Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Well, it seems that summer is over. Back to the grind, for me. *The grind* returns in the form of a paper long overdue that I've been avoiding doing all summer. But the time has come for me to get back to work and start preparing for grad school year number four. The past few days have been spent with my nose deep in books on Yemen, South Arabia, and the Sabaean Kingdom. I have to admit that the reading has been fascinating, but I am stuck in *lazy-not-a-care-in-the-world-summer-mode* and I can't seem to turn my interest in the subject into coherent words on paper. It's a simple case of procrastination and laziness... it'll pass just in time to get the paper turned in. Nevertheless, I couldn't help but procrastinate just a little more by announcing my procrastination. While I am in full anticipation of fall, I am nonetheless reluctant for summer to end.

In slightly more interesting news, I've finished one of Michael's banker socks and the other is well on its way to joining its mate. The cuff and the heel flap are finished... just turning the heel and the gusset to go. I am itching to cast on a new project...

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Dipping my toes in pre-Fall waters...

The weather in Philly today was wonderful... though humidity was high (80-something percent!), it was cloudy and breezy all day long... very reminicent of this thing I once knew called Fall. It was so much like Fall, in fact, that I partook in some fall-like activities... such as prepping the back deck for the change in season... I re-potted a bunch of my plants that needed pruning and larger living quarters.

I also got a sweet, sweet purple Aster... a beautiful Fall flower. Mine's an aster novi-belgii, or, a New York Aster.

And to top it off, I baked an awesome Grit-style Coffee Almond Crunch pie... much like a pecan pie, but with almonds instead of pecans and flavored with instant espresso and brandy to give you a kick in the pants.


This is my *Whoo, Fall!* face (otherwise known as my *Mmmm, Pie!* face).

Friday, August 25, 2006

I've adopted a new language. Rowanese.

I have a problem. It can be summed up quite laconically with a single word. Rowan. Perhaps, on second thought, two words are necessary to describe my affliction more precisely. Rowan. Tweed. I have morphed, over the past week, into a Rowan-Tweed-Obsessing-Shebeast. From where has this fanatical behavior emerged? I blame the onset of Fall. What better time to be knitting any and all Rowan patterns with any and all kinds of Rowan tweeds? I blame Kim Hargreaves for her amazing, must-have-now sweater patterns.

I also blame my discovery and recent acqusition of this book:
(that's Rowan Vintage Knits, also published as Rowan Vintage Style)

Since its appearance in my apartment, it has slowly taken over my life. It began with casual browsing...

... which soon turned into deliberate thumbing and pondering...

... and has since become dire, careful, detailed planning of which sweaters to make in which kinds of tweeds of which colorways. The choices! They must be decisive and well-calculated so that one does not end up with many tweed sweaters of the same color!

And my problem now follows me everywhere...




Dare I admit it?

Of course, my Rowan-lust runs deeper than just the Vintage Knits book... there's the newly released Rowan 40, which contains these:

And then there's the back issues... Rowan 36, to be exact:

Oh boy.

And add insult to injury, I have discovered this amazing new device for viewing nearly-100% accurate yarn colorways... I've spent many an hour comparing yarn colorway swatches on numerous websites, and has by far the most accurate colorway representations.
So now I can easily match patterns with fibers with colors, which leads to results such as these:

My life has reached an amazingly pathetic crecendo...
mmm... Rowan.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

La chaussette de Michael

Lentement mais sûrement!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

At Arm's Length.

And at a turtle's pace. That describes well the rate of advancement of the sleeves for my two sweaters-in-progress. I finished one of the sleeves for the Blanket Cardigan and have cast on a sleeve for the Tweed Myrtle Hoodie. I continue to be stumped by the Myrtle hoodie, however, because again it seems that I don't have enough yarn to finish both sleeves. This sweater may have to be done over completely with different yarn. Hrm. This durned thing has become my vicious white whale.

(Slow, sad progress on my Moby)

As for my other WIPs, they, too are advancing rather slowly. The Branching Out scarf is creeping along, though I have been neglecting it these past few weeks. And Michael's Banker Socks, though they lack observable progress, now have my full and complete attention, and I am determined to turn these out as an FO soon, very soon.

Who knew that there would be so little time to knit during the summer months? Damn, that full-time job...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Valley Forge, Ho!

Cycling adventure trois took place on Saturday. It was insane. And amazing. And involved a 53-mile round trip ride on the bike from the front door of our apartment in Philly to Valley Forge National Park. All who answer to the name badass say "Aye!" Hey, that's me!

We took the Schuykill River Trail, a 12 mile (one way) stretch of paved bike path following the old Philadelphia Railway line, much of which looked like this:

There I go, now!

We made it!

Bikes taking a well-earned rest.

There were log-cabins with real life soldier-actors.

The National Memorial Arch.

Old cannons!

Varnum's Quarters.

The man, General von Steuben.

And amazing woods and landscape.

Me in the amazing woods.

Friends were made along the way.

Caffeination in Manayunk on the way back to the city.

Mmm... liquid fuel...

Home! On the horizon!

The proof is in the cyclocomputer (did I say 53 miles? I meant 53.71 miles)!

What a day! And my first half-century ride!
For more of my Valley Forge adventures, click here.

Friday, August 11, 2006


It's amazing nights like these, walking home over the South Street Bridge, crossing the Schuylkill River, from West Philly back into the heart of the city that remind me why I love Philadelphia. Wow, what a beautiful sky above a beautiful city. While nature is less abundant in urban sprawl, it is nevertheless there, and sometimes completely breath-taking.

The Schuylkill River.

The Philadelphia skyline.