Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Start As You Mean to Go On

It’s January 9 and I’ve finished my Gansey Leg Warmers and one of my 1861 Cottage Wristers.


Besides the snow on Tuesday, it has been very cold this week. Temps managed to get into the 30’s today but won’t get past the mid 20’s tomorrow. The wristers gave me an idea. I wore a pair of fingerless mitts under my Rowan Creative Focus wool gloves this week. Toasty!


Our new controllable heating system works well. I can lower the temp during the day and at bedtime and only keep the thermostat at 80 in the evenings and on weekends. I am thinking about putting the cotton rug to use. Because I’m on the first floor and sitting on top of the concrete roof of the garage, my floors are really cold. The water is positively icy from the cold-water tap; and I’ve been downing 20 ounce glasses of fresh lemonade in the evenings. I attribute the pneumonia shot and the fresh vitamin C combined with plenty of hand washing as the reason I’ve so far avoided catching the flu. Several people at work have had it and a few have developed pneumonia.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Koala's and the Australian Bushfires

Koala's can use our help to recover from burn injuries to their paws received during the recent bushfires. 

Please read: Click

Link to sewing pattern for cotton mitts. These are easy enough to stitch by hand if you don't have a machine.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

First Pawing

The New Year’s Day tradition here is that as the man of the house, aka Toupie, First Paws the apartment. He had a bit of a wander before returning this year. I gave him treats as a reward.

 I have finished the first 1861 Cottage Wrister. Once I figured out the issue with the stitch count during the increases, it was smooth sailing. The thumb is very natural looking, no gaps or pulled gusset stitches.

 
 I have four skeins of the Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool. Words cannot express my disappointment in the quality. It is splitty because it is so poorly spun. I had no knots but did have two clumps. It is full of guard hairs, which didn’t bother me but have bothered others. My gauge was 8 stitches to the inch. I don’t think I would want to create a fabric less dense for an item that will get a lot of wear, because it might not hold up.

Unlike my mittens knit with the Sirritogv, there is no bounce or energy in the final fabric. But they will serve their intended purpose as an under glove for the Sirritogv mittens.

 

EU VAT Mess

What were they thinking? It’s a little obvious that not much thinking went into it. As more people access EU digital services and content discovering price rises or content and services no longer available, politicians will start to hear the complaints and feel the heat. If the intention of this law was to hit the big multinationals, then why wasn’t a revenue threshold set? Instead of growing micro and small businesses, this legislation not only puts their existence in danger, but makes starting up more onerous.  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Year of the Wood Sheep

It doesn’t officially begin until February 17 or so, but since celebrations for everything nowadays begin months before time, why not. As long as we don’t forget that officially we are still under the influence of the Iron Horse. Unlike the Iron Horse, the Wood Sheep is a more expansive. 2015 should be a good year for growth—no this is not a financial prediction.

To start the year’s knitting off right, I cast on for a project I’ve wanted to knit since I read the article in Piecework’s January/February 2013 issue, 1861 Cottage Industry Wristers and Mitts. It took cleaning the coat and luggage closet leading to the discovery of a bag of hidden stash with a skein of Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool in Nature’s Brown colorway that decided the issue.

In the project notes on Ravelry and on the Piecework website, I discovered an issue with the pattern. I sat down and spent some time rereading the directions and figured out where the initial confusion occurs in the first round after the ribbing the number of stitches increased is given as 3. Three stitches are actually increased each time you complete the three round sequence for the thumb gusset. But if you knit that sequence 6 times as directed, the total round of increased stitches is 18 instead of the printed 17. It is possible to knit the three round sequence six times and set of 18 stitches for the thumb gusset. However, since I have small hands, I decided to stick with the 17 stitches. To achieve that, after the thumb gusset contained 15 stitches, I knit rounds 2 and 3 once more.

I think there is a further problem with the number of fourchette stitches but I will deal with that once I knit the 8 plain rounds.

All this is a shame because this is actually a pattern a beginner could knit and since it is knit using a worsted weight yarn on size 1 needles, the fabric created is dense and will keep the hands warm. Especially since the wristers and the mittens can be worn together or separately. But I confess to being one of those who more often than not when there are issues with a pattern, just move on to the next item in my queue or bright and shiny object that catches my attention. What drove me in this instance—which is the initial thing about the pattern that grabbed my attention—was the construction of the thumb gusset. A construction I will apply to my next set of mittens or gloves because it eliminates the possibility of holes or stretched stitches that can occur with the M1L/M1R construction.


I have posted my modifications on my project page on Ravelry and on the Knitting Daily forum for the pattern. I hope that some knitter will find my notes helpful.

 

 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Latvian Braid and other adventures

Sometimes I find Audiobooks a struggle. I love the Great Courses but there are so few on non-Western history. I like the courses because they are generally long and I can listen to them through a weekend as I knit, tidy, and generally space out. Subconsciously ruminating on what to listen to next, The Forsyte Saga suddenly popped into my mind on the way home Friday. I’d read the books when I was 17 or 18 and had a vague recollection of them being hard going. The reviews on Audible were glowing. It took me about an hour to get used to the narrator but he really does capture not just the characters but also the tone of the underlying themes of the books.

Last week I perused Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts 2013 featuring a hat with Latvian Braid. In my continual stash busting, I’d bought some KP Telemark yarn when it was being discontinued to make gloves. Needing another pair of fingerless convertibles, (they really are SO useful in the winter). I decided to conquer Latvian Braid. A five-minute You Tube video and I was off and knitting. It really is so easy and creates such a stunning effect. I used Ann Budd’s The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns for the gauge cast on numbers and the thumb gusset.
 
Gloves with Latvian Braid knit to match jacket
 
Toupie had a fit of litter rejection this week. How do I explain that his normal litter was not in stock and the litter I bought was the only one available in a size I could carry from the store. After scooping it out of the box a few times only to see it swept up and returned, he got the message.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Deaths and Taxes


A great many words will be written and spoken about the “march” today in Washington, Not much about last night’s powerful and poignant silent protest. A little background. Since the grand jury verdicts on police involved deaths, there have been daily peaceful protests in Washington. Some organized with large numbers of participants. Some with just a handful people. I happen to see these because they are occurring near where I work.
 
Friday night during rush hour, a silent vigil with candles and signs the length of 16th street (which runs some 8 miles from Lafayette Square at the back of the White House to the Maryland DC line and beyond.) There were no speeches or chanting. Just people standing singly or in groups, some with signs, most with candles, torches, or oil lamps. Luminarias lined the pavements north of where I live. It belied the cheer of the holiday season lights twinkling from windows, balconies and house fronts and accompanied by drivers honking their support and the ringing of bells from supporting houses of worship.

On January 1st, a new EU VAT regulation will go into effect from small digital service and content providers. This law will require them to collect, pay, and retain transaction records for all sales to EU countries regardless of local sales or VAT regulation. For example, if I sell to an EU country, I would be required to collect and pay the tax required in that country. This will affect all small traders selling digital products like patterns, e-books and e-courses as well as small web hosting businesses.


 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Quiet Week


It’s been a quiet week as I worked on the second Gansey Leg Warmer. This and the She’s Electric skirt are the first projects where I really understand the rhythm or music of the knitting. 

My goal is to finish the legwarmers this week and to start knitting the second glove. Speaking of goals, I’m way behind on my yardage knit goal for the year. 



Toupie has recovered from the excitement of the new neighbors moving in. But the barking jags of various dogs in the building keep him intrigued when he’s not escaping into the hallway to see people.