Thursday, December 20, 2007

Proud to Announce

I am proud to announce that all of my Christmas knitting is complete. This includes blocking, but not the wrapping. I'd better get on that! Pictures will come after giftage commences. Hannah says it's pretty. :)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Home for the Holidays

I'm so glad my gift (2 skeins of Noro Kureyon) was well-received by Gena. I was lucky to get some luxuriously soft Baby Alpaca Grande (distributed by Plymouth) from Karen. I'm planning to make a loose-knit scarf so the yarn will keep it's incredible softness.

I've traveled home for the holiday and got to play with some kittens that my sister is raising. She's trying to decide which of these two she will adopt. You will have to excuse me for posting cute kitten pictures - because I don't normally get to spend time with animals.

Kitten 1 is poofy and clumsy (she is still quite young). She's normally very shy and quiet but she showed some aggression over a favorite toy.
Kitten 2 is the most developed in the litter. She's very intelligent and coordinated (for her age). Here she is snuggling up to the air register to hog all the hot air coming out.

This kitten also curls up in wool sweaters and falls asleep - therefore we had something to bond over.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Isn't it Fun?

Isn't it fun wrapping presents? Especially when said presents contain goodies for knitters? I'm really looking forward to Knit Picky's holiday party tonight. I hope the recipient of this gift enjoys what I picked! It's so difficult to shop for these things where anyone could end up with your gift.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Queen of Vague

First of all, Happy Birthday, Gena.

I left out the details of my calorimetry in my last post. I'd heard from other knitters that it's a challenge to get the sizing right if you don't have the perfect gauge. So, I just started casting on stitches and stretching the cast-on edge as I went to guesstimate the number of stitches needed. I ended up casting on 60 stitches (on a size 9 needle) because I wanted a nice snug fit (no slippage, please) and I didn't know how far 55 meters of yarn was going to go. The fit is good, but I almost wish I'd gone with 64 stitches! Do note that I'm a really loose knitter so anyone using the same yarn/needles will probably need anywhere from 10-20% more stitches.

I gave it a test drive this moring on my walk to work, and I am in love. It still has that heady sheep/acetic acid smell that makes me think of wonderful places (yarn stores, of course). My ears weren't the least bit cold after I got to work and realized I'd left my badge on the coffee table. They were still toastywarm when I got back home to retrieve said badge. And when I finally arrived at work and realized I'd left my lunch at home (when I went to fetch the badge) my ears were still totally cozy. At that point I decided I wasn't walking back home for lunch and just had delicious chilli for dinner instead.

In other news - I have plane tickets to return home for Christmas! I cannot even explain how giddy this makes me!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A day of fiber and friends

The generous Karen hosted a yarn brunch today where we assembled a team to rip a disasterous sweater (details will be on Karen's blog). It took 4 people and more than an hour, but in the end we had all of that yarn in tidy little cakes.

I made a little progress on the sleeve of the tangled yolk cardigan. I'm not very inspired by it at the moment. Since the sleeve has seemed more like work than enjoyment, I made good progress on the Raspberry Cane sock. It came to work with me a couple of nights where I spiraled away on it while various assays developed. I like the way the burgundy/red pools on one side of the sock. It makes me think of the red tide.

I made a quick trip to a yarn shop that was having a sale (20% off all yarn!). There, I found a yarn which I've never seen in person before - Marisol's Sulka. It's a lovely Wool/Alpaca/Silk blend that is spun in a loose unplied single. I've been drawn to singles yarns since I learned to spin. They're just so soft! I got home and immediately cast on for Calorimetry. Since I wear my hair in a bun on a daily basis it's not terribly conducive to wearing hats. This garment solves the problem of chilly ears on windy mornings without the bun becoming an issue. I finished in 2 hours - exactly as Karen predicted! Any pattern named after such an explosive technique requires a bold color. I think I chose well. Please excuse the odd picture - it's really hard to photograph one's self. Once I finally got most of my head in the shot I no longer cared that I had a strange smirk on my face!

When I was at the LYS I found another singles yarn that caught my eye. It was a visual delight as well as a tactile one.

It's a laceweight - Malabrigo laceweight in the "Continental" colorway, to be exact. It was priced very reasonably - especially considering the yardage. Then, it was an extra 20% off! I have a pretty good idea what I'm going to make with it.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

SAFF (boy am I behind)

Hello Friends,

I know it has been a while since I've posted, but those of you who know me irl probably already know the reason for my blog silence recently. I think the worst of the work will be over Tuesday when the external advisory board comes in for the annual review. Let's just hope things settle down after that. I really wanted to get this post up today before I go into work because one of my readers (who checks the blog obsessively) is celebrating her 14th birthday. Happy Birthday, Li'l Bit! I'm so sorry I can't be there.
Now, let's get into fibery goodness! A few weeks ago I attended SAFF (Southeastern Animal Fiber Festival) with Melinda (thanks for driving!), Karen, and Gena. All 3 were sporting gorgeous new handknit sweaters. I, however, did not have the blogger instinct to photograph said sweaters. I actually did want to, but when we met up it was still pretty dark outside so I figured we'd wait until later in the day. But once we got to SAFF we were all so overwhelmed that I completely forgot. Trust me, they were lovely. And, it was perfect sweater weather.

It was totally Tocktober in the llama barns. Check out these fluffiest of 'tocks! Llamas are not terribly friendly. One of them even snarled at me - he/she had this great Elvis lip action going on.

The vendor area was completely overwhelming for all of us as this was our first fiber festival. There were so many beautiful sights like this one. We were kinda in yarn overload.

I was so overwhelmed by all the yarn that I forgot my shopping list: FIBER, Shawl pin, Estonian Garden Shawl pattern. I did find a lovely shawl pin from Knitting Notions. I chose African Padauk because the wood matched my swallowtail shawl so well. The ladies working the booth were incredibly nice and they had the most gorgeous shawl samples on display. It inspired Melinda to make the Icarus shawl (here is a lovely example) from a previous issue of Interweave Knits.

I also found the Estonian Garden Shawl pattern at the Kid Hollow Farm booth. I've been wanting to make this shawl for months after seeing Firefly's (ravelry link). I'm so glad to have finally found the pattern - I already have the perfect yarn for it:

Now, recall how the first thing on my list was fiber? There were just so many fibers to chose from that the fiber-picking part of my brain went on vacation. I came home with none. I'm going to practice my spinning a bit more and brace myself for next year. Instead of fiber I came home with a skein of yarn. I'd show you a picture of the hank, but I'd already wound it in the car on the way home. Instead, some knitted up pictures:

The yarn was dyed by the incredibly talented (and friendly) Miss Babs. This colorway is Raspberry Cane - I really wish I'd bought Saturn as well!

After we got our shop on, the four of us migrated to the Ravelry meetup and met lots of knitters we know from blogland. It's been a few weeks so I'm sure I'll forget some people, but here goes! Aimee, TurtleGirl, ZKnits, Mean Girl, and Trillian. Aimee recently participated in a walk to raise money for Lupus research and asked the knitting community to aide her in raising funds. She raised a total of 4.6k! To help raise the money, she had a number of prizes available that would be distributed to donors. Much to my surprise (and delight) I won one of those prizes. Namely, the prize pack from the Zen Yarn Garden. It consisted of a cute lined drawstring project bag (currently housing the Miss Babs socks) and some ultra-squishy sport-weight sock yarn. The yarn is a merino/seacell blend so it has a lovely shimmer to it. The colorway is named Lilacs, and the hank had a whopping 375 yards! Dood, those socks are gonna be a mile tall!

What a day! I can't wait for next year.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Mileage May Vary

I've been working slowly on the Tangled Yolk Cardigan from Fall 'o7 Interweave Knits. I hadn't blogged about the project yet because the project isn't visually exciting in the beginning. Instead, my joy has been purely tactile. The Silky Wool (by Elsebeth Lavold) I'm using is incredibly soft, and in a DK weight the resulting fabric has a very nice drape without adding bulk. I already anticipate this being a favorite sweater in the coming autumn months. I tend to stop every few rows just to pet this sweater. I've found my progress slowed by the need to stop and remove little snarls of grass from the yarn as I work (nope, I'm not a perfectionist at all!). I have worked with this yarn before so I anticipated the problem. However, you'll notice that I did not find this to be enough of an issue to select a different yarn for the project. One thing I will say for this yarn - it does hold up to my incessant nit picking very well!

Here is the sweater at the end of 2 balls (roughly 400m). It is a mere 2 inches from the underarms. I was absolutely shocked to discover that this yarn went so far. I will probably have a fair amount left over despite lengthening the body.
The astute readers out there will say - "Wait up! The tangled yolk cardigan is a cardigan. What you have there is knit in the round all pulloveresque." Those readers would be correct. I really do try to learn something new with every project. Sometimes just learning the limitations of the yarn is enough for me, but I'd used the Silky Wool before. So this time I'm going to learn the crochet'ed steek. I chose this method because it will retain the stretchiness of the knitted fabric - unlike machine stitching to reinforce the line of cutting. Plus, it leaves tidy edges which appeal to the perfectionist in me. We will see if I'm still so keen on the idea when I am sitting poised with scissors in hand.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Swallowtail Shawl - a picture diary

I spent my morning with Karen, Gena, and (blogless?) Melinda. We went to an apple festival at Bethabara park. It was tons of fun - complete with colonial costumes and a horse-drawn wagon. There were demonstrations on spinning, weaving, bobbin lace, and a smithy who let kids pump the bellows. I brought the recently completed swallowtail shawl with me for some photographs.

On seeing Minty's finished swallowtail, I decided to perform 5 extra repeats of the budding lace chart. I was using laceweight and I'd heard other knitters complain that it was a rather small shawl so I really wanted to increase the size. The finished wingspan is 64 inches, and it is 31 inches from the center top to the tip. I'm very pleased with the size.

The thing that appealed to me most about this shawl was the nupps in the Lily of the Valley border. Fortunately, I am such a loose knitter that the p5tog stitches didn't even phase me. I know most people slip 2, purl 3 tog, then pass the 2 slipped stitches over. Honestly I found this far more fiddly than just purling the stitches all at once.

I love the drape of the Jaggerspun Zephyr Wool-Silk (purchased from Sarah's Yarns - this shawl only cost $6.00). It was so shocking when I bound off the last stitch and picked up the shawl to flop it out and admire my (sad and puckered) work. It weighed nothing! The weight of the needles had me thinking I had created this substantial thing, but it really does weigh less than 50 grams (less than 1.7 ounces for all you non-scientists out there).

May I just say - this is my favorite project yet. It was my first lace, but I found it really intuitive. I am already thinking about what my next lace project will be. I'm a huge fan of Evelyn A. Clark's patterns, so I'm preferentially eyeing hers. Until then, I will be working on Eunny Jang's Tangled Yolk Cardigan from the latest issue of Interweave knits. I'd show you a progress shot, but 2 inches of ribbing isn't exactly exciting.
Happy Saturday!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Separated at Birth

I see the likeness - do you?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Sneak Peek

Knitting lace is plenty exciting if you're the one doing it (especially if you sneeze and drop 8 stitches!), but it's not exactly fascinating to read about. It's all puckered and sad. Actually, it vaguely resembles a manta ray - it even has a little tail! So here's a little preview of what the swallowtail shawl will look like. I'm nearing the end of the budding lace charts. I will easily finish that this weekend, and begin on the border section. I anticipate that this will be blocking next weekend.

Saturday, September 8, 2007


Here are the socks that took me ridiculously long to complete. I've been through so much while knitting these that I was almost reluctant to finish them. They were started June 10 (the day after World-wide Knit in Public Day). In the time since casting on I have written and defended my project proposal, come to an understanding with my advisor (and I think he "gets" me now, too), and eaten way more fast food than I'd like to admit. I've changed. I wonder if I'll ever be able to wear these without thinking of the stress I was under when I made them.

Project Details:
Pattern: Waving Lace Socks (Evelyn A. Clark)
Yarn: Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 in Pixie (Purchased at The Loopy Ewe)
Needle: 2mm (US 0)
I cannot convey how much I love Fleece Artist. The yarn has sheen and character. It knits up so evenly that I think it's perfect for socks with textured patterns. The gentle color gradations kept things interesting without making the end result cluttered. I will definately be using this yarn again.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Because I know she's watching. . .

Hi Hannah!!

I had a dream that you guys visited me last night. I was sad to wake up and realize we weren't actually taking silly photos in the arts district. =(

I don't know if Mom told you about it - but I had that presentation last week. I didn't feel particularly good or bad about my performance but the boss was really pleased with it. It was the second time he's given me praise to my face - so I know it must've been a big deal. See, the boss never compliments someone directly. He will tell the whole world how much butt you kick - the whole world except you. If he actually tells you in person it means you really exceeded his expectations.

A 3-month long experiment flopped and I'm working hard to figure out what went wrong with the virus. I'm having to be a "virologist" and that means coming in at all kinds of crazy hours! It's left me rather sleepy and uninspired, so there hasn't been much knitting. I am getting close to finishing the pair of waving lace socks - probably only 3 hours worth of knitting left on those.

My class has started back up and today will be the first formal meeting. I'm still trying to finish the reading for today. The course director picked a really bad paper for the first meeting - it's complex, poorly written, and the figures are hard to decipher. I feel sorry for all the students who are in their first year of the class. They're going to be so overwhelmed. =( Kay, I really need to get back to that paper before people start coming in and try to talk to me!

Talk to you soon, Li'l Bit!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Gena tagged me for a meme that is based on fours. Personally, I prefer multiples of 3, but I'll be good and follow the rules.

Four jobs I have had:

1. Dog Bather/Groomer/Kennel Person - This was a fun job, though it was a little stinky sometimes.
2. Waitress - The management and coworkers treat you with respect. The customers treat you like trash. I don't miss this job (or 13-hour shifts with no chance to eat) one bit.
3. Laboratory Technician - I miss my old biochemistry labmates. I should email them and let them know I passed my quals!
4. Graduate Student - Amazingly, this is somehow my highest-paying job yet. Despite the fact that it can be a bit. . . traumatic at times I love what I do and I'm really happy I chose this school.

Four places I have lived:

1. Florida - This is where I was born. I don't remember much about it
2. Alaska - My middle sister was born here. I was still very young, so all of my memories of Nome are from our summer visits in later years.
3. Kentucky - My family lived here the longest, and the rest of them remain there today. Strangely enough I really have no opinion about the part of Kentucky my parents live in. I'm just completely neutral.
4. North Carolina - I moved here for graduate school in 2005, and I love it. I live in a city that is big enough to be exciting and have an arts district, but it's still small enough that I can drive "downtown" without freaking out from traffic or feeling unsafe.

Four Favorite Foods:

1. Dark Chocolate - seriously
2. Mushroom Quesadillas - there's a place in Wilson, NC that has the perfect mushroom quesadilla. My aunt and uncle know that we have to go there everytime I visit them. It's always followed with a chaser of #3.
3. Peanut Butter Milkshakes - from Sonic
4. Pasta served with an EVOO-based sauce

Four places I would rather be:

1. In Kentucky - one thing about grad school is you don't get to see the family very often.
2. In Canada - one thing about grad school is you don't get to see the significant other very often. 3. In Texas - because I miss Steve & Julie, and Julie could really use a companion right now.
4. Gathered around a board game with my classmates (we're huge dorks that way).

This is the point where I would normally tag 5 (or maybe it should be 4 to keep with the theme) other bloggers to complete this. However, I never was a fan of spreading viral memes, and since I am supposed to be an immunologist I choose apoptosis not to tag anyone else. Really, all my friends who blog have already been tagged and I'm too shy to tag someone I haven't met in person!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Alaska: The Final Installment

I will be sharing the last of the Alaskan vacation pictures in this post. Today will be Alaskan wildlife, starting with, um, my sisters. I just love the setting of this picture of my sisters. Most years there are lots of wildlife encounters, we almost always see a herd of reindeer or caribou - this one was mixed.
It's much more rare to see large cats, though. This year they had an opportunity to see a lynx up close! The photo is a bit blurry because the picture is taken through a car window, and since the roads are made of packed dirt there was a lot of dust in the air. I just love the way she's peeking out of the willows to see what the silly humans are doing in her haunt.

Finally, every fiber-enthusist's dream - a musk ox in summer. After seeing the beasts close up you can begin to understand why quivit is so expensive. My family saw 4 herds this year - that's a record. There were no moose or bears to report this year - we ususally do see those pretty frequently.

For those of you who have not already heard - I passed my qualifying exams this week. It still really hasn't sunk in for me yet, so it feels kind of. . . hollow to say it. I must have post-traumatic stress disorder about the whole thing! About 3 months ago, when I was really settling into the writing process, I made a promise to myself that when I finished my candidacy exam I would treat myself to my first big lace project. I ordered the yarn in early August from Sarah's Yarns. It is JaggerSpun's Zephyr Laceweight - a 50/50 wool/silk blend. I like the fact that it's a tussah silk (meaning no silkworms were killed in the making of this shawl). The color I chose is copper, and it does almost have a metallic sheen to it, especially in natural light. The light in my apartment however, is far from natural. All that "shine" you see is from the flash. I promise it's not that gaudy in person. :) The yarn slides against itself really well so I expect it will block beautifully!

The pattern I finally chose was the Swallowtail Lace Shawl from Interweave Knits (Fall 2006). I chose the pattern for several reasons. First, it's pretty. This is the very best reason to knit a shawl. Secondly, it has 3 different stitch motifs to keep me interested and challenged. Finally, it has a low yardage. I didn't want my first lace project to be epic. Honestly, I've been progresssing much more quickly than I anticipated. I've got 1200m of this yarn in sage green for my next lace project. It will be one of the many beautiful large stoles from Victorian Lace Today. I still haven't chosen which.
The lace pattern isn't difficult - there are really only 3 patterned rows. It's actaully quite relaxing to knit. I put in a lifeline just in case, but I probably won't be using them very frequently. I have finished repeat 7/14 of the main body so I still have a long way to go before I hit the acrobatics in the border. I intend to do the nupps because I can't get enough texture in my knitting. I knit pretty loosely so I think I'll be able to manage a p5tog, especially since I'm using nice pointy Knitpicks' Options needles.
Ah, it's good to knit again.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Summer Landscape

Alaska is beautiful. This first image really gives a sense of the vastness of it all. Congratulations on capturing such a great shot while moving! I am very impressed.

The Alaskan countryside is not just impressive in size. I love this shot of lichen growing in the rocky soil. It's really moving to see life in an environment which can be so harsh.

The landscape is occasionally marked with structures. This particular one is an abandoned gold dredge (This looks a lot like the one that is just outside of Nome, though I can't be certain). It looks as if all of the dredge buckets have been taken. Aside from that this is an incredibly well-preserved structure. It's crazy how you can be out on the ATVs going along a stream and find these dredges rotting and rusted out. It really gives you a sense of history.

I'm particularly fond of this shot because you can see the clouds reflected in the river here. There are rivers and small pools everywhere in Alaska - I think it has the most inland lakes of any state in the US.

The most impressive thing about the water up north is that it is so free of pollutants (even natural ones). You can see here that the water is so clear you can easily see the bottom of the river bed. I remember stopping at this place on our way to camp before. While it's a challenge to actually guess the depth of water (all that annoying bending of light) I would guess this is at least 8 feet deep at the point between the two rocks. There is a little riffle just upstream (next to Hollie's knee) and despite the churning, the water downstream is still completely free of silt. Gorgeous.

This next photograph also demonstrates how clean it is in Alaska. I can think of few areas within the lower 48 where you could see this far into the distance. The only reason you can't see further is that it is obstructed in clouds.

So, what image made it onto my computer's desktop? This is definately my favorite photograph in the lot (all 3 CDs worth!) I love the composition and use of color. The building is so perfectly weathered in contrast to fresh blooming fireweed. Truly a magnificent photograph.
Thanks for sending all your pics guys.

I decided to one more day of photographs because this post would have run on very long if I'd included wildlife photos. Those will come later this week

Monday, August 13, 2007

You guys are the BEST!

My family sent me pictures from Alaska! I went through all 3 CDs (it took me over an hour) and selected my favorites. I'm sure you guys will be surprised by some of my picks!

First up is a tender moment shared between my grandparents. I think this photo captures their relationship perfectly. Mom was rarely in photographs, so I don't have any of her to share. Instead, I bring you the beach bums: Hollie (in blue) Hannah (in black) and Dave (boyfriend of Hollie - in shorts). They're on the beach wearing hoodies and eating suckers. Knowing my family those are Tootsie Roll Pops. Are you guys still saving the wrappers with the Native American shooting the star?
Now, on to the images that actually made me laugh! First up we have Hannah demonstrating the mischevious beast known as "The Midnight Sun." Clearly what has happened here is Hannah was suddenly overcome with exhaustion because she didn't realize it was 2am. Sneaky thing, that never-setting sun.

Ah, Patrick F. McManus. I think the F stands for "Fun For the whole Family." I think we've all read his books when we head up north. It's good to see that Dave was indoctrinated. It's great that our family can say things like "Remember the one with the coat?" and we can all just have a little chuckle knowing exactly what story they're referring to. Also, I love the fact that Missy (the poodle) is totally zonked on Dave's arm. She actually ended up in a lot of my favorite pictures! For the fiber fans out there - note Grandma's vintage crocheted afghans. She has won awards for her crochet before! That explains where I inherited the yarn gene.

Finally, my favorite. I call this one the Moose Montague. Click it to get the full effect of the goofy moose faces.

I begged my family to send these pictures hastily so that I could select an image to use as a background for my computer. I have a presentation tomorrow and I wanted to have something interesting up to possibly spark light conversation before everyone arrives. I think I've chosen the shot (and I think you guys will be surprised). Tomorrow will bring big news and my favorite scenery and wildlife shots.
Thanks for sending these so fast guys!!!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Long Overdue

With my recent intense focus on schoolwork my household cleaning routine has been rather. . . disrupted. This morning I realized I hadn't vacuumed the livingroom rug in a month! So, I hastily retrieved my vacuum cleaner from the dark & mysterious hall closet. I was unfurling the cord when I realized my vacuum had a resident. A rather bulbous spider with a web full of other spiders! She wasn't particularly large - less than a cm but what impressed me was the gorgeous markings on her abdomen. In this photo you can see two white v's and then the start of a smaller white marking to the rear of her abdomen - it was the shape of a cross. I appologize for the blurry photo - she was tearing out of there!
Yes, that is a bit of wool on the left. I did say I was overdue for a vacuum. ^_~
If she had been a good little spider and stayed in one location I would have let her be - but since she was on the move (and was on the cusp of comfortable spider cohabitation size) I decided a flip-flop was the appropriate fate for her. And guys, her guts were the most lovely shade of lavendar. Everything about this spider was just entrancing.
Do you guys ever take a moment to really look at the spiders in your homes? Also, am I the only person that will let a spider live in her house as long as it is stationary and under a certain size?

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Targeted Advertisement

For all of you who are just here for the fiber, this little blurb isn't for you.

Today I used google to search a phrase that included "DNA," as we molecular biology types are wont to do. When my search results popped up, so did a series of targeted ads. You would think that a search for "DNA" would lead to advertisements for textbooks, journals, or educational sites. Not so much. Every advert. was for paternity/infidelity testing.

Sunday, August 5, 2007


When life throws a tragedy at me I try to escape in humor. Or, I will knit. Sometimes, I even try both.

Painful as it is, you made the right decision, Judy.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Dear Family,

Dear Family,

Your cellulars are either not getting service or they are off. I tried calling the land line, but apparently that is now hooked up to a modem. Boy was it a surprise to hear that on the other end of the line! Very loud things, those modems.

Since Lil' Bit left a comment here I am guessing you arrived safely and have internet access. So, here's an update on life here on the ranch!

I turned in my grant proposal yesterday. It was a really traumatic and stressful experience made all the more stressful & traumatic by my boss. I really don't want to go into details because thinking about it just makes me really angry and nervous. The oral defense is the 14th, so you guys will be back in town by then. But, I'll probably be pretty absorbed in my preparations.

Today the boss gave his famous "passion" speech to us again. He asked E & I what our passions were, and we both answered "family." Bossman indicated that this was a passion that needed to be put on the back burner in order to do the "grad school thing". The question I was dieing to ask (but I refrained, so as not to be labeled "cheeky" twice in one day) was "So, when can family be the most important thing again?" Because from where I stand now, it looks like it "can't" be. Even the post-doc in our lab admitted that he's just had to find a balance. I love science and learning, but it makes me sad when the other things I care about have to be forsaken. Last time I was home Dad told me that all I ever talk about is science - I gave that some thought, and it's true. I've become this totally 2-dimensional personality. I need to do something, I'm just not sure what.

So, how's Alaska been so far? Chase any caribou off the roads this year? I admit that I secretly hope you've been stalking some muskoxen for me (from a safe distance, of course). I expect you to upload your photos on some online album type thingy so I can see them all. I'm not going to wait until Christmas!

I miss you guys tons! Give me a call sometime (or just turn on your cell phones!).

Much <3,
Elke/Kris/Big Bit/Sugar Pie/Honey Bunch/The Abominable Snow Midget
We do favor our nicknames, don't we guys?

P.S. I totally wasn't kidding about the photos!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Queso, it are go good with chips.

L&V listeners will be able to appreciate the title. My brain is broken. I've been working on my grant proposal the entire weekend with the exception of sleep and a trip to the grocery store. I'm so close to being done, but I. Can. Not. Write. Anymore. Graduate school makes you stupid. This is a fact.

So, this post will be short on words.

I started Wicked a while ago, but never blogged about it. I like it. Unfortunately, that's about as eloquent as it gets right now. As you can tell from my blog layout and decor, I am a fan of the color green. So it is no surprise that I am knitting this sweater in the same colorway as the sample. The wool is magical in that it doesn't feel terribly warm when I knit with it, or when it lays in my lap. Yet somehow, when I try this on I get superwarm! It may turn out too hot even for me (the girl who wears sweaters in summer).

To prevent colors from pooling I have been working from different balls on every other row. When I go to carry the yarn from a previous row up to work with it I just give the two strands a little wrap bringing the new yarn underneath the tail from the previous row. You can see the tidy little seam it makes here (it bisects the image diagonally). It's virtually invisible on the right side of the work, so I'm pleased with the result. It's certainly made the project more appealing to the perfectionist in me who likes things to be homogeneous. Using varigated yarns are really a thrill for me because they've got so much character. But, there is that part of me that balks at the idea of an uneven distribution of colors. This is subtle enough that my inner scientist & my inner knitter can be at peace.

I made taco salad for dinner. Yum :)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Current Views

As I sit here working on my grant proposal (1/2 inch margins make you look like a slacker, btw) I find something within my field of view that is incredibly comforting. It downright makes me happy when being faced by a wall of words that I have written (aside from the fact that I have already written those words, and will only have to re-write SOME of them). No, it isn't the old-school radiator (The radiator is vestigal - the apartment has central heat, now). It's not even the cozy red down blanket. Need a hint?

What's this?!? Why, it's a finished waving lace sock! It only took me a month to complete. I've been wearing this one sock all day. The stitch definition is still crisp and clean without any signs of fuzz despite sticking this sock into almost every shoe that I own. I should write a love haiku for Fleece Artist.
Fleece Artist for socks
Soft, supple, yet tough delight
My feet do rejoice!
It feels great on hardwood flooring, and even better on carpet. I wonder if I'll actually finish the other sock before the oral exam. For those of you I've not spoken to in the last week my oral exam had to be rescheduled. It turns out one of my committee members was going to be on vacation on the day originally planned. So now, my proposal defense will be in mid-August. This gives me more time to prepare, which is good. But it means I definately will not get to go visit Anousone (the significant other) when I finish. I'm trying to keep my spirits up by thinking about a fall visit. Afterall, if we go to Niagara Falls in autumn I'll get to wear Wicked.
Anousone has always had a thing for raglan tees. He loves ringer shirts and always tells me I should wear them more often. I showed him the images of Wicked and he fell in love with it. I wonder if he realizes it is the same style as his beloved ringers?
Finally, the prance! Admittedly, my prance is not as impressive as Gena's Hedera Prance.

Also, I still have not gone to see the new Harry Potter movie. Does anyone feel like going next weekend? I like to go to late morning matinees because I'm cheap like that. :)