Friday, May 22, 2015

Still feeling lost

Transitions are hard, and the end of this semester was a tough one. I'm not taking classes, so at least I didn't have exams to worry about. But I was teaching three night-labs a week and pretty much went full-on nocturnal by the time April rolled around, sleeping from 4am to 10am. This led to a lot of grading and teaching getting done but not so much on the research front, and my attempts to eat reasonable food went right out the window (sleep deprivation does not make it easy to plan ahead and take care of yourself).

After the labs were over, I had grading for a week straight. Then I immediately went to visit some friends. Then it was graduation. then I went to see my girlfriend. Now I am at the tail end of a week of quick-hang-out-with-friends-who-graduated-before-they-leave-forever, and I love them all to bits but I am burned out pretty bad. I've spent two or three days in the house trying to get my brain to turn on again and the high-level anxiety of "OMG ALL THE THINGS MUST GET DONE NOW" to turn off. Today was a decent work day, and I pushed past the anxiety enough to end it with a productive meeting with my boss (although as I entered his office I had to fight the urge to just stand with my back to the door and burst into tears).

What all needs doing? ugh. I can't even articulate it here, there's a steaming pile of to-do lists and single items all up in my brain, and I thought I paid off all the bills but a couple more cropped up and one of them I missed so I'm getting urgent notices about it.

And I fell down at the post office two weeks ago and a bone in my wrist still hurts, so that's probably... pretty bad.

Let's think about knitting, shall we? something shiny and distracting as a reward for a hard day's work. Stash Dash 2015 has begun, one of my most favorite events of the year because it requires planning and checking off boxes, my favorite (you know how much I enjoy making lists). Today is the first day of the event, in fact. This year you can choose which goal you are working towards (3k, 5k, or 10km of weaving, spinning, knitting, or crocheting). I'm going for 5k. I hit 5k last year but only because of a laceweight-held-double shawl and held-double doesn't count this year, so I'm going to try again.

I have good odds: I've a slew of things in progress. if I finish them all, I'll be at 4460 meters, and I've got some spinning that isn't yet counted that should be able to put me over the top. In fact that's what I've finished so far today.

My 2015 Stash Dash list:
1) **done** spin dried flowers yarn from Spinnerettas
2) **needs plying** spin purple-and-green chilean wool
3) knit myself my first sweater
4) finish the Rothko blanket
5) finish a pair of socks for my twin
6) finish a hat for L
7) finish mittens for L
8) finish sky-blue cowl for me
9) finish my Clapotis out of Handmaiden Casbah Sock in the Masala colorway
10) **done** finish a hat for me out of my chilean yarn
11) knit a pair of fingerless mitts out of the rest of the chilean yarn
12) finish some gift knitting for L2

if I have time, I'll also add in:
13) knit 3 pairs of best-yarn-ever mittens (twin, sister, me)
14) start xmas present for twin
15) start next pair of socks for twin
16) work on spindle spinning for spin-the-bin

of course, Stash Dash is only 12 weeks or so, so 12-16 FOs is a lot to ask. Yes, many of these are in progress, and some of them (the hats) are almost done. But the sweater is going to take a lot of time, and I'm not sure if I'll have the patience to finish it. Still, we will see.

Do you have summer goals?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

hats hats hats

Hats are fun! I didn't know!

I've knitted a few, but they were not that fun.

but these two I am currently working on--FUN. FUN!

The first one is a Sockhead Hat: 4 inches of ribbing and then 9 inches of stockinette. Easier than pie. I have decided to double the ribbing so it can be folded over the ears, and I'm just about done with it (but I'm adding length because I always always seem to want more ribbing in my hats). Soon it will be stockinette in the round forever, which is by the way very soothing but also quite fast!

The second is my own design, but it's basically a dk/worsted version of the above Sockhead Hat. I cast on somewhere between 80 and 100 stitches, did ribbing for about 3 or 4 inches, and now I'm in the stockinette part. I actually had finished the top of it and I tried it on its intended recipient but he wants more slouch and I have plenty of yarn left (I used less than 3/4 of a skein of malabrigo arroyo or rios, I am not sure which). so I ripped out the crown and am back to stockinette in the round forever.

This is the one I've got pictures of:

see? not slouchy enough.


This is the type of knitting that's getting done lately, mostly because I can only squeak some knitting in before I fall asleep, while I am at stoplights, or during meetings.

other things I am working on:

-a linen-stitch-framed cowl of some sort in gorgeous hand-dyed sky blue cashmere bulky yarn that a friend gave me for my birthday ^.^

-a skinny Clapotis--I have less than half the required yarn so I've done fewer increase sections and will do fewer repeats. I always said I would never get into this trend, but the pattern shows off this gorgeous Handmaiden Casbah Sock in the Masala colorway very well, and I would definitely wear this as a scarf, so it is happening

-a new pair of socks for my twin

those are the active things. I'm also fixing stuff up:
-a pair of mittens for a friend that needs finishing. and probably another mitten, the first one was from a different ball and there's a noticeable difference in color between the two.

-a blanket that I've decided needs an edging--but the calculations are not perfect so it's in the *thinking* stage. wee ^.^

-a fiddly lace shawl that I really need to finish the edging on (meep. the beginning edge)

things I am avoiding:
-other socks for my twin
-socks for me
-another garter stitch blanket
-fixing the cat mittens
-figuring out the purple lace
-working on the unpleasant silk hankie mitts
-doing anything for two sweaters in progress

BUT. I am spinning. I borrowed the wheel from my friend for another week and I've knocked out 4.5 oz since Sunday night (so, you know, 32 hours). I am determined to spin some very lovely things but I need more hours in the week :D

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Spinning Notes

**Spin the Bin 2015 Declare Post**

My list is quite short because normally I'm a spindle spinner, and a slow one at that. I wanted to keep it realistic and still play! I hope that's ok.

I am NOT in it to u.i.o.l.i.

I am borrowing a wheel for a week (late January/early February)

BIN LIST

1) and 2): 4 oz of Thunderboom from Dyeabolical on this weird portugese merino base
3) and 4): 4 oz of Starrenicht from ITW--my first batt!
5) and 6)  4 oz of Lanitium ex Machina's Ethereal on 100% lambswool
7) and 8): 4 oz of Fibernymph Dyeworks' 100% Falkland in the Storm Warning colorway
9) and 10):  4 oz of Fiberartemis (eee!) corriedale in the Lotus colorway
11) 2.5 oz of Hobbledehoy compost batts that'll be crazy as heck
12) 2 oz of Solitude wool Border Leicester/Romney/Coopworth blend that's been ... pin drafted? combed? pin combed? something... that I'll need to spin on my spindle to try and reproduce the first half of it that I played with a year or two ago.


FINISHED LIST
(as of 11 April 2015)
1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

that leaves the Starrenicht Batt, the Hobbledehoy batts, and the Solitude rough stuff! to be done by the end of the year :)


Notes at the beginning of April 2015:
-finishing spinning and plying the last 1oz of Ethereal

Notes at the middle of March 2015:
-progress: nada, zip, zilch.
-I am trying to clear off a spindle or two so I can at least take a stab at some of my less intensive stuff
-unfortunately the spindles are all loaded with laceweight and it's taking a lot of time
-will probably borrow a wheel again--once some work stuff is done.

Notes at the first week in February 2015:
-I followed up with my plan for the epic 3-braid project, and spun up the second half of the corriedale a bit plumper, then plied with the falkland for my second skein. That turned out well, and Falkland was 100% used up.
-I had maybe 1 oz left of the corriedale from the skinny ply (because I had to attach the end to the plumper stuff to maximize yardage), so I spun up a matching 1oz of the remaining lambswool ethereal and plied those together for my third skein. Corriedale is 100% used up
-random ~1oz of ethereal remaining--will spindle spin this sucker and maybe navajo ply it to use up every bit.

Notes at the end of January 2015:
-I finished the Thunderboom; I will have to try to get a good picture of it soon. Three plied it and it turned out pretty nice. Portugese merino is pretty scrunchy/crunchy/dense/fluffy/sproingy/lofty Idontknowhowtodescribeit.

-I started my big three-braid project by spinning the Storm Warning 100% Falkland. Then I spun half of the Ethereal lambswool and plied them together (not too badly matched on the amount leftover, either). Then I spun up half of the Lotus 100% corriedale. I haven't plied it with the falkland yet--I spun it rather thin and I am thinking I will do the second half of the singles, make it a bit thicker so it matches better the width of the falkland. then I can spin up the second half of the lambswool and make it nice and skinny and ply it with the skinny corriedale. This I hope to accomplish by the end of the week, as I still have the borrowed wheel and some opportunities to use it.
-but the first plied bit is underplied so I will have to send it back through soon.

UP TO DATE By the Numbers:
15.8 oz of singles spun up; 15.8 oz plied into a 2ply, for a total of 31.6 oz worth of treadling (well, 30.6, and 1oz on the spindle) (work those feet). I have three projects  left in my <del>bag</del> *bin*. I am honestly thinking about setting up a spindle-only bin for later in the year... but I'll just have to see if I ever get around to wheel spinning again.

The borrowed wheel has been returned to its owner, although I almost cried when handing it over.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

March isn't the most craftiest of times

Mostly because I'm so daaaaaamn busy.

And April's not looking so good either (in fact, I think my work load doubles in April. woot.)

Still, I finished my colorwork cowl.

This is a free pattern by Lion Brand, I think--called Hanna's Cowl.


This is v1 of the cowl, which I knit in 2013.
It looks ok in this picture but it was actually about 5 feet in circumference, which is far too long for my short frame. It also curled badly--not in the least because I knit too quickly in an eagerness to finish it in 13 days because it's really cool looking.

In 2014, I ripped it out. *sigh*.

So, this Feb I re-cast it on. far fewer stitches for the cast on, so it wasn't enormous. End result?


pretty! but too short (can't wrap it, alas) AND it still curls.

So, my choices are to a) rip it out AGAIN and knit it a third time to make it longer, but not too long (just right). b) leave it as it is and just fold it and be happy with it, or at least accept it for what it is or c) fold it (like in the image), then pick up stitches on the top edge and knit a seed-stitch band so that it stays folded and doesn't roll and is double thick and has the appropriate edgings on top and bottom.

I'm leaning for c, but I might yet convince myself that a is the right option.

I also finished a pair of socks for me and cast on another pair that turned out to be for me (I was knitting them on a plane. by the time I got to try them on they fit me and I wasn't gonna go back).
I ripped out 1 hibernating WIP (I don't know what possessed me, this yarn is hideous and I don't want to work on it. Wait, what if I added it to my shoulder cozy?) and made a wee cat toy out of the cast on edge, which broke instead of ripping back. And I am spinning the last 1oz of my 3-braids-of-blue fiasco from Spin the Bin 2015.

Between hibernating and active WIPs, I still have 15 things on the needles, and there's no counting the spinning projects in progress. *deep sigh* Don't get me wrong, I am not by any means a monogamous knitter and I love having things casted on so I can work on them when I want--but 15 feels overwhelming, and I really like having FOs. Maybe I could just *try* some monogamy. And I kind of like the idea of clearing my needles off--don't I *want* all these things? yes. yes I do.

still, some of them are epic (two blankets. a lace shawl. two sweaters that should actually fit me) and other ones require a lot of thought to fix because something's wrong (mittens+monsters; mawata mitts; witchy mitts; triangle of +2 luxury). Maybe I can just finish a few things and see how I feel.

Or maybe I'll hide from all the grading and research I need to do and cast on a third pair of socks tonight and watch x-files.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

oh, I mean, really a quick list of yarn things

Oops, this is a knitting blog, not a work blog. Let me plan yarn at you, I know you all love that.

Fiber on my spindles:
1) half-done peaches-and-bruises (want to clear this off fast to start something new)
2) green laceweight (not even done with the first half. this takes FOREVER)
3) witchy bits on my turkish spindle--not a lot here but it's spinning up skinny so it's also taking a while
4) gradient of bits from Phat Fiber: also very slow work

That leaves the crappy spindle and the heavy plying spindle free, but I can't really work on either of them, darnit

Fiber waiting to be worked on:
1) navajo ply the rainbowy sparkle stuff
2) add extra twist to rainbow rambouillet
3) add extra twist to first blue crescendo skein
4) add extra twist to fresh LeM in corsair
5) finish spinning and then ply last half of romney/longwool cross, brown shot w blue and green
6) plying the sparkly batts with the Loop fluffy stuff Nebula

Fiber I want to be working on:
1) Ponds batt
2) Finch batt
3) brand new finn fiber from TWF
4) black and purple Highland Handmades
5) spinneretta's crocus stuff

stuff on my needles:
1) pair of sister socks #2, both at once
2) red laceweight shawl
3) colorwork cowl
4) edging of blanket
5) brown gradient scarf
6) Garter Squish in random wool

stuff waiting to be worked on:
1) Harvest sweater --pick it up and think about it
2) yellow mittens -- knit a third one so that the colors match
3) small purple laceweight shawl--finish and frame or what?
4) witchy mitts --thinner stripes?
5) cat mittens -- probably frog
6) takoma--figure out if I want it to be something else
7) silk mitts--pain in the ass to kit--spin instead?
8) Fwoosh thing--fugly. maybe make the weirdo cowl instead of a huge ugly wrap

stuff I want to be working on:
1) hat for Jake
2) hat for L
3) red honey cowl for me
4) mitts for aunty judy
5) new socks for me
6) new socks for twin
7) socks  for J
8)  a completely different sweater than takoma out of the takoma yarn

*sigh*

a quick list

1) make agq graphs as a function of type, redshift, and field, with error bars
2) calculate average agq for types and redshifts
3) make a table with types, avg number of gals within 0.5 Mpc, and Agq and errors (ala wold+lacy00)
4) make a few plots that describe the sample
5) draft damn poster, send to jake, mark, mark2, carol, pallavi, etc
6) call to cancel shot
7) do bills
8) do travel stuff online
9) work on kz from various papers/markemail
10) work on normalization from various papers/markemail

I keep trying to work on those last bits 'cause they've been on my mind a lot but right now 5 is most important and for that I need 1-4

oh, yes, and 11: resist temptation to knit all day.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

bow chicka wow wow

oh yeah, yarn porn.

How about some Cascade 220? An internet buddy snapped this pic of Wisconsin Craft Market near Madison WI.


unf.