It's freezing. Single-digit temperatures, big ugly wind that's pushing the "Real Feel" index way down. I was driving home this evening when I thought, "I am ready for winter to be over." And then I laughed bitterly.
In my defense, I had enough of winter today to last me for a while. I got a text late Friday afternoon from a Gladlyville mom whose son goes to school with Joe. We've carpooled before; she was making a last-minute trip to pick her son up. Would Joe like to come home too? If I had paid attention to the forecast I would have probably said "No, thank you!" instead of "Sure, and I can drive them back!" But that's what I said, so that's what I did. The scary chunk of the drive was across a section of state highway that's still showing up as "mostly covered with snow and ice" in our department of transportation's website. Blech. I get super-tense about driving my kids around in bad weather, and it is magnified when I am also driving someone else's kid around. Mercifully, we are all unscathed. I think I'll have to break out the Dr. Stay-Puft leggings for my walk to campus tomorrow.
Tomorrow is the first day of spring semester classes. ("Spring" semester. Brrr.) I've posted before about professor anxiety dreams, yes? It's been years since I had that dream where I show up to the final but I've never been to class. Now I dream that I show up to the final and I forgot to write it. Or I drafted the first four questions and failed to copy them. All the students are staring at me as I walk in empty-handed. This doesn't even make sense, right? In the real world I could just set them a quick essay question and it would be fine -- if I somehow forgot to write an exam, which is approximately as likely as forgetting to put my pants on and heading out to the office. (Oh! Last semester I had a professor anxiety dream in which I showed up to teach with no pants on. "This must be a nightmare," said my dream self, only in my dream it was not a dream.)
This semester's professor anxiety dream takes the cake, though. My actual undergrad class this semester is full of students I enjoy. I've taught about two-thirds of them before and it was a delight to scroll through the roster. With my actual conscious brain I'm really looking forward to it. But Anxious Brain has other ideas. Anxious Brain spun me up a dream in which I walked into class on the first day and discovered that it was full of strangers, mostly male. (My field is so heavily female that I have taught a single-digit number of male students across the past seven years.) That's not the scary part, though: the scary part came when I realized that half of them were vampires.
In strode the vampire slayer, with a tangle of barbecue skewers jangling at her hip (stakes, you see). She was heavily armed. Carnage ensued. I woke up saying "OKAY OKAY OKAY maybe next time you could rerun the one where I neglect to write the syllabus?!?!"
Let's talk about something more pleasant, shall we? Last night I cast on a happy soothing knit. Kate Davies has launched a new yarn, and I have a delectable little sampler pack that has been waiting for the pattern release. It's a yummy wool-mohair tweed, fingering weight with some pleasing variability and even more pleasing neps*. I am making a hat in stranded colorwork, with the added fillip of occasional purl stitches.
*Neps are the things that make tweed tweedy: those little flecks of color you can see in this picture.
In traditional stranded colorwork there's no purling, just a long lovely spiral of two-handed knitting. I'm only familiar with purls in colorwork as part of the Swedish Bohus tradition, which is its own Thing, distinct from the Fair Isle/Icelandic/Norwegian traditions. If you're not a knitter you will be a little puzzled when I tell you I looked at the chart and said "...whoa..." but that's what I did. I'll share a picture when I'm a little farther along. (The suspense is killing you, I know. "The purl stitches, Jamie," you are saying, "show us the purl stitches!")
On that tantalizing note, I'll say goodnight.