Thursday, August 26, 2010

Loving my extremities

    I've gotten much more time this week to work on my knitting and have spent a little time on all of my projects. I finished the first sock of my Pomatomus sock. I'm simply in love with this pattern, I'll be casting the second one soon. I just need to find the time where I can sit still through most of the first couple of rows.

I think the next time I make this particular pattern I will make the cuff much longer. The short cuffs are cute, but my feet are always so cold!

IMAG0125I've also started on my christmas gifts! Tuesday, I casted on a pair of fingerless gloves for a friend. I'm using Swish DK yarn from Knitpicks in the color whirlpool. I'm starting with a basic tube on size 5 circular needles and will later make a single thumb hole when I decide that they are long enough. This allows them to fit on either hand. (No left or right confusions with the pattern!) She has much longer arms than I do, so I'll be making these to fit slightly past my own elbow.  


Monday, August 23, 2010

Public speaking and the sock blankie

My works-in-progress talk went wonderfully! I had a great crowd, lots of comments and questions, and I could answer most of them! Even the ones I went blank on weren't so bad, because I really did know the answers and my boss was there to back me up. It was great to get that kind of feedback and support from many older students and post-docs too. Many of them came up to me after the talk.

Definitely wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, my public speaking skills are starting to improve! Now I have eight months before I have to do it again. Woohoo! I saw a rainbow out of my window on friday too, which topped it all off.

Today I want to introduce you to my long term project. The sock blankie! It is made completely out of sock yarns, using a size 2 needle. You can read all about, and see the original sock blankie by Shelly Kang here. Maybe I'll finish it about the time I get that Ph.D.?

It has come into existence for two reasons. First, because I love to try new sock yarns, but I'm usually broke. This gives me an outlet to try lots of different yarns at a very low cost. Second, I wanted to prove to myself that I can finish something this big.

I'm about finished with the first row, measuring about four feet now.
It's curled around in the photo so that I could get the whole dang thing in without having to stand on top of my chair. (Those wheels looked a little dangerous!)

My squares are approximately two inches across. I cast on 31 stitches on a #2 needle, and make a standard mitered square. It takes me about 30-45 minutes per square. Here is my current favorite square, which I'm sure will change frequently:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Late nights and fishy socks


It's another late work day here in research world. I took this picture out on my way to my parked car last night. Seems so pretty and peaceful...

So in another attempt to not think about my works-in-progress talk that is coming up this friday, I'm continuing to knit all of my frustrations and worry into a very pretty pair of socks. (When I'm not working on that presentation, of course.)

I'm using Lornes Laces Shepherd Sock Mutli in Ravenswood. A very pretty combination of reds and blues, that seems to flash beautifully. No pooling so far!


These are Cookie A.'s Pomatomus. Having a Zoology background, I absolutely adore that they look like fish scales. Here is a close up photo.


I can't wait to make the second one, and might even make a second pair in some more "fishy colors". I was thinking maybe Poseidon by String Theory Fibers? (What scientist can resist yarn named after a theory?)

Monday, August 16, 2010

WIPS talk and a happy hat

There is nothing I hate more than public speaking. Period. However, I'm still required to do it.

This friday I'm be giving my first Works-In-Progress talk for my department, and I have very little data to show. As a newly third year graduate student, I required to give a WIP for not only my department, but also for my program, and for a collaborator WIP that my boss does once a month. That's three hour long talks a year, not counting poster presentations.

So to keep my mind off of public speaking, I made a hat.

Eric with his new hat.

I used Knitpicks Wool of the Andes and the pattern A Hat Fit For a Boyfriend By Stephanie Nicole. Eric seems to like it so far! It's a very quick knit, made in less than a week in the few hours I was at home. I did have a few modifications, I cast on an extra 20 stitches, and made it about 4 inches longer, to fit my guys head.

Hopely after this week I can post some of my longer knit WIPs that are coming along nicely. (No public speaking required!)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Grad School Normal

When I first started graduate school, they encourage students from different areas of interest to mingle. While I was interested in neuroscience, I had friends in biochemistry, microbiology, and cancer research.

During these first few months, before the real craziness of earning a Ph.D. sets in, we realized something. We called it "Graduate School Normal".

This term comes from the fact that it takes a certain type of person (at least we noticed) to want to become a scientist. We are not normal by most standards, but we are normal in the graduate school setting. Somehow, I became the standard for "Grad School Normal". I'm a little odd, I'll admit.

My communication skills have always been a problem. Which is one of the reasons I've decided to start this blog. I'm completely to the point. (Which I always thought was a good thing.) I'm honest to a fault, often saying things more bluntly than I should. To say in the smallest amount of words: I'm awkward.

I wanted to start this blog to work on my communication skills. I'm going to try to focus mostly on my time in graduate school, and maybe some of my hobbies I still have time for.

Or, in a nutshell, I'm a neuroscientist that knits. Go figure.
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