Dienstag, 24. Mai 2011

Caffeine addiction - up to eleven

Not much time for blogging these days but I'll share a weird moment that happened in class today:
Prof notices that it's one hour into the lecture and announces that we'll take a 15-minute break after the next three slides.
One slide later a student's hand goes up.
"Mr Z, can we take the break now after all?"
"Two more slides. Why, do you have to go now?"
The student looks at him apologetically and says: "I wanted to go get some coffee."
Well, at least he was honest...

Sonntag, 1. Mai 2011

I'm doing science, and I'm still alive...

Despite not having posted in a while, I'm still alive, and have been pretty busy these days!
Classes at uni have started again. I'm taking classes complex analysis, neural nets, evolutionary algorithms, neural computing and data compression, and a class on "information law" which is one of the "Computer Science and Society" classes required for my major. It's the basics of German law with a focus on stuff like copyright and personal data protection laws. I enjoy that class quite a bit, and I might ask if I may take some other law major classes for that requirement - studying law was an option I briefly considered, but my love for science won.

When I wasn't busy doing coursework or relearning Python, I worked on my spinning instead.
That lumpy mess you saw in my last post? It turned into this wonky mess:
1st skein

But of course, I had to be able to do better than that:

Isn't it amazing that I can take stuff that grows on sheep and turn it into pretty yarn?

Samstag, 2. April 2011

Yay, I'm spinning!

I seem to be on a "trying new stuff" kick lately!
So, this week I decided I would give spinning a shot, too, and off I went and ordered a spindle and some fibre. I'm slowly getting the hang of it. Very slowly.

You want to see weird, irregular, wonky yarn? Sure, here you go:

I am  a bit jealous of these naturals who spin consistent singles almost right away - I had to try for ages until I found out what drafting was supposed to work like (I was pulling at the fibre like crazy until I learned that I needed to move my hands further apart), and I'm far from consistent yet. And I've had the yarn break a couple of times, which is great because it taught me a lot and now I know a way to repair it, too.
(Repeat after me: "That's why they call it a drop spindle!")

Once I'm done with this I'll spin another single and ply them, and then I'm probably going to frame the skein to show it to my progeny when I'm an old lady. Or something like that.

Anyway, it's great fun! And even if it looks weird and wonky and slubby, I made yarn from fluffy stuff that grows on sheep. Isn't that cool?

Donnerstag, 17. März 2011

Dyeing experiments

Wow, I haven't posted here in a while, I really ought to do it more often.

I started a pair of new Fawkes socks, in Drachenwolle sock yarn. The colorway, I think, is called "Feuer" (= Fire in English), which fits the pattern pretty well. Photos will follow as soon as the first sock is finished. The lace pattern on them is working out better than the scarf, as I don't keep losing stitches (I really ought to get markers for that scarf), and it's only a 12-row repeat over 15 stitches.

Other than that, I dyed yarn for the first time:



I'm not entirely happy with the results, nor with the base yarn - it's handspun 100% wool, and I thought I'd make a shawl or so out of it when I bought it online, but it's too scratchy. Meh. Maybe it'll work after soaking it in hair conditioner, though.
I did want to see how it knit up, so part of the blue and violet became a dice bag:


Well... I'll chalk this up to learning experience and try again I guess!

Mittwoch, 16. Februar 2011

More WIPs... yay, startitis :)

Haven't posted here in a while - work has been crazy, but I did get some knitting time in.

#1 of a pair of fingerless mitts. The mock cable pattern does not want to be photographed, but it's there - not bad for the second thing I've ever knitted (we won't count that lump of scratchy black yarn that was supposed to become a scarf...), now is it?

I love how that yarn knit up, too, and here's some shameless advertising for Drachenwolle, the dyer I bought it from. The colorway is called "Sherwood Forest". She has lovely colors, and I like the yarn she uses as well.

The second one is still on the needles, I got a mild case of startitis and started the Milky Way Scarf (link to the designer's website, no interesting photos here yet), since my KnitPro interchangeables arrived in the mail today. Yay! I like them, they're smooth but do have enough grip so the stitches don't slide off from looking at them. I only just started the lace chart but it looks easy enough (yay, another thing ticked off the to-learn list: reading a knitting chart! :D). I just hope it will look nicer blocked :)

Donnerstag, 3. Februar 2011

First sock DONE! W00t!

Wheee! The toe is grafted, the ends are woven in, and here you go:

I should probably rename them from Hello World socks to Hippie socks :D
I can't believe I actually managed to knit an entire sock and it's wearable and sort of fits! *does a little happy dance*

SO did the cutest thing yesterday when I was working my way toward the toe decreases: He took off his own socks, waved them in the air like pompoms, did a cheerleader dance and called "Go, socks! Give me an S! Give me an O! Give me an X!". I had to laugh so hard I almost choked.
Too bad he never does this when I have my camera charged and nearby. Otherwise, he would so be on youtube...

*wanders off to stroke her sock and start the second one*

Mittwoch, 26. Januar 2011

Look! A heel!

So, I've further honed my skills of sock knitting and learned how to turn a heel. Wheee! :D It even worked on the very first attempt, and I could make sense of the instructions right away!


And I've found out what people mean when they complain about pooling:

I somehow like this kind of pooling better than the stripes, though, but let's see what it looks like when the sock is finished.

Sorry for the crappy shots, I couldn't do better with the lighting and my camera's flash is not any better than you'd expect from a cheap compact cam. I want to get an SLR but I don't have the money to spare, and if I had I'd get a CPU upgrade first. But you can see the sock-in-progress, so they'll have to do :)