Trouble with Trebles

This blog is to keep track of my knitting, other craft projects, and the weird bits of life that don't fit anywhere else.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

How Interesting?

Here are the rules: Tell seven things about yourself on your blog, then tag seven other people to do the same. List who you are tagging on your blog, and leave a comment on their blogs to let them know they've been tagged. I was tagged by jenfromRI . Even though I think of myself as fairly boring, here is my contribution to the 7 interesting things about me meme:

1. I used to have a pet calf named Measles. She was a mistaken cross (inseminator mistake) between a guernsey and a jersey, and had red splotches. She was quite a lot of fun to have roaming around the farm, but we had to tie her up once the dog taught her to chase cars.

2. I am so psychologically addicted to caffeine that I sometimes daydream about coffee. I am trying very hard to kick the habit, as it is rather unhealthy, but the fantasies about lattes are getting a little out of control.

3. I was voted "class clown" in high school. Although I will admit that I was known as a bit of a jokester, I was very bitter about it and felt that I should have been voted "most likely to succeed." The person who was voted "most likely to succeed" instead of me actually dropped out of college and I now have a Ph.D., so you be the judge. Not that I'm still bitter or anything.

4. I collect glass grapes. I don't really know why, I just do.

5. When I was 16 I wanted to be an actress. I decided against it when I discovered that most actors can actually sing and dance with some skill.

6. I am a fairly good polka dancer and used to have my own polka music tape.

7. In high school I took drum set lessons, mostly because I wanted to be the drummer in a girl band. (Why the drummer you ask? Please see #5 above and the comment about dancing and singing)

Most people have already done this meme, so I'll only tag a few people rather than seven: Crafty Canadian, Anne, Professor Knitwit, and Cranberry. I would tag Jennifer as well, but she just had a baby, so I'm sure she's too busy. But, be sure and go by her blog and check out the photos of cute little Jakob! Actual crafting and knitting content will be coming soon, I promise! (My new summer workout schedule is kicking my butt, so I haven't gotten around to taking photos lately).


Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Year In Review

Those of us in academia know that the year really doesn't start in January, it starts in August. And it doesn't end in December, it ends in May as soon as your final grades are turned in (this morning). Sure, I'll spend the summer working like a dog on all that research and writing I didn't do this year and that are required if I want tenure, but for the moment I get to savor the feeling that summer vacation has started. So, how was my first year? It was probably the hardest I've ever worked, but also the most rewarding. I think these photos sum it up:

As part of a fundraiser for a student organization, professors volunteered to allow students (or anyone else) to donate money towards getting a pie in the face. The top four money getters were pied. I thought it sounded funny and never thought I would "win." Boy, was I wrong. I suspect a couple of other professors may have donated money to tip the balance. So, here is the evidence that I was indeed pied. The year was often messy and lots of work (for clean up), but at least it was sweet!


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Gifts from the Sea

“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach - waiting for a gift from the sea.” - Anne Morrow Lindbergh

As many of you know, I just returned from an academic conference in Florida. I had to work like mad the week before I left, often until the wee hours of the morning. Somehow, I was able to get most of my work done which allowed me the opportunity to relax during my trip. My good friend C and I took some time away from the conference to reflect on our first year as faculty and to let some of the stress and tension flow away. First, we had manicures and pedicures so we looks presentable. Then, we spent an hour or two here:

It was as relaxing as it looks. I feel quite refreshed and rejuvenated. We even mangaged to attend the conference and have formed lots of ideas for new research projects. I didn't do as much knitting as I'd hoped (one always hopes for more time to knit), but I did make progress on the collegiate scarf. There was a lot of knitting, frogging and reknitting involved as I tried to make my vision come alive using this pattern. Finally, I came up with this:
(I had a hard time taking a good photo, due to uncharacteristically gloomy weather in SoCal.) I'm still not completely sure about it, but it does seem to coming out better than the first couple passes. I think once I weave in the ends and maybe add a cool lining fabric it will have a cool, edgy Urban Outfitters look. Or it will be hideously ugly. Oh well, it's just yarn and I can always frog it and start again!


Thursday, May 17, 2007

UFO Roundup - The Nonknits Continued

I am back from my trip to Florida, so I will post photos and blog about the trip in my next post. However, I wanted to continue showcasing my "other craft projects" list of UFOs, in an effort to motivate myself to finish a few of these. I'm not sure how well it will work, but any progress is better than the nearly complete lack of progress I've had since posting them in the sidebar. Perhaps there is a curse of the sidebar?

Now to finish up the nonknitting UFOs. First, I have another patchwork fleece baby blanket to complete. As you can see it is "ducky" themed, and all it needs is a yellow satin blanket binding sewn onto the edge. The satin edging is soft and appealing for babies, however the mitering of the corners is a lot of work. If anyone know of an easy shortcut, please let me know.

Next, I have a lap or baby quilt that I've started (I prefer small quilting projects to retain my sanity). I started with this pattern, which had appealing geometry, but I wasn't keen on the chintz fabrics. A little too flowery for my tastes.

So, I decided to make it these fun, citrusy colors. It was originally intended as a baby gift for a close friend, but the little tyke may be in college before I finish it. Still, I love the colors and pattern, so I would like to finish it. The white portions will still be white, but I still need to decide on a color to replace the lavendar diamonds. I will probably use the same color as the binding, too. Maybe a solid lime green?
Hopefully, I will have some actual progress to show on these projects soon!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

UFO Roundup - The Nonknits

First, in honor of Mother's Day I'd like to pay tribute to my mother. If you were to meet her, you would probably assume she was a very shy, sweet person. You would be partly right. She also has a razor-sharp wit and humor that to this day keeps us all on our toys and the house full of laughter. Just to give you a taste, here is some of her less conventional advice:

"Never pass up a good insult." - that's gotten me into so much trouble, but definitely worth it.
"If you do something bad enough the first time, you never have to do it again." - this may have been a reaction to my shoddy dishwashing skills.
"It's not whether you win or lose, it's where you lay the blame."

I also want to do an update of my "other craft projects" list from my sidebar. I will start with one that is nearly done and another that I've barely started. First is the small table. You can see that I actually made progress and put a coat of paint on it. It actually only needs one more coat and it will be done. However, I am waiting until after we move into our new house. The new garage will be better for the project and then I can easily fix any move-related chips. It looks cute though, don't you think?

Next are my new kitchen chair cushions. These are what my kitchen chairs currently look like:

The pads are somewhat out-of-date and rather worn. The new cushions will be made from the Italian country fabric below. I purchased new foam as well, so they will be a nice 2-inch thick pad. I plan to use tan fabric on the sides and make piping from the same tan fabric. They will be tied to the chairs with cord and tassles. It's a rather ambitious multi-part project, so I will need to devote some significant time to it to get them done (more than just a few minutes here and there, like my knitting).
The next post will update the progress on the remainder of the items on the "other craft projects" list. Now that summer is nearly here, hopefully I can make progress on these projects (and my knitting, dare I hope?).


Monday, May 07, 2007

UFO Roundup - The Knits

Today I was having my usual little bit of chocolate after lunch (translation: handful of Hershey's kisses), and I got to thinking about the different varieties. Even though I prefer dark chocolate, dark chocolate kisses aren't nearly as good as the milk chocolate ones. Why is that? Is is because Hershey's is better at producing milk chocolate? Or am I biased to think that kisses should be milk chocolate, because this is the original flavor? These are the deep philosophical issues I ponder at my desk over lunch. That and cold fusion and its relation to footwear, of course.

As for my knitting, I've been feeling pretty good about my progress on UFOs lately, having finished several things on my sidebar. I thought it would be a good time to go over my UFOs, while the number is less overwhelming and will make for a less photo-intensive post. I am hoping this will motivate me to make some real progress on these last few projects so I can start some new things without feeling too much guilt.

First, the collegiate scarf (the pattern is actually the country home striped scarf, but that sounds kinda girly to me). This project was mostly intended to use up some dark green and dark gray woolease. I found a striped scarf pattern, in which the worsted is doubled and each color is done in a different pattern. I then bought a skein of light green woolease chunky and another skein of gray to have enough (sounds like some sort of physics problem; why do we always need to buy more yarn to use up yarn?). I started it during knitting group and the pattern was nearly impossible to see in the dark green and I kept getting distracted and forgetting where I left off. Also, I was using these crappy plastic needles that were a pain to knit with. I do like the color combo and easy care yarn (hint: even a brother could properly care for it), so I'll probably rip out what I have and start over with my new Options needles and one of the lighter colors.

Second, I have the Schachenmayr sweater which has only a sleeve finished. Said sleeve is actually the wrong measurement (too large), and will likely need to be ripped. I decided to use the sleeve as a gauge swatch and it seemed on target at first. I knit most of it in the car while moving across country, so who knows how that may have affected gauge. Did I mention that it was knit on size fours and had all kinds of complicated shaping instructions (at least complicated to keep track of while moving)? I really need to knit a real gauge swatch and probably go down a needle size or two, then start the body of the sweater.

Finally, I have the Knit.1 tank which is dangerously close to being an actual FO. Above you can see it blocking. I have since sewn the side seams, but realized that the straps are too long (I wasn't sure, but figured better to knit them too long than too short). So, I am ripping the straps about 2 inches, and will then seam the straps and crochet an edge around the neckline and sleeves. It seems to fit quite nicely, and I hope to get a lot of wear out of it this summer.

I leave for a conference in Florida in a few days, and I'm not sure about the fate of these projects as far as a travel companion. The scarf would be nice to work in airports and on planes, but will be much too hot in Florida. The schachenmayr sweater needs some heavy duty swatching before I can really get a good start and the finishing of the tank seems better left for home. It seems like a good reason for a new project, doesn't it?


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A Manly Project

There's nothing like having a blog to use as an excuse to avoid work. The end of the semester is kicking my butt, however I'd much rather knit and blog about said knitting than actually do that work. I figure after 12 hours of work, my mind needs a break! It may very well be that knitting is the only thing keeping me sane.

With that in mind, I want to show off my latest FO for 2007.

Yarn: Unger Aries (45% wool/55% acrylic) in light gray
Dale of Norway Sisik (30% mohair/30% wool/34% acrylic/6% rayon) in #156
Knitted with both yarns held together

Pattern: Manly Scarf pattern from Knitting Queen

Changes: adjusted the number of stitches cast on to suit my desired width with the doubled yarn

Yardage: about 300 yards of each

Needles: US size 8

Start/End Date: Started on January 3, 2007 and finished on April 30, 2007

Notes: Fun, easy pattern that really does look "manly" but interesting! You can see the lovely texture and colors below. I sure hope the recipient likes it!

I feel like I'm on a roll turning some long-term UFOs into FOs! I have another project that only needs seaming and a crochet edge, and it will be done too.

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