Another Stressful Week Means a Lot of Practice Research

It’s a good thing my primary mode of destressing is part of my thesis.

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya from Pexels

This past week there was a birthday and a leak in the ceiling, plus I was trying to figure out how to get the rest of the end-of-semester projects done without hitting a flaming burnout.

So, I went with what I could control which was administrative stuff. So I polished my Calendly onboarding, tried to think through what I would want to ask, made a document to start digesting my dissertation notes, and then knit a lot.

I took 12 skeins of yarn from my yarn stash and wound them all up. They’ll be made into holiday guests over the next months.

One of the tangentially related things I did was go to the Wearables Club meeting on the IDM floor on Friday. I brought some of my prototypes from previous years including my Creative Coding final (aka Krampus hat) and my Wearables midterm (aka the Hygge Gauntlet) as examples for other students interested in the field.

A few things that resonated with me that I overheard there was the idea that wearable technology and soft interfaces make physical computing a lot more approachable. This was one of the points I made in putting together my slideshow for my final presentation last fall and I stand by that thought.

There’s also the idea that your wearable microcontrollers can always come out of whatever you’ve made. The sustainability side always appealed to me about knitting because it was a type of project where at the end of the day you still have yarn and sticks.

Two captures of my Whiteout shawl, pattern by Melanie Berg. This pattern quadrupled in size this week.

The thing is that the practice part of this project is going very very well!

Mostly because I managed to pick the one form of stress relief that actually seems to work as my thesis. So I’ve been knitting and recording my thoughts in a separate journal.

Most of my knitting this week was centered around a shawl I had been wanting to make called Whiteout. I also wound yarn for the remaining sections of a Spring Cleaning Shawl. I also wound yarn for several other Christmas gifts I plan on pounding out in the exhausting weeks that come with finals.

Puddle of Spring Cleaning Shawl by Stephen West. Better photo to come after Section 7.

Next week I have the following goals:

  • Develop a survey for qualitative data
  • Set up interviews with designers and knitters
  • Follow up for an ETA on my spinning wheel
  • Knit baby hats
  • Finish the Spring Cleaning Shawl
  • Spin two fiber samples into yarn and make them into swatches
  • Begin drafting the lit review chapter of my dissertation
Photo of the finished Hayley’s Comet Shawl. (Yes, I put my finished shawls on framed art!)

Bonus, I was also able to give my mom her birthday present which was a Hayley’s Comet Shawl from Plucky Knitter Design.




A place for thoughts, musings, notations, and synthesis of ideas for my thesis research.

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Lauren Busser

Lauren Busser

Grad Student at NYU Tandon. Associate Editor for Tell-Tale TV. Pop Culture enthusiast. Writer with a dog. Knits.

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