Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New yarn with pictures to follow

Well, Hubby is adorable, and sweet, and felt bad for me because N. had a meltdown on Saturday AND Sunday, and consequently Momma had a meltdown... so when the girls from his lab went to the yarn store on Sunday, they came back with a skein of Shoalwater Bay cotton-rayon hand-dyed yarn... they asked for something that we couldn't get on the East coast, and they were told this stuff was dyed across the street from where they were.

It's so pretty, and I think it's the first cotton I have aside from kitchen cotton. I think I'm going to knit it up with the pattern that came with it, a pretty basic feather-and-fan scarf.

I also pinned out the Annis last night, and it's pretty cool. I'm miffed, though; it took ever-so-slightly more than half the skein of smooshy, which means I can't squeak a second one out... photos to come soon, I hope.

Monday, June 28, 2010


N. is just waking up, Hubby just texted me and is 15 minutes away (!) and the weather is sunny.

I also have only the bind-off left on my Annis, I packed some crochet for work today as a change, and the boss emailed me to say we passed the state inspection with flying colors.

Shaping up to be a good week, I hope.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Saturday, June 26, 2010

*Sigh* I need to pull that yarn back out...

N. was a handful tonight, and I'm not entirely sure why. He's a super kid 99% of the time, but tonight he found and pushed every single button, including doing dangerous things that involved falling off the sofa and kicking and all that sort of stuff.

Fortunately he's sleeping, and the dishwasher is running, and I'm waiting to hear from Hubby. I hope tomorrow goes better... then we just have to make it until Monday.

I think I may have a problem.

(sorry if this pops up in your feed readers twice; I think I hit publish before I was done).

So, yes, I think I have a problem. And I'm kind of serious. If not kept in check, I shop. Shop shop shop.

For example, I try to keep myself out of the uni. bookstore/department store because it has lots of fun things; books, bags, kids toys, stationery, etc. I can always find something cute and potentially useful there, so I try to stay away unless Hubs is with me.

Yesterday, I mentioned going to my LYS because they had a 25% off sale, and I picked up these:

The first is Silk Garden Sock, which makes for an impressive Boteh, and it was on sale; the second is some tweed to make my mother a Calorimetry. I also got some notions to send to my mother, but I don't count those in my shopping quota.

Today, N. and I went out for brunch and some walking around the city, because the weather is nice and I'm trying to keep our routine up as much as possible while Hubs is away. I'm minding it more than the baby, I think, and not because of the additional effort in single-parenting, but because of being lonely down here. It was one of those weeks where I really miss having family around. I was trying to kill some time on our walk, and it was hot enough to need a stop in a shop for an a/c break, so I went back to the LYS. And came home with these:

... just because. I'll use them, don't get me wrong. I love Noro color transitions in a scarf, and I've been coveting these two balls of Trekking for some time, having enjoyed making the Boteh from the pastel colorway last year. Do I need them? Nope. Did I buy them anyway? Yup. I told Hubby not to bother trying to find me any sort of souvenir to bring home, because this will count as my "I survived a week by myself" reward.

I'm not going to talk about the fact that I was also feeling pretty down on Wednesday and ordered other craft supplies online that I couldn't get locally, since I've been stalking them for a while and there was a sale.

My brother will stalk yard sales and store sales and isn't allowed in Costco by himself. My mother hates clutter, but has a hard time throwing things out - I had four pairs of flannel PJs that were brand new (gifts) but didn't fit; I was going to give them to the Salvation Army but Mom took them before I had the chance. Dad was cleaning out Grammie's house a bit and found every bathmat she's owned since 1960, along with my grandfather's longjohn - washed, ironed, and folded in the cedar chest - and every piece of tinfoil she's used since moving into the house. With me, it happens when I'm lonely or tired or anxious. I distract myself by finding things that would be neat, then I sit on the thought for a while, and when I'm having a particularly bad day, I cave. It seems to be on both sides of the family, and while we're nowhere near the scale that you see on A&E's Hoarders or Intervention, I'm thinking, "there but for the grace of God..."

On average, every second project I start comes from stash, and I'm more of a single-ball-at-a-time stasher. For some reason I can't conscience taking home a sweater's worth of yarn when I haven't even completed a sweater for myself yet. I think I explained it to my mother by saying, I'm gathering some of every kind of craft/art that I like and can do, that way when my kids/nieces/nephews/neighbors want to learn something, I can teach them and send them off with supplies. I'm very good at justifying things ;-)

So, I'm going to put it out there in the universe, try to think more about what I bring in the house, and work on doing things with what I have. Heaven only knows if I've reached STABLE status already and I'm only in my 30's ;-)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 4

Well, today was a pretty good day all around - N. went to daycare and I turned around and came home. Did the laundry, changed the beds, took out the trash, vacuumed all around, including under the sofa (and incidently, whoever invented "under the sofa" should be tarred and feathered). I had a sandwich from the market around the corner for lunch, did some sewing, visited the LYS and their 25% off sale (!), and went back to get N.


It was really good to get the cleaning done with no one underfoot, and it was still a relatively relaxing day. The apartment isn't horribly muggy, and I'm hoping for a quiet evening.

(We're not going to talk about what I got at Knit... at least until I've had a chance to photograph it)...

*2 hours pass*

So much for a quiet evening... someone didn't want to eat his dinner, but after a bath and a few books, has settled down. Time for Momma to get her dinner.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Not a bad day, all in all.

Today was pretty good, although I'm going to reserve final judgement until we get through the sleeping portion uneventfully ;-) N. was golden this morning, we made it on the bus super early again, and we both had a really good day.

The lab is clean and ready to go for inspection tomorrow, and I am NOT required to be there. Which is nice, because I've already worked an extra 1.5 days this week and I need to drop N. off at daycare tomorrow and come home to clean. I only got a little bit of knitting done today amongst the experiments, and I've realized I likely won't finish Annis this week, but I'm not complaining too much.

Other than that, my LYS is having a 25% off sale, and while I'm theoretically on a yarn moratorium, I want to get something to make Mom a Calorimetry for the winter... so I just might have to check it out.

And, with that, I'm off to gather the trash, run the dishwasher, and get ready for tomorrow. Weekend, here we come!

Day 3

Sleeping N. by 9pm (his average) and not a peep until 7:10AM. The day is looking up....

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I'm blogging obsessively because I have no experiments that need tending, the lab is cleancleanclean, and I only just now realized how much I depend on having Hubby working across the street and logged into IM and around to text at various points during the day :-( We're lucky that we seem to have worked out the whole "sharing a workplace" thing, and even when I'm spending lunchbreak knitting, it's much more fun when he's there.

Only 5 more days.

"Here Daddy, you can use my spoon! No, Daddy, really, USE MY SPOON!"

Stockroom, here I come.

The actual, real, we-mean-business lab inspection is coming up on Friday, and I'm missing some crucial things... like cleaning supplies, for one. We have to show we're stocked up on bleach and ethanol for disinfecting, and I'm running dangerously low. I've just been putting off going to the stockroom because it's always crowded down there and I hate standing in line behind morons who can't understand why the staff won't give them thousands of dollars of chemicals when they're trying to use someone else's stockroom charge card. "But that person is in my lab, why can't you take the card?" Um, because we have no idea if you're telling the truth, we don't know the hundreds of people in this building all by name, you twit.

But, alas, I need chlorox and it sure ain't walking up the stairs by itself.

I did manage to knit a bit at lunch, and I'm really enjoying the process of Annis. Will I wear it? Have no idea. Is it fun to knit? Heck yeah.


The child normally sleeps til at least 7:30... sometimes 8am. I set my alarm for 6am so I could shower and get ready for the day.

He woke up at 5:30, and refused to go back to sleep, even in the 'big bed'. I couldn't even call Hubs to whine because he's on the west coast, with a -3 hour time difference.

Then I went into the kitchen with him only to discover that, when my back was turned, he frigged with the thermostat in the fridge and turned it into Siberia. My iced coffee that I so diligently made last night after he went to bed is now frozen solid, along with the brita and everything else.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lazy lazy lazy

I have no excuses.... well, that's not quite true. I was up until 1AM gluing together conference posters for Hubby and making sure he was all packed and ready to go; medical conditions require special planning on our end. Then this morning it was up early to make sure everyone was showered and fed and ready to be outside for the airport shuttle on the way to JFK.

The nice thing about the whole morning is that N. slept until an appropriate time (we got all the checking and cleaning and final things done before he woke up), and he was relatively well-behaved. We also showed up to daycare almost an hour earlier than usual.

I, however, have managed to piss that hour away because I had 4 hours of sleep and I'm moving at the speed of cold molasses. I also have a nasty swollen hive on my arm from some random allergy and my coffee is giving me heartburn.


Time to charge up the iPod, get the experiments going, and look ahead to some uninterrupted knitting time at lunch. I'm not sure what's at the caf, but since I didn't pack my lunch today (too much to juggle on the bus this morning), I'm hoping it's good. If it's nachos, I just might take the rest of the day off.

Oh, and here's a nupp-y pic... the DiC looks really nice with the nupps, and I'm keen to see it blocked out. I'm going to try and get it done by the weekend so I can block it before next week. Pardon the crappiness of the cellphone pic; the color is slightly washed out.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


A small cluster or bobble of stitches created by increasing multiple times in one stitch, then decreasing all resulting stitches together on the following row.

From the Estonian for:

"that crazy bitch will get you every time".

I need a crochet hook. Or some tequila. Holy shit.

ETA: p7tog is pure unadulterated Evil. HOWEVER, sl2, p5tog, psso is slightly less so. Diet Evil. Evil light. Low-calorie Evil. Evil after a nice relaxing vacation, with two more days left before Evil has to go back to work. And, therefore, tolerable.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


My bagel was 6 hours ago. My diet pepsi was 3.5 hours ago. I might just be delirious... I need food, but have no money. I do know, however, that the hospital caf takes visa, and they're serving smack n cheese, which is second only to my own homemade. Although I would probably regret it.

We're getting a pre-inspection inspection at the lab tomorrow, which means we go nuts cleaning then they tell us what to clean, and we go nuts for the next week cleaning the new stuff. My boss hoards (bacterial culture media from 1982, anyone? How about a first aid kit with Unguentine from 1978?) and there's not much room to actually put away the stuff I need amongst the stuff that should go.

The good thing? I'm free to make myself scarce during the inspection, since I'm not responsible for the final outcome, and don't want to contradict anything that the boss says...

OK... time to clean so I can grab a snack before getting N.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Stupid overgrown cultures...

I've been wrestling with cultures all day, and they're all growing at different rates and making my life extremely difficult... I'm so annoyed that my back hurts (a common stress symptom for me) and I can't even be arsed to go out to my full cup of coffee sitting outside the lab.

(on a somewhat unrelated note - that coffee could have disappeared... there's a thief that likes to take half-full dispo cups of coffee at random times during the day... not my super geeky and very cool beaker mug... that they leave alone, but they'll take a paper cup of thrice-reheated skanky coffee... very weird).

I spent my lunch break knitting on Annis (1.5 rows, baby!!) and helping out Miss L. with her crochet project... she's one of the cafeteria ladies that watched me do lots of different projects, and has been coming to me for help for a few weeks while she teaches herself granny squares ;-) very cute, esp. considering she's only been crocheting for a year, and has already done an afghan for her great-grandson.

So, I'll leave you with a cute kid pic, as I head back to those samples... this one I got from a classmate's dad, taken at the birthday party we went to over the weekend...

Originally uploaded by Dr. Ellen

ETA: I looked at this pic after I'd modified the color, and realized that I may have gone a little far. N. started talking about melange last night, and over the baby monitor at 10pm I heard, "The spice will flow..."

Monday, June 14, 2010

More Monday Miscellany...

I don't feel well, I'm not getting paid today, and I can't do anything until my PCR finishes, which will be tonight at 8pm (I. do. not. think. so.) so I'm going to babble and then go for some ginger ale to settle my stomach... I ate something nasty from the caf (I should know better) and I'm paying for it.

Things I wouldn't have believed, didn't think would exist, or figure would matter in my world 10 years ago:

  1. Dishwasher detergents are not created equal. The fancy packets, while neat, don't work. Finish/Electrasol doesn't work. Cascade liquid does. I ♥ Cascade.
  2. I could eat broccoli soup all week long. If I had to choose between good broccoli soup and average-to-slightly-above ice cream, I'd take the soup.
  3. Getting up an hour ahead of your kid, while difficult, keeps the crazy dampened down.
  4. I can wear one pair of shoes 99% of the time and be relatively content.
  5. Mascara is a luxury.
  6. Being allergic to everything sucks. I miss strawberries.
  7. I bought a bike lock for a plastic red wagon. Seriously.

While waiting for my reagents to defrost, I taught myself this:

Jeny's Stretchy Slipknot Cast On

using this video as my final method (same result, looks different as you do it; youtube linkiness)

I cast on for Annis on Friday (363 st), and mis-calculated my tail length for the longtail cast on, leaving a small sheep's worth of wool dangling... and then I screwed up on the first row, had to rip out, and couldn't face doing longtail again.

This new cast on is fun because:
  • You don't need to estimate a tail length
  • Once you get it, it goes fast
  • The yarn doesn't gain huge amounts of twist (or untwist in my case) like what happens to me when I do longtail
(bullets are always good on a Monday; gets things going on an organized note).

I also finished the BSJ last week, bought two button options, shopped, went to a Gymboree birthday party, shopped some more, had a Big Mac (and I'm good for a WHILE now), stayed up too late, slept in on Sunday (til 8:50AM!!), and am working on my day off. woot.

And, it's time to go... defrostyreagentsnumnumnum ;-)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The knitters have spoken...

And I'm feeling a little torn.

In the past few months, I've done some stashing, but the majority of it has been online shopping... Mom and I went to the new LYS when she was visiting, and had a great afternoon, though, and bought some yarn for a couple of small projects.

I also periodically ran into Silent Bob from the other, older LYS. I love talking with him, and feel guilty every time I do. He's great crack, but I'm still very adamant about spending my money where it's best spent, both for service and product. They started offering the odd class, and it seemed like they were making an effort, but it felt forced to me. The other day we drove by that store, saw a big "15% sale on all yarns" sign, and a smaller sign that said, "We're consolidating with our store in NeighboringTown USA, our last day will be June 12, 2010". So sad.

The new store seems to be doing fantastically well, to the point where they've hired a fourth staff member. I'm thrilled for them, because I love the store. The notions and accessories and gifts are wonderful, the yarn selection is fantastic, and the atmosphere is so warm and welcoming. When I buy there, I always feel like I'm getting good value for my money, and while some of those accessories are luxuries (admittedly), they're fun, and it's great to have the option.

I'm just sorry that the original store is closing... I shopped there on those first trips we took down here, doing interviews and giving job seminars. The store was my little stress-reliever. I'll miss S. Bob, and the store that was my little guilty pleasure when I first moved down here. But, I guess knitters around here are demanding and discerning. And it's a lesson - we have to support our local businesses when we can.

(On a totally unrelated note, I'm sitting here waiting for hubs to come home with our rental car for the weekend, and he's gotten stuck in the lab rescuing experiments... today is going to suck, I can just tell.)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Another sewing project...

Originally uploaded by Dr. Ellen
Drive by flickr blogging... as I get ready to go home...

Two tote bags to give to two little girls who are having a joint 1-year-old birthday party this weekend :-) Fully lined, and with hidden seams... loving the sewing...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

What I did today in mostly photos...

A box bag on my new sewing machine...

And it's lined, and it has a BSJ inside...

And, pancakes from scratch... used for a Nutella sandwich... pancakes + Nutella = happy.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thursday randomness

I ripped out my Aeolian from ages ago, because it was driving me nuts. I then cast on for Print o'the Wave, because I thought not having to keep track of the nutty increases and shift the markers would make it more palatable. Wrong. It's hibernating again.

My fabric arrived from Fabric.com, as scheduled. What a nice service. I'll definitely be using them again.

I set up my sewing machine on the little bedroom desk that hasn't been used as a desk in 6 months. So it's now a sewing table. We'll see how long I take before actually sitting down to work on something.

The BSJ is nearly done; a few more days should do it. Cuuute.

I'm giving a crochet lesson (WTF?) tomorrow... one of the cafeteria ladies always comments on my projects and stops to chat. And it turns out she can't figure out how to start a small circular motif. So, tomorrow we'll go over it :-) She also lent me her little pattern pamphlet, which was super nice of her.

I want to make another shawl, but I think right now my yarn weight limit is fingering. The laceweight is driving me nuts. I think I'll try Annis from the latest Knitty Surprise.... but we'll see.

And, alas, the bacterial cultures need tending... off I go...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What does it mean when...

... the captcha that showed up this morning for my feed reader said "Power Hellhole"?

The mind boggles...

Work has been super busy, and when I get home my laptop access is limited, hence the radio silence. I did cast on for another BSJ (ravelinky) mid-week (in STR Peek-a-boo Peony) and have made good progress. I'll repeat, however, what I said on Rav: I am NOT pregnant, and will eat raw eggs and drink five beers to prove it. I mean it. No, really, where's the Guiness? It makes a good breakfast.

Seriously, though, did you know the most common way to start a rumour is to knit with pink yarn? I keep getting the stink-eye from people I barely know; it's all about the sideways glances these days. The remaining 7lb of N.'s baby weight concentrated on my midsection isn't helping either *grumblegrumble*

My main purpose in knitting this one was to see if by using mediumweight (of which I have much in the way of stashness) and US8s I could get it to a noticeably larger size... the pattern says 5st/in will give a 12-month sweater, but I'm not yet convinced.

The color is yummy, though... I'm a sucker for pink... do... not... need... moar... baybeez.......

Moving on... *ahem*

I'm hoping to go home tonight to my parcel from Fabric.com, assuming UPS delivers it and doesn't require a signature (it's <$50, so I'm optimistic). I have to take my machine for a real test-drive, not just some scrap stitching...

And, since I'm hurting for photos, I grabbed this from flickr... the first pie I ever made, from a week or so ago. It looks like crap because the crust recipe was for an 8" plate and I think this one is 10"... I ran out of crust before I ran out of pan, and couldn't make pretty fluted edges. It's a basic apple pie, from my mom's recipe. Tasted better than it looked.

(It was delicious... almost as delicious as the second pie I ever made, which is sitting at home half-eaten.)