Monday, August 31, 2009

We survived.

More posts and pictures later; suffice it to say that after ~40 hours of driving there and back, concentrated into 3 or 4 days, I don't want to see a car again in a very long time. Those days on the road were hellish bookends to the most wonderful vacation I've had in many years.

(It wasn't that bad, though. Really. N. was a superb traveller for a toddler, and managed to charm people wherever we stopped.)

I managed to get a couple of repeats into the Aeolian Yucca charts (maybe 4?), and it's lots of fun, but not good car knitting. At least, not when you have no a/c and have to roll the windows down to keep from melting in the 40ÂșC heat. The wind plays havoc with cobweb silk.

I also decided to teach myself thread crochet to make edgings, after getting some crochet cotton and a very tiny steel hook at my mother's LYS. Why? Because that's how I roll.

I hate leaving my family behind, hate hate hate it. But, I love them even more now, if that's even possible. We're so lucky.

I also hate the first day at work. But, thankfully, it's almost over ;-)

Thursday, August 13, 2009


We're heading out tomorrow (hopefully early) to go on vacation... I have 17 hours of driving, split over 2 days, and I'm not bringing a book, or a single additional knitting project aside from my Aeolian.

We'll see how many miles we get before someone wants to kill me ;-)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Des objets finis

N. is sleeping, Hubby is in the lab finishing some stuff up, and Dad is watching extreme cagefighting or some other such pugilistic art, so I got photos taken.


These things are so much fun, and the baby loves rolling them around. I'll be making him a few when we get back from vacation.

(Details to follow, I'm too lazy right now to look them up)


This is the Aeolian, post set-up chart. Luckily for me the dental floss lifeline is washed out in the crappy flash. The pad of post-its is about 4"x6", for scale.

All the stuff I wanted to pack tonight is clothing, and it's all dirty, and I am NOT going down in the basement at this hour by myself, so surprise! No packing for me. Maybe I'll knit....

This post brought to you by micro and molecular biology.

I'm leaving for vacation on Friday, and as a result I haven't the time to start more experiments. Because I'm not piggybacking procedures, I have downtime. Cultures gotta grow, gels gotta run, and that means I have to wait for them.

So, I get to be rambly again.

I totally don't know if I mentioned our chosen mode of transport for the vacay, but it's a car. Dammit. I'm not happy with the flight options from here to get home, and I'd rather have some control over the stopping and starting, so we're driving it over two days. My dad, being retired and also crazy, drove down on Sunday to stay for the week, and we'll all drive back up this weekend.

I was really afraid he'd scare N. (who reacts strongly to strangers), so over the past two or three weeks we would look at pictures of him with both of my parents. It seemed to work, because he only took about 20 minutes to be totally comfortable with his Papa. We've been having a good week so far, and it's kind of nice to have the extra hands... although it's not quite 'extra hands'. Papa does not do diapers, or soothing. He does horseplay (which is fun, and he's quite gentle), and he does mealtimes. It's SO nice to be able to sit with a cup of coffee in the mornings and not fend off flying cheerios. I'm hoping when we come back here after vacation, Papa will stay for a few extra days...

I still haven't started packing, of course, but this morning I did some planning and actually dug out the duffel bags. I need to do laundry before I pack anything, but that'll be tonight or tomorrow afternoon. I figure since I'm not stressed about it that it'll be fine; last time we packed for a trip I was organizing for three weeks leading up to it. I could screw it all up, and end up driving through northern Maine without enough diapers, but I like to live dangerously.

Instead of packing last night, because it was too late and I was tired, I decided to finish the set-up chart on the Aeolian (when it was late and I was tired, 'cause that makes sense). I'll try and remember to take a pic and post it tonight. I did NOT screw it up, and I stayed up that extra few minutes to thread a lifeline. I know Hubs thinks I'm nuts on the best of days, but I think seeing me wrestling with dental floss and pointy sticks might've convinced him I'm certifiable. I haven't decided how often I'll thread them; I know I should probably put one in after each repeat of the Yucca chart at the beginning, but I might thumb my nose at fate and do it every second Yucca.

As fiddly as silk laceweight can be (even though the Addi lace needles are supposed to be a bit grabbier, which they're so not), I do like the rhythm of knitting lace. I think it's something dorky about the YOs and decreases that's very meditative.

I'm going to be good and only take this one project with me. It's totally not getting finished on this trip, or even on the next trip, but I'm going to try and do my best.

(Until Mom and I go shopping for yarn next week, that is.)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The kitty is OK!

It's not feline diabetes! He has hyperthyroidism, which lots of cats live with without any intervention. Being as he's considered "elderly", and in very good health otherwise, the vet was OK with just taking a "wait and see" approach. Because I'm "all" about the "quotes".

The weight loss should stabilize, and as long as he's playing and behaving normally, we're good to go for a while yet. He's 14, and could have a couple of good years left, so we're feeling pretty happy.


(and, I'm leaving for two weeks on Friday. Have I packed anything? Nope. I'm blogging instead. I'll never learn, I guess.)

Monday, August 10, 2009

I must be crazy.

So, I decided to cast on for the Aeolian last night. I figured there was a chance that the crochet cast-on and first few rows might be a little fiddly, and thought it might be better to do when I'm relaxed, have good light, etc etc.

Might be a little fiddly. Jesus.

I could shoot myself. I rarely have to rip out and cast on again, and I had to do it a few times last night. I'm at row 11 of the setup chart now, though, after about 45 minutes of work. I don't have a photo, but it amounts to a tiny piece of knitting that's about 3/4" by 2". I feel like my gauge might be off, although I know it's not meant to be knit tightly. I'm probably going to leave out some repeats just to make sure, and I'll be doing a lifeline ASAP... bought some plain dental floss a half hour ago to take home for that exact purpose.

I also realized I don't have enough of the proper stitch markers, which could prove to be a problem. I have pretty freshwater pearl ones, but they're too damn heavy and tangly. I rounded up a few small plastic ones that fit up to US6 or so, which seem to be working, but once I have a few repeats down, I'll need about a dozen more. If I can get to Walmart or a craft store before we go, I should be OK. Otherwise, I'll just have to do a damn lot of counting.

I still love the yarn, and I did find that I was feeling the rhythm of knitting with the laceweight after getting used to it for a few rows. I'm really not sure how long this beast will take, but I'm hoping not too long.

Don't think it'll be a lunchtime project, though ;-)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Happy dance for yarny productions


I'm knackered today, and don't really have a good reason... slept fine last night, the kiddo was quiet from 9:30pm 'til 7:20am. So I'm slogging through my workday, and the boss isn't in yet, so I can post knitting pictures.

(and write impossibly blabbery sentences)

Boteh-y goodness

I couldn't be arsed to take artistic photos, because it was in the middle of the unpacking/cleaning process, but trust me, they turned out wonderfully.

I packed them in some nice little flat boxes (I got them from the bead website that sold me the beads for my Shipwreck, actually), and tied them up with coordinating ribbon. Some stamps to put the teachers' names on them, and they were ready to go.

Here, let me help you Momma.

Very nice.

Three Botehs for Three Teachers (Ravelry link)
Pattern: Boteh Scarf by Kathy Merrick (Ravelry link)
Size: o/s
Started: May 17, 2009
Finished: July 7, 2009
Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy in Flamingo Pie (orange), Go Go Grassy (green), and Cool Fire (pink)
Hook: US F
Gauge: I have yet to figure out gauge in crochet
Modifications: none aside from yarn sub

These are the perfect portable lunchtime project. The DiC colors work really well with the pattern, too.

I have another of these in Noro Silk Garden Sock, but it's not going as fast; I became engrossed in a novel, and that's my lunchtime distraction these past few days.

Oh. So. Tired. Need. Coffee.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The kitty, he's not doing so hot :-(

So, Mom took the cat in the other day to get checked, and while things were a bit up in the air, I'm thinking they're going to get much more concrete very quickly.

The vet said there were several possibilities, which could be ruled in or out via bloodwork, but the most likely one is probably diabetes. That much weight loss in a cat of his age is concerning, and he was wondering about the whole drinking/litter situation.

The cat drinks out of the overflow cup in Mom and Dad's water cooler sometimes, but more often than not he uses his paw to drink out of the spigot, so there's really no way to figure out his fluid intake. Mom sat down and thought about it, though, and she's cleaning his litterbox much more often, and going through tonnes of litter lately. Sometimes she goes down and the whole box is wet/clumped.

I know diabetes is manageable in normal cats, but this cat won't put up with needles. The exam the other day resulted in both Mom and the vet getting injured, I believe.

Mom's going to do the bloodwork to see if it's not some other, more easily treated condition, and if it does come back as diabetes, we're probably going to try to manage it with medication. The only good thing is that the cat is acting like his normal self - absolutely no pain or fatigue or any other symptoms to indicate that he's not feeling up to par.

I wish it was something else. I hope he's going to be ok.