Monday, September 29, 2008

Hey You Guuyyyys!

In case you hadn't heard, The Electric Company is making a come back. Filming has already started and we can expect to see them in January. That doesn't mean we can't love them now though.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Knitterly Update

First: The Mister Knitter

Mike finished his practice piece, and is determined that it is something other than a practice piece. I tried to take Kelley Petkun's advice and convince him that he wasn't knitting anything at all so he was free to make mistakes. He would not have it. This had to be something, and he didn't care what. So here is Mike's worsted weight bookmark/cat toy for the cat we don't own.The stitches are huge because I had him working on size 10 1/2 needles. Last time he gave it a go he was knitting so tight that moving the stitches down to the point of his size 6 needle still wasn't giving him enough space to get the other needle in there. This time he loosened up and I think it is because I gave him circular needles instead of straights. With the straights he shoved the left one into his hip so it was not moving. This was a real problem because I was teaching him how to pick, not throw. I'm pretty impressed with this. He didn't want to learn to purl so it is all knit stitches. He kept knitting until he ran out of yarn, and then he tinked back until he had enough yarn for the bind off and then bound off on his own.

As far as my knitting is concerned, I've gotten a lot done. I have a FO that you can check out at Ravelry, but you won't get to hear about until the new year. I have also gotten a lot done on my Francis. (Lets hear it for my first bathroom mirror picture!) I had mentioned that I stopped knitting at the ball game because I was worried about my gauge. As it turns out, that was a good call. There is a distinct line across the stitches where my gauge goes back to normal. I'm not going to worry about it, because the sweater still fits, and it should block out.

Unless this yarn blooms a lot with washing, I am going to have to wear an undershirt with this sweater. I don't mind at all, because I already have a cami that matches. I expected that when I did my gauge swatch, but the pattern says something about it being soft enough to be worn on it's own.

The pattern didn't call for a specific yarn just worsted alpaca. I am using Andean Silk which is not 100% alpaca. It is 55% Alpaca, 23% Silk, and 22% wool. It is absolutely luxurious to be knitting with. I am going to be sad when this project is over, because I am going to miss having that softness running though my fingers as I knit it up.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Close To Home

I have been refusing to think that economic issues are related to me not having a job yet. There are several reasons. First, jobs I am interested in and qualified for are being posted. Second, I have a graduate degree, experience, a strong work ethic, and a great attitude. I am a competitive candidate. The biggest reason I don't want to consider the economy as the factor in my job hunt struggles is because I don't want a 'I am a pawn of my environment' mentality right now. I am still full of 'I can make a difference' optimism, and it is one of my assets. I don't want to sacrifice that for defeatist talk about how the economy is keeping me unemployed. I know that goings on of Wall Street have destroyed people's lives, but my life is pretty good. I just need a job. So, despite my new proximity to everything that is going on, I have been distancing myself.

The Washington Mutual buy out hit too close to home. I use to work at Washington Mutual in wholesale loans. I was the administrative assistant to the regional director. My job was administrative and organizational. I didn't have to understand anything about loans to do it. Mainly, I set up meetings and conference calls, created spreadsheets and memos, and answered the phone. The only thing that made this different than any other administrative assistant job was that whenever the interest rate went up, my life was on hold until all of our people knew it.

We sold wholesale loans, and my understanding of what that means, is that we sold bundles of loans to places like A1 Mortgage (not a real place). Then A1 Mortgage would give individual loans to the individuals who needed them. It made sense to me as a way to let smaller lenders give out bigger loans and keep us from having to manage each and every loan. It seemed to me that we always talked about loans as if they hadn't been given to people yet. It seems to be discussed in the opposite way on the news lately. I heard a story saying that part of the early problems when people started defaulting on their loans was that the banks had loans that they packaged up and sold to other banks. Those were then repackaged and resold. This happened for a couple intervals so that the loans got split up and spread out pretty good. Then too many people would default and one of the lenders in this chain would disappear. Along with it was their paperwork, leaving a lot of confusion about who owned these defaulting loans and who's responsibility the foreclosure was. This explanation talks about the loans as already having been given out.

I realize that I could have just assumed we were 'selling' the money/credit to give out loans instead of buying the loans that were already given out because that is what made sense to me. Whether or not I understood was never important. I just know that the packaging of loans was part of the problem, I worked on a floor that didn't handle any individual loans, and now that bank is gone. Waking up one morning to WaMu being gone has really changed my perspective on all of this. I use to think that this economic thing was so big it affected all of us. Now it is so big that we are all involved.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Peanuts and Crackerjacks

Yesterday was the 2008 Stitch and Pitch at Shea Stadium (the last stitch and pitch at Shea Stadium). Mike and I went to see the Mets v. Cubs, and they gave us a great game. I brought along my new sweater project since my other project is in the section that requires a chart. Mike even brought along the makings for his first garter stitch scarf in case he wanted to fit in. They had a table full of stuff for the stitchers, but it was swarmed by the time I got there. Rumor is I missed getting to meet Debbie Stoller. I did have a famous knitter sighting of the Ravelry Couple (no Bob though).

I guess the game started off bad, with a first inning home run by the Cubs. My knitting kept me happy though. Eventually, it started to rain. It wasn't a heavy game stopping rain. It was just annoying. Mike appropriately described it as someone flicking cold water in your face. I knit though some of it, but eventually my hands got damp. Yarn doesn't flow through damp hands nicely. I was worried about my gauge changing. (One of the downfalls of a no seaming sweater is that if you have to rip something out you lose everything.) It was ok though because I got to pay closer attention to the game. As soon as I got my stuff put up, the Cubs hit another home run with two people on base. It doubled their score and brought them 3 ahead of the Mets. It took a couple innings but the Mets caught up and at the top of the 9th it was 6-6. One of the Cubs broke a bat trying to hit one more out of the park, but we stopped him. What might have been the longest inning of the whole game ended with a walk off win after we finally got a runner home. It was probably the most exciting baseball game I have ever been to.

For your own baseball fun, I insist you listen to this:

This is Matthew McGough telling his story as the Yankee's bat boy from The Moth Podcast. It is a great story for anyone who likes baseball, or anyone who has ever had a first day at a new job. If you listen to podcasts, and The Moth (iTunes link) isn't one of your regulars, I highly recommend it.

Oh Ya! And the knitting I did.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Moving on

OpArt is finished and on it's way to California (via Florida). The pattern was tons of fun to make and it was idea for an i-cord border. Since it is worked from the center out all of my live stitches were the outside edge. I just bound them off with the icord and managed to skip the bind off and the pick up stitches steps. I knit the blanket on US6 needles but did the i-cord on US8. It gave me a wonderfully stretchy border that allowed for the massive blocking.

Since I can't tell you about the super secret Christmas knitting, I'll share my new project. Granted it is so new that I haven't even cast on yet. I don't know if it was the mobiuses (what is the plural of that word? mobei?) that gave me confidence or what, but I am taking on a project with sleeves. The pattern is Francis Revisited by Beth Silverstein. It is knit in the round top down, so there isn't much as far as seeming and probably as easy as you can get as far as including sleeves is concerned. My gauge swatch finished drying along with the blanket, and I've finished all the math (well I think I've finished it anyway). Some patterns come with a little drawing at the end of the item with all of its measurements. Here is an example from the Abrazo pattern from the current Knitty.

These pictures are particularly useful to women like me who don't fit into any one particular size of women's apparel. For example (depending on the sizing) my shoulders might fit into a medium, my bust into a large, my waist into a small, and my hips into an xlarge. The little chart lets me check finished garment's measurements against my measurements. Francis didn't have one of these, so I decided to go ahead and make one. I started with a lightly drawn rough sketch of what I thought the sweater was going to look like, and then I went though the pattern step by step and added the heavier straight lines and measurements for what was actually going to be happening. It doesn't look that pretty (in fact, it kind of reminds me of Frankenstein's monster) and it certainly isn't to scale or accurate as a drawing, but it has already been worth every moment I spent on it.

First, I realized that the instructions for my size would give me a pretty consistent 2 inches of positive ease. Right up until the hips, then just fits with no ease. I knew I had to add in two more increase rows and because I went through the pattern I knew where they would fit easily to keep the gradual flaring after the waist. I also figured out how many rows should fit in the sections that say knit until X inches long. Finally, it has given me some forewarning that it may be a little sort under the arm pits and I'll have to check the fit when I join for knitting in the round there. It has kept me from playing with fiber, but this was so useful, that I may make one of these even if the pattern comes with a little drawing.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The End

I am finished with OpArt. All the ends are sewn in and it is soaking right now. Normally, with baby stuff, I just throw it in the washer and dryer and present it in the same state as it should be in coming out of the mom's dryer. This particular blanket is special though. I knew when I started, that it was going to need wet blocking after I finished, so instead of doing the norm, I am soaking it and blocking it.This picture is what it looks like unblocked. I don't mind blocking at all, I'm just a little worried that the corners might start curling up again after it gets washed. The plan is to be firm with it and show it how happy it can be as a square.

I'm also finished with Treasure Island, and I haven't decided what book to listen to next. I seem to be hit or miss lately with how much I like the books I pick. I was disappointed with both The Life of Pi and The Alchemist despite all of their positive reviews. I've been wondering if I didn't enjoy them as much as the critics because of the fact that I listened instead of reading. Audio books inspire a fairly different relationship, because I am always multi-tasking when I listen to them. I could be doing the dishes, riding the train, or just knitting garter stitch. Either way, I am not quite as committed. On the other hand, when I listened to A Connecticut Yankee in King Aurthur's Court and found it absolutely hilarious and entertaining. I've also had great luck with Twilight, Dracula, and American Gods.

So here are the books I'm thinking about:
Eve's Diary
The Prince and the Pauper (clearly I've gotten excited about Twain's humor)
The Cricket on the Hearth (in hopes that I continue to have luck with the classics)
Anansi Boys (I love Neil Gaiman, but I'm starting to worry that if I work though his stuff too fast, I'll have nothing left)
New Moon (The first one was light and entertaining. I enjoyed it just fine as an audio book)
One For the Money (a friend of mine has been recommending this series to me for over a year. I have no idea if I'll like it, because I haven't read a mystery novel since The Boxcar Children)

What do you think? Is there something else that I should definitely be listening too instead?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Talk About Piratey Things

I set my mobius fun, to put some more serious work into the baby blanket. Now that blanket is filled with piratey goodness. I watched Cut Throat Island, some Pirates of the Caribbean, and listened to the Librovox recording of Treasure Island. I considered some Captain Ron, but there are only so many hours in the day. The one with the most pirate cliches and buccaneer talk was with out a doubt Treasure Island. I almost feel bad, because I know that Robert Louis Stevenson did something incredible in creating and sharing this world and pirate culture, but it is saturated with things that we now find humours. If I didn't know that it was an original, I would assume that it was satire. I still can't help laughing at some of the things that I know are suppose to be absolutely terrifying.

I wasn't the only one celebrating talk like a pirate day. Knit Picks decided to share a peek at their treasure.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Red's New Wrap (aka More Mobius)

If you made it all the way though yesterday's post, you either really love me, or are intent on figuring this mobius thing out. Either way I appreciate it.

I ended yesterday with the knowledge that I had to knit a mobius from the center outward, and wanting to try two new things. First, I wanted to try purling the second half of each round to make the 'outside' of the strip stockinette. Second, I wanted to try adding some color to see if the new knitting method would fix the original problem that got me trying it out in the first place. Last night I gave it a shot. I know, I know I'm suppose to be working on a baby blanket, but how cute is this:
Just for the record, Red was a horrible model. I couldn't get her to pay any attention to me... she was always gabbing with the lighting crew. I don't think I got a single picture with her mouth shut. (ok, moving on from my fantasy world)

Let's take a look at her new wrap. I cast on 40 stitches and then picked up another 40 for a total of 80 per round. That ridge you see in the middle of the strip is the cast on edge. for the first half of each round I knit, and I purled for the second half. I really like that ridge in the middle, I think it gives the twist texture, but if I wanted to try to get rid of it, I would start by seeing if purling the first half and knitting the second half worked. After three rounds, I attached the yellow, and worked for two rounds. Then I worked another round in red and bound off.

Red makes the wrap look good. The color changes worked well, and if I had gone though blocking it, you wouldn't see the 'wrong side' at all. This wrap hides a secret though. It has an edge where I switched between knitting and purling. This is because the knitting has a right side and a wrong side. If you were going to make another paper mobius, but before you taped it together you colored one side red and the other side blue, there would be a vertical break in the mobius where the red and the blue meet.

It still makes a great looking wrap, but the twist has to be in one specific place. In the end if you are going to have a seam like that, it would be much easier (not as fun but easier) to knit it flat, give it a twist, and seam it up.

The lesson from this is that to have a truly cool wrap where the twist can move anywhere throughout the strip, you are going to need a reversible pattern. Or at very least, a 'wrong side' that looks as good as the 'right side.' A reversible pattern that might work would be seed stitch. Garter stitch would also be reversible, but it would be a bit more involved that garter stitch would normally be. You would have to Knit half, Purl half for the first round then Purl half, Knit half for the second round, and repeat alternating like that so that the garter stitch worked out. I kind of like the stockinette/ reverse stockinette results that I got from the first test piece. I don't know if it would look as good in a human size, but the way stockinette curls makes the reverse stockinette look like it would curve right over Barbie's shoulders.

Going back to the reinventing the wheel concept. There are people who actually get paid to figure this stuff out. If for no reason other than practice, they are probably better at describing it. Last night, after I finished Red's wrap, I discovered the secret to finding them on ravelry. If you are looking for the good mobius patterns, you need to spell it with an E (moebius). Just read though the pattern to make sure you are getting the genuine thing, not a twisted loop or a flat scarf with the ends sewn together.

Here is a Drops pattern that has some helpful pictures for the mobius cast on. I haven't tried it yet, but I'll bet it gets rid of that ridge that is in the middle of Red's wrap.
Here is a Knitty Gritty pattern for a lace cowl. It is not exactly a reversible pattern, but the wrong side and the right side both look good so it works out.
If you are really ready for some magic, here is a video on the Cat Bordhi mobius cast on. I think this is what I'll be trying next. (Just so you know, if you follow this video exactly you will end up with a mobius like my first trial one that has stockinette on one half and reverse stockinette on the other.)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mobius Fun

At my Tuesday night knitting group, one of the women was making a mobius wrap. I have seen a lot of these and I even have one that I want to make in my queue. The one she is making has colored stripes in it and she was showing us how she was slightly disappointed that the wrong side of the knitting was going to be showing. The math loving male knitter that is a part of the group piped up to remind us that there is no wrong side because a mobius strip only has one side.

At first, I just brushed it off as a terminology discrepancy. A Mobius Strip is cool because it does only have one side, but in knitting there is a right side and a wrong side. The knitting use of the word 'side' doesn't rely at all on the mathematic definition of a 'side' that is important to the mobius concept. Sometimes in knitting the right side and the wrong side look exactly alike, but where there are color changes like the ones in her wrap there is a difference. I've been showing you pictures of the right side of the baby blanket I am making but here is a picture of the wrong side. The color changes are not nearly as tidy on the wrong side and this is what is showing on her wrap.

Despite thinking it was a communication issue, I couldn't get over this dilemma. I know that knitting is heavily math based, and I know that I've read about knitting mobius strips as wraps and scarves. I just felt like we were missing something about how they work and how they are knitted up. Yesterday I decided to call on an authority and had my hubby teach me what he could about mobius strips. We got all excited and cut up strips of paper both to make a strip and to try and figure out where the 'wrong side' was showing on the shawl. (Keeping with the theme, all of these strips were made out of the Knit Picks receipt I had sitting on my desk.)

I haven't gotten to see her wrap since yesterday to verify, but I think I may have discovered the source of the dilemma. She told me that knitted mobius's are really easy to make. you knit in the round like you would any tube but before you join you twist the stitches. As you knit the tube gets longer, and it has a twist in it. I think the problem is that this is not a mobius strip. Rather it is a loop with a twist in it. A mobius strip only has half a twist. A twisted loop is still really cool, because you cannot untwist it, but there are still two different sides and two different edges. In the case of what she is knitting she cast on one edge and she is knitting each row to the other edge. A mobius strip cannot work that way because it only has one edge.

As Mike and I tried to figure it out, I looked up the mobius scarf patterns that I knew of. They came in two varieties. One was a twisted loop and not a genuine mobius. The others were constructed the same way you make one with a piece of paper. They were knit up back and forth like a regular scarf, then given a twist, and the ends were sewn together. They were authentic mobius strips, but where's the fun in knitting it like that.:P

We played with paper strips some more and I cast on a couple of disasters trying to figure the puzzle out, and the real dilemma turned out to be the one edge. When you knit, you make something one row at a time which means you are adding to one edge. The Mobius is troublesome because it only has one edge, but that edge is twice as long as the strip from which it is made; or twice as many stitches as you would actually want your thing to go around. Mike figured it out that your cast on edge for a knit mobius strip would actually have to be the center of the finished object. So you would actually knit the strip from the center out.

If you look at this picture, the cast on would be the orange stripe. Row one would be the blue stripe, and the purple stripe is row two. It would continue to work outward like that for as long as you wanted.

How to Make a Mobius Strip

This is in no way a pattern but rather just a talk though of the conceptual stuff.

First, you cast on the number of stitches that would determine the right size of your loop. Basically the number of stitches that would make a tube of the right size plus a few to accommodate the twist.
Then you need to join them like knitting in the round, but instead of knitting the stitches like you would for a regular tube, you pick up stitches from that cast on edge. This would give you two sets of live stitches facing opposite directions from the cast on. This is how you get twice as many stitches. When you knit them up, it is like knitting two different loops (one above the cast on and one below) but they are connect and that connection makes the twist.

Here is the one I made. The most trouble I had with it was that it was really small to work with. I only used knit stitches, but as you can see the bottom half is stockinette, and the top half is reverse stockinette. I think that is because those stitches are facing in different directions. I think to fix that you would just have to purl the second half of every round. I want to try it again both to figure out how to make it all stockinette on the 'outside' and I need to make one with a colored stripe in it to see if it would fix the 'wrong side' issue. Until then if you know of any barbies with cold shoulders, I have a wrap that would suit them just fine.

I had a ton of fun working on this with Mike yesterday. I learned a lot and it really inspired my knitting. We did completely reinvent the wheel though. I eventually found a pattern for a scarf that is conceptually knit up the same way as my little practice piece. It doesn't matter though, because a couple hours after we figured it out, Mike sat me down and asked me to teach him how to knit! He's pretty good for a beginner. I'm going to have to put him to work.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Story of Juliet

Before I moved, I finished my very first sweater. The pattern was a gift to me in a yarn swap and all the rage online. People were knitting it up left and right and loving every minute of it. It seemed like a great first sweater project because I would have plenty of support from the online knitting community. Once I had made it, I completely understood why everyone loved it so much. It was simple top down construction with no seaming. It was made out of bulky yarn so it was super quick to knit up. All around it was a great gratification piece. I finished mine and wore it before I left town.

Unfortunately I only had to wear it for twenty minutes before it was undeniable that it was too big. The bulky yarn and the garter stitch didn't really have much for drape, and I felt like I was wearing a light weight version of football pads around my shoulders. I wore it for the rest of the evening anyway because I was outrageously proud, but I knew it was going to have to be frogged and redone. Since moving a frogged sweater just sounds like a knot waiting to happen I set it aside intact and waited until we got here to pick it up again.

The great think about a quick knit is that when you knit it in a smaller size it goes even quicker ;). Not long after I finished my second sweater, Juliet was knit back up. Unfortunately in the move, I lost her button. (This is the dramatic climax of the story so I'm going to play it up a bit) I searched everywhere! I dug though all of my yarn and notions. I searched among my beads and other miscellaneous craft stuffs. I unpacked boxes that I had planned on not opening until we moved again. Then this weekend when I drop a stitch marker, I had to pull back one of the cushions on the couch. There was the button. It was a joyously tearful reunion. Now my Juliet is finished.

I learned a lot making Juliet, but I'm not certain it is a pattern I would have picked out on my own. Because of my pear shape, I generally try to avoid raglan seams. (Those are the shoulder seems that start at your armpit and go towards your neck.) They narrow my shoulders, and really I need my shoulders to look wider to offset my hips. I tried to fix that with boobholder like top half. I was hoping that the plunging neck would accentuate curves and distract from the shoulders. However, in doing this, I created a babydoll like flair which hides my waist. While my waist isn't perfect, it does help create the hourglass look.

The long and short of it is that I loved knitting this top, but it doesn't really fit my style or my body type. I'm afraid I won't wear it very often. I'm not going to frog it, and I'm going to try to encouage myself to wear it. I'm also going to be keeping my eyes open for another pattern that calles for 600+ yrds of bulky yarn. So the story of Juliet ends with:
To Be Continued....

Monday, September 15, 2008

Big on Blankets

Because of a time crunch I am working exclusively and almost constantly on the baby blanket. As I predicted it has slowed way down now that it is over 200 stitches per round. It is no worry though because this pattern is a ton of fun to watch grow. Even though I am less than half way done with it, I've already noticed a lack of the 'is there enough yarn' pressure that I find a little bit of in every project I do. No matter how many extra balls I have, every time I finish one ball and add another, there is a little voice in my head sharing with me how much time I will have wasted if I run out of yarn. This blanket is going to be a square. It started out as a square and it is currently a square. If I run out of yarn I can just stop and no one will be the wiser. The voice is still there a little bit, but I'm not worried because I have a plan. Even if I completely messed up on my yardage and I don't have enough to cover a baby, I could just add a quirky band of color in the middle while reinforcements arrive. (Don't worry. I have plenty of yarn and I'm not going to need any more to get the project done. The voice just keeps me awake at night sometimes so plans have to be made to prove to her that I know what I'm doing. ;) )

In other blanket news, almost a year ago I received a blanket in the mail. Well, it was the beginning of a blanket anyway. I added my little part and sent it on. Now it has made its way back to the original knitter and is almost finished! You can still see my part, it is that light yellow bit on the left side. She is going to add on one last section and maybe a border. Then, off to charity it will go. When it is done, I'll update with where we sent it.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I went ahead and cast on for the OpArt pattern. My friend is a photographer, so as a visual artist that one seemed much more suiting. The pattern being released like that is just too serendipitous to pass up. Plus, how often am I going to find occasion to use the word serendipitous. It all makes sense to me.

So far, the pattern has been wonderfully simple, and it has been moving pretty fast. The pattern is worked in a spiral outward from the center. Mine is already 9 1/2" square; however, I have a feeling it is going to slow way down as the rows get bigger and bigger to work.

I've also worked it out so that I am knitting up one of the ends as I go with each color change. I'll only have one end to weave in per color change when it is all said and done. (Those would be the ends that you see lying on top of the work there.)

The rain that was promised for this weekend didn't make an appearance today so I decided to checkout my LYS. It is a couple towns over in Hoboken, but it seems pretty wonderful. There was so much beautiful yarn and the owner seems great. I got to see and feel my first Malabrigo. They were beautiful and vibrant shades of oranges and yellows. As much as I want to discover what all the raving is about, I resisted because they were not colors I could just haphazardly be pairing with my hair and complexion. Last thing i need is a bright sunny hat to adore that makes me look jaundice.

I confess I was still pretty intimidated. All of that gorgeous yarn ovwhelmed me more than inspired me. I wanted to touch it, and knit it, and play with it. I just couldn't imagine it becoming anything. Maybe I just need a few more successful projects under my belt that will teach me more about the different fibers. I've got the Knitter's Book of Yarn, and I've started reading it, but I'm afraid that might be making things worse. I'm starting to be afraid of experimenting becuase I learning how important the fiber is to the drape and texture of the fabric. I went out on a limb though, and picked up some yarn for a skirt today that was not what the pattern recommended. I won't be casting that on for a little bit, but we'll see how it goes.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Little Love for the Homeless and Fuzzy

The majority of my stash is partially used up yarn that I don't have any plans for, yet I can't bear to throw away. I decided that charity knitting like squares for blankets, preemie hats, and whatnot would be a great way to use it up. So I picked up Knitting for Peace for a little guidance and inspiration. Now my first stash busting charity project is done!

This is a snuggle. A snuggle is a blanket for the kennels in an animal shelter. I made it with some left over Baby Bee Sweet Delight. I held together a strand of the Ladybug Ombre and the Soft Licorice. It is just a garter stitch square, and I added an i-cord border because I wanted to practice the technique before I dove in on a baby blanket. Mine turned out to be just over 17" square, so I may be given to a small dog who is stuck in a cold cell.

This was a great project for when I was sitting at my computer playing video games or just too tired to really concentrate on anything. I could easily pick it up and put it down whenever I wanted, and I didn't fret over any mistakes because the animals aren't going to notice. You can learn more about the Snuggles Project from their website. They also have a listing of shelters currently in need of snuggles.

My yarn arrived for the baby blanket so I'm going to go cast on. Since Rent closed last weekend I think I'll pop it in the dvd player to have my own little good bye viewing.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Because I like symmetry and equality and all that fun stuff, I had to go looking for a cool video about optical illusions to pair up with Mathmagic Land. Unfortunately, there is just so much that I love about Mathmagic Land that I could not find anything that I considered equal. For the 'learning is fun' quality that I love I found a Bill Nye the Science Guy video on optical illusions. (Warning: I love Bill Nye but even I'll admit that this clip is a bit creepier than normal)

For the Disney lover in me, here is Castle of Illusion staring Mickey Mouse.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mathmagic Land

So I've been thinking more about these two patterns, their differences, and which would better suite my friend. My hubby pointed out that Curve of Pursuit is the way to go for a math lover. He started telling me about spirals in nature and whatnot. Then he referenced Donald in Mathmagic Land. In the name of knitting we bonded over a fantastic (though a bit trippy) Disney classic.

You can check out the other 2 sections for some mathematics in chess and a billiards lesson that makes me think even I could do it. This was clearly an influencing part of his childhood. Watching it, I felt like I was being brought back in time to one of those indoctrinating moments where the secrets of the world were unlocked for my (childhood) hubby. What cartoons or characters influenced you as a kid?

Don't forget to let me know what blanket you like better. I'll see if I can dig something up on optical illusions so that the Curve of Pursuit won't have an unfair advantage over OpArt.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


My first post in this new location and a knitting emergency!

The Backstory:
I just found out that a friend I worked at Disney with is pregnant and due in a couple months. I of course wanted to knit her a blanket and decided that black and white was definitely the way to go for her.

Well to be honest a full color work Nightmare Before Christmas blanket that looked something like this would be most appropriate, but I'm on a bit of a time crunch. I wanted a blanket ment for two colors and pretty gender neutral. I spent some time searching Ravelry and I decided instead on the Curve of Pursuit Afghan. I've bought the pattern, ordered the yarn, and done some practice pieces. I am ready to go as soon as the yarn shows up, and it should be here any day.

The Dilemma:
The new Knitty is out, and of course it is always an exciting and inspiring thing. This time however, it has stepped right in on my emergency baby blanket plans. Despite my decisiveness and organization about this project, I am now torn because of the new OpArt pattern. It calls for the same type of yarn that I ordered, but a different weight. Though a blanket is a blanket, and yarn weight shouldn't be that big of a deal. So I now have to decide between these two blankets.

Curve of Pursuit
-I've praticed and planned for this one.
-All knit stitches
-Worked in small sections so my needle only has to hold one side.

-Tons of ends to weave in
-Despite my practice I'm still getting little holes at the end of each square that I will have to make sure I close up with the ends that I weave in.

-Fewer ends to weave in.
-Seems simpler than the other
-Knitting in the round to make a square just sounds fun.

-Requires blocking. This isn't a big con, I just generally like to have baby stuff to come ready out of the dryer.
-Requires two long circular needles. I don't have them but I can make it work with what I have by either using two different brand needles or switching tips around.

So help me out. Should I go with the one I've practiced and planned for, or the one that has magically appeared as if I had asked for it?