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)

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