Sunday, 28 January 2007

Look What I've Got!

Ok, well you can't see the finished sock - it is drying. But here is all that remains of the hank of yarn.

Sure makes me nervous. What you see is some of the yarn split, and 109cm (43") from the cast off edge. I can see the beauty in doing toe up socks. I was antsy to block so I haven't weaved in the other end, but it isn't long either. I'm off to start the second sock.


Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Actual Knitting Content

To prove that I do, in fact, knit here is a picture of one of my current works in progress. This is the first sock I've ever made and I am likeing it so much. I was worried until I tried it on that it was a wacked out shape but it fits so I'm happy.

The colour is off but this is the photo from the website Art Yarns

The yarn is Artyarns Supermerino that I bought at a LYS on boxing day here in Calgary. The colour is sm138 (dark purple/black).
The pattern is from Schafer Yarn: Miss Priss Ribbed Socks

In the interest of preserving my knitting and showing what I can do I will post previous FO soon. I am just excited about the socks and wanted to share.

How I Spend my Days

So I write a lot of stuff but what do I spend my days doing? The side bar says that I'm a graduate student and it may say in what, I just changed it and can't remember. So what do I do? Well I'm a graduate student at the University of Calgary (Alberta Canada) in the behavioural psychology graduate program. My supervisor is Dr. Richard Dyck and my lab mates are many (not tons but more than some other labs). My lab has no windows as it is in a basement so there are days where I come when it is dark and leave when it is dark and never see the sun. Those are few - usually I have something to do elsewhere and manage to see some sun. But still, the majority of my day is spent without natural light. The funniest is when it is sunny out when I come and sunny when I leave but sometime in between it snowed 2 cm. At this point I go "Dude, when did it snow?" but yeah. The weather can change and I never know it unless it leaves a calling card behind.

My research involves the behavioural and functional recovery from lesions to the medial prefrontal cortex in mice. The clincher is that some of the lesions are related to stroke. On most days I like what I do but when I get bit, well those days I'm not so happy and have been known to call the mouse a little f@#$er after it has bitten me. I also regulairly get urinated and deficated on but I wash well. What keeps me going is that I feel that my research is going to be useful in the battle against strokes. I am developing a tool that will help others study stroke topics and they can help fix people. Some days it is hard because I've been working without a break but that is a price I am willing to pay. Today (Wednesday) is my weekend. I worked all last week and over the weekend. Friday through Monday I was up at 5 and at work by 6:15 (that is early - no one else was in my lab or other labs until about 8:30) and then Tuesday I taught at 8 so I was up at 6. I could sleep later but I take the bus and that doubles or triples my commute time (I am an overachiver - I set my own hours). Another thing that I really enjoy is being around people who are genuinely interested in my research (and I in theirs). I am surrounded by smart people. I enjoy teaching my stats lab but I know I could not handle teaching highschool (Amy Lane you are awesome for being able to do that). A fault that I have, a personal problem that I know I should change but it isn't at all on my list of things to change, is that stupid people bug me. I'm not talking about the mentally disabled, or the uneducated. There are people who are just stupid - it is a way of thinking that just drives me insane when I have to deal with them. However, stupid people on TV are sometimes okay. I can't stand The Trailer Park Boys, felt dumber after Dazed and Confused, but adore My Name Is Earl.

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

A neat website

I like this dialogue and I am friends with both the kid and the father. Needless to say, the kid is now in grade 1 and finding most of the stuff boring. She already knows how to read and write...

Monday, 22 January 2007

kitties + yarn

So Julie seems to have a kitty who likes yarn. I too have feline helpers. One likes to ensure that the yarn is up to snuff. This is Zoie when she was just a little kitten.

And another kitty who NEEDS snuggles all the time. Knitting is not easy with a kitty in your arms. This is Ellie when she was just a big kitten...

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Wedding Teasers

Here are some teaser photos from the wedding - I will post the rest in a folder on my ucalgary website in the near future.

Thank you for your awesome job Picture This Photography!!

Gauge Gripes

OK, most if not all of you are non-knitters and can zone out here but there might be a few knitters, or there will be eventually. And as I make reference to knitting in the title today I will piss and moan about getting the correct gauge (number of stiches per inch for all you non-knitters - very helpful if you are following a pattern and actually want the item to fit).

My piss and moan is because my gauge is always off. I knit too loose. Better than too tight I suppose. But this means that when I get yarn and a pattern I have to do several swatches. And when I buy yarn I don't know if I have the needles I need. So sometimes I go home, knit a swatch, find out that I don't have the correct needle and am stalled at the start line for a week or two before I can get Cory (husband) to drive me to the LYS. We have a car, I have a drivers licence, but the car is standard and I only know how to drive automatic right now. The car was way cheaper with standard. I will learn to drive standard. But it is icy and snowy and I have little time right now.

I knit tighter on my crystal palace bamboo dpns. This is good. I think. hmmm. not sure. All my other needles are metal...

In other news this is what I have on my needles right now:
socks by artyarns - either merino or supermerino, unsure
charcoal cardigan (still)
finished "my so called scarf" in manos de uruguay jungle (for step-mother in law)
finished plain garterstich scarf in lion brand stripes (6 year old girl... it will be a hit - but the yarn... well I think I'm becoming a yarn snob)

as soon as I get the concept of posting pictures I will post pictures.

Friday, 12 January 2007

No one to talk to but you babe

So I'm at school checking my email and I get a message that my mom has flown to Italy today, last minute, because her uncle died last night. My bis-zio (great uncle) Ettore died last night. He had parkinson's disease and lukemia and was currently taking a round of chemotherapy. I would call Cory but he is not home. And I could talk with the people in the lab but all they will be is sympathetic. What I really want to do is talk with my mom or nonna. More my mom. I hope Nonna is okay, it was her little brother. Enrico died a few years ago too I think. So now it is just Nonna Lucia and Zia Lisa (bis zia but I always leave off the bis, the "great" part). I didn't know Ettore very well so what is really bothering me is that it reminds me even more than normal that Nonna is getting old - and fast. I will miss her very much when she dies. I suppose it will be a sort of relief for her. I think she is very lonely and in declining health. She still does a lot but gets tired much faster. And my uncles (the non-bis ones) are pains in the ass who do nothing but stress her out. I don't like them because of how they act and how they make her feel. It makes me mad. I still love them, after all they are family and you love family, but I don't like them. There is a fine line of a difference. A slight distinction that most people don't make. Can you love someone without liking them? It is not a grand love, it is more of an obligatory love, a compulsion that we must feel some sort of good feeling about a family member. I feel sad that I no longer like these relatives. I used to like them. Anyway, I must go now so ciao.

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

websites I love

Ok, we'll see how this goes

I am currently obsessed with the following blogs, in no particular order:
The Yarn Harlot
Samurai Knitter
Mason Dixon Knitting
Wendy Knits
Amy Lane

Oh and I found a really funny site:

arg this didn't works but I gotta go... will try again
ETA (edited to add): I tried again and still no go, the bugger. See the side bar for most of the links.
ETA (again): it was bugging me to much and now is fixed.

Early mornings

So today and the past two days and tomorrow I have to get up early. Like 5 am freakin early. And then I have to leave the house at approximately 537 to catch the bus so that I am at school before 7. As it turns out the bus gets me here for 615 with startling regularity. This is much faster than the bus I normally catch - most likely becase everyone else is still ASLEEP! But I'm not bitter... Oh who am I kidding, I am so bitter. This is for animal testing - I make mice swim these days. Don't feel bad for them, they actually like swimming. The buggers sometimes ignore the task and just float there. Almost as if they were a human just soaking up the sun in the carribean. Did I mention that it is pretty cold here? Well at least it is at 545 am - and it is super windy this week. So as a result it is 930 and I've been at work for over 3 hours. Now I have a break until 11am. I am having my first coffee (there was no time for american coffee this morning - i'd have to grind it and everything - and we are out of espresso) I had tea this morning. Nice I know but not enough caffeine.

I'll be back to post more in a bit - I'm off to figure out how to post links so that I can share my wierdness with you more effectively.

Saturday, 6 January 2007

It's a Nutty Life

I've been thinking about all of the crazy things that the cats have done in the past year and it is pretty strange. Topping the list is likely the "unplugging the fridge" incident. Oi, that was an experience, most of the stuff in the freezer had to be thrown out. We almost called the landlord to tell him that it was broken. Their current mischief includes attacking the Christmas tree such that there are pine needles everywhere (even in the bed and the bathtub) and chunks of the tree are on the floor (usually 3-5 cm long). Naturally there are ornaments on the floor too but that was almost expected. Ellie has this really annoying habit of putting things in the toilet. It is as if she has the toy in her mouth and wants a drink so she sets down the toy when she gets there. So today I flushed a toy by accident - her new chicken toy - but it is replaceable so I am not feeling too bad.

On the knitting front, I signed up for a class at Make 1 Yarn Studio - to make gloves. And I finished one of the sleeves on the current cardigan. But I think it is too long. Stupid pattern. So now I will finish the front that I have partially done, will seam the front to the back and see how the sleeve fits. If it is too long I will rip it back and redo it. Ugh, on one hand I hate redoing stuff but on the other hand, it makes the money spent on the yarn go further.


Friday, 5 January 2007


So as many of y'all know I moved to Calgary in August with the husband (Cory). I'm doing the graduate school thing (hence part of the name of the blog) and he is doing the work thing this semester (at Mount Royal College). I'm getting to know the city now and even have a few favorite places/stores. There are some things that are wierd about Calgary too though. The foremost of these is the Chinook phenomenon. The temperature fluctuates hugely here with little warning it seems. The weather forecast is even more of a crapshoot, unless it is the day of, then it is just a normal crapshoot. It can be warm (relative, remember we are still in Canada people) and therefore above zero in the morning, say around 9am, and then when you leave school it is cold and snowing and there is a cm or two of snow on the ground at 4pm. And people here don't think this is strange. The upshot of this is that it is seldom cold for extended periods of time. We've had about 1 week of what I'd call cold winter weather here so far. The rest is just a bit chilly. Of course that freakin cold week is when mom and dad came to visit... murphy's law I suppose. The downside is that all of your clothes need to be accessible. Not so bad in our place where we don't really have a place to put summer clothes away, they just go to less used drawers.

Places I like or am beginning to love in Calgary:
1) Springbank Cheese Store - Jesse works there, they have AWESOME cheese at reasonable prices. Cheese is now one of my favorite foods
2) Make One Yarn Store - Only been their once, Boxing Day, so it was crazy busy but the people seem really nice. I look forward to heading back.
3) The River Cafe - again Jesse works there, expensive but good food
4) Administration Building, University of Calgary - this is where my lab, office etc. exists. This is where I spend most of my time and thus by familiarity I like it. I don't like how I work in the basement with no windows but the people in the basement are nice and are my friends.

And of course I like our appartment. I would rather a house, but have you seen the prices of things in Calgary? No freakin' way we could afford one right now.

Thursday, 4 January 2007

Tentative User

So we'll see how this goes and how long I actually stick with it. I hope that this will allow me to communicate with friends and family in other parts of the world on a more regular basis. I'm currently obsessed with several knitting webblogs and as soon as I figure out how to post links I will tell you them. I know I can share pictures with this thing so I will and I will also use it to direct you to the webpage with our wedding pictures. Again, when I figure out how to post links and also when I actually put the pictures up there.
In recent news, I have been extremely forgetful (had to think of the word for a sec! *laugh*) and am seriously wondering how I ever got through my undergrad (and got good grades) much less how I got into grad school. Seriously. Today graduate school consists of making mice swim and being pee-ed/poo-ed on by said mice (no harm to mice! please don't blast me for my job, if you do your comment will be deleted - now I know friends/family will not blast me but as this is an open blog, others could theoretically find it. If you are the one of the few people in the world who do not use animal products and yet use a computer and can see this post, well fine you have a valid arguement. But even then, I think there have been studies to ensure that computers do not emit harmful freqencies etc. so I doubt that anyone in the world with access to my blog has no contact daily with products that have been tested, at some point, on animals. I'm not saying it is right, I'm saying it is necessary. I will rant another day I suppose). Classes start on Monday and I TA labs starting the following week.
In terms of knitting, which is an obsession of mine now I have made the three gifts that I half-assedly planned for Christmas and they are ready to be sent. One is for my mother-in-law, one is for my step-mother-in-law and one is for a buddy of mine who is back in Kelowna (and two of her dolls). My boxing day shopping consisted of going to my new favorite LYS (local yarn store) and buying yarn. Oh what a blast, seriously. Other boxing day shopping is unrealistic in a city like Calgary. Heck, it is a pain in the arse in a place like Kelowna which has fewer people (and fewer stores too though, so perhaps it evens out a bit). I am currently knitting a charcol coloured cardigan for myself with my first ever cables. I have the back done, 2/3 of a sleeve and 2/3 of the left front.
Christmas was good. Strange not to be with my parents (first time ever) though. Jesse came, as did one of Cory's cousins, Jonathan, so we were not alone. Good food was eaten. OMgoodness! I got a little bit drunk for the first time ever, at 24 years of age it is about time eh? It was Christmas eve and I've now discovered that I like wine. I got a big bottle of Bailey's in my stocking (well it was in the fridge because I have the smallest stocking in the house exception: kitties stockings). I suppose Bailey's is okay, definately not on its own though (that is how the men of the house drank it that day).
New years was lame. We went to sleep around 1030... And yes, it was sleep not newly wed sex.
Anyhoo, enough blathering.