Saturday, December 26, 2015

Monday, November 10, 2008

facing the facts.

Last weekend, I finished all the end weaving, seaming, drawcord making for both gigi and the long neglected malabrigo cardigan. I know! I threw myself a little party. It was great. That evening I blocked out the cardigan, and this Friday, it was dry (!).

Does that mean I have FOs? Unfortunately, no, they both need buttons. Additionally, at least the malabrigo, and probably gigi too, could benefit from facings. Which means sewing.
Maybe the sweater's slow drying was to accommodate my reluctance to actually pick up a needle and thread and hand sew the facings. By Friday, I was ready to grit my teeth and get it over with (see, the title's a pun! I'm so witty...)

And it wasn't that bad. It was important to pin it first. Also, doing that back-loop kinda stitch where you overlap works better than doing a straight line. (and if that description of sewing terms doesn't convince you I'm a rank novice, I don't know what will) but it really did turn out well. Nothing tricksy about it, and the stitches didn't show out the other side. It was just monotonous, and make my shoulders stiff from tension. I'm not sure the silk will be as easy, since it's a much looser gauge, but I'm also not 100% convinced the silk needs it.

Now all I need to do it buttons (and button holes...) but I need to buy more thread first.

Also, my plan for my next project has been foiled. The sunrise circle pattern is no longer freely available for download, was never printed, and now cannot be had for love or money. It is rumored that it will eventually be available from the designer, but eventually does not in any way equal 'now'. There is a slim chance that it is on my computer back at home from the days when I downloaded any free pdf I liked 'just in case'. But I think I found that pattern after I decided doing that sort of thing was silly. That'll learn me, won't it?

Sooo... I'm not sure. I'm debating over the apre-surf in bright orange, but I can't decide if the one I found on colormart is a good, edgy bright, or a bad, too-bright 'I should go deer hunting in this' color. Also, their gauges confuse me. I will need to swatch what I have at home.

Also, I need a niddy-noddy, and a ballwinder, and a swift. kthx.

Friday, October 3, 2008

I am so stuck.

Not in knitting, though I am - I can't bring my self to do the math (ahem, counting) to cast on the last piece of gigi.

No, in keeping with the completely off-topic posts genre of late, what I'm really stuck on is novels. When I stopped reading last night, I was not stuck. It seemed a perfectly reasonable, non-suspenseful place to break. One of the characters had done something a little odd - not really out of line with his personality, but not fully explained, and was off to do something else. So, that's fine - completely linear development is boring. A little suspense isn't a bad thing.

Then, at random, halfway through my day at work, (yeah, it's a little slow at work recently, my mind's been wandering) I think I realized his motivation. And suddenly, it is NOT a little suspense. It is a lot of suspense. Not only omg, am I right, was it really that? But if it is what is he going to do now?

And there is diddly I can do about it. Not until tomorrow morning or maybe even after that. Because, of course the book is at home, and tonight we're going to a friend's (to play D&D {nerd}) which I have been anticipating for most of the summer. And now I'll be distracted by wondering if I'm right about the book. We'll get home late, and tomorrow morning we need to clean in anticipation of having people over to watch football that evening.

So I'm stuck. Bah.

I wasn't originally going to mention what book I was reading, since it's irrelevant to my conundrum, and could be a little bit spoiler-ish (you know, if you happened to be in the exact same place I am or something). Plus, if I don't mention the book, it makes for easier deniability if I guessed wrong, or, you know, if everyone else realized that right off the bat. But really, it's not that big or obvious of a point to be recognizable - it just happened to be where I stopped, so I've changed my mind.

I re-read Dune a bit ago. I still don't understand why it's so incredibly famous. It's a good book and all, but it doesn't feel that impressively unique. Maybe it just did a lot of these things first? I don't know where it falls in timelines. Anyway, this time I knew what I was getting into, so it went down a lot smoother. Enough that I plowed on into the sequels M has.

I must say I did not like the first sequel. I think the only reason I kept going into the second was that I was sick, and it was there, and I really didn't want to watch more daytime t.v. Oddly enough, it was a good choice. It's like the ripped the original Dune in half, and put all the philosophical blather in one sequel, and all the plot and characters in the other (obviously, I prefer plot and characters - mostly characters - I'm a sucker for character). It's quite strange.

So, as to why I bothered to write all that: If you thought Dune was passably good, but couldn't stand the sequel I would highly encourage you to try the third. You could even skip the second if it bored you too much. There are a few different characters that might be a little jarring, but they do a good job of explaining how that happened if you wait it out. It's almost as if they didn't expect you to actually read the second. All you will really miss is some development of Alia and her husband. (Actually, I did start reading the wrong one - our books are a bad printing - one cover says 'book three' the other says 'final in the trilogy' it took a bit to figure which was lying). Conversely, I suppose, if you thought the second book was a vast improvement, I wouldn't bother with the third.
 

Friday, September 26, 2008

Stuff

Well, there was a comment yesterday about what happened to the other blog content, which left me a bit befuzzled, as I always intended this to be a knitting blog. I guess I'd been getting more sidetracked than I realized in the past. (fyi, I do keep separate blogs for my house/garden and my pets, but it seemed a little schizophrenic to do them all at once - maybe I'm wrong about that)

In any case, I've had some random things bugging me recently, so this seemed as good as any excuse to let them out.

To begin with: There is a motivational-style poster near the elevators at my work that states 'Why can't an Engineering major enjoy a little Edgar Allen Poe once in a while'.

Our company deals with libraries, so it's a generally appropriate poster. Even better than that, I was an Engineering major (or Computer Science, through the engineering department at least - classify how you will), and I took offense at the professors who assumed we were in the major because we hated our english classes. I adore me some good literature, and will yammer your ear off about the revolutionary ambiguity in Antigone, the importance of context in appreciating Wuthering Heights, the complete contrast between 1984 and Brave New World, or how every male lead in a chick flick is in some way derivative of Mr. Darcy. Oh wait, I already have.

So why does this poster bug me?

Because nobody ever bothers asks the reverse. 'Why can't an english major enjoy a little fluid dynamics now and then?' or discrete math? How about Quantum, or even Newtonian physics? But those are hard, you may say. Or maybe irrelevant. And I disagree. They're no harder that Poe - definetly no harder than Shakespeare. Saying otherwise is an insult to english majors, and a disservice to engineering majors, who get their friends, family, and potential compatriots scared away from understanding what it is they really do. 'because it's hard'

hmm, I had other thoughts, but maybe that's enough for one day.

(oh, and there's another poster in that hall which proclaims 'no to libraries are alike, isn't that a wonderful thing' that I have many time wanted to rip off the wall and set fire to when our current project involved painstakingly going through every possible stupid idiosyncrasy anyone ever thought of and dealing with it, instead of just telling them to standardize their darn system already! -- thanks, I feel a little better now)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Dude, I seamed.

And I'm not even done with all the pieces!

I started by tacking over the selvedge/drawstring place on gigi's shoulder, because, well, the tail I needed to use was right there, and I didn't want to do the counting involved in casting on a new piece.

And then I just kept going. I have seams and woven in ends on the 2/3 pieces I've completed. I'm not sure if this is a particularly well-written pattern*, or if I'm reaching a new level, but I'm doing a much better job at finishing on this piece than I have in the past. Finishing has been one of the things I've been unhappy with in my previous work, so I like this improvement.

* I must point out. This is the first pattern I've followed in some time. THAT MIGHT HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH IT, that someone else actually put thought into the finishing techniques so I saw them from the get-go instead of me looking back at what I've shaken out of my head and saying 'huh, doesn't look right'.

Friday, September 12, 2008

frogged and restarted

I finished the back of the silk gigi by the end of the olympics - if you don't count weaving in ends, which I haven't done. That's why I don't go in for that sort of thing. Then I started the left front, and finished the (extended) ribbing, and looking at the instructions for the after-ribbing-stuff realized I'd futzed something up with the pattern and how the button band was supposed to go.

(what part of p1, (k1 p1)x3, k2 p2 to end looks like 'do the whole thing in 2x2 rib just like the last piece' to you? Apparently part of it did to me)

It was probably a good thing though, since in restarting, I noticed that a) I think I had two fewer stitches than I should have, and b) I was using the larger 'stockinette needles' for the ribbing.

Ah well, I have an inch or so done again.

Oh, and I am completely loving the tubular cast on thing. I can do it by memory now. It does help in the picking up if you use bigger needles for the flat part though.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Does this count as olympic knitting?

I didn't do it intentionally, but last night, I cast on for gigi with my colourmart silk.

For once, things conspired in my favor, as the smaller gauge I was getting corresponded perfectly with the smaller size I wanted, as opposed to landing off the charts somewhere and requiring a lot of math and frustration as it usually does. (by the way, my target size for this is 26" circumference - it matches one of my T-shirts for ease)

I tried the invisible 2x2 cast-on outlined in the fall interweave knits (it is *so* novel to be receiving these magazines). It was great. Way easier than the tubular cast on's I'd seen before. Also way easier than provisional cast ons I see recomended. Every time I do one of those, it seems to unravel from the bottom. I know, it's not supposed to do that, but it *does*. Or it did. Maybe it has to do with it being ribbing?

In any case, winner on the invisible tubular cast on. The only change I would make would be to do the initial rows in larger needles. But maybe it said that and I didn't notice.

I'm glad I did find a technique I could use in that issue, as there really weren't any patterns I'd use. Maybe the colorwork sweater - maybe.

So, yeah, enough about cast ons. I started at the beginning of evening coverage, and stopped at midnight. Then I stayed up to watch the end of the men's gymnastics final because it was way cool. But I didn't knit for that half hour or so, because I was mostly asleep, and having problems. In that time, I knit about an inch and a half of ribbing. Yes, 104 stitches across, on size 2's, with roughly fingering weight yarn. But still, a little over an inch. There are 5 inches of ribbing total, and this is only the back piece, and I want to make the ribbing longer since I'm long waisted.

I guess it's a good thing I didn't make this official, because there's no way I'd finish in time.