Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Really Random Friday

I've officially had an extremely odd week, and I'm not quite sure what to make of it. If you're one of the few people crazy enough to have stuck around over the past couple years (and if you have, you know who you are), you've seen me finish grad school, work for a while, find a postdoc, and now face a serious career crisis. The current question - should I stay or should I go? On one hand, the economy stinks, and being dependent on government funding isn't a great plan right now. On the other hand, I love, really love, what I do, when I'm interested in it. This week, I had decided it was time to go. As in, I decided that Wednesday, and proceeded to enthusiastically start looking for other career options, and found a few things that really appealed to me, and was starting to make Big Plans.

Then I got my dream second postdoc interview opportunity. The one that fell into my lap, that seriously, there's no way he can want me to work in his lab. Amazing stuff. Incredible, fascinating, really ultra-cool and exciting science with someone who quite honestly may be up for a Nobel prize someday. Add to that a location that I would probably prefer to my current digs, and a surprisingly fewer hurdles for my husband to find a job. Plus - as a final bonus - a great knitting community and a lot, and I mean a lot, of yarn stores around and opportunities to wear knitwear. Plus, proximity to MDSW. Seriously - this is not a bad thing. Oh, and I have friends in the area, and I also kind-of sort-of know 2 knitters in the greater semi-near area.

But this means I have to really think about what I want to do, and I don't know. It's a possibility (interviews usually lead to good things at this level, almost always, but it's not a given) that has suddenly hit me at exactly the point where I was ready to move on, and had really decided I was okay with that. I don't know what I should try to be when I grow up.

So, instead of thinking so much, I'm going to try to finish a pair of socks this weekend, check out a sale on silk yarn at my LYS, and maybe even finally make it to the farmer's market. Oh, and run. Because I haven't gone in 2 weeks, and I might be going crazy.

Go look at this. It's pretty.

Monday, January 26, 2009

My laugh for the evening.

This may be slightly crude (?) for some viewers, but it made me laugh. A lot.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


NerdTests.com says I'm a Cool Nerd Queen.  Click here to take the Nerd Test, get nerdy images and jokes, and talk to others on the nerd forum!

I question the coolness, and I'm definitely more of a science nerd than that depicts. But it was heavily weighted towards math...

Friday, January 23, 2009



Friday morning - that's a relief.

Not that much exciting going on here. I've come to the conclusion that being "an adult" means spending an awful lot of time doing laundry. Other chores too, but the laundry just keeps coming around here.

This week was a short one for me. I picked up a cold that's been making the rounds here - the sick- enough-to-feel-totally-lousy-but-not-so-sick-that-it's-easy-to-justify-staying-home variety. I spent about 2 days in bed doing almost nothing, and completely fell behind on chores. Work has been a series of frustrations, days of seeing all my plans going out the window. So I'm glad it's Friday, and there's an end to this week. I'll be back in the lab on Saturday, but only for about half the day, and hopefully it will be quiet and I'll manage to have some time to myself. I may even bring a super-simple sock with me to work on while I read articles and wait during some long incubation steps.


I'm back to knitting the Trellis scarf. I started this one back in 2007, looks like August based on the upload date. I'm almost at this point in the pattern again, so I'm recycling photos. It looks the same. I got a bit farther than this the last time, then managed to drop some critical stitches (in silk) and watched far too much of the scarf unravel. Interestingly, it's a much simpler pattern for me this go around. It's still a bit too complex for working on while watching a movie or a TV show that I'm very engaged in, and I know better than to pick it up too late at night. However, it is satisfying a craving for lace work.

According to Ravelry, I have at least 7 things that I'm currently working on. I think that number is off, but I know I have 3 socks, 1 vest, 2 sweaters, and 2 lace scarves on needles. This is a bit much, so I'm not planning on starting anything new for a while. (HAH!) I say this just as I'm about to get some yarn in, which I don't really need, but really wanted. I'm still feeling a little leery about the sweaters, but at the moment I'm enjoying what I'm working on. That's the important part, right?

Time for work. I've got a shadow today, which means no iPod, and having to work more slowly than usual.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I got the bug!

lace ribbon scarf

I don't have a "real" finished shot of this, but I guarantee it looks a lot like it does while blocking. This scarf was pretty while I knit it, but ok - I get it now - blocking really does make the lace. I'm currently blasting through a pair of socks, but I'm plotting my next lace project (ignore the fact that I already have a lace scarf on the needles, it's not what I'm craving to start.) I've wanted to knit Ene's Scarf forever and a day. I've linked it, but I'm pretty sure everyone knows this one already. I finally think I might attack that project, and the Trellis Scarf which I started and frogged (no thanks to probably choosing the wrong needles and failing to use a lifeline - silk and the 7 into 5 stitch is slippery) are next up on the radar.

And yes, I cast on for a new pair of socks. On a whim, I started knitting the Mockery Socks on Saturday night. I spent the better part of yesterday with needles in my hands, and have zipped through the gusset and am working my way down the foot already.

Today is a day off of work for me. I should be doing other things, but I'm taking advantage of the time off to rest, knit, and regroup. Thanks to some really impressive insomnia and the discovery of Ballykissangel, I've found myself doing a lot of knitting lately. Yesterday was the 5 month anniversary of my dad's death. His birthday, and my former mentor's birthday, were both in the first week of February. Although they're had milestones, I am starting to feel like my old self again. Still, I'm grateful to Netflix and their "watch immediately" feature. Especially when so many BBC programs I missed are available at the click of a button.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Proportion is tricky

Part of the reason (there were many) that I wasn't in a big hurry to put buttons on the big orange sweater is that I know it's an unflattering knit. (Other reasons include that it's much more reasonable to wear it in say, winter in Minnesota, than winter in South Carolina. It's chilly here, but I'm not going to pretend that it's anything near cold.)

First, it's a cropped sweater. In and of itself, that's okay. I'm short-waisted, so this can be a flattering length on me. I'd prefer it to be just a little bit longer, but only about an inch. The real issue is that it is wildly boxy, and drop-shouldered. The sleeves are fairly fitted through the forearm, then become giant by the time they meet the body. The overall effect is not particularly flattering. (The pictures aren't so good either, but the ones my husband took were even worse.)

However, I still love the fabric, and the color of the yarn. Peace Fleece is definitely on the "rustic" end of the spectrum. This is not next-to-the skin soft, although washing did a lot for the yarn. I would not hesitate to get it again. I think I'd prefer a dk weight, for multiple reasons, including that I really don't need something quite so hefty in this environment.

Overall, I consider it a satisfying sweater, but not a rousing success.

Yesterday I tried on a raglan-sleeved silk turtleneck sweater that had been given to me as a gift. It's a particularly gorgeous color, and feels wonderful. However... I look as though I have no neck with the turtleneck collar. The raglan construction makes me look incredibly broad through the shoulders. Couple that with an ample bust and no waist shaping, and the sweater adds on a good 30 pounds. We'll just skip over the bottom ribbing that pulled the sweater in by 2 inches, and had a lovely pooching effect at my hips. The overall effect was not good, and the sweater is going to be given away.

I'm wondering about the sweaters I have put into my queue to knit, and those waiting to be finished. All I am certain of is that bulky knits do few people any favors, and I find myself irritated by the latest issue of Vogue Knitting, that begins with an editorial on about how people are being more economical in their knitting choices, and then follows with an issue almost entirely comprised of chunky, bulky, oversized knits. Made with very pricey yarn. I thought this trend was over?

So I'm about to block some lace, and returning to knitting socks, but I haven't found a match with pattern and yarn yet. Sometime this weekend I'll go through the projects again, and prioritize what I'm going to finish up or frog. I've only got a little time to knit, and my knitting resolution is to work on things that I enjoy.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I'm really going to regret it come morning, but I stayed up late to finish knitting the lace ribbon scarf. It desperately needs to be blocked before I can make any decisions about it - at the moment it's a soft but crumply mess.

Now, I desperately need to go to bed. I was tired before, and I'm only going to get about 5 hours of sleep before it's time to start the day again.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tuesday Ten

This week's Ten on Tuesday:
10 things you want to do in 2009

1. Run a half marathon. Really. I don't have any idea why, but I'd like to do it (by the end of the year.)
2. Eat out less and cook more. I miss cooking. It takes time and effort I frequently can't find.
3. Read more books. Again, something I miss doing, that takes time and effort I have trouble finding.
4. Find a new job. Because, well, I have to as my funding is running out.
5. Travel to a new city.
6. Go camping.
7. Learn a new skill.
8. Write a paper.
9. Knit more than I did in 2008.
10. Go shelling on the beach.

Friday, January 2, 2009

A special treat

Hey - what's this?
Let's take a closer look:
Excellent goodies!
Really beautiful yarn.
A very cool felted bowl that now lives in my office.
And a fantastic little box.

Perfect. Bells read my mind. :) Fantastic colors, and I don't know if she realizes how perfect the box selection was - I have a small, but treasured collection of boxes from around the world.

Thank you!