Tuesday, July 31, 2007

More Knitted Biology

Remember this? And this? Check this one out:

an anatomically correct knitted heart, complete with valves and chambers. Designed by Paul Magnusson of Whidbey Island.

You can find the pattern for the heart here. Paul also designed a knitted hip replacement (scroll down for the hip) and some other neat stuff--a beautiful afghan, and even a camouflage suit! He is an interesting character and an amazing knitter. He and his wife have been knitting together for about 40 years.

Paul, thanks for the links and the permissions to post about your knitting! :-)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Amigurumi

I've been seeing a lot of this out there in the crochet world. I feel like I'm late to the party.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The End

I finished Harry Potter 7 today and I will only say that it was a wonderful and satisfying book (no spoilers here!). I would also like to offer my thoughts on actual reading vs. listening to the audio book which was obtained by Mr. Interrupted for me so I would not have to interrupt my sock knitting (hah).

I do enjoy the weight of a book in my hand and the feel and sound of the of the pages as I turn them, but listening to the audio book really allowed me to savor the story and absorb it in a way that I wouldn't have if I'd read the book. Since I tend to be a fast reader and often rush through my reading so quickly that I barely remember what I've read after I've read it, listening to the audio book forced me to slow down and really take in the story as I heard it. This was especially true toward the end, as the steam-train of the plot began to pick up speed and rush downhill toward the climax and conclusion of the story. If I were reading, I would have rushed along with it. However, with the audio book I had to slow up and I believe my enjoyment of the story was enhanced by this.

Many object to audio books on the basis that the voice of the reader tends to be an imposition upon their own imaginations, but I do not believe this to be the case. I found Jim Dale to be a talented and entertaining reader and the voices he used for the characters only expanded and complimented my imaginings of them.

Finally I would like to apologize to Boing Boing! for cursing them in a recent post. I thought for sure they'd posted a spoiler. My bad. I hope you can forgive me.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Where did the time go?

I haven't posted since Wednesday. Sorry dear readers, I guess it's been a crazy week. Tuesday was Grocery Shopping day, Wednesday we went to the AMNH museum in Manhattan.

(Isaac is mad because I interrupted his picture taking to take this picture. Ezra is proud of himself because he can say "cheese".)

Yesterday was Library Day. Today is Knitting Group (with a quick stop at the LYS's sidewalk sale). It's a whirlwind! (I know it doesn't seem like grocery shopping or going to the library should take all day, but with two small children in tow, the simplest of errands often become the grandest of all-day adventures.)

I haven't even done much knitting. I've been waiting for my MIL to send me my FIL's arm measurement. I was only reunited with my MIL's Jaywalker on Wednesday. The days of knitting while strolling leisurely among the dinosaur bones are long gone. Yesterday I was reading. Whew!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I think it might be too big...

Here's the progress on my first toe-up sock.

Doesn't it look big to you? It is, it's just about 12 inches long. Big enough for my husband's size 13's but I think that my FIL is more like a size 10. I decided to rip back a little, so I pulled out the needles, then I thought it might look nice with a different ribbing pattern--maybe a 3x1 or a 4x1. I haven't decided so the sock is on vacation while I sort it out.

In the mean time, I started this:

I am almost positive I do not have enough yarn for a pair of socks, so I was thinking I would do just one really spectacular and adorable kid-sized sock. Perhaps a lacy knee-high. We'll see. The Jaywalker for my MIL is still incommunicado--having a vacation at my friend's house.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

BFF IRL

I really, really want to ask the Yarn Harlot to be on my Ravelry friends list, but I fear the silent, online snub. This is, with the dozens of social networking websites out there, apparently a growing issue. The Situationist recently featured an article about the "etiquette pitfalls" of online social networking.

With networking websites such as Facebook and MySpace expanding expedientially, the rise of cyber friendships has brought with it a new set of social niceties, conventions and potential embarrassments.

Such sites are designed to set up an online network of friends to keep in touch and to exchange gossip but, as in all social situations, the results can be fraught. How can you separate friends from mere online acquaintances? How do you tell someone that you don’t want to be their friend? What do you do when you discover that you suddenly have countless “friends” whom you either don’t know or don’t like?

(link to the complete article)

Maybe I am taking the whole friends list thing too seriously. I've never been on MySpace or FaceBook or any of the others, so maybe it really is about quantity not quality. Although, I think I would prefer to have a list with just a few people with whom I've at least exchanged emails than to have a list with hundreds of random people that I don't even know.

I would consider it the greatest compliment to have the Harlot on my friends list and to be on hers, but I don't want to be that person: the annoying, awkward friender on Ravelry.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Master's Monday 4

It is quiet out there on the knitting blogs--I guess everyone is reading. I had an agreement with Mr. Interrupted that he could read the book first, so I wonder if I am the only Harry Potter fan not reading book 7 right now?

So, today is Master's Monday. Here's the best of what I worked on this week.

I'm unhappy. That was done on a US 5. See the holes? *grumble* (Also, that is not as good a picture as I thought. Sorry!)

I really hesitate to go down to smaller needles for fear of being unable to get a 4x4 square--you must cast on 20 stitches, you see. Also, I'm not sure if going down a needle size would really solve my problems. Perhaps I just am not a good enough knitter (yet) for the Master's program?

Besides, I'm starting to feel the pressure of my many other knitting projects. You know, the ones with a holiday deadline? (I'm sure you have them too.) So, I've decided to focus on SoS and Holiday knitting and pick up the Master's program again in December or January. That way, I'd get in a few more months of solid knitting and approach the swatches fresh.

So long (for now) Master's Monday!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Making up for Lost Time

Friday was a crazy day. We had a playdate and a friend's house and by the time I'd gathered everyone up and headed home (at 9:30 pm) I was so strung out that I forgot the knitting project I was working on--the second Jaywalker for my MIL. It's not like I don't have any other knitting to do, so it's not a big deal. I was able to work on this:
It was going to be a Jaywalker for my FIL, but you remember how unfortunate that was turning out to be. Now, it's going to be my very first toe-up sock. Let me tell you, I am really enjoying it. Knitting toe-up may become my preferred method of sock knitting. Doesn't it look so much better?

In other news, my Yarn Pirate club shipment arrived on Thursday. Unlike some other websites (damn you Boing Boing!) I don't want to spoil it for other people, so here is the booty if you want to check it out. The yarn is stunning. It literally took my breath away. I can't wait to knit with it.

Finally, my technophobic friend has finally joined the 21st century by starting a blog. Head on over there and leave her a comment welcoming her to the blogosphere.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

What if?

What if your favorite (or most hated) celebrity never made it to the big time? What would they look like? This guy has an amazing collection of Joe-Schmo'd celebs. Enjoy! (Thanks for the link, Boing Boing!)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

At the Pool

Jen of Knitting Sutra recently wrote about a pooling issue she is having with a pair of socks for her MIL. Jen doesn't like pooling, not even a little, and is having a contest to search for a pool-defying pattern for the offending yarn. Go over and check it out. I'll wait.

You back? Anyway, I read the post, having my own opinion about pooling in variegated yarns, decided not to enter the contest, and promptly forgot about it. That is, until I ran into this

while working on the jaywalkers for my FIL. Ordinarily, I could care less if the colors pool. In fact, I think it can be attractive. But this... Well, it ain't pretty, that's for sure.

As I re-read Jen's post today, I remembered being amazed that there could be a debate in the knit community about something like color pooling and I thought, "Why not do a survey?" So, what's your opinion? The survey is over there in the side bar if you want to cast your vote.

As for my FIL's sock, I'm feeling rather stumped. Should I frog it and try to start over at another point in the yarn's stripe pattern? Will that make a difference? Should I use a different stitch pattern? I don't know. I've never thought about how to defeat color pooling because I always thought it was kind of neat. But now.... Any ideas?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Picture if you will...

You are a certain young boy-kitty. You've spent the day at the vet, caged and drugged, having a certain sensitive part of your anatomy removed. (Which is just as well since you didn't quite know what to do with some strange feelings you've been having.) You arrive at home, sore, loopy, famished, and dying of thirst. You search for water, anxious to wet your throat and soothe your upset stomach. What about here?

No, you need something more wet, more watery, more challenging to your vast intellect and that showcases your clever water-finding skills. There, up on the table! The female hairless ape known as "mommy" has the very thing you are searching for in her strange mitts. You risk a dizzy jump and sidle up.

Ahh,

that's much better.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Master's Monday 3: The story so far

TKGA's Master Knitter program requires candidates to knit up a series of swatches to demonstrate the knitter's knowledge of basic techniques. Here are my three attempts at the seed stitch swatch:

The seed stitch swatch must have no holes in it when held up to the light. The middle swatch was my first. Not only is it full of holes, but it is also not a square. The bottom swatch was my second attempt. I pulled each stitch so tight that knitting it was not natural for me. Also, there were holes--not as many, but still. The top swatch was my third and best, but still, there were holes in it. I was feeling frustrated, but figured I'd send it the best one and perhaps the reviewing committee would have suggestions for me.

Then, this week Ravelry added a groups feature and, guess what, there is a group for people working on the KGA's Master Knitter program! I joined. Many of the posters had the starter package, but hadn't really done much of the knitting and the moderator suggested that knitters start out with the seed stitch swatch because
"if you start with the seed stitch you can keep going down in needles size ... until you reach a swatch you are happy with. Then you can use that needle size for the rest of the swatches that need to match. No re-knitting of the earlier swatches needed."
I had a major aha! moment. My problem was that I was knitting the seed stitch at a gauge that was just too big. Since the swatches must all be knitted with the same needles and in the same gauge, I decided to do something drastic. Here are all the swatches I'd knitted as of last night:

The offending seed stitch swatches are not pictured, and most of the swatches are beautiful. Here is what it looked like when I was done (frogging them all):

Oh my gosh, it looks just like Ramen noodles! Anyway, today I will soak the yarn in hot water to get the kinks out, then I will begin again. This time I'll start out with the seed stitch swatch, on a smaller needle. Maybe a US 6?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

One Finished Jay


Told you I'd post a photo! :-)

Friday, July 13, 2007

One Jaywalker Down...

One Jaywalker to go. Pictures tomorrow.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

How about a nice steamed pile-o-crap?

Here is yet another reason to abandon China as a supplier of foodstuffs. Sheesh. (Thanks for the link Boing Boing!)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Hah.

Did you know that the Sweater Curse has its own Wiki?
Knitters use the term Sweater Curse or the Curse of the Love Sweater to describe a situation in which a knitter gives a hand-knit sweater to a significant other, who quickly breaks up with the knitter. In an alternative formulation, the relationship will end before the sweater is even completed.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Houston, we have a problem

I took yesterday off from knitting my Summer of Socks socks and instead read a fun Carl Hiaasen book. (Actually, I was already about halfway through the book, so I only read 1/2 the book yesterday.) I recommend anything by Hiaasen if you are in the mood for some fun, well-written light reading that does not involve muggles, firelizards, Aes Sedai, or any kind of spaceships.

Anyway, the reason I took the day off and read instead of knitted is because the jaywalker was on a timeout. The other night, I was knitting along, watching The Bourne Identity with Mr. Interrupted when I looked down and saw a hole. (When am I going to remember that I am supposed to be a knit blogger and that this is exactly the sort of thing I should be taking pictures of?) It was a massive hole surrounded by random, free-form decreases--I must have been tired. It was a mess, and I had to put the Jaywalker on a timeout while I thought about how to fix it.

I really did not want to rip back the sock, even a few rounds because, while I am capable of picking up the stitches, I find it incredibly tedious and didn't feel like doing it. So this morning I started out by dropping the FUBAR stitches (it was three rounds' worth).

Then, I took out my crochet hook and extra size zero needles and I started knitting up the dropped stitches.

I had to do a triple decrease instead of a double when I got to the top, but I think it'll be OK. The intended recipient of these socks won't notice.

I'm feeling a little tickled with myself, even though I'm positive I'm not the first knitter to fix a mistake this way. Now I can keep on knitting. At least until July 21st when I will probably end up reading instead of knitting.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Friday, July 06, 2007

RIP

Oh Amex Card, I'm so sorry I lost you yesterday while we were running errands. I thought I'd tucked you back in my bag, but I guess you tumbled out onto the ground. I'm terribly sorry I had to cancel you but I'm so glad that you are not out there somewhere, being forced to make huge purchases against your will. I miss you and will always remember the wonderful times we had together--the late night online yarn purchases, the Indian food, the Target runs. Rest in peace my dear Amex card. I'll remember your security number always.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

SoS Progress

I've spent most of the week so far recovering from the flu and working on socks for the Summer of Socks. On Tuesday, we went over to the mall parking lot to hang out and wait for the fireworks show to start. (It's like a huge tailgate party.) I sat with my sister and Ezra and knit while Mr. Interrupted took Isaac to the carnival on the other side of the parking lot. I finished my KAL rows.

I made some progress on the sock.

(The sock is checking to see if it's dark enough for fireworks. Nope.)

Generally, a grand time was had by all. I couldn't remember how to work my camera so, unfortunately, no pictures of the sock watching fireworks. I got this interesting shot, though.


Yesterday, I knit.

Plans for today? The forecast calls for heavy rain, so, mostly knitting.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Cat Portrait


My totally awesome sister did a portrait of Doozer for me. Isn't it cute?

Monday, July 02, 2007

WTF?

I woke up yesterday, feeling slightly nauseous and was, two hours later, in the throes of a vicious stomach flu. I can't believe the ferocity with which this virus kicked my @$$. Seriously, I was too sick to knit. TOO SICK TO KNIT! It sucked.

This morning I am feeling better. Not 100%, but better. I'm going to take it easy. I'm going to lie on the couch and sip some tea and knit.