Saturday, December 10, 2011

And So Life Goes On

I haven't posted much in the last bit, I know, but things have been hectic. I'm returning home on Tuesday and will be staying for an undetermined amount of time at my home in Burns. I may have a few things inline for the future, but at this point only time will tell.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I found myself in need of a chromosome themed square for a science-y blanket I’m making. After searching for hours on end (okay, maybe an hour), I designed this one. I had no idea designing a pattern could be so hard! I hope anyone who uses this enjoys it.

As this is my first design, I hope it all makes sense.


GoogleDocs/PDF Here

Terms and Stuff:
--C4F – Slip 2 stitches onto cable needle, hold to front. Work next 2 stitches as seen (knit knits and purl purls). Work 2 from CN and continue pattern.
--C4B – Slip 2 stitches onto cable needle, hold to back. Work next 2 stitches as seen (knit knits and purl purls). Work 2 from CN and continue pattern.

CO 44 sts
  1. (WS) K44
  2. (RS) K44
  3. K44
  4. K44
  5. K44
  6. K4, P36, K4
  7. K44
  8. K4, P36, K4
  9. K8, (P1K1)x2, K2, (P1K1)x2, K8, (K1P1)x2, K2, (K1P1)x2, K8
  10. K4, work straight, K4
  11. K8, (P1K1)x2, K2, (P1K1)x2, K8, (K1P1)x2, K2, (K1P1)x2, K8
  12. K4, work straight, K4
  13. K4, P4, C4B, P2, C4B, P8, C4F, P2, C4F, P4, K4
  14. K4, work straight, K4
  15. K8, (P1K1)x2, K2, (P1K1)x2, K8, (K1P1)x2, K2, (K1P1)x2, K8
  16. K4, work straight, K4
  17. K8, (P1K1)x2, K2, (P1K1)x2, K8, (K1P1)x2, K2, (K1P1)x2, K8
  18. K4, work straight, K4
  19. K26, work the rest straight until end, K4
  20. K4, work straight, K4
  21. K44
  22. K4, P36, K4
  23. K17, (P1K1)x2, K2, (K1P1)x2, K17
  24. K4, work straight, K4
  25. K17, (P1K1)x2, K2, (K1P1)x2, K17
  26.  K4, work straight, K4
  27. K17, (P1K1)x2, K2, (K1P1)x2, K17
  28. K4, work straight, K4
  29. K17, C4F, K2, C4B, K17
  30. K4, work straight, K4
  31. K17, (P1K1)x2, K2, (K1P1)x2, K17
  32. K4, work straight, K4
  33. K44
  34. K4, P36, K4
  35. K26, (K1P1)x2, K2, (K1P1)x2, K8
  36. K4, work straight, K4
  37. K8, (P1K1)x2, K2, (P1K1)x2, K8, (K1P1)x2, K2, (K1P1)x2, K8
  38. K4, work straight, K4
  39. K8, (P1K1)x2, K2, (P1K1)x2, K8, (K1P1)x2, K2, (K1P1)x2, K8
  40. K4, work straight, K4
  41. K8, (P1K1)x2, K2, (P1K1)x2, K8, (K1P1)x2, K2, (K1P1)x2, K8
  42. K4, work straight, K4
  43. K8, (P1K1)x2, K2, (P1K1)x2, K8, (K1P1)x2, K2, (K1P1)x2, K8
  44. K4, work straight, K4
  45. K8, C4B, K2, C4B, K8, C4F, K2, C4F, K8
  46. K4, work straight, K4
  47. K8, (P1K1)x2, K2, (P1K1)x2, K8, (K1P1)x2, K2, (K1P1)x2, K8
  48. K4, work straight, K4
  49. K8, (P1K1)x2, K2, (P1K1)x2, K8, (K1P1)x2, K2, (K1P1)x2, K8
  50. K4, work straight, K4
  51. K8, (P1K1)x2, K2, (P1K1)x2, K8, (K1P1)x2, K2, (K1P1)x2, K8
  52. K4, work straight, K4
  53. K44
  54. K4, P36, K4
  55. K44
  56. K44
  57. K44
  58. K44
  59. K44
  60. K44

    Bind Off
My finished work!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

So many scarves!

So, back in February (I think), my dear friend Katie taught me how to knit. I've made an odd baby blanket, finished my fourth scarf this past week, and started on a fifth. After that and I've earned a paycheck or two, I'll be working on an Autumn themed blanket for my friend Ashley and her fiance as a wedding/Christmas present. But I wanted to show some things off...

Don't have any pictures of my first or second scarves (first is in Oregon and second was a gift already given). But here are the others!

The oddity that is a baby blanket. It is a 2x2 rib, so it is stretchy. It was mostly made of ends I stole from Katie. XD

Lots of pictures for this one and the next! Aero the Bear and his buddies came out to play! Sydney the Koala, Jel the Jelly Fish, and Reece the Onigiri (Syd, Gel, and Ree made by Katie)

I made this scarf for my cousin Sarah. It's a simple 1x1 rib. Full scarf measures about 77 inches (roughly 6.5 ft) in length with 5 inch pockets. I used ~1.5 skeins of Caron's Simply Soft yarn in Iris.

After that was Aunt Carol's Keyhole scarf in colors that reminded me of Gryffindor, though the tan wasn't quite gold enough. A simple basketweave. Easy, fast, and enough yarn left over to do a reverse - which I'll get to later.

That's all my knitting adventures for now. I'll add more later, if I remember. You can always check my Ravelry for what I'm currently working on!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hello Louisiana!

This post is long overdue!

After settling thing at home and my things some how packed into two carry-on sized bags, I departed Harney County on Thursday, June 23rd and headed for Ontario on the bus to meet up with my cousin Heather. I hope I never have to sit at that bus station again. It is creepy and out of the way. I much prefer the Burns Station (which happens to be Figaro's). At least it wasn't January this time. I spent a rather quiet night with her, her husband Nayt, and their two children (Drew, 2, and Alynn, 1 month).

Friday morning found me on my way to the Boise Airport for one of the last times. I said goodbye to Heather and checked into my flight. With plenty of time to spare, I grabbed some lunch, checked in with my friends on the East Coast, and settled into my gate to wait. While waiting, they called for anyone wishing to check bags since it was a full flight. One thing I have learned in my travels, checking bags post security = free checked luggage. I took advantage of it and lightened my load so I only had my backpack to lug around. At 1 PM I boarded my flight for Phoenix, Arizona and settled in with my knitting and music.

Phoenix was 108 degrees when we landed! Also, we landed 15 minutes before my next flight was set to board. And we were 20 gates away. Great. Luckily I was the last zone that was supposed to be called, so I booked it off the plane (getting hit by the heat on the jet bridge and air con in the boarding area) and down to the other end of the terminal. I learned as I arrived that my plane had a 15 minute delay and they hadn't even started boarding yet. Again, I had enough time for food! Luckily there was a hole in the wall sandwich place across the hall. Sandwich in one hand, project bag with knitting and DS in the other, I was good to go.

I arrived in Charlotte, North Carolina where Katie and her sister, Mary, were waiting to pick me up. I was so glad that flight was over! First major leg of travel done. Next week we would embark on another, this time heading into the deep south.

We spent the week lounging, packing, and lounging some more. We (well, Katie, since I was still packed) packed a little each night. On the 29th of June we packed up the car for an early start the next morning. And I mean early. We left little Rutherfordton, North Carolina at just past 4 AM. It means we missed all the early morning traffic, but we hit morning rush hour in Atlanta, Georgia.

The trip had been smooth the entire way until Atlanta. A fully loaded car going only about 10 miles/hour in 98 degree weather on asphalt is not a happy car. We had been in rush hour for about 40 minutes when we heard bubbling coming from the engine. Katie thought fast and pulled off to the side of the interstate and called home. The car, we figured out, had over heated. We needed to put some more water in it, but we didn't have any. So we cranked open the windows, turned the heater on high to siphon off the excess heat, and crawled through Atlanta traffic until we could make it to the next service station. We almost died from the heat, but the poor car made it. The guy at the station ended up putting over a gallon and a half of water in the car. Suffice to say, before we got back on the interstate, we bought a gallon of water just in case.

Since it was finally later in the morning (around 9:30), we called Tori to see where she was. The lazy bum was up but hadn't left yet! Granted her trip was supposed to be 3 hours shorter, but we were already that far into ours! She said she was getting ready to leave though and would keep us updated. The rest of Georgia and all of Alabama was boring. Alabama was just as boring as the last time we were in it, driving to Louisiana.

It was somewhere in Alabama that we learned that Tori got lost in Arkansas. She was trying to use a map and not her GPS and missed her exit. She had to back track 20 miles. We hit Mississippi at roughly the same time.

Okay, so we're finally in the same state again. Good, right? Not really. From where we were in Alabama (some where near Montgomery, I think) to our hotel in Covington, Louisiana is about 5 hours. The top of Mississippi where Tori was to Covington is about 5.5 hours. Not too bad. But then it seemed like the State of Mississippi decided to work on Interstate 55. That put Tori another 2-3 hours behind. So there is now a 3-4.5 hour difference in our arrival times, with Katie and I arriving first. And the hotel is in Tori's name.

Katie and I decided to stop in Biloxi, Mississippi, play on the beach, and get something to eat. That put us still 1.5 hours out from Covington. I think we wasted all of 45 minutes eating and walking along the water. We decided screw it. Katie and I drove into Covington and went to the hotel. The person checking people in was very nice and let us check in ahead of Tori. Thank goodness! The poor rats and Jackie Pho were getting toasty in the car. The time we still had before Tori arrived, Katie and I checked out an apartment (which latter turned into the one we now reside in).

It took us the better part of a day and a half to finally decide on an apartment. Several we liked online we didn't like in person or the owner never got back to us. The one we finally decided on is small with only 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, and a tiny kitchen (I mean tiny), but it works for now.

Okay! Shopping time so more on the house later!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Here I Come

Those last resort things in the last post? Turns out I am going to use them after all. Instead of remaining in Burns until August and then meeting up with Katie and Tori in New Orleans, I'm going to be flying to Charlotte, NC to meet up with Katie on the 24th of this month. There are no jobs in Burns that work for someone only going to be around for 2 and a half months. After talking it over with many people, I will be joining Katie in North Carolina and then driving down to NOLA with her and meeting up with Tori there. We figure it will be easier to get a job in a place I will be at long term and then fly back for the memorial for a few days.

I'll be traveling to Ontario, Oregon on the 23rd to meet up with my cousin Heather who has offered to take me to the airport the next day so I don't have to spend the night in the airport (again). I'm am very grateful to her!! And then Katie will pick me up in Charlotte for a few days at her house before heading off on our next grand adventure.

All in all, New Orleans, here I come.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

And so life goes on

Life has an ending. We all hope that day is far and away for our friends and loved ones.

Unfortunately for me and mine, my dear mom passed away on the 15th of May. She fought a long hard battle with lung and bone cancer. She promised she would  be around to see me graduate from Berea and she was. She fought to stay awake as she watched me receive my degree from President Shinn via the live feed Berea tried for the first time. She was the first person I saw when I arrived home on the night of Tuesday the 10th and teared up when I showed her my degree. She told me how proud of me she was and that she knew I would do great things. Little did I know when I walked out of that hospital room after telling her good night and that I loved her that it would be the last coherent conversation I would ever have with her. I'll spare you the details of what bone and lung cancer can do in its final stages, but her health began a rapid decline. I left her on the night of Saturday, May 14th with my older brother and granny (her mom) and that we would see her later. And then I received one of the worst calls about their parent a child can receive at just after 7 the next morning. I became the support my younger brother needed me to be. I made the phone calls and handled the early visits and condolences from the nurses and doctors that worked so diligently to keep her comfortable. I knew my time would come, even if I had to do it in private.

I did not have to wait long though. I bawled as my older brother held me, not having to be the oldest child, the brave face, for once. And then I picked up the pieces and became strong once again. I hugged my little (not so little) brother and figured out what I had to do. I put my own life and dreams temporarily on hold to make sure my family is taken care of. That my brother will have a place to live when I removed that hold and move on again. I'm just waiting now. Dreams take money, jobs make money, but jobs are few and far between in the little town I've called home since I was a small child. I have last resorts and people I can beg if absolutely necessary, but they are just that, last resorts that I would rather not use.

For now, I will soldier on and know I have friends and family that believe in me. I have places to see and a person to be, me.

Until next time.

Monday, May 9, 2011


The last four years have both flown by and crawled by. But yesterday, May 8th at 2 pm I received my Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Berea College. I am officially a college graduate. I will miss many of the things I did, people I met, and memories I made while I was there, but I am off to a bigger and grander adventure.

I wrote the following to the dear senior friends I am leaving behind this fine year. Some I may never see again, some I may see often.
Dear Friends,

They say this is one of the happiest times of our lives. We are celebrating the achievement of knowledge; a step into a new life. But how can we celebrate and be happy when it’s also a very sad time? We are leaving behind friends, memories, and four years of learning.

To be happy at this occasion, as everyone says we must, I think it is important to know what we are taking with us as we walk across that stage and out of Berea.

We are taking many friendships that will last a lifetime.  Memories of those friendships and the things that we did together that have forever changed us. We are no longer the starry eyed, rebellious teenagers that walked onto this campus initially. We are young adults, still a bit starry eyed and rebellious perhaps, but we now have a purpose. We leave with the knowledge, determination, and power to change the world. We have already done that here by changing each other and ourselves with the people we’ve met and things we’ve done. But it is time to go bigger or go home. Some of us will go off to teach, some will be doctors, and some will be veterinarians. We will manage money and families. We will all touch the lives of others and change the world in subtle ways. Make those changes count. Be able to look back and say you changed a life for the better. Most importantly, though, as you are changing others, do not forget yourself. Put your future in good hands – your own. I hope your dreams take you to the corners of your smiles, to the highest of your hopes, to the windows of your opportunities, and to the most special places your heart has ever known.

And as an author of childhood favorites said:
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
You are the guy who'll decide where to go.
~Dr. Seuss

I hope you remember what you’ve learned over the past four years and take it with you as you move through life. I wish you luck where ever you may end up and whatever you may do. I just ask that when you leave you don’t forget why you came.

Best wishes,

Brandi Alyssa

Monday, May 2, 2011

Last Week of Undergrad...

It's that time of year once again. But this year is different. Today marks the first day of finals in Berea and many other colleges across the nation. For me, though, it will be my last undergrad finals week.

Come Sunday, May 8th at 2 pm I will be walking across the stage of Berea College's Seabury Arena to accept my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology with a Concentration in General Biology from President Larry Shinn. And while I will miss the people I've met, the times I've had, and the things I've learned, I am ready to move on to the bigger world. Instead of Berea bringing the world to me, I'm taking my Berea education to the world. It's a big, scary step.

So, it's 5 days, 3 hours, and 20-some minutes until I start that next step. See you on the other side.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Another Short Entry...

I promise I'll get a nice long post up as soon as I'm done with all this craziness of presentations. I've got 2 in the next week and a half. >.< But graduation is fast approaching and I'm prepping for that. I don't want to say goodbye to my many friends!!!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Short Update!!

>.> 31 days until Graduation. May 8th at 2 pm I will be walking across a stage in the Seabury Arena of Berea College accepting my Bachelor of Arts in General Biology (Yes, a B.A., my school is weird). I can't believe it is so close! I'm going to miss all the people I met and adventures I had, but I'm headed on to bigger and better things!

Monday, March 7, 2011

8 weeks and counting

That's 8 weeks and counting until my undergraduate education finally comes to a close. That finally is both a "Finally, I'm getting out of this damn place" and a "Finally? What do you mean I'm graduating? Are you sure I'm not still a sophomore???" I've come to love Berea more and more each year and, though I am more than ready to jump into the realm of the adult, I'm not sure I'm ready to leave the security of the family I've built here behind. But more on that in the future.

The past two months have been interesting. My hair is behaving like it should, thanks to the CG method, and I have lots more curly ringlets thanks to it.

I learned how to knit the Saturday before Valentine's and have just finished my first project (a scarf for my mom), have a second in progress (a baby blanket, don't know for which baby yet though), and a second scarf for the Red Scarf Project in September. Each thing has a different pattern and challenges my brain and my hands.

Speaking of my hands, I learned that I have something like Ulnar Nerve Dysfunction in my left hand. The nerve that runs up my ulna to my ring and pinky fingers gets pinched or compressed and caused said fingers to hurt or go numb. Dr. David at Health Services prescribed me Naproxin to make the slight swelling and inflammation go down in an effort to control it. I'm also supposed to be taking it easy on my hand. Yeah, right, like that's going to happen often when knitting is the only thing keeping me awake through evolution movies (though I do take frequent breaks to rest the hand and shake it out).

I also broke one of my teeth somehow and had to go see the college dentist for a temporary fix. He took one look at it and said the tooth was probably going to have to come out and I have to go back for a full exam and to figure out how much it is going to cost me. Thankfully I have family that loves me and one of my uncles is going to help me pay for it.

That said, I have a very dear friend (Holly) that will be attending summer term at Kingston University in Kingston upon Thames just outside of London in the UK. I'm very excited for her. I think she realized today just how much work this semester is going to be with study abroad stuff and keeping her grades up. She had a mini meltdown, but I reminded her that it's not over yet. We're only halfway through the semester and she still has time to pull the grade up a bit that she was so worried about. Also reminded her that I'm here for her even when she will be in England; after all, I'm only a skype message away.

Speaking of very dear friends, the other one (Kelly) has applied to attend Stirling University in Scotland for the summer as well. She is still working out kinks in her application, but I have no fear that she won't get in. And then the twins shall have a smashing time across the pond. And hopefully won't run into English Coconuts (you must watch History Channel's Ape to Man to get it) though if it were the type of English Coconut that was found and it proved authentic, they'd probably be rich and famous.

Wooo. Enough for tonight! Off to do other things.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Curly Girl Day 6

So... I missed a few days. I was lazy this weekend when it came to pictures, but I took plenty today. I had some beautiful ringlets and it was soft, but not too fluffy. I love it! You can also see the difference between my hair just after I finish plopping and am getting ready to run out the door and the dry, soft, fluffy end. I have a hair dryer/diffuser combo coming from home sometime so I can experiment with that.


Morning of Day 6 (Monday, January 24, 2011). My hair's still damp and I'm rocking out on my iPod as I'm getting ready to head to breakfast with friends.

Day 6 around 10:30 PM: Post day stress and frizz still isn't bad. I'm so glad I switched to the CG method. It's so soft too!
Night of Day 6 - Back of my hair. Pretty and soft ringlets are starting to form more easily!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Curly Girl Day 3

So no hair pictures today. I forgot this morning and my hair is up and back now. I didn't plop my hair last night, but that was fine. I used a different gel than normal though. I've been using Garnier Fructis Curl Scrunch Extra Strong Gel, but I have about 1/3 of a bottle of GF Curl Shaping Spray Gel Strong. I used it hoping it would still work as well. I was disappointed. I had to reactivate it using water several times throughout the day and I had frizz for a good portion of it. I'm switching back to my original stuff tomorrow. Otherwise no-poo is going great! Less frizz and soft! I haven't noticed a lot of shine yet, but I've definitely got softer, better moisturized curls.

Speaking of tomorrow, tomorrow is Saturday! I've got very little homework to do and great food to eat tomorrow as made by the wonderful たくきよんが (Taku Kiyonaga, I don't know his name in Kanji). I have to read a bit for developmental biology and practice my 日本語 (Japanese) for class as well as do a few worksheets. Thankfully this week is over! Today especially with all the ice and snow I woke up to and had to walk across campus in.

Because I have no hair picture today so you get a picture of my fish, Fish, instead.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Curly Girl Day 2

Trying to take pictures of your own hair is a pain in the butt. Especially the sides or back. And with a large camera.

Anyway, I took my shower last night and added a bit of my co-wash for leave-in and gel like I did before and plopped before going to bed, you know, expecting to wake up with the same kind of hair I had Wednesday morning. I did...sort of. Some of the curls were going funky directions (including some up then down) and nothing I did would fix it short of getting it wet. So in the shower I went for a quick water wash before plopping it for ~30 minutes (I meant only for 15 and got distracted on the computer). I don't have a hair dryer/diffuser combo here (we have one at home and will hopefully be on its way soon) so my hair was still damp when I left for lunch. Damp hair meant crunchy hair until it was dry completely so I could scrunch the crunch out.
I left my dorm this morning in a long skirt, slipper boots, and my every trusty winter coat thinking I'd be fine, it wasn't supposed to rain or anything today. It was fine until about 4:15 PM. Rain it didn't, snow it did; it snowed a ton, quickly building a thick layer across the ground. It was cold, I had snow in my face/eyes, and I was wearing a skirt. I wasn't worried about my hair at the time (mostly because all I had left was dinner) and only thought about the massive frizzing that would be happening. I was mildly when I returned to my room to find it only semi-frizzy, and mostly from the hood of my coat.
Perhaps tomorrow will be a better hair day yet. I'm glad I stumbled on the CG method. ^_^

Oh, and here's what I thought was an interesting shot of my damp curlies.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Curly Girl Day 1

Curly Girl method day 1 went well. Not much of a difference to be really seen except one major thing: LOTS LESS FRIZZZ!!! And it rained today which would have made it worse, but I didn't see much frizz until after dinner. That is an impressive feat for me.

Age 5 [1994-ish]: What I was born with - Naturally curly/ easily curled Hair. I can still get those ringlets if my hair is long enough and wet when I put it up.

Pre-CG [Sometime in Late September/Early October 2010]: Typical hair day when it is down. Fuzzy, ill defined waves/curls. And crooked glasses from my crooked ears.

Prep Day [January 18th, 2011]: Last good washing with sulfate containing shampoo. I did this at night so I didn't go out into the humid Berea weather. Frizz would have been super apparent.

CG Day 1[January 19th, 2011]: Ignore the look on my face. It's about 7 AM before I headed to breakfast and class. Already excited about the curls and they lasted all day through the rain! Didn't start frizzing until the end of the day when I was already back in my room. It was hard not to play with it because it was all soft and pretty. Ready for day 2!

Today's the Day part 2 (a day late)

I got my TFA notification and!!.... I didn't get it. While it is sad that I didn't get it and TFA is losing the chance to get the wonderful me, I'm off to more exciting things, like The Big Easy and The Emerald City! Yep, I am looking for jobs in New Orleans and Seattle. Very different sides of the country and two very different cities but I have reasons for both. Mainly, potential housing in family in one (Seattle) and an already raring to go awesome roommate in the other (NOLA). It is a long process since I'm a) so far away and b) so far in advance from when I'm actually heading to either city (and graduation).

Monday, January 17, 2011

Today's Almost The Day...

Tomorrow afternoon is it! I find out if I got into TFA or not. I am completely stoked and terrified at the same time. I don't want to have to call my family and tell them I didn't make it in.

In other news, Christmas was great! I almost got rerouted to Portland instead of landing in Redmond because they were in the middle of a snow storm. We landed but the snow ended up delaying us from getting home until the next morning. Which was fine. What was not fine was the 'loss' of my luggage. Now it's a 'loss' because it was on the plane from San Fran right after mine but they didn't tell us that nor did they call me as soon as it arrived (when I was still in Redmond). Mom was called after I was already halfway home and it was too late to turn around. So I was without clothes other than what I was wearing/had left at home/was in my carry on until Wednesday when a friend of ours brought it over. Break was great (except Merle's driving) for the rest of my 3 weeks. I even got new clothes from my Aunt Myra! It was great!

I'm back at school now though and along with a new semester, I'm trying out a new hair treatment. Called the Curly Girl (CG) or no poo treatment, it used conditioner as shampoo to avoid the harsh drying agents (sulfates) that are found in most shampoos (and dish soaps; they share the same first two ingredients often times). I always knew my hair liked moisture and lots of it. I'm trying the new method starting in the morning and am hoping to see results in anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Fingers crossed that it works. Oh! And it's found at with lots of help from other curly girlies!