Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Is it sad that...

... when I went to get coffee today, and saw that they had hazelnut, vanilla, and cinnamon on in the self-serve carafes, that I mixed all three together gleefully in an extra-large cup?


I've started the Debbie Bliss Classic Cardigan (Ravelry link), but no pictures yet. In order to get the right st/inch, I think my row gauge is going to be off, but hopefully by measuring carefully it won't be too far out of proportion. I brought it with me to work today and knit while Hubby was finishing up his lunch. It's amazing - I've been here for months and months, and have never been approached by the other people that work in the department, until today when a very sweet, quiet Chinese lady came up to me to ask me what I was making ;-) Hubby calls it the new universal language of knitting!

Monday, January 28, 2008



(it's all about the acronyms today)

:-) My Blue Moon Rockin Sock Club shipment arrived on Saturday... I now know that it takes about 2 days from the shipping date to get from Oregon to here. WOO-HOO!! Don't worry, I won't post spoilers, and I won't even describe the yarn or pattern, save to say it's yummy, and I feel privileged to be part of this club, finally.

But, of course, I'm not casting on just yet. I'm enjoying seeing the way it's working up for others, and I do think the pattern is quite cute, but I'm on baby sweater duty. I've been gauging for one of two sweaters I have in the pipeline (and getting my mother on the case of extra yarn - it was purchased when we were home for Christmas, and I'm feeling the need for a little extra insurance).

I frogged the gauge swatch already, but am planning to cast on at lunch today. It's my first sweater, my first garment made in pieces, and it's a little scarier than socks, to tell you the truth. I'm still super excited, though. We'll see how it goes. If it starts to stress me out, I'll just pull out my STR skein and gaze at it lovingly.

Friday, January 25, 2008

A non-knitting rant

Some of you who've been around for a while may remember that I started this whole blogging thing during my PhD years, and successfully defended my thesis in April (on Friday the 13th, of all days). Since I've moved down here, and started my new job, I haven't talked much about work, but it's been going well. What I do now is a departure of what I did for my thesis, and it's been a nice break to get away from it, having spent 7 years with a full brain on the topic.

This morning, though, I was thrown back in with a vengeance, and I was reminded why I found the topic so interesting, and why it's important to keep current.

I saw an ad for a seminar with a very vague title, related to my thesis, and thought, "Gee, I should go to that. It could be interesting to see if there are actually people at this university who know about my favourite topic." Boy, was I wrong.

The researcher who was giving the talk started off by saying he was new to learning about the field. He then proceeded to try and explain a very complex field using one or two examples of journal articles from people who are well known to be on the fringe. And, by on the fringe, I don't mean innovative or cutting edge; I mean, these examples are widely accepted as wrong, and the science is poor. He presented everything in a wishy-washy, very philosophical way, and thoroughly confused the audience.

Normally, I would chalk this up to one bad talk. The only problem is that there's a huge bias against this field here, and people think that it's all crap and handwaving. The speaker was asked a simple question, and responded by talking about what he felt were "suggestions" and "new theories", for which he had no data. In fact, these "theories" are established, accepted, and supported by a wealth of data, and just a tiny bit of exploration of the literature would've told him that.

I understand how tough it is to venture into a new field, and the simple fact that he is trying to learn is good. I'm just finding it difficult to see him butcher the theories, confuse many many people from several different departments, and basically reinforce everyone's opinion here that my favourite field is crap. I would've stood up to say something, but he was so fundamentally off the mark that I didn't even know where to begin.

Hubby thinks it's hilarious, because I used to get so worked up, and sick of having to defend my science, my theories, my thesis topic, etc. to other people in our old department. Now, I'm chomping at the bit to defend the honour of my former profs and colleagues. I'm thinking of writing to the speaker, and the head of the department, thanking them for venturing into a very controversial and difficult field, but suggesting that they present a more balanced view next time.

If I wasn't nearly 7 months pregnant, I'd probably ask if I could spend the next 3 months putting together a series of seminars myself, trying to get these people back on track.

*sigh* I'm not sure this increased bloodpressure is good for the baby. Here, go and look at cute elephant butt. It'll make you happy.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Some FO's! Yay, me!

I cannot tell a lie - this didn't happen all at once. But, at least it's two different FO's, which has to count for something ;-)

First - the Booga bag. I used mom's sewing machine to make the lining when I was home for Christmas, and even put in a cellphone pocket. It's tough to photograph, but at least the color of the lining is fairly true.

Second - Elliephante (link to PDF - for info, see Susan B. Anderson's blog). This was the most fun project to knit, and to see come together.


(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Trying to get the mojo back.

I'll try my darndest to take some pics tonight - I got organized this weekend :-)

We went shopping and I picked up a set of plastic drawers to store the yarn. The stash was expanding along the horizontal plane, which was taking up more and more room in our tiny livingroom, and this takes up about 1 1/2 sq. ft. of floor space, but is nice and tall. I managed to fit my whole stash in, not including my mittens in progress, or the little stuffed elephant (well, four little legs, which are all that's completed).

I did knit a little over vacation, and got up to the thumb on my first mitten. I'm disappointed with my progress, but it's all I can do to stay awake long enough to have supper and call my mom before crashing for the evening.

I'll be attempting to get it back today - I have a glucose tolerance test before lunch (eek), involving an hour wait, when I have to stay put. I guess we'll see.

P.S. Sorry for the lack of posting, and for the obvious lack of energy. I like to think I'm filling my reserves for after the baby comes, and I'll just handle it all like a superhero. Which is the funniest thing I've heard in years ;-)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Year's Meme

(An easy way to get blog fodder without actually knitting)

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?
 I moved away from my home province, into a new country.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
 I don't make resolutions, because I never keep them. Every once in a while, I'll give someting up for Lent and actually make it through, though.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
 Two co-workers, and two friends (including the birth of my Goddaughter). ETA: talk about pregger brain on my part - these four babies are all 16 months old, so they must've been born in 2006 *smacks forehead*. So, no, no babies in 2007.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
 Elderly family members :-(
5. What countries did you visit?
6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
 More knitting focus, more cleaning focus ;-)
7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
 Jan 29 - Hubby's PhD defense; Apr 13 - my PhD defense; April 29 - moving down to our new home, and seeing Hubby after months apart.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
 Getting my PhD.
9. What was your biggest failure?

Falling back into old procrastination habits.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
 Morning, noon, and night sickness ;-)
11. What was the best thing you bought?
 my first bamboo knitting needles
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
 Little Bro's successful first year in his new career!
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
 *sigh* M-I-L
14. Where did most of your money go?
 Trips home.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
 Trips home, and the uterine tenant!
16. What song will always remind you of 2007?
 I really didn't listen to much music (at least, I didn't pay attention).
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
 a) happier or sadder? 
b) thinner or fatter? 
c) richer or poorer?
 a) Happier; b) fatter (but for good reason!); c) richer.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
 Paid attention
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
 Worrying, and taking my time at home for granted.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
 With my family, in my childhood home.
21. Did you fall in love in 2007?
 With Hubby, every day, because he takes care of me.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
24. What was the best book you read?
 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
 nothing, really. ETA: I do like Timbaland, but forgot since I don't listen to the radio much anymore.
26. What did you want and get?
 Debbie Bliss pattern books.
27. What did you want and not get?
 more knitting needles.
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
 Pan's Labyrinth, and the Last Mimzy.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
 I passed in the completed, corrected copies of my thesis, and I was 29.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Results on my post-doc project.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
32. What kept you sane?

the support of my husband (and lots of diet pepsi).
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
 Gordon Ramsay
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
 I don't pay attention to politics.
35. Who did you miss?
 My family, and my friends that I left behind after moving.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
 My boss
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007
 Being happy at work is tremendously important for general mental health.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. I seriously have no idea ;-)