Archive for the 'Knitting' Category

A very greyhound Christmas

December 25th, 2011

Henry (mostly) and Philip (some) wish you a merry Christmas!

Our low-key holiday, part two, started out with a brioche French toast brunch.

I’ve never had custard French toast before, and it was delicious.   Brioche helped, I’m sure.

Since Philip was being obnoxious, we headed out for a walk by the river after we ate.

While Henry entertained visions of Christmas goose,

I took the opportunity to take a few pictures of a shawl I knit way back when (it’s been long enough that I don’t remember) for my grandmother.   I figure it’s pretty safe to post them on the blog (and if not, well, spoiler alert, Grandma).

Two river walks in as many days tired the dogs out enough to make them extremely cooperative for a photo shoot — with props.

And then it was time for a nap for me, and, finally, Christmas dinner.

Matt outdid himself — the turkey is perfectly cooked, and everything is delicious.   All in all, we’ve had a lovely, relaxing Christmas, and best of all — I’m on vacation!

Lazy weekend

November 8th, 2009

The last day of the first quarter was Friday; hooray!   We always have a minimum day, and typically, Matt and I go out of town for a mini-vacation.   This year, we tossed around the usual go-to-the-beach idea, and ditched it in favor of a lazy, lounge-around-the-house weekend.   (This idea nearly got scuttled Thursday night in favor of going to visit Matt’s parent’s new puppy, but I had a horrible day Friday and we decided to stay home, after all.   More on the new puppy later, though.)

Lazy, lounge-around-the-house weekends don’t exactly make for good blog fodder, but we did manage to take pictures of the cowl, alias Kim-snood, I finished last week:

smiley modeled cowl

I favor cowls because they don’t take much time (or yarn) to knit.   This one took three days and is made of cashmere, and since I still have half the skein, if you want one for Christmas (and say so now), you stand a decent chance of getting one.   In other knitting news, I have officially won the Knitting Series (best of three) by frogging the squeezy-clutchy cabled-rib jobbie and instead knitting a mini-scarf.   It needs blocking; pictures may (or may not) be forthcoming next week.

In completely unrelated news, did I mention that Matt’s parents got a new puppy?   She’s a border collie, and her name is Susie, and I have it on good authority that she’s ADORABLE.   Coincidentally, I’ve been reading several awesome border collie blogs (recommended to me by Google Reader, I think) that have been just filled with pictures of border collie puppies, causing me to tug at Matt’s sleeve at what I am sure are annoyingly frequent intervals and demand a border collie puppy.   (Heartlessly, Matt always tells me no.)

He’s right, of course.   I chose greyhounds because I wanted a fairly low-key (ha!), lazy dog, and, although Philip just this instant charged off the bed and went outside to bark at squirrels, taking Henry with him, they really are pretty low-energy dogs.   (No walk Friday, brief jaunt to the coffee place Saturday, an hour or so by the river today.   Would a border collie be happy with that?   I think not.)   However, the beauty of Matt’s parents getting this new puppy is that it’s like grandchildren in reverse.   We get to go to Ukiah, bearing presents of squeaky toys and chewies, snuggle an adorable warm new puppy, marvel at the sharpness of her little teeth and her not-so-little intellect, and then go home.

The plan is for this to happen Wednesday.   I can’t wait!   Expect many pictures.

The Knitting Series is tied

November 1st, 2009

Kim: 1

I finished my Kim-snood Friday night; it’s blocked and now dry and awaiting decent light for pictures. . . maybe next weekend.   It’s lovely, and I’m very pleased.

Knitting: 1

I started another Kim-snood, a cabled-rib jobbie using some handspun purchased from Etsy that I’ve had lying around for a while.   It’s very pretty, and I like the pattern, and I knit away diligently all weekend, and the end result is very. . . constrictive.   Since we all know how I feel about things clutching at my neck (if you don’t: I hates them), Kim-snood v.3′s fate is uncertain.   It’s sitting in the drawer until I decide, but I vaguely see a bigger yarn ball in the future.

On the up side, I’m assigning my kids another poster tomorrow (read: two mostly low-key days for me); Friday is a minimum day (end of the quarter); and Veteran’s Day is next week.   Thus, I vaguely see plenty of knitting time in my future.   Score!

It’s winter!

October 28th, 2009

Or close enough, anyway.   This means two things:

  1. It’s soup season.   The freezer is filling up with my favorite method of heating my house: veggie broth.   (The house is so small, simmering a batch on the (gas) stove works just as well as the heater, and produces food at the same time.)
  2. It’s scarf and glove season.   I have yet to finish a pair of gloves (fingers are no fun), but I started another Kim-snood on my brand-new interchangable circulars.


(Two computers were required because one of them had the webpage with the pattern, and the other one had Glee on Hulu.)

So far, knock on wood, it’s been a pretty good week.   I managed to make it home by 4:30 – early for me – twice so far, a fact that’s helped me make significant progress on my knitting.   I’m hoping to finish over the weekend, but then, I’m hoping to do a lot of things over the weekend, so we can only wait and see.


March 31st, 2009

Good news first.

Things I wanted to finish in time for Paris — and have! (or probably will)

  • Regain some semblance of health.   Done!   I’m 95% better and Matt is 85%.   We’ll be okay.
  • Grading.   Normally, I would be frantically grading all week to get this week’s work into the third quarter grade.   This time, forget it.   The work is just going to be part of their fourth quarter grade.   So there.   And I told my kids that anything turned in after today may not make it into their grades.   Realistically, that should be “will not,” but why kill a 13-year-old’s hope?
  • My Paris scarf.   It’s Handmaiden Swiss Mountain Cashmere and Silk; the colorway is “Paris.”   Which, of course, is why I bought it.   (Also, because of the cashmere.)   I’ve been frantically knitting and un-knitting this on all kinds of needle sizes (first 8, then 7, then 6, then 8 again) and thought I’d never finish, but then I looked up last night and the Yarn Ball That Never Ends was gone.

The catch:

  • At the moment, the scarf looks like this:
    It desperately needs to be blocked, and the ideal way to do this is with blocking wires, of which I have none.   I’m going to try to improvise.

Things that are just not getting done:

  • A haircut.   I believe the last time I got my hair cut was just before I headed to Chico. . . last summer.   I’ve left a message with my on-again, off-again hair stylist (okay, so it’s mostly off-again) on the off chance he might have an opening this week, but I’m not holding my breath.
  • An optometrist appointment.   Even though I am totally out of contacts.
  • Mystery project #2 for mystery recipient #2.   It’s now, oh, three months late.   On the other hand, an optimist could think of it as six months early.   More on that later.   Or never.

How I spent the day

February 21st, 2009

First of all, I slept way, way in (11:30, which for me, is not all that unusual), so there wasn’t that much day left to spend.   But let’s not get caught up in details.

Matt’s attending a photo seminar this weekend, so I had the house to myself.   I was planning on doing something resembling chores at some point during the day, but ended up mostly doing this:


This is Matt’s new scarf, and it’s proving more interesting than I expected (more so than general man-knits), to the point where I still haven’t finished mystery project #2, even though (more hints) as a gift it’s really, really late, and all I have left to do is sew up a wayward buttonhole and put (now decorative) buttons on.   Maybe tomorrow.   Just like maybe tomorrow, I’ll do the dishes.

Second time’s the charm

February 1st, 2009

I had the first meeting of my second master’s class yesterday in Chico.   It was terrible.   I like the prof; he’s the same guy I had last semester, and he’s not the problem.   The course content, assignments, and a handful of the students are.   However, it’s only a semester, I need it for the degree, and I’ll just have to suck it up.

Besides, before class, I bought yarn.

I went to the yarn store with the intention of buying a button (decorative and ceramic) for a project I’m planning (I believe this is mystery project #3 for mystery recipient #3, and no, neither #1 nor 2 are done yet).   I left with two skeins of yarn (they’re 30% cashmere, and did I mention I’m on a cashmere kick?) and two buttons (one for mystery project, and one for me).

I’m planing a scarf and headband set (not enough yarn for a hat).   I knit headband v 1.0 yesterday evening.


It’s nice, but when I looked at the leftover yarn in the ball:


I decided I’d rather have those colors in the headband.   And thus began headband v 2.0, knit from the outside of the ball this time.


You get a better sense of the color striping from the side, if you’re curious.

I have plenty of things to do this afternoon (laundry, dishes, meal planning/grocery shopping for the week, grading), but I think I’m going to put all of that off and knit the matching scarf instead.   Stay tuned!

Four in one

January 19th, 2009

I have about four posts worth of material saved up. . . it’s just been that kind of week.

Exhibit A: Matt and I came home on Wednesday, or maybe Thursday (together, as I was leaving school so late I just swung by to pick him up on my way home — on both days), and found this:


I just lost it.   A full fifteen minutes of crying in the bathroom were required.   Not really because the bowl was so important, but because my week at school had just been lousy and this was the last straw.   (When I calmed down, Matt pointed out something I hadn’t realized: The broken bowl is not my favorite, irreplaceable one.   It’s the new bowl from Uncle Jim.   That made me feel much better.)   I’ve had to write a lot of referrals recently, which is unusual and makes me cranky.   My favorite colleague and I have also tweaked lunch detention and started it up again, so that’s been exceptionally fun and has required a lot of phone calls home, another something that’s exceptionally fun.

The weekend, unlike the work week, has been significantly better.   Friday, I went to a thrift store located on my way home from school and found cool swag for $15.


Top to bottom, I got two tiny infant sweatshirts (size 6 months and 12 months), not because I need them, but because the $1 they each cost is significantly cheaper than a commercial pattern would be.   I also found a wool fair isle sweater, which I’m planning to felt and use for a bag or a baby sweater.   The fate of the other two are temporarily undecided.   I originally was planning to unravel for the yarn, but both are pretty fine and might be too much work for me.   The other option is felting and resewing.   The brown sweater feels luscious, but lacks a materials tag.   For $1.50, I took a chance; it might felt, it might not, whatever.   The lavender sweater is cashmere.   Also $1.50.   Seriously.

Finally, what am I doing with foam puzzle blocks?   They’re fabulous for blocking knitwear.   Self-healing, easily reconfigurable, moisture-proof.   As we speak, they’re in use on their second project this weekend.

As for the weekend: On Friday night and Saturday, I knitted and caught up on six episodes of Battlestar Galactica.   This period of catching up was required because — spoiler alert if you’re even more behind than me — the last episode I saw was the one where Tory flushed Cally out the airlock, which traumatized me somewhat.   I dealt with the tension and violence by mostly knitting and doing only a little watching.   By the time I was caught up, I had this:


This is unnamed-project number two for unnamed-recipient number two; props to you if you can figure out what (and who) it is.   Hint #1: It’s late.   Hint #2: Unnamed recipient number two has a name.

On Sunday, Matt and I drove the dogs to Berkeley for a walk in Tilden Park.   Matt’s GPS trip computer says our hike was 8 miles.   Since we were only out about 2.5 hours, and were walking at a relatively slow pace (long daily walks are wearing on Henry, and Philip was carrying the dog’s water), I’m quite sure we didn’t walk 8 miles.   Upon examination of the GPS track log, Matt estimates 5.6 miles.

It was a nice hike; the weather was lovely.   More like March than January, really.   Normally, I like my hikes to be exceptionally flat, and this one had some uphill stretches, but they weren’t too steep, and I survived.


So did Henry, appearances to the contrary, and Philip.


Whatever the means, the dogs were exhausted afterward, enough so to allow Matt and me to bundle them into the car and head off for a steam train ride.


It was fun.   There are several trains, on different scales, with tracks and accessories (water tower, mining operation, trestle bridge, tunnel) to match.

Today, we’ve mostly caught up on household chores (a mountain of laundry and dishes).   And, of course, I’ve caught up on the blog.

(Partial) Victory!

December 31st, 2008

In two days of moderate productivity (punctuated with plenty of sleep), I have accomplished two crafty things.   Behold!


That would be two Christmas socks (still slightly damp, if truth be told) for Mom and one small coat (still without fastners, if truth be told) for Annie.   I finished Mom’s socks last night (technically this morning, if truth be told) as Matt untangled yarn for my next, still-unspecified project for a still-unspecified recipient.

We’re headed to Fresno today, which, in theory, should leave plenty of time for unspecified-project #1, but in reality, all time will likely be soaked up by Guitar Hero, dog walks, stuffing ourselves, and lying in a stupor.   Oh, yes, I forgot, I also volunteered Matt to cook a turkey.   More on that to come. . . maybe.

In which Mom gets -1 socks for Christmas

December 25th, 2008

As you might remember from yesterday, I’m not done knitting Mom’s Christmas socks.  She’s disappointed on several fronts.  (“They’re not Christmas!” being my personal favorite.  Ingrate.  And I say that with all the love in the world, Mom.)

However, the more troubling source of disappointment is this:


At first, I thought, “Oh, good.”   Toes are easy to fix.   Upon closer inspection, however, it turned out that toes are the least of my worries.   There is also this minor problem:


. . . along with about 14 of its closest friends.   Small, discrete holes sprinkled throughout the sock.   “It looks almost like mice nibbled it,” my mom said.   Since I’m reasonably sure mice don’t inhabit her sock drawer, my preferred culprit is moths.

Regardless, the sock is a wash.   I’ll have to knit a new one.   Also, closer inspection revealed a similar hole in its mate.   Just one (so far), and it’s on the sole, so it’s fairly easy to repair, but I’m going to have to take it, too.   This leaves the score at:

Mom -2 (last year’s socks)
Mom +1 (this year’s sock)

for a total of:

Mom -1

and leaves me with a lot of knitting to do.   I think I’ll look for cedar sachets, too.   Just in case.

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