In my last post a mentioned that I’ve been traveling. I brought knitting with me, of course I did. I started Deborah Frank’s Dark Passenger.

I haven’t touched it since I started it.

Normally, when I go a long time without knitting, I miss it. But, I haven’t missed it yet. Maybe that is because textile culture is alive and well here in Chiapas and I have spent my days marveling at all the handiwork around me.

Or, maybe it is that I started another pattern that requires I actually read a pattern. The year is more than half over and I was taking a look at the progress I’d made on some goals. I am behind where I want to be in writing my dissertation. According to goodreads, I’m 4 books behind schedule for this year’s reading challenge. And, while I normally knit about 12 projects a year, I’m on track to knit about 8 this year. (Assuming, of course, I actually get back to knitting.)

I don’t know what I’ve been doing this year, but it certainly hasn’t been what I planned to do. Isn’t life funny like that?

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I’ve been thinking a lot about a few trips I’ve taken over the last decade or so and feeling nostalgic. My sister, Joy Killyjoy, the ’52 Spitfire, and I backpacked through Europe a little more than a decade ago we had a great time. It was the perfect mix of good experiences, kind of crap experiences and fun experiences. I was specifically thinking though, and feeling nostalgic for, some of the crappier parts of that trip. We had a miscommunication with a train conductor and almost got thrown off a train in the South of France. At the time it was terrible. But, since then it has made a great story that we tell other people, that we tell each other when we get together, that we tell. It was an invaluable experience of tripping over language and ourselves and thinking about it always makes me smile. On that same trip, I have a memory of being in an Italian bakery and paying for everyone’s pastries and being completely confused by my compatriots panic that they hadn’t paid! You spend so much time with people on trips like that one that you sometimes forget that there was a time when you all did different things: like college, when you took Italian and your friends took Spanish and Ancient Greek.

I am currently in Chiapas, Mexico collecting data for my dissertation and staying at a hostel. It is a lovely hostel because it is quiet and there is a place for me to work and it is also near where my speakers are. It has also afforded me the opportunity to talk to all different kinds of travelers. Some of them are traveling alone, some of them are traveling in groups. All of them are probably fueling my nostalgia.

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What I’ve been Listening to lately

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The Quarter Stitch

Now that we’ve passed the Solstice and summer has officially begun I’ve been thinking about my summer knitting projects. In particular, I’ve thought about one of the new projects I am hoping to start this summer, The Exploration Station. It has been fun to think about because I bought the yarn at The Quarter Stitch. I stopped by the Quarter Stitch because I was in New Orleans on a trip with my family. A friend suggested I take a look at the Quarter Stitch. This little shop, tucked away down a street from Andrew Jackson’s statue, was totally worth the drop in. I bought two skeins of yarn imported from Wales and some handpainted yarn that is Japanese. This is going to be one international shawl.

hello, beautiful bag of yarn! thanks for being an awesome little shop, @quarter_stitch !

A photo posted by Kate (@filmnoirkate) on

This is a picture of the beautiful bag of wool I bought from the Quarter Stitch. They did such an amazing job rapping it up. I almost didn’t want to unwrap it so I could get ready to knit. I can’t wait to start this project. It is going to be so beautiful. It is wonderful to be able to knit something that reminds me a lovely time that I had with my family.

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It is supposed to look like a heart


I have re-caught the tatting bug. So, I took to Pinterest and I found This Christmas tree Celtic knot.  I thought for sure this would be easy. It is just chains and picots. 

I don’t think I got the Celtic knot part right. So, I’m obviously going to have to try again. 

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Summer Knitting

Summer is almost upon us and my summer projects in my professional life are in full swing. So, I decided that I need to consider my summer knitting goals. I always have things languishing on my needles. I am a confirmed startitis sufferer. Sometimes, what you want is a pattern that will be easy and you can just knit it. Boneyard is a pattern like that. But, my boneyard is in winter colors and I can’t think about winter right now. The last one was too brutal and summer just started. So, this summer I have decided to focus on two projects: finishing dreambird (or, as I like to call it My Fallen Angel).

My next summer project is going to be either a Mercury in Retrograde or Dark Passenger made with handspun from local wool spun by my friend Joy Killjoy, the ’52 Spitfire.

And, then, because my eyes are always bigger than my stomach when it comes to knitting, I plan on starting an Exploration Station.

I only expect to finish one of these (and, since that’ll be batting .333, I’m pretty happy with that.) But, I’m excited nonetheless to try and knit all the things!

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One stitch at a time


I have been working, one row at a time in stolen minutes between statistical models I’m running for my day job, on being a more consistent crocheter. I want to make the stitches tight on the hook but that makes it difficult to get the hook out of all of the loops. So, I go back and forth between making tight stitches and super loose stitches. The goal, by the end of the end head band pictured above, is to find a happy medium. Not super loose but also not impossibly tight.

It is like a metaphor for life. You have to relax a little but you also have to keep on.

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I made a thing!


I finished my crochet shawl! I love easy crochet patterns! They are my new favorite! As you can see, I need to work on my tension and stitch size. But, first (third) projects have that look about them. (As you can also see, if you’re looking really closely, I have an appointment with the optician next week. Will she go back to contacts? Are there prescription sunglasses in her future? Who knows, ladles and jelly spoons! Stay tuned!)


When you wrap it around your neck it looks like less of a disaster. Plus, that yarn is just so gorgeous. I had some of it left over, so I’m making a headband so I can practice making consistent stitches. I’m so glad that this pattern was so easy that I could slip it into to stolen moments in this very busy month. And, this was done in perfect time. The weather in Good Ole Buffalo has been really inconsistent. It has gone from the 80s to the 40s. I am so happy to have some happy spring colors to wear around my neck when I’m out and about.

Thank you, Sarah Knight from Crafts from the Cwtch for hosting this Make along! I am so excited for crochet now!

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Decreasing….and other things

I’ve been meaning to post all this week but I have had a very busy work week (plus, it was graduation this week and some old friends were in town to get hooded so in addition to work being busy my social life has exploded. This is a great problem to have. ;))

Last weekend I started the decreases on my crocheted shawl. I’m pretty happy with my progress even if this isn’t the most beautiful thing I have ever made. Plus, It is halfway through the month and and I am halfway through the project which I think is a good sign that I might actually finish it this month. I am itchy to finish projects. Do you get that? When all you want to do is be done with something you are working on? I realized as well this week that I am almost done with my firecake shawlette (if I save the second skein for something else). The second skein, I think, may become a transposition (posted some pictures of a transposition and I love a classic triangle shawl.

But, no new things until I finish old things. I have to get rid of this itchy “not enough knitting and project finishing” feeling!

starting the decreases! #cftcmakealong

A photo posted by Kate (@filmnoirkate) on

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But, First Coffee

This is that weird time of Spring when the Snowbirders have returned from the South but the university is still in session for a few weeks so all the college kids are still around. This makes it hard to find appropriate parking when there is alternate-side street parking (some days it’s legal to park on one side. Other days it is legal to park on the other.)  No big deal. I have two furry alarm clocks who miss me way before it is time to move my car. So, this morning I got up, found a nice spot just down the block from my house and then I sat there because the weather was coming up on the radio. It might get up to 78 degrees today. 
I sat there for a few minutes trying to add things to my mental checklist about opening windows and positioning fans. I’m sure I looked like a weirdo staring off into space, just sitting in her car. (Good news, I’ve lived in this neighborhood long enough that people know me.)  

But, none of this planning and executing can really happen until I get some caffeine in me. So, now I am standing in front of my coffee pot wondering why the filters are over here but the coffee is not. 
I think I need to add new kitchen shelves to my list. 

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