Change of Scenery

2 Jun

It’s going to look a bit different around the blog. And by that I mean it’s going to be a different blog all together! I’m officially moving to danadoodleknits.com, and you can find the blog here. The site is still in progress, but the blog section is up and running and I’m so happy with how the site looks! It’s about 90% because of my amazing lady, Alex, who does all of my computer/web design stuff because she is wonderful and perfect. She’s the same Alex that designed our wedding invites. Did I mention how amazing she is?

socks-in-a-box

Socks is ready to move!

Go subscribe to the new site and I’ll see you soon for WIP Wednesday!

Shameful

29 May

I have a confession to make: I hate sewing in ends when I finish a project. I hate it so much that sometimes a project will sit finished for weeks, all except the ends to sew in. One of these projects is my Moyen Age sweater. But to be fair, it’s not exactly been sweater weather that much recently. I think I spent just as much time knitting the thing as it spent 99% finished on the couch. I finally finished and blocked it the other week, and it’s been waiting, sadly, for a cool enough day to be worn. Today is that day, and I’m seriously in love.

moyen-age

(non-bathroom selfies to come later, I promise)

The yarn is Shibui Knits Staccato, which 70% merino and 30% silk. Why haven’t I made myself a sweater with a silk blend before? It’s so damn comfortable and soft! And of course the sweater fits like a dream. I didn’t make a single modification to this pattern and I swear Hanna Maciejewska made this pattern specifically for my measurements. I think the part I love most is how well the shoulders fit me. I think that’s always a tricky part of a sweater pattern.

Now there’s a possibility that I’m going to take an inch off the length of the sleeves, and if I’m going to do that I might make the decreases on the lower part of the forearm go faster, but that’s just because my wrists are unbelievably skinny. Although we’ll see, I’m kind of liking that the sleeves cover my hands a bit, I always tend to pull my sleeves down anyway.

Now you thought that the shameful part was that the sweater sat unfinished for so long, right? Wrong. The shameful part is that I have another project, my Starshower cowl, that I finished two weeks ago, blocked, and have been wearing it this whole time without the ends sewn in. I mean, there are only two ends, and one gets tucked away and the other one is in the back, but still. You’ll have to wait for a picture on that FO, maybe it will even have the ends sewn in by then.

Happy knitting!

Ravelry Faves

22 May

What I should be writing about right now is the Long Island Fleece and Fiber Fair that I went to last weekend with Maria, but I’ll write it up later (checkout her post too).

Instead I’m going to write about ravelry. Now, I’ll go ahead and assume you know all about ravelry and how amazing it is. The projects, the stash, the favorites, the forums, all eleventy-billion patterns. It’s great, and pretty much every time I visit (which is frequent) I notice some new feature they’ve added, or something not-so-new that I’m only just discovering. Designer favorites is one of those things. A while ago I was favoriting some pattern or other and recognized the designer’s name, so I clicked on them to check out what other pattern I knew them from. Lo and behold I had favorited about half of their designs. Then I glance to the top of the page and realized that I could favorite the designer herself! Score! Now I know where to look when I need some new patterns.

This was all well and good until earlier today when I noticed people on twitter making a hubbub about Lady Charming by Veera Välimäki. And she is definitely a designer that’s been in my faves for a while. Now following designers on social media is a great way to find out about newly published patterns, but things can certainly slip through all those numerous posts. So I thought that what better way to keep up on your favorite designers’ new patterns than to have a feed on ravelry? You’ve already favorited the designers, and all ravelry would have to do is list all of their designs together in the order they’ve been published, with newly published patterns on the top. This way you can just check the feed every once in a while and catch up on all the new patterns, but not, y’know, all the new patterns, just the ones you’re predisposed to like.

Favorite Designers

 

A little poking around on ravelry after I had my brilliant idea showed me that you can already do this! Just click here, or go to your favorites, click on designers, then click on advanced search, and boom! all of your favorite designers’ patterns organized by publication date.

As always, I bow down to the amazing people behind ravelry, and wonder how they can do so much with so few people. Go give ‘em a hug, cause without them, I’m not sure how much of a community this fiber community would be.

FO: handspun mitts

18 May

Alright, let’s get back to it. And what’s a better way to get back to blogging than an FO? I finished my handspun fingerless mitts about a month ago now, and they’re perfect. They match the ones I made for Maria’s birthday. It’s my very first handspun, with Gherkin’s Bucket polwarth. Even though polwarth isn’t quite as soft as merino, every time I wear them they seem to get softer and softer. Because I was planning on making four fingerless mitts out of my handspun, I knew I needed something small, not too overwhelming for the colors, but not so boring.

handspun-mitts

I ended up scouring my stitch dictionaries, pinterest and all the other great places to look for the perfect thing for the cuff. I think it worked out really well, adding a bit of lace detail, but still keeping it simple.They’ve been really great to have over the last few weeks as the weather is deciding if it’s winter or spring. And they’re small enough I can just keep them in the pockets of my jacket.

And with that, happy knitting!

 

So it is

12 May

I’ve been in graduate school for about 20 months now, and every single one of those months I’ve questioned what the hell I’m doing here. The first year I told myself that rotations and classes are just awful, and once I joined a lab full time I’d be fine. I joined a lab and it didn’t get much better. I told myself that I needed to wait until I had more momentum on my project. I did, and it didn’t get better.

I’ve been on meds for depression and anxiety for seven months now. The depression affected my work in the lab, and the lack of progress was making me depressed. Self-perpetuating cycle.

But I’ve broken the cycle. Or at least that’s the plan. I’ve talked to my boss and decided that continuing to pursue a Ph.D. doesn’t make sense for me, and with just a little bit more work I can get a master’s and find a job doing something that I actually enjoy. When I started out in science I was convinced that the path was to get a Ph.D. do a post-doc, then head my own lab one day. The last two parts of that had mostly faded from my plans by the time I started grad school, but research, the kind with test tubes and mice and all that hands on stuff, was still stuck in my head as the way of doing science. There’s so much more to science than that. And just because I don’t want to work at the bench, doesn’t mean I can’t still be a scientist.

I’m not sure what my next step is, but I know that the timeline for finishing my master’s is the end of August. I’ve been looking through jobs trying to get a handle on what sort of thing interests me, and one conclusion that I’ve come to is that I love talking about science. I love explaining concepts and getting other people excited about science. There are a lot of positions out there for science communicators/writers, there are outreach programs, teaching, all of these are possibilities for me. Another direction I’ve been looking at is to continue my interest in graphic design. I mean, someone’s got to make all those nice graphics in newspapers, journals and textbooks, right?

So there you have it. This is the main reason I’ve been off the blog recently, but I have a feeling that’s about to change for the better. Even though my day-to-day is mostly the same right now, I feel so much happier for having made this decision, the right decision. If any of you are struggling with something like I have been for the last few years, don’t give up hope. Life is a series of ups and downs, and just because you’re down right now doesn’t mean you’ll never be up again. Chin up! And if you see a job in NYC that I might be interested in, you know where to find me!

“Enter title here”

25 Apr

Is there such a thing as blogger’s block? Cause I think that’s what I’ve been having.

With most social media (and blogging is definitely social media) you end up asking yourself often, does anyone really care about what I’m posting? Self doubt is easily amplified, especially if there’s pressure (internal or external) to post regularly and write about something new and interesting every time. It’s hard to keep up, and I know I’m not the only one who deals with this. I think it’s the rare blogger who doesn’t struggle with what to write about sometimes, or worry that the quality is flagging.
This isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy blogging, I love sharing what I’m doing and interacting with all of you. Being involved in social media had led me to so many fantastic friendships.

So what’s the moral of this story? I’m not sure. This blog has been active for quite a long time, and it’s had its ebbs and flows, often correlated with how my time is being spent in the real world. And I won’t lie, I’ve been busy and stressed the last few months in particular.

So here’s to deep breaths and giving yourself a break. I’ll be trying to take a less stressful outlook, and hopefully that means you’ll see more of me in this space, but if not, it’s not like I’ll get punished.

And of course I can’t post on April 25th without giving my wonderful and ever-patient husband a shout out for his birthday. All of this stuff I’ve been talking about would be infinitely harder without him.

Fifteen minute Friday

5 Apr

I’ve decided that it’s better to write these posts late than not bother writing them at all. So what’s new with me? True to my word I’ve been working on my handspun mitts. On Thursday evening I went out with some friends and it was just nice enough to sit out on the patio, which meant it was perfect knitting time. I finished up the body of the second mitt this afternoon, so all that I have left is two thumbs and then I have a new pair of mitts!

20140405-220241.jpg
This finishing things feels pretty nice, maybe I’ll work on some of my other lingering WIPs. One of my thoughts on the WIP Wednesday posts was that hopefully having to list all of the projects I’m working on on a monthly basis will prevent any projects from lingering too long. So here’s to finishing what you start!

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