Things on and off my needles

The beginning of the semester has been quite hectic; the shorter-than-usual break meant that I wasn’t able to “prep-ahead” as much as I normally do, so now I’m stuck prepping while teaching 4 classes (and running, so far, 4 extra workshops just in the first 2.5 weeks). And one of those classes is a class that I haven’t taught since pre-pandemic so am basically prepping that one from scratch. And another one had an enormous turnover between week 1 and week 3 (this week), so I’m trying to fold new students in without boring the crap out of the ones who have been here since week 1. And the big conference in my field (CCCC, aka “4Cs”), for which I’m on the leadership of two different standing groups, is over a month earlier than usual and holy moly, there’s a lot to do to get ready for that. And I think my “Faculty Activity Report” is due right around the same time as that conference. And I also got asked to moderate a panel on Linguistics Communication & Art at the LingComm conference, which I’m really excited to do, but it’s the week before 4Cs and…ooof, things are just going to be very, very busy until March, and we’re not even to February yet.

I also found out last week that I am in fact going to get to develop a class around AI and Writing, and as I joked to a friend, “I’ve never been more excited to give myself more work to do over the summer!” It really IS exciting to think about what I’ll do in that class, but right now I basically feel like I’m drowning and I am just SO exhausted, so the idea of more work is kind of daunting. Every time I catch a glimpse of my face in the mirror (or on Zoom), I hardly recognize myself; I look like I’ve been punched in both eyes! The weather hasn’t been helping; we’ve not really seen the sun in over a week, and it has just been unrelentingly damp and dreary. It’s a bit warmer than usual, so instead of snow, we’ve had rain, as if November decided to hang on for a couple of extra months. I want snow! My eyeballs need a little bit of brightness to cover up all wilted plants and mud. It’s just so grey and grim.

So squishy!

Which makes it a bit funny that the project I’ve made the most progress on recently is my grey, not exactly grim but very plain, Birch pullover. I took some advice that I got…was it here in a blog comment? On Mastodon? My brain is so scattered lately I can’t remember! Anyway, the advice was to put a stitch marker in each time that I measured the sweater so that I could tell that I actually was adding length. And it definitely helps!

Sign of progress

So does reaching the end of another ball of yarn. Even if it looks like an unending wall of 1×1 Half-Fisherman’s rib, if I’ve added an entire ball-worth of yarn to it, it must be longer than it was before!


I’m now at 9.5″ for the body, and I’m supposed to knit 10″ before starting the 2×2 ribbing. I’ve started bringing my big knitting bag with me to events where I just have to sit and listen (like last night’s Middle School Information Night – oh my goodness, how is it possible that my child will be a middle schooler next year??), and I get into a nice rhythm, so I’m hopeful that it won’t be TOO long before I finish the body.

The other project I’ve made quite a bit of progress on is my purple sock, which is the project I keep in my backpack and knit when I need to be available for students to ask questions during in-class work time. I got through the heel-turn while my students worked with a librarian yesterday! Speaking of purple, I also cast on, somewhat on a whim, for a pair of mitts for my kid, who likes purple, and wanted a pair of mitts like my Joy mitts but wasn’t interested in having any sort of flag.


I’m using the leftover yarn from my purple Vita de Vie plus the leftover yarn from my purple socks, and instead of colorwork, I’m doing garter stripes. I’m also knitting on smaller needles than the Joy pattern calls for, which is making a slightly denser, tighter mitt (perfect for my kid’s hands!).


The last item pictured in the header photo is a little swatch I made from my Peace Fleece DK in Antarctic White. We did a little bit of reorganizing over the break and I was reminded of some of the books I have, and decided I’d give one of the patterns in Norah Gaughan’s Twisted Stitch Sourcebook a whirl. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been thinking I might make a Minimalist Cardigan with the Peace Fleece, but I don’t actually love the reverse stockinette, and as I was thinking about how I might modify that, I thought I might like to try a different stitch pattern for the decorative cabled bit…I mean, if I’m going to be making changes, why not change everything, ha!

A swatch.

I’m not sure that this yarn is really well-suited to twisted stitch patterning; the book says that 2-ply yarns generally don’t let the stitch patterns “pop”, and I suspect that’s going to be true here, too. We’ll see what it looks like after I block this little swatch. I also might look through my books of Estonian lace, since I know that 2-ply IS good for lace. We’ll see what I end up doing with this yarn, but I do like the idea of a cropped cardigan to wear with dresses.

Anyway, I’ve still got to finish prepping tomorrow’s classes so I’d best get off the knitting blog and back to work. Who knows when I’ll get another chance to update the blog, but for now, assume I’m working away on the Birch pullover, the purple socks, and the mitts for my kid whenever I get a moment to knit.


2 thoughts on “Things on and off my needles”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s