Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tuesday 10

Today's prompt: 10 Things on my To Do List

1. Pay taxes. Yup, haven't started that yet. Still have to contact the old school to get paperwork I need to fill out the forms, too.
2. Rake the yard. Spring leaf-fall is in progress, and the live oaks are dropping leaves like nobody's business.
3. Get back to regular running. I miss it and I need it.
4. Sort the paperwork in the kitchen.
5. Clean the garage.
6. Finish up some unfinished knits.
7. Figure out when I'm going apartment hunting.
8. Notify my boss of my plans.
9. Run western blots.
10. Cut sections.

Exciting, no?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Nothing profound here.

I was going to write a serious and thoughtful post, but then being thoughtful started to make me sad, and I need to go to work soon.

So instead you get two quick photos:
Irish Hiking Scarf

I finished this up over the weekend. This started out as a pair of Dashings, but it didn't take. One skein of Cascade 220 makes a short scarf, child-sized. It was a satisfying knit, and I understand why so many people made these. It reminded me that I have a lot of Cascade 220 in the stash, and that at some point, I really do intend to make a cabled sweater, one of the ubiquitous patterns, but one I like a lot.

But I get distracted by shiny things, like this.

Celebration yarn

This being more Handmaiden Sea Silk, my celebration for finding a new job. I've taken to wearing scarves a lot. I wear a lot of basic things, like plain shirts and black cardigans, and a bright splash of color makes me look less grim and more put-together, while requiring very little effort. This is an important part, because I don't really want to take the time to get dressed up, and don't really see the point if I'm going to get dirty anyhow. (I have darkroom chemical stains all over my best-fitting pair of jeans currently, but that's not stopping me from wearing them.) I know that knitting scarves is passé, but I'm not that stylish anyhow, and this is for a scarf/wrap that I'll probably start in August or so.

I'm trying to finish some things up before I cast on for yet more new. Now 50% done on a lace scarf that's been an albatross for too long, and soon to start either ripping some socks or finishing them off. I'm never good at resisting the call of the new for long (usually those projects hanging around forever are there for a good reason), but I'll be making an effort to clear the deck at least a little bit over the next month or so.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


new yarn

Yes, wallowing. New Handmaiden Silk Rumple, color Peridot Mist. I'm celebrating. A nice reminder that better things are around the corner, especially on a Wednesday.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Good things

It is an absolutely gorgeous Saturday. The second day of spring, according to my son, who seems to know these things.

This has been an interesting week, very much of an emotional rollercoaster for me. Wednesday marked 6 months after my father's death, which was a rough day for me. I had an experiment inexplicably failing in the lab, which was really upsetting me - I can deal with things not working, but it's so frustrating when it's not consistent, and there's no good reason for it not working. I got some positive reinforcement in other ways, which was nice, and most importantly, on Friday, I got word that I got the job. I'm currently in DEEP denial as to what this means on some levels, but right now I'm basking in it.

Because my friends are enablers all, I did start the hat that was calling my name. I'm not certain I have nearly enough yarn to finish it, but I'm not so concerned about that. The whole point of this one really seems to be to try it. I've never done stranded knitting before, and I'm certainly not doing it very well. I grabbed 2 leftover balls of yarn - some Shibui Knits in mulberry, and leftover Dream In Color Smooshy in Happy Forest. The pattern calls for Koigu, and these yarns share a very similar base. My stranding is uneven, and I have a strong tendency to drop the yarn from my left hand, but it's fun knitting. I ordered a smaller size 2 needle, a shorter one, as I do seem to keep knitting hats, and that 16" length is easier to work with than a 24". Trying to do this on 2 circular needles was an exercise in frustration. I can do it, but I wasn't happy. That mention of ordering a needles? Er, it's probably not coming to my house without friends. I decided I needed a celebratory present, or a consolation present, earlier yesterday. I settled on some ridiculous yarn, something extravagant, but I'll share that later.


Time to grab a quick brunch and head in to work. Going to take some of that simple knitting with me, try to read and knit during the long incubations.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


It has been verified that my reference letters arrived. Should hear by the end of the week.



I want to cast on for this hat right now.
(Ravelry link, because the 5 of you who read this are on there anyhow.)

Problems with this idea:
1. I counted, and I already have 12 things in progress. Not kidding. I really feel like I should finish some things up before I get drawn in to the allure of the New! and Shiny!
2. I'm at work, and even if my yarn were here, it would not be looked upon positively for me to be knitting at work.

I broke my camera, so photos may be a little sporadic, which goes nicely with the sporadic posts. It's not fatal damage to the camera, as the issue is just that the batteries fall out of the camera now unless I tape the compartment shut. I need better tape.

I am still waiting. I will emerge from my cave once I hear something, but until then, I'm still pretty jittery. Working on that patience thing.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Time to move that last post down the page. We finally have beautiful, sunny weather, great for being outside, or taking photos of things I've been knitting. Of course, now that the weather is good, the wee beastie is down with another bug. Holding steady with a fever just under 102, cheerful, but too tired and sick to do much of anything. Unfortunate, because it's gorgeous.

At the same time, I'm really behind on little tasks and cleaning, so I can catch up on those things. I'm trying to do some meal planning for the week, and stockpile some meals for those nights when there's just no time. I'm trying to eat more healthily, and not spend as much on takeout, but the last couple of weeks have knocked me for a loop.

I've noticed that the more I have going on, them more small projects I tend to accumulate. The latest evidence:
I knit a Last Minute Purled Beret (pdf download) from a skein of Manos I had been hoarding. It's okay, but I think I probably should have knit a smaller size. I just washed it a few moments ago, and it's drying on a plate. I may need to figure out something to tighten up the ribbing, or find a large-headed friend to gift it to. It's okay. I loved Manos when I first found it. The colors are very pretty, and it's soft, but I feel like this hat screams "handknit," and not in a good way. I may feel better about it once it's dried, but I'm thinking that I might put a pink ribbon in right above the ribbing, knit a quick flower, and gift it to my niece. This is hot off the needles, but still.


In the same stash-busting urge, I started a pair of Dashings. The Cascade 220 was a nice contrast to the Manos - I feel a lot better seeing even stitches. These are good for tv or movie knitting. No, I don't really need fingerless mitts, and I probably won't wear them, but I figure someone will like them. Besides, I can't make a hat out of this color. I'm really pale, and this color would look incredibly BAD on me. Wearing a hat out of this color would make me look like a zombie on a good day.

Husband is overdue for socks. I've had this yarn in stash for him for a long time, and I'm slowly knitting these up. I was speeding along for a while - the pattern is easy to remember, and since he likes short socks, they're a relatively quick knit. The hardest part is getting him to try the sock on for size, and I'm rapidly approaching the point where I need to start the toe. (An inch or so.)
I have another pair on the needles for him, but I'm contemplating ripping them back slightly. I realized I liked the purl side a lot better than the knit side, and then proceeded to work them inside out. However, the sock is a lot slower going in all purl, and I have a harder time remembering whether or not I've done my decreases. It might be a lot faster if I rip back and just knit the dumb things and turn them inside out at the very end. I was concerned about the gusset, where I pick up stitches, but this time it look just as good on the inside as the outside. Since I don't love this yarn, I'd almost rather just get it over with, and take the time to undo it so the knitting will go faster.

Finally there's Juno. I love this pattern, but right now, it's an object lesson in why it's a bad idea to try to knit from a chart when you're sick. In other words, although it's not a hard knit, or a hard pattern to follow, it's in time out for a while.

Enough for now, I suppose. I keep getting interrupted, and I can't remember what else I was going to say. Sick one is feeling bouncy, and is demanding attention.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Getting a few things off my chest

Sorry - have to do this so I can keep my mouth shut in real life.

To my new office mate: Hi. Glad you've joined the lab. Well, not really, because you represent a financial commitment that my boss isn't willing to make to me. In any case, thanks for taking an interest in my life. However, I'm able to manage my time without your input, so feel free to stop asking me what I'm working on, how it's going, why I'm not going to conferences/meetings/poster presentations, where I am, where I'm going, where I've been and other questions of that ilk. If you don't see me at my desk, I'm probably in the lab, darkroom, another lab, or the other lab. Oh - and don't worry about the number of hours I'm here - trust me, it's enough, and it's not your business. Thanks! P.S. I don't really want to talk to you about jewelery, face-lifts, my weight, your weight, or how The Biggest Loser is your favorite show because you like "seeing the fat people run around." I don't really think I have much in common with you.

To the clueless grad students: I'm done helping you. You're rude, obnoxious, disrespectful and some of you are just jerks. Just because I'm female doesn't mean that I don't know what I'm talking about, and even if you don't respect the fact that I got my degree and you're still earning yours, I have more years of experience than you do, and you should realize that. You mistake arrogance for confidence, and I'm not in the mood to argue with you, nor do I have the time to do so. P.S. You're wrong, by the way, but you can figure that out yourself.

To the new postdoc I like: No, it's always like this. It's always a frat-boy atmosphere, and liking what you're working on isn't enough to get you through this. It's 6 months in, and you're unhappy. They're never going to listen to you, they think they know everything, and they will always be overconfident and dismissive.

To my potential new employer: Please hire me. Please please please. I love your lab, I liked your people, and I want to go away and do something different now. You seemed really nice and encouraging, and I think you liked me, and I'm really really desperately hoping to come work with you. I know you said you'd get back to me next week, but please make it early in the week because I'm a nervous wreck.

Once more, into the breach.