Of Rats and Jen

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

Free Pattern – Knit Felted Catnip Mice

Filed under: Downloads - Original Knitting Patterns,Knitting — folkcat at 6:58 pm on Wednesday, January 31, 2007

You know, sometimes the only answer to doing something is just do it. Mere minutes ago, I posted that “someday” I’ll get the catnip mice pattern up for people to use.

Then I looked over my documents for it, and you know what? The text is complete, it’s just not in the form of a prettified PDF yet. So I decided, what the heck? I’ll put the text up anyhow, and people at least can start using the pattern!

It’s been over a year since I wrote about them, so here’s a photo of a finished one for you:

Knit Felted Catnip Mouse

The pattern is in the form of ASCII Text, so you should be able to load it in any word processing software you might own. It will also simply display in your browser window. I consider this a Beta version, so if you knit a mouse and find errors in my instructions, please let me know!

You can find the pattern two ways: go to the Free Patterns link on my menu bar at the top of this blog, which will take you to the front page for all my patterns; or click here to go directly to the mouse pattern.

So there you go – the mouse pattern is finally available, at least in a raw version. And all because someone wrote and asked me about it! Which just goes to show, it never hurts to ask.

Feeling Back to (Almost) Normal

Filed under: Knitting,Papercraft,Spinning — folkcat at 6:21 pm on Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Yesterday afternoon I pulled out another craft I enjoy, but haven’t done very recently – Papercraft.

The project of the day was my first mechanical papercraft. It comes from a company in England called Flying Pig – their specialty in the papercraft world is animated papercraft models. Most of their items are available for purchase only, but they have a few free downloads, of which one is this Agreeable Sheep:

Papercraft FO: Agreeable Sheep

Appropriate for a papercrafter who’s also a knitter, don’t you think? Standing only about five inches tall, this is, indeed, entirely made of card stock. I printed the project some time ago, and yesterday, I cut and assembled it.

Being only my third papercraft, my gluing skills are still under development. You can see a big blotch at the bottom right of the model, just below the crank, where I got a smear on the outside. Even so, this was a very simple project to put together.

The real amusement comes when you work the animation, though. Turn the crank on the side, and the sheep nods his head up and down, agreeing with anything you say. It’s the ultimate yes-sheep! If you go to the download page here, you’ll also see a little animated graphic showing the motion.

Knitting and Spinning

I continue to work on the fingerless mitts from my own handspun that I spoke of yesterday. The good news is that each half of the yarn is enough to knit an entire mitt, so I won’t have to add in any extra! I should have these finished in just a day or two – I’ll post pictures then.

And today, for the first time since before I got so sick last week, I sat down at ‘Zzy-‘Zzy and spun some more of the red/pink variegated merino roving I’ve been working on. It’s coming along well – I have about one ounce more to spin before I can ply the two singles together.

Spinning in Progress: Red Roving

Other Projects

Many moons ago (like, a year ago this past Christmas), I knit some felted catnip mice from my own pattern. I said at the time that I’d share it on the blog one day, and you know, I’ve been very bad about that – the pattern has sat idle all this time, without being refined into a finished work.

I’ve had a request or two for it recently, and I’m going to make a promise that I’ll work on getting it ready for primetime. What I won’t do is promise a specific deadline for completion – those always seem to blow up on me. But if a few weeks pass and you haven’t seen me post it yet, feel free to call me on it in comments or e-mail!

I haven’t had a request for the Barefoot Diva Sock pattern, which I also suggested I would make available some day – for purchase, probably, not as a freebie. But when I knit the last pair, I had to acknowledge to myself that differences in gauge between different sock yarns and needle choices add more complications than I think I can reasonably accommodate in a written pattern. So I’m going to officially state here that, though I’ll be glad to offer a general description of how I approach the creation of toe-less, heel-less, socks, we shouldn’t expect to see a formally written pattern for them.

A reader last week asked me for an opinion on how to work a cast-on at the end of a row of knitting. My Barefoot Diva Socks and my Freedom Mitts both have openings created by binding off several stitches, then at some point later, casting new ones on and continuing to work in the round. This is similar enough to the reader’s query that I have taken a series of pictures showing my technique for this casting-on in the middle of knitting. I plan to post an illustrated tutorial showing how I, at least, do it, either later this week, or early next.

Whew!

I think that’s enough for now. Besides, there’s lots of stuff there that I won’t be able to blog about – unless I stop blogging and start doing. So let me just say, thanks to everyone for your great comments, questions, and suggestions. You’re what make this blogging thing worthwhile!

Finding Tinkertoys

Filed under: Blogfriends,Crafting Miscellany,Knitting — folkcat at 12:08 pm on Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Welcome to all my new visitors from Craft: Blog! And thank you to everyone for your great comments about my Tinkertoy yarn swift!

Jumbo Tinkertoys.jpgA number of people have asked where you can even get real Tinkertoys any more. Not having children myself, I hadn’t realized that they were so hard to find. My set came from a catalog a few years ago. It was part of their offerings of “retro” toys. From what I can see now, I probably paid more than I had to for it, but that’s okay – it meant they were in the house and available for me to make the swift.

I poked around online a little, and found a decent deal on the Jumbo Classic Tinkertoy set at eToys.com. They’re selling it for $29.99. Their “estimated shipping” is under $7 – that means you could have a set and make your own Tinkertoy swift for under $40, if you have to buy it new. Please note that I have never made a purchase from eToys.com, so I can’t vouch for their customer service or delivery times.

Obviously, this would be a great item to watch for at yard and rummage sales. Since you don’t even need all the parts in the set, it wouldn’t matter if some had been lost. Or pay attention to family members with children who may have a set they’re outgrowing – you might be able to convince them to give it to you!

Edited to Add: Commenter Judy says “I’ve seen the Tinkertoys at Walmart recently.” So I guess they’re out there in some places.

If anyone has other sightings to offer, I’ll be glad to add them to this post.

I think the great thing about the Tinkertoy swift is that it reminds us that there are so often inexpensive, homemade solutions that can substitute for expensive tools. Sure, I want a “real” swift eventually, because it will be built well and made for repeated uses over a long time. In the meantime, however, while I save the money for the “real” swift, my Tinkertoy swift will fill my modest needs.

The success of this project has got me thinking about other tools I might be able to build, too. I own a yarn ball winder, thanks to a very kind and generous blog friend. But I have occasionally thought it might be nice to have a jumbo yarn ball winder, one that can handle a massive skein of yarn without forcing me to divide it into two balls.

So the concept of a homemade ball winder is, as I like to put it, “simmering on the back burner of my mind.” I’m keeping my eyes open for “things that spin,” “things with a crank,” and even just “things that look like part of a yarn winder.” Eventually, I may start sticking parts together to see what I can come up with.

Rest assured – when that happens, you’ll be the first to know!

Moving On

Filed under: Knitting,Spinning — folkcat at 1:24 pm on Tuesday, January 30, 2007

With my spinning progress, that is. I spin sporadically, and even though I’ve been doing it since August last year, I’ve only got two small skeins of yarn I actually finished – both spun and plied on spindles. And I’ve never knit with my handspun.

Until now.

WIP - Handspun Fingerless Mitts

This is my second skein of yarn, pink and yellow mixed batting of unknown species that I spun on a top whorl spindle. Last night, I got out my digital scale and yarn winder, divided it into two (approximately) equal balls, did a quick gauge swatch, and began knitting a pair of fingerless mitts.

I love how the colors are coming out. The yarn itself is obviously over twisted in places, but then, it was my second yarn ever, and it’s actually pretty good for that. I’m knitting from the finger edge down towards the wrist, but there may still not be enough yarn for full mitts, so I have some purple Galway standing in the wings to add on as necessary.

The pattern is, well – sort of my Fingerless Mitts pattern (PDF), except that I’m not referring to the pattern at all and just winging it as I go. Which is more than good enough for a simple tube with a modified buttonhole!

So how does it feel to be knitting with yarn I made myself? Fantastic! I can’t wait until I get past my “using up the roving I have in the house” phase, and start routinely planning specific projects from the wool all the way to the finished object!

There we have it, folks. It’s a small milestone, but a milestone nonetheless. And hopefully, only the tip of the iceberg of things to come!

I Woke Up Today in a New World – New to Me, At Least

Filed under: Daily Life,Knitting,Thrifty Shopping — folkcat at 2:44 pm on Monday, January 29, 2007

Another Monday, another week. Nearly the end of January – already almost a twelfth of the way through the year!

Many thanks to all who offered their sympathies and well-wishes for the cold that took both Gryphon and I last week. We’re both feeling much better now, though I still have a bit of a cough, and a nose that’s trying to be at least as productive as I am. Soon, though, it will be completely over. (Knock wood!)

A good sign that I was feeling better this weekend is that I actually got some knitting done. The non-Möbius version of the dicky I’ve been knitting (at a friend’s request) is knit, blocked, and – packaged and on its way to Arizona without being photographed.

Sorry about that! I was so enthused about having it done and on its way that I blazed ahead through the packing and shipping part of the process without even thinking about it! Maybe the recipient will send me a photo I can post showing it in use by the biker it’s intended for.

My evaluation of the project? It came out well, I think. It looks remarkably like a dicky, even like one you might pay money for in a store. I did three stripes – one thicker, bracketed by two thinner – of Harley Davidson orange on the turtleneck collar. A pain for weaving in ends, I know, but it looks good. And I used the Stem Stitch Bind-off from Montse Stanley’s Knitter’s Handbook at the bind-off edge, since it was the top of the turtleneck. Gotta tell you – that’s a marvelous, easy to do bind-off that leaves the edge every bit as stretchy as the ribbing!

I was so impressed with the Stem Stitch Bind-off, in fact, that I used it on my other FO of the weekend – my latest pair of Barefoot Diva Socks.

FO - New Barefoot Diva Socks

The yarn is KnitPicks Simple Stripes, which is discontinued. I forget the name of the colorway – Sunset? Southwest? Southwest Sunset? Something like that.

The gauge was 9 stitches per inch on size 1 Addi’s. I worked this pair with a half inch of negative ease in both the foot and the leg. (My previous pair had negative ease only in the foot.) These feel a little tight in the back of the ankle, but I think that’s not from the negative ease. I think it’s too short a connective band between foot and leg. My short-row shaping in the connective band was identical to the last pair I knit, and now that I have them on, I’m thinking that the rows per inch of my gauge was enough more that I should have done at least one or two more short-rows on each side to make a slightly longer connection between the sections.

Still, they fit well enough to keep them. Which brings me to a total of two pairs of Barefoot Diva Socks in the drawer. I’m going to keep going until I have enough to wear at least every day of the week. The goal is to be able to get between laundry days and not have to do without.

Gryphon and I were feeling enough better to get out a little this weekend, too. One of the last stops of the weekend was at a local consignment store, just for a quick look around. Was I ever surprised when I found this laying on top of a buffet!

Found Object - Long Sock Stretcher

It was labeled a sock stretcher, and priced at only $6. The leg portion (top to heel) is 25 inches long, and the foot about 8 1/2 inches. Too small to do a good stretching job on socks for my size 10 WW feet, but it should serve for posing them for photos!

One side of the wood has that gray, dusty look that suggests this was sitting around unused somewhere for a long time. The price tag offered no suggestions of how old it might be, and I don’t think there’s any way to tell from the stretcher itself. But that’s okay – it was cheap, and it looks cool hanging on my wall!

The other big thing we did this weekend involved a significant paradigm shift for me – a change in how I handle some mundane tasks every day. I’ve had a Palm Vx for, oh, a long time – I think we bought it in 1999. It has served me pretty well, and still does. I have software in it that tracks my various medications, for instance, and sounds an alarm when it’s time to take a pill.

But for quite some time now, that medication timer and a solitaire card game have been the only things I really used it for. Well, that and a calculator function. But I’ve been getting concerned about what to do when the Palm finally, inevitably, gives up the ghost.

I certainly don’t need anything on the same level as the Palm Vx. Once upon a time, the various functions meant something – I was opening and operating a retail store, and life was much more complicated. Now, I just needed a way to track addresses and calendar items; a way to stay on top of my meds and take them regularly; and a form of entertainment for those odd moments of down time.

This weekend, we made some decisions and replaced my Palm – before it can disappoint me. So what is my new reality?

The most expensive part serves the entertainment function – and brings me new options in that field.

New Toy - Creative Zen V

A Creative Zen V. The Target edition – it’s white with red accents. I probably won’t use this for music so much, but I had a lot of audio books from Audible.com from several years ago that I’d never listened to. (They were purchased at a time when I thought having them to listen to would help me pass the hours while I set up the store. And then the store opened, and I never had time!)

Under my new reality, I am finding that sitting at my spinning wheel, or crafting at the craft area in my bedroom, are less likely to involve watching TV. But I still like something to listen to. Radio reception is nearly non-existent here (a river valley between two ridges) – even if there were any stations locally that I liked. This little Zen – who has, by the way, been named L’il – will give me a good option for listening to my audio books while I craft or spin.

And yes – I’m already contemplating what I might knit or crochet for a L’il cozy!

That’s the entertainment function down. How about the organizing? We bought me a 6-ring planner at Staples, with 2-page per month calendar, good notes pages, and a reasonable section for an address book. It’ll be larger in my purse than the Palm was, but I can now get rid of the other little notebooks and things that I used to carry.

New Tool - Planner

The calculator function is easy to replace – every gadget with keys has a calculator these days, even my cell phone! And as for my meds, we’ve adjusted my pill-taking times a little and worked out ways to make sure they happen – for instance, that same phone that has a calculator in it has an alarm that I’ve now set for my evening dose.

My head is still spinning a little today, and I don’t think it’s from the last lingering symptoms of the cold. No, I think it’s because of this fundamental shift that forced me to re-think how I’ve done so many things, for so many years. Reality has been shaken up, people, and that can only be good!

From Childhood Toy to Fiber Art Ploy

Filed under: How To,Knitting — folkcat at 1:09 pm on Friday, January 26, 2007

As an avid knitter, and a new and aspiring spinner, I’ve been slowly acquiring the tools of my trade: yarn ball winder, niddy noddy, spinning wheel.

One essential item that had eluded my budget so far, however, was a swift. I have a friend with one that I can borrow whenever I need to, but that requires waiting until we can get together at a time and place that works for both of us. My eBay skills have proven lacking so far, too – I keep getting outbid at the last second.

Now, there are ways to work around this. There’s the classic, “Honey, would you hold this yarn for me so I can wind it?” move. That works until your husband starts remembering how sore his arms will get by the time you’re done. There’s holding the skein yourself over your knees, or your feet. Great until you need to answer the door or go to the bathroom! Then there’s the back of a chair – assuming you can find a chair that will somehow fit your skein.

I had an idea for a solution yesterday that seemed to come out of left field. Maybe I’ve been running a fever with the cold I’ve had all week. Maybe I was belatedly inspired by the Motorized Lego Yarn Winder I’d seen around blogland over a year ago. Whatever the reason, however, there was this notion, this answer bouncing around my head, to my swift-less existence. I even had the materials in the house to try it out Thursday.

The Tinkertoy Swift
The Tinkertoy Swift

Yup. Tinkertoys. Let’s not even get into why a childless couple has Tinkertoys in the house. (Okay, I’ll tell you – we may be childless, but Gryphon and I both personally appreciate toys, and have a specific fondness for building toys.)

Made from a Classic Jumbo Builder Set, the swift was quick and easy to put together. I don’t know how the size of the rods differs between the Jumbo Builder Set and the other Tinkertoy sets. I felt that the diameter of the rods in the Jumbo set worked well for the swift, though – they were sturdy enough to support the yarn without bending.

Here’s how I put mine together. I don’t know what all the parts are called, but it’s easy to look at my pictures and match them to what you have in your set.

Base Parts

I wanted a good, stable base, something that would prevent tipping, yet support a reasonable axle for the swift to turn on. I used four blue rods with end caps coming out of the edge of the connector, with a yellow rod sticking out of the center.

The three larger parts in that picture are pulleys and a spool, I think. Their point is to provide the spinning action, as well as to raise the height of the working arms up off the table. Tinkertoys don’t have ball bearings, and these parts were all designed to spin on a rod that’s inserted through their center hole.

Base Assembled

I stacked the three on the yellow rod, and finished the top with an end cap. I made sure that a piece with four holes around the edge was at the top – this is where the arms of my swift will attach.

Arm Assembly for Tinkertoy Swift

This is my arm assembly. The red rod is the upright peg that will hold the skein. The yellow rod with a connector on the end at the right will support the skein from beneath. The green rod on the left will fit into the top piece on the axle. If you look again at the picture of the fully assembled swift at the top of this post, you’ll see where that goes.

It’s really that simple, folks. And it gets even better – by varying the length of rods used on the arms, I can accommodate different sizes of skeins. I took measurements with the various colors in place – here were my findings, from shortest rod color to longest:

Yellow Rods: 26″ skein length
Blue Rods: 35″ skein length
Red Rods: 40″ skein length
Green Rods: 48″ skein length
Orange Rods: 68″ skein length

These are all based on placing the rod color specified where the green rod is shown in my photo of the arm assembly. Additional lengths can be made by combining two shorter rods together with yet another connector, and using them in place of a single color. For instance, by combining a blue and a yellow rod, I came up with a 57″ skein length. A little experimentation, and possibly even using two arms of one size, two of another, and the size possibilities are extensive.

Edited 3-7-07 to add: Telmah of Skyline Chilly reports that she wound a skein of Socks That Rock yarn with her Tinkertoy Swift. She combined three orange rods and one green one, and got a circumference of 63.5″, which was just perfect for the yarn. To keep the swift balance, she added an extra connector on the end of the green rod. If you want to see how it worked out, you can visit her post about it here. Thanks for the data, Telmah!

All well and good, you say. But does it work?

Tinkertoy Swift with Yarn

It held my 8 oz. skein of Cherry Tree Hill Merino Lace yarn (colorway “Martha’s Vineyard”, btw) quite well, with the green rods in place to hold a 48″ circumference.

The three spinning parts on the axle turned smoothly. If I use this regularly, I may consider lubricating them with a little graphite or something to reduce wear.

In very short order, that skein of yarn had been turned into this yummy yarn cake.

Lace Yarn Cake, Thanks to Tinkertoys!

Best of all, storing this swift – as well as carrying it to knitting groups if I want – is going to be ridiculously easy. The whole thing breaks down into small parts that I can fit in a gallon-size zipper bag! Show me an umbrella swift that can do that!

Another great thing about using Tinkertoys, too – these are wooden parts that are intended for children to play with. As such, they are extremely smooth and well finished. Not a chance in the world that your yarn will catch on a rough spot!

Obviously, this wouldn’t be the right answer for someone who’s doing any large amount of yarn handling. But for the fiber artist who only occasionally needs the use of a swift, or who is on a budget, this could be a great solution. Especially if you already have them in the house for the kids, or can find them at a yard sale!

If you decide to give the Tinkertoy swift a try yourself, please post about it to your blog (if you have one), and leave me a comment or drop me an e-mail. I’d love to see how this works for others!

Reverting to a Childhood I Never Had

Filed under: Crafting Miscellany,Daily Life — folkcat at 9:35 pm on Thursday, January 25, 2007

I’m crossing my fingers as I write this, but I think I’ve passed the worst of the cold and am on the upswing now. At least, based on the path that this cold took when Gryphon had it last week.

I’ve been extremely run down the last few days. We’ve saved a lot on laundry for the week – today’s the first day I really felt like getting out of pajamas since Saturday. I’ve still got a nasty cough today, but that, too, is improving. I’m hoping I feel up to getting out of the house a bit by the weekend.

The effect of the illness on my mind was interesting. I couldn’t focus on a relatively mindless task like knitting. But I could get interested in something new and different. So simple, but novel, activities have been what kept me sane for the last two days.

Yesterday, I flashed back to childhood – a childhood I never got to experience, really. Never had Perler Beads before in my life, until one of the Craft Goddesses gave us all sets for Christmas this year. Sitting in my armchair, sick out of my head and needing a way to keep myself occupied all Wednesday night, I decided to get out my Cut’n’Press board and the iron, and see what I could do.

First Perler Experiments
Perler Bead Flowers and Butterfly

As you can see, I went a little beyond the basics by making my flowers freestanding. It’s not hard – just make an additional piece that has a space big enough to insert the flower stem. For extra security, I sat the iron up on end with the faceplate towards me, held the ironing paper on it, and then pressed the bottom of the stand to it to fuse the end of the flower stem with the base.

I think I like this stuff. It’s got endless possibilities – you should see the projects at the official Perler Beads website. Be sure to click on all three of these choices – Projects, Design Archive, and 3-D Projects to see all the different ideas they offer.

There are going to be more Perler Beads and their attendant accessories in my future, I think.

Meanwhile, today saw another foray into childhood. But I think that’s a story deserving of its own post. Tune in tomorrow to see how I improved my knitting life with Tinker Toys!

Sick Day

Filed under: Announcements,Blog Admin,Daily Life — folkcat at 11:28 am on Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Yup. The cold I caught from Gryphon is still with me. Feel lucky this isn’t a podcast – I sound pretty horrendous!

I’ll be taking a day or two off from blogging so I can rest and recover. See you again soon!

Möbius Dicky

Filed under: Knitting — folkcat at 2:17 pm on Monday, January 22, 2007

Call me Stitchmael.

I have been sick this weekend. Gryphon was down the last half of last week with a nasty cold. I got it Saturday. And judging from the fact that he’s just starting to get over his now, I probably have a few more days to go.

I’m telling you this not to garner any sympathy or “get well” wishes. No, I offer the news of my illness as an excuse for my lack of knitting progress this weekend.

My Barefoot Diva socks and other projects on my list have been put on hold, while I work on an item I was commissioned to knit – a turtleneck dicky for a motorcycle rider. I’m designing this one myself – there seems to be a shortage of good patterns out there for dickies, at least free ones that fit the parameters of this request.

My basic concept is to knit a square from the outside in, stopping when I reach an appropriate neck size and converting to a ribbed tube for the turtleneck. Since the dicky should be longer in the front than in the back, I used provisional cast-on for the stitches at the front of the work. When I’ve finished the main dicky, I can then knit down to the desired length.

For my first attempt, I thought I’d do a garter stitch edging around three sides, leaving the provisional cast-on side as stockinette. After the edging, the main body of the dicky would be stockinette, up to the turtleneck which would be ribbed.

I was going along well, when I realized that I had decided to make the thing way too large. Attempt #1 was frogged, and I cast on for #2, which would be the same, but smaller.

I quickly realized that I would not be able to match the garter stitch edging when I worked the front straight down from the provisional edge, so I scrapped that idea. Frog #2, cast-on #3.

I was going to need some stitch that would make the whole thing lay flat, the reason I had the garter-stitch edging to begin with. “I know,” I thought, “I’ll make the whole thing in one-by-one ribbing!”

Knitting a K1P1 ribbing turned out to be a bad idea. Same yarn and needles as the stockinette version, but suddenly, my knitting looked like a fishnet. At the least, you could see light through it everywhere. The plan here is to keep the biker warm as he rides – I decided a fishnet dicky might be a little too breezy. Frog #3.

I browsed a couple of books of stitch patterns, looking for something with a balanced number of knits and purls that would provide texture, lay flat, and not stitch up like openwork. Settled on a pattern I liked, swatched it – it came out with a nice look and feel. Cast on – again – and started knitting.

This time, the results were beautiful. My decreases at the four corners were looking good. The overall stitch pattern was nice – textured, but in a manly, warm way. Here’s a look at the details of a corner:

WIP - Dicky, Corner Detail

A little hard to see, I know – black yarn on a white background. The white yarn at the bottom left is my provisional cast-on chain.

So, I’m breezing along yesterday, in spite of my nasty cold that makes it hard to focus. Or maybe it was the cold that was the reason for….but we’ll get to that in a minute.

I’d knit about 18 rows, and had just decided to work out some style details for the front of the dicky, to help distinguish it from the back. So I laid out the whole thing on the table in front of me, nice and flat.

WIP - Dicky: The Plot Twists

At least, I tried to. See that odd part at the back? It just about broke my heart…

Yes, I had twisted the knitting when I first joined the cast-on into a round. As carefully as I had arranged and re-arranged the cast-on stitches, they had still looped around the needle somewhere.

And I had knit 18 rows on my fourth, and what I thought was finally a perfect, attempt at this dicky before discovering it.

*sigh*

I blame my cold, if anything. Or maybe it’s just “one of those things” that happens to us, no matter how experienced we are as knitters, or how carefully we go about our craft. Take note, those of you who are beginners – these mistakes happen to all knitters! So don’t be upset and decide you “can’t do it” if you get something wrong – just accept it as a sign that you’re a part of the entire knitting community, because you make the same mistakes we all do.

After a brief time out, I frogged Attempt #4, and started again. At least this time, I had the assurance of knowing that I had found the pattern that works – so long as I didn’t twist it! I re-wound the yarn, cast on again, and got back to the knitting.

Believe me, I checked at least five times to make sure my work wasn’t twisted this time. I’m only two rows into it, but I keep laying it down now and then to see if it’s really flat. Once it has a little more substance I can probaby stop checking, but in the meantime, I’m being paranoid. Since this works from the outside in, these are, after all, the largest rows of the piece. I definitely don’t want to get to far before finding the mistake again!

And so, there has been lots of knitting. But I ended the weekend with far less progress than it began with. Unless you count the finalization of the design for this dicky as progress – in which case, I’m probably right on track!

Meanwhile, I’m hoping to be over the hump of this cold soon. But there’s a chance I’ll have to cancel on outside activities over the next couple of days. Those of you who would be affected by that, I’ll let you know!

An Icy Trip in the Wayback Machine

Filed under: Daily Life,Folkcat's Fotos,Wayback Wednesday — folkcat at 5:17 pm on Friday, January 19, 2007

Wayback Wednesday Comes on Friday This Week

You all know what it means when I pull out the Wayback Machine, right? Yup – I’ve got no measurable crafting progress to report, nor anything else interesting to say.

Today, in honor of this week’s icy New England mess, I’m pulling out a photo from January 11, 2005 – just over two years ago. I walked out of the apartment one day, looked up, and found this odd ice formation hanging off the gutter drain from the roof.

Curvy Ice Formation

Apparently, the gutter had clogged, then melting snow poured water down the outside of the drain pipe and froze. Add a bright morning sun on a cold day, which softened the ice enough to sag, but not really melt, causing it to droop into this interesting curlicue.

The bad news was, it was a symptom showing that the problems we’d had with the roof leaking along that area had not yet been fixed. We took a set of photos into the landlord, and they got on it. We were all dry soon, and remain so now (touch wood).

The weather has been amazingly wonky all over the world. I’m not even going to begin to talk about the climate change issues, we’d be here all weekend. To make matters worse, someone on a blog I read (sorry, I can’t remember where) posted a scan of a Newsweek article from 1975 that offered a severe warning about Global Cooling – with lots of data to back it up. So I have to wonder, do we even have a clue what’s really happening – especially on the long term? (No need to answer that – it’s just my rhetorical musings.)

E.T.A. – Ah, found it! It was Maize Hutton over at Maize’s Diary, in her post yesterday.

Whatever the weather has been lately in your part of reality, I hope that you are currently dry, comfortable, and living with your preferred level of functioning technology (and the power to run it)!

Happy Knitting, and have a great weekend!

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