Monday, February 8, 2010
The snowstorm came and went, leaving a lot of snow in its wake. I haven't actually been out of my apartment since Friday night, so it didn't affect me that much. Saturday morning I cleaned and did a new (to me) exercise video, which seriously kicked my butt. I took a nap in the afternoon, watched junk on the computer, and knit on my seasilk clapotis. The snow stopped late afternoon, but I wasn't that motivated to get out and go. Sunday I woke up to beautiful weather. It was gorgeous, and I should have been up and about, except for the fact that I was (for 3 days) so sore from the video that movement was challenging.
Now we're in the throes of another snowstorm, and the view from my window looks like this:
Sorry for the blur - my camera isn't that great for nighttime photos taken through a dirty window. Everything appears to be closed for tomorrow, but I'll be walking in to the lab regardless, as I have some things to do. Luckily, it's not a difficult walk, just a mile, but it will be kind of messy out there. I don't have to stay too long, and then I think I will be back home to enjoy some quiet time to myself. My neighbors all seem to be very excited about their unexpected day off, and are up late and being really loud, which I'm not excited about. I probably would be if I was staying home too, frankly.
Knitting has been sporadic, as usual, and I'm fighting the urge to cast on for about 10 new things. Tonight I took advantage of not having as many urgent tasks to deal with and updated my stash page on Ravelry. Over the weekend, I finished my first two knits of the year - one that had been languishing, the other was a quick and new knit.
The oldie was finishing my striped Opal socks started back in November when I was evidently looking for a simple mindless knit. I don't typically knit with the self-striping yarn, but it does seem to go faster. I was also quite amused that my socks ended up almost identical without my trying. I think they are about a row off. I now have only 3 pairs of socks left to go, and hopefully I will have less trouble with second sock syndrome.
The quick knit was a replacement for my sadly misplaced hat. I found this pattern, the Star Crossed Slouchy Beret on Ravelry, thought it was cute, and whipped up a hat while watching a movie on Sunday night. I like the hat better than I liked the movie (Notting Hill). I'm not sure it's entirely successful - the cables make an interesting texture, but I don't think it reads that well in this hat. It is, however, cute, and I think the slouchy berets are kind of flattering. I used about a skein and a half of Tahki Yarns Tweedy Alpaca, which is also a nice yarn. The tweedy bits aren't very tightly incorporated into the yarn, so they will fall out, but the stuff was soft, pleasant to work with, and not bad elasticity. I knit the brim with a twisted rib so that it would hold shape better. This is one thing I have learned from making this kind of beret a few times.
I don't have photos of either of them, but I also put some time into my clapotis and into a lace scarf that I have been working on since March of 2008. I think that scarf is on the top of my list of things I want to finish. It's a simple pattern, just a matter of plowing through it and getting it done. I'm not doing any Knitting Olympics, and I'm not making any promises regarding my knitting promiscuity, but I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by the number of ongoing projects, so I'm trying to wrap a few up before I start anything new.
Like Minions. Or Endpaper Mitts. Or a chevron hat. Or another beret. Of course I'm not looking at patterns. Really.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
After a lot of procrastinating, and a lot of thinking and reading and rewriting, I think my grant application may finally be done. It's almost 2am, and I've sent the (hopefully) final draft (it just needs to have references added in and my reference software is being defiantly uncooperative) in to my PI and to two friends for added eyeballing. I would go to sleep now, but I had coffee with my dinner, at about 8, and that was not a bright idea considering how little coffee I'm typically drinking these days.
I am somewhat ashamed at the amount of procrastinating I indulged in while writing this. Clearly I'm out of practice writing, but I also feel like I'm out of practice thinking. Just goes to remind me how much MORE work I really should be doing, most of the time. And that's just frustrating sometimes.
Anyhow, that's the not-so fascinating stuff going on in my life. In the rest of my time, I've been doing the usual - playing Bejeweled 2 obsessively, cooking things, watching CSI:SVU and occasionally knitting things. I am still in the grips of a wicked bout of startitis and fighting yarn buying urges. I went to a knitting group gathering on Saturday, where we worked on sock yarn blankets. I now want to buy tons and tons of mini skeins and swap them. I also restarted my blanket, as I didn't like the 13 squares I knit on size 3 needles, and decided to go down to size 2 needles instead. I now have 3 squares knit, but I'm in no hurry.
Today I also got the bug to knit a hat, and grabbed some Koigu to cast on for a new Purl beret, as the last one I knit is larger in the crown than I really wanted, due to the fact that I am a surprisingly loose knitter on size 3 needles. I started the hat, then realized that although I love the colors of this yarn - absolutely adore - they're knitting up like clown barf. I am thinking that I might make another chevron scarf with it instead, even though I know it's not the most exciting knit in the world. I tried gloves, but that was a disaster.
In the meantime, I have no shortage of things to work on. I'm loving knitting Clapotis again, this time with Handmaiden sea silk in a solid orange color. I'm also trying to finish a pair of fake isle socks, just a mindless knit but cute socks. They're especially timely as I had to darn two pairs of my oldest socks out of Knitpicks yarn. And yes, by darn I mean hold it over the garbage bag and say "darn." If there's light tomorrow, I may try to take some photos.
Speaking of tomorrow, my plan for the day is to go to the gym, check my email, and take the morning off. I want to go to the LYS to get some additional needles. I broke another 1.5 needle, and I need 2's in a smaller size. If there's yarn there, I might get something to make a hat. The afternoon is probably lab again, although if I don't have to be there, I'm going to go back home. This weekend didn't feel like much of a break, despite my not getting much accomplished.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
I just read this and really liked it. It points out something I think people are woefully unaware of - scientists don't control their creations normally, and the public has to play a role in guiding the use of discoveries. If we take grant money, technically, we're working for your interests.
In other words, if it's important to you, speak up!
Monday, January 11, 2010
and there are pictures.
I got through the first week back from my vacation. Things are slowly picking up again - there's a bit of a lag from things shutting down, and I'll be back up to full speed in another 2 weeks. During the slow time, I'm working on a grant submission and we're cleaning and rearranging in the lab. I'm trying to readjust to being back here.
One of the strange things is that winter at my house looks a lot like this:
When I left my apartment, there was snow. (No complaint here - just strange to go from the ground covered with white stuff to the ground covered with leaves.)
Over break I worked on a few things, including some Gentleman's Fancy Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks.
It's a straightforward pattern, but with the usual nice little touches that Nancy Bush puts into her designs. Very clean, very clever refinements that no one would ever notice. Of course, I ran out of room in my suitcase and had to leave this behind. Hopefully it will be shipped back to me soon.
And for New Year's, I cast on for a new pair of socks. Neither the yarn nor the pattern is new to me, but the combination was novel. (Sanguine Gryphon Eidos, and of course Monkey.) I love this green.
Knitting? There's tons of that going on. At least the starting part. I'm doing a KAL with my local group, and yes, I'm knitting a Clapotis again, this time out of orange sea silk. When I cleaned up my apartment, I found a scandalous number of things that are in progress, and if I get more organized, I might blog about them or even actually finish them... But I'm still working under the constraint of having little time for knitting. This isn't getting better any time soon, either. I'm still working long hours, plus I'm really trying to cook more meals for myself, and find time to read. Plus, my sister and I are having a bit of a competition - we have a pretty healthy sense of sibling rivalry, and we're trying to use that for good. Both of us have some weight to lose, and so we're competing - not for number of pounds lost, but for consistent weekly losses. There's money at stake too, but I think bragging rights are the key. In my case, that means I'm now trying to find time to exercise daily (in addition to walking to work.) Stuff will get finished, but it would be great if I could find a way to comfortably combine reading and knitting in the evening.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Saturday, January 2, 2010
I'm not going to do much of a yearly wrap-up, but I'm stealing a meme from Kim since I think it will make a nice summary. Over the next couple weeks, I'm going to attempt to find some time to reorganize things over here a bit as well.
1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
- Went to Rhinebeck
- Moved to Pennsylvania
- Learned a whole bunch of new science stuff.
2. Did you keep your 2009 resolutions, and will you make more this year?
These were my resolutions:
1. Run a half marathon. - No.
2. Eat out less and cook more. - Sort of, as I cooked more.
3. Read more books. - Yes!
4. Find a new job. - Yes!
5. Travel to a new city. - Yes!
6. Go camping. - No.
7. Learn a new skill. - I learned new science techniques, which I think counts.
8. Write a paper. - Sadly, no.
9. Knit more than I did in 2008. - Nope.
10. Go shelling on the beach.- Yes!
So that makes for about 50% success rate. Not terrible.
This year's resolutions/goals are similar:
1. Run a half marathon.
3. Read books.
4. Go camping/hiking.
5. Write 2 papers and a book chapter.
7. Go shelling on the beach.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not close friends, but I know some people who had babies.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Thankfully, last year no.
5. What countries did you visit?
No travel outside the US for me.
6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
Publications. My immediate family in one state.
7. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Finding a new, and good, job.
8. What was your biggest failure?
Giving too much notice on my previous job.
9. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing physical. ;)
10. What was the best thing you bought?
11. Where did most of your money go?
12. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
Happier, slightly thinner, better off in many ways.
13. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Sleep. I don't do that enough. Running. Relaxing and enjoying myself.
14. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Worrying, stressing out, and having insomnia.
15. What was the best new book you read?
Nothing's really standing out - I enjoyed several things I read, but nothing was that memorable.
16. What was your favorite new TV show of the year?
Glee, I guess.
17. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
Being unhappy isn't always your fault. Sometimes walking away can be the best solution.
And with that, let's not speak of 2009 any more. Today's my last day with the family, and I think I have convinced the larger and smaller boy that a trip to the beach might be nice. A run is in my plans for the afternoon (it's not running that hurts, it's not consistently running that hurts.) I have some knitting to do - I cast on for a pair of Monkeys in some Sanguine Gryphon yarn which I haven't been able to match a pattern to well, and I have another pair of husband socks on the needles. I also want to pack up a box of stuff to ship back to my apartment, as I want to make sure I'm really traveling light for my return. There are a few photos on my camera to post when I return, but for now, I'm going to enjoy the family time I have left.