Dec 2, 2008
Yes, it's being held closed by an elastic band. I don't have any ribbon, but I'll get some this weekend.
Spurred by my newly organized knitting needle collection, I decided to organize all my knitting patterns. The Encyclopedia Knitannica is now a multi-volume collection. I wish I could claim to have made all the patterns therein, but maybe someday...
I also got jealous of Rachel's awesome new interchangeable knitting needle collection and so, when I found one on clearance at Amazon.com, I gave into temptation!
I don't know what the black foamy disk is though!
Nov 21, 2008
1. I spent years knitting incorrectly. When I was a young child, I was taught to knit by my grandmothers. I took a hiatus from knitting so that I could focus on being cool during my teen years but I returned to it, adding crochet to my repertoire, in my early 20's. Somewhere along the way, I got confused about the direction the yarn should wrap in a purl stitch and unwittingly became a combination knitter; I'm such a dishonour to my family! I'm reteaching myself how to knit... hopefully, I can break the habit!
2. A Rhinoceros chased me. My family and I were in Africa in 1985 and we met up with my grandparents and visited a safari park. Dad and my grandfather were sitting in the front seats of the car take pictures of cute monkeys, while my grandmother, my mother and I noticed a rather angry looking rhino coming our way. With some effort, we got my father and grandfather to pay attention and we escaped (it turned out some other visitors to the park had not been quite so lucky). Evidently, a baby rhino was ahead of us, and mama rhino perceived us as a threat. Thankfully, I was so young at the time, that despite my being there, most of what I know about this event is anecdotal.
3. I'm jumpy. I drink too much coffee, don't have great hearing and watch too many horror movies. Together, the result is my jumping out of my skin any time someone appears behind me.
4. I like cheesy TV shows. This isn't a groundbreaking confession to anyone who knows me. Probably my favourite bad show is Murder She Wrote.
5. I have cold feet. Literally, not figuratively. I am engaged so I thought I should point that out. I don't know if it's poor circulation, but my feet are icicles, especially when I am lying down.
6. I'm a night owl. I read somewhere that in teenagers, melatonin levels rise later at night than in most children and adults, and persist later into the morning. This is why teenagers have difficulty getting up in the morning, and perform better in schools with a later start time. I think there was a glitch somewhere in my development where my melatonin timing didn't reset after puberty.
7. I'm a terrible singer. I love singing. If I ever have to drive for longer than half an hour, I burn a mix CD of songs that are fun to sing. If I am having fun singing in the car, I will take a detour on the way home to give myself more time. That said, I would never knowingly subject someone else to the wretched din that is my voice, and if I know someone else is around, my throat closes and I can't make noise come out. The reason I sing in my car so often is that I can be assured that no one can hear me. Except, that is, when I forget I have the window down and am blasting out the bridge to Confessions of a Broken Heart. That was very embarrassing!
I am tagging Faith, Kristine, Aubrey and Sandy. Go!
Oct 30, 2008
Special thanks to Shelly Hattan for her awesome row counts chart!
I have been continuously irked by the fact that everyone but me seems to know about knit-a-longs; where to find them, when they are starting, how to join them, etc. After months of failing to get in on one, I decided to bring the mountain to myself, and so, I have started a KAL for the Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket for the South Bend Knitwork group on Ravelry. As I have never KALed before as a participant, it could be described as ill-defined at best. However, I found an awesome BSJ Row counts chart that has proven very helpful thus far.
I am about 14 rows in and so far so good. I am using my hand-dyed Fisherman's yarn on size 6 circulars, and while it looks pretty, I am a little disappointed the yarn isn't patterning as much as I would have hoped. That said, the pattern calls for huge changes in the numbers of stitches per row, so I am optimistic that the pattern will pick up at some point.
If anyone wants to get in on this, come see the South Bend Knitwork and share your progress.
Oct 23, 2008
Waiter: Is there a doctor in the house?
Organic Chemist: Why, I am a doctor.
Waiter: Help this man!
Organic Chemist: Oh, I am not that kind of doctor. I have a PhD in chemistry and I am on the tenure track at a local liberal arts college.
Customer: He's dead.
Waiter: Well, thanks for wasting that 30 seconds, "Doctor"!
Don't worry. Thanks to the Associated Press, such tragic scenarios would never play out in real life. Despite the fact that the AP has no role in awarding or stripping degrees, the AP Stylebook states that when referring to people who have been awarded academic PhDs, they should be referred to as Mr. or Ms., with the Dr. prefix being reserved for medical doctors. Like this one:
This is in spite of the fact that the word "Doctor" is from the Latin word "teacher" (doceo, docere, docui, doctus – to teach), and was used to refer to the most learned people in a society. Back in the day, it was the case that the most educated person in a village would likely have been the local physician, but I should point out that this was at a time when phrenology was considered the wave of the future!
What, to me, is more interesting is that the AP, for the most part, comprises people who have only received a bachelors. This means that a group of people lower than me on the academic totem pole have bestowed upon themselves the right essentially to strip me of the academic reverence that I have earned.
I can only conclude this means that any group, who have no particular role in awarding academic titles or honors, can, at their discretion, decide to refer officially to others as they please. So, with that precedent in mind, I will henceforth be referring to members of the AP with the prefix, Lobotomized Peon.
"Leg To Stand On" Fail
Pay attention to how the journalist refers to Dr. Baldwin.
Oct 8, 2008
It's currently blocking and taking its sweet time to dry, which has lead to me walking a few pins into my feet... ouch! I finished it here in Ireland where I am currently vacationing. It wanted to finish it in international airspace, but the peons at Aer Lingus wouldn't let me take it in my carry-on for weight reasons. Instead, the wouldn't-be Archimedes's made me pack it into my checked luggage which was nowhere near the weight limit. So, me, my cardigan-free carry-on and my cardigan-ful checked luggage all went on the same plane to Ireland, and I worked on it in a zombie-like state of jet lag. I did manage to get my Neapolitan yarn onto the plane so ripped out the project I was using it for that wasn't going so well and started some Jaywalkers instead.
In other related frogging news, I eighty-sixed the original 10 things #1 project (hence the numbering on this one). I had ambitiously started adapting a pattern from Hot Knits to be in the round, and while it would have worked, it required better note-taking than I was willing to do. Also, I didn't have enough yarn to finish it, and the store I got it from doesn't stock it anymore! I'll definitely revisit the pattern, because it's awesome (i.e. it's a Melissa Leapman), but I'll buy enough yarn and RTFM!!!
Addendum: Awwww, fits perfectly!
Sep 30, 2008
Before we were engaged:
After he asked me to marry him:
Nick happy that I said yes, or that we got free dessert - I don't know which:
Validated parking... thank you Cheesecake Factory!
Sonic for breakfast:
At the Purdue tailgate:
The lady behind us in the previous picture very nicely offered to take the picture below
Nick got a little sunburned!
Nick admiring new Rockne statue... I didn't know Kansans were allowed near that!
I wanted him to do the pose, he refused!
Fun with waving:
Sep 20, 2008
I can't wait for it to arrive. I have packets and packets of generic-brand Kool Aid waiting for it (again with the broke!). Good times, the way a lot of things have been going recently, I needed this.
Sep 9, 2008
True to form, I half-read the instructions and then launched into microwaving my yarn in vinegar and kool aid concoctions. Whilst meaning to do only one color scheme this evening, I used both skeins and made three different color schemes with matching trims. The upstairs reeks of vinegar and Kool Aid, my kitchen table has a weird green hue to it now and my left hand looks like that animate pitcher got sick on it.... totally worth it!!!
It turns out that I didn't quite use enough Kool Aid, but I am in love with how the white adds something to the color-schemes. I also love how my grab-bag combos all came out; I am particularly proud of the one on the left.
I am going to let them dry and then picture them individually. I am planning to come up with pompous names for the colorways that have nothing to do with the colors or, indeed, knitting itself. I can't wait for them to be ready to knit up!!!
Sep 4, 2008
I also used my thesis defense as a cut-off for smoking. Accordingly, I quit the day after I defended and have not smoked a cigarette since. I was talking to my colleague today while chewing nicotine gum. I made a comment about how awful it tasted, only to have my colleague, and another friend launch into jokes about how many times I have failed quitting in the past and how other people have made similar comments in my absence. Basically, an all-out vote of no confidence!
So, if I had wavered in my resolve to quit prior to this; consider me re-resolved!! I am determined, not because of health, economics or social acceptance of smoking, but because of the impenetrable power of spite, to be a life long non-smoker!
Aug 22, 2008
Evidently, the AARP agreed...
And to make matters worse, I was getting ready for bed a few weeks ago when, what did I see glistening atop my head in the mirror???
It's a little hard to see, but I am going grey! I am yet to get married, have kids or, for that matter, turn 30, but apparently my trudge through old age is well underway. Don't be alarmed if I yell at you for being on my lawn or talk at length about how much a nickel used to get you; I'm just filling out the set. The one thing I will not be doing, from now on, is tempting fate with my ageist humour!
Aug 21, 2008
PS. The fact that #2 got posted before #1 is not an indication of my having shed my dependence on puritanical convention.... #1 has hit a snag of the yarn ran out variety!
Aug 17, 2008
We have a really nice tradition in our department, where people who successfully defend get to aim a popping champagne cork at the ceiling and sign the dent where it hits. Here's mine. "Go Team Venture" is a reference to Venture Bros., and Adult Swim cartoon about a washed up super-scientist.... seemed fitting!
My boyfriend and his parents sent me lovely flowers to wish me luck. Someone else left the little vase, and while I thought it was very sweet, I have no idea who it was. Thank you, whoever you are!
Here's the cork I popped into the ceiling! I labeled it to commemorate the occasion, and get used to being Dr. Liz!
So now, I have some revisions to do, but other than that, I get to knit without feeling guilty - good times.
Aug 3, 2008
I called these the Basket Case Socks, on my friend’s recommendation, because I was a little stressed from working on my thesis when I designed them. I love the basket weave pattern, but I couldn’t find a pattern for socks that used it in both the instep and the cuff. I have included an optional ribbed cuff on smaller needles, because the yarn I was using was terribly elastic and the socks wouldn’t stay up. The pattern here was designed for a 9” circumference foot (a sock circumference of 8.1”). For a different size, adjust the gauge by changing the needle size or yarn weight (so that sts/inch x foot circumference in inches x 0.9 = 48 sts) , or if you’re familiar with the basket weave stitch you can adjust the number of repeats. The yarn used here is worsted weight, as it really makes the pattern pop.
2 skeins/300 yds of worsted weight yarn of your choice (Bernat Soy Blends shown here).
Set of five US Size 3 needles and a set of US Size 2 needles, or size needed to obtain gauge
2 different colour stitch markers.
6 sts/inch in stockinette stitch
K = knit
P = purl
K2tog = knit two together
Sl1 = slip one stitch purlwise
SSK = slip, slip, knit
RS = right side
WS = wrong side
Row 1: Knit
Rows 2,3,4: *P5, K3; repeat from *to end
Row 5: Knit
Rows 6,7,8: P1, *K3, P5; repeat from * to last 4 sts, P4
Row 1: Knit
Rows 2, 3, 4: *P5, K3; repeat from *to last 5sts, K5
Row 5: Knit
Rows 6, 7, 8: P1, *K3, P5; repeat from * to last st, P1
Cast on 48 sts, and close round without twisting.
Arrange 12 sts on each of needle 1, needle 2, needle 3 and needle 4.
Needles #1 and #2 will form the instep; needles #3 and #4 will form the heel.
Work 1.5 to 2” of K1-P1 ribbing, ending after needle #4.
Change to larger needles. Starting on needle #1, K1 (left sock), K2 (right sock)†.
Place marker #1.
Begin Leg Pattern from first stitch after marker #1 for desired length.
End after needle 4, after row 8 of leg pattern.
You should be at the beginning of needle 1. Knit the stitch(es) before marker #1.
Slip marker to working needle and K21. Place marker #2.
Knit the remaining 1 stitch (right sock) or 2 stitches (left sock) on needle #2.
This will count as row 1 of the instep pattern, so after the heel flap and heel turn are complete, you will work from row #2 of the “instep pattern” onward.
The heel flap will now be worked back and forth over the 24 sts on needles #3 and #4. Use a row counter to keep track of how many rows are worked over the heel flap.
Row 1: Sl 1, knit remaining stitches across needles #3 and #4. Turn.
Row 2: (WS) Place yarn to back, Sl 1 purlwise. Purl to end of needle #3. Turn.
Row 3: (RS) *Bring yarn to front, Sl 1 purlwise. Move yarn to rear, K1. Repeat from * to end of row.
Row 4: Place yarn to back, Sl 1 purlwise. Bring yarn to front and purl to end of needle #3. Turn.
Repeat Rows 3 and 4 for heel flap until desired length is achieved. (Shown here is a heel flap of 24 rows, including rows 1 and 2)
You should now be ready to start a RS row.
Row 1: K14, SSK, K1. Turn.
Row 2: Sl 1, P5, P2tog, P1. Turn.
Row 3: Sl 1, K up to last stitch before gap. SSK using last stitch before gap and first stitch after gap. K1. Turn.
Row 4: Sl 1, P to last stitch before gap. P2tog using stitch before gap and stitch after gap. P1. Turn.
Repeat Rows 3 and 4 until all stitches along the heel flap have been used.
On final 2 rows of heel turn there will not be enough stitches to K1 or P1 at end of row. Simply complete the SSK or P2tog and turn.
After heel turn is complete, you should be ready to start a RS row.
Knit along all heel turn stitches.
Using what will now be needle #4, pick up and knit selvage stitches along side of heel turn.
Pick up one stitch from between the heel flap and the instep to prevent a hole from forming. Shown here, from a heel flap of 24 rows, 14 stitches were picked up (not counting the extra stitch picked up between the heel flap and the instep).
Knit along instep, working in pattern between the markers. You should be working Row 2 of the instep pattern.
Using what will now be needle #3, pick up and knit a stitch from the between the instep and the other side of the heel flap.
Pick up and knit the selvage stitches down this side of the heel flap.
You should pick up the exact same number of stitches from each side of the heel flap.
At this point there will be 44 stitches (or a similar even number) on needles 3 and 4.
Divide these evenly amongst needles 3 and 4.
You should now be ready to work needle 4 (you may have to knit a few stitches to get to the end of needle 3).
You will now begin the gusset decreases.
Round 1: K to last 3 stitches of needle #4. K2tog. K1. K along instep on needles #1 and #2, working instep pattern between the 2 markers. On needle #3, K1, SSK, K to end.
Round 2: K along needle #4. K along needles #1 and #2, working instep pattern between markers. K along needle #3.
Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until there are 12 stitches on each of needles #3 and #4. (A total of 48 sts).
Repeat Round 2 only until the length from the back of the heel is 1.5” shorter than the desired foot length. Finish after needle #3.
Once you have begun the toe decreases, remove the markers and discontinue the instep pattern. The remainder of the work will be worked in stockinette stitch (i.e. K only).
Round 1: K to last 3 stitches of needle #4. K2tog. K1. On needle #1, K1, SSK, K to end. On needle #2, K to last 3 stitches, K2tog, K1.On needle #3, K1, SSK, knit to end.
Round 2: K along all of needles #4, #1, #2, and #3.
Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until there are only 24 stitches left (some people like to decrease by more stitches for a pointier toe, do so if this is your preference - just remember to make a note of how many decreases you did so you can do the same on the second sock).
K along row 4.
Organise the stitches from needle 1 and 2 onto a single needle.
Do the same for needles 3 and 4. Cut a tail of at least 9” of yarn.
Graft stitches together.
I really like Knitting at Knoon’s video for this technique at http://www.knittingatknoon.com/kitchenerst.html They also have great videos for other techniques used in this pattern.
Make second sock with the same number of pattern repeats, and picked up stitches as you did for the 1st.
Please email pattern corrections/comments/questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
†This offsets the basket weave pattern so that it can be continued along the instep in a seamless manner.
Jul 21, 2008
The universe just toyed with me for its own cruel amusement. Every year around the time of graduation, it occurs to me that, although the undergrads are gone, we won’t have free rein of the parking lot for long. This is because the university that I attend leases out the parking lot to a variety of businesses over the summer, and cordons off an area for them. Invariably, they get the area closest to the building in which I work, meaning I have to trek from further a field to get to work, grumbling all the way. I’m not what anyone would term a “morning person” so my sense of injustice usually evaporates by the time I get through my first cup of coffee. The parking lots are, after all, property of the university. When there are about ten spaces per car, owing to the undergrads’ absence, this is a no-brainer as sources of income go. If I owned land off which I could make money, I would do so in a heartbeat. Hooray for the free market! However, part of my gripe is the nature of the businesses that come to “my” parking lot. For instance, as a person who is concerned about the environment, I somewhat resent the fleets of pick-up trucks and other such gas-guzzlers being transported to the campus by a local car dealership.
However, if I could wave the proverbial magic wand and make just one group rid themselves from our parking lot, I can’t honestly say that I would be doing Mother Nature any favours. Nope. Priority would be given to the baton-twirlers that darken our asphalt every June for what is called “Twirl-O-Rama”, “Twirl-Mania” or something equally inane. Every year, armadas of SUV’s arrive coated in neon-coloured paint spelling out supposedly fun phrases like “Honk if you love twirling”, “Good Luck Britney/Summer/Tiffany”, or “[noun]-ettes #1”. Judging by the variety of states’ license plates on these cars, we can assume that these people have driven little “Britney” down miles and miles of freeway, where I cannot believe it is safe to obstruct one’s vision with opaque paint, encouraging the cars around you to sound their horns at random.
Out of these vehicles teem swarms of prepubescent girls toting more make-up than Tammy Faye-Bakker, and less clothing than a mid-routine exotic dancer, and off they go until they find a place on the sidewalk leading to the building where I work, where they spread out and start practicing, making sure not to get out of the way of anyone who is trying to pass. Adding to this tardy-inducing spectacle are the twirler moms, who put the stereotypical pageant mom to shame. Nothing starts your morning, or indeed your faith in humanity, quite like watching and overweight 40-year-old scream vituperatively at a 6-year-old for dropping a stick. After all, baton twirling is advanced fidgeting at best. This is a sport where we are expected to praise children for mastering the skill set of a golden retriever. After I successfully traverse the gauntlet of glittery projectiles, I have an eight to ten hour respite at work, until it is time to go and find my little needle-coloured car in the haystack of SUV’s. This usually goes on for about a week, though as teams are knocked out of the competition, the numbers dwindle.
This year, however, there is a lot of construction going on around the campus, especially near the parking lot in question. I was conducting my annual “googling” of the dates for this event, so as to prepare myself psychologically for the junket of the tossers, only to find a variety of online forums speculating that it may be held somewhere else this year because of the construction. Hurrah! My last summer on campus won’t be marred by being hit in the face with errant batons or meeting people who are legally obliged to introduce themselves to me. There will be no assaults on my belief in the basic decency of people or the pure altruism of the maternal instinct. Good times.
Cut to this morning, where I am in my car and driving to work, when I passed an out-of-state suburban. I only got a fleeting glance at the car, but I was sure that it looked like maybe a bird had pooped on it… Pink poop? Neon pink poop that somehow fell in an organized pattern… like words. Something about honking? NOOOOOOOOO!! They’re here. Hair bigger than ever. Metric tonnes of make-up and inappropriate clothing as far as the eye can see. Dulcet tones of ghastly intramenopausal women berating their offspring for being failures. I can’t believe it. The “internets” lied to me!
Jul 6, 2008
So, here it is: Task #2! I am going to attempt to make a pattern from each book or pamphlet, and not just the cloche-you-can-figure-out-by-looking-at pattern that is invariably featured in every book. I'll blog about my progress, should there be any. Wish me luck!
How Much Time Has Passed?
Jul 5, 2008
Today is Independence Day. Being a graduate student, I did a full day's work, but I spent the evening at my friend, Kristine's house. We had a lovely barbecue; her husband's grilled corn is a local delicacy! Then we walked downtown to see a firework's display that, unfortunately as it turned out, had happened yesterday. It was still a really nice evening, and we did see the fireworks from the local baseball stadium. I tried to get pictures of the fireworks, but the nicest shot I got was of my friends as they watched the display.
Jul 3, 2008
I am following online advice about introducing cats, so they are currently separated by the door in my living room. They have both been very curious as to what is on the other side of it and I will allow them to see each other in a day or two. The benefit to Butters spending a couple of days with us before he moved in, is that if I don't introduce in a way that makes them accept one another, I get a second shot at it. Buttons is quite stupid, so I have every confidence that he would be able to have a clean slate memory-wise, if worst came to worst. Butters' owner says he to is not the brightest cookie in the tool shed either, though he thus far hasn't seemed as stupid as Buttons. They are both very sweet cats so I am reasonably confident they will be friends.
10 Things in 1000 days
Here's how long I have left: