Sophisti-cat

At some point a witty saying will materialize here. Right here. Watch for it.

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May 1, 2008

Cat Bullet

Finished Objects in mirror may appear larger than they are…

Hi all,

Well, I have some finished objects to report…

Knitted Baby booties

I knitted these baby booties for Nachaele, who has a store that sells them to support her “Stitches For Britches” campaign to help orphans in Ethiopia. Aren’t they cute?

It only took about a week to knit them, and then they languished for a while before I actually sewed them up and presented them to her.

It was a very fun little project, and I have enough yarn to make another pair (which will hopefully happen soon).

I also finished the Wizard socks, but haven’t been able to photograph them because they have been in the wash a lot (I really like them) and I’ve not been home at daylight much. *sigh* If I remember correctly, the same thing happened with the Sweet Pea Socks.

Hopefully this weekend.

I guess that I have a third finished object to report – I got my term paper back and I got a 145 out of 150. YAY!! I’m sure glad that I took the time to rewrite my paper, though. There were several unhappy people in class who wrote the paper that they wanted to write (rather than the paper that the instructor wanted to read…). So, I’m now officially and firmly established at the top of the class. It has really been an interesting one (and much less stress than the Organic Chemistry one last semester).

Everybody have a great day! I hope it is sunny where you are – it is grey and gloomy here today.

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April 17, 2008

Cat Bullet

An acutal LIVE post

Cinderella Fountain

We interrupt the schedule of pre-written posts for an actual LIVE post.

Well, LIVE in the sense that I am writing it just before posting it. Not LIVE in the sense that I’m lurking on the blog all day reading comments and wanting to update it at the drop of a hat…

(oh wait… that is what I normally do).

Anyway, I’m so pleased that everyone has been enjoying the pictures of my yarny-goodness.

Yes, there is quite a bit. My “Yarn Acquisition” yearnings have mostly quieted down.

Kind of like when you are totally craving brownies and then you go to Costco and buy a pack of them and eat three quarters of it in the first sitting and then you never want to see a brownie again….

Oh wait…

Last night, I took my second Environmental Chemistry Exam. It went well, I suppose and I am confident that I will be close to the top (again? still?). I think my mental state is a little healthier now than when I was an undergraduate. Back then, I wouldn’t have slept all night and would be heartbroken today because I wasn’t absolutely certain about my answer to question 27a (which was only worth half of a point).

Shades of Hermione, anyone?

Now my attitude is more like ‘Don’t have a clue what to put down for question six? No biggie. Life will somehow go on.’

As a reward for getting through the exam, I allowed myself to knit on the Wizard sock after I got home. It is making great progress and I am only about two inches away from doing the second toe. It has really gone fast (it is amazing how well sock knitting meshes with listening to Rockies Baseball Games). Sadly, however, I have to focus on getting my term paper done (due April 23). Then, and only then, will I be allowed to dive head first into my new yarn and cast on for one of my sweaters.

Anyway, I thought that I might take a few minutes to answer some of the questions that are popping up in comments…

Thanks to Anita Craig for pointing out that the Badia Lace vest is a Berroco free pattern. Click here to link directly to the pattern. This is the vest that I am planning to make using my wonderful eggplant Debbie Bliss Rialto.

Mom asked me to “define a shrug”. Hmmmm. Well, a shrug is like a shawl, but it has sleeves. Easier to wear, you aren’t always fighting to keep it on your shoulders. I assume, though I am not certain, that it is called a “shrug” because it usually fits on and around your shoulders, without much coverage on the front and sides. Anyone else care to weigh in on this discussion?

Kari-Beri asked: Where can she get Red Rocks Fiber Works “Liar’s Lodge” color. Ummm, well? Anyone? I know that Judy had some at the retreat, and I had (at one time) heard that the Lodge was going to be selling it, but I’m not really sure. For this, and any other Red Rocks Fiber Works questions, I’d click here to get to Mary-Kay’s blog and contact her that way. She sells her wonderfully addictive substances in many of the local yarn stores; I suspect, however, that the Liar’s Lodge colorway is going to be somehow tied to Buena Vista. Does anyone know if Serendipity carries it? ‘Cause, you know, it would be nice to have another addict convert to Red Rocks Fiber Works yarn. It would make our RRFWAnonymous meetings all the more popular.

Mom also asked: How do you know how much yarn to buy? Well, that is tricky, and is one of the reasons that I like buying sock yarn so much. You eventually get a “feel” as to whether a sock yarn is a “one ball” or “two ball” project – For example, the Jitterbug yarns are a heavier weight, but there is a lot of yardage. So, I am confident that I will be able to get two socks out of one ball of yarn. I have a lot of experience with the Red Rocks Fiber Works yarn, and know that she is currently putting the yarn up in “two sock” hanks. The Panda Silk sock yarn is a much lighter weight and smaller skeins, so I got two balls. If I am in any doubt, I ask the yarn store owner/workers. Or anyone who is wandering by who happens to look like they might have touched a knitting needle at some point in their life…

As far as buying yarns for bigger projects like sweaters? Well, that is a little more tricky. Even if you use the exact yarn that your pattern calls for and get the exact gauge they define, you can still run out of yarn. Certain designers (*cough*DebbieBliss*cough*) are notoriously “skimpy” with their yarn requirements.

When you are foolhardy enough to use a different yarn than the pattern calls for, you really have to do your research and also plan ahead. I check the gauge of the pattern yarn and compare it with the gauge of the yarn I want to use. I try to decide if I can “fudge” it by fiddling with needle sizes, but there is a limit to how much you can do (for example, I wouldn’t try to knit a bulky weight sweater out of sock yarn… no matter how much you change the needles, you simply won’t get the required gauge.)

If I feel that I can make the adjustments, I calculate how many balls of the desired yarn that I need (by length), and then generally add one or two extra (depending on their size and just in case…). For example, I have 10 balls of the eggplant Rialto; the gauge of the Rialto is very similar to the one the pattern calls for, but the yardage is slightly longer (I think). So, by my calculations, I should use about 8 balls, which gives me a comfortable margin (two extra balls). Time will tell…

Ah well, I’d best be getting back to the real world. I’d love to hear what other knitters have to say on how they pick yarn for projects. It is an interesting subject…

More automatic posts are already lurking, waiting for you. I’ll hopefully be putting at least one more together this weekend (don’t worry, the pictures are already uploaded), and then things should be calmed down enough so that I can go back to my usual ramblings.

Y’all are good sports to put up with them. :-)

Everyone have a great day!!

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March 25, 2008

Cat Bullet

Tuesday update

Epcot Rose

Happy Spring!

    Happy Easter!

Crazy days here. I had intended to take the week of Spring Break off, but NOOooooo, am back at work

I did take Monday off to mourn the loss of my week…

Don’t ask. Just hope that, with the lack of students and the majority of the faculty, I will actually be able to get things DONE!

No one made me come in, but I decided that with good dedication and some uninterrupted time, I would be able to make the rest of my semester a lot less frantic. That, in my opinion, is a goal worth working towards.

I had a decent weekend. On Saturday, I met Nachaele, Leanne, Heather and Nancy at Knit Knack for knitting. In the evening, I watched the movie Enchanted. I highly recommend it to everyone!! It was great (I may or may not have watched it twice…). On Sunday, I made some Lasagne for Nicole’s family; and then had dinner at Mom and Dad’s house (yum). After dinner, we watched the movie Stargate on their new plasma TV (very cool).

On Monday, I got up, had breakfast, then read a bunch of papers for my term paper. Ran out to get an ergonomic keyboard to attach to my new laptop, and then came back for more studying.

I now know how much I don’t know about the depletion of sulfide in deep-sea hydrothermal vent systems. The topic seemed like a good idea at the time. *gulp*

Not much knitting was accomplished, but there will be some to report soon. Also, in case anyone is counting, I can purchase yarn ONE WEEK FROM TODAY!!!

I’ve already picked out the perfect yarn for the Modern Lace Henley, which is going to be my next project. Thanks Leanne, Nachaele and Cheryl, who helped me with my decision.

Oh, and for the record, I have “Picked out”, not purchased. I feel like one of those Iron Man decathalon runners who has to crawl the last 100 yards on her hands and knees because her body has given out but is determined to make it to the end.

OK, not really. But it is a funny image, no?

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March 13, 2008

Cat Bullet

Knitting Update

Dumbo
This little guy had the best lullaby ever sung to any baby.
Don’t believe me?
Get a copy of The Best of Country sing the Best of Disney and play track four.

Best. Song. Ever.

OK, so now that the computer-virus trauma is potentially over (it has been over 12 hours and still no body parts being displayed on my computer…), how about a Knitting Update?

Let’s see what I have been working on, shall we?

Mystery Stole: it is amazing how my knitting productivity stalls when I tell myself that I’m only allowed to knit on the Mystery Stole. But, I am doggedly working my way through. Last night I finished through row 76 (out of around 300), so I am making slow progress. I’m hoping that will change because last night, I felt like I was starting to get “in” to it again. Tonight I hope to make the early bus so that I have a good long time to work this evening. We will see what actually happens.

Baby Blanket: I’ve finished 70 out of 72 repeats. So I’m really getting close to completion of the main body part – still have to put the border on it, but that shouldn’t take long since it is just strips of garter stitch that you add on each edge.

Here is something to make you laugh. The pattern says to do 72 pattern repeats, then do one last pattern repeat and bind off at the last row (each repeat is four rows). An oddity of my psyche is that I am very disturbed by the fact that there are actually going to be 73 repeats of the pattern in the blanket. 73!!! Not 72, which is a nice even number that is divisible by a lot of factors (2, 3, 4). 72 is a number that I like. 73 is going to drive me nuts. I’m tempted to go all wild and crazy and just bind off at the end of the 72nd repeat.

It is hard being me sometimes. :-)

“Weeeeeeeeeeeeeee’re Off to See the Wizard” Socks: These are on hold – no bus knitting until I do the first sort through the mound of library books that I checked out for my term paper. I’ve been skimming through the books and marking “likely” sections with post-it notes. This should (conceivably) save me time when it comes down to actual working on the term paper. So far, I’ve found two books that are useless, and they have been returned to the library. I guess that is progress of a sort.

I tell you, it is a lot easier being a college student in 2008 than it was the last time around. We didn’t have “Post it” notes when I was an undergraduate (or if they existed, I couldn’t afford them). Nor did we have laptop computers, flash drives, and journal articles available on line for free download.

Pretty cool, eh?

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March 7, 2008

Cat Bullet

There is no Justice!!

Filed under: Grad School Madness,It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 5:00 am

Epcot Ibex

There is no Justice. I mean, really.

There I was, all disappointed because I knew that I did not study for the exam very well (or very much).

Our grades were announced yesterday afternoon. I literally happened to be on the site as he was uploading the grades.

He posted a graph showing the grade distribution – class average around 51. Highest grade 80, obtained by four individuals.

“What overachievers” I thought. “Who could have gotten a grade that high on an exam that was that full of details?” I sighed.

Finally…. it appeared.

My grade.

80

There is no Justice!!! This is absolutely the worst possible result! Now I have positive reinforcement for my bad behaviors. Next thing you know, I’ll be skipping class to go hang out behind the building and smoke.

Ok, the smoking thing is not too likely, but maybe I can go hang out behind a diferent building and knit something. Start a “gang” of campus rebel-knitters who defy authority by knitting sweaters without doing gauge swatches and by knitting lace weight wool on size 35 knitting needles.

We would start out, harmlessly enough, with gateway fibers like Red Rocks Fiber Works and Cascade 220, but would end up daring each other use more and more lethal fibers (like bison or qiviot).

    It is anarchy, I tell you, anarchy!!

Sorry. I’m rambling. Can you see how upset I am? :-)

Everyone have a great weekend. Stay out of back alleys, and, if someone offers you a great deal on some bison yarn….

    Let me know.

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March 6, 2008

Cat Bullet

Thursday Morning

Filed under: Grad School Madness,It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 10:00 am

Feeling rather...

Well, we had the first exam in our Environmental Chemistry class last night. I’ll be honest and say that I did not study to the length to which I should have. But, based on the shocked/glazed faces of my fellow students, neither did anyone else…

So it is over. I hate to take this attitude, but all I have to do is to beat the “average” in the class, and I have been well above that so far. I now have a really good idea of how to prepare for future exams, so that will be OK.

It is very cold this morning, but should be warming up in a day or so. It has been a long winter this time around.

Knitting related: Not much to report. I’ve been doing a lot of computer work at work, so my hands have been hurting a little bit. Hopefully, I’ll be able to knit over the weekend. In the meantime, I have to finish up a library book that is due on Saturday, so I’ll focus on that for a while.

Speaking of library books, I must report that The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse was every bit as funny as the title implied. If you like old school murder mysteries, Monty Python and Douglas Adams, you should try to get a copy of this book. I particularly enjoyed having it in the audio version, because there is something intrinsically funny about the word “bunnies” when it is spoken in a British accent.

Go ahead, try it. See what I mean??? You laughed, didn’t you?

The book has been returned to the Jefferson County Library System – if you live there, you should be able to request it to be delivered to your local branch.

So that is what is new and exciting in my life. Hope everyone has had a good week.

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February 25, 2008

Cat Bullet

Monday Report

Filed under: Grad School Madness,Hobbies and Obsessions — Cat @ 9:57 am

Yep, another fox

Morning, all:

Well, had a productive weekend. I did my homework in record time – about 15 minutes (what a change from last semester, eh?). Now I get to focus on studying for the first exam that is on March 5th. I’m feeling confident.

I finished the Koolhaas hat at Knit Knack yesterday. That was great! It fits, but perhaps isn’t the right shape of hat for my face shape. Don’t care, though. I’m wearing it!!

Even more great was that Nicole came to Knit Knack yesterday!! It was wonderful to see her out and about, and she got to hang out with “Yarnies” and knit. She also received her blanket and her yarn bouquet, and seemed to be quite happy with both. There will be lots of pictures around of both occasions (because of course, I didn’t think to bring my camera).

So, I have some recipes to post for you (brownies and a really nice soup), and need to take pictures of my Koolhaas hat to show you, so Stay Tuned!

It is going to be a fun blog week!

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January 23, 2008

Cat Bullet

Entropic pineapples

Filed under: Grad School Madness,Hobbies and Obsessions — Cat @ 10:11 am

Taffy, about to pounce

Well, I made it through the first day of the return of students reletively unscathed. That is always a bonus.

Tonight is the first night of my Environmental Chemistry class. It should be interesting, and not as difficult as last semester (*whew*). There are three exams and one term paper, so I should even be able to attend many Tuesday Night Knitting Knights (YAY!!).

As is usual for this time of year, I didn’t manage to make my usual bus. As you might expect, the later bus had more traffic problems. Luckily, our bus driver had received notification of a HUGE wreck on our usual route, so he had the sense to go around it. WAAAAYYYYY around it, so we got home late, but if he had not gone around it, we might still be sitting in traffic.

As is usual, once I got home, I fed the cats, and then started printing out materials for my class tonight. I was releived to see that the “homework” assignment was not due today, but is actually due one week from today. It doesn’t look too hard, but still, it isn’t very nice to have homework before the class actually starts. My textbook was waiting on my doorstep (courtesy of the “big river online bookstore” ), so I’m all ready to go.

I avoided the “evil-nap-inducing-couch” and headed out to Knit Knack for knitting. It was so nice to see everyone! I showed off the Maddy sweater (honestly, the people who work at Knit Knack are going to think that I don’t wear ANYTHING else, since I have had it on the last three times that I have visited) and also showed off the Sweet Pea socks.

The buzz at the yarn store was the new arrival of the Namaste knitting bags. They are really nice and well made bags in very modern colors. Several knitters in our circle, I suspect, are contemplating which one (or which ONES) will be going home with them.

I had to leave early because I had to pick up some supplies for a lab demo this morning, but it is just as well. I ended up having a sinus headache all night (continues until today), so it was good that I got home early and got to bed.

Everyone have a great day!!

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December 16, 2007

Cat Bullet

Final Grade

Filed under: Grad School Madness — Cat @ 10:39 am

Class grades were posted last night:

B + !!!!!!!

I am very pleased.

Spent yesterday at Knit Knack, working on my Sweet Pea Sock. Am making good progress.

This morning, working on finishing up Christmas wrapping and shipping.

And then maybe some more knitting.

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