Happy New Year, everyone! 2009 seems to have passed quickly, though there were many moments throughout the year that seemed as though they would never end. It was an up and down 365 days for me, but I feel as though I ended it on an upswing and am confident that 2010 will continue on upwards.

A quick recap, shall we?

January through April was consumed by researching and writing my master’s thesis.

232 | 365 : This is what I think about most of the day [73/365 - 2009]

A trip was taken to Western PA and West Virginia, articles and books read, writing, rewriting, editing, etc. All to complete my thesis on abandoned mine remediation in Pennsylvania.

YIP 2009 | 4.23.09

It was surprising to see that I finished, and quite well, since there were many times during my couple of years in graduate school where I seriously contemplated throwing in the towel. But I didn’t, and I graduated in May.

O Hai. I just graduated from grad school!

Shortly afterwards, I joined Kasy and a few friends on a weeklong bicycle tour from Pittsburgh to Leesburg, Virginia.

Nearing Ohiopyle

We cycled approximately 50 miles a day, camped each night, and were completely self supported. I learned a lot about myself, my physical capabilities, my emotional and psychological shortfalls and how I can remedy that, and about Kasy and us. It was fun, educational, and quite a feat, and the trip ended in my first bicycle show, the Cirque du Cyclisme.

Bicycles take over the hotel!

The summer of ’09 also found us with a brand new toy to play with — a Genuine Stella Scooter:

223/365 - 2009 | Is fall coming?

And I tried to complete a sprint triathlon, that ended up being a pathetic duathon due to flooding rain the morning of the event.

160 | 365 : 2009 Goal #2. Train for and complete the SheRox Triathlon. [2/356 - 2009]
[this photo was taken after I registered for the triathlon, as one of my 365 self portaits]

I learned to spin on a spindle.

252 | 365 : getting it done [94/365 - 2009]

I turned 27.

217/365 - 2009 | DHB whilst drnk

Raised $300 and rode the MS 150 from Philadelphia to Ocean City, NJ over 2 days with my best friend, Rebecca.

256/365 - 2009 | headed homewards

Fall ’09 found me, and my mom, at Rhinebeck for the second time.

Rhinebeck 2009

This time, having run in to a few wonderful internet knitterly friends…

Hey gals!

On the home front, Philadelphia was dealing with some bicycle/car/pedestrian drama which poses possible threat to my happiness on 2 wheels. But luckily, there is positive movements happening that will, hopefully, prevail and allow us cyclists to be respected on the streets as vehicles, which we legally are.

YIP 2009 | 12.10.09

We had an insane amount of snow in Philly…

snOMG | night

…yet still had fun on 2 wheels at the Bilenky Cyclocross race.

Bilenky Cycle Works annual junkyard cyclocross race

and I celebrated my first Christmas in Philadelphia, instead of heading to NY for the 24th-25th.

315/365.2 | happy holidays, friends

Of course, lots of knitting was done, but I’ll do a recap in the next blog post.

All in all, the year was alright, but I am expecting more from 2010. More rowhome renovation, more bicycle advcacy, more bicycle touring, more scooter fun, more crafts, more photography, more smiles, and more happiness.

I’m almost complete with my 2nd year of the 365 self-portrait project and I’m not sure if I’ll continue on for a 3rd. I have mentally committed myself to another Year in Pictures on Flickr, but the more relaxed version that some flickr friends are also doing.

Regardless, thanks for the comments and support you’ve all shown through this crazy little space called the internet. Much love to you as we start 2010 off with a bang!

Totally Rewarding

May 18, 2009

I just graduated!

I didn’t really want to take part in the graduation ceremony from Penn. I’m not big on pomp and these big celebrational things, but I promised my family that I would do it.

288 | 365 : I'm officially done! [127/365 - 2009]

O Hai. I just graduated from grad school!

And I did. And it was totally fun and a great way to mark the fact that…

I graduated from grad school yesterday, with a Master’s in Environmental Studies. It feels unreal to actually be finished with school, most likely, forever. Freedom never felt so good.

FO 2009: Felicity Hat

May 15, 2009

Back in March, when I took my thesis research trip to Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia, I brought some knitting with me, and promptly finished it (still haven’t blocked it, but when I do I will reveal it). I didn’t have much down time in Pittsburgh, sadly, but I had a lot while in Morgantown, West Virginia. After a couple of posts in the Morgantown Knitters group on Ravelry, learning the great spots to eat in town (Black Bear Burritos) and find yarn (The Needlecraft Barn).

The Needlecraft Barn

I went to a meeting at West Virginia University, and stopped off at this cute little shop on the way back. The front window was filled with fiber in shades of green, for St. Patrick’s Day, and the inside was bursting with amazing needlepointing, embroidery, and knitting/crocheting goods. Lots of great things to look at and consider purchasing. I hemmed and hawed, knowing that I only wanted 1 skein since I have so much yarn in my stash already.

235 | 365 : gggrrrrRAWRrrrrr [76/365 - 2009]

I ended up with a skein on Araucania Nature Wool Solids in a dark, mottled green. Gorgeous color. My first go with this yarn, and I totally loved it. It’s sturdy but not rough. Perfect for a Felicity Hat (the pdf is in the side bar of the Knitology page), which I’ve been meaning to make for a long time.

FO: Felicity Hat

Probably picked the colorway because it reminded me of all the lovely mossy trees I saw on the WVU campus —

Project Spectrum Inspiration for North

Anyways, the hat pattern + the yarn choice = perfect. I had a size 8 circular with me, and about 7 hours later, I had a hat! Easy as pie pattern, written wonderfully. Only changes I made: longer section before the crown decreases, to make it big and slouchy, and a couple of rows of garter along the edge, instead of 1 row of purl, hoping that the edge wouldn’t curl. It still does, but not as much as it would have without the mod, I believe.

253 | 365 : Just another day [95/365 - 2009]

Ended up wearing it for the rest of the cold days in Philadelphia, instead of my Thorpe (not that my love has changed for my Thorpe, of course).

Needle: Size 8 circular
Yarn: Araucania Nature Wool Solids
Yardage: less than a full skein (approx 200 yds)
Cast on: March 17, 2009
Cast off: March 17, 2009 (took 7 hours from start to weaving in ends)
Mods: longer section before crown decreases; 4 rows of garter stitch on edging
Ravelry Project page

Hey, guess what

April 30, 2009

Only 4 days later than my self-imposed deadline to hand in my thesis (the last day I could hand it in is May 6th), I finally finished!

275 | 365 : guess what [105/365 - 2009}

It’s being printed, bound, and turned in this afternoon. Can’t wait to be able to knit guiltlessly, take photos seriously, and have free time again!

Oh. And I have a bunch of finished knits to show YOU.

Literally pages and a proof away from being finished, with both my final paper for class and my Master’s thesis. It gets harder and harder to concentrate.

This is what I’d rather be doing:

My touring bike

50 | 365 : Watching the sunset

Late lunch

85 | 365 : Being a knitter = love (1,000,000)

PSA For Earth Day

April 22, 2009

Hey there! Just popping in to say a few words and then back to the grindstone. My Master’s Thesis and a final paper for my final class are due on April 27th, so it’s all crazy ’round here.

Happy Earth Day everyone!

Crosschecks in the park

Bike more! Drive Less! Or not at all!

Have a great day! See you next week!

Close to the end

March 18, 2009

The first draft of my thesis should be completed by Monday, March 23rd. Yikes! The end of the semester is getting pretty close!

Part of my thesis deals with acid mine drainage, since it is such an enormous environmental issue related to coal mines. In order to get a good sense of the entire state, I’m currently in West Pennsylvania visiting with different organizations and conducting interviews.

AMD at Wingfield Pines

I got a chance to visit an acid mine drainage remediation project at Wingfield Pines, outside of Pittsburgh.

Don’t have a chance to really blog about it properly right now. Need to pack up my stuff from the hotel outside of Pittsburgh and head off to West Virginia for another meeting.

AMD at Wingfield Pines

Until I give a proper debriefing, here’s some pictures to satisfy your curiosity…in case you are curious about AMD, abandoned mine remediation, and my Master’s thesis.