Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Why was this heel different from all other heels?

I don't know why but the heel on this sock has presented difficulties for me. It's a standard short rows to a near-point then short rows back, there's undoubtedly a name for that but I just know how to do it and not what it's called. I like it because I don't have to do any math, I just make a heel easily and simply. However, this one has been painful. The first time, I had it complete and had started on the first round of the leg, but I dropped the stitch at the corner and all the wraps around the stitches that had been so carefully collected up and bound together were lost. I couldn't recollect them, so I had no choice but to frog back all the way to the beginning of the heel. ACK!

The second time I got about halfway up to the point of the heel and realized it was off center somehow, there were more wraps on one side than the other, so I had to pull it all out again.

This time I am being careful, counting as I do each row (though in general I tend to count more to soothe myself when stressed). I had the right number of wraps on each side and am now almost done working back down the heel again.

Update: I got past the danger point. I tried to take a picture as I went but my iPhone's camera app was busted.

That was the last straw with the iPhone 4.0 beta OS and I spent the past two hours searching for how to downgrade back to 3.1.3 (current stable version). I would like to give a link equity to Mac|Life, whose article, Downgrade from iPhone OS 4.0 Beta, Back to iPhone OS 3.1.3, clearly walked me through the downgrade. F the 4.0 beta, it's DEFINITELY not ready for prime time. And yes, I do know that that's what Beta means. But there are degrees of readiness, ya know?

Monday, April 26, 2010

First sample project done and shipped off

I was pretty pleased to get both socks done in time to send them to Jennifer. She is going to MD S&W and asked people to get her things before she leaves for it, if possible, and I saw that as an opportunity to set myself a deadline. I worked all weekend on the second sock because I knew I was going to send whatever I had done out this morning, and as of last night everything except Kitchenering the toe was done. I'm not one who minds Kitchenering; it's very methodical, and you just do one stitch at a time; it gets done, and then it looks really cool.

I am in the Apple iPhone developer program so I have access to the beta v.4 iPhone OS, so I thought I'd be super cool and load it onto my iPhone. I have since been having an annoying message whenever I connect it to my Mac - it says 'iTunes could not back up the iPhone "BD's iPhone" because the iPhone refused the request.' As soon as I click OK on that message, it in fact does sync, so the message is just an annoyance. However, I was, um, annoyed by it happening each time, so I googled it and found that the newest beta of the new OS makes this go away. So I downloaded the new version, which took fer-fricken-ever, and then tried to install it on my iPhone, and all hell broke loose. By which I mean, the iPhone got into some half-installed state that the updater could not get it out of. I tried going back to the current OS, but then I got an error that iPhone can't be downgraded to an earlier OS. Finally, after trying that, I tried re-updating to the newest beta v.4, and it worked. But in the process I lost a bunch of photos, which is the whole point of this story. Always back your stuff up before you try to do anything advanced. And yet: I never do.

Fortunately I blogged a couple photos of these socks before I sent them off!

I have returned to work on the manly ginger sock, which despite its name is being made in a size to fit yours truly. Because I truly love the yarn and wish for it to be on my own feet. I will also size up the pattern so it can be made for a man.

I just burned my finger on the toaster oven. It might even blister! I hope this does not come between me and my knitting over the next couple of weeks!

We are going to Barcelona in two days ... we delayed our honeymoon from last November to a more travel-friendly season. We're both super excited. So far I haven't packed much. I'm mostly trying to figure out which knitting (and, possibly, crochet) projects I'm going to bring. I just bought Sensual Crochet: Luxurious Yarns, Alluring Designs and several of the projects in it look like things I could do. I'm not a very experienced crocheter, but I'm very confident.

I'm going to bring the sample knitting shawl, but I think I'd like to give myself some choices while I'm traveling. I think the airplane might be a great time to work on the shawl - it will require concentration - but maybe I will want to work on a crochet thing in the hotel. I don't know. I'm also bringing my tiny travel watercolor set. I almost never break it out but when I do I am always glad. Here's one I did in Oppede, in the south of France, in 2005:

Perhaps there will be an afternoon when I will sit in a plaza somewhere and do one or two of my surroundings. If so, I'll scan them in when I get home and post.

Friday, April 23, 2010

First one done

Now I'm on the train from Stamford, so sorry if it's a little blurry.

-- Post From My iPhone

Progress on test knitting

Another shot taken from the car of knitting in progress, this time of a sock I'm test- (truly sample-) knitting for Spirit Trail Fiberworks. This sock yarn is lovely to work with, with 10% cashmere, and is totally non-pooling (which doesn't really matter to me, but I know lots of people do really care about it). I am just about to start the toe decreases.

I am in the car with Adam on our way to CT. He has a meeting in Hartford and is dropping me off in Stamford to spend the day with my SIL and niece and nephew.

As of yesterday, FiLife.com, where I worked for two years, is no more. Yesterday was a really strange day; we all went to lunch and (everybody but me) got drunk.

This was a special company with some really rare people who taught me a ton, and I will always be grateful for and to them.

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Kevlar yarn for custom Ov Glove

We have a treasured pot holder from Adam's sister Tammy that is made out of knitted Kevlar. If you get it wet it transmits heat quite efficiently, so you have to be careful not to do that, but otherwise it's a fantastic pot holder. It's called an Ov Glove. Anyway, we mused aloud, "It would be so cool if you could get Kevlar yarn and knit with it," so I could make Adam one for his left hand, which needs special shaping. Naturally, upon Googling the phrase "Kevlar yarn" I discovered that one can in fact buy Kevlar yarn on eBay for a pretty reasonable price. For $14 (including shipping) I got 500 feet (167 yards), which is enough to make another, custom shaped, Adam's Left Handed Ov Glove.

Here is the pic from eBay:

It doesn't look like it will be a tremendous pleasure to knit. It doesn't even look like it will produce the same kind of fabric as the Ov Glove we already own:

Aside from being extremely dirty, our current Ov Glove is also a matte fabric, as opposed to the high sheen I see in the Kevlar yarn photo.

Well, when I receive the yarn, I will be able to evaluate it better with it in hand. I am very interested to see what it will be like!

Hockey makes for good knitting time

This evening Adam discovered that not only was the Pittsburgh-Ottawa game on one channel but the NJ Devils-Philly game was on another, so we flipped back and forth between them, and I did a decent amount of work on the first test knitting sock.

I have to admit here that the first time around, I made not just one but two mistakes in the sock in the first three inches. I noticed I forgot two rows of stockinette between the ribbing and the pattern, so I had to pull out back to that point; as I was picking the stitches back up at the end of the ribbing, I spotted a tiny hole after the first two rows of ribbing, resulting from how at the end of a round, I had somehow turned and worked back toward the beginning. ACK! So I had to rip out all the way back to the beginning. I'm glad I noticed when I did, rather than after making a lot more progress!

I've now reworked the ribbing and started the pattern correctly, and worked through the pattern four times (I will do seven before the heel):

This time through, I haven't made any mistakes ... so far.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Movie and a dinner

We went to see Kick Ass this afternoon with some friends. I've been looking forward to this movie for quite a while! I've devoured the previews that were up online and even fan'd the movie on Facebook, and was really excited and looking forward to it. I can't remember if we heard good things about it beforehand, although Adam usually only wants to see a movie if it got good reviews (he listens to Rotten Tomatoes and Entertainment Weekly sometimes as well) or good word of mouth, so it must have. I didn't know much about it except it was about some amateur "super" heroes, and the visual humor in the previews was highly promising.

I loved it! The story was good, I thought. Not too complicated, but interesting and compelling enough to like the characters for what they were doing. I thought that Hit Girl was the least fleshed out of the main characters, which was too bad, considering that she was the one I was looking forward to identifying with the most, and was most excited about from the perspective of, let's have some girls that kick ass for little girls to look up to. In fact she was a pretty fantastic fighter, but her character was kind of flat. Nic Cage was in one of his good moments. I've heard he's a huge comic book geek, and here it goes to good use. Kick Ass, the main vigilante, is surprisingly vulnerable to physical damage, but it works. His alter ego is pretty irritating, but high school boys are pretty much uniformly annoying, so I guess that's not a huge surprise.

The one thing you might want to be aware of ahead of time is that it's pretty violent and bloody. More than I expected. And I was shocked and disturbed to see after the movie ended that the people in the row in back of us had a small girl with them, of no more than 4 years old! I am serious, this is not a movie for a child to see. It was quite violent and in some cases horrible things happened. To bad guys, but still! I ask you, are people truly idiots?

After dinner we went to Red Robin for dinner. When I lived in Manhattan I would have sooner gone without dinner than eaten at a chain restaurant, out of snobbishness I grant you, but also because there are a million choices and if you eat at a chain you are just being beyond lazy and unimaginative. But if you want to go out to dinner in New Jersey and you don't want to spend a bundle (and drive a while) you basically have chain restaurants to choose from. Not the center of haute cuisine. But it was nice to see our friends and hang out for a meal.

Now Adam is playing Bioshock 2 and I am catching up on bills and procrastinating on putting together a proposal for a freelance project about which I met with potential clients yesterday morning. I haven't done freelance in a while, but this looks like a very interesting project, and I want to do it. Tomorrow I kind of have to buckle down and write up the proposal, since I said I would get it to them by EOD Monday.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I'm a test knitter!

A couple weeks ago I received an email from Jennifer Heverly of Spirit Trail Fiberworks, whose fiber I have spun before and whose colorways I have extolled. I was in her fiber club, wherein I discovered I can't keep up with a fiber club, but I really enjoyed everything from it that I have so far spun; and I look forward to spinning more of it, from the months' worth that are still in my stash. ANYWAY, I got an email from her to her mailing list asking for test knitters. Evidently (from the next email) she got so many replies that she wasn't able to use everybody who wanted to test knit for her, and I thought I was out of the running. But about a week afterward I got another email from Jennifer saying she would in fact like me to be a part of the group! I've been wanting to test knit for people for a while, but hadn't really worked too hard to try to get in with somebody. Other than sending an email testing the waters with Anne Hanson of Knitspot (and she has plenty of people already) I was just sort of sitting here wishing. So this was an opportunity I was delighted to get.

In point of fact, I am actually a sample knitter now, as these are published patterns she is having people knit from her yarns to show what her yarns can do. But I am not quibbling; I'm delighted. Plus, I found out a little later that I am even getting PAID for this! I am psyched!

A couple nights ago when I got home from work I found my package in the mail. It was not one but TWO projects - a sock and a shawl. The sock is to be knit from her Frija fingering yarn in a gorgeous deep kelly green color,

and the shawl from her Lachesis laceweight yarn in a clean clear gray (no picture yet, but forthcoming when I begin the shawl).

Monday, April 12, 2010

New sock

This is some lovely orange-hued fingering yarn with a little angora in the mix - it's incredibly soft and I'm really enjoying working with it. I've been very drawn by orange hues for over a year now and I sort of feel that I should move on, but it keeps catching my eye wherever I look. At least I've expanded my color horizons beyond browns - sort of.

-- Post From My iPhone

Location:9th Ave,New York,United States