Monday, December 5, 2011

oh, right, my giveaway!

Yeesh, I've been so busy with this past weekend's craft show, I almost forgot to blog about my giveaway!

If you go to this website and follow the directions by tomorrow (eek!), Dec 6, you'll be entered to win this christmas stocking that I made!

It's a simple white knit stocking, with lots of texture.  It's a little smaller than most stockings I've seen: about 12" long from cuff to toe, and about 3" wide in the leg, when laid flat.  There's also a little crocheted hanging hook on the cuff.

This giveaway stocking is very similar to the one I have listed in my shop.  The only difference is the style of the cuff.

Happy Holidays, and Good Luck!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Stuff I Have To Do

To do list:

Manage 3.5 simultaneous experiments
Learn and apply new techniques without making expensive mistakes
Keep writing my thesis
Finish my PhD by next summer
Revise a manuscript in a completely unrelated field
Continue science outreach at local elementary schools
Keep up with my church job (Christmas is coming!)
Prepare for a recital in less than a month
Prepare for a craft show also in less than a month
Find a job for next year

No wonder I never see my husband.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Another craft?

I may be in trouble.  See what I've done:
See Jude supervising in the background.
 I've exposed myself to a new craft.  I ordered a basketweaving kit from these people, and I've already woven one, with four more to go in the kit.
Jude takes credit for the basket.
I don't think I have the storage space in my teeny craft room for any more craft supplies.

I actually may not be in too great danger of getting addicted to basket weaving, though.  The way I think of it (and science-nerd-types will get this) is that the activation energy of basket weaving is too high.  You have to soak the reed for 20 minutes before you can even begin, not to mention all the measuring and cutting.  But mostly it's the soaking.  With knitting, I can just pick it up and start making stitches, no soaking required.  Still, I'm happy to know how to weave baskets, and where to get materials.  Because I love baskets.  I might even have a fetish.  And they're so darn expensive.  Way cheaper to make my own. :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Garden Pizza

For the last week, I've had the cold that just won't die.  (Or rather, the cold that psyches you into thinking it died right away, but returns with a vengeance over the weekend.)  But on Sunday night, Evan and I did something fun.  Before the rain came pouring down, we went out to our humble little overgrown, horribly tangled garden and picked our first eggplant.

Half of it we breaded and fried and ate in strips dipped in tomato sauce.

The other half we chopped into little cubes and put on a pizza, along with our first garden green pepper, and a couple of our twenty-bazillion garden little tomatoes.  (Also cheese, onions, and pepperoni from the grocery store.)

Evan and I felt so proud to be cooking and eating food with stuff we had grown ourselves!  We've got more little (and big) tomatoes coming in all the time, and some really legit-looking peppers, and some more flowers on the eggplant plant, so looks like there will be some more garden pizzas in the future.

For now, I think my cold is dying its second death, and it looks like Evan is finally beginning to catch it.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Check it out: a video of the Eastman Percussion Ensemble performing at the Kennedy Center.  The first piece is very cool.  It's Ionisation by Edgard Varèse.  My little brother is just left of center, as you look at the stage.  I'm way proud of him.

Monday, May 2, 2011

why: MANDATORY 10¢ elliptercise

Why is it that I was really interested in attending this presentation on finding and getting a postdoc position until they said it was MANDATORY and ATTENDANCE WILL BE TAKEN?


Why is it that two gas stations kitty-corner from each other have a 10¢/gal price difference?


Why is it that 30 minutes of strenuous exercise on an elliptical at the gym (aka, elliptercise) didn't make me sore the next day, but I'm aching after pulling a few weeds?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Not like the other

Evan - One of these cats is not like the other.


Me - Which one?

Evan - I don't know.  It's kind of hard to play this game with only two cats.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

March Team Challenge: Natural History

I've entered an item in this month's RNEST team challenge (themed Natural History).

I call it the Vines on Moss hat, because I crocheted a vine ornament on a hat knit in moss stitch.  Of course, the whole thing is green.

You should go check out my fellow challengers and vote for your favorite (I hope it's mine!) over at the RNEST blog.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Jude watches the snow

These pictures are from earlier this winter. But I forgot to share them.

Jude was absolutely enthrawled by the falling snow.  So was I, when I looked.

There's the view out our front window.  Brr.  If you look closely you can see cat ears in the lower right.
Zoom in on the lower right.  There's Jude.
Just look at those perky ears.  So attentive!
I love his expression, and the dichotomy of freezing, snowy outside with cozy, warm inside.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cat pictures

It's been a while since I've included pictures of our kitties. Actually, I'm not sure I ever introduced Penny here. Don't think so. Too lazy to go back and check.

Jude likes my spinning basket.
Yesterday was Evan's and my 3 year dating anniversary. Yay. When we adopted Jude two Augusts ago, the vet told us he was about 6 or 7 months old, putting his birthday approximately in late February. So we decided Jude's birthday was our anniversary, which was 2/22. This past September we adopted Penny, who was estimated to be around 2 years old, or maybe a little less, so we thought she could share Jude's birthday and our anniversary.

Here's Penny when we first got her:
Scrawny little thing.  She was just recently a stray, recently spayed, and she went right to the folded up blanket next to my spinning wheel to chill.  She has since bulked up quite a bit.

She hissed at Jude whenever he dared to make eye contact for a couple weeks, but she's slowly crown to tolerate him.  Now they move pretty much in parallel, almost always together.  Not always friendly, but together.  Kinda like siblings.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Beat that, Geico!

The Setup
Evan and I were working through our taxes over the weekend, and nearly had a joint heart attack (which is funny because he's studying cardiology in med school right now).  We were cruising along in TurboTax, looking at our familiar and reasonable $$$ return figures in the upper right corner, but when we entered the info for Evan's scholarship, there was a $$,$$$ discrepancy between the amount paid and the amount spent, which translated into $,$$$ we had to pay for federal and state taxes each!  Eeek!  When Evan went to investigate his school finances, he found that he owed $$,$$$ that he thought was supposed to be paid for by his loan.  (The amount was similar to the amount of the discrepancy, but not exact.)  This kind of pissed me off, because I had just recently used $$,$$$ from my savings to pay off a significant chunk of his student loans, and those funds would have been very useful right now.

The Situation
So it looked like we were going to have to pay $$,$$$ to the school, plus $,$$$ and $,$$$ in taxes.  Ouchers.  We had been planning on insulating our house, which would cost $,$$$, but that would be impossible after all this.

The Resolution
Evan went to talk with the bursar this morning.  They quickly found that the $$,$$$ discrepancy in his scholarship was due to a payment made at the tail end of December that didn't get processed until January.  So we don't owe the school anything, and we can edit that info in the taxes to remedy the error.  As Evan said, "I saved us $$,$$$ in 10 minutes.  Beat that, Geico!"

Also, Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

B. Russell Quote

Here's a quote that snagged me:
Passive acceptance of the teacher's wisdom is easy to most boys and girls. It involves no effort of independent thought, and seems rational because the teacher knows more than his pupils; it is moreover the way to win the favour of the teacher unless he is a very exceptional man. Yet the habit of passive acceptance is a disastrous one in later life. It causes man to seek and to accept a leader, and to accept as a leader whoever is established in that position.
Bertrand Russell
British author, mathematician, & philosopher (1872 - 1970)
It's true. So how do we rework the education system to de-emphacize passive acceptance without sacrificing efficiency? Or how do professors in upper-level education quickly rewire their students' thinking to promote active learning and questioning over passive acceptance, especially in science, where clear and obvious fact have been stressed previously?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wild Citrus Scarf

Yay, I finally got this scarf photographed and listed!

I made it with scraps of yarn left behind after other projects.  Definitely happy with how it turned out!

Here are some more pictures:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Belated Christmas Scarf

Once again this year, I didn't have a Christmas gift for Katherine (the choir director/my boss at church) ready in time.  So I offered to knit something, whatever she would like.

After some thought, she said she would like a scarf.  She only had one scarf in vivid pink, but her two winter hats were blue and teal, so she never matched.  So she would like a scarf to match her hats.

I chose some Simply Soft yarn by Caron from JoAnn Fabrics (again), because I always seem to go yarn shopping at awkward times when my LYS is closed, and I wanted something soft, machine-washable, with high yardage, and in a very particular colorway.

I felt very clever as I designed this scarf.  One of Katherine's hats has a repeating 6-stitch cable pattern, and the other hat (which I knit for her last year) has a mock cable pattern.  So I incorporated both in this scarf.

I had procrastinated on weaving in the damn ends, though, and only on Sunday morning, when I planned to bring along the scarf to give to Katherine, did I remember!  Luckily, I had a couple moments to spare, so zip, zip, in went the ends, out came the camera, I wrapped up the present in tissue paper and yarn, and ran out the door.

Katherine seemed to like it. :)   Happy ending.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Baby Sweater for Amy

Two weeks ago, I learned that there would be a baby shower for a postdoc in the lab. This would be the first baby shower I had ever attended! I had to knit something! Amy wouldn't reveal the baby's sex, though, so I asked if she had a color preference. She said they were decorating the nursery in green, white, and brown.

After researching yarn requirements for baby sweaters on Ravelry, I visited the nearest JoAnn fabrics for some Lion Brand WoolEase yarn. 80% acrylic = soft & washable; 20% wool = warm, for a February baby. I decided to use the architecture from Daisy by Stephanie Pearl McPhee, adding in some gender-neutral color elements.

I've never really dealt with babies much myself, but I've heard other knitters talk about them. So I knew:
• Babies make a huge mess --> sweater must be machine washable.
• Babies squirm --> sweater must be a cardigan, not a pullover, to facilitate dressing and undressing.
• Babies grow wicked quick --> sweater should be a size up, to make sure the baby doesn't outgrow it in a week.

Of course I had delusions of grandeur, planning a complete set with sweater, hat, booties, and mittens. Ha. With only a week to knit, I ended up blocking the sweater the night before the shower with help from our space heater, and sewing on the buttons just before leaving for the party. I suppose I could still complete the set, since the baby isn't due until February...

Friday, January 21, 2011

latest spinning: BFL

Here's my latest spinning:

It's BFL from High Bid Farm, which isn't all that far away from me, that I got at the latest Finger Lakes Fiber Festival. I'm spinning it on a Turkish drop spindle (also shown) that I also got at said Fiber Fest. It's my first Turkish drop spindle, and I love it dearly, because I detest the tedious process of winding yarn off of spindles. I love the immediate ball function on this spindle. My plan is to make a 2-ply yarn, and knit a scarf of some sort. I have 4 oz of this fiber, so that should be enough.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I just watched this video -- one of the Handmade Portraits on Etsy. It wasn't at all what I expected to find, but I found it much more powerful than my expectations. Some people thought it was creepy, but I thought it was fantastic! -- beautiful, imaginative, and captivating.

It makes me think about my own story in a different way.