Archive for October, 2010

October 13, 2010

Apple Picking

Autumn is here (even though the weather doesn’t quite think so), and so time was ripe for apple picking.

I went out to Eckert’s in Belleville with my posdoc, her husband, and little girl.  I had a fantastic time and can’t wait to made delicious things with my Fuji apples!

It turns out you shouldn’t trust MapQuest or Google maps directions to get to the orchard — I spent about an hour lost in East St. Louis…not the most savory of places to be lost.  But Michelle came to the rescue and got me there in once piece, and only a half hour late!  Not altogether surprising, though, that I would get lost, really.

There were apples galore, they were so pretty!  The air was filled with an apple cider-y smell from all the fallen apples and the whole orchard seemed so tidy.

"Those are nice looking!"

After we all enjoyed an apple (even Morgan!), picked about 5 lbs apples apiece, we headed on to the pumpkin patch.  I kept thinking of Cinderella’s fairy godmother and Charlie Brown’s Great Pumpkin (who also visits the Amend household).

The pumpkin patch.

I had a fantastic time, can’t wait to eat my delicious apples, can’t wait to hang out with Michelle, Ryan, and Morgan again, and can’t wait for next year’s apple-picking!

October 11, 2010

Finished a project?

Those of you who have known me for awhile, may be familiar with a certain hank of multi-colored slub yarn that I brought home from my summer trip to Prince Edward Island in 2005.


Prince Edward Island

Well, I (finally) knit the scarf.  In these five years, I’ve knit and frogged the same five or six inches a good seven times.  But now, thanks to the course I’m taking, Pathobiology of human disease, the scarf is finished, and in time for winter, too!


Completed PEI scarf.

The pattern was great and makes nice texture, especially with the colors and the slub – co an odd number of stitches, k 1, [yo, k2tog] to end of row. Rep until nearly all the yarn is gone and loosely cast off.  (Be sure to LOOSELY cast off — it’s very easy to get it too tight.)

I’m really looking forward to wearing it this winter!  It’s a bit wider than some scarves, but it’ll get a smidgen thinner thanks to gravity.  And I really like the bits of purple that come through.



And, just because she is so sweet, a picture of Patty approving the new scarf (mostly I think she’s impressed that I actually finished something).


Patty is impressed that I finished a project!

October 10, 2010

Started work on my Thesis Sweater I

I have decided to knit a sweater.  Most weeks, I have about 10 hours worth of seminars/class/meetings, and during those times I knit to help me pay attention.  And so, just before our department retreat a few weekends ago, I went on a wild goose chase for a pattern and yarn.

I am knitting Knitty’s Girl Friday.  Never one to go by half-measures, it is my first sweater, my first project that requires more than one skein of yarn, my first lace work, and my first time following a pattern.

It was also the first time I swatched:


I made guage!


It’s been going quite well, really, and the lace pattern isn’t nearly as scary as I thought it would be.

I’ve just started the shaping for the arm holes, so that’s slowing me down since I can’t work on it in seminars, etc., since I really need to pay attention to it.  I’m much further along than this picture shows, but I’ll post another update once the whole back is done.



The result of a two-day Genetics Retreat


The pattern looks really poufy, but it flattens out after blocking.  It is going along much faster than I first anticipated.  I am calling it my thesis sweater — I will finish it by my thesis defense.  I figure that gives me plenty of time to knit, frog, get bored, start knitting again, repeat.

I’m playing with the idea of knitting the two sleeves at once — either using the knitting two socks at once method or by simply having them side by side on the needles.  We’ll see.

And for anyone who was worried about my fiber helper, Patty has already had a few good naps on the yarn and on the sweater itself.  I think I may have mostly broken her of playing with the yarn and needles while I’m working with them — usually I give her the swatch to play with and she just curls up to sleep.



Patty's seal of approval