Thursday, January 31, 2008

Vogue Stitchionary Volume One

156 vines and bobbles


The above is my chart for the [chartless in the book] pattern 156 vines and bobbles, page 105 of Vogue Knitting Stitchionary volume one.  It looks to me as if the book's line by line instructions are right as far as the number of stitches goes, but the "multiple of" instructions might be wrong.  My chart might not line up right in the picture and my left and right decreases might be off, but I think the pattern will work if you follow the instructions.  I haven't knit a swatch.

This chart shows two repeats of the pattern side by side.  Odd (right side) rows are read from right to left.  Even (wrong side) rows are read from left to right.  A "K" on the right side is knit.  A "K" on the wrong side is purled.  It's supposed to be that you are looking at the right side of the work. 

The book tells you to cast on a multiple of 12 sts plus 1, and it is a multiple of 16 sts after Row 1.  I don't think so.  I think you cast on a multiple of 11 stitches, and then odd (right side) rows are multiple of 12 and even (wrong side) rows are multiple of 11.

I might be totally off base here.  Does anybody else have any thoughts on this?

The errata page doesn't does include a correction for this pattern! Maybe it doesn't need one, or maybe it does.  I'm not really sure?

Now I know why I love the Barbara Walker Treasuries so much!

[Edited for some clarity, 2/4/08.]

[Edited to show that the errata page has been updated with a correction. 2/14/08]

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sammy gets his turn in the cat bed

20080129 Cat Bed with SammyA day later and Sammy gets his turn.  He's a big boy, so you can see that the bed is too big.  Definitely next time I will double the yarn, tighten the stitches, and cast on about 10 less stitches.

Have you tried a cat bed with doubled Cascade 220 yarn?  I'd love for you to comment about it.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Cat Bordhi Cat Bed

20080128 Cat Bed Pre-Felting

It's finished.  The above is a Cat Bordhi cat bed, knitted but not felted.  It's 24" in diameter.  I used Cascade 220 yarn, knit loosely on size US11 needles.  It takes about 2 1/2 skeins.  200 sts were cast on for the rim.  If I were going to do it again I would double the yarn (so use about 5 skeins) and knit tighter.  (Maybe the book says to knit with the yarn doubled and I missed it?)  And I might do it again.  It's really easy and fast. 

The first picture below is the only one that shows the mobius strip on the border.  Bordhi's mobius strip directions require a leap of faith, but they work.  Just shut down your mind and follow along.

20080128 Cat Bed Blocking on Dryer Shelf20080128 Cat Bed with Persy20080128 Cat Bed with Persy and Ruso20080128 Cat Bed with Persy and Sammy20080128 Cat Bed with Ruso

The bed went through a high agitation wash cycle in a zippered pillow case, and with jeans in the tub with it - about 15+ minutes in hot water with liquid laundry detergent.  The zippered pillow case is a good idea (from the book) because there was quite a bit of lint trapped in it at the end.  It's about 20" in diameter after felting.  After a short spin it went into the dryer with two big towels used as blockers.  My dryer has a shelf so I can dry things flat, no tumbling, in short order.  This bed took about 30 minutes to dry.

The big test was wether the cats would like it.  Persimmon took possession first, and didn't budge when visited by Ruso first and then Sammy.  After the photo shoot, Petite Princess Persimmon lost interest in it and left, leaving a perfect warm spot for Ruso.  There's a kitty warming pad under the bed and a towel inside.  I think they like it.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Kite Runner & Atonement

Kite Runner: *** Good
Atonement: *** Good

These two were good movies, worth seeing on the big screen.  I probably should have given them both better ratings, but I'm tired of complicated movies.  I want a straightforward love story, or a straightforward hero-vs-bad guy.  I want the lovers to get together and I want the hero to win.  Well there. I got that off my chest.  [A sunny day wouldn't hurt either.  I packed my camera and drove to the park for a walk, but it was raining by the time we got there.  Hmph.]

KiteRunnerPosterThe Kite Runner was true to the book.  I thought the book told the story better, but I always think that.  It did show how cruel young boys can be, especially to those they love.  It showed how some young men are evil and they grow into evil men.  It showed how a grown man still suffers from childhood guilt and pain, and what such a man will do to make amends.

The acting is fine.  The photography is very good.  The settings in Afghanistan and the SF Bay Area (Fremont!) are well done.

 AtonementPosterAtonement is a big star, big budget movie based on the book by Ian McEwan.  I haven't read the book so I have no idea how the movie compares to the book.

Basically, it's the story of three people:  Briony , a 13 year old  girl with a crush on Robbie, a grown young man, and Cecilia, Briony's sister.  Robbie & Cecilia love each other.  It's a lopsided triangle which shows how a 13 year old girl can get everything wrong and suffer the guilt of it for the rest of her very long life. 

It takes place in England and France just before and during WWII.  The acting and photography are good.  I was bothered by all the time jumping and close-up scenes, but the end of the movie makes it all make sense.  In fact I didn't like the movie as much in the middle as I did in the end.

I hope these mediocre reviews don't keep anybody from seeing these two movies.  I give them both "Good to See".

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Old Farts

woman_knitting_by_chaim_soutine I finally understand where the term "Old Fart" comes from, and I am one.

My sphincter muscles are shot.  My ass has fallen [way fallen].  My digestive system apparently has some kind of chemical imbalance that results in lots of gas needing a place to escape.  The result is somebody who cannot control her own farts.

The Urban Dictionary has nothing good to say about old farts, but the definition that seems most apt to me is that an old fart is the smell that rises from a couch when you slap it with your hand.  [eew!]

It's embarrassing in the library.  I'll be up there at circulation checking 'em and checking 'em out.  All of a sudden there will be a quiete moment (rare in our library) and out will come this little put put sound that is the unmistakable sound of an old fart at work.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Teddy Bear Ribwarmer

I found a link in Ravelry to a pattern called Baby Bear Rib Warmer Re-visited.  It was perfect for me as a learning tool for EZ's Ribwarmer.  Since I had no idea what part of the garment was what in the instructions it helped a lot to work through it once to figure things out.  (Click on pictures to see larger image.)  I tried two or three different short-row methods for the corners, and one or two different I-Cord methods for the border.  I think I agree with EZ that short rows in garter stitch can be worked without knitting the wraps - it looks fine and it's a whole lot easier.

First of all you cast on invisibly (provisional cast on at bottom of picture above), then knit some ridges in garter stitch.  The entire thing is in garter stitch.  This is one side of the neck in the back.

Then you cast on some extra stitches, which will eventually become a shoulder seam.  Then you knit a bunch of ridges until it's time for some short rows....

Next you turn the front corner, knit some ridges for underarm space, and then knit about 33% of the next corner.  Then you just stop knitting on this piece.  Put the stitches on a holder and break the yarn.

Pick up the live stitches from the provisional cast on and knit the other side of the neck back, cast on for shoulder seam, etc., just like the first side.

Then you join the two back pieces and continue as if you were turning a corner, but you are filling in the bottom of the back with short rows.  After that you motor on up to the top and do some short row shoulder shaping.

You join the shoulders and attach the neck to the back.  Finally, you add a border (I-Cord suggested) around the outer edges.  I did a 2-stitch I-Cord border around everything but the arm holes because I ran out of yarn.

Meg is publishing a DVD about the Ribwarmer very soon.  I'm going to get it, because there is quite a bit that I'm not happy with.  For example, my I-Cord isn't beautiful; my corner short rows are not beautiful; my shoulder and neck joining is not beautiful.  I think part of the problem is that the yarn I used splits like the dickens (Debbie Bliss Merino DK).  Even with all my complaints I think this bear is good enough to go to a charity.  Somebody will love it and not care that there are unlovely bits.

Note:  If you look at the text in the images you might notice that I don't know left from right; however, I'm not going back to edit the pictures now.  Sorry about that.

On Vox: Lisa See's Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

View Diane in Chico, CA�s Blog

Rating: **** Very goodI enjoyed this book a lot. Well, maybe "enjoyed" isn't exactly the right word. It's a sad story which brought a lump to my throat. It was the cultural history from a woman's perspective that was so...

� Read more on Vox

Monday, January 14, 2008

Boring Knitting?

In a recent blog entry, Joe said, "Apologies to readers, as I know this project is as boring as examining the texture of an office cubicle wall...."  Of course, I'm never bored by good knitting, and rarely bored by my own.

So is there anything boring about knitting?  No, I guess not.  But Fear of Failure, now there's a knitting emotion I can relate to!  My next project will be EZ's Ribwarmer and I'm reading everything I can about it, begging online friends for their experience, strength and memories.  My way of avoiding failure is to knit practice pieces to get the hang of something and then move on to the real thing.  I think I'll make one out of some yarn that is doing nothing in my stash and then make the real thing out of the Aran yarn that I've been wanting to make into something beautiful.

You can Google "Ribwarmer" images and find dozens of beautiful pictures of it.  In Ravelry there are over 70 Ribwarmer projects.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Bordhi's Riverbed Socks

20080112 Riverbed SocksWell, they fit, but I'm not entirely happy with them.  They are a little loose and a little long.  Maybe they will fit better after they are laundered [knitter's logic].  I think on the next pair I'll try making the toe portion a little shorter.

I did a plain heal - no heel stitch.  Doing the heel stitch on the heel might make them fit a little more snugly there at the heel.

The fit around the instep is fine.  I used EZ's sewn bind off at the top around the cuff and it's perfect.

20080112 Riverbed IncreasesThe interesting part is on the bottom of the foot.  Notice there are no gussets on the side of the foot near the heel.  All the increasing is done on the bottom of the foot.  There is no picking up around a heel flap, and there are no holes.  It's really pretty cool.

Edited 12/22/08 - These have become my favorite socks!.

Monday, January 7, 2008

On Vox: Touchstone

View Diane in Chico, CA�s Blog

Laurie King is one of my favorites. She introduces all new characters in this 1920s novel about an American FBI agent who goes on a hunt in England for a terrorist.There are many parallels between 1920s England and present-day US.It...

� Read more on Vox

Sunday, January 6, 2008

3 Movies

Charlie Wilson's War: **** Very Good
National Treasure: Book of Secrets: *** Good
Juno: **** Very Good

CharlieWilsonsWarPosterCharlie Wilson's War stars Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams.  Need I say more?  The list of actors is enough to get you into the theater.

The story is good too.  I didn't once wonder what time it was.  It's about our involvement in the war between Afghanistan and Russia in the 1980s.  Our side won, and then we abandoned Afghanistan instead of helping them rebuild.  (Sound familiar, like this is a repeating pattern of ours?)

But, it's not a downer of a movie.  See it in the theater if you can.

NatlTreasurePoster National Treasure: Book of Secrets is better than the first National Treasure movie in my estimation.  The acting is certainly better.  The cast includes Nicolas Cage, Helen Mirren, Ed Harris, and Jon Voight - all good actors.

It's an adventure story with lots and Lots and LOTS OF ACTION!  It has a happy ending.  If you are in the mood for some mindless fun, this one will do.


JunoPoster Saving the best for last, Juno was very good.  The star is somebody I'd never heard of - Ellen Page.  She's a high school junior who finds she is pregnant.  The father is played by Michael Cera who is a perfect just-lost-his-virginity, track-team-spindly kind of boy.  Juno is witty and mature and handles her predicament well.

The only negative for me was that she's too witty and mature.  Many of the teenagers I see are semi-verbal at best.  Juno is just too smart and poised sometimes.  But there are times when she's perfect.

Olivia Thirlby, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, J.K. Simmons, and Allison Janney round out the cast. 

Allison Janney plays Juno's step mom and has some wonderful scenes.  Jennifer Garner is good as a young professional woman who really, really wants a baby.

I don't want to tell the story, just see it for yourself.