Sunday, December 02, 2007

Falling off the Wagon

I know I said I would be good. I put the cabled socks on hold, I've been knitting on nothing but Christmas presents for a week, but Kate Gilbert, well, she got the best of me.

Sorry about the craptastic photo; there isn't even light to be had in the day here lately. Ice though, we have lots of ice.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Boy Hat

The boy has granted permission for me to post this pattern, so I figured that I would, since I know that simple as they may be, hats that boys will actually wear are few and far between.

The Boy Hat Pattern

*Thanks to The Boy for getting on the matrix and letting me have a place to put the file. It will take a couple of minutes, since there are pictures, but I figured you would want to see the hat before making it, right?*

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Tilted Duster

Pattern: Tilted Duster, by Norah Gaughan, from IK autumn 2007
Size: Made the 36" size with a different gauge to get about a 40" bust
Yarn: About 5.25 skeins of Beaverslide McTaggart Tweed in Big Sky Heather
Needles: size 8 and 9 bamboo circs
Modifications: I went down a needle size for the cuffs and got creative with gauge, along with adding a hook and eye closure below the buttons, but otherwise none.
Verdict: I love it! The yarn is wonderfully squishy and next-to-the-skin soft for a great price, and I'm a sucker for light blue. It also fits like a dream, despite the high likelihood that I would screw up since the yarn knits at a larger gauge than the peruvia that is called for. Instead of a drapey sweater you get a more substantial sweater-coat cardigan, which is delicious, especially on a day like today. And the buttons?

I love the buttons.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Now is the time on Sprockets where we BLOCK!

The tilted duster, she is finished (except for buttons). The yarn is even softer after blocking, and it was plenty soft before. Like my blocking board?

Of course you do. As the boy said when I exclaimed the finished-ness "And now you can learn the alphabet!"

Friday, November 16, 2007

4 Years

I have a lot of projects going, but a week from today is a very special day, specifically 4 years from the day that the boy first asked me to have dinner with him. The fact that I was in a cold-induced haze I think makes it even special-er.

Well, the boy lost his hat, and so for our anniversary I thought I should show my love with wool and I made him one from a pattern that I made up myself. I'll write it and post it later, I think, even though it is simple. I particularly love the crown decreases:

Pattern: my own, for the boy.
Yarn: less than 1 skein Malabrigo worsted, in Vaa
Needles: Size 7 bamboo 16" circs and dpns.
Verdict: He is still wearing it, so I guess good!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Knitting for Nerds

OK, so I know full well that I have many knitting works in progress. Five, according to my ravelry queue, but I probably have more stashed away. And I have been good. So good! You should see how far I am along on the tilted duster. Its just that it is now about 10 more inches of ribbing, and it is unwieldy. And the mittens? I actually... well.. they're around here somewhere. Needless to say, I need to finish stuff. Which means not starting stuff. Which means swatching.

I know, I know. This was not one of any of the designs from the new IK that I said I liked. However, my previous caveat stands, and once I got the issue I fell in love with the sweater (I'd get rid of some of the bobbles though). I've been in a cable mood lately. I even bought enough Kathmandu Aran from WEBS (it is on sale!) to make Demi, from Rowan Vintage Knits. Anyway, back to the task at hand...

I swatched for it with some Jo Sharp silkroad tweed dk (colour autumn, if you're interested). I didn't want it to work, really. It is the wrong gauge - so very off, but it is wonderful, wonderful yarn. The colour is even perfect for a forest-inspired pullover (I'm a sucker for pattern names) and I've been wanting to use it for a while. Such a beautiful yarn shouldn't sit around in my stash. SO I want to use it. However, I really hate altering patterns unless I am very confident that I know what I am doing. I don't right now, and my brain is fried from grant proposals, so I want to make one of the sizes as written. So there is only one solution. Math!

The yarn called for is Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, which gets a gauge of 29 stitches to 4 inches in the rib pattern (which you see in my swatch). If you divide 29 by 4 you get 7.25 stitches per inch (for a sweater? please.) Now, I did my swatch on 18 stitches since the pattern repeat is 9 stitches, but through the power of fractions it will all be ok in the end. My swatch measured approximately 3.12 inches on size 4s, slightly stretched, giving me a gauge of 5.54 stitches to the inch (now thats more like it). The ratio of what I have to what the pattern calls for is 5.77:7.25 = 0.80

Now for the sizing. I have a 38-inch bust, but for a sweater like this (and because I would rather it be a little large than a little small, blocking aside) I would like to shoot for a bust size of about 39". Using MATH (!) all I have to do is multiply the size I want by the ratio of the gauges to get that I should make the pattern for a (39*0.80 = ) 31" bust. The smallest size is a 31" bust (yay!), so it should be great. Also, I checked and the row gauge should definitely be fine, since that is easy to take into account. And it even means I have enough yarn. Yay math!

So I have two grant proposals due this week. One is actually for money, which was submitted about 2 days ago (more than 36 hours before it was due, thankyouverymuch). I figured out a mistake I made on it this morning, but I can't do anything about it now, so I'll just hope no one notices. The second is a fake NIH proposal for a class I am taking and is due tomorrow. It is currently being proofed by my partner, so everything is cool. I also actually got a protein gel to cooperate well enough to transfer to a membrane today. All in all, everything is pretty great. Tiring and at times demoralizing, but great.

Ok all, I'm off to knit other stuff. Peace out.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Limulus Rules for Today

Rule #1:
If it is cold enough to wear Ugg boots, it is too cold to wear shorts.

Rule #2:
Waving at me does not restore karmic balance to the world after almost running me over.

Rule #3:
Berets are awesome.

Pattern: Estella, by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Mirasol Yarns Miski, 2 skeins
Needles: size 7 bamboo dpns and 16" circ
Mods: I used size 7 for the ribbing instead of size 5s; I have what appears to be an inordinately large head.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Sooo I have been knitting, oh the knitting, but there is really nothing to report. The first sleeve of the tilted duster is almost done, and while I started an Estella beret yesterday, the band would not fit over my gigantic head and so had to be frogged. I will try again tonight with bigger needles since I really want that hat. It is getting cool here.

Although there is no news with my knitting, the IK winter issue preview is up! :

This issue is supposed to have an emphasis on classic designs, which I usually love, since I'm not usually an avant-garde kinda gal. However, a lot of these pictures were taken in some sort of creepy library, and some of the designs are kind of stuffy-looking. However, since I have no pretty pictures to show you, I will instead go over the projects I like (so far) from this issue - the list may change after I actually get the issue in my hot little hands.

I'm kind of in love with this one. I'm not usually a big fan of vests, but I love the cable and the neckline. It just kind of...grabs you. Plus it would look great over a plain long-sleeve T and jeans. However, it is bordering on tunic-y, and I don't exactly know how the tunic and the booty would interact.

I love the simple colorwork, high collar, and flared hem. It looks sturdy and sexy all at once, and warm to boot. I also always love Veronik's colorwork because she usually uses raglan arm shaping, which not only looks fabulous on the shoulderly gifted like me, but lets you do colorwork without steeking if you do it right. The one reservation is this, which might not be a reservation at all:

Am I the only one who sees transformers? I'm still not sure if this is a good or a bad thing. I also am not going to spend $120 on the sweater, but there are totally ways of making it on the cheap (hello knitpicks?)

This looks great - fitted but with raw edges, and fun cable detailing. The only issue is that I don't know how the cable bit would look on an actual person (no offense model-people). Also, this is a new model for IK this issue, and she seems to be sneering at the camera every chance she gets.

Eunny sure hasn't been slacking off since she was made editor of IK. First the Tangled Yoke cardigan, and now this. I looooove the colorwork, although I think I would make the ribbing a darker color. Again though, it is a vest. I am a grad student, and so do not have/wear collared shirts to work, but.... I love it... it is so...complicated. I might have to pass on this one, but it will be hard.

So in other news, I learned a new technique this week in lab! After much bothering the other grad-monkeys, near-poisoning myself, breaking glass all over the place, having equipment break on me,and figuring out where everything is, I have successfully run my first protein gel! (Well, we had to run one in biochem, but they did almost everything for me, so it doesn't count). It is currently staining overnight in lab, and I am feeling very proud of myself. I did research in undergrad, but I was strictly a whole cell/DNA gal. And I was good at it. And now I have to learn protein stuff. Its OK, I can do this. The only thing is that protein gels are thin. Very thin. I kind of miss agarose.

Ok, I'm off to see if I can make a beret fit my gargantuan head. Peace out dudes and bettys.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pumpkin Time!

Pattern: Wheat Ear Cable Yoke Pullover, from IK Summer 2006.
Yarn: Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in Hollyberry, 11-12 skeins I would guess
Size: 40"
Needles: 6,7,8, bamboo circs.
Mods: I knit the body in the round
Verdict: I really love it. I don't have a picture of me wearing it, since the boy was having issues with the camera, but it really is quite nice.

Now, in with the new....

So I got some beaverslide McTaggart Tweed a bit ago, and decided that I wasn't crazy about what I ordered it for, so it is now becoming a tilted duster! I wasn't nuts about the pattern before, but I saw some examples on ravelry, and they were great. The only problem is that Gauge was not going to happen, so I am knitting the 36" size to get a 40"-ish bust, and so far to the best of my calculations it is working out splendidly. We'll see what kind of mess I make out of it.

So the NSF is due soon (FUN!) as is a class project, so I should go and make sure that they don't suck. Also, I should cook the pumpkin in my kitchen (in my family pumpkins are for eating, not carving). I have a recipe for pumpkkin bread pudding. It should be awesome.

P.S. - I just bought the Holiday issue of IK today, and it is awesome. Go check it out, especially Brooklyntweed's rockin' hat.

Peace out!

Sunday, October 14, 2007


I finally got my ravery invitation!

My name is biomusicologist, if you want to friend me. I'm not sure that I will ever ger work done again.

The Wheat Ear Cable Yoke is almost finished - it just needs some blocking. Pictures soon!

Friday, October 05, 2007


Hmmmm, so what have I been doing? Well,

1) Making food.

2) Working on The Sweater.

The wheat-ear yoke sweater has been upgraded to The Sweater since it is now almost done. It even looks like a sweater, fancy that.

3) Celebrating socktoberfest.

One finished hedera, in Claudia's fingering weight in "Passionfruit"

A beginning of an uptown boot sock, in pigeonroofstudio's fingering weight. I love it. A lot. I can not express the love I have for this yarn in words. I may have to do it through interpretive dance.

4) Being a consumer whore.

So I got paid the other day, and The Boy got PAID, by grad school standards. We bought wonderful food, and I went a little nuts with the yarn. Specifically, two sweaters worth, and this:

I got it from the Loopy Ewe, which is one of my favoritest online stores, and it came with this:

I am now a "Loopy groupie", which includes a tote bag, candy, and FREE YARN! Specifically, Panda Cotton in "roses". I am way pleased. You can call me whatever you want, if there is free yarn involved.

5) Listening to the new Bruce album. I love it, but then again, being a bit too young, I am not a purist. Check it out.

6) Winding yarn. In my own house.

Yes my lovelies, I have finally acquired a swift and ball winder. The ball winder was procured with my new monies, but the swift, well the swift:

Yes, The Boy finally got around to making me a swift (I say finally because it was supposed to be a Valentine's day present). He asked me if this act of creation made him the sexiest male ever, and yes The Boy, it does. He is very pleased with himself and his new drill, and I am just plain happy. See?

This is Dream in Color smooshy sock yarn (Chicago Pride!) in "Chinatown Apple" I bought it with a specific project in mind, which I'll talk about if I ever start it. It is officially the first yarn cake I made with my swift and ball winder.

Oh, and Mother-of-The-Boy recieved her socks, and proclaimed them to be too short and slightly too small, but thanked me graciously through The Boy nonetheless. *sigh*

Well peace out my darlings, I'm off to forage for dinner.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mmmmmm socks...

So there hasn't been much knitting content here lately, and that is because I have been knitting these:

Pattern: Plain socks, top down, 68-64 stitches, short row heel, wedge toe
Yarn: Mountain Colors Bearfoot, Alpine, 1 skein
Needles: size U.S. 1.5

These are for Mother-of-the-Boy, who is having a crappy time right now, and these are the fastest socks I know how to pump out (school gets in the way though). Plain sock in progress pictures are rarely riveting, and so these are the first pictures I got. They are marvelously fuzzy though, so hopefully she will like them. I have knit socks for her before, and she has the same shoe size as me, which makes it waaay easier.

This is my I-can't-take-the-socks-anymore project, the wheat ear cable yoke pullover from the last IK with yarn from my stash (ye gods!). It isn't so interesting, but I am enjoying it. And soon there will be cables!

So I need to go knit, sleep, or watch the second season of Bones (the mailman brought it yesterday. Squee!) Peace out lovelies.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hee Hee


Not even one bio grad student?

The USPS is my friend

This came in the mail today. The Fibre Company Khroma (worsted) in blood orange. I love it, and it was on sale to boot. (I got it here if you are interested. The DK is on sale here)


Sometimes you need a little superhero in your life. Or your socks. Now if only there was a batman colourway.

Speaking of Batman, how about Christian Bale and Heath Ledger in the new movie? *purr* There are so many reasons I'm going to go see that one. (P.S. - and Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent? Not to sound like a cheerleader, but what is with all the hot bad guys? Not that Harvey Dent is bad in this one...)

And finally...

I am insured. Fear me.

Sorry about the lack of knitting content, but after a disappointing urchin-making last night (how was it too big for my head? My row gauge was tight on purpose! *growl*) all I have going in earnest is a pair of plain-jane socks for the boy's mother since her life is kind of crappy right now. More pictures later.

Peace Out.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Minimalist FO post

Pattern: Teva Durham's Ballet Pullover, from IK
Size: The one that is supposed to fit up to a 42" chest
Yarn: Wisconsin Highland Farms bulky, about 550 yards
Needles: #11 bamboo circulars and Dpns, #8 bamboo dpns for ribbing at cuffs
Mods: I made the body a little longer, the sleeves a little shorter, and did some ribbing at the cuffs, since I like to know that they are out of the way.

Verdict: I love the fit, especially after blocking (this picture is pre-blocking). However, I would do the ribbing on 9s if I did it again, since the cuffs aren't too tight, but they flashdance the collar a bit. I could fix this by doing the crochet border, but I kind of like how it looks. We'll see how it goes.

Pattern: Vog on! from knitty, by Aleta Fera
Yarn: Socks That Rock Mediumweight, in Algae
Needles: Knitpicks #2 metal dpns.
Mods: None, other than upping the yarn weight

Verdict: I love them. They're warm, are in some of may favorite colors, are girly without being annoying, and the colourway has a nerdy name to boot. Who could ask for more?

In other news, Leanna and I went to the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool festival yesterday. I was an excellent girl and kept in my budget, and then promptly blew the crap out of my promise to myself by buying yarn on my mom's dime today at the Sow's Ear. I would beat myself up about it, except that a) my mother in a fit of angelic behviour said that it was OK, and b) it was a result of hearing some bad/shocking news in a yarn store, causing me to have a desperate need to buy warm fuzzy sock yarn for people. No worries, everything is probably under control, and I will have a post about the pretty shinies I acquired.

Peace out my lovelies.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Beware choosing a physics grad student as a partner

An exchange that happened but five minutes ago:

The Boy: I was in the physics museum, and there were these girls talking about boys they had crushes on, and they weren't even looking at the awesome magnet in front of them!

Limulusknits: Well, sadly most teenage girls find boys more interesting than magnets.

TB: *humpf*

LK: I'm sure there was a time when you found girls more interesting than magnets.

TB: Awww, you're more interesting than most magnets.


On another note:

I would totally see that movie.

Limulusknits: Dipteran Hunter

So I haven't been updating. I would like to say that it was grad school (well, I would *like* to say that it was that I have, in the last week, become fabulously wealthy and left the country for some place that is permanently 70 degrees and full of invertebrates that don't bite me, but I digress...) but I am really just hot and lazy and running around about dining room tables. What have I been doing knit-wise?

This is actually wool from black sheep at Wisconsin Highland Farms, and on top of being delicious, it is from sheep raised on organic feed, so I can be a reused bag-toting dirt-worshipper about it. It was purchased at the Madison Saturday farmers' market, where it ambushed me and my food budget for the day. (I still maintain that clothing materials should be on the food+shelter tier of the budget, but I have been having trouble convincing others of this.) That is what the sweater (Teva Durham's Ballet Pullover) looked like a week ago. This:

is what it looks like now. It would look far more impressive if I had not had to cast off FOUR TIMES. More on it when I'm feeling less bitter.

On the sock front:

Thanks to a West Wing marathon witha future lawyer friend on Saturday, there is now almost a pair of my vog ons. I am very excited because a) they fit and b) they are pretty.

Thanks to a particularly shitty day, this somehow found itself in my possession:

I'm not sure it needs explanation. Althought I must say that I love it.

Finally, there is this albatross:

This little innocent-looking thing is a sweater in Debbie Bliss cotton angora, and it is finished except for the BUTTON BANDS. I'm serious - it is seamed, it fits, the whole deal. I just hate sewn-on button bands. Maybe this would be a good factoid to put away in the ol' memory banks for later.

And finally, a little light reading:

Do you know anything about invertebrate leukemias? I do!

As a non-sequitur, the boy just said that his nerves have so much steel that Magneto could pick him up. I would make fun of him, but he has to sit quals on Saturday, so everyone should be nice to him. Do you know what I am doing on Saurday? Not quals! Specifically, the Wisconsin sheep and wool festival with some other SnBers. I am very excited, not only because I went on a yarn diet and DIDN'T CHEAT (I'm serious - even after the new room at the Sow's Ear ambushed me. I wouldn't even have bet on myself that day.) but because it will be an awesome day, hopefully with some puppies. I am a sucker for small mammals.

Also, I can't stop thinking about this. are any SnBers or anyone else interested in starting a knitalong? I'm just seeing it in some of the new Claudia fingering they have in at Lakeside fibers...and...and....

Ok, off to start my campaign to destroy the mosquitoes in my house. We will fight them in the kitchen, we will fight them while reading about prokaryotic genetics....

Friday, August 24, 2007

John Nolan Drive has become the amazon

I'm wet.

Everything in the apartment is wet, and nothing will dry. I am convinced that everything in my life is becoming a huge, mildewy mess because Madison has inexplicably become the first rainforest in the midwest. Soon there will be snakes hanging in the trees and awesome frogs everywhere and maybe I will finally find that plant that you were supposed to get in the Amazon Trail.

If you can't tell, I'm getting tired of the rain.

I am also tired of the drain in the bathroon not draining, making things even wetter, the fact that I am too lazy to do what needs to be done, and that this paper needs to be written up so that Dr. Mentor can say that it is too late to be published because I am a dumbass.

So since it is so very gray and wet outside, this will be a very special limulus edition of things that I like right now:

1.Trader Joe's Buffalo Jerky

Now, I am not a backpacker, wannabe cowboy, or any other jerky stereotype out there, but I like this stuff. Maybe a backstory is in order. I have hippie tendencies and would love to be a vegetarian or vegan sometimes. However, I was raised in a household where a meal was not a meal without meat, and sometimes I just crave it. When I had a little sit-down with myself I realized that I have little problem with eating meat. I have studied evolutionary biology long enough to be able to tell, through many different signs, that humans have evolved to have part of their diet come from animal protein, and that since evolution has been good to me, I don't necessarily need to fight the meat cravings, since many other members of the fine animals kingdom do the same. I know many say that we need to rise above our primal instincts and stop eating meat, but for me putting morality in my eating is making sure the animal has a good life. However, this does lead to interesting eating for a graduate student. Cruelty-free chicken is easy to find, and as long as a fish is caught wild its natural instincts haven't really been infringed upon. However, beef is an entirely different story. After many biology classes and reading The Omnivore's Dilemma (which I recommend wholeheartedly) I gave up corn-fed beef. However, grass-fed beef is hard to find and at wonderful places where you can find it (such as the Willy St. Co-Op it is MAD expensive. A maybe once every three weeks, or I've sold a kidney, or gave up yarn for 3 months kind or thing. So there is a hamburger every once in a while, but for other red meat cravings, there is the jerky. It is free-range, and damn, this is good stuff.

2.Yes to Carrots

My hair is dry (unlike the apartment) and I only buy cruelty-free beauty products. This has been a problem in the past, and the roomie said last year that we should have been paid to test all of the stuff we tried to find the best one. Well sweet holy hand grenade, I finally found it. Yes to Carrots is an Israeli company which is only sold in Walgreens here (yeah, I don't know why either), and while I have only tried the shampoo, conditioner, and body butter, they are all fab-u-licious (thats right, they're so good I've veered off the english beaten path here). I have never had a conditioner work this well before since I stopped using Pantene. And best of all they help to support sustainable agriculture!

3.The Orton Park Festival

It is the only happy thing outside. If you're in the area, stop by! I hear there is a beer garden (that might be tomorrow...) in any case, I get live music in my living room! The boy and I are going to check it out in a bit.

4.My new sock.

OK, so we all know I have the attention span of a fruitfly, but that is not what this is about. Right now I am working with exactly three colours, and I needed more than that. Many more. So I pawed through the stash and came up with this. Have I mentioned how much I love socks that rock? It is so... substantial. Even in the lightweight. Love, love love. This project made me feel better almost immediately.

5. The boy.

Here he is, trying to fix the internet for me and setting up the printer. Apparently we have IPV4 and 6, and appletalk, which means that we have a multi-something network. I have learned that he needs more techie friends. I appreciate him in his entirety. They will appreciate his computer genius-ness more. Of course, the local internet provider should send him a card, since if he didn't exist, my closet would most likely be filled with the pleading voices of the technicians that were sent over to fix the internet and eventually got snippy with me about my internet incompetence. That will show them. Where is their precious internet now?

I love him, and he still thinks that the fact that I can cook is amazing when he routinely makes machines do his bidding. I would be even more grumpy without him. He even said that one day I will be allowed to make him a sweater.

Peace out to all. The boy and I are going to explore the possibilities of beer across the street...

Grump grump

I would really like an invite to ravelry. I used to think that oh, maybe I didn't need to spend any more time on the internet, but now you can't spit without getting to a picture you can't see without ravelry, or people in your knitting group asking why you aren't on ravelry, and I just need to have a four-year old moment and say *whine*.

OK, now that is out of my system, I get to say that the boy and I were just accepted as adopters for Wisconsin guinea pig rescue! We're going to get a pair, and I am excited. They are wonderful animals.

In an effort to grump a little less, I give you one of the cutest inhabitants of Copenhagen: