Thursday, September 30, 2004

I'm back and I come bearing photos. The next few entries will probably be all about my vacation, so if you are uninterested, check back in a few days. Anyone else, here's how it went.


We arrived in Bergen early in the morning. Double checking our guidebook, we realized that the primary attraction actually in Bergen is an open air fish market with many local crafts and fresh produce. Sound a little familiar Seattle-ites? We decided to skip that and head straight for the Songnefjord. We did have quite a long bus ride around Bergen to the train station, so we got a good feel for the city anyway. Apparently Bergen is Seattle's sister city, and with good reason. The buildings were different, but the land was very similar. I saw many hillsides covered in houses rising up out of lakes that reminded me strongly of looking across Lake Union to Capitol Hill or Queen Anne. It was a very cute town, but we had places to go and fjords to see.

We hopped on a train and then a bus and ended up at the beginning of our fjord cruise. I was very relieved at this point, because I had been sure we were going to die on the bus. To get to Gundvangen you have to go down Northern Europes steepest switchback road. In a very tall buss. Our driver seemed to be going around the bends awfully quickly (of course if I was driving, and staved off a panic attack, we would take 6 months to a year to get down), but we made it and I got off the bus shaking and muttering things about high centers of gravity. This is an example of when a little physics knowledge is a bad thing.

The cruise was amazing, I can't even describe it. Just look:

The photos don't even do it justice. It's all just so big and breathtaking you can't get a picture that captures it. If you look closely in the last picture you will see a farm on top of the hill on the right. The name of it translates to "steep farm, " and the "easy" way up is a ladder. Maybe climbing the hill to the busstop at home isn't so bad...

Mark was pretty funny on this part, as he was seriously jetlagged. If he was not standing he could not keep his eyes open. He didn't fade off to sleep either; it was always instantaneous and hilarious (a la Monsters Inc). Fortunately the cruise was long and the boat moved slowly so I could wake him up when there were especially cool sites.

We spent the night in Flam, the tiny town at the end of the cruise. After quite a bit of searching for the youth hostel (and some panicing as I realized exactly how much this vacation was costing us on just the first day) we gave in and stayed at a fairly pricey pension. On the up side, this was the view from our room:


We had a great continental breakfast, but were amused to find these things provided:

Amused, and a bit concerned. You'll note the bacon cheese has a picture of bacon, the herring and caviar have pictures of fish, and the liverwurst has a picture of... a child?!

A very scenic train ride, with a stop at the best waterfall, brought us to Myrdall to catch another train to Oslo.

I include both photos because the waterfall is beautiful and you want to see it without us in the way, but the other is a very rare example of a vacation photo with people in it. I believe we have three on this trip.

Myrdall is nothing really other than a train station in which we had to wait an hour. It was a nice station though, and had amazingly good food at astonishingly good prices. I believe this was where we discovered that the hot chocolate in Scandanavia, no matter how cheap or even if it comes out of a machine, is to die for.

It may come up again, but I would like to mention at this point how much I love travelling in the off-season. On our fjord cruise there were two other couples and no one else. On the train from Flam there were enough empty seats that we were all able to move to whichever side was more scenic at the time. This is not the experience you would have in August, and it really enhances the trip. Hotels and sites are also cheaper, and September is early enough that sites do not have limited hours and hostels haven't closed. It's all wonderful.

Speaking of wonderful, the scenery on the way to Oslo was amazing. I only have one poor example because it took me hours to realize that I could take pictures from the train, and I fell asleep for a good bit of it (I really wish I hadn't missed it, but se la vi).

The beginning of the ride was through an area that still had lots of elevation change, was very rocky, and was clearly autumn. It was gorgeous. I saw several people biking along the water at the bottom of the fjords and through the mountains. That would be an awesome trip.

Sunday and Monday:

I really liked Oslo. It was a very pretty city, especially the harbor:

Near the harbor we went to the Norwegian Resistance Museum. It was fascinating. I had never really learned anything about Norway's role in WWII, and had just lumped them in with Sweden and figured they were neutral. Not so. They were occupied by Germany for much of the war, and the tales of the resistance movement were gripping. One thing that really struck me was the fact that even under a very sudden and effective surprise attack they were able to get the king, parliment, and even the country's reserve of gold bars out and safely to Britian. It was also all a very different perspective on the war; I have never before been through rooms, hours, and pages full of WWII information in which the US was only incidentally mentioned twice.

We took a ferry out to a peninsula of Oslo to see the Viking Ship Museum, the Fram, and an open-air folk museum. The Viking ships were very cool, and amazingly well preserved:

The Fram was used in many very cold journeys; by Nansen in the arctic and by Amundson to be the first to reach the South Pole, for example. I found it very funny that Amundson waited until after they had set sail to ask his crew if they would try for the South Pole record with him (they had been planning to go to the North Pole, but it had just been reached by another expedition). The Fram was caught in the ice for three years on the journey. I can't even imagine that, and they sort of expected it.

The folk museum was a bit of a disappointment, because we got there hours before they were really going to get going with the glassblowing demonstrations and such. There was a very cool stave church there, though.

We took the bus back to the main part of town (not quite as exciting as the ferry) and hopped on a train up the mountain to visit the Holmenkollen ski jump. As per Rick Steve's advice we went past it to the end of the line and ate at the very expensive restaurant on the walk down.

It was good, though, and we got to try some more traditional Norwegian food (mmm.... meatballs and apple cake). Then we got lost and walked really far. This was the beginning of our troubles with Rick Steve's Guide to Scandanavia. It is not his best work. I have followed Rick from Spain to Prague and everywhere in between and loved him, but he lead us astray many times on this trip. His directions were horrendously lacking in many places that in his other books I have not needed an official map of the city (like his orientation walks), and sometimes were just completely wrong, as were some of his addresses. Grr. This will come up again.

We finally wound up at the train tracks and found a stop (well below where we were supposed to have ended up, I might add) and took the train directly to Holmenkollen. The view was breathtaking

We decided not to go in the museum or climb up the jump, but we did try the ski simulator. It was fun, but would have felt much more real if I was in the front of the three rows or taller so I wasn't looking mostly at the back of someone's head. Then we enjoyed the breeze and the view, which included this guy:

He looks quite a bit like the Fremont Troll. It was a nice piece of home.

We also explored Vigeland Park in Oslo. It's a beautiful park on its own, and I loved the sculptures, such as

The last thing we saw in Oslo was Town Hall. All around the U-shaped entrance were carvings of Norse legends. This was one of my favorite things in Norway, since it showed the history of the culture in a respect that was unique to this area. It seemed most of those things had been wiped out by the Church (since they were pagan) or WWII (since it was just generally destructive), so this was a treat.

These women became human for a few years and married three brothers, two of whom died chasing after them when they turned back into swans and the third waited the rest of his life for his wife to return.

We had been staying in a wonderful B&B called Ragnar and Frode's. (Technically it was just a B since we were on our own for breakfast, but that term gives a better feel for the place.) That was a good thing, because we got to stay there an extra night. After packing all of our things and lugging them to the train station, we discovered our schedule was old and we had missed the last train to Stockholm by hours. We had to haul everything back meekly and ask for another night, which fortunately they could provide. This didn't really matter since the morning train was so early that we would have plenty of time in Stockholm, but was a hastle.

I think that's enough for today. Tomorrow: Finland and Sweden.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Leaving for Scandanavia in four hours. Freaking out that I'm forgetting something. Very tired. See you in two weeks.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

I had a nightmare last week that it was the general election and they wouldn't let me vote privately. Nobody could see the paper, but you had to fill in a little map of the US with a blue or a red marker (I've been reading too much Newsweek) and everyone could see what color pen you had. All of my family and anyone I had ever met was there, and I knew, someone or probably a large group of someones, was going to be pissed no matter what. I was running around frantically trying to hide to vote when I woke up in tears. I thought I was being silly, I had no idea my dream was prophetic.

I voted in the primary yesterday, which was a highly unsettling experience for me. Not because of the new primary system (welcome to the other 49 states, Washington, it's not that hard), but because of the lack of privacy. It's voting! Privacy should not be a question! The little booths that you voted in were just tables with sides and there was no curtain. The sheet was way bigger than the table, so I felt like it was all hanging out there for anyone to see. It was probably fine, but I have never even seen voting without curtains in all my years watching my parents vote, voting in three states, and watching TV and movies. I didn't like it. Then came the worst part. You had to take your ballot (the huge piece of paper you have just made large and obvious marks on both sides of) and walk across the room past all the other voters, attendants, and whoever else happened to be around. After getting to the collection box I saw sitting on top of it two "privacy shields" you could put your ballot in.

1.) There were ten voting booths and two privacy folders.

If you make hiding your vote an option, it is a quick jump to a tool of intimidation. "Why do you want the folder; what do you have to hide?" If you disagree with family or friends but feel arguing would be a waste of energy with them, it is easy in conversation to avoid telling them so, but if they go to the polls with you and can see what you do or that you feel an "unusual" need to hide it, your vote could much more easily be swayed with this system. Voting your conscience should not be difficult.

You know, though I would still be unsettled, I don't think I would have left the polling place staving off a panic attack in another place like CO where people are a little more evenly split between parties and are accostomed to everybody having their own opinion. In Seattle I would actually fear reprecussions if I had voted against the mainstream liberal bent and people could see.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Yesterday was a day of frogging. About 30 rows in it occurred to me that these sleeves could fit practically around my waist. It's really sad that it took me so long to figure out, but I had about 20 extra blue stitches. See; jinxed myself. I frogged them, decided I should just give in to not finishing this before I leave and started on the HLF scarf. After working my way through one pattern repeat I realized that I had done the first cables wrong (back rather than front), and I'm not using alpaca to make so-so garments. So I frogged that. All of this frogging, especially with intarsia and provisional cast-ons providing extra balls of yarn, meant that I spent a great deal of my time at Purlygirls untangling yarn. I actually managed to stay pretty cheerful throughout; it must have been the gin.

Also sad last night was the season premiere of Everwood. It's not that the episode was sad, it's that I miss Colorado so very, very much. When they broke for the theme song and credits and showed this:

Mark and I both wimpered. I guess it's better than last year when I burst into tears. I like Seattle, but apparently I got very attatched to Colorado and the photo montage of the mountains is a bit much for me.

Though it may not seem like it, I have actually noticed the new Knitty. The last one was deliciously naughty, but this one has things I would actually like to make. I have already joined the ZigZag knitalong. I'm not really sure I'll have a chance to make it while everyone else is, but at least I can hear what's working and what's not. Speaking of which, I have an awesome knitting husband. I asked him if he liked the sweater and then sighed "someday" because it would require buying more yarn when I just ordered for the DNA scarf and Rogue and have bunches that need to be knit into Christmas gifts. He seemed surprised that I was planning on waiting, and seemed completely fine with the concept of more immediate yarn purchases. I'm so lucky *sniff.* Of course I do the finances so he doesn't have quite as solid a knowledge of how much of our free income is going to yarn, but he must have some idea since he knows how much each purchase costs.

I also love Blaze, designed by Purlygirl Jenna. I'm not sure if I'll summon up the patience to do all of those cables (things that take Jenna a long time scare me). But I will definitely be looking at it longingly often. Upon closer inspection, however, I do already own yarn that would work...

I have some acrylic tagged for Hallowig designed by another Purlygirl, Megan (it's so exciting knowing all of these designers). It is such a clever and unique idea!

I love the concepts for Skating Queen and Giraffe, though I probably won't make them. While I am in love with the idea of a knit skirt I'm still looking for one that I would actually look reasonable in. And I have way too much hair to be comfortable in Giraffe. Maybe for some child. Speaking of children, Tigger is adorable.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Last night I finished my very last chapter of notetaking. Yea! Of course I still need to take notes on the sections only found on the CD, but the light at the end of the tunnel is shining bright.

I ripped out the four rows I had done on the sleeve (and then couldn't remember why) and started over doing both sleeves at the same time. That was a gigantic pain. I love having the sleeves just done when I finish going through the pattern once, but I barely had enough room on the needles so squishing it all down was taking a lot of energy and cramping my hands. And I thought the three balls of yarn for the front got tangled! Let's just say I had something very akin to a spiderweb happening beneath the needles despite my best efforts. When I hit the increases I knew I had to give up. I now have 14 rows of one sleeve on a holder and am working on the other. I think I should be able to finish these up today and block them overnight. We're looking at a finished sweater by Wednesday! (I should add that I am furiously knocking on wood and hoping I haven't just jinxed myself by assuming it will all go smoothly.)

Sunday, September 12, 2004

I couldn't post last night because I was too upset. The two pieces of Tricot came out completely different widths. Like entire inches different. I don't understand it. They have the same number of stitches, I did it on the same needles... I have decided to block them and see how it goes. At this point some seeming won't be that much more work to have to do if an entire side needs to be redone. The results of just stretching the smaller one and pinning it down for an hour were encouraging, so I blocked both with pins and iron and all, and they are drying now. I was so dejected that the project stalled until tonight, so I have only just now cast on for the first sleeve (and of course knit the first row to avoid cursing my project into unfinished purgatory for all time by stopping after the cast-on). I've actually never done a raglar before, so this is kind of exciting. I am a bit nervous that my redoing the math for a different gauge will now haunt me, but I think the best thing to do is push blindly ahead following my previous calculations and hope for the best.

Today I took my first official knitting class; Japanese short-rows with Susana Hansson at Churchmouse Yarn and Teas. I feel a little like I missed out by not having years and years of doing shoulders the difficult way. Everyone else seemed to be experiencing such unadulterated joy upon seeing the technique. I definitely liked and will use it, but since I have only made one sweater this may as well be "the way" to me rather than the miracle it was for others. You can see the sample I made:

In the close-up you can see how there are no hole or weirdly angled stitches. This technique makes perfect little rows, and all without wraps!

[You can also see that I am not completely adept with my camera yet. All of my pictures are slightly fuzzy and the color is way off. That yarn is very bright blue and purple. This must be remedied before Scandanavia.]

I'm kicking myself for not just sucking it up and taking her whole "Finishing for the Finiky" class. I didn't really need three hours to pick up this technique, so it would have been nice to get the other stuff. Now I don't want to take that, though, because I've already done this part. Dang.

Churchmouse was wonderful as always. They brought us fantastic tea, and the sale bins were overflowing. Though there was enough yarn for several different complete projects, I couldn't actually come up with any of them. Exercising a level of control I didn't know I possessed, especially in the face of a class discount, I left with nothing but notions and needles.

I used my new needles to restart my Honey Lane Farms scarf. The pattern calls for size 8s, but it was very, very loose. So far this is better, though I actually need to restart it because Mark wants a different pattern (still from HLF, it is for his mother, and I did ask). I was only three rows in, though, so that doesn't matter.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

The Young Head of Family

...The family, having become wealthy thanks to the clever young woman, built an ancestral hall of fine design and elaborate workmanship, and put the words "No Sorrow" as an inscription over the entrance. Soon aftter, a Mandarin passed that way, and, noticing this remarkable inscription, had his sedan-chair set down, that he might inquire who were the people that professed to have no sorrow. He sent for the head of the family, and was much surprised on seing so young a woman thus appear, and said: "Yours is a singular faamily. I have never before seen one without sorrow, nor one with so young a head. I will fine you for your impudence. go and weave me a piece of cloth as long as this road."

In most fairy tales, this is where the girl sits down to cry and her animal friends come to help her. Not this chick.

"Very well," responded the little woman; "so soon as your Excelleny shall have found the two ends of the road, and informed me as to the number of feet in its length, I will at once begin the weaving."

This girl rocks.

Finding himself at fault, the Mandarin added, "And I also fine you as much oil as there is water in the sea."

"Certainly," responded the woman; "as soon as you have measured the sea, and sent me correct information as to the number of gallons, I will at once begin to press out the oil from my beans."

"Indeed!" said the Mandarin "Since you are so sharp, perhaps you can penetrate my thoughts. If you can, I will fine you no more. I hold this pet quail in my hand; now tell me whether I mean to squeese it to death or to let it fly in the air."

"Well," said the woman, "I am an obscure commoner and you are a famed magistrate; if you are no more knowing than I, you have no right to fine me at all. Now I stand with one foot on one side of my threshold and the other foot on the other side; tell me whether I mean to go in or to come out. If you cannot guess my riddle, you should not require me to guess yours."

Being unable to guess her intention, the Mandarin took his departure. The family live long and in opulence and good reput under its chosen head.

The Chinese seem to have a slightly wordier "happily ever after."

I love this story. It is a traditional tale, but it is different from most especially in moral. Being witty is not usually the defining characteristic of the hero or the way out of trouble. And they mentioned weaving...

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Well, my advisor contacted me today. It was both a relief and immensely frustrating. The good bits are that our funding from the FAA has come through and that there is enough flexible money that it can cover me going to Portland for workshops on multivariate analysis. Of course without this technique I could collect data until I am dead and have no idea what to do with it or what it means. In this light the trip seems not entirely optional, but I guess they could refuse to pay for it and expect me to figure it out from books. I'm telling you right now that would not go well. This bright side quickly devolved into frustration as we tried to work out the details of the trip (registration, costs, transportation, lodging, etc). What could have been a conversation of about a minute and a half turned into a day of emailing. Brian would tell me to find something out, I would do so in 30 seconds, email him back, wait two hours for a response, and the cycle would repeat. Since meeting in person is so clearly superior (a suggestion that has been summarily ignored in all emails), I find this to be incontrovertable evidence of an elaborate conspiracy designed to distract me and keep me from getting an actual degree. After all, email does not in any way require the existance of a living, breathing human being, and especially not a specific one. [Technically, I think that his wife is taking advantage of his flexible summer schedule to work more leaving him with the kids, but I see no reason to focus on such reasonable answers that in no way revolve around me.] To top it all off, he suggested I put the qual off until spring. No!!!! I will not have spent all of this time studying for nothing! And don't say that it would just mean I have several more months to learn the material all the better. Any human being would stop studying immediately and all would be forgotten. You would too. A slightly more rational reason this would be the wrong thing to do is that Mark is moving to Georgia in the March, and if I fail the qual I am going to stop at the masters and go with him. I don't want to stay here alone, and possibly having committed to an apartment lease, until May only to fail.

[This is a very long post, so I feel it necessary to include at least one photo, but nothing is particularily visual today. Therefore I give you... "Pillow." I love the scalloped button edge and the stitch which sadly I cannot get a good detail photo of. This pattern is from Simple Knits for Sophisticated Living, and was knit out of Caron acrylic. Surprisingly, it made a very cushy case that even the most anti-acrylic Purlygirls liked the feel of. Go figure.]

As for more crafty pursuits, I met up with the Seattle Stitch 'n Bitch tonight. This is always a fun group as it is people that I don't see very often, and there are always new faces. We had to meet at Essential Baking because the Stuff Cafe was closed for repairs or something. I absolutely love EB, I was just looking forward to checking out the other place as I have never been there. I didn't accomplish much as I was having major focus issues. In addition to becoming very caught up chatting and ceasing to knit in order to gesture, I screwed up about the second row I knit there, didn't realize it for a while and only finished tearing back when it was time to leave. I did, however, solve the Tricot Mystery. The back-front will from here on out be known as the front. This is very exciting, as it means that my instinct for the pattern was right. Usually I just think there has been a mistake, "fix" it, and then need to redo acres of a pattern. On the other hand, this was not the sort of pattern mistake that interrupted my knitting at all. It was just a swapped heading, so there was no trauma, headaches from finding potential solutions, or searching the web desperately for errata. Ah, the perfect pattern error; all ego and no agony. My new goal is to finish this by Thursday so I can bring it to Scandanavia. I'm not sure why, but wearing my new self-knit sweater there is much more exciting than the thought of wearing it on this side of the Atlantic.

[Blogger has been having issues, so we'll try posting last night's entry again.]

Bom-bom-bom, another one bites the dust! And another one's gone, and another one's gone... That's right, I took copious notes on three chapters of my qual book tonight. Did I mention that as they get later and longer, they cover less interesting topics? It was hellish, but I went over to Kuan Yin Teahouse after lunch and got down to business. Eight hours and eight pots of tea later I arose triumphant (in a crosseyed, stiff, overhydrated sort of way). Say, did you know that the icky acidity you get when you over-steep green tea makes the caffeine hit you three times as hard? I switched to oolong. Needless to say, not much else got done today. For a laugh, though, check this out.

Monday, September 06, 2004

I was wrong and I am sorry. I hereby apologize for anything bad I may have said about Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk (about quality, not price or quantity). I was basing my opinion on attempts at the blend by other brands, where the silk has just made the alpaca not as soft but wasn't enough to actually be silky. Where others have tried and failed, however, Debbie Bliss has produced the Yarn of the Gods. And just in time for my revelation, Jessica posted about finding it for $5.49! So... I have 8 balls of it heading toward me as we speak. I ordered the dark blue, and am going to use it for my DNA scarf. I know that it is the wrong gauge, but I also know that I consider patterns suggestions; inspiration, if you will. I'll work something out. I ordered some extra so that I can make a matching headband out of it too, or maybe a little something for myself.

Because of the holiday, Purlygirls was pretty sparse. We still had a great time, of course, and we managed to pick up three knitters who will hopefully start coming. I am almost done with the back-front to Tricot. I have reached the point where I need to follow new instructions, so hopefully the mystery over which piece it actually is will soon come clear.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Let it be known throughout the land that I am now and will forever be a trail runner. My eyes were opened today to the joy that is trail running at Cougar Mountain Regional Wildlife Park. Not a bit of cement, or even asphalt, to be seen; fabulous for those of us trying to convince our knees that 15 years of gymnastics has not made running an impossible dream. I admit that I was a bit concerned that they felt the need to post what to do in case of encountering a bear or cougar, but I remain uneaten. The land was pure northwest greenery and gorgeous. The variety of the trail was excellent. There were a few hills, and the trail could even be considered a bit trecherous to be barrelling along at times, but it was still the easiest run I've had since I started really training a few weeks ago. When you're focusing on what you're doing so as not to trip and break an ankle, you think a whole lot less about how you wish you weren't doing it. I ducked under low branches, darted around trees, raced a bunny, and had a wonderful run. I will never go back to running to work, the Burke-Gilman or (heaven forbid) a treadmill. If only this park weren't all the way in Bellevue.

After my run of ecstasy, I met some of the Eastside Stitchers at the lovely, if outrageously inaccurately named, Sassy Teahouse. I got there a little late and so was a bit flustered trying to figure out how to order; thereby missing out on trying any of the dainty crustless sandwiches or quiches or other fancy tea delights. I did, however have my first decent cup of coffee since moving to Seattle. I will spare you all the Starbucks et al rant, but let's just say that the city know primarily for coffee has made me switch almost exclusively to tea. At any rate, I highly recommend Sassy's mocha. Not bitter in the slightest, and a very standard price. And yes, I do see the irony in ordering coffee from a teahouse when I have been ordering tea from coffeehouses for a year.

I restarted the front-back of Tricot and managed to make it to the beginning of the decreases before I had to head back into the city. We were having such a good time knitting and talking that it was a bit of a shock to realize that it had been almost three hours. I do have to say that some of our conversation made me once again very grateful to actually live in the city with all of our wonderful yarn stores and easy public transportation and such. I know many people can't stand the though of living in a major metropolitan area, but I was born in a city and I hope to die in a city (in like 90 years). Of course the Airforce may have other plans for my husband...

Today was one of those rare days where I don't feel guilty at the end of it for what I didn't get to. Not only did I have a chance to relax and knit, I actually worked out and studied for the qual (aka: the bane of my existance). With the help of some knitting breaks between the last few sections, I actually made it through two chapters of copious note taking tonight! Just four more to go... before I start studying the notes I have taken. Yipee. It really is a dirty trick that the chapters get longer the later they are (ie the more fervently you want to kill yourself rather than read anymore). But at least the nights I study I can ward off the sense of impending doom temporarily and fool myself into thinking I might actually pass this test.

Friday, September 03, 2004

I missed the Skeins sale today, so I'm going to have to find some other source of plush DNA scarf yarn. Oh well, the sour grapes part of my brain is telling me that they are so over-priced, 25% off isn't that big of a deal anyway.

Though I seem to have been html centered, I have been doing some actual knitting in the past few days and I have the photos to prove it:

Yup, it's the finished front to Tricot. Or so it claims. I think it may actually be the back because 1. Who writes patterns where you make the front first?, and 2. There is no split for the collar, and it looks like it is in the "back" section of the pattern. As I continue knitting, I guess I will find out. I cast on and did the first three rows for the next part, whatever it may be, but I forgot the beginning is on smaller needles, so that will need to be restarted today. Hopefully this will not give me as much trouble as the first section did. It is such a simple pattern, but I seem to inject a little trauma into anything I do and this has been no different. At one point I had to frog forty (count 'em: 40) rows because I did the decreases in the wrong color area. Then when I started knitting again, I went four rows before I realized I was doing the exact same thing again! I got it all straightened out now, so here's hoping the next bit will be smoother. I'm also using yarn of a different gauge than the CottonEase the pattern was written for, Jaeger Cadiz, but other than extra math that really hasn't caused any problems yet (knock on wood). I can't wait to get this done; everytime I've worked on it I've really wished I was wearing it.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

I have been spending all of my time (note: I did not say all of my spare time) in the last two days designing this blog, my header/button, etc. Most of it was figuring out how to make a three column layout in CSS. A lesser woman would have given up, given in, and used a table (a lesser woman may also have accomplished other things after having a very nice blog in a few hours), but that's not me. Thanks to some amazing code from this guy, I not only finally got three columns using a style sheet alone, I have a whole bunch of other features like support for even the most difficult browsers, and a blog that resizes to fit any window. I have to say that this CSS thing is much nicer than typing style comments over and over in plain html. Stubborness aside, it did not help my speed that I also got hopelessly distracted along the way playing with things like html color code combinations. Ah well, I only sort of had other things I was supposed to accomplish.

I'm working on a new theory about my grad school experience; I don't think that my advisor really exists. I'm pretty sure that I just dreamed him up one night and became convinced that I actually had a research project and someone to guide it. I developed this theory on Monday when I realized that I hadn't seen Brian in weeks, and my time-sensative email from Thursday had gone without response. My hypothesis has yet to be disproven. This is good in terms of blogs and knitting, but not so good if I ever hope to leave UW. I have become greatly jealous watching Mark get to work by a specific time each morning and coming home at night having collected actual data, when I have just been playing on the net all day. My, grad school has twisted me.