Friday, June 10, 2005


stitching bitches and lab pet silliness

after many many weeks of cancellations, we had stitching bitches night at my house on monday. knitting and talking and pizza and snacks. t'was quite a lovely evening. a montage:

on the left is Carolyn modeling the ribbon xback that i finished. it is for my sister, and i think that i'll have to shorten the straps because it's a little low on the sides, and there might be some boobage issues. my sister should be coming to visit me soon, so i'm going to wait until we figure out the fit before i darn in all the ends (although it makes for a lovely asymmetric fringe). i used 4 and a half balls of Crystal Palace Deco-Ribbon in Strawberry Soda, and number 11 needles. my gauge was a little too big, so i cast on for the medium instead of the large because i had read on the internets that it comes out a little big. so it is about a medium and a half.

on the right is Carolyn working on her first non-dishcloth project, legwarmers in purple with red stripes. she has a wacky way of knitting, so i didn't really teach her as much as let her read my knitting books a while ago, and we discovered that she twists all of her knit stitches. but now she knows the right way. she refuses to frog out the legwarmer and knit it correctly, so now she has to concentrate and do it the wrong way. crazy Carolyn.

in the middle is Erin working on her Baby's First Tattoo sweater from SnB Nation, and she brought her neighbor Gigi to join out group as well. Gigi was swatching for the cabled newsboy cap in SnB Nation. i think it was a little overwhelming for her to knit with so many people at once, but she wants to come back next week so that means she had fun.

and on the bottom right is Team Ballwinder, Erin and my housemate Brian. they are definitely going to have to practice if they want to wind balls in the competitive circuit. Brian has been very excited about the ballwinder since i got it, but that's because i demonstrated its power to him by winding yarn that was already in a center pull ball into a new ball. the whole "holding a skein out between your forearms and trying not to let the yarn get tangled into the biggest knot in the universe" part of the operation was not clear to him. and he is the most impatient person in the planet, so you can imagine how big the knot was. oh well, the swift i have requested from my sweetie for my birthday should make him excited to wind all of our skeins into balls on monday nights.

on to lab pet news . . . i got a shrimp! his name is Gerald. he is so neat to watch! and he has made me want to stop pillaging the sea for shrimps because he is such a wonderful little creature. it is hard to take a picture of him in the tank - here is one of him being shy:

maybe Bryan can get a better picture next week with his fancy-schmancy camera. today was also excitement with the lab pets (can you tell we never get any work done?) because Sally brought in zebrafish (the model organism she used to work on as a graduate student) to feed the axolotls. we all watched while the axolotls figured out it was a swimming food party. they are happy. the fish, however, are most likely not as happy. Bryan keeps squeaking "help me" in a tiny voice when he walks by my desk, but they were extra in the lab they were in, so the other option for them is down a garbage disposal, which sounds equally not as happy.

[side note: just when i was thinking we have too many lab pets now (2 hamsters, 3 axolotls, and many inhabitants of a fish tank), the older female axolotls in the tank are starting to look suspiciously fat and bloated. and upon further examination of the new little guy i put in there (mature now) that i thought was a female . . . i could soon have 300 more lab pets to clean up poop after.]

while careful observations were being made about the interaction between axolotls and zebrafish, a postdoc in the lab tried to make someone take up a bet with him that he could reach into the tank and grab a zebrafish by the tail and pull it out. this postdoc is a little crazy, and remarkably quick, it turns out. so cynthia bet him that he couldn't do it, and if he could, she would eat it. well, you know what happened, or i wouldn't be writing about it. yuck. she just swallowed it so she wouldn't have to chew it. and i missed the whole thing because i went to get my car smog checked but all the places i could find were closing so they wouldn't do it. damn california.

Friday, June 03, 2005


a present and some puppies

i finished the ChicKnits mondocable shell i was making for my mom for mother's day. i had to finish it while i was in phoenix visiting, but at least i got to give it to her before i left. here she is modeling it:

i used 4 skeins of Plymouth Yarn "Fantasy Naturale", which is 100% cotton. it's knit on #9 needles, so it came out thicker than i was imagining, but i'm still happy with it, and don't think it will be too hot for crazy Phoenix weather. this is the biggest project i've finished since i started knitting. and i learned how to do mattress stitch.

while in phoenix i also got to meet my parents' new puppies for the first time. they are scottish deerhounds, and they are only 7 months old and GINORMOUS. their names are Alex and Malachy.

and here they are again with a little chocolate lab puppy for scale.

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