Tuesday, September 12, 2017

electricity is back

the power is back! so I went home, with the cats.

water is still restricted to tank water, which should refill as it rains. hopefully the mains will come back at some point (since I really haven't the faintest idea what to do if they don't).

my house is a disaster. not from the storm, but from me moving lots of things around to make space for the furniture I dragged in from the balcony and garage, and from trying to get things away from windows in case of leaks. there was only a small damp spot by one window (the northeast-iest window), so no problem there. But it comes to my attention that I haven't swept or dusted in quite some time, and the house very much feels grubby.

If I could I would take a day off to try to get my life back together, but I've got a proposal for telescope time to finish writing, soooo I'm at work. trying to write, to fix things, to make my time requests seem reasonable.

it feels a bit like trying to hammer in a nail using only my skull.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Hurricane Irma Socks

Irma grazed us and we escaped mostly unscathed, though Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, and the various Virgin Islands and other islands and countries are all in some pretty terrible shape. I'm boxing up the mojo and love I was sent and sending it back their way; and on to Florida, now that Irma's heading that way.

I started socks when the power first went out on Wednesday. Managed to get fairly far despite the dark yarn. The challenge was that it got damn hot, and humid, and without even a fan to blow on me, I got so sweaty. SO. SWEATY. my hands were even sweaty, great beads of sweat just rolling down me all the time. Couldn't even dream of touching wool, so the socks are lingering.

Currently up at work in the AC (since there is no power or water yet at home), so perhaps I will be able to knit again tonight.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Late to the party

Did I mention that I cast on a Find Your Fade shawl? I know this was everyone's big thing for the past year but I was resisting its allure, mostly cuz... welll... stubbornness. But I threw together some skeins from stash and realized I had plenty for a fall-colored fade, if I didn't mind getting a bit creative with the yardage requirements. Fortunately it's a pattern that lends itself well to modifications. I'm on the second-to-last color now and it's becoming a bit of a slog but still very satisfying. Especially satisfying because I'm making it from stash and didn't fall down hard at the Madelinetosh entry on WEBS.
Not that I didn't spend several hours playing with color combinations in my cart.
But overall it's been a good year for me, purchase wise. I don't think I'll join the fiber club again; I like buying more specific things more than I enjoy being surprised, and I have too much fiber on my hands right now anyway. I bought a couple of skeins in january but have used them up already, and the other things coming into my stash have all been gifts. So yay for saving!
A hurricane may be coming upon us soon down here in Puerto Rico. It is the right season. I feel like I should pack some epic knitting in case I need something to distract me in the absence of electricity. Perhaps the poncho I was working on, or the tunic--something big. But those long rows work best with a distraction--maybe instead I should just pack three or four skeins of stripey sock yarn and see how many socks I can plow through. yeah, that might be the ticket.

Monday, August 7, 2017

summer was fast

My summer has flown by, probably because I've been so busy. Teaching a summer student, doing research/trying to finish a paper, and a series of presentations kept me busy around travel at the beginning and middle of May and the middle of July. I'm home again, and thoroughly unsettled still. The house is a disaster, I need to go grocery shopping, the cats need to be brushed and won't stop snuggling me (3 weeks away is apparently too much time for them, even if it's too hot to snuggle. I don't mind the love).

So the days passed, and now August is here, and frankly I haven't crafted much at all. I'll barely scrape up 3km for stash dash, and it's all from finishing stuff that I'd started earlier in the year. The bulk of my travel/vacation crafting was this:

A cute cross stitch pattern from Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. The rest of my time was spent relaxing or writing or both, and very pleasantly.

I just need a couple of days to get my head screwed back down. Right now I'm off floating in the ether between worlds, unbalanced.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Stash Dash Glee

I do so love the Stash Dash event. So far I've finished a shawl, a cowl, a pair of socks, and a baby sweater. I'm on the verge of polishing off another pair of socks and a hat as well, and I cast on a new pair of socks to keep my WIP quota high enough to keep my attention. I also need to hunt up some spinning time.

My laptop seems to have bitten it for good--last time I logged on it had decided the date was Jan 1 2000 which is usually a motherboard sort of error, and then it decided that my password no longer worked. Which, I mean, I would expect to have been hacked, except I've had the wireless turned off for months because there's no internet at home. I'm debating getting another macbook of the same type--pricey, but it will make the transfer of my data and programs pretty easy, and it would mean I could still use the power cord I just purchased, which was 80 bucks--or getting some different sort of machine--cheaper, but more effort in terms of figuring out what I need for work and if I can dual load an OS that will allow me to play some games as well. And overall, both options suck, cuz I wanted to pay down some bills, not add to them. But I really need a remote work machine, and the phone does not cut it.

Meanwhile, this afternoon's plans involved going swimming at the pool but there's a thunderstorm here pissing on my day, so blehhhhh.

Friday, May 26, 2017

busybee again

Making graphs. Graphs are nice. IDL is behaving itself for once (maybe I've tamed it? I suspect only this little corner of it. and it'll probably bite me for saying that).

I had my graduation ceremony for last year's Ph.D. completion. It was delightful and I got to see some of the best people. Also had hangings out with my friends who have produced a smaller version of themselves. This visit means I ripped out half the baby sweater as it needs to be both wider and longer. No problem, I've got the yarn. I also almost finished the shawl, made it even a couple rows longer to try and use up more yarn.

All in all, things are pretty good here. And Stash Dash is coming!

Stash Dash is an event hosted by The Knit Girls podcast, my absolute favorite knitting video podcast to watch. They talk a lot about yarn and projects and spinning and crafts, and a little about books and life, and they are funny and delightful. Every year as Lala gets the summer off (she works in the US school system), they have this event where you try to meet certain goals for yourself and if you do you can enter to win a few prizes. The point is to use up stash, and you get to count the yardage from any project you complete between May 27 and August 13 (or something like that, whatever Lala's summer vacation is).

The reason I love this event so much? It's very much open to interpretation. You can aim for a slew of different, achievable goals; you can knit what you want; you can use free patterns or paid for patterns, patterns from stash or new patterns, any sort of pattern you desire; and WIPs you get to count the whole yardage if you make them into a FO, even if 90% of the knitting was done three years ago. This motivates me to polish off lingering UFOs and to tackle at least one big WIP that I would normally ignore for tiny things like socks. I don't always meet my own goal (usually I aim for 5km worth of finished-up yarn) but I always like trying.

This year, I have a whole pile of WIPs from the past 6 months that have sort of been malingering and that I intend to finish:

1. Ashburn shawl, which is 2.5 skeins of different colors of yarn in a fun pattern. Right now I'm maybe 10, 20 rows from the bindoff, so it's quite feasible, even though they are long
2. Yellow-gray striped socks. These just need an afterthought heel, but I've been avoiding that last one like the plague
3. The little socks for mom. I blew through the 50g ball of yarn and these both just need toes in an alternative color
4. Night Sky stripey cowl. I started this two or three years ago; got the yarn in 2014 at Maryland Sheep and Wool. It's a tube cowl that I'm going to graft so it'll be a long skinny stripey thing that I can wrap around my neck twice, but I've bogged down on it occasionally because it's not eating up the colored yarn as fast as I thought it would. I think, though, that I've figured out the last two combinations of stripes I want to do before I finish with the gray and do the fancy kitchener in the round
5. Orange baby sweater. I want weePatrick to have this for fall, so I had better work on it, but both the body and the sleeves need to be lengthened so it's a bit of a slog. Not too hard, though, a good weekend should do it
6. Flowers in Her Hair hat. Started this for fun and Robin likes the colors so she's getting a hat and maybe mitts if I have enough leftovers (maybe I can make mittens with an alternative color for the cuff and use the whole ball up. That would be nice). The hat is nearing its decreases (slightly slouchy, extra long so you can fold it up over your ears) but the mittens are a twinkle in my eye
7. Vibrant purple mitts. I got this incredibly violet yarn a long time ago, a single 50g skein. Not enough for socks or anything, and it's 100% merino so it's soft but wouldn't hold up well anyway. I finally cast it on into a pair of little mitts with, perhaps, a lace pattern over the knuckles if I feel like it. These are both started but not anywhere near finished
8. Myliu Lino--the linen tunic. I've mentioned this one before because I've really fallen for it and think I would wear it a lot. It's been ripped out twice since I started it and I don't know if I can handle it if I have to rip it a third time, but hopefully the measurements are correct now. We'll see how it goes. This is the big project for the summer and I have no idea if I'll be able to finish it or now, but if I do I'll be very happy
9. Handspun: 2ply falkland combo spin. I have 2 braids of Falkland seconds from Three Waters Farm, one of my very favorite indie fiber dyers. I decided to spin them up into singles, each braid, and then ply them together as a 2ply and use that to make a baby sweater for weePatrick if there's enough yardage. First ply is 2/3 done but I haven't touched the wheel in quite some time
10. Handspun: Snake Agate. This'll be, like the one above, a 2ply from 2 separate braids from TWF, one merino and one BFL (hopefully they play nicely together; the colors certainly do). I am hoping this will be a nice tonal gray-brown when I'm done with it that I can use for a contrast color with any other handspun to make a bigger shawl, but we'll see, it might be its own thing
11. Handspun: Lingering Light. I have 2 skeins of this colorway on Targhee from TWF. Not sure yet how I should spin this. I would like a 3 ply but I want to maximize yardage, too. hmm.


That's all I'm sure I want to work on and would love to finish, though I have no idea of the yardage this would produce. But I certainly have an exciting summer planned!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

Reading:
I started (again) The Shadow of the Wind. We'll see if it catches me this time. I also still have Blood and Iron by Elizabeth Bear half read, and I did a few chapters of Garth Nix's Ragwitch. I also have an inch tall stack of papers I want to go through.

Working:
Still making graphs for the short paper. Meanwhile, I got surprise!telescope time so I've put some decent time into preparing for that and I get to screw up my schedule by observing at 8pm  and 1am for several consecutive days. ah, well, a learning experience. Then I need to reduce that data, as well as the data from the observations in fall, but only after finishing the data for the shortpaper. and then I need to get back into the data from the lirgpaper and the data from the clusteringpaper. AAAGH DATA EVERYWHERE. Wait, that's a good thing, I suppose.

Spinning: I finished 2/3 of the first 4oz braid for my falkland combo spin (where I ply together two different colorways). changed my mind, I no longer want a three ply. Instead I'll do a 2ply, 1 ply all the first braid, 1 ply all the second, and see how nicely they play. It won't be as round/bouncy but it'll also be thinner, and there'll be more yardage.

Knitting: I cast on a hat, too. so much for plans. *shakes head*. Next week I am travelling again so I need some good travel knitting. I think I will definitely take the Ashburn that's in progress; before I leave I'll probably be all the way through the second section and into the third section. And I finished knitting the baby sweater but I have no good understanding of sizing so I should probably bring the needles and yarn with in case it needs adjustment, even though I have absolutely zero desire to work on it any more. My instinct says that that is a bad project and therefore doesn't count, so I need another second project (ie, a third project). Maybe I'll get some sock yarn and 1.5s and start a new pair of twinsocks in slightly looser stretchier fabric (the newer stiffer fabric is less forgiving and I don't know how necessary it is). That's not a bad idea.

Also I started a tunic (the Myliu Lino) and had to rip it out because sizing and gauge and messing up the math. redid the math, recast it on, still screwed up (this time in terms of inches instead of stitches, thus proving that while I can learn from my mistakes, that doesn't prevent further mistakes), and I need to rip it out and recast it on again cuz it's my big summer project. except I'm still mad at it, of course.

Other things:
politics are fucked up, my brain is fucked up, my sleep schedule is fucked up, and the house is a fucking mess. Oh well.