Another Distraction

A somewhat eclectic blog by a woman who's easily distracted...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Maybe I'm weird...

...but I totally want to make a BristleBot. (<-- That's a link to YouTube. I don't have the patience to sign up, so I can't embed the video here.)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Getting Organized. Maybe.

More likely, this is just organized procrastination.

In any case, this blog is a mess. (Perhaps not as big a mess as my house, or I'd be putting this off to clean a bit in the real world.) So, in classic procrastinator style, I'm attempting to update/synch the blog with my Ravelry space (where I am known as "calembour", to those who are interested). I even personalized the blank button they offer. See?

Great for procrastinating.

And my list on the right for projects on the needles? On my own, that's almost never updated, 'cause it's a pain. But my projects are almost always updated on Ravelry, 'cause it's so dang easy. So I decided it was about time to figure out how to display my Ravelry progress bars on the blog. Not so tough. Next, I figure out if I can do something similar for my completed projects. (Not so much the progress bar part as the automatic update part.) And then I'll just need to link my blog entries to my Ravelry projects.

But first I need to clean this house!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

An Accidental Easter Bonnet

Okay, so it's more of a hat than a bonnet. Still, very spring-y/Easter-y, don't you think? Of course, it still needs to be washed, blocked/dried, and I'm going to put pink ribbon in it instead of the yellow.
Alice is still on a time out, so I'm knitting other (small) things at the moment. This is Ellen's Ruffled Hat, by Ellen Lynch, and this one is an entry for Coveted Yarn's quarterly newborn hat drawing--a great cause and a great prize ($50 gift certificate at Coveted Yarn's online store) which I read about on Bertha's blog, Karma Kitties.
Seems like a good spring project.
Happy spring, everyone!

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Friday through Saturday: another wonderful trip to Yosemite. (Photo courtesy of the DBF.)

Monday: Try to catch up on the work I missed Friday.

Tuesday: Fly from West Coast to Washington D.C. (for work--which has nothing to do with government, but everything to do with politics).

Wednesday: Fly from Washington D.C. back to the West Coast

Does the blurred, out-of-focus character of this (really bad) photograph convey a sense of speed?

No? Well, neither does watching me knit these.

Clearly, I am not a fast knitter.

At least I enjoy the scenery.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

How Does My Garden Grow?

Too early to tell how it'll grow yet, but hey! I have a garden again!

Here's the left half of it. It had become horrifically overgrown with oxalis--the "pernicious invasive weed" kind, so Sunday was spent weeding, amending soil, planting and watering. I still need to get two more tomato cages, but I'm pretty happy with my little garden so far. Of course, the snails and the slugs haven't gotten a chance to munch it all yet. Anyone know of a good, pet-friendly way to get rid of snails and slugs? (I can't use beer. The dog will drink it...)

I'm pretty excited about this. Perhaps more than I should be. I have four varieties of tomatoes (I LOVE fresh tomatoes!), strawberries, three varieties of mint (which I may dig up and put in pots if it looks like it's getting unruly), chives, roses, and hopefully some yellow/orange calla lillies, just to keep in interesting. I have lavender in a pot on the front steps, which I'm also excited about, and the roses in front are showing a bunch of new growth. It's definitely spring around here!

So, it seems I'm going to try to keep at this blogging thing for a bit longer. We'll see how it goes. And I can't get to my e-mail client at the moment, but I want to give a really big thank you to Hope for her very nice, very supportive comment on my "Blog or Cut Bait" post. Thank you, Hope!

And Hollis, if you stop by, thanks for the offer to trade the Tofutsis w-a-y back, just before things got so quiet around here. I'm so sorry I didn't get right back to you. Part of the fun of yarn clubs is getting things you wouldn't ordinarily buy, so I'll hold onto it. It's one of those things where I know the colors will be perfect for someone, and then I'll knit up a really great gift with it.

Happy spring, everyone!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Uncooperative Alice

I seem to have done something terribly wrong, but I can’t figure it out.

Everything was fine, all the way through the colorwork. Then I divided for front and back. Fine. I’m following the instructions for the 43” bust, and when I end the division/armhole shaping I have 93 stitches–precisely the number the instructions say I should have. The very next thing I’m supposed to do is knit 45, place the center stitch on a safety pin, and put the remaining stitches on a holder. So I knit 45, put one on a safety pin and put the remaining 47 on a holder. Huh? if the one on the safety pin is supposed to be the center, there should be 45 on the holder. So maybe I messed up. I recount. Nope. Did I forget to decrease somewhere? Well, let’s see: 45+1+47=93. So… weird. Usually if there’s a mistake in the math, it’s mine. But after playing with the numbers and re-reading the pattern, I have determined the best course of action is to just knit 46, put one on the safety pin, and put the remaining 46 on the holder. Now the real fun begins.

I have followed the instructions, although I now have the extra stitch, which I account for each time the directions give me a stitch count. Yep. I still have one more. No biggie. The kicker is that after finishing the decreases, I’m supposed to “work even until armhole measures 8.5”. But at the end of the decreases, the armhole is m-u-c-h longer than 8.5”. This is going to be a problem. So, I figure now that I’m knitting flat, my gauge is bigger–I should have switched to a smaller needle when knitting flat. So I check my gauge. I’m actually getting BOTH stitch and row gauge. I’m mystified.

Now, I started this so long ago, I don’t remember what my gauge on the unwashed swatch was (I started it pre-ravelry, and I don’t seem to have written it down on the pattern, or anywhere else handy now), but I seem to recall that the swatch blocked out to gauge, which means I should be getting more stitches per inch right now, and that getting gauge in the pre-washed sweater indicates a problem.

So, I guess I’ll have to measure my gauge again on the bottom of the sweater, likely rip out the top part, swatch for the same gauge I got on the bottom, and use whatever size needles that takes to re-do the top.