Wednesday, March 30, 2005


booty to make seamen happy

i finished another birthday present - another seaman's cap, this one for my friend hunter in navy blue yummy elsbeth lavold angora. i made the size small this time since when i made the medium for rupesh it was actually size giant because the yarn is a little thicker than worsted. gauge, schmauge. and i know i've already posted a picture of rupesh wearing his hat, but since it took me 5 whole weeks to accomplish the difficult task of weaving in the ends, i thought i would show it again.

i am blogging live from lovely san diego, where i am at the yawn-a-thon that is the annual fruit fly conference. the highlight of my day so far was when i gave han the giggles during the keynote lecture and we couldn't stop shaking with silent laughter for what seemed like hours while a nobel prize winner explained her exciting science. good times.

Monday, March 28, 2005


my secret pal is wonderful!

my secret pal sent me a lovely orange-themed package from France this week. i've been so busy that i haven't had time to post about it, but it made me so happy! such a nice present, and just when i needed it the most because these last few weeks have been craaaazy. she sent me some nice dark orange wool yarn, a very cute little orange pen and orange highlighter, some orange jam, some orange candies, a case for my glasses (which is perfect because i just lost the one that came with my new glasses! and did you knit this for me, secret pal? i think you did - it's so beautiful! thank you so much!), and 3 little cat toys that my kitties looove (so much so that i could only find two to take a picture of because they have hidden one from me). thanks so much, secret pal!

(and sorry for all the paranthetical paragraphs - i'm a little tired).

Sunday, March 20, 2005


hamster palace move and extension

my boss finally noticed the hamsters last week, only because my labmate was holding a new bright orange hamster ball and waiting for me to put the hamster in and he walked up to my desk. he asked that i move them into the lunchroon instead of on my desk, so i'm kind of sad that they're far away, but at least he let me keep them in the lab. i bought them each a hamster ball, and some new tunnels and an external wheel that you can connect up to the tunnel network. i have two happy hamsters.

Friday, March 18, 2005


and the nobel prize in craftiness goes to

the inventor of this spectacular new pom-pom maker i bought at article pract just before i went to portland. it is soooooooo neat! i forgot to take a picture of the box, but it is made by clover and the instructions are in japanese. instead of having to cut sections of yarn and thread them through a pom-pom donut template (which can take a very long time if you want a big pom-pom), there are two half-circles that you can wrap with yarn very quickly (and you never have to cut the yarn until you're done winding) and then snap together. here is what it looks like:

clockwise, from top left:
the 4 different sized pom-pom makers that came in the box
yellow acrylic yarn wrapped around both halves of the biggest size (took about 5 minutes)
the two halves snap together, then you cut around the outside and tie the middle
and the main body of the chick is the pom-pom! the chick's head is made from the green circle.

so i discovered the joys of pom-pom making with this amazing device on wednesday while waiting for the dryer repair man to show up and fix our recently replaced dryer so i wouldn't have to go to Launder Land again. he was supposed to be there at 10:30, but he didn't get there until 1:30. had i known i would have 3 hours, i would have done something substantial like clean our tornado aftermath of a bedroom. but instead i made a pom-pom, then another, then made them both into a cute little chick, and then spent about an hour and a half taking pictures of the chick with the cats. i am way too easily amused.

and here's a trivia question for today: what is this?

if you guessed a decomposing watermelon that's been in our fridge for 6 weeks, you win!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


stitching bitches (now with MSG!)

we stitched and bitched and ate chinese food on monday night.

clockwise from upper left:
alexis, erin, and alexa on the couch knitting very intently (and carolyn's head)
giovanna seaming up her hat with tim looking on
carolyn takes a break from her fancy dishcloth
me working on ribby's first sleeve

we missed the bitchers this week - they all had more important bitching to do elsewhere. we had occasional lapses into silent concentration, but we're getting better.

and here's some of our progress
erin's big bad baby blanket is almost halfway done!
carolyn's first two completed knitting projects
lloyd is so cute - but didn't get any knitting done
giovanna's hat! almost complete except for the crocheting, which she learned how to do from the crocheters in the group.


ribby progress and screw-ups

i finished both front pieces of ribby while i was in portland. so now i have the front and back done. there's not a very exciting way to take a picture of this, though.

i also realized from looking at heather's ribby-in-progress that i am an idiot and did the decreases for the armholes wrong on all three pieces. at least i'm consistent. instead of always knitting 2 on the right side and purling 2 on the wrong side before the decrease, i did whatever would line up with the ribbing on the wrong side but always knit 2 on the right side. so it looks bumpy and weird. but i've accepted my failure and am going to keep it like this. yay for laziness!


hamster mania!

i got two baby dwarf hamsters last week from a professor across the hall. they were just weaned. two girls, which i have named Lady Avalanche and Dame Scribble (their names are silly and lab-related). you can follow the adventures of their two brothers here at erin's blog. last week i went and bought them a hamster palace. assembling it took some brain power.

cynthia saw it and said, "it's so, i don't know, over the top." and i thought she knew me enough to expect that already.

it took them a day to get used to their hamster paradise and start using the tunnels, but now they run around everywhere. i'll have to go get more tunnels. and a ball to put them in and let them run around the lab. maybe then my boss will notice them since somehow the muticolored plastic monstrosity on my desk has not attracted his attention yet.

they look exactly the same, and i tried using sharpie to mark one so i could tell them apart but it turns out they're always cleaning themselves so that didn't last long. to help me out, starting yesterday one of them has been very mean and biting me and other people that try to handle her. she's a little bit bigger than the other nice cute one that doesn't latch on with fangs and draw blood. so the bitey one is lady avalanche and the nice one is dame scribble. i hope lady avalanche gets nicer and stops biting but at least i can tell them apart now. that's dame scribble that i'm holding.

Monday, March 14, 2005


a fancy-schmancy new bike!

i've been wanting a new bike for a while, since mine has shifters on the frame of the bike instead of up at the handlebars (and i am clutzy and not graceful so shifting is difficult). we got our rei dividend a few weeks ago, which means we can use it to buy something and get 20% off, so that means a new bike for me!

isn't she lovely? the color is listed as "butter yellow", so i named her mrs. butters. here is all her information for anyone that cares about bikes. she is a sweet ride. i went for my first not-just-to-school-and-back bike ride with her yesterday. bryan asked if i wanted to go up, to which i stupidly replied, "yes! yay!" (not that there is much choice around where we live) oh, did we go up. we went up a street that's at about a 60 degree incline. really. no exaggeration. ok, maybe a slight exaggeration. but it was HARD. and then i took a little spill because it's really hard to get up and going on a bike again at such a crazy incline after you stop to let your leg muscles cool down from being on fire. so we went all the way up to grizzly peak road, which is waaay high, and then stopped at the Lawrence Hall of Science by LBNL (gorgeous view! i wish i had brought my camera!) and then came down centennial. that was also very scary because i was going about 30 miles an hour WITH my brakes clamped on. scary scary. but also fun! yay for bike rides!

Saturday, March 12, 2005


oregon is wonderful!

i went to visit heather on sunday. oregon is just as lovely as i imagined it would be. she picked me up from the airport and then we drove to a nice beach house. we took the dogs to the beach for a walk. they really like the beach. here's a picture of them (pre hideous dog-chomping fight because franklin is a dumb fight-picker).

before dinner, i gave heather a present of a garnishing book and kit, and we had fun with some produce. garnishing is hard! we made apple swans, cheese ducks, cucumber links, and a tomato rose. notice how the crackers say "water" on them! such a coordinated garnishing scene! patrick and his friend tim demolished it quickly.

on monday we went crabbing, which turned out to be much more work than i was envisioning. we had fun, but only managed to catch 4 males that were big enough to keep. here they are in their bucket:

and here's oscar playing with our yummy lunch.

on tuesday the weather was very clear, and we went walking on the beach again.

when we got back to the house, we dyed yarn with lots and lots of different colors. we had 18! i haven't taken a picture yet of the yarn.

here's heather laying out the yarn for dyeing. doesn't our pot of yarn look like spagetti?

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


delayed stitching bitches pictures

i am waaaay behind in posting some pictures of our stitching bitches meeting last monday. since we were to focused on our stitching and very quiet for our first meeting, i decided to take drastic measures and call in the professional bitchers. needless to say, the bitching was top notch.

clockwise from upper left:
serious stitchers alexa, giovanna, and erin on the couch
erin, neil, erin, and anosha eating ice cream and bitching
one of the martini glass creations by neil and anosha
neil really likes it when i take pictures

and everyone was very productive! the one knitter whose work i didn't get a picture of was giovanna, because she had just then cast on for a hat.

clockwise from upper left:
erin's big bad baby blanket
erin's lovely fun yarn scarf
erin's first heel!
alexa's first hat!


strawberry progress

not much to report on my crazy person craft project. last saturday we went to beverly's craft store in san jose (a really neat store packed with crafty goodness!) and picked up some netting to fill the strawberries with, some lyrca fabric to make the strawberry swim suit, and some fabric paint to paint the seeds on (which should take much less time than trying to sew on seeds cut out of fabric). i managed to blow up the pattern to life-size and cut it out of fancy griddy fabric.

bryan's mom and i managed to cut out the pieces and the batting for two sample strawberry quarters, but we ran into some sleepy problems when we tried to sew them together at midnight. we'll try to make some more progress this coming weekend.

Saturday, March 05, 2005


a kitten and a baby hamster

yesterday i went over to check on a friend's cats while she was away. she has two, and one is a kitten. he is a little puffy rolly-polly ball of affection. and he really likes the yarn i'm using for my ribby cardi.

and here is one of the baby hamsters that a professor across the hall is trying to find a home for - she said i could have two to put on my desk. yay for lab pets! i'll have to do some massive reorganization of my lab space to fit them in.


spring has sprung

i bought these cookies for han on thursday at a bakery by campus that has really yummy things. i wanted to get her one of the really big sugar cookies that they make with lots of frosting and a smiley face on them, but they said all their sugar cookies are springy/easter now. a sure sign that spring is here. han said the cookies were very buttery and yummy. cute and tasty!

Thursday, March 03, 2005


exciting new orange glasses

i cannot put into words how much i love the color orange. so when i was at the eye center a few weeks ago with my eye problems, i went a little crazy after finding a pair of orange frames. and they finally got here on monday. yay for orange! here are pictures of the old and the new glasses.


and han loves me too!

han went to the city yesterday for a seminar and bought me a lovely candle with shamrocks on it during her after-seminar shopping expedition. it really spruces up my lab bench!

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