Friday, November 24, 2006

10 things

About a year ago I posted 20 Random Things which was to be the first of 5 installments. It was followed by 20 More Things and ended there. I was recently tagged by Vivian along with Cris to do 5 things, but since Cris isn't gonna -- I'll do 10 which will bring me to and even 50.

41. I learned to swim the summer I graduated from highschool. I was going to college in the fall and moving into an apt with a pool. Another classmate learned with me -- he was going to the Naval Academy to become a Navy Seal.

42. I hang with a group of women who are in tech pubs. I am an engineer, but there are mostly men in my profession so I tend to gravitate to where the women are. I can code but I can't write.

43. I collect Longaberger baskets.

44. ...their pottery.

45. ...and wrought iron.

The next 5 are holiday related:

46. I roasted my first turkey when I was 38 (not too long ago).

47. I can my own whole berry cranberry sauce the weekend before Thanksgiving. 5 jars. I open 2 the day of, pawn off 2 to relatives, save the last for me.

48. I don't like to think about any particular holiday before the most immediate one is over. I don't think about Thanksgiving until after Halloween and I don't think about Christmas until after Thanksgiving -- all the other holidays are far enough apart not to require any resistance on my part.

49. I don't shop the day after Thanksgiving, not even for yarn.

50. In fact, I try to avoid the mall between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve...unfortunately, this being "shopping" season, it can't be helped.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Sweater for Marisol

I took the Top Down Sweaters class at Yarndogs and produced a knit to fit sweater for my daughter's Amercian Girl doll Marisol. All you needed were 2 measurements, a few calculations based on your gauge swatch (or whatever the ball band says) and you're good to go! As you can see it fits perfectly!

I've got to start something new. Maybe a Top Down Sweater for me -- I'm bringing a picture to our South Bay Knitters guild meeting to show the teacher (a member of the guild). Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 29, 2006

And for my next pair of socks...

Fingerless Gloves!
These were so quick they didn't even make the sidebar. In fact they were so quick I'm already done! Check out the ruffle cuff? The pattern is available in Not Just Socks, but with a different cuff (actually 2 different cuffs, but not this one). If you want to do this cuff, go a few pages further to the pattern for the bag and use that -- I cast on 192 stitches and decreased rapidly (32 stitches every other round) to 64 stitches. Followed by a 3x1 rib for the base of the palm. I think next time I'll decrease 4 stitches evenly after the ribbing so the palm's just a bit smaller and add 3 stitches instead of 2 per finger. Not that I'm going to rush in and make more just yet. It was a small detour in my journey to finish things up -- not start AND finish. I've still got inches left on Tokyo Bloom so I'm going there next. The scarves? Dunno, they are so close but I need to make decisions so not going there anytime soon.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Addendum

Oh and this arrived earlier this week















I am not worthy

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I will not succumb...again

Look at what the Yarn Harlot's up to here -- gorgeous isn't it? Makes you want to go straight to Grafton Fibers and hand over your credit card. But I won't, not his time...my mind reels back to this and how that resulted in the arrival of these fraternal twins beautifully nestled in the LazyBoy.
They were packed away into the stash only to be retrieved (and gently fondled) for this picture. I'm also shamefully reminded of the recent moment of weakness while organizing my Bellwether Rhyme Times subscription which resulted in the addition of 3 lbs of fiber to the stash.

On another front did finish up all the pieces of palacios seen below as I contemplate blocking the fronts on my inadequate blocking board. I need a bigger one -- you'd think if a blocking board came with yarn I'd have one by now. Anyways, this one's meant for quilt blocks (oh didn't you know? I quilt too...or, uh I used to) . The back is done too so I can now safely set it aside as the next bit is a mosaic border that I'm not about to start (guess I really don't need to block it now then, huh). Also seen below are the Vintage Shell Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks (Nancy Bush) in Knit Picks Dancing.

What's up next? Um, well there's a new yarn shop that's opening this weekend so, I'll be here.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

A Good Start

Here we are -- my finished Olympic Knitting project, lounging on the LazyBoy (no Chesterfields here, this is California, not Canada -- that's a different blog).
So it's only what,...7 months too late.
I hate button bands...picking up (I can never get the sides to match), then lining up the button holes (the initial math only gets me so close -- I keep forgetting to include the stitches for the actual buttonhole -- so rather than refigure it out I just tink and add or substract a stitch until they're spread out properly). Anyways its done, off the needles, knitting bag reclaimed, leftover yarn (1 full ball and then some of the teflon wool, 1/2 a ball of the karaoke -- enough for a hat, but we're not going there) ready to be returned to stash. Not sure I like the long stretch of hot pink, but I do like the fact that it's done.
I was listening to Birth of Venus while finishing it up. I download books from Audible and listen on my iPaq. Up until now I've been using ear phones. Cris told me about FM transmitters that allow sound to be transmitted to an FM radio frequency which allows you to listen to your audio (from your mp3 player, ipod, portable CD player) on any FM stereo (home stereo, boom box or car radio). Cool deal. It's amazing what technology they come up with these days. I'm not much of a technophile. Yeah, I have a mobile phone (hot pink razr, of course, w/ matching bluetooth -- but I only *just* got that part), and I listen to books on my iPaq which I sync from my PC laptop. However, I'm not one to leap to new technology. That iPaq, it's at least 3 years old. Digital camera 2.1 mega pixels. I still have a win98 desktop (yes, it runs) and my laptop is running win2K. What's even more surprising is that I live high tech more than 40hrs a week being a computer programmer, in the electronic design automation industry, in the heart of Silicon Valley. Go figure. I'm actually afraid to try new things. And rightly so! The first FM transmitter I bought actually made the batteries in it explode -- in the car -- while I was driving! I had my husband return it (I hate returning things) and I bought another, different one (more expensive) from another store (not taking any chances here). This one, however, bypasses battery power when I plug in the car adapter -- I checked by turning the device on and plugging in the adapter while it wasn't connected to the car, and it turned off. So far so good. Anyways, I used it last night while finishing my project -- listening to my audio book on my iPaq but through our boom box. Amazing. I was able to move around and pick up my band, line up my buttonholes and knit until it was all done. Truly F.A.B. Like my setup?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Plan for Winter

Some friends and I are making knitting plans for the winter. This should kick off finishing some of my works on the needles. I found yarn for a clapotis IN MY STASH (round of applause please -- it pays to have a large stash -- besides being fun to shop in -- the money's already spent -- and it can be so very satisfying). This summer's gatherings Noro Transistions will be an Alice pullover. Finally, I dug up a shawl kit I had buried a long time ago, this winter, I'll be starting (drumroll, please...) Rosy Fingered Dawn by Hazel Carter. As you can see by the link there's a KAL! I'm so excited. However,...

See the list on the right? Some of that's got to get finished before I can start the above projects...at least 2 preferably 3 and socks don't count. I'm shooting for Very Luminary Vest (VLV), and Tokyo Bloom Poncho (TBP), mostly because VLV is so close and I don't think I can justify starting clapotis w/o finishing a poncho. Third up? I dunno -- if I can just get Palacio to the point where I'm starting the bands...or maybe the 2 scarves? They're practically done, really. Okay? Okay! I'm off to pick up for the band on VLV...

(And not one word about the Vogue TF Shrug -- I've not lost enthusiasm for it just yet...I need to knit it bigger and get used to the idea that I'm knitting the large and not the medium -- bearing in mind that I did choose smaller needles. That said...let's just all shut up about it for now).

Friday, September 15, 2006

A Summer's Gatherings

I didn't blog for the entire month of August and July's posts were more about June. So what's been happening? The girls -- they have a life and mine just revolves around theirs. But as Vivian suspected I did manage to buy some yarn. So here's the the summer's highlights...
I ended the summer's purchases at the latest Knitting Arts sale. Found: Cherry Tree Hill Cascade 100% silk fingering wt in Northern Lights. Prior to that I was at Village Spinning and Weaving where I did not buy any yarn. However I did buy 2 beautiful spindles laser etched by Dave Larson -- go see, click under "Spindles". Backtracking, I did buy yarn near my hometown at Anacapa Fine Yarns in Ventura -- 2 sks Kaalund Yarns Expressions in Guava 100% kid laceweight 1000+yds (yeah, pink). In LA, at A Mano Yarn Center I found lightweight Socks that Rock in Hard Rock and Mist(pink -- do we see a pattern here?), and further south I found some lovely Bamboo sock yarn by Regia (reddish pink) at The Yarn Lady. Looping up to Las Vegas I didn't buy any yarn. Not even in Tehachapi where a yarn shop was closing out -- not for lack of trying (they were closed the day we passed through). Back at home I bought Rowan Silk Wool in Scallop (very pale pink) and Rowan Tapestry in Potpourri (rich victorian pink) both from Yarndogs. Meanwhile Webs sent me more than enough Silk Garden for the Round Trip sweater (color 251 -- you look it up). I found a new-to-me yarn store in Sunnyvale, Yarn Place and bought some fingering wt merino/cashmere in eggplant (ha!) and laceweight Graceful in a muted rainbow colorway 2400yds in one ball. During the yarn crawl prior to the summer knit retreat (winter's full, sorry) I snagged 5 skeins of rose alpaca, Noro Transistions color A6 for an Alice sweater, 2 balls Skacel meditation in sunset (scented with lavendar oil), 2 balls Steinbach striping cotton sock yarn in golden summer, and 2 Karabella jewels in peach tree all from Luminous Threads. A stop at the Swift Stitch proved detrimental as I bought 2 sks each of Alchemy's monarch, silk purse and bamboo -- all in a fiery colorway -- red, orange, hot, hot pink. Back at Yarndogs I obtained 2 balls Lana Grossa twin print in a mediterranean colorway (not for me) and a Sweater Kits cardi kit in wine. At Full Thread Ahead's all-you-can-carry sale I got Cherry Tree Hill potluck supersock in water and jewels, Alpine Lace in Old Rose, Tess Designer Yarn's cultivated silk/merino in lavendar rose. A return trip to Yarndogs yielded some lovely silk ribbon by Schulana, and some Blue Heron silk rayon twist in hibiscus (pink, ya' think?). Patternworks sent Prism in tea rose and Fiesta Yarns Watermark in abalone (about my favorite colorway in their yarns because its, well, pink). Finally on my trip to Austin at Hill Country Weavers, 10 good reason s to pack light, pictured above, Claudia Hand Painted in pink dot.

Did I knit? Well, yeah -- not much but yeah. I did finish the 3rd of Elana's hats.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

What to pack

When travelling you need to make sure you have available certain necessities. You will nee to pack clothes to wear, clean underwear, basic toiletries, PJs (I always forget these), activity wear (for whatever activities you plan to do at your destination), some books, magazines and/or catalogs and for the knitter, sundry knitting projects. On a recent trip to Austin, TX I took the following:

1) Something simple. One needs mindless knitting to keep the hands busy while the mind is free to wander. This type of knitting is excellent for meetings, phone conversations, listening to a book or waiting to embark at the airport. This is my Tokyo Bloom poncho, stockinette with yo's -- mindless.

2) A sock. For something a little more interesting socks always fit the bill. Great for flying, commuting (as long as you're not the one driving), lines and waiting for your meal in restaurants when dining alone. An added plus, it's extremely portable. Here, we have Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush. Yarn: KnitPicks Dancing.

3) Something slightly complicated. This is the latest hat for Elana. It's Norah Gaughan's Swirl Cap from VK On the Go Caps & Hats. I'm having trouble knitting hats that fit Elana's 8 yo head. So, for added complexity I'm, um, chopping off part of the swirls. That's the new chart I've devised to eliminate about a dozen rounds which will make the cap height about right. The cables and chart following makes this project great when you need to align your thoughts instead of letting your mind panic wonder about how the plane is staying up. Yarn: SWTC Phoenix.

Friday, June 09, 2006

New Knitting Bag

Isn't this cool? It's my new knitting bag. Dontcha just love the hot pink needle/handles? My Aunt VJ made it for me. Remember the VJ Chronicles? I haven't posted any updates -- but she still calls. The last call I got I had to describe a neck and arm shaping from a faxed copy of the pattern over the phone. Gotta love those words "at same time". Try explaining that on the phone. I love doing it though, and I'd do it for nothing -- for her or any of my friends. But I sure don't mind getting the occaisional appreciative gift either. Look at this thing! You can't tell from the picture but the fabric here is heavy upholstry and on the other side it's satin brocade (see next post). The beaded ribbon's a really sweet touch and matches so well. It's reversible but I'm keeping it this way because the inside has pockets! See?















Isn't she clever?

The Other Side




















I just absolutely love it! Posted by Picasa

Another hat for Elana

This is hat #2 for Elana, my daughter's friend who has osteo sarcoma and is undergoing her 2nd round of chemo. It sort of has a rasta-farian feel to it doesn't it?Hope it at the very least cheers her up. Both this and the last hat were kinda big -- even though I had my own daughter's head for good measure. Oh, the pattern is Waldron Island Hat from Knitting Calendar April 28, 2006. Ah well, even hats can come out the wrong size, who-da thunk? The next hat will be simple and it will fit! Famous last words.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Dye Day...and

It was dye day here at Chez FiberDev. All sorts of things were cooking. Cris needed some skeins dyed black for a project so out came the dyes, dyepot and assorted items. Once the dyes are out it's an opportunity for any undyed yarn lying around -- why setup all that stuff to dye 3 skeins black? Julie came and brought her handspun. My girls had a blast dyeing Julie's yarn. We also made more knitted lined purses since Cris missed the class -- Cathy joined in on the fun and made one too!
Then, later after everyone left and I had dyes leftover I grabbed 5 skeins out of the stash and went to town. Here's a couple I dyed -- I grouped the dyes in 3 colorways, blue/purple, red/orange/yellow




and, still cooking, black








But before I go...it's my blog-a-versary! One year (and 10 days) ago I uploaded my first post. Since then I've finished 4 pairs of socks, 4 scarves, 1 cardi, 2 pullovers, 1 wrap, and a hat. It's been a great year of knitting triumphs (Mavis) and failures (didn't get the gold for my olympic vest), but all and all it's been fun. So here's to another year of knitting and blogging and to kick things off, here's the first pair of socks for blog year two, yarn: Trekking XXL, pattern: Conwy from Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Purple?

I seem to be knitting lots of purple lately...

I took a class this weekend and made alittle bag. The homework for the class was to knit a 6"x12" swatch. The class was Saturday and I knit the swatch on my bulky knitting machine Friday night.
This is the front of my bag.


And this is the back -- we brought fabric to match so I cut out a heart and fused it onto the knitting.

Get this -- it's lined! Check out the zipper detail. The class was Silver Linings and it was taught by Lorna Miser (formerly of Lorna's Laces Yarns). A bunch of us from my guild (South Bay Knitters -- see link at right) took the class. It was fun seeing all the different swatches and fabric. Lorna had a bunch of bags from her book Knit and Fused Purses. Her experience with this technique was invaluable -- she's worked out what fusing materials to use, how to measure and cut our fabric and how to get the zipper in,...I couldn't do this with just the book, having her there showing us what to do -- and what not to do was great!
I also finished Elana's hat. Elana's a classmate of my youngest daughter. Elana's 7 and was recently diagnosed with bone cancer. She will be undergoing several doses of chemotherapy. This hat is to protect her head should she lose some or all of her hair during her treatments. For this one I've used Lana Grossa's Cotton Fun. It's a 50/50 cotton/superwash that's machine washable and softens with each wash. Elana's loves purple and this is just the first of many hats I plan to knit for her. Here's the top of the hat -- the pattern is intended for self striping yarn and is available in the book Not Just More Socks.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Dos Finito

A pair of beautiful dresses -- more importantly done! I think it took longer to get this post up than it did to get the dresses done! I finally finished them the weekend before I started my new job. Now armed with the threat of no more time I sat down at the machine and went to work. By Sunday eve I was bent over the dresses hand sewing the sleeve seams (the part where the satin is connected to the sheer), and hand hemming the skirts. The zippers came out, well...crooked, but that was to be expected, me being me and zippers being...hard. The sleeves were definitely the hardest, next was dealing with the sheer/satin combo for the bodice and upper sleeves then the skirt. The zipper is in a class all by itself -- mainly because I have a hard time no matter what, but also because of that sheer/satin double fabric thing going -- it was quite slippery. The girls are wearing their hair pulled back but down, not up in a bun, that should help cover things up. This weekend...a banner.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

9 weeks

9 weeks ago I was laid off from my job -- RiF'd to be exact. I wasn't completely blindsided by this. You really have to lookout and prepare for these things here in the Bay Area. It's a fact of life and nothing personal (although some days, it sure feels like it). I put my resume on several on-line jobsites, applied to many jobs on-line, answered e-mails, did phone interviews, attended one job faire, did one on-site interview and printed out 3 dozen resumes. Last Friday I got a job offer (insert happy dance here) and I start next week (stop dancing). My 2 month vacation is nearly up so I thought I take a moment and reflect on what I've accomplished these past 9 weeks. Below you will find my self-interrogation.

Q: Did you finish any knitting projects?
A: Yes, 2. Mavis and a pair of socks for Lindsey. I also finished 1 mitten and 1 sample sock (in a class at Stitches West -- that counts right?)

Q: Did you start any new projects?
A: Yes, I started the Vogue TF Shrug (several times), the Very Luminary Vest (Olympic Knitting project), the other mitten and another pair of socks. Oh and I started sewing 2 dresses.

Q: Did you finish the dresses?
A: Um, no.

Q: Did you spin or weave?
A: Nope.

Q: How about books, did you finish any during this time period?
A: Uh, I don't think so. Maybe, I don't know, exactly.

Q: Did you get a chance to organize the stash?
A: A little.

Q: After Stitches West (because we know you had a budget to adhere to there) did you buy any yarn?
A: Yes.

Q: You were on a yarn diet -- self-imposed. You were only suppose to buy yarn to complete a project. What did you purchase and why?
A: 10 balls Jojoland variegated soft muted rainbow fingering weight, which I missed at SW but found on eBay for almost 1/2 price (well at least my initial bid was 1/2); 3 balls Optimum dk from Elann, because it was pink and too cheap to pass up, currently slated for Faina's scarf; 2 sks Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb in Turquoise to see if it would work up better than the hot pink in my first pass at the Vogue TF Shrug; 3 balls of Crystal Palace Rave, because it was on sale; 2 balls of Xanadu Metallic, same sale; 2 balls of Art Yarns Broadway, sale; 2 sks of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Irving Park, not on sale but at the same store as the sale and I'd never seen this colorway before; 1 sk of Schaefer Yarns Patty in Renata Tebaldi, because it's a lucious silk boucle that matches a merino boucle that I thought I had at home; 8 balls Zitron Incanto in blue and 1 in a variegated blue/orange, also on sale, same day as the others; 2 sks Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb in China Blue because the turqoise wasn't working out; 1 sk each Noro Cash Iroha in black and brown in case the China Blue didn't work which I bought mail order and it hadn't come in yet plus I didn't have VTF with me at the time so I didn't know which would work out better; 3 sk Noro Cash Iroha in brown and 5 in black to complete the 2 sks bought previously because the China Blue worked out and now I can use the Cash Iroha in something else, but not just 1 in each color; 3 sks Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb in Pond Blue, Pale Pink and Grapevine, another sale; 3 sks Lorna's Laces Grace in Vera in case it worked better than the 3 sks of Black Purl originally purchased for VTF shrug, y'know since I changed the original colors and it was the only 3 there and they were also on sale; 4 balls Rowan Kidsilk Spray in Vino for my birthday, hah!; 1 sk Art Yarns Silk Rhapsody on sale; 4 sks Noro Kureyon in variegated black/brown because it went so well with the blank and brown Cash Iroha previously purchased also on sale; 1 ball each Louisa Harding Kimono ribbon, Fauve and Glisten on sale; 2 sks bulky alpaca and 1 sk silk boucle from Danette Taylor Designs (eBay) clearance; 2 sks Art Yarns Silk Mohair in baby pink to go with the Kidsilk spray in vino to complete a project; 8 balls RYC Silk Aran in Charmed, hey I was celebrating -- this was after I got the offer, okay? And besides...it was pink and on sale!

Q: Are we done with the yarn diet?
A: We are so done. In my defense, I would like to point out that during this time 4 yarn shops were having their "Spring Sale", and I only went to 3.

Q: Last question: Did you get to do anything that you wouldn't normally do if you were working?
A: Yes! I sat and knit in a couple yarn shops during what would normally be working hours. Oh, and I went shopping at the Outlets in Gilroy during the week without the kids. It was the most productive shopping I had done in years.

[Update: I did finish a book during this time it was Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella and I also made some more stitch markers pictured below. Is it Spring yet?]

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I only sew white

I'm making dresses for my daughter's First Communion. I just finished the bodice and sleeves . It's a combination of two patterns because she liked the sleeves of one and only the other pattern was available at the time we were buying fabric. I suppose I could have waited until I got the pattern with the cool sleeves but circumstances dictated otherwise. It took the better part of Sunday to get this far. What with reaquainting myself with my serger in order to do the rolled edges on the sleeves. I had to thread the machine to do the normal overlock for the seam edges, test it on scrap material, then rethread for a rolled edge, testing again on scrap, then back again, test again and again. Four sleeves. Now my daughter only has 2 arms, but her bff (best friend forever) who is also having her First Communion and has two arms so I have to do this over again. This is not a before picture but the other dress. I've now finished both bodices (and those *&%@! sleeves) and can now move on to the skirts. I'm not sure what possessed me to think I'm qualified to do this. The last time I sewed dresses like this (at all for that matter) was 3 years ago for my oldest daughter's First Communion and the youngest's Baptismal dress (she was 5 at the time). But here I am.

Monday, March 20, 2006

A Color Story

"Once upon a time there was a knitter who fashioned herself as a Fiber Developer. Her latest adventure involved choosing colors for the Twisted Float Shrug (Vogue Knitting Fall 2005). Her first effort was too hot. Her next effort was too, too cold. She pondered other colors, possibilities, twisting various colors together with her main color. Finally, after carefully studying color cards, a color wheel and other color references. She settled on a beautiful china blue and knit it all up." The End. Okay, well not quite the end but at least now the story can go on. I've even gotten farther than I did than with the first color combo. What do you think of the new blue? It's cooler than the Pink Blossom I orignally started with and much, much warmer than the Turquoise. I think it's a nicer color to add to the spectrum here but doesn't overpower or offset the original coloroway. Now on to the rest of the garment and the rest of the story. Can you see what's coming? How shall it all end? Should I use the original Black Purl (left) or the new Vera(right)?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Color Theory

Here's where I was on my Vogue shrug. It's going along just fine. I got through the first set of twists and started a new repeat. Increases are coming along. The colors all go -- nothing seems to be overpowering -- well besides the pink -- but that's the point, right? I'm really enjoying the main color changes with its blips of color popping out at random intervals.

Here's the back. As you can see I've got the wraps when yarn B is not in use going okay. (very well hidden on the front) . I've got this on two circs now -- should have started it that way. Increase used is kfb evenly spaced at odd increments. This increase is virtually hidden in the garter stitch front.


But I was not completely happy with it. The hot pink while striking just doesn't add to the piece -- it compliments but not quite complements it. I needed more vavoom.

I tried some other yarn in my stash and did what any other knitter would do at this point and headed to the nearest yarn store. There I considered this which contrasts the main yarn well -- I twisted it together with this new "B" yarn and it looked good.




So, I brought it home, frogged the previous piece (yes, it's gone) and got this. Better, yet what you can't see here is that the new color "B" makes the main color look dull. I didn't think that was possible but I think it's the "icyness" of the turquoise that does it. Anyways, I've stopped knitting this because I think I found a better color and well, it's not here yet.

However here's a hint, everybody, meet Mavis.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Meet Oscar

I finished Lindsey's socks -- no picture -- she was way too hard to catch once she got her feet in them. I did however cast on a new pair of socks while watching the Oscars. This is how much I got done that night:
The socks are Conwy from Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush -- these are the first contemporary socks that I've knitted with a leg shaping. The yarn is Trekking XXL. Like the girly striping? It was a bit of a surprise as the ball looked more variegated than stripey. This is a traditional 5 dpn pattern as Nancy Bush only uses dpns. I'm using a pair of 24" circulars in size US 1, sacrilege, but I had to try. It's the second pair of socks that I've attempted using 2 circs and the first pattern I've attempted traditionally written for dpns.
So far I've found 2 really good reasons to knit socks this way 1) you never drop/lose a needle and 2) you can try on your socks at any point during development without breaking anything. Yep, you guessed it I've done this before and am one needle short of a 5dpn set.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Rant

Yesterday I had a "phone screening". This is where a potential employer calls you up to determine whether it's worth bringing you in for an interview. A pre-interview if you will. I've never been "screened" in this way before. I take it things have come to this because of the sheer number of programmers out there looking. Basically the caller asked questions. I asked questions too, but she didn't answer my questions and to be frank -- I didn't have very good answers for hers either. She asked 9 questions, here's a list of the first 6:
1) [C++] Is the following a legal function declaration: static virtual void foo
2) [C++] What is the purpose of a virtual destructor?
3) [Win32] What's the difference between semaphore and mutex
4) [messaging] What's the difference between send and post?
5) What is a singleton pattern?
6) [COM] All COM interfaces are derived from what class?
The 7th question had to do with COM connection points -- I forget what it was exactly -- I was a bit flustered at that point. The last 2 questions were regarding MFC. I was surprised by the whole process in general. Especially the first question which I'd gotten as an interview question 10 years ago (it's a trick question and I have something more to say about it later -- not the tricky part though). Here's the thing, this was a screening for a programming position in C++ using MFC and COM. I haven't programmed a stitch of C++/MFC/COM in over 3 years. I had however for several years before and had done even more years of C++ programming before that. Many more. The point I'm trying to make is that even if I was immersed in this type of programming all week, I'd probably look up over half that stuff anyways. To give the caller the benefit of the doubt, I'm not sure if she was looking for answers to the questions or just general reactions, or maybe even a little bit of both. Whatever she was looking for, I shouldn't expect a call back. In my defense, I'm a seasoned programmer and am beyond stuffing my head with inane programming tidbits. You want the answers? Try Google. I'd like to think that I free my mind for things that are less tangible, more creative. That I can come up with programming solutions you can't copy and paste from an on-line database. In hindsight I wish I could have expressed that to her. But then if she's looking for specific answers, it wouldn't have mattered. It wasn't a total loss, the phone screening was good for practice, if nothing else. Now back to the first question. Ever wonder why programmers use foo and bar in examples for functions and variables? It comes from the acronym fubar, which pretty much summarizes my first "phone screening".

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Stitches Part 2: The Classes

Here's a continuation of the Longaberger basket parade and my Stitches West report .

Clip Keeper basket (used here as a pin dispenser). Bag purchased with winnings from Open Road. This bag can be worn as a conventional shoulder bag or around your waist as a hip pack. It has one main compartment with a pocket in the back, a zipped pocket in the flap, and a pocket inside the main compartment. Large Serving Tray with Norwegian Mitten topside, class Norwegian Mittens taught by Beth Brown-Reinsel. This is the 5th class I've taken with Beth. She is a great teacher and gives out thorough instructions pictured here with the mitten. Bagel basket with Norwegian Mitten palmside, the thumb has a gusset that was knitted in with the thumb added later. Along with the various patterns for top and palm, we learned about side seam patterning and deacreasing. This mitten was knitted in the round.
Letter Tray with Bohus swatch and postcard "Blue Shimmer". Bohus was a sweater industry in Southern Sweden during WWII. The class was taught by Susanna Hansson. We learned the history of Bohus sweater industry, designers and knitters. In class we knit a swatch for an original mitten pattern. Mine's knitted with shetland wool and size 0 needles!
Morning Glory basket with cards made in Cards and Scrapping, taught by Lorna Miser. This was a fun class, we got to knit little swatches and play with yarn and rubber stamps. Lorna had some neat ideas for cards, tags and journal pages.
Lucky Twist basket containg rubber stamps purchase from Carolina Homespun. Inspired by Lorna's class above I decided to add to my rubberstamp stash. These are stamps by Kaspareks.

I also took a wonderful class by the famed sock knitter, Nancy Bush on her book Knitting Vintage Socks. We knit a sample sock and discussed vintage sock patterns and techniques. Her book is full of terrific re-translated designs from Weldon's Practical Needlework.

That's it for stitches west. I did finish Mavis in time for Stitches which I wore to the student banquet.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Surfing again...

You Are The Fool

You are a fascinating person who is way beyond the concerns of this world.
Young at heart, you are blissfully unaware of any dangers ahead.
You are a true wanderer - it has be difficult finding your place in this world.
Full of confidence, you are likely to take a leap of faith.

Your fortune:

You are about to embark on a new phase in your life.
This may mean changing locations, jobs, friends, or love status.
You are open about what the future will bring, and free of worry.
You have made your peace with fate, and you're ready to start down your new path.

Okay, confession here, my first card was The Empress, but I lost the code so I tried again. This one is more apt since recently I've been part of a Reduction in Force (read layoff), and have been trying to find my footing in life. You know how Tarot cards are though -- they all seem to fit some facet of your life. I'm not so sure about being open and free though, I'd like to think so...
(Note: I tried it again and got the Hanged Man)

Monday, February 27, 2006

Knitting Olympics Results

This is where I was Saturday. I had finished the body and separated for the back earlier in the week. By Saturday night I had finished the back entirely, and was ready to start the right front.
By 7pm Sunday evening, I had finished both right and left fronts with armhole and neck opening shaping and joined the shoulder seams. The flame was out by then (although it hadn't been televised here yet).
By then end of closing ceremonies (as per our broadcasting schedule) I had picked up and knitted the bands for the arms. It was late and as I was admiring my work I realized that I was short one row on the left armband.

Reflecting I knew that I wouldn't finish by closing ceremonies. I kept going anyways to see how far I'd get. It wasn't until I had finished the armbands that I realized I couldn't finish it even if I wanted to. I hadn't bought the buttons!