Friday, September 24

Inching Toward Completion

I have been making some progress, though I haven't really completed anything. I have just decided that the Diagonal Progression sweater is finished since I have been wearing it everywhere. It remains lumpily unblocked and an inside view shows lots of ends, but any ends visible from the outside are woven in. You know, I have known about spit-splicing for a long time, but it never worked well for me until I read a description of it recently that said you should rub your hands together UNTIL THEY FEEL HOT. (For those who don't know what I'm talking about, spit-splicing is when you spit (yes spit) into your hand, fray two ends of yarn, put the ends together in the little drop of spit, and the RUB the yarn together in between your hands, until they feel hot. It essentially felts two pieces of yarn together and creates an invisible join. Of course it only works with fibers that will felt!) Now that I know how much and how long to felt the yarn together, spit-splicing is working great for me and I hope to have very little end-weaving in my future. But clearly I had not learned this lesson when I made the diagonal sweater. Oy, a lot of ends!

Klara is coming along, but I have to admit that my mind is straying. I have moments when I sit there and think to myself "I want to make THIS!.....And THIS!....And what about THAT project I've been thinking about for months!" I could blame it on spending so much time with 2.5-year-olds, but honestly I've always been like this. It's not that I'm bored with what I'm doing, it's just there's so much excitement out there--I don't want to miss a thing. Sounds a lot like my career search, huh? I just don't want to look back and wonder what the heck I did with my life someday. At least I'll have some cool sweaters to show for it.

So I finished knitting the fuzzy feet last night and secured most of the ends. Thanks to Sara for pointing out that since I'm felting these I don't need to weave the ends! I did just secure them so that the stitches didn't grow, etc., but I didn't even bother trying to find a tapestry needle, just did it with my fingers, so that was easy. I just need to kitchener, secure a few more ends, and it's off to the soap suds!

I think this pair, my trial run, if they come out well, will go to my SIL. She was just diagnosed with breast cancer and had a lumpectomy on Tuesday. The surgery went well and they got it all, so her prognosis is excellent. It's tough, though, as this makes every woman in DP's family except for DP and one of her cousins, who had a benign lump last year. Oddly, they don't have the gene for BC, at least not the one that they know about. The good side of this is that every single one of them has survived, some for more than 20 years, and even with the relatively crude treatments they had back in the 70's and early 80's. SIL is doing great--she's a real bright-side kind of person (not that I know anything about that, LOL), and she's obviously going to kick this cancer thing into submission. Or remission. Probably both. All that Tae Kwon Do should come in handy. But a nice pair of felted slippers might help keep her feet warm while she's kicking.

Also on Tuesday, we put Sheba down. I can't quite bring myself to post a picture of her in her prime yet, but I will do it soon. She was such a wonderful dog. She had a ton of personality, and she was a faithful protector and official boss of the animal contingent for 10 years in our family. And just gorgeous, with long light-brown fur with a dark-brown brindle. She knew how beautiful she was and always enjoyed being admired. I used to work downtown and she would come to work with me. I would walk down the street with her, and people I'd never seen before would say "Hi Sheba!" She'd wag her tail at them and prance along. There was a certain pizza place with outside tables that someone once fed her at when we were walking by. For about a year after that, she always thought the people at that table would (or should) give her food. She was my girl, and I miss her.

But you know, her death was actually kind of lovely. Before the vet arrived, we gave her all her favorite snacks, including most of a lamb chop left over from the last night's dinner. When the vet arrived, we petted her, and sang to her while they prepared the injection and did it. She never seemed afraid or anxious, and didn't even seem to feel the needle. She died with her head in my lap, while Rhys and I sang one of "her" songs (we made up lots of silly songs for her over the years). A pretty nice way to go.

Scout seems to be doing okay, and the carpet is being cleaned today. I miss her, but it was time, and she hasn't been her old self for a long time now. I realize that I've already grieved the young, perky, fun Sheba, and now it's saying goodbye to the old Sheba who was not doing well. That feels a bit easier, though it's still hard.

Anyway, that's it from here. Still insanely busy at work, and going to scenic Milwaukee next week for a one-night business trip (focus group). I did NOT make my deadline this week, but was offered an extension that I couldn't pass up, so I took it. Now I have two more weeks to be Much Too Busy. Ah well.


Anonymous said...

Oh skip the flipping GRE prep course, I seriously doubt it's a highly weighted part of the application process. It depends on what kind of program and field you want to get admitted to, but face it - GPA and your personal statement are where it's at. And whether your interests "fit" a match with current faculty in the program.

Speaking as one who has regularly gone over admission files and done the "yes" "no" "maybe" decision.

And sheepers creepers you're done with Klara's sleeves already? I've barely commited to a color number.

Are you still interested in going to Rhineback? I'm still waffling, only b/c the following week I'm due to be in DC Mon-Tues, and CT Wed-Fri. Yippee.

I think I post here more in your comments than I do my own blog entries :D

-- Sara

Cate said...

LOL. You're totally right. As you know, the research I'm doing now is totally about SAT, and for some odd reason, even though the research is really critical of these tests, I feel like the stakes are higher for me to get a good score. Like otherwise, it's personal, you know? Right now, I don't really have a stake. Plus, I always do terribly on the math sections, even though I do stats (at least partially) for a living. Something about algebra doesn't work for me, LOL, unless I know what I'm trying to find out, if that makes sense. I can't do math in the abstract--I need to be able to look at the numbers and understand what they mean in order to understand what I'm doing. When I've got that information, I'm really good, but give me an equation full of x's and y's that don't mean anything and I'm totally lost. And that's how those tests are structured.

ANYWAY, turns out it's all a moot point. GRE scores are NOT required! Hooray and hoorah! They recommend them, but given my background, work history, topic of study, two degrees from the same institution, and great GPA there, I have no real concern that I won't get in. There are two faculty members in the program that I had a little yucky situation with at the beginning of this project (we agreed to work with another faculty member to get a grad assistant, that faculty member left, referred us to these guys, they suddenly decided that instead of funding a grad student their center should do it, then they got all huffy that we just wanted them to do data collection and some basic analysis, but we didn't want to sign the whole grant over to them, including the bit reserved for a faculty member here, sigh), but they're not directly in the program I'm applying for. I have lots of contacts there. My colleague on the grant was talking about coauthoring papers, and I was saying "yeah, those will help me get into grad school" at which he started laughing hysterically. More like help me get tenure. This is me being stupid. Won't put link to blog on application. Must remember. LMBO.

But not having to take the GRE is a big relief. I do quite well on the non-math sections (I took it my senior year in college--those scores are way expired--and took the GMAT for my MBA so I have BTDT), it's just a really pathetic waste of a Saturday!

Speaking of NON-wasted Saturdays--YES! Let's go to Rhinebeck. I've been trying to decide, but let's do it. Maybe we can get a free hotel room with Rhys' frequent guest miles. What do you think? Like I need more fiber, LOL.