Sunday, April 29, 2007

We call this attention deficit disorder...

... also known as the "oooh, shiny!" symptom. This morning, instead of cleaning, instead of doing homework, instead of working on any of a zillion knitting projects, I made a bunny!

I also note that my blog is at 1000 visitors exactly right now. Ooh la la.

Lastly I finally was able to pick up Burning Bright last night, though I only got through a few pages before reality smacked me upside the head again. I realized I'd listed the wrong author as the subject of the book in my previous post about this book. How embarrassing! It's fixed now. Equally funny is the fact that no one called me on it. I blame grad school for ruining my brain and causing me to make errors that would embarrass any librarian.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Spanish phrase of the day

Courtesy of my 12 year old...

eres uno blanco y dorado tortuga? -- are you a white and gold turtle?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Spanish phrase of the day

Denme todo el chocolate y nadie se lastima - Give me all the chocolate and no one gets hurt.

Important variations would be to replace chocolate with hilo or lana, which according to Word Reference means "yarn."

Monday, April 23, 2007

Spanish phrase of the day

Manos arriba -- Hands in the air!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

learn with me

For today's Spanish lesson, I learned something highly alarming. People often joke about the phrase "Donde esta el bano?" I'm unsure of the spelling, or even if the usage is correct, but it's considered the most important phrase to know, for if you can pull it off sounding anything kinda sorta like the proper phrase, you'll be likely to find some one who can point a finger in the direction of the bathroom, hopefully. Here's the alarming part. In Spain, they don't use bano. Apparently, the common terms are more like "aceos" and "servicios". This is all I know. My world has been rocked.

The Gods must be tormenting me

It's been a very long week, trying to interpret and understand this assignment. Yesterday was spent mostly focused on finding ways to make sense of the questions. This morning I awoke before anyone (naturally!) and sat down at the computer to get to work. It takes a little while to get into the groove, ya know. Sit down, read the email, glance at a few blogs, and then finally open up the assignment and seriously start typing, addressing these insane questions. That's when my keyboard flipped out. Really freakishly flipped out, enough that it was affecting my mouse clicks and I couldn't use much software. My first step was to reboot, and in doing so lost all these links I had opened, since I couldn't manage to bookmark them. I tried to save some documents but with my clicks going awry, I couldn't save them, either. The enter key didn't even work, so I couldn't do it without the mouse clicks. A reboot didn't fix the keyboard, in fact, I couldn't even get past the windows login screen. Next step was to replace the keyboard. This is not as easy as it sounds, because I cannot easily access the back of the computer. It involves dragging the computer cart out, on top of carpet, and then climbing over furniture to get behind it. I think I'm getting older, the climbing over the furniture was really, really difficult! Then I installed an old keyboard. Turns out keyboards have changed in the last ten years! I've already got a blister on my thumb from hitting the space bar and my hands are aching from the amount of force required to push down each key. Whine, whine, whine!

edited to whine a little more
So I drove my #1Son to a game store to pick up a pokemon game, yes I did. This would have been his daddy's job, me being all StudyGrrl, but I decided to do it so I could nip into the Radio Shack next door and pick up a new keyboard. Sadly, RS was closed, though the sign on the door said they were open on Sundays from "12am to 5pm".... I'm sure midnight on Sunday mornings is a very hot business time for RS. Anyway, no luck on getting a keyboard. Back to work, StudyGrrl.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Finished socks!

I finished the small pair of socks last night, while hangin with the Bro-in-law. This was a time when I should have been studying, but we don't see the BIL much anymore, not since he moved a good 600 some miles away, so it was pleasant to hang out. The kids all put on shows, playing musical pieces and demonstrating dance moves, ninja moves, and mysterious moves they called wrestling moves. The second pair was completed this morning while re-listening to lectures, trying to interpret assignment questions enough to start writing.

Please note that both socks have more traditional heels. I have done mostly peasant or short-how heels for years, now, and it was a refreshing change to do a different method.

Green pair

Yarn: Andes Handpaint
Needles: Size 4 inox circulars
Pattern: k2,p2 for 4 rows, k 1 row, p2,k2 for 4 rows, k 1 row.
Heel: slip stitch heel flap, traditional heel turn.

Dark pair

Yarn: Mountain colors mini-skeins, donated by Mountain Colors to Socks for Soldiers. I used black fingering yarn that is 75% wool, 25% nylon held together with the MC yarn for extra-strong toes and heels.
Needles: Size 2 addi turbo, size 3 on the toes and heels.
Pattern: Nancy Bush's Gentleman's Fancy Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks. Because the yarn is much chunkier than the yarn in the pattern, the finished product is quite different than what's shown in her book.
Heel: slip stitch heel flap, dutch heel turn.

learn with me

Today's Spanish Phrase of the Day is more like a phrase of the week. I've been trying to learn it all week. Perhaps my killer metadata assignment has thwarted my ability to absorb anything.

Llueve -- it's raining

Esta lloviendo
-- also means it's raining

Important variations:

La lluvia en Espana permanece principalmente el llano. -- The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plains

Mala Lluvia! Vete al llano! -- Bad rain! Go back to the plains!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

learn with me

Today's Spanish phrase of the day is "quieres albondigas con tu queso?" This means "Do you want meatballs with your cheese?" Another useful variation is "Maestro malo! No albondigas para ti!" or "Bad teacher! No meatballs for you!"

Show me your green shoes!

...cause Ember says they rule!

Knitting content and a book (or two)

It seems like a long time since I've had a finished object. There's very little knitting time anymore. I'm not even getting knit break times at work, as I've been very good about going to the gym every day, and I have discovered that knitting while working out causes discomfort in my shoulders and arms. SIGH. What I'm working on here is a pair of socks for Socks for Soldiers, made from donated Mountain Colors yarn, and they are getting close to being done. The toe-knitting on the completed sock was a beast, and I need a break before starting the next one. The other pair is a pair I started on a whim. I needed some quick and easy sit-and-wait knitting one morning, and nothing I had was really in a good portable state, so I just grabbed some needles and some leftover 100% wool yarn and started a pair. These are for afghans for Afghans. After all, I've been wondering what to do with that yarn.

The most recent irresistible book to cross my desk is Burning Bright, a fiction about William Blake. The sucky thing is that I've not had a speck of time to read it. This grad school stuff is totally intense. Years ago, in high school English Lit, we had a substitute teacher one day who taught the lesson on William Blake, and I totally fell in love with his work. I ran off and special-ordered Songs of Experience and Songs of Innocence at our small local bookstore. A few years later, I told that substitute how much her lesson had made an impression, and how her passion for the works had totally shown through. She looked at me all puzzled, and after a few moments, "Oh, right! I remember that day. I'd had hardly any time to prepare and I'd never even heard of him before, I just put it together at the last minute." Wow, she must have been a good substitute!

Now not to be on a gothic theme or anything, but, well, this seems to follow the gothic theme started when I read Dirty Job. Keturah and Lord Death is another book about the physical manifestation of Death, yet where Dirty Job is crude, flippant and funny, Keturah is ethereal, sweet, and beautiful. Keturah, a 16 year old, gets lost in the woods, and weakened, comes face to face with Lord Death. When she charms him, he offers her a boon, he will spare her and take anyone she chooses in her place. But she cannot think of anyone who she would wish to die, and refuses the boon. Set in a pre-industrial feudal village, it's a charming setting, with sweet characters and a memorable sweeping storyline, though it does have a bit of a convenient tidy-up of storylines as it approaches the end. I'm not quite sure who the intended audience would be. Gothic readers may find Keturah too sweet and pure, and people who like sweet and pure characters may find the friendship with Lord Death discomfiting. But the prose is sublime.

The nice thing for me is that since it's a young adult book, I can read it in a very short time, in the late evening time when I wouldn't have been studying anyway. I read this Friday night before falling asleep.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

learn with me

Today's Spanish phrase of the day is "por que tienes zapados verdes?" which means "why do you have green shoes?"

Friday, April 13, 2007

learn with me

today's Spanish phrase of the day is no me molestres. This means "don't bug me!"

Thursday, April 12, 2007

learn with me

I'm having my built-in Spanish teacher educate me in special, useful phrases. As he teaches me verbally, I may be lacking proper spelling. Today's phrase is "helado de avellanas". This means "hazelnut ice cream".

Monday, April 09, 2007

incoming buddha!

I've been wanting those buddha stitch markers. So when I needed a little giftie for a package I'm putting together, I decided to order from Sunne again. I liked the variety pack she had, which was odds and ends she had leftover but made a really nice assortment.

I ordered it Thursday night, paid Friday morning, and it arrived today in the mail. It was all packaged all pretty and the markers are just as nice as the last batch.

Note the cute little sunshine extra!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

a busy day

You'd think I wasn't in grad school, for all the stuff going on in my life today! I need to make notes on the dolly underwear while I still remember what I did. I was using microspun yarn, and a size 3 Addi Turbo. For the sports bra: Cast on 44 stitches. Join without twisting, knit in seed stitch for 5 rows. Bind off 22 stitches (I used the knit 2 together, put stitch back on left needle, knit 2 together, including the stitch that you just got finished with, put the stitch back on the left needle, repeat...). With 22 stiches bound off, and the last stitch completed counting as the first knit stitch, I do each row as k1, ssk, knit to 3 stitches from end, k2tog, k1. next row purl. repeat these 2 rows until 12 stitches remain, ending with the purl row. Cast off until 1 stitch remains. Put that stitch on a crochet hook and start to chain. Put the bra on the dollie so you can see just how long the strap needs to be to go over her shoulder and meet the back of the strap. Attach the strap to the back by inserting the hook into the 11th stitch of the cast, chaining the 2 together. Then chain into the 12th stitch, and start chaining a new strap that goes back up and over her shoulder. When it reaches the top of the bra, chain it into the first stitch. You may need to chain it in to two stitches to make it connect nicely. Break yarn, weave in ends.
The panties start very similar: Cast on 44 stitches, join, knit in seed stitch for 4 rows. Knit 2 rows in stockinette stitch. Knit 17 stitches. Cast off 7 stitches. Knit 16 stitches. Cast off 7 stitches. (by now you've gone all the way around once and have started the next row, and you have 16 live stitches sitting on the back cable of the circular needle, and they're just going to sit there.) K1, ssk, k8, k2tog, k1. Turn. p1. p2tog. p6. p2tog like a backwards ssk. (I don't even know how to explain how to do this. something like: put next 2 stitches on right needle. return to left needle, turning the stitch mounts. put your right needle into these two stitches from the back left to front right. purl. I may be totally wrong, that's just what I came up with.) p1. Repeat these two rows, decreasing at the start and end until you're down to 6 stiches. k 1 row. p 1 row. For the next several rows, on the knit row, m1 at each end, just after the first stitch and before the last stitch. then purl back. Increase until you have 16 stitches. Then kitchener this to the live stitches sitting on the cable. Weave in ends. By decreasing on both knit and purl rows in the front, and by increasing only on the knit rows in the back, it makes these nicely shaped like most panties, with a bigger rear.

This pattern is really crude. I don't know if it would be helpful to any one, but it's a start.

Here's a few other photos from a busy day that involved very little studying.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The REAL reason I fly to Seattle

Finally, finally, the pictures you really want to see! And the true reason for my quarterly trips to Seattle. I assure you, I spent hours in the Weaving Works narrowing down my purchases to these. What you see are two skeins of Lorna's Laces, one skein on Tofutsies (on sale! 20% off!!), one skein of Rio de la Plata kettle dyed, and Frog Tree alpaca. The alpaca is for a swap.

Seattle in bloom

While most sensible folks were snoozing, I was up early, trudging through the soggy morning gloom of Seattle on a Saturday. This was the first time I took a camera with me to Seattle.

The entire campus burst into bloom, in celebration of our arrival there.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Doomed Socks

I had a last minute knitting emergency. I have misplaced a set of Comfort Zone needles, and those needles were essential to my planned travel project. I had wanted to do this project, but saved it just for my trip. And when I couldn't find those needles, it totally befuddled me. What to knit on the plane?? I went stash-diving and came up with some Knit Picks yarn, and launched on a 2-colour project. I'm sad to report that I'm entirely unhappy with it. My designs might look better on a bigger scale, but at that scale, they just look spotty. I've come up with a better use for the yarn so this is the last glimpse of this project before Senor Frog takes it away.

The day I flew out, the book Dirty Job crossed my desk. This is not unusual, hundreds of books cross my desk every week. I open many of them and breeze through, if I'm not too strapped for time. (Or even if I am.) I started reading the first chapter of a Dirty Job, and it was pretty funny. So I stuck it in the pile to be catalogued next so I could bring it along. It turns out my flight to Seattle was delayed by hours, so I sat in my home airport for most of the evening, reading and knitting on the soon-to-be-doomed socks. My mother would never enjoy this book, and it's full of the f-word, so if that bothers you, run away! run away! One of the reviews on the back referred to Christopher Moore as an "unhinged Hiaasen" which totally cracked me up. I've read Sick Puppy, it's hard to get more unhinged than Hiaasen! Dirty Job is a smart-assed, funny, and crass. It was a perfect trip-book, and I recommend it, if you're not the type who gets offended. This is the quote I read to my roomie, who has dogs.
It is generally agreed, and in fact stated in the bylaws of the American Kennel Club, that you have not been truly dog-humped until you have been double-dog-humped by a pair of four-hundred-pound hounds from hell (Section 5, paragraph 7: Standards of Humping and Ass-dragging.)