Getting in the Swing of Things

Yesterday, I finished an awesome tank top that I've been working on since Wednesday. It's been a bit of a ride: I had gotten about halfway through Friday night when I tried it on, like the pattern recommended. Well... the neckline went about down to my belly-button. Obviously not good. The pattern wasn't very good at specifying the size (the real sizes were in italics under the big SIZES section... -_-), so I had to rip the whole thing out, and start over, going down two sizes (I knit a small?! I think this is the first time I've ever been a small - usually it's a medium due to wide shoulders). Then, for some reason, I was able to crank it out in two days. Go figure.

The pattern is Coachella, and the yarn is Knit Picks Comfy in Fedora (a colorway they're discontinuing in that line, unfortunately, because the color looks great on me and the yarn is fantastic... and machine washable).

I love the racer-back: it leaves my scapulae free to move, which I greatly appreciate (you get addicted to the freedom after racing suits).

The only thing is, due to the design, you need to wear a halter bra with this tank. And you know what that means... BRA SHOPPING. Duh, duh DUUUUUH! Luckily, Target has a decent selection, and I am now +1 convertible bra.

As for the semester, all labs have started, almost all my books are here (unfortunate incident with two of them, but my friend Kim graciously copied the pages with the assigned problems for me. Kim, you're the best!). My work schedules are all adjusted, and I'm getting into the rhythm of the semester. Now, I just have to bug Dr. Olson about my personal statement, submit all my internship apps, and start working on my honors research paper for Dr. Cosner, and then I'll be all ready to go.
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Fountains and Frisbees

I decided, on my way back to my room from physics today, to take a photographic record of everything on my route, because it's a nice day, and I love the physics fountains. You can see a map of my route above (click to make it bigger), with each letter representing the spot to the corresponding photo below.

A: The Physics Fountains. These are my favorite fountains on campus. Small, tiny, just randomly coming out of the ground in a random courtyard in a remote part of campus. It's so peaceful back there, and it's one of my favorite spots on main campus.

B: I decided at this point to record every fountain I pass on my way to and from physics. This is the fountain in front of the engineering school. I've walked through this one.

C: People playing Frisbee in between Memorial and Ashe :)

D: The awesome twisty, knotted, huge canopy trees all over Coral Gables.

E: The area around fountain #3 - palm trees and more twisty trees. Very pretty.

F: Fountain #3, in the "Humanities Courtyard," as I think of it.

G: Random party thing at the business school being set up. Lots of tables and chairs, etc.

H: At this point, I realized I passed four fountains on the way to and from class. It's a tad ridiculous how many fountains are on this campus.

I: The canal, at low tide. Home to many pipefish, egrets, ibises, herons, weird Florida ducks, and the occasional manatee. Awesome spot.

J: Last, but not least, the very sketchy Behavior Medicine Building, that's made of concrete, always dark, and no one ever comes in or out...

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Magic Mirror is done:

The right sock is a little longer in the leg than the left, but that's because I forgot to write down what row I started the heel on, so I started it a little earlier than the other socks. Pattern is Magic Mirror, yarn is Knit Picks Stroll in Dusk. The leg is a bit longer than I usually like it, but hey, I'll sacrifice to have a nice transition.

I haven't gotten more than 6 hours of sleep a night since last Thursday, so my head's spinning a little bit right now. Of course this occurs right when I need to catch up on homework due to my books not getting here until quite a few classes have gone by. And when I need to get all the internships submitted. And get everything else on earth done. It's crazy. Last night I was up until 2 getting everything done. It's crazy. As soon as I'm done with this blog I'm going to take a little nap. It is much-needed.

Though I did tye-dye last night, which means this zombie-week has something going for it. I also donated blood after tye-dying, which was amusing because all the people working the blood drive initially thought I had blood all over my hands, when it was really dye. Pretty amusing.

OK, nap time. Happening now. Have a good week everyone.
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Weekend Work

Well, this weekend kind of stinks. Mostly because I'm working most of the time. And I mean most of the time. I had a shift this morning from 11-5 (but really 5:45 because person with the next shift didn't show... new kid...) covering for someone else, then in the morning I work at aplysia from 8 until around 1 (but really, I have to get up at 6 to get to the metro on time, and then I won't get back until 2, because the person who I was getting a ride with is studying abroad this semester). Then tomorrow night I work 5-11. So... basically, if you don't count time for sleeping, I have maybe around 8 hours that I'm not working this weekend. And you know, I have to eat, shower, swim etc. Just not cool. The good thing is though, I find out what I'm doing for my project out at aplysia tomorrow.

The only thing that didn't stink about this weekend was last night. I can always count on good old Friday night. First, I went to the yarn store, which is always a plus. Second, I had a gift card to the yarn store, and they were having, not only huge sale buckets (clearly stuff that they're de-stocking because no one was buying), but a post-inventory sale on top of that! Unfortunately, my slight obsession with long-color-changing yarns (a la Noro) prompted me to get the mini-mochi instead of the Dream in Color Smooshy (but really, quite clearly I'm making some awesome socks out of the mochi, and I had no clue what I would make with the Dream in Color. Plus, for $22 normal price, the Dream in Color was quite scratchy). I also got the most gorgeous roving ever:

Drooling? Want to pet it? I understand.
But then, when I got back, there was cake on top of the microwave (which immediately tipped me off that Shannon was going to come into the room at any time - that girl has a cake detector in her head, I swear. Plus, Bree's shoes (Bree = Shannon's roommate) were on the floor). We actually ended up watching the Guardians of Ga'Hoole and eating cake, once Shannon got back from fencing (turns out, in addition to her obsessions with cake and clownfish, Shannon also has a thing for owls). I've read the books Guardians of Ga'Hoole, and I have to say, they messed up the plot in the movie in the same way they messed up the plot in the Eragon movie, which drove me crazy the whole time. Luckily, the plot line they invented with the characters from the series was actually quite good, and quite a clever (if slightly annoying to those of us who've read the books) way to mash the first six or seven in to one movie (Eragon was just terrible in all respects).

At work this morning I watched Watchmen (I have 12 hours of info desk this weekend, and the only homework I have/can do is read genetics and write a page of French, which will take about 4 hours, max), and while I was watching, I finished the first January sock, and started the next one:

I'm doing good. The only thing is, I also want to knit a tank top (though that pattern is supposed to be super-fast), and make some headway into a shawl. Plus the spinning. And, you know, class. And research. Etc. It's going to get busy.
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Day 2/1

The roving is all dry, and you can see the results here:

I had intended it to be mostly green with splashes of brown, and little bits of pink where green and brown meet. BUT the plastic wrap sprung a leak, and the pink was at the opposite end, so as the green dye flowed out, it sucked the pink dye through most of the top. I had also intended the pink to be a dust rose, and this well, a pink-purple cross. McCormick lied to me.
However, I still like the color, which is strange because pink is normally what I run away screaming from. But I think I figured it out: It's the exact same color-scheme as my first blanket on my first "big girl" bed (which is the bed I still have at home, and the blanket now lives in the basement, because it's really getting old and ratty, but it still works. Also, pink and green don't go with a blinding, bright orange and yellow sunset over the ocean). So it's a childhood nostalgia that's keeping me attached and not over-dying (plus I needed to propose my OWL), and I feel like it's going to be much, much, much prettier spun. I'm actually really looking forward to it.

Today was technically the second day of class, but I like to think of it as "First Day of Class, Part 2." I mean really, you have all new classes because it's Wednesday instead of Tuesday, and it's still the first class for all of these Wednesday classes.

So, the class low-down:
1) French. The big shocker was the professor: not only is he in a wheelchair (a pretty badass wheelchair at that), but he's Irish. Teaching a French class in the United States. It sort of boggles my mind. My french is pretty rusty, but luckily the little diagnostic assessment thing only tested the present and passé compose (which I learned in what, French II?). There was also a little bit of subjoncif, which I know I did already in French IV, but it's been three years, I only sort of learned it in the first place, and I haven't spoken French since May 2009 (yeah, I too the final in June, but really, Mme Van Stone had a baby right after the AP exam, so I really wasn't speaking French after that). But I remembered the conjugation for faire, so I was fasse-ing it up all over that question. Don't remember when you're supposed to use it, or any of the conjugation, but whatever. It worked, and I have a sneaking suspicion that Dr. Finn thinks I should be in the next higher class (I probably should be, based on my fluency, but I'm just getting a requirement out of the way, and I don't want to kill my GPA on a language...)
2) Differential Equations. Dr. Cosner reminds me of Mr. West. Quite a bit, actually, which is really awesome. Apparently this guy has a reputation for being awesome, but that reputation circulates mainly around engineers and math majors, so me the little marine science student had not a clue (but Dr. Olson did, that ol' Physical Oceanographer, who recommended the class to me). The one thing I'm slightly scared about is that it's heavily based on Calc II. Now , Calc I I have down, Calc II was a bit random and unstructured, so I really don't remember much of it. So I plan on spending some time in the library with a calculus book reading up on what I should have learned from Mr. Lucid (apparently I did learn something, because I got a 5 on the AP exam). Also slightly panicked because we have homework already (due, but not really due, because it's not collected, Friday), and my book is currently in transit, and will probably, along with my Physics textbook, get here over the weekend. Also, Kim's in my class, along with a bunch of other random people I know from other classes I was in where you don't expect a marine science student.
3) Physics. My professor is Italian. Heavily Italian. Name, Dr. Galeazzi. Stereotypical Italian accent. It's pretty badass. But he started out the class saying, "I know that this is a tough class and that most of you are not here by choice, you have to take it." And there I am, sitting there, me who had the option to take College Physics instead of University. Hmm.... Also, thank goodness there was someone in the class I knew. Granted, it was Geoff, and I don't know him that well, but then again, what better opportunity is there than to have a class with someone. So, yeah, I'm hanging out with the marine geology kids in University Physics. Today it was pretty dry (syllabus, scientific method, units... *headdesk*), but luckily, it was a big lecture hall, and I didn't feel bad about working on these:

Don't worry - it's mainly a twisted rib, with an occasional yarn-over. Not totally mindless, but pretty close. Perfect class-knitting material. I did well relegating my more mindless projects to the time of the month when I'd be in class. And I'm going to need it tomorrow to get though Chem O...


Classes started today, and I must say, Chemical Oceanography was not the entertainment I thought it was going to be (Dr. Millero posted a fake syllabus on Blackboard, which was one of the funniest things I've ever read). A little dry, a little heavy on the diagrams. I'm going to mess with my OneNote and Powerpoint software to see if I can export the slides to OneNote (because note-taking is so much better there than under the slides in Powerpoint). Genetics was packed: I was borderline late, due to having to switch computers three times and figure out where the other paper slot was on the printer in the marine science lab and only having 15 minutes between my two classes, and I open the door to Cox 126, and I can't see a single seat open. Really, there were people all the way off to the awkward seats at the side, even. I did find a seat, but this was a lesson to just go straight from Chem O to Genetics, since they're right next to each other, in order to get a good seat/sit next to someone I know.

In other news, over the past two days I've
- flown to Miami
-cleaned the bathroom
-cleaned the fridge
-cleaned the microwave
-cleaned the top of the microwave and my food-shelf
-brought my finances up to date
-gone grocery shopping (during a tornado watch)
-dyed some roving (pics will come after it's dry and braided)
-watched some Mr. Bean for the first time with Jen and Robbie (Robbie has been trying to get both of us to watch these since October, and we finally had time to sit down and watch)
-been introduced to The Mighty Boosh
-watched Mega Piranha (highly recommended if you're a fan of so-bad-they're-hysterical movies)
-played Super Smash Bros. Melee for the first time in years (but I've played Brawl, does that count?)
-started a swatch for a shawl (Ancient Runes OWL)
-started January's Sock for the Self-Imposed Sock Club (it's Magic Mirror)

Oh, and finished some of the greatest socks in the history of the universe:

Go ahead. Be jealous.
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Just a quicky, for I'm leaving to go back to Miami tomorrow, and need to pack, finish tweaking internship application essays, and fill out all the stupid application forms.

1) Got through the heel on sock #2:

I've got mixed feelings; while the first sock had the heel split in the Zauberball, causing two different colors within the same stripe, driving me crazy up close, from far away, it makes the sock blend and transition more. With the split on the second sock being in the white, there's no color-conflict within the stripe, but I went from red before the heel to blue and yellow after the heel. It's a little awkward. But, hey, it's the price I pay for really awesome striped heels.

2) I had much fun dying 10g segments of roving yesterday (for the CoMC OWL):

I used the ol' food coloring and vinegar, though we had hardly any red left due to Christmas cookies, so my final color (a green/dusty rose/light brown combo), will have to used on the big skein in Miami with my food coloring there (I really, really want this colorway to happen). The orange and green one I actually dyed Monday, but they look so pretty together. The colorway names, starting with the orange and green, going clockwise, are as follows: Miami, Bear Cut, Sunshine, Dustland Fairytale, and Springtime Dandelions. I am so ecstatic to start spinning in something other than white, you have no idea.

3) Speaking of spinning, latest mini-skein is done, just having it's twist set at the moment. Pics will probably come tomorrow after I'm in Miami.

Now, I really have to go pack.
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Negative Feedback Loop

So, there's this one female cardinal that has wintered in the woods behind our house for several years now. It looks like a perfectly ordinary female cardinal, the right coloring, feathers all correctly aligned, etc. The thing is, I'm pretty sure it has permanent brain damage. Every year, without fail, we hear this TWACKing a the living room window every couple days. At first we weren't sure what was causing it, and then, one day, I spied a female cardinal ramming herself into the window. Clearly, she saw her reflection, thought it was another cardinal, and was fighting for territory. OK, we thought, it's annoying now, but eventually she'll figure out that it's a window, not another bird, and stop trying to give herself a concussion.

Well, it's been a few years since then, and the cardinal is still ramming herself against the window. We've all come to the conclusion that this is an exceptionally stupid cardinal, and all secretly hope that one day it'll whack itself a little too hard. But I recently came up with a new theory: Negative Feedback Loop. It's like this: the cardinal thinks there's another bird in her territory, so she attacks, only to ram her head into our living room window. She doesn't pick up on the fact that it's a window very quickly (she's a cardinal, after all), so keeps doing it. Pretty soon, she's rammed her head into the window so much that she's actually damaged her brain, so she can't figure out that it's a window, not a bird. So, she keeps ramming herself into the window, and damaging her brain even more. It's a vicious cycle.

In other news, somehow, without fail, every night, my bed ends up looking like this:

and I have to clean all of it off if I want to sleep. I really try to not pile junk on my bed, but it just happens. This is one reason why my bed's lofted at Miami: no piles of junk (on the bed that is, there are certainly piles of junk on the desk, chair, ottoman, and dresser, but those would have happened with or without loft).

I finished experimenting with navajo ply a week or so ago, see:

I'm currently plying another mini-skein (the one pictured is about 10g, 16yds, worsted or DK). The current one is also navajo ply, mainly because if I did a 2-ply it would turn out laceweight, and 3-ply it's a light fingering, so I might be able to use it for mini-socks. I'm quite proud of being able to spin lace-singles on my fourth go, even if it's not entirely even yet (I'm working on it).

Also, I finished the first sock of my epic Zauberball stripes. Go ahead, be jealous. Who wouldn't want socks this awesome?

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So long, 2010

As you could sort of tell, I've been rather busy, with no time really to think (that's a lie, by the way - all I was doing was thinking... and writing papers, and final lab reports, and studying for finals, well, you get the idea), let alone blog. You've already seen my obsession with mini-sweaters, so here's a look at what I knit up to the plane ride home:
Starting in the top left, working down and left to right:
Ishbel Remnants: Mini-sock, for PrincessOnica
Traveling Scarf section, the outer cable from Hera
Purple: Turn a Square in purple Patons Classic Wool; Ethan's Christmas present
Hands of Wooly Goodness: Mittens for Dad in steely blue Patons for Christmas.
More mini-sweaters...
Nottingham: Hat for myself. I love it
Miami Mitts: They're freaking awesome. Need
I say more? The []_[] is duplicate stitch.
Zigzag: Cowl for Mom for Christmas in a burgundy heather Patons.
Then, I got home, and started knocking out WIPs left and right (with an occasional small project for pacing purposes... or for making-Aqua-even-more-adorable purposes...):

Again, starting at the top left, working left to right and down:
SHROOMS!: I made a mushroom... "^^
Mini-socks, for a swap.
The Thing: A mini-shawl for Aqua.
The Right Side of the []_[]: Worsted weight socks. Wearing them now.
Blue Marl: Lovely shrug, to keep me warm in Cox (where I'll be living next semester)
Hourglass: The second pair of from a failed Arithmancy OWL. They're awesome.
Exams: Plain vanilla socks that gave my gauge issues... (we won't talk about that).

Speaking of The Thing:

For Christmas I got a Turkish spindle, plus a bunch of roving. I've been experimenting. The obviously-worse mini-skein was my first, using pre-drafting. The second skein is when I figured out how to draft while the spindle was spinning.
Right now I'm working on my third mini-skein: the single is done (and much thinner and more consistent), and I'm navajo plying (which is great fun). The only problem I'm still having is how to fix yarn when it breaks - I've resorted to spit-splicing, which I know isn't right, but I don't know what else to do at this point.
This morning I unpinned another Ishbel, made with Alina Shea Creations Waxing Moon in Royal Ravenclaw. I looooooooove it! And snow is an ideal picture-taking medium.
I've finally gotten to my ball of Crazy Zauberball, and am making some epic striped socks out of it. See toe here:
I get to see a bunch of HPKCHC people tomorrow, which is super-exciting, and I fly back to Miami a week after that. Break has sure gone by fast.
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