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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

18 miles per ball of yarn


Barbara made a mention on her blog about the mileage on her car, and it got me thinking about how many balls of yarn goes into running my automobile. My car has one of those computerized things that will tell me how much mileage I am getting out of my current tank of gas. Right now it reads 18 miles per gallon -- or something like 13 litres per 100 km. Given that gas prices here in my town -- in the San Francisco Bay Area where gas prices are much higher than the national average -- is around $3.89 for regular unleaded and $4.12 for super unleaded, I'd have to say that it costs me one ball of my favorite yarn, Elann Luxury Merino Superwash ($3.98), to travel 18 miles.

Just putting things in perspective...

I don't even want to think about how many balls it takes to fill up the tank! Ok, I don't have to think. I know. I gassed up yesterday for $3.999 per gallon -- which I believe is around 0.68 € per litre. That came to $45.47 for 11.371 gallons of fuel, or roughly a little over a bag of Luxury Merino Superwash.

It's interesting to note that my mpg has dropped slightly since moving to the new house, I guess I do more "city" driving in the suburbs. Which sounds odd since I used to live in the city.

Things I'm thinking about now...

Honda's Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car, which emits water vapor. How much greener can you get? :-) (more info/stats here) It has a top speed of 100 mph, and 68 mpg equivalent (to gas engines).

VW is working on a Diesel Hybrid that should get 70 mpg. I always cringe at the thought of diesel which is due primarily to my limited experience of always driving behind big old diesel trucks that stink stink STINK, however DH assures me that diesel cars today are much improved. I told him to point out when I'm driving behind a diesel sedan.



Not a whole lot going on here. I'm taking a little break from cable knitting because I suspect it is causing some of my wrist pain; using the computer is the other contributer to my pains. So I started a little knit/purl project that is nice for almost mindless TV knitting. I actually picked out 2 knit/purl patterns, both with a diagonal theme, and have dubbed them Miles and Flora since they are siblings of sorts. Hmmm, is that too ominous? Anyhow, I liked this pattern for it's "manly" look, perfect for the guy who doesn't want anything too fussy.

Mom's vest, right front section

I've started the Right Front section of Mom's vest. I've almost reached the point where I will need to start the armhole shaping. I think this pattern may be easy for most people, however I find it difficult to reverse the shaping without having everything explicitly written out in great detail. I suppose the more experienced knitters are able to do this on the fly while they are knitting. (You saw the Back and Left Front sections here).

Oh, I started a cable scarf using the peachy yarn you saw here. I just chose a pattern from one of my books and tried it out. I wasn't sure how it would turn out knitted up, but I ended up liking it. I'm trying to take it easy on the cables. I do cables without a cable needle. A thought occurred to me that perhaps it might be easier on the wrists if I used a cable needle. If true, would it be worth having to slow down for a cable needle?

Peachy cable scarf (before blocking)

I couldn't get a good picture of the scarf, Miss M was trying very hard to "help", and would keep moving the scarf.

I used about 4.5 balls of Elann Highland Wool which gave a finished dimension of 20.5 cm x 154 cm (8 inch x 60.5 inch) before blocking. I did not block this scarf aggressively, so its finished size after blocking turned out to be 21.5 cm x 170 cm (8.5 inch x 67 inch).

I haven't yet had a chance to take photos of this scarf after blocking, but I will do that soon. I promise.

Regina Scarf for MIL

My current super secret project is a scarf for my MIL. Fortunately she doesn't read this blog, and in fact she doesn't use the computer at all. So I can mention this here. :-)

I wore my pink Regina when I visited her a few months ago and she commented on it. I was really surprised because she never comments on my knitting. I took this as a sign that she might like one of her own. So I hope she likes this. I'm using the same yarn, Elann Luxury Merino Superwash, in Ruby. I'm entertaining the idea of adding matching mitts, unfortunately Elann doesn't make Baby Cashmere yarn in Ruby color.

Oh, I've discovered that someone has knitted my Persephone & Regina Mitts!!! You can see them here:

I am new to the mitt pattern writing and was worried about readability, however seeing someone knit these mitts must mean that it wasn't too difficult to understand. I think. I hope. Or perhaps this person had to tweak things to make it work for her (I'm assuming it's a her), I really have no idea what she thinks since I can't read Chinese. :-(

I do like her charcoal colored mitts, and I wonder whether that color would make the mitt less feminine enough for gifting to a man. Do you think a man would wear mitts with this cable pattern if the yarn was a more manly or "tweedy" color?

I also have to mention SpillyJane's version of Regina, where she converted them mittens with full finger coverage, here:
I thought this was pretty cool.

Well, these are the only two people I know of who has dared to try my mitt patterns. Making mitts was a fun and educational experience for me, however I can't imagine knitting more mitts anytime soon. I'm sure I'll think differently when the weather cools down in late fall or winter.


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5 stitch(es):

hakucho said...

I think I'll start walking and use my gas money for yarn ;)

(somehow I don't think my boys will be too happy about that ;) )

Anonymous said...

ah, i'm surprised to see that you've found out my knittings :) I've been "secretly" visiting your blog for some time already.

I really liked your mitts patterns when I first discovered, so I decided to knit them, and I found that your thumb design part is much better than those patterns I found from other website. The only regret is that I can't find similar cashmere yarn that you used for the mitts here in Australia. One of my knitting friends also likes your cable mitts, I think she's trying to make one for herself.

I'm currently knitting a scarf using your Ariel pattern.

Rachel said...

That is a lovely scarf, as usual! Before I read your comments below the picture, I immediately thought, "Oooo, that'd be lovely for a guy!".

CatBookMom said...

I really like the new scarf, Miles and Flora. I can see lots of uses for this, including one for my charity knitting. My Ravelry Queue has now passed 110 items, and my Favorites, where "less-urgent" (ha!) items go, is over 300. I just wish I could knit faster, lol!

I hope the wrist pain will get better. I strongly recommend that you get a Hand-Eze glove ( I've used them for years, and it helps with mousing and knitting both.

Hugs to you and the divine Miss M!

Allison said...

That's too funny! My husband started talking about everything in terms of a tank of gas. We have an SUV (don't worry - my other car is a hybrid) and it takes $100 to fill the tank! Now hubbie is staying things like, "that TV costs 6 tanks of gas!" It's really scary. Thanks for the blog help links - I could use some spiffing up. Thanks also for visiting my photo blog - nice to know someone is reading it!