My college is primarily a science-based school. There are a few Liberal Arts degrees, but mostly, it turns out BSNs and scientists. I fit right in. One of my favorite parts, though, is the signs in the Science Department.

Signs on campus laser
This never fails to give me the giggles. Remaining eye, indeed.

Signs on campus radioactive
They’re not kidding. There are many radioactive and other dangerous things in the locked rooms. Be careful!

Signs on campus mr wizard
I’ll have to remember to get a picture of the magazine cover with the Corks and Forks experiment! It’s a riot. I’m sure kids learned a lot from it.

Signs on campus biotech
And this is what I keep looking at, when I feel overwhelmed by all my classes.

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New Microwave!

Last week, our microwave made the most frightening CRACK sound and stopped working. After a few days research, we bought a new one!

Microwave on stove Here’s what it looked like, mid installation! The installation template was wrong, which caused a lot of frustration – C is good at technical stuff, so having to fight the microwave was annoying. Anyway, it spent a happy night resting on the stovetop before it was all the way installed.

Microwave installed And here it is, all installed and shiny. It’s so much better than the old one. Which is surprising to me, as the old one was the first microwave I ever really had. I’d never lived with one before, so all the things it could do were sort of amazing to me. THIS one has all sorts of nifty pre-sets. We’ve used the re-heat one and I’m looking forward to trying the others.

Microwave box with friend And this is what we found as soon as we turned around … well, what else would you expect to find in a new box?


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Toby’s Sweaters

When I met C, just a bit more than five years ago, I met him just before his birthday. I gave him a teddy bear (which I named Toby) and knit it a sweater – a Gansey sweater, because he’s from a part of England to which Ganseys are native. (One of many, yes, but still.)

This is Toby, in that sweater.

Toby in the Gansey

Toby in the Gansey

Isn’t he cute? I used hearts and anchors, because I was already in love with C, even though we hadn’t discussed anything but being friends.

The next year, C and I were together and happy, but he doesn’t like birthday gifts, so I made Toby another sweater.

Toby in the loose fair isle vest.

Toby in the loose fair isle vest.

I used small fair-isle patterns and made the vest loose, so Toby would be comfortable. It was a bit too loose, possibly, but Toby didn’t seem to mind.

Toby's a grandpa.

Toby’s a grandpa.

Then, the third year, I thought it would be funny to make a Grampa Sweater for Toby. You know the type, “fisherman’s rib”, wide shawl collar, leather buttons? I think he’s pretty adorable in this one.

Cables on Toby.

Cables on Toby.

Then, last year, I made a dark grey cabled sweater with built-in pockets. Toby looked very snappy, if I do say so myself.

Toby isn't Norwegian.

Toby isn’t Norwegian.

This year I made a sweater in the Norwegian style – I had such fun designing the stars and the whole thing. I steeked the armholes and the neck shaping – it’s just a fun sweater. Plus, he looks dashing in his ski sweater, doesn’t he?

I wonder what I’ll make next year.


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Summer Garden!

Garden tomatoes
There’s a volunteer strawberry in the blue pot with a lemon cucumber plant. I can’t wait for summer.

Garden tomatoes to plant
I’m looking forward to eating All The Tomatoes.

Garden Sprouts
Radish sprouts in the front, cauliflower sprouts in the back. Mmm, sprouts.

Garden salamanders
Wee little salamanders!

Garden Panther
She’s Queen of all she surveys. That includes you.

Garden panorama thing
Panography of my garden. It’s funny how spaces are so hard to photograph.

Close planes
Sometimes planes land over the house. Sometimes they’re practically close enough to touch.

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Cowl for my daughter

So my daughter’s boyfriend is Swedish and she’d planned a trip to Sweden to visit him. Sweden is COLD in comparison to where we live, in the SF Bay Area, in California. She brought a lot of layers, but I wanted to make something nice for her.

While we were at Stitches West this past February, she saw some plain cowls and fell in love. They were plain in knitting and style – just stockinette stitch tubes, but they were beautiful because they used a half-hank of one of Prism Yarn’s Stuff Yarns (she picked Nevada) and a full hank of their incredibly soft Plume yarn as the top and bottom of the tubes.

The end result is stunning.


It looks less exciting when flat, but it’s nice to be able to see all the pretty yarns.


She’s in Sweden now and I hope it’s keeping her warm and snuggly and reminding her that I love her.


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Catching Up; school is busy, medical stuff is difficult, water is wet.

I’m so tired.

I’ve taken a midterm and a quiz in Calculus, one quiz in Chemistry, a quiz in Biostats, done three labs in Chemistry, studied until 2am at least four times, and am generally just wiped out. There’s no real time to rest, though, as I’ve another quiz in Chemistry on Monday, another in Calculus as well on Tuesday, and a midterm in Biostats on Thursday. Oh, and a midterm in Chemistry on Friday. This isn’t counting the homework assigned for each class.

At this point, I’m glad I didn’t get into either of the other classes I tried to sign up for. I’m full up right now.

The Biostats quizzes are all take-home, so open-note. Students have to sign on the back to show that we didn’t get any help from anyone else or Teh Intarwebz. I saw people copying from each other before class started. I asked questions out loud, while at home, but really mostly to check on what I thought was going on (If you have a population of ducks and some number is one type and another number is another type, what is the probability that one of them will be male?).

The Calculus quiz was NOT at all what I expected. I did the homework, read up in the two different textbooks I have (neither is the assigned text, which never fails to make me cry), and thought I had a handle on what to do. Nope. Not really. Anyway, at first I’d thought that the quiz was a series of problems to solve. It was, but it was a series of steps for one actual problem. The instructions said to explain every step in complete sentences – as well as with correct math. He wants us to learn how to explain what we’re doing, which makes total sense, but at the same time, it’s very much not what any of us expected.

I don’t think I did well. The teacher drops the worst three quizzes, thank goodness.

I did get an 83 on the Calculus midterm, though, which feels pretty good.

I don’t think I did well on the Chemistry quiz either, but at least that’s just a quiz.

I did a bunch of reading and note-taking for Biostats this evening; the test will be open-note, so I’m trying to get really good notes written out. We can also bring in the answers to the quzzes and the homework. AND the textbook.


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Back to Cables

I’ve finished three small side projects, so I’m finally back to my cabled cardigan. I’ll bee posting pictures of the side projects. One’s a sweater for a teddy bear, one is a pretty cowl for my daughter, and the third is a Seekrit Project for a good friend.

Anyway, I’m really happy to get back to my own sweater.


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Required Classes?

I’ve taken, at the Community College level, all the Lower Division general ed classes that are required. They’re the ones I really hated; the ‘fluffy’ ones, the classes where everyone’s opinion was equally right and everyone got to rant and complain and express their feelings but there wasn’t any actual learning or information or education happening. Some of the classes could have, in the hands of a good teacher, been very good and useful, but unfortunately, that’s not what they were in ‘real life’.

I’ve made it to the Upper Division so I can focus on my actual Degree Courses, which is great omg. However, there are Upper Division General Education classes which are required. The school says that no course can be used to fulfill the GE requirements if it carries the prefix for the student’s Major Group, so anything with Bio or Chem as the prefix is unavailable to me as a GE. I can, of course, take any class I damn well want to.

I picked, for this quarter’s class:

Stars and Galaxies:

Overview of the universe with an emphasis on the study of stars and galaxies. Topics include stars, stellar evolution, black holes, neutron stars, galaxies, and the role of dark matter and dark energy in galaxy formation.


Mmm, dark matter.

Here’s a smattering of the less-interesting (to ME, your mileage will most certainly vary) options.

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I finally got pictures of the cabled sweater I’m working on. This is a little more than half way up the back. It’ll speed up as soon as I decrease for the armholes. The pattern is a pullover, but I’m making it into a cardi. However, so I don’t end up with a vest (I hate knitting sleeves) I’m going to knit the sleeves two-at-a-time next. I’ll be able to wear it this summer, which will be nice. Where I live, it’s foggier in the summer, so a nice wool jacket will be nice.

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My new storage system


This is my new favorite thing. For years, I’ve struggled with storing my circular knitting needles. I’ve seen the pretty hanging needle things, where there are sewn channels to string the needles through, but I don’t want my needles hanging in my closet, and those still let the tips dangle and get tangled and dusty and …

I’d sort of given up and shoved all my needles randomly into a big ziplock bag. It took ages to find anything I needed, and finding two needles of the same size (like for socks?) was half an hour’s work.


OMG, look!!! See? ALL my needles are in there. Every single one. There’s even room for my needle sizers, for lots and lots of markers and sewing needles and loads more stuff.




I bought two of the bags from Bass Pro Shop (as you can see). They’re worm bags, I think; I’ve no idea what the “Extreme Finesse” is that the bag is supposed to be doing or holding or whatever. All I know is that it’s the best storage I’ve had in years.

How do you store your needles?


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