Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Byte diet

I expected to get the finishing touches of the sweater done weeks ago, but at least now I know why it took me so long to finish it.

It’s embarrassing, but I’ve learned that I’m an internet addict. I have a 3GB (for 30 days) internet package, and at the moment we are at 2700MB, and 10 more days to go. Oops. It’s been really difficult, but we’ve (Jessamy and I) have been on an internet diet for the last week and a half once we realized we used over two thirds of our allotment in ten days. It’s crazy how not being able to do a google search for, say, “Suffragette City feminist dissertation” has given me so much more time to do knit, read, and job search.

On a similar note, because of the bandwidth problem I won't be able to put the picture of the sweater up online. I'll be able to post though.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Mine, all mine

I finished my sister's sweater, all but the collar and a few ends. And then I had Jessamy try it on. It looked horrible on her, and her build is more like my sister's than mine. It actually doesn't look scary on me, so I'm going to keep it, oversized sweaters are in right now, right? Maybe I should put in bat sleeves and wear it with leg warmers too. Actually, I have a few ideas. Haven't broken the news to my sister though. I'll have a picture of it in the next post.

A few hours prior to the near completion I had misplaced the last of my tapestry needle. I’ve gone through two needles since coming back to England three weeks ago, that tapestry needle was going to be my third. I looked everywhere, under the couches, in the sink. I was almost desperate enough to look in the fridge when I found it in my slipper.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Brown Sheep shipment is in

We have a new shipment of Brown Sheep Bulky.

This is one of their color cards. Thankfully their yarn comes in colors other than brown. We don't have all the colors, but we can certainly order a color for you.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Back from the Burgh

We're back from Edinburgh. We got off to a shaky start. Since I knew which exit to take out of the train station I naturally felt that the whole of Edinburgh was easily navigatable, and I could steer us to our hostel without looking at the map. I got very us close, about two blocks south of our destination (on Potterrow) before I admitted I had no idea where we were. Unfortunately we couldn't find Potterrow on the map at that point and ended up walking back to the train station and starting over, this time looking at the map every few blocks.

But, it ended up becoming one of the more pleasant holidays Jessamy and I have been on, partly owing to the fact that we've been to the city before and didn't feel so pressured to see everything, and partly due to the fact that we planned our days around where to eat, other than what to look at.

I really enjoyed the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Each painting in the gallery was a portrait of a Scot, though not all the artists were Scottish. I particularly liked the section with the more recent works of art. Calum Colvin made some very interesting, though I admit gimmicky, pieces like this "James MacMillan, b. 1959. Composer1996"

I also liked
Douglas Gordon's Selfportrait as Kurt Cobain, as Andy Warhol, as Myra Hindley, as Marilyn Monroe

On Tuesday we ate breakfast at the Elephant House, where JK Rowling is reputed to have written part of Harry Potter. The decor was, predictably, of an elephant theme, but I can see where it would be a good place to relax, though I can only guess that she just went there for the coffee since the croissant I ordered was a bit stale.

The BBC and weather.com weren't entirely wrong in their forecast of snow. I didn't see any snowfall on the ground, but there was snow in the mountains.
And one last photograph, of an alleyway I thought looked nice. I wasn't the one who took the picture. If you see a finger in any photograph on this blog, the photo was probably taken by Jessamy. It's her "signature". By the way, I'm not saying this out of malice, she freely admits that a good portion of her photographs have either a finger or many strands of hair in the shot.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Goin to scotland

Jessamy finished her first semester on Friday. Yay! She's satisfied with her grades.

She has a week off until the next semester starts, so we're going to Edinburgh for a few days, then we'll be coming back here and going on day trips to York and other nearby cities.

BBC and the weather.com are predicting snow in Edinburgh Monday night. We're taking 4 extra batteries for the camera.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Harry Potter or sweater?

Still not done with the sweater. I was making very good progress and had finished the extensions (my sister wanted it longer and I decided to do a few modifications and lengthened and modify the middle of the sweater, instead of just adding more ribbing to the end.) But then I picked up the latest Harry Potter, became more serious about finding a job, and decided to teach myself C++. It's really only grafting the back half and the seaming that's left, hopefully I won't procrastinate (if you call Harry Potter procrastinating) too long and finish it done by Monday.

I took the Metro to the coast with the intention of visiting a LYS to see if they are hiring and buy some #1 DPs, but I couldn't find the store. Turns out I got the address wrong, but I had suspected just as much when I got there and took a look at all the stores around there anyway. Oh well, there's another LYS I'm going to try and visit next week or so. Meanwhile I might go into town and buy the DPs at a chain store.

More on Ravelry

Hi, Deborah requested more information on Ravelry, so here is it:


Kind of like Myspace, but not (eloquent, isn't it). And, it's just for knitters.

On ravelry you can blog, post pictures, post on forums, basically anything you can think of and any way you can think of sharing information about yarn, knitting, and crocheting. Everyone has a screen name and their own page where they can post their newest project, show off their stash (which is scary, and it's a good thing I left most of it in the US), and join groups (That Yarn Store has one).

They have a preview for you to look at: http://www.ravelry.com/tour/video/preview

The waiting list is pretty long, over six thousand people at the moment. Once you sign up they'll email you in a few weeks (or longer?) and let you have an account.

It's still in beta, which is why they have a waiting list as they probably don't know yet if they could handle all the thousands of people on the site at once. I haven't run across any bugs yet though.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Putting the Tea in That Yarn Store

We are very excited to announce that That Yarn Store is
now carrying loose-leaf tea. The tea comes from
the Tao of Tea in Portland, OR, one of the finest
tea houses there is. The tea is imported from the
various regions of China and Taiwan, and is of
the highest quality (but not the highest price!).

Our selection includes: Silver Needles (a fine white
tea, rich in antioxidants), Jasmine Pearls (a light
green tea with jasmine), Nilgiris Blue (breakfast-type
black tea from India), Black Spiral (an oolong),
Ayurvedic Herbal Blend and Chamomile. We will be stocking
new ones as time goes on, but for now, come
in and take an ounce (or two) home!

Also, on Thursdays and Saturdays we will be having a daily
sample-- so come in and have a sip and slip a
Note: We cannot sell tea-as-beverage; the tea is sold
by the ounce as loose-leaf tea.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Simple arm warmer pattern

I started making these arm warmers for Jessamy in the pre-yarnstore days. Somehow the one completed arm warmer (I'm pretty sure I had started the second one, but who knows) had survived and was found while I was packing for England and made it across the pond. One of the set is a 1X1 rib, the other is 2X2. The arm warmers are one of Jessamy's Christmas presents, the other one being a Denise Needle set, not the most unselfish choice, I know, but she did seem happy when I presented it to her.

Here is the pattern for the arm warmers:
Pattern for 2X2 rib arm warmers:
*Any yarn that looks ok with a gauge of 16sts to 4 inches in 2X2 rib pattern.
*Double Pointed Needles that will give you the right guage (look at the yarn label for guidance)

Gauge:16sts for 4 inches in 2X2 rib pattern (unstretched). If there's any doubt, since measuring with ribbing is tricky and you think your gauge is a little smaller then it's better to cast on 32 stitches, work a few inches, assess the situation, and decrease to an appropriate stitch count, than to make it too tight and have to rip the whole thing out.
Size: my arm measures 10 inches around right above the elbow.

Arm body
CO 28 sts, join in round
Work 4.5 inches in k2, p2 rib
Decrease 1 sts at either end of the next round (it will look better if you decrease the purl stitches with a p2 together).

Knit for another 3.5 inches (the length of the arm warmer will be a few fingers above the elbow) for a total of 8 inches from the beginning.

Thumb hole
Start next row - k2, p1. Turn work. You will now be working back and forth (flat) instead of in a circle. Continue in pattern, in other words k1, *p2, k2,* repeat between the *s until you end with a k1.
Turn again (still working flat). Increase a stitch at beginning of row (doesn't matter which kind), continue in the rib pattern.
Turn again. Increase a stitch at beginning of row, work in rib pattern
At the next row (should be a Right Side, RS, row) treat the increased stitch as a knit stitch, and work in rib patt.
Work three more rows in pattern for a total of 7 rows You should have just finished a WS row.
Turn. Work sts in pattern until you get to the last sts. Slip last sts.
Closing thumb hole:
Without turning, knit the next two stitches together, then pass the slipped stitch over the k2 together and off the needle. You have closed the fabric and will now be resume knitting in a circle. Work three more rounds in pattern. Bind off loosely (if it's too tight it might cut off your circulation).

Variations could be single rib, k2Xp1, stockinette, etc. If you do stockinette you'll have to do a gauge swatch and don't forget to include about half an inch of ease.

If you want to use a different gauge, it's really simple too, just do a gauge swatch in what ever pattern you want (if you hate gauge swatches and are pretty good at guessing then that's fine, just be prepared to have some flare at the bottom of the arm warmer), measure the circumference of your arm, multiply that number by your stitches per inch, add a half an inch worth of stitches for ease and you're ready to cast on and start.
4.5 inches into the arm warmers you'll have to decrease half an inch (or more depending on how unstretchy your fabric is).
Work another 3.5 stitches. Follow the instructions for the thumb hole as described above if your gauge is roughly 16sts to 4 inches, if the gauge is ridiculously bigger then just increase by one stitch (ignoring the other increase), if the gauge is ridiculously smaller than increase by how ever many stitches make up a quarter of a stitch. and that's it!

Monday, January 07, 2008

I have a Ravelry Account!

I know I'm a little late here, but I finally have a Ravelry account!

You have to understand, I don't have a Facebook account, didn't have a Flikr account until I signed up with Ravelry and I haven't posted anything on Youtube. Myspace and this blog seemed like enough. So I kept ignoring all of the mentions of the site on practically every knitting blog out there, refusing to join anything else because I assumed it was just another social networking site as opposed to an organizational tool. But it seems like a great idea, and I hope I stick with it.

Ravelry is still in its Beta stage, but there is a long waiting list to join, so don't do what I did and just ignore the signs.

My ravelry profile is fibrous.

Speaking of technology, last night after listening to the latest cast-on podcast, I searched for more podcasts to listen to. Apparently not only does everyone stop knitting in the summer, but knitters stop podcasting during the summer too. About 3/4 of the podcasts I had found are no longer being made. My favorite podcaster I found last night, and unfortunately one of the ones who are no longer active is Irie Knits. She seems like a really fun person, and although the casts aren't new, they're new to me.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Back in England

I arrived safely on Wednesday though very very tired. The only interesting thing that happened on the flight was that I was nodding off then woke up with a start (basically the only kind of sleep I got during the trip) and instinctively looked behind me to find my pillow was in the middle of the aisle and a row behind me. The person across the aisle was grinning at me so I'm pretty sure I had thrown the pillow up in the air as I was waking up.

The weather forecast predicted for yesterday a strong wind from Russia that was supposedly going to bring snow. Didn't see any, if you've been reading the blog or came in to say hi to me while I was at the shop you'll probably guess that I'm not looking forward to the day it does actually start to snow.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Off again

Thanks to all of my extended yarn family who stopped by the store to say hi. I feel blessed to have such wonderful friends.

Happy knitting in the new year to everyone. See you next Christmas (or maybe summer?).

ps. I did finish Hana's sweater, but she's asked for it to be lengthened so I'll have to do that in England. My plane ride project are arm warmers for Jessamy.