Thursday, June 21, 2007

Kool Aid Crazy!! And a Random Wrap up!

I have turned into a massive Kool Aid Junkie. I search every place I go to see what new flavors I might find. I scour the shelves for more and more packages. I scared the nice checkout lady at Meijer's when I bought 20 packs all at once. Do I want all this Kool Aid to drink? No way. I need it to dye more yarn!! Yarn that I have no idea what I'm going to make with it. Yarn that may never move beyond it's neatly wound center pull ball. But still, I need to dye more yarn.

Monday, I went on a massive Kool Aid hunt. I searched Target (which does not carry Kool Aid by the way), Meijer (the mecca of Kool Aid flavors), Walgreens (another non-Kool Aid market), and another Kroger store (which had only the basic flavors). Meijer is by far the Kool-Aid Hook up. They had an entire display of Kool Aid with flavors I had seen no where else (although the most wonderful Pina Pineapple was missing). I finally found some blue flavors--Berry Blue and Blue Raspberry Lemonade--as well as some more interesting ones--Maderine Tangerine, Soarin' Strawberry Lemonade, and Watermelon Cherry. They also had some Lemon Lime, Cherry, Orange, Grape, Strawberry, and the ever popular Tropical Punch along with some unhelpful "invisible" flavors (clear drinks with fruity flavors--not good for dyeing yarn).

I made a trip to the new Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market last night since I needed to get some milk and looked at their Kool Aid selection, but they didn't have much variety. I'm hoping that if I pay a visit to the Meijer out in Hamburg they might have more fun flavors for me to play with.

I haven't yet had the chance to try out the new flavors I found. I'm planning to give it a try on Saturday so we'll see how it goes. I may not get to take pictures, though, since I don't have a digital camera here. Oh well.....

Now to wrap up some unfinished business.

1.) The Amazing Race Wrap up.....

Really, after the double episode, I found myself totally bored with the whole thing. I watched until the end, I really did, but I just didn't care anymore. In the end, it was the Boobs that won it all. The Beauty Queens (Dustin and Kandice) took second with Charla and Mirna coming in third. Maybe it was the utter lack of teams I cared about that made me not care. Danny and Oswald did make it to the final four, but after they were Philliminated I had no one to cheer for.

2.) My Bracket Wrap up.....

I didn't win the pool. I didn't even come close despite the fact that I picked Florida to win it all (again!). I just missed too many games in the second weekend to overcome. Oh well, maybe next year UK will stick around for more than two games. Hear that Billy G? We want more than just a one weekend engagement next year in March.

3.) 3K / 5K Racing...

The 3K I ran back on St. Patrick's Day (yes, that long ago) went well. I finished with an official time of 18:41 and placed 6th in my age category. And, most importantly, I ran the entire thing without freezing to death! I've been running pretty steadily since and I can now do about 3.5 miles at a time so I'm ready to tackle a 5K. First up is the Fancy Farm Picnic Run on August 3rd and then Sarah (from work) and I are going to do the Midsummer Night's Run on August 11th. Hopefully both will go well. Hopefully I won't die.

4.) That Stupid Committee update....

I just had to get this most lovely pic of Kyle up here one more time since the Committee that had no end finally ended!! We hired the most wonderful Associate Pastor ever Diane Baldwin back in the spring and she officially started the Sunday after Easter. We couldn't be happier with our choice! And I'm glad to finally be done with that committee, although Kyle wants to make me an elder this fall and so I'll have to serve on Session. Just say No Kimmy, just say No.

5.) Scopeman update....

Really, here there is nothing to update. Haven't seen him much this year so far. He stopped by once in February just as I was getting ready to go to the gym and we chatted for a second, and then I saw him the other day, but he paid very little attention to me. Apparently we can talk once a year at the Christmas party and that's that. Oh well.

6.) Knitting WIPS Updates....

The Aunt Purl's Magic Scarf is still not done. In fact, I haven't even picked it up in months. I need to get back to work on it, but really, I just don't want to, although I do need those needles back. I have started yet another project, however. I am making a lap robe using the very fun Feather and Fan pattern. I started it to send as a Mother's Day gift to my Grandmother, but got about 1 1/2 skeins in (out of 5) and quit. I still pick it up every once in awhile, but it may or may not be done by Christmas.

My newest knitting obsession is Baby Stuff!! since everyone I know is Pregnant. It almost makes me scared to drink the water. So far I have finished two very adorable baby hats for my cousin Logan's little boy-to-be due the first part of July.

This one is done in UK blue and white (since it's never to early to be a wildcat fan) Lion Brand Microspun from the Karlchen pattern I found for free using Crafster. It's knit from the crown down (which is cool) and very easy. I used some size 7 DPNs for the whole thing rather than switch to circs half way through and I like the way it turned out. The Stripes are a simple 2 row white/3 rows blue pattern (although if I had it to do over again, I would make them thicker).

And this one is the hopelessly cute Umbilical Cord hat from Stitch N' Bitch done in a sort of Electric Blue Sugar and Cream yarn. (I refuse to put babies in nothing but pastels.)For this one, I used my size 7 16" circs until it got too small and then switched to DPNs. The I-cord is wider than it should be (8 stitches instead of 4) since I apparently can't read a pattern all that well, but it is cute none the less. I can see more of these on the way.

I also picked up the book Mason-Dixon Knitting from the Library in order to see the Log Cabin Blanket pattern (which I was going to make for another Baby that is one the way). I discovered, however, that there are many, many fun patterns in there and I may have to go buy the book so I have my own copy forever. I have made the Ball Band Dishrag and the Baby Genius Burp Cloth so far both out of Sugar and Cream Cotton Yarn with size 7 straight needles. The dish cloth I have a photo of, the Burp Cloth I just finished last night, so no pictures for you. Notice, I had not yet woven in the ends. Now, however, they are tucked safely away. I need to use it and wash it to see how it holds up before I go crazy and make more, but I want to make tons and tons of these. It was so simple and quick!! And I like quick.

My next project will be the Bibs from Mason Dixon and then, hopefully, the Modern Baby Blanket. I just need to do a few test swatches to make sure I can handle the Log Cabin style of knitting before I jump into that one.

7.) Last but not least, my TV Wrap Up....

Now that summer is here and good TV has gone away until fall, I am longing for the days when I at least had something good to watch on Thursday nights.

Ugly Betty ended very sadly with the possible death of Santos, Henry flying off to be with Charlie who he thinks is pregnant with his baby, but may be pregnant with the crazy dentist's baby instead, and Amanda and the Scottish lady locked in the "Love Dungeon" finding out that Amanda is actually Faye's daughter. Oh whatever will I do until Fall?

Supernatural ended well. No huge cliff hanger this year. The Yellow Eyed Demon is dead, shot by Dean with the last bullet from the Super Special Colt that doesn't always kill everything after a recently released from Hell Daddy Winchester distracted the YED for just a moment. Dean, however, has only one year to live after he traded his life to bring Sam back from the dead, so I'm assuming that will be the crux of next year's plot lines. The CW is showing reruns on both Thursday nights and Sunday night now, so they will get through the entire season before the new season starts (and I have something to watch anyway).

8.) I know, I said TV was the last thing, but I thought of something else....

The little sister is in Italy right now supposedly studying Italian. Check out her blog for more details, but I get the impression she is studying food, wine, and boys more than the language.....

Monday, June 18, 2007

Using Science to Make Fruity Yarn....

So, while being bored at work the other day, I discovered that you can use Kool-Aid to dye yarn. (Thanks Knitty.) Me, being the Science Freak that I am (and a newbie knitter) decided that this sounded like fun and I set out to try it. Needless to say, my Dad was less than thrilled that I was going to take over his kitchen to do this little project since my urge fell on Father's Day weekend and I (being such a wonderful Daughter) had gone home to see him. He was also horrified that I made him go with me to Houchen's Market (a local grocery store) to buy the 20 packages of Kool-Aid in various flavors that I wanted to try. He'll get over it, though. Also, thanks to his digital camera, I was able to take pictures of the process. So, here is my first experience with the Kool-Aid Fruity Yarn making experiment:

First, I bought some Patons Ayran Classic Merino Wool at Michael's. (2 skeins 3 1/2 oz each). I had to do this part in Lexington since the only place you can get yarn in Glasgow is Wal-Mart and they don't generally have 100% Wool Yarn.

Next, Dad and I made the trek to Houchen's Market to get the Kool-Aid. It was on sale 4/$1.00!! and I bought 2 packages of each of the 9 flavors they had: Cherry, Lemon Lime, Black Cherry, Pina Pineapple, Pink Lemonade, Tropical Punch, Strawberry, Lemonade, and Orange.

Once I knew how many flavors I had, I used the back of one of Dad's dinning room chairs to wind the yarn into short hanks. This part caused my Dad to wonder if I really had lost my mind. I tied each Hank in four places with the same yarn since (a) that was the only thing I had on hand, and (b) I didn't want to use anything that might bleed onto my yarn.

Notice the Father's Day presents on the table. I am such an awesome Daughter!

Finished Hanks, wound and tied.

Then, the yarn went into a big bowl full of warmish (just slightly warmer than room temp) water and just a "glug" of white vinegar to soak for about 20 minutes. I must confess that I'm not sure how long they really soaked since I just let them sit for the amount of time it took me to mix up all my stuff and run to Wal-Mart to look for more flavors (which they didn't have any).

This also happens to be the bowl we used for popcorn when I was a kid. Not fancy, but functional.

I mixed up the Kool-Aid using about 6-8oz of warm water and one package of Kool-Aid in some of Dad's canning jars (the wide mouth ones worked really well, the regular ones made it hard to get the yarn in and out). I also found that iced tea spoons (which I didn't know he had) worked really well for mixing it up since they reached all the way to the bottom of the jar easily. Then, I pulled a hank of yarn from the bowl, squeezed out the excess water, and smooshed it into a jar. I used the spoon to squish the yarn down and then added enough water to cover the yarn (if I needed to).

Notice the black trash bag I put down to keep from staining the counter (again, such a wonderful daughter)!

Then, everything went into the microwave for 2 minutes on high. I let it sit for about 5 minutes, then I nuked it again for 2 minutes. Another 5 minute rest and one last 2 minute heat and rest and then it was done.

There were actually five jars in the microwave here, even though it only looks like 3. I did a set of 5 and then a set of 4.

The freakiest part of the whole thing: the water at the end was CLEAR. It makes you wonder what is really in Kool-Aid.

Once the yarn had cooled, I rinsed it in warmish water again, and then washed it in Wool-Aid and rinsed it one more time. Everything then went out into the garage to dry. This part made Dad laugh and drew some very interesting comments from our dinner guests that night. It looked like a forrest of strange yarn.

Once the yarn was dry (read: the next day) I took it down, photographed it, and then wound it into center pull balls. What fun.

Left to Right: Orange, Strawberry, Pink Lemonade, Lemonade

Left to Right: Cherry, Pina Pineapple, Black Cherry, Lemon Lime, Tropical Punch

Overall, I was very pleased with the way it turned out. Most of the red colors were very similar, although there were some subtle differences. The Lemonade was a bit of a disappointment since it was so pale and washed out, but I think I may try dying that bit again to see if I can make the color stronger. The Pink Lemonade and the Orange turned out a bit spotty. I'm not sure if I need to use more water, a bigger jar, or just didn't smoosh it enough, but I think it will actually look pretty cool when I knit it up.

My favorite colors had to be the Lemon Lime and the Pina Pineapple, though. They both came out so bright and so pretty! And Pina Pineapple is much nicer looking than Lemonade. I told Dad he may have to go back to the store and get me more of that if I can't find it in Lexington. I did try Kroger last night and found some Grape which should make a nice purple color, but I still haven't run across any blue flavors.

I also have no idea what I am going to make with all my Fruity Flavor Yarn, but I already feel the need to make more. I shall be going on a city wide Kool-Aid hunt this afternoon, so beware!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Evolution vs Creationism--The Eternal Debate

So the new "Creationism Museum" has opened here in Kentucky (where else) and stirred up all kinds of crazy. I'm discovering new things about myself everyday. For example, I am a scientist, therefore I can not belive in God (at least according to a woman named Vickie). I am very glad that I have people to tell me these things, otherwise how would I know? I am still trying to figure out which tihng I'm going to give up (God or my job) but when I do decide, I'll let you know.

I have also discovered that Adam and Eve apparently lived with Dinosaurs in the garden and because they were in the garden, even the great T-Rex was a veggie (I guess that's why he needed those rather large teeth and sharp claws). Noah also had Dinos on the ark (which must have been HUGE to hold two of every thing). Don't believe me, apparently it says so in the Bible (although I admit, I must have missed that part--maybe I was sick that day in Sunday School) at least according to this guy who posted over at

Ok, I want to tell all the people who do not belive in Chrsitanism and do not belive in God and Jesus. That if you read Genesis and understnad it, it will show you that all animals were created in the Garden of Eden. That means that all acutal meat eating dino's and other animals would be herbivours. After Adam and Eve sinned that was the fall of paridise. There was still dino's rouming around after God told Adam and Eve to leave paridise. When God told Noah told build an Ark. He told Noah to take 2 of ever unclean animal and 7 of every clean animal. That means Noah did take dino's with him. He took young ones of birhing age that way they could repopulate the earth after the flood. It has been proven that Carbon 14 dating is not accuret. It is mentioned in another 4 books after Genesis that there was still dino's on Earth. After the flood the climit changed and the Earth had diffrent moutian ranges, and diffrent land masses. I know the Bible is True and I belive it is true. Any man can have faith in something but I know the Bible is True. I have not been tought that the Bible is True I know it is true because I have seen the other side of things and I know that the Bible is True.
(This was a direct Copy-Paste. I wanted you to enjoy this guy in all his Christianism glory.)

Highly educated people over there, I tell you what. And I swear, I don't remember any mention of dinosaurs in the Bible, but then again, maybe I just had the wrong translation. And, I just don't really care how young a dinosaur is, some of those suckers were still HUGE so that boat must have been the size of Rhode Island to hold all of them and still manage to float.
It just aggrivates me that people make this into an All-or-Nothing issue. I've been a Christian and a church goer all my life (and am still a very active part of my church, thanks to Kyle) and a scientist for the better part of my life and I've never had any problem being both. I believe in Evolution. I don't see how you can't with all the evidence we have to support it. I also belive that Earth is just a tad bit older than the 5,000 or so years that Creationists claim. We have fossil records and carbon dating to prove it (and while I will admit that Carbon dating isn't the most accurate method of dating something, it will still get you within a couple of thousand years or so). That doesn't mean that I don't belive in God or that I don't think that God had a hand in creating the world. To me the theory of Evolution as well as the theory of how life got started on Earth give me more evidence that God exists since something had to have a hand in all that mess.

It bothers me when people take the Bible as fact--word for word fact--but only when they want to. Sure, it's okay to say that God literally created Adam and Eve (but boy are we sure inbred if they were the only two people he created) but we are going to overlook that whole don't eat unclean animals bit and that bit about not mixing meat and diary and that part about not working on the Sabbath (which is Saturday by the way). If you are going to argue that the Bible is the absolute word of God and should be taken literally, then you can't just pick and choose what parts you want to take and what parts you want to leave out. Just like in science you can't just choose to show the data that fits your hypothesis, you have to include all the data even if it raises more questions.

And while we are on the subject of Science, I want to make it clear to anyone who might not know (or for anyone who has had this argument with someone) that while Evolution is considered to be a Theory, it is a scientific theory, which is much different from what most people consider a theory. In science you have three basic types of things: Hypothesis, Theorys, and Laws. A Hypothesis is something you are testing. It is an idea you have but you aren't sure about it yet. A Theory is a Hypothesis that has been tested over and over again with the same result meaing that you are reasonably sure that it is true. A Law is something that has been proven so many times that it is universially accepted to be true (like gravity or Newton's laws of physics). Most Theories never move to the Law stage. However, most theories are accepted to be true becase they have been proven over and over again by different people in different labs. A Theory (in science) is not a guess, it is not a conjecture, it is something that has volumes of evidence to support it but has not yet become a Law.

Ok, I'm off my soapbox now, but this whole debate is just ridiculous to me. I guess I have trouble believing that so many people can believe in something so foolish when we have so much evidence to the contrary. But then again, we did elect Bush to another term, so go figure.