Deceptively simple baby hat using self-striping yarn

This month our university has been collecting food and monetary donations for the Governor’s Food Drive. My office split into teams and built sculptures out of non-perishables (photos of that tomorrow!).  The department down the hall is hosting a Silent Auction with all proceeds going to a local food bank, and I thought I’d donate some knit goods.

I’ve posted before about my attempts to use up extra sockyarn. In this case, I had about half a skein of some self-striping cotton. This baby hat pattern seemed like a strong contender. The pattern calls for alternating balls of yarn…an unnecessary step thanks to the self-striping, and I like how the subtle lace pattern meant the stripes weren’t completely horizontal. I have enough left over that I’m going to make a matching set of socks.

p.s. Pearls Before Swine is one of my favorite comics

The masculine color scheme & vertical lace makes what I hope is a gender-neutral hat


Life’s smaller questions

Lately I’ve been facing some important questions. Some revolve around planning a wedding (What will we serve for dinner? Who will officiate). The bigger ones revolve around actually getting married (What are my expectations of marriage? Where will we live? How will we handle our bank accounts?). The most recent center on Read’s pending applications to PhD programs…and getting the answers is just a waiting game. All of these pending changes are very, very exciting, but they can also be tiring.

So this weekend I took a break and distracted myself with one of life’s smaller (but still important) questions: What is the best recipe for chocolate chip cookies?

I’ve been attached to the same recipe since middle school, but mom swore she’d found a top contender and since she knows how to use the scanner (thanks Jonathan!) I was able to try it out myself. Two revisions: I used whole wheat pastry flour (lighter texture) and replaced half of the butter with shortening (chewier). Mom was RIGHT – five stars!

Chocolate Chip cookies aren't complete without french press coffee

This one goes out to the one I love…

Valentines Day is rough on an old man like Sam. He woke up complaining that it’s just an evil corporate holiday created to push greeting cards and chocolate on lovesick youth. We planned a dinner with friends and I convinced Sam – for the sake of the guests – to wear something dapper and try not to kill the mood with his cynicism.

Read got out the keyboard and a big book called “90’s Love Ballads” (what else?). The roommate and I cooked up some homemade lasagna and set the table all pretty. We set the candles underneath some fresh plum blossom cuttings in an attempt to trick the blossoms into opening up (spring!) and it sort of worked.

A couple bottles of pinot noir later and Sam started waxing poetic about  the one and only love of his life: Wink-the-one-eyed-beagle. They met at summer camp in 2004 and he’s never had eyes for any other dog. So Wink, if you’re out there, Sam sends you a tipsy but heartfelt Valentine kiss.

Here’s hoping that you had an enjoyable Valentines filled with love from family & friends!

Want to read more about Samson?
The story of how he found me
That time he jumped off the balcony
That time I got a letter about his threatening behavior
That time he returned to Hocking Hills
Life without Sam


Q. What do you call sitting in a hot spring in the rainy forest surrounded by naked people, listening to one of them play a didgeridoo?

A. an uncomfortable situation

B. the opening scene of a horror flick

C. a relaxing Saturday afternoon


Trick question! The answer is D: a mix of all of the above.

Okay just kidding about the horror flick part. I have to stick up for Oregonians there, because although I’ve witnessed  philosophical rants, strange musical performances, and a whole lotta PDA at the hot springs, I’ve never felt unsafe. Maybe a little grossed out (picture PDA the likes of the “lover” hot tub skit on SNL…only nude), but all in all, everyone is very respectful.

On Saturday morning my friend and her fiance drove out to Cougar Hot Springs and were kind enough to take me along. If we didn’t work 8-to-5 jobs we would’ve gone on a weekday – that’s your best insurance for having the place to yourself. But hey, if there’s gonna be a crowd at least let it be an interesting one. And the didgeridoo player had that covered. On a whim we stopped by a roadside BBQ place on the way back to town. The Wagon Yard was AWESOME. Great prices, cute atmosphere, and one of the best pulled pork sandwiches I’ve ever had. 

In knitting news, I finished my sockyarn mittens and gave them a test drive on the bike commute to work. The best part is that I recently upgraded to a new red rain shell, and the mittens’ stripes look even better next to the red coat. Three cheers for unexpected accessory coordination!

sockyarn mittens...finished!