Sorry about this stupid nav tray -- I hate it, but maybe you love it and then I'm sorry I said I'm sorry.

Anyway. Here's a collection of work and projects from science writing to poetry. 

A note about the blog title: in math and physics, the prefix eigen means one's own. It comes from the german, but mostly I always liked thinking about a particle's eigenvalues, and thought I might apply the same thought to my excursions.

Baby's first knitting project!

Baby's first knitting project!

I officially finished my first knitting project last night - the Pipe Dream Patterns free (or extremely inexpensive, as per your preference) Hettie Bomber!


It is cozy and giant and like wearing a blanket, which is what I basically expected. I used Wool and the Gang Heal the Wool, because recycled wool! And because… I made my first Black Friday purchase in a few years. I’m not even entirely sure how I came across it, but the Heal the Wool was up to 70% off! And this colourway, the brick, seemed right up my alley. The Hettie bomber had previously caught my eye (albeit in a beautiful colour sprinkled cream), so dove in.

I bought 6 balls of wool, which would have been fine, except I don’t have scrap wool of any description for seaming, and used some for that, so came up short at the very end. Another Wool and the Gang sale came up as I was debating doing fewer rows of the neckline binding to make it work, so I bought one more. Waiting was a reeeeal bummer, because all I had left was one 38 stitch row of 1x1 ribbing and the stretchy bind off. But not such a bummer, because I knew it would wrap up all so quickly at the end.

I learned basic knitting/casting on from the Left Handed Knitter’s excellent instructions. It surprised me how easy it was to learn casting on/knitting/purling? Every time people have attempted to teach me, the right-hand-to-left-hand conversion just blew my brain and I couldn’t hack it. But turns out, knitting is pretty easy.


The Hettie pattern seems more than fine to me for a brand-new beginner, but I think the gauge swatch is wrong as written (again, she says as a beginner). The indicated gauge completely confused me, because it suggested that 4 inches/10 cm should be 8 stitches and 8 rows in garter. Now, I was getting something wider than it was tall, and the internet confirmed for me that while stockingette might be squarish, one should expect garter to be more stout. I looked at the finished measurements of a couple of the pieces and likewise found, for example, 40 stitches for 75 cm at the base of the back, but 68 rows for 68 cm vertically.

I thus decided that the vertical gauge should be roughly 5 stitches/ 10 cm and 10 rows/ 10 cm. I was doing something like 6*12, which seemed fine, given the one-size fit and all the rigamarole of figuring out what the heck was up with the gauge (I get real bogged down in research and doing things “right,” as a rule). Turned out dandy.


I made sure to block the pieces b/c of the whole gauge thing and learning best practices. I used my son’s bed while he was staying with his grandparents, and thank goodness, because boy howdy did it stink in there. I forgot how much wool can stink, I think because I am always using gentle shampoo on wool diaper covers, and that has just enough of a scent to cover it. Not so easy to do on a big thick sweater it turns out.

Seaming I learned from a variety of sources, but landed on the Wool and the Gang videos/photo tutorials as my go to source. It helps that they get way granular: Vertical invisible seaming, horizontal invisible seaming, perpendicular invisible seaming, invisible vertical seam in garter stitch, etc. Boy these seams are chunky! I don’t really mind, but they are thiccccc.

Another thing came up during this project: a conversation in the knitting instagram world about race and inclusion. It feels like a really good time to get into the knitting world because of this. Because I am not an avowed knitter and don’t want my feed to be full-on full of knitting, I have only been following two voices on a detailed, daily basis: @su.krita and @thecolormustard, but there are many others who I’ve been watching thru their advice. This finally gave me the kick start to get going on the Me and White Supremacy Workbook, which I had previously put off due to limited time (a patently bad excuse) and the spiritual tone of the introduction (my hangups, but jesus Victoria, tone policing a workbook??). As per the workbook’s instructions, I don’t want to write much about what I’m working on, but I do think it’s a worthwhile endeavor for anyone white or white-passing.

And so, here we are. I kind of want to weight this thing. I’m cozy and warm. I’ve knit a project! I’m going to knit more sweaters! Knitting is so far not so fun as sewing, but… it is much easier to do without thinking, which is a huge advantage these tired, pregnant days. And it can be done while watching TV, so I don’t have to necessarily choose between “doing things for me” and “spending time with my partner” in the evening. So there are advantages.

Pattern: Hettie Bomber
Size: One size
Yarn: Wool and the Gang Heal the Wool in Brick
If there is a next time: Prolly one of this particular pattern is fine for my wardrobe, but i’ve learned lots of basics! And buy extra wool.

Popsicle T-shirt

Popsicle T-shirt

Batik Perkins Shirt

Batik Perkins Shirt