Friday, February 26, 2010

Sock in development

This is the first few inches of a new sock, the first I have attempted to design myself. I find so many other people's patterns so attractive and interesting that I would really like to be working on those, so I actually feel a little regretful not to cast on for another sock by Anne Hanson, or a BSJ with the yarn I just spun. But I've been yearning to design something for a while now. I was in my yarn studio winding the final cake of yarn for the orange sweater (odd: I forgot that I'm designing that too) and I spotted the skein of yarn I bought from the Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm (now Juniper Moon Farm) last fall, so I wound that too. Its delicate color called out for a lacy sock, so I combed through the Barbara Walker stitch books Adam recently gave me until I found an appropriate pattern. I charted it out when I was waiting in the doctor's office, and dove in. So far I really like it!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Two New Handspun Yarns

I'm quite happy with how these came out. The brown is 152 yards, spun from superwash merino, Fiber Optic "Black Coffee" colorway. The red is 109 yards, spun from superwash merino/nylon pencil roving, Fiber Optic cranberry-ish colorway. Each of the colors had a nice variation in hues that when plied together evened out and gave the yarn a lovely depth. It's cable-plied, which means two plies are plied together and another two plies are plied together and those two sets are plied together again. It has a kind of braid look to it if you look up close.

I am thinking of using it myself for a Baby Surprise Jacket!

Friday, February 19, 2010

I'm siiiiiiiiiiick (wah)

It is only a cold, and not even a bad one at that, but it was bad enough that I lost my voice over the course of the day yesterday and had to stay home from work today. (I only have five sick days for the entire year, so I have to mete them out very carefully.) To add insult to injury, TiVo had nothing to suggest - zero ideas for me - last night, and only two good shows today (Sanctuary). I was forced to watch reruns of Bones and an episode of Burn Notice that I ought to have waited to watch together with Adam.

I do have an engrossing book, the fifth in the Sword of Truth ("Legend of the Seeker" on TV) series, so I spent some time reading that, and have knitting to work on (the sleeves of the orange sweater). I have an Elizabeth Peters book on disc (Tomb of the Golden Bird) to listen to, and I listened to a chapter of that. I have stuff to keep me somewhat entertained, or at least distracted, while I wait for this crap to leave my sinuses and lungs.

I can't smell much; but I can tell that I smell like a skunk. Really bad. Adam is out in the city tonight with friends who don't smell, and who can blame him?

I have been spinning a lot, and I will post for real, with pictures, when I feel a little better.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Dusty boy

Three months ago today we had to put Dusty to sleep. It was probably one of the hardest days of my life - and I know that it was much harder for Adam than it was for me. We both loved that cat to distraction. I'd like to put up some pics of the best cat that ever was, and I hope to be able to add some thoughts about him in the days ahead.

Look at his sweet freckles on his nose!

This one breaks my heart because I loved to scratch his ears. And he had the softest fur behind his head that I've ever felt on any animal, ever.

He loved him a cardboard box! Here's just one of half a dozen he claimed for his own:

Adam doesn't believe in God but I do, and I also believe in that Rainbow Bridge thing they apparently always send you when you lose a pet. I like to think of Dusty fat and healthy and happy, sunning himself in a warm spot, waiting for us.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Orange sweater back complete

I completed the back of the orange sweater and am now on to the sleeves. One element of the back that I think bears remark and display is the bind off in the center.

A knitting blog I read and enjoy is TECHKnittingTM, in which the author examines common small imperfections that regularly crop up in knitting and presents one or sometimes even several methods for dealing with them. A while back she discussed an improvement you can make to the ordinary chain bind-off in the center of a garment. You work an extra stitch and bind it off before proceeding to bind off the ones you are supposed to bind off, and it provides an extra supportive connection between the live stitches and the start of the bound-off ones. I read the post a while back and happened to remember it before I did the center stitch bind-off on this piece, fortunately. I also took a few pictures; it was really hard to get one that showed what she is talking about, but I think if you look closely (and click to enlarge pics, if you wish), you can see.

In this first picture, you can see next to where the needle is holding back the edge (which wants very badly to curl, as it's not yet been blocked) there's an extra loop between the last live stitch and the first cast-off one.

Without the needle holding back the edge, you can hardly tell at all that this has been done - only, to my eye, it looks like a very solid connection is there to avoid being pulled into a "stretched-out mess," to put it in TECHKnitter's words.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Embedding a PDF in a Blog

I want to embed a PDF of a pattern, but Blogger doesn't allow you to embed anything but images and videos. So I started by following the instructions provided at Blogger Tips and Tricks. Scribd's interface seems to have changed since those instructions were written, so below in bold are updated steps.

I created an account at Scribd and uploaded my PDF. Then I clicked on the link to go to the page where my PDF is displayed.

Now I want to add code to embed that PDF in my page here. I click the Share button above your PDF (fourth from left). That makes a popup come up which shows various options.

About halfway down there is a section called "Embed this document". Leaving all the options at their defaults, I just clicked the Copy button, and then pasted into my Blogger edit window.

Free Knitting Pattern - Gauntlets

The result is a Scribd flash viewer of my PDF with links to download/print/etc.