25 April 2006

Addi Update

I'm so pleased... I just called knitpicks about my Addi Naturas (you may remember they broke). They are sending me a new pair, no questions asked, no need for photos. I'm so pleased.

Will You Miss Me?

Oh my. It's been such a long while since I last posted. And last night, while I was lying in bed, I came up with the best post ever. But it was late and I thought, "I'll remember that tomorrow." And, go figure, it's tomorrow and the poetry of what I wanted to say is gone, gone, gone.

I have not much knitting to show. I've been tangled up in some emotional and academic 'yarn' that is just now starting to sort itself out. For one, when I was in Philadelphia, I changed dissertation advisors. I'm still in the process of sorting this out. This kind of thing is not often done in my department, and though I feel very good about my decision, it's left me receiving some uncomfortable e-mails and being forced to send very political and diplomatic e-mails in return. I'm glad to be back in the mountains while handling the ends of this, though. When I left here a week ago, the flowers were blooming, but the mountains were still grey-brown and naked. When I returned a few days ago, everything had exploded. There are more shades of green in these mountains than I have ever seen in my life. I want to take a picture, send it to Sundara and get some yarn to commemorate it. Of course, that is out of the budgetary question right now. But I'll hold on to those pictures until next winter, when it's cold, dark and grey, and then maybe I'll do it... socks of hope. hee hee.

As for emotional yarn -- I hinted earlier at how difficult my trip to Philadelphia was. It is very strange to be in a place once so familiar, where now I feel a little like a bull in a china shop - awkward, uncomfortable, out of place. I felt immediately better once I returned to the mountains, and spent most of the weekend hiking around in them to celebrate. My friends Julie, Shawn and I went up to Pikeville, Kentucky for their annual Hillbilly days celebration. There are no words to describe this festival. I could post pictures, but I think they would do it no justice. Here are just a few, to give you an idea.

The decorated trucks and costumes were incredible. My video does it more justice. But... for those of you unfamiliar with Hillbilly Days (which I imagine to be most of you), check this out. I think it might help to explain things.

Sunday, Julie, Shawn and I hung out all day out on Kings Creek, where they live. We made an amazing breakfast, I fed the chickens (!), played music on the porch, and took a long long hike over the mountain, following Kings Creek to Line Fork. It was an amazing walk (wish I'd brought my camera, but I think I was able to enjoy it more without it), one that can only be made on a Sunday when there aren't 50 ton coal trucks lumbering down these narrow roads at ungodly speeds. It felt like such a priviledge to be out on such a beautiful day.

Views from the "Trad Shack" porch.

Breakfast for me (Julie is one damn fine chef)

Breakfast for the chickens (my friend Jennifer looooooves Chickens. Aren't they sweet?)

All of this is to say that it has been a weird, unsettling, and oddly comforting feeling to experience back to back the 'loss' of the city I once thought I would live in forever, and simultaneously come back here and feel at home. I've been thinking a lot lately about whether I want to move back to Philadelphia in the fall, when I'm 'technically' done with the research for my dissertation. On days like Sunday, and mornings like today, I think my decision has been made. We'll see...

Anyway, there will be some knitting content today. When I was on my way back down to the mountains, I stopped for two nights with my parents (well, my mom -- dad was out of town) in Crozet. Mom and I had a nice "girl's day out" with nice lunch and lots of shopping. I needed size 0 needles, so we stopped at the knitting store, where I also grabbed two skeins of Jawoll (love it for the name!) superwash cotton sock yarn. And, to celebrate my 'freedom' from my old academic advisor, I treated myself to a skein of Lorna's Laces (I'd never seen it before...I would have gotten two skeins, but this was the only one of this colorway, and I didn't like the other colors they had). I'm going to make myself a pair of 'celebratory footies'. Hurrah!

And I'll end off this long long post with a picture from my back porch -- see how green?!

18 April 2006


I'm overwhelmed by the feedback for my CdM socks. Thank you all so much! I've not been able to respond to everyone, so to those I've missed - THANKS!

I'm still in Philadelphia (and haven't even found time to go to a yarn store yet!), running around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to make meetings, visit the library, see old friends, etc. It's a little overwhelming being here - the flood of memories, old friends, new faces. It's strange to not quite fit in to my old life and even strangers the way that habits stay in the body. I'm new now, and things have changed around me, but I find myself bizarrely falling in to old routines. I've been staying with my old roomate in our old apartment, and it has somehow tricked my body into old habits of movement -- ways to get to school, the bar, old friends houses (places where they no longer live). My mind has adjusted to my new enviroment and status, but my body is still on auto-pilot.

I've done next-to-no knitting, but will hopefully have US 0 needles (and maybe even a little wee bit of sock yarn) to show from this trip. More news when I return to the mountains.

11 April 2006


Sometimes, I get an urge to knit that is beyond reason. Tonight I was catching up on my blog reading and I was overwhelmed by the urge to do insane knitting - to finish all the projects on the needles so I can start new projects. I want to create. I need to finish blue sock #2.

So, it's barely wednesday, but it's wednesday none-the-less, so here are a few things that have made me happy this week:

1. Spring!

Now I swear, I've never been so obsessed with flowers as I am this spring. But honestly -- it's just so amazingly beautiful, I can't handle it. So... a tribute (and next week, maybe no flowers).

2. Arlene

Arlene is a 1962 Airstream (I hope no one has to click that link to find out what they are!). I love airstream trailers in a way that can't be described. I was raised with this love, and when I met my friend the beekeeper and found out that he lived in an airstream... well, I knew we had to be friends.

3. Making Movies
In addition to keeping bees, the beekeeper makes documentary films. This is another reason I knew we'd be friends. For the last year or so, I've been really interested in making movies. I really enjoy editing and I like the idea of the documentary as a medium for relaying information (as opposed to the academy, that that's another story for another time). The beekeeper is making a film now about local politics and yesterday I tagged along on a shoot. I ended up helping with sound for the first time. It was awesome. I want to do nothing more than make movies for the rest of my life. Screw this PhD (just joking... mostly).

4. My Cowboy Boots

At Theresa's request, here are badly-flashed photos of my much loved (and worn) cowboy boots. I bought them in Woodstown, New Jersey (now, before you scoff at buying cowboy boots in New Jersey, let me tell you that Woodstown is the home of Cowtown, the oldest continually running rodeo in the United States. Zanes Western Apparel, where I bought the boots, outfits real cowboys). I went to Zanes with Spitey, who was in the market for a new hat. I never had any desire for cowboy boots before, but something about these called out to me. I tried them on a whim. I liked them, but decided not to get them. We drove away from the store and immediately, I started waffling. Spitey turned the car around, drove me back, and made me buy them. I haven't regretted the decision for a minute. I wear them every single day (as is evidenced by the damage to the heel... I need to get them resoled), in skirts and in pants. I even wore them when I gave my first professional paper at the national ethnomusicology conference. And I make all my socks to fit them.

Tomorrow, I'm going to Philly. My friend, known to all as "Jellybean" (long story, that I'm sure he'd rather I not tell) is going to be in the US and my friend Jennifer and I are travelling to Philly to see him. See, Jellybean is doing his fieldwork (he, too, is an ethnomusicologist) in Chilean Patagonia. So I don't see him often. I'm also going to Philly to do some research in the library and meet with my advisor. It'll be a good trip, but I'm feeling apprehensive about it. It's been a while since I've been there, and... I don't know. Sometimes, no matter how happy you are where you are, realizing that things are changing is scary. I love it here, and the longer I stay, the harder it is to imagine leaving. But I loved Philly, and it's strange to think that my life there no longer exists.... Anyway, I'm looking forward to reconnecting with old friends and getting some work done. I'm sure I'll post while I'm gone, and hopefully, I'll make some more substantive knitting progress. Stay tuned...

10 April 2006


Thanks for your suggestions about the broken Addis. I'm going to try and get in touch with Skacel today and see if I can get a new pair. I bought them through Knitpicks (no LYS here) so maybe they can help. We'll see... hopefully I'll have a new pair soon so I can finish Orangina in time for the weather.

So after much wear, the toes on the CdM socks bother me less. They're 'blocking with wear' and are less pointy now. And it feels so decadent to wear such fancy socks hidden under my boots (you'll notice every pair of socks I make is boot length. That's because I live in my cowboy boots, and have for the past two years. Socks are no good for me if they aren't boot length!) They're like my little surprise (except, of course, I keep taking my shoes off to show them to people... I should have worn my crocs into the world today so everyone could see the fanciness of my socks.

Off to work, but hopefully the next few days will produce the partner to the blue sock. Then it's on to new projects... (I'm seriously considering Anatolia from the spring Knitty, but in different colors... we'll see).

09 April 2006


I just pulled my orangina out of the bag it's been sitting in to try and work on it. This is what I found:

Broken Addis!!! I'm so upset -- in addition to the fact that I have no other US 3 circulars and I can't afford to get another pair, I just got these a month or so ago, and this is the only project I've used them on. I don't understand how they could have broken... The project's been in a bag hanging from a hook for the last two weeks.

Any suggestions of what to do? They broke right where the bamboo meets the metal.

A crappy close to a crappy day (except, of course, for those finished socks... they were a highlight, and i still haven't taken them off).


To distract myself from things-worrying-my-brain, I sat down this afternoon and finally finished the last Canal du Midi sock, in time to take pictures in the evening sun (how amazing, to have the sun still hitting my porch at 6:00 p.m. -- the mountains behind me used to block it out by 4 p.m.).

Pattern: Canal du Midi socks, from Knitting on the Road
Yarn: Socks that Rock in "Marbles"
Needles: Those same metal dpns, US 1
Started: 23 March 2006
Completed: 9 April 2006

Notes: Well... I don't like the spiral toe too much. On the one I just knit, it makes a slightly uncomfortable ridge right under my toes. And it's pointy. Next time, I'd just do a regular, kitchner stitch toe (you can see on the right sock where I messed up the spiral.. the left is better, but they're still pointy).

But... that said, I love the pattern. It knits quickly (if it hadn't been for that long weekend with no fourth dpn and a house guest or two, I would have finished much quicker) and looks beautiful. I love STR, particularly this colorway. I want to make a pair of straight stockinette socks with it just to enjoy the color of the yarn. As it is, I think these look like tapestry. And I'm really pleased with the twisted technique of picking up stitches along the heel flap. No more holes!

If I were to do it again, I would use a solid yarn for this sock pattern. I think next time I'll also do a rounded heel rather than the square heel. But... I'm very, very happy with them.

05 April 2006

Happiness, take 2

When I was in highschool, I saw this thing on Oprah about how we should all take the time to think about five things each day that made us happy. It sounds like a cheesy thing to do, but in times of desperation, I've found it to be very helpful. Today is far from a 'time of desperation', though I did have a pretty crappy morning, but I thought I would start a hump-day tradition of posting things that make me happy. This might alleviate the amount of bitching I do about the weather (though, to mother nature's credit, she's really been out doing herself recently here).

The bush outside my door.

The surprise I found in my hamper when I went grumpily to do laundry this morning. You know who you are, and you know what it is, and I'm not keeping it (though wearing it gladly today -- thank you!).

A big steaming cup of Yerba Matte with a dash of milk and a barely noticeable amount of honey (yes, it's the good honey, robert. robert keeps bees). I would have a photo of this, except my camera ran out of batteries.

[and now for knitting content] - The fact that I reached the heel flap for c.d.m. #2.

So there's four things that make me happy. What makes you happy?

04 April 2006

Lost in Kentucky

Well, not really lost, but... may as well have been. It feels like ages since I've posted. I spent the weekend in Kentucky, working and playing. Obviously, I didn't finish the second Canal du Midi sock. Thursday, I left my house and carefully made sure to pack my unfinished sock, knowing I would have plenty of time to work on it and finish it before Friday at midnight. Of course, I wasn't that careful, and forgot to pack the fourth dpn. So I had the sock, but no way to knit it. Hopefully I'll finish up in the next few days. I want to reknit the toe on the other (I hate the pointiness of it). I'm hoping for an FO by Friday.

BUT -- to make up for lack of knitting content, I have a nice picture-show of my weekend. My friend Laura was out of town, but Robert threw an April 1st party at her house (with her permission), complete with ritual burning. As soon as it gets warm enough here in the mountains, people have bonfires. Friday night (the night of our party), I saw at least five other bonfires. It's like emerging out of hibernation when it gets warm here. The sun comes out, everyone is out on their porches, planting gardens in their yards, generally enjoying the amazing spectacle that is nature here. Our bonfire was most certainly the biggest fire I've ever seen. The highlight of the party? Hard to say, but the older gentleman (Wayne) who rode up the hill at dusk on his way home from "cruising" on his horse (Black Jack), drunk, with a saddle-bag full of beer is definitely in the running. It was a good night -- whiskey and moonshine were imbibed, there was the intoxicated (and WELL MONITORED) use of a chainsaw and an axe to dismantle fallen trees for the fire, stories were told, furniture was burned, the fire was 'jumped' and a lot of Hank Williams (Senior, of course!) was played... all in all, it was the perfect 'hillbilly' party and the best way to start the weekend.

Bethany and Chad pick on the porch with Black Jack. Some things just can't be described in words. Those saddlebags on Black Jack are holding about a case of beer.

A pagan-esque shot of us around the fire. I love the sense of space you get -- there are tall trees and sloping mountains all around Laura's yard, which is perched on a hillside itself. It's pretty amazing there.

The fire at its height (those old closet doors really burned. Wayne suggested placing them so they folded slightly inward -- this created a chimney effect that set the whole thing ablaze in a matter of seconds!).

Nathan jumps the fire. [I can't believe I caught him midair... I always get pictures like this when I'm not trying!]

We found the axe in the yard the next day.

I did a lot of writing and thinking this weekend, if not a lot of knitting. I'll make up for all that thinking this week, hopefully with a lot of knitting. This weekend promises a trip to Louisville (and hopefully a knitting store -- I need smaller sock needles!). Knitting content to come in the future. Thanks for your patience (and nice, supportive comments!). Now I've got to catch up on the blog-reading that I've missed...

Addendum -- [Sorry -- this is a gratuituous kitty post]

I just posted this and was catching up on my reading when I heard a loud purring coming from the corner behind me. I turned around to see which kitty was so happy and saw this:

Those white canvas boxes contain my WIP. They are on my knitting table, a location both kitties know is a no-no (and so they are constantly trying to get up there). Sorry for the blurriness of the photo, but when I got up to snap it, Hank started to jump down (he thought, rightly so, that I was coming to chastize his naughtiness). Ironically, the WIP he was curled up on was the abandoned kitty pi. Maybe it's a sign...