21 September 2012

Where do the hours go?

I have to be honest, not a lot of knitting has been happening lately.  Life has just sped up on me suddenly, before I know it the day is over and no time remains for knitting or reading.  I'm not sure why  I thought that graduate school wouldn't be too much different from undergraduate.

The special sweater has been placed in time out, I have been struggling with the shoulder shaping and I just don't have the time or brain power to think about it right now.  But someday this warm little creation of mine will be finished.

It is also very difficult to knit when my kitty decides that a project is just the perfect place for a nap and she is so happy that I don't have the heart to move her.

I have been able to find little bits of time to work on my lastest spinning project.  I love the smell of the wool and watching the fiber wrap around each other, spinning is just so relaxing!

A lot of my time is spent studying or preparing for exams and presentations, being a scientist is hard work!  I am loving it though, especially now since I found out I get to work with data from ENCODE.

For the science nerds out there, learn more about this, it is amazing.  For everyone else, still be excited, this project is going to lead to so many breakthroughs in disease research and personalized medicine.

Lastly, I have waited to have my own kitchen for a very long time, I suffered through college food (which is worse when you are vegetarian) for too long.  Now that I finally have a kitchen, I want to make everything (even if it is a little too difficult).  Last weekend I made a baby dutch pancake (the best!) and somehow it didn't cook right and ended up smoking.  Now I know that my smoke detector is quite sensitive...

I've also been having some health problems (nothing life threatening), so I may not be posting regularly for a while.  But I still enjoy reading and commenting on your posts everyday!

14 September 2012

Fuzzy family member

Can you keep a secret?  I'm taking a little time away from studying for tests and running statistical analyses today to write a short blog post (in a desperate attempt to get back into regular posting patterns).

I really want to share with you all a fluffy ball of happiness that has recently entered my life.

This is Mattie:

Ever since I found out I was moving into an apartment that allows pets, I became very excited that I might finally realize my long-held aspirations of becoming a crazy cat lady!

My family has always either taken in strays or adopted from the shelter, not that I have anything against people who prefer breeders, I just believe there are so many unloved animals out there, why not take in one in need?

The wonderful people at the local humane society immediately pointed me towards Mattie when I mentioned that I wanted an adult kitty.  Everyone in the office loved her (her bed was in the main office) and wanted to see her placed in a loving home.

Needless to say, I fell in love with this 13 pound fluffball immediately because she loves people and is the most affectionate cat I have ever met.

She makes a great study buddy and will sit out on the patio with me.

Her other hobbies include:
- trying to eat bees
- sleeping on my head at night
- spazzing out and doing little burnouts when something excites her
- spreading litter through the entire apartment
- purring at me affectionately when I come home from work

Now for what you are all probably wondering, yes, she does like to attack yarn, but only when I'm knitting with it, naturally.

I'm so lucky to have found the perfect pet and I'm looking forward to many happy years with her.

Linked to Caturday, an excellent meme by Tanya at Tanya Today!

12 September 2012

Work-in-progress Wednesday - #15

I have been a very bad crafter, I cannot seem to keep focused on any one project as of late!  This means that nothing is getting done!

I've been working on two sweaters, a scrap pillow, a shawl, some handspun, and a mystery sewing project (still in it's infancy).  That is just too much for one busy graduate student to handle! 

Now I am going to impose absolute project focus until at least one of them is finished.  

First I have a project regular readers will recognize, it is like an old snuggly friend.  My self-designed sweater has the main body and one sleeve complete, the novelty of working with my favorite alpaca/wool blend has certainly not worn off yet.

Next I have my latest spinning project, which is so much fun already!  This summer I went to visit my dear friend Lisa (Wicked Artsy), during the visit we visited a few LYS and I purchased some gorgeous Romney wool.  It is an absolute dream to spin and I have a feeling that I'm going to adore the end product. 

So, those are my two focus projects, now I need a bit of help from each of you...if you find out I have been working on any other projects than those pictured here, heckle me!  It's for my own good!

I hope that you are all having a great Wednesday and I hope that you also join in for WIP Wednesday with Tami's Amis.

10 September 2012

Cotton Candy Handspun

You've all had to put up with me moaning about my failed attempt to dye this poorly processed fiber.  But finally I forced myself to sit down and finish spinning this icky fiber.  I'm surprisingly happy with how it turned out, just look at that texture!

I'm really not a fan of pastel colors or of wool that resists spinning up softly, but honestly, it could have been much worse.  Also, according to the Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook, Cheviot fiber is "chalky" and doesn't dye very brightly, which is exactly how I would describe my experience.

- Finished: September 2, 2012
- Fiber: 100% Cheviot wool (The Woolery)
- Spindle: Schacht 3" Hi-Lo drop spindle (2.2 oz.)
- Other Information: 1 skein, 1-ply, ~225 yards, 2 oz., fingering weight

The fiber I spun was fairly short staple and very tangled (do I wish I had a comb), which was frustrating.  However, it looks lovely spun into singles, that may have to be what I do with the rest of the fiber I have stashed away. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Monday!  Happy crafting!

05 September 2012

Work-in-progress Wednesday - #14

I apologize for being so absent lately, graduate school has been challenging and very time-consuming.  But I've been finding little bits of time to work on my projects.

I also have some very photogenic projects right now too!

My very own sweater design is going pretty well, I've been trying it on as I go to ensure I have a good fit.  As always I am thoroughly enjoying the process of working with Ultra Alpaca, I could knit with it ages and never get tired of it!

Next is my Azzu's Shawl, which I'm about halfway through with.  I've started to like the yarn at little bit more as I knit with it more, but I still don't love it. 

That's about it for now!  Right now I've been living vicariously through all of your beautiful projects!  Keep up the wonderful work, you talented people!

I hope that you are all having a great Wednesday and I hope that you also join in for WIP Wednesday with Tami's Amis.