Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I got tagged.

Cindy of Tea and Yarn tagged me. Hi Cindy! I'm not very interesting, but here it is...

1.) What was I doing ten years ago?
Ten years ago I was working in a biotech company, enjoying life as a twenty-something slacker in Silicon Valley. I was on a brief hiatus between grad school and grad school, worked as a temp, found a permanent job, was laid off, and temped again. I haven't had a real job since. Hah!

2) What are five (non-work) things on my to-do list for today:
- pick up my son from school
- do laundry
- run (done. Day 1, week 3 of the couch to 5k, thank you very much!)
- read something for fun
- work on finishing up some of my all but finished knit things so I have something to blog

3) Snacks I enjoy:
- chocolate
- popcorn
- tortilla chips and salsa

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
- Not worry about finding funding for my own research again, and set up some of my friends, too
- fix my roof, bathrooms, and kitchen
- travel
- get help (cooking, cleaning etc) for myself and my extended family

5) Places I have lived:
California, Iowa, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin, South Carolina

6) Jobs I have had:
Lab drone/dishwasher/pigeon wrangler
Quality Control technician
grad student
post doc

7) Peeps I want to know more about:

Llyr's Daughter
Dr. Girlfriend

Anyone else want it? Consider yourself tagged, just leave me a comment so I can come read, please!

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Evidently, it now takes me 2 months to finish a pair of socks. I think that breaks down into roughly 1-2 weeks to knit one sock, followed by a long hiatus, then finally knitting the other sock.

The details:


Pattern: Cross Stitch Blocks from More Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch.
Needle: Size 1.5 Crystal Palace bamboo dpns (2.5mm)
Yarn: Fleece Artist Sea Wool, color Origin

Lots of unintentional design elements in these, but I'm not going to point them out. I like the pattern a lot, enjoyed the yarn. It's relatively inelastic thanks to the silk, but very pleasant to the touch and has a pretty shine. Somewhat splitty, too. I knit these to fit closely, as I expect them to stretch out a lot. They're dense, warm socks. The color is fantastic in person, and I don't think my photos really do them justice.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What's in my knitting basket?

Knitting basket

Somedays a song is worth 1000 words.

Nothing to see, really, but U2 says it better than I do.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Memes memes memes.

Stolen from Llyr's Daughter. I like to copy her. And wow, I seem pretentious.

The top 106 books most often marked as "unread" by LibraryThing’s users. As in, they sit on the shelf to make you look smart or well-rounded. Bold the ones you've read, underline (I have no underline, so I will make them purple) the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude (I loved it)
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Tale of Two Cities (there's a good chance I read this on my own.)
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies (only because we loaned it to someone and it was never returned.)
War and Peace (Ditto, to C.)
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife (I loathed this.)
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner (Own it.)
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods (Now, I like Gaiman, but how is this impressive?)
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha (This was not a good book.)
Quicksilver (In my defense, I'm still reading it.)
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the west
The Canterbury Tales (as in, we were only assigned part of it)
The Historian : a novel (Read this year, in fact. It was only okay.)
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (HATED THIS)
Love in the Time of Cholera (loved it.)
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo
Dracula (Surprisingly dull read.)
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath (I meant to read this.)
The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
Angels & Demons (I may have read this? I don't remember?)
The Inferno [and Purgatory and Paradise] (Only parts of it.)
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Prince (A chapter or two.)
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
The God of Small Things (Own it.)
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present (Own it.)
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves (Own it.)
The Mists of Avalon (I am the only person I know who hates this book.)
Oryx and Crake : a novel
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed (Own it.)
Cloud Atlas (Own it.)
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything (Own it.)
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow (I have read part of it aloud in a marathon reading, and started it repeatedly.)
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

Monday, May 12, 2008

Quick notes

Time for a random post.
  • Love this.
  • I took the weekend off. Somehow that means that it's now Wednesday and my house is a total disaster. I don't think anyone did laundry, there's clutter everywhere, and every surface really needs a good cleaning.
  • Despite knitting a lot, I still haven't finished anything. Was working on Sheldon, cruising along, but am having problems attaching the bottom part of the shell to the top. Frankly, I'm feeling pretty dim right now, but I don't see how to make this work. The two pieces are very different sizes, and my turtle is looking pretty crappy right now. I will probably just wing something tonight and call it done. Cute pattern, quick knit, but the finishing is tricky. Crochet and I are not good friends, and these little pieces are fiddly. Toy making is not something I'm going to do a lot more of.
  • I have 1.5 inches left to knit before the Phiaro Scarf is ready for finishing. This last 1.5 inches is taking a very long time, and I don't seem to be making any discernible progress regardless of how many times I measure. I am very tired of working on this thing, but I suspect the final product is something I really will like and use.
  • I continue to have 3 socks on the needles. I put one pair down to work on Sheldon (it's a birthday present). By the end of next week, I hope to have that down to 1 pair. I'd like to finish something sometime.
  • I still like knitting lace. I still can't concentrate on knitting lace.
  • If I don't get off the couch right now, I am in great danger of not making it in to work today. This sounds incredibly appealing, but there are things I really have to get done. I still need a vacation.

Friday, May 9, 2008

It was Friday

Yesterday was my birthday. It's one of the 5's. Somehow, this one isn't bothering me as much as I thought it would, despite the fact that I'm not where I thought I'd be in my life at this time.

I ended up having a really good day. The continuous construction at work was on hold as it was a state holiday - Confederate Memorial Day. Truly. Yes, I live in the South now. In any case, it was great to have a break from listening to drilling all day. Made a huge improvement on my mood. Then I went to happy hour with folks from work. Most of the ones I wanted to show up did, and the people I didn't really want to spend time with showed up briefly, then went away. Which was fine - I realize that I like the majority of people at my job, just not the ones I have most frequent contact with! And it was great to spend time with my boss, and have people telling stories. I like my nerdy friends, and I am at this point totally happy to not be around the "cool kids."

After happy hour, we went out to a delicious dinner. We split grilled scallops, salad with cucumber and onion and tomato crostini as a starter, then I had a chickpea soup (Hasa al Hummus) while my husband had vichyssoise. Mine was better, but his was delicious. Then for the main course, he had duck (wonderful) and I had gnocchi in veal ragu. Finally, we split a flourless chocolate cake. Honestly, the cake and the wine were the weakest part of the meal, but the food was amazing. One of those meals that causes me to close my eyes and take a moment while chewing.

I'm feeling a lot better than I have been. Still stressed about things, but taking charge of one of the bigger problems I've been having made a huge difference. I'll have to deal with the consequences on Monday, but that's for when the weekend is over. In the meantime, I have knitting, a little bit of new yarn (after all, it was a birthday) and I'm going to have some fun cooking this weekend. Because yes, this weekend is my own selfish time, and I'm going to enjoy it.

Hope everyone else is having an equally satisfying weekend too.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


There are some things you can take for granted when you read knitting blogs. One is that this weekend is slow for blogging, but there will be a ton of posts tomorrow morning. Another is that you can pretty much figure out which bloggers work at colleges/universities, because we all become quiet towards the end of the semester. True even for me, and I don't teach or take classes any more. I follow a slightly different cyclical pattern of activity, and this is one of the busy cycles.

There's a major deadline on the 15th for abstract submissions for a big meeting. That's taking up a lot of my time, plus trying to make a manuscript go away. Major revisions were requested, and I'm working on them, slowly but hopefully steadily. At least when I'm not filled with fury over some of the changes one of my co-authors made without my approval. I could go on and on about that one, but let's leave it by just saying that I am very mad and I will never ever work with this person again, and will be happy to never deal with this person ever again.

I finally frogged Juno Regina, as I realized that I was just too unhappy with it to want to knit it. I really like the pattern - just not with that yarn. I'm now knitting the Adamas Shawl by Mim instead. Because it's a triangular shawl, it's breaking up the horizontal pooling of the yarn. And since it's an easy, strongly geometric pattern, I think it's actually working fairly well with the variegated yarn. It looks a bit less reminiscent of Spiderman this way (not that I have any problems with Spidey.) The lace pattern is pretty simple, but that being said, I still managed to mess up the last two rows I knit while sleepy, and of course I was working without a lifeline. Hah. I'll get it fixed, but it may take tinking back one more row. I'll get a picture sometime in the near future.

I knit a second, child-sized beret out of some leftover sock yarn. It was very satisfying to knit, and I'll be making a third in the near future. I like hats. Summer of Socks is also rapidly approaching, and I'm playing along again this year, even though I know that by saying it, I'm not likely to finish a single pair. I have 3 on the needles right now, none of which are getting a lot of attention. Two more socks are technically in the rotation. One was frogged back to oblivion due to a gauge issue, the other just hasn't been cast on because I am just not motivated to do so.

I'm still trying to finish the Phiaro scarf, which has totally lost its novelty. It's now getting unwieldy, but I'm not ready to start casting off just yet. I also have been ignoring my cardigan so long that I can't remember what I was doing when I left off. I think I have a few more rows to knit of the first sleeve, then I can make a second. I am not certain, but I do know that I want to make an enlarged copy of the chart for the yoke for ease of knitting. I haven't done that yet.

Time for me to stop procrastinating and get back to statistics purgatory. Ugh.

Cute quiz

you are mediumspringgreen

Your dominant hues are cyan and green. Although you definately strive to be logical you care about people and know there's a time and place for thinking emotionally. Your head rules most things but your heart rules others, and getting them to meet in the middle takes a lot of your energy some days.

Your saturation level is very high - you are all about getting things done. The world may think you work too hard but you have a lot to show for it, and it keeps you going. You shouldn't be afraid to lead people, because if you're doing it, it'll be done right.

Your outlook on life is bright. You see good things in situations where others may not be able to, and it frustrates you to see them get down on everything.
the spacefem.com html color quiz

Found via Perknitious