Saturday, August 26, 2006

Grey skies

Last night a random woman at the grocery store said I "look smart" and asked me how to spell the name of the town just east of where I live. I answered, but I don't know if I was right because I have a terrible weakness: a spelling deficiency.

Those of you who know me realize that I am not exaggerating when I say that I really do have terrible spelling problems, problems that are sometimes incongruous with other elements of my life. For example, before returning to school to pursue my PhD, I worked at a writing center for five years--that's correct, a girl who can't spell her way out of a paper bag helped college students refine their writing for five years. As a teaching assistant, my current source of financial support, my students correct my spelling on a regular basis. I have become very dependent on various "spell-check" devices, and I rarely have confidence in my ability to spot the difference between correctly and incorrectly spelled words.

Thus, today when beginning my blog, I didn't know if my title should be "Grey skies" or "Gray skies." Entering both into my word processing program didn't clarify the situation because both spell something, and the thesaurus function in my computer was also unhelpful. The entire time I had a hunch that "gray" is correct as a color, and "grey" is used in other situations such as "greyhound," etc. Yet, I needed to find confirmation.

After a bit of hunting, I made a discovery. According to Wikipedia's entry on variations in American and English spelling, the correct American way to spell the humble color follows my earlier hunch—gray. But, it is acceptable to follow the British spelling when one wants to attribute a positive aspect to the color, instead of dwelling on dull or negative connotations associated with "grayness."

And, although it is overcast at the beach today, I do not find it dull or depressing. I think it is lovely. As a child of the pacific northwest, I find grey skies homey and rather pleasant. Life would get boring if the sky were always blue. (Plus, when the skies are grey, there are less tourists crowding my little town.)

I want to proudly point out that I have 11 colors of fish at this point in my blanket (not all are in the picture below). Two of those colors are grey, and I like them. Grey fishes, and skies, are a source of joy in my life.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Red fish, blue fish, old fish, new fish

All I knit is fish. I have several really interesting projects waiting for some attention, but all I've done this week is make approximately two fish every day. (That is, all I've done as far as knitting is concerned. The grading and writing part of my life has been really busy lately.)

At the same time, aren't they sweet and clever? Look at the clever shaping which produces the fin. And the yarn is such a good, economic choice. It's Lion Brand Wool-Ease--which means that the resulting blanket will be machine washable, and I have been using coupons to buy a few skeins from the craftstore each of the past few months.

Even Niko approves of my thrifty yarn selection! But, it's a good thing that I'm not paying too much for the yarn, because it will take a lot to finish this thing. I currently have 70 finished fish, but the sweet hubby and I both agree that I will need at least twice that number to make a decent sized blanket for an adult sized person to snuggle with on the couch. I'm trying not to think about how many ends I will have to hide when I'm done...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Summer bounty

My summer has begun!

I'm already well into August, but it wasn't summer until now. Why? Because it didn't feel like it before now. I was busy, traveling etc, and until now I haven't had any time to just get down to work on all of my summer tasks (reading, preparing to teach, and working on my dissertation proposal, to name just a few).

The other thing about summer: I have time to go to the farmer's market!

I haven't been able to go to the local farmer's market for months because I had work conflicts during spring quarter, and then I left the country for over a month. Now, I have tasty locally grown nectarines, lemon cucumbers, the sweetest peppers ever, tiny squash, organic cilantro, and a gorgeous gigantic heirloom tomato! Now it tastes like summer.

I also have another kind of summer bounty: yarn!

Here are my new acquisitions for summer knitting. The lovely light blue is lace weight alpaca for the Icarus Shawl from the Summer 2006 volume of Interweave Knits. The light green is amazingly soft cotton yarn for a gift for my classmate's baby who is due in fall. For months I've had visions of making a nice little green sweater for her little sprout... and I can now realize my vision using this yarn which I found in Olympia, WA last week while I was there visiting family.

Oh, and here is a picture of my cat. She was very interested in what I was doing outside, and I couldn't help but take a picture of her watching me through the window.

Yay for summer!