Thursday, September 28, 2006

Anya is Submitted

Well, today I sent out all of Anya's information, so hopefully she'll be getting published (or at least fondly regarded). If she doesn't make it with Yarn Monkey, I'll likely try her with Knitty and MagKnits, so I don't want to post any pictures just yet. I got some nice shots of SulRoss modeling for me, the best one taken by Hastur as Sweetie hid behind the statue. Good times.

So, the SBT only has the edgings left to do. I discovered, when I went to pick up for the arm bands, that by casting on eight tiny stitches when I divided for the front and back, I could have knit the bands together with the body and had a completely seamless sweater. Ah well. Such is life. I'm adapting for horizontal bands, since it's much easier for me to knit more stitches on less rows than it is to knit four stitches on a bunch of rows, decreasing every other to join it (Plus, it'll look better).

Hopefully I'll hear about Anya within the next week or two, and then I'll be able to post pictures!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Sock Wars

Well. Sock Wars started early due to weather complications over at Yarnmonkey's end of things - I found this out Saturday evening, when I got an email from my victim with a few corrections to her info. Now in a bit of a rush, with the only yarn store within 90 miles not open on Sundays, I went stashdiving and found a nice angora/wool yarn to match with some more of that recycled angora/nylon that I'm making Emma from (seriously, I've got mounds off this stuff, I haven't even used all the yarn from the crazy-neck). I know these yarns do good by each other, since that's what LittlerBrother's christmas hat was made from last year, and aside from the size (seriously, 12 year olds should NOT have the same size head as me!) he had no complaints.

So I cast on, and through a fruitful day I manage to get all the way through the cuff and finish the heel flap of the first sock. Rock on, I thought, I might have a chance at this thing after all!

Monday was In Class All Day day, and since I've got a test and a final tomorrow, I did the probably smarter but less viscerally satisfying thing of studying instead of knitting all evening. I know. Yay for me. And guess what? That night, as I check my email before bed, what do I see? An email from my assassin, asking for my address. She's already done!

So tonight I'm shipping out my Sock of Doom, and Sock Wars will have officially come and gone for me. It's a humbling experience, to be so quickly out-knit, but definitely a fun one :)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Fucking OW.

So, the tendonitis is back. And by "back", I mean "it was never really gone but now it's bad again only it's in both hands", which is handy since I've got two braces now. I'd like to finish the Emma Frost scarf in time enough to submit it to Yarnmonkey, but I guess we'll see. I've got 57% of it finished at the moment, and exactly 8 days to do the other 63% while studying for two tests and working overtime, so we'll see. I'm hoping to get a nice weekend in October off from the rat lab, so that'll be my first actual free weekend in a good while. I may have to take a rest at actual work, since using a mouse for 9 hours a day is certainly not helping. Ah well. Tonight, I sleep in braces. Think I'll get on that right about now.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Joining in on Hastur's Insanity

Whee! I've decided to semi-commit to Hastur's challenge to reduce my pattern-stash. Of course, I'm only going to be able to work from my yarn stash to do so, and I fully intend on rewarding myself with something from my Lust List for every ten objects I complete. Hell, I'll even order it kitted up! Ten FOs are worth it. So, here's the rules for me:

I, Persian Pen Name, do solemnly swear that I will not purchase any pattern or patterns until such time as I have finished ten objects (sadly not including the Anya scarf, because I finished it just to early) using yarn from my stash. Yarn given me to make shop models for my LYS count. Any pair of socks counts as two items, and every three square feet of in any FO counts as another item, so if I should finish a crazy 6ft x 6ft shawl (36 sq ft), that would count as 16 items and another mark against my sanity. At the end of this time, I am allowed to sing and dance in a silly manner, which may or may not include the shaking of my 'groove thang' and inducing the shaking of the 'groove thangs' of others. At this time, I also should purchase one pattern from my Lust List and the appropriate yarn to make it, or two patterns if I already have the yarn for both. If I only have yarn for one, I can only purchase one pattern. Cajoling, begging, and offering sex acts for yarn are permitted, though not encouraged. The selling of firstborn children in disallowed, because I don't know anyone who'd buy 'em. Trading for yarn and patterns is OK, obtaining free patterns is OK, convincing my library to buy books so I can get the patterns is OK if I can get away with it, and any money gotten for my upcoming birthday can (and should!) be used for yarn and/or entertainment purposes, so long as I already have rent. Getting a second job to fund yarn purchase is not allowed. Getting a second job to fund the grocieries is OK. Trading FOs for other people's handiwork is OK. Snakes on a Plane rocks it hard. I don't have to do chores the day before a test :)

Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Talk Like A Pirate Day

Happy TLAP Day! In honor of the day, I... well, I went to work. But I totally plundered a cookie.

Update: Oh man, I can totally post the pirate-y peacock Pooka I drew last year. Why didn't I think of that earlier?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Things to Do:

-Change layout to 3-column minima
- Design color scheme and convince Nitty to enact
- Make a "lust list" of purchasable patterns
- Pick up ILL books

Friday, September 15, 2006


Midterms went well wednesday. Swiftly and well. Animal handling training was... tolerable. I ended up not being able to do the shots, bleeding, and euthanasia, so all I'm qualified for now is general rat-wrangling, and I think I'm happier for it. I do somewhat feel like I've failed in something at which I could have succeeded - I know I can give IP injections. I just don't know if I want to, or if that matters. Regardless, there'll be no more injecting for me, but I can still run experiments and that's what matters.

In Knitland (Knitopolis? Knitsylvania?), I've started up work again on the Stupid Bobble Top. I've split for the neck and am trying to figure out how to do the tops of the shoulders in the round. I'm thinking now it might just be impossible, and I'll have to break down and graft.

The Emma scarf goes well. I'm not sure how far along it is, because I'm not sure how long I'm going to want it. It's knit from recycled sweater yarn (50/50 angora/nylon), and this ball I'm working from was the entire front of the sweater, so if I want some crazy Dr. Who lace, I'm stocked for it.

The lure of new projets is hard to resist right now. I've compromised by carrying new patterns and yarn with me, but not actually casting on. It's a shaky truce at best. The lovely Handmaiden mohair in Midnight is destined for the Wings of the Moth shawl, the hand-dyed green laceweight from chewyspaghetti is begging to be the Forest Path stole, the yellow laceweight from is (oddly enough) asking to be both Icarus and Goddess Knits' River shawl... many a project is calling my name.

I think, though, that once I'm finished with Emma and The SBT, I'll take a hint from Emma and wait. Finish old projects, like Frost Flowers. Let the yarn tell me what it wants to be. Hell, I'd had that sweater for over a year before Emma was conceived. I'm a little concerned that I won't have enough yardage for Wings of the Moth (800, and I need 900-1000), but if I go up a needle size or two that shouldn't matter too much, right?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Cupcakes and Credit Memos, Midterms and Euthanasia

Well, what a day it's turning out to be. Yesterday's animal handling training was cut short (by way of inter-office baby shower), so we weren't able to complete it - we handled and restrained the never-before-handled rats, got them used to people, and today we get to do injections, blood collection, and euthanasia. Wow. I'm not sure if I can do it, but I guess we'll find out.

In other news, midterm today. Right after the training. Good times!

Thank god I made all these cupcakes for people leaving and other folk having birthdays. Chocolate can replace happiness, right? Right?

more later.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Holy Fucking Shit!

So, yerba mate. Have you ever heard of it? Have you ever tried it? It's damn tasty. See, it's this tree from south america, and you brew it much liketea, but without taking the little twigs and whatnot out. You drink it through a straw with a filter on the end (how awesome is that? I can use it for all my loose teas!) and while it's got, like, 1% caffeine, it's got this other thing called matene, which is also a stimulant but has far fewer side effects. And MAN does it give you a rush! It's like, la la la, drinking some tea, ho hum... fwoooooooom! Mental focus!

Which I will now take advantage of, and go study for wednesday's midterm. Yep, that's right - wednesday's midterm. Yay oceanography! Yay 1 hour science credits! Yay 5 week courses!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

First Church of Entrelac

Can you convert to a technique? If so, oh baby.

As ought to be readily apparent by now, I have no patience. None. I have to be doing something, be it knitting, reading, knitting, surfing the web, knitting, taking classes, whatever. I can wait for some things (like ordering yarn online), but I've got to have something going in the interim.

Case in point: the Lady Eleanor stole.

I fell in love with this stole recently. I'd been seeing it around (and around and around) and thought it was quite nice, but all of a sudden, it's shifting, subtle hues, it's simple form, it's compellingly non-lace-weight gague and new-to-me construction all somehow came together in that way that things do to cry, 'KNIT ME!'

I had to have it.

So I went to handpainted yarn last night, and I order 7 hanks, which so far as I can tell should be plenty. If it's not, I'll end up with a Lady E. blanket, and honestly, fuck that. Today I was in a daze - Olive! Rose! The permutations! The possibilities! My hands itched. I've finished Anya, I'm working on the Stupid Bobble Top during classes, I need something for me, me, me! Something with color, something with style, something that screams that Autumn is coming.

A skein of orange-pink-green-wine yarn leapt into my hand at the LYS. 'Learn entrelac, bitch!' it demanded, and in the guise of needing to swatch I complied. It is a lie.

You can't really have too many scarves.

Rat Lab, Take II

So, the rest of my weekend was fun. I was working with a different grad student, who expected me to jump right in on the injections and rat-running. Now, I don't mind injections and rat-running in theory. It's just that... well... it was my second day. And you have to pick them up by their tails, which is mean. And swing them. And then poke them. Without prior warning.

So, yeah, I was eventually able to give the rat an injection, but it was hard. Hard to make myself pick him up by the tail, which I know is painful. Hard (even though I'd accidentally stuck myself with the harmless peptide needle) to poke him in his tummy. Harder than I'd thought, and easier almost than it felt it had any right to be. The physical act was surprisingly simple and easy, it was the making myself do it that was difficult.

Which, I guess, is a good thing. Right? If it was easy for me to do this to an animal right off the bat, I don't think I should be allowed to do it. I do care about the animal's comfort and welfare, so I'm going to try and learn to do this quickly and well. I'd never injected anything before, and I wasn't very good at it - took me three goes to get just most of the peptide in, before the grad student took over. So, I can see the neccessity of the tail-swinging hold to keep him still, so that I only have to stick him once per shot. It's definitely a learning experience, and I hope it'll teach me more about myself as well as about laboratory conditions.

Here's hoping.

In knitting news, I've caved in several fronts. I ordered yarn for the Forest Path stole, for Claptois, and for Lady Eleanor. I know they're oft-seen in the knitting world, I know they're a dime a dozen in blogland. I don't care. They're pretty, they're simple, in the case of Eleanor they're a quick, chunky knit (comparatively, to laceweight). I need something easy and rewarding. I got the Rose & Olive colorway of both laceweight (my cardinal sin) and worsted from, and also their 'little lovely' pink-and-ruby laceweight. I figure the worsted for Lady Eleanor, with a matching (in color, anyway) underscarf, and the pink for Claptois. Maybe this'll knock me out of my funk?

Friday, September 01, 2006

Rat Lab!

Today was my first day in the rat lab, and it was FABULOUS! I get to work with the awesome TA I had for experimental last year, which I love, because she's a total nerd like me. We talked about our pets (she can actually HAVE rats at her place), and Battlestar Gallactica, and our crafts (she's a cross-stitcher). I have such hero worship for her, I know, it's hilarious to hear me speak. Anyway, I rat two rats with her as an orientation, which consisted of taking their baseline behavior in the skinner box, injecting them with a tiny amount of cocaine, letting them relax for 10 minutes, then taking the new reading back in the skinner box. Both of the rats were "her brats", one liked to push the lever with the leash attatched to his skull (and pooped on her when she picked him up), and the other kept pushing the wrong lever and sticking his nose through the hole in the top that the leash goes through. I thought they were total sweeties, they're well-handled and really don't seem to mind when you screw the leash onto their heads. Then she had me weight a few of the new rats, they're only 3 months old and haven't been handled much so I wore a biteproof leather glove. Most of them were fine, but one of them... he was a little difficult. Still, she says that once I get used to the work, I won't have any problem handling the new guys. I got out early today, so I can take care of some stuff at home, and I go back in this weekend. Yay for science!