Thursday, December 27, 2007

The internet has returned!

I has teh interwebz!!!1!

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas! I spent Christmas south of Tulsa, as usual, with my mom's side of the family. We ate (too much!), drank (lots of tea, especially Pomegranate Oolong), and were very merry. I learned a new game (Fluxx), opened lots of great presents (including a lovely sampler embroidered by my grandmother), and ate way too much homemade eggnog candy - did I mention that?

I also knitted a sock...well, actually, the second of the Embossed Leaf Socks for my mom's birthday...

...and worked on my Tangled Yoke Cardigan. These are the sleeves so far; they're both on one size 3 40" Addi Turbo. That was a challenge to get going! I wish the circular needle was just a few inches longer so it would be easier to handle.

And look at the yarny goodness that Santa (aka Grandmother and Dear Aunt & Uncle) left me under the Christmas tree!

Plymouth Sockotta - I think this colorway would be perfect for Pomotamus, don't you?

And this lovely skein is Tempted, a sock yarn from a shop in Tulsa. Here's an up-close look at the lovely colors in the Fiesta colorway.

Speaking of the shop in Tulsa, they were having a big sale on the 26th. So I dragged my patient and obliging Mom (there's a reason she's getting knitted socks for her birthday next month!) down to the store. Here's what I got:

That's right. Nothing. Although I can say that I have seen the new Noro sock yarn. I wasn't impressed with it, to be honest. It feels like baling twine. I can't imagine having it on my feet. I was looking for something that I couldn't get in OKC, but I really didn't see anything that I wanted. GYC has much better prices, even counting the Tulsa shop's 25% off.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Thank you Panera!!!

Well, possibly as a result of the ice storm that hit my state last week, we haven't had internet at my house for almost a week. So I'm here in Panera Bread taking advantage of their WiFi. Thank you, Panera!

Anyways, I got some lovely yarn in a swap from Sanibelle on the KH forums yesterday! Two skeins of Malabrigo and one of Schaefer Miss Priss!

I'm thinking about the Retro Redux Shrug for the Malabrigo - wouldn't that be cozy? And some sort of hat, scarf, or mitts from the Miss Priss would be fun.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Two things to be proud of

So, I cast off on the Swallowtail Shawl for my grandmother on December 3. Here's what it looked like:

It's about two feet wide by 15 inches deep here - if you stretch it. Kinda dinky, honestly. Some serious blocking is needed for this puppy.

It needed a bath with some Soak wash - I got a sample in the Aquae scent at the Gourmet Yarn Company a while back. I used about 7 drops/dribbles in a sink of tepid water. (This stuff smells great, by the way!) So I VERY GENTLY pressed it into the wash - since the Malabrigo laceweight is a single ply, it's very prone to fuzzing and *gasp* felting.

After 15 minutes of leaving it alone (yes, I had to set the kitchen timer), I VERY GENTLY (seeing a trend here?) lifted it out of the water, pulled the plug, and let it drain into the sink.

I VERY GENTLY spread it out onto a bath towel, then VERY GENTLY rolled it up and pressed on it to squeeze out some of the excess water. (After all, I was blocking it on my sister's bed. She doesn't know about this, so please don't tell her. It wasn't that wet, anyways.) See how big it's grown already?

Then I put a towel on my sister's bed (she has a queen size bed and I have a twin, okay?) and VERY GENTLY pinned out the scallops. It should be dry by morning!

And this is how much yarn you have left from one skein of Malabrigo Laceweight minus one Swallowtail Shawl. (Plus, I have another skein in the stash - maybe I'll try one of the patterns from Victorian Lace Today next.)

And the other thing to be proud of - I survived Biochemistry! It's OVER!!!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Good news and bad news

Bad news: Because of the ice storm, I don't finish Biochemistry until Thursday.
Good news: Because of the ice storm, I don't have to take my Biochemistry final until Thursday!!!!!!

Good news: I finished my grandmother's Swallowtail Shawl, and it's simply lovely (although not yet blocked).
Bad news: My camera's batteries are dead and there isn't a single AA in the house. (Pitiful, ain't it?)

Good news: Our campus is closed tomorrow, so I get a snow day to knit and bake cookies and wrap Christmas presents and do fun stuff! (oh, and study my behind off)
Bad news: Um...thinking...nope.

And this week's Blogstalker - excuse me, last week's Blogstalker topic - is/was Your Favorite Invention of the 20th Century. Here's one of mine that came to mind this past week.

Clarification: DNA was not invented in the 20th century, I know. But its structure was elucidated in 1953 through the combined efforts of James Watson, Frances Crick, and Rosalind Franklin (and probably a bunch of research techs like me!). Not only is it the source of my job, it's just so elegant - four "letters" combine to make a girl, giraffe, or goat. How cool is that?!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

I'm back!

Things I'm thankful for

My Redeemer - "How deep the Father's love for us, how vast beyond all measure, that He should give His only Son to make a wretch His treasure."

My family - Dad, the protector and geek after my own heart; Mom, the nurturer and teacher; Dear Sister, the smacker-down of mouthy 7th graders; and Dear Brother, the comedian extraordinaire. Not many people my age can say that their parents are still married to each other - thanks, Mom and Dad.

The men and women of our military, past and present, including my Granddad, my Dad, and my cousin - they have defended our country's freedom and kept us safe.

My grandmother, who taught me how to knit - it didn't "take" the first time, but her patient lessons stuck with me until my mind was ready to handle sl1 k2tog psso.

The many friends I've made through knitting - the first time I heard someone talking about double pointed needles (besides saying "Oh, I could never do that"), I felt like I'd come home.

The END of Biochemistry - currently 3 days, 13 hours, 28 minutes, and 45 seconds away, after which I should be able to post more regularly!

Friday, November 16, 2007

From yarn to FO in less than 15 hours!

I have this yarn that I got in a swap from ADAllen on the Knitting Help forums...

...and I've been working on the Embossed Leaves socks and the Tangled Yoke Cardigan. I needed something quick and easy - preferably something that didn't involve rectangles, garter stitch, or any other boredom-inducer. So I was looking through Ravelry, and I found this. Less than 100 yards required? Check. Interesting pattern? Check. Slightly funky shape? Check. Big needles? Check (UK size 2 - which I happen to have picked up at the last Guild swap meet!). I cast on last night around 11 PM and worked two wedges. I picked it up again this morning, and here's the result!

Usually, hats make me look like an egghead, but I'm definitely liking this one!

And here's how much yarn was left over. There isn't much, but I've been mulling over a mitten pattern with detachable cuffs. We'll see.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I'm a bad blogger.

Wow, it's been three weeks since I posted. Bad me. Various and sundry things have been happening - weird viruses, another big test, family events...okay, maybe it's just apathy.

Blogstalker updates first:
1. What's for breakfast? Pumpkin bread, this morning! I love anything involving pumpkin. Pumpkin soup with curry and carrots, pumpkin pie, pumpkin dip for name it. The way I figure it, pumpkin is loaded down with beta-carotene (which your body processes into vitamin A) and fiber, so it makes everything healthy, right?

2. Junk drawer! I cheated a bit and used my bathroom junk drawer, as it's (marginally) more interesting than my main junk drawer. Of course, my junk is mostly just spread out over my room.

We've got Badger Balm (lavender orange - yum!), a couple of headbands, deodorant, my broken glasses (the bobby pins are sticking to a magnet that used to hold on clip-on sunglasses), contact cases, nail polish that I wear once in a blue moon, allergy/cold meds, hair goop, hairbrush, dental floss, a little jam jar that holds my hair pins and clips, and...a bunch of junk. Yeah.

I have been doing some knitting! Remember the bag of dishcloth cotton scraps I got at a thrift store?

Basically, I just started doing a log-cabinesque dishcloth with a mitered square (or in my case, mitered blob) thrown in for fun. I call it the Frankencloth. It's kitschy and ugly and so much fun!

At the November Knit-In (yes, I'm still calling it the Knit-In!), I broke down and got some of this.

I do have a good reason, though. Friday is Oklahoma's centennial! And while pink is one of the last colors I'd pick for Oklahoma (I'd go with purple for redbuds, brick for the red dirt, or that greenish-orange the sky turns just before the tornado sirens go off), it's still named after my state!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I'm late, I know!

Okay, so I missed last week's blogstalker post. I had a big Biochemistry test on Monday, so that's been sucking up my life lately.

Here's week 5: An Interesting Statue.

When my dad was in medical school, he had a rotation where he had to stay at the hospital and work at all hours of the day and night. After a long shift, exhausted and disheartened, he was walking past the hospital gift shop when he saw a small figurine of a red-haired blue-eyed angel holding a lamb. He bought the figurine to put at his desk, a reminder of God's love and care for him.

Two years later, he had a baby girl with red hair and blue eyes - me! I was born at 1:12 PM, the exact time (plus three years, five months, and twenty-eight days) that my dad said "I do" to my mom on their wedding day.

And here's "A day in the life," for week six. I chose Saturday.

I woke up and looked out my window. The sun's up; time to rise and shine! (or in my case, rise and...five more minutes?)

I stumbled down the stairs... make Cherry Cream Scones for brunch with the girls from Bible study!

After Bible study, it was time to do some work around the house.

Watering the flower patch while the wind is clocking over 30 mph is a good way to get your jeans soaked, by the way.

As you can see, Tucker was just a huge ball of energy this weekend.

Caddie is watching Friday night's episode of Dr. Who, which I taped off PBS. That dog has good taste in TV shows. (And good news - her collar is off and she's on the mend!)

I interrupted His Highness (aka Mickey, aka Gollum/Smeagol)in the middle of a nap to take his picture. He may forgive me one of these days.

And what would this blog be without some knitting? This is the Tangled Yoke Cardigan from the Fall 2007 issue of Interweave Knits. I'm using Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, and it's going faster than I expected.

I finished the clown socks last week! My mom was very impressed - much more than I was. Sockotta isn't my favorite yarn. It has a high percentage of cotton, which makes the yarn less elastic and more hard on the hands. The forethought heel also messed up the fit. Chalk one up for experience, I guess; I know how to do the forethought heel, but I choose not to.

I also finished the purple stripe basic socks, but I haven't worn them yet. I'm making progress on the Swallowtail Shawl as well, but I've decided that nupps are not my friends. I also started some Embossed Leaves socks with the teal Cherry Tree Hill I got in a swap. (CTH is AMAZING, by the way. So soft and squooshy!)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Love/hate relationship

This week on Blogstalker: Three things you love and three things you hate!

Let's get the hate over with:

1. See the Swiss-cheese-esque wood? That would be termite fodder. In the cabinet where we keep the cookware. 'Nuff said.

2. This is pretty minor in terms of hatred, but I despise this silverware holder. It's hard to get the silverware out, and it's so unstable that it falls over with an earsplitting crash at least three times a day.

3. Disclaimer: I do not hate Caddie. I love Caddie. What I hate is that she has to wear this collar right now. She had surgery to remove a cancer, and this collar is to keep her from ripping out the stitches in the incision on her tummy. (Her long-term prognosis is very good, though, and she doesn't act like she's in any pain at all.)

Okay, now on to the happy!

1. I love autumn! Exhibit A: fresh apples These are destined to become applesauce and apple butter. Mmm...the house smells so good right now.

2. This is an antique pump organ that we brought back from England. One of my favorite memories is when we finally brought it into the house (it had been quarantined in the garage - mice!), and my dad asked my mom to play Amazing Grace. And then we found out that only one pump was functioning. Playing the pump organ is quite the leg workout! I used to love dusting this organ. There's a lot of woodwork on it, and I used to try to find faces and animals in the designs.

3. an example of how completely insane my family is. (Click for details.) On top, we have "Lucy in the sky with diamonds" a la my little sister (who teaches middle school math, but will always be my little sister). On the bottom, we have some sort of shark-like character with Hebrew writing on its side. My dad did that part - he taught himself Hebrew when he was in high school. (He also had his own X-ray machine in the basement, and he and his best friend would hang out in a classroom doing physics equations during school dances.) They're completely kooky, so I fit right in. I love them all, even though they drive me spare half the time.

Knitting stuff: I finished the first clown sock! And my mother, who (usually) has very good taste, thought it was just amazing. So I guess I'll be making her some socks for Christmas or her birthday.

The Swallowtail Shawl is coming along, but I feel kind of silly taking pictures of it when you can't tell whether or not it's grown. I've got one more repeat of the first lace pattern to go, but my stitch count is off by two. Bummer.

Oh, and check out this sock pattern! I'm definitely making these sometime soon.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Getting the hang of Thursdays

Another Thursday already? I'd better go ahead and do this week's blogstalker post before the next one's up!

This week: How I Get from Here to There! (here being my house, and there being the lab where I work/live)

Clockwise from top left:
1. My dirty car. I've had this car for almost two years. The car before that, a Mitsubishi Galant, met a messy end on I-40 when a tire blew out at 70 mph. It was my first (and hopefully last!) car accident. If the tire had blown out just a bit earlier or later, I would have gone into oncoming traffic or fallen into a ravine. A positively angelic couple stopped and helped me and my passenger until my dad got there. (That was also the first day that my dad ever went ~20 mph over the speed limit.) Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt. But it still kind of scares me to think about it.
2. The front of my dirty car. Pretty self-explanatory.
3. The floor of my dirty car. (If you're thinking that I usually ride alone, you'd be right.) We've got a Whiz Kids tutor notebook (I tutor a 3rd grade girl on Tuesdays), a sunshield (quite necessary when it's still EIGHTY DEGREES IN OCTOBER), a stray size 6 from some knitting project, a jacket, and a Blockbuster receipt.
4. The passenger seat of my dirty car. Notables include my Bible, the book that two friends and I are studying (Lord, I Want to Know You, by Kay Arthur - it's about the names of God in the Bible), some books that my church library was giving away, and another jacket.

Knitting update: I was up until 11 PM last night doing my first afterthought (or in this case, forethought) heel. I'm not convinced that it's any better than your average heel flap. Dealing with one really long circular needle, waste thread for a stitch holder, more waste thread for a provisional cast-on, and two ends of the same ball of yarn was a bit of a mess, in the same way that tuberculosis is a little cough. Wrestling Harry Potter's giant squid would probably have been easier.

My grafting looks a little wonky, too. I think I may undo it and get rid of the little ears on the sides.