Thursday, August 27, 2009

Starting and Finnish-ing

To plan for some upcoming travel (coupled with Knitter's Mercantile summer sale) I decided I needed a hipster-jet-set-bandana-scarf-shawl-thingy. I wanted lace, but not frilly. I settled on a pretty simple, geometric pattern called Fifi.

The only catch was that the pattern was written in Finnish. Because the pattern was charted, I really only needed to know what each symbol represented, plus any unique finishing details. Thank goodness for Ravelry, I found someone who'd knit this pattern and seemed to know English. I was able to email her and sort things out. She is my Terhi-godmother.
Nonetheless, I am the proud owner of two skeins of Twisted Sisters Zazu merino in monochromatic variegated gold. I looooooove it. It is precisely the color of marigolds. Or more appropriately mums, I suppose, since it's fall.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Three cheers for genetecists

This month, the NIH swore in Dr. Francis Collins as it's 16th director. Just giving a shout-out to the mind behind positional cloning, and who identified genes responsible for cystic fibrosis and Huntington disease, amongst others.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dishrag rampage.

Yesterday I was trying to figure out how to knit a nice squarish-square. It seemed unlikely that knitting and measuring in garter stitch would yield a perfect square, even with my best intentions. It then occured to me that the basic "granny" dishcloth, since knit on the diagonal, would necessarily yield a perfect square. So on I cast!!
The idea: knit a dishcloth-sized square of 100% wool and then felt to get a coaster. To try and get even fancier, I'm going to attempt to weave acrylic or cotton yarn through the yarn overs. I'm hoping that the wool will felt around the non-feltable fibers and give me a coaster with teeny tiny holes around it. I have NO IDEA whether or not this will work or whether I will get a mottled yarny tangle mess.

Anyway, if my test coaster (in primary yellow and red) works, I think it would be cool to knit and felt a whole set with undyed yarn and then dye the set together with some unifying treatment or color. I've never been a huge fan of hand-dyed yarn colors pooling (this is when multicolored yarn produces 'pools' of color in the finished knit fabric) so why not dye them at the end and go for a dip-dyed effect?

In the meantime, while I'm waiting for the patience to do the felting (I feel like my real laundry should take precedence, right?) I've gone on a dishrag rampage. They're addictive!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Weekend Cardigan and FALL!

Today was the first day with bona fide fall weather in my neck of the woods. This worked out quite nicely, because I happened to start AND FINISH a cropped cardigan this weekend. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

On Friday, in a rare fit of organization, I began stacking and stuffing skeins in a hope to make the basement shelves look like a pretty yarn store display. It sort of worked, but now I'm supremely worried about dust. Anyway, I also happened to flip through Fitted Knits (by Stefanie Japel)while eating a fairly awesome dinner I made (but that's for another time). As I mentally flagged patterns, I happened to notice that the "Bold and Bulky Mini Cardigan" called for three skeins of yarn that I had just stuffed into a shelving unit. Well, clearly the only remedy was to cast on immediately.

So I did- and I was lucky enough to find myself two days later, on the first truly fallish day mind you, with a masterfully handknit cardigan! I felt it only appropriate then to model it unbuttoned and bolero-style and walk to the delightful North Market where I bought my first locally-grown apples.

It's fall, baby.

(Note: proper photos to follow. I just wanted to share! Can you blame me?)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Taking pictures of yarn in my yard

or: what I would do for free yarn.

Astute knitters will recall that Knitty's Calendar Contest competition is again upon us. The deadline was Friday the 14th and this year I managed to enter (unlike last year.) Like last year, though, I forgot until the last second and had chosen 3 pictures I'd used elsewhere. The fella disliked my entries and offered to help. In the end, only one of his made the cut. Can you guess which one was his?

Friday, August 14, 2009

In anticipation for a stressed out pre-candidacy fall season, I've made some mid-year resolutions:

1. Learn to knit and finish socks, in earnest.
To help achieve this - Three classes in September at Wonderknit in Clintonville.

2. To exercise twice a week, so as not to feel fat/implode from stress.
To help achieve this - Gym class membership with once-gym buddy Carie.

3. To organize my clothes and yarn.
To help achieve this - I'm really on my own here...

4. To study a little bit every day until candidacy.
To help achieve this - At the beginning of each week, I'll print and organize 7-10 papers and carry them with me everywhere. I'm a firm believer that the physical weight and burden from carrying unfinished work around motivates me.

Hopefully in a month's time, I can update with my stellar progress.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bicycles, too.

As you may or may not know (or care), I'm in the market for a new bicycle. I want to be able to ride roads, gravel trails and occasionally tour (at least have the option to tour/ride very far without dying... nevermind the Ohiopyle incident).
I had the good fortune to ride the Jamis Satellite Femme this weekend, and I can honestly say it is so much better in person than whatever you're thinking now. It rides beautifully and looks all shiny and wow (and was on sale!). I think I felt the way grown men feel about new cars. What a classy ride.
I also test rode an '08 Surly Cross-Check. Not nearly as dainty as the Jamis, but also a fun ride. Very functional- akin to a Subaru in my mind. Solid and handsome. A really nice bike with unfortunate color options and an equally unfortunate and sloppy brand typeface. The look of the bike suggests the rider doesn't always use a napkin when eating.
Lastly, I had a look at the Trek 7.3 FX WSD. Designed for women, decorated for small girls. I didn't even ride it, I was so turned off by the pixelated flower decals. Gag. Major disappointment. However the District (below) is rocking, but totally not right for me.
I had hoped to check out some other options, especially Bianchi (since I'm told Italian cyclists are a bit more petite) and Fuji, but as it turns out no one really stocks cross bikes for small people.

Bottom line, still no bike.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fall symposia season

With summer in full swing (depending upon whom you ask), it's hard for me to be seriously concerned about fall. I'm not quite ready to knit scarves and hats (save a lacy beret I feel like I need) and I'm definitely not ready for football or classes. Whether I like it or not, however, deadlines for abstract submissions are rapidly approaching.
Expect to see me at the following:
Midwest Carbohydrate and Glycoscience Symposium at University of Cincinnati October 2-3

Science and sugars and bugs, oh my.
*Photo taken during the winter. On the other side of the world.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


This is my beautiful data from Monday. I'm very proud of it. If you're lucky, I'll tell you what it means.