1. I acid-dyed yarn
After conquering the world of Kool-Aid dying, Kristine and I pooled our 5th Avenue Superwash and some Fisherman's to try out some acid dying. She had some Jacquard acid dyes and we managed to mix them to create some other colours. Between what we saw at the Lorna's Laces tour and Krisine's online research, it actually ended up being fairly easy. Kristine bought a big turkey roaster and we did it in her basement. The dyes, the wet wool and the vinegar (surprisingly not the main culprit) make for quite a pungent smell, much to the dissatisfaction of Kristine's husband. Probably because I had enjoyed the yarn crawl in Chicago so much, I rather enjoyed the smell.
My attempt at embodying Ireland as a colourway. We didn't have any dreary grey to represent the sky, so it's depicting one of those rare summery days in Ireland.
2. I had a bachelorette party.
Or a hen night as we call it across the puddle. Kristine and Chris very kindly organized my night for me. We started out with high tea at the Chocolate Café, dinner at Carrabas and off to do some chatting and dancing at Oyster bar and the Linebacker. It was a lovely way to spend the evening with my friends before I had to leave for Minnesota.
Yes there's some pixelation going on here. Let's just say we had some glow in the dark objects that we were recharging and leave it at that!
3. I moved to Minnesota
My lab moved thus bring my tenure at Notre Dame to a close. I am now working at the Hormel Institute for a few months until I get married and hopefully get a job on the East Coast somewhere. I made it up in time for a record low for the area but the place is wonderful, my lab is great and I am enjoying the area enough that a little -40C weather isn't going to sour my impression of the place.
My favourite thing so far is the house that I am renting. I was desperate to get accommodation so I accepted it sight unseen, but somehow hit the jackpot. It's so cute and I am yet to come across anything problematic.
Other than the volume of snow!
4. I spent Christmas in Kansas.
Between the late December conference in San Francisco and the move to Minnesota, I decided that it wasn't feasible to make it home for Christmas. That proved a wise idea, as without leaving the country, I was exhausted from the amount of travelling I did over that month. I'd been to Emporia several times before, but this was the first time I spent any real time in El Dorado (el duh-ray-duh), Kansas. Nick tried to convince me that the city was tiny. But as we approached El Dorado at night, the skyline was so striking that I was convinced that he was lying, and that it was in fact a reasonably large city.
Nope. That was an oil refinery!
And on the other side of the freeway?
The maximum-security prison.
Environmental hazards and BTK-killers notwithstanding, I had a wonderful Christmas. Nick's Grandmother was so welcoming and took such good care of us that I had a minimal amount of homesickness.
5. I got the best coffee mug ever!
The Fisher rep came to visit us in our new lab. She brought a coffee mug to give to Ted, who in turn gave it to me.