Monday, August 31, 2009

Angry

Well folks, I have upsetting news from the doctors... I might have cancer - again. It appears that I might have thyroid tissue growing in the thyroid region. Kinda funny (well to me but that's how I deal with serious issues), the year before all I wanted for Christmas was a new thyroid. Now it appears that my body wants me to have a new one after all!

Okay not that funny. But as I said, I deal with hot topics with humor.

So for the new couple weeks I'll be on the Low Iodine Diet (LID), yet again. This is to deplete my body of all iodine so I can take a tracer dose of iodine (the thyroid is the only tissue that takes up iodine, so a tagged iodine pill will allow for tissue to "light up" during a scan). What exactly does this LID mean? Well I cannot have ANY food or other (shampoos, lotions, etc) that contains: iodine, salt, dairy product or soy. Now let me ask you, what does not have salt, dairy or soy?!?!

Luckily this is my third time on the LID and I'm getting creative with my foods. Last night the SO and I actually made pizza! Well, I made dough (with non-iodized salt of course) and had 'shrooms and peppers and olive oil on it.

I have the injections on the 14th, 15th and 16th and a body scan on the 18th. Depending on what the scan on the 18th shows I might have radiation immediately following. But I'll keep you guys posted on the cancer watch front. I'm just upset because this of course has to happen when I start school.... grrrr!!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Tough Cookie has been Conquered!

First things first... I survived my first day at the new school! Thank you for all the good wishes and positive karma. Everything went well during Orientation yesterday. And I did NOT get lost in Indy. Nor did I get lost on campus (yes I was one of those new students holding a map and walking around turning the map around and around trying to orient myself). How many times can one feel like a first-year student on a campus? If I ever decided to go for yet ANOTHER Master's, remind me of feeling like a freshman again, hopefully that will stop my insane need for advanced degrees.
So yeah, I didn't get lost!
But.
I did get lost on the drive back.
No not in Indy.
No not even after the hour long drive on the interstate or on the 30min drive on the county road next to cornfields (thank goodness! Cornfields are scary!).
Nope, I got lost about 5 minutes from my apartment.
How that happens, who knows. I took a wrong turn and I got all mixed up and had to circle around Purdue campus and go home the long way. Lets just say, I just took a nice extra 25minute drive around campus. Eh... and the new students were everywhere! Eh...


But anyways, lets get to the main event of today's post.
I finished the Tough Cookies!





Pattern: Devon, by the amazing Ms. Cookie A., from her new book, Sock Innovations

Yarn: Lorna's Laces (of course!), in colorway Purple Club

Needles: 2.25mm, dpn

Started: July 23, 2009

Finished: August 23, 2009

If you like to knit thought provoking socks, you need this book. It has many amazing sock patterns. I love so many of them but I think they are mostly beyond my capabilities. I eventually will knock through a bunch of these babies, but it'll be a while. I actually chose this particular pattern because it appeared to be one of the more simple patterns. Basically, I was thinking I'd ease my way into the Cookie A style.

I'm not sure why I had such a difficult time with the first sock. Well I know one thing. This lace pattern is pattern every row. I've only done lace patterns where you follow one row in pattern and the next row is knit (in the round or purl then knit a row each in flat). So I think that threw me a bit initially because it was like I had no break. And if I put the sock down I really had to know where I was, it wasn't like picking it up to a knit row.

Obviously I figured it out because even though the first sock took forever, the second sock was a breeze.

No major mods on this project. Oh, I did make anatomically correct toes! Which, of course, was pretty exciting. First time doing that and it really does make a difference when you wear them. Excuse the hairy legs in the photo, now that the SO and I are engaged, I am calling a shave only when absolutely necessary rule. TMI for you? Probably! ;)





It was fun to go back to top down as I've done so many toe-ups lately, I forgot what it was like to turn a heel and knit a gusset! Although, I finally figured out how to knit a gusset on a toe-up, thank you Wendy Johnson, but that story will be for another time.

And last but not least. Do I even have to say it? I heart Lorna's Laces so much. I mean the yarn is great to work with. The yarn wears well (for me, I know some people have had issues, but all my socks wear and wash just fine). And the colors! Oh! I'm a big fan of purples and I love, love, love this colorway. I have another skein in the stash that I am just going to hoard and take out occasionally to look at and squeeze. Is that sick and/or bad?
Nahhh....!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wandering Wednesday: First day of School




I am going back to school today! It's been two years since I was last in a classroom. Wish me luck as I start this new grad program! And send me good driving karma that I don't get lost during my hour and 15minute commute... why didn't I get cognitive mapping skillz with that first masters? Maybe it'll come with the new one....

I hope you have a good Wednesday!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Knitspiration: World's Larget Knitted Poem

Apparently The Poetry Society of the UK is putting together the world's largest knitted poem.

The project is to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Poetry Society. The society is calling for knitters (all around the world) to knit or crochet individual letters. The poem is still a secret. The letters will be sewn together and in October 2009 the poem will be revealed!

The link above brings you directly to the Poetry Society where you can register to get a knitting or crochet kit. I'm not sure if you can still register, but I thought I'd pass it along to you guys to knitspire you a little!

I can't wait to see the final project in October!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Night and I'm at work

I'm at work (yes it is 7pm on a Friday night and I still have a couple hours for a good ole 14hr day), and even though I am running a western blot, a pcr and a restriction digestion all I can think about is YARN!!!

I brought my knitting to work today because I have a bunch of 10minute incubations (where my blots sit in antibody and/or washes on a shaker table). Yes, I really just sit here watching the blot shake. So with no one else in lab (because I am the only loser on a Friday night working in a science lab), I can knit! Sneaky, I know. Oh and I brought my laptop into the lab so I can blog and catch up reading all of your blogs as well!

Even as I sit here and watch a blot shake all I can think about is yarn. Specifically SOCK YARN! I think my Tough Cookie is telling me I need a vanilla sock next. Any suggestions on the yarn? What should my next sock yarn purchase be?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

SO's blog featured!

I have to share this with all of you... The SO's blog was featured on Sports Illustrated (dot com)'s Hot Clicks!

To find the SO's post/link go to the sections "Last Words". That's his blog post link... an essay about Brett Farve and Scrubs. He typically has a couple of views on his blog, then today traffic shot up to a couple THOUSAND!

I just think it's cool that his stuff was mentioned on SI.com (and a little jealous!). :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wandering Wednesdays

Summer Afternoon

Six brown cows walk down to drink
(All the little fishes blew bubbles at the may-fly).
Splash goes the first as he comes to the brink,
Swish go the tails of the five who follow....
Twelve brown cows bend drinking there
(All the little fishes went waggle-tail, waggle-tail) -
Six from the water and six from the air;
Up and down the river darts a blue-black swallow.


Milne, A.A. "Summer Afternoon." The Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh, 1996: 414. Print.

It is most defidently summer. All week it has been a typical hot, muggy and stormy Indiana summer day.

I hope you are keeping cool... have a great Wednesday!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cute Pink Cardi is done!

New FO!

A while back the SO bought me a couple of skeins of Louet Gems yarn, I knit a pair of lace stockings and fell in love. Unfortunately I didn't know what to wear with them! The yarn is pink - and when I say pink I mean bubble gum pink. Super cute, but not really a shade of pink I typically wear. Thus, I was stuck and didn't have an outfit.

Then I decided to start knitting a cropped cardigan to match because I had some leftover yarn. Lets just forget the fact that I had less than 1/2 a skein left and even a cropped cardi takes more yarn than that. All I can say is thank you Elizabeth, the owner of River Knits, she was great and calmed me down by ordering another 2 skeins for me! This is what ended up on (and now off!) my needles:
Pattern: Cropped Cardigan by Amy O'Neill Houck
Sleeve Pattern: Cropped Cardigan with Leaf Ties by Stefanie Japel
Yarn: Louet Gems, in Pink Panther
Needles: US 5 / 3.75 mm
Started: May 25, 2009
Completed: August 7, 2009
Pay no heed to the fact that I am headless here. I was having a wicked bad hair day and made the SO take pics without my head. This, of course, causes the camera to focus on my boobs and stomach. I apologize tremendously for that, I shudder with fright as well. So there are additional photos below that we took the next day (when it happened to be more muggy and my hair was even more frizzy... oi vey).

You may noticed that I didn't follow the pattern exact. I ended up making the cropped cardigan a little longer, I changed the body, did a little more shaping at the waist and bust and I changed the sleeves.

Actually I pondered the sleeve issue for a couple of days before finally bringing the sweater to work to ask my co-workers. You probably know that I'm not big on fashion (as I tend just wear jeans and BoSox or Patriots t-shirt & hat) and I had no idea how to style the sleeves. One of the girls at work is so adorable. She is one of those skinny, pretty girls that can wear sweatpants to work and still look cute. Thing is, she is the sweetest person in the world so you can't hate her - you have to love her! She is AMAZING at finding sales and finding hot outfits. She always has on the latest fashions and can put together an outfit like whoa.

But anyways, we'll call her Fashionista.

Fashionista suggested to knit down to the elbow area and then suggested the sleeve bottoms from the Stefanie Japel cropped cardi. As always, the Fashionista was right! Thank you FL! I heart you girl!
Fashionista also suggested a larger button. Initially I was gonna get a small, pink, plastic button, but Fashionista suggested something bigger and bolder. I really like that idea. I still haven't found exactly what am envisioning, but this will have to do for now. I found this pin at Hobby Lobby (I know, I know, big box store... but I have already completed my 3/50 for this month, have you?!). It works for now but I'm still on the lookout for something new.
And finally, of course, I had to pair up the bettie lace stockings and the cardi. Still not sure what to wear for a skirt (Yikes! Me in a skirt!). But I do love the outfit... now I just need a cool day to wear wool stockings and cardi!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Knitspiration: Runway Knits

Trend Report on My Fashion Life: Fall 2009 will emphasize layers of knitwear.

Surprising to you? Warmer clothes and layers for the cooler Fall and Winter season? Hmmm.... Maybe I should quit research and library science school and get a job stating the obvious fashion trends.

But you heard it here first folks, turn to chunky knits and cardigans to keep comfy and cozy while still looking stylish this Fall. More layers of knitted scarves the better. :)

So yeah, just wanted to give you some Knitspiration. Even though it is 95degrees outside and humidity is at 98% today, be knitspired and knit a bulky cardigan for the Fall -- you'll be ahead of the rest.

Just as an FYI: Of course as I am sitting here picking on the article, and I have to admit that I am starting to kinda like the hood/scarf thing the first model is wearing.... hmmm... maybe I am still being knitspired!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wandering Wednesdays

I have something a little different for you today....

For today's Wandering Wednesday I think you should check out the SO's blog: DVDs with Spoodawg. He started his blog because he has a crapload of DVDs. So many in fact, that my peeps and I have nicknamed him the DVD Whore. Basically, I am making this DVD prostitute go through ALL of his DVDs (and now Blue Rays), watch it, review it, and if the movie is crap, he must get rid of it. Simple enough.

A little different today, but if you like movies you might like his blog. So check it out and as always I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Attempting a Tough Cookie

A while back I purchased the much praised Cookie A. book, Sock Innovation. No surprise, I ordered it in April and didn't receive it until June... always my luck with ordering online.

However, this book was worth the long wait. It is jam-packed with uber socks to knit! Pick up this book if you like complicated, intricate, amazing designs. Don't get this book if you like simple socks that don't involve thinking. Don't worry, I'm not knocking it, because after these babies I'm going to have to simmah down and knit 2 or 3 plain jane socks!

It's taking me a long time to knit these. So not my typical weekend sock. But very much worth it. I'm using Lorna's Laces (surprised?). I'll give more details once I'm done... Just wanted to give you guys a little peep show (The pattern is here)!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Indiana State Fair!

Warning: Heavy Photo Content!
Cute pictures, but if you have a slow connection you may be waiting a while. Sorry... but I couldn't stop taking pictures yesterday!


The SO and I went to the Indiana State Fair, a tradition that we must do each year. It was a typical hot and humid Indiana August day. Around 92F (33.3C), and with humidity it should have been worse, but thankfully, we had a breeze that would occasionally cool us down. The SO gets WICKED grouchy when hot, so I was hoping for a cooler day. But we made do, visiting animals first thing in the day and then the indoor exhibition halls in the afternoon as it got warmer outside.


To start, we visited the bunnies (of course!). Poor little dudes must have been hot as many were flopped out trying to keep cool. It's funny because the SO never had a pet growing up and is not a big fan of pets. I, on the other hand, have always had pets (dogs and cats), and I'm crazy for animals (not quite Elmyra Duff, but almost). The SO is starting to know his rabbit breeds, he could pick out the Netherland Dwarfs from across the room. And he was pointing out all the cute buns and was all concerned about the well being of the rabbits, wondering if they had enough hay, water and air circulation. Dude has a soft side, just don't tell anyone.


I went a little crazy and took about 30 pictures of the bunnies. So here are just some of the beauties:


I fell in love with this little guy, and the seller was trying to sell him to me:


We found Kyle's twin (for real he looks just like the diva, disapproving look and all):


And the angora, jersey wool and lion head buns are adorable! I think the SO like the lion head... I would LOVE to get one someday (BTW, I can feel his glaring eyes as he reads that sentence, good thing he reads this while we're at work so he's across campus in another building!).




Dragging ourselves away from the buns we saw there were lots of other animals at the fair. Including cows,


adorable goats,


and sheep! We saw the sheep in their frocks following a sheering.


We were able to see some sheep get sheered (it took everything in me to not run over and grab the piles of wool and run).


And at the end of the sheep barn we walked by the wool room where I saw this sign:









As if they had to put up a sign to ask me to enter! Dudes! But because they insisted that I must enter, enter I must.













Last year I bought some wool yarn that I have not yet used. So I felt that I should not get more just to store away in the stash. But I did find this cute bag, made by a local lady from SunnyMeade Wollies. I really need a knitting bag so I can put all current projects into. Typically I have projects thrown around the living room. So I think the bag was a good investment. :)


There is a lot of random stuff at the fair. The SO and I typically bypass the Midway (we love roller coasters, but a little leery of these beasts at the fair). We also bypass the deep-fried goodness at the fair. Blasphemy, I know! But I really don't care for fair food and the SO isn't a fan. Plus I had a bout of food poisoning this past week (FYI: don't eat a breakfast sandwich that was sitting on your desk for 4 hrs -- the next few days are horrible, if you know what I mean). But bypassing all of these outdoor things was probably a good thing because the temperature was rising and the SO needed the indoors!


We visited Pioneer Village and saw some cool stuff. I didn't take pictures but we saw ladies spinning and weaving and dudes turning bowls and chiseling. I always think it's funny that there is such segregation in the genders on crafts. Did they REALLY segregate back then in pioneer times? I would think that whomever would do the chore if and item was needed. Like if a basket was needed would the dude of the family say "No way, I am going to go chisel this thing instead of making the needed basket." I'm sure historically there IS some gender differences in preference, but I really don't think it was a stark as what we make it out to be. Maybe there was and I'm too naive on gender differences. The SO and I had a huge debate about this. I might look this stuff up sometime. But anyways, I found one lady demonstrating tatting, which I found particularly interesting. That's an intense craft, man it was cool!


It is the year of the Tomato at the IN State Fair. I really don't know what that means other than there were a lot of Red Gold cans and signs everywhere. In one hall we saw these sculptures made from Red Gold veggie cans. Odd but kinda cool.



I got my pic taken next to the hot-air balloon, can sculpture:

I went crazy in the petting barn. The pygmy goats were of course, my favorite.
I made the SO take my pic next to the astronaut,


while playing with gourd spinning tops,


and next to this cow race driver, thing.

The SO loves my obsession with photographing everything. Actually he gets wicked embarrassed and constantly picks on me saying my Asian mother inspired my obsession with pictures. But he's a good sport.
What a good guy... awww!


Last we visited the Fine Arts and Home Crafts Hall. Here I leave you with some of the awesome handmades from other artists here in Indiana.


Here are some of the handspuns that placed first, second and third in their respective categories.


So pretty!


And they had some products made with handspun.

I loved, loved, LOVED, this hat and glove set. Handspun. You can see the itty-bitty perfect stitches. And the color in this photo are pretty true to the color of the product. Handspun and dyed! Beautiful!

And here is the grand champion handspun and knitted. The picture of the grand prize handspun came out blurry, but believe me it was pretty. The shawl is spun, dyed and knitted by the same person that made the hat and glove set. Personally I liked the set better, the stitches were amazing! But this shawl is also pretty, I must give my respects.

A lot of cute, fuzzy animals and a lot of fiber goodness. I have not had an itch to spin, but after today I am considering trying it out sometime! We'll see....

Just as an FYI, this wasn't the only thing we did yesterday. At midnight the SO took me out into the boonies and we watched the meteor shower! What a good guy! Overall I had a great day. I think the SO did as well.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wandering Wednesday

The one good thing about my new apartment: the West Lafayette Parks and Recreation Trails start near my apartment.
It takes me about 7 minutes (jogging, less by bike) to go from my apartment door to the beginning of one of the trails. I really love running and biking these trails!
Yesterday, I brought my camera along on my bike ride because there is a lovely flower garden along the path. I thought of all of you as I ran by... I thought these pretty flowers would make someone's Wednesday! I hope you have a great day!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Finally saw latest Harry Potter movie!

I have FINALLY seen Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince! I know the movie has been out forever, and you would think I would have been one of those crazies in line at midnight. Well, I would have been, except for the peep's wedding, and then the move. Then last weekend we were going to go and see it but then decided that if we waited until this weekend then we would be able to see it at IMAX.

Sure only the first like 15 minutes were in 3D. But it was worth it! I really dig seeing movies at the IMAX. The sound and the picture are just amazing! I do wish it was in 3D for longer.... I won't go into critiquing all the false scenes, and the big gaps in the story in this blog post. I've seen many critiques everywhere. For me, of course I like the books better, but the movie was good, 'nuff said.
What I am going to bring up... the knitted garb! Oh my!
(Which reminds me, I can't wait to go back to the Harry Potter Exhibit in Chicago! The SO wants to see it so we're going in August. There was a lot of knitted wear at the Exhibition and this time I'm going to pay a little more attention to the knitted garb instead of JUST being in awe of being surrounded by all things Harry Potter.)
Oh, so back to the knitted garb that I wanted to chat about. I loved, loved, loved, the beanie hat and scarf Hermione wore in a number of scenes. I love the silver-gray yarn and I love the pretty lace and cables design. I am totally knitspired and going to make this hat. And when I get over my phobia of colorwork I might even try the scarf.
Anyone seen this pattern anywhere? I'm sure someone out there, who is much more knitting savvy than I, has already come up with this hat pattern. Please let me know if you have seen this pattern anywhere! :)
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EDIT: Okay so I couldn't wait! I Googled and searched and found it! JL Yarnworks has come up with the pattern. So clever! It is even posted on Ravelry... guess what I'm knitting next!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Knitspiration - Knitted Chairs

A couple days ago I was perusing The New York Times online I came across this article about Yuvinia Yuhadi and her knitted chair cozies. There is a link to her blog, The Knitted Chairs, and I highly recommend a visit for some knitspiration!