Tuesday, January 30, 2007


It's my blog's birthday. Today would be a lovely day for everyone to leave a comment. In fact, as incentive, sometime Thursday morning I'll draw the name of one lucky commenter and send them a delightful skein of handspun yarn (enough for socks or a scarf). I suppose if the draw-ee is a non-knitter, I can convert the yarn to a knitted item.

I finished a baby sweater in the nick of time for a shower yesterday. Truthfully, the knitting and blocking was done over a week ago, but the buttons went on at the last possible moment.

Pattern: Ann Norling top-down raglan, with seed stitch and collar by moi.
Yarn: Madil wool/acrylic blend, 4 skeins

The parents-to-be loved it, and there was a gratifying amount of cooing at the baby shower.

A good husband
Trent watched me mope on Saturday, and ordered me to take myself down to Tacoma and visit the marketplace for Madrona Fiber Arts. I saw lots of people, bought lots of roving, and was generally glad I went. Everyone I know who took classes said they were great, so next year I'm going to try harder to fit some classes in.

Friday, January 26, 2007


All the cool kids are at the Madrona Fiber Arts Retreat, and I'm sad and jealous. I didn't sign up because I knew I'd be crazy busy with work at this time of year, and that's absolutely true. I'm not even going to go the market because, good lord, my stash is ginormous. But I'm still feeling the magnetic pull of all that fibery goodness, so close...

Meanwhile, I just can't seem to wedge much knitting time into my work week. I'm not doing so well on the walking, either. I'm currently at 31, which is pretty much on track for the month. I've only made it out once this week, though (yesterday), and last week was only 2 walks. If I can manage to avoid falling asleep as soon as I get home, I should be able to get another 3 or so miles in today when I get home from work.

Kmkat asked everyone to post their desktop pictures. I don't actually have one up right now because of the glacial slowness of my poor work laptop, but here are two favorite desktops past.

The top photo is the harbor of Zeerikzee, a small town in the Zeeland province of the Netherlands. We've been there a couple of times, on bike trips. It may be my favorite place in the world. The light is gorgeous, and I always feel happy and peaceful there.
The second photo is somewhere along the coast of Oregon, from the bike trip we took two summers ago. The views were staggering. Since this picture is well-composed and not blurry, I imagine Trent took it.
Seeing these makes me weepy with longing for summer vacation. I know that, compared to people with normal business jobs, my 7 weeks off a year is a lot. But I still want more. I don't know how people survive going off to work at the same place day after day with only a week here and there for relief. I'm practically counting the days until I'm eligible for sabbatical.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The concussion scarf

Our old modem died over the weekend, so I was unable to post a scarf pic until now. Here it is, modeled by the kitties just for Jenine.

This is the Yarn Harlot's One Row Scarf pattern, in handspun Perendale (pictured here on the left in its yarn form, back in May). I dyed the roving, too.

In other knitting news, I once again succumbed to casting on.

This will be the Handsome Triangle from Victorian Lace Today. This is handspun corriedale, purchased from Crown Mountain Farms, in the color "Silver Fox." I made a little more headway on it tonight at Ferals. As many, many bloggers have pointed out, it's nearly impossible to take a non-crappy picture of lace on the needles.

Thanks for the concern for my concussion. I'm really fine, although I'll be even happier when the dumb-lump on my skull finally goes down.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Not my week, my month, maybe my year

It hasn't been the happiest couple of weeks. First, there was the cruel shock of returning to work after the 2 week break. I hadn't managed to do very much grading or preparation over the break, so that first week back was a killer. But then it was interrupted by a snow day (Thursday Jan. 11). The day off work made me happy, but the slick white stuff did not inspire as much joy. Then, Sunday night, I slipped on the ice, conked my head on bricks that surround my neighbor's flowerbed, and gave myself a concussion. I'm willing to admit that I was childish and petulant about going to the hospital. They eventually did a CT scan, and I'm happy to report that my brain is in place and the size, shape, and presumably even the color that it is supposed to be.

To sum up: work, snow and ice, concussion, ow, work.

My mom sent me a picture of an FO from last year, the Two Swans Tea Cozy. (It has "I'm a little teapot" on it. Awww...) I finished this for mom while she was visiting in the fall, and she whisked it away before I got a picture.

There's also been current knitting. I started and finished a scarf from my handspun (it was even roving dyed by moi) using the Yarn Harlot's one-row scarf pattern. I'll forever think of it as the concussion scarf. It's even appropriate bruise colors, purple and green. (I'll edit this post later today to add a picture of the scarf.) I'm a little bogged down with my complicated knitting right now, and I wanted to do something with faster gratification.

Everything else going on in my knitting life is about delayed gratification. Trent gave me the lovely book Latvian Dreams for Christmas (or my birthday? It's easy to lose track). When we used the Amazon gift certificate we got by running our vast amounts of change through a Coinstar machine, I ordered Victorian Lace Today. Both of these books are full of beautiful projects that I long to knit, but I have so many sweaters and socks and such in the works that I feel like I have to deal with some of them before I start any major new projects. (The scarf didn't count, since it only took 3 days.) Right now I'm making the most headway on the red Wensleydale sweater, pictured back in this post. The back is done, and one of the fronts (it's a cardigan) is just shy of the neck shaping. I'm also periodically forging ahead on Trent's green Fleece Artist socks and the green cormo/alpaca that I started spinning at the St. Distaff's spin-in.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Last day of vacation

I could use another week. My schedule at work is going to be hellish for the next two months, and thinking about it makes me want to huddle under the covers.

St. Distaff's Day spin-in
I headed up to Mountlake Terrace yesterday for the St. Distaff's Day spin-in that NWRSA (Northwest Regional Spinners' Association) puts together. Peggy and Rebecca encouraged me to turn up with my Betty Roberts' wheel so we could have a little block of them for people to admire. They did. I spent a lot of time explaining how it worked. I was there from just after 10 to sometime after 3, and even deducting time for shopping, I did a lot of spinning. My pictures did not come out well, but here are two blurry shots that give you a sense of what it's like to be in a gym with 150 or so spinners. That's the view to my left and to my right (where you'll see TMK's hands. I feel so proud to have had a small part in sucking in another victim).

Knitting progress
I've finished the knitting on the baby sweater, and just need to block it and sew on buttons. I'm still chippping away at Trent's green Fleece Artist sock 2 and my red Wensleydale sweater.

I did one mile with Chloe after I got home yesterday. Nancy's coming over today with her dog to keep me company, so that should be another 3-4 miles.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Pink sock problem

Remember the red sweater thing I have going? The other day, when I was hanging the delicate laundry up to dry, I noticed something about my handknit socks: a certain pinkness.

In addition to the 4 pairs pictured here, there's also the pink pair I just finished (that's the leftover yarn in balls above the sock line-up). To the left of the socks, that's the pink BFL I recently finished (intended for socks) and the burgundy Fleece Artist sock yarn I bought myself in Chicago. I'm sort of afraid to go look in the sock yarn stash. What if there's more?

100 miles
I did 3.6 miles with Stella today. We went slower, and she didn't stay flat quite as long when we got home.

I've decided that I'm not going to count the walking that I do normally (morning dog walk around the park, post office, Blockbuster, and so on). Partly that's because it would be a pain keeping track of those little distances, and partly because I want to do the 100 miles above and beyond my normal level of activity. I'm really enjoying getting to know my neighborhood better, too.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Off the couch

Despite my basic dislike of New Year festivities and (especially) resolutions, I'm joining Rachael's 100 Miles by April 1.

Recently, we've learned that Stella is now old enough to be tired out by a long walk. We've been taking her (every day) to an off leash area and playing fetch. While it does wonders for her, standing in one place and lobbing a tennis ball doesn't do so much for our fat butts. Trent got the ball rolling by hauling her off to Green Lake for several days in a row (Chloe and I went too on Sunday), and, inspired by him and by the gang at Runagogo, Stella and I did 4 miles today. I figured the distance using the very spiffy Google pedometer.

She was hyper hyper hyper when we started. See the mad gleam in her eye?

We headed across Lake City Way and down 35th toward Meadowbrook pond.

There's still some visible damage from the wind storm.

Meadowbrook pond, across from the Meadowbrook Community Center, "is a flood control and water quality project" according to Seattle Public Utilities. But when you're there, it's a lovely, landscaped little park with good bird watching. We saw this one. (Anyone? I need a field guide in the worst way.)

Our route had some hills, and Stella and I both came home tired. Ah, flat doggy.

In other news
I'm finally feeling better. We had the most low-key holiday season ever. We spent NY's eve at home, watching movies and knitting (me) and reading and playing guitar (Trent). I've been knitting a skein of the Fleece Artist sock yarn I got in Chicago into socks for Trent, spinning up more of my roving from Spunky Eclectic, and working on a baby sweater for a pregnant coworker. Pictures will appear when any of those things get done.