Wednesday, November 30, 2011

WiP Wednesday

I am without a big project at the moment. The Noro sweater was finished at knit night on Black Friday and just needs a bit of end-weaving. Maybe I’ll do that tonight so I can wear it to work tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I have been resisting casting on any of the stuff I want to be working on. So I can force myself to get the last bits of Christmas knitting done.

The niece and nephew are getting one toy each. Since the weekend, I’ve been cranking on McHenry from Susan B. Anderson for my nephew.

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He needs limbs, a scarf and assembly. I love toys. They go so quickly!

I’ve also made good progress on the loom, but the thing with weaving is that it is pretty much going to look exactly the same until it’s finished and off the loom. So no new picture.

A few rounds have been knit on the cowl, and my sock is languishing in the bottom of my knitting bag. Ah well. It’ll all get done eventually!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

WiP Wednesday

I had a few chunks of time over the last week, and the Noro sweater is thisclose to finished.

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It needs a bit of end-weaving and a collar, then it’s finished. I’m a bit concerned about the collar flipping out and can’t decide how to tackle that project. The other cuffs on this sweater are 8 rows of 2x2 ribbing. Any suggestions?

In other news, I made some time for weaving over the last week. Hooray!

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You can see the fabric rolled onto the front beam. It’s coming along nicely, and I keep telling myself that the fabric will even out when the blanket gets its bath. I hope I’m right!

It’s hard to tell how much fabric has been woven from that front-beam shot, but you can really see the progress when you look at the back beam

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Only half of the back (sectional) beam is still holding warp. The end is in sight!

And, because tomorrow is one of my favorite holidays, I will share one of the Best Thanksgiving TV episodes ever. It’s just short of seven minutes, but worth every second. Enjoy, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!






Monday, November 21, 2011

A Public Service Announcement

Last Thursday, I was trolling the interwebs in my usual morning routine and gearing up to transcribe some interviews I had done for my regular freelance gig.

Then a gray curtain dropped from the top of my screen to the bottom, and a box popped up in the center, telling me that I needed to hard-reset my laptop by holding down the power button until it turned off.

It was a kernel panic.

What on earth does that mean? Well, my friendly neighborhood Apple Genius (I live on a 15” MacBook Pro) explained to me that it was probably some sort of a hardware failure. Sure enough, a diagnostic was run and my hard drive was failing.

So why am I telling you about this?

A week ago today, I turned in a big story. Roughly double my usual word count. I emailed it off, got confirmation from my editor, then I plugged my laptop into my external hard drive for a Time Machine backup and headed for the gym.

I had no way of knowing that my hard drive would die four days later. But when I walked into the Apple Store, I was not in a panic. I had backed up on Monday and even if my laptop was dead, I wasn’t going to lose any work. I knew I hadn’t lost anything that would be difficult to replace.

After a shockingly inexpensive hard drive replacement, I brought my laptop home Friday night and was able to restore everything from my Time Machine backup. I honestly can’t tell that there’s a shiny new hard drive on the inside of my laptop.

Which means that the moral of the story is that I hope you are backing up your computers on a regular basis. It’s a pain in the neck. It makes my laptop run really slowly for a few minutes, which drives me bonkers.

But if I hadn’t been backing up regularly, I would have spent most of Thursday with my heart in my throat and all of the weekend scrambling to figure out what I had lost when my hard drive failed. No fun.

Back up your computers. You will never regret backing up, but you will eventually regret it in spades if you don’t.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Warm All Winter

I finished the top to this quilt ages ago. Sent it to my machine quilter many, many moons ago. Got it back last spring. Like spring of 2010.

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Hanging to dry off of the amazing and wonderful new deck, hence the binder clips so it wouldn’t fall.


I machine-sewed the binding last summer (yes, 2010). It sat around like that for a year.

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I love my machine quilter. She does fantastic work.

A month or two ago, I needed to do some hand sewing to finish the rep weave placemats that are handwoven and currently on my kitchen table. So I kept my hand sewing kit out and buckled down and sewed down the binding on this quilt.

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This is my first time using a wool quilt batting. It also has a flannel back, which makes it unquestionably a winter quilt. The fabrics are the Bali Strips, purchased with a pattern at The Quilt Company. Very simple sewing.

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Mother Nature can’t seem to make up her mind about whether or not it is actually winter yet. Add that to the fact that we just insulated our attic, it’s been tough to tell when to change over to the winter bedclothes. But it’s on the bed now, and I’m quite pleased with the finished project.

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Huh. Maybe I should get back to the quilting thing more often!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

WiP Wednesday

The Noro Sweater is zipping right along. I’m past the elbow on the first sleeve. I’m on skein #6. I started with seven skeins, picked up an eighth just to be safe shortly after starting the sweater.

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Zipping right along. Yay, progress!

In other news, I sat down at the loom for an hour yesterday. Wove a little more than a bobbin, roughly six inches. I see every bit of uneven beating in this picture, and I keep reminding myself that it will even out with finishing. It will be OK.

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That’s what I’ve been up to. Some holiday knitting has to sneak in here soon or I’m up the river. But so far, I’m a pretty happy crafter. Have a great week!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

WiP Wednesday

Hi there! I have another bigger-than-normal story deadline coming up, so today’s time was allocated elsewhere. But it’s still Wednesday! Let’s get WiPing…

More project monogamy around ch├ęz DPUTiger. I’m about halfway through my fourth skein of the Noro Kogarashi on my top-down sweater.

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I tried it on last night and the fit, of course, is great. It’s almost halfway between armpit and belt. I like my sweaters a little bit long, so I’m figuring I’ll eat at least one more skein of yarn on the torso, then move on to sleeves. It’s cruising right along, and I already know I’m going to love this sweater.

In other news, I don’t think I’ve shown you the blanket on the loom since it got tied on. It’s been ready to weave for nearly two weeks, which makes me sad. I want to be weaving. I just can’t find the time for it. Boo, hiss.

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Maybe next week. Big Deadline is Monday, so maybe if I get that turned in early, I’ll just go hang out with the loom. Let’s hope.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Swirl Swoon

There are a lot of photos ahead. I figure any project that took three months to knit is more than worthy of eight great pictures.

I first saw the Sandra McIver book “knit, Swirl!” and the 18 sweaters from the book at TNNA in mid June. As soon as I tried one on, I knew I had to make one. I took about two weeks to settle on a yarn combination, and another week of swatching to settle on a needle size.

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All but one of the pictures in this post are thanks to my most excellent FO-tographer, my good friend Stephanie, better known as the genius behind Space Cadet Creations. Go buy something from her!

For the first time in my life, I washed a swatch. Two swatches, actually. But let’s face it. If you’re casting on 624 stitches for a thing that can’t be checked in progress, you need that damn swatch to tell you the truth. Mine did.

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This shot was taken by my friend Laurel. I keep forgetting that this collar is large enough that it can be worn as a hood!

You cast on the outside edge of this sweater and decrease inward as you go. I chose the Copper Collage pattern from the book (there are 18 sweaters in the book). It is the centered oval silhouette, requiring the largest amount of knitting and the most yarn.

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My collar is far shorter than the pictures in the book. Mostly because I did not block it nearly as aggressively as the collar in the book. But that’s fine. I’m quite happy with how mine came out.

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This sweater was designed to have fringe at the start/end of the round, but I’m not a fringe person, so I decided to just weave in the ends.

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One of the things that I love about this sweater is that it just molds itself to your body type, whatever that may be. Swirls look great on everyone, whether it’s perfectly fitted or loose and cozy. I knit a Size 2, the middle size, and it’s pretty much perfectly fitted for me.

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I’ve worn it three days since finishing it a little over a week ago. It’s perfect. It’s comfortable. It can be worn open or closed, providing as little or as much warmth as I need it to provide.

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Yeah. I love it. And I already have yarn for a second Swirl. An off-centered circle will be next. It’s an addiction, and I’m totally fine with that. Because if it’s half as great as this Swirl, I’ll love it too.

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Copper Collage

Pattern: Copper Collage from the book “knit, Swirl!” by Sandra McIver
Yarn: Malabrigo Rios in Paris Night/Tosh DK in Composition Book
Quantity: 6+ skeins of Rios, 4+ skeins of Tosh DK
Needles: US 8/5.0mm from my KnitPicks Option set. A variety of lengths.
Started: 22 July 2011
Finished: 23 October 2011
Mods: Did not fringe the collar. And I think I did the cuffs wrong, but they turned out OK. No intentional mods during the actual knitting process. Am I going to mess with five years worth of Sandra's creativity, test-knitting and research? Heck no!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

WiP Wednesday

Still Wednesday? Just barely? OK. Off I go.

It’s been a front-loaded writing week and I didn’t manage to sneak in blogging time earlier today, but here I am now!

I did a few rounds on my socks-in-progress, and a round or two on my cowl, but neither one was particularly photo-worthy. So, of course, all of my craft time has gone into my Noro sweater.

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It’s a set-in simultaneous sleeve, and I will admit that I had moments here and there where I wasn’t sure it was going to work out. But then I reminded myself that this is Barbara Walker and she probably knows what she’s talking about.

Yeah, it’s fine. I split for the sleeves at my knit night tonight. My friend SJ was kind enough to help me with my fitting process. I wound up doing two more increase rounds than I had planned, but I think that will translate into a better fit.

Another busy weekend on tap. Here’s hoping I can do some weaving on Friday afternoon. Fingers are crossed!