Par for the course

Thursday, May 25, 2006

It's spring. Life has not let up for about two weeks but instead of being stressed out and unhappy and crabby it feels great! In spite of being sick most of last week (stupid spring colds) I finished the fence for the garden.

It is certainly bunny-proof after burying the chicken wire down about 4 inches. And a good thing too! Here are a couple new additions to our backyard:

If I didn't have that fence up I would be blistering with hate for those cute little bunnies because they would already be eyeing the lettuce that just sprouted the other day. As it is, I think they are the cutest little fluff-balls ever to grace my back lawn.

Once the fence was up I scrambled to get the garden planted and in the haze of sickness last weekend I finished. I don't have a picture of it all planted but here is one of the not-so-fancy gate I built with it's tomato-in-a-pot lock.

Those are strawberries behind the gate and, believe it or not, we ate our first strawberry last night! There were a few tiny ones starting when we bought the plants and I had to leave a couple to grow (even though I should have nipped them all off to make the plants work on root growth instead of fruit production) and they're just ripening now. Soooo delicious!

And finally the knitting. I have been knitting! In between all the gardening, end of school stuff, work, and reading I've been knitting a simple toe-up sock.

Toiling in the garden...

Friday, May 12, 2006

Did I say I would post a picture in the beginning of the week? I meant to say the complete last day of the work week.

The problem was that I finished Monday evening and the first pictures I took were crap. Then it rained all week so there was no sun to take a good picture in. Yesterday I took a few when the sun peeked out from behind some clouds so they're still not the best but much better than what I had before.

So, what do you think?

I love it. It's one of my sort of reproductions. I just wrote a mini-rant in my other journal about it so I'll just suffice it to say here that I try not to do exact reproductions. I don't think Van Gogh would like that. He probably wouldn't like my version either but maybe he would be flattered that I would want to try. Or he would slap me upside the head and tell me to go outside and draw my own pictures of flowers. Uh, I'm rambling again.

So the to-do list is a bit shorter. I've finished this, started Kurt's curtains, and begun clearing out and tilling up my garden with my good ol' Garden Claw. Okay, actually it's practically brand new but I love it so much that it already deserves the "good ol'" title. I also put up fence posts for my chicken wire fence to keep those rascally rabbits out and off my lettuce this year.

AND I started a new sock. No picture, sorry. It's a toe and about 10 more rows. It's burnt orange Knitpicks Essential, plain stockinette, 52 stitches on size one DPNs. The actual color is Pumpkin but it's deeper than a pumpkin orange.

This weekend: more gardening. Have a good one!

Work, work, work until you die...

Friday, May 05, 2006

Today has not been a good Work Day. Not that anything bad has happened, I just haven't been able to focus. It's hard to sometimes when you know there are exciting things just on the horizon but you're still stuck in dull and drab grant proposal writing hell. Good thing the day is almost out.

There is fun stuff in this entry though! It's not just full of complaining! Quick, look, a picture!

Pattern: Modified Rib and Cable Socks from Interweave Knits, Fall 2005
Yarn: Knitpicks Essential, two balls (with much left over)
Needles: US 0 Takumi Clover bamboo DPNs

Yes, I modified the pattern to toe-ups because I love them. The socks turned out great and comfy and wonderful except that when I don't have shoes on they feel a little scratchy. Hopefully they'll soften up after a wash. The only other item of note is the small needles. Holy crap these socks took forever and I blame it all on the small needles! I love the way the tiny stitches feel on my feet but my wrist and patience just cannot take them again (anytime in the near future anyway - never say never). I'm really itching for some Regia sock yarn and Size 2 needles again. REALLY itching for them. But I might just settle for some more Knitpicks I already have and... damn, I have to finish the cabled gloves before I can use my 2s. Well, at least now we know what knitted item I'll be blogging about next!

In other news, I have literally laughed out loud, at this blog which I found through Heidi's blog, which I almost feel guilty reading because it's in diary format with no comments section but it's too damn hilarious to be private, plus it's addicting as hell so there. Whew, that's a long sentence. Go read Mimi Smartypants, she's the new Erma Bombeck.

While wasting precious time at work today (and berating myself for being a slacker), I also got itching to start my garden like Right Now because this blog, which is an offshoot of Farmgirl Fare. Her idea of salad greens has given me an entirely new outlook on salads.

And last, but certainly not least, I've gotten some work done on the poppy picture. In fact, it's almost done and I can't wait to show it to you! Next week, I promise.
For now I'm off to finish some work so I can go buy gardening supplies. Huzzah!

What's the connection?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Have you ever wondered just how many of those knitter's out there are scientists? The Keyboard Biologist is a bioinformatician (read: one type of scientist), many might know that The Bookish Girl is an environmental scientist, and even Grumperina is a science geek. If you're like me, embarking on an adventure of returning to college this fall for a potential science degree, you might wonder these things. Thankfully, there is the ScienceKnits webring.

But what is it about science and knitting? I mean, all kinds of scientists? Have you SEEN how many library science knitters are out there? Here I always thought that I was an anomaly. I love analyzing and research and reading and just thoroughly geeking out. But I'm an artist. I've been involved with art in some form for as long as I can remember (drawing bunnies in church as a 4-5 year old). I've always leaned toward the arts, including majoring in art at my first attempt in college. Surprisingly, to me anyway, I realized in my mid-twenties that the reason I had been focusing on art and never knowing what the hell I wanted to do with an art degree (not teach, not own a business, not sell my art) was because art was what my mother really valued of my talents. So I promptly dropped out of college. Insert angst, cross country moves and then.... social work? How did I end up here? I ended up here because when I would produce art in my formative years everyone, not just my mother, exclaimed what a great artist I would be someday. Huh.

Why not science? (And this is the part that really boggles my mind.) My chemistry teacher in high school was a slightly less tall version of Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller's Day Off and bored me to sleep.

So I quit chemistry and never thought about science again* until recent years when I've noticed a trend in the types of things I geek out with online. Discovery Channel news, Science Daily, studies, statistics, nutritional science especially. It's been about a 2-3 year process for me to realize that my personality and interests for a career really lie more along the science part of me than the art part of me. I like art. I make various forms of art all the time in my free time: knitting, drawing, baking, cooking, embroidery, sewing, etc. But would I want to do any of those things as a job? No way. It would ruin it for me. I'm not a business person and I have no business sense.

So I did what any self-respecting, analytical, going-back-to-college, geeky, late twenty-something would do: I took a career test. Not one of those online jobbies, though I have taken my share of those, but a real honest to God career test. The Campbell Interest and Skill Survey at my college's career exploration center. For once, I was completely honest in all the answers. Do you want to read stories to children as a job? No freaking way. Do you enjoy working with people on a one-to-one basis? Not even a little bit, and I don't even feel bad about it. Okay, I feel a little bit bad since, you know, I *do* work with people occasionally at my present job but it's one of my least favorite parts and I'm being honest here dammit!

Would you enjoy working as a scientist in a research lab? Why yes, yes I believe I would.

*Except that Biology course I loved and aced in my Freshman year of college. Get a clue, Katie?

Spring Fever

Monday, May 01, 2006

It’s Spring now. As much as I hate to admit it, I am the type that will go through the house top to bottom, cleaning and purging it of the CRAP that’s accumulated over the winter. It’s like it’s impossible to really clean in the winter time. It’s too dark, too depressing, and too cold. I haven’t started digging yet but I’ve been thinking about it for weeks already. Gotta work up the gumption. In going through the house in my mind (because really I’ve just been too lazy to actually go through it yet for real) I’ve come across several UFOs. Not of the knitting variety though. These are projects I’ve put off because of my knitting, more likely. It’s just so much easier to pick up a sock and sit my butt on the couch and knit than it is to say… dig out my tablet, oil pastels, shading tools, and some sunlight to finish this Van Gogh reproduction I started for my living room last summer.

Or, in the case of sewing in an unheated front porch, of digging out the fabric, measuring, cutting and sewing the curtains for Kurt’s bedroom. Even though the reason I wanted to put curtains up in his room was to help keep the drafts down this past winter. Yeah, whoops. I missed that one by oh, about six months.

There’s also the new bedspread and curtains I’ve been meaning to make for my bedroom ever since I painted it last spring.

And let’s just not mention the curtains I made for the dining room immediately after we moved in but never finished embroidering... three years ago.

If last summer taught me anything though it’s that I can’t knit with cotton. Not unless I want to spend my sunset years watching other old ladies knit and crying inside because I screwed up my wrists while not finishing other perfectly wrist-friendly projects during my summers. My goal then for summer: finish all unfinished projects and a couple unstarted projects as well. I’ll keep something on my needles all summer, of course. I can’t just let knitting go for months at a time, I’ve proven that with my few day cave-in a few weeks ago, but I’ll keep the projects small, portable, and quick.