Saturday, December 20, 2008

I'm not a failure, or disappeared

Though it's been a month since I last wrote, I do not consider myself to be a total blog-failure. At work we are preparing a manuscript, and at home, I am finishing Christmas knitting. In lieu of discussing them here, I've chosen to spend my time finishing both and jinxing neither.

Christmas gift photos to follow. Hopefully a manuscript as well.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Things I am better at since I started knitting (besides knitting)

About five years ago, I finished my first olive green chenille 5 foot (stretched out eventually to about 7 foot) seed stitch scarf. Needless to say, I've learned some things in the meantime.

In addition to picking up some knitting tricks, I've become way better at doing laundry. In the past, I would never hand launder anything, and rarely buy anything that required hand laundering. While still not a fan, I now have a much better idea of what tags that say "hand wash only" mean it.

For instance, if a sweater is more than half acrylic, it probably will not shrink in the washer on cold. In fact, anything not 100% wool will probably come out fine if you stick it in a mesh zipper bag (to avoid weird sleeve stretching), on cold, and don't put it in the dryer.

A brief foray into fibers as well as felting (fulling, to be more exact) techniques will teach you what treasured sweaters will be unilaterally destroyed. It will also teach you to swear by superwash yarn when giving gifts that you don't want to see subsequently destroyed.

gift + complicated + superwash = not going to be accidentally destroyed

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Science Fail.

I think I have failed at every experiment I've tried this week. And last week.
Most recently, I'm now not even able to get results from a routine PCR.
Can I quit?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Hat

Booyah! Learn something new every day. I'm proud to have finished my first colorwork hat just in time for birthday wishes. I'm not sure how often it will get worn, but I quite like it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Oh the Bounty!

This was knit in one day, one long lazy Saturday. It's made entirely of Caron Wintuk, which is incredibly stiff and sticky yarn. I would probably never use it for anything that would touch skin. But it was perfect for this. The pattern is Kimberly Chapman's (who is also the designer of the DNA model, and thus a hero) and is incredibly straightforward and easy to follow.

I chose to knit the cob inside out, so that my rounds were knit instead of purled. This would have worked fine, except I didn't give the decreases enough thought and they were a bit sloppy once reversed. Of course, no one said anything. ("My that is a nice knit ear of corn, except for those unsightly decreases.")

The nature of the yarn and the sized down needles made this a very rigid piece. More rigid than the turkey leg, when it was knit. This was great, since it held it's shape really nicely- even the leaves had a pliable quality to them.
Bottom line: The Midwest loves corn.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Paper or Plastic?

Just another unoriginal take on the question, "Paper or plastic?"
You can reuse (and thus, reduce) plastic bags by turning them into a "yarn" and knitting the bags into a grocery bag. Here is a pretty clear tutorial, and the result isn't half bad.

For the more advanced tree-hugger, it is possible to spin newspaper into a durable "yarn" as well. I don't spin yet, but think this is a pretty neat idea.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Preliminary Turkey Leg Pattern

Fakesgiving is totally today. What better way to celebrate?

Vegetarian Turkey Leg Pattern

1 skein Vanna's Choice yarn in Honey
Scrap ivory, undyed or white yarn for bone
Size 7 dpn
Tapestry needle
Stuffing, (get it?) poly fiber fill


CO 13 sts, join in the round, being careful not to twist. (I prefer to slip last cast on stitch to first needle and k first two sts tog to make round join tighter, resulting in 12 sts, if not, just CO 12 total sts to begin)
K5 rounds (4 sts per needle)
M1 st at the beginning of each needle, 15 sts (5 sts per needle)
K5 rounds
M1 st at the beginning of each needle, 18 sts (6 sts per needle)
K6 rounds
M1 st at the beginning of each needle, 21 sts (7 sts per needle)
K5 rounds
M1 st at the beginning of each needle, 24 sts (8 sts per needle)
K4 rounds
M1 st at the beginning of each needle, 27 sts (9 sts per needle)
K2 rounds
M1 st at the beginning of each needle, 30 sts (10 sts per needle)
K3 rounds
M1 st at the beginning of each needle, 33 sts (11 sts per needle)
K1 rounds
M1 st at the beginning of each needle, 36 sts (12 sts per needle)
K1 round
K2tog at the beginning of each needle, 33 sts (11 sts per needle)
K2 round
K2tog at the beginning of each needle, 30 sts (10 sts per needle)
K2 rounds
K2tog at the beginning of each needle, 27 sts (9 sts per needle)
K1 round
K2tog at the beginning of each needle, 24 sts (8 sts per needle)
K1 round
K2tog at the beginning of each needle, 21 sts (7 sts per needle)
K2tog at the beginning of each needle, 18 sts (6 per needle)
K2tog around, 9 sts
Cut yarn and pull through remaining 9 sts
No need to weave in, just tuck in enough that it won't come out when stuffed

CO 12 sts, join in the round, being careful not to twist. (I prefer to slip last cast on stitch to first needle and k first two sts tog to make round join tighter, resulting in 11 sts, if not, just CO 11 total sts to begin)
K in the round for about 2-2.5 inches, (not critical, this will be tucked into the leg piece)
K6, CO6, join to make one nubby (six sts will remain on another needle to make other nubby)
K4 rounds
*[K2tog, K2] *three times (9 sts)
K1 round
*[K2tog, K1] *three times (6 sts)
Break yarn, pull through remaining 6 sts; knot or weave in

Join new yarn and K remaining 6 sts, pick up 6 sts to close the gap, 12 sts
K4 rounds
*[K2tog, K2] *three times (9 sts)
K1 round
*[K2tog, K1] *three times (6 sts)
Break yarn, pull through remaining 6 sts; knot or weave in

Weave or hide all ends.
Stuff bone firmly.
Stuff turkey leg.
Push bone into turkey leg, and stitch into place.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Science slump

Unfortunately, new fall classes and new projects at work are making me all stressed and annoyed and thusly, needing a slouchy hat. Famous and cool people are wearing them, and that's good enough for me.

However, I'm knitting this beret on the sly. Periodically, I find myself so bogged down in UFOs, that I take on some small project with the zeal to finish it in three days or less. This was true of the legwarmers, true of the slippers, and now nearly true (Friday at the latest) for my beret.

Mine will be of my favorite Lion Brand Wool-Ease ($3.00/skein) in the "mushroom" colorway. It looks surprisingly like the color of mushrooms. And now that I think of it, it will probably look like a mushroom on my head, what with the floppiness. Is that good or bad?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Got Involved

I am totally smitten with the idea of sending blankies to babies in the NICU. The babies in the neonatal intensive care unit are given small blankets to lay on in the incubator, and the family takes it with them when the baby goes home. My first one is done, and the pattern is so simple (see Sept. 21 post) that it makes for perfect tv or movie knitting. I tried to hide it, but the bottom edge was knit on different needles and looks a bit wonky. Still... made with love.

I must admit that I was inspired by the blanket project as a former blanket-carrying child. Now, as a knitter myself, I can appreciate the time and love that go into a blanket like the one below- my childhood blanket made by dear grandma.

This is the original. The beloved. It's nearly 20 years old, and has never needed mending (makes you think twice about acrylic yarns, no?) Grandmas definitely make the best blankets. Consider me a shameless grandma in training.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Get Involved!

So I've been looking for a good charity knitting project, and I found one that I quite like. The Yarn Shop in Columbus collects small blankies for the neonatal intensive care unit at the med center. I think it's a great project.

If you're curious:
Obtain 3oz of baby or sport weight 100% acrylic yarn and some size 6 needles.

CO 75 sts
Rows 1-7: K across
Row A: k6, p to last 6 sts, k6
Row B: k across
*Repeat rows A and B until piece measures 14 inches
k across 7 more rows
BO all sts

I think when the weather cools some, I may switch to hats and scarves, but for now I'm all about the super soft baby yarn and baby blankets.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Ok, so this project was a series of experiments (I'm a scientist, remember). First, the yarn was dyed with blue and green Kool-Aid. After that, I knit it up as a roll brim hat. Nothing fancy, just a simple chemo cap. Then I wanted to try over-dyeing the already knit piece. So I did that with more blue Kool-Aid. Finally, I wanted to give an honest go at felting (and I have to admit, it was kind of fun.) After less than twenty minutes in the washer, it was on to the pyrex for drying and shaping. I think with subtler colors, this could have been even cooler. But it seems to work quite well as an odds and ends bowl.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sick day = sock day!

Tomorrow I am taking a sick day. (Note to astute readers: I don't really get sick days, but my boss said it was okay to stay home, so I consider that to be roughly the same thing). I have appointments that will take up the morning and will be home from lunchtime on. I have taken this blissful opportunity to learn how to knit socks - painfully overdue!

I have chosen to learn toe-up (as opposed to cuff-down), on double pointed needles. I will save tackling (and explaining) two circulars for now. Pattern du jour from Knitty. I'm pretty sure I can handle this, as my oeuvre of techniques covers more than the basics. Pretty soon, I will be able to pay more and spend more time to acquire a pair of socks! Hooray!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Blog slump.

Okay, so it seems I've fallen victim to the blog slump. This has occurred to many before my time, and only the strong can pull themselves out. I intend to be one of those strong ones.

What I've been up to:
This will one day be a macbook sweater. The knitted piece, as you can see, is about half done. The engineering of the sewed pieces will probably take a bit longer. It doesn't quite work in my head yet, but I still have time to figure it out.

Ok, in love with my idiot-knitter. It basically makes an i-cord that's wider than the normal 4 stitches. As luck would have it, six stitches with a bulky yarn is precisely the size of a narrow bike lock. Easy fun gift for all the bike punks with an appreciation for ironic-coolness.

Tee-shirt is nearly done. Needs one more seam and some blocking and then should be good to go, I hope.

Of course, I'm still trying to design the perfect nylon grocery bag and a felted bowl thingy... update to follow.

Science is keeping me busy, but not too busy to knit. NEVER too busy to knit.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Science takes game, set, and match... this time

No fun. No knitting. Heart breaking. Just work. All the time.

Consequently, tomorrow we are taking off 1/2 a day to go to the zoo. So yay for that, at least.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Last week, rocked the microwave.
The green and yellow is tie-dyed with hair ties. Started with green and added the yellow. I think it could look really cool knit up. The pink and orange was dip-dyed using skewers; I like that the two colors are subtle so it won't be super dramatic. I love the lavender; it was mostly blue with one fruit punch. The brown was pretty much one of everything mixed together, and it looks like it. Ew.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Fashion, Sarwish-Style.

Sarwish alerted me to these feather headbands as they appeared on Kenley of Project Runway. I was up for the crafty challenge of recreating a $48 headband. A little elbow grease, a little hot glue and I was sure we could make something nice. When I arrived at the fabric store, I realized you could purchase this for $2.19:
Um, I win, right?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


So, deadlines are fast approaching. In order of importance:
1. Credit card payment, deadline: tomorrow.
2. Abstract for CMIB retreat, deadline: Monday.
3. Handmade Arcade entry, deadline: 17th
4. Knitty calendar contest, deadline: um, soonish.

To elaborate on issue number 4, the knitty calendar submission deadline is soon and I forgot to get help from people who know how to take pictures... I was left to run around my yard yesterday with an unfinished, unblocked scarf and a camera. Below are the results.

Not as miserable as I expected, but still not a likely top twelve finisher.

Of course, I'd kick myself for not entering, given the prizes.

Oh, and I'm learning how to crochet tonight.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Celebrity Alert!!!

Ok, so I'm still at work, despite it being 9:00 on a Thursday (of course, we all know there is no good t.v. so it doesn't much affect me). But more importantly, I confirmed that Simon and Garfunkel are in fact, MY FATHER AND BOYFRIEND. I'll be damned.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Well obviously, shame on me for neglecting to chronicle my knitting and scientific exploits in graphic and often boring detail.

In knitting: I am trying to design a nice, sturdy grocery bag of weird 100% nylon. The hopes are that it will stretch less than the cotton versions while remaining lightweight. Two versions have already been rejected so far.

Other projects are finally coming together; as they are finished, proud pictures will follow.

Dyeing is super fun. Can't wait to do more.

Lastly, received another compliment on the lovingly named "idiot slippers" that I made in a wave of desperately wanting a one-night project. I'm annoyed that people like these so much, almost no skill went into making them. I'd much rather hear about how nice my lacework is.

In science: working long and hard. Knitting, reading, eating, sleeping and life take an unimpressive backseat to science lately. First thoughts of whether I can make a living doing anything but science have surfaced. Could definitely use a "good results day" pick-me-up.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thursday's mantra

I may not knit until I clean. I may not knit until I clean. I hate statistics (what?) I may not knit until I clean. I may not knit until I clean.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


24 yo SWF ISO expert in IgA, especially in analysis of my western blot. Serious responses only.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Chronic Project Starter's Anonymous, here I come

Okay, here's the run down... The plan was to finish a couple of projects from knitty, to possibly enter them in the contest (hey, why not.) Instead, I've started about a zillion new ones, including:

Okay, I saw this pattern and literally couldn't resist. The hem on it is so cute. It's going to be a little ringer sweater shirt thingy. Way cuter to wear than describe, apparently.

This is a knitty pattern, so it doesn't count. The pattern is supposedly inspired by Tiffany lamps, so I thought it might look cool to take it's photo near a lamp, or pinned to an easel or something. They're really fun to work on when I have the patience.

This is my latest bedtime project. It's kind of lost in the picture, but it's a corkscrew scarf. I think I might give it to the secretary at work for Christmas. It's really good for picking up and doing just a couple of rows at a time.

I saw this at the store on sale for $2.15, and thought, hello, grocery bags. Right now mine are a hodge podge, and I'd like to have a "set." So if you get a grocery bag that looks suspiciously used, that's why. Sorry. Save the planet with my castoffs...

And last but not least, my dyeing experiment! Cannot wait. Going to be a "stats is done" treat next week.

Maybe I could finish something if I didn't spend so much time going to work and class...?

Friday, July 11, 2008

The cardigan is almost realized.

I am in the middle of stitching my first cardigan and it is dull and tedious… I'm starting to really regret not buying this yarn in two colors to do the fun stripes (though in fairness, the yarn was about to go to the buy-it-to-have-it stash land before I spared it from a life of boredom in a bin in the closet).

I was always daunted by the task of creating an out and out sweater until I realized I’ve completed projects that are both much larger and more complicated.
So glad I took the plunge.
Now on to socks and fair isle, the final frontiers.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

You're so ogly...

FYI, this is my favorite enzyme, the o-glycosidase. It hydrolyzes Gal-ß(1-3)GalNAc-alpha disaccharides attached to the serine or threonine residues of glycoproteins or glycopeptides (obviously).

Monday, July 7, 2008

Christmas thoughts...

To start, I'm not obsessed, I do not like "It's a Wonderful Life," and I do not have a year round Christmas countdown. But when you are a) broke b) a knitter, logic would suppose that most of your Christmas gifts will be hand made. So as mentioned, I am planning already.
Today I was thinking about my boss and secretary in particular. I started by thinking a simple scarf with a yummy yarn would have to be appreciated by everyone. But that's coming from a person who appreciates a homemade gift. I would hate hate hate for her to feel obligated to wear it to work because of me and then feel ridiculous. So now I'm considering gifts for the home; baskets, grocery bag holder, wine cozy and the like.

I guess I'm saying it's easier to give a bad gift to someone you don't have to see much. Keep that in mind when you get your fun-fur scarf.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Genetics, my first love.

Little tidbit in the Times about a genetic counselor (a job I once planned on) and what he does after hours. He teaches judges about genetics to better inform them about forensic evidence (my second love).
I would love to get paid to do this. He even runs a lab for the judges wherein they can isolate and visualize their own DNA. Negative points, though, for the double helix tie. Too cliche.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Yummy Colors

I just received advice and instructions for dyeing virgin yarn with Kool Aid in the microwave. If you don't see any posts for awhile, it's because I am DYEING YARN WITH KOOL-AID IN THE MICROWAVE.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Science is Pretty!

How awesome is this? This biophysicist makes jewelry out of chemical structures for common neurotransmitters and the amino acids. Perfect gift for the candidate defending a thesis in your life, and so pretty.

Maybe she'll expand the line to include ribbon structures of favorite enzymes...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Get Your Fish Fry On!!

That's right, it's Friday and that means I have full license to daydream for most of the afternoon.

Knitty is running a calendar contest, and I am obsessed with entering. You need a creative (they really stress creative) display of a Knitty-patterened project. And if you win, you get a) bragging rights, b) killer swag. I looked at some past winners and was mildly disappointed. Socks in the foreground with a scenic background is not creative. Wearing a sweater in the woods while you knit is not creative. There's a pattern for a lampshade and I want to take a picture of me with it on my head. *That* is creativity, bitches. Of course, I first need to knit it.

I mean, I make pretty things, right? That's what my friends tell me, at least. So the rest of the day will be daydreaming about how I can stage my stuff to, well, basically look better than everybody else's.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

When science calls, I hate to listen

I've mostly gotten back into the swing of things here in the lab, though I desperately miss sleeping in each day. I think it will feel good to have some data and feel productive again. I've spent a lot of time reading this gem of a book:

And also this:
Woot for working. Double woot for liking my job. But let's not lose sight of what is important- tomorrow is Friday and next week has a holiday.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What I do when I'm not sciencing

I just uploaded a bunch of pictures of projects, both that I'm working on and that are finished. In lieu of thinking, I will just share some pictures.

My first sweater (front).
Rebecca's birthday present.

A summery scarf.

Me and the Fig.

Happy Tuesday.