Saturday, December 31, 2011


Maybe I’ll dye my hair (the grey in it is starting to get to me)
Maybe I’ll move somewhere (but probably not)
Maybe I’ll get a car (mine is getting older, I have been thinking this...)
Maybe I’ll drive so far they'll all lose track (I road tripped a lot this year, I could do the same again)

Maybe I’ll sleep real late (yes!)
Maybe I’ll lose some weight (please?)
Maybe I’ll clear my junk (Goodwill needs my stuff, right?)
Maybe I’ll just get drunk on apple wine (not sure about the apple wine, but ok)

Hey, maybe I’ll learn to sew (it's an idea)
Maybe I’ll just lie low (definitely ok with this one)
Maybe I’ll hit the bars (brewpubs?)
Maybe I’ll count the stars until dawn (always a good idea)

Maybe I’ll settle down (pretty settled already, thanks)
Maybe I’ll just leave town (Again, probably not)
Maybe I’ll have some fun (YES)
Maybe I’ll meet someone and make him mine (or not, I like the one I've got).

Either way, I'll be fine and dandy, and I hope you are too. Happy new year.

My take on New Year's Resolutions, with apologies to Dolly Parton and Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Who's that girl?

I got up this morning and saw it was snowing, so I went for a run/walk, because I like my neighborhood route and it's no fun when it's icy and slushy, so I needed to do that a few more times before the snow makes me have a few months without.

I got up last Saturday, drove downtown, and ran a 5k in the 20F cold because I wanted to do one more race this year and I wasn't in town for the Drumstick Dash. That was my fifth race of that length since September, if you count the 3 mile Run Like Hell (and I do, it was a blast!)

I pay attention to my pace and time and distance, because I have to improve all of that to participate in the half marathon I already signed up for next fall.

I really don't recognize myself in any of those things, but somehow they're a part of who I am and what I'm up to lately. This all started with the 500 mile challenge, which ended in May with about 440 miles done. A year and a half after goading myself off of my sofa with that crazy goal, I get cranky if I don't get some exercise every few days. Which means I've got a habit of exercise, which was really the goal of the 500 mile project. And so now I'll try and get a spreadsheet going for next year, because 500 miles in 2012 sounds entirely doable.

The best part of this is the friends who have come along with me. Mandie, Jill and Bri have their own goals, but have been awesome cheerleaders and pacers for me this fall and all the way through. I'm enjoying learning to run with them and I'm excited to see what we do in the future.

Running friends

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Weekend with Amy

In Nancy Bush's class at Sock Summit two years ago, there was a woman who identified herself as a "class-taker". I resolved a while ago to be the same way, and I think it's really really good for me, and I think I should do a more in-depth post about why later.

So when the Indianapolis Knitting Guild made arrangements to bring in Amy Detjen for a weekend workshop, I jumped to sign up without thinking. (In doing so, I made it so I missed a weekend retreat with my grad school math pals, and I'm still kicking myself a little about that - isn't it grand and terrible to have so many options for good times?)

Camnesia happened again. The only picture I have from the weekend is the one I sent my husband in reply to the "I'm in a happy place" picture he sent me from the racetrack in Phoenix. It's below:
Brioche class

It was fantastic spending the weekend with local knitters outside my usual group. There were several of my Thursday night pals there, too, but I got to talk some with several of the knitters I only see once a month or so. It was excellent to see Lana, who came from Terre Haute for the weekend. She's got a sock pattern in the Twist Collective that went live today!

Amy Detjen is awesome. There were three classes and a more informal evening session, and I learned a lot. Every time I spend time with Amy I leave seriously considering trying to move to Madison just to hang out with her more. I want to knit more colorwork and brioche and sweaters and everything.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Saturday Morning

Most weekend mornings I wake up before my husband.  This morning was no different. It's my nice no-pressure quiet time in the week where I can make myself breakfast, knit and watch tv or listen to podcasts, or read. I love a Saturday morning with a book. 
Here's what this morning looks like.

My sweater's second sleeve is growing quickly. I'm hoping to have the garment finished by the end of the month. We'll see.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Living in the future

I know, I've been a little quiet lately. I haven't had a lot of bloggy mojo, or spinning mojo either. I've knit a few things, but pictures haven't happened. So soon I'm gonna try and fix that. I'm posting this from my phone! Crazy, man.

Back to grading. Maybe I'll get a whole round in tonight on the sock I cast on this morning. Here's hoping.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Camp Camnesia

This past weekend I trekked up to the middle of Wisconsin for Meg Swansen's Knitting Camp. I went last year, and it was exhilarating and empowering and I learned a LOT.

Same for this year. I split the drive up in two, stopping at my pal Kylee's house for the night. Kylee is the one who, five years ago, gave me a scarf kit at exactly the right time and started me down this whole knitting rabbit hole.

I had my camera with me in Wisconsin, but I forgot to pull it out. Every day I'd watch Amy Detjen adjust a camera over Meg Swansen's shoulder as Meg knit and I'd want a picture of that, but I didn't get it. It'll just have to be a mental photo, which I'm sorry I can't share.

Jessica logged a lovely moment from camp, though.

As happened last year, I came home with a heavily expanded project queue, including a pile of things from the new book Knit One Knit All. My sweater-in-progress is progressing, it's one that was added to the queue after last year's camp. Right now it's a twisty wad of stockinette on a big circular needle, but it'll straighten out.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Things finished

Managed to do the photodocumenting of various projects today, so here's an update!

A pair of plain socks in Noro Silk Garden:

These started life as an office emergency project, a designated break when grading was crazy or other things were getting to me. They moved pretty fast, because the thickish yarn required a heftier needle than my usual - they were on 2's and I think 60 stitches around. After classes were over they became my track knitting, and we spent at least one day out at the speedway every weekend that cars were on the track, so they grew fast. They were finished on the Saturday of race weekend, so I just had to start a new sock on race day. That one will show up soon.

I made a little shawly thing:
This is the Little Colonnade shawl, in a nice MCN blend from Pigeonroof Studios. The yarn was the special colorway for Simply Sock Yarn's birthday kit last year, and it was lovely to knit.

And finally, my new favorite thing:

I finished this at knitting on Thursday. I've been sighing about it not being done for months now, and finally it is! This is my first handspun sweater. I finished the yarn last fall, cast on once the orange sweater let go of me in February, and now it's done.

Not really a modeled shot, but a "I finished it tonight and I couldn't wait till the next day for pictures" pic in the mirror in my closet.


I love it, can you tell?


Well, it's pretty obvious that I am not particularly good at blogging daily. It's actually been a frustrating theme this summer, I can't seem to make myself do anything on a daily basis, whether it's eat right, exercise, spin, knit, or do a load of laundry.

I am reading pretty voraciously. I bought a Sony Reader a few months back, and the library's ecollection has become one of my most-visited websites. I'm working my way through several series of romance and mysteries, and I'm currently reading the campus book club selection, even though I can't make next week's meeting.

I'm trying to catch up some on podcasts, because I have a bad habit of getting behind on those. My very favorite that I tend to listen to as soon as I can after it posts every week is an NPR podcast called Pop Culture Happy Hour. I discovered it over Christmas break, and it's just fun. The Monkey See blog hosts it, and the blog (and its host) is a favorite as well.

I'm hoping to kick myself into updating my ravelry notebook in the next day or so, I've finished several projects that need to be documented. There will be knitting pictures then.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Trying new things

One of the things I learned at Stringtopia was how awesome Jacey Boggs is. Jacey blogs and does other stuff at Insubordiknit. At Stringtopia she taught me corespinning and boucle. I still have to practice my boucle. I'm working on it. (Did I mention there wasn't much spinning right post-Stringtopia?) This is my class sample.


The other stuff she was teaching was awesome too. So when I found out she was teaching at Midwest Fiber and Folk, I signed right up. Cables and Crepes was the first class, and Thick-and-Thin and Coils was the second.

I'm going to start with the coils. Coils are AWESOME.

Here are my class samples. Jacey's very good at breaking down the various steps of these yarns.

Thick-and-thin and coils are both rhythmic. I really like them. And coils are a really nice outlet for the control freak in me. I can make them Just Right, and it's awesome.

Here are the coils I spun last week:

They're better. Imagine that!

I don't have my class sample from the Cables and Crepes class. I kind of struggled in there. Balance is very important in cabled yarn, and I'm not used to paying a lot of attention to balance, because sometimes extra twist in one direction or another is useful, and it takes a lot of imbalance to affect a finished knit fabric by biasing it.

But I was determined not to let my unsuccessful class sample keep me down, and I came home and spun this:


Which is pretty good in places, if not as consistent as I'd like. I'll continue to work on it.

So, to conclude: coils are awesome; cables were way harder than expected, but gratifying to get rightish. Jacey is brilliant and fun and I will definitely take classes from her again, and I bought her video so that if I want to try other things, I can see how she does it. (And holy cow, SO MUCH stuff to try in that video!)

Saturday, July 2, 2011


It's still the second for a few minutes, right?

So, for the Tour de Fleece, I started today by going through my spinning WIPs and figuring out what was what with them. Today I spun a touch on three of them, two spindle projects and one on the wheel.

There are seven projects altogether, three on the wheel and four on spindles. Lots to do, but they should be plenty to keep me occupied this month.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Mid-year, the first of something

Happy Canada Day!

It has occurred to me that I have not been blogging. And sure enough, today I looked and saw that I have posted a grand total of FIVE times so far this year.

People, this is unacceptable. I need to do Something. July, then, is going to be a blog effort month. I plan to try and post something every day. There should be things to post. I have experiences. The Tour de Fleece starts tomorrow, and while I haven't figured out just yet what I'm spinning for it, I'm going to spin for it, you bet. So there will be embryonic yarn pictures, at the very least.

Today, since it ended two months ago and I haven't blogged it yet, here's my ONE and ONLY picture I took at Stringtopia:
sidekick and feet

There are various things that should be noted about this picture.
1. Yes, that's a Sidekick. It's lovely and smooth and ooh. I kind of want one.
2. No, those are not my feet. Not actually sure whose feet those are. Everyone was told to "try the Sidekick," but we were actually spinning some gorgeous silk for Shelly, one of the amazing organizers behind this event.
3. There is a beer in that ice bucket. It is very likely a New Glarus beer, because the awesome Tracy (woolwine on Ravelry) brought a bunch to share. Spotted Cow was one of my favorite beer discoveries last year at Knitting Camp, and I will be bringing home some later this month. This means this is a picture from Saturday evening.
4. This is the ONLY picture I have, and it's blurry, and of something nonsensical. The whole experience was an amazing pile of information and sensory overload, and I barely remembered to take my camera out. There are other accounts that really cover this all so much better than I can or will. See Melissa's posts, or Iza's or Lisa's or Mandie's.
5. I have not spun as much since Stringtopia as I think I should have. Part of this was that I came back and had finals and finishing the semester, and then the last run at my 500 miles, then houseguests for the 500, and then I went on vacation. Which gets me almost to now. Except that this past weekend I went to Midwest Fiber and Folk, which was just as fantastic in the information and educational aspects. And now I'm going to go spin some coils.

Have a great July, all!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The agony of de feet


Just kidding. Sort of. My feet are really not what's bothering me. I'm two weeks out from the Indy 500, and my personal 500 isn't going to be done in two weeks. I am 428 miles in. I walked 28 miles in the last week, and while I can try that again a time or two, it's not going to be enough to get me to the end. I'm tired from this past week, and I want to get things done this week that will require that energy.


Pictures are from the NCAA 4Kay, which Mandie and I walked (and ran a little) at the beginning of April.

So I'm keeping going, even though I'm not going to make it. The spreadsheet has been effective. Now I'm trying to figure out if I try for the same thing next year.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

In like a Lion

I'm on spring break now. It snowed yesterday.

I was talking to Mandie the other day about how I'm not in love with any of my knitting projects right now. She said "you get this way every year." Which, a quick blog check shows, is true. It's understandable. Winter is fading, so things like legwarmers and scarves seem silly to keep on with, but spring isn't really here yet, so shells and tank tops aren't reasonable either.

Anyway, that's my story.

But that said, I realize I've taken pictures of things and not posted them, so here's a quick photo dump:

Thick socks from Twisted Fiber Art Duchess in Ravelry:

And a lightweight sweater-in-progress:
it's going to be the Featherweight Cardigan, someday. That's my handspun green stuff, as seen last fall.

You would think that would be perfect for this interstitial time between winter and spring, and it is, but as it's biggish and slow and mostly stockinette (and I'm still in the yoke, so the rows just.keep.getting.longer), I'm going a bit stir-crazy with it at the moment.

But like I said, it's spring break! I'm planning on spending some good time with the above sweater, and I'm hoping to get past my funk by knitting some small stuff. I have a minor queue of baby things for deserving beloved babies born last year, today supplemented by the purchase of this book at the yarn shop. (Amazon says they don't have it till May, but knitting books are often available to smaller (LYS) retailers before they have wide release. I also want to knit Duck, which looks tough and like a lot of fun (seriously, it's a technique-heavy little pattern, and oh so cute!).

I'm still walking. It's going to be close, but I'm more than 300 miles along, and I'm hoping to walk a LOT this week as well!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Declawing Valentine's Day

I really want to be one of the people who like Valentine's Day. Ostensibly it's a nice holiday about loving the people in your life. And I can definitely get behind flowers and chocolate. But something about the insane pressure and expectations that get put on the holiday really bugs me.

My now husband also feels that the holiday isn't all it's cracked up to be. So once upon a time, when we had been dating not quite a year, we were coming up on Our First Valentine's Day. We compared our ambivalent feelings about the day and came up with this solution: we were going to get each other the most stupid and disgusting holiday stuffed animals we could find.

I combed the mall in the town where I was in grad school and he went to Wal-mart. I got him a monkey. It's pink and pink. It's called Trembles. It vibrates and makes a loud screaming monkey noise and it cracks me up. He got me a snake. It's red and pink with a goofy smile and a heart pattern down its curly length. It cracks me up too. We exchanged them 8 years ago and have not come up with an equivalently awesome observance since. So we don't do Valentine's Day.

I don't think it's misanthropic for us to opt out of the holiday. We don't really, I buy chocolate and (my favorite) SweetTarts Hearts. And I do wish people would have a happy and low-stress day tomorrow in a treat-your-friends and treat-yourself kind of way.


And Trembles and the Love Snake wish that for you too.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hey look, it's a sweater!

I knit a sweater in May and June of last year. That one was quick, cropped, large-gauge, and all stockinette. I then started another sweater. Not the same. (Link to picture of summer sweater, as apparently I never blogged it, it was that quick.)

I started knitting Boxed from Knitty. Then I went to knitting camp and got the hare-brained idea to knit it with in-the-round set-in sleeves and a steeked v-neck, which is a totally Elizabeth Zimmermann thing to do - as in Spun Out 21.

The sweater first made a blog appearance after camp, back in July. I ignored it for a while and pulled it out in the fall - only to discover the Horrible Sleeve Incident, quickly followed by the unfortunate
too-large body issue as well.

It disappeared for a while around Thanksgiving, while I had a short sock affair and then knit some Christmas things.

But since Christmas, it's been my Thing to Knit. And on Monday, I managed to finish the knitting.

I have to say, the part where the sweater looked like that was the most disconcerting, because there's no trying it on, there's no second-guessing, there's just cutting it open and hoping everything's ok. I had done a steek swatch at Camp, cutting with crocheted reinforcement and then again with no reinforcement - knitting actually doesn't like to unravel sideways, it's a comforting thing.

That said, I referred to Eunny's Crocheted Steek tutorial as I got down to cutting things open, and then I did it.


It still feels nutty.

I wore the sweater on Thursday, when it snowed all day. The yarn is Malabrigo worsted, and it's deliciously soft and warm. I knit it on size 6 needles, at a gauge of somewhere between 5 and 6 stitches to the inch, and it's a beautiful dense fabric that I hope will hold up nicely. So happy that it turned out so well, and that it's done.


Sunday, January 2, 2011


I've been thinking a lot about fiber, yarn, and stashing lately. Part of this has been that last year, I really didn't buy as much yarn. I did buy quite a bit of fiber. But to some extent I'm feeling like I'm reaching an equilibrium point with both types of stash.

Basically, a couple of times in the last year or so, I've gone through my fiber and yarn stashes and found things I didn't really want to have or to eventually use. I've tried to be honest with myself about what I will eventually get to, and what I bought because it was on riot sale. Both the yarn and fiber stashes could probably use another pass. Recognizing yarns like that in my stash has helped me stop from buying more yarns for the same reason. I also did some trading of club fibers for shipments that I really loved.

So, in that spirit, I'm trying for a zero-sum year with my fiber stash. I have a lot, and I'm going to continue being a member of the Spunky Eclectic fiber club, so that's 4 oz a month that's coming to me. So I need to spin/use/give away 4 oz of fiber a month, or more if I want to buy more. First up is finishing the yarns that didn't quite make it in 2010. Yay spinning!