Monday, July 27, 2009


I put on my game face today and walked to work. I also took little bit to school, said hi to her teacher (same teacher as last year, very good), ate breakfast, tossed a brick of borscht into my backpack, and did a few minutes of spinning before I left the house. I'm getting ready to make my to do: list because I've got a crapload to do yet.

I am determined (and I hope I can keep this up).

I had a bunch of stuff in my backpack today, so it was kinda heavy. There was the fat folder full of phylogenetics which is not coming home with me, so that will be a significant reduction in weight on the return trip. Woo!

So, with the heavy backpack, walking to work was a sweaty "I have a heavy thing on my back" ordeal, but I did not stop and I did not complain, I just listened to zencast, made the "grr" face, and went on. If I can tackle a volcano, I can handle the mile to work. Grr.

I've actually been knitting. Get back! Yeah, there has been actual honest-to-goodness knitting in my world and I'm halfway through the second sock on my red-and-grey just for jess stripies. They are to be rechristened the The Ohio State University socks, mostly because I knitted a fair bit of them at Ohio state. Lookit here. Biologist sock pictures.

Week at the beach was kinda awesome. I don't have those pictures up yet, but there are several where I'm being doofy around my nephew who is two and frikkin' adorable. I'm his favorite, by the way. The little dude loves his Aunt Jess because I'm the fun one. Hahahaha!

That's about all there is for now. I've got latin to translate. Engh. I despise translating latin, mostly because I'm not very familiar with it. But I'm almost done with translations of generic descriptions and then it's on to attempting to form a data matrix.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Okay, so, I've been busy and distracted. There's a great portion of my nerdiness in two links. Some of the distracted stuff is admittedly a little smutty - okay, A LOT smutty, but it is as it is. It's fun to write anyway and if you don't care for fanfic (yes, I'm looking at you, little sister) then you don't have to read it.

Some people juggle geese. I write fanfic. Oh, and mom? Here's a citation in Wikipedia for the origin of slash fanfiction. And I quote:

Slash fiction originated in Star Trek fandom in the late 1960s when fans paired main characters James Kirk and Spock together.[3]

The link cites the Cambridge History of 20th Century English Literature. I haven't double-checked the source, but slash fanfiction has been a time-honored way of participating in the Star Trek fandom since forever. It goes right along with owning Hamlet in the original Klingon and having ever worn a Starfleet Uniform. Bonus points if your mom made it for you - double bonus points if you're 30 years old and your mom is making you a new one because she loves you and knows you're a hardcore fan (I love you, mom!)

Anyhow, a couple pictures from the busy part. They're in no particular order and I plan on uploading the rest of them to Flickr fairly soon. One is for the Yarn Harlot. "Push button to cross Kinnear" just seemed really frikkin' funny to me. The dude with the hat is John Wenzel - he was our main host for the phylogenetics workshop. The other dude was the dude that changed my tire today. He's my customer service hero.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Umm... hi.

So, yeah, I've kind of been busy. We will return you to your regularly scheduled blog as soon as I can get my head on straight. In the mean time, here's a picture of my new hair. The picture doesn't quite do the color justice. It's red red red, like you mean it fire engine red and black.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Pucón & Villarica

26 February

We collected at Rincón in the morning and found lots of Auca. I caught one blue, which was sitting right next to an Auca, but the Auca was worn out, so I snagged the blue instead. We drove toward Pucón and collected a few things alongside the road near Quepe, just south of Temuco, but no satyrines. They have Pieris brassicae here, a common white butterfly, but for some reason it's twice as big as it is elsewhere in the world. Apparently, it was introduced from Poland.

From Quepe we continued on to Villarica. We stopped again near Coipue Viejo at an access road that leads to an antenna and found some nice satyrines here. We stopped at the Donde Manolo restaurant for something to drink and then went on our way to Pucón and Villarica.

I've found Gatlinburg. Apparently, they have Gatlinburg here, except there's a big lake and a volcano, but other than that, it's Gatlinburg. Complete with kitchy little shops and drunken American tourists. Here in Villarica, we've found the slowest restaurant in the entire world. I wish I could remember the name. It's very verdant here and Hydrangeas are extremely popular and blooming, so it's very pretty in places, but there's no bamboo.

The owner of the little upstairs cabaña we stayed in, an Argentinian, says he knows of a place where there's bamboo. I had trouble understanding his accent, but Tomasz was able to figure out where to go, so we'll check it out in the morning.

27 February

Nothing, and I mean nothing, is open before 8:30-9:00 in the morning. We finally found a bakery and I had some empanadas tipicas and coffee. They were good, but not as good as the ones on the road to Olmue. I've decided that I should learn how to make these. I love empanadas. Mmm!

We went to one of the sites described to us by the Argentinian guy and there was indeed bamboo there, but no butterflies to be had. The quality of the blackberries was quite poor, thus further confirming our theory that the quality of blackberries is directly related to the quality of collecting. We went back to Coipue Viejo and collected almost all poliozona...or is it reedii? coenonympha? thelxiope? I'll have to take a closer look when I get back to the lab.* At lunch break, we stopped at the Donde Manolo restaurant and had a hamburger and coke. Except that an "hamburguesa" means a sandwich with tender sliced beef, palta (avocado), and tomato. Not bad. It's far better than a Whopper, anyhow.

We're on our way to Curacautín and Lonquimay. I have several specimens in the lab that were collected from here, so it's definitely worth checking out. We may even check out the Argentinian border.

*Upon further review, I still can't figure out what these little guys are. They're not poliozona and they're not coenonympha. I'm calling them thelxiope for now, even though thelxiope is a nom. nud. What that means, for my dear non-biologist readers, is that thelxiope is meant to be a separate species, but the name is invalid because it was not properly described.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Puente Aserradero and Recinto

24 February
In the morning, we collected at the same site as yesterday and in the afternoon at another where the road crosses a stream, not far from the end of the paved road. It's called Puente Aserradero and other than the fact that people who come here are complete slobs and don't put their trash in a proper receptacle (or their poo, either!), it looks like a lovely place for a picnic. 9AM to 10AM is rush hour for butterflies and in spite of the evil vegetative land mines of doom, we caught over eighty butterflies! We went on a nice long walk last night after dinner and saw a live, wild tarantula. I couldn't see what color it was because it was night time, but I'd never before seen a live, wild tarantula. It was wicked cool and just kind of sauntered in it's eight-legged way across the road.
Tonight's wine was Santa Ema Merlot, 2007 and it was good. Better, I think, than the wine from last night.

25 February
I had a dream that I saw a dear friend of mine at the Ren Faire with his betrothed. I was all dressed up in my doublet, but I'd left my sword at home.
Also, I've realized that I'll have to rip out sock #2 of the Chile socks because it's all the wrong gauge. I'll probably work on the January socks for a while. We collected in the site with the evil burs in the morning and then at Pte. Aserradero before lunch break. We've checked out of our little room and will soon be headed South.

Except that we found a really nice meadow for collecting this afternoon. We collected two Spinantenna tristis in a place where there's mint, lots of little flowers, and big fat blackberry bushes with big fat blackberries on them. The best part? No land mines. After procuring some cash in Chillán, we've decided to return to the little cabaña in Las Trancas. It's nice accomodation, cheap, and nearer to our meadow in Recinto than any hotel in Chillán would be. Besides, it's nicer in Las Trancas.

They have a mall in Chillán. It is full of people.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Las Trancas y Termas de Chillan

Valle Las Trancas is located about 8km from Termas de Chillan. There's plenty of bamboo here, so that's good, but I realized yesterday that I will run out of yarn before I run out of sock. That's bad.

I climbed Volcán Chillán (I'm pretty sure it was Volcán Viejo) and after having done nothing active over the winter, it was, to say the least, a difficult climb for me. To add insult to injury, a group of French tourists - people my parents' age, mind you, started out well behind us and because I'm so out of shape, they passed us up. And I lost my hat. As we are hiking up at a 45 degree angle the entire way, with me out of breath, Tomasz says "Don't stop, Jess! It's bad to stop, just go slowly. The French are catching up!" The thought of a French invasion and the prospect of butterflies kept me going and even though I was passed by a woman nearly twice my age, I did it. We caught nothing but a Vanessa, but suspect that Argyrophorus might fly here earlier in the season. In fact, our locality data shows Argyrophorus here in December and January. As far as collecting goes, it was a pretty dissapointing start to our day. On the other hand, I climbed a volcano - an active volcano.
We found a spot just off the road, about four kilometers from the big hotel in Termas de Chillán, where there's lots of bamboo and a good diversity of species. The only downside is that there are these evil vegetative land mines from Hell. There's this bur plant that produces sharp spiky seeds that stick to everything - your boots, your clothes, your net. Other than that, it's a good site. We found wallengrenii, simplex, leptoneuroides, stelligera*, chiliensis, and a single germanii (which went home with Tomasz). All in all, we caught about 30 butterflies, 21 of which had been caught by Tomasz...
We treated ourselves to jugo de frambuesas y panqueques con chocolate. For my non-Spanish-speaking readers, that's raspberry juice and crepes with chocolate. The evening's wine was Misiones -D- Rengo, a 2008 Cabernet Sauvingon.

*the stelligera turned out to be ambiorix. They're very similar in size and wing pattern and easy to confuse, but they are distinct species. I'm not putting down many genus names because part of my work is to determine what the heck genus these guys belong in. What's Neomaenas today might be Auca tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sorry for the delay

More notes from my trip to Chile should be up soon. I haven't been getting a full night's sleep lately because, it seems, there's a burglar in our area. Night before last, the police knocked on my door at 4:30AM to make sure we were okay because our patio door was open. Last night, our neighbor (who is a police officer, but was off duty) knocked on our door at 3AM because someone was trying to climb up onto our balcony.
We're alright, nothing's been stolen and the perp was duly thwarted by said neighbor, though not yet caught, but I've been really tired. I considered not going to work today, but I've got a couple hundred labels to make for insects and that needs doing as soon as possible.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Espero y espero

22 Feb, 2009

Spent most of yesterday waiting in the airport as I finished sock #1 and started sock #2. I finally met up with Tomasz at the Holiday Inn. We stayed the night at the Hotel Vitoria, which was very nice, clean and with breakfast included. Dinner was meat, potatoes, and beer at a restaurant nearby. The two of us have agreed to a joint scientific study of the quality of wine at different latitudes in Chile. We know this is very scientific because we are scientists. We woke up an hour later than we meant to and are headed North to Til-til.

Collecting happened on the road to Olmue, 10-15km from Til-til at Puente La Laja near a stand with good empanadas. We found wild blackberries and wild grapes not far from here. The owner of the place with good empanadas. We found some Chusquea and a good spot with lycaenids and some of our little browns. Collecting was surprisingly good for a place so dry.
Huesillo - "little bone" a drink of peach juice with two whole peaches in - very sweet. The "little bone" refers to the peach pits.


We arrived in Las Trancas late at night and are staying in a little cabaña. There is bamboo here and we will be collecting tomorrow, possibly staying a few days here. The corkscrew is MIA and hopefully, we will have proper glasses tomorrow, hopefully in celebration. The place is all but empty and very quiet. On the way in, we saw scores upon scores of people headed out of the countryside and back into the cities. Their summer break is done and it's almost time for classes to begin.

The two scientists in the field:

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Leavin' Nashvegas

19 Feb, 2009

Chilean Butterfly Traveling BraceletHusband drove me to the airport and I talked the whole way because I was so excited. I don't even remember what I talked about and it's probably not important, but I was really excited and a little nervous. Anyone who knows me understands why. There was a time I wouldn't even dream of stepping this far outside my comfort zone. Anyhow, I took a picture of my "Chilean Butterfly Traveling Bracelet" that was made for me by Miss Beady. To quote her:

"Brown with a little red or orange, and some of them are silver." (That's how you described your study species.) This bracelet has been designed with the colors of your butterflies in mind. The brown beads are Czech glass. The orange/red/peach beads are all coral. Coral offers protection and prevents ill fortune and illness. The turquoise beads are real turquoise. Turquoise is native to the Andes mountains in Chile. (Although this turquoise is not from Chile. It is from Arizona.) Turquoise is a symbol of friendship and provides strength and brings good fortune. I hope this bracelet witll protect you and bring you strength on your journey.

The other one is a beetle (yes, it's a real insect) from Miss Jenn. It glows in the dark. I love it. I wore both of these on my way to and on my way from Santiago and it helped tremendously to know that there were dear friends thinking of me and wishing me well, even if they were in another hemisphere.

Arrival at Miami:
Miami sunsetAccording to my notes, from the time I arrived at the Nashville Airport to my arrival at the Miami airport, I knitted three inches of my Chile sock. On the flight down, there were two people from Chicago sitting near me, both Cubs fans. I saw palm trees, though far away, and for the first time since last summer, the city I was in was having temperatures of over 80*F (26*C).

I met a knitter from Chile named Milenca who lives in Chicago, but was visiting family in Santiago. We chatted for a bit on this and that and she told me where to find a yarn shop. This was extremely valuable information. Thank goodness for knitters the world over.

20 Feb, 2009

From here on, I'm going to try to take directly from my notes. I may add a bit, edit, clarify, or skip over parts as best pleases me.

I had to give up my snack food at customs - a total waste, but not worth the fines. I've checked in to my room at the Airport Holiday Inn, within walking distance from the Airport. Quite a change in environment. I'm sweating like a sweaty thing. I'm going to have to venture out into the world to get cash, get my car, and eat. I'd rather hole up here, but I don't have the luxury. Perhaps I'll visit the yarn shop Milenca recommended. It's on the Plaza de Armas, so it should be easy to find.

I hired a cab and went to downtown Santiago. I spent most of the afternoon wandering around, getting good & lost, but eventually found my way back to the Plaza de Armas. I was feeling kinda down, not having eaten or found a yarn shop, so I went into a place called Marco Polo and ordered a Coca-Cola. I'd started the heel flap of sock #1 in the cab and was well into it at this point, working on it as I sat in the restaurant. I shoulda done this to start with. I conversed as well as I could with the waitress about my knitting, ordered a sandwich and water (Santiago is very dry), and instantly relaxed. I made myself do it and it ultimately paid off. I got directions to where teh yarn shops were, picked the one where there were ladies sitting down and making stuff, and bought eight skeins of alpaca. It's Peruvian alpaca from the same company as the store I went to in Cuzco and cost roughly $3.75 a skein, but the yarn itself is hardly the point. I went out into the world - the Spanish-speaking world - and managed a sandwich, one or two conversations, and alpaca yarn.

Patricio, my cab driver, even held the sock for me for a picture. I'm sitting in my underwear because it's so damned hot and considering whether I should go eat. I'm not hungry, but all I've eaten today is airplane breakfast (which wasn't bad, actually) and most of a chicken and ovocado sandwich.
...I could have wine...
Sleep: 1, Wine: 0

Friday, March 06, 2009

There goes my carbon footprint.

I've just flown in from Santiago, and boy are my arms tired.

AHAHAHA!HA!...ha!...ha. eh, heh...achem...

After two weeks of hunting butterflies, I'm back at the ol' homestead. I haven't slept in something like 36 hours (overnight flight and I'm a light sleeper, despite the two glasses of wine on the plane), so I haven't got the spare neurons to put together much of a blog post.
At any rate, eleven hours of flying and fourteen hours of waiting, give or take, and I'm back home safe with all butterflies as they should be - in my suitcase and as intact as they ought to be.
I'll really update when I've slept some. I haven't even uploaded any pictures.
For now, I'll say that the plane ride from Santiago to Miami was very nice. I watched Kingdom of Heaven and The Day the Earth Stood Still and other than the lack of sleep, it was a good flight. If you're ever flying to South America, I highly, highly recommend LAN.

I will have more later, in bits and pieces as I upload photos and translate my notes from my field journal. Now, I think I will sleep until a reasonable hour tomorrow morning.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Poco a Poco

Finishing is...well, it's seeming kinda slow. The DNA scarf wasn't even halfway done at the beginning of February and now I've got almost 4/6 repeats of the DNA pattern before I start the center ribbing. I'm thinking about doing the Chromosome cap to match it, but I haven't settled on a gloves/mittens pattern yet. I want to knit a chullo, something with llamas and butterflies, maybe a greek key, in "Dear Gods, my eyes!" colors, but Kadollan is right. The chullo is just not going to go with the DNA scarf in the way that I want it to.
I've finished one and a half repeats of the center panel of the Daily Llama, the socks are still on hold, and the BSJ is pretty close to done. It's my at work knitting, so it's kinda slow going. I only work on it while I've got something loading or I need a break to stave off raster burn. I think I'm going to walk in today. It's meant to be in the 70's this afternoon and it's 47*F now, which is close enough to my 50*F threshold. I really need to get my legs moving again. I'm going to be running after butterflies at 4,000m (that's over 13k feet up), so I can't really afford to have weak legs. Altitude meds didn't help last time, so I'm just going to not take them. I still have my emergency antibiotics, and I'll be taking some tylenol and something for my stomach. Fifteen hours of flying is stressful for the stomach. Another thing I don't look forward to is the lack of sleep. Movement wakes me up, which makes it hard to sleep next to another person and to sleep on a moving vehicle. I thought that perhaps I could sleep in a plane, but a plane is a moving vehicle and the best I can do is shut my eyes for a bit.
I'm still kind of in denial about the whole trip and feeling a bit like Bilbo Baggins. I don't particularly want an adventure, but it seems I'm going to have one anyway. It's a little too exciting. None of it will be real until I'm on the plane. I do have my equipment, though. My very own net that's mine. That's kind of exciting.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Good things

So, I just gave Shelby (my postal carrier) his fingerless mitts. The cat had stolen them and hid them in the livingroom, but I finally found them and delivered them post-haste to the intended recipient. "I can't believe you made me something!" he said. Of course I made him something. I'm very thankful for the way in which he handles my mail. He needed them, too. It's 27*F (-3*C) outside today and dude needs something to keep his hands warm and his fingers free. It matches his uniform, too. It's made with Bernat Alpaca in grey with a blue trim.
He gave me a hug.
So, since it is February for Finishing (as I mentioned before), here are some of my UFOs:

First there's the DNA scarf, pictured here next to an unfinished book. I can read a little before I stop processing words into ideas and then I have to put it down. With the scarf, it's cabling, so I have to pay attention to get anything done. I've been working on it in the mornings and I'm very nearly done witht the third pattern repeat. It's knit in Knit Pick's Palette in Red, double stranded. I'm going to do a hat and gloves or mittens to go with, but I haven't decided on the pattern yet.

Then there's the Daily Llama. Again, it's cabling and I have to sit and pay attention to it as I've mentioned before. The color's a little off in this picture, but the cabling shows up pretty well.
I'm liking this one so far and I like cabling. I just wish I had more time to sit and do it (and actual cable needles). I swore off lace while I'm in grad school, but failed to mention anything about cables. I suppose I have created a niche for complex knitting in my brain that must be filled with something at all times. Lace goes out, so cabling comes in.

Then there are socks. I've set these aside for the latter half of the month when I'll be out of the country so that I have something small for airplane knitting that won't take much time or brain. The ones on the left were cast on on Jan. 31st so I'd have them started before February and the ones on the right are knitted for the January Pants KAL/CAL.

Lastly, there's the BSJ.
I'm not sure about the colors. It's right on the border between cute and questionable, but since returning were as tedious as go o'er, it's getting finished. I'm definitely making the pattern again, if for no other reason than because people are going to continue to have babies.

I've decided that when I make an Etsy shop, it will be called "Classify" and my slogan is "A diversity of handmade goods." So here's the first thing I made to go in said hypothetical Etsy shop. It's a wee notions bag with a zipper, made from yarn leftover from my weaving project. Speaking of which, I need to have of more fleece so I can have of more yarn so I can weave more. My tapestry skills are not that great and I much prefer weaving on my big loom, but the former takes far less yarn than the latter.
I love my woven robe thing. It's wicked warm and I love it I love it I love it.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

February is for Finishing

It's that time of year again, to count your UFOs and take note of which need to be flung, frogged, or finished in the month of February. I tend to be conservative, as knitters go, in starting projects. Some people who read this blog (I'm looking at you, kadollan) find my lack of UFOs disturbing, but I find that it is a healthy level of unfinished stuff for me.
I have two projects that take up a fair amount of neural RAM, the daily llama and the DNA scarf. Both are cabling and both require that I sit down and pay attention to what I'm doing. I have two socks, one of which was cast on last night in preparation for my trip to Chile in the middle of February. I also have the Baby Surprise Jacket, which is kind of in the middle range of complexity. I will have pictures at some point for each of these.
Anyhow, that's five things. I've decided that for the first half of February, I'll focus on finishing the cabled projects and for the second half, I'll work on the socks. I'll definitely finish the socks and may not finish the cabled projects, but hope to at least get a little farther along. I've been working on the BSJ at work during knit breaks so that my eyeballs don't explode from looking at a computer screen too long. I'm not certain about the colors, so we'll have to see how it turns out.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Daily Llama

The Llama has decided to be a kind of rectangley thing that is to be made into a purse/bag thing. I finally have a design I like, edged in a textured stitch and with an Aran vibe to it. I hope it turns out nice. I think it will and I think that I might write up the pattern and sell it for a dollar. I'm not sure about my pattern-writing skills, chart-writing skills, or whether the pattern is something someone wants. But I figure that if somebody wanted to give me a dollar for it, that would be okay and then I'd have a dollar.
The bag itself is meant to be sold. I have to figure out how much to ask for it, but I've got time yet. I think maybe I could do a couple embroidered hankies as well or some quilted popholders. I like making popholders.
Oh, the selling stuff.
I don't remember if I've posted about this here, but I may have talked about it other places. I want a laptop. I can get a refurbished one and I get a discount for being a student, but it will still require pennies I don't yet have. My plan is to make some stuff, save some pennies (literally pocket change in a little elephant bank on my desk), and if someone wants to buy some stuff from me, that would be neat and then I'd have some dollars for a laptop. I have twelve dollars now and that's just from pocket change.
As for the Llama, it's been quite the lesson in mindfulness. You have to pay attention when working cables, so I have to just sit and pay attention to nothing but the llama while I'm working on it. Otherwise, I have to tink a row. I had to tink one of the rows maybe four times because I wasn't paying attention.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Made of Love

Husband bought me this fiber, so I spun this yarn and made these gloves, but there was more yarn, so I wanted to make something really spectacular. I'm making mittens. They're a little snug because I didn't give any ease in my measurements and didn't sufficiently account for how much fair isle draws up, but that's alright. I can wear them and they're just beautiful! I love this yarn so much.
So. very. much.
These mittens are so warm and so full of love. My mom recently said of the gloves I made her, "When I put on my little knitted gloves I feel so loved. It's like you are wrapping your little hands around mine to keep them warm. It is hard to explain. I also love my socks, but there is a really special feeling I get when I put on my gloves. You must have blessed them." I cannot tell you how awesome that is.
Do you believe?

I'm a rainbow, too.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Llama and the illusion of control

I have this llama fleece, right? There are parts of it that are really really soft, but there are a lot of guard hairs in it and a goodly amount of VM. I could try to picky-picky through it and make a big mess trying to remove these imperfections, but I'm not going to. It is what it is. One big thing I've learned in the past few years is to let go of the illusion of control and I think my spinning skills have improved because of that. When I first started spinning, it was very even, very thin, and very tight and now it's a little lumpy, a little thicker, and a little less tightly wound. Just like me. Well, I'm not really any lumpier or thicker, but I am less tightly wound. Anyhow, I like the yarn better that way and I like me better that way.
I have this stupid broken bit in my brain that is very confused about the right order of things. That part of my brain is convinced that I can have control over every single little detail I touch, up to and including every single fiber being spun into yarn. I don't listen to it as often as I used to and it seems the less I listen to it and the more I let go of this idea of control, the easier things are. They yarn is lovlier and I'm happier.
So, I'm going to let this llama be what it is. It's llama with VM and guard hairs in it. I'm considering making a stuffy llama out of it so it won't be something worn next to the skin, but whatever I decide to make, I'm going to try to do something that appeals to the nature of the yarn rather than forcing it into something that isn't going to make me happy.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

An updated stash is a happy stash

I could use more yarn, though. It took me maybe fifteen minutes to update my stash on Ravelry to include almost all of the yarns I actually own. What I need is sock yarn. In a serious way. How am I to stash shop for socks when there's no stash to speak of? It''s... no less than appalling! I have monies for yarn. I get $60 in spendy cash every two weeks. I have $35 unspent buckaroos in my purse as we speak.
So why? Why do I have no sock yarn?
I simply just have not been shopping for yarn. I have not been perusing, finding something shiny, and purchasing. I've been knitting faster than I've been acquiring yarn and getting rid of or trading the stuff that I really don't want (crap yarn that I don't love, mostly).
The above stash picture is some palette from Knitpicks I got for making a scarf, hat, and mittens combo. I'm strongly considering a chullo. I should have a chullo.

Friday, January 02, 2009

¡Año Nuevo, Vida Nueva!

Happy New Year, all!
It's kinda cheesy to say that each new year brings new promise, but it does. It's nice to think you can leave all the crud of the past year behind you and start new. Sometimes I do that daily, sometimes hourly, but the new calendar year is nice for just dumping whatever emotional baggage you have to stuff that happened in the last calendar year and look at the world with new eyeballs.

Yuletide knitting went fairly well. Here's a couple things I made. Above is a pair of fingerless mitts for big brother and to the left, a washie for my mom. I made a lot of washies this year and gave them with fancy soaps. I didn't make anything big or complicated for anyone because my brain has been hijacked by school. There were two items that kind of fell flat. I made another pair of fingerless mitts and a pair of socks out of a yarn that, as it turns out, is kind of crap. The socks were also too small, but it was not my fault. I swear they were the right size when I finished them. The little dude grew between the time I finished them and the time they were given to him. Next time, I shall make them too big.

Now that I've taken the better part of December off, I need to get back in the lab, but I do feel refreshed and ready to take on the world! Well, maybe not the world, but I'll be taking on much more of the world this year than I generally take on. I'm going to Chile and perhaps also Argentina in February and at least to Poland, and possibly also to London and Munich in the summer. I'll be chasing butterflies as usual. The ones in Europe are already dead and preserved, so they'll be easier to catch. I'm very excited, of course, but it isn't quite real yet. It's not real 'til I'm on the plane.

I'm having a stash crisis. I have...very little in the way of stash. There's one skein of sock yarn and some little random bits of things. There's some palette that's already dedicated to a project (hat, scarf, and gloves/mittens combo) but that's really it. I've ordered some sock yarn for January socks. They'll probably be plain ol' socks, but they'll be blue handknit socks and that will be awesome. They're January socks 'cause I have this plan to knit myself one pair of socks for each month, animal fibers for cold months and plant fibers for warm months.

So far, it's being an awesome year. We just got back from eating out at La Siesta and we did it with budget money that was leftovers from grocery money. At the end of the pay period, whatever is leftover in the grocery envelope goes in the dining in/dining out envelope. No cash in there, no restaurant food. Leftovers from the gas money envelope goes in a car stuff envelope. Sometimes we have enough for tires, sometimes a tree air freshener, but it's a system that works for us. Anyhow, I paid everything I could pay, including every medical bill I was aware we had, and we still had $200 left in the bank. WOOT! I went to OfficeMax and got some stuff, including new plastic envelopes for the above envelope system and a stapler.