Friday, February 25, 2005

I totally jinxed myself by promising photos yesterday. I ran out of masking tape, so I barely got anywhere on the painting. It really, really needs to get done tomorrow, though, as I am very quickly running out of February.

I did, however, get an exciting delivery:

Yes, I too have jumped on the Knit Picks bandwagon. The Alpaca Cloud is for the Feather and Fan Shawl from A Gathering of Lace. The Merino Style is for Ribby Cardi. I was really expecting the coal to be more of a dark gray than a black, but okay. I haven't decided on the sleeve color. What do you think?


The Wool of the Andes is for Fuzzy Feet.

I didn't get much done knitting or painting-wise today, because I spent most of the day at Boeing getting millions of tiny carbon fiber splinters. Oh, and 2/3 of my samples are useless. This is what was supposed to happen today:

This is what happened in most cases:

Damn. This means much more time at Boeing.

Then when I went to knit tonight I forgot my pattern for Rogue, so I borrowed scraps from Cass and Janet and needles from Jean and started this for the Dulan Project:

It's going to be for one of the older children.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The past few days have been very hectic, and I've been pretty fried by the end of them (a fact to which many Purlygirls can attest as last night they witnessed much incoherent mumbling, staring into space, and utter confusion when asked simple questions). I had a paper for the SAMPE speaking contest due Monday. This didn't entirely happen. An important life truth was reiterated to me; if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. In my research I am supposed to see if surface differences affect performance. I looked at the surfaces and then in a miraculous move, was given the data on performance. Yea! Several tests I don't need to do! I looked closer at the data... and found out that there is nothing saying which samples were made of what. IE, I have no idea what surfaces performed better. I emailed the guy who gave me the results. He doesn't know. I would never have thought this would be a problem from a professional. At this point I didn't have time to do the tests myself, and nothing to write about. Damn. He seems to think he could figure it out if he looked at them again, maybe they'll accept the paper late...

The other thing that has taken all of my blogging time is painting the new place. I keep hoping that I'll be able to post pictures, but it refuses to be done. I think one more day should do it. I'm very happy with how it's turning out. Of course once all this work is done I need to actually move...

I have been finding time to knit. Rogue is back in my hands, and man how I love that pattern. It's just so much fun. It took me a while to get back on track, (I had to knit and rip four rows of it about five times) but now I have ten more rows until splitting for the arm holes.

Well, I'm going to hit the hay since I don't think I could manage stringing together one more quasi-coherent sentence. I should have knitting/apartment pictures tomorrow.

Friday, February 18, 2005

The latest rage among elementary schools is to send out Flat Stanley (from the horrifying story where a kid gets squashed flat by the bulletin board hanging over his bed and then can slide under doors and fold himself up in envelopes and such). My cousin recently asked me to do this, and I thought you might like to see what Stanley did on his day in Seattle. If you see any glaring omissions of Seattle-specific things that would be interesting to fourth graders, please let me know.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I can't type much today, as I have shooting pains up and down my right shoulder, arm and wrist. Most of this I blame on trying to paint my entire new apartment myself in one day while being extremely short. Additionally, however, I find that crochet really hurts my wrist. Is this common? I attribute it to the extra twisting involoved; is there a trick to keeping your wrist straight but still getting back through the stitches? I've been experimenting, but haven't had great success as yet.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day! I sure did. Having a midterm wasn't great, but I got that out of the way early and then got to go to work at Fiber Gallery. (Including "getting to go" to work in an excellent day may be odd, but that's how much fun I have working there.) When I got home, I saw this:

Yes, I seem to be off Valentine flower probation! (A few years ago I left my beautiful bouquet of specially ordered fire-and-ice roses at a store. I haven't gotten flowers since. Mark claims this is coincidental.) In addition to having great taste, Mark gets extra points for getting these form the Pike Place Market. I love the market, but the pressing crowd in such a small place panics him, so he generally refuses to go.

We also got the keys to my new apartment. I love it and am very excited, though I do have to remind myself that getting a smaller place is the point. In comparison our current place feels absolutely cavernous. Since we had an hour to get from Fremont to Belltown, Mark said it would be okay to go by way of Queen Anne so I still got to go to the Purlygirls for a bit. Then we had dinner at Marrakesh. Yum...

If you have never eaten at a Moroccan restaurant like this, fund one and go immediately - er, well, at least the next time you are really hungry, have lots of time, and are ready to splurge. In Denver we lived one block, the short side, away from Casablanca, a similar restaurant. Although it was the most amazing meal we ever had, we could only afford to eat there once in two years. Of course we had a combined income of about $8k/year at the time, but still.

These places are such an experience. You sit on cushions, or very low benches in heavily tapestried rooms. The meal is several courses; soup, salad (think baba ganoush/hummus/pico del gallo), a sort of really meaty quiche-like thing wrapped in phyllo dough (perhaps the best part of the meal), entree of your choice, baklavah, mint tea, and because it was Valentine's Day, champagne. Everything is eaten with your fingers or bread, so they wash your hands before and after the meal. At the end they sprinkle your hands (and at some places your face) with rose water so you don't leave smelling like food. There is generally belly dancing for entertainment at some point. Then you try to roll yourself home. (We got so full we almost wished we had driven the block to Casablanca.)

I think because it was Valentine's Day, so everyone felt like they had to do something extra special, there were a higher percentage of people who were not comfortable there last night. Many seemed really freaked out to be asked to sit on the floor, and the couple next to us really seemed to be trying to force the food and service to be more like a diner or something. They were not comfortable with the menu at all, and the fact that they were going to town on the wine selection did not make them more pleasant to sit near. As Mark and I discussed how really soup spoons are worthless utensils, they mocked everything and harassed the waiter and bellydancer. If you are that afraid of culture, go to Subway, it's right down the street.

What a great day, what a great restaurant. I'm sure I'll be hungry again sometime...

Sunday, February 13, 2005

My brain has been working way to hard today to come up with a coherent post. First I spent the afternoon re-teaching myself crochet, and then I crammed for my midterm. I'll try to come up with something better tomorrow. In the meantime for a laugh check out the Terry Tate Office Linebacker commercials.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Best knitting quote overheard while shopping: "Some people are just too stupid to knit."

Best knitting quote from a DH: "So, the whole thing about how a woman is never going to sleep with a naked man still wearing socks... does that change if the woman knit him the socks?"

*Disclaimer: The second comment was prompted by a sitcom conversation, so just appreciate the humor and don't be weirded out.

I'm only now catching up on all of my blog reading after GCD '05, and finally figured out that Jessica tagged me for this almost two weeks ago. Better late than never, I suppose, so here goes:

1. The Last movie you went to see in a theater: I saw Sideways recently. It was very cool, although do have to say I was not expecting
such a high level of flabby naked man shots.

2. The last movie you watched at home: I finally saw Monster today. Man, was that intense. I can see why she won an Oscar.

3. How many movies do you own? There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 movies in the apartment, but several of those I'm not claiming (it frightens me that marriage brought Tremors into my home).

4. What was the last movie you bought?

The Ref. Awsome. $5 at Target. Go get it.

5. Got Netflix (or a similar service?) There are people who don't?
What are the next three movies in your queue? Hero, Mystic River, Annie Hall

6. List five movies you adore/mean a lot to you:

I've been trying to think of some movie with a great story behind it, but I just can't. Mostly this is because I had very limited access to pop culture until midway through high school, and that just wasn't that long ago. I can think of a few movies with bad memories (most uncomfortable moment with my mother ever, the movie I ditched to cheat on a boyfriend...) I'll just have to go with favorites:

When Harry Met Sally: I think sometimes the best movies are not necessarily the ones that you think are the most amazing as you leave the theater, but those you end up watching over and over and over and never get tired of.

The Princess Bride: So wonderful. Of course I had seen it probably 100 times before I realized that it was a comedy (I was very young), but I loved it both before and after. It also took a long time before I got to see the torture scene. Say, did you know that Inigo Montoya is a cardboard cutout in the first scene where they meet the princess?

Sliding Doors: My best friend in high school and I went to several movies during which we smuggled in a variety of foods in the sleeves of our letter jackets. For this one, we managed a bowl of soup in a bread bowl. The movie, which we went in knowing absolutely nothing about other than that it was at the right time, ended up being so good that it dwarfed this amazing accomplishment. We saw Office Space the same way (sans soup). Ah, the days when "New Line Cinema" meant the movie was going to be great.

American Pie: Yes, I realize that this movie is considered really, really dumb by many people. Now what you need to realize is that I was exactly the right age for it (we were seniors just like them!), and have great nostalgia about seeing it. The friend from above had gone to college, and so I spent almost every weekend hanging out with another close friend. Whenever we couldn't come up with anything to do we rented American Pie and drank Weinhardt's rootbeer. The best rootbeer on the planet, and a damn funny movie.

Shrek: Hey! I came up with one with real meaning! This was the movie during which my husband and I figured out we were both interested in eachother. He's still certain he made the first move and it was all his idea. How cute. Then we saw Shrek 2 together on the anniversary of our first official date.

7. Name your guilty pleasure movie (or genre): Anything created by Joss Whedon (I know this isn't really a movie, at least until Serenity comes out, but I have many on DVD so I figure it counts)

8. I'm passing this on to Jayla, the other materials gal, the quixotic Amy, and supergirl Rebecca.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

I have been listening to Christine Lavin's music ever since I can remember, but she has been avoiding me. Every time she would finally come to MN, I would be on vacation. When I was in college, she would visit MN during the term and only come to CO if I was home on break. Tonight, I finally pinned her down. Cass, Mark, and I were all very excited to find she was coming to town on a night we were all free and reserved tickets weeks ago. Then this afternoon it got better; during her interview on NPR, Christine announced that if any knitters were coming to the show they should show up early and hang out with her! Apparently Cass was screaming in her car when she heard. I was driving back from Boeing with Bjorn when I got her message, so I had to restrain myself.

I have never been to the Triple Door before, but I really liked the venue. It was kind of swanky, but with good ticket prices. We had dinner before at a Mexican/Italian restaurant (good enough) but got dessert there. It was very decadent. Then they announced that if anyone was there with knitting, they would be shown to Christine's dressing room. Cass and I leapt to our feet and were off. Then we learned a very valuable lesson; sometimes you may not want to know what your idols are knitting. It was novelty yarn. Hairy, sparkly, novelty yarn. $92 for 300 yards. Everyone in the room was using some variation of novelty yarn for a garter stitch scarf, or gave a novelty scarf to Christine. They were all very excited. Cass and I were gagging. There was some discussion of how amazing it was that Cass could knit without looking, but it wasn't in the usual "I can't wait until I'm that good" way. No one seemed to have any desire to knit anything else, learn any new skills or get any better ever. It really seemed to be a group who only knit because it's in vogue right now rather than any actual enjoyment of it, and Christine was right in the middle of it! But I thought she was so cool... I have lots of confused feelings about it that I need to work through.

The concert was very, very fun. She's great in performance.

*Disclaimer: Garter stitch novelty scarves can be fun. They are just not the only thing in the world to knit. And you know how too much sugar makes you sick...?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Okay, prepare yourself because this may come as a shock: yesterday I did actual graduate student work for six hours. HOURS! It was exhausting. And boring, but at least I was accomplishing something for once. It could also have been physically painful, but fortunately I have an undergrad:

Here, Bjorn is cutting 120 pieces of carbon fiber prepreg for me to layup. I forgot the quilting rotary cutter that I bought for this purpose, so he had to use a razor which can make your hand quite raw from the gap for the blade adjustor. He had much thicker gloves than I have previously, and didn't take me up on my offer to trade jobs so I think he was actually okay.

After Bjorn cut the big pieces I had to stack them in specific orientations:

After adding each layer I had to pull down the top and a vacuum would cause it to compress the samples and make them stick together. Not fascinating work. It turned out the we had miscounted and made more than we needed for that day. It was annoying to think that we could have beaten traffic home had we realized it, but at least we won't need to be there as long tomorrow. Speaking of traffic; ugh. I am so not a commuter. I don't know how people do it every day. If only we had a third person so we could take the carpool lanes back from the Eastside. We could practically fly home.

Down at Boeing I did have a moment that was the first time that I have been extremely aware of being one of few women in engineering. At one point the guy who was helping us took us to a new room to get some supplies and introduced us to the two men who were in there. When the men looked up, and saw me their expressions weren't just the typical "oh, here's someone new" response. I definitely read, "Hey! A lady!" They practically fell over themselves to shake my hand. Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying that they were drooling over me. It wasn't about attraction, but it was a very clearly gender-triggered response. I am obviously female, but I'm not accustomed to that being the first thing people react to about me. I'm not sure that I'm explaining this well, but it was very weird. Fortunately, if our department is much of a sign of gender division trends, it looks like it won't be something that I need to get used to.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

I got my computer back on Friday. And had to take it back in on Saturday. It worked this time, but they had forgotten to put the Airport (wireless) card back in, leaving me with an electricity sucking paperweight. Fortunately, Airport installation is something they can do in the store so I got it back the same day. So far, so good. I do think it will take me some time to fully heal, though. The trust is gone.

In knitting news, though, I have continued my bout of finishing. I present to you... Honeymoon.

I used Garn Studio Cotton Viscose, a slippy, splitty, nightmare yarn that is oh so pretty. As you can see, I varied the pattern a bit. The triangles on the back rolled in a weird way, so I decided that a halter was the way to go. In order to keep the back from rolling, I added a swath of the lace from the bottom. I am very happy with the way it turned out. Now if only it were summer...

I also finished my husband's slipper socks, which he now wears at all times at home:

The "R" and "L" are because he is insane. He is certain that socks have rights and lefts, and divides them out every time he does the laundry. For this pair he requested that I make it easy on him and shape them obviously to his foot. I added the letters on my own. They are made out of Lana Grossa Due Chine, a nice squishy machine washable 50/50 merino acrylic blend.

Finally, I made knit up this kit from BagSmiths for the shop:

I held Melody with the cord that came in the kit for the bottom 2/3. I didn't really like knitting with the cord, but it was a very fast project, and the style has really grown on me.

And look!

The Purlygirls made the news! The entire top half of the NW Life section. I had no idea we were going to be so big. I'm a little less thrilled that I'm chewing in the picture, and therefore look kind of funny, but my sheep dress is showing! I'm so proud.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Thanks to all those who have inquired as to the health of my computer. At this point it is awaiting a new harddrive with no expected arrival date. I definitely feel that they should just give me a new computer at this point. It would be much faster than rebuilding it piece by piece. And even if it does start working, how am I ever going to truly trust this one again? I have decided that I need to make arrangements for the long haul, and have set up the computer in my office to be more than just a larger monitor for my laptop. I'm back in business. But only during business hours.

Since the Great Computer Disaster of '05, I have gathered a few photos to share:

These are the fruits of my preswap-swap with a few friends. In back on the left you can see the yarn for Pasha. The orangish stuff on the front right is actually a nice pinkish yarn to make my Womb for Washington. (These were more donated than swapped by Jessica). The lovely gray in front is to satisfy that day when I said "Dang! I should have bought that Polar at the Churchmouse sale! It would have been perfect!" Does anyone remember why? I'm thinking baby hat for the pink and a nice pair of anklets from the Regia. The green cones are some very exciting lace-weight something. I'm torn between a Faroese shawl and the leaf cami from Knitter's Stash (and the secret hope that there might be enough for both).

The official PurlyGirls Swap was great fun, and I'm very glad that a slow day at work allowed me to go. I went with the intention of consolidating my stash. This may not have gone quite as planned... And this after being drawn for last pick! I've been very attracted to mohair lately, so I grabbed most of what was there. The baby colored things are to have on hand for baby gifts, and I'm planning on trying some dying with the wool on the front left. The pretty green sparkly stuff in back will probably become tea cozies.

I have decided that February is for finishing. Especially those guilty inducing overdue Christmas gifts. I believe I actually squeaked this one in under the line and finished it on the 31st.

Yes, that damn DNA scarf is done, and my DH is modeling it and sharing in my joy. Or maybe his own private joy that I won't be complaining about it anymore. I don't know why, but this just wasn't a fun pattern for me. I decided a week ago that it absolutely must be finished, though, when I received the packet of Thank You cards from my family. I couldn't bear to read my dad's knowing it would run along the lines of "the scarf looked great... for the 10 seconds I had it. " The yarn is still absolutely scrumptious. In a move I can only afford for a gift, I made it out of Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk. And I have almost two balls left! What to make for me...

Remember my baby cardigan out of Blossom?

I had to frog it completely because rather than the 3-6 month size I was going for, it came out a bit large for a tubby one year old. True, I hadn't done a gauge swatch, but I figured that being a bit off for someone whose size is changing daily shouldn't be a problem! Oh well, the whole thing only took about 4 hours anyway. Frogging to the ball winder actually went okay, it was when I decided to wind the ball that had exploded that what you see above occurred. And that yarn is not nice to try and get knots out of. Or see knots in. Or touch without creating knots. Bad Blossom!