Tuesday, January 30, 2007



All my comments seemed to have disappeared when I switched to the new Blogger. I've been using Haloscan, and well, this didn't work out for the old posts even with their nifty installation wizard.

I've supposedly turned on Blogger comments since they now have the email me when a new comment is posted feature and trackback and that's what I really wanted anyway. But I can't get that to work either on the old posts.

Any help here?

Monday, January 29, 2007


because you need a vacation from my vacation...

Forgive me for all of the old posts that may be showing up in your bloglines account if you actually subscribe. I just switched over to the new blogger and saw that they have a categories function now. If you've been with me for a while now, you've probably discovered that I'm a bit anal and well, organizing information makes me absurdly happy. So I'm going back through ALL the posts and adding tags to them all. Anyone know how to add the categories to the sidebar?

I also saw this meme over at Every Word's a Purl and thought that it might give you some insight into what our house is like.

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.

Well, our place is in a state of perpetual disorder, so I knew that I wouldn't need to go to the bookshelf to find a book. What, like bookshelves are meant to store books? More like whatever falls out of your pocket, right? Anyway, I clearly live with an engineer. I have plenty of brochures on my desk, but none of them go up to page 123. The only real book, well...

"...Given the generator polynomial g(x) for a cyclic code C, however, we can make meaningful comments about C's ability to detect errors in a variety of situations. We consider three situations below that are generally considered in the design of computer communication systems.

Error pattern coverage." - Error Control Systems for Digital Communication and Storage by Stephen B. Wicker

What I want to know, is, who is this C person, and I want to be able to detect errors in more than just 3 situations! And the rest of the page is some sort of table, so sentence five was actually at the bottom of the page. BTW, I think that "Error pattern coverage." isn't actually a sentence, but since they bothered to put a period at the end of it, I figured that they considered it a sentence and so should I for this exercise.

Feel free to self-tag as I did.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

First FO 2007

Before I get to any knitting content, I just have to say that today is my DH's birthday. Today he turns 28 and it seems only yesterday... Anyway, after all of the stress that we went through over the past year, I'm surprised he still married me. I guess it's a testament to his patience and understanding of me. He shows me every day what it is to love someone through thick and thin. And of course it doesn't hurt that I find him totally hott!

Triangle Edge Cardigan by Debbie Bliss
Pattern in Quick Baby Knits
Materials: Knitpicks Shine (60% Cotton, 40% Modal. 110 yards per 50 g ball) 190g in Cherry. Size 3 Addi Turbos.
Gauge: 6" sts per in.
Finished size: 23 in wide... I hope this is one perfectly round baby!

Started: December 24, 2006
Finished: January 15, 2006

Used short rows to shape collar instead of joining new yarn for each point. Omitted buttons.

Another basic baby sweater with a twist here. The triangle edging (which you can't see in this craptastic photo) adds a little bit of interest to this basic drop shoulder cardigan. I considered putting the buttons on, but frankly, I just didn't understand her instructions and I don't like YO buttonholes. So it'll be a little jacket type thing that will just be worn open. This one is for DH's cousin's as-yet unborn but due at any second now daughter. It's roomy enough so that this baby can spend then next 6-9 months growing into it. I'll once again voice my concern over Debbie Bliss baby sizing, but then again, I've never had a growing like a weed baby before either, so maybe the generous sizing is a good thing. Do tell if you have an opinion.

Lorna's Laces Quarter Socks
Materials: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport (100% wool, 200 yd per 70g) 1 skein in Mixed Berries. Size 1 Addi Turbos 24" and 32".
Gauge: 8.5 sts per in
Finished Size: 7.5" circumference, 8" foot length

Started: January 16, 2007
Finished: January 23, 2007

These were some quickie socks that I started while in New Zealand. I decided that they had been in my stash for long enough, but I didn't have any particular pattern in mind and knew that 70g was going to be a stretch. I didn't think it would be quite as short as they turned out, but I still think they're a reasonable length. I'd just have preferred that they were an inch or two longer in the leg.

I started these toe-up using a 24 st Turkish cast on. I increased every other round until I had a total of 64 sts on the needles. I worked one round of k4, p4 alternating with one round of all knits until the sock was long enough to reach the pointy bone on the top of my foot, which I guess to most people would be the start of their arch. I increased every other round until I was two inches short of my heel and then turned the heel a la Beaudelaire. From there it was knit in pattern until I was almost out of yarn, and then I started 1x1 ribbing until I actually did run out of yarn save a few yards. I cast off with the faux kitchener cast off.

Meh... the socks are a touch on the large side, but I have a tendency to slightly shrink my socks, so this isn't a bad thing. I was just surprised at the gauge I got with sport weight yarn. Do I really knit this tight, or is this typical for Lorna's sport?

I also finished off the MIL scarf on 1/27 and my grandmother's pink socks on 1/24, but I don't have a good picture of either of those yet. Maybe DH will be nice enough to take a picture for me sometime this week when it's not grey and raining out.

After having wiped ALL of my WIPs off the plate, I dug in for baby #2 of 5 for the year (that I know about). This one is for DH's soon to be godson! We were really excited to hear that DH's cousin wanted him to be the godfather, and this is DH's first time in that role. So I wanted a little something special for this baby in hopes of kissing up to the parents so they don't change their minds about making DH his godfather. I pulled out Barbara Walker's Knitting from the Top, and just went for it using her saddle shoulder sweater outline as a guide. I say outline because it really is just an outline. I cast on yesterday and the above picture was taken this morning, but I've already divided for the sleeves and body and have about 2 inches of body done. I love how small babies are...

I'll finish up with a quick update on the next leg of our trip...

Christchurch/Castle Hill Dec 27-28
We arrived in Christchurch after a long delay at the airport in Auckland late on the 27th. It didn't give us much time to look around the city, so we got up early the next morning so we could pick up the rental car and get on the road. Let me just say that adjusting to driving on the left side of the road took a while. The rental car did have a nifty reminder on the dash board in the form of a giant yellow arrow saying "stay left", but well, if you're looking at that too closely, you're surely not watching the road to see if the oncoming truck is in your lane or not.

But we drove out to Castle Hill and checked out the climbing. It's supposed to be a world class destination for bouldering, and I can see why. The entire area looked like a god had sprinkled giant boulders across a golf course. Or someone came by and knocked down Stonehenge. I can't decide which. Here's the two of us at the start of the day 50 yards off the road and about half way to the first rocks. Nice, short approach, eh?

The climbing itself wasn't my style. It's limestone and heavily climbed, so a lot of the rock was polished and at least for the problems I was trying, didn't seem to have much by way of feet. The style was also much more throwing for slick slopers, then beached whale mantling to top out. The boulder below was one of the exceptions to the yucky top out trend and the only boulder I got to the top of during my entire trip. Of course, I wasn't really trying either, opting instead to just enjoy the scenery. Fields of green, long grass blowing in the wind, and meadows of small wildflowers peppered with limestone of all shapes and sizes all with the southern Alps as a backdrop. Can you blame me?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

She returns!

and you thought I'd been swept away by an albatross...

no, no, just off on my honeymoon. In case I didn't mention it before or you hadn't gleaned it from my last post, DH and I took a delayed honeymoon to the bottom of the planet where we drove around a lot on the wrong side of the road, stalked wildlife, sheep and people's dogs, laughed at roadsigns and billboards, hid from the sun, fell for all the tourist traps and otherwise had a grand old time. I'll be slowly posting the highlights from our Kiwi adventure over the next few days (weeks? I hope for your sake not...) so be forewarned that I'm going to hijack this knitting blog for some travel pr0n.

But before I dive in, I should mention that I did manage to finish 3 projects since last we left off. I just don't have any progress pics to show you and everything's wet still from blocking, so watch this space for a cute baby sweater, some quickie socks, and finally polishing off the g-ma socks.

Auckland Dec 25-27

DH and I left on Dec 23, lost Christmas eve somewhere over the Pacific and landed in Auckland on Dec 25. We figured that we'd go with the good old standby for Christmas evening of Chinese food and a movie, but we found out that Kiwis really do take their Christmas holiday seriously and completely close up. So we took our loopy sleep deprived selves for a walk about the city center and marveled at the funny sounding signage: "Dogs on Lead", "Beware of trucks maneuvering", and "Park and Display" (which immediately brought images of Hugh Grant and Divine Brown to mind).

The next day, we met up with a friend of a friend for some Boxing Day fun. We took the ferry out to Rangitoto but we might as well have arrived at some beautiful deserted island in the middle of the Pacific. Lush greenery around and some of the best views of Auckland to behold:

Okay, from the top there were definitely beautiful views of Auckland, but I have a thing for lighthouses.

We then rewarded ourselves after the 3 hour hike (boy does that cure jet lag!) with a visit to a Belgian beer cafe. Belgium is known for its mussels, and so is New Zealand for their green-lipped variety, so we went for two pots of steamers there. The waiter was so apologetic for the mixup with our order that they decided not to charge us for the drinks we had and brought another round, supersized, again for free. I think DH had almost a liter of free Lefft Dark, so he was happy. I was happy with the Texas sized mussels:

We were told that it's actually illegal to pull anything out of the water less than 4 inches there, so apparently this is normal. If I were home, I'd be wary of eating anything this large for fear of toxic waste contamination causing the mutant gargantuanism, but hey, this is New Zealand, nobody lives here to dump anything in the water!

We toured 2 of the extinct volcanoes that make up the seven hills of Auckland and discovered that Kiwis are a practical bunch. Not only do they use their public spaces as park land, but they also use it as farm land. I was very pleased to see the bovine and other inhabitants of the park:

The next day, we explored the city to check out the various churches and their stained glass windows. Then we ventured out to the Waitakere area to hit the black sand beach. I guess these beaches aren't exactly LA beaches where people hang out all day basking in the sun:

Next up: Christchurch

Post-Script: If you're still reading this, then you must be truly interested in my ramblings. So I have more to share. Turns out DH's brother popped the question to his girlfriend while we were away! We're extremely excited for the two of them and cannot wait to see them wed. They are a loving couple and very good for each other. We wish them all the happiness in the world.

Post-Post Script: My brother announced to me yesterday that he and his wife are expecting! So I guess that makes me an auntie-to-be, and one crazy busy knitter. I have burp cloths, blankets, bibs, sweaters, hats, booties, and toys all lined up, so get ready to see a whole lotta dishcloth cotton at Chez Spaz. Just don't tell DH that it also means a few more trips to Michael's since dishcloth cotton is hard to find round here. Unless you think babies will like the scratchy tweed?