family & personal


Whee, creative post titles.  Heh.  Well, I’m still in Vermont, still looking for work, still spending most of the rest of my time on fiber stuff.

I have done a bit more travelling, including the not-so-fun (clearing out the apartment that had been my grandmother’s) and the fun (visiting yarnfriends).  I turned 30 two weeks ago and spent the following weekend back in the NYC metro area, going to museums and generally hanging out with friends (and knitting a lot).

I took a fair number of pictures in the newly-reopened Islamic art galleries at the Met, where we spent a good chunk of that Saturday.  These are a few of my favorites (objects more than photos):

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interesting texture

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And I mentioned knitting! It looks as though I haven’t posted earlier progress pics of this shawl, but I started a Desdemona just before I left for my trip to Europe. After a few months of feeling like I was close to finishing the center square, I finally did, and I picked up the 400+ stitches for the border. I also learned that picking up stitches is hard when there’s only one stitch between the edge and the first YO–I was a few stitches off count for the other three sides (-2, +5, -2), but I had such trouble figuring out where to pick up stitches for a scant two stitches per three rows that I had 15 stitches too many on that last side. Next time, I’ll make sure I have an extra selvedge stitch.

Here’s what it looks like now:

Desdemona

It’s scrunched up because it’s too small for the needle (I’m doing Magic Loop for now), but it should be plenty big by the time I’m done.

I’ve also started a really simple shawl with some spindle-spun singles. I’d tried this yarn in the Prairie Rose Lace Shawl last spring and thought it was too busy, so the new project is a stockinette shawl with probably a feather-and-fan border. (If not that, some other lace pattern that works well with stripes.) I am quite fond of the way the striping is working so far:

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And I’m nearly done spinning my Spring Mix combo lot, so I’ll try to get a group photo of that by this time next week.

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It’s been another weird few weeks around here, including a whirlwind trip to NYC and Philly, but it’s genuinely looking like (Vermont) spring now.

Flowers and more flowers! And some leaves!

hazelnut flowers

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bloodroot

lungwort

hobblebush

mini daffodils

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skunk cabbage

skunk cabbage

And a very full lake:

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In other news, I am planning a trip to Venice, Florence, and the UK, for two weeks in May. I’m planning to do basic touristy art-and-architecture-and-glass stuff in Italy and wandering around in the countryside in England and Scotland, but if any of y’all have recommendations that wouldn’t show up in a basic guidebook, I would appreciate anything you want to share.

The title refers both to the fact that I think I’ll be back to blogging more regularly now that I’ve basically finished school stuff and packing/moving stuff (unpacking is a different question, but it’s less urgent) and to the welcome I got from the weather here in Vermont:

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That’s looking out toward the deck and backyard, a few minutes ago.

This next photo is from last Tuesday, in Philly:

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Just a little different, there… But I don’t have to go anywhere today, so the snow and wind aren’t a problem.

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As far as fiber, I’ve finished a batch of spindle-plying and started a new set of AbbyBatts:

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And I finally finished knitting my Hedgerows of Screams:

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(Photo taken before moving.)

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Also, thank you to everyone for congratulations on my defense. (WP had some comment-emailing hiccups, and I got caught up in an extra experiment for my paper as well as moving stuffs, but I do appreciate your comments.)

The last month and a half kinda got swallowed up by work. But I defended my thesis on Tuesday, and it was the best talk I’ve ever given, and I passed. I’ve got a bunch of rewriting to do, but it’s starting to sink in, and things are good.

…And, today, I’m off to Michigan for the weekend, to take Abby Franquemont’s backstrap weaving class.

I’ll be back on Tuesday, but until then, here’s a photo:

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It’s a couple of weeks old, but it’s the Haruni shawl I’ve been working on as mindless knitting this month. (It’s great. Simple pattern, no modifications, and it’s for me, so if I screw up, I can just increase or decrease to make up for it.)

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Today, I am 29. Things haven’t turned out the way I’d envisioned, but life is mostly good, and y’all are part of that, for which I thank you.

The photo is from Monday morning–my favorite weather plus beautiful foliage, on my way to work.

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While I’m posting, here’s an updated photo of my Hedgerows Shawlette, only a day behind its actual size.

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I can see the thick-and-thin effects in a few places, at least…

How did it get to be Friday again already? I guess that means it’s time for at least a quick review of Rhinebeck.

Over the whole weekend, but especially on the drive up, I kept noticing how much I was surrounded by my favorite colors and beautiful scenery. The crowds at the festival aside, one of my favorite things about Rhinebeck is getting out of the city. (I love living in a city, but I need not-city at least a few times a year.)

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About two miles before the turnoff for the park where I stayed (with friends), I stopped at the parking area/overlook. This view kinda reminds me of all the hedgerow-divided fields in England.

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Saturday morning, we took a back route from the park to the festival. Lovely as the Taconic is, the back roads were perhaps even more scenic, and much closer to my favorite kind of driving. (I was passenging, though. My favorite roads for driving do not lend themselves to free hands for even aimless photography.)

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It cleared up by the time we left the fairground on Saturday afternoon. This tree is just outside the 4H gate.

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And this is the view from the big parking lot just before the road through the campground to the cabin. I really want to go back there, maybe even at some other off-peak time, just to hang out at the park. (And that was quite a nice cabin, as state park cabins go. The electricity even stayed on all weekend!)

As usual at these things, I had a fantastic time despite several things not going precisely as I’d imagined. I got to see a lot of awesome people at least briefly, got to spend longer with a few of them, and got to see scenery that is very, very different from South Philly. Except for the niggling feelings of guilt for not working, I would’ve liked the weekend to have lasted several days longer.

The work is important, though–I’ll probably continue to post infrequently for the next few months, since much of my recent work-stress was building up to my committee meeting last week, at which I received permission to write my dissertation. Unless things go terribly wrong, I’ll be defending in late January.

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Here, a fancy day lily from sometime last week.

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I’m kinda-sorta-almost back. I’m pretty much all moved, and I’ve unpacked enough of my books that I don’t have to leap over boxes to get through my room. It’ll be great once Mel and Bella (the other cat in the house) get along well enough that I can leave my door open and move Mel’s litter out from under my bed (which is lofted, thank goodness).

Until then, though, I may end up moving some (more) stuff into the basement, because I really want to unpack my Victoria and do some spinning.  I can use all the calming activity I can manage, right now.

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