so that was a hoot and a half

I'm gonna hold the "many things" post for next Tuesday, largely because it isn't many things if your list only has one thing on it. And one thing doesn't really make a post.

Plus - I'd like to tell you about Houston.*

Houston tends to be the butt of jokes when one lives in Austin. "Jokes" is the wrong word. It's more that Houston is used as a worst case scenario, like "if you think you've had a bad day, you could have had it in Houston, which would be much, much worse."**

I made the mistake of incorporating that into my worldview. I am here to say that I was full of cow pies. Houston is delightful.

Look at these knitters:


And these: 


And there was a bunch in the middle, who I didn't realize didn't get in either shot. They were equally lovely.

From my perspective, the talk went well. There was laughing and questions. Plus, there were cupcakes. It's always more fun with cupcakes.

In between, I ate as much Tex-Mex as I could hold. I had at least one Shiner Bock, which I pine for, and an obscenely big (and obscenely delicious) watermelon margarita.  


Marilee, Brine, Roddie, Theresa (who took the picture above), Dianna, Mary Lee, Anna Marie and all of the Knit at Night Knitters were most wonderful.

Plus, there was yarn.


It's a colorway (named "Jane" in memory of one of the founders of the guild) dyed by Mama Llama for the guild's 15th anniversary. Tucked into our place settings were bamboo double points, just in case we should want to start something right there. A few did, in fact, and I can't wait to see what they come up with.

The next morning, I took off for Austin. I also took two pictures at a convenience store near the turn-off for College Station. I had to wait to take them because my glasses immediately fogged up when I went from my well air conditioned rental car into the East Texas July.


This is one way to tell you're not in the North anymore.


This is the other.

I made it to Austin in good time, took myself out to lunch at Threadgill's, which I miss even more now, and drove down Congress. Then it got, as the Austin Chamber of Commerce says, weird.


* Austin will in another post. First, I have to send the paperwork to the Department of Public Safety.

** If you are a New Yorker, insert New Jersey for Houston. Or if you are a Tennessean, insert Alabama. You get the idea.

can we call this 10,000 words?

Mary Tudor, Queen of France:


I thought about being all coy, like, "Did I finish it? Read the book and find out!" But, dudes, I suck at coy. Ask anyone I've ever flirted with.  And, so, here she is, on her wooly board in my filthy kitchen. I would have put her outside, to dry in the sun like the Shetlanders do,  but I was afraid she'd freeze.


I was either pinning or genuflecting. Your call.


When did I get so gray? Must get some Lady Clarol.

Now to finish up the more mentally taxing portion of the project. By Monday, it will all be out of my hands for a while. Or my brain will have exploded. Either is likely.

i should have been a plumber

I have always been writing this book. I will always be writing this book. This endless writing will never end. Hence the word "endless." Put words in row. Add punctuation. Wonder when world will realize you are an idiot. Realize that world has already caught on and is humoring you, which is appreciated. Put more words in row. Become certain you will never hit word count, because this was a stupid, one-note idea. Make mental note to stop starting sentences with, "wouldn't it be cool if..." You will be writing this book forever. Wonder what made you think this whole writer career boondoggle was a good idea. Also wonder about sanity of editor. Also wonder if editor will still have job in two weeks, given how industry is cratering. If editor doesn't have job, can stop writing? Realize that this is a sad commentary on selfishness and silver linings. Put words in row. Delete words in row. Put new words in row. Delete words in row. Sigh heavily. Wonder if local construction company needs ditch digger. Ditches are very straightforward. Remember how much you hate mud and physical labor. Wonder if you'd make a good coder. Computer code seems straightforward. And no mud. Will risk eyestrain. Put words in row. I have always been writing this book. I will always be writing this book. Add punctuation.

actual knitting content, one-armed knitter edition

Thanks to an evening full of football (I heart Polamalu) and tennis (I heart Andy R.), I had some concentrated knit time. Look! I finished a sleeve!


The color is more accurate in the photo below. That dark blob in the lower right is Barney, eater of handknits.


I can't get a decent natural light shot because we are now dealing with winter sun, which never really seems to shine in a satisfying way. I was hoping that the snow would give me some good bounce light but it didn't work out. How much snow?


About a foot, as of 9 a.m. this morning. Woo. It's starting to get a little wearing. Good thing we only have three more months of winter to deal with!


easily distracted

Unexpectedly busy weekend.

Some highlights:

The Featureless Saint and I built a very small wall.

Truth be told, the FS did most of the assemble to this point, mostly because he has more patience with making things level than I do. Now I'll take over and weed/plant/beautify.

Heidi, Joe and their kids stopped by for a quick visit. We (well, not the kids) all went to college together and I don't think we'd seen each other for...14? ... years. A good time was had and plans to do it again were bandied about. Hopefully, it won't be another 14 years.

Progress was made on the sweater:

Hand included for scale.

We grilled stuff. I made pie -- and learned once again why I should not try to make pudding from scratch. Rather than a lovely butterscotch pie, we all enjoyed a lovely butterscotch soup with pie crust in it. You win again, pudding. Damn you and your silky yumminess.

actual knitting content, with cats

The squirrels still mock Barney.


The sock has about 3 inches of ribbing. Progress on The Sweater has been virtually nothing, mostly because I suddenly realized that it was May, which means all of the deadlines that I didn't have to worry about until May I suddenly have to worry about.


And because my brain is focussed on the worrying (and finals), you get a picture of Trout. He's a very handsome cat, no?


actual knitting content, with cat

Please keep the suggestions of knitters coming. I have Ann and Kay and Stephanie on my list. Someone suggest Cheryl Oberle, which is a great idea. Anyone else? There must be more.

Starmore progress:


Yup, I'm just zipping along. It is faster now that I'm past the purl rows -- but faster is totally relative. 

New sock, which is what I work on when the Mary Tudor makes my brain hurt:


It's Lorna's Laces "miata" that has been kicking around the stash.

This will be going in the stash:


Purchased from my LYS. Even tho Noro is scratchy, I can't resist the colors.

And the promised cat. Barney would desperately like to go outside. The squirrels are mocking him.


I don't have the heart to point out that those squirrels would kick his ass in nine different ways. Oh -- and that despite all of the green out there, it is only about 45 degrees outside.

Speaking of Barney, Neil Patrick Harris is interviewed at EW.

i got nothin' + wee progress

We have entered the part of the academic year in which I find it hard to not strangle students. "Yes," I want to tell them, "I totally understand your problem, which is exactly the sort of problem you will laugh about in 15 years because it will seem so trivial. But, yes, I understand. I don't, however, care."

I say nothing because I'd like to remain employed, which is one of the few motivators I have left.

So, some pictures, while I grade more fucking papers, a few of which are late because it is hard to be 20.

The Mary Tudor progress:


Stunning, isn't it? I'll be done any day now, given my lighting-like speed. You don't want to know how long that little bit has taken. Oh -- and for scale -- that big pink thing is my finger.

Another shot:


Finally, proof that Trout and the new cat are getting along quite well, thankyouverymuch.


Maybe a little too well.