Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tagged: 4 Things

My friend Nicki from Austin tagged me with this meme:

4 Jobs I've Held:
Summer School Tutor (1st grade)
Graduate Research Assistant
Volunteer Sex Educator (current)
Outreach and Organizing Intern (current)

4 Movies I've Watched Over and Over Again:
Shock Treatment
Rocky Horror Picture Show
12 Monkeys
SLC Punk

4 Places I've Been:
Kauai
the Bahamas (I was 6)
Disney World
Yosemite

4 Places I've Lived:
Waco, TX
Pittsburgh, PA (sort of)
Austin, TX
Los Gatos, CA

Part A: 4 TV Shows I Watch: (This was hard. I watch too much TV.)
House
Project Runway
Law & Order: SVU
The Daily Show

Part B: 4 Radio Shows I Listen To: I borrowed this category from Nicki. Basically I listen to NPR all day, every day.
The World
All Things Considered
Forum
Talk of the Nation

4 Things I Look Forward To:
The new Horrorpops CD and show in SF next week!!
Stitches West
Finishing the Facts of Life Line training
Maybe going to the Netherlands this spring

4 Favorite Foods:
Gingerbread pancakes
Chicken yellow curry with pineapple
Lappert's white chocolate mac nut ice cream
Watermelon

4 Places I'd Rather Be:
Kauai!
Knitting with friends
Hiking in the mountains I look at every day
Flamingo Cantina

4 People I email regularly:
My husband Bryan
My brother Michael
My college roommate Ash (facebook and flickr more than email, though)
My landlord Craig. Lol.

4 People to Tag:
Jasmin
Rachel
Tracy
Margit

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Roe is 35!

Blog for Choice Day

It's the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. I'm halfway home from the NARAL Pro-Choice California Roe v. Wade Anniversary Luncheon & Action Summit, and I've just found out about the "Blog for Choice Day" campaign. So here it is. I'm super-tired right now, but the summit was pretty awesome. I got Dr. Susan Wicklund to sign my copy of her book, and I can't wait to read it. The main thing I want to say as the Feb 5 primaries are quickly approaching is do your research! Please find out where candidates actually stand on the issues you care about instead of going by reputation or attack ads, or what you see on the "news" about the campaign. No matter what your values, make sure you vote for someone you trust to uphold them. Two sites I really love are http://www.vote-smart.org/ and http://www.ontheissues.org/

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Subcultural Girl Sweater Chart & Notes


The resources I used for this sweater were Knitting Without Tears, Big Girl Knits, and Sweater Design in Plain English. Vogue Knitting has yoke sweater general directions as well, and Designing Knitwear is a great resource for doing the math on many types of garment construction. I've heard that people love Knitting From the Top for top-down construction, but I haven't tried it. The cherry motif was inspired by one in the Knitting [insert preposition here] the Edge series, but I heavily edited it for size and to decrease the length of floats. I drew the others myself. Yay knitter's graph paper!
Here's an explanation of the jogless join I used.
http://community.livejournal.com/weasleysweaters/116584.html
It's called Aunt Jean's Invisible Jog, and it's from an issue of Vogue Knitting (or so other bloggers say).
And a word about color dominance- I knit colorwork two-handed, with the background in the right hand and the motif in the left hand. For me, that makes the motif pop and the background recede. Your mileage may vary.
I'm making the instructions I used available to illustrate how the construction works, but the numbers are only in my size. http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=d962qkr_0gvm75pcn
I encourage you to make your own custom-fit sweaters. It's super-rewarding!
The main issues to consider are size, ease, and method of construction. Take good measurements of yourself, then think about what size and types of sweater you like to wear. You may prefer looser or tighter garments (more or less ease), and you may know that you like raglans, or yoked sweaters, or something else. I chose a yoke for this sweater to show off the stranded colorwork, and because the shaping looked easy. Sweater Design in Plain English has some information on what styles look best on different body types if you need help deciding. After you choose a basic style, you need to consider if additional shaping needs to be added to the general recipe you're working from. In this case, I added waist shaping and short-row bust darts to the generic yoke sweater format.
I'm going to skim over yarn choice, but it can be a hassle. The big things to think about there are drape and weight. You can't go wrong with Cascade 220 for these basic sweaters, though.
Then *all* you have to do is swatch, measure gauge, and do all the math, using your reference books as a guide. Actually that was the easy part for me. Having the overall design floating around in my head for months and trying to figure out how to execute it was the hard part. But, I've just told you about all the good resources out there, so don't be afraid to try! After all, this was my first sweater, so you can do it too. I'm looking at you, Nicki! Whatever happened to your top-down raglan?

Plying Tips for Balanced Yarns


Merino Handspun, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

I LOVE this article by Holly at HJS Studio!
http://www.hjsstudio.com/balance.html
The 2-color pencil roving I just spun lent itself really, really well to using the tip she shares for checking the balance of the yarn while plying. Basically, the yarn will be balanced when the fibers in the singles are parallel to the plied yarn. This should be visible in the photo above, but go to the flickr page and look at the large version if you want to.

2-Ply Merino Handspun


2-Ply Merino Handspun, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

I appear to have misplaced or thrown away the packaging the roving came in, but it's pencil roving from Knitting Arts. I couldn't really tell until I opened the package that the roving had 2 different colors side by side. That's why the 2-ply has some of the look of a cabled yarn. It's about 80 yards of a DK-ish to worsted-ish weight, depending on what WPI chart you ask. I'm planning on designing some little neckwarmer, cowl, or maybe a headband for this.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Spot


Spot, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

Saturday, I went with Bryan's ex-classmate and Google buddy Shyam to Peninsula Catworks' adoption fair. Shyam's been wanting a cat or two for a while, but he wasn't sure until he took care of Yum Yum when we were gone for Christmas. Apparently he thought she was easy to take care of, and I think she's rather demanding by normal cat standards. So this is the super-cute Spot. I really hope Shyam's application gets approved so I can visit Spot (and hopefully Bertie too)!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Finished Sweater Pics


Sweater Mosaic, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

I redid the collar, sewed on the cherry stems, and lightly blocked the yoke. The top 4 photos show the pink more accurately, but the white is warmer than that (it's really "natural").

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Knitting Finished on The Sweater!


Sweater, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

Here's how it looked at 3am, as seen by the iPhone camera (Bryan finally got his phone working! Yay!). I've since embroidered the cherry stems, grafted the armpits, and woven in ends. I'm planning on redoing the collar in the charcoal color (probably changing to 1x1 rib as well).
I still need to block out the puckering caused by the drastic decrease rounds in the yoke, but it looks great otherwise! This is actually my first sweater ever. :P
Finished photos and more on techniques later, esp. the jog avoidance. I'll definitely post the charts and the pattern I worked out for myself. I'll explain how I got to that point and probably post my sketches and notes too.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

WIP: The Sweater


Yokeless Sweater, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

I'm up to the beginning of the yoke on The Sweater. Now the "fun" begins. I've had the stranded colorwork designs planned for a long time, but just started playing with colored pencils to decide on background colors. I'll probably go ahead with the knitting and change my mind a couple of times along the way.
Everything seems to fit the way I planned so far. I'm not sure the yoke is going to end up as deep as it's "supposed" to be according to EZ, but I'll just wait and see what happens.
Now to go look up the jogless jog. . .