Boyfriend – Quick FO Post

The FO itself wasn’t particularly quick, taking me a month and a half to complete. I haven’t even blocked it yet, hence the slightly too tight, slight too short nature of it as is. It’s supposed to be an easy going sweater, like you’d borrow from your boyfriend (hence the name).

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The details:

Pattern: boyfriend by  Lori Versaci

Yarn: Berroco Vintage DK in Pumpkin, purchased last Black Friday at fibre space’s annual sale

Yardage: Not quite sure, I’d guess 4.5 skeins so just under 1300 yards

Mods: Made it slightly shorter both in overall length and the length of the arms due to my, well, short nature

Comments on pattern: I liked this pattern but must admit that the twin rib drove me nuts. It’s one of the designer’s signature fabrics but I don’t think I’d sign up to lots more of it again. I liked that this was seamed – allowed me to practice my seaming and didn’t require me to fiddle with working on the round.

(Thanks to Matt for taking a quick iPhone photo. I sort of ambushed him in his office and made him take it. Try to ignore the green bag by my foot, wrinkled pants, and flipped up shirt hem.)

“You Should Learn Colorwork”

One of the very few instructions Matt has ever given to me regarding my knitting has been that I should learn colowork. He’s said this about once a year, anytime I complain that knitting is boring or that I’m tried of knitting lace or point out the beauty of a colorwork sweater on the Gap website. Maybe it’s about time I listen to him.

I have actually tried colorwork before, multiple times. My one success was ten little lines of stranded colorwork on a baby dress – nothing to write home about. I’ve tried knitting the Endpaper Mitts a good dozen times but have failed in color combinations or not getting gauge (boh too loose and too tight) each time. I think the pattern may actually be cursed for me, destined never to be knit. I’ve also tried a couple other patterns, often getting too aggravated at the slow pace of progress, pulling the project out after a week of work that resulted in less than an inch of progress. But, hey, I can now use both of my hands and I’ve got significantly more free time and, you know what, I’m allowed to buy other sized needles if I can’t get gauge on a 1, 1 1/2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 10 (the only needle sizes I own, mostly size 7’s).

So, I’m determined to try again. Should I stick to something small like fingerless mitts or a hat or go nuts and make a whole sweater? Whatever I choose, I’ll have to go on a shopping trip first as I have exactly three skeins of cobweb, one of fingering, one of sport, 12 of DK (6 each of two colors not different enough from one another for colorwork), some random worsted/aran in colors that don’t go together, and 3 bulky.

What do you guys think I should make? Here’s 16 ideas I came across on Ravelry. Links below.

From top left, proceeding across the row then starting the next:

1. Shelbu Modern    2. From Norway with Love     3. Peerie Flooers    4. Whale Watch Hat     5. Latvian Garden Baby Blanket     6.  Undergrowth     7. Plum Forest    8. Freyja Sweater    9. Platte River    10. Liberty    11. Ukranian Tiles    12. Ida’s Kitchen    13. Tapestry Cowl    14. Inga Hat    15. Winter Solstice    16. Staghorn Hat

FIRST 2012

Alternate title: I’ve almost been doing this longer than the students have been alive.

It’s January which means another FIRST Robotics season is upon us. This means six weeks of having nearly every thought consumed by robots and ten hours a week at the high school. This year, I’m finally not a student myself so I’ve got far more time to devote (and am actually available to answer questions).

First off, this year’s game. It’s basically a modified version of basketball. A three minute animation explaining it can be found here.

Again this year, we’re working with Thomas Jefferson, a magnet school for science and technology. The students are very smart, very driven, and basically just need our help to keep them from building something far too complicated and to re-explain how PID controllers work.

So far, they’ve got a priliminary design complete and have welded most of the chassis. Pretty good progress, seeing as we’re now about halfway through the six week build season.

And, now, photo overload.

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Prototype Discussion
 
Welded Chassis
 
Broken Prototype

More shooter testing

Udvar-Hazy

It’s been forever since I blogged or scrapbooked or knit or sewed, even. Okay, not forever. Like 10 days. Still, it seems like an eternity since I actually did anything at all creative. Last week was filled with long days at work. Thursday, my brother, Rob, got into town (though he was local for work earlier in the week). Saturday, my parents arrived. Yesterday was Christmas and all the craziness that comes with presents and stockings and massive quantities of sugar and food plus not being able to, you know, actually go anywhere all day. Today – today we were happy to get out of the house and do something.

So, after more than three years of begging Matt, we finally went. For once, it wasn’t too warm or too cold and wasn’t even crowded, despite being the day after a holiday that most people have off from work. It was everything I wanted: a giant hanger filled with dozens and dozens of airplanes plus missiles, satellites, hot air balloon baskets, and related objects.

I didn’t take notes so I can’t detail what’s in each photo so, yeah, what follows is lots and lots of pictures.

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Dulls Annex 019

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Dulles Annex 001

Complete!

No, this isn’t the sweater FO post I promised but another completed project. I finally finished up the quilt top I started in early August. I work on it on and off before we moved then put it away for a solid month before bringing it out again for a few days before we went to Europe. Then, today, I cut out the last five blocks and finished sewing it all up. I’m not sure what I’m going to do for the back but I’ve got 3/4 of a yard of each of the patterned fabrics and a 1/4 yard of the solid. Probably something simple. Here it is, in all of its slightly wonky glory (in a rather blurry photo, oops).

Finished Quilt Top!

Made using the tutorial from here.

Florence and Milan

After Venice, we traveled to Florence and Milan where I took exactly 3 photos. Three photos of the artists painting in the courtyard behind the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. And two are blurry beyond recognition. Here it is: my photo evidence of this part of the trip. You’ll be stuck with just my rambling to fill in the rest.

Painter

See, we’d been to Florence before. Last time, I wanted to move there – now downgraded to spending our next Italian trip with Florence as our homebase. I’d already seen the Duomo and other churches, toured the Uffizi and Academia, and spent hours on the banks of the Arno, trying to get that perfect. This time: eh. I just wanted to go shopping and relax (and Matt wanted only to eat well and revisit the Uffizi for the third time).

We did, indeed, shop and eat well. We returned to Mario’s for excellent steak (a whole kilo of it, split between us – and this was after a first course of veggie soup and shrimp pasta). We split 3 sandwiches from the excellent sandwich shop. We picked up a hand-painted ceremic bowl from the same shop we got the coordinating plate last time. I hemed and hawed over buying a leather bag and decided, instead, that I’d probably never use it, anyway.

We also just did a whole lot of sitting and relaxing, rather tired of being tourists.

In Milan, we visited the overpriced but beautiful shopping mall and the cathedral, saw the Last Supper (much bigger than you’d think – it takes up a whole wall), and did more I’m-burned-out-from-traveling sitting and relaxing, this time mostly at our hotel. I didn’t even consider taking photos there, I was so tired of being on the go (and, well, there wasn’t a ton which I wish I’d catpured).

So, yeah, that’s the last part of our visit to Europe. I’m glad to be back home, to my own life though I look forward to our next European trip – a week in Spain with my parents during their Spring Break in 2013.

Venice

Despite the fact we were only there for thee nights, I took more photos in Venice than anywhere else besdies the Sagara Familia in Barcelona which was, by far, my favorite place we visited.

Before I looked through my photos, I had the following opinion of Venice: little bit cool with the canals and boats-for-everything-including-garbage-and-UPS and excellent seafood but, eh, too touristy for me. I have no reason to ever go back; it’s expensive, crowded, and seems too much like a run-down Disney World.

After my photos: Oooh! It was so calm and peaceful and beautiful in its own way. Sure, the tourists were annoying but they were easy to get away from. When can we go back?

I think you’ll see why.

St. Mark's Cathedral

St. Mark's

Under the bridge

Canal View

One of Many

Expensive Villas

Colorful

A Quiet Moment

Waiting

In the Doge's Palace

Pigeon Feeding..or Trying to eat Lunch?

Doge's Palace, Morning