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Archive for March 2008

Print o’ the Wave Stole, a beginning

March 27th, 2008 — 4:55pm

I’ve been working on Eunny Jang’s Print o’ the Wave stole, in Knitpicks’ Shadow laceweight merino (Lost Lake colorway) with size 2 needles. I’m having a lot of fun with it — it’s a nice easy lace pattern with restful purled WS rows. The zig-zags are so nice and obvious that I don’t need markers to remind me where the pattern repeats are, and it’s easy to tell what row I’m on if I forget. (Note: errata here! Most important thing is “As written, Chart B for the edging contains an error. The second-to-last stitch of rows 9, 11, 13 and 15 should be marked as a k2tog.”) I’m knitting the thing in one piece from end to end so there’s no grafted seam down the middle. And I don’t think I’ll be doing as many reps as the pattern calls for (34 total)… we’ll see how long it gets.

Progress on March 23:


And earlier today:


I was just browsing around for alternate knitted edgings, in case I want to change things around a bit, and by sheer coincidence I bumped into the very same pattern (pretty sure, didn’t analyze it but it looks the same) as the main body of the stole, only here it’s called Coral Pattern. Neat!

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Happy Striped Socks, finished

March 26th, 2008 — 6:51pm

Henry’s Happy Striped Socks are done!


Yarn: Knitpicks’ Risata — one entire skein of blue, with only a couple yards left over, and less than half of a skein of buttermilk.

Needles: Knitpicks’ Harmony 32″ wooden circs, size 0

Vague Details:

CO 16 st using Judy’s Magic Cast-on. Make toe till you have 52 st total. Move one st from sole to top (25/27). Top is k3,p1. (End k3) Work two rounds white, 5 rounds blue till you have 9 white stripes. Make ordinary Dutch heel on 25 st (heel flap will be under the heel) for 14 ridges. Turn heel on 8+9+8. Pick up all those side stitches. Decrease away gusset stitches every third round. Continue ribbing pattern for 5 more white stripes. Switch to k1p1 ribbing in blue for 12 rounds, then 4 rounds double knitting to prep for grafting (14 rounds total), then graft. Done!

Kung Fu Socks!


In progress:


I love the Magic Loop method! I’d never knit socks that way before. It made them go really fast, because you only have to fiddle with your needles twice every round, instead of four times! Also it made them way more portable, and easier to try on at any time. I’ve started another pair just like these but in green and brown — Henry’s choice. I also discovered that i don’t hate toe-up socks if I don’t try to make a fancy backwards heel. A regular old Dutch heel is just fine.

1 comment » | Blog, Free Patterns, Handmade

knitting photos

March 23rd, 2008 — 10:51am

An assortment of knitting photos. I gave up on the Bleeding Hearts stole from IWK Spring 2008. The lace pattern was annoying. I started Eunny Jang’s Print o’ the Wave stole instead, and it’s fun! I’m going to work the center panel end-to-end instead of grafting in the middle. I love this lace pattern. It’s very easy, very pretty, has restful WS purl rows, and, once the zig-zags develop, it’s so obvious where you are in the pattern at any point that that I don’t even need markers between pattern reps. Lovely. And the Knitpicks’ “Shadow” merino laceweight yarn is lovely to work with. The white string is a lifeline through row 12 of the third repeat, just in case there’s a disaster later.


Henry’s socks are almost done. I can’t say enough good things about knitpicks’ “Risata”!


Re-blocking the Slipped Cable Vest because I foolishly wore it before the ribbing was bone dry :)


And, finally, at long last blocking the Cobblestone Cardigan Modification:


(After seeing this photo, I tugged the left side down a bit more!) It’s 86 degrees today so my wet sweaters should dry pretty quickly.

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Dancing with the Stars

March 21st, 2008 — 10:35pm

Since we heard that Adam Carolla was going to be on Dancing with the Stars, we decided to swallow our pride and give it a try. We watched the first two episodes of this season and… wow! It’s really entertaining! It’s not sleazy or slimy at all! It’s kind of cultural! It’s really interesting and fun to watch these people, who are all famous in one way or another but completely new to ballroom dancing, get up there, live, and bravely do their best.

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Won’t you be my neighbor?

March 20th, 2008 — 11:49am

Today is “Won’t You Wear A Sweater Day”, in honor of Mister Rogers’ birthday!

In honor of what would have been Mister Rogers’ 80th birthday on March 20 [2008], Mr. McFeely — aka David Newell, the public relations director for Family Communications, Inc. (the nonprofit company founded in 1971 by Fred Rogers) — has a special request. “We’re asking everyone (including members of the media) everywhere (from Pittsburgh to Paris) to wear their favorite sweater on that day,” he asks. “It doesn’t have to have a zipper down the front like the one Mister Rogers wore on the program, it just has to be special to you.”

I’ve got my favorite red sweater on. Let’s make the most of this beautiful day! Won’t you be my neighbor?

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Wikihistory – hilarious short story!

March 19th, 2008 — 7:15am

I just found Wikihistory, a hilarious short story by Desmond Warzel. It’s in the form of a wikipedia-type message board for time travelers. The noobs keep on killing Hitler…

It’s very short and extremely funny! Go read. I especially enjoyed BarracksRoomLawyer’s contributions to the discussion ;-)

2 comments » | Blog, Tech

New solo!

March 16th, 2008 — 3:35pm

Finally, finally, my recording setup is fixed, or rather, not fixed but worked-around to my satisfaction. The problem started recently, after a re-install of Leopard on my Macbook. There’s really nothing to indicate that Leopard is to blame, but the problem did not occur until after the re-install on a new hard drive. (The first, original installation of Leopard caused no problems.) The problem occurred in both SoundStudio and Audacity, using any of my three USB microphones. Recordings would suddenly become filled with static and echo, OR would randomly skip and/or garble some input, leaving garbage and blank places in the file.

We tried all the usual fixes — un-installing and re-installing drivers and software. No change. Then we did a completely fresh installation of Leopard, wiping the hard drive completely. No change. (You might think I’m annoyed at losing everything for no reason, but it is rather fun getting my computer set up again, with all my favorite software and settings! Ahhhhh Apple.)

Finally Dan suggested I try his firewire audio interface instead of my USB one (It’s a box that goes between mic and computer). And, 6 test recordings later, I have not had any re-occurrence of the problems! Hallelujia! I finished up Helen’s Babies (still waiting on my proof-listener to give the last three chapters a listen before I catalog it, but it’ll be available very soon), recorded three Blackfeet Indian Stories, and started a new solo, the wonderfully charming Book of Art for Young People!

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Finished: Slipped Cable Vest

March 15th, 2008 — 10:49am


Knit Picks’ Slipped Cable Vest, in Wool of the Andes worsted. Needles: Harmony wooden circs, size 4.

Cute, huh? I’m quite pleased! It was fast and fun to knit. However, for the sake of other knitters who might want want to make the same vest: Warning! There are a lot of errors in the pattern!

1. You need to start the cable patterns on the second row (RS), which is not really made clear in the pattern. Also, you don’t want to just randomly place your increases! Count your stitches and figure out where to place increases so that the ribbing continues unbroken up the sides of the vest.

2. This one might trip up a new knitter: when working the short-row shoulder shaping, you will start on a WS row for the left side, and a RS row for the right side! You want the taller part of the fabric at the neckline, and the lower part at the armhole, so you’ll start working the short rows at the neck edge, not the armhole edge!

3. When you start knitting the right side and back after binding off for the armholes, the instructions are unclear and could lead you wrong. You must start by knitting a WS row or you’ll lose a row of your cable pattern.

4. When you pick up stitches around the neckline for the collar, the instructions don’t tell you to pick up stitches up the side-fronts! For me (size small), it was 23 front +18 side-front + 46 back +18 side front +23 front for a total of 128, not the 94 called for in the pattern. Quite an omission. EDIT: Now I’m wondering if maybe I’m wrong about these numbers… maybe they really did want me to pick up far fewer stitches than I did, though it seems as if the fabric would pucker. That might account for the width of the neckline. Hmm… Well, try it both ways and see how it works for you!

All in all, a somewhat sloppily written pattern and not one I’d recommend for new knitters, or those who don’t want to have to figure out where the pattern is steering them wrong :)

This was a fast and fun knit, despite the pattern errors. Wool of the Andes is a lovely yarn, very easy to work with, and it blocked beautifully. The pattern needs some tweaks to make it great (besides fixing the errors). Balancing the cables, front and back, so that like cables meet at the shoulder, would be easy and very effective. In size small, swapping the positions of the front cables would not change the stitch count and would mean that the cables met smoothly at the shoulders. The neckline is oddly low. The collar needs short rows in the back to raise it — I added four sets of staggered short rows, raising the back of the collar by an inch (4 inches high in back, 3 inches in the front). Another touch I added was to balance the collar ribbing so that it starts and ends with k2, PLUS a chain selvage — so, on a right side, sl1, *k2, p2* around, end k2, p1. Wrong side: sl1, *p2,k2* around, end p3.

Another little tweak — instead of binding off for the armholes, just slip the stitches to a holding string. Drop the working yarn, and attach a new ball for the back and another new ball for the other front. Then when you pick up the armhole ribbing it will continue smoothly up from the side-ribbing!

This is not my favorite FO, but it’ll be useful, and the yarn was only $14, so even though it’s not perfect I’m still happy I made it :) More photos:



(Look at my ridiculous puffy hair. Oh how I wish it would lie flat!)

6 comments » | Blog, Handmade

Star Wars remake

March 15th, 2008 — 9:47am

I have just discovered “sweded” movies on youtube — short fan-made remakes. Brilliant! Here’s Star Wars:

And here is Fellowship of the Ring, parts 1 and 2:

Long post with knitting updates coming soon. Watch the videos while you wait.

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Another beautiful day

March 10th, 2008 — 10:17pm

Another beautiful day today! Hung more laundry outside. It’s so nice to have a real backyard with a clothesline! Henry and I went down to Mission Bay again, and we brought his bike so he could ride on the bike path, back and forth, back and forth. I sat in the shade and worked on the Slipped Cable Vest, finished up the fronts and started the back!


(Thanks to Aperture, this is a relatively accurate representation of the color, at least on my iMac’s monitor)

When we got home, we played another game of Agricola, and then in the evening I took him to his Kung Fu group class for the first time in two weeks. So happy he’s feeling good again. And after Henry went to bed, Dan and I watched episode 9 of Celebrity Rehab. Love that show! Seth and Mary and Jessica went to Sober Living, yay!

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Mission Bay

March 8th, 2008 — 9:12pm

We live about ten minutes from Mission Bay now, so this evening we all three went down and took a long walk at sunset. Henry climbed a couple of trees, and Dan tok some photos, and I ripped out the DNA socks (which I’ve grown to loathe). Now I can use that yarn to make some nice simple socks for Henry that I will actually enjoy knitting and even finish someday.

A short exchange on twitter this morning inspired me to create a new project: an online knit together for Introverted Knitters. I was thinking about going to the knit together in Balboa Park, but the prospect of having to make conversation with strangers made me change my mind, even though it is fun to knit with people. So! Introverted knitters, come and join us! I am planning to schedule an online knit together every couple of weeks, perhaps, and we have a google group for chatting and setting up impromptu knit togethers.

Google Groups
Subscribe to Introverted Knitters
Visit this group

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nice spring day

March 6th, 2008 — 9:47pm

Henry’s mostly better but still gets worn out easily, so I decided he should stay home from his classes today, just one more time. So he helped me with some chores this morning and then I helped him work through another sample math lesson at What a great math system! Perfect for Henry. I sure hope Bayshore will buy grade six for us, ’cause if they don’t we’ll have to pay for it ourselves somehow :)

Then, after math, Henry played some Guitar Hero and I got the house nice and clean and hung a couple of loads of laundry out in the sun. The air smelled sweet and springy today.

Tonight I knitted my vest some more while we watched the first episode of The West Wing which seems really good! How nice to have a new series to watch together. And then it was Survivor time. And now it is bedtime.

1 comment » | Blog

Slipped Cable Vest

March 4th, 2008 — 7:12pm

I recently ordered knitpicks’ Slipped Cable Vest pattern and 8 skeins of Wool of the Andes in a lovely honey-brown-gold color they call “wheat” (on sale for $1.79/skein. Dude!) Also a set of size 4 Harmony needle tips (Yeah, pattern calls for 8s, I got gauge on 4s. Go figure.) Last night, after finishing the brown and cream mittens, I cast on for the vest and worked about two inches of ribbing, and then today I finished the ribbing and worked two repeats of the cable pattern. Working 198 stitches in ribbing is funny. It starts out six miles wide and draws in gradually while you’re working, and when you finally have 3 inches of knitting it’s a reasonable width :)

It’s very restful, after all the improvisational knitting I’ve been doing, to just follow a damn pattern for a change :) The pattern is very simple, and is written pretty well, but the transition between ribbing and cable could be made a lot clearer. If you follow the directions, it seems that you need to start the cable patterns on the second row (RS), which is not really made clear in the pattern. Also, you don’t want to just randomly place your increases! Count your stitches and figure out where to place increases so that the ribbing continues unbroken up the sides of the vest. If you goof it up a little, you don’t need to rip the whole thing back — just drop the offending stitches, rearrange them a little so that the knitted ribs are unbroken, and pull them back up with a crochet hook.

Here’s my progress so far:


I’m enjoying working with the Wool of the Andes. It’s a little rougher than Telemark, and I wouldn’t want to wear it directly next to the skin, but for outerwear it’s very nice.

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Brown and Cream Mittens – done!

March 4th, 2008 — 4:51pm

Man, these were difficult but the result is so satisfying. One hundred grams of Telemark didn’t seem like very much, so I split each ball exactly in half and knit the mittens top-down. I don’t like afterthought thumbs, so I un-vented a new top-down thumb! Knit a thumb tube and then attach it to the hand with 3-needle bind off over just a few stitches (5 seemed right for these), then decrease away the extra stitches as you work down the hand. I decreased one stitch every three rounds. Because I had to do quite a bit of ripping back and re-working, it took nearly a full day of knitting for each mitten. *whew*








I loved working with knitpicks’ Telemark. It’s springy and soft and wonderful. Yum!

3 comments » | Blog, Handmade

Pandora’s on twitter!

March 3rd, 2008 — 5:51pm

Yay, now you can follow Pandora on twitter!

(Pandora is one of the greatest things ever invented. Period.)

Spent the day working on the brown and cream mittens (Top-down with a really fabulous thumb! Photos soon!) and watching the third season of The Office with Henry. He’s feeling a lot better, no more temperature and just a slight cough, but he’s definitely still recuperating and is still droopy and tired. But his appetite is coming back!

1 comment » | Blog, Tech

finished snowflake mittens

March 1st, 2008 — 8:40am

Mom hired me to make two pairs of mittens for some friends who took her skiing. One wanted burgundy and light gray with snowflakes, the other wants brown and cream. I finished the snowflake pair yesterday:



I knit it from the wrist up, with thumb gussets. I improvised the patterns using charts from The Complete Book of Traditional Fair Isle Knitting by Sheila McGregor, a wonderful resource if you can find a copy! (Link leads to a book with a slightly different title, but I think it’s a reprint of the book I have)

Not my greatest achievement, but I think they will do.

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