A Knit Decision

Knitting in Oregon, with other stuff, too, such as crochet, cats, dogs, history, fashion, highly opiniated rants, reading, diabetes, church, life in general, etc. I like circular needles, prefer natural yarns, don't spin, choose small projects, and don't have any one favorite yarn store. I love them all.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Friday Bits

I may post another post, with photos later. I've sent a couple to blogger, but they don't haven't arrived for me to use to post here. I'm not sure why it's not working.

I finished the house-elf hat in the lana grossa sock yarn. It does indeed fit my head. So, for a large child, maybe. It's not so bad, on the head. The stripes are adequate. The hat is lightweight (it is sock yarn, after all). I can envision this for a Saturday hat, in the barely cooling autumn. It may still be given away.

Since I did this as a project to then scale down for preemie sized hats, I suppose it has served its purpose well. That hat's decreases are worked in nine sections, so my preemie hat, knit flat, should be a multiple of nine, plus two (these stitches are for the seaming, I believe). So, using the same needles (size 2 US) I could cast on 56, knit for 3-4 inches, and then work the decreases. This should also improve the striping pattern for this particular yarn, by decreasing the width of the work.

The hat I made is not nearly as pretty as the Sally Melville project pictured in the book. I shall have to try it using a yarn closer to the one she uses. That means bulky and much prettier.

I am about two-thirds complete with the Hippy Baby Sweater. I'm creating buttonholes using the I-cord border. They work VERY WELL, and I'm glad that Judy Wilcox insisted that I try them. Not sure what buttons I'll use, probably calming white ones.

So, for the weekend, projects:
1. Finish existing Baby Surprise Jackets (4 total) -no snickering. It's just a goal, thank you.
2. Finish, meaning sew up, existing house-elf hats.
3. Perhaps start the Yorick scarf for DH.
4. Preemie hats using the delicious koigu KPPPM.

I still have to make a fifth baby gift, this for the beautiful Emily Jean, daughter of Jerry and Andrea. Emily is about 3-4 months old already. I was thinking of a Baby Surprise Jacket, but I may try the Baby Albert Jacket from Sally Melville's book. My co-worker's child, unless he's masquerading or is a jokester from the womb, seems to be a girl, so the white acrylic jacket should work well for her.

I'm still waiting on Dorothy, who we have prayed for so frequently as she grows in her mother's womb, but I think that I would love to create a higher end garment for her. Maybe all Koigu! Ooooooh. With Matching Hat. And Booties. (A girl can't begin to accessorize appropriately too soon.) (I've never made booties.) Praises to God that Dorothy has reached an important milestone in her growth and development. May she be born a happy and healthy baby, several more weeks from now. May she be enormous!

Oh, yes, TiaJudy has updated her beautiful Baby Cable Cap. It is a lovely pattern and everyone should make it. Just my opinion.

Gotta clean the house. Gotta take a long walk. Gotta clean the fridge. Would rather knit.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Skeins, Rings, and Other Things

I am pouting because I have not yet received my One Skein exchange gift from my One Skein Secret Pal. I remain confident that he/she is up to good things with my gift. I ran home at lunch today, since I'm supposed to receive the first One Skein gift during the month of June and there is but one additional mailing day during the month of June this year, hoping that I would find it waiting for me.

But, alas, no. Just the standard bills. Pouting is not good for me. My mother would not approve.

I have joined a couple of new web rings. The big web ring for knitting blogs remains closed. There is, I hear, a second ring being formed. Shall I be a group two member? Hmmm. Anyhow. See those ring buttons over there on the right side of the screen. No, darlin', your right. There are some fabulous members in the rings. I'm also very happy to be part of the Northwest ring, because I adore living in the Northwest corner of the USA. I like the Knitting Path. They have Knit Heaven, too! The Knitting Kitty ringmaster seems to be behind in approving new members. Any day now. I'm sure.

I am decreasing in the latest house-elf hat with the Lana Grossa sock wool. It looks fine. I may be able to finish it off tonight.

I did go and get myself some color therapy. It is a delightful skein of Koigu KPPPM , dye code/dye lot P212100 (or perhaps B212_100, hard to tell). Sandy offered to wind it for me at the store, but I declined. It looks so lovely in the skein.

I want to hold it in my hands and look at it with my eyes. I shall knit tiny little hats with it. And I shall cable. I shall cable without a cable needle. I shall look at it and see that it is Good.

I'm about halfway done with the I-cord around the Hippy Baby Sweater. It's going surprisingly quickly. Having tiny little DPNs helps. These are only five inches long, Bryspuns. I think I'll plan on finishing the I-cord border on the Hippy Baby Sweater before I wind the Koigu.

Okay, One Skein Secret Pal, come through for me. I believe. I believe. I believe!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Intro to Hat Geometry

I am afraid that in an earlier post that I made an error in geometry. This would marr the honor of my high school math teacher, Mr. Zimmerman. He was not a man who taught me badly. The error is mine. It is also probably related to the number of years since I sat in Mr. Zimmerman's classes, with the boys, and learned these concepts. No, I'm not saying how many years.

I am often startled at how much math and geometry is used in beautiful and well-crafted knitting. Is it any wonder that it is taught to small children to assist them in learning and practicing these concepts?

Diameter of a hat is the length of a straight line going from one side of the hat to the other. Circumference is a curved or circular line, going around the edge of the hat on the outside. The circumference of a hat should be much larger than the diameter. (The radius is half of the diameter, just in case that word is rattling around your head also.) And, just to remind you, the human head is rarely circular, in the geometrical sense. It is closer to oval, and almost always unique. The diameter ear-to-ear will be different than the diameter forehead-to-nape. Obviously, not a circle.

And just to throw in more confusion, there is hat size, which is completely different. Lifted from this article from our friends at Wikipedia: " A numerical hat size is merely the average diamaeter of the head, determined by measuring the circumference of a person's head about 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) above the ears, dividing by pi (3.1416), and rounding to the nearest centimeter or eighth inch."

For an adult woman's hat, the circumference of the hat should be, roughly, 20-21 inches. For me, just in case you are gift-giving, it should be 22. Yes, I said it. I have a big head. Most off-the-shelf hats, and one-size-fits-all hats do not fit me.

For hand-knitted hats, the circumference of the hat should be slightly smaller than the circumference of the wearer's head. (Berets and other deliberately oversized hats can, of course, be different.) This is because of two main things. 1) Knitted fabric is usually quite stretchy. 2) Knitted hats rely on a little bit of stretch to fit well and to stay on the head. This is one reason for the ubiquitous ribbed watch cap hat. Ribbed fabric is easy for most knitters to produce, and is very stretchy and, thus, makes an excellent hat.

Crochet, being inherently less stretchy than knitting, has its own challenges in creating hats. I think a crocheted hat must be closer to the actual head measurement than does a knit hat.

I found this nice reference about sizing kids hats at the website for Little Lids. (They've got great kids hats!!) Note how quickly a child's head becomes an adult or near adult sized head. This makes for easy gift giving. I also use the size listing for preemature babies at Bev's Country Cottage.

Thankfully, knitted hats are much easier than hats created using felt or buckram or any other method.

That being said, my current house-elf hat, is knit flat, according to Sally Melville's pattern, from p. 54 of The Knit Stitch book. The fabric has a measured length of 18 inches, which means, when I sew it up, the finished hat is likely to have a finished circumference of slightly less than 18 inches. It should fit an older child or small-headed adult. Again, I dislike the yarn, so it may end up as a charity drive gift.

The yarn is not bad, it's a fine german sock yarn (Lana Grossa). It would make a fine sock. But, silly me, I chose to knit it as a hat. It's not the yarn's fault that I didn't listen to it.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Perfect Birthday

My brother's birthday is the day before mine, June 24. My husband's is June 21. Mine is June 25, the perfect birthday. Why is it perfect? Because it is the opposite of Christmas, making for equally spaced gift-giving opportunities.

I feel like I had a practically perfect birthday this year.

My husband gave me this beautiful gift for my birthday,

available at Abundant Yarn. I love this silver needle gauge. It makes an interesting necklace. And those who know that it is a knitting device immediately know that you are a knitter.

What a good husband I have! He loves to give me jewelry and I love to receive it, especially when it's something that I adore as much as this piece. I'm wearing it now.

I spent some of my Sunday at Knit-Purl, in my final lesson on the Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket. I left some supplies there (needles bought at-gasp-another LYS) so I will have to visit them again. Perhaps I will buy yarn when I retrieve my needles. I seamed up the shoulders of the Hippy Baby Sweater and have started on its I-cord border. It's coming along nicely, but I will probably have to donate it away because it is, to my mind, truly hideous. This shoulder seaming practice has given me the confidence to proceed with the other sweaters. We'll have those babies all bundled up by the end of the summer.

My husband got a pair of concert tickets to see Pink Martini at their concert at the Portland Zoo later this summer. He says he loves it. My brother got a variety of stuff, but from us he got a fishing pole. He and Husband have been talking fishing. I hope they get out on the water in the next six weeks or so. My brother has the coolest friends. It was so much fun to spend time with them.

I finished the left-hand Fingerless Garter(stitch) Mitt. I only did 26 rows after the elongated stitch section. Next, I have to re-string another 56 beads and cast on for the right-hand mitt. Hope I've got enough yarn.

I'm trying the garter-stitch hat from Sally Melville's The Knit Stitch book. I didn't swatch and it's turning out to be nearly adult size, although I'm in a fingering weight yarn and size two needles. The pattern calls for size fours and, I think, a DK weight. My hat is going to be nearly 18 inches in diameter. I want to try her method of decreasing, and then size it down for preemie size.

I still haven't gotten my pink or purple yarn to improve my mood, after all the ugly house-elf hats I'm knitting. The Sally Melville hat qualifies as a house-elf hat. What was I thinking when I bought such yarn? I've got blue/brown sock yarn, and grey/brown sock yarn. Yuck. Let's knit it up for charity hats or socks, and open up some stash space. I'm thinking Koigu KPPPM.

More good news: Precious, the mama cat we fostered, was adopted on my birthday. Hooray for her! I believe all three of the kittens were adopted on Saturday. They are undoubtedly getting lots of loving as we speak. June is still Adopt-A-Cat month. You have several more days to get yours.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Hermione and me

I am enjoying making the tiny baby hats, to donate at some unspecified future point to some hospital in the area, for preemies. It has, however, brought to mind Hermione's knitting of horrible, ugly hats for house elves in the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling. What was that, book 2 and 3, when she was on her house-elf freedom kick? I'm wondering if that theme will show up in book 7. And worse yet, Hermione's hats were unwanted by the recipients. Shudder!

I shall have to find some good pink or purple yarn to improve my outlook. Color therapy.

I am inspired by TiaJudy's pattern and other discussions of short-row sectioned garter stitch hats. I'm trying one in straight garter stitch. I'm trying one with a stockinette stitch band, rather than a cable. That one may work well if worn "inside out" - as if one can tell with garter stitch - and the edge folded up, which is exactly how the stockinette stitch section prefers to lay.

I am liking this better than my earlier ribbed watch hats. Those are perfectly respectable and useful items, but I am liking this option, too.

Speaking of house elves and other hopeless causes, our foster kittens will be returned to the Oregon Humane Society today. The mama cat, Precious, and three smaller kittens, Linus, Lamb, and Love, will be spayed/neutered on Friday and should be available for adoption on Saturday. They are delightful and beautiful cats. I always feel a little fear for them, as I have no further control over their lives. I hope that our fraidy cat, Love, gets a calm and preferably adult home where she can hide out for the next two weeks without being chased down and having a relationship forced on her. I hope that their new families will love them as much as I do. (That's usually what happens.)

One reason why we needed to return the foster cats to OHS is because we're going to take Dad & MaryAnn's cat, Baby, for their long european vacation. Cats are, in general, not big fans of vacation tours. So, the guest cat room belongs to Baby, not to the endless string of OHS guests, at least for the next month.

I am very much like Hermione, I think. We share a love of academics, male student friends who were perhaps not quite as bright as we were, a strong sense of right and wrong, and a sincere affection for following the rules. That, and sometimes non-beautiful hair.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The more you look, the more you see

The title is a quote from Yann Martel's novel Life of Pi, which is now playing in my vehicle.

Last night I knitted the Baby Cable Cap from TiaJudy. Her site is fabulous and the little cable cap is irresistible. I just grabbed some sock yarn from my stash and knitted it up. This yarn does not show the cabling to best advantage, so if I make it again using magic yarn, I may just skip the cable and do straight garter stitch. I love the way the striping came out. This is a preemie size, measuring about 5 inches wide, when measured flat, and about 4 inches tall. Now I just gotta find the right folks to get it to Legacy Emanuel or OHSU patients, which is where most of the local NICU patients probably end up. Some youngster dad of a newborn boy may just love this hat. I think it's got 'tude.

I think TiaJudy's pattern may have an error in the odd numbered cable rows (rows 3, 7, and 11), as, if one followed them exactly as written, you would start the cable two stitches before you reached the stockinette section. She tells you, in row 2 to purl the cable section, knit 10 and turn the work. Then in row 3, she tells you to knit 8 and then work the cable. I don't think this would work, so I ignored the instructions, knit down to the cable, and turned the cable. I am the boss of my own knitting. And I'm sure she didn't mean it that way.

Next time I do this pattern, I'm going to review the directions for cabling without using a cable needle. That would make it much easier.

Heather, who I met at Knit-Purl (specifically, at their Thursday evening knitting event), has invited me to a knitters potluck tonight. What fun! I think, if one is planning a knitter's potluck that one would have an unwritten rule to avoid finger foods, so the guests could move directly from the meal to the knitting, without having to stop and wash. Would that work? Heather suggests potato salad, so I will be off in search of potato salad. Definitely a fork food.

I'm still working on the Fingerless Garter(stitch) Mitts. They're coming along. Still gotta finish those baby jackets.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Laid Back Weekend

We had a nice laid back weekend. In other words, Dear Husband did lots of work and I admired it.

DH re-did the front flowerbed and added river rock and pebbles to cover the bed, as opposed to bark dust or another cover dressing. It looks great. We're all hoping that the cats will find this treatment as unappealing as we find it appealing. It has beautiful grey rocks with green ferns and hostas rising above it. It looks almost like one of those dry stream bed features we've seen on TV shows. But it's at our house. Astounding.

I did a personal yarn crawl (Mabel's Cafe and Knittery, Close-Knit, and Abundant Yarn & Dyeworks) and paid someone else to wash Snickers the dog. I acquired short size 3 DPNs to finish the Hippy Baby Sweater.

I, then, did not even touch the Hippy Baby Sweater. I finished knitting the body of the White Baby Surprise Jacket, which I must have finished by Sunday, June 25, for the final class. I did not sew seams or work on trim for either the Blue/Purple BSJ, or the Pink/Green BSJ.

On another positive note, Lenny and LollyPop, our two former foster kittens were adopted out via the Oregon Humane Society on Saturday. They should be adjusting to their new homes soon. I wish them and their new families many good years together. The remaining three kittens should go to OHS later on this week. They're little cuties, too.

We got together with my Dad on Saturday and ate some marvelous Jamaican food. Then we listened to MaryAnn's choir in concert. Delightful. DH got in touch with two out of three dads by phone on father's day. I'm not sure about the card situation. He always chooses terrific cards.

DH wants a really cool nickname for me to use when I refer to him on the web, but we haven't come up with one yet. He's a foamer (meaning a railroad fan, one of those guys who hangs out at the railroad crossings, with camera, foaming at the mouth, hence the term foamer), but I think that the reference is too obscure. In other words, I'd have to explain it over and over again. He's former Army guy, a former trucker, an incredibly hard worker. He can't be The Pants, a la Carrieoke. We'll think about an excellent nickname for him.

Friday, June 16, 2006

At last, I have purchased and prepared my gift to my One-Skein Secret Pal. Hooray! I'll drop it in the mail today. Alas, I fear that my computer bungling may have revealed my name to her, but I'll pretend that she cannot possibly know that, and send it off anyway. (As if she and I might actually know each other. We're half a continent away from each other! But hey, maybe she's found my blog.)

I have not received my skein from my One Skein Secret Pal. I'm waiting hopefully.

Stephknits recently posted a comment on my One Skein Exchange post from earlier in May. Steph, I don't have your email or your blog, but would love to have that info! I hear there are some great yarn stores in Bend, Oregon, but we haven't gotten over the mountains to visit recently. Have you gotten your package yet?

Two of my foster kittens are available for adoption at the Oregon Humane Society. They also have a great petcam into the kitten room, which sometimes shows glimpses of the mania. Hopefully these little guys will have new homes by Sunday evening.

I knit several more rows on my Fingerless Mitts. This weekend, the main project is to finish one or three Baby Surprise Jackets.

I am currently enthralled with the photo of the persimmon lace shawl on the current issue of Knitter's Magazine (hope I remembered that name right). But lace? Me, knit lace? Am I ready? I shall have to call Jenny.

I'll be seeing my dad on Saturday for Father's Day dinner. Not sure if Dave will be getting together with any of his selection of dads. I sure hope so. We don't see those good fellows enough.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Radford's Fingerless Garter(stitch) Mitts

Success at ripping back! I have successfully ripped back to the error on my Fingerless Garter(stitch) Mitts from the Leigh Radford book. The above photo is the Interweave Press image from the book. Mine are done in Brown Sheep Wildfoote sock yarn in Brilliant Bouquet. I'm using ruby red beads. I'm liking the effect. I'm on size zero needles (I know, I've complained about them before). I've now completed the extra wrap section and have to knit 30 more ridges of garter stitch to finish my first mitt. No problem. Just give me good light and boring television. Thankfully, these are both in good supply most summers.

This project has four bead rows in total. Just before row four I found that my skein had a join and therefore a knot. Drat! I had to move the fourteen beads beyond the knot and now I have a join at an edge on the top of my project. I was hoping I'd have a project with only two tails to weave in. Not this time. At least the join is on the wrist edge, not the knuckle edge, so there will be plenty of fabric to use to hide the tails.

I knit two swatches before I started. I hope that I have enough yarn to complete the project. I suppose that I can frog my swatches if need be.

This is my first project where I must create two closely identical pieces in order to be successful. In other words, mittens and socks should match and not look like they were knit by two different persons fifteen years apart. Unless of course, one wants them to look that way. But I usually prefer traditional matched or identical pieces.

For my white Baby Surprise Jacket, I think I'm planning on adding a stitch to the shorter front edge and removing a stitch from the longer front edge. Just to throw the whole thing totally out of square. I'll have to find a non-square baby to give it to. I'm also planning on finishing up two or three of the BSJs this weekend. I've gotta start giving them out. Either that or framing and hanging them on the walls.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Testing my abilities to post

I'm following a tip from Janna to see if I can post a link the way all the other (fabulous) bloggers do. Hey, Janna, it actually works! Such a fine teacher and excellent help.

And, no, to the best of my knowlege our three little white kittens are not deaf. I'm not sure if I've actually tested that, though....

Their mom, named Precious, has two different colored eyes. I'm certain that she, the mama cat, is not deaf. She is a talkative beast who reminds us daily about our deficiencies as being her human servants. She's hoping for a much more attentive family once she finishes this motherhood stint. She must be a direct descendant of the temple cats of Egypt, because she wishes to be in the center of things with much affectionate attention. It is merely her due.

Two of the kittens, named LollyPop and Lenny, are going to the Oregon Humane Society tonight for their neuter operations tomorrow. I have no responsibility for their names, sorry. They should be available for adoption on Thursday or Friday. Hooray!

I'm enthused because while I was upstairs in the stinky foster kitty room last night, I realized that they seem to have destroyed one of the cables for my husband's PlayStation machine. It's just the plug that carries the video image from the PS to the TV-how important can that be??Ooops! I'll have to replace that before next winter. Husband's planning on tearing the carpet out in that room as soon as this set of fosters is back at OHS. It's a small price to pay to continue to be part of the solution to the cat issues locally. I am a big fan of Denise and Allison who do such excellent work as the foster coordinators at OHS.

The remaining three kittens are still under two pounds. Their names are Lamb, Love, and Linus. Again, these were the names on the paperwork I got. They'll stay at our house for another week or so of growth. They have to be two pounds for their spay or neuter operations.

And I didn't work on the knitting on Monday. Perhaps tonight.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Ode to Judy

Okay, I had my second class with Judy Wilcox, who is billed at Knit-Purl as The Queen of Portland's Technical Knitters. This woman knows her stuff and is well deserving of her title as Queen. She was helpful with all my projects, not just the BSJ. She also patiently worked on the hopelessly tangled yarn of another student, a lowly task that she did without a word of complaint.

I'd not hesitate to ask her help with anything or to sign up for a class with her. I'm thinking of taking a beginning sock class and she's offering one. Perhaps she will see me there. She also teaches a Tips & Tricks class at Knit-Purl. That would be well-worth the time, I'm certain.

So, don't tell her that my nice white (fourth) BSJ has a nasty little problem that I'm off on the stitch counts. One side of the blamed thing is 2 stitches longer than the other. So now I'm considering how to remedy that one. Drat.

Going back to Saturday, then, I went with my brother and my husband to the 2006 North American Organic Brewers Festival. My bro & my husband both enjoy an excellent beer. I think all beer is swill and don't understand why anyone would drink the stuff. Yuck. I'm making 'bitter beer face' just thinking about it. I do like a hard cider (pear or apple) so I was just hoping to accompany the guys and perhaps maybe I'd get a few ounce sample of a hard cider. No such luck, but, even better, the people at Redstone Meadery were there, with their nectar (http://www.redstonemeadery.com/). Nectar is good. I liked 'em both, both the Black Raspberry and the Sunshine (apricot). I got to have four samples, so I was about as far gone as the boys were. (Which is to say, not much. No drunken carousing, sorry.) I also got to taste food from the restaurant Horn of Africa, up on N MLK Blvd. I'm hoping we'll be able to visit their restaurant soon. Great enjerra bread and nice vegan foods. Dave enjoyed their lemon garlic chicken, too.

There, in the middle of the pavillion surrounded by wonderful organic beers in little plastic mugs, was a woman knitting away on socks or anklets. I got to talk with her briefly although I failed to get her name. She was indeed Knitting In Public on the 2006 WorldWide Knit In Public Day! I was deeply ashamed that I had not brought my knitting. So we discussed the possibility that if the 2007 Organic Brewers Festival falls on the same day as the 2007 WorldWide Knit In Public Day that we could again, attend both festivals and knit with Organic Yarns. Perhaps we can get an Organic Yarn sponsor and set up a table. What a cool idea. Bro & Husband would happily volunteer to provide brawn (and get free entrance to the event) and support us 100%. Although I'm not sure that I'm going to be willing to teach persons who have consumed more than four samples how to knit for the first time ever.

I'll work on the knitting on Monday.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

White kittens, white knitting.

Well, I had a lovely post all ready to go, but Blogger experienced a problem and I lost all that brilliance. Alas.

Let me sum up.

We have five foster kittens at our house and their mother, who is named Precious. These are two of them wandering through the empty IKEA cd racks on the living room floor. Three of this litter are white (or nearly all white) males. The other two are tabbys, both female. They are delightful but rapidly approaching the manic phase of kittenhood, which generally lasts from the age of eight weeks to two or three years. They will soon go to the Oregon Humane Society (www.oregonhumane.org - must learn how to do a real link soon) for their spay/neuter operations and be available for adoption.

No really, there are two kittens in the photo. The second one is under the table, facing the camera, and reaching out his little white paw to tap at the one fleeing the paparazzi in the front.

I have cast on the fourth Baby Surprise Jacket. It is a white acrylic, for convenience sake, and I'll decorate it with some yarn I have in my stash. The stash yarn is also white acrylic with little foofy pastel chenille puffs attached. They stripe OK and I'm liking the added flair they give an otherwise plain little piece. This jacket is my official knit-for-class jacket for my BSJ class with one of my favorite LYS, Knit-Purl (www.knit-purl.com). The class is fabulous, and I am adoring the teacher, Judy, who knits quite well. I even got good diabetes advice after the knitting portion of the class.

In the evening, I was working along on my Leigh Radford One Skein Fingerless Garter(stitch) Mitts. I was admiring my work, and noticed a hole in my knitting. Aaarrrrgggh! I examined it more closely. This pattern has elongated stitches, with extra wraps. I thought perhaps it was an unintential yarnover. But no-it's a dreaded dropped stitch! I captured the little loop with a locking stitch holder and have set it aside for the time when I feel capable of repairing this piece. Remember, it's on teeny size ZERO needles, and the yarn is basically a navy. I may need to purchase one of those magnifying lamps that I see clamped to the desks of artisans and persons older than me.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Don't Tell

I've finished the knitting for the body of the Hippy BSJ. I have not cast off, because I was watching the EZ DVD Knitting Glossary, and they have the I-Cord attached using the live loops of the knitting. So, if you bind-off, you have to pick up stitches to use to attach the I-cord. Why do that? It would seem to be an extra step. I'm such a lazy knitter. With the I-cord, I can bind off, create an edging, and create the buttonholes all at once.

I love the Elizabeth Zimmermann DVD Knitting Glossary. Thank you, Elizabeth, and thank you Meg Swansen of Schoolhouse Press for making this DVD and updating it. My only suggestion for improvement is better sound quality and perhaps captioning (although you'd have to be careful where you placed the captions to avoid obsuring the wonderful knitting demonstrations). My friend Becci, who crochets, has said that she learns best from demonstrations like this, rather than written words or still pictures, so today I'm wishing that I had a source for such a useful DVD of crochet techniques. I shall probably have to purchase this DVD. The copy I was watching belongs to Multnomah County Library, bless them.

So, now I have three finished Baby Surprise Jackets. I have woven in the ends on all three jackets, but have not seamed or edged any of them. My friends are all urging an I-cord border, but I'm not sure. Maybe I'll try a crochet border on one and see what I think.

I also have about half of the second side of my blue-green shell. That is on really big needles, so I could probably finish it up with a few more hours of devoted knitting. I'm hoping it fits me, since I lost a few pounds since I started it, way back when. I'm hoping that I find it flattering. I'm doubting it, since there is little shaping through the body. Also, the garment is designed in stockinette stitch without a lower border, so the bottom edge rolls up. I may look for a coordinating yarn and add a border. Hmm. Or not. The bulky, thick-thin yarn is hand-dyed with a great variance in the coloring. Not all of the skeins are as vivid as others. I know-this is an inherent quality of hand-dyed yarn. One must simply enjoy the yarn as it comes.

I've not worked on the Leigh Radford Garter(stitch) Mitts since the last post. I know that I'll be able to do them, despite the tiny needles and tiny yarn. It's just garter stitch, and some elongated stitches, and some cute little beads, which are easy as pie, once you know the technique. Okay, so most of knitting is like that. Don't tell.

I'm thinking that I need to lay off the needles and do some more reading about healthful eating when one is a diabetic. I have several books to work on, including one from the PCRM (Physicians Committee on Responsible Medicine) entitled Healthy Eating for Life to Prevent and Treat Diabetes. I've also gotta get up off the couch and walk, since I'm planning on walking in the Portland To Coast relay at the end of August. I have my orthotics now, and they have improved my level of foot pain. (My diagnosis is sesamoiditis. Doncha just love those fancy medical terms?) Hooray! Pain-free is the way to be.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Stripes, Lumps, and Bumps

Here is a (dark) photo of the hippy BSJ. Several people have said that they love it.

I still hate it.

Perhaps I need more therapy.

I hate the way I get nice strong stripes on one side, with the colors lining up for several good rows of, for instance, white. On the other side, however, the colors will not line up and I will get rows of different colors, which leads to those bumps showing in different colors, as if it were the wrong side of the garment.

This colorway has lime green, white, almost navy blue, pink, and red. I was hoping it would be good for an unknown gender baby, but would a boy baby's parents' OK his wearing a funky little sweater like this, with pink and lime green in it? It's almost finished, so I can move right along to a project where I am much more fond of the yarn.

I have started the Fingerless Garter(stitch) Mitts, from Leigh Radford's book One Skein. On Size Zero needles. Gosh sakes. I'm gonna hafta pull out my reading glasses, which I don't generally wear, but for this project, they're a lifesaver. I've got some cool red beads for this one.

Oh, yeah. Speaking of babies, you gotta go to http://www.yarnharlot.ca/ and read Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's post on how to fake a hat. It's on today's date, under number 2 in the post. This is why she is the queen of knitting bloggers. Witty, useful, encouraging. And cute twin photos, too.

Hippy Baby Sweater

Well, I'm back from the trip to Seattle. The funeral and gatherings went nicely, at least in my opinion. It's lovely to hear from people who have dear and loving memories of someone you knew too.

The hippy baby sweater is progressing nicely. It's about two-thirds completed. I've received several nice compliments on the yarn, which I think is very ugly.

The other projects were not touched at all, so I didn't have too much or too little knitting.

The dog did not like the trip at all. She's a stay-at-home dog. Snickers behaved very nicely in the hotels, except for some barking at the elevators. They were making threatening noises towards her, and allowed a large group of people to sneak up on her, after all.

Back to work, back to my household tasks, back to laundry.

I've got to complete the Hippy BSJ so that I can start my BSJ class at Knit-Purl on Sunday. Maybe I'll work on assembling the first two so I can give them to their babies.