Hiatus Week!

Monday, July 30th, 2007
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Woo! Hiatus Week! I am posting this post… from the pa-a-a-a-a-a-a-ast! The PAAAA-A-A-A-A-A-AST!

I actually left for Sudbury on Friday, but I couldn’t leave you guys without a Saturday Pattern Day. To cover Monday’s post, I thought I’d let you know that I’ve not died, and by the time I don’t post for the fourth time on Friday, I will not have died by that point either. For all I know at the moment.

Saturday was the garden party, and I’m sure it was wonderful. I’m sure I got compliments on my beautiful shawl, attacked my cousin with a croquet mallet, and ate at least 12 devilled eggs. I’m also assuming I met Conan O’Brien, because that would be AWESOME. He let me touch his hair. And then we made out for like 2 hours.

Anyhoo, I’ll be in an undisclosed location until the end of the week, which means there will sadly be no Saturday, Pattern Day on the 4th. I’ll be back soon, though. See you next week!

Voldemort Harry’s father; Hermione turns out to be a dude!

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007
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Harry PotterI’m just kidding. I haven’t read all the leaks or spoilerz or anything on the Internet, so DON’T TELL ME WHAT HAPPENS! I’m not a huge Harry Potter fan or anything, but I do want to read the final book and I want to find out what happens while I’m reading. Call me old-fashioned, I’m used to it, I’m a knitter! I’ve borrowed Harry Potter 5 and I’m on Chapter 23, so I should be able to finish it in a day or two. I’m going to try to get a copy of the sixth and seventh books tomorrow (so as to avoid the risk of drive-by spoilings at the midnight bookstore parties) and I will LITERALLY TAKE THEM INTO THE WILDERNESS to avoid being spoiled in the meantime. I will be without the Internet from the 28th to the 5th of August, as I’ll be with the beau and his family at their camp (otherwise known as “snuggly buggly,” which cracks me up). I don’t think anyone else in his family is a Harry Potter fan, so I don’t have to worry about having them spoil me.

BTW, I want to send a totally excited and thrilled and flattered thank you to Kimberly who surprised me with a donation for the blog. Thank you, Kimberly! I got all teary-eyed that someone would like my blog enough to do that. I will have to blog extra hard in order to return the favour. Enabler!

I’d also like to mention Meg who emailed me a little while ago about her campaign to Knit and Fight The Black Dog, the Black Dog being depression and mental illness. She writes, “I will be using my knitting blog to highlight my struggle with the illness and encourage people to talk about their experiences and try to dismantle the stigma attached to the disease.” I read through a bunch of it out of interest (it’s hard to turn off my inner psychologist!) and the information there is really good and quite interesting, even if you don’t have the illness and you’re just reading it to get a feel for how it feels. Go check her out! It’s exciting to see the sorts of supportive communities that arise out of the knitting blogosphere. IMHO, knitters are some of the nicest and most supportive folks on the Internet.

Sooo Tired… (and tales of weird European men)

Thursday, June 7th, 2007
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You know you love knitting when you carry a non-rolly suitcase and backpack all the way from U of T campus to Lettuce Knit to Romni Wools to the subway home, all for a bit of yarn and a magazine. My neck hurts so much I can barely think. It’s taken me 20 minutes to type the above sentence. I am really so so tired.

On the up side, I managed to find a copy of Phildar Tendances 443 for five bucks. I also bought some tweedy red cotton for a baby sweater. I’d finally decided on Tatamy Tweed DK, but the shipping would have been an arm and a leg, and all the folks with cheap shippin were like “order by telephone” or “I don’t carry Cherry” or whatevs, anyway, I was willing to spend a little extra so I didn’t have to deal with all that. Anyhoo, all this traveling and knitting reminded me of what happened on the subway the last time I was downtown. An old European man sees me knitting away and he catches my attention and says, “40 years ago I see this all the time, but now, it is rare.”

“Thanks,” I say. And then he continues (I kid you not), “you are worth a lot of money. A lot.” And see, this is where I didn’t know how to respond. So I thanked him again. A couple of seconds later (after I got over the shock), I totally had a killer comeback involving references to cattle and dowries, but by then it was too late. I was also thinking about a joke with me needing more experience pulling ploughs, but I thought it was too Borat. Oh well.

I AM a Workaholic

Monday, March 26th, 2007
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It’s my birthday today! And I’ll be in the lab from 1pm to 6pm running more folks through the eye-tracker. Then I’m going to go home and have a romantic night reading papers and writing essays. Yesterday I watched The DaVinci Code (which was lame) and made my data analysis program (which was awesomely fun). It looks totally amazing! I obviously can’t show you results because some people haven’t finished looking at all the comics yet, so I’ll take a different comic and make some fake data:

Perry Bible Fellowship Eyetracking

It’s still a work in progress, but that’s not bad for a few hours! If someone had told me last year that I’d soon be drawing pictures with the interweb and programming my own ANOVA “software” (and ENJOYING it), I would have scissor-kicked them in their lady-and-or-gentlemanly parts.

I am a Workaholic

Saturday, March 24th, 2007
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The first step in the 12-step program is acceptance, right?

I have all this eye-tracking data now, and my eye-tracking data analysis program refuses to analyze it properly. I am considering writing my own program to analyze it. With graphics and everything. I am crazy.

I feel like I am in Stage Four of the thesis writing process. If Stage Four also involves a sudden and strange addiction to coffee, accompanied by the requisite caffeine crashes that make up 98.4% of the day. Oh, I long for the 1.6% when the coffee is actually working…

I finished knitting the Backyard Leaves scarf, and I have absolutely no energy to seam it together. Why on earth would you design a scarf that you have to seam together??? I originally decided that I would pick up the provisional stitches I left on the first half and just keep going with the second half, but then I picked up the wrong stitches and had to rip back once I realized what I had done. Instead of being the smart little girl and picking up in the right spots, I gave up, cast-off the first half and cast on an entirely new second half with the intent to follow the instructions to the letter and seam them together later. Because, of course, it would be no problem to seam, seaming is fun! Seaming is to knitters like ambrosia is to Zeus, right? Oh ho ho. Seaming is what data analysis is to researchers. You know you have to do it to finish, but it’s so darn excruciating…

I’m too tired to even weave in the ends. Maybe I can do that this afternoon, if I can pull myself away from the lab. I have six participants coming in, which will bring me up to my self-imposed requirement of 20. Not bad for an honours thesis, especially given the massive number of knitters who helped with the web end of things. (Thank you, knitters.)

I just want to keep blogging because if I don’t stop, then I don’t have to start working on the essay that is slowly ever so slowly growing during the dark times (literally dark times) as I sit by my participants in that tiny little room with the lights off so the eye-tracker can find their little bulbs better. My eyes hurt. I now associate that essay with headaches.

But anyhoo, getting back to the knitting, the FOs certainly are flying off the needles. I don’t have the patience to start anything new, so I’m finishing a lot of UFOs that were mellowing in the drawers. I finished the head of my aunt Liz’s dragon, and now I just have to seam it together (*weep*) and stuff it and glue some eyes on. I finished a third kiddy hat (and the ears that will soon be seamed onto them) for our local hospital. I tried working on my dad’s Rule 30 scarf, but after two rows I couldn’t bear it any longer so I decided to put it away again. I think I’m going to start my Orangina, now that I have once again experienced the catharsis of FOs (which I will photograph as soon as they are seamed, ha!). Maybe after that, I will have time to whimper quietly in a corner while my thesis data grows un-analyzed.

This is incredible

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007
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I feel like a bank that suddenly decided to work with Blue Moon Fiber Arts. You guys… You guys are just amazing. I decided to write the last post on the off chance that some people might be interested, and you guys just blew me away with your responses and your generosity. I’m going to have to burn the midnight oil just to sign everyone up! This will bring me into the area of thousands of data points! Thousands!

I want to thank a few people for their links:

  • First, to Chris at Stumbling Over Chaos. I believe your post on Monday is the reason for all of this, so thank you thank you!
  • Secondly, to Cara; she signed up both herself and her hubs, sent like 500 kabillion people to my post with a single link on her blog, and on top of it all she said “no need for yarn!” No need for yarn??? You are a goddess among knitters.
  • To Kate at Ã… Strikke. Kate, you are a kindred knitting spirit. Maybe one day I will figure out what your blog title means.
  • Dave at Criminy Jickets was the first boy to respond to my plea. I love boys! Especially boys who knit. (Sorry to typecast, Dave, but every time I see a boy knitting I get excited and start envisioning female presidents and men who can cook.)
  • Paul at Blithering Knitiot. Is there a more hilarious name for a knitting blog?
  • And finally, Sarah at NotScarlett. Nice Tats!

Calling all genders! FREE YARN!

Thursday, March 1st, 2007
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This message is for both knitters and non-knitters! This post is for EVERYONE!

Perry Bible FellowshipRemember this post? The one that asks you if you want to take part in my fun li’l comic-readin’ study? Well, I’ve now got a web-based version that you can do right in the comfort of your own home. In your pyjamas! Fancy that! Here’s the blurb, carefully cut-and-pasted and slightly manipulated:

The survey I’m conducting is about how people read comic strips. As well as reading the strips, you’ll also be asked to rate them and comment about them. The survey will also involve answering some questions about your personal background (places you’ve lived, your age, nothing too scary), but none of this information will be connected to your name and all of your answers will be kept completely confidential. Please pass this message on to anyone you believe would be interested in participating.

So if you live somewhere with access to the internet (ie, a home, an apartment, Guam, an undersea kingdom (properly grounded)), then you should read some comics for me! I would be extra happy. I’m willing to shell out a few decabucks for this (that means dollars in multiples of ten), so I might even give out some yet-to-be-chosen yarn to a lucky participant. (The overwhelming request has been some sock yarn, so maybe some Socks That Rock or Koigu KPPPM? Or whatever you like, winner’s choice!) I’ll set the deadline at March 31st, and the winner will be announced in April. Here are some specifics:

  • I will give an extra point for every extra person you can recruit for this study. If you can, please include their email address so I can contact them directly (but in this case, use the contact form instead of leaving a comment so their email isn’t public).
  • Seeing as I’m trying to get an even gender distribution and I realize that more women than men read this blog, I will give double points to any man who volunteers or to any woman who can recruit a significant other / friend who is male.
  • So leave me a comment or send me an email, and I’ll show you where you can take part! Also mention what sort of yarn you’d like to receive and I’ll use that to decided what the prize will be.
  • Side Note: You don’t have to be a knitter to take part in this. This is a 100% non-knitting study! I’m just posting this here because I know a bunch of people read it, and I’m offering yarn as a prize because most of the people who read this blog would be enticed by the prospect of yarn. So no, you don’t have to be a knitter to take part! You do have to be human, though. Absolutely no dogs!
  • If you live in the Kingston area, you’ll get a guaranteed $10 for being a participant in the eyetracking version of this study. Email me if you’re close! It’s just 40 minutes of your time, give or take.

If you’d like to send me an email, you can use this contact form (use this if you’re including any extra emails in the body of your message):

[I have been getting lots of spam through my contact forms, so until I can find an alternate, spam-protected contact form please email me.]

I’d also be extremely grateful if all you wonderful, generous folks could post something on your own blog about this. I need lots of people real quick! I’ve only got a few weeks in order to collect data, so anywhere you can scrape up someone is good in my book. Even the gutter! Hobos read comics too, it’s just that they make houses out of them afterwards.

Hair Grows Back

Thursday, February 1st, 2007
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I just got a haircut. It’s a “nice” haircut. And by “nice,” I mean I want to walk back into the salon and up to the woman who cut my hair and shave it off right in front of her to show her just how horrified I am.

Read the rest »

So Much Knitting!

Thursday, January 18th, 2007
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My Dearies!

  1. I have so much to show you, but
  2. I have somehow misplaced my camera.
  3. I finished a pair of mittens yesterday!
  4. I started a pair of mittens yesterday!
  5. I also finished a hat a few days ago but I didn’t have my camera then, either
  6. I bought a sweater’s worth of Alpaca that I wish you could see all balled up into cute li’l balls
  7. I was given a sweater’s worth of old wool that was sitting in an old Rubbermaid container in the beau’s parents’ basement
    • it’s from Simpson’s
    • the store, not the show
    • although it looks similar to Marge’s hair
    • more teal-y, maybe
  8. I bought oranges and coffee filters, and I’m going to have the best breakfast ever!

A boon for knitting photographers

Saturday, December 30th, 2006
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On The Shores of Kathleen LakeFlickr has come up with a neat new revenue stream: camera manufacturers can advertise with them on a brand new Camera Finder! Brilliant!

Here’s my camera, the PowerShot SD110. This upcoming summer or the summer after that, I plan to convince the beau to join me on a cross-country train trip to the Yukon, and I’d be embarrassed to come back with photos from a crappy little point and shoot. I’ve been wanting to buy a DSLR for a while, so this could be a help in deciding which one to get. I’ve already got $200 saved up from collecting twoonies and loonies for an unspecified future gadget, which I believe will soon become a specified gadget. The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT is a very popular camera, but I like the look of the Nikon D50 / D70. There’s also the hope that I may be able to buy a Minolta and put my macro lens to good use, except that I don’t think Minolta has much of a digital reputation. I’ve got a year to figure it out; maybe I can pay for some of the camera by panning for Yukon gold!