July 2005 Archives

Knitting with Wire: Lesson Learned

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If you try to knit jewelry, choose your wire carefully. Evidently anything larger than gauge 30 will drive you up to wall. I can't vouch for gauge 30 and smaller being knittable, but I certaintly know that gauge 26 sterling silver wire is not a good choice for knitted jewlery. Neither is Stretch Magic Jewlery Cord which stuck to my needles and while it advertises being "easy knot", it should have said "easy un-knot" as my gift fell apart at the last minute while I was attempting to wrap it. It was a tragic moment indeed with big eyes and a crappy handmade card instead.

Story Preface: My friend Cheryl recently celebrated her 25th Birthday and I wanted to give her a handmade gift. She doesn't knit so I couldn't give her the happiness of yarn but she shows interest in my crafts so I thought I'd give her a finished product. The original plan was to knit a bracelet from wire with beads on it. I choose gauge 26 wire because I wanted a sturdy bracelet since we work in the software industry and bracelets get banged about quite a bit. Gauge 28 seemed a little too flexible for a thinly knit bracelet with just three-five stitches wide. What resulted instead was a gorgeous pearl ring made of freshwater pearls and sterling silver wire with a matching choker necklace.


Rescued by a tv binge and DIY Network's Jewelry Making show episode Three Ring Circus I saw a gorgeous Wire Wrapped Ring

Since I had the materials on hand and my friend Cheryl loves jewelry, it was a quick and easy project. You don't need a lot of tools for this which should be applauded since jewelry making is just about as expensive (or more) than knitting as a hobby.

This is actually a Belated Birthday gift due to last minute craft misfortune, so I needed to find a way to package it for mailing. Film Canister to the Rescue! Then I needed a way to pad the ring. I thought of tissue paper but by-darn-it, I wanted to stick something with yarn in this project.

Topped with a knitted flower pin made from some extra bits of Bamboo and Rowan CashSoft

And brilliantly padded with some eyelash yarn. (insert *evil laughter* here for relegating novelty yarn as decorative packaging)

Now just to find a tin for the necklace or a empty cd jewel case then pop it into the mail.

I leave you with a closeup of the pearl ring sitting in some "gypsy beads" in case you're one of the girls who can never have too much glitter.

Hope she likes it.

And btw, the Trellis cardigan fronts are being slowly re-knit. The buttonhole technique has been modded to self reinforcing button holes, which, if not the most beautiful, are at least big enough for a busy parent to shove buttons through without a magnifying glass and a surgeon's steady hands.

Those of you who are wondering why they don't get handmade jewelry- uh, do any of my other friends (other than Charlene) really like jewelry that much? Any objections to socks? This year is probably going to be socks for Christmas.

Better English and Japanese Podcasts

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If you haven't been poking into podcasts then you've been missing out.

Octopus Drop Kick/ODK blog is hilarious with all sorts of Japanese Media goodies. I'm always on the lookout for some interesting international music and followed his link to podcastjuice for some great amusement.

InterFM radio has a show called Better English with Catherine

This is hip English. My favorites include:
- お皿ぐらい洗ってよ!(At least wash the dishes.) 
- 訳わかんないエンディングだったよ (The ending was lame.)
- 彼の腕、毛深いねぇ (He has hairy arms)
- 脱毛のアポがあるんだ(I have an electrolysis1 appointment.)  Listen

Conversational hip English indeed. If I meet a Japanese tourist who only knows these phrases, somehow I will be able to point the tourist to the electrolysis salon. Or ask them to wash the dishes.

1 Don't know what electrolysis is? def:electrolysis Yes. Ew indeed. Scientific def

Knitting Needles count stitches for you

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While surfing the Make Magazine blog, I came across some high tech knit gear ( yet again )

Smart Needles for Distracted Knitters? tell me more!
KnitWit needles count the stitches for you! Just from measuring the actions of knitting!

Self counting needles are a brilliant concept. The practical streak in me, however, needs to point out that people knit in many different ways. Yes, we all "get the stick through the hole and pull yarn through" but just watching a group of knitters will show you quite a few ways of how we do it. And some do it much faster.

Then I think about the gauge of the needles and how they're straights instead of circulars or double points. What if you combined two circs?

Great concept product all in all.

Hey local knitters- There's a fiber market this weekend!

Oakland Fiber Arts Market - Fri to Sun July 22 to 24
Admission would be $7 with this coupon

I got a notice from Habu indicating that they'd be there.

- Exhibitor List
- Market Schedule

If I don't see you there, have fun anyhow!

The Joy of Being Able to Laugh (at Yourself)

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There are times when it is great to be able to step back and laugh at yourself.

The current Trellis "situation" is one of those times. When I've made three body pieces and have three different armhole heights.

Check out the armholes

Here we have the three pieces with the three armhole heights.

And lest you think that I managed to match the two front armholes
Just to show I really can't count

I give you a side by side comparison to illustrate that the fronts don't match, either.

So just what does a knitting geek do? She grabs her drafting pencil and scale, along with some correctly gauged knitting paper. Aha! The back is just about the right height1.

break out the drafting pencil

For a closer look at the graph

Oy is Right. This doesn't really upset me all that much because of two reasons. 1. This is my first sweater/cardi (okay, the second, but it will be first completed) and 2. I planned on redoing the front for a neater button band.

1 And note, the back is one row off, too. Hah. Somewhere near the cable straightaway sides where I must have assumed I'd already advanced my little round row counter. I sharpened the pics a bit so you can see more knit detail.

Any suggestions for button bands? This one calls for seed stitch.

Rock It like a Rocket!

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Just how awesome are these guys? Dance along to A Million Ways to be Cool
Watch it. You know you want to see four men in suits dance and lip synch amazingly well. UPDATE As far as I know, they aren't pros at doing the music video thing. I checked them out and this is by the band Ok Go They have other fun music videos. Sorta wish it were just four guys getting together to do a dance-along and not pros, though. This might be a rehearsal or could just be the final cut. I like the whole dance video concept though, since filming an entire dance sequence and not splicing it together is almost a lost art these days.

>> embeded update to the update <<
They have dance routines at their live performances
<< end update to the update >>
Now I know why the music is so damn catchy ;)

But do not despair, daily dancer does give us his daily one man dance rendition!
Wait wait! You want to become an awesome dancer just like that? Where do you get started? Learn some discotanssin!
Legal Disclaimer: Should you try to execute these moves outside your home, you know- in public, and want to impress some stranger who may not adore your quirky personality, I take no blame whatsoever if said stranger takes counteractive measures to escape with their sanity intact. Their reactions may include eye rolls, cold shoulders, drinks "accidentally" tipped, drinks not so accidentally tipped, phantom voices calling their name in a loud loud club, phone calls on their cell phone which never rang, outright dissing, intentional accidental injuries, and even lethal kung fu combat moves in attempts to escape.

Of course, they might think you're absolutely awesome. Maybe you'll get groped instead.

Grab yourself some Creative Commons licensed music that allows you to perform the work for free, find your camcorder, call some friends, and get your groove on baby.

Read on for Howto be a l33t media geek:

As Trellis grows

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Knitty.com Trellis back

This is what one skein of Cascade Cotton Rich gets me in the back of Trellis. Six inches.

Working on finishing a few other projects and need to go buy some knitting needles suitable for socks. Okay, perhaps not finish, but inch closer to completion. Incidentally, it took me a skein each (80 yards each) to complete the fronts. I purchased 6 skeins estimating that this would hopefully be enough with some left over. Yeah, we all know how that story goes. Right now it looks as if the back will take two balls, the fronts take one ball each, the sleeves will probably need 1.5 balls if I'm lucky. But then there's the collar and the seaming. There was no swatching, either. Luckily, at $4.80 a hank, it isn't such a expensive endeavor to get a bit more to be on the safe side.

But I'm going to live dangerously until this little cardigan mocks my yarn estimation skills. It will taunt me at 3 am while Hollis is out of town. Riiight when I thought I had enough to seam it up. Or finish the edge of a collar.

On a side note, I might redo one of the fronts because my button holes look like I ... They're just pathetic. Like I took a finger and stuck it in between the stitches until there was a semblance of a buttonhole.

firefox saved form info tip

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The saved info for forms feature in firefox has been driving me a bit nutty. I love it but I also occasionally need to design forms and have filled my forms with transient dummy data, which firefox then remembers. This is mixed with form-fill data which I do want to keep, so I don't want to delete the entire form fill cache.

Easy solution. Use your keyboard to highlight the unwanted entry and hit Shift-DEL keys. Away it goes :)

Thank you extension mirror forum for this nice tip

Knitting Machine - 20 Foot Needles

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What do I say to a 4 day knitting project that requires two John Deere Excavators and a Genie to produce a knitted American Flag to be exhibited in a museum just in time for July 4th? 20 foot needles. O.o

Rock On. Happy Independence Day!

Cool Hunting: The Knitting Machine

The Knitting Machine is Dave Cole's performance art piece that uses construction equipment and 20-foot long knitting needles to construct large-scale objects. Starting yesterday June 30th and throughout the weekend, the artist will use a pair of John Deere excavators to hold the needles and a Genie to wrap the yarn, creating an oversize American flag at MASS MoCA. The flag will then be folded military-style, housed in a diplay case about the size of a Volkswagen Bug, and become part of an exhibit in the museum along with other work by Cole. Something about the mix of domestic craft and construction seems like a fitting way to celebrate the 4th.

Though this does lead me to wonder about gauge and speed... And if they're going to pull a Christmas Yarn Harlot type action and knit around the clock.

Ohh And have you seen this new Karaoke yarn?

I've seen this in the prototype form and I almost ran off with it. As you can see from the photos it has juuuust arrived in freshly packaged ball format at Full Thread Ahead. This means they are freecia-drool free for the moment. If you prefer your yarn without my drool, now is a good time to get it. Link - You've convinced me

In my own defense, it is July and that means it is the start of a new yarn budget month. Heh. Let's see just how long I can hold out for. It just may tempt me to do another 'Skein Wonder or another shrug.

I saw karaoke on the cone and kept on gravitating back to it, as if it were some particularly sweet little pet, carting it about Hollis' living room.

Note: This may be the only form of Karaoke I like for those of you who know [identity protected for my safety] and are still my friends despite that having experienced what [said person] considers entertainemt.