May 23, 2012

Blanket in progress

Okay, this is going to be the world's smallest blanket, but when you provide it to a person who is not much bigger, is that a bad thing?

The funnest part of this project has been validating the pattern that I drafted up with whimsy. It did need a change in the early days, but other than that, it has stayed true to its roots. The next funnest part has been using the Hummingbird colourway and seeing how it pools here and there, and how the colours work together in the most shocking way. It really is a bright festival of colour. Totally unapologetic. I get it.

Here's the colour from the site:

And here's a wee tiny sample of the blankie, about half-way done at this point, and without the benefit of a good camera, making the colour green display quite yellow and the fiery pink display more red:

Where the green pools, it's really cool, but you'll have to wait to see that!   :O)

May 6, 2012

I pledged a blankie

You know, you say things. All the time.

How do you remember what you've said? Back in the day, you just remembered. Then time wore on, and we wrote ourselves notes. These days, we make an online calendar reminder or ... we blog.

So this is to remind me that I've pledged the first blankie of the as-yet-unposted pattern to a wee sweet girl. She's prompted me to name it on the spot. As long as the google translator hasn't let me down, the blankie shall be called.............

Manta Pequeña

A knitter? YES!

It has taken a while, and it has taken a few forms (straight needles leading to claims of awesomeness without evidence, and then fingers), but we have now discovered a knitting loom and believe that we may have a full-on knitter in the future.

There was a lot of resistance to this loom, let me tell you. "I finger-knit. I like that. I don't want to knit on a loom."

"It's just like finger-knitting, although you only have four fingers and the loom has many more. You can make wider things."

"I don't want to. I won't use it."

"You're scared of change. I see that now. We're going to sell the house, move, and change your school. That will get you used to change. Then you'll use the loom."

"Do you realize how ridiculous that sounds? I'm going to ask Daddy."

Later that night, we cast on. Baby steps. And now look at her go!

May 4, 2012

The Poor, Neglected Semicolon

I had a rather heated and completely enjoyable disagreement with an esteemed colleague today over the use of semicolons.

She. Says. No.

I. Say. Yes.

I don't use them everywhere, but I think they need to stay in our language. They're misunderstood, they're often maligned ... poor, poor semicolons. had some interesting tidbits:
There are those who have a prejudice against the semicolon; personally I find it a very useful stop.
(G. V. Carey, Mind the Stop, 1958)
It's a mark, Lewis Thomas has said, that offers "a pleasant little feeling of expectancy; there is more to come."

But be advised: not all writers and editors are fans of the semicolon, and its use has been on the decline for well over a century. Copy chief Bill Walsh calls the semicolon "an ugly bastard" (Lapsing Into a Comma, 2000), and Kurt Vonnegut has said that the only reason to use it is "to show you've been to college."

Such expressions of contempt are nothing new. Consider what grammarian Justin Brenan had to say about the semicolon back in 1865:
One of the greatest improvements in punctuation is the rejection of the eternal semicolons of our ancestors. . . . In latter times, the semicolon has been gradually disappearing, not only from the newspapers, but from books--insomuch that I believe instances could now be produced, of entire pages without a single semicolon.
(Composition and Punctuation Familiarly Explained, Virtue Brothers, 1865)

Let's give semicolons some love this month! Use them wherever you can!

May 1, 2012

More randomness

I've had this post in mind for quite some time, and the longer it sat in my mind, the longer it grew. Life goes on, you know? So again, a rambly, disjointed post with photos, and tidbits of life along the way.

Where to begin? How about with WHEREFORE? What does it mean? It doesn't mean 'where'. It's more related to modern-day 'why'. Juliet didn't want to know where Romeo was. She was battling with the whole my-family-versus-your-family-and-why-must-it-be-so thing. Or, as today's youth would say, the whole my-family-versing-your family thing. Because, of course, if it is a versus b, then a must be versing b. (Sound logic to minor language inventors, borne out of Pokemon battles, I believe.)

Okay, so on to fabric. I've created a couple things with the wicked fabric from the last post. A combo of three of the fabrics to create a body pillow, which is stuffed with ALL the rest of the blasted suffolk lamb fleece, because I wasn't going to spin any more of it, nor knit any of it, and in fact had destined it for toy-stuffing. I don't make enough toys, so the pillow won the grand prize.

The purple fabric has glow-in-the-dark skulls. The pink fabric has skulls with scissors. It's the perfect fabric for any seamstress, hair coiffeur/coiffeuse and really, for any knitter. I got it at Fabricland.

Some of the brown-and-black skull fabric (no glowing) became a remote-control holder. It has three loops along the top such that it will fasten down to screws or tie-straps on the inside of my side-flipping-top box-with-storage of a coffee table. It is clearly yet to be mounted:

There's a layer of fusible interfacing in the backing fabric behind the remotes, and there is an extra two inches of width to the pocket piece to make the spots nice and roomy. They have a wee pleat in the bottom to accommodate for that extra two inches. If you click the picture you may see a version that is big enough for you to see the pleats. I like pleats better than gathers.

I'm sorry I don't have a pattern - this idea came out of my head and took shape as it was being made. I have to consider this one of the lucky ones. Many such a project have wound up in the bin.

Onto another random topic. We started the camping season on the Easter weekend and had a great time. The weather was great, getting up to 14C on the Saturday. On the Friday we did a hike up Debeck's hill, rising about 400m in elevation over about 3km in distance. Going back down was no piece of cake, I'll have you know.

Once at the top, we found we had excellent cell coverage. Not sure why.

Back at the ranch, I've been knitting, of course. I finished Angostura, another beautiful pattern by the lovely Ysolda. It was my first experience cabling, and it was a good one to start with because it was only swapping one stitch for another. Hm, I really need to start taking these photos outdoors.

We've covered a lot of crafts here today, haven't we? So remember in the last post how there was that braid of roving from SweetGeorgia? I got two full bobbins out of it (I think it was 8oz, but I can't be sure at the moment), and the singles were quite wee, so I was figuring on sock weight for my finished two-ply.

Sock weight, indeed. Had I actually weighed the sections that I spun, I could have made sure that more of the sections (a teal, purple, teal, brown pattern) would have lined up with one another, but as it is, I have a lot of barber-poling, good chunks of teal and a solid piece of brown.

I like to spin on regular bobbins and then ply on a jumbo bobbin. The ratio isn't very good, but I can fit more on the bobbin, keeping it one long length.

This is my first sock weight. The previous thing I had that was made of wee singles was a three-ply, and it worked out to DK weight.

What do you do with 350 yards of super-vibrant yarn? It's superwash merino, so I could knit it together with nylon and make socks. I could make gloves, fingerless or not, or a scarf ... but I think it wants to be a hat. I want to see the colour changes all in one piece and I think it will be great in a hat.

I've got another (bought) skein of fingering-weight yarn in the colourway Parchment (Madeleine Tosh ... just imagine that one - no picture) and am a bit annoyed that I always seem to have a single skein's worth ... I can't make socks ALL the time! So there'll be the aforementioned hat, and there will be a fingering-weight blankie pattern available here sometime this year. Hopefully soon. Just enough interest to be interesting, and just small enough to be easy. Just big enough to not get lost when Junior gives it a name and carries it around. More on that in the future.

Today's random word of the day ..................... random. Of course.