I mostly worked on finishing ongoing projects (three pairs of socks, the Putney shawl - pictures of which will come later). All of those were fairly small things. But I did work on one big thing:
Rosedale. No, it's not done yet but I'm up through the main part of the raglan decreases; I have a few more rows of decreases plus casting off at the front neck and then it's time to work the collar. (Finishing on this is minimal - you knit on some front bands to stabilize the opening, and graft the underarms together).
I think this is pretty impressive given that I hadn't quite finished the second sleeve when I left for break.
I knit the sleeves first, which seems a rather good idea for sweaters with sleeves that are either sewn in or knit in after most of the body is knit; sleeves are usually where people stall out but having the knowledge that they are DONE makes the body-knitting go faster, somehow. Also, knitting a sleeve first might actually work as a giant gauge swatch, provided you're the sort of person who doesn't wash and block their gauge swatches (I don't. I figure if I get gauge or "close enough" (within a half of a stitch), it will all work out in blocking, especially with a wool or mostly-wool yarn. I've had a few surprises with cotton, which tends to relax more when wet, but usually I can get away with not blocking animal-fiber gauge swatches). Or it allows you to see if you like how the fabric is working up with less time investment if you don't, which is a consideration because I routinely use different yarns than what a pattern was written for.
Being this close to done with a sweater makes me think of "what sweater next?" I could just go ahead and try to finish the Basketweave sweater that's sat in-stall for a couple months (the stitch pattern takes more attention than I realized; I've done a fair amount of ripping back when I got a row wrong). Or maybe I'll start the nice big cozy sack-type sweater from the Jane Brocket book - the one I bought the pale green wool for back in October as a Thank You, Body, For Not Being Too Broken gift after I had all the bloodwork following my hypertension diagnosis. (When I called the other day to ask for a script renewal, the nurse asked what my bp was averaging. I guess she was impressed when I told her 130/80, because she kind of went "oh, wow"). Or maybe I'll start a lace cardigan I've had some nice brown Louisa Harding yarn for in-stash for a little over a year. Or maybe I'll do the Saddle-Sleeve pullover, though it has a somewhat attention-requiring stitch pattern. I don't know. I have lots of sweater yarn ahead and I often run across yarn I had put aside and realize that I want to knit THAT sweater NOW. Well, until I find other yarn I had stashed away.
One thing I did over break was help my dad (somewhat) clear out his office on campus. He's officially retired but the deal is that retired people get to keep an office if they are doing research (and they may get a research lab too, if there's space) or provided there aren't new faculty needing an office. As most of what my dad does these days is sort of meta-research (e.g., reanalysis of existing data sets) and he doesn't do labwork any more, and because he's rarely in the office, at one time they "suggested" he move out of it. (That seems less urgent now; it seems like many universities his is not replacing people as they leave or retire. Or they're replacing them with adjuncts and sticking the adjuncts in a big, bullpen-like room - kind of like what the unaffiliated grad students got as an "office" when I was in grad school. (Because I had an advisor I was working with, I got office space in his lab - so I had far fewer officemates and could do things like leave books on my desk and be fairly sure they wouldn't disappear).
Anyway, he decided it was time to sort and dispose of some books for stuff that wasn't his main field (he taught a lot of classes in areas - like petrography - where he never really did research). Some he was able to hand off to the current department chair who stopped by to say hi, and who needed some of those things.
(An aside: one thing about academics, it's hard for us to dispose of books. Even in fields like cellular biology where things change and books become outdated fast. I guess in geology it's a little different and a lot of the information stays good because Dave was snapping up old books of my dad's that looked like they might have been published in the 60s. While ecology books from the 60s would still potentially be useful, a lot of the cellular and molecular stuff would be totally outdated....)
I took a couple books he was getting rid of - one on lab safety, just to have on hand in case. And one on George Washington's surveying work, published in 1934, which I suspect was passed on to him by an older alumnus (who passed on himself a couple years ago) who had become good friends with my dad. It looks like an interesting book.
I also grabbed my dad's old copy of De Re Metallica when I found out he was getting rid of it (if I had not taken it, Dave would have). No, I know next to nothing about mining or metallurgy but the book interested me as it's a historical document (it was first published in something like 1560) and the history of science has been a long interest of mine. But I also took it for nostalgic reasons - when I was a kid, my dad had an office at home as well as on his campus; his home office was where he did some of his mapping work (he had a big light table that he would let me use to trace patterns or things when I needed to) and some of his consulting work. And he had lots of books on the shelves, and De Re Metallica was one I remember. I also remember being very excited to learn, after I learned about the 20th century presidents in a history class, that the "Hoover" listed as the translator was actually the man who later became President Hoover. (Lou Henry Hoover also worked on it; who herself had knowledge of mining and was a Latinist). Knowing that made me happy, even as a kid. It seemed really cool to me that someone who had been President (even if his reputation was not all that good - there were still people around when I was a kid who blamed Hoover for the Depression) had also done that.
I guess even early on I found the idea of people being polymaths appealing. I wouldn't call myself a polymath - I'd say I'm more of a dilettante - but I like the idea of people being good at and knowledgeable in a lot of different fields. (How interesting it would be - though perhaps in the Chinese-curse meaning of the word - to have a mining engineer run for President these days. It would be refreshing to see someone who was not a lawyer or not a businessperson run.)
And yes, I plan to read De Re Metallica some time. Because I can. One of the joys of being an adult no longer in school is that you can learn about whatever interests you and you never have to write papers or take exams on it.
Another thing my dad handed off to me was a funny little globe that his alumnus friend gave him. It was obviously made in Germany (the country names are all in German, and there's a Stuttgart notation on the information about it). No date, sadly. I don't know when the thing was made but it must be old - I'm guessing pre WWII - because a lot of the country names, especially in Africa, are different (Abyssinia still exists) and Germany is a single nation, not partitioned into East and West. (Yugoslavia exists as a nation. I suppose by sussing out all the names of the old nations, and finding out the date that they changed names or were partitioned, I could maybe figure out an earliest-possible-date the globe could have been made. But that would take a lot of time.)
It's called a Columbus Rolling Globe and comes with a base that allows you to figure out (Great Circle style) the distance between two points on the globe. Kind of a neat little thing, though obviously these days it's more a historical novelty or a desk toy than a useful globe:
(The Columbus Globe Company still exists)
So, I decided to do a different mantel theme this month and do sort of a "lands and peoples" thing, with the globe at the center, and I tracked down different things I had that had been either given to me as souvenirs from other countries, or were obviously from other lands:
It's still kind of a work in progress but I am surprised at how many things I had, considering that (unless you count Hawaii), I've never been off the North American continent. There's the Japanese doll my sister-in-law brought back for me from a research internship she spent in Japan. And there's a little round box (I think it must be some kind of papier mache) that a Thai grad student gave me as a gift. And there's the tiny nutcracker my brother gave me one Christmas, and my Welsh cream jug (which was purchased right here in Durant, and I still wonder at how something from Wales got all the way here). And for North America, my big Petosky stone, and the Frankoma Pottery tile of the Cherokee alphabet. (As I said, I'm still rearranging things. And I might do an antiquing/boutiquing trip an a week or so and see if I find anything else that appeals to me.)
I'm removing the word-verification step. Comments will still be moderated (I HAVE to do that, or I'd be inundated with spam) but I know enough people dislike the hurdle of the captcha word, so I'm doing away with it. (It was a temporary measure to keep my mailbox from filling with "anonymous" messages from 'bots over break).
A Mr. Ed/MLP crossover? I can envision one:
Mr. Ed is a human man. He lives out back of Lyra and Bon Bon's house. He often comes to the back door to speak to Lyra. But Lyra is the only one who can see him.
There you go.