Saturday, January 28, 2012


I'm caught in a bored trap.

There is a lot I need to do, but it is boring, so I'm not doing it.

I should have started my homework last night. At this point I am wondering if it would be wise to do them in order of easiest first, just so I don't get so stuck.

Life has been in a wash-rinse-repeat mode lately. Wake up, make lunch, make coffee, drive in, try to work, go home, make dinner, ride bike, go to bed too late, repeat. It's frustrating because I feel like I am constantly falling further and further behind.

It's not like there hasn't been anything to blog about though. Likely it's just that there was no time to gather my thoughts and arrange them in a pretty manner.

 I spent too much time Monday night making fractal clocks.
I used tubes, because they are easy to manipulate. Their coloration depends on the other transforms, but their shape is fixed, and reasonably independent. The insides are just whatever I wanted to fill them with. I had to use mad xaos skills to make it work, since all those numerals and rings and clock hands were just going to muck everything up. I might make something different tonight. I ended up submitting the bottom one.

Knitting-wise I've been trucking along on the knee socks.
Cruising on on the lace shawl
And I even picked up and worked on my other shawl
No, the red on red doesn't do it justice. It is really freaking pretty. I'll be a bit more faithful to it once I finish the socks.

Reading wise, I've been going through the Song of Ice and Fire series. I started sometime after my thesis defense, and I finished the 4th book last night. It is delightfully complicated, but there are a couple of bits where coincidence is a little too much. And I am angry about the whole characters not staying dead bit. I will start the 5th book sometime this weekend, though today I need to cuddle up with the design of microwave oscillators book.

Take care,
Molly : )

Saturday, January 14, 2012


New years day must the creation of procrastinators. I do not understand why the making of goals needs to coincide with the first of the year. The only reason I can think of is that if you put off all of this goal making, then you can indulge in your bad habits right up to the first.

If you feel that there is a problem in your life, perhaps the wisest move is to address it as soon as possible, rather than putting it off until it is convenient. I can think of three big obvious reasons why I could have put off my goal, but I persevered.

Succeeding at your goals is not like keeping your virginity. The first time you screw up, does not mean you should stop pursuing your goal. There are no goal purity gods. It's a lot like rock climbing. If you aren't falling off, you're not trying to climb hard enough routes to get better. You hop back onto the wall and keep at it until it works, or you come back the next time, and the time after that, until you succeed. A good goal challenges you, and if you give up the first time it became hard, then you are putting too much stock in your goal virginity.

The last and final point explains about why the blogs of the new year are all abuzz with resolutions. We all need accountability. If you write it down and spread it to the internet, then at some point you might get a comment pestering you about why you aren't doing it. My accountability primarily comes from my fiance, the dear sweet loveable one. He knows my goal, he bugs me when I don't want to do it, and he encouraged me to track my progress. You tend to make exceptions for yourself, but the person who is holding you accountable will not, or should not. I made a goal to not screw around on the internet as much during the summer, and I told my labmates to stop me if I did. But they didn't, so I screwed around a lot on the internet. I worked out 2-3 times a week with a friend. When she went back home for a month guess who stopped working out? And didn't start working out again when she came back? I believe that the big difference between goal setting and goal achieving is having the support to see it through. You have to find a partner, otherwise it's all good intentions, but no tangible results.

OK, I've got that off my chest. It's now safe to say what my goals are for this year. : )

1.) Future socks, outnumber present socks:
And past socks as yet total 1 (not bad that 2 years of knitting socks has only resulted in one hole). When people wonder why I have a small stash, the simple answer is that too much yarn starts to look like too much work to use it up. Occasionally I forget that I feel this way, or what I want make is not possible with what I have.

How do I plan on achieving this goal: there are two options, future socks become future shawls, or future socks become present socks. I did not want to give any of it away, which means I need to use it, somehow. It likely also means I shouldn't buy more. The oldest skein is from July of 2010, and I should use that first, or soon. I have been leaving it out of the bag to I see it and ponder what I will make with it. Maybe a Holden 

A friend has one and it is really pretty and looks complicated but isn't. The color is close even though it is not an exact colorway match.

I could probably do this for all of my skeins, however the BFL Black Trillium one is far and away the first one that has to go. Don't get me started on partial balls. My very first skein is gone, but I have bits and bobs from the 16 other pairs I have made.

2.) The 12 skeins of Wollmeise:
It is a little KAL, which is probably happening at this point to use up '12' skeins. The parenthesis come from the fact that lace counts as double. I currently have the '12' right now.
There are 10 whole skeins of Twin (80% Merino 20% Nylon) and one of lace. The 2 giant blue balls are already becoming knee socks. The skein of lace with the beads on top is becoming a shawl of great mystery, the small purple/blue ball is already used up and blocking on the floor, and the other balls probably don't count.

So far:

Most of my recent projects involve the big WM, and this is likely a two fold problem. One it is nice stuff (and cheap! 150g for 24 bucks!), and secondly I frequent a group that is obsessed with it. I see all the cool things that get made, and I want to make cool things too.

I am sure I can come up with ideas on what to use the others for. The semisolids are becoming Cookie A socks, the variegated are becoming whatever I want them to be. Maybe argyle planned pooling, depending on how OCD I am feeling. Obviously the 12 skeins of wollmeise goal feeds really nicely into knit more sock yarn goal. It does not follow the FIFO (first in, first out) approach to stashing. The 2 of the 5 most recent skeins are getting used as we speak.

3.) Enter the world of knitting design.
At some point you knit enough stuff and eventually the patterns that are available are not exactly what you want to knit. I asked a few years ago about ideas on the most challenging pattern, and now I think I understand that what is more challenging than a pattern is creating your own. My hats are simple, I haven't knit enough sweaters to intuitively understand everything I need to design one, but I do grok socks.

Step one is writing up the Estonian Heel Socks pattern in PDF form.

Step two is writing up the fingerless gloves pattern I made for the dear sweet lovable one, because he encouraged me (I was going to call it good and not do anything).

Step three is making something worthy of a new design. I might do a riff on the Houdini pattern, where I have something interesting on the foot that carries up the leg. This will very likely be a freebie.

Step four is offering to teach a planned pooling class at the local yarn store.
4.) Become healthier:
This was the goal that I was alluding to in my introduction. Back in October I started to become a better steward of myself. I wrote my thesis, weathered through Thanksgiving, and even lost weight through Christmas in that time period. My tools are pretty simple. Aerobic activity an hour a day, eating less, eating out less, not eating processed convenience food, using a spreadsheet as accountability, and finally, having someone motivate me when I am not motivated.

Today is day 73.

Take care guys, I've got a bike to ride.

Molly : )

Monday, January 2, 2012

Winding all of the things!

Actually I haven't read much hyperbole and a half, however too many people have recommended it in the past week for me to ignore. I don't own a ball winder, but now I do own a swift, that I made yesterday, with the help of the dear sweet lovable one.

Step one was suggesting that he make a swift.

Step two was looking at designs on the internet.

Step three was making a CAD drawing.

Step four was purchasing the materials, like cup hooks, dowel rods, lock washers, string, and other washers. It was about 18 bucks in parts

From there it was a matter of cutting, drilling, and knot tying.
After a bit of trouble shooting, and retying of the loose knots, and closing of hooks, it was starting to work very well.

So now I don't need to walk around the stools in a circle, I can just throw it onto the swift, and wind a ball with no worries.

The reason that spurred me make a swift is simple. I buy a lot of my yarn on the internet, and the internet does not wind it for you when you buy it, and generally it is sold as skeins, which are really tough to knit from.

If you want to be able to move your yarn, you need it in a ball of some form.
That blue one on the bottom would take hours to wind without a swift. No thank you. Already tried

This leads neatly to the next thing I wanted to talk about. Today I pulled out all of my stash, and photographed it. Obviously yellow and orange are poorly represented, the center is full of variegated yarns that did not fit nicely in the color wheel, and yes, blue is my favorite color.

All put away, it no longer fits in the one bookshelf, I had to put the garbage bag of mostly worsted acrylic in the next self over.

Back in June . . .
I think it was much much smaller . . .

I was busy and forgot to post my entry for the apo challenge.
ugh! I thought I did a good job. I haven't even looked to see what this week was.

I'm off to learn how to do I-cord. I ripped out a hat for extreme ugliness violations, and now I am trying a new one.