Saturday, July 26, 2008

Copycat Spiral Yoke

Last year, I was out in Maine when BrooklynTweed posted photos of Cobblestone on his blog. I should have started knitting it immediately. Instead, I started knitting something else that I just had to frog in favor of the Cobblestone. His Spiral Yoke sweater looks intriguing, but I have my doubts. Still, I've learned my lesson:

Obey the Tweed.

I made my sister drive me to yarn stores in search of some worsted merino. I hit the jackpot at Purl Diva. Loki the shop dog was hopped up on dog treats and kept barking at me, but Ellen was great. She looked up the sweater on Ravelry, suggested good alternative yarns, and I found ample amounts.

I've started the project three times, trying to get the tubular cast-on right. Finally, I found TECHknitter's instructions. Easy to follow, quick, and with a beautiful result. I was so turned on by this cast-on that I....

Well, I better just stop there.

Thanks, Gerald, for the bit of Blimey that not only completed Mike's socks but provided a bright contrasting tail for the tubular cast-on.

I'll work on this until the Olympics start. I've joined Team Browncoat in Ravelympics, hoping to complete the Wash Sweater before the Olympic flame goes out on August 24.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Vacation Tweets

I don't use Twitter with my phone. If I did, this is probably what I would've tweeted in the past few days:

Landed only 20 min late. Resolution: only carbs on this trip will be alcohol, breakfast, or frozen.
11:00 AM July 16, 2008 from txt

Maine International Film Festival.
06:30 PM July 16, 2008 from txt
If I had iPhone, I would look up voice actors for WALL-E.
01:30 PM July 17, 2008 from txt
Buying handspun from Pine Tree Yarns in Damariscotta. Next: sit on rocks @ Pemaquid until I forget my name.
11:00 AM July 18, 2008 from txt
Fresh mussels with linguini and house marinara @ Scarlet Begonia. Brownie batter & pnut butter cup @ Gelato Fiasco.
06:00 PM July 18, 2008 from txt
LOL -- "The hammer is my penis."
08:00 AM July 19, 2008 from txt

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I hate sewing

Two of my staff are having baby girls this summer (one could be giving birth at this very minute). I got a late start on knitting them some gifts, but managed to crank out two Baby Surprise Jackets pretty quickly -- at least the knitting part.

See, this is why I like socks: you bind off the cuff or graft the toe, and *poof*, you're done. These jackets require minimal sewing, but still required 10 inches of seam and 5 buttons each.

Nevertheless, they're done, and they are cute, aren't they?

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Anti-Social Follow-Up

My last post doesn't make this clear: I'm not categorically against the social web. One of the things I love most about the Internet is how it creates communities of common interest. I'm also a fan of innovation and dabbling:
  • I joined LibraryThing in November 2005, but it wasn't until I discovered the blog widget nearly a year later that I really started using it.
  • I first tried Twitter in April 2007, but it was annoying and useless. This spring, after more people I actually know had joined, I reanimated my account, and have found that I've enjoyed the random messages from friends during the day.
  • I created my account in December 2005. Intellectually, I know it's a good and useful service, but I'm still struggling to integrate it into my daily life.
And that last point is the one I seem to be struggling to make: judging these services based on whether they supplement or augment my life and enrich the pursuit of the interests I already have, rather than add random activities and on-line responsibilities. It's actually kind of cool that so many people I already know are on Facebook, and that when I joined, my network of these "friends" grew so rapidly. But Facebook doesn't integrate neatly into my life; instead it presents me with something else to do. That "something else" is certainly fun, but I feel somehow that I'm doing what Facebook wants me to do, not what I want to do.

Saturday, July 05, 2008


On June 25, I was criticized for not being on Facebook. So the next day I joined. And then the next day, I opened a FriendFeed account. And now I've got people pestering me to be on Plurk.

Enough already.

Initially, Facebook filled me with Third Grade anxieties -- "What if so-and-so won't be my friend?" Then came the Ninth Grade anxieties -- "Should I join groups? Are groups un-cool? What about flair? Is that cool? I don't want to be un-cool." Then it just settled down into lots of invitations to play games. I suck at Scramble. I hold my own at WordTwist. I dominate at Sudoku.

I have a blog because it was the easiest way to create a web-presence, and occasionally I do have something I want to say. I have LibraryThing and Ravelry because I like to keep track of what I read and knit. That seems to be about it.

So I'm instituting a new rule: no more social networking applications without a clear purpose and direct relevance to my life -- my first life, and its relevant on-line tools and extensions. I have no need to create a Second Life.