21 December 2007

The holidays are upon us

Wow that went by quickly! I know I haven't posted in a while and I have tons of things to report, but that will still have to wait. The Captain and Tony Danza are doing well. I have to figure out a way to post the video of Tony playing in the yarn- too cute. I finished up the infamous Christmas Stocking for mother, which is good considering Christmas is next week. I will post a pic later in the FO parade I have scheduled for the new year, but suffice to say it is nice and I lined it with cashmere from an old sweater- tres chic. I also finished the Equestrian Blazer (well mostly). I have 1.5 sleeves left to sew to the body. I am trying to decide wether I want to do the cuffs on the sleeves and body or not. They already have a bit of reverse stockinette there, so I don't know if the extra 3 rows of cuff are really going to gain me anything. Hopefully I can finish the seaming tonight so I can wear it over the holidays.

Happy Holidays. Stay warm, be safe, and hugs and kisses for a happy new year.

28 November 2007

It's A Girl!

At 1pm today my aunt had a little baby girl. Weighing in at 8lbs- no idea how tall though. So hello new baby!

26 November 2007

Happy Belated Turkey Day!

This year was the second annual family thanksgiving at the Captain and I's house. We had lots of food and I even managed to make my first from scratch pie crust. Delicious! It was loads of fun and I can't wait till Christmas/New Years to see everybody again. As promised, here is a photo of Tony Danza. Isn't he a cutie? He had a ton of fun playing with everyone this weekend.

12 November 2007

The good and the bad...

I will start off with the bad news, just to get it over with. My Angel fish Isis is no longer with us. I had her for 2 years. She got a little ill. It is almost impossible to cure and ill fish and I think the trauma of moving to a new tank was too much for her. But, the good news is that we picked up the Captain's Christmas gift early. I got him a ferret. He named him Tony Danza. Who's the boss? Tony Danza! I swear that will never get old. The Captain built him the first story of his ferret condo last night and is supposedly working on the mezzanine and second story today. I will try to get pics out soon. He is such a cutie. I didn't know if I was going to be able to get used to having a wiggly little thief living in the house, but he is so adorable that you just have to laugh. We had him in a large cardboard box while the finishing touches were being put on his cage. We gave him a smaller cardboard box to play with. Well little Tony figured out that if he stood on the small box he could jump out of the big box. Ferret on the loose!

08 November 2007


I got my new fish tank on Tuesday night! I was upgrading from my 5 gal Hex to a 10 gal tank. I got some new decorations and two new fish. The angel fish is Isis, which I have had for 2 years. There are two serpae tetras named Wallace & Grommit. You can see one of them on the left in front of the coral rock feature. I don't know where the other one is in the photo though. They seem to be really happy and I am sure Isis enjoys having more space. I think I am going to put my 5gal Hex up for sale since it is such a nice tank, but if anyone wants it- let me know :-)

There is not a ton going on in the knitting front. I am in the middle of too many large projects. I am focusing on the Equestrian Blazer, since that is the closest to completion. I messed up on one of the waist increases and made a decrease instead, so I am two stitches off. To ladder or to frog? Hmmm... The pattern is a bit confusing for the two front panels. I know that the designer/editor could not write out all the directions for all the sizes because the pattern would end up being 20 pages long- I concede that. But, with 4 paragraphs worth of 'do this at the same time' I am getting lost. Maybe I should just write it out for my size and go from there. I was doing so well up to that one mistake though!! Grrr!

06 November 2007

A very belated haloween

I do realize that Halloween is long past, but since I did not have time to post with the wedding in Ny, you are getting it late. We decided to go as Jack Skellington and Sally from the Nightmare Before Christmas. The Captain's suit was a Goodwill find and I pounced on the remnants bin at JoAnn's to get the fabric for my dress. I opted to not get a pattern, since I was making a dress for a rag doll. I drew out a sketch, as you can see, and then laid on top of the fabric trying to trace what I wanted the patches to look like. My strumpet dressform helped out while I was in design mode. Luckily the fabric was stretchy enough that I did not have to put a zipper in. The party was fun, though it would have been better if the Captain was not ill. He is doing better and hopefully will be back to health in time for the holidays.

This past weekend was really fun. We got to attend the wedding of two good friends :-) To top it all off I caught the bouquet! It came to rest right at my feet. The look on the Captain's face was priceless! Great food, great people. Actually we got to see a few people we haven't seen in over a year. The favors they gave out were really cute too. They were small terra cotta pots with dirt and basil/chive/parsely seeds. I can't wait to get mine started growing. All in all it was a great time and I managed to finish one of the plain jane socks while I was there. Oh, and I can't forget the fun we had with the Captain's parents!

29 October 2007

I will triumph!

The plain jane socks decided to conduct a mutiny while I was in Buffalo, NY attending a diffraction conference. Luckily I have a stronger constitution. After a brief stint in the brig, they were frogged back to the end of the toe increases and re-knit. I was only up to the heel turn, so technically I have only had to frog 1.5 socks worth of this ungrateful yarn. While it was doing hard time, I briefly toyed with the idea of sending them to another ship's brig. They meekly apologized, however, and now they seem to be behaving. Let this be a lesson to you- mutinous yarn can be redeemed.

In other news: the Captain and I have just finished Stage I of farm preparations. We are the proud renters of a nice plot of 'farm land'. We mowed down a 20'-40' swath of 6' tall prarie grass, raked up the leavings, and tried to uproot as many large plants as possible. The hands, calves, and lower back hurts, the Captain has come down with something, and we still have to till before the frist snow. Wish us luck.

23 October 2007

My dress form is a strumpet

A while ago I mentioned making a dress form and the ensuing panic attack and other tomfoolery involved. Well I took the strumpet out today to see if I could get her to model my in-progress tree jacket. Did she behave? Noooo... She decided that putting her arms through my sweater was too plebian (which is ironic since being a strumpet sort of qualifies as below pleb status, but I digress). To that I said: Off with her arms. The Captain took the dremel to her and now she is arm-free. Take that strumpet!
Anyways, now that she is behaving, I tried the sweater on her and -voila! C'est magnifique.
The join of the body under the arms was a bit too high. Instead of continuing with the increases, as the pattern suggests, I simply added a few rows of garter. The fit was nice, just not long enough. I also ended up switching needles once I got back to the YO portion. I like my sweaters to be fitted. I understand that the designer wanted this to be loose and fun, so I did a compromise. Down one needle size for me, no additional shaping to please them. I am still on track to finish this by Thanksgiving, lets see if I can make it.

17 October 2007

I love my dog

Charlie is such a good little puppy... well...er...largeish puppy, but I do also really like my new pink kitty cat. This is a kiddie sized Sigg bottle. It is made from recylced aluminum and doesn't leech crap into your beverage of choice. Since I have a small tummy and cannot fit all of my liquid requirements into a single meal sitting, I can keep this in my purse to partake of throughout the day.

I do know that you came here for some knitting though. I hope to post some pics soon, but for now here are the updates. The Captain's hoodie is done to the armpits and I am just about ready to do the math for the sleeves. I think this will be cute-uh, I mean, really manly- so I will try to post the pattern here once I finish it. I also just started the left front of the equestrin blazer. More info later!

10 October 2007

Ode to Summer

On a still morning I awake to the fluttering of leaves. A light breeze rustles the tree tops- a harbinger of more biting breezes to follow. Autumn has settled in the heartland. Once lush and verdant foliage begins to tear asunder. What was once a lush container garden lies fallow. As I mused whether a scarf was required for the days adventure, I realized we had breached the threshold. Winter is coming. My lustrous summer days are over.

Good thing I love to knit...

09 October 2007

Working hard

Photo courtesy of dcassaa.

Time for some updates. I have been working hard this past week in preparation for my first ever invited talk! I have to get my data in better order and some results ready... I think (hope) I will make it. As a result I spent a nice relaxing weekend with my honey to decompress. We played way too much FFXII, but I don't regret it at all. This is seriously the longest game we have ever played. We are about 61 hours in and are not quite 2/3 of the way done with the game. I love it!

In knitting news, the tree jacket has moved past the neck and onto the shoulders. I think I am going to end up knitting an extra small as my gauge is a bit on the larger side. The Dream in Color yarn is just great and the color is so nice that I can't put it down. The Captain has decided that he would like raglan sleeves for the hoodie, so I will have to get the math figured for those shortly. It would be nice to get it all finished for our trip to NYC for our friend's wedding, but I shouldn't delude myself.

05 October 2007

Tree Jacket

I have just transitioned from lurker to participant for the Sexy Knitter's Club Tree Jacket KAL. I had actually voted for the Cherie Amour pattern, which I may still knit up, but the Zephyr pattern started really piquing my interest. With no regard for time or sanity, I rushed over to my LYS and bought some lovely royal purple Dream in Color. (Truth be told I was in the store for 30 min with DIC in one hand and a burgandy Debbie Bliss Cashmerino in the other trying to will myself to make a decision. One was shiny, but the other was purple- what was a girl to do?)

I got gauge right away on my super duper bamboo interchangeable needles. I am a bit concerned that the wool may expand upon blocking, but I will just have to take that risk. This will also be my first opportunity to use my homemade dress form for sizing.

03 October 2007

What Kind of Knitter are You?

What Kind of Knitter Are You?

You appear to be a Knitting Guru. You love knitting and do it all the time. While finishing a piece is the plan, you still love the process, and can't imagine a day going by without giving some time to your yarn. Packing for vacation involves leaving ample space for the stash and supplies. It can be hard to tell where the yarn ends and you begin.http://marniemaclean.com
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

I just took this quiz over at Marnie Maclean, seems that I am a Knitting Guru. Maybe I should get the Captain to address me as The Guru from now on! What results did y'all get?

01 October 2007

Les Dents

What a lovely weekend of lazing about the house; I suppose it was more lovely for me than the Captain. He had his wisdom teeth pulled on Friday (he is fairing well), so most of the ensuing two days were spent making soup and playing Final Fantasy XII. Yes, we are game junkies, no we have no intention of cutting back. I made some almond soup, which is nice as an appetizer, but not so much as a main meal. The butternut squash soup was very nice indeed. I thought I would follow a recipe, but decided I didn't like the recipe much and so came up with my own:
1 butternut squash
2 potatoes
*some* carrots
celery salt and coriander

Boil all in pot with water. Puree the snot out of it and add pepper :-)

I did manage to get some knitting done, however. The Captain's hoodie is coming along nicely. I am up to 12" for the back and front sides. At 15" or so I need to separate the fronts from the back and start doing some math for the shoulder decreases. Most progress was made on the Santa Stocking- the end is in sight. I have a reward system going with myself to keep me on track and cruising along to completion. Thank heavens for the Knit Picks Chart Keeper- I wouldn't have made it this far without it.

27 September 2007

Le Slouch

The Le Slouch hat is almost finished. I have only one more inch of seed stitch to go before I start decreasing (i.e., I am a bit farther along than the picture indicates). This is my first skein of Malabrigo chunky. After much debate/swatching/investigation I have determined that this is definately chunky yarn. I know, I know, the 4 stitches per inch should have been the most obvious tip off, but I am a scientist, I like to be thorough. The yarn is super soft and squishy-perfect for a slouchy beret. My other projects have been put on the back burner because of beret obsession, but hopefully that will subside tomorrow and I can get back to the Captain hoodie.

26 September 2007

Plain Jane socks

The socks that had been frogged, drowned, and rewound are now being made into standard plain jane toe up socks. This time I aim to work a reverse engineered heel flap à la cybersocks. Sorry to have no photos, but really I am only a couple of rows into the big toe, so frankly there is not much to see. I started with 8 stitches on each of 2 needles and increased at each end every row for a total of 24 stitches. I am now moving on to the increase one row do one row flat routine until it fits my toesies.

24 September 2007

Happy Anniversary

Today marks the second year of the Captain and I's blissful togetherness. So here's to you my love (imagine a champagne glass salute!). We had such a packed weekend that we haven't quite decided what to do yet. Incidentally the Captain had plans which may/may not work out. I for one had completely forgotten and thus had no plans working or not. Gotta love him!

This weekend was packed as I said. The cavalier broke, so we had to take it to the shop. That was after our lovely before breakfast bike ride to Harner's Restaurant for the best pancakes in town! The ride there is cruel due to lack of breakfast. The ride back is almost worse because your body is tired from the first leg and your stomach is fighting your muscles for blood supply as it wants to make use of the yummy pancakes. Sigh. From there we jumped the car and took it to the shop. A sore pocketbook later, we picked it up and began the massive spring cleaning/cooking/cleaning and waxing of cars. I somehow managed to finish the Watchcap for my dad, cast on Le slouch in Malabrigo chunky and play an inordinate amount of Final Fantasy XII.

21 September 2007

Cher Baudelaire

The Baudelaire socks are done! I got to wear them to work today. I really liked the pattern, but was not too jazzed by the heel and toe. They are not bad, just not my style. My heel is narrow, so I think I have to pick a construction that pulls in a little more in that area. They are very comfy though. Specs:
Pattern- Baudelaire by Cookie A (Knitty 2006)
Yarn- Rowan Classic Yarn cashsoft (bit of cashmere on the footsies)
Needles- US size one Clover bamboo

I was at Fringe for their knit night on Tuesday and they were having a 2 for 1 sale. These are the minds behind Dream in Color so I had to take a look. I managed to snag a skein of Malabrigo worseted (on the right) and a skein of DIC (left). I was informed that the DIC was a colorway that was not ultimately sold, so I guess I have a unique skein. As it has no color name or ball band, I am assuming these are sock weight and thus a pair of socks will be made at some point in time.
I also got my Ravelry invite! I signed up, ordered my super cool Beta tester special t-shirt ('I swatched Ravelry'- it cracks me up!). I am slowly adding pictures on there, so hopefully my sorry photography skills will start improving.

16 September 2007

Concert weekend

We had so much fun this weekend. Friday we pretty much hung out at the house, but saturday I met Luscious Luka in the city for the Renegade craft fair. Silk screen t-shirts and wacky stationary is really not my thing and the fiber artists were not really representing, but I did get some nice au natural artisanal milk soap. That night the Captain met up with us and we went to go see Ingrid Michaelson at Schubas tavern. I had only heard a few of her songs before, courtesy of the Cast On podcast, but she was really great. I love it when you can go to a concert and hear a wonderfully in tune singer. So many people these days only sound good with severe corrections to the vocals, that it is so refreshing to hear a true voice talent. So far today we have made a major dent in Final Fantasy XII. Sundays are awesome.

10 September 2007

Super fun Trip

We had a blast in Belgium. The vacation was realaxing, fun, and we even got a few really nice weather days while we were there. I got to eat my firt mittraiette (sp?), which was about as good as a Wendy's burger (basically french bread, mayo, chopped meat, lettuce, and french fries- yes on the sandwich). I ate steak, fries, tasted a vol au vent, drank great wine and went to a superb birthday party replete with homemade jam and crepes. That's me in front of the Basilisc for the Da Vinci exhibit. I have to say I was a bit dissappointed at the exhibit, but to be fair it had been really hyped to us by the paper and we went with too high expectations. If you just go to learn about his life and see some good works from his contemporaries, though, it will not dissappoint.

Once we got back we had some friends up for a baseball road trip. We saw the Cubs play as well as the Brewers. It was really good to see all of the Long Islanders again. Now it is back to work, which is good- I have more things to scientifically discover :-)

16 August 2007

Camping Trip

We went to Chain of Lakes State park with our new gear and bikes in tow. It was pretty cool. We got to see nature and ride our bikes with working restrooms and a place to get coffee nearby :-). The Captain got a nice fire going so we could cook the corn, potatoes, and lamb burgers. I worked on the watchcap for my dad and then we packed in for the night. I could not sleep well. I had a mat under my sleeping bag, so the old hips were doing alright. I know it 'looks' pretty tame and civilized in the photo, but it was much more wilderness than one petite tricoteuse is used to. The problem was that our neighbors were pretty near and nature is loud. Every few minutes I thought some beast (human or otherwise) was coming near our tent. I finally started drifting off when I noticed the fire had lit itself again. I roused the Captain and he put it out. This happened twice. It might have happened a third time, but at 2 am what appeared to be a MONSOON struck. The wind was blowing our tent sideways. The Captain had to rush out and collect the chair and blanket that was blowing away. We were at the lee of the tree so we didn't get too pelted with rain. (Boy am I glad that we decided to put the cover of the tent on. Even though it was sureley excessive since it was sunny and couldn't possibly rain *sheesh*.

To top it all off, there was a mosquito in the tent. We were so diligent about keeping the tent closed, but the Monsoon distracted us. I had 33 mosquito bites from the mid thigh down. The official count was made 2 days after the fact because my left heel was so puffed up that what appeared to be a giant bite was actually 7 individual ones. I am thankful that I have neither West Nile or Elephantitis. The nature seemed to love the rain storm. The caterpillar on our tent roof seemed quite pleased with himself.

08 August 2007

It's summer time...

This past weekend we helped Miss Luscious Luka move into her new apartment. It was really cute! Unfortunately the Captain had the graveyard shift the night before and was really sleepy- so sleepy, in fact, that he managed to impale the LCD of his phone into a dresser. Luckily he is way savvy and took the phone apart himself. He is waiting for the new LCD to arrive in the mail and will put it all back together- good as new. Most of the rest of the weekend was spent recuperating from the move.

Last night we went on a bike ride/picnic. Word to the wise: don't try to put a full size picnic basket on the back of your bike. It does not leave a bunch of room for your heinie, which is needed to cross-duh duh duhnnn- the bridge. I got my basket for my birthday from the Captain. We hadn't had a chance to use it yet, so when we decided to do a bike picnic I was very stubborn and we just had to take it with us. I think we are going to have to find another picnic spot to walk/drive to. (On a side note: while riding I kept thinking I was Miss Gulch and that Toto was going to jump out of the back of my basket. Oh and yes. I do know how white my legs are. I actually have a tan. Honestly!)

In knitting news... I have finished the toe on the second Baudelaire sock and am almost ready to begin the gusset increases. This second one is going a bunch faster because I have the chart memorized. Progress is being made on the hoodie for the Captain as well. It is being knit in KnitPicks CotLin in Nightfall. I cast on 198 stitches on US size 6 needles and did 2" of K2P2 ribbing. I switched to US size 7 needles and have been stockinetting ever since. I need to get to a total height of about 14" before I start deciding what to do sleeve wise. I am doing the back and the two front sides of the zip up hoodie as one piece for now and will separate it out when I get to the sleeves.

01 August 2007

Bike Ride

We are back safe and sound from NYC. I won't go into detail about the absurdity of domestic air travel. It really makes you appreciate Southwest Airlines when you have to fly on a different carrier. The sheer stupidity of their corporate machine makes me ill, so I will focus on better things instead.

First, I got a new CamelBak LUXE (courtesy of the Captain's parents) and so last night we went biking along the river to test it out. It was awesome. I did the best I have ever done on- duhn dhun dhun- the bridge. And I even managed to keep up with the Captain. We did a bit of exploring along the river and found a new path. We mapped our route when we returned: 15 miles in about an hour and fifteen minutes. Not to shabby.

In knitting news, I cast-on the toe of the Baudelaire socks using Judy Becker's Magic Cast-On. She is right, worked perfectly the first time (unlike the figure 8 cast on which I re-did like 4 times on the airplane!) I hope to be able to start on the Summer Shawl tonight. I have the yarn, needles, and pattern... now I just need some time :-)

27 July 2007

Ny, Ny

Well kiddos, we are off in about 7 hours to New York, Ny to go see the Captain's parents. The bags are packed (as are the Baudelaire socks and the cross stitch stocking). I am very excited to go, but the icing on the cake is we get to go first class! I don't understand how the frequent flyer miles/trip/seat works- there are many levels and I feel mostly it is a craps shoot, but ça y est. Luckily I finished book 7 of Harry Potter last night, so I don't have to lug it around the airport. It was great- quite pleased with the ending and that is all I am going to say about it in case folks haven't finished yet.

My shawl yarn arrived from England. I am having trouble calling it yarn, since it is about the thickness of the embroidery floss I have been using. It is very pretty- check out the Colourmart website in the UK. They have some really nice stuff at great prices. I didn't want to start the Summer shawl till I got done with the mitts, but then Harry Potter arrived and I got sidetracked. Hopefully when I am back from NY I can get it started. A bientôt!

24 July 2007

Boho Babies!

Ok, I realize that I do not have a child and don't intend on having one at least until the Captain graduates. That being said... many ladies at SNBWB are knitting baby items- most of whom are not yet with child. M made a good point that when you are pregnant, you are probably not going to have time/strength/emotional stability to pick out patterns and yarn and knit in a timely fashion. How many baby sweaters can you really get done in 9 months? So what is wrong with a little proper prior planning? In an effort to have the coolest little cupcake on the block, I have pre-ordered the Boho Baby Knits book by Kat Coyle (the pic is the book cover). I can't get enough of the bobbled baby soakers- and the matching hats, which we will need a bunch of since we will probably go the cloth nappies route. In all honesty, this is my second baby purchase. I got the crochet patterns for making Winne the Pooh and Friends- I should probably get cracking on those as well.

22 July 2007

Le premier c'est fini

All three bookshelves that the Captain hand built are finished, and one has been fully sanded and stained. The other two are awaiting their turn. We only have a limited space on the balcony, so we have to do them one at a time. Number two should get started staining this evening. We didn't get much work done on them yesterday since we went to a BBQ at Jab (the place where the Captain goes to box). It was a really good time. All of the people there are super nice and friendly. It was just a pleasure to be there- we ended up staying for about 7 hours just chit-chatting with everyone and eating. There was so much good food that kept coming in every 20 min or so. I didn't know I could pack so much food into such a small belly.

I did get a bit more work done on the stocking before we left for the party. I hope to work on it a bit more today, but I just got the new Harry Potter book in the mail. I am trying to really pace myself on this one. I read the last one cover to cover in one day, but I knew there was a seventh book coming. Now... well this is the last one. I don't want to rush it because then it will be over. I guess then I can get back to the Song of Fire and Ice series (which I highly recommend). I just finished the reread of the second book to get me up to speed for book three. I guess it will have to wait till I finish HP though.

19 July 2007

Endpaper Mitts

I got a bottle of the Eucalan Lavender wool wash at my LYS the last time I went to try out. This stuff is great! It smells good, conditions the fibers, cleans them, has lavender as a natural moth repellent- and it is no rinse! To top it all off, it is an environmentally friendly product. The Endpaper Mitts I made for Mom took a refreshing dip in the Eucalan and now they are blocking to encourage all of the colorwork stitching to even out. This is my second colorwork project and this one turned out quite well. I figured out how to get my tension even (basically I had to make my right hand not behave like a total spaz). I hope she enjoys them and can keep her hands from freezing at work. Endpaper Mitt info:
Pattern: Eunny Jang
Yarn: Knitpicks Gloss in black and serengheti
Needles: size 0 and 2 Clover bamboo DPNs

18 July 2007

On the Needles

Since my posting is erratic (I hope to get better) and my knitting projects get worked on in cycles, I thought I would give a simple update on progress.

Socks: One Baudelaire sock is almost complete-I need a few more inches on calf. The Diagonal Rib sock has been brutalized by the sink and has ceased to be. I have to figure out what to make out of that yarn now-probably another sock, but time shall tell.

Endpaper mitts (by Eunny): I only have about 10 more rows to knit, so I will hopefully post an FO soon.

Captain's hoodie: five inches in. I have about another 9-10 or so of stockinette before I have to do some math for the sleeve cap design

Equestrian Blazer: Back is done, sleeves are 1/2 way done after a frog and reknit due to a missed increase early on.

Spring Shawl: I have the pattern and needles... now I just have to wait for the yarn!

The Christmas stocking is nearing the 1/2 way done point. T-5.5 months left.

We got caught up last night on a few missed daily shows from when our pal was in town for a neutrino workshop. Well that and we got to the 1/2 way point on Prince of Persia Sands of time- I do recommend this game. Decent story, lots of things to figure out. The chick can be a bit annoying at times, but that is not unusual sad to say- at least she is wearing clothes.

17 July 2007

Spring Shawl

As you can see, the diagonal rib sock had a very difficult evening. It was very naughty. It stole 2 grams from its twin and therefore had to be frogged and washed out with soap. I still maintain that the diagonal rib is a beautiful pattern, but will it work with this yarn?

I got the pattern for the Spring Shawl in the mail. Really nicely written and I got a yarn sample card to boot. I ordered some cashmere/merino/viscose yarn today as well as some addi turbo lace needles. I can't wait to get the yarn in the mail and start on it!

In other non-knitting news, last weekend was the pitchfork music festival here in Chicago. Two days of concerts and surprisingly good food. We got to see the New Pornographers, Of Montreal, and De la Soul, among others. Hopefully we can go again next year, it was definately worth it.

13 July 2007

Diagonal Rib Sock

Sock #1 of the diagonal rib sock (Pattern is found at Knitting Daily) is completed. Obviously ignore the DPNs- I haven't kitchenered-off yet- oh and my computer cable (I am obviously not great at portraiting my shots). I don't know how I feel about this sock. It looked really nice in the photos, but on my foot it leaves a bit to be desired. I think it makes my foot look short and squat- ok this photo looks ok, but in real life... It is just a bit too big, i.e., it fits, but is not snug like a sock should be. I wear a size 5 1/2 really narrow, so it *shouldn't* make me look squat. I think the second problem is that the rib pattern stops too quickly. If you wear a size 8 or something, I am sure that the toe decrease section with lack of pattern is really nice looking, but on a size 5 1/2... As you can see in the evidence photo, almost 1/2 of my foot has no pattern. I feel that I may have to frogg- yes- frogg and entire sock and start from scratch. Hopefully the yarn will play nice after it has a bath .

P.S. Incidentally I am really digging how the sock looks in the photo. No ridiculousness, or big socks, or 1/2 my foot has no pattern antics. I think I have worked too much this week (but got alot done and I love my job) and I need to rest the eyes.

05 July 2007

I have succombed

I didn't want to do it. I have been fighting this for weeks. I fought getting a blog for some time but some people who will remain anonymous got me started. I told myself- 'no more of this internet crazyness'- I am on the computer enough as it is at work (physicist- go figure). I fended off the urge to sign up when M went on about it at Stitch the other night. I even managed to stave off insanity when The Harlot posted about this 2 days ago. Unfortunately I got on the computer at home: innocently to send an e-mail to a corporation that I value highly: Bare Necessities (they carry great stuff for my petite self) when BAM! My fingers slipped on the keyboard. Somehow the apple button and the T button are proximally too close. Well what am I going to do with a new Firefox tab? Well lets just see there- oops- how did this page load? And why am I signing up? I don't even have enough stash to post as pictures? Aren't I OCD enough without online organization charts and other bits of tomfoolery? Oh gosh- they will be sending me an e-mail when it is ready. Quick- take the laptop from me- no wait give it back- ahhhh.
Ravelry I think you should go to your room and think about what you have done. Oh but then you will just figure out how wonderful you are going to be with all the pretty photos and people to read about. Oh gosh. I am in trouble.

Happy Birthday America

Ok, so this is a day late, and I have no photos, but Happy 4th! I got so much done yesterday while having a much appreciated holiday. Hemmed some pants, took in a skirt, got 1/2 of the other Endpaper mitt finished (see previous posts), and got a good chunk of the #1 priority Christmas stocking for mom done. The Captain and I had 2 friends over for a BBQ in the evening and we all popped in the car to watch the fireworks in downtown Aurora. We tried to catch the shuttle at the Aurora pharmacy, but there was so much traffic we knew we would never make it even if the shuttle came. We drove down to the hospital where there were a bunch of people staking out areas of grass. I had a feeling the view wouldn't be so great, so I persuaded the men folk to walk a few blocks towards the center of town. That ended up being a great idea (thank you, thank you, you're too kind) since we could then see both the Aurora and West Chicago fireworks at the same time. The West Chicago ones had many more of my favorite palm fireworks, but the grand finale for Aurora was really cool. Well... until all of the smoke started obscuring the view- they went a bit crazy! All in all it was a good day.

28 June 2007

Back from France

The trip to Grenoble, France to attend the first ever Protein Powder Diffraction workshop was splendid. I really learned alot, got to meet some great people, and eat great food to boot! I have a bunch of new ideas to try over the next few months at work, plus a new collaboration. It took me just about 24 hours to get to France, with a combination of late flights, ground crews on strike, and thunderstorms. I was soo tired and lost all of the spiney-goodness from my massage. I will just have to go back to get another one this week. On my way back, I bought a nice neck pillow in Munich- very large and squishy. I slept like a baby almost the whole way.

I was a bit worried that in my and the Captain's absences, our vegetables would not make it. But, behold- my first little bell pepper has decided to come into the world! It is so cute- I could just eat it, well I suppose I will be eating it when it gets a bit bigger. The lettuce is doing wonderfully as well and we should be set on that until the fall. The little grape tomatoes are also starting to pop in. Next year I will attempt to grow more veggies from seed to aid my cost/benefit ratio.

Unfortunately I don't have much on the knitting front to report. I had words with the wachman cap that I am making for my dad. I was trying to double knit the thing, but double knit in rib is a bit confusing. This being a watchman cap, it should be warm enough by virtue of the fold-over brim, so I think I will frogg it and begin again.

19 June 2007

Shetland Lace

Last night we had an impromptu Bachelorette party for M. She is getting married on Saturday to a real cutie, so to send her off in style we went to Houlihan's for martini and dessert flights. We broke off our normal Monday night stich group early, so everyone went to the restaurant with knitting in hand. Once we had our drink orders in, the stitching continued. Luckily our waitress was a crocheter, so she wasn't too weirded out. We had waaaay to much fun- knitters and 1/2 price drinks are a hilarious combo. We all took the quiz in the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Rules book (I am a sensei) and laughed so hard I feel like a got a great ab workout. Seriously I am a little sore today.

In other knitting news, I have finally found the perfect shawl pattern. After scouring the web for something that matched the picture I had in my head I found the Spring Shawl. It is perfectly beautiful, intricate, challenging, delicate, yet not 'I'm wearing a doily' tacky. Plus it is triangular and not square. The square shawls are pretty, but if I am going to spend all that time knitting something ornate, I don't want to have to fold it in half to wear it- thus obscuring the design- and I certainly am not the type to use it as a beadspread (well, that and the Captain would kill me if I even joked about putting lace on his manly side of the bed). I got some beautiful Skacel Italian Merino Lace from The Fold in grey. My overreaching ridiculously unattainable goal is to have this ready for my sister's wedding next summer (cf. the santa cross stich goal- I have a problem, I understand this, I seem to enjoy it in some macabre way, but really the patterns with copius fiddly-bits always seem to look the best, I don't set out to pick the most complicated thing- it just happens). The grey will go nice with the black&white bridesmaid's dress in case it gets chilly, but seeing as this is a Shetland lace pattern knitted on size 1s I am not going to hold my breath.

17 June 2007

Christmas in June

Today is a scorcher, but it is Christmas time indoors. I have put the cross stitch Christmas stocking for my mother in the #1 priority spot, since I have only 6 months to get it done. Progress is being made-lets see if I make it in time. Luckily I have not made too many mistakes to set me back.

Yesterday the Captain and I went to the Highland Games held in Oak Brook. Once we got into the church parking lot I heard a 'fancy seeing you here'- why it was Merrygentlemen!

She had pulled into the parking space right next to ours, which incidentally was a good thing since she had left her phone at home and we would have thus been unable to call her to find her among the droves of people there. We listened to some great music (one of the vocalists ate a cicada on stage-ewwww), had some meat pies (no cicadas there), and Merrygentlemen and I participated in the Women's Haggis toss competition. Luckily for us the epicurian monstrosity was mostly frozen and in a plastic bag. I had by far the shortest toss of the day at 17', but since I thought all I would be able to muster was 5', I was quite pleased. The winner was a big show off with a throw of 72', but I still have my ribbon for participating. The men's caber toss was nuts- though not really since almost all of the athletes had bike shorts on under their kilts. Shouldn't they be disqualified for that? There was even a 122 lb, 21' challenge caber that got flipped for a bottle of scotch. And to round out the day, the ambulance had to come 3 separate times during the rugby sevens competition- ahh rugby.

14 June 2007

The New Bond

Last night we finally got around to seeing Casino Royale (we had bought it, just never watched it). I have to agree that it is probably the best Bond flick of all time. I am glad that it finally put to rest my curiosity over who was behind James' durable emotional armor. We also found a cute little cantina with a patio near our place to grab some dinner and margaritas. We have both been swamped with work for the past week and a little salt and lime sure helped ease the stress. I really hope my refinement starts behaving at some point. I don't find its antics amusing.

13 June 2007


I have a bunch to catch up on. The trip to Texas was awesome, even though it rained and we didn't get to go tubing. I got to see my parents and sister, my aunts, uncle and cute cousins, little Ayden and his family, and I got some really nice diamond earrings! Oh and Nancy Lou was there too. We even went to see Pirates of the Carribean at Alamo Drafthouse which is by far the best place to catch a flick. The trip was too short, but Labor Day is coming up soon.

This past weekend was World Wide Knit in Public Day, so the girls and I went to Millenium Park to represent. It was really nice and there were about 60 knitters/spinners in attendance. I really wish that it had been more widely advertised- we surely would have had more of a crowd. Maybe next year. Merrygentlemen, Lunar Llama, and I waited at the train station for the others and then we headed to the park. Some people were really interested in the knitters, whereas others were openly mocking. What was really nice was seeing a few crumb snatchers go up to the woman who was spinning and staring in awe. They were about as tall as the wheel and totally mesmerized by the color. After getting some sun (and some ice cream) we went on one stop of the Yarn Crawl to Loopy Yarns. I got some nice Bamboo yarn for some socks and an adorable lady bug tape measure.

As for updates: the Baudelaire socks are pretty in pink, but make me angry. I don't see how I can screw up a simply charted pattern so regularly, but it happens. I would like to blame the follow chart 'while at the same time' nonsense, but really that should not be too much to ask. To keep me motivated in periods of Baudelaire sorrow, I started the Diagonal Rib socks. I love the color changes on this yarn (Artful Yarns) and will have to get some more eventually.

Finally to round out the week, The Captain and his ingenuity managed to fit a rear rack on my non-standard but beautiful Raleigh Passage 4.0 bicycle. Now we can make use of my picinic basket some lazy Saturday.

31 May 2007


Aloha eveyone. I just found a new search engine (via a posting on Digg) that may prove quite useful: Mahalo. Unlike google, which is my mainstay, this search engine is more directory driven. Hard to explain, but you should check it out. More updates on the weekend in Texas later.

24 May 2007

A tribute to Chris Jacobsen

I just wanted to post in honor of my dissertation chair Chris Jacobsen. I arrived at work today to find a package waiting for me. Inside was a copy of the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony Program. He snagged me one to give to my parents because I couldn't make it there myself. The people in the Physics Department at Stony Brook University are so great. I wish I could do more for them than just sending a gift basket, but that will have to do for now. My last year of grad school was full of emotional ups and downs. It would have been all downs except for the great people in the Physics Dept., my family, and my rock: The Captain. I wouldn't have made it without their support, so I dedicate my 'Dr' to all of them.

22 May 2007

Dress Shopping

Miss Luscious Luka, LB and I went shopping for a hot little number for Luka to wear to a wedding this weekend. She was smokin' and I am sure she will catch the eye of a certain someone. Along the way we picked up some shoes- how did those get in our bags? (LB's were really cute- I should have gotten a matching pair.) I wish I could say I made a nice addition to my collection of cute heels, but the ones I bought are for tubing. That's right- tubing. I needed some good throw away shoes to wear while drifting along the Comal river while I am back home in Texas this weekend. Add to that getting to see the folks and my graduation party (Dr. Dr.)- I can't wait.

On the knitting front I am in the middle of the Baudelaire socks. I am still on the first sock- these toe up socks are different enough from cuff down that I am getting all befuddled. I never thought 5 DPNs were unwieldy until now. I feel like Edward Knitterhands, yet not as cool (hey, Johnny Depp is Johnny Depp in any costume). I am nearing completion of one project though(which helps distract me from the never ending Baudelaires). In honor of The Harlot and her love of yarn porn, here it is: the inside of the Endpaper Mitts. One mitt done, one to go- more pics to follow. (Ok, I know... I have a few more rows of ribbing to go, so it is still on DPNs, so this is a 'half of the inside of the mitt folded over', but you get the picture.)

20 May 2007

Fall hoodie

I am happy to report that my new 'Bamboo Sisters' interchangeable needles arrived by post today- or at least that is when I went to the mailbox and found them there. They are really cool and come in a small portable case. They went on a crazy journey from Japan to America and were stuck in customs for a week, but they have arrived just in time to start the Captain's fall hoodie. I am going to try and use the new CotLin yarn from KnitPicks and a chimera of the Avast cardigan from Knitty and the Kangaroo hoodie from Purl Stitch. We will see how it goes. I have high hopes at the moment, but I know that much frogging may take place over the next few months.

I also stopped by Borders today and picked up Vintage Knits (along with a book for the Captain). The patterns are really well tailored and well accented with bits of embroidery. The Captain claims that most of the men's sweaters are a bit on the professorial side, but there were a few he was keen on. I will have to stop by the thrift store and see if I can scrounge up some wacky patterned skirts and pillbox hats to wear with some of these sweaters. I need to work on the sweater backlog before I get to any of those though. The back is done on the Equestrian blazer and one sleeve has been started, but I still have the 2,000 pound pink gorilla that is the Simple Knitted Bodice to contend with.

16 May 2007

I have been tagged

A big hello to Heather who tagged me for the 7 random facts list. I have seen this going around the blog-o-sphere and have thought: what would I write about. I suppose it is high time to stop pondering and start listing. Without further ado, here they are.

1) I sang at Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, Universal Studios and Six Flags Fiesta Texas in my younger years. My dream was to become a professional performer, but I ended up a physicist- life is sometimes strange like that.

2) I have the same hip malady commonly found in Golden Retrievers: I was born with bilateral hip dysplasia. I am still waiting for suped-up bionic hips to come on the market, then my nickname Cylon 6 would be more apropos.

3) Speaking of Cylon 6, I love Battlestar Galactica. Adama Rocks!

4) We had a yellow-cheeked amazon parrot when I was little that used to sneak down the hall and steal my little sister's Barbies when she wasn't looking.

5) I used to live in a very small town in central Texas right on Medina Lake. We had a taxidermist, a veternary clinic, and an ice house (convenience store for all you yankees), but no grocery store or school. We had to drive an hour and a half into San Antonio for anything else we needed.

6) I have taken French lessons since I was 5 and have met the man of my dreams, who just happens to be Belgian. It looks like my life-long ambition to live in a French speaking country for a few years just might come true.

7) I am terribly afraid of heights. I abhor gondola rides, I dread wooden roller coasters, I don't even lean on the rails of our 2nd story balcony. Sure, the engineers did a good job in the initial design of said safety mechanism, but how can we be sure that over time it has not become structurally unsound? You could not pay me enough to step onto the glass observation deck over the Grand Canyon. I would probably pass out before I plummeted to my demise.

And there you have it- aren't you glad you asked? MB- you have been tagged.

10 May 2007

All Done

I don't have a pic for this one, but the kimono is all finished. I ripped back the bind-off and made both sides even (it is a gift after all). I did whip stitch seaming on the inside and turned it inside out so there is a finished seam on both sides which looks quite nice. I am opting out on the ribbon idea. I don't know if she is going to have a boy or a girl and I would hate to put ribbons on a little boy. I am going to go to the craft store and see if I can find a bit of velcro to sew on there. I also took Nadia's suggestion and did not seam all the way to the end of the sleeve. That way there is a 'decorative slit' and, quite frankly, it will be easier to put little baby fists through.

08 May 2007


The baby kimono (from Mason Dixon Knitting) is nearing completion- probably and inch or two still remain on the right side. It seems that my measuring was off on the left a bit, since the bottoms don't line up too well. I have to decide whether or not to take out the bind off and add a few more rows, or to know that that is the piece that goes on the inside and let it be. This will be a gift for my friend Pam who is expecting in June. I hope the kid does not come early! I managed to get a good bit of it done today being hopped up on pain meds and muscle relaxants and therefore unable to go to work. I wish I could attribute the measuring error to being on flexerol all day, but alas, that mistake was made on Saturday in the car. Hopefully my neck will be all better by this weekend: I am being visited by Jenni, my friend from high school and I have to be in tip top shape to show her around Chitown.

06 May 2007

The Fold

Saturday the girls and I went on a knitting field trip to The Fold. It is a little shop in the middle of nowhere-Illinois, but they had a lot to offer. I came back with 2 skeins of socks that rock yarn from Blue Mountain fiber arts, a pink and green skein of miscellaneous sock yarn and a bunch of lace weight for a soon to be determined shawl. The best part of the whole trip was the button: I got a beautiful hand blown glass button, which will be the finishing piece for the Interweave Knits blazer I am making.

I went, later, to pick up a kitchen scale at the suggestion of Kris. I want to maximize the amount of sock yarn used per hank, but I don't want to run out mid sock, so to the scales it is. Incidentally, bringing two physicists to the store to buy a non-scientific scale is a bit of a fiasco. We were running conversion factors through our heads and even busted out the calculator at some point. One box claimed to measure 1/8 oz or 1 g. The other claimed to measure in increments of 0.05 oz or 2 grams! This did not compute of course since 1 g mathematically is equivalent to 0.03 oz. After about 15 minutes of frustration we realized that they were speaking of machine increments and not precision, which evidentally on different scales for the grams versus ounces. We thought it was funny.

04 May 2007

Not all who wander are lost

I would like to begin by highlighting the artistic talent of Brian Froud, whose work is shown here-- my favorite picture. I have had this as my desktop background since 1995. Every time I get a new computer I think, maybe, I will put a new picture in the background, but it always comes back to the faerie. The wings have an ethereal presence, but I am mostly intrigued by the hands- the hands that are a bit to large for the small body. There is a quiet quality to the work, but strength in the bone structure of the wings. I spent a good time this evening trying to figure out how to incorporate this image into the blog without messing with copyright issues or having to code too much (I do enough of that at work). In all of my wandering through blogger templates I decided that giving homage was enough.

La petite tricoteuse © 2008 Template by Exotic Mommie Illustration by Dapina