Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Day in the Life of a Betta - Almost Three Months

Welcome back to the wonderful world of bettas!
They are almost three months old and are finally nipping and (gasp!) killing and eating each other. As a result I have placed around ten of the biggest and most aggressive in my barracks system where they will be separated from each other. I will undoubtedly have to separate more of them as the peaceful ones get bigger and feistier. Their coloration is also beginning to become more prominent (see pic). Reds, blacks, blues, and a lot of yellow are starting to show.

I have started them on a pellet diet and they have gotten smart enough to recognize me and crowd to the surface every time I walk downstairs in anticipation of food (see picture).
Hopefully the added protein of the pellets will help them continue to grow bigger and more colorful!

From here on out my goals are to help them grow quickly to spawning age, which will probably be another two or three months. I also plan on adding some live plants and driftwood in the tank to allow the smaller ones to hide from the larger ones. They will also help control algae and improve water quality.

As a sidenote, my other tank of fry is doing well, although growing slowly. Currently I have them in a 10 gallon tank with a sponge filter. I think they are from my orange pair (see pic). There are only about 20 left but they are hanging in there. If they are indeed from the orange pair I will
be very happy because the male was one of my favorites. Unfortunately he isn't alive anymore so the fry are his legacy and I will do my best to keep them alive.

I also took some of the tiny fry that were being picked on in the original spawn and moved them in with the new fry so they wouldn't be hurt. Hopefully this will encourage them to be less wimpy, eat more food, and get healthier!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Story of a Sock

Five minutes! Can I write a post that quickly?  Probably not.  But I must try.  I have a SHIT-TON of reading to do before tomorrow (as always).  So, without further ado, I present to you:

Orion's Nebula

Pattern: Skew
Yarn: Holiday Yarns FlockSock in Orion's Nebula (Stellar Sock Club)
Needles: US 1
Project Page

Socks 3 & 2

Sock 1
My notes on these socks (see Project Page) would qualify as an epic tale if I had written them in verse.  It is a tale of sock yarn that didn't know what it wanted to be.  It began as Hedera, then was reborn as Skew, but too small.  It was reborn a third time as a poorly-pooling Skew and a fourth (from the Too-Small-Skew and the Poorly-Pooling-Skew stranded alternately) into a pretty much perfect Skew.  Sock number five (the first and only right sock), was the best of all Skew socks and now I have a splendid pair!  Hurrah!

I'm not a sock person.  Perhaps now you can see why.  I did make one sock for the boy in between hours of frantic comps-studying.  It's not quite right, but I think it will only take one more sock to get it that way (or just lengthening the cuff and making the right sock better, I haven't decided which yet).  Aside from not being a sock person, I foresee a lot of socks in my future.  I have more yummy Stellar Sock yarn (I haven't shared it yet!  I'll get on that!) and John insists that I will be making him many more socks.

Socks 5 & 4
Sock 5
Now I really must do my homework.  John has fishy pictures (they are growing up so fast and purdy!).  Once his thesis is thoroughly out of the way, he'll share them with you.

I hope your lives are not quite as hectic as ours!

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Seriously.  It's humid!  But also metaphorically.  :)  I've been digesting giant amounts of Classical knowledge this week for my comprehensive exams.  I set a goal for myself to read at least 5 chapters of Conte's history of Latin literature a day this week so I can get through it all in a little over a week (I've read most of it before, so seemed pretty attainable).  I lost a day to an uncharacteristic migraine yesterday and just can't make myself read anymore.  It's terrible.  So I've escaped here.

I finished a hat I was test knitting and the Skew socks I posted sometime last week.  I'm very excited. :)  They need to be finished, then I will post pictures.  I started a pair of socks for John today.  They are turning out beautifully!  I can't wait to see them on his feet!  I'm dying to start something big like a sweater or a shawl, but I have to wait just one more week.  One.  More.  Week.  I should have those socks done by then!

And there's something else holding me back too.

When I decided to start this blog, I knew I wanted that Works in Progress bar thingy over there. --->  It just looks so cool!  I see now that it is causing me stress.  I have had to go make some of those projects hibernate because it's a pretty long list and a lot of those projects just will never be whole projects.  Realistically, I need to just FINISH them.  And I think I will.  I'll be moving in July and I don't really want to move a bunch of unfinished projects.  They will live in a box in the closet for the rest of my life.  I bought more yarn for Rudens not too long ago and it just needs a few more rows (oh boy).  Clover would go quickly if I'd just sit down and work on it.  It serves no purpose now since I bought a dress for my best friend's wedding instead of finishing this one.  We'll see. There may still be time.  Like I told her, two dresses are better than none. :)

Well, the buns are staring at me because they have been neglected and they would like a clean litter box, so I must go be productive.  I'll leave you with a picture of Spike and his tasty birthday carrot.  He turned 6 on March 17th (I keep forgetting to show you guys).  Sweetpea ate all of hers and what was left of his.  I swear she's a garbage disposal.

I hope your weekend is more relaxing than ours has been!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Every Time is Knitting Time

Aww....It's the last day of Knitting and Crocheting Blog Week. :(  Now we can only look expectantly forward to next year and fondly reread all of our new friends' blogs!  I'm really excited I've made some new blog friends this week!  So nice to meet you all!  Thanks for all the comments!  That we have any followers at all is kind of a big shock.  John and I had pretty much resolved ourselves to keeping this blog as a record for ourselves.  It's much better to share with you guys though!

My knitting time...and space too?  Sure, I can tell you all about that.  I knit whenever.  Morning, night, between classes, during lectures, when I'm supposed to be doing homework, watching tv, alone, with a knitting group, with the boyfriend....I knit on the bus, in the office, on the couch at home, in bed, in the library, while we are watching a movie in the class I teach...anywhere.  I'm a knitaholic.

I would say, more often than not, I knit on my couch in front of the tv when I'm supposed to be doing my homework.  Sometimes I start doing my homework and think, "I'll reward myself with a few rows of knitting."  But then the few rows turns into, "I need to get from the ribbing to the waist-shaping."  Which then becomes, "Have to get to the arm-holes."  And before I know it, I have a new sweater, but haven't glanced at 300 lines of Greek and Latin.  Oops.

I've considered skipping sleep just so I can knit too.  Haven't done it.  God forbid that day ever come!

What about you?  Are you more disciplined with your knitting time than I am?

Again, thanks so much for reading my nonsense this week!  I've loved reading everyone else's posts!  Come on back now, ya hear? ;)

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Thank you so, so much for all the kind comments yesterday!  I am a very lucky girl to have such cute bunnies and such a wonderful boy.  And such wonderful readers too! :)

Today I have to talk about something I aspire to do.  Earlier in the week, I mentioned that I've done all my aspiring, but that's not entirely true.  I've had a pattern or two floating around in my head since I impulse-bought some Berroco Vintage earlier this year and made my cousin's striped cardi (it needs buttons still, but I'll get it posted soon).  I basically decided that I have too many cardis, would like a new striped sweater, and have this lovely greenish-blue and purple yarn that would rather not be mixed after all, like I initially thought they might like to be.  I don't know if I really aspire to write and sell patterns (as if I don't have enough to do already!), but I would like to just sit and knit and see what happens without a pattern more often this year.  I feel like I've finally got a good grasp of how sweaters and things are constructed, so I should be able to just wing it.  Especially now that I've finally gotten the whole gauge thing officially figured out. :)

Another thing I've very recently been thinking about (since a particular comment popped up this week--Thanks, Anon!), is dying yarn with something more complicated than Kool-Aid.  We are limited by space and time from dying large quantities of betta-inspired yarn to sell, but I might just play around this summer and see if we could.  Then John and I's interests really would overlap in a fun activity we could do together!  Woohoo! :)  We'll see what happens.

It occurs to me that I haven't yet mentioned what I do.  It's only now important because I'm going to complain about it a little, haha.  Not that much.  I like it.

I'm a Classics (that's Latin and Ancient Greek and all related studies) Ph.D. student and a Rhetoric teaching assistant.  I took one of my two comps (for this year, anyway.  Three more to go!) this morning.  It was a Greek sight exam, which means I didn't get to use a dictionary, I just had to read it and translate it.  I rocked the prose section (I knew I would), but a few things worked against me in the poetry section.  My plan had always been to skip Homer and Hesiod because I've never read enough of either to get the dialect down.  I was right to expect some tragedy, which went as well as I had expected (though I can't remember the passage at all!).  Unfortunately, I had to pick three of four passages to translate and two of them were Homer and Hesiod.  The fourth was a lyric poet, which I could have done, but every other word was some food, dish, drink, dance, or something that I didn't recognize the vocabulary for.  So I had to do Homer and Hesiod.  :(  Hesiod actually went pretty well.  Homer may have sunk me, though.  Keep your fingers crossed.  Now I have to read up on my Roman literature and history and my Greek literature and history for the exam in two weeks (while I teach, do homework for my classes, and research and write a paper)!  May can not come soon enough!

I really want to start a sweater.  I miss not working on one.  But I'll have to stick to little projects for a while.  I'll reward myself handsomely in Seattle. :)

Sorry for the loads of text!  Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Something Different

I'm too tapped out to think of anything clever and creative to do today, so let me tell you a little story.  I get a lot of messages on Ravelry about this story.  It's how I came to be a knitter.

My grandma swears she taught me how to knit a long time ago so that I could finish an afghan she or my great-grandma had begun.  I have absolutely no recollection of this.  I think she taught me to crochet, though, which once got me a very odd-fitting hat.

I really began knitting in 2007.  I was a HUGE Grey's Anatomy fan (I still watch it every week, but not with the anxious reverence I once did, sadly).  I remember watching Meredith take up knitting in place of men and I thought, "She's on to something there...."  So I did the same.  I knit and knit and knit and there were boys who slowed me down, but after the boys, there was more and more knitting.  Knitting kept me sane and focused and driven. Sure, I couldn't keep a guy around, but damned if that sweater was going anywhere. :)  When I moved here for grad school, I took up with a couple of knitting groups at the local yarn shop.  The Thursday night group has changed and continues to change all the time, but there are a few constant faces I like to see.  My Friday night group, however, has been more or less the same group of tight-knit (pardon the pun) girls for...ever!  When another boy came and went, all I had was my knitting and that group.  Though most of them have no idea, they did more for me than the knitting did.  I did have to supplement them with a rabbit, but that's just because I couldn't take them home with me. :)

This boy once told me that I'd never be happy with just knitting and a bunny.  He was wrong.  The knitting and the bunny made me extremely happy.  He was the one spoiling the fun.  I never would have met people if I weren't a knitter.  I would have been here all alone, not knowing anyone outside my department and I probably would have given in to my temptation to go home to my family.  I never would have adopted Spike (and then Sweetpea!).  I never would have been here to meet the only boy who matters.  But that's a different story for a different day. :)

In short, I always thought I would just have to knitknitknit until the right boy came along and made me forget about knitting all together.  Turns out, I just had to knitknitknit to find the one who encourages me to keep doing it, because knitting and bunnies and especially the boy who loves them (and me!) too make me the most happy.