Thursday, June 29, 2006

The turn of a heel . . .

Well, still no pictures, but I really do need to take some.

I turned the heel on my first grown-up sized sock yesterday, and it seems to have worked. This whole magic-loop thing is the business - you never have to worry about dropping needles or poking anyone; I even used the loop to hold my instep stitches, even though some people think that's a pain in the heinie.

I've made the decision that as soon as I finish sock #1, I'll go back to the baby blanket, and finish that before embarking on sock #2. I'm not looking forward to it, though, because the weather is so humid here. A tiny sock that stays suspended from the needle is so much more comfortable than a large, fuzzy, non-breathing acrylic blend.

Work-wise, the stats are coming along nicely. The problem with today is that there are too many meetings and seminars that I have to go to. I'm really going to have to bust my butt this weekend, I think.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Slacker Monday?

No pics yet today, although it's been an eventful few days.

I mustmustmust remember to take one of the baby blanket to post; it'll force me to work on it some more. I've managed to start turning the heel on my very first grown-up sock, and it's not too bad. All the calculating is getting annoying, since it's a generic sock pattern that is somewhat DIY, but I'm determined that it'll work.

We had a great, albeit unproductive, weekend, both knitting and otherwise. Hub's labmate is from overseas, and her friends visit every year or so - this weekend happens to be 2006's event. We went to a dinner party at her place, which was lovely. Good food, good conversation, good wine.

The problem was, too much wine led to a dinner party that was longer than most of my workdays, and we walked home in the rain as the sun came up.

I guess it's not a problem, so much as an accomplishment - I'm convinced that I'm too old for that sort of stuff ;-)

Friday, June 16, 2006

It's slacker Friday...

... and I'm totally OK with that.

Without going into gory (geeky?) details, I've been more productive in the past week than I think I've been since last September in the mad rush of Prelim time.

I've managed to get a (homemade) program working to do some major stats analyses, albeit on hub's PC, but I also have a co-worker compiling it for the Mac.

(No, I don't know what that means. I don't know why it was written in Pascal versus Fortran, and I don't know why I'm bothering with the cross-computing. It'll save me about 15 minutes after I complete about 50 separate analyses. But, that's OK.)

So, I shall post on my latest creative efforts, since this seems to be less about grad school and more about hobbies. But, then again, hobbies and life outside the lab are, indeed, how we survive grad school without going nuts :-)

Firstly, the famous baby-cheesecake. Here's a rough progression:

I call it - "Bare Canvas"

Outline completed (note the ever-so-carefully placed piping bag)

Yes, folks, that's a baby. Mutant, but a baby nonetheless.

Baby has some color in his cheeks!

The pink and blue frosting were added because I took the cake off the bottom of the springform pan... As a result, that sucker slipped and slid whenever I so much as nudged the plate.
Solution: more sugar!

And, since the rest of the plate was rather bare, and I had about a cup of spare chocolate ganache, I whipped it up and decorated the border with some rosettes. Because, who's going to complain with more chocolate, right?

I was also a really bad girl two weeks ago, and went to a newly discovered, but long existing, yarn store.

(There is a huge portion of this city that I haven't explored, even though I've been here for 10 years. It's only when I'm looking for new slacker activities that I manage to find these gems).

The problem I was having was that a certain big box store had the most awful yarn selection, and a new little boutique that opened close to school is too expensive, and had even less selection than the big box (really nice mohair and other exotics, but nothing really practical).

This new(ly found) little gem is comparable to two local stores in my home town - tonnes of cubbies, floor to ceiling, lots of options, all the colors you'd want, and just enough luxury yarns and fibres to keep you sighing every now and then.

Hubby came in, and I'm sure chuckled the whole 30 minutes we were in there, as I fondled the potential projects. I was horribly good while being bad, though. I wanted to buy yarn for socks for him, and yarn for socks for myself, and yarn for socks for my mom... but my purchases can be fit into this one tiny pic:

The light is really glaring, because in reality it's a nice glen check brown/grey/tan/dark grey twist. At the moment the sock is about 6" long, not the 2" in the photo, and I'm trying to decide if it's time to divide for the heel. I know that my ribbing on the top sucks, and I don't know why, but hub is OK with having a 'rusticly homemade' socks as his first pair.

For the knitting savvy amongst you, yes, I have discovered the magic loop method, and yes, that is a loverly 40" size 3 addi turbo. I am smitten. I am a sock knitter.

I think I'll take a pic of the baby blanket and post it... I should really be working on it, not the socks, but I love the tiny needles and the quick progress.

Progress. Maybe I should go for that with my stats for an hour... then take an extra long lunch in the first real summer day we've had.

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

Friday, June 02, 2006

The beginnings of my next cheesecake...

So we're having another lab party this weekend.

It's a "welcome summer" BBQ... but in reality, it's a secret baby shower. I can say that safely because neither of the expectant mothers has any idea that I blog.

So, I've baked a strawberry cheesecake, since the ones with fruit purée added tend to cook better. This one, I must say, seems fantastic. The surface is perfectly flat, and of even color... which I will be covering up with some sort of baby decoration.

This is what it looks like, undressed...

We'll see how my first foray into cartoon decorating goes.

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)