Still Here

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Just popping in to say I’m still alive.  I have a finished sweater to show off and some fun ideas for Christmas stockings to share but for now I just got home from lab and am finishing some homework that’s due tomorrow.  Hope everyone is fabulous :)

 

-r 

Week in Review

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I finally got back in the lab for real this week and got some things done – not as much as I wanted, but as usual things went wrong; I think it went as well as it could have.  I did discover some sweet crystals in a beaker I left on the bench over break and decided to keep them around – they’re super pretty.  I also finally started writing my thesis.  I was texting a friend about having trouble writing the intro and he suggested writing the methods and results first, to which I replied “results…BAHAHAHA.”  I still have quite a ways to go in that area, unfortunately.  I did finally find my groove on the intro and I’m feeling good about it so far.  Most of the rest of my week was spent working on my cardigan which I found buttons for over at Fringe Supply Co.; I’m getting more and more excited about it as I make more progress!  Next week I’ll start classes, which I hope go more smoothly than last semester – I find it hard to believe (but not impossible!) that they could be worse…fingers crossed ;)

Hopefully next week’s update will involve more research results and an almost-finished cardigan!

Happy long weekend!

-r

2014 Goals

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The first part of this year will be super busy with research, thesis writing, and trying to remain sane so my goals for the year are pretty broad and basic.

  1. GRADUATE.  On time, preferably.  I will be even more of a hermit than I normally am at least until April.
  2. No weekday naps.  This is the most difficult goal, since napping is my dealing-with-stress mechanism.  However, it doesn’t accomplish anything and I usually end up more stressed out.
  3. Lose 20 lb.  This is weight I have gained back since starting grad school.  This will involve calorie counting and keeping up my running.  And drinking lots of hot tea as a snack-avoidance technique.
  4. Use up all the yarn I have.  This will free up quite a bit of closet space.  Quite a bit.  My master plan is to design and knit as many Christmas stockings as I can and sell them in an Etsy shop.  If anyone would like to commission one with specific colors + designs, let me know!
  5. Blog more frequently…at least once a week.
  6. Knit three sweaters.  Besides graduating, this is my biggest goal.  I’ve made one sweater before but it was for someone else.  I have found more than 3 patterns that I want to make, but obviously I have time and financial constraints.  So, I’ll be making the Clarity cardigan (I already have the yarn for this one, I’m trying to finish up some belated Christmas presents before I start), and I’d like to make Faro and Trestle, both of which I want to have and wear RIGHT NOW.  I think a time frame of 4 months per sweater is realistic, since that gives me plenty of time to buy yarn and work on them nights/ weekends.
  7. Get into a PhD program or get a job.  I don’t have a ton of control over this, but I’m doing what I can and waiting to hear things :)
  8. Run another half marathon.  I want to find one toward the end of the year to run, but I’ll have to wait until the time is closer and see where I’ll be!

I think I’m being pretty realistic this year.  Not feeling too much pressure to check everything off the list, but I’m excited to have things to work toward.

What are your goals?

-r

Christmas, and new favorites

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I finished all my Christmas socks! (We will overlook the fact that the list of people I was planning to knit socks for got shorter and shorter as Christmas got closer.  There’s always next year.)  Pictured above are John Huston socks I made for my pappaw (modified to only use the side panel part of the pattern), Perfect Fit socks for my dad, Abbey Road socks (with all the girly cables removed) for my friend Matt, Harbor Bar socks for my mom, and Jaywalker socks for my friend Erica.  Each pair was my favorite as I was knitting it!  The Abbey Road and Harbor Bar socks are from Quince and Co., my new favorite obsession.  Their patterns are THE BEST!  I modified the Annie’s scarf pattern into a cowl for my friend Bethany and I loved it, and I’m currently making the Simplest Baby Blanket for my friend Christy.  I have a few more Christmas presents to finish up but I am going at a much more leisurely pace now.

I had a fabulous Christmas – I got the awesome necklace above, a Marie Curie biography, some stainless steel mixing bowls and a Le Creuset grill pan, and lots of other fun things – but now it’s time to get to work :/  Don’t worry, I won’t be working too hard ;) but I do have to study to retake the GRE and work with my research data to figure out how to use the program that has thus far eluded me.  I’m trying to work on these a little each day so I can make progress without trying to cram everything in to one or two days.

I have lots of fun knitting plans for the rest of winter – I am going to make my infinity scarf and cardigan, finally, and I’ve signed up for a class at my local yarn store to learn to make two socks at once (we will ignore how much I could have used this BEFORE Christmas).  I’m most excited about the Follow Your Arrow mystery knit-along from Ysolda, which I just bought the yarn for today.

New Favorites:

  • Blogs: Fringe Association, Knit York City, Quince and Co.
  • Things with my initials on them (I got the BEST mug from Pottery Barn for Christmas)
  • White chocolate peppermint tea from Teavana.  Best. Tea. Ever.
  • This knitters graph paper journal.  I plan on making and selling Christmas stockings on easy, so this will help me come up with super awesome designs.
  • the Nike running app has a coach feature now that sets up workout plans for you.  Getting back in the groove! ;)
  • The Doctor Who Christmas special.  Oh, how I will miss Matt Smith.
  • Finally having the time to finish A Dance with Dragons

I suppose I’ve gone on long enough – hopefully I won’t go so long before the next update!  I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

-r

Big Plans

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I AM DONE WITH FINALS!  I am so giddy right now.  From now until Christmas there are no limits to what I can do!  (Except monetary limits; I can’t run away to New York City.  Someday, though.  Someday.) I can knit without feeling guilty!  I can finally read whatever I want!  I never have to think about soil chemistry again!  I can go to bed at normal hours and clean my apartment!  After Christmas I will have to buckle down and get as much research as possible done, but for at least the next 14 days I am FREE! I’m planning on packing in as much as possible:

Things I’m planning on enjoying:

  • seeing some college and high school friends (I am most especially super excited about seeing my high school friends)
  • Christmas with my home church family and family-family
  • Market Square Christmas Market
  • baby shower for one of my oldest friends
  • Running at the marina in Oak Ridge

Things I’m planning on knitting

  • Socks for my mom, pappaw, cousin, and aunt
  • cowl and hat for one of my favorite people (I’m afraid she’ll figure out soon that she’s far too nice to be friends with me, so I’m preparing woolen bribes ;) )
  • baby blanket for aforementioned baby shower
  • random cowl to use up yarn
  • shawl and scarf for church friends
  • two cowls and a cardigan for myself
  • stuff to get ahead on presents for next year

Books I’m planning on reading

  • Freakonomics
  • Superfreakonomics
  • Robert Oppenheimer: A Life Inside the Center
  • American Prometheus
  • A Dance with Dragons
  • Divergent
  • Insurgent
  • Christian History Made Easy (we’re reading this in Sunday School)
  • Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb

Obviously this isn’t all going to happen, but it’s nice to know that it could.  My plan for after Christmas is to work in the lab as much as possible each day and then continue my knitting/reading spree at night before classes start and I am once again inundated with homework.

And since this is a wordy post, here are some pictures to make up for it:

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-r 

 

 

Half Marathon Recap

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I FINISHED! Woohoooooo!

I was super concerned because my training fell off the last few weeks, but I actually felt like it went really well. I ran (or as I like to refer to my running, I shuffled) the first 9.5 miles without any issues, and then my knee exploded with pain and I walked most of the rest (except the last .1 mile which I sprinted, or at least did what passed for sprinting at that point). I finished in ~3 h 18 min, and would love to run another and try to finish in under three hours. I know that still seems insanely slow, but I’ve come to terms with my terminal slowness ;)

It was overall a great experience; the race was very well organized and everything went really smoothly. I especially loved all the signs people made- my personal favorite was “you’re running better than the government. There was also a little girl, about sixish, who yelled “if you believe it, you can achieve it” which made me laugh and laugh. I also enjoyed seeing / hearing the other runners, who were super nice and kept asking if I was ok when I was gimping along at the end.

I am surprisingly not very sore-I guess training does have a purpose?- except my left leg, which has the sore knee / hip. I have a 10k the Saturday after thanksgiving, so this week I’m going to do lots of yoga and make sure my knee is better before punishing it again.

Here are some pics, including a delightful one of the blood blister I ended up with on my heel. You’re welcome.

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