Thursday, July 31, 2008

Someone Knit an IPhone

How cool is this? Someone has already knit an IPhone. You can find more photos and a step-by-step at Daddytypes. I am totally jealous that I didn't think of it. Of course I don't HAVE an IPhone yet either.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Alien Illusion Scarf

I finished this Alien Illusion Scarf a few days ago- except for some fringe (optional). As much as I love the look of the scarf, knitting 5 repeats of an 80-row graph was no fun at all. Took me several weeks just because of the tediousness. I even did side projects as an escape. The kids at school better go nuts when they see this.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Randy Pausch, unforgettable

Randy Pausch has driven me nuts since we were kids. He died this morning after a battle with pancreatic cancer. I really don't know what to do with myself.

I met Randy when I transferred to public school shortly after my mother's death. My Mom had cancer too. Randy and I were both in seventh grade, but didn't really become friends until eight grade. From then on, we saw each other in school every day until graduation.

Randy was a genius- seriously, his IQ measured off the charts. He told me and I believed him, particularly after sitting behind him in Trig. He's been described as "cocky and dismissive", which he certainly could be. Randy was also a conservative, superior, chauvinistic, geeky, awkward, uncool kid. He also had the gift of laughing at himself, which was necessary for a geek in a high school where athletics ruled.

In spite of his attitude, much of what Randy said was accurate. Eventually, I learned to appreciate this. (years later) Randy excelled at delivering "course corrections" that I used after I stopped being mad at him. He taught me a lot about how a gentleman should behave. We were competitors and always friends. I appreciated his open friendship in a time when there were few female and fewer African-Americans in advanced science and math courses.

We've had only a few contacts since college. I contacted him during his illness, and was happy to hear that he was still himself. I'm glad I got to say goodbye. Until recently, I had not realized just how much he meant to me. Randy had an enormous effect on who am have become. He always encouraged me. He absolutely made me more aggressive and competitive. (in a good way)

As I wrote earlier, my meeting Randy was linked to changes after my mother's death. His death, under similar circumstances is unnerving. I'm grieving for both of them.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Joined Ravelry at Last

I got my invitation to join Ravelry last week. I've known about it for a while but for some reason didn't "get it". I do now. I've been slowly exploring and finding more to like each time. I am particularly impressed by some of the groups, such as Knitting Genealogists. I didn't know there was a niche that small, even on the Internet. That group is one way to describe me. It goes withou saying that the Ravelry is another " go to" for my virtual yarn-creativity-pattern fix.

In the meantime, I am using great discipline by finishing my current project, an Alien Illusion Scarf for my son, before going on to the next project. It is two-thirds done and killing me. I desperately want to start something else. My workspace (read entire house) is covered with stuff I want to start. This summer's main task is to actually knit scarves and such to have ready BEFORE it gets cold. I've completed a grey wook scarf for my husband and a pair of mittens that will never be worn. (photos later) I still need to do a scarf for another son and then on to the experimental stuff!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Gauge Swatch ^$#@$&#!

The photo above shows a "swatch" that came out SMALLER than the graph. I charted that design on 10 x 10 graph paper. If knit to match the graph, the sample would have been a 2" x 3" rectangle. Instead it's about one third smaller. Sample knit with size 10 crochet cotton on size 000 steel needles. I was worried that I couldn't get enough detail in this project. That won't be a problem... I also managed to knit the chart backwards. I realized this above 3 rows into the chart, but decided to continue. At this gauge, I'm knitting out of sheer spite. By the time I finished this, my hands were cramped and my puncture wound from the day day hurt. Sheer spite.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Blood, Knit & Tears

Take note of the sharp points on the very thin needles. I have finally managed to injure myself knitting. A cable/internet service call and several days of PMS were contributing factors. This afternoon, we had a service technician call. As usual, my husband made sure that he was out of the house for this appointments(today is a weekend). Near the end of the service call, the tech asked me to sign the receipt. I refused to sign until all services were fully restored. Things got tense, but I eventually got what I needed. Shortly after the service tech left, I accidentally drove one of the pictured size 000 steel needles about 1/4-inch into the fleshy part of my palm. For once, I was shocked speechless. It wasn't as painful as you'd expect. My hand is bandaged and I am still knitting. The project is being knit in black crochet cotton, which is difficult to see and has NO elasticity. The early stages of this project are massively frustrating. I'm knitting out of sheer spite. Still, it was the most appropriate choice my stash had to offer.
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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Bacon Bookmark Photo & Graph

I used yarns from my stash for this project, Lang's Jawoll sock weight(doubled) in beige or white for the background and Brown Sheep NatureSpun sport weight in red or pink for contrast. Needles, size 4. Silly as it seems, I charted a piece of bacon for the pattern.
I knit the graph starting from both the short and long sides. The "raw" version of the bacon was knit in garter stitch, 10 stitches across for 60 rows, using the intarsia method of color changes. The choice of garter stitch produced knitting that lies flat. Because three different colors (white, red, pink) were used over only 10 stitches, knitting was annoyingly slow. The results were more successful.

The "cooked" version of the bacon was knit, using 60 stitches for 12 rather than 10 rows, to allow space for the cast-on and cast-off rows. This version was knit rapidly. I cast on and knit 3 rows in red. The remaining rows were knit in beige. I then used the chart to duplicate stitch the details in red yarn. I chose this method to avoid stranding yarn all across the back and to spare my temper for another use. Finally, because stockinette stitch curls worse than even real cooked bacon, I flattened the piece against a strip of sticky-backed felt.

A Second Helping of Knit Bacon

I've never knit food before. Currently, I'm trying to improve my diet by minimizing sodium, meat, and dairy. I am the only member of my household who is so inclined. I am surrounded by meat and meat-eaters. Knitting food is therapeutic. I take revenge in the fact that they don't realize how many vegan dishes are being served.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Knitted Bacon Bookmark

This blog comes from my internal monologue, the connections that happen in my brain. It makes sense to me, sometimes.

Recently, I saw a video clip entitled Bacon Challenge on YouTube. A Bellflur band member claimed he could consume 30 strips of bacon in one sitting. The video was the salty, dis-concerting record of a bad breakfast. The video brought up a childhood memory of a librarian saying that she had once found a strip of bacon left in a library book.

I love to knit. I love/hate bacon. I love Bellflur's music. The result is bacon immortalized in knitting. I've posted a photo of the project in two versions, "raw & cooked". Both versions were knitted from the same chart. The raw version was knitted in garter stitch starting at the short side of the chart ( 10 stitches x 60 rows). The cooked version was knit in stockinette stitch following the chart lengthwise using 60 stitches for about 12 rows. I also added a few increases/decreases at the ends of the cooked sample to keep the ends from being quite so square. I used yarns from my stash for this project, Lang's Jawoll sock weight(doubled) and Brown Sheep NatureSpun (sport weight). Needles, size 4. Silly as it seems, I charted a piece of bacon for the pattern, which will be posted in the near future.