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Monday, December 25, 2006

Mitten woes... off to the frog pond...

Ok, do you need a good laugh? Well, I'm obviously too stupid to do something as simple as this mitten pattern. Something is definitely not right with this. The mitten is as long as my hand(! ... except that I can't try it on because the cuff section is too narrow for me), and it's supposed to be a small "Kindergarden through second grade" size mitt. I must not be able to follow instructions, and I know where I goofed:

Knit first thumb stitch, slip onto the end of the needle with the body stitches (needle 3, or the one to your right) Slip middle 10-10-12 stitches onto waste yarn, cast on 2-2-3 stitches, knit these 2-2-3 stitches, the last thumb stitch, and knit around. Work even until 4-4.5-5 inches.
I knitted around and around for 4 inches, measuring from the point where I slipped 10 stitches onto waste yarn. Now that I look at the mitten, I'm thinking the designer meant 4 inches from where the cuff ends (where it changes from K2P1 ribbing to stockinette stitch) cuz it can't possibly be from the edge of the cuff.



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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Thoughts for 12/24/06

Merry Christmas everyone!!!


Patterns coming down the pike for 2007 ...

- At least two more Geometric Lace cloths. I've already posted the Triangles Cloth and Squares Cloth. The cloths are ok individually, but make great "sets" when you mix & match them. While knitting these, I've discovered that I have a lot of green yarn in various shades, you'll see this in the photos of my Geometric Lace cloths. I know I have at least three shades of solid green yarn, and at least 2 different shades of variegated green yarn. I might have other greens in my box of cotton yarn, I just haven't dived in to see what else is in there.

- A few easy peasy knit/purl type cloths. I figure you guys must be sick of the "holey" types. You won't see any "picture" cloths from me, I'm just not skilled enough to create those. I was thinking about making a cloth with my inlaws' surname (a Chinese character), but could not figure out how to chart it using Photoshop. I'm just computer challenged. I can have a picture and a grid (or graph paper), but I can't slap one on top of the other in Photoshop. :-(

- Ariel Cable Scarf and Miranda Cable Scarf. These are follow ups to my Persephone Cable Scarf.

- Two Lace Scarves, currently unnamed.

- A few more hats for the Cap Karma Chemo Cap Project. :-)

--<>--

Other things planned for 2007... include a hat & scarf for Mom. I guess she's bored with the hat I made her last year. She's seen some of the hats I've made, and chose the Asherton Hat. Darn it. As much as I like the Asherton Hat, I had hoped she would choose the 3AM Cable Hat because it is a much quicker knit for me. I told her that her hat would have to wait until after I knit another hat for M, cuz she needs a second hat to wear while her first winter hat is being washed. Mom is funny though... she's actually bought knit & crochet hats. I look at the knit ones and tell her I could have made something like that for her. As for the crochet hat, well, I'm sure I could make one like it if I put my mind to it.

I also need to knit mitts for M, whose hands get cold during our walks. You can see my progress in this picture. This is my first attempt at knitting mittens, and I am using a pattern from The Irish Ewe. If I can pull this off, I wonder how much of a leap it is to go from mittens to socks. I'd like to try socks too.


I plan on knitting CBM's Twisted Rope Cable Scarf. I probably won't do the seaman style center ribbing, and will just knit from one end to the other. The whole Provisional Cast On seems a bit too advanced for me. I have this fear of knitting half the scarf, then undoing the Provisional Cast On, goofing big time and losing stitches as I try to pick them up to knit the other half of the scarf.

Challenges for 2007 .... knitting for people who are "machine wash". What do I have in my stash that would work? It seems like there are more "hand wash lay flat to dry" yarns out there than "machine wash". Why does it seem like most of the people I know are "machine wash" people? Need to find more superwash wool.

I would like to learn how to take better photographs of my knitting. Not sure where to start. I look at other knitting blogs where the pics just blow me away. Are they tweaked with Neat Image followed by Photoshop? I could never figure out how to tweak the color cast, levels, color balance, hue/saturation, fill flash, local contrast, purple fringing, USM, etc. And what the heck is bicubic vs bicubic sharper? The only thing I can do is resize or crop a picture...

I wonder if part of my problem with taking photos is using the LCD on my digital camera. Our current camera has no viewfinder. Perhaps I hold the camera more steady when using the viewfinder? DH tells me that it is because my target (viz. M) is always moving. But that doesn't explain why my pics of stationary objects (viz. knitting) turn out so poorly.

--<>--

M had a fun time at the inlaws today. Here are some pics...

My MIL made the cross stitch stocking. I dabbled in cross stitch back when I was in college, but the hobby didn't stick with me. I much prefer knitting, it's easier on the eyes...


Here's M opening one of her presents. She is enjoying Christmas this year more than last year. She didn't know what to do with the presents last year (when she was 9 mos old). This year she knows that there's stuff inside that you can pull out. :-)


One of those rare moments when we managed to take a focused picture of her. That girl doesn't stay still for long!


--<>--

We had 3 little tremblers recently (Wed, Fri, & Sat) in the 3.5/3.7 magnitude range near Berkeley, CA. Being a native San Franciscan, you'd think that I would be used to earthquakes ... you know, just sit back and enjoy the ride. lol. But earthquakes still scare me. I vaguely recall feeling my very first earthquake as a kid and telling my mom that we had to move immediately. Of course as a kid you don't really understand that you can't easily pick up and move. We had a plan a while back to keep Emergency Kits in 3 different locations around the house (backups just in case one gets destroyed). We still haven't gotten around to it. Now after what happened to the guy in Oregon (the James Kim tragedy), I'm thinking I should throw an Emergency Kit into the boot ... surely I can carve out a small corner for that, somewhere behind all the other stuff (extra baby clothes, diapers/wipes, jackets/vests, shopping cart seat cover, etc...).

Still can't believe 2007 is just a week away. There are only two things I need to do next week. Celebrate Mom's bday, and wish Eric a happy bday. Eric is a cool guy. If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area and need computer support, he's the guy to call. I consider him one of the few people I would trust to work on my computer. We'll probably go visit the inlaws next weekend too, because my MIL will be leaving for Taiwan the following week ... if we don't see them next weekend, then it'll be another month before we see them ... and that may be a bit too long for them to wait to see their one and only granddaughter...

Oniochalasia is one of my favorite words. I do much of my buying online these days, it's just so much easier than dragging a toddler around various stores. M doesn't really like shopping. She gets fussy when I stop to look at anything. This will probably change in a few years? Actually it depends on the store. It can be difficult to get her to leave the Disney Store or Babies/Toys-R-Us quietly. I have an itch to buy more yarn -- yes, I realize I already suffer from SABLE (stash accumulation beyond life expectancy) --, some knitting books, and tea.

--<>--

Adding one more item to my 2007 Knitting Resolutions:

-- Weave those ends in!
I am not very good at weaving in ends immediately after finishing something. It usually sits around for weeks (ok, even months) before I get around to it. I am going to try to weave those ends in right away.

-- Learn something new
I want to learn at least one new thing ... either a new technique, or knitting something I haven't knit before. I'm thinking of knitting fingerless mitts or socks. Other than hats, everything else I make are simple squares & rectangles. It would be an interesting challenge to knit something with a bit more shaping involved.

-- Get an early start on Christmas gifts
Yes, I am not going to wait until the last minute. Yeah, this one will be a great challenge.

-- Get an early start on Cap Karma chemo caps
This one is a little easier. I don't know why, but I find doing the charity knitting easier than knitting for people I know. Why is that?

-- Get comfortable with Chart reading
I kinda get how to read charts, but the whole WS rows is just mind boggling to work. RS rows are easy, you knit what you see. WS rows are different.... if the chart says "knit", then you purl the stitch; if the chart says "purl", then you knit the stitch. That's just the simplest instruction. It can get tricky with more complicated/funky instructions on the WS rows. It's just not very intuitive for me. I know this is partly why I gave up on the Flower Basket Shawl for Mom, and the Matthew Scarf for Karen. As an active member in the GLBT community, I thought Karen would appreciate that scarf. And I was thinking about knitting the Matt Scarf for her partner Vicki. Anyways, I fiddled with the Matthew Scarf and gave up. The pattern was just too advanced for me, and I wasn't experienced enough to work the chart. My other problem with chart reading is losing my place across the row. I can block off the rows above/below with post-it notes, but I still lose my place as I knit. I'd read a few instructions, look down at my knitting to execute it, then look back at the chart and can't figure out where I left off. What I really need is 3 hands ... 2 hands for knitting, and a 3rd hand to act as a pointer to keep track of where I am on the chart row. Maybe I should just try the Matt Scarf, whose chart looks a bit simpler...



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Friday, December 22, 2006

Squares

Note:
1. More Free Patterns can be seen along the sidebar (on right side),
or you can use the Free Patterns label to view all posts.
2. Free Pseudo-Patterns or Pattern Outlines can be found using the Free Pseudo-Patterns label.



It is a funny thing how this cloth came about. After 4 tries, I finally got it just the way I liked. And if you saw my notes, you will find the pattern (instructions & pseudo-chart drawings) scribbled onto a piece of paper with pencil, red crayon, purple crayon, and blue rollerball ink! It's incredible that I can even read it and figure out what the correct final version instructions are. LOL.

This is part of my series of Geometric Lace Cloths...

Diamonds Cloth pattern can be found here:
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2007/01/diamonds.html

Parallelograms Cloth - Left Slanting pattern can be found here:
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2007/01/parallelograms-left-slanting.html

Parallelograms Cloth - Right Slanting pattern can be found here:
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2007/02/parallelograms-right-slanting.html

Triangles Cloth pattern can be found here:
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2006/12/triangles.html

Stitches used in this cloth include:
Garter Stitch, BW1 pg 10
Lace Check, BW1 pg 191


Please email me if you would like your photo and a link to your blog (if you have one) to appear in My Readers' Gallery.



Squares
© Designed by S.M. Kahn, Dec 2006
Smariek Knits -=<>=- http://smariek.blogspot.com

Please read "Notes" section at the bottom before starting.

Using WW kitchen cotton and US7 (4.5mm) needles, cast on 37 stitches.

Knit 4 rows border

Row 1 (WS): B3, P31, B3
Row 2 (RS): B3, K1, (YO, K2Tog)x3, K6, (YO, K2Tog)x3, K6, (YO, K2Tog)x3, B3
Row 3: B3, P31, B3
Row 4: B3, (SSK, YO)x3, K6, (SSK, YO)x3, K6, (SSK, YO)x3, K1, B3
Row 5: B3, P31, B3
Row 6: B3, K1, (YO, K2Tog)x3, K6, (YO, K2Tog)x3, K6, (YO, K2Tog)x3, B3
Row 7: B3, P31, B3
Row 8: B3, (SSK, YO)x3, K6, (SSK, YO)x3, K6, (SSK, YO)x3, K1, B3
Row 9: B3, P31, B3
Row 10: B3, K7, (YO, K2Tog)x3, K6, (YO, K2Tog)x3, K6, B3
Row 11: B3, P31, B3
Row 12: B3, K6, (SSK, YO)x3, K6, (SSK, YO)x3, K6, (SSK, YO)x3, K1, B3
Row 13: B3, P31, B3
Row 14: B3, K7, (YO, K2Tog)x3, K6, (YO, K2Tog)x3, K6, B3
Row 15: B3, P31, B3
Row 16: B3, K6, (SSK, YO)x3, K6, (SSK, YO)x3, K6, (SSK, YO)x3, K1, B3

Repeat rows 1 through 16.
Repeat rows 1 through 9.
Knit 4 rows border.
Bind off. Weave in ends.


Notes:

B3 = 3 stitch border of your choice (I used K3 for my border in the cloth above)

K2TOG
= knit 2 stitches together

SSK = slip 1 stitch, slip 1 stitch, knit these two slipped stitches together

YO = yarn over

Instructions in parentheses followed by x3 means you do what is in the paretheses the number of times indicated after "x". For example, (YO, K2Tog)x3 means you would do YO, K2Tog, YO, K2Tog, YO, K2Tog.


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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Triangles

Note:
1. More Free Patterns can be seen along the sidebar (on right side),
or you can use the Free Patterns label to view all posts.
2. Free Pseudo-Patterns or Pattern Outlines can be found using the Free Pseudo-Patterns label.



I have plenty of square blocks. I just happened to have one triangular block, it's part of M's blocks from her Fisher Price Shape Sorter box.... so of course I had to throw that into the picture. :-)

This is part of my series of Geometric Lace Cloths...

Diamonds Cloth pattern can be found here:
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2007/01/diamonds.html

Parallelograms Cloth - Left Slanting pattern can be found here:
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2007/01/parallelograms-left-slanting.html

Parallelograms Cloth - Right Slanting pattern can be found here:
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2007/02/parallelograms-right-slanting.html

Squares Cloth pattern can be found here:
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2006/12/squares.html

Stitches used in this cloth include:
Garter Stitch, BW1 pg 10
Pyramidal Lace Check, BW2 pg 264


Please email me if you would like your photo and a link to your blog (if you have one) to appear in My Readers' Gallery.



Triangles
© Designed by S.M. Kahn, Dec 2006
Smariek Knits -=<>=- http://smariek.blogspot.com

Please read "Notes" section at the bottom before starting.

Using WW kitchen cotton and US7 (4.5mm) needles, cast on 34 stitches.

Knit 4 rows border

Row 1 (WS): B3, P28, B3
Row 2 (RS): B3, K1, (YO, SKP)x3, K3, (YO, SKP)x4, K3, (YO, SKP)x3, K1, B3
Row 3: B3, P28, B3
Row 4: B4, K2, (YO, SKP)x2, K5, (YO, SKP)x3, K5, (YO, SKP)x3, B3
Row 5: B3, P28, B3
Row 6: B3, K1, (YO, SKP)x2, K7, (YO, SKP)x2, K7, (YO, SKP)x2, K1, B3
Row 7: B3, P28, B3
Row 8: B3, K2, YO, SKP, K9, YO, SKP, K9, YO, SKP, K2, B3
Row 9: B3, P28, B3
Row 10: B3, K4, (YO, SKP)x4, K3, (YO, SKP)x4, K5, B3
Row 11: B3, P28, B3
Row 12: B3, K5, (YO, SKP)x3, K5, (YO, SKP)x3, K6, B3
Row 13: B3, P28, B3
Row 14: B3, K6, (YO, SKP)x2, K7, (YO, SKP)x2, K7, B3
Row 15: B3, P28, B3
Row 16: B3, K7, YO, SKP, K9, YO, SKP, K8, B3

Repeat rows 1 through 16.
Repeat rows 1 through 9.
Knit 4 rows border.
Bind off. Weave in ends.


Notes:

B3 = 3 stitch border of your choice (I used K3 for my border in the cloth above)

SKP = slip 1 stitch, knit 1 stitch, pass slipped stitch over

YO = yarn over

Instructions in parentheses followed by x2, x3, or x4 means you do what is in the paretheses the number of times indicated after "x". For example, (YO, SKP)x3 means you do the following: YO, SKP, YO, SKP, YO, SKP.

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Persephone


Note: You can also see photos of the purple Persephone Scarf
here. And you can see the matching Persephone Mitts here.

What do you get after knitting 23,952 stitches over 499 rows, and doing 1,255 cable crossings?

Come on ... take a wild guess ...

A scarf!

It's 6 inches wide (15.2 cm) and 70.5 inches long (179 cm). This was worked at a rate of 2 inches per hour. Yes, I'm a slow knitter. But it really wasn't that bad since I did all the cables without a cable needle. This would have taken forever with a cable needle, which tends to disrupt the flow of knitting.




This is the scarf I've been working on for T. I've mentioned it in previous posts, and I have received lots of comments/emails about the pattern for this cable scarf. Voilà! Here's my Christmas gift to you guys ... the pattern for the Persephone Scarf. No, it's not named after anyone in Greek mythology, however T would know what this scarf is named after. Yes that's right, I said what, not who.

BTW, I love knitting with the Highland Silk, it is such a lovely yarn. I think the width is just perfect. I wrapped the scarf around my neck and it feels wonderful without being bulky. I'm tempted to keep this scarf for myself. :-)

Stitches used in this scarf include:
Pattern 16.19, HG5 pg 39
Seed Stitch, BW1 pg 11





Please email me if you would like your photo and a link to your blog (if you have one) to appear in My Readers' Gallery.



Persephone Scarf pattern:
Persephone Scarf Pattern from box.net (no registration required, just click on link & save file)


My series of cable scarves...

Persephone Scarf:
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2006/12/persephone.html
Ariel Scarf:
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2007/04/ariel.html
Miranda Scarf:
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2007/06/miranda-scarf.html
Osiris Scarf:
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2007/09/osiris.html
Bernadette Scarf:
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2007/11/bernadette.html
Regina Scarf:
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2007/12/regina.html
Paquin Scarf:
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2008/03/paquin.html
Beaumonde Scarf:
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2008/04/beaumonde.html
Shadow Scarf:
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2008/04/shadow.html
Hera Scarf:
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2008/08/hera-scarf-pattern.html
Triumph Scarf:
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2008/08/triumph-cable-scarf-pattern.html
Ezra Scarf:
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2008/09/ezra-cable-scarf-pattern.html
Sihnon Scarf:
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2008/10/sihnon.html
Londinium Scarf:
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2008/10/londinium.html
St. Albans Valentine Cable Scarf:
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2008/11/scarf-15.html


Matching Persephone Fingerless Mitts.
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Monday, December 11, 2006

Holiday Survey

Stole this from Grace's blog...


1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Definitely eggnog. I can have hot chocolate anytime in the year. That's what makes eggnog a little more special during the holidays. Although wassail isn't too bad either. Eggnog ice cream is pretty good too.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Santa always wraps presents with "Santa" gift wrapping.


3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
Colored lights ... helps M learn her colors. :-)


4. Do you hang mistletoe?
Nope.


5. When do you put your decorations up?
Never before Thanksgiving.


6.What is your favorite holiday dish?
Gosh, I dunno. I love lots of foods, but NOT fruit cake.


7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child:


8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I don't remember.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
No. But M will have to do it this year since we'll be visiting the inlaws on Christmas Eve, and the inlaws will want to take lots of pics & videos of M opening her gifts from them.


10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
Ornaments & lights.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Snow in San Francisco??? Hahahaha...
Don't really know. I only spent a week in Nashua, NH when there was snow, and it seemed ok at the time. DH tells me I'd think differently if I had lived in snow country for longer.

12
. Can you ice skate?
A little bit... meaning I can't do anything fancy, I can probably get from point A to point B, although probably not in the most efficacious manner.

13.Do you remember your favorite gift?


14.What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Being with family and friends.


15
. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?


16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
I really enjoy wrapping the presents. That's not to say that I'm very good at it...

17.What tops your tree?
Nothing.


18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving?
Giving.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?
Do I have to name just one? Santa Baby. All I Want for Christmas is You. Jingle Bell Rock.

20. Candy Canes?
Eh, they're ok. I may have one. If not, no big deal.

Copy and paste. Enjoy!


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Sunday, December 10, 2006

New Credit Card Scam

Sorry, not knitting related ... but thought I'd pass this on. Here's a forwarded message I received about a credit card scam. The Snopes site even reports this as being true!


-----Original Message-----
From: [sender email deleted]
Sent: Friday, December 01, 2006 08:01
To: [cc list deleted]
Subject: New Credit Card Scam

New Credit Card Scam...Snopes.Com says this is true.

See this site - http://www.snopes.com/crime/warnings/creditcard.asp


This one is pretty slick since they provide YOU with all the information,
except the one piece they want.
Note, the callers do not ask for your card number; they already have it.
This information is worth reading. By understanding how the VISA &
MasterCard Telephone Credit Card Scam works, you'll be better prepared to
protect yourself.

One of our employees was called on Wednesday from "VISA", and I was called
on Thursday from "Master Card".

The scam works like this: Person calling says, "This is (name), and I'm
calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My Badge number is
12460. Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I'm
calling to verify. This would be on your VISA card which was issued by
(name of bank). Did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99
from a Marketing company based in Arizona?" When you say "No", the caller
continues with, "Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is
a company we have been watching and the charges range from $297 to $497,
just under the $500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. ! Before your
next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives you your address), is that
correct?"

You say "yes". The caller continues - "I will be starting a Fraud
investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 1- 800 number
listed on the back of your card (1-800-VISA) and ask for Security. You will
need to refer to this Control Number. The caller then gives you a 6 digit
number. "DO you need me to read it again?"

Here's the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works.

The caller then says, "I need to verify you are in possession of your card".
He'll ask you to "turn your card over and look for some numbers". There are
7 numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number, the next 3 are the
security Numbers' that verify you are the possessor of the card. These are
the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have
the card. The caller will ask you to read the 3 numbers to him. After you
tell the caller the 3 numbers, he'll say, "That is correct, I just needed to
verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have
your card. Do you have any other questions?" After you say No, the caller
then thanks you and states, "Don't hesitate to call back if you do", and
hangs up.

You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the Card
number. But after we were called on Wednesday, we called back within 20
minutes to ask a question. Are we glad we did! The REAL VISA Security
Department told us it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a new purchase
of $497.99 was charged to our card.

Long story - short - we made a real fraud report and closed the VISA
account. VISA is reissuing us a new number. What the scammers want is the
3-digit PIN number on the back of the card. Don't give it to them.
Instead, tell them you'll call VISA or Master card directly for verification
of their conversation. The real VISA told us that they will never ask for
anything on the card as they already know the information since they issued
the card! If you give the scammers your
3 Digit PIN Number, you think you're receiving a credit. However, by the
time you get your statement you'll see charges for purchases you didn't
make, and by then it's almost too late and/or more difficult to actually
file a fraud report.

What makes this more remarkable is that on Thursday, I got a call from a
"Jason Richardson of Master Card" with a word-for-word repeat of the VISA
scam. This time I didn't let him finish. I hung up! We filed a police
report, as instructed by VISA. The police said they are taking several of
these reports daily! They also urged us to tell everybody we know that this
scam is happening.

Please pass this on to all your family and friends. By informing each
other, we protect each other.

##############################

#############

This message has been scanned by F-Secure Anti-Virus for Microsoft Exchange.
For more information, connect to http://www.f-secure.com/


Friday, December 08, 2006

Another cable hat completed



Here's hat #11 for the Cap Karma Chemo Cap project. I took 3 different cable stitches and threw them onto the hat. As you can see, it is very difficult to make out the 3 different cables used in this hat due to the variegated yarn. :-( The cable you see in the center sorta branches off outwards as you go up. The cable on the right twists towards the right as you go up. The cable on the left twists towards the left as you go up.




I'm thinking I would need to knit this hat in a solid color so the pattern shows up better.

.

Thinking about Knitting Resolutions

Since the year is almost over, I have started to think about Knitting Resolutions. Anyone else do this? Here are some things I'm thinking about...

-- Weave those ends in!
I am not very good at weaving in ends immediately after finishing something. It usually sits around for weeks (ok, even months) before I get around to it. I am going to try to weave those ends in right away.

-- Learn something new
I want to learn at least one new thing ... either a new technique, or knitting something I haven't knit before. I'm thinking of knitting fingerless mitts or socks. Other than hats, everything else I make are simple squares & rectangles. It would be an interesting challenge to knit something with a bit more shaping involved.

-- Get an early start on Christmas gifts
Yes, I am not going to wait until the last minute. Yeah, this one will be a great challenge.

-- Get an early start on Cap Karma chemo caps
This one is a little easier. I don't know why, but I find doing the charity knitting easier than knitting for people I know. Why is that?

--<>--



Here's a pic of something I'm playing around with. I took 3 different cables and threw them into a hat. I know it's hard to see anything on this variegated blue yarn. Sorry about that. The more I work with this yarn, the more I dislike it. Nothing really shows up well on it. And I still have so much more of this yarn!

Teatime ... today I am drinking Yamamotoyama Genmai Cha. It's one of my favorite teabag green teas. They have loose leaf tea also.

Gotta go ... the boss is calling...

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Answering questions

I just thought I'd take this time to catch up with responding to comments & questions..

Calamintha: Took a lookie, and didn't find anything about Gamma Resolution in my Display properties. Anyhows, I've slapped on the Sony image, and am able to press Fn-F5 to adjust the brightness of my LCD. The weird thing is that it didn't quite "stick" for a while, meaning, I would reboot and the brightness would be cranked up way high again. I'd just readjust it again whenever I booted up. And then one day my dimmer brightness setting finally "stuck", and it's been properly set ever since. I just don't get these computers...

CatBookMom: Yes, mischievious at times. But "duplicitous" comes to mind often too. lol. She's such an angel in front of everybody else, I don't think people believe me when I tell them about the "real" M.

Julie: Glad you like the Asherton scarf. I will be posting the pattern to the cable scarf soon. Like you, most of my knitting goes to other people. But it's ok to treat yourself too. I just made myself a hat, and I love wearing it. I think I'll make a matching scarf... hopefully before winter is over. I'm a slow knitter, due to knitting slowly and having limited knitting time with a toddler around.

Junior Goddess: Bets, the only yarn I have with alpaca is Baby Cashmere. That would make a nice hat indeed! I'll have to give that a try to see if I have wool sensitivity. Thanks for the idea...

Lea: Hope your friend in Italy likes the scarf. As for a next project, how about cable scarf I'm currently working on? I'll be posting the pattern soon. Have you seen the cable hat I recently made for myself? I think it would be appropriate for a guy.

Slyn: Glad you like my cloths. Sometimes I wonder whether anyone is even interested in the cloths I knit, because they're kinda odd in some ways, since they're not your standard "picture" cloth.

I don't really feel like I have knitted much, then I look at my blog and realize that I have accomplished something during the year. That's my main purpose in blogging, a place where I can go see what I have managed to do despite having a "high needs" toddler clinging to me most of the day. She doesn't really let me do anything in her presence cuz that means she doesn't have 100% of my attention, so no playing on the computer, no reading, no knitting, etc. Sigh. :-( But I do manage to squeeze in a few rows while she is watching The Wiggles. And most of my knitting seems to be done in the car while she is napping since she won't nap at home with me. She's a funny girl. DH will ask her if she wants to nap. She's answer in her affirmative grunt. He'll pick her up, and she'll immediately plop her head down on his shoulder. She'll eventually doze off and he can lay her down for her nap. That doesn't work for me. So we usually end up driving... :-(

How do you manage to knit with your 2 yr old? Do share any tips you have!!!

TracyKM: No, I haven't washed the hat yet, too eager to wear it. :-) Ok, I guess I should throw it into the wash. I guess I can live without it for a day....

Hat decreases are always a challenge for me. I think I'll eventually get the hang of it after knitting a few hundred more hats, lol. I will keep your method in mind. Thanks!

TracyKM: I assumed a dull knife would be safer. Who woulda thunk? I guess I should dig out my edge straightener.

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Haven't done much knitting today. M was particularly clingy today, and it was a long, tiring day for me. I think I may even go to bed early. Have another idea in my head for my next hat. Well actually, I have several ideas in mind, it's just too bad I can only knit so fast... :-( I'll try the big blue ball of yarn again. I can't believe I've only knitted one and a half hats with it (the quinquevulnera hat, and the half hat I frogged), and I am already sick of that yarn. But I will try to work through the whole ball. Still need to make more hats for Cap Karma...

I'm planning on making some mittens for M. I thought I'd use US8 needles, and spent some time looking around for 2 of them. I only found one. Tore the house inside out looking for another one, since I would need 2 circs to knit in the round, and then realized that I only have the one free US8 needle after checking my needle inventory (which I had forgotten about). The other 3 are being used for other things. Dontcha hate when that happens? I really need to get more US8 needles. And I guess I could use more US7 needles too. Oh well, no big deal, I've found another mitten pattern that uses smaller needles which I do have... now it's just a matter of sitting down and trying it out. I've never made mittens before...


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Monday, December 04, 2006

Swirl Hat

Note:
1. More Free Patterns can be seen along the sidebar (on right side),
or you can use the Free Patterns label to view all posts.
2. Free Pseudo-Patterns or Pattern Outlines can be found using the Free Pseudo-Patterns label.



Here's hat #10 for this year's Cap Karma chemo cap project. It's hard to show the swirly pattern of this hat in pictures (there's another picture below). I think I will have to rework this hat using DK weight yarn so that there are more stitches widthwise & heightwise, so that the swirly pattern can show itself better. Ojo is my model tonight, as Pooh Bear is asleep with M. You guys must be sick of seeing stuffed toys & baby blankets in all my pics, lol. It's hard to see or tell, but I tried to continue the pattern into the decrease. If you don't like the way that looks, or don't want to bother, just do the decrease this way: K14, K2Tog; K13, K2Tog; K12, K2Tog; ... ; K1, K2Tog; K2Tog.

Stitches used in this hat include:
Knit-Two Purl-Two Ribbing, BW1 pg 39
Pattern 16.23, HG5 pg 40


Please email me if you would like your photo and a link to your blog (if you have one) to appear in My Readers' Gallery.



Swirl Hat
© Designed by S.M. Kahn, December 2006
Smariek Knits -=<>=- http://smariek.blogspot.com

This hat is knitted in the round. Please read notes at the end before starting.

Using Worsted Weight yarn and US8 (5mm) needles, cast on 96 stitches.
Join in a round, careful not to twist stitches.

K2 P2 ribbing for 1" inch to 1.5" inches. (2.54 cm to 3.81 cm)
Knit 1 round.

Round 1: * K2, CB4, K4, CB4, K2, repeat from *
Round 2: Knit across
Round 3: * K8, CB4, CF4, repeat from *
Round 4: Knit across
Round 5: Knit across
Round 6: Knit across
Round 7: * K8, CF4, CB4, repeat from *
Round 8: Knit across
Round 9: * K2, CB4, K4, CB4, K2, repeat from *
Round 10: Knit acros
Round 11: * CB4, CF4, K8, repeat from *
Round 12: Knit across
Round 13: Knit across
Round 14: Knit across
Round 15: * CF4, CB4, K8, repeat from *
Round 16: Knit across

Repeat rounds 1 through 16.
Repeat rounds 1 and 2.

Decrease:

DR1: * K8, CB4, K2, K2Tog, repeat from *
DR2: * K13, K2Tog, repeat from *
DR3: * K12, K2Tog, repeat from *
DR4: * K11, K2Tog, repeat from *
DR5: * K10, K2Tog, repeat from *
DR6: * K9, K2Tog, repeat from *
DR7: * K2, CB4, K2, K2Tog, repeat from *
DR8: * K7, K2Tog, repeat from *
DR9: * CB4, K2, K2Tog, repeat from *
DR10: * K5, K2Tog, repeat from *
DR11: * K4, K2Tog, repeat from *
DR12: * K3, K2Tog, repeat from *
DR13: * K2, K2Tog, repeat from *
DR14: * K1, K2Tog, repeat from *
DR15: * K2Tog, repeat from * (6 sts left)

Cut yarn and pull through remaining 6 stitches. Weave in ends.


Notes:

CN = cable needle

CB4 = Slip 2 stitches onto CN & hold in back. Knit 2 stitches. Then knit 2 stitches from CN.

CF4 = Slip 2 stitches onto CN & hold in front. Knit 2 stitches. Then knit 2 stitches from CN.

K2Tog = Knit 2 stitches together.

This is a snug fitting ladies xs/s size hat. If you want to make it bigger, you should probably cast on an extra 16 stitches (112 stitches total); I haven't tried this myself, but I think that would be a much larger hat.




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Sunday, December 03, 2006

WIPs for 12/3/2006


I was working on a second hat using the big ball of varigated blue yarn, using a different pattern from the first hat I made with it, but found that it looked the same. I couldn't distinguish the knit/purl pattern, although they were clearly different, because all I saw was the striping of the blue yarn. So I frogged that hat, and have started another hat using solid colored yarn.

I'm still working the cable scarf for T, I'm on the 4th ball, so it must be getting close to 40 inches long. I'm guessing. I haven't measured it again since the last time. I guess I'm in a cable phase...

Sigh... and I'm still working on that Garterlac dishcloth I started centuries ago...

I've discovered that M has taken a liking to knitting. No, she's not knitting or learning to knit... not yet, she's only 20 months old. I've been keeping some of my knitting bags on the piano bench by the fireplace. She normally doesn't show any interest in them & leaves them alone for the most part. But lately she has been picking up the bags -- she loves little bags with handles on them -- and walking all over the place while holding them, and sometimes she'd even pull the yarn out and make a bit of a mess. :-( I kept my knitting bags in the living room so that I could squeeze in a row or two while M was engrossed in The Wiggles. I'm running out of high surfaces to move stuff onto. :-(

I finally sat down to organize some of the knitting blogs I like to read. Discovered Google Reader thanks to Gaile. This sure makes things a whole lot easier. :-) Learned something disturbing about Blogger, from an Elannite who discarded her old blog url to take up a new url. Apparently some blog bot took over the old url, and it now redirects to a very "colourful" website. Eeks!

Here's a picture of M ... yes, she's in her stroller! She hated the stroller for the longest time, but now she seems OK with it. She's wearing the hat I made her for this winter. The hat I made last year no longer fits her head.



I can't believe I spent over an hour (maybe two? I stepped away from the computer for a long while) to defrag my hard drive. Why does something like this have to take such a long time. I wanted to defrag my hard drive before installing The Sims & all 7 expansions. No, I won't really have time to play this computer game, but it's nice to know that the game is already installed on the computer in the event that I may have time to play it in the future. Installing the game gives me hope that I may someday get to play it...


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Saturday, December 02, 2006

Woozy Cloth

Note:
1. More Free Patterns can be seen along the sidebar (on right side),
or you can use the Free Patterns label to view all posts.
2. Free Pseudo-Patterns or Pattern Outlines can be found using the Free Pseudo-Patterns label.



Don't you get woozy looking at this cloth? I love this pattern, and will use it to make a scarf someday. I love how it looks in the variegated yarn. I was experimenting with the brown yarn, it's not exactly a color I would choose for a lace/cable pattern.

Stitches used in this cloth include:
Garter Stitch, BW1 pg 10
Tilting Ladder, BW2 pg 210

Please email me if you would like your photo and a link to your blog (if you have one) to appear in My Readers' Gallery.



Woozy Cloth
© Designed by S.M. Kahn, November 2006
Smariek Knits -=<>=- http://smariek.blogspot.com

Please read the "Notes" section below before starting.

Using Worsted Weight yarn & US7 (4.5mm) needles, cast on 34 stitches.

Knit 4 rows border.

Row 1: B3, K2, P5, K1, P5, K2, P5, K1, P5, K2, B3
Row 2: B3, P2, K1, (YO, K2Tog)x2, P1, K5, P2, K1, (YO, K2Tog)x2, P1, K5, P2, B3
Row 3: B3, K2, P4, K2, P5, K2, P4, K2, P5, K2, B3
Row 4: B3, P2, K1, (YO, K2Tog)x2, P2, K4, P2, K1, (YO, K2Tog)x2, P2, K4, P2, B3
Row 5: B3, K2, P4, K2, P5, K2, P4, K2, P5, K2, B3
Row 6: B3, P2, K1, (YO, K2Tog)x2, P2, CB4, P2, K1, (YO, K2Tog)x2, P2, CB4, P2, B3
Row 7: B3, K2, P4, K2, P5, K2, P4, K2, P5, K2, B3
Row 8: B3, P2, K1, (YO, K2Tog)x2, P2, K4, P2, K1, (YO, K2Tog)x2, P2, K4, P2, B3
Row 9: B3, K2, P4, K2, P5, K2, P4, K2, P5, K2, B3
Row 10: B3, P2, K1, (YO, K2Tog)x2, P2, CB4, P2, K1, (YO, K2Tog)x2, P2, CB4, P2, B3
Row 11: B3, K2, P4, K2, P5, K2, P4, K2, P5, K2, B3
Row 12: B3, P2, K1, (YO, K2Tog)x2, P2, K4, P2, K1, (YO, K2Tog)x2, P2, K4, P2, B3
Row 13: B3, K2, P5, K1, P5, K2, P5, K1, P5, K2, B3
Row 14: B3, P2, K5, P1, (SSK, YO)x2, K1, P2, K5, P1, (SSK, YO)x2, K1, P2, B3
Row 15: B3, K2, P5, K2, P4, K2, P5, K2, P4, K2, B3
Row 16: B3, P2, K4, P2, (SSK, YO)x2, K1, P2, K4, P2, (SSK, YO)x2, K1, P2, B3
Row 17: B3, K2, P5, K2, P4, K2, P5, K2, P4, K2, B3
Row 18: B3, P2, CF4, P2, (SSK, YO)x2, K1, P2, CF4, P2, (SSK, YO)x2, K1, P2, B3
Row 19: B3, K2, P5, K2, P4, K2, P5, K2, P4, K2, B3
Row 20: B3, P2, K4, P2, (SSK, YO)x2, K1, P2, K4, P2, (SSK, YO)x2, K1, P2, B3
Row 21: B3, K2, P5, K2, P4, K2, P5, K2, P4, K2, B3
Row 22: B3, P2, CF4, P2, (SSK, YO)x2, K1, P2, CF4, P2, (SSK, YO)x2, K1, P2, B3
Row 23: B3, K2, P5, K2, P4, K2, P5, K2, P4, K2, B3
Row 24: B3, P2, K4, P2, (SSK, YO)x2, K1, P2, K4, P2, (SSK, YO)x2, K1, P2, B3

Repeat Rows 1 through 13.
Knit 4 rows border.
Bind off. Weave in ends. Block cloth for best results.

Notes:

B3 = Three stitch side border of your choice. I used K3 in my cloths.

CB4 = Slip 2 stitches onto cable needle & hold in back, knit the next 2 stitches, then knit the 2 stitches from the cable needle.

CF4 = Slip 2 stitches onto cable needle & hold in front, knit the next 2 stitches, then knit the 2 stitches from the cable needle.

K2Tog = Knit 2 stitches together.

SSK = Slip 1 stitch, slip another stitch, knit these two slipped stitches together.

YO = Yarn Over.

Instructions in parentheses followed by x2 means you do what is in the paretheses twice. For example, (YO, K2Tog)x2 means you do the following: YO, K2Tog, YO, K2Tog.






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Eiffel Towel cloth from Linda


Look at this beautiful cloth I received from Linda, a couple weeks ago, for the MDKAL Q4 dishcloth exchange. I love the blue color, and the cloth is so soft. She also made these beautiful stitch markers too. It's interesting to see other people's knitting. She weaved her ends diagonally which is less noticeable than the way I've been doing mine; I will have to give that a try. She also sent me a pattern to another cloth, plus some S&C yarn in Jewel.

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Friday, December 01, 2006

Which reindeer are you?

I stole this off of CBM's blog. I'm not sure I agree with the results. Me, a daredevil? Hahaha...

You Are Comet

A total daredevil, you're the reindeer with an edge!

Why You're Naughty: You almost gave Santa a heart attack when you took him sky diving

Why You're Nice: You always make sure the sleigh is going warp speed