m not really going back to school (get it?) this semester. Instead, I have a semester of dissertation research and writing ahead of me, without any teaching obligations. (I’ll be teaching again in the spring — this time, my very own course.)

So instead of a back to school photo, you get a back to life/back to reality photo. This one’s not blurry. And it counts as a stripe-study-in-action shot! (I’m not sure it is actually cold enough to wear this out of the house, but at this very second, it is about 52 degrees outside. And on my porch. So I’m going for it.)

I’ve also got some baked goods to share:

This is Deb’s raspberry buttermilk cake (I know I’ve linked to it before) — super simple, incredibly delicious. I might have eaten it for breakfast AND lunch yesterday. Might.

And last night, when I got home from yoga, I scurried to get this tomato tart (farm tomatoes, local goat cheese, mustard, honey, thyme from my yard, and pie crust) in the oven. It took longer than usual because I was using a pie crust from a batch I made over the weekend rather than the tart dough that this recipe calls for, so I was pretty hungry by the time it came out of the oven. Leftovers for breakfast!

salsa and stripes.

‘Morning, all. I’m feeling cautiously optimistic about this sore throat, and a little stir crazy from almost two full days on the couch. Time to catch up on some blogging. First up? Salsa.

I saw this super simple recipe over at A Friend to Knit With — and while I would’ve kept on scrolling in my old apartment because it called for using the broiler (and I was never able to clean that one well enough to feel good about using it), on Saturday morning I thought, what better way to celebrate a new stove? And so I ventured to the grocery store on graduation morning for salsa ingredients. And it was worth it. (I did use onions, too. They just aren’t in the pictures.)

Initially I was worried that it would be too spicy, but it mellowed a bit in the fridge. (Or maybe I got a mouthful of chile seeds when I tasted it? Either way, I was really happy with the results.)

As you can see, Boh was also worried about the spiciness of the salsa. Saturday night, a small group of friends from the department came over to hang out and enjoy the sunset. There were two different kinds of homebrew (yum!) and Boh made several new friends. I didn’t snap any pictures, but it was really nice to be social again, and I was awake way past my bedtime. Sunday was when I started feeling less than awesome, and I pretty much sat on the porch all day and worked on my Stripe Study Shawl. These don’t count as FO pictures because the lighting is bad and the ends aren’t woven in, but here’s a look at how it turned out:

I really love this, and even though summer weather has just begun, I will keep my fingers crossed for an evening or two when it is cool enough for me to sit on the porch with this shawl around my shoulders. I’ll post official FO pictures once I weave in the ends and find a better spot for photos!