I cannot let a month go by without a single post. It makes me twitchy.
(I’m sure y’all also feel deprived of my sparkling witticisms and charming presence. I know it. ADMIT IT. YOU LIKE ME.)
The radio silence hasn’t been due to anything particularly awful or traumatic. I’ve just…not been writing. You know how it goes sometimes.
And now that I’m actually posting? I’m coming up with a big fat lotta *nothing* to talk about.
This may be the first time that’s ever happened. Ever.
So instead of words, how about pictures?
Just after Christmas, Jeff and I went to the Star Trek exhibit at the Science Center:
The inside of the exhibit was camera-free (boo!), so you’ll have to use your imagination when I tell you of the childlike joy Jeff expressed as he dragged me around looking at “omg a real Tricorder!” “Look! Picard’s quarters!” and (Jeff’s favorite), a walk-in, scale model of the bridge from TNG. (Jeff sat in the captain’s chair and made me sit in the first officer’s. This is after he spent ten minutes wandering around in a daze, pushing buttons and commanding things under his breath).
He’s just so darned cute, I can’t stand it.
I seem to recall that I owe y’all a holiday gift summary thingy. Believe it or not, I still have a couple gifts outstanding, so those must go undisclosed for now. But aside from those…
That’s a blanket for Granddad, out of Vintage worsted. I kind of just bought a bunch of yarn and started making stripes ’till I found a pattern I liked, then I reversed it for the other half. This after much wailing and gnashing of teeth and a rather heated Knit Night discussion of the merits of garter stitch v. stockinette for such a project.
This here’s an awful photo, but I promise you the actual thing is quite nice: last spring my boss asked me if I ever knit hats, and if so, if I could ever knit a hat with a Bears logo on it. I’d said yes, then there was no more discussion (but I did hang onto that thought in the back of my tiny little brain). So when Christmas rolled around, I retrieved the thought, dusted it off, bought the yarn, and turned it into a hat of Rowan Pure Wool:
I know that’s the worst photo EVER, and that pictures don’t usually lie, but you must believe me that this hat is actually quite symmetrical, a very nice color, and looks absolutely lovely. I improvised most of it (as much as one *can* improvise the concept of “turned-rib bottom plain stockinette cap”) and then had to try twice to successfully chart and then duplicate-stitch the “C”. The first go was rather comically squat and aggressively forward-leaning, and the whole “stitch-unpick-rechart-stitch” ordeal turned this from a 4-hour project into a 12-hour one. Whee! But my boss liked it, so I’m happy.
A long time ago, I found a beautiful shawl pattern (Holden Shawlette) on Rav but knew it was one I’d not really want for myself. So I queued it with the vague idea of “Carol might like this”, and let it percolate there for a good long while. This Christmas I decided to combine that pattern with some gorgeous magenta Jitterbug, and made this:
The scallop-y lace and bobble-y bindoff still isn’t really my thing, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t fun to knit. Everything about it was super quick except for that bindoff which – I’m not gonna lie – I was pretty sure I’d be working on until I keeled over of old age. It was totally worth it, though – I love this thing!
Jeff’s sister had better start telling me when she gets sick of socks, because otherwise I’ll keep knitting her a pair every year until the sun implodes.
(2009’s are on Rav, and here are 2010‘s).
Those were actually my first bit of Christmas knitting for 2011! I started them way back in August at a get-together for my family. I picked up the Madtosh “Tart” at a yarn shop in DC last summer because I thought Laura would love the intense, dark shade of red. Then I just cast on and started moving around YO’s and dec’s until I came up with something pretty. (I love designing on the fly. It’s about as spontaneous as you can get, isn’t it?)
2011 was a very sock-y year for gifts, too. I found this Fleece Artist at TLE and cast on to make socks for Jeff’s cousin Katie in September. These were my purse socks for a long time – I started them while at Allstar getting my tragus pierced in September (ok well not actually DURING the piercing. I can knit while getting tattooed, sure, but not during piercing. That’s crazytalk.), then worked on them through our Wednesday lunchtime movie times off-and-on all fall. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this colorway, and thought it worked well with the busy-but-simple lace pattern.
I’ve owed Katie a proper pair of socks for a long time.
I’ve got a work friend who seemed needing of fingerless gloves. And, coincidentally, I am capable of making fingerless gloves. So I got some 220 Sport in a bright orange I knew she’d love, and I cast on for dearest Abbie’s Autumn Leaves mitt pattern:
The yardage was a bit shorter than I’d have liked, and the yarn a bit thicker, so the proportions came out slightly different than if I’d been making these for myself. But I think they’re lovely anyway, and Rachael loves them, so it’s a win! These weren’t actually a Christmas present, but were rather a “congratulations on being ABD!” present. Which is better than Christmas, if you’re a PhD student.
And also? One of these days I’m going to get 50g of a rusty autumnal orange fingering-weight and make myself a pair of these. That was seriously a lovely and fun little pattern. Those leaves on the thumb gussets make me so happy!
I’d never made socks for my MIL, so I was able to quickly knit up some simple ones out of Fiberphile for her:
Though I wondered about the usefulness of wool socks for someone who lives in Florida, Jeff insisted that she’d like them. Maybe to wear on that one day a year when it’s actually vaguely chilly there? 😛
There were a couple more Christmas gifts, but the photos are so terribly bad that I can’t even bring myself to post them here – but they’re on Rav if you’re dying to know. I made Jeff’s cousin Lynn a snuggly cowl of cardinal-red Baby Alpaca Grande, and some Sleekit Mitts (one of my favorite patterns, in case you haven’t noticed :-D) for my grandma, from Heritage silk. Oh, and I made Jeff some charcoal grey ribbed socks, but I won’t abuse you by making you look at those. They’re so boring they’d put you straight to sleep. Seriously: no Ambien needed. But Jeff likes boring socks, so he’s happy 🙂
I think the weather is part of what’s throwing my mood all out of whack. We’ve had ONE halfway-decent snow this season, and even that was just 2″ that lasted for like a day. I didn’t even bother to bust out my LLBean snow boots, ’cause that would’ve just been sad.
HOWEVER, even I’m not completely mad. I cannot deny that today’s 65* partly-cloudy stuff is nice. My walk to work this morning was simply lovely. I just wish this was happening in April instead of, y’know, FREAKING JANUARY.
Speaking of “walk to work”, that’s one of two informal new year’s resolutions (the other being a vague but thus-far-successful aim to “drink less Diet Coke and more water.”). For the past couple years, I’ve been riding my bike to work almost every day. Which is nice, because biking is fast and efficient and fun. Love biking. But I also feel like walking doesn’t really get the love it deserves. I’ve always enjoyed going on really long walks – in the summer when Jeff’s been gone, that’s just about all Roxie and I would do: we’d harness up and go wander to campus, through the Loop, around the beautiful neighborhoods here in U City, just everywhere. But during the week, I don’t always have time for a nice long evening walk (and it’s like 85% less fun to walk in the dark, anyway.) So I’ve been making a specific effort to get ready earlier in the morning, and then walk to work when I can instead of biking. It’s about a mile and a half or two miles each way, so with a morning walk to work and an evening walk home, I feel like I really get the chance for some nice, meditative low-impact exercise. The only thing that’s missing is the dog: alas, the university has a strict “faculty and staff cannot bring dogs to work” policy, even though Roxie is so exceedingly cute and polite.
(Afternoon addendum): Just a moment ago I was given a copy of The Gourmet Vegetarian Slow Cooker. I flipped through this mofo and HOLY COW. Dudes, I’m going to make everything in this RIGHT NOW. The Indian section especially is amazing. I just ate lunch and I’m hungry again just looking at this stuff. If y’all like using the slow cooker and hate that half the shit out there calls for either a pot roast, Ro-Tel, or disgusting “cream of ___” soup (or, ::gag::, all three), then go buy this freaking book. You won’t regret it.
OK I think that’s enough miscellany for one day. I promise I won’t disappear for a whole month again. 🙂