Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Lacing along

*Breaking news! See bottom of post!*

I seem to have revived myself out of a knitting slumber by ignoring my blue, but plain, stockinette socks! Lace has revived my need to knit obsessively, making it something I think about while at work, wishing I could be knitting instead of grading.

Kiri shawl

I'm through the sixth repeat and into the seventh of the pattern (out of twelve called for repeats; I'm not sure I'll do all twelve; I might do only ten or eleven).

I also started another lace item. While in North Carolina last week, I kind of broke my yarn diet. I don't have pictures, because Coffeeboy had the camera with him at his interview school to take pictures for me, but I can tell you it was all lace. At my favorite yarn store there, Yarns Etc, I picked up a smoky blue skein of Misti Alpaca laceweight, and also this beauty, from the local Three Waters Farm, named "Lilac."

Lilac yarn

It was a gorgeous, 75-degree day, flowers blooming, and I couldn't resist the name of the colorway and its connotations of spring. Given the name of the yarn and its colors - I thought of English gardens - I decided to cast on for a wide scarf or stole:

Lilac feather and fan

I chose the feather and fan motif because it fit with the traditional English garden idea, and because I'm hoping the gatherings in the pattern, its bunches and contours, will suggest clusters of lilac blooms crowding round leaves of green and glimpses of blue sky. It's too early to tell if it will work, though, isn't it!

Speaking of lacing along, time isn't racing, but moves slowly, again, for Dr. Coffeeboy and myself. His interview went pretty well, but now we're stuck in the horrendous process of waiting to hear, and of being confused about what the school actually said or meant about when it would get back to him. It could be today, or Thursday, or next week - or not till they've notified another candidate. We don't know. It's driving one of us batty and leaving the other unsure of how to best help pass the time. I'm sure when we know more I'll let you know.

In the meantime, will I finish my sock for Socktopia this month, or will I just knit lace? Only time will tell!

*BREAKING NEWS!* Coffeeboy got the job! Assuming we take it, he'll be Assistant Professor Coffeeboy now!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Knitting knervously

Coffeeboy is now Dr. Coffeeboy! He successfully defended his dissertation with flying colors! Congratulations to you, honey! Right now, the new Dr. Coffeeboy is at his on-campus job interview. I'm far away by several states, and I'm knitting. Nervously. With my fingers crossed, if it's possible to do that and knit at the same time. I've tried reading, but I go back to knitting. Fidgeting.

Knitting nervously on a shawl, if that's possible to do without an enormous number of mistakes. Thus far I've only attempted purling back across a row. We'll see how starting on the right side goes. Luckily Kiri - the new shawl shown in my previous post - is pretty easy, and even memorizable, which is wonderful. I can't show you a picture, though, since Dr. Coffeeboy (I promise I won't call him that all the time, but it's fun for now) has the camera.

I'm going to go back to my nervous knitting now. I simply felt the need to share my fidgeting with all of you. I'll let you know as soon as I know anything else!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Days of blue on white

Between Thursday and Friday nights, it snowed, it hailed, it rained; it sent down slush from the sky. When I awoke Saturday morning, the world looked like this:

March 20th snowstorm

I'd hoped it would keep snowing all day - what a perfect excuse to read and/or knit, but instead we're just left with the messy, slushy cleanup effort. I've been doing some reading because I got precious little done this past week, due to my students having questions about their mid-semester papers. I've also been knitting, however:

Another blue pair

I might be crawling out of the knitting slump, finally. Last night I dreamed I was in a yarn store, touching beautiful lace yarns for shawls. That's probably because I determined last night that I'd start this:

Kiri first chart

It's not a sock! Does anyone recognize the pattern? I've just finished chart 1 in that photo and am into chart 2 for the long haul!

I expect that I'll get a lot of knitting done between Monday and Wednesday, as Coffeeboy and I are flying off for his dissertation defense. I'm bringing some books, of course - but ones I want to read more carefully so that I can haul fewer books. I'll be waiting in the same building as his defense, so I imagine I might switch from work to the shawl at some point out of nervousness. Kind of like hospital knitting except he's not actually ill or anything, "just" defending his dissertation!

Meanwhile, Juniper (and Mage - not shown) will be holding down the fort back home, catching up on some much-neglected reading...

Juniper by books
"The books make the shelf bow... really, it's the books, not my girth!"

When I get home on Wednesday evening, I'll have two full days of spring break left - not enough time to do all the work I need to do, but still better than nothing. Between reading for my fourth exam and grading student papers, I'd say I'll have plenty to keep me busy while Coffeeboy is at his on-campus interview on Wednesday-Thursday!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Finished socks!

I've been holding out on you all. These have been finished since Monday and worn twice in the cold weather... and I finally got a chance to photograh them in daylight just now:

FO: Cable and rib socks

Pattern: just a simple cable with ribs over 60 stitches
Yarn: Mega Boots Stretch in... some colorway... the cats (quite literally) ate the ball band so I'm not sure what it is
Needles: K-P size 1 (2.5mm), magic loop

They're very comforting colors; just as Teri S. of the comments said, they're very soothing colors. Since the blues and I seem to be agreeing with each other these days, I dove in to my stash to find this yarn from my most recent birthday:

Jitterbug jay sock

Ah, easy knitting in shades of blue. (You can see a finished pair of this colorway over at Sheepish Annie's blog.) I've been doing a lot of reading lately for my historiography exam, which means I sometimes also am knitting. Further, we watched The Ten Commandments on Wednesday night for class, so that meant I got, oh, 3 hours and 40 minutes of knitting time, meaning massive sock progress! Stockinette socks are good for that.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Missions: accomplished

It's been a week of accomplishments here in the Lazuli-Coffeeboy household. Most importantly...

1) Coffeeboy finished his dissertation!
2) Coffeeboy received an email from a press, expressing interest in considering his dissertation for publication!
3) Coffeeboy ALSO had a good phone interview for a tenure-track job AND 3.5 hours later was asked to campus for an on-campus interview, to be held the day after his dissertation defense!

Wow, what a week, huh?

My week wasn't quite so accomplished, but then a week like finishing your dissertation can only come once in a lifetime, right? This past week, I

1) Turned in a draft of my third exam to my advisor
2) Finished Clapotis #2!

Clapotis #2

Project specs:
Pattern: Clapotis, of course
Yarn: Cestari sock yarn from Woolbearers, in the color "Tuscany"
Needles: Size 7 K-P Options w/ the 24" cord.

Clapotis #2

This one has much thicker fabric than Clap #1, given that it's a pretty thick sock yarn. I can't really wrap it around my neck without looking like a chipmunk! (I might go for the chipmunk look in the next day or two, given the cold weather we're supposed to have!) However, it works great tucked under my coat for extra warmth, and it also wraps nicely around my back and shoulders for warmth. I haven't blocked this one yet, because I don't want to ruin the twist, but it may help it drape more nicely and fit 'round the neck better if I do. We'll see.

In other knitting news, I'm down to the toes on my cabled blue socks; news of them coming soon!