Today, we will take a small break from photos of food and look at photos of random craft things…
The weird thing about summer is that there’s no homework sets. When you get
back from your [insert number here]-hour work day, you’re basically
free. Or at least, free to do everything else that you should’ve done a long time ago. This is why, instead of doing the 50000 other things I’m supposed to be doing, I decided to start wasting my time on hobbies.
Needlefelting is the act of taking a needle and stabbing a ball of wool/fluff until it becomes a thing. It’s a great hobby for masochists because, no matter how careful you are, you will always stab yourself with the needle. In hindsight, needlefelting is probably kind of a terrible hobby…I first started this hobby because Roommate S decided to take up crocheting, leaving random bits of yarn fluff leftover. (The stereotype is that that Techers are all socially-challenged nerds
with no knowledge outside of science and technology, but the truth is
that Techers are all old ladies.)
Here’s the tip of one of the needles from up close:
If you look closely, you can see little notches near the tip. The notches catch on the wool fibers as you stab down, but lets go when you pull the needle back up. This turns your ball of wool fluff into a really tangled ball of wool fluff. I bought the needles off of Amazon (a set of 4 differently-sized needles for $7ish) because it was the cheapest set I found. You can also find them at your local crafts store.
Here’s a photo of some fluff:
The fluff becomes super compacted after you felt it–the Magikarp used about 1.5x more volume of fluff than the fluff in the photo! The wool was bought from Etsy. I didn’t know how wool weight translated to wool volume, so buying my first batch of fluff was pure guesswork… For reference, I had a total of about 15g of orange wool.
Here’s a bunch of things I’ve needlefelted over the school year/breaks/summer:
Protip: Needlefelting small things is hard. Very hard. Seriously, you’re going to stab yourself so many times it’s not even funny.
My favorite part about Caltech is the Houses! The easiest way to describe them is as Hogwarts houses: each has their own personality and group of people and the first thing you do at Caltech is go through a “sorting” process. The people are what makes the Houses at Caltech so great. As a frosh, it’s amazing to be able to come in and immediately have a group of 100+ people to support you. Because the Houses have students from every grade, you make friends with upperclassmen and can ask for help on tons of things like:
It’s crazy to think that it has been four years now since I was applying to college. I remember it vividly. This week we’re spending some time reflecting on our personal admissions processes, and how we ended up at Caltech. There’s one question though that I wanted to spin out into a separate post: “what advice would you give to the admitted class of 2025?” And I think the best way to do this is to tell a more detailed story than I did in my other post.
These past six months have been a whirlwind- from having to move out of Caltech housing in March within a week’s notice due to COVID-19, to starting the first term of my junior year, I’ve definitely experienced a lot of change. When I went home in March, it was to a completely new state-my family moved from Chino, CA to New Jersey in January (great timing, huh?). While I missed seeing my friends from home, it was fun to have the chance to explore a completely new place. The pandemic obviously limited what I could see and do, but I got to experience walks through nature and along rivers normally foreign to a SoCal native and had some time to focus on bioinformatics research for the lab I work with on campus.