Wednesday, August 29, 2007

So many talented knitters

sniff1nonsweater (Grumperina's buttons)

There are so many talented knitters, and so many ways for them to share their creative work.  Here are some of my favorites.  There are other blogs and web sites which I follow for their personal stories that touch me in various ways, but I chose not to list them here.

Anticraft.  Impertinent.  Good.

Cast On. A great podcast worth listening to.

Grumperina.  She makes the greatest buttons and is an ace knitter/designer.  If you take her button images, please take the entire image and don't just link to her images - it isn't good for her blog spot.  I love her humor, as shown in the buttons at the beginning of this post.

Knitterguy.  Mr. Technical.  Mr. Nice Guy.

KnittermanKnitivity yarn - a company with a story.

KnittyBlog & Knitty. Amy Singer's blog and the famous Knitty online magazine.

Panopticon. A very funny man who knits, takes pictures, makes cartoons, is spiritual.

String or Nothing & Wiseneedle.  Kim Salazar's most excellent blog and web site (yarn reviews).

TECHknitting.  A new-to-me good source of knitting lessons.

The Walker Treasury Project.  Photos of Barbara Walker's pattern swatches.

Yarn Harlot.  Is there anybody left on the planet that does not know about Stephanie?  A wonderful, funny blog.

Zimmermania.  A place for individuals to record their finished objects - all based on Elizabeth Zimmermann's books, videos, etc. (Lots of Baby Surprise Jackets and February Baby Sweaters.)

On a technical note - I use Google's Reader to look for updated blogs.  It would be pretty tedious to visit all web sites looking for updates.  Google tells me which have been updated.  So, no, I don't spend the whole day surfing the web :-)

These links worked on Aug. 29th, 2007.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Testing Google Maps

I read that you can embed google maps in your blog.  Here's where we had lunch today...

View Larger Map

It looks like it works. What you do is go to and display the map you want to embed in your blog. Just above the map will be a "Link to this page" link. I cut and pasted the HTML into my blog post, and Bob's your uncle, the interactive map displays in my blog.

By the way, I had a very nice tostada and iced tea for lunch. Now I'm ready for a nap.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Bush. Iraq. Vietnam.

Does anybody else remember several years ago, when Bush and Co. was selling war in Iraq, we were told that Vietnam and Iraq were nothing alike.  I didn't believe it then.

And now, Bush is linking Iraq and Vietnam (google bush + vietnam in news).  Like, we pulled out of Vietnam and now the terrorists in Iraq don't believe we have the staying power to win a war.  And, if we pull out of Iraq, there will be the equivalent of boat people and killing fields.  Oh dear, whatever will he say next?  I think Iraq is very much like Vietnam - a war we shouldn't be fighting, with no way to win and no graceful way to leave.

That man only has 1 year, 4 months, and 29 days left in office.

Remember everybody, you get what you vote for.  Oh, you didn't vote?  Well how's that working out for you?

Friday, August 17, 2007

What Local Yarn Stores are for

HeartstringsYarn Yesterday was a regular knit-together at my LYS, Heartsrings Yarn Studio in Chico, CA.  A few local knitters, and one intrepid crocheter, meet every other Thursday afternoon for knitting and visiting... what you might call a Stitch and Bitch, if you weren't concerned about being sued for copyright infringement.

When I walked in I asked Joanne, the owner, if she had the new Cat Bordhi sock book.  "Look on the back table.", she said.  She had just opened the box and knew I would be asking for it.  She put it right where I usually sit.  What a woman!  Knitters Review did a good review of it, wherein they point you to some online videos showing some of CB's interesting techniques from the book.

And, Joanne had some new Fall sock yarn to dangle in front of me.  Trekking XXL and Fortissima Socka (couldn't find image) in Fall colors.  I didn't care much for the Fortissima as it looked kind of like a wild animal theme you might wear with your favorite tiger striped pants.  But... the Trekking XXL this Fall is just wonderful.  I have too much sock yarn in my stash so I didn't buy any, but wasn't it nice that we got to preview the new yarn while sitting and visiting?

And, isn't it nice that our LYS provides the space for us to sit and knit?  See, that's why having a local yarn pusher is a good thing.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

ravelry rant

As each day passes more people are joining the knitting community.  When people add projects they link to a pattern or enter a description of their own private pattern.

So, you can search on something like "shrug" or "sweater" and find patterns and see people's project photos, notes and blog entries.  It's great!


When people add photos of there wearable FOs, like sweaters for example, they are adding pictures of the thing lying there, not on a human - during blocking probably.  Or they add a close-up photo which only shows a peek of the thing.  I want to see how the object fits!  I don't care what your makeup looks like, if you are a runway model, or how your hair looks.  I want to see what it looks like on you.  I have a pear shaped body.  I want to look for photos of other pears and see what they are knitting that looks good on their shape.  Now that would be some useful information.  It's the same complaint we have about photos with patterns in magazines.  We should be able to do better.

I tried to add a useful photo of my knitty convertible.  It shows that adding a couple of pattern repeats might not be the smartest thing I ever did - it's a little big on me.  But you wouldn't have known that if I hadn't added a picture of it on my body (messy hair, no makeup, overweight and all).

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Get a Clew

If you enter define:clew into your Google search box, you will find that a clew is a ball of yarn or cord or thread.  I learn something new (rhymes with clew) every day.

I'm about 25% done with my hooded cape, having used 2 of the 8 clews.  No pictures, they would look the same as the last one. 

Friday, August 10, 2007

What about the Future?

This article by Michael Chabon made me think.  He's talking about the 10,000 Year Clock project at the X Long Now Foundation.  And Bill Bryson's memoir, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, also made me think.  (Now I'm taking a rest with a Janet Evanovich novel, whew.)

Anyway, what they both said to me was that we used to look forward to The Future, that anything was possible.  Now, we don't believe so much is possible, and maybe the future isn't so rosy.  Why don't we look forward to what comes next?  Here's what I would like to see, and what I believe is possible...

Alternative energy usage - solar energy, thermal energy.  We won't be raiding other countries' deserts for their oil.  We won't be digging up Alaska or sailing leaky oil tankers in the oceans.  Every roof will have solar collectors - painted on nanotubes that are efficient collectors.  It's already starting.  Several local government agencies are using solar energy to supplement their energy usage.  My favorite new project in Chico is the Sierra Nevada Brewery.  It's putting up covered parking with solar collectors on the roof - shaded parking and cheaper electricity.  Wonderful!

Medical coverage for everybody.  What is it about human nature that makes us spend billions on war, weapons, "The Military Industrial Complex", etc., but not enough on medical research and services?  We can change.  Just vote the bastards out and elect people who talk about a future full of  hope instead of fear - all over the world, not just here in the U.S.  I can dream... and it's possible.

There is more that is wonderful and possible, especially with computer technology (e.g., quantum computing) and physics (e.g., time travel, teleportation), but I'm starting to rant and so I'll continue another day.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Hooded Cape in Progress

20070808 Hooded Cape in ProgressLook, I'm using yarn from my stash!  It's not very aged, but it was taking up space in my storage closet floor that could have been used for walking.

This is what 1 and about 1/3 skeins of Plymouth Baby Alpaca looks like.  I cast on 308 stitches and knit the border and 10 St. st. rows before the first decrease row.  Now the first decrease row is done and I'm hoping the 8 skeins called for in the pattern will be enough....

This yarn is soooo soft.  It feels good to knit.  It's a little hairy, so pilling might be a problem... or it might not.  We'll see.

Confession time:  I didn't knit a swatch.  This is supposed to be a one size fits all cape, I'm using the recommended yarn, and I only plan to wear it around the house in the winter when I keep the heat below 70F.  So, I figured I didn't need a swatch :-)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Finished Socks starting Hooded Cape

20070802 Crew Socks FinishedThe crew socks are finished.  They aren't the most exciting project I've done, but they are nice socks which will feel good if the weather ever cools off here in Northern California's farming valley.



20070801 Hooded CapeAnd now begins the Hooded Cape.  I've been adding all my projects to Ravelry, so this link might work to see the project notes.  I think you might have to be a ravelry member to see the project notes.  If you haven't already done so, go ahead and add yourself to the invites list. 

I'll be using the recommended yarn for the first time in my entire life, if you don't count sock yarn for socks.  It's bulky Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande, which you knit with size US 10.5 needles.  I hope my hands don't complain too much.

Speaking of bodies that complain, I stuffed my bike in the car this morning and went to Bidwell Park for a bike ride.  No pain, hip feels good, didn't fall off.  My little Prius is big enough to carry a bike - good little Prius.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Sunday walk in the park

Last Sunday we took our usual walk in Bidwell Park.  This time I brought my camera....

This overpass is Highway 99, a highway that runs North/South through Chico.  When "they" put the highway in, the good people of Chico decided that Bidwell Park was so important that the highway was made to go over the park instead of through it.  Good for them!

By the way, the two joggers are library patrons.  I've been working part time at the library long enough that I see library patrons all over town.  It's kind of nice to smile and say high, or just feel a quick moment of recognition before they jog on by.

Lower Bidwell Park is a place for anybody that wants to move:  bicycles, skates, feet, strollers, even cars or horses.  The dirt paths are supposed to be for walkers, joggers, and horses, I think, but the bicyclists use it too.  The paved path is for things with wheels.

It was a good walk, but my hip is only good for about a half hour before it begins to be uncomfortable (about 5 out of 10 on the pain scale).  I've started taking Move Free, which is supposed to be a souped-up glucosamine-chondroitin mixture.