Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Got you on my mi-hind

Happy Anniversary, Baby. It's been seventeen wonderful years and even though there have been downs as well as ups, I wouldn't trade a day. You are my best friend, my soulmate, and my truest love.

And I'm really sorry your gift isn't done yet. You deserve to be showered with love (and material goods) on the actual day of celebration. But I have failed you, and can only send psychic love-waves over the distance and hope that my inabilities serve to draw out the celebration for another week or so, sharpening the anticipation. I hope you think it's worth the wait.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for understanding and accepting my geeky self and knowing that, while others might prefer flowers or jewelry, I am beside myself with giddiness over the receipt of my most awesome anniversary gift (outside of more years with you, of course -- the greatest gift of all!):

Thank you for making me the proud owner of The Complete X-Files DVD box set! I love it! I broke it open immediately and watched an episode while working on a little special something...

Nine seasons of episodes and the movie, special features, deleted scenes, synopsis book, collectors' cards, a comic book -- all in a pretty coolio box. It's like Christmas around here. Only better because it's all only about my Boy and me.

We're the center of our universe. That's pretty cool.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I just haven't felt like it

Life is pretty boring (or, at least, unremarkable) -- school/work, cook/eat, surf the 'net, work on a big project I can't show/tell about yet, and sleep. That is a very accurate description of my life right now.

Everything is okay, I'm just distracted by the beginning of the semester and lab work and just getting back into the groove of the semester. I guess I just don't got nothin' to say. :)

I did take a Saturday Sky pic on Saturday morning, I just never posted it. It's snowed a bunch since then.

It was sunny, but ccccoooolllddd. It's still very cold, but not quite as cold as it was this weekend.

I also started a Christmas stocking for the new baby of a former professor. It's completion is on hold until after the giant gift project. Hopefully I'll be able to show you more soon.

In real life it is a dusty rose color. Not hot pink. I promise.

That's all. More later.


Friday, January 11, 2008

Other people's stuff (Big Ol' Geek Edition)

Have you ever taken chemistry? Had to learn/become familiar with the periodic table of the elements? Didn't you think it would be so much easier if you could relate the periodic table to something "cool"? Look no further! If you're a geek, but not that kind of geek, then you will thrill to the mere existence of The Periodic Table of Comic Books! Now you can easily reference a frightening number of elements as they appear in the text of a whole bunch of comic books (most of which you've never heard of)! An invaluable reference for everyone!

Crafters often take for granted things that cooks cannot. While it's very simple to run to JoAnn and pick up some googly eyes to perfectly complete a crafting project, what is the intrepid kitchen warrior to do when his/her latest creation is rendered plain and overly static by plain ol' frosting or candy eyes? Fear not! Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories has posted the solution! Now everyone can add the magic of completely edible googly eyes to all their recipes! I can't wait to make my next batch of lamb stew able to look back at me! (Also, dig on the awesomocity of the Flying Spaghetti Monster cookies!)

The webcomic XKCD is well known and loved in Big Ol' Geeky Circles and it often makes me laugh. But earlier this week I wanted creator Randall Munroe (nephew of one of my professors, actually) to get out of my head:

On the other hand, Randall is looking out for us -- we can be ever more confident that knitting is a nice, reasonable, sane hobby:

I have chosen *wisely*. (okay geeks -- name the movie reference!)


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Well, lookie there!

If you take a gander over to the right there, you'll notice that my works in progress are startlingly complete! (Except for the experimental ballband afghan, which is just a "puttering" project, so I don't actually count it.) How in the world did this happen? No classes! I'm really enjoying this winter break -- I've been working hard on researching my new project, but when I come home at night I leave it (mostly) all behind and get down to the serious business of relaxing with some handwork!

Most importantly on the FO front is the completion of the Crazy Quilt Coverlet! Finally!! Seriously, I've been working on this thing for about three years. I'd pick it up, work on it for a bit, then relegate it to the corner for months. Then I'd have another fit of activity on it, then more nothing. I love this afghan. I love the patterns of the blocks, I love the colors, I love the way it goes together. But, for some bizarre, unknown reason, I did not enjoy making it. That's why it has taken me so long. But it's finally finished and will be mailed off to its intended recipient today. I hope she likes it.

Doesn't it look grand on my sofa?

My only disappointment with the finished project is the size. It is perfectly within gauge, but it just seems so small. I guess I didn't really think about the finished dimensions that much when I started it. I could have easily added squares and made it larger, but it took me so long just to get this many squares done that it didn't seem like a wise choice to force myself into making more. Here it is stretched out on my full size bed to give you more of an idea of the actual size:

Small, eh? Oh well, it will just have to be a "curled up with a good book/DVD" afghan. That works, no?

Info: Crazy Quilt Coverlet from Better Homes & Gardens' Simply Creative Crochet, 2004. Made with Lion Brand Wool Ease and a size J hook.

So, yay! Big, looming project all done! That means I freed myself up to guiltlessly start a project for no reason whatsoever! So I did! And I already finished it, too! I made a Last Minute "Purled" Beret for myself about a year ago and I wear it all the time (the blocking eased out some and it looks less Guinan-ish). I didn't block this one on a plate, I just shaped it with my hands while steaming it and it's not quite as big around. Here's the top:

And the bottom:

But you don't really get the effect unless it's on a head, so here's my fatigued-looking noggin modeling it:

I have a couple of ideas as to who this will end up with. I have enough yarn left from two colorways to make another, so I think I'll do that before I decide. The berets will tell me where they want to go.

Info: Last Minute "Purled" Beret by Wendy Bernard for The Garter Belt. Made with Linie 195, 1 1/2 balls, on size 9 double poined needles.

Next up is a big project for my delicious husband in honor of our upcoming wedding anniversary. Exciting! And now, much literature reviewing for my research project! Have a great, productive day!


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Year end loose ends

Happy New Year! I hope your holiday was fun-filled and safe and I hope you've settled into the post-holiday routine with a minimum of pain and suffering. ;)

I spent New Year's with my friends Veronica, Anne, Anne's fiance' Andy, and Anne's cousin Kelly. We had a nice, low-key evening hanging out, watching some retro music videos and playing games. Oh, and eating. A lot. Or maybe that was just me. It was a good time, anyway.

Since then I've been taking it easy and coming up with new ideas for my research project. After months of frustration with a project that just does not work, I've got a new direction and it's pretty exciting. I'm pretty happy about it. I'll talk more about it when the wheels are actually in motion.

I only have one new year's resolution. I will not apologize if I don't blog for awhile. It's a hobby and, let's face it, an ego trip (look at me and what I did! Cool, huh? Yeah!). So if I fail to be trippy, we'll all survive. I have plenty of real things to worry about, I'm not about to let myself feel bad for not posting to a blog. Why I let myself feel guilty about not posting in the first place, I prefer not to examine too closely.

That said, Hi! How are y'all? Wanna look at the cool stuff I made? Yeah? AWESOME.

I didn't get my last FO's of 2007 posted while it was still 2007, so I'll do it now.

Gator received his Christmas hat just a couple of days late and he claims it fits great and that he likes it. Yay! His request was a hat with cables and I had some really great clearance yarn that I was dying to work with. I first tried to make cables all around the crown, but it made the hat almost too small for me so I knew it wouldn't fit him. So I frogged and redesigned. There are three cables up the crown with stockinette in between.

It looks kind of funny when it's not on a head, but it's big enough that it looks ridiculous on me...

You can't really tell that there are multiple cables unless I turn around, so...

Info: Three Cable Hat of my own design. Rowan Big Wool Fusion (discontinued) - 1 1/2 balls. Double pointed needles, sizes 9 and 9.5.

Though the Fusion is discontinued, Rowan still makes Big Wool. If you ever get a chance to use it, jump. It's so great to knit with and the resulting hat is crazy warm. I loved every minute of making this hat! I wasn't even that sorry to have to frog it and reknit!

Last fall I found out that Sugar n' Cream started making a self-striping line. I had a little trouble finding some, but I was really psyched to find out how it would look to use it for a garterlac cloth. It pooled more than I had hoped, but it's an interesting result. It's pretty trippy, I must say:

I kind of like it -- it's got a folksy look to it.

So this concludes the 2007 FO parade. I also already have a 2008 FO, but I'm saving that for my next post. I'm super happy about it. I'm sure you'll be on the edge of your seat until I share it with you. Because I'm just that important. And I refuse to apologize for that fact.