quartzpebble: (Propargyl)
[personal profile] quartzpebble
I've written about my choice to leave the field of chemistry in Model View Culture's Lean Out issue.

You can find it here: I Didn't Want To Lean Out: Why I Left, How I Left, and What It Would Have Taken to Keep Me in STEM.

When I decided to leave, I let go of my intention to continue contributing to the advancement of human knowledge as a scientist and a chemist. I mourned that I would not achieve my goal of changing the culture of organic chemistry, and I knew that my leaving would mean one less woman for other women to talk to, network with, and lean on for professional support. I fought feelings of obligation and squashed that nagging sense that I was letting down The Sisterhood™.

I was furious. I saw that little about my situation was fair, but there it was, and there I was.

In the end, I chose my own health and happiness and I chose self-respect.
fhocutt: Rosie The Riveter (Default)
[personal profile] fhocutt
Some folks have been asking us what we have now and what difference the results of our current funding campaign will make. We've been pretty focused on getting the physical space up and running for the time that we've been open so our equipment capabilities are fairly limited. So far we have:
  • a pleasant space for working and teaching classes of up to 10-12 students
  • a TV that we use for presentations and screenings
  • textile/fiber-related equipment like a spinning wheel, swift, and ball winder
  • one early 20th-c industrial treadle sewing machine that [personal profile] cme is working on fixing up
  • two soldering irons with holders, clamps, etc.
  • a power drill
  • miscellaneous hand tools--wrenches, tiny screwdrivers for detail work and hardware, etc.
  • a growing library of reference books
  • a scroll saw, once we get a non-carpeted area to use it in
  • a Wacom tablet.

Education and collaboration are our main focus at the Attic, so we want to provide members and students with equipment that reduces the barrier to getting started on something new. We also want to provide more experienced members with the tools that they need to carry out their projects. Our founding members' interests broadly break down into computer-based (open-source programming, digital media, and art); hardware and electronics; and various types of fabrication, including woodworking, 3D printing plastics, spinning, weaving, knitting, leatherwork, and jewelry making.

We have the equipment to do hardware work, but no electronics parts; we'd love to get some Raspberry Pis and a stock of electronics parts so that [personal profile] hypatia can start teaching hardware classes. We don't have any computer workstations in the space; we'd like to set one up so that new developers can contribute without having to set up their own development environments, and we'd like to provide video and illustration software so that members can work in digital media and remix video as desired. As far as other equipment goes, we're going to be offering sewing classes starting in January; a few members can loan machines, but having a designated Attic machine will both make the classes run more smoothly and allow members to practice those skills after they end. A machine that doubles for embroidery will save space and let our more advanced sewers do the work they have in mind. The same goes for the woodworking tools and the 3-D printer we're hoping to fund in our stretch goals--I personally have projects that I'd like to make with those and I'll certainly be leaning on the expertise of other members for motivation and help with the equipment itself.

Want to help us make this a reality? Donate here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/launch-seattle-attic/x/5420183. Even a few dollars helps us create this space.
fhocutt: Rosie The Riveter (Default)
[personal profile] fhocutt

Left: undyed roving from Isis Yarns, spun worsted. Right: the same dyed roving, spun woolen. Note the difference in floof!

Close-up on the yarn.

[personal profile] memnus winds off his spoils from Knit Fit.

fhocutt: Rosie The Riveter (Default)
[personal profile] fhocutt
Blue and gold Stepping-Stones, knit up to the heel flap

This summer called for ankle socks! Seattle summers are not so hot that wearing wool socks is a bad idea, so I started on a pair of small and unmatched socks. (I meant to do that. Mostly.)

The pattern for these is a truncated, slightly modified version of Clara Parkes' Stepping-Stones from A Knitter's Book of Socks.1 The yarn is Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock mediumweight, knit on US1.5 DPNs. I dyed the gold/orange/blue colorway myself. The blue is a skein from a bag of STR mill ends and happened to match the blue highlights in the gold.

Unusually for me, I barely changed the pattern except to shorten the cuffs and extend the stranded heel through the heel turn for more strength. That didn't quite turn out as expected with the square heel--there were gaps at the decreases that needed filling--but would work beautifully with a trapezoidal short row heel turn.

My favorite parts: The broken rib pattern gives a bit of knitting and visual interest while staying simple. It is also great for self-striping or variegated yarns, as the purl bumps break up the stripes a little. The heel, worked stranded in 1x1 checks, has even more reinforcement than the s1/k1 slipstitch heel and is closer in gauge to standard stockinette.

Verdict: simple and reasonably engaging. Will knit again with further heel mod.

1. Do you like fiber? Do you want to know about the requirements for yarn that make for good socks? Buy this book. It has materials science in it and talks about stuff like the effect of the modulus of elasticity of the fiber on the finished sock. It is an engineer's sock book that is entirely accessible to non-engineers.


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The Attic Community Workshop

August 2015

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