Sunday, November 27, 2011

I'm back!

I have officially finished my PhD in Neuroscience! I can knit again! Unfortunately, I'm not knitting anything interesting...

I am making a basketweave blanket for my nephew... in solid off-white.  This thing never ends. I keep knitting and knitting and knitting and I'm getting nowhere. Hopefully I can reach escape velocity on this thing soon because I have other Christmas gifts to get started. In bright colors, and maybe stripes...

Regardless, I am back in the world of the knitting and will hopefully have a lot of knitted items and patterns back on this site soon!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Immune to caffeine

Is it possible to become immune to caffeine?  I think I have.  But, only 83 more days until I become a PhD!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I want socks too!

So I thought since the twinkle toes socks for Chris' mom went so well that my bad sock karma was over.  I mean, I knit 2 perfect socks that the color change was within 3 stitches.  3 STITCHES!  So I decided to knit myself some socks.  My mom gave me the most beautiful yarn.  Fiber Optics Yarns Kashmir in Weapon Grade (the color isn't listed on the page, I'm not sure why, it's fantastic). Think retina-searing purple.  I cast on the Twist of Fate socks.  I was stoked.  Then I learned how to do an Estonian cast on, and it was BEAUTIFUL.  Then I did it again because the was one place in the cast on where my tension was off and it looked funny.  Then I got to the set up row and made a mistake which I didn't notice until I was to row 2 of the chart.  ROW 2!  So it took a dip in the frog pond.  A repeat of the Estonian cast on, complete with do-over for a tension issue again.  Then I made it to row 3 of the chart before I noticed a mistake and I tinked that sucker clear back to the set up row (again) where I had made the mistake (again).  I proceeded to knit each row of that chart where I had to tink back on every row until I reached row 7.  Then I realized that this might require A) more concentration that I was giving it and B) actually counting each repeat of the chart to make sure I didn't make any mistakes while it was close by and I only had to tink a few stitches.  Some people just don't learn easily.  But, so totally worth it!

Beautiful.  But the color in that picture is wrong.  Remember I said retina-searing purple.  So soft, so purple, SQUEE!

Apparently I am able to easily knit socks for other people, just not myself.  Life is SO not fair....

Saturday, April 30, 2011


Hey everyone!  I finally got myself together and put the pattern for the Space Invaders Scarf online.  You can see it here and download it here.  I am working on a chart to make the scarf less wide, but I decided to stop waiting and go ahead and post it.  ENJOY!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Girlfriend's Review of Sherlock Holmes versus Jack the Ripper

I'd like to start with several disclaimers.  These are my opinions of a video game as I see it from my chair while knitting in the vicinity of this game being played. My opinion probably won't match anyone else's in the world, and that's good.  Also, I am not being paid for this opinion.  I am just writing for amusement.  I did not play this game.  This review will contain no mention of 'floaty controls' or 'last-gen graphics'.  It likely will discuss pretty colors and voice acting.

Sherlock Holmes versus Jack the Ripper

I really thoroughly enjoyed this game.  I had my doubts.  Chris and I had multiple discussions about the meanings of 'historical fiction' and its implications for the ending of this game.  I won't tell you what happens, but I will say that it satisfied all parties involved in those discussions.

This game was fun to be around.  I loved the little puzzles within the game.  I LOVED the deduction board and piecing together clues to solve the mysteries.  I have recently read the Sherlock Holmes series for the first time (thank you Kindle app on my phone).  I was endlessly amused at the way the game made subtle reference to many of the things that happened in the short stories and incorporated them into the plot of the game.

I was also really surprised at the way the game handled a pretty gruesome set of murders without an over-abundance of blood-flinging gore (I'm lookin' at you Dragon Age).  It handled references to prostitution without unnecessary nudity (cough Dante's Inferno cough).  It didn't side-step venereal disease or racial hatred.  In all the whole thing was very tastefully done and pretty accurate to both the real-life murders by Jack the Ripper and the literary world of Sherlock Holmes.

This game is entirely girlfriend friendly.  No gore, no boobs and plenty of chances to play along without a controller.  I like being able to chime in with a "Did you try this?" or "What if you do that?". It's easy to follow the story without being in the room every single minute of the game-play.  My only complaint was the voice acting.  Not the best I've heard, but easily overlooked considering the no boobs mentioned above. Turns out I give bonus points for 'no boobs'.  

9.5 out of 10.

Edited to add: This makes it seem like Chris plays a lot of games with an over-abundance of boobs.  This is not exactly true or his fault.  Video game designers seem to think their target audience is hormone-drunk 15 year old boys and maybe they are right, but I doubt it.  Even respectable female characters in a respectable video game will have melons the size of, well, melons. Also, video game designers may not know the exact female anatomy of a real human boob.  I am still fairly young and these games have me questioning both the perkiness of my boobs and the location of my nipples.  I choose to believe that I am anatomically correct and these characters were drawn by lusty 15 year olds.  Don't tell me if I'm wrong, I'd rather not know.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

FOs are like good karma

Right?  Maybe not.

I finished socks for Chris' Mom's MAY!  That's right kids.  I finished a whole month early!  Booyah!

It's Twinkle Toes by Cookie A in Paton's Kroy Sock Stripes (color cyan stripes).  That's right, my KAL socks that were doomed from their 'pastie' beginnings worked out beautifully.  (Note: Wikipedia is generally not useful for determining the singular form of pasties.  It says pastie and pasty [citation needed].  NOT helpful.) Not only are these socks beautiful, but they match.  Completely and totally.  When I cast off, the color change was within 3 stitches on the 2 socks.  I knit 2 whole socks and the color change was within 3 stitches.  That's good karma.

I also finished my Happy Valley Top last seen here.  I still love it.  I'm still going to make a matching headband.  I LOVE this yarn.  I really do.  It made rainbows on my needles and I can't tell you the joy that gave me on every stitch.  The only thing I don't like is that it rolls at the bottom, despite being told that "rolls are in".  I don't like it.  Pictures will come after I block the daylights out of it.

I recently had to give a talk at the NIH in Bethesda, MD (Washington DC area).  I went to Knit + Stitch = Bliss and they were lovely.  They let me smell the yarn fumes and fondle fibers and didn't look at me like I was going to stuff merino in my purse and run (cough cough).  I bought souvenir yarn
Classic Elite Yarns Fresco on sale.  But my true love is this:
Oh Malabrigo... how I love you.  The colorway is 853 abril in Malabrigo Sock merino yarn.  Beautiful.

Then this appeared in my knitting basket:
on closer inspection:
Suspicious....that chart is...
Indeed!  I have lost it.  Look at all those bobbins!!  I designed an argyle sock for Chris.  I decided to knit it toe up in the round.  Look at ALL THOSE BOBBINS!  Insanity. 
The only thing I don't like is this weirdness where the join is:
It's all raised and unhappy.  Suggestions?

Friday, April 1, 2011


I need a good karma-cleanse.  Desperately.  Any good ideas?

I have had a mysterious illness that no amount of blood-letting seems to help.  Don't try to tell me doctors have stopped this archaic practice. My right arm will beg to differ. They just use syringes instead of leeches.

Then I get summoned for jury duty.  AGAIN!  I swore that it had been less than a year since my last summons and dug out the paper and.... it was a year ago in December.  Not even close.

A measly 2 hours later my netbook died.  The screen cracked right before my very eyes.  No amount of explaining could convince Chris that I hadn't dropped, hit or stepped on the netbook.  I am me.  He knows me, he lives with me.  And while electronics frequently self-destruct in my presence, somehow this was something I had done.  He watches me walk into walls and furniture daily.  I had obviously dropped it and didn't want to admit it.  He ordered a replacement screen and when he went to install it, there was a bad wire that had shorted out and fried the screen.  Redemption was bittersweet as we hunted for a new netbook.

I thought I had a perfect karma-cleanse all lined up.  I dug out my Colts scarf and decided to restart it for the 6th time .  This time I had a great pattern, but it was still a bust.  The yarn I'm using sucks.  I hate it.  Instantly my hands dry out.  My fingers actually split open and bled where the yarn was tensioned over my fingers.  I think they spun fiberglass in with the wool.  So even though it looks like this on one side:

and this on the other:

I just can't continue.  Maybe I will tear it out (again) and wash the whole kit and caboodle and try again.  Maybe I will just send it to my Mom and be done with it.  Find a different yarn to knit this awesome pattern with.  Suggestions?