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I’m here!

Far too much time has passed since I’ve last blogged.  I guess grad school finally caught up with me!  I’ve been keeping busy with class projects/papers/exams and (of course) research.  Things are finally set up in the lab the way that I want them, so I’ll probably be spending a lot more time in there.  :)  I feel like such a badass in my tie-dyed labcoat with my new instruments going.

By now, I’m sure it’s apparent that I’m not taking part in NaBloPoMo this year.  There’s no way; I just don’t have enough to write about for a whole month!  The knitwise among you probably know that it’s also NaKniSweMo (National Knit a Sweater Month), though.  As I cast on my first “real” sweater recently, I’m hoping to finish it this month.

A couple weeks ago, Mom came to visit.  (Has it really been a couple of weeks already?)  I’ve been really homesick, and it was great to see her.  I can’t wait for the holidays.

Before she got here, we thought we’d get really crazy and paint the guest room!  I’m really proud of the way it turned out.  Here’s the (ugly yellow) before:

And the after:

It’s hard to tell from the pictures because the lighting is so much different in different corners of the room, but the true color is probably somewhere between the first picture and the third picture.  It looks great, and it’s so nice to have another room done.  Our next project will either be the bedroom or the basement!  (They’re both yellow, too.  WTF!)

I LOVE FALL

Happy (S)Oc(k)tober!  :D  Life’s good.

Water Sampling!

This past Friday, I volunteered to help out with the Wabash Sampling Blitz.  I had no idea what to expect, but it was so much fun!

Our little group of three drove south a ways into the middle of the country and got dirty (literally) in some of the Wabash streams.  We brought back some water samples and did a few tests (pH, temperature, chlorine, copper, etc.) right in the stream.

It’s definitely something that I’ll volunteer for again in the future!  :)

hard workin’

Damn, almost a month since my last update?  The return of classes has been hardcore taking over my life!  Y’all will be happy to know that I’m being really productive, though.  I feel so much better about myself when I’m getting something done.  If I find myself spinning my wheels, I tend to become really anxious.  I mean, being stressed out and overworked isn’t great, either, but at least I can enjoy the relaxation guilt-free when those chunks of time end.  The gorgeous fall weather moving in keeps me happy, too.  :)

I had my first commitee meeting this week, and it went really well.  (Your committee is a group of professors who will eventually judge your thesis when you defend it and decide whether you graduate or not.)  My committee members are really nice and helpful, and they liked my project ideas a lot.  Being the type who’s really helped by set milestones, I feel so good about having it done.

Other than that, there’s not too much going on around here!  I’m getting as much knitting done as I can when my nights aren’t full of work or studying.  :)

SOCKS

Our friends Ashley and Aaron came back this weekend (married!) to pick up Gizmo.  It was really nice to have a little more time with them to just hang out, rather than a quick one-night visit like last time.  I have to admit that I kind of miss the sound of the little guy’s wheel going in the night, but it’s nice to be able to leave the basement door open without concern!

And!  I taught Ashley how to knit!  :oD  Well, I had taught her a bit last time we were together, but this time we really got into everything.  She’d made a few garter stitch potholders before, but she picked out her first “real” project at the yarn store here..socks.  Socks!  And I don’t mean plain socks, either.  She grabbed this braided cable sock pattern and decided that it was the one.  I am in awe.  The girl is a badass!  This picture doesn’t show the colors so well; it’s more purples and pinks than browns and reds.  Pretty!

Ashley is such a quick learner, so calm and cool about the whole thing.  I’m so proud.  At one point, she had to rip out that cuff up there because it was a bit too big, but she just cast right back on and got going again.  I’ve never gotten this far in teaching someone how to knit, and it’s been really fun, especially with someone who’s so good at it!  I can’t wait to get together again and teach her how to do the heel.

Meanwhile, I’ve been having my own sock adventures.  I decided to give continental knitting another go with a pair of Trilobite Socks.  I wouldn’t call it a complete disaster (okay, maybe I would), but my final decision is that this technique is not for me.  It was really uncomfortable for my hands, and I was getting really frustrated and hating it.  I wound up having to rip the sock out anyways because it was too big.  Damnit.

Classes start up again Monday, so I’m just trying to enjoy my last bit of summer before it all starts again.  I think I’m probably ready to get back into a more set routine, and I am definitely ready for it to be fall.  Bring on the cooler weather!

the chinch

We’re chinchilla sitting!  Our friends Ashley and Aaron have gone to Phoenix to get married, so we’re watching Gizmo for a couple of weeks.  :o)

I know some folks were curious, so I took a few videos of the little guy.

epic thrift

I have always been a little skeptical of friends’ great thrifting finds.  I mean, really.  Do I not know what to look for?  Are their stores better?  Do they go to better areas?  Do they spend every waking minute at Goodwill?

No longer!  The Goodwill gods have smiled upon me.  At least for today.

A bit of backstory: I’ve been eyeing some TOFUtsies yarn that’s in my yarn bowl here, looking at patterns for socks, and generally daydreaming about knitting with it.  I need size 1 needles because the yarn’s so thin, and the only US 1 sock needles I have are crap.  So I was going to buy new ones.  In a particular brand that I like.

I think at this point, you can probably see where my story’s going.

This afternoon, I’m prowling Goodwill, nothing yet in hand, when I see..a cable needle?  Well, that’s interesting.  I don’t particularly need one, but it’s bound to be cheap, right?

And then I go in to pick it up and notice this:

Well, now that’s really interesting!  It’s the brand I was looking for.  Maybe it’s something I can use?  But surely it’s a size that I already have (and wouldn’t mind another), or the set isn’t full, or it’s really bent or something..

Nope!  There it is, the exact set of needles that I was going to buy, at a discounted price, with a random cable needle tossed in!  This made my day more than you can imagine.  (I’d just come from the doctor, where I spent $20 to find out I needed some patience and was in a not-so-great sort of mood.)

I’m not sure that this story really speaks to non-knitters so much.  Sorry.  Just imagine that there’s something you’ve been thinking about excitedly for a couple of days, and the universe just drops it in your lap.  Like maybe you’ve been craving cake, and someone brings in cupcakes for the office during a long afternoon when you’re really falling asleep.  Or something.

Anyways, I’m really excited about the needles!  :oD