Thursday, February 15, 2007

She's alive!

Perhaps I should rename the blog, e-beth MIA.

You know how it goes. Lots going on. Deadlines. The need for sleep. Snowstorms. General mayhem.

Yesterday, I gave a talk about my research to people in my program (students and faculty). There's always something a little scary about this. While it's fun to share your research, at the end of the talk, people ask you questions and point out flaws in your thinking. Put another way, it's like showing someone the fair isle sweater you knit knowing that they're going to want to look at the stranding on the inside. And the seams. And, they're going to want to know what the pattern was, who the designer was, what weight, brand, color and fiber your yarn was, when did you do the steeks and how long did it take you and if you didn't do steeks, they're going to want to know why.

So, I spent all day Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday working on this 20 minute talk. On Monday, I had a practice talk for my lab and got constructive critcism (it really is constructive, even if they do hate your slides and think that you aren't explaining things well enough). Then, I had to redo my talk. And practice, practice, practice. I looked over old data and papers from before my time and talked with my advisor about my data and freaked out about the questions people were going to ask, and got down on my knees and prayed that a certain annoying, rude faculty member would not be there (she wasn't-yay!). God help me when I get to my thesis defense.

I would love to share my presentation with all of you, but I haven't figured out how to add a file to the blog. I think I might not be able to because I have the free version of Blogger.

Needless to say, the knitting, it has been languishing. However, I did get two books:

Mason-Dixon Knitting
Victorian Lace Today

These are two very different books (I can't read one right after the other because it gives my brain whiplash), but I love them both. Mason-Dixon Knitting is a tower of practicality. I cast on for the baby kimono (for my husband's cousin's baby which should be arriving any day now), and the ball-band washcloth, and I desperately want to make the linen hand towels, and a log-cabin afghan, and I bought some cotton yarn for the baby bibs and burp cloths (for a different family member which is a matter for a different post--Imbrium, remember who I was saying I should make something for and I kept browsing books and looking at yarn and in the end I just couldn't bring myself to commit to anything? That's who they're for). Oh, and the spiral rug, I want to make one of those, too. And the nightgown and robe. And I love the technical hints they have with the patterns. It's like borrowing a pattern from a friend and having them tell you how to do the hard bits.

Reading Victorian Lace Today is a completely different experience. If Mason-Dixon Knitting is like meeting a friend at a coffee shop, Victorian Lace Today is like going for high tea at the Ritz. The photography is stunning and gives the book a "coffee table" quality. History is my second favorite subject (science is first, of course), so I am thrilled to read the introductions to each of the chapters and the historical notes with the patterns. Being new to lace knitting, I appreciate the notes with the patterns and I am looking forward to the day when I feel brave enough to design my own pattern and can use the information in the back of the book. I long to own just about every shawl and scarf in the book and even if I never, ever buy another lace book, this one will keep me busy for years and years to come. I can't wait to start something from the book. My brother is getting married this summer, so I have the perfect excuse to knit something delicate and beautiful from this book.

1 comment:

  1. It's like that in my office too. Everyone's looking to poke everyone's eyes out.