Wednesday, December 28, 2005
It's more snug than I expected -- I thought it would be bigger, but after two trips through the washer, it felted down to the recommended horizontal gauge. A bit too tight for Logan, so I've been trying to make a bigger one, with mixed success.
On the right is a "medium" sized crown, knit with Heilo from Dalegarn. I tried to make longer points, with dubious success. Anyway, this felted down very small. On the left is another try, this time with Cascade 220, knitting the "extra large" size. Better circumference -- I think this one might actually fit! -- although you can really see that my vertical gauge is off.
Saturday, December 24, 2005
I am thinking about tags this week for a couple reasons. Primarily, it is because of this story in the Houston Press about crafty knitting taggers. But also because Santa is on his way to our house with an iPod Shuffle for Mike. How will we know which is his and which is mine? I think a little graffiti tag of my own might look quite nice on the bare white plastic Shuffle.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
One day way back in November, while listening to NPR's "All Things Considered" during my drive home from work, I heard a teaser for an interview that would be broadcast the next morning: Dan Savage talking about the realization that his 7-year-old son DJ was hearing his fathers' relationship discussed as "a threat to all things decent and good." I didn't hear the interview, and for the next few days some glitch at NPR.org kept me from hearing the story online. Knowing the problem would be fixed eventually, I stuck the link in a blog post, saved it as a draft, and promptly forgot about it.
This morning I ran across the unposted draft, and finally followed the working link to listen to the story. The highlight for me was Savage saying, "All kids understand a promise," and DJ coming to realize that marriage is a promise people make to stay related. Which is why when DJ is picking the rings Dan and Terry will use in their marriage ceremony, he chooses rings with skulls on them, saying, "Dad, don't you understand you're going to get married? That means you have to stay together till you die."
(If listening doesn't work for you, the transcript is available in EBSCOhost Newspaper Source. Search for "dan savage" and enter "morning edition" as the newspaper name).
Saturday, December 17, 2005
I will say this: the flexible cord of the circular needles is very easy to pull through the knitted chain links as you move the links around ahead of your working stitches. But all in all, I think doing this with short, double-pointed needles is easiest of all.
It's possible that this insanity will extend to partnering with my fabulous friend Mary to make knitted versions of her beautiful chainmail creations.
Update December 17:
The chain felted up very nicely. It's about 6 feet long, and while it probably won't be very functional as a neck warmer, it looks pretty sharp as a decorative accessory.
In the end, I kept up with the Magic Loop experiment; it got easier as I went along.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
They're supposed to be squares. The pattern designer has been great though, even willing to customize the instructions for whatever gauge I'm getting. I think I'm just going to wing it, however, recognizing that I will need to make my crown a little bigger around and a little shorter than the instructions call for.
But seeking some mindless knitting -- you know, something I don't have to make fit? -- I tried the "Marley's Ghost" felted chain pattern in the latest issue of Knitty. Now this is some fun.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
But this morning I noticed that the heel was unraveling on one of them.
Supposedly, the big advantage of the short-row heel is how easy it is to replace. We'll see.
I was pleased with these socks. They're not identical: the stripe patterns are reversed. From the toe on one (and the cuff on the other) they follow the striping pattern I created based on the Copenhagen cathedral chimes.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Most purchases were from Quiltessentials in Auburn, a quilt store with a small but stellar inventory of yarns. Because I couldn't wait until I got home, I went back to the store the next day to pick up some extra needles and get this skein wound into a ball:
This is Done Roving, and I love it. It's not obvious from the picture, but the colors are really unusual: shades of turquoise and red clay (the colorway is called "Southwestern"). And what do you know...these socks I'm knitting up are sized to fit me.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Miss Manners has always disdained wish lists. That's nice in theory, but when you've got a birthday in December, it's just rude not to help out the people who want to get you something.
I've kept an Amazon.com Wish List since they first started offering them, and that has been great. But if someone doesn't want to buy me books or media, it's hard to let them know what I want.
Last year, I created a Froogle Wish List. Not quite as convenient as Amazon, but it does have a wider range.
This year, I'm discovering that I want stuff from Cafe Press. I haven't had much luck getting Cafe Press stuff to appear on a Froogle list, so here's my Cafe Press wish list:
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
I'm eager for the day when having a hybrid isn't a "statement." See, I think there are Rules of Taste for messages on the back of cars: the tasteful driver can have one message and one parking sticker. If you have to have two parking stickers, then you sacrifice a message, but you can't put on two bumper stickers just because you lack a parking sticker. A message can be a license plate frame, an alumni window sticker, a bumper sticker, or a magnet. Vanity plates can, on occasion, be given exemptions on a case-by-case basis, but they usually constitute a message.
Currently, I have no extra message: no HRC icon or rainbow flag, no Darwin fish or Brights emblem, no political messages. The indication that my Civic is a hybrid seems to constitute a message all its own.
[From Wired's Autopia blog]
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Saturday, October 22, 2005
I had in mind my friend Beth's new baby Faith when I started the hat, but it's too big.
The pumpkin hat is for David, the boy my friends Will and Tiffany adopted last month. I'll give it to them tonight at Game Night.
Sunday, September 25, 2005
This was loosely adapted from the cable pattern on the poncho. I used two patterns -- Jo Ellyn Wheeler's "Cabled Wristers" from the Fall 2004 (4:3) Twists and Turns and Bonne Marie Burns's "Voodoo Wrist Warmers" from Winter 2002 Knitty -- for inspiration.
Cast 40 stitches onto two size 7 circular needles, joining into round. First round: *k1, p2, k9, p2, k1, p5; repeat once from *.
Beginning with round 2 of the four round pattern below, knit until piece measures about 7 inches. The pattern repeats once each round.
- K1, p2, k9, p2, k1, p1, k3tog, p1, k3tog, p1
- K1, p2, k9, p2, k1, p5
- K1, p2, cross 4 right (instructions below), k1, cross 4 left, p2, k1, p1, increase 3 (k1, p1, k1 in same stitch), p1, increase 3, p1
- K1, p2, k9, p2, k1, p9
- K1, p2, k1, bind off 7 stitches, continue in pattern to end (round 4)
- K1, p2, k1, cast on 7 stitches, continue in pattern to end (round 1)
I'm generally pleased with the result. I actually think a thumb gusset would be desirable, but I don't really have the gumption to figure that out.
Crossing instructions are from http://www.knitting-crochet.com/terms.html
Cross 4 Left: Slip next st onto cable needle and leave at front of work, knit next 3 sts from left-hand needle then knit st from cable needle.
Cross 4 Right: Slip next 3 sts onto cable needle and leave at back of work, knit next st from left-hand needle then knit sts from cable needle.
Here is my attempt to chart the pattern. Click on the picture to see a larger version.
Saturday, September 17, 2005
It reminds me a bit of Minesweeper; the logic involved in figuring out where a number must go because of where it can't go appeals to me. As my eyes scan over the grid hunting for certain numbers, I'm reminded of those Mah Jongg tile solitaire games like Shanghai.
The trouble? Sudoku takes attention. Unlike knitting, I can't do Sudoku and watch TV, carry on a conversation, or read. I obviously can't do Sudoku and knit. And if I keep trying to do Sudoku puzzles while Mike wants to play along with Lingo or What's My Line, then my relationship will be on the rocks.
My only hope is to get him hooked too.
Monday, September 12, 2005
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
And as promised, a pattern (of sorts)
I used Sugar 'n' Cream cotton, knitting in the round on two 24 inch size US5 (3.75 mm) needles. But the pattern is adaptable to your preferred yarn and needles.
- Cast on 8 stitches. Join and knit one round.
- (YO, K1) around
- (YO, K2) around
- (YO, K3) around
Knit plain for 8 rounds or so (about an inch, or as long as looks good to you).
The "body" of the bottle cozy can be any stitch pattern you want. I've been experimenting with lacy stitches. Above, I used:
- (YO, K2tog) around
- (K2tog, YO) around
End with an inch or so of ribbing and bind off loosely.
Monday, September 05, 2005
My sister called this weekend to say her water bottle cozies have now fallen apart. She wants new ones. So I thought I might see what I could do with knitting needles. These are the fruits of my experiments over the past couple days.
Both of these are from worsted weight Sugar 'N' Cream cotton. I made the one on the right first, following this Water Bottle Tote pattern. The one on the left is my attempt at pattern refinements: a flatter bottom and less annoying stitch pattern (using Turkish Stitch instead of Purse Stitch). Both of them are a bit too small; they won't fit around a liter-sized bottle, but they'll work for smaller bottles.
I want to try again, then I'll post my own pattern here.
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
The New York Times today reports on the survey results from the Pew Research Center, highlighting that 64% of respondents say that Creationism should be taught in schools.
I guess I could get behind this if it made the whole thing go away. "Class, the 'theory' of Intelligent Design is that God or the aliens made life happen on earth by magic. This will not be on the test. What will be on the test is how adaptation and competition for resources within ecological niches have helped shape the evolution of species over millions and millions of years. You'll also be called upon to properly define a 'theory.'"
Where is the intellectually rigorous religious thought? Aren't there Deists anymore? I could respect someone who said, "A creator set up the forces of physics that define and shape the observable universe." On the first day, God created math.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Mom asked me to knit one of these hallowigs for someone she works with (something about a "Lollipop Guild" routine). Frankly, I think this looks more like Oompa Loompa hair, or like something out of anime. I wonder if one of the Elvis wigs might be more appropriate?
Thursday, August 18, 2005
As a benefit, knitting this thing destroyed my size 13 circular needle.
Seriously, it's a benefit. I love Addi's, but the connecting tubes on the larger sizes are horrid: the yarn sticks to them rather than sliding smoothly (the cause of the breakage, I'm sure). Still, they're so expensive that I couldn't really justify replacing it with something better until it broke. I was thrilled to see that now the size 13's have the normal thin Addi connector.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
I wonder if the students at Danville know that once upon a time their principal was invisible and lived inside a red vinyl Beatles change purse?
Yes, my imaginary playmate was named "Roxie." Further evidence that sexual orientation (or at least fabulousness) is something you're born with.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
One of my favorite books this year is Kenneth Oppel's Airborn. Engaging (if uncomplicated) characters, swash-buckling situations (with pirates even), glorious settings beautifully described. The plot hinges maybe a bit too much on coincidence, but this story of an airship cabin boy and the granddaughter of an explorer who find a new species (sort of a flying panther) cries out to be made into a movie. I could see something that uses the same film-making techniques as Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. (Hint to anyone writing a book report on this: discuss the multiple meanings of "airborn/airborne" in the novel).
And finally, check out Jeff Parker's The Interman, a graphic novel with echoes of The Bourne Identity and The Pretender. Van Meach is the product of a Cold War experiment that makes him almost endlessly adaptable, able to grow gills underwater, to shrug off poisons, and survive temperature extremes. OK, so I'm easily charmed by stories of men who can breath under water.
Monday, August 15, 2005
Maybe when it gets a little cooler, he'll care. But for the time being he seems to prefer the comfort of a plastic bag.
Friday, August 12, 2005
Dodger walked into the frame just as I was snapping this picture. I made these one at a time, "magic loop" style on a single circular needle (rather than both at the same time on two circs, my usual preference). I also tried out a tighter gauge; these are made on size 1 (2.25 mm) instead of 2 (2.5 mm).
Thankfully, Dodger doesn't often show an interest in my knitting. The only work-in-progress he's ever taken out of the basket and played with was a cashmere scarf I was knitting in the Matthew Shepard pattern. I think he likes yarn with goat hair. I've contemplated making him one of the felted kitty beds, but I suspect he'd just ignore it.
Sunday, August 07, 2005
I never listen to the radio outside my car, but it has become a weekend ritual for me to listen to shows from the "Wait Wait" archive and knit.
Saturday, August 06, 2005
...I was doubting how much I really wanted to go on. Nevertheless, I had 19 hours of Sweet Valley Hogwarts to listen to, so I went ahead and made two intarsia face panels.
I wasn't happy with them -- they were sloppy, even after blocking. Then I remembered a discussion on GLB-Knit about doing the Peace Blanket in double knitting: one side would be a negative, mirror image of the other. Something new to learn! After a few false starts, I got that going, and I'm much happier with the results. Here's the reverse:
Now it's just plain, boring circular knitting for 4 feet or so, then the "OBEY" panel.
Sunday, July 31, 2005
I'm sure Randall Stross's article in today's New York Times will get plenty of play in tech blogs, but the knitters probably don't care. But knitters have an understanding of copyright that supports Stross's point. He argues in Why Bill Gates Wants 3,000 New Patents (registration required) that software patents should be abolished, and software makers should be protected by copyright alone. Microsoft should only be able to copyright Word and Excel; they should never be given patents on word processing or spreadsheets. (Simplistic example, obviously, but analogous to some of the concepts Microsoft has filed patents for this summer).
As knitters, we enjoy a great deal of design freedom because an individual cannot copyright a technique or method: only the words describing the method. Imagine if someone filed for and was given a patent for a technique: no one else would be able to use that concept in their own patterns. Obviously, no patent is ever going to be granted for knitting concepts (cabling, ribbing, intarsia) or techniques (picking, throwing) -- even for innovations like "magic loop."
Knitting: the Open Source Craft.
Sunday, June 05, 2005
Unusual for me: I'm knitting from the top down. I thought this yarn might be good for Kathleen Hubbard's Aran-Braid Socks, but the subtle color pattern was obscuring the braid. So I ripped it out and am trying the "Vine Lace Socks" from Socks Socks Socks. I've been getting a lot of mileage out of that book recently.
Monday, May 30, 2005
For a better detail of the pattern, check out my very first blog posting.
The scarf momentum carries over into the "Here and There Cables" scarf made from leftover Bearfoot.
I'm concerned that the scarf will be "unbalanced," starting with two really vivid colors that are no longer available. I'm giving some thought to unraveling some of that big red section and reknitting it later in the scarf.
Saturday, April 30, 2005
In "Thunderhead" from Bearfoot, the overall color is nice but the yarn is too dark for the wing pattern to show. But that's not my biggest concern: I don't know if anyone I knit socks for would want lacy patterns on their feet.
Unexpected bonus of knitting lacy socks: that hole that sometimes appears where the heel meets the instep? Not a problem. Blends in with the other holes.
Saturday, April 23, 2005
The color changes were an experiment with the Golden Ratio. Not the greatest. I like how the "wire hanger sock blocker" turned out, though.
More snake-like, however, is this pair, which I call the "Nafferton Chimes Socks."
They're made from black, green, and yellow Frog Tree alpaca, and the color pattern is based on the three bell chiming pattern of the Nafferton Church in Sheffield. Basing stripes on chime patterns is an idea I lifted from Jacqueline Fee's The Sweater Workshop, a fantastic book. I like these, but I make it a point not to keep -- or give to people I love -- socks that have to be treated so delicately as alpaca, so I'm selling them for charity.
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Saturday, February 19, 2005
These are the gloves requested by Anna, who used her sewing skills to help make my enormous green Aran sweater fit.
The wonderful camel scarf is getting longer (no need to post a new picture, really). Making progress up the sleeves of Mike's purple sweater:
Sunday, February 13, 2005
Saturday, February 12, 2005
Monday, February 07, 2005
I love that because the pattern has an odd number of rows the cabling happens on both sides of the scarf, making it reversible. Here's a closeup:
Too many works in progress, really. It will be in the dead of summer before I get all these scarves finished.
Saturday, February 05, 2005
I spent December doing socks, and started the sweater sleeves on January 1. Got this far in a few days...
...then put them aside for a month. Now I have no idea where I am. "Round 22," whatever that means. I'd rather leave it all in a tangled heap and keep working on the lovely gray baby camel scarf, but before I get too lost, I should get back on track with the sweater.
Too many WIPs.
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
Initially, I was just irritated when I read that PBS had caved to Dept of Ed pressure to pull an episode of Postcards from Buster that contained children with lesbian parents. But as I wrote the following note to WOSU to tell them I hoped they would show it, I got pissed.
Hello--Unsurprisingly, WOSU will not be airing the "Sugartime" episode, feeling that it is important for parents to "have the option of addressing elements of this episode with their young children at a time and manner of their own choosing." Yep, you need to make sure that kids feel the appropriate revulsion and hatred of those maple sugar manufacturers.
I do not see the "Sugartime" episode of _Postcards
from Buster_ listed in your schedule. I do hope that
you intend to air the program. My decision of how
much my household will support WOSU stations this
year will depend on your choice.
From what I've read, there is no romantic contact
pictured between the mother and stepmother of the
girl Buster meets. The words "lesbian" or "gay" are
never used. The subject of gay marriage or civil union
is not relevant to this show about tapping trees for
maple sugar, and the subject is not raised.
To censor this episode is an attempt to ostracize and
inflict shame on the children -- children in this very
community -- who live in families headed by same sex
couples. I find it despicable that the Dept. of
Education has put PBS and its affiliates in this
position, and I dearly hope that you do the right thing
for children in central Ohio.
I decided it's time to turn this into an actual blog, rather than just updating a single post every other day. So here's my favorite WIP: a scarf knit from Blithe baby camel yarn that I bought in Arbella Yarns in Salem, MA. The pattern is from Simply Beautiful Sweaters for Men (Martingale, 2001).
Monday, January 31, 2005
- Toe-up "Simple Sock" in Bearfoot Lupine (pattern to be posted here soon)
- Toe-up "Simple Sock" in denim blue Encore DK
- Gaughan's "Here and There Cables" from Scarf Style in Bearfoot yarn leftover from socks
- Marchant's "Wondrous Woven Cables" sweater from Arans & Celtics in Blueberry Jo Sharp DK Wool Tweed for Mike
- Up next: gloves for Anna, scarf in baby camel hair, bed for Dodger
- The Final Solution by Michael Chabon
- What's the Matter with Kansas? by Thomas Frank
- Best American Science & Nature Writing 2004 by Steven Pinker (editor)
- Gifts by Ursula K. Le Guin
- Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalpyse by Robert Rankin
- Witches of Chiswick by Robert Rankin
- America: the book by Jon Stewart and the Daily Show writers
- Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
- So Far by Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young
- 101 by Depeche Mode
- Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris (read by the author)
- Wicked (Original Cast Recording)
- I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958) [DVD]
- House of Flying Daggers (2004) [Theater]
- Elektra (2005) [Theater]
- Gone with the Wind (1939) [DVD Commentary Track]
- Blue Sub No. 6 (1998) [Adult Swim On Demand]
- Closer (2004) [Theater]
- Annoying Song: "Popular" from Wicked