Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Which is all I have time for tonight.

We were gone all weekend, and had no internet access at the hotel where we were staying, which rather put the kibosh on my plans to post while we were gone. We got back late last night, and then I spent all day today grading 26 papers (whose quality, or lack thereof, shall pass unremarked)(has anyone else ever noticed how much easier it is to grade good papers than bad, even if they're longer?), so I haven't had a moment to post. I now have the time it takes Younger Daughter to shower (more time than you might think) and Older Daughter to practice her violin (less time than you might think).

We drove up north on Saturday morning; we might have liked to leave Friday afternoon, but Rick had a project meeting, and I had a (shudder) budget meeting, so that wasn't going to happen. But we got up early, threw our stuff in the car, and headed up the state. This trip was devoted to listening to the first half (about all we can get through on one 1,000-mile round-trip drive) of the last of the Harry Potter books, so the time went fairly quickly, and we were in Sacramento by about 4:00. We had a lovely evening with my parents (of which I have no photographic evidence), and after an unhurried morning on Sunday, we drove to the Bay Area. Rick's folks were in town, which is why we decided at the last minute to take advantage of Older Daughter's four-day weekend (Veteran's day), and the fact that my campus was closed yesterday, to go see them and Grandmom, and I'm so very glad that we did.

We always try to see Grandmom as frequently as we can, but since she started getting occasional hospice care at the beginning of the summer, we've been trying to step up our visits. She is definitely fading more each time, which is so hard to see, even though I know that, at 94, she feels like she's had a good long run, and is more than ready to let go. She keeps ticking though, which frustrates her (she can't hear well, and has macular degeneration in both eyes, which makes her feel shut away from the world), so we get to have a little more time with her, which both Rick and I value immeasurably. The girls, too, enjoy seeing her, even though it's almost impossible for them to have a conversation with her, as she can't hear their voices, no matter how loud they get (too high-pitched). But they have some relayed talks, and Older Daughter and Grandmom got to look together and Grandmom's album of her visit to New Zealand years ago, which I think means something to both of them.

It was also wonderful to see Rick's folks, who live far away. We went to the newly-opened Academy of Sciences and Steinhart Aquarium in the City, which was fun, although not quite as impressive as the hype (and price) might have led one to believe. In downloading my photos, I saw that Rick got a couple of nice shots, though, of the reef fish.
And of the jewel-like Mandarin fish.
I don't know if you can see in that picture, but those greens are emerald, and the blues are sappharine, and the reds are bronze. I want one in enamel for a shawl pin.

There were also chameleons.
And poison dart frogs. I'd take one of these guys done in enamel, too -- they're so colorful, they look fake.
And then, afterwards, we got to meet up with Rick's cousin, Jasmine, and her mother for dinner. Which meant I got to give Jas the pinwheel blanket in person. Rick kindly pointed out that it was knitted by me so that I could get full credit, which I appreciated (he's so good about being sure that people appreciate what I put into stuff like that; maybe because then he gets some vicarious credit for helping me to make space for knitting? If not, he should, because he does).

I got some knitting done in the car. I'm eight inches further along into the body of Rick's sweater, which means that I've got about seven inches to go if I'm doing the math right (15 inches from the bottom of the armhold to the hem). I'm still enjoying working with this cotton yarn, but I realize that I'm not so fond of the bulky. Ah, well. I didn't get to work on the second of the Kicking Leaves socks (they have a name!), but I did take some pictures tonight of the first of them on Younger Daughter's foot. Isn't it gorgeous?
That's actually fairly true to color, bad light notwithstanding. Here's a closeup of the baby cables, which I think are perfect.
To recap, this is Laura's newest sock pattern, Kicking Leaves (I just checked, and the pattern's up for sale), which is great fun to knit; I think I'll have to make a pair of these for myself someday. The yarn is Old Maiden Aunt (I linked to it in my last post, but can't find the colorway name right now; it's there). It's not a difficult stitch motif to master, so if any of you are thinking that lacy cables are scary, here's your chance to give them a try.

Meanwhile, I can finally post some pictures of the scarf I knitted for my dear friend Kim (hi, Kim!) out of my handspun (a merino/tencel blend that was such fun to spin), since I gave it to her last week. I used the cabled feather and fan pattern again, since it seems to work well with the lumpy nature of my earlier handspun yarns.
Not too bad, eh? I'm so happy with the way it turned out, and the color is perfect for her.

So, I'm working on spinning the Sanguine Gryphon roving, and the Fuzzarelly roving, and knitting Rick's sweater, and knitting that second sock, and I seem to have gotten distracted (oops) by Anne's latest sock (how not?), so I think I've got plenty going on. And the shower is off, and the violin has fallen silent, so it's probably time to hit "post".


EGunn said...

That's a long quickie! Sounds like you had a great (busy) weekend. Definitely enjoy those opportunities to visit; they're invaluable.

Why is it that bad papers take so much longer? Maybe it's just the depression? Once they get to a certain point, they're much easier again, though. I'm glad for your students' sake that they didn't get that bad.

That scarf is beautiful. I love the color of the yarn, and feather-and-fan variations seem to work with almost anything.

Jane said...

The scarf is lovely, beautiful colour

Nana Sadie said...

Yes. Good papers, even longer ones, are so much easier to grade -more enjoyable, too!
Glad you had a good trip, what great photos of the "critters" - and good family visits are priceless.
That scarf is gorgeous! (my color, too)

Alwen said...

I love the shawl, both the color and the pattern. Love the frogs and the fish, too!

Helen said...

Macular degeneration is such a cruel thing: my 90-year-old aunt has it. She's deaf too and these things make her seem old and out of it while actually her mind is as sharp as ever. She never admits it's a problem but it's a damned shame. She won't admit she's deaf either but the volume of her audio-books gives her away :)

I like that cabled feather and fan: I got bored with knitting faf but maybe a little cable would get me going again.

Bea said...

I'm glad you got to spend time with your family. Sounds like it was a fun trip.

Love the sock. Very cute!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good weekend. It's good that the girls get time with their grandmother, even if she is fading.

The knitting and spinning look wonderful, as always.

Take care.

Courtney said...

My fiance and I used to have those gorgeous jewel toned fish (those and six-line wrasses) in our tropical fish tank. It was amazing, and seeing things like that (or going to the Georgia aquarium) make me miss it.

Anonymous said...

Your handspun shawl is wonderful. Excellent spinning!

Wouldn't it be grand to have an aquarium in the living room. Or, even better, the bedroom. Watching fish is almost as relaxing as spinning. ;-)

Anne said...

Someone needs to dye a poison dart frog colorway. Doesn't that sound perfect for Rabbitch? I vote you suggest it to her.

Anonymous said...

I think we're going to the aquarium before Thanksgiving. Birthday treat!

Roving names are awesome!

Anonymous said...

You sure get a lot written in the space of a shower. It sounds like the trip was a good thing all around, and the fiber distractions are progressing nicely. I just saw a lacy cable design the other night (browsing Barbara Walker) and thought it looked pretty neat, and here you go indulging my curiosity. thanks!

The scarf is stunning! (or Prachtig! as I'm learning from trying to read Dutch blogs)

Lynne said...

Busy, busy, busy! All your knitting looks fabulous; I'm glad you had a great trip.