August 2009


Turned the oscillating fan up to medium last night and I was able to do some knitting (we’re cheap grad students and keep our apartment a bit on the warm side). I finished the brim and ready to start the chart for the Trilobite Hat from the Summer 2009 Knitty. The yarn I’m using is purple (big surprise there) and frogged from a magic squares scarf I made a couple of years ago.Magic Squares scarf I had made the scarf skinny and very long so that it was just too cumbersome to wear. Now it’s going to be a very cool hat and possibly a cowl if I have enough yarn.

I fell in love with the hat pattern when I first saw it, in part because I taught an intro to geology course this spring and had been re-introduced to trilobites in the section on relative dating. Two of my three thesis committee members regularly teach that same course and I can’t wait until they see this hat this winter. I love having a knitty project with geology. Oh and I definitely love the purple!!

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I’m having trouble getting any knitting done, mostly because my hands end up all sweaty and gross and I don’t want to touch the yarn. July wasn’t bad, but the heatwave hit just before August began. So I haven’t been doing much knitting and won’t until I feel comfortable touching yarn again. Hope it happens soon, because I need my stress-reliever.

Yes, I’m submitting myself to the torture that is the GRE in 8 weeks. Unfortunately, I’ve already taken it twice, but since that was over 5 years ago (fall of 2001, to be more precise) I must retake the GRE as part of my application for Ph.D programs.

I did fairly well on the GRE the first two times (only took it again because an advisor suggested that my verbal score should be higher), but I’m determined to really kick its butt this time. I’m using the Princeton Review’s Cracking the GRE (2007) to prep for the exam. This is especially important because they’ve removed the analysis portion (with those fun logic games) and replaced it with the writing section. Writing makes me nervous, which is one of the reasons why I’m trying to post regularly to this blog so I can get in the habit of writing. Plus there’s a strategy involved in answering the questions, which the prep book explains throughout. I created a schedule to keep me on track with my prep work for the GRE, which I’m posting here as added pressure to adhere to it.

Meanwhile, I also have to choose which grad schools I’m applying to so I can have the GRE scores sent to them and keep working on my thesis (schedule for turning in chapters here).

I’m not going to have perfunctory preparation for the GRE, which would enervate my chances of getting into the grad school of my choice. Although ETS equivocates in its vocabulary, I will avoid becoming irascible and not let the GRE stymie me from my goals. (All vocab words I need to learn in Hit Parade 1).


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Originally uploaded by bluesweatergirl

Pictured is the luggage I had with me on my way to the island of Kefalonia while I was in Greece this summer. In the picture is a large black suitcase, my overstuffed green backpack, a full canvas bag, plus my large black purse. Carrying all of that on my way to Kefalonia from Pylos (one bus, two trains, a taxi, and then the ferry) was not fun. Once I reached Poros on Kefalonia, I didn’t have a room reserved, so I wandered around lugging all of these bags until I found a room.

When I left Pylos, I had already left a few things (mostly yucky excavation shirts and my field shoes) in the hotel there. I left more items (another pair of tennis shoes and a book) in the hotel room in Athens before I left for home. It wasn’t enough. I had to pay 30 euros because my suitcase was over the weight limit. But at least I had everything down to just the suitcase, the backpack, and the large purse.

The moral of this story is that when I go to Greece next summer, I’d like my stuff to be a little more portable. Maybe a large hiking backpack and a small carry-on suitcase on wheels will do it. At least I have 9 months to figure out my packing situation.

CthulhuBag_AlmostFinishedThe fair isle portion of the dice bag is complete. Now I just have to finish the top and do an i-cord. Oh, and weave in the ends (my least favorite part of knitting). The dice bag is for my husband, who games (although not D&D). The pattern for this bag can be found here.

Not sure if I’ll finish it today because I’m going to a sale at a LYS. I have a list of projects and yarn needed for those projects including matching his and hers hats (or toques for you Canadians out there) for a couple getting married in October. This should be fun because it’s 2 of my favorite things – yarn and sales – together.

Just finished listening to the Cubs-Marlins game. The game was already 4 hours before the 10th inning. Sloppy playing, poor pitching, and injuries on both sides made for a very slow game. I was very happy the Cubs won, but wish the game had been a little easier for them.

The only good thing about having such a long game was that I knit most of the Cthulhu dice bag I’m making for my husband. This bag is my first foray into Fair Isle knitting and it will not be my last. Before I do another project like this however, I will learn how to knit continental-style (picking) so I’m not slowed down by having to put down the one color and pick up the other. Over. And over. And over again.

I should be able to finish up the dice bag tomorrow and will post pictures then.