A Break-up and a Hook-up

Mac and I had been going out for a couple of years.  He’d been recommended by many, including knitters.  He was a reliable guy.  While he had his cool side, underneath he was pretty reliable.  But then one day, he broke up.  There wasn’t much warning – on Sunday, he just decided to call it quits.

I was devastated, and tried all kinds of ways to lure him back. But he would have none of it.  He remained solid and unmoving despite all my prayers and pleas.  It was like talking to a machine.

It was over, and I had to come to terms with it.  And I admit, I went straight back into a relationship – a rebounder of the biggest kind.  It looked a lot like the same one from the outside, but inside, trust me, it was a totally fresh start. See?

Yeah, I’m talking about my Hard Drive on my Macbook.  At least it’s covered under the customer care package that I bought.  Things I learned along the way:

  1. The best time to head to the Genius Bar is before the store opens – so quiet and calm.
  2. AOL really, really doesn’t want you to move to another platform and makes it hard as possible to extract your contacts and address book from them, but there are work arounds.
  3. Apple really doesn’t want you to upload music from your iPod to your computer, even if your hard drive crashed and the only copy you have is on the iPod.  Fortunately, there are work arounds with free beta software, so I can legally use the music that I bought.  I wish I’d figured this out before loading up my CDs onto the computer.
  4. I really need to have a better back-up strategy.  Since I splurged on the Leopard operating system, it’s time to get the Time Capsule and not deal with this crap again.
  5. Despite the fact that I don’t have a formal back-up strategy, I probably have 85 percent of what I had before.
  6. Delicious looks a lot more useful now.
  7. Changing the desktop and color settings is making me happy.

In knitting news — Fleegle has a great list of knitting tips here. I knew some of them, but others were new to me.  Check it out.

I’ve been working on Baby Bibs for a friend.  And a mom of an infant approved of them last night – so I’m breathing a sigh of relief that they will be used:

Baby Bit Setb.JPG

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FO: SlinkyRibs Sweater

It’s done, it’s done, I love it already and my friend Judy took some wonderful photos of it:

SlinkyRibs1o

SlinkyRibs1q

When I took the sweater to show the Knit Night, they all said to make it a bit longer than I was planning to, and they were SO right.  The length is perfect.  I ended up using the crochet along the neck thingy that the Yarn Harlot recommends (see my post here), and it did help hold the neckline up.  It’s really common for sweaters with no seams to get draggy, so this is a great way to fix it, even after you have finished the entire sweater.

For those interested in seeing how my tubular cast-off in 2×2 ribbing looks on the sleeve when worn, here you go:

SlinkyRibs1kJPG

This will be a sweater that I want to wear over and over, and I’m going to play with this top-down, in the round, set-in-sleeve technique for a sweater of my own design.

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De Blanket

Well, working on the blanket took a bit more time than I thought, it was a busy weekend. I think it was appropriate that I finished this beautiful baby blanket on Mother’s Day. Many thanks to pdxknitterati for her wonderful mitered square pattern (and catching the error that I made in making the square larger)  that we used for this beautiful blanket.

a4asquares1l

We had the following knitters on this project:

Emily, Tallahassee FL
Jane, Martinsburg WV
Gwendolina Champaign IL
Joanie, Mahtomedi MN
Jen, Petaluma CA
Kristy, New Haven, CT
Brenda, New Haven, CT
Marci, Silver Spring MD
Donna, New York NY
Pearl, Shelton WA
and me.

The edging looks like this:

a4asquares1j

It’s a garter stitch edging from the first Mason-Dixon Knitting book, and worked on each of the four sides, then sewn together to lovely points.

I think there is just one problem with the blanket:

a4asquares1mJPG

The kitties have fallen in love with it, and I’m not sure I can sneak it out to mail it:

a4asquares1n

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De squares, de squares

The lovely thing I’m learning about community blankets, ever since last summer when I was “volunteered” for putting together a baby blanket, is the creativity that goes into a small piece of knitting. This time, the pattern was set, so we had the inventiveness in the colors. This blanket will be in honor of Peter Bergmann, who was the husband of Kay Gardiner. As you can see, Brandy has quite enjoyed herself with the packages and knitwear:

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more about "De squares, de squares", posted with vodpod

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A Smooth Ending

I’m in the middle of doing a lovely sweater designed by Wendy Bernard called Slinky Ribs. Clever, clever design, and I’m loving her approach of changing up a design if you want to tweek it. It’s not like I need permission, but helpful that a designer recognizes that we knitters will do it, and gives some advice along the way.

I’m most sticking to the pattern (raising a neckline, making 3/4 sleeves instead of short cap ones, options in her pattern already), but I did decide on a different cast-off for the sleeves.

I had 2×2 ribbing. The question was — how to bind off so that it looks good and has the proper stability. Here was my solution:

  1. I changed to one smaller needle size (from 4 to 3 in this case) and continued in pattern for one inch.  This allowed me to continue to a smaller part of my arm in pattern without decreasing.
  2. I then did a min-twist kind of stitch to switch from 2×2 ribbing to 1×1 ribbing.  Why did I want to do this?  I wanted to do a tubular bind-off, which is easier to do with 1×1 ribbing.  The mini-twist is this:  (k1, drop next stitch off needle [it should come forward], purl the next stitch behind the dropped stitch, put dropped stitch back on the needle, knit that stitch, p1)  repeat between the () until the end of the round.
  3. One round in the same 1×1 ribbing (this is optional).
  4. Then I switched to double-knitting (this part is expendable, but I think it gives more stability to the edge, and gives the option of putting in some elastic at the edge if you want to do so.  (1st round – knit the knits, slip the purls wyif. 2nd round – slip the knits wyib, purl the purls.).  Lot’s of places to find videos and descriptions of this, I know Lucy Neatby has a cool DVD on this technique.
  5. Finally, do a tubular bind-off — check the Google or You-tube for some good videos.  This page looks pretty good, and it includes the double knitting technique. (Edited to add that The Nostalgic Knitter has now posted a video of my technique.)

Here’s the final result:

Slinky Ribs Detail

The orange stitch marker shows where I changed needle sizes for the smaller ribbing. You can’t really tell that I’ve switched from 2×2 ribbing to 1×1. This is a firm and elastic edge. Yay!

And I couldn’t help adding this one:

Brandy Approves

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Clearing Out UFO’s

Last night I had the urge to complete some UFOs to clear the decks.  I finished up the reversible vest, which is now blocking with the small fan to hurry things along:

Also in the completed pile were a couple of  pairs of children’s socks for Afghans for Afghans:

afa socks 3b

so the total count for the spring campaign is 1719 pairs of socks.  Wow, that’s been a lot of socks.  Fortunately, I’ve learned some new techniques along the way to make things more interesting!

In the charity category, also completed was a helmet liner for Socks for Soldiers, which will go with a pair of socks.  Unfortunately, I need to complete another one with the leftover yarn, so there’s another one on the needles tonight.

sfs helmet liner 1

The hope is that getting these other things out of the way will allow time for:

  • assembling a mitered-square blanket for Afghans for Afghans in honor of Kay Gardiner’s husband.
  • finishing the Slinky Ribs sweater
  • playing with yarn – not sure what, but I want to work on combining yarns together in unexpected ways
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