Saturday, July 30, 2005

The end of the Spiral Nebula/Who's minding the store

The Spiral Nebula, started how long ago, labels lost, so I can't tell you what it's made of other than lace weight white wool, was finished last night at about 8:30. There was a small amount of chocolate consumed (ahem).

It's ready for its closeup. The blue tie will come off eventually, but for now it's still denoting the right side. I think I'll try blocking it by letting it hang for a few days, just to let the stitches settle out. It will be going to BCMS concerts this fall.

And in the meantime, I've started the size 2 Wonderful Wallaby to use up the remains of the hot pink from the non-dutiful sweater, to be finished to go to Afghans for Afghans (next deadline mid-Sept. in California).

For today's excitement -- I'm minding the store! Lucy needs a day away, I'm free, so there I'll be. The Wallaby will come keep me company. Will you?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Changes in the neighborhood

I'm still doing the edging (but into the 5th major section!) so no FO pictures yet.

In the meantime, the neighborhood is having a reconstruction project that has had things in a mess since last October and will be going on (I think) until February 2006. Here's what's affecting my commute - since I walk. I now walk in MA Ave in rush hour and deal with unfinished sidewalks on my way home. Sigh. At least I 'm not trying to drive through the lane reassigning mess down by Brueggers.......

Tonight I have a class here, so not sure how much progress there will be on the Spiral Nebula. Then Porter Square Books has a public hearing at 9:30 p.m. (?) on their application to add coffee/baked goods to their offerings at the bookstore.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

If you ever thought fabric had a mind of its own

Check this out from tonight's NOVA. The Cloisters in NY sent a tapestry out to the Metropolitan for cleaning/conservation while the space it hung in was being renovated. The Met took digital pictures of it for study, but when they tried to put them together the pictures didn't fit at the edges.

Turns out, what with going from vertical to horizontal (they laid it flat for photographing) and being cleaned for the first time in how long, the fibers that make up the tapestry were moving on their own, such that the photos taken in succession didn't line up with each other.

No wonder we all have trouble stories of blocking sweaters and lace. Okay. NOVA thinks this is a story about mathematics and a homebuilt supercomputer, but we know better.

Fabric IS willful.

More edging

Did about an hour's more work on the edging, then went to bed early. At this point, I'm about 25 stitches away from finishing the 3rd major section, then there are two more to go.

Question is, what to work on next? I really should keep on with the Forest Path Stole, but in some ways I want to start something new. I have a shawl kit from Grandview Country Store in the stash, which I should start at some point. So, do I add to the number of WIPs, or keep up with the Summer ofClutter theme and keep finishing things?

Decisions, decisions....... I do need to pack a shawl for the office today. Yesterday it was a refridgerator in there.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Fiddly little rows

It's funny how slowly something like a 5 stitch row can go, but it does especially when it's lace. One of those odd bits of physics in knitting managing the two needles, making sure the little one doesn't fall out (and no, would you do a lifeline in these circumstances?) and figuring out how to control the springyness of the long needle with its cable. So far I've made it a little way into the third of five major sections. This is work that goes better to audio than video, though I made better progress watching Two Weeks on AMC than I did the Tour de France in the morning. Sports demands you watch it, and this is not look-away knitting.

Other than that, I did get out and about yesterday. I've always meant to go around the North End, which I did, but I missed having Himself with me to play "Lookit!" with the archtectural features on the buildings. Next week there's a festival and I may go back for that. After the North End I went to the South End and strolled down Tremont street from Clarendon but it was hot and sunny and I gave it up at MA Ave.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

It don't look like much now

Here's the Spiral Nebula, with 150 stitches to each major section, and the 5 on the end, ready for its edging, because I'm ready to be done with this thing. Here's the Tour de France which Lucy got me interested in last night, and is having the final stage this morning, from 7:30 a.m. to noon E(whatever)T.

So, at 755 stitches to be finished off, ..... Okay, I was going to tell you how many stitches are in the edging row that takes care of a live stitch every other row, but somewhere between 11:30 last night and now the G-D directions have disappeared off the face of the earth, and I have a fasting BG of 68 with heart-pounding, so instead, there will be breakfast, then searching, then TDF and edging progress.

More later.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

One down

Here's the finished object (sans sewing-in) of the Nalgar for the co-worker's baby. This is the one I was angsting over whether or not there would be enough. It took most of 2 skeins of Numero Uno Print by Lana Grossa. The leftovers have gone to a crocheting co-worker of mine who can do marvelous things with tag ends of skeins.

As part of my goal of decluttering this summer, my friend Lucy will be coming by tonight with her shredder and we're going to have a time, watching the Tour de France and getting rid of papers. I'm sure Stanley will be helping.

And many thanks go to Queer Joe for advice on how to get sidebar links and buttons to work. The exercise is taking me back to the introduction to logic course I had as an undergrad. I've never done programming or coding, but I find if I stare at things long enough, I can usually start to figure something out. The BPL has a book on its way for me......

Thursday, July 21, 2005

And Himself (what he's doing not updating his blog)

For those of you acquainted with Himself, who have been following his blog of travels through Europe, the news, as of this morning was that, having had a nice visit with his auntie, Himself and his ex-pat brother were going to start driving to Paris. Last I knew, his plan was to have a day there before heading somewhere southish France/northern Spain for hiking/camping, before resurfacing July 28th in Grenada to join the Earthwatch team for the archeology part of the trip.

Now, given that he's never been to Paris, and has mentioned always wanting to go, and having scheduled only one day there, I'm thinking he'll be out around the town rather than hunkering in front of a computer, but I could be wrong. I have no idea when his next update will be.

News earlier this week was that he had had time to visit with the nieces and nephews, the sweater* I made for the 2nd eldest niece's baby-to-be was pronounced "'goldig', which only very roughly translates as 'cute'" and it sounds like life is good.

*details available if you're absolutely salivating for them.

Almost Finished Wiggle

Despite not having much knitting time on the T today, 2 sleeves of the Nalgar are done, one shoulder is kitchenered and I expect to have "finished" pictures in the morning light. Note "finished" means "not necessarily with its ends sewn in and care label attached."

Then I need to decide whether to recover the A4A sock that has completely come off its needles (right) while being carried in my bag, or start another Nalgar with superwash Merino I got at Mind's Eye Yarns last night, for the endo who's due 8/25 (left). And if I do the Nalgar, (which I do in 4 round stripes when I have two colors) do I start at the bottom with the green or the purple. Last night I was ready to buy the bright orange (3718) along with the green I did get, but it was discussed by those in attendance that the Irish Unification Baby Sweater might be a bit much for a family whose last name begins McC****.

But for tonight, there's a game on, and the Spiral Nebula is at 144 stitches per major section as of this morning. I think I'll aim for 150 stitches PMS before doing the edging and hope the yarn doesn't run out.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Not much knitting today

Not much of anything. It's hot. It's not as humid as yesterday, but it's still watch-out-for-the-insulin hot.

The T is having issues , hence the lack of trains, hence the lack of room, let alone seats, inside the train when it comes, hence the lack of knitting on the commute. Eh, I have a paperback - Miss Silver Comes to Stay by Patricia Wentworth, courtesy of the BPL. The character of Miss Silver is a retired governess, with knitting, who solves mysteries. This one is from 1948. I don't read much current paperback fiction, but this strikes me as better written, in a way I can't put my finger on other than that it doesn't sound irritating. (Like I said, it's hot and muggy here).

Tomorrow, train karma willing, I will be able to do the sleeves of the sweater and get to work and back in a reasonable length of time.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Endocrinology and the Confession of Sin

Had the quarterly visit with the endocrinologist today, which always reminds me of the confession of sin out of the (Episcopalian) Book of Common Prayer:
Almighty and most merciful Father, we have erred and strayed from thy ways
like lost sheep, we have followed too much the devices and desires of our
own hearts, we have offended against thy holy laws, we have left undone those things
which we ought to have done, and we have done those things which we ought
not to have done. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, spare thou those who
confess their faults, restore thou those who are penitent, according to thy
promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord; and grant, O most
merciful Father, for his sake, that we may hereafter live a godly,
righteous, and sober life, to the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.
Actually, my current endocrinologist is very reasonable and I enjoy working with her. She doesn't sit in judgement like so many do, I just have wonky readings. And she's understanding -- when she picked a 357 lunch out of the pack of readings and asked if I knew what was going on then, and I said that was the morning Mark was transferring through Heathrow when the London subway bombings happened, she was willing to say that was reason enough to explain a 357.

In any case, back to the knitting. I got on with the Nalgar, finished the first ball well up the increases, and currently am a few rows away from kitchenering the shoulders and doing the sleeves. Fuss, fuss, fuss.....
Of course, as it turns out, the endocrinologist is due at the end of August, so there'll
be another Nalgar coming down the pike soon.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Path not Taken

Sunday evening I said I was going to start a Wonderful Wallaby for Afghans for Afghans. Instead, I grabbed one of two balls I have of somebody or other's Numero Uno Print (don't you love graphics so well designed you can't make out what they say), some size 5 16" needles, and cast on for a 100 stitch Nalgar (see Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop for instructions) to make a baby sweater for a co-worker due later this summer, and then put it down after a few hours half way up the body to the underarm increases, concerned that I don't have enough yarn for it.

BTW, in my experience, the only way to solve this mental dilemma is to keep going and either have enough to finish, or run out, and deal or frog. Bringing myself to do this on the other hand.....

So I started a sock this morning, medium kiddie size, for Afghans for Afghans and am just shy of the ankle, which tells you how long tonight's meeting was (but productive!).

Both of which are take-with-me substitutes for the Heartstrings FiberArts Spiral Nebula, which at this point is up to 141 stitches for each of the main sections and takes between 25 - 30 minutes to do a row. I'm trying to give it a row a day.

None of which is getting me any further along the Forest Path Stole (Interweave Knits, Summer, 2003).........

We'll just have to see what grabs my fancy tomorrow.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

More About Stanley

Dryer felting! Just realized I hadn't shared how I felted him, for those who are experimenting. It took a couple hours in the dryer with about 3 towels.

I do either dryer felting (soaking wet object with several soaking web towels on hot/high heat, resoak as necessary), or handfelting in a double sink (if the object is small enough, like a hat). My towels are all old enough (Land's End late 80's/early 90's) that I haven't had a problem with their lint getting caught in the object being felted, though I've heard others having that trouble. Be sure to clean the link trap every time you check the object for doneness. Some colors seem to give off their mohair fuzz more than others. I've never felted in an washer and I'm not sure I want to.

Comments I've heard on dryer felting is that the resulting fabric is not as firm. Since I haven't done washer felting, I can't compare, but the fabric I get seems just fine to me. I will note that I don't always get my stitch definition to truly go away (see Stanley's knees), but I'm also of the "if the knitter is happy with the project, it's right" school.

I've also done several French Market Bags earlier this Spring, playing with color (one's missing for its closeup). I used (again) Lamb's Pride Worsted, various colors. My handles look smaller than the original, but they fit me. Mine turned out the size of a supermarket plastic bag, but much stronger, of course. It's perfect for hauling books to/from the library. I start the bottom with a dark color and use all of that skein, since it gets me a bit past the end of the increases anyway. Random stripes for the rest. When I used two new skeins, I wound up with some left over of each, but not much. This would be a good "see how far it goes" striping project for those with stuff to use up. Note, these are also covered in floor fluff and T-dirt, as evidence of use.

Stanley the Flamingo

Just finished the flamingo from FiberTrends -- Pattern is #221x from the Spring of 2005. I think his name is Stanley. Finishing credits include Lucy at Mind's Eye Yarns for some very fine seaming. He took slightly more yarn than the pattern called for -- I wound up going into a 3rd skein of Lamb's Pride Worsted (Lotus Pink) for his legs.

Also finished today are kiddie socks for Afghan's for Afghans - as modeled by Stanley. They're one of the Regia patterns from out of the stash. (Marco Chair from Pier One -- note the "fabric")

Soon to be started -- a very small Wonderful Wallaby from Cascade 220 Tweed hot pink. More stash reduction on behalf of Afghans for Afghans.

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