Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saturday Sky

More alliteration! w00t! Plus, the resurrection of a meme I haven't participated in for... well, a long time.

It's about 19F and clear as a bell. Pretty day.

And yes, those are Christmas lights. We are classy like that. Snap.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

WIP Wednesday

Alliterative blog post titles make me happy, so I'm taking this opportunity to regale you with a view of my works in progress on a cold and grey Humpday. In other words, WIP Wednesday!! w00t!

I don't actually have many WIP's right now, unless you count that needlepoint heron picture that's been halfway done in a bag for eight years or the candlewicking picture I started making for my Grandmother in 1982. And we're not counting those, mmmkay?

Right! So on to the only four WIP's I have going right now!

This is a pillow and it's a wedding gift. The sides will get tied together when the back is done and that will make a fringe. I quite like the design.

The pattern said it was "advanced" and I thought, "that simple geometric pattern is considered 'advanced'?? Pshaw!" And, while I still wouldn't classify it as "advanced" necessarily, it is much more challenging than you'd think. The way the chart is followed is veeerrrrryyy different and takes a lot of getting used to. But I think the result is worth the aggravation. As you can see, the front is complete and I'm just finishing up the back. I'll get a pillow form this weekend, tie and sew her up, and voila!

I started this tissue box cover, but I knew it was going to get put on hold when I started it. So it may remain in this very primitive state for some time. But it is officially "in progress" so I must include it here. :)

If my sister is reading this, then she is waiting for me to acknowledge the very existence of this next WIP. It's her tablecloth that I agreed to make for her several years ago and it is far, far, far from finished. It was in time out for quite a while, but I've taken it out and have worked on it off and on again. The pattern comes from an old pattern book that she got from an aunt's estate and has the redonculous name "Square-a-Day Tablecloth". I have spent a Saturday doing little else but working on a square for this thing and let me tell you: If crocheting this were my actual job, on which I spent a solid eight hours in a day with no lunch or bathroom breaks and didn't stop to chat with anyone or pee, there is no way on God's green earth I could make one of these squares in one day. There must have been some supremely awesome Speed in the 50's, and all the grannies must have been on it. Although, I suppose technically a day is 24 hours. So, sorry, Sis. It's out of time out now and I'll keep plugging away at it, but it's gonna take some more time. I've almost completed three of the twelve squares.

Who knows, maybe I'll find a groove and just start crankin' 'em out. Stranger things have happened.

Now, this is the one that absolutely kills me. I started a purple (of course!) afghan for Gator over ten years ago. I got about a third of the way done and we moved. The afghan and the rest of the required yarn ended up stored in a trash bag. And then we moved again. And again. It ended up in a storage unit for awhile. When I went to get it out of storage, I couldn't find it. Now, this storage unit was one we shared with my In-Laws, so things got shuffled around a lot when I wasn't looking. So I looked some more. I asked my In-Laws. I looked some more. We emptied the storage unit a few years ago and it was nowhere to be found. I figured, hey, it was in a trash bag after all, somebody threw it away by mistake. Disappointing, but far from the end of the world.

When I moved back to Columbia from Milwaukee, I went to my In-Laws to get some stuff of ours they had stored. Guess what? It was in the bottom of a closet! No one really knew when or how it got there! So now I can finish Gator's Amethyst Blankie!

This photo is actually pretty tragic -- the color is waaaay off. It's really a very rich plum that I like very much. But mostly I lurve the combination of crocheted cables with the super cushy waffle stitch. Yum!

So there you have it! I've spent Wednesday evening showing off my Works in progress and now I'm Wiped and can no longer remain Wakeful as I need my Wits about me tomorrow at Work so I can earn my Wage.


I crack myself up!

Monday, January 25, 2010

What I do 2.0 (sorta)

You may be wondering just what I do in my sparkly new job. Also, you may not care a fig. In that case, all is not lost today because I'm really only going to describe my work in about two or three sentences. Maybe four. Just skip down to the pretty pictures now. I won't mind.

Actually, I'm going to let the rest of the innernets give you the details -- then you can read as much or as little as you want. Ready? Basically, I'm an aerobiologist and flow cytometrist in a core facility for researchers who study pathogens and the immune response to infection. In reality, it's a brand new facility and we're still just setting up and don't have any real pathogens yet and I'm still learning to run my $1,000,000 worth of equipment. In case you were wondering where your tax dollars are going. I take really good care of them, I promise. :)

Make that $1,000,250 because I also got a new digital camera for the lab and I've been playing with it, checking the best settings for extreme close-ups, playing with the lighting, etc. You know how people take photos of ordinary things very close up and/or from an extreme angle and then it becomes "Art" photography? I really think these types of photo are pretty predictable and uninspired. I usually end up liking them anyway. I never claimed to be a particularly sophisticated art lover.

I went off on this artsy tangent because -- surprise! -- I took some of this very type of photo in my aerobiology lab. I want to blow them up really big, frame them, and hang them in the lobby and front hallway of our facility. This probably won't happen, but I can at least share them with you! Aren't you the lucky ones! ;)

Tunnel of Glove -- the inside of one of the gloves on my glovebox.

Triumph -- a row of glove ports on the box.

Rabbit Row -- animal cages.

Aspen -- the lid of the sonicator.

Parade -- rivets around the pass-through port of the glovebox.

And yes, I do find them predictable and uninspired. And yes, I like them anyway. Don't worry. I'll be keeping the day job.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Can we actually do this now?

So I've been trying to post to my blog since Wednesday. That's when the internet problems began. So I'm finally posting, but I admit I'm kinda phoning this one in. I feel bad, but I promised Aunt Judy a picture of a baby and by Jove she's gonna get a picture of a baby. Even if it's late. Hooyah.

Gator and I didn't do any traveling over the holidays. This is nominally because we needed new tires on the pickup, but it was mostly just because we don't like to travel over the holidays. The weather's usually bad, the roads are full of idiots, etc., but I digress. The result of this is that I had not seen my sister or nieces for months and months and I had a new great-niece that I had never met. Also, there were presents for the great nieces and nephews that had not yet been received.

About a week and a half ago, we finally got the new tires for the pickup. So I messaged my sis and nieces on Facebook that I would daytrip to Kansas City, meet up with as many of them as could come, deliver presents, meet a new baby, and a wonderful time would be had by all. This went over very well and fabulous plans were made, including a visit to the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. Yay! Super fun!

So the day comes, I get around, the weather's crappy but that's not to stop me! I get to my niece Liz's house in KC and finally get to meet the newest of my greats -- Miss Eleanor!

She didn't want to look at the camera too badly, but that's okay because she was sweet and charming and let me hold her for an hour and didn't fuss once. (Here she is being held by my other niece, Becca, who is not Ellie's mother -- just to avoid confusion.)

So we're going over the line-up for the day and Liz gets to the part where the kids will open their presents... and my heart drops. In all the truck-ready-crappy-weather-getting-ready that morning, I forgot the presents. 'Cause I'm a moron dorkwad. So we had to explain to children who had been super excited to come get presents that they weren't getting presents. Oh, but they were still going to a Museum!!!! That went over great.

So I'm going back to KC soon, to meet up with my sister and nieces and great nieces and nephews and redeem myself as the cool great aunt. Which is important to me. Because "the cool great aunt" is not a term you hear every day.

Unless you're my Aunt Judy, and then you are the cool great great aunt. Which is just cool. Happy Bday, Jude. Love you. :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Heat wave

Wow, we went from -12 to 50 F in, like, a week. Freaky deaky. I tend to not complain about nice weather, but I have two new yummy accessories and I'm not going to get to wear them if it stays this warm. And, remember, it's really all about me. ;)

On Christmas Eve, SpikeTV broadcast the original Star Wars trilogy. Of course, I have four copies of these movies (two VHS versions and two DVD versions), but whenever I come across them on TV I have to watch them. And they've become holiday standbys, which I lurve. Especially since Darth Vader speaks to me every time I turn on my Christmas tree. Which I also lurve. Hee!

So it was all Christmassy and Star Warsy and it was cold out and I was cozy and so I made a hat! It's very warm and cute and it has a huge flower and I love it! But now it's warm again and I'm wishing for just a little bit more cold so I can wear this more.

Beanie Brim Cap by Hannah Levine
Lion Brad Jiffy in Charcoal
Size USJ hook

One of my favorite go-to wool yarns is Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool. Almost three years ago I used it to make a cabled scarf and two years ago I used it to make a cabled hat. That left a desperate need for cabled mittens to go with. Had to fix that, right?? So I spent the first two days of 2010 filling the cable void in my accessory wardrobe.

Very Cabley Mittens by Kelly Porpiglia
Lion Brand Fisherman's Yarn
Size US6 needles

I think knitters and skiers are the only people who wish for more winter. We're so crazy that way!

Monday, January 11, 2010

I'll take "Things That Came in the Mail Today" for $200, Alex

So, hi, howya been? Cold enough for you? Yeah. Me too.

::looks around::

Yeah, we're just going to pretend those last nine months of silence didn't happen. Moving on!!

Here's some pretty things I made! Observe! Allow me to distract you with photos because my new camera cord came today!!

In August I moved away from the town that I love more than any town I've ever lived in. I left awesome friends that I adore. I came back to Missouri, which I don't adore. I got a new place with Gator, the love of my life, whom I adore more than anyone ever. Which is very, very good. I just fail to see why I can't have both Gator AND Milwaukee and will feel this way for ever and ever Amen.

So I left MKE in August and I didn't have time to make awesome going away presents for all my dear friends, most notably the Smart Girls (tm), because I was busy doing fanciful things like writing a thesis and having a lot of fun with said Smart Girls (tm). But I did make my thesis advisor a yummy silk and viscose scarf (zomg, that yarn is to DIE for!!!).

Breast Cancer Awareness Scarf by Heather Bagni
Rowan RYC Natural Silk Aran Yarn
Size US6 and US8 needles

I also made a little something for my neighbor and friend Ron, who helped me out a lot and showed me a ton of great things in SE Wisconsin and was generally a great guy. He sails on tallships twice a year in different exotic locations like Spain, Fiji, Rio de Janeiro, etc. I know, must be rough, eh? So I made him this:

It's pretty darned straightforward stitching, but the frame was a total find (love you, Michael's!) and makes it look much more awesome.

So then I moved back to Columbia. Into a duplex. A duplex previously inhabited by three undergrad guys. That was not cleaned before we moved in. Or, most probably, before they had moved in. Or the people before them. After crying, screaming, calling the landlord, and going into what Gator calls Completely Polite But Completely Terrifying mode, we did get the landlord to deal with the inch of moldy slime in the bottom of the refrigerator. And the oven was "cleaned" (but it was much better).

So began the systematic scrubbing of the duplex. Honestly, I'm still not done. But there's only so long I can stay in that mode before I just have to start vegging out again. Oh, and we got a Wii, which totally cuts in to the cleaning time. And I started knitting and crocheting again after a brief hiatus.

My friend Tricia's SO Tommy really liked the bear I made for Gator last year. So I finally made one for Tommy, too. Here Tommy's orange bear sits beside his purple brother, Bearsly, who actually sleeps in our bed every night. Aren't they the cutest things?

Animal Pillows by Jennifer Down Under
Red Heart Super Saver Yarn
Size I US hook

I only made one handcrafted Christmas gift this year, which is kind of weird, actually. My niece is a total Twilight fangirl, so I made her the scarf that Bella wears during the baseball game in the first movie.

Bella Swan's Baseball Scarf by Nancy Fry
Caron Simply Soft Yarn
Size US8 needles

I think it was a big hit. :)

So that's a little of what I've been up to. Stay tuned for more and, before you know it, you'll be all caught up with me!

And they say all people who blog are Narcissistic. Pshaw.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

She knows.

She knows she hasn't posted for freaking ever. She knows her graphics all went away (because they were hosted at Geocities). She knows.

She wrote a thesis, she graduated, she moved back to Missouri and her hubby, she started a new job. She got a Wii. She's still unpacking (yes, still). She's still cleaning grime from the nooks and crannies of her new place (omg, it was soooo gross when we moved in!).

She lost her camera cord. She has been knitting and crocheting, and taking photos of the FO's. Said pictures are trapped on the camera. She has ordered a new cord. It has not yet arrived. She is cheap and only gets the slow kind of shipping.

She feels like so much has happened that she doesn't know where to start. She will probably just show you some things she made instead.

But not until the cord arrives.

And then she will stop referring to herself in the third person.

But it was awfully artsy, wasn't it?