Archive for January, 2009

January 27, 2009


January is the busiest month of the year for bookkeepers in public accounting (at least, in the U.S.). We have one month to finalize payroll from the prior year for all of our clients and get out W-2s. I’m almost done. I’m working on one of my last clients now.

I’m really glad we don’t have to knit the forms by hand anymore. There is a certain satisfaction in doing them that way — watching the purl bumps line up neatly under the needles, the knitted “v’s” looking like geese ready to fly away — but the machines do it so much faster, and you don’t have to worry about accidentally crossing a cable the wrong way, and causing some poor single mother to look like she owes $10,000 in taxes for the year. This way the IRS can just feed them into their machines, too, which saves time and tax dollars. Automation certainly has its uses.

I still say that if I ever start my own business, I’ll knit all my books by hand instead of using something like QuickKnits or Purltree, but when you’re doing something fairly impersonal and mindless, over and over, it’s really nice to sit back and watch the machine do its thing.

A missive from down the rabbit hole, reposted from my LiveJournal.

January 26, 2009

I am mispleased.

The further along I go with my legwarmers, the less happy I am with them. I was willing to overlook all the times I crossed cables the wrong way on one side of the lozenge pattern (the four stitch wide cable that crosses to the outside, I crossed six or seven times to the inside instead). I was even thinking I could overlook the huge (for me) ladders at the ends of my needles. But the cables aren’t lying flat on the left sides, and the stitches to the left of them are stretched out, and it’s too long, and I’m just about ready to rip it out. You know, now that I’ve only got three rows left to the lozenge pattern. I don’t know if it’s me, or the yarn, or the pattern, but I’m just not happy with it.

I’m not going to do that, though. I’m going to be good, and patient, and set it aside until I can take it to my mom’s and see what she thinks of it, and maybe by then I won’t think it looks that bad. But until then, I think I’m going to start working on the Shetland Shorty I have in my Ravelry queue.

I’ve enjoyed working with a fine yarn on a delicate looking pattern. It is a nice change from all the chunky yarn/large needle stuff that’s been so popular for so many years now. I just hope I decide to finish it.

January 23, 2009

I’m a math geek, and I have the calculators to prove it.

I’ve been a bit annoyed with myself that my Travelling Stitch Legwarmers seem to be coming out too long. I’m still not quite done with the lozenge chart, and it’s measuring about fifteen inches. So I looked at my repeats of the Hauser model chart, and they still seem like they’re about the same size at the top of the legwarmer as they were at the bottom. I decided it was time to do the math.

Each ten-row repeat of the Hauser model, for me, is about 1 1/8″, or 1.125″ (I got out the ruler and checked at the top and the bottom, and they are nicely even). According to the pattern, you work the Hauser model on the front of the leg over 132 rows. There’s also ten rows of twisted rib, plus the setup row for the cables. That makes a total of 143 rows. Granting a little fudging for the rib and setup row, that’s about 14.3 repeats of the Hauser model. 14.3 X 1.125″ = 16.0″. That’s just about spot on for where I am. So I checked to see if that matched up with 34 rows of the Hauser model, plus the eleven rows of ribbing and setup. 45 rows is 4.5 repeats of the Hauser model. 4.5 X 1.125″ = 5.0″. Spot on.

Is it just me? Am I figuring something wrong? In all the stuff I looked at on Ravelry about this pattern, I haven’t seen a single complaint about this. I imagine it’s possible that people haven’t been overly concerned with the length, because the instructions go by repetitions of the charts, but still. When a pattern says “should be about x inches,” don’t you check?!?

The monkeys are going to visit my mom tonight, and I’m going to bring my legwarmer-in-progress and the instructions, and see if she comes to the same conclusion.

January 22, 2009

Trying to keep warm.

So I’m making legwarmers. “Traveling Stitch Legwarmers” from Knit so Fine, to be specific. They are taking a really long time, compared to the socks I made for Little Cat Z, which only took two days! This is not a bad thing. I’ve had some time to knit while at work this month, because I have large stacks of forms that need to get printed, and I can’t really do anything else until they’re done.

My gauge was a little off, but not enough, I thought, to warrant going down a needle size. When I got to the 34th row of the main body, it measured five inches, just like the pattern said it should, so I thought I was fine. Now here I am, row 82 of the lozenge pattern, and I’m already measuring at fourteen inches, which is how long it should be when I’m finished with the lozenge pattern . . . in sixteen more rows. Which is almost two inches. The repeats of the “Hauser model” cable pattern seem to be the same size at the beginning of the piece and here near the end, so I’m not sure what happened. And, to make things better, I’m really close to the end of my ball of yarn. Maybe, if I hadn’t somehow come out of this two inches to long, I’d have been able to make the whole legwarmer with one ball of yarn. Instead, I’m going to have to add in a new one at the end. I’m afraid I’m going to be something like two rows from the end and that’s when I’ll run out. I wouldn’t mind running out now, but that close to the end will feel ridiculous.

I’m using KnitPicks Gloss instead of the Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport the pattern calls for. It’s 70% wool, 30% silk. I wonder if I can do a spit-splice. Plenty of people on Ravelry complain that the yarn felts. If I can, I won’t be as upset about having to join a new ball close to the end.

January 3, 2009

I guess he liked them.

Thing Two has already worn through his socks. He wore them for the first time on December 24, and already there are huge holes in the balls of the feet, and in the heel on one sock. He wore them almost every day, and had been putting together his old floor puzzles and sliding across them. He was very impressed with how much more slippery they were than his store-bought socks. Yeah, great. He wore through them in about as much time as it took me to make them. Boys. I have enough of the yarn that I’ll probably try to repair them. I mean, really big holes.

I finished the socks for Thing One today, and she has promised not to wear through them so quickly.

I started socks for Little Cat Z, using the Universal Toe-Up Formula. I decided I don’t really need to do another basic cuff-down sock right now. I think I’ve got that down. I don’t know if it’s just that I’m unaccustomed to this cast on, but I’m using the same yarn and needles as I did for Thing One’s socks (the blue, obviously, since there’s almost no pink left), and so far the fabric seems very loose. If it doesn’t tighten up appreciably in a few rows, I think I’ll take it out and do the crochet chain with a smaller hook. Maybe that will help. If not, I’ll do another gauge swatch and see if I’m doing something different. Maybe I need to drop another size.