Monday, December 31, 2007

Bad blogger, bad knitter, good vacationer!

Yep. Nothing to see here.

Long story short - I got some yarn for Christmas, but other than a couple of pairs of socks, a nightgown, and some baby things to put away, we had a no-stuff holiday. I'll photograph the yarn when I get back home, assuming that there are no fires to put out at work.

And, no, I haven't really picked up my needles. Maybe tonight ;-)

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I am so ashamed to admit that I've gotten nothing done, knitting wise.

Work is buzzing along, but there's the inevitable pressure that comes around the holidays. I never used to be like this, but I caught it from Hubby - for some reason, about a dozen experiments suddenly NEED to be done, and they need to be done NOW. Which is fine, but it means pushing really hard during the day, and coming home at night exhausted.

So, no knitting. I also haven't started packing yet, and I've only made one tiny batch of Christmas cookies, which have already been distributed to people here at work.

Here's to hoping that there's some airport knitting time, or some airplane knitting time, or some car-ride knitting time.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Time to kill, and pics to show :-)

I've been trying to figure out this whole "post after the jump" thing, and my poor brain just can't handle it right now, so I've given up. C. - if you're reading this, I'm going to post a pic at the bottom of part of N.'s Christmas present (and there'll be something for the boys too). You can look if you want, but I'm just sayin'.

Where was I? Oh, right. I have an hour to kill while my cells incubate here at work, which means an hour with which to blog and wish I was home eating dinner. I took two really crappy pics of some knitting last night, though, and I figured crappy pics were better than no pics.

I snuck up on these from across the room, using my zoom function.
Pregnancy has made me so lazy ;-)

These are the Herringbone Mittens I started two weeks ago. There hasn't been much progress, but since it's my first foray into colorwork, I'm proud of myself. I'm also desperately afraid that they'll be too small, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

I really like the pink and white together, and while I'd like to stretch the skeins to give me 2 pairs, I think I'm going to respect the pom, and include it.

Here's the sum total of my Christmas knitting so far:

YAY Christmas!!!

Two jingle bell ornaments (of three) for my Godchild and her brothers. They're really easy, especially since I re-wrote the pattern to go bottom up (less fiddling required, IMHO). The bottom-up one is the green one, and for some reason, I think it even looks tidier. I'm probably going to make a few more for some people at home, since I have five different versions of the cheap Christmas craft yarn, so I'll take another pic once they're all done.

ETA: I don't get this blogger thing - why is my paragraph formatting all screwy? Grrr....

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Boy, you people sure do love your Thanksgiving!

This year, I'm having my first experience with each holiday as the months go by. I'm a big holiday person, and I'm all about the cooking and family and celebrating.

But you people really do it up for Thanksgiving!

Hubby and I decided to be quiet and stay home. I was too tired to cook a big turkey dinner, and I'm really looking forward to Christmas dinner at home, so I figured it was OK. I stayed home from work on Thursday, since my transportation wasn't running (the uni. was closed, of course), but figured I'd get a good day's worth in on Friday.

The uni. was closed on Friday, too!

I'm all for four-day weekends, but this one was a surprise. I slowly realized that y'all are serious about your 'day-after-Thanksgiving' shopping, so much so that no one goes to work.


I did get a little bit of knitting done, but it's sort of secret, and I'm not sure if the intended recipient/recipient's family reads, so no pictures yet. We also did groceries and big-box shopping for necessities (no Christmas shopping).

All-in-all, a great weekend :-)

Friday, November 16, 2007

This total slacker pays the price.

I'm a slacker-photographer, slacker-knitter, slacker-blogger.

Ironically, it's a result of being less of a slacker at work. Feeling better means that I have longer, more productive days at work. Longer work days mean that it's dark when I get home, and therefore there's no point in trying to get decent pics of the yarn and WIPs. It also means that by the time I drag my sorry butt through the door, it's all I can do to get a (semi) healthy dinner made before I crash.

I'm a couple of pattern repeats into the first Herringbone mitten, and I'm really enjoying it (when I have the energy to pick it up). I'm just thankful that I didn't promise any Christmas knits to anyone, because I would be ruining their holidays.

I had been planning on getting a huge chunk done last night, since Hubby was working late on an experiment and it was just me and my TV. But, I think I was punished for being a slacker - on the way home I slipped on some wet leaves and nearly went arse over teakettle (after a very long and un-funny series of events).

In an effort to protect my uterine tenant (who is just fine, thanks for asking, due to my spectacular acrobatics and extra padding), I bunged up my knees and did a job on my hands; didn't even get a speck of dirt on my belly, thank le Bon Dieu. But, my sore hands mean no knitting for me for at least a few more days.

At least it's Friday, and I'll only have to handle pipettors like this for a day before taking a break. ;-)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Four skeins of Cascade 220 later...

... I'm ready to start the mittens.

Well, not quite ready. I was going to wind them at the store, but Hubby and I were late for another committment, so I had to bring them home in skeins. Hubby is still working on a manuscript, so he held one skein for me to wind from on his break. I have to wait for another break to do a second one.

The good news is that the Grinch is on TV to keep me busy in the meantime :-)

I'll post pics of my yarn cakes tomorrow, when I get some decent light.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Do I really need another project?

I think the answer to that is yes.

Seriously ;-) (Elliphantom's Herringbone Mittens)

There is a logical reason behind this. I have no mittens. No gloves. Nothing to keep my fingers warm. All of my winter things (except my handknit scarves) were supposed to be brought to the new apt when my parents took a roadtrip this summer. No roadtrip = no mittens.

I haven't tried colorwork before, and for some reason this pattern is calling out to me. I read through it and it made sense. Plus, I've been scared to try mittens forever, but I desperately want to conquer them.

Off to the LYS I go, tomorrow while Hubby works on a manuscript. I know they carry the Cascade 220 that's called for, so it's just a matter of picking out colors.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Booga Bag is nearly finished.

Both the bag body and the strap are knitted, waiting to be felted. I just can't bear to spend laundry money to put clean jeans and towels in the washer just to finish a project, so it'll likely go in on the weekend.

I also cast on for another special project, but I'll reveal that later (those on Ravelry will be able to see ;-))

Monday, November 5, 2007

More meme-y goodness

Today is our anniversary, and I found this, so here we go :-)
ETA: I guess I should've mentioned that this is a "man-meme" ;-)

1. Who is your man? M.
2. How long have you been together? Friends since 1998, dating since May of 2002, married 2 years today!
3. How long did you date? 3.5 years
4. How old is your man? 3 years older than me
5. Who eats more? Um, I'm the pregnant one ;-)
6. Who said “I love you” first? He did, the night before he left for a conference on the other side of the continent.
7. Who is taller? He is, but I can't wear stilettos
8. Who sings better? He is more musical, but I sing more often. I think it's a draw.
9. Who is smarter? Neither of us... we met doing our PhDs, and graduated on the same day - that one's a draw too ;-)
10. Whose temper is worse? Mine, definitely.
11. Who does the laundry? I used to, in our old apartment, but here the machines are in a deep sub basement that's so scary I'm sure trolls live in the corners. (And he won't allow me to carry heavy things up stairs now that Bean is coming).
12. Who takes out the garbage? Him, for the same reasons as #11.
13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Him.
14. Who pays the bills? He does.
15. Who is better with the computer? I'd say that one's even, too. We both learned lots out of necessity for our data analysis.
16. Who mows the lawn? Lawn? I'm supposed to have a lawn?
17. Who cooks dinner? Usually it's me, since I'm home earlier. That, and I have this thing about chopping - I find it very relaxing.
18. Who drives when you are together? Me, because I love driving for its own sake. He's all, "Point A to point B" so I won't let him waste the enjoyment.
19. Who pays when you go out? He puts the plastic down, but it's a joint account.
20. Who is most stubborn? Me.
21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Not me, that's for sure.
22. Whose parents do you see the most? In the old apartment, it was mine (who were closer). Now, it's neither - since both my parents and his mother are too far away to visit except under the rarest of circumstances.... my mom, for instance, will be visiting in another 5-ish months ;-)
23. Who kissed who first? I initiated the first one, since he was so shy.
24. Who asked who out? He asked me out first, although we'd been going out in groups for a few years.
25. Who proposed? He did.
26. Who is more sensitive? We both are, I'd say.
27. Who has more friends? This one's a draw.
28. Who has more siblings? I have 2, he has none.
29. Who wears the pants in the family? Hmm. I'd say that depends on the situation.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Happy Halloween to me indeed!

I forgot to mention that a few weeks ago I won a contest, put on by Jodi at A Caffeinated Yarn. Ironically enough, this was before I'd announced my pregnancy, and I won Baby Knits by Lois Daykin, and some baby friendly yarn.

My prize arrived today, and she wasn't kidding about the yarn! Four balls of Phildar lambswool in a lovely deep pink, and three of Jaeger Baby Merino in a vareigated blue/yellow/green color (pics after my battery charges ETA: check it out!). It's a veritable avalanche of yarn!


Thank you so much, Jodi!!! The generosity of knitting bloggers amazes me every single day :-)

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

Happy Halloween and all that jazz.

Halloween has always been sort of a secondary holiday for me - I loved choosing and making costumes with my mom as a kid, and as a grad student, I loved the challenge of going to the thrift store and coming up with something creative for under $10. This year, we're rather isolated, there are no parties to speak of, and I don't even think we have neighbors, let alone neighbors with kids, because our building is so darn quiet.

I decided to wear an orange shirt today, just to be festive, and I'll enjoy my M&Ms at lunch, but that'll probably be it. I would've knitted a little pumpkin hat or some other such thing, but my stash doesn't include much orange at this point, and I'm a little broke. There's always the peach colored panda wool, but it's not quite the mood I'm looking for.

Oh, well, I guess I should get some work done instead ;-)

Monday, October 29, 2007

meme time!

Don't remember where this one came from, but here it is, since I don't feel like taking more pictures of the Booga Bag :-P

1. What time is it? 5:52PM
2. What's your family nickname? Elle
3. What are you most afraid of? Failure
4. What is the most recent movie that you have seen in a theater? Music and Lyrics, I think? I don't have easy access to theatres down here.
5. Place of birth…Atlantic Canada
7. Favorite food…Too many to list... right now (because of the fact that I can eat them without getting more nauseous) - pizza, mashed potatoes, and Thai (strangely enough)
7. What's your natural hair color? medium brown
8. Ever been to Alaska – No
9. Ever been skinny dipping…No
10. Love someone so much it made you cry…Sure
11. Been in a car accident…Yes. Stupid quebecer speeding through a parking lot
12. Croutons or bacon bits…Croutons, unless the bacon bits are REAL
13. Favorite day of the week…Thursday
14. Favorite restaurant… Steak and Stein in Halifax, NS
15. Favorite Flower… lilies
16. Favorite sport to watch…Don't watch them
17. Favorite drink…Diet Pepsi, but used to be coffee before I got pregnant (now I can't even look at it)
18. Favorite ice cream…Dulce de Leche, mint with chocolate pieces
19. Warner Brothers/Disney … Both
20. Ever been on a ship… Nope
21. What color is your bedroom carpet…Hardwood :-)
22. How many times did you fail your driver's test…Passed the written first time, failed the practical once
23. Before this one, which blog did you look at last? Yarn Harlot
24. What do you do when you are bored…Read, knit, surf the web.
25. Bedtime… Lately, it's been 10pm or earlier
26. Who will post this on their blog? ?
27. Who won’t? ?
28. Who is the person that you are most curious to see their responses? – ?
29. Favorite TV shows… Heroes, the Bachelor, Desperate Housewives, Survivor, anything with Gordon Ramsay
30. Last person you went to dinner with…Hubby
31. Smokes or Drinks… Non-smoker; drinks wine and the occasional beer, provided there's no uterine tenant
32. What is your favorite color… Love them all in one way or the other
33. How many tattoos do you have… none
34. How many pets do you have…one
35. Which came first, the chicken or the egg… the chicken
36. What do you want to do before you die? Travel more, have a kitchen with marble countertops, drive a ferrari
37. Have you ever been to Hawaii … no
38. Have you been to countries outside the U.S. … Born in Canada
39. How many people are read your blog? 5 that I know of
40. Time this survey ended…6:01PM

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Another new project.

I've brought my own laptop into work today, since my boss needed the lab one, and so I feel comfy blogging this afternoon.

I've been working on an ever-so-secret project for the last little while, and I finally I feel like I can share it:

The worst kept secret of 2007!

I figure it's time to continue letting the news out, since we've hit 14 weeks. Most of the family knows by know, along with all my old friends back at my old university, along with our new coworkers here.

Now, I will promise you something (you, all four or so of my faithful readers) - Even though I sincerely believe that each person's blog is just that - a blog belonging to that person, to do with what they please - I will do my best not to turn this into a mommy blog. You may not be here for that; if you are, I'll eventually post a link to where I've been somewhat chronicling the whole experience. I can't promise that there will be massive amounts of adorable baby knits either, since my knitting speed has gone from slow to nearly non-existent (the booga bag, for example, is still only about halfway done - see below). I do have several pattern books of baby things though, and I'm going to choose something to start soon. The problem is that I've got work time to make up and sleep to grab, both having been interrupted these past months by some fabulous all-day-sickness.

The poor, neglected Booga Bag is now 33 rounds taller than this bottom panel,
but there's no excuse for such slow progress on size 10's!

That being said, I would welcome any suggestions of fun, easy baby knits, and favourite yarns for such.

:-) Let the adventure begin!

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A new project

Sarah at Bella Knitting posted a wonderfully simple provisional cast on tutorial this afternoon, and it was just the push I needed to start my next project.

I'm using one of the shades of Kureyon I bought on my trip this August to make a Booga Bag. No pictures yet, but so far, the cast-on was really easy. If I did it right, it should unzip nicely once the bottom of the bag is done and I'm ready to pick up the stitches.

The needles are bamboo, and they're my first natural needles. I have to say, I'm pleasantly surprised; they're fast and light, and just about as nice as metal.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Finally, a pic of the BSJ

I'll re-post the stats, just in case.

Rather sad that it seems to coordinate with my mousepad, non?

BSJ by Elizabeth Zimmerman
Started: July 1
Finished: July 21 (with about 5 days of non-knitting in there)
Yarn: STR in Sealrock medium weight
Yardage: Approx. 330 yd
Needles: Boye 29" aluminum circulars, US7
Gauge: 6 st per inch
Modifications: None, as far as I can tell. I decided not to go for the crochet edging, since it looks so cute as it is.


I found the buttons at WalMart, of all places, and they go so nicely. The only problem is that the baby for which this is intended has yet to reveal its gender. I think the buttons are appropriate for a girl, but questionable for a boy. I have some plain purple ones that I can sub in for the butterflies in a pinch.

I started a hat to go along with it, but no pics of that yet.

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

Friday, September 21, 2007

I'm one of the gang now!

:-) Finally got my Ravelry invite, and it's coooooool (username Scientknits).

I actually got it almost a week ago, and I haven't succumbed to the vortex just yet. I haven't had that much time to concentrate on digging out the best stash photos, or photos of my completed projects, but I'm starting.

If you haven't checked it out, and you're a groups-type of person, you definitely should give it a look. My favourite feature is the ability to search patterns and see what other people have done with the projects I'm contemplating. I don't have complete confidence in my yarn choices yet, but it's comforting to see that other people have used trekking for Pomatomus, for example. I'm still sitting on the fence about starting a sweater, but I can look up what others have done with Mariah, Samus, or Josephine.

It's an excellent resource, and it gets my hearty approval!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sorry for the delay, folks.

I know there are probably at least two, maybe three, people out there curious about my absence :-)

Long story short, I've been quite ill since I got back from my trip; actually, I've been ill since the middle of the trip, but I'm just darn good at hiding it.

According to my older brother, whose wedding I stood in on September 1st and whose guests I all fooled (not a single one guessed I wasn't feeling well), the pictures even came out well. It's a rare compliment from him when he says, "There are some pictures in the proofs where both you and R. (the wife) look rather Audrey Hepburn-ish, you know."

I have an appointment with the appropriate specialist on Wednesday, and I'm just trying to keep my work afloat. My boss is great, but I'm not sure if he's willing to be forgiving for an undefined amount of time without a specific reason. I'm finding full days nearly impossible to work, though, and I can't seem to get past that.

So, until the next time, I leave you with this.

The haul from August.

Details will come soon, I promise.

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Vacations should have recovery time built in.

Like now, for instance. I have tonnes of stuff to do today and tomorrow, and I'm still exhausted.

The pictures are on my laptop at home, and I'll try to post sometime soon. I just need to get through the next two days without collapsing.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A vacation at the halfway point is a sad thing.

Why sad? Because I know that the second half is shorter, with its two days of travelling included.

Little Bro and I are leaving to go to our parents' place this afternoon. We'll meet Hubby at the airport, and then hop into the car with Dad to drive for another 4 hours. It's going to be a long day.

I will be cruel, though, and mention my yarn aquisitions ;-) I went to two of the LYSs in Little Bro's city, and ended up with some STR, some Noro, and some of the Needful Joy that I'd used to make a shifting sands scarf earlier in the summer. Pictures and links should be posted once I'm home at my parents.

(I'm in a computer lab here at Little Bro's school, and the shift key sticks, not to mention that I can't install anything, or even look at Hotmail. I wouldn't connect my camera to this machine for anything.)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Laptop is fixed, and going on vacation!

I had to share ;-)

Fixed, and after 5 days of rigorous testing (i.e. my normal routine), it seems to be working perfectly. The extra memory isn't showing itself in drastic ways, but the laptop boots faster, and seems to handle multiple programs better.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Rambling my way into vacation.

Well, the chip arrived, so I'm waiting for IT Guy to have some time (hopefully this week) to come over, pop it in, and bring my laptop back to life.

Assuming that everything goes to plan, I haven't decided if I'm going to take my laptop on vacation with me next week. On the one hand, it would allow me to download photos and empty my memory card if needed, but on the other hand, it might suck up a lot of my time.

Another benefit would be during the days - because of the security people in Little Bro's residence house, I technically am not allowed to have his keys, so I either spend the ENTIRE day in his apartment by myself, or spend the entire day out. I'm planning on parking myself at the local overpriced coffee chain with free wireless and spend my days there, but I could technically get away with just my iPod and some knitting. No laptop would force me to actually finish those Thujas that have been languishing on my needles.

The bottom line is that I'm not exactly sure what I'll do. Don't be alarmed if I drop off the face of the earth until mid-September. I'll reward patience with wedding photos.

(Photos of my handsome Hubby in a tux, and photos of me in a light orangey colored dress with an empire waist, that's likely to take my substantial frame and turn it into a pink grapefruit.)

See you all soon!

P.S. I've decided on Mariah, and I'll be ordering the yarn after the vacation. I'm saving room on the credit card just in case.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

A light at the end of the tunnel!

We've figured out what's wrong with my laptop!

Our IT guy came back (for unrelated work on my boss's computer), and came in to take a look at the patient, in case there was anything else that could be done before I had to send it away.

We ran several utilities, including all the ones that seemed to help a bit last time, and added on a hardware analysis. The normal utilities kept crashing about 3/4 of the way through their runs, which was a little disconcerting, although they still seemed to be fixing small errors. IT Guy was figuring it was a hardware problem, so on with that analysis we went.

Eureka! A bad RAM chip.

This (according to IT.G.) is one of the best possible scenarios. Order new RAM chip, pop old RAM out, pop new RAM in, and we're in business. There's a chance that some of the files I may have accessed after the chip went wonky could be corrupted, but he assures me that this likelihood is extraordinarily small.

Total cost to me: <$100, all for the RAM and delivery. And I get an upgrade in RAM, because it wasn't worth it to get the same size chip that's in there now. It'll double my RAM, and since my processor is so fast, I should be able to notice a difference. Woo-hoo!

Now all that remains to be seen is whether the chip arrives in time for it to be fixed before my vacation.


In knitting news, I haven't decided on which sweater to make, but I think the yarn I've chosen will work for both (with a possible bit of needle switching). The funny thing is, with the strength of the Canadian dollar right now, there's no point in waiting to go to Canada and buy with my earned American money, since the exchange is so low. It's significantly cheaper for me to just order it online from a US supplier (cheaper, as in 60$ instead of nearly 100$).

This is so cheap, in fact, that I will have plenty of money left in my alloted yarny vacation budget to buy lots of fun stuff, like STR and Dream in Color, or whatever luxe things they have in stock.

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Computer woes.

The laptop, after getting its overhaul by our wonderful IT guy, had been behaving relatively well for a few weeks. That is, until this morning.

It froze, but then wouldn't restart. It still won't boot up.

My boss called the IT guy, who says he has another diagnostic magic wand to wave at the laptop, but after that, she is going to get fixed, overhauled, whatever she needs. Right now, it's more feasible for me to pay a few hundred dollars to get another year out of this computer than to shell out for a new one.

Oh, I am so depressed.

Friday, August 3, 2007

A woman's prerogative...

... is to change her mind.

(please don't flame me; I don't mean that in a derogatory sense!)

But, yes, I've changed my mind. I love Josephine, and still like the idea of making this sweater, but buying thirty-one balls of yarn seems so drastic. I kept on searching through knitty and found a couple of possible replacements - Samus and Mariah. Right now I'm leaning toward Mariah, because it's.... well, it's cablier.

Cablier? It must be Friday if I'm making up words.

They also have advantages in that the yarns suggested will be easy to find and/or substitute, and they'll cost much less.

*sigh* It's been a good day, but I'm about ready for it to be over. I've accumulated quite a sleep debt in the last week or so, and even though I got 8.5 hours of sleep last night, I'm still exhausted.

Monday, July 30, 2007

As soon as one project is off the needles...

... another one begs to be cast on.

Unfortunately for me, right now my stash consists mostly of sock yarn, with the occasional bits reserved for crochet practice, and I don't feel like doing either.

So, of course, I searched and searched for what I thought was a good "next step up" project. I can do garter, I can do seams now, I can do socks. I also kept in mind that I'm visiting a lovely yarn store in a few weeks, and have set myself quite a healthy budget.

(Hubby and I are on a new savings plan - we live off of his salary, and bank mine. So far, we're two cheques in, and haven't had to go anywhere near my little nest egg.)

My healthy yarn budget for this trip was originally going to go toward some more sock stash, since normally I have to order sock yarn over the web. But, I said to myself, "Self, you know you need a challenge. You know with that overdone a/c at work that you need a sweater there, and you know that this one is on the way to retirement."

This is seriously dingier than it looks, it's store-bought, and it keeps shrinking lengthwise, even though it's 85% acrylic!

So, with that in mind, I looked for a sweater pattern. Something knit at a relatively coarse gauge (I don't have the patience right now to knit a sweater for my substantial frame in fingering weight), but with cables and fun bits.

Enter Josephine.

It may take some mucking with gauge, since it calls for non-US sized needles, and it's a hefty project in terms of the pattern, but I love the cables, and I love cabling without a cable needle. It's also a significant committment in terms of yarn alone, calling for somewhere between 1400 and 1600 yards, which is why I may forego the extra sock yarn stash enhancement. Hopefully the staff up at LK will be able to help me find a suitable yarn.

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Photo Booth rocks!

I updated the stats on the BSJ down here, but still had no pictures. Then I realized that the lab computer has Photo Booth, which is tremendously fun.

So here you have it:

Eek! Institutional lighting!

I had to put a plastic pipette into the arms to hold it up ;-) further enhancing my dorkdom, but it worked. The color is a bit washed out, but you get the idea.

This little sweater rocks. I can't wait to see it with buttons.

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I succumbed to temptation...

I seamed up the BSJ. I was going to wait until my mother could see it in amoeboid form, but it was just sitting there, in a lowly little wrinkly pile, and I couldn't bear to not finish it.

This was my first experience with mattress stitch (or pseudo-mattress stitch, I suppose), and it is just so much fun. I put my stitches in very loosely, and then once they were all done, zzzzzzzzip! I pulled on both ends, and it tightened up like magic!

I haven't put on the crochet edge yet, because I don't have a large selection of hooks (that is to say, I have a tiny one: B1, and a huge one: H [I think]), and I need a mid-sized one. I may go to the local big-box store this weekend with my auntie-in-law, so I'll check there for a few.

And, no, no pictures yet. I'm an awful blogger. Work has been really busy, but in a good way, and there are lots of things to take care of before vacation. I keep meaning to bring my pieces in to photograph during the day, but never remember.

I've also ripped out the original trekking socks. It wasn't as traumatic as I thought it would be, so they were meant to be ripped. Once the yarn relaxes a bit, I think they will be some Pomatomi. I wasn't sure how they'd look in trekking, but a little searching revealed Aija's in colorway 100 (scroll down a bit for pics). The color I have is pastelly (I don't remember the colorway # offhand), and should show off the stitch pattern really well. Or at least, I hope it will. I don't think I could rip out again.

Monday, July 23, 2007

BSJ is finished, more or less

I haven't seamed the shoulders, because I want to take it home in August and see if Mom can fold it up properly ;-)

Until there's a pic, here are some details:

BSJ by Elizabeth Zimmerman
Started: July 1
Finished: July 21 (with about 5 days of non-knitting in there)
Yarn: STR in Sealrock medium weight
Yardage: After some calculations (and weighing the yarn at work on my analytical balance, because I'm a geek) I came up with the following:
the skein had 5.9oz/167g/[408yd estimated] (a bonus, as it's listed as 5.5oz/155g/380yd). I used 4.8oz/135g, which I'm estimating to be 328yd.
Needles: Boye 29" aluminum circulars, US7
Gauge: 6 st per inch
Modifications: None, as far as I can tell. I followed the pattern as well as I could, although there are points that were up for interpretation. It worked out really nicely, so I'm assuming I did it correctly. I haven't decided on the single crochet edging yet.

It's really small, probably qualifies as 0-2 months. Hubby doesn't believe me that babies come that small ;-)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Patience is a virtue...

... and if you're still reading (and you like photos), you are very virtuous indeed.

I tried out my laptop again last night, since I wasn't sure quite how bad it had gotten. I figure, I can either not use it at all, or use it once in a while, between now and when it gets fixed/trashed. It behaved for about 3 hours, then when I installed a replacement program for the one I think is the problem, it crashed again. It doesn't like installing, it seems.

So, no pictures. I figure I'll take a whole whack at once, upload them temporarily to the work computer, burn 'em to disk, and use them that way.

I'm six ridges away from being done the BSJ, and it's amazing. I love it. I also might even have enough yarn from the skein (plus the leftovers from its mate) to make a little hat or mittens, but I'm not going to bet the farm just yet. There are only three decisions left: three vs five buttonholes; whether to do a crochet edging to finish the neck; and what kind of buttons.

I'm leaning on two of the choices - I like the idea of five buttonholes, since I can always leave the bottom two open, and I like the finished edge. These choices are somewhat reversible - I can always just close over the bottom two buttonholes, and I can always pull off the edging if I don't like it.

The third decision - the buttons - is tougher. I don't have easy access to a shop where I can find buttons, and I don't travel until August (more on that later). I'm debating sending a full color repeat of the yarn to my mom, and see what she can find, but she has no idea I'm even working on this particular project. It might be fun to see what she comes up with. I also don't have an intended recipient for this, and therefore the buttons need to be unisex.

So, very roughly switching gears, I'll explain my upcoming travels. You may want to draw a diagram - it's pretty confusing ;-)

My family is now pretty much spread out in three locations. If you can imagine an equilateral triangle, Hubby and I are in the bottom left corner (we'll call that "Point A", Little Bro is at the tippy-top ("Point B"), and Mom, Dad, Grammie, Big Bro, and future Sister-In-Law are all in the bottom right corner (more or less - "Point C").

The really frustrating part is that there are no direct flights from Point A (here) to Point C (home). AND, it costs the same for me to take a return flight from A to B (non-stop) as it does for me to take a return flight from A to C (one stop); that usually runs at least $500 a person, so it will cost $1000 for Hubby and I to get home for Big Bro's wedding at the end of the summer.

But, there's a tiny spot of light. There's one particular Canadian airline that has really good fares, and is quite established, and flies from Point B to Point C for <$200. Little Bro uses them all the time to fly home. So, since I was going to end up spending $1000 anyway, I decided to book me a little side trip to see Little Bro, and it's only adding on $194 to our total trip costs.

I fly to see Little Bro for a week and check out how the other half lives, then we fly to our parent's place together, and meet Hubby there. After the wedding, Hubby and I will fly back down here together, and all is well.

I'm actually very excited to go and see Little Bro in action. He truly seems to have found his calling, and is showing his dedication in his work placement terms. People just love him. We also love going to movies together, and I've missed that part of our sibling-friendship since we've moved, so that's part of my vacation plan.

(And, I'll be visiting a little yarn store that some of you may know about. Little Bro knows this, and has accepted the fact that I'll be ditching him for at least one day.)

OK. Time to check on my experiment; it's a day-long one, but I'm somewhere in the middle of a three-hour incubation and I don't want to miss my timepoint.


Monday, July 16, 2007

I promise, there's been progress.

The BSJ is coming along swimmingly; I'm nearly at the last set of increases, so probably only about 11 ridges left. I love it.

But now that it's nearly done, I'm having an existential crisis. Remember the trekking socks? I'm done the gusset on the first one, and the gusset is waaaay too loose. And I'm not so much in love with the leg, either. It's not sagging-loose, but it's not comfortable.

I think I need to rip.

I love that yarn so much that I don't want mediocre socks from it. I want something I'll love. So I think they need to be re-thought, and re-started in some other pattern.

I don't want to rip, but I know I have to.

Go and visit Shelly...

... enter her lace contest by leaving a comment on her blog in that entry, and tell her I sent you :-)

Friday, July 13, 2007

This is killing me.

The IT guy came, and I love the IT guy. He doesn't assume I know everything about computers, nor does he assume I know nothing. He has this talent for explaining things at exactly my level of understanding, which is comforting.

Long story short - we had a brief period of remission, after a very tumultuous set of treatments, when the disk was repaired. Originally he thought it was a hardware failure, but this Disk Warrior thing seemed to eventually do the trick, fixing illegally named things and stuff like that. We tried to put it through its paces, and it didn't crash. I brought it home, did the same thing - no crashes.

I woke up this morning, did my usual thing... crash. Re-started.... crash.

I'm going to leave it rest for a while, because IT Guy is coming back to help the boss again in a few weeks. It means using Hubby's computer at home, which is also not overly healthy, but at least (knock on wood) it doesn't crash. I don't know what this means for posting pics, because I keep most of my stuff on iPhoto, but we'll see.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I counted the chickens, and none hatched.

My computer is fried, again (to continue with the chicken analogy).

Our work IT guy is coming over this afternoon, and says he has two different "first aid treatments" to try, so hopefully I'll be up and running soon.

Think good thoughts!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Computer woes

Figured it would happen sooner or later. I'd hoped to be posting more, but my little laptop finally said "Enough!", and wouldn't do anything until I'd overhauled the harddisk. She went from crashing twice a day to crashing immediately upon any startup.

She seems to be OK now, but I'm not going to celebrate until I have a week free of crashes.

Sigh. At least our air conditioner should be arriving today.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

It worked!! It worked!!

It worked! It worked! It worked! Happy Dance!!!

(I'm not talking about the BSJ; at least, not yet)

My first set of experiments worked! Yay! I've created strains!

Now I can go home tonight and knit to my heart's content, guilt-free, because my experiments are working :-)

Monday, July 2, 2007


I've cast on the BSJ, and finished maybe 14 rows or so. I'm pretty good with 3d visualizations, and I'm pretty straight on how the thing is constructed, and how it gets assembled. I'm really quite relieved, because if I wasn't clear on it, I might not push forward. I'm really excited about it; it's such an easy knit for TV time, or when I'm on the phone. I can already see how neat it'll be to add in stripes, but I'm still going to try to stay on pattern, with one yarn, for my first one (unless I run out, but we won't talk about that right now).

Pictures to come...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Dear manufacturers of computer things that require instruction manuals:

Hi. I have a few requests for you, in case you're updating those manuals anytime soon.

1. When you have a quick-start guide, make sure that's what it is. Don't include small text in step three that says, "You require extensive knowledge of X in order to do this." If I require extensive knowledge of anything to install your product, then you can't have a quick start guide.

2. If you say in your quick start guide that your product is compatible with my machine (a Mac), then make sure it is. If I have to install something on a PC first, in order for my Mac to work, then technically it's not compatible with my Mac. What would happen if I didn't have a PC on my network? (Don't laugh - it happens.)

3. If I do have access to a PC on my network, then following the instructions exactly should allow me to install your product. Seriously - if there's something I need to do, WRITE IT IN.

4. If your product gives people trouble, how about a troubleshooting section IN THE MANUAL?

5. If you have a FAQ on your website, why not include more than six questions? I know that people have asked more than six questions - I have a PhD, and I have about fifteen questions for you.

6. If you one of those FAQ says, "What if I can't see the device on the network?" and your answer is "Turn off your firewall", make sure that's the only possible answer. If there are other possible answers, say so.

7. Try not to suck so much; your customers will be happier (or at least, they won't have high blood pressure).

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Changing my mind...

... is what I'm good at.

I did some calculations with the ella rae, and while I could probably use it to make the BSJ, but it would involve lots of modifications. It's a bit too bulky to use with the pattern as written, and even though I could probably reduce the stitch number and such, I'd like to follow the original pattern for my first attempt. That way I'll really appreciate how the construction works before I muck with it ;-) Plus, I would need to buy some additional 24" circular needles, and I'm trying to live on a budget for the next few months.

I still want to make the BSJ, though, and I think I found something in my stash that will give me the correct gauge with one of the few circs I have at home. I swatched last night (no pictures, sorry), and it gave me gauge with the US6.

Today is a short day (I have to do a manditory safety course this afternoon), so I should get back to work.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Time to cast on for something new.

Work, my dears, is going wonderfully. I know this will probably jinx it (considering I'm blogging from work again. Bad microbiologist! Bad!), but I do love coming to work, and I love having that anticipation that comes right before you check to see if your experiment worked.

(Hi. My name is Ellie, and I've been a geek for almost nine years now. Hi Ellie!)

Speaking of which, excuse me for a moment, will you?

Yay! Ok, now that those are out of the incubator, I have a few minutes ;-)

What was I saying? Oh, yes, that I love work. It doesn't make sense, though, since this job by all accounts is more stressful. I'm being paid by the university, as an employee, to complete a specific project. If I complete the project, my contract gets extended; if not, well, it doesn't. There are people to report to, both inside and outside this very prominent ivy league university. As a grad student, I had my own funding, I didn't have to complete a specific project, and everyone who knows the whole situation knows I didn't report to anyone.

But, I'm still happier here. I think it has a lot to do with the type of work that I'm doing; while a bit more traditional, it's more my style, and it's what I always wanted to learn more of during school before I got side-tracked into an evolution lab (which I still love to learn about, by the way). The other part of it is that I finally feel like I get a chance to shine. Even though I have specific goals, my work here is my own, and everyone has confidence in my abilities (for the first time in a long time).

It's kind of like casting on for a sock after knitting scarves for years. I knew I had all the basic knowledge I needed - I could knit, and I could purl. People said that socks were complicated, and advanced, and it probably wouldn't work, but I wanted to try. I just had to make a leap of faith - to do the work I wanted, I had to trust in those abilities, and skills, that I'd been practicing for years. It didn't take long to get comfortable with throwing in those twists and turns to create shapes. Knit a tube, and then knit flat - both of which I can do. Pick up some stitches, do some decreases in a new way (but they're still just decreases), and all of a sudden - voila! a gusset. Do some more, and voila! a toe. Before I knew it, I had a sock that looked like a sock, and that gave me the confidence to make another one. Then, I was able to modify the original pattern to suit my needs - for the geeks out there, this is JUST like doing science. And I can do science.

Where was I going with this post? Oh, yeah, casting on a new knitting project ;-)

I have two different socks on the needles right now, so even though I want to make Monkey, I think I should at least finish one sock before casting on more (that, and both of my sock needle sets are in use, and I don't want to use my crappy ones).

Now that I have the pattern, I'm thinking of making the EZ Baby Surprise jacket... the only problem is my yarn source. I have 5 1/2 balls of ella rae madison.

Pretty fluffery goodness.

Dyelot is my issue - the main body of the yarn is undyed, which means it all matches; the fluffers, however, have their own personalities. Even though I *thought* I'd remembered the dyelot numbers correctly, I bought this in two batches, and I screwed up. In evening light they looked the same, but bright daylight reveals all - three of the balls have intensely colored fluffery bits, while the other three are a little more subtle.

It's not a huge difference, and I think if I work two rows from each, I'll be OK... it might even look neat. Of course, if the missing yardage from that half-ball means I don't have enough, the whole problem will be moot.

Perhaps I'll do some calculations, and swatch up a tiny bit tonight to see how it looks.

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Speaking of sleep...

I really need to start getting up early on the weekends. Early, as in close to regular weekday time. Sleeping in, while lovely, and in some cases necessary to erase sleep debt, makes Mondays that much more painful.

Did I mention painful?


Saturday, June 23, 2007

Blissful sleep.

One thing that we're really finding we have to get used to is the weather around here.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I come from a province where spring doesn't exist, and from October to May the damp sinks into your bones, making it impossible to really get warm. The good thing about it is that sleep is easy. I lived in an apartment where my windows literally stayed open year round, and I would snuggle under flannel well into May.

Here, spring is beautiful. The foliage and flowers cycle through a rainbow of colors, and the sun wakes you up every morning. Summer starts when it's supposed to - June 21 - and it reminds me to stay indoors between 10am and 2pm, both for sun protection and for comfort. I love it, and I can't wait to get outside today. But for the last week, sleep has been elusive. The temperature stays above 70 degrees all night, and the humidity is persistent (and completely different than the damp from home).

We haven't broken down and bought an air conditioner yet, for several reasons. Part of me sees this as a challenge - the locals complain about the cold, and would never survive a visit to my home, but I'm determined to adapt to theirs. There's also accessibility - we don't have a car, and our opportunities to get to stores that actually sell a/c units are limited. Thirdly, I'm not sure that I want to a) pay >100$ for what I was raised to see as a luxury, or b) buy used electronic equipment (from a safetly perspective).

Hubby is having a harder time of it, though. He, like most men, pumps out BTUs like they're going out of style, and since we married I've had to give up my flannel sheets (the blankets usually end up folded in half, on my side of the bed). Even if I can adapt, I don't know if I can put him through this for much longer.

There are reprieves, though. Last night it dipped below 65, and we slept really well. I even got up during the night to shut the window halfway, and I slept until nearly 9:30 (which is the best luxury I can think of).

So, we'll see how long we can hold out. I'm thinking maybe another three weeks, max ;-)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A completed project!

But, first of all, my new kitchen table.

I love this corner - even though it faces
the other wing of our building, it's really nice and sunny.
Perfect for flowers :-)

Yes, it's small. Not much else will fit into that space, and it was pretty much our only choice. I'm really happy with it, though; those barstools are surprisingly comfortable, and hold a substantial sized person when climbing on them to put up curtains ;-)

And, my scarf. Since I'm here at work blogging to kill a few minutes before lunch, I don't know all the details, but I'll do my best.

Note the candle on the left.
That's what happens when you leave them in the sun.

Small Shifting Sands (a la Grumperina)
Needful Joy, Color ??? (100% merino)
Size 9 Pony Pearl straights
Size after blocking: 72" x 3.5" (not including fringe)
Date started: April 15th
Date finished: June 16th

I LOVE this pattern, and I love how it's such a good teaching tool for cabling without a cable needle. I haven't counted up the crosses, but I'm guessing it's up near the 750 mark. The yarn was lovely to work with - a lightly spun single with a two-ply thread for some structure, and very soft. Blocking really made this one shine, though. It became softer in feel, but crisper in appearance. I love it.

OK... time for lunch.

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

Monday, June 18, 2007

A lovely weekend.

Well, my lunch is made and my bag nearly packed, so I've got a few minutes to give you a bit of a stream-of-consciousness.

We had a great weekend at chez Sciencey. Friday night we assembled our new kitchen table and chairs (I'll post a pic when I dump my camera). On Saturday morning, we decided to make the trek to one of the local(ish) supermarkets - only "ish" because it's about a 40 minute walk away.

(Side note - people here love their cars, and even though we'd rather not get one, it's looking like we're going to have to. The only stores within reasonable walking distance are small, have limited selection, and some are expensive. I include my dear veg and fruit market around the corner in this group - I'm getting a little sick of baby lettuce mix and roma tomatoes.)

So we made the journey, complete with hiking backpacks to take our food back. The staples there are so much cheaper that it's worth the looooong walk home with the heavy packs. We were home by 2pm, and relaxed for the rest of the day.

And, yesterday was even better. We slept in a little, I made french toast for breakfast, and right after lunch we took off for downtown. We were hoping to find placemats at the university bookstore/megamart (which I love), but they had none. They did have curtain panels, and we bought one for the kitchen. I also got a padded sleeve for my laptop, though, and I'm thrilled. I've been putting it in its large neoprene case, then into a backpack, and it's unwieldy to take on the bus with my other purse. This should be a good solution.

Before heading out, I also finished my shifting sands scarf and it's pinned out on hubby's (clean) work-out squares... and, you guessed it - picture later ;-)

Ok... 30 minutes until the bus comes... gotta jet.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Feeling weird.

So. I've been debating posting about this for a few days now, and I'm not sure why I finally decided to go for it. It's not making sense to me yet, but maybe putting pen to paper (in the most figurative of senses) will help me figure it out.

For the past two weeks I've been happy.

Now, this may be the most boneheaded statement ever, but gimme a chance to s'plain. Normally I'm a pretty optimistic person, and even during the tough times, I can look for solutions, and Dr. Phil everyone else into oblivion. I rarely stay in a funk for more than 24 hours, and most of the time, it's PMS-induced. So, what's the big deal? What's different now?

More often than not, these past weeks, I catch myself smiling, and thinking, "Gee. I'm happy. I can't think of what would make today better." I can be staring out the window of the bus, or walking down the street; sometimes it hits me when I'm cooking dinner, or knitting and watching TV, or laughing at Hubby's jokes. I haven't felt this way for a long time, and the only word that I've come up with so far is 'content'.

Hubby is pretty sure it has to do with work - it's very low stress at the moment, I like my boss and my boss sure seems to like me. I don't have to work or think or write thesis chapters at night, so I'm getting nearly 7 hours of sleep a night. I do think that's part of it - since I started, I haven't once woken up with that slight panic pounding away in my chest. That pounding had hounded me literally every single day since 2003, and was responsible for two full blown panic attacks. But I don't think that's the entire explanation.

It's very weird; it's not worrying me at the moment, but it's rather disconcerting. I have a couple of theories, but none that 100% explain it.

Maybe I'm just happy.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I did take pictures, really, I did.

Just no time to blog them yesterday. Here's a good one that shows what I'm working with:

There is bench space there. Look closer, it's under all of the crap.

I'm used to working in a lab that's, well, full. This shouldn't be a problem once I go through everything. The bonus here is that I'm the only one using everything; at my old lab, there was another grad student who used to leave his crap everywhere, his gel slabs on the equipment to dry and cement down, and rusty razorblades hidden in the weirdest places. I'm all for clutter, but when I asked him to clean up the stuff that was either a) damaging to the equipment or b) potentially dangerous for the rest of us, he copped an attitude.

(boy, am I glad he's gone).

OK... time to get dressed and head for the bus.

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Work, now with 100% more blogability!


My own laptop is now officially on the network. I use the project laptop most of the time, but there are some programs that it doesn't have, that I have from my PhD work, so it was important to be able to use both with the internet to do database searching.

Plus, I can feel more comfortable blogging on my own machine.

It's interesting, how much I look forward to work now. My boss called in this morning, saying he wouldn't be in until 1pm, and that sort of clinched it for me. Before, that would give me prime goof-off time. Now, I see it as a chance to get lots of extra stuff done before he gets here.

(and no, dear friends, I don't consider blogging for 10 minutes goofing off... it could become goofing, but that's why I've relegated it to this one machine, which is also out of the way on my desk.)

I'll post some pictures tomorrow; I have to bring in my camera anyway to take a picture of the boss's chalkboard before I erase it. It looks like it has the grand unifying theory hidden on it somewhere, and I'd hate to be responsible for its loss.

Happy Monday!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Week one - done!

Looks like I'm going to have to pay attention, lest I end up a hermit again.

This working full time outside the apartment just sucks the time away. But, it looks like I started off on the right foot - my boss is really sweet, and for the first time in a long time I understand exactly what I'm trying to accomplish with a project.

It's such a relief to wake up and not dread going into work :-)

I haven't knit much; my trekking sock is nearly finished, and I'm pretty sure I picked up way too many gusset stitches. I didn't have the heart to rip back, and it meant that the rest of the foot was shorter to compensate, so if they're really too big I'll either give them to a pregnant friend, or save them for a similar occasion.

I keep coming across hints that this Saturday is WWKIP day. Hubby was planning on exploring his new gym, and leaving me at the local Barnes and Noble - perhaps I should bring my sock.

OK... since I'm not awake, but I still have to get dressed, make lunch, and catch the bus, I'm off.

Monday, June 4, 2007

So I guess it's a known issue.

Safari isn't supported. This fact is even displayed on the help page.

I mean, come on. That sucks.

(Maybe I'd be less irked if I'd had more sleep last night.)

But, I discovered something yesterday that makes me happy (and yet again, a touch pathetic) - butter comes in sticks here in the good old USA.

The Canadians may understand this - recipes usually call for sticks of butter, and we get blocks. Big old one pound blocks that are impossible to cut evenly into 1/2 cup squares when cold. My revelation resulted in a happy banana loaf for breakfast :-)

I'm off to Day 2 of work, which happens to be the start of Week 2! It's pouring rain out, though, and I have several business offices to visit on my way; I'll have to buy an umbrella, methinks.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

I'm not sure why Safari isn't cooperating.

It displays posts properly, but the edit window doesn't give me any buttons aside from the image one, and it only displays html.


Here's my crochet. From the bottom to the top, it includes single crochet, slip stitch, half double, double, and a shell stitch. I've already ripped it out, because I don't want the yarn to kink too much, but I can't wait to try again.

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

I'm back, and have my letters.


Pictures to come soon, along with pictures of my crochet swatch. I learned single, half double, double, and shell stitches. I want to learn the circle trick, and maybe do a granny square for practice.

The poor camera battery gave up the ghost before I could download the pics, but it's charging now.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Off to graduation!

I'm nearly packed. All that remains is the stuff I'll need first thing tomorrow, like my toothbrush.

We've got everything else organized, all the papers and passports and contracts and stuff. And, yesterday I was evil, and spent more money. I'm scared to take socks in progress with me; the official websites tell me that knitting needles are permitted, but I don't have non-metal DPNS, and I guess that if the individual officers perceive them as a threat, then whoosh they're confiscated, and I'm left with an unravelling sock.

So, I bought some really nice, reasonably priced worsted yarn, and I'm going to teach myself to crochet. I have a book (which I won't advertise until I determine if it works), and a nice big, blunt bamboo hook.

Here's the yarn:

Ok, so I didn't need three, but if my experiments are successful, I want to make something out of it!

It's a llama/wool blend, and is really rich and shimmery even though you can't tell from the photo. I've packed it already, but I think it's Cascade Pastaza. The green has red and purple fibers, and it's so gorgeous.

I'm off... when we come back, we'll both officially be "Dr."!

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sorry for the delay...

First, I was sick. I spent two days being freaked out because my health coverage doesn't start until June 1st. Then I got better, but Hubby got sick. Fortunately his coverage started when he started working back in March, but it meant we spent the morning in the doctor's office, waiting to be seen.

We're all good, one of us is on some antibiotics, and we're cleared for travel for convocation.

But, on to the knitting!

Mom's Dublin Bay socks are now packed and ready to go, but I snapped a photo first.

(Kudos to everyone who's fiddled around with their timers and know how to take pictures of their own feet, necks, torsos, etc. This one took *ahem* several tries.)

Strike a pose!

Dublin Bay Socks from Mossy Cottage (link to pdf)
Yarn: Sisu, wool and nylon blend, color unknown (most of 2 skeins)
Needles: Size 1 DPNs
Features that were new for me: Lace panel, Eye of Partridge heel

The socks are waaaay to small for me. I have huge feet (blech), so I would've needed a deeper heel flap and many more extra gusset stitches (which I've done on my next pair, but I may have overdone). This yarn wasn't really that pleasant to knit, but once I washed them, it softened a little. More comfy to wear now than before, but I still wouldn't run out for the yarn again, unless there was a color I wanted (Mom loves navy, hence the choice).

*sigh* I have to pack for the trip. I don't like packing, especially when I only take carry-on.

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Signed, sealed, delivered.

I have a job! I have a J-O-B! I'm gainfully employed!

(Before we all go dancing in the streets and gallivanting around, I have to mention that it's a limited term appointment at the moment, but has the potential to be extended. I'll get to that in a bit.)

It's the second of my two interviews, mentioned here and here. I know I haven't blogged about it yet (bad Ellie, very bad) but it was because it seemed to go so well that I didn't want to jinx it. Even before the interview, I got to do a little background research on the prof; Hubby's boss and her husband had worked in the same department with him for over 10 years, and kept on telling me that he was really sweet, and really enthusiastic, and is the world's expert on his particular microbe/experimental system. So, that's a bonus. I've learned that being in the lab of a world expert can be both good and bad, but I thought I'd wait to see how big his lab was, and what his personality was. I had promised myself not to work for another introvert ;-)

So, I got there, and he was really enthusiastic without being hyperactive and annoying. He'd also done his research on me, and had some glowing things to say about my Ph.D supervisor's work. It was really nice, because he figured out on his own the type of unique viewpoint I can provide to a more hands-on microbiology lab. He's emeritus, which essentially means he can continue to be a research prof without having to sit on committees and supervise honours and graduate students.

Which brings me to the second point that was in my favour - *I* am the lab. He has collaborations set up with several labs across North America, but has at present no other people. It's not because he can't get them, but because that's how he chooses to run his research at the moment (a benefit of being emeritus). That was what clinched the decision for me - a world expert, who's enthusiastic and actually *wants* to talk to the one(s) working in his lab, but I will have no chance of getting lost in the shuffle of a 20 member research program.

Third bonus - I can have the job as a postdoc, rather than just a plain old research associate. It was advertised as an RA job, which would've paid more (lots more than Hubby, actually!), but causes problems for me on the academic track. If, as a Ph.D looking to go from Ph.D to postdoc to tenured prof, you have gaps in your CV doing work that's, say, in industry or for the government, it looks a little wonky. It's easier to take time off to have babies and get back on track. I was worried about that, but figured I might be able to explain it away. It turned out that, because I was an international scholar, I had to be appointed as a Postdoctoral Associate (red tape that I don't understand quite yet). It's a little less money (puts me back on par with Hubby) but keeps me on track to apply for research and teaching prof jobs.

The only potential drawback is that it's only for a year. That's not set in stone, though, and it may actually be within my control to get it extended, in a way. Without going into the nitty-gritties of the work, it's a multi-stage project that has several benchmarks to reach. If I do good work in the first year, I can get funding to do the second stage next year, etc. etc.

All in all, I'm really looking forward to it. It's mainly benchwork, which I missed terribly the last 18 months of my Ph.D. I'd reached a point where I was able to have a technician do my last experiments for me, which was good in terms of time management, but horrible because I had no distractions from writing. There's also the possibility of getting a book chapter out of it, in addition to any papers that get written. Plus, I get to organize the lab in whatever way suits me, and I don't have to fight anyone for the equipment!

Only two weeks of vacation left, though, and I intend to make the most of them. I finished mom's socks, and will probably be finished one of my Trekking socks shortly. I may do a little bit of shopping before flying home for graduation, too, but mostly I'm going to sleep. Sleep, and veg.

(I'll post more pictures later; mom's socks are still drying!)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Today will be a good day.

Even with all this rain and wind.

Details to follow...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

The good - I got to spend more money. I had this old, ratty canvas shoulder bag that Hubby has insisted I retire. I loved it dearly, though, because it zippered on the top, and had an extra pocket (that, and it was a free gift from some conference that I don't even remember). I looked everywhere for it, to take a picture, but I'm suspicious that it was conveniently forgotten in the move.

Because I get 10% off with a uni ID (which I have already by virtue of being a spouse), I am already learning to love the bookstore/gift shop. It's really more of a little mini-mall of the classiest kind. And it sure loves my Canadian credit card. I went yesterday, and spent money.

And so, I present - the pinch hitter.

Oh, no! She's been assimilated by the New Englanders!

Yes, that's pink plaid, people.

That was the good, seeing as I needed a new bag, and this one actually fits my laptop, acoutrements, wallet, cellphone, and sock in progress.

The bad - I have no impulse control (which you'd guess from the shopping habit, but it extends to yarn too). I haven't quite finished my mom's socks yet - the second toe remains - but I would up my next ball of sock yarn. It started life like this:

With a good proportion of pink, natch.

And it has metamorphosed (with the help of hubby) to this:

I can see some socks in there, if I look really close.

Sorry for the washed out pic - it can't decide if it wants to be sunny here, and it's screwing everything up. But, the bad also became the ugly. Look closer:


And that was the second one in this skein. The first was a pretty significant slub about 2/3 of the way along, in the orange patch.

It makes me so sad. I LOVE STR. Love Love Love. And I would attempt to return this one except that it was a gift, and there is no receipt, and it came from LK, which is hundreds of miles away. I don't know if I should just knit along, or contact the Blue Moon girls. Any ideas?? Anyone??

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Bad blogger.

It's been a full, full week, and I have a full, full brain.

The employment prospects are looking up, but I don't want to say too much.

I did a whole lot of walking, and a not insignificant amount of shopping. But, we figured out about a third of the way through our expenditures that Hubby gets 10% off all purchases at university affiliated stores with his ID (and 25% at Christmastime!).

I bought a birthday gift for my Goddaughter, and a hat for myself, and the perfect earrings for the bridesmaid's dress I get to wear in September (and, if the whole store was buy one, get one half off, how could I resist getting another three pair?)

No yarn purchases this week, but I'm nearly finished my mother's socks, which I believe entitles me to fill that gap once they're off the needles. OH!!! Hubby and I went for a *$$ at the uni. bookstore, and there were three women, all about my age, sitting and knitting at a nearby table. I was too shy to approach them and ask about the local knitting scene, but I will be bring a sock-in-progress everywhere I go from now on.

More posting later, for now I have to go make friends with the people in the business office related to job prospect #2.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Some of you may think me a touch pathetic...

... but we don't have things like this where I come from. They stopped making them in the late 80's for some reason.

Xtreme close-up!

Can you guess what it is? I haven't figured out how to put things after jumps, so here it is.

Pink crapper paper!!! YAY!

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

An interesting day, in which I crash like a semi on a snow covered highway.

But it's good. I think.

I had my first interview this morning, which in the end turned out to be the first part of a two-parter. It was really positive, and I really felt comfortable talking with him. The lab looks vibrant, and supportive, and there are about a zillion different directions I could take the research. The reason it was "part one of two" was because he's waiting for confirmation on funding from the uni. I know, it sounds like a familiar story, but I really got a good vibe. Plus, he practically begged me to nag him for an answer within two weeks if he gets off track (he has a grant due in three weeks). If the money comes through, then I get to go back and meet the rest of the lab, and give the standard hour-long seminar, etc etc.

The work is within my field, but a bit of a departure in terms of experimental systems. I explained it to Hubby by saying that it would be do-able, but definitely not a cakewalk. If I compare it to the description of the second job that I'm applying for (did I mention I have another interview on Thursday?! It's the 'second job' I mentioned before, and it looks like the title/position is flexible), they're yin and yang - The first one is more up my alley in its theory but a departure in benchwork, while the second one is a different area in its theory, but the benchwork is really similar to what I'm used to.

Boy howdy, it would be nice to have to choose. Stressful, but nice.

So, this morning's meeting was over, and I came home and promptly fell asleep on the couch. I haven't done anything except the dishes all day. It's day 8 here in the new apartment, and there has been something to do every morning, keeping me from sleeping in. On Saturday, Hubby's aunt and uncle came to take us to the local big box general store and grocery store (I have no job, therefore I have no shame). It involved getting up really early, and I'm so glad we went, and I got to take them out to lunch to thank them for taking such good care of Hubby while I was away, but daaaamn I was tired. Then Sunday was church - the local one has service at 10:30AM, but they dress decently there (i.e. not like students) so I had to get up early again.

Meanwhile, I talk to Little Bro, who is on vacation at home with our parents, and he's sleeping for 14 hour stretches to recharge his own batteries. Grrr. But, our weather is about 25ºF warmer than that at home... heh. heh. heh.

I'm trying to appreciate the weather, rather than just sleeping and sleeping and sleeping, because everyone keeps telling me it's just going to get hotter and muggier, and now's the most comfortable time. But I just want to sleep. Even this afternoon, I was going to veg in front of the TV, but one of the channels carrying my favourite talk show doesn't seem to be receiving.

I can't even relax properly anymore ;-) But I'm going to try, dammit.

So, how about some random pretty-pretties - Hubby grabbed these on his way home from work a few days ago. I was missing them, since my Grammie has six trees in her backyard, and I won't be home for the season; here, they're blooming about 5 weeks early, and they smell divine.

These are close to pink, right?

I got this green glass vase from Mom years ago - it looks really pretty in the sun, next to the purply pink.

I had one more pink acquisition on Saturday, but I haven't photographed it yet. When you see it, you'll know why.

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

Monday, May 7, 2007

7 things I've learned in 7 days...

  1. Milk costs half what it does back at home, even after you take into account currency conversion.
  2. Ditto for chicken.
  3. Gas stoves ROCK!
  4. It's nice to have an actual Spring.
  5. It's not nice that the only antihistamine that works is prescription here, but OTC at home.
  6. Unlimited long distance is only useful when the satellite cooperates.
  7. Staying at home all day, with no babies to look after, quickly becomes boring.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Mojo, on order.

I have a meeting/interview on Tuesday morning! Yay!

That's really all; oh, that, and it's sunny, and the maple outside my window has about three times as many leaves as it did yesterday.

And, Hubby? I know you found me, and it's OK ;-) You can pretend you're not reading, though, if you think it's more fun that way.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Spending someone else's money

Well, the weather was lovely again today, so I went to the LYS this afternoon, to spend my gift certificate. Not a huge haul, but I'm still very happy.

First, the last three balls of Ella rae in the store. I had bought some of this the last time we visited here on job interviews. It's so soft and fluffery.

Total stash of this: 5.5 balls. I have no idea what I'm going to use it for, but I love it.

I also got some Panda Wool for socks, but I forgot to take a picture, and a bamboo hook (size H) which will help me fringe the pink and purple scarf, and teach myself how to crochet with the leftovers.

Here're my socks in progress, too, just for fun.

Thuja, from Knitty, modified to work over 60 stitches.

And, my trekking sock:

Note the lovely stitch marker, courtesy of zerØ.

And, finally, the second of my mother's Dublin Bay socks, from Mossy Cottage. I'm hoping to have them done for when I fly back for graduation at the end of the month.

Another tiny stitch marker from zerØ; the photo doesn't do it justice.

ETA: Here's the Panda wool - it's a nice sunny orange; as a matter of fact, even though the picture is a bit washed out, the yarn is the exact color of the bridesmaid's dress I have to wear in September, at my brother's wedding!

ETA #2: It seems that when I load up in one web browser vs another, I get a big grey square. I know nothing about computers, once you push me beyond blogging, surfing, and facebook, so I apologize, and I'll try to fix it. It works fine in Safari, as far as I can tell.

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The happiest house in the city

I couldn't resist. This house is up the street from our building, and it is so cute.

Cute, and pink.

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

No exploring yet.

I didn't end up going out yesterday; by the time Hubby got home, I had started un poquito of unpacking, and the weather was starting to get a little cloudy. He's left me his keys today, though; we're meeting for a lunchtime organ recital at one of the local concert halls, and then I'm going to go back and explore some more.

I realized something yesterday, and it shocked me that it took me 7 years to figure it out:

I like working.

The caveat is that I like working when I like what I'm working on, but I've taken the past 2 days to unwind after the whole 'finishing all requirements for the Ph.D', and I'm already going shack-wacky. Which isn't to say that I relish the thought of getting up at 6:00 every morning again (especially since our mattress needs replacing, and I've got joint pain now), but it would be nice to have plans from day to day.

(I do have a lead on a second job - it's not a post-doc, but it looks like it could be interesting. I have to hear from my other guy first before I make a decision on whether to move on the second one.)

Ok. More coffee, then some museum trotting before the lunchtime concert.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Finally, some pics

Pink pics, as a matter of fact ;-) I've unpacked the important stuff so far - laptop, camera, and cords. We have to buy some more clothing storage, so I'll be living out of a suitcase for a bit, still. Fortunately (yay Continental) I have all of my suitcases, safe and sound, to live out of.

First, I'll show you the yarn Hubby bought me. I'd never heard of this brand, but it's merino, it's really soft, and it's got lots of pink.

They look perfect, but don't be fooled - one had two knotted joins inside. Probably explains the sale price.

Then, because I was Grammie-sitting for the whole week after my defense, it turned into this:

And, it's even longer now - I'm halfway through the third ball!

A close-up of the stitch pattern, as mentioned before. I was always afraid of cabling without a cable needle, but this is a perfect project to learn - only half crosses, and they're all the same on each row.

Back and forth. Back and forth.

And, now, my latest acquisitions. Although you might not be able to see it in the picture, the suitcase is a bit scuzzy now, since I was forced to check it under the plane. The backpack was bought to truck thesis copies back and forth to work, and the little ladybug is my pride and joy.

Have pink, will travel.

So, this is the bug. Because A. decided that she should have a name, she is now a bug named Maria. (Don't ask. A. is very strange.)

Pleased to meet you.

And, when you open up Maria, you get...

And you expect me to carry this in public? I have a Ph.D for heaven's sake!

Actually, I love it. It's soft and velvety, and it's pink and it's a ladybug, so it fits in with all of my different collections.

So, I've got to go and get some lunch. Hubby is coming home to lend me his keys (the new spare set didn't actually work, so we need to replace them) and I'm going to explore for the rest of the afternoon.

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)