Wednesday, December 23, 2009
We got a lot of snow this past weekend- 20 inches. I got bored. Have no idea what possessed me. Part of the problem might have been that we we moving things around for the holidays. We also had a full house. My eldest son was home for winter break. That meant we suddenly had two teenaged boys lumbering around the house. Normally they'd be off in their respective corners, lairs, what-have-you, minding their own business. Add a day of enforced togetherness and snow to shovel and the system breaks down. Meanwhile, I've got this huge (20" X 72") red wrap that I knit which desperately needed blocking. The last thing I wanted to do was to get this thing dripping wet and then have to find a place to block it. We don't have the space available right now. What to do?
After about 24 hours of enforced togetherness, husband and older son just HAVE to go out to shop or do something. In the interval, the younger son begins to fret about needing photos for a class project. The subject was "texture". I suggest that we put my knitting out in the snow. My hope was that the fresh snow would dampen the knitting just enough to get it evenly wet without getting it completely sodden. I tossed the shawl out the front door and younger son spread it out for the first photo. After that, he took astick and churned it in the fresh powder until it was evenly coated. We popped the shawl into a gigantic plastic bag and let the snow melt inside for a few hours. When I took the knitting out, it was damp, but could probably have used a litttle more snow. At the moment, it's hanging in the bathroom to dry. It's stretched out a bit, but nothing dramatic has happened. It's a large enough project that i won't block it again until it needs a wash.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Here is the finished hat along with a photo of the graph/tracing that I used. The hat is a simple watch cap knit in wool using worsted weight yarn on size 6 needles (circular and double point). I was able to freehand embroider the pattern three times around the hat. I can't wait to send it to my friend who is finishing up her finals for the semester. (nursing school).
Monday, December 7, 2009
This is a swatch I made for a project that has been in my mind for a long time. Originally, I was inspired to make a hat for a drummer. This drummer was quoted as saying that rhythm was everywhere, in heartbeats and handclaps. I later saw a pattern for a heartbeat hat and bought the pattern. However, as a biologist, I wanted to design my own pattern that showed the tracing of a normal EKG pattern. Add to that the fact that I have a friend who is in her final year of nursing school. Finally, she has been studying EKG's this past semester. It was time to knit. I looked at lots of EKG image tracings. This swatch has originally knit in intarsia to show the EKG pattern in the top example. I didn't like the way it looked. Someone else saw it and suggested that the Holbein Stitch (embroidery) would look more like a tracing. He was right. The bottom EKG pattern is in Holbein Stitch. I'll have the hat finished soon.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
Just a little knit sushi that I've been working on. I'm doing this freeform. There is no pattern. It's been fun to look at what other people have done in this area for inspiration. Now I've started pulling cookbooks and restaurant menus into use, too. I'll come back to this project from time to time, until I have a complete set that can go into some sort of fiber-based bento.
BTW, my husband is recuperating form surgery. It's been a long year. At his follow-up visit, we hope to hear that he is cancer-free. Knitting has helped keep me sane. Surprisingly, this last week, when he actually had the surgery, I was too fried to knit much. THAT'S how rattled I was.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Here is the finished article. It's about the size of my dining room table, just under 4 x 6 feet. The picture was taken by my husband, who stood on a chair to get most of the piece in the frame.
Once the shawl/afghan was completed, I realized that there is NO way that I'm going to just drape this over a chair anytime soon. My fingers get tired every time I look at it. It's carefully folded (inside out) and on my desk. No cats allowed. In the meantime, I have gotten a few suggestions that I donate this , perhaps to a local science teacher. Admittedly, this is a good idea. My favorite teacher of all time, my chemistry teacher, was a knitter. She's definitely a spiritual part of this project. Here's my dilemma. Most people do not value handcrafts nearly enough. I'm not ready to part with this. Maybe. We'll see. I'll think about it. Put it in writing and I'll get back to you......
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Nearly done. This is the second try on the edge. Originally, I tried a slip stitch type of ribbing. Unfortunately it did not lie flat. It was wavy and the edges curled. After completing two sides, (one short and one long) I ripped it out and started over. As much as I hated that, it was better to have a decent-looking finish on this project. This time, I picked up about 20-25% fewer stitches on the long edges and worked a simple K1P1 ribbing with mitered corners. It's simple, lies flat and is effective. Each row of the ribbing changes color. Every other row is done in light teal, for consistency. The alternate rows are worked in stripes of all the other colors.. I've worked the ribbing for about 3-4 inches (length of my index finger). In real terms, that means I worked the ribbing until I was sick of it. Since each round had at LEAST 600 stitches......I was unusually patient. I worked 12 rounds......
Saturday, September 26, 2009
This photo shows how I interpreted the elements that have temporary names. That means that most of them have been "discovered" (synthesized) but IUPAC and IUPAP have not verified them or agreed on a two-letter symbol and name. Note that UUS, (atomic number 117) has not been discovered yet.The layout of the three-letter elements is not ideal, but I was happy just to get three letters squeezed into the space originally intended for two letters. As the new elements get permanent names, I have the option of changing the letters. I might also be too lazy to do that.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Actually, this is from a couple of days ago. I stretched out the knitting so I could get a sense of the overall project. (Of course a cloud passed over to change the lighting while I was working.) Interestingly enough, the letters look better from a distance. That is what I need to see. When I work on the individual stitches, I lose perspective and get totally fixated.....pixellated, if you will. Stepping back allows me to see that potassium (K) needs an extra stiche and thatI want to replace the dark green bars between the Reactive Metals and the blanks blocks for the Rare Earths. The Transition Metals and Rare Earths are the longest running portion of the Table. I really want to work steadily so that I don't put it down and start to procrastinate. If I pick up anything else now, this project is DOOMED.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Here is my graph of the recent updates to the Periodic Table of the Elements. My update is based on the original charts of Avital Pinnick. I am insanely grateful to Avital for having such a great idea. Avital's Periodic Table Sweater and original charts can be found at her blog, This and That. I have used her layout and style so that the new or changed elements can be incorporated right in with the elements that she charted. I have chosen to arrange my project according to the 2007 (most recent) IUPAC version of the Table. I have also chosen to add element 112, Copernicum, which was officially named this year. I will also probably add the temporarily named elements that have three-letter symbols. I have charted these symbols, but had to compress the letters. I would suggest duplicate stitching the temporary symbols so that official symbols could be added later. I'll add photos as the new elements get stitched into my shawl.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I've put in the Reactive Metals and am starting to fill in the Transition Metals, along with the Lanthanoids and Actinoids. I'm doing the groups together so I can keep everything aligned properly. Tentatively, the Transition Metals have been worked in a variegated blue yarn, shown at left. Surprisingly, the photos help me decide which colors work best. When I am stitching, I am too close to the work. The photo provides a real sense of detachment.
The variegated blues may be too pale to read in the lightest areas. I will try the next few blocks using the darker sections. Based on the sample, I'll try the following.....
Outlines in blue/green twist and variegated blues.
Transition Metals- medium/darker blues
Lanthanoids- Blue/green twist
Actinoids- Blue/lavender variegated
The newer elements are coming up. The chart that I am using for the majority of the elements comes from the Periodic Table Sweater by Apinnick.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Instead of a sweater, I am making a flat shawl/throw in worsted weight cotton yarn. I chose this yarn because I've had a couple of CONES of the stuff sitting around since 2006, driving me nuts. The numerical description of the background is at least 120 stitches by at least 215 rows. Note that I am doing this SIDEWAYS. The sideways orientation fits my knitting frame and my (im)patience level. I would have gone bonkers knitting this by hand right now. I have other stuff to finish on a deadline.
I chose to knit the background in stockinette stitch on a Bond knitting frame. I knit 11 rows of white, then 1 row of (blue-green) contrast yarn. The contrast yarn helps me define the squares of the Table and serves as a counting device. Also, when complete, I want the background to evoke the idea of "notebook paper" and "graph paper". Besides, that, it was in my stash.......
So far, I have knit the background. I have not bound off the edges because I will hand knit some sort of edging later. I'm considering stitch patterns, etc.
I'm doing the actual elements in duplicate stitch, rather than knitting them in with the background. As I go, I'm making decisions about color and arrangement. (That means digging up stash yarn).
Important Note: The original Periodic Table Sweater was made in the late 1990's. There have been a number of new elements that have been discovered/ approved since then. IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) has approved names for some of these elements and had temporary names for others. I am going to make (and post) a chart for some of the updated elements. Also, there are a few variations on the arrangement of the Periodic Table. My version will be slightly different from Apinnick's version. The new elements get added and the actinoids and lanthanoids are slightly different. Here is a version of the Periodic Table that shows the new elements, starting from the Atomic Number 104.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Stiil playing with trim. One girl wants a bow. The first hat has a crocheted flower trim,- my call. We will see about the bow.....
Friday, August 7, 2009
These photos are what I have at the moment. The jellyfish could be considered complete, but I think additional tentacles are needed. I need to give it a good long stare in a dark room (it glows). Then I will try out tentacles and various accents in s "glow", pink, or clear cord. The clear cord is being reserved for a transparent knit first. These photos were taken with the unwilling cooperation of two surly teenagers who specified they be edited out.
Details: This was knit using two skeins of Bernat "Glow in the dark" Yarn in white. I used size 7 needles, both double point and a 24" circular. For the body, I cast on 174 stitches on the double point needles and did 10 paired decreased evenly around the circle every other row. Then i closed the center. The tentacles were formed from a long (6-7 foot) length of ruffle. I knit this by filling a 24" circular needle with stitches. I knit a row, then formed a double increase in each stitch, to form the frill. I knit for about 1.5 inches in garter stitch and bound off the ruffle.
Assembly: Weave a length of yarn around the edge of the circle leaving long ends, to form a drawstring. Use the drawstring to pull the edge of the circle in until the shape is pleasing. Stuff the bell if you like. The ruffled strip was folded into quarters and attached to the body. I also used a cardboard circle to hold in the stuffing. For now, the tentacles are tied to the cardboard circle. They may be attached directly to the body once I finalize the shape a add additonal tentacles or accents.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Needle size: 2, one set straight, one set double pointed
Yarn: sock weight
Gauge: 6 stitche per inch, 8 rows per inch
Total number of stitches in project, 13,382, (31 stitches per round)
Here is what I learned.
Barcode is truly a machine language. I took the name "bellflur" (after the band) and used an online converter to translate it into Code 128. It looks really good on paper. Great visual, nice stripes. I enlarged the printout so I could see and count each row of pixels. Very simple. Stripes are easy to knit?
In barcode, each number translates into rows of pixels. The number 1 is a single row, the number 3 is three rows. Code 128 does the same for letters. This allows a lot of information to be printed in a small amount of space, such as a label.
In knitting, this greatly expands the project. If you look at the photo of the scarf, you will see that the letters take up less space than the stripes of the code. In addition, in knitting there is the issue of color changes and weaving in ends. I carried the yarn up the sides to avoid having over 100 loose ends to weave. A final consideration with knitting is changing colors on odd or even numbers of rows. In flat knitting, it is easiest to change colors every two rows. Originally, I tried to expand the barcode so that one row of pixels equalled a two-row stripe. That gave me a pattern repeat in the range of 250-300 rows. Eventually, I chose to knit the scarf in the round, to facillitate frequent colr changes of one-row stripes. I knit the scarf as a closed-end, double knit tube to make it more interesting for myself. After knitting about 6 inches of the pattern, I decided to use the tube to hold my iPod or cellphone, leaving an opening that was later bordered in 1x1 ribbing.
After the barcode portion was completed, I knit the remainder of the scarf in plain black. This portion was knit on double pointed needles and I just knit until I used up nearly all of the black yarn. The final length is 55 inches, which is rather short for a winter scarf, but just right for holding my ipod at a comfortable level.
The last step in the main scarf was to duplicate stitch the name "bellflur" on the solid portion of the scarf. I used chart that I made some time ago. The chart was made from the band's logo that I charted using KnitPro and then altered to get the effect I wanted. I found it frustrating to duplicate stitch black yarn, at a small gauge, in a long, narrow, tube.
The final steps were to bind off the knitting and add fringe. The loose ends were tucked inside the scarf.
I am SO glad this thing is done. This project had an idea that I loved. I hated the execution. If I do another barcode project, I will choose a different yarn and perhaps knit it using a knitting machine, flat. I will definitely do it at a much larger guage. I fit the project to use the yarn I had available in black and white. I may try another version of barcode, called AZTEC next because it appears to be graphically intersting.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
The photo shows jellyfish, "moon jellies", my current model and inspiration. Jellyfish, invertebrates and bioluminescence have been interests of mine for years. I want to do something that has a passing resemblance to the real creature. I don't like cutesy, anthropomorhic versions with faces.
I started out trying to use some of my stash of glow yarn, but it wasn't right. I want to get something that is truly transparent or at least translucent. I've tried knitting strips of thin clear plastic from the dry cleaners. It was just awful, soft slippery, sticky at the wrong time, very frustrating. Besides that, at the end of the evening, my husband was making comments about my "descent into madness". Next morning, the plastic went into the trash. I went out and purchased two thicknesses of nylon monofilament fishing line to try. It is knittable. I am trying to find a tolerable way to start this project. Once established, it should work well. I will get the transparency I want and will use glow-in-the-dark yarn for the luminous parts.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
This is the one year anniversary of this blog. The embarrassing photo at left is Penguin, a "retired" feral cat who adopted us a couple years ago. Today I gave him cause to re-think that decision. I saw the blogpost about International Cat Hats, some time ago and just loved it. Normally, I don't humiliate the cats or make demands on them. They are independent contractors. This was the exception. I knit the crown overnight and got photos today. The photo part was hard. My husband is not a photographer and certainly not for cats. This was the best I could get. There was another photo shoot, with my cat, Raven, that was an unmitigated, blurry disaster. If my husband had shot video, it would have been fun. As it is, neither cat is speaking to me.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Confession....I have been "socializing" on Facebook and not knitting. Anyway, I'm back to the knit at least for a while. Bellflur is hitting the road for their summer season AND they will finally be releasing new songs. I want to get this project finished before the EP and Album are released.
This project started out as a simple barcode experiment. Along the way, I realized that I could use this narrow scarf/stole to hold my iPod. The barcode portion was knit in tubular double knitting. The remainder of the scarf will be knit in plain black until it is long enough, or I run out of yarn. I am finishing it on double point needles because knitting on black yarn in dim light made for some .......unravelling. Now I can just knit on circular auto pilot.
The last step will probably be to embroider the title "Bellflur" on the black portion.
If you look carefully at the iPod, you can see the cover of the first Bellflur CD.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
I do other things besides knitting. All my life, I have been fascinated by bobbin lace. Several years ago, I finally found the proper materials and began to learn. This was really only possible through the Internet. Lacemaking requires focus and patience. For me, it is a form of meditation.
I am really glad to pull my pillows out of storage. The photos show a detail shot of my "cookie" pillow, which is about 18" in diameter. The pattern, called a pricking, is pinned onto the pillow and the lace is worked directly over the pattern. In my mind, bobbin lace incorporates techniques of weaving, braiding, and perhaps knotting. Pins are used to stabilize the threads at edges and crossings. Finished lace is stretched, stiffened and released from the pins.
This particular project is an exercise in Bruges lace. "Tapes" are woven to define the shape of the lace. The center area is filled with a "ground" pattern. It is a fairly easy, quick and fun type of lace. Since I haven't done this in a couple of years, this will be a good refresher piece to finish.
The photo on the right shows my pattern book and examples of my patterns or prickings.
I hope it will be easy for me to pick this up again.
I stopped making lace several years ago, when i went back to work full time. Somehow, working 8-12 hours a day for 5-6 day weeks is not conducive to focusing on anything other than sleep at home.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Hitting the wall. Knit happens.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
I'm also feeling guilty about not finishing the barcode project. Maybe I'll finish it in time for the new Bellflur album.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
This is the creation of a longtime friend. We reconnected and he told me about the video. I love his work. I totally get this.
I must point out that this video has both original images and music. It is the work of John Chadwick. John wrote the lyrics and the music and created the images. He performs with his brother Roger.
I first met John around middle school age, probably playing outdoors. We were in daily classes together during middle and high school. Even then, he had an interest in film making. Both John and Roger were a part of my daily life. I did not know how important that was.
He's always been part of me.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
My avatar is on the left. That's Raven, my yarn-addicted, bacon-addicted feline. As soon as I laid out the hats for a photo, she had to intercede. Surprisingly, she stayed still for several shots, so she's in the blog post.
The hats are made from stash that I brought up from North Carolina and knit during a recent cold snap. One was made at my husband's request, who promptly went to Target and bought a $2.99 hat while I was knitting. ^$%$@!@ to him! Tom, you are higher on my knitlist than Ian now. Hat knitting is new and interesting because it uses up single skeins of yarn and I don't get bored, I can also indulge various ideas such as : chicken vikings, mohawks, Daleks, Space Invaders, R2D2, .......
It has occurred to me that I could start knitting a few things for good causes. The knitting I've done for other people has been kinda fun. Also, after years of volunteer work, I want to make a change. I need to find volunteer efforts that fit my current capabilities. I've spent years doing exhausting, often thankless work, to suit the convenience of other people. Charitable knitting might be a welcome change.
I've been looking at my stash and looking for good causes. I've contacted someone who wants to distribute items, such as hats, gloves, sweaters to the homeless in Baltimore. (no response yet) Johns Hopkins Pediatric Intensive Care Unit has a program that accepts items according to a rotating schedule. They have six seasonal projects, slippers, Halloween caps, amigurumi (toys), etc. That might be a lot of fun and allow for creativity, too. For now, I'm going to knit occasional items and fill up a box with donations. Never enough time, energy, money to serve others.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
This hat needs to contact the head on the far right ASAP. It's clear to me that he's gone without for too long. A regular, disciplined, stretch in a recording studio, followed by hot chocolate and a vegetarian diet would be appropriate.
While this Bellflur member was out pillaging the South, I was at home knitting furiously. The result was this most excellent beanie which suits those who like chocolate, caffeine, and organic chemistry in one fell swoop. The guitarist gets the beanie as long as I get photos.
This wayward group of musicians has been a source of inspiration for my knitting, as previous posts will show. Currently, they inspire my vegetarian leanings.
Monday, January 5, 2009
I've been sitting on this for a while. I got a message from Tom, who plays bass and guitar for bellflur, that he needed a new hat. Over the summer, I made prototypes, for a similar project that did not suit. Recently, I saw that he was cutting down on caffeine and I remembered the Heterocyclic Hat Pattern. Tom wears a brown hat, so I'm making a version using the molecular structures for caffeine (in coffee) and theobromine (in chocolate). It's in the final knit stages.