Thursday, October 23, 2014

plots within plots

I need more time to commit to knitting because progress is slow, and therefore boring for you guys.

Of course the real-life thing is getting in the way.

0) prep public night talk!!
1) finish edits to Reber
2) finish edits to LIRG
3) edit K2.0
4) make bgq plots
5) make list of things to fix for more accurate bgq
6) make list of things to fix for more accurate agq
7) email about my office hours on friday
8) read up on steve's lectures pre office hours (um friday is TOMORROW)
9) figure out if I can help CVGS at all
10) spend weekend fixing/filling out TPT stuff
11) update calendar with new slew of deadlines/fellowships etc
12) read Mark's emails about SERVs
13) prep public night talk eeeek that's tomorrow!

knitting to do:

1) green socks
2) bright sport socks
3) witchy mitts
4) skyp socks
5) hot water bottle cover
6) figure out gift for Louise and start
7) figure out gift for Patrick and start
8) after 3 or 4 of the former things have been crossed off, start van gogh cowl

Monday, October 13, 2014

just ... keep.. knitting

deadline knitting for November is coming up. I have calculated that I need 10 rows a day to finish on time, but gosh do I want to start something else. Or at least work on something like my sweater or socks.

I sneakily picked up some old spinning. It's a bunch of green pencil roving of mysterious fiber source that I was gifted by an LSG friend some time ago. I've been spinning it pretty thin and I think this might end up as my first true laceweight, even if it fluctuates between light and heavy laceweight.

The spindle I am using is really too heavy for it which is part of why it is taking me so long--with how thin I'm drafting it, the staple length of the mystery fiber, the partially felted status of the fiber, and the medium/heavy spindle (I think it's 1-1.5 oz?), I draft only about an inch or two of fiber at a time. I put lots of twist in it, drafting carefully (I think... I'm doing a short backwards draw? long draw works as well but doesn't seem to hold the twist and I'm not as consistent in thickness with long draw), until I've got a foot or so and then I usually put it down (on the bed), prop my foot on it gently, and finish drafting until I've got the amount of twist I want in it. So, park-and-draft, essentially. It's been a while since I've done that but it works well with this stuff. I also didn't do much prep at all with it. Normally I divide the fiber, then open it up a bit, then usually I open it up again before I spin it. This time I divided the fiber and I may have done just a wee bit of adjusting. Mostly I am drafting from the dense, partially felted fiber. Which is useful because the short staple means that the felting helps keep it from breaking.

every once and a while I get distracted, don't put in enough twist, try to make it too thin (especially now as the spindle is getting heavier), and the whole thing snaps and rolls off under the bed, shaking off twist as it goes. and the cats get interested.

holiday gifts planned: 7
holiday gifts finished: 1
holiday gifts started: 3
holiday gifts unplanned: 2

um. eep.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

and life goes on

I've wrestled down some work stuff and some other stuff. Still on top, and it doesn't *quite* feel like I'm riding a wave that'll kill me as soon as I fall. I still have a lot of work to do on various topics.

and some secret knitting: 25/60. woot.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

everything sucks forever

Too busy. forget having goals, I want to have a normal sleep schedule and a pain-free throat.

doc wants to do diabetes screening. fuck that noise. What good is it going to do me to hear "you're pre-diabetic" or diabetic or whatever? Every doctor I've ever met has told me to lose weight and it's still the hardest fucking thing in the world to do.

I wonder if someday I might get a handle on my life. chores, food, health, money, work, friends, sleep. all spiraling around me out of my control.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Knitting Accomplishments Thus Far (2014):

[x] Surprised my older sister with a pair of socks
[x] knit a pair of socks for my twin (in progress)
[] knit another pair of socks for my twin
[] knit Takoma (in progress... barely)
[] reknit myself a Wine In Summer
[x] try Estonian lace (I should put some more time into this; can't wait to see how it turns out)
[x] finish Shipwreck Shawl
[x] finish at least three shawls (though one is for someone else)
[x] ply waiting singles (started. I think I still have 2 or 3 more projects left to ply, though)
[] knit some specific gifts (hot water bottle cover; fuck cancer hats; owl puffs)
[x] knit some monsters
[x] knit some animals
[] steek. this will come when I finish Takoma
[x] finish pieced blanket (this is sort of finished. I have decided to add a border to it, so I need to get some needles and take a stab at that.)


not a bad bit of progress, for getting distracted by two other blankets in there.

any goals for yourself this year? how are they going?

Cloudy

Can't teach Astronomy labs if it's cloudy out. It's been cloudy for 3 solid weeks now. No labs. Students (and professor) getting anxious. I try to be optimistic but full overcast isn't gonna just magically clear up for viewing. *sigh*

I need to buckle down on research. Hard when the teaching stuff involves me running around and putting out a lot of fires. Still, I'm really going to have to smack down on myself and make sure I spend four or five working hours just getting the research done. I don't have too much time to screw around on things that are NotThesisWork.

Knitting has been a mixture of focused and crazy. How is it that I still have two--no, wait, three blankets still on the needles? No wonder I am not making a lot of progress. I put one of them in the corner but two blankets is still a lot to work on! I'm 2/3 done with each of them.

I ripped out an old half-knit sweater and started something new with the yarn, too. This thing looks like it will actually fit me, so that's better than the half-finished-thing. Still, casting on another sweater isn't exactly helping the "get things finished" list. I have a sleeve of Takoma half knit, too, so that project's waiting for me to pay attention to it. For smaller things, I also have two socks on different needles--again, neither of them garnering much progress.

Finally,  I have three (or four) hats I want to knit for the holidays, one a commission knit so it comes with extra responsibility. And there's the plans for the hot water bottle cover and slipper socks for my mom, and the colorwork thing for my older sister, and as many socks as I can churn out for my twin. These haven't been dented yet! and I've got two cowls I want to make for myself--TWO.  And that estonian lace and those witchy fingerless mitts I want to make myself... and more fiber to spin than I can look at.

Anyway, long story short, I'm busy. busy busy busy. Also I appear to have a problem prioritizing things (especially now that stash dash is over). How do you prioritize your knitting? How do you decide what to work on next, at any given moment, or over the course of the year?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Freight Train

And with that all dreams of a sweet summer are over. Classes have begun, my teaching load is quite heavy (3 nights a week I'll be teaching lab, which basically makes 7-12 pm completely useless on M, T, and H), and I've got a bunch of stuff to do managing things for one of the profs I am TAing for. I like teaching, so I am sure I'll enjoy the work when I'm actually out at the telescope, but it's a big chunk of time. And then there's grading, and the second job if I can get one. I thought I could do tutoring/grading for the department but there's been a mix up and no positions seem to be available.

I am contemplating teaching some courses at my LYS. I was thinking about doing a beginning crochet course--taking people through chaining, slip stitch, single, double, and half double crochet, hook positioning, and how to turn back--by doing a simple washcloth, and culminating in crocheting granny squares, possibly followed by a granny square exchange for a blanket or bag. I think also an introduction to Ravelry class would be a good idea--since I know the ins and outs of it pretty well ;). Intro to rav could be a one week course; intro to crochet could be a 2 week course, the second week being the granny square stuff. Might be fun, and would certainly help the bank account!

Meanwhile, the full responsibilities of the semester (in the form of meetings) has hit me like the proverbial freight train. Seriously, I spend hours answering emails, organizing times and places, giving my expert opinion on things, and working towards conclusions (that only lead to more work  :P).  I am going to have to assign myself some very specific email hours and then escape for the rest of them.

First thing on the to-do list: apply for various forms of funding.
Second thing on the to-do list: edit my paper. I received referee comments! it wasn't outwardly rejected! I just have to make changes and resubmit, probably several times! Very excited... this means it could be published soon!
Third thing on the to-do list: get my stupid bgq program to work, make some graphs, and basically get back into research so I can do this second paper and have it ready to submit by Dec 1st.

busy, busy, busy. Hmm... I think I love my job again, yarn-glee aside.

Knitting to-do:
1) finish test blanket (meep)
2) finish holiday gifts
3) knit for me. Isn't this always the way it goes? I bet I'll give up on everything and make mitts for me this month anyway.