Wednesday, July 26, 2006

How could I have forgotten to mention

Tuesday was 5 months to Christmas. And 2 months - 1 day to the Boston Knit-Out.

Just sayin'.

Retry on Tuesday's post

Okay, so far in our story, the box has shown up. They pack a lot of stuff in that package, and this isn't even showing the 3 months worth of infusion sets and reservoirs. There are CDs to watch, books to read, software to load.

Oh yeah, the new pump itself. Minimed will be sending out a CDE for a training session once I can get that scheduled. When he called to introduce himself, we agreed that as an experienced user, I could probably initialize this one and just use the features I'm already familiar with, and ignore the programming features that have come along in the last 4 years.

So I installed the ParadigmPal software (new to me), entered in all the settings from the 511, "transferred" the settings to the 522, and discovered I'd done something that wiped the information out of both the ParadigmPal and the 522. No great loss, I've only got 4 basal rates and, hey, I'd just reviewed them putting them into the software, and the 511 is still there. So I got to do the old fashioned manual entry on the new one.

Then at breakfast I discover they've changed the programming sequence for the dual wave bolus. Maybe I should have read more of the book. It makes a certain sense, but when you've been doing rote habit for how long, the change in how you push the buttons is a tad surprizing. One of those situations when you have to say to yourself, "If I just give it what it's asking for, I should trust it to do what I want, right?"

I'm not touching that Bolus Wizard without guidance, though. I may not kill myself with it, but there is the potential to cause myself trauma if it's done wrong. I'm not so eager that I want to be stupid about it.

Real-time glucose monitor is due in 2-4 weeks. I'm thinking of taking the last week of August as vacation and initializing that then, if it has arrived. My road of life will finally have guardrails. I'll still be going off the road, but at least there will be some indication I've sailed off the path.

I'll save the discussion of Elizabeth Zimmermann's pattern writing style for some other time. For now, I need to plan personal logistics for Friday's company picnic down in Newport, and then the weekend at the Lowell Folk Festival. There should be a lot of progress on the Baby Surprize Jacket. I'm a tad worried. I've done the 10 stitch increase in the middle when you hit 114 stitches. I counted a few rows later and the number, that should be 124 stitches plus however many multiples of 4, ended in 3. Then again, I was counting on the bus, so that process could easily have gone wrong somewhere. My counting stills are only slightly above 1, 2, 3, many, and they degrade in non-quiet situations.

The butterfly shawl is moving along, faster than last week when I was having trouble staying awake working a single row. I'm at row 19 of 24 of the edging, then I get to figure out the "picot edging." I know I've done this pattern before, but I'm not recalling these instructions.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Box 1 - check

The new 522 pump showed up. There's a lot in the box. Blogger isn't loading photos.

Try again tonight.

Monday, July 24, 2006

What's the appropriate response to being 2 stitches off?

The 4th iteration of the Baby Surprize Jacket is moving along and doing its thing of using up the orange-red. Another 1 oz. skein has been taken out of the master stash and incorporated into the ball.

Yes, I've had some bothersome commutes last week. Today's stripe should be good and thick because there's a Knit-Out meeting tonight (6:30 at Borders at Downtown Crossing) and that just takes a while. Hopefully we can avoid recursiveness tonight and Lucy will pick up the pace from usual.

Because I'm eager to get home and unwrap the 522 that's expected to be delivered this morning. Himself is going to hang about this morning specially to be here and able to provide a signature for the driver. The RTGM, as of Friday, is still on backorder for 2 - 4 weeks, which beats the 8 weeks I was quoted last Monday.

In any case, back to the sweater. I would have sworn I had cast on the correct number of stitches, and I counted the first row for set up where the decreases line up above it, but yet, I wound up with 92 stitches rather than the 90 I should have. No idea where they are. The problem comes, are there two extra in the outer edges, or the inner part between the decreases? In a prior iteration, I had made a note of 23 in the margin at that point, meaning 23 stitches before the marked stitch, so I decreased 2 on the inner side. We'll see if there are implications later on.

I've had a couple conversations lately over the tone and style of Elizabeth Zimmermann's directions for projects. I'm working on a post about that, but I'm not ready this morning. Maybe later this week.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

They're gaining on me

A couple weeks back I started a hedgehog (in blue no less), and put it down when I got stuck by the leg instructions and needed to make more progress with the Diamond Fantasy. No, there's no picture yet, because I put the blessed object somewhere and don't remember just where.

So today I realize it's about time to go visit FiberTrends' page for the first time in a few months and......

They don't have thumbnails of their individual patterns. Head for the third one down on the what's new page, #FT-229.

I can't keep up.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Days of the long rows

The Butterfly Shawl is about 2/3rds of the way through the last of the 18 repeats of the butterflies. As long rows go, 12 minutes per is not bad, though they can turn into a quaqmire when you reach the mid-point and you're off on the multiple. After this, I have 24 rows of Blossom Lace Border. Then comes the Picot Edging. My working copy, as it turns out, didn't have the picot edging, but fortunately the safe original was in the place where it should be.

I might be done by the end of July.

The 4th Baby Surprize Commuter Jacket is also in the long, slow portion of rows decreasing down to 90 stitches, some 40 odd rows.

The next new moon is on the 25th, which is a week away. I don't know if I'm going to start anything this time. I know I have the Cascade 220 black tweed to do a cardigan I was wishing I had in my wardrobe last winter, but it's hard to imagine being cold and dry right now. I've been thinking of playing with lightweight sweaters, but need to put forth the effort to find small gauge sweaters I want to make. I'm talking 7 - 9 stitches to the inch. I don't mind working on zeros and ones.

Know any?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Blog's birthday today

One year ago, on July 17th, I put up two posts in one day about felting a just finished flamingo. Himself was traipsing through Europe and I was hoping this was a way I could share what I was proud of having done with him, once he found a place to log in. I needed someone to do the finished object dance with.

Having the rest of you reading too is a bonus and a bit of an ego-boost.

In real blog news, the third Baby Surprize Commuter Jacket is knit-finished, though not (join on the chorus) sewn together, ends-sewn-in, nor had its buttons put on. For the fourth iteration, and until it's gone, I'm going to stick with the using the orange-red every other day motif, since the goal of the exercise is the use up the yarn and I don't see it going into other colorways unless I make it dominant.

Since it's what I had on hand over the weekend, the 4th iteration is starting red and then used the gray-brown that you can see in Friday's stripe at the bottom of the sweater.

Time to do the daily spit-splice.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

I'll need a decision soon

Monday I get to start the process of getting my insurer to purchase a new insulin pump for me, as my current one goes out of 4-year warranty. That should go through with no prolem. The trick is, there's new technology approved by the FDA, a real-time glucose monitor, which is so new there's no CPT code assigned to it yet.

The manufacturer is offering this as a "patient responsibility" item -- you pay them, and then wrangle yourself with your insurer. I'm trying to figure out how to ask the insurer to cover this. I think I've got the people I need on board with the idea, and I'm just waiting for the letter from the endo that this would be a real boon in intensive theraphy for little old labile me.

Then will come the phone call and the magic question, "what color do you want." I currently have blue and it's nice enough, but do I want something different? Purple could be jazzier, but, well, do I want purple for every outfit I wear for the next 4 years? Clear could be interesting, but it's a little too clear if you know what I mean. Do I want to be looking into the guts of electronics and stepper motors? Smoke is well, light black and I've got a thing against how many consumer products are black. Plus, is it visible enough that if I couldn't speak for myself, it would be noticed by first responders?

Blogger won't let me post a poll, so you guys tell me -- go to the color choices above and leave me a comment which one you would wear with everything for 4 years.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

This could be neat

It was raining so hard last night when I came home, I stayed home from the regular Wednesday night group. I have comments for Kimberly, though, on something she'd given me to look over for her, so hopefully I'll run into her soon.

I did a bit of tidying in the space and tonight I'll ask Himself to finally put away the box of teaching that's been out since the first weekend in June.

This morning I tried Library Thing, which is a website that allows you to list your library on-line and compare it to other people's. I started entering the knitting books, got into the middle of the C's. I'm having to enter mine manually, since I can't figure out how to give it the spreadsheet easily. You give it a title and it will search either: Amazon, Library of Congress, or you can name another source. Sad thing is Amazon is coming up with the book more often than the Library of Congress does, though that's on the more recent books.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A few more answers

Thanks for the comments yesterday. To answer a few of them:

The Diamond Fantasy Shawl used two skeins of Lucy's sock yarn, with a fist-sized rewound ball left over, just shy of 1 oz by the office postal scale. This was the full 10-repeat shawl and it measures (blocked) 88 inches across the top and 37 inches base to tip. Note the first skein ran out in the first few rows of the 8th repeat, so for those who want to make the smaller 6-repeat version, one skein would be plenty. I got my pattern through the Knitting Zone, who, for those of us who want it now, have a number of patterns in .pdf format available for fairly immediate download once purchased (okay - it takes a couple minutes for the email with the d/l link to show up).

And, of course, the yarn is available either here (oops the etsy site is down for fixing), or in person at Lucy's shop.

Progress is happening on the 3rd Baby Surprise commuter jacket. I changed my strategy with this one, where I've got so much of the orange red to use up and it doesn't really go with many of the other colors. Every other day I go back to the orange-red, and then on the off days I'm going with a brown or gray. It's slow progress on the big goal of using up all that yarn, but hey.

It's doing nothing for the commuting fairies though. Ever since late June, they've either been taking trains out of the schedule and hoping no one notices, or there are suddenly dozens more people who want to take the same trains I take the rest of the year. You would not believe the crowding in the morning, in particular.

And a note for Melissa, who's having a crisis of courage about felting. Yup, like cutting fabric when sewing, or merging onto Storrow Drive, it's one of those things where you have to make up your mind when you're ready that you're going to take that step and move forward, even though it looks scary and there's a decent chance it won't come out just like you hoped, though it probably will with reasonable care. You have the most control in felting when you're working in the sink by hand with the hot, soapy water and the dunk in the cold. However, I have found that about 15 minutes of such activity is enough for me to bless mechanization and head for the laundry room. I haven't tried needle feling yet, though it's on the list for someday. I did just get my tetanus shot renewed, after all, so that excuse is gone.

If you don't want to run it in the washer, try dryer felting. It's what I've been doing all along. Get yourself some really old towels that won't give off lint anymore, get everything soaking wet, and set the dryer on high. Check as often (or little) as your personal compulsiveness suggests. Resoak when you sense things are drying up (towels and object). Stop when you feel satisfied.

How much effort did you put into making the object in the first place, and are you ready to repeat that if it doesn't go as you like? How much do you want to get to where you want to be? Let these be your guides. And it's okay to say you're not ready and you'll do it later (maybe not on the ramp on Storrow, but you know what I mean).

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Don't know where I've been

I've been around and doing things, but I didn't think I was that busy. In any case, there's been progress on projects.

The Diamond Fantasy Shawl done with Lucy's Sock Yarn was finished over the weekend. I did a half-assed blocking job, those corners are curling down because they were hanging over the edge of the mattress acting as a blocking surface. But the lace stretched out at least and I'm not sure it would be really noticable in wear. We'll see.

The yarn worked very well, and I liked the pattern. Most of the shawls I've done have been changing tiers, so each row is different as the shawl grows. In this case, you get through the initial section and then repeat the same rows 36 - 55 10 times. They get quicker as you learn them, but longer as the shawl grows.

I've now moved back to the Butterfly shawl from FiberTrends. As Himself put it, having run into the recipient's husband over the 4th weekend, she'll be through the cancer treatment before I get it finished at this rate. Okay, I'm up to 15 butterflies across the quarter panel, where I need to get to 18 butterflies, before doing the edging.

As a change of pace I've been doing the Pick-Up-Sticks daffodil pattern. My intent is to make a bouquet. It starts with I-cord for the stem, and back-and-forth knitting for the outer petals. So, with 5 size 10 1/2s in the package, I did 4 stems in a row (tennis watching), and then started the outer petals of the first. From this point, I need to 1. sew in the ends so far (2 each on 6 petals, plus both ends of the stem), 2. change to the other yellow, do an I-cord stamen and then 3. using 4 needles and working circularly do the center.

I'll be doing more outer petals on the other stems for awhile to free up those needles....... There's a massive ends sewing evening in my near future, isn't there?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Back after a break

You Are The Hermit

You posses a great deal of wisdom and the ability to see people for who they are.
You are always looking ahead at the future, developing visions.
A loner, you tend to travel by yourself through life, seeking your own truth.
You don't crave material things or
fancy titles. You have no baggage.

Your fortune:

It's possible that there is a unknown guiding figure in your life, ready to help you.

All you have to do is find this person and seek their advice.
It's also possible that you need to start seeking the meaning of your own life.
Either way, there's some deep thinking you need to undertake, and it needs to be done soon.
What Tarot Card Are You?

That, thanks to FemiKnit Mafia .

So, what type of knitting has been going on here in the last week? The Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Tropical Storm Colorway Shapely Shawlette has been finished. I started it Saturday the 23rd and finished on Friday the 30th. Of course, the Baby Surprize Commuter project was completed shunted aside in the process, but, well it blows cold air on the new side of the building and I need something to cover my shoulders.

Here's a closeup of the color. For some reason it's photographing much better this week than last.

What else have we been up to? Himself came back from the camping trip with his brother a bit early due to the rain. Saturday we went to New Bedford's Sumerfest where we got to see Le Vent du Nord and a few other acts. The Dancing Feet workshop was just fantastic.

Sunday we sort of hung around and didn't do too much. I appearently really needed to catch up on sleep, since I did a lot of that. Monday we went to the Lowell National Park and had a good day in the better weather learning about what the boys hadn't known before.

Tuesday, Eric had a committment with bellringing in the evening, and Himself and I wandered down to the river and found a spot opposite the barge to view the fireworks. Something you need to do every so often. It was a good show this year.

Other knitting news has me starting another Shapely Shawlette, this time with a superwash merino sock weight Lucy is trying out in the Etsy Shop. Lovely pink-purple-blues. It's a tough choice between working on this and the Baby Surprise commuter project.

And, I'm hoping in the next few days to have a progress picture of the Diamond Fantasy Shawl. The first skein ran out at the 3rd row of the 8th iteration of the multiple, and I'm currently in the last of the 10th multiple. Then comes a couple of fiddly bits and a very long cast off across the top.

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