February 2010


Hello. It’s another Monday and time to assess how I did with last week’s goals and lay out my goals for the upcoming week.

Goals from last week:

  • Write Medieval section of Chapter 2 – I wrote this section, but upon finishing it up on Friday, decided to reorganize Chapter 2. This means that the sections I’ve been writing for the last month are going to be streamlined into one section, instead of making up half of the chapter.
  • Notes for Modern section – not completed; see note above.
  • Collect information about IKAP focus for each historical section – I have the data for the Ottoman Period (1716) and possibly Venetian (c. 1700), but need to acquire data for Late Bronze Age (Linear B?) and modern periods. The modern data may necessitate research in Athens this summer to look at the agricultural census.
  • GIS – did determine what I need to finish for erosion modeling and the list is frighteningly long.
  • Greek language – finally completed.
  • Exercise 3 times – Biked at the gym two times. Did not work out with weights.
  • File 2009 taxes – completed and accepted by the various institutions.
  • Knitting Olympics/Ravelympics – completed shawl and blocking!!!

Here’s a picture of my completed shawl as it was laid out for blocking.

And now on to this week’s goals:

  • Write climate and vegetation sections of Chapter 2 – I have most of the notes I need for these two sections (working on climate notes today) and should be able to get them written this week.
  • Research settlement and land use in study area – going to focus on Bronze Age data, although will work on other time periods as I have time.
  • GIS
  1. re-digitize villages – need to outline villages more closely
  2. work on land cover classification – must work on getting this done if I’m going to get to erosion modeling
  3. derive slope and aspect – simple operations using the DEM; should be summarized by square and sector
  • Exercise 3 times this week – more biking
  • Knit 5 repeats of fishnet lace and garter sections – 75 rows total (15 rows per section x 5 sections); this is a scarf knit with laceweight yarn, which is new for me. The laceweight yarn is proving to be a challenge so far, but I think I’m getting the hang of it.
  • Greek: review colors and listen to HAU Modern Greek lesson 1. Introduction – adding a new source of Greek lessons.

Another week with a variety of goals, hopefully achievable before next Monday.

I’m making very good progress on my Olympic project – a Traveling Woman shawl. I’m through 2.5 repeats of Chart A and just need to finish this repeat of Chart A, then knit Chart B before binding off.

Here’s what the shawl looks like at the moment.

And here’s a close-up of the lace section (2.5 times through Chart A).

The lace pattern through Chart A is fairly simple and has been going by very quickly. The pattern is free and I highly recommend it for a first shawl pattern.

Because I’m working my way through this shawl much faster than I originally thought I would, I’m going to do a second project for the Knitting Olympics/Ravelympics. I have a beautiful skein of yarn I bought in Athens as a birthday present for myself last summer.This yarn was originally going to become a Wisp, but that didn’t go well. Now I think this is going to become a cowl using a feather and fan pattern following this project.

That’s my progress on my Olympics knitting, about half-way through the Winter Games.

Another week, another list of goals for this week. First, let’s look at how last week’s goals went.

  • Write ancient section of chapter 2 – completed on Thursday
  • GIS: check roads and maquis layers I digitized last month and create drainage basins – completed
  • Go running 3 times – completed, although I decided to try using a bike at the gym and not run to keep me motivated
  • Create weight training plan and lift 3 times – did not complete, so still need to start on this
  • Knit 4 blocks on Bousta scarf – finished with no problem
  • File 2009 taxes – still needs to be completed
  • Learn July 09 (Groceries) and Feb 08 (Fruits and vegetables) Greek vocab words – not completed; the first week I haven’t hit my Greek language goal
  • Laundry – completed!!
  • Write for at least 10 minutes every day – I wrote blog posts to help fill in, but still did not write on Sunday.

Goals for this week, February 15-21

  • Write Medieval section of Chapter 2 – I have half the notes taken, and would like to have this written by Thursday at the latest
  • Notes for Modern section – at least a start on the notes
  • Collect information about IKAP focus for each historical section – I need to add a paragraph to each of the sections I’ve been working on focusing on what was happening in the IKAP survey area. This will be added in when I do the first edit in a couple of weeks
  • GIS – work on slope, aspect, etc. and determine what I still need to get for erosion modeling
  • Greek language – learn July09 (Groceries) and Feb08 (Fruits and vegetables) vocabulary words. Repeat from last week.
  • Exercise 3 times – Biking at gym plus work with weights
  • File 2009 taxes – has been postponed for last 2 weeks and needs to be completed finally
  • Knitting Olympics/Ravelympics – complete 2nd time through Lace Chart A

Those are my goals for the week. I did a pretty good job of completing last week’s goals, so hopefully this week will go as well.

Cast on for my Ravelympics/Knitting Olympics project during the Opening Ceremony last night. Here’s my progress during the first two hours of the opening ceremony.

I’m knitting the Traveling Woman shawl in this lovely purple sock yarn. I wasn’t thrilled about the patches of bright pink at first, but as I knit more and the pink becomes part of the overall pattern, I’ve made peace with it. The pattern is simple so far (still in set-up rows), but might get more challenging with the lace charts.

Before the opening ceremony, I finished plying my handspun skein of yarn.

The yarn was originally all going to be the colored yarn with the white, but I ran out of the white, which I had spun first and was thicker in places. Luckily I had wound the colored yarn into a center-pull ball. I simply pulled out the other end from the center and used that in the place of the white. I washed the skein and hung it up overnight to dry.

Here’s the finished skein.

It’s not a masterpiece of handspun yarn, but it is mine and usable. And it’s much better than the first skein.

From my experience spinning this yarn, I’ve learned how to make a fairly thin single, even though I still have to park and draft. And I’ve learning that spinning is addictive and it’s a good thing I don’t have any more fiber in the house, since I have an Olympic shawl to knit in the next two weeks.

I’ve been spinning up my first real skein of yarn this last week (the first skein of single-ply is a brown mess, but what can you expect from the very first try?). I finished spinning the singles last night and began plying them together today.

Here are the finished singles.

As you can see, I wound up each single into a ball from the spindle. Now I’m using my spindle to ply the two singles together.

The finished effect looks like a multi-colored candy cane, but I think it’s pretty. Here’s a close-up of the plied yarn.

Now I just need a cool name for this yarn. At least something better than “Second Skein of Handspun,” so if you have any ideas for names, please leave them in the comments.

I really don’t have extra time right now, but I signed up for the Knitting Olympics sponsored by the Yarn Harlot. The premise is simple – decide on a project to be completed while the Olympic flame is lit (from Opening to Closing Ceremonies) that is challenging for your skill level.

My Knitting Olympics project is the Traveling Woman shawl – my first lacy triangular shawl project. I will be using this beautiful purple sock yarn I bought last week for the shawl.

I’ll cast on tomorrow night during the Opening Ceremonies and devote my knitting and spinning time to this project alone. I’m going to try to finish the spinning for my first (decent) handspun yarn today and double-ply it tomorrow. I’ll try to post pics of my progress tomorrow.

In the meantime, I have a thesis and book chapter to write and a conference paper to prepare. Just as long as they don’t cut into my knitting time. Or something like that.

I submitted an abstract for the big Geography conference (AAG) for my thesis research back in the fall. I knew it would be accepted (think they accept close to 100% of papers) and have a plan for practicing my presentation a few weeks early at the annual Spring Symposium the graduate school sponsors (very low-pressure environment). Then I checked the schedule for my paper…

And what’s freaking me out is that I’m the chair for the session!! How do they decide these things? Do they know that I’m a masters student and not even a PhD. student? Am I the chair because they scheduled my paper last?

What I need is someone to talk me down. So if you’re reading this, please give me some info about chairing a session or some general encouragement by commenting on this post. You don’t want me to have a total mental breakdown and stop posting about my knitting, now do you?

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