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The week started out pretty well and then went from the high that was the weekend to an absolute low the last few days. I just felt like everything I tried to do didn’t turn out well and a complete sense of confusion about life. Had a few very long days of walking out to the estuary to watch birds that either didn’t deem to show up or flew away a half hour into our sample and we had to give up. This is also mind you after a five mile walk in the cold with blisters. We did manage to hitch a lift from Outhead with some very nice old ladies who I think enjoyed the novelty of talking to some new people. Crap data, but that’s science for you. I will not be doing focal samples of birds for my final project, not unless I can work with someone who has a car.

In terms of crappiness of the week, archery really hit a low, I think it’s a combination of being tired and having tons of stress and archery which is supposed to be my stress relief just added to the stress this week and just makes me hate having to do it. I’m going to Dundee to shoot tomorrow and I’m going to make it as best I can but I am going to take a little break form it next week and not go to sessions. One because I need to do some much needed work on my dissertation now that I have all the data but also because I just need a break, mainly from the responsibility. I also managed to turn up almost an hour late to a lecture yesterday because for some reason I thought it was at noon and it was only half way there (of a 2 mile walk) that I realized the class was at 11. I almost never do things like that and it makes me feel very out of control of life. I’m probably going to do some therapy sessions over skype as it really helped last time and I really do need to make some changes with how I deal with and go about periods like this.

On an up side, I do feel better today. I had a relatively good day. It was sunny this morning when I went to class and then it snowed this afternoon. Good proper snow as well. It’s been quite cold over the last few days so the ground was cold enough for it to stick. It’s quite pretty right now though a lot of it has frozen into ice. Snow just makes me smile and I had fun trying to catch snowflakes with my tongue. I also went dancing tonight for the first time since before the break. It was really great to get back into it. I really enjoy the classes and also the people. I will definitely make an effort to make it to the advanced class on Sunday.

Well that’s it for me tonight, I need to get a good night’s sleep before tomorrow.

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So BUTC was amazing. I shot decently in the qualification round though I did have a miss due to my hand slipping at one point which was unfortunate. We were seeded 28th out of 32 meaning we weren’t last which was a team goal. We were matched against the 5th place team, Oxford for the first knock out. We were going to give it our all but really we didn’t have huge expectations of making it out of this round. Right out of the first round we were tied out of the first end 3 to 3. By the next end we were beating them 5 to 4 and people started to notice. There is something very odd and not to mention exhilarating about having your performance commentated on. At the end of the normal four ends we were tied 7-7 and it had to come down to a tie breaker. With everyone watching and our fellow Scottish unis cheering us on we managed to beat them by one hit. It was the most amazing and thrilling experience I’ve had in a while. Suffice to say we got knocked out by Imperial in the next round but we had a great BUTC and people might see St Andrews in a slightly different light in the future.

I started to watch the olympics yesterday, and indeed started to knit for the olympics as well. The opening ceremony was in my mind beautiful, simple and enchanting is how I felt about it. I really love the olympics, I always have. I grew up in a family where watching the games was a special occasion, that for as long as they were on, your life almost revolved around them, watching everything, cheering on the athletes in almost any sport from luge to curling. It sort of surprises me when I talk to people here and they hardly even know that they are going on. I’ll keep you posted about future exploits.

In terms of ravlympics, I’m well on track. I finished the BlueCap for WIP Dancing yesterday and I also started and completed the Thorpe for the Hat Halfpipe. I’ll cast on Gretel today which will compete for a number of events including the Hat Halfpipe, cable XC and the Single skein speed skate. I had originally only planned of 4 projects for the games but having already completed two of them I will try for two more, Calorimetry and the lovely Vancouver mittens.

So I’m off to Nottingham tomorrow. I have spent the evening knitting; two repeats in the Swallowtail. I suppose that I could have started reading for my two essays and looking at the data for my dissertation but I feel sort of like because I can’t do any this weekend I don’t want to start so that I can start fresh when I get back.

Anyhow, yes I will start work next week, is that procrastination if you’ve never heard it before. On a slightly better note, I did book a b and b for my trip to Bangor. I will have spend two nights as it’s so bloody out of the way that I won’t be able to get a train back up that evening.

Verona Skies

Pattern: Juliet Scarf by Lousia Harding

Yarn: Adriafil Carezza in Light Blue (82) approx. 50 g

Needles: 5 mm / US 8

I’d bought this angora blend yarn back in May on a whim and could not really think of what to use it in. Despite my dislike for knitting scarves I have to say that I enjoyed this one. I also used it as slight practice for the lace shawls I am planning on knitting after the ravelympics. The lace pattern is well written and easy to follow and sticks in your head after a while. I think the most important thing though is that it knits up very quickly, I found that I could knit two pattern repeats in about an hour. The only down side is that the yarn sheds like nothing else and I was finding angora in my food for days after. The colour and light fluffiness reminds me of fair weather clouds so that combined with the pattern name is what inspired the project name. I’m fairly excited that 5 weeks into the new year I’ve already completed three projects and 3 of my 10 for 2010 projects as well. Up next ravelympics and even more lace.

I’ve had an interesting time since my last post. It started out with my meeting last friday morning. My supervisor never turned up and despite my waiting around for an hour I didn’t get to see him. This really hit me because I had been so just ready to get it done and over with and I just felt adrift again. Then finally I got the final names for the entries for saturday spent a fairly long time sorting out the target lists and coding the excel file so it would do all the scores. Then when I go and check my email I receive a bunch of emails from earlier in the week including the ones with names from the unis that I had been pestering. But the one that really threw me was the one from Strathclyde that they won’t be able to make the morning session so I had to resort out the target lists and such. It was just one of those this day can’t get worse moments. One melt down later and i go to bed ready for the next day and I wake up at 4 and can’t fall back asleep. At about 5:30 I finally desperately call my mother because I just don’t know what else to do. She suggests reading for a bit and actually it only took about 10 pages and I was out.

The competition on Saturday ran as smoothly as I could have hoped, all my planning worked, the score sheet was great and despite spending eight and a half hours in the sports hall and being absolutely mentally and physically drained by the end it turned out to be a very good novice champs. I watched a bit of the England-Wales rugby game and saw Ank for dinner.

On Sunday I went down to Edinburgh for the Scotland-France rugby game. We had a lot of fun and I might not be as avid a rugby fan as the two friends I was with I do enjoy it and actually find it highly amusing to watch. I hope I get to go to another game some time. Scotland lost but overall the atmosphere is really great and such.

I did finally get to see my supervisor on Monday and he was very sorry as he’d been called away for an unplanned meeting and hadn’t contacted me. I was suitably nervous about talking to him but I mentioned that I was the archery captain and it turns out that he used to do archery when he was at Oxford so we had a little chat about archery which I guess made me feel a bit more comfortable. So long story short I am allowed to use the data, I also get confirmation of this from the head of biology but I need to make a really good effort to make my work as good as possible. I’m meeting with Ev tomorrow to go through the data and pick what I need as she went on the trip this year and has it all. So that is all good, I can move forward with it all, now it’s just forcing myself to really get down to it. April is much closer than it feels.

My courses this semester look good despite austin being such a dull lecturer. I have a lot of work to do and I really want to do well so I’m giving it my all for once. I did some work for my oceans class today, just a little maths problem but I was having trouble converting km³ to m³ and betting the powers right. I also have already picked an essay topic for my bio-oceanography course and need to start doing the reading or it next week. The methods course doesn’t start till next week either so I have a little free time this week.I will be going back to Bangor in about two weeks as they’re now doing a Postgraduate Fair which would mean that I would actually get to go to the school of ocean sciences, talk to professor and students. I feel sort of silly that I’ll be going again but I could not have known, if I had I would have held off the trip. And as my mother pointed out the first trip wasn’t useless, I did learn things.

I’m off to Nottingham this weekend for BUTC. I feel okay about it, I have been shooting alright in practice but they are little targets and one never knows. Anyhow it should be fun to go to a big competition, I’d never been to one other than BUCS before. We had a very full training session today and even some new people so it makes me feel good about the club after the weeks of only 4 people showing up.

Now for the most important thing, knitting. I finished the Juliet scarf on Sunday night which has been renamed Verona Skies because of its beautiful colour and the fact that it sort of reminds me of clouds. I blocked it last night and it’s quite lovely. I’ll post about it once I’ve managed to take pictures. I started the Swallowtail on Monday and it’s coming along, I’ve completed three repeats of the budding lace pattern, 11 more to go. Once you get the hang of it the pattern comes quite easily. It will get put on hold for the Ravelympics which start this weekend. The yarn for the BlueCap and for Jane’s hat have arrived today so I have everything ready for the weeks coming up. I had originally decided to do BlueCap, Thorpe, Gretel and then Square but I’m not sure about that now, especially as I’ll be traveling for part of it. My mom has also asked me knit something for our cleaner who is going back home to Colombia next month so I need to find a pattern and some yarn.

My supervisor emailed me back and I’ll be meeting with him tomorrow. I will be fine just explain the situation, how I feel would be the best way to move forward and see what he says. Nothing to be scared about, he is there to guide me in the right direction. The dissertation is above all else a learning experience and as the first major scientific undertaking that I’m all on my own for, it’s understandable that I will hit a few hurdles along the way. If everything went smoothly I would not really learn anything from it.

Also bought a ticket for the rugby game of Sunday. France vs. Scotland, I think we know who will win.

I finally managed to take FO pictures today, it’s sad considering that I finished the lace over a month ago now and only got the chance to photograph it today. I also managed to take some yarn shots which I’m fairly proud of. some louet

and some silky summer type yarn

Since finishing my socks I’ve been working on the Juliet Scarf which is a lace scarf using Adriafil Carezza an angora blend. Despite my hating scarves the lace which is a 12 row repeat works pretty fast so it grows considerably, I’m about a third of the way in and hope that I finish before the start of the Ravelympic next week. The only issue being that after any time knitting with the yarn it looks like a aqua toned rabbit has been sitting on my lap. I’m excited about the Ravelympics (and the real Olympics too!), I just missed taking part last time around as I’d only just started knitting at that point. I am a member of Team GB and have four projects lined up. I’m going to finish the BlueCap which was some Christmas knitting, knit Thorpe for Jane, knit Gretel for Michelle and knit another Turn a Square as stashbusting. After that it’s on to even more lace with the Swallowtail and Ishbel waiting to be knit.

I’ve been doing my running pretty seriously, I’m already on to week 2 and should be finishing it on Sunday morning. It is still hard but I suppose it’s the good sort of hard that makes you feel really good about yourself when you finish. The problem I’ve been running (hah) into lately is that it’s pretty cold out when I go to run and my ears and hands get cold. I don’t really want to wear a full hat as I think it would make me overheat so I’m thinking about knitting Calorimetry to keep my earsies warm. Someone also mentioned getting fingerless or convertible mittens to keep your hands warm. And though I can knit myself a pair (and am planning to) I found a pair at Accessorize on sale so now I have a pair of very stylish gloves for running in. The weather has been holding out during the last week and it’s really nice now that the sun is starting to rise earlier. I think it was a great idea to start the running again. It always upset me a little that I didn’t make it very far when I tried before but I will do it now.

In other news archery has started up again which is great but also frustrating. We are hosting the novice championships this weekend which at least gives me something to do. I’ve spent a good portion of the evening coming up with an excel file which should rank all the archers and calculate the team scores with us only having to put in the scores once. The only problem being that I am still waiting on two teams to tell me their numbers so I can’t be totally ready yet. I have hope for our novices the two that have been at training have been doing well unfortunately we won’t have a team to rely on if someone doesn’t do well as teams like Edinburgh or Napier can do. I’ve been practising on the 40 cm targets to get ready for BUTC which is not only a bit over a week away. It definitely gets you to focus in on something which is so much smaller but it’s frustrating when as I did today I just kept missing. I always have to remind myself that practise is for getting your muscles ready and that I always shoot better in competition, it’s just that extra bit of focus and concentration brought on by the pressure of performing that is missing during practise.

Also after days of wracking myself over this I finally emailed my supervisor. I started to write the email and realized I really need to speak with him in person otherwise I just won’t be able to explain myself in an email so I asked to meet with him either this or next week. Hopefully I can explain the situation clearly and not get too nervous. I have to remember that he is actually there to help me.  

Bluejays

Pattern: Jaywalkers by Grumperina

Size: 8 inches around foot

Yarn: Lang Jawoll Cotton Jaquard in 88.0181 approx. 100 g

Needles: 2.25 mm / US 1

Another project a long time in the making. I originally bought the yarn for these socks in either June or July and had planned to make them during my trip to Indonesia. Unfortunately for these socks I decided not to take any knitting with me and they got forgotten in the midst of my commission and Christmas knitting. It was very exciting to cast these on seeing as I’d been waiting so long to do so. These were my third pair of socks and while I’m very glad that I’m fairly well versed in sock construction this is a superbly written pattern and the result is just gorgeous. I had a few issues with the second sock as I knit them during my trip to Bangor when I’m not sure I was totally mentally there. The dropped stitch right before the heel flap however is totally due to the fact that I was knitting in the dark during my friend’s rehearsal. These are my second project in 10 in 2010 and I’m excited to have finished two projects in only one month. I’m not about to knit another pair of these any time soon but maybe in a few years I’d definitely think about it.

Silky Gretel

Pattern: Gretel by Ysolda Teague

Size: Regular

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk Aran in Off White (25013) approx. 144 g

Needles: 4.5 mm / US 7 and 4.0 mm / US 6

This yarn was some of the first yarn I ever bought on my first stashing trip to Edinburgh in October 2008. It took awhile for me to decide what to do with it and even longer to knit it. I’m taking the 10 in 2010 challenge and this was my first FO of the year. I cast on on 1 Jan and finished it on the 16th. It’s a great pattern and the result is beautiful and very wearable. This has become my standard winter hat. It was very exciting to both use yarn and knit a pattern that I’ve been waiting so long to do, it being even better that it gets to be something for me. I will be knitting a second Gretel as part of the Ravelympics for my friend Michelle.

Wisteria Vines

Pattern: Strangling Vine Lace Scarf by Nicole Hindes

Size: 44 inches

Yarn: Knit Picks Shimmer in Lilac Dreams approx. 25 g

Needles: 3.5 mm / US 4

This post is long overdue. I started this scarf way back in December 2008 as a Christmas gift for my brother’s girlfriend. At the time I had no idea how long this would take me. Suffice to say I abandoned this as a gift and it languished for months growing by fits and starts as I knit it between other projects. After learning the wisdom on writing down what row I was on the pattern got easier. I finally finished it as a final push before starting my 2010 knitting. As my first piece of lace I’m proud of it, otherwise I’m somewhat lukewarm about it as I’m not a huge fan of variegated yarn now however I find that I do like it and will probably take to wearing it when the weather warms up.