25 May 2009

Funnelneck Sweater done! Indiski started!


Thanks to the 3-day weekend I was able to finish the Funnelneck sweater. It was a fun project overall, even though I had to re-knit about 3/4 of it, in order to get the sizing right (despite gauge swatches, measuring and re-calculating a few times!).

Here it is:
Funnelneck Sweater - finished!

I DO love the stripes, and the construction, which is done in three parts for the front and back, prevents knitting boredom.

After weaving in all the ends and stashing it away for the next winter, I finally could start on the Indiski Shawl (= Olga's Indiski (= Indian) Shawl in the May/June 2009 issue of Piecework Magazine). I started swatching ... after making mistakes, I finally remembered that for lace knitting distractions (watching TV, cats on lap etc.) are BAD. Since I'm a beginner lace knitter, I still need to pay full attention.

Indiski Shawl - swatch

This swatch shows plain garter stitch sections at bottom - the first one knit with 2.5 mm needles, the second one with 2.75 mm needles. I switched to the larger needles, because my stitch gauge was about 3 to 4 stitches over the recommended gauge. The rest of the sample is also knitted with the larger needles. I do like the smaller needles better, though, even though it would make the shawl smaller - the stitches look neater. I will knit the pattern with the smaller needles, too and then decide.

We watched Terminator Salvation today - I was not too impressed - it's simply an action flick, and worse, it does not even answer the question of how the Terminator was able to travel back in time! For the whole of the movie I was waiting in vain to see "the machines" build a time machine! But Aahnold puts in a brief (computer animated) appearance! In the nude!

Till next time!

18 May 2009

Light at the End of the Tunnel


Another quarter gone by and semi-good news from my company. No more 25% time (and pay) reduction, but 10% pay reduction across the board! Could be worse … could be worse. Whether this is temporary or permanent we don’t yet know – they will decide quarter-to-quarter. So we’re looking at it as a 15% pay increase compared to last quarter :-)

I haven’t seen the new Star Trek movie yet, but I’m reading the reviews which are mostly positive. One of the more entertaining ones is here: – this review covers an aspect that never occurred to me: Twinks and Bears. After reading it my husband declared that now he can never look at Star Trek the same way again! Ach – and don’t make an extra effort to watch Angels and Demons – it’s pretty mediocre. If I hadn’t read the book, I would have had trouble following the “plot” which has some major holes in it, anyway. The da Vinci Code was much better. But you do get to see some of Rome’s art treasures!

During the last few weeks I ran into Borders and/or Barnes and Noble every few days so I would not miss the next issue of The Knitter – it’s a UK knitting magazine NOT aimed at the beginner, unlike the majority of other knit mags – I love it. Instead of just showing you some glam photos, they actually have photos of details! Unfortunately, you cannot subscribe to it here in the US, the link only gets you to a page where you can sign up to receive updates about the magazine.

A short while ago I received a pattern update for the Rosebud Neckwarmer designed by Grace Mcewen ... you can also find it on Ravelry. Very nice. It now includes charts, which is a huge Plus in my book. I hate reading written row-by-row instructions, because I have to *read* them … a chart, on the other hand … I can just *look* at it and see where I am (or should be). That’s the same reason I like analog clocks better than digital ones – I look at an analog clock and can *see* what time it is … a digital clock I have to first read, then translate what I read to the actual time. Anyway …

My next larger project after the Funnelneck sweater will be from the latest PieceWork magazine (May/June 2009): Olga’s Indiski (Indian) Shawl to Knit by Galina Khmeleva. This shawl was originally designed by the late Olga Fedorova, Galina’s mentor, and expert Orenburg Shawl knitter, and modified a bit by Galina. I’m thinking of knitting the original pattern also shown in the magazine, to fill the large “empty” squares. I had a Russian colleague translate the writing in this picture, but it didn't contain any interesting info.

Regarding the Funnelneck Sweater: I’m working on the bottom band right know, about 2 inches done, which seems sufficient … the pattern calls for 3 inches, but I’ll try it on and see how it looks with 2. So I am finally seeing the light at the end of the knit-reknit tunnel for this sweater.

The feral rooster is gone now. Poor fellow – he was just being a rooster. But the neighbors became more and more annoyed with him, and since he and his girlfriend spent a lot of time in our yard, we had the best opportunity of catching him. There is a slim chance that he might find a new home on a farm somewhere, but it’s not likely. Sigh. It’s too bad that there are not enough no-kill shelters like Best Friends. After a few days of extreme caution towards humans, the chicken is her old self again and happily scratches around in the neighborhood yards – I’m really surprised she is still alive. She’s been around for several years now.

Take care!