Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sign Gone Missing

Earlier this afternoon, I noticed that the post office on Seventh Avenue between Second and Third Streets in Park Slope is missing its sign. The most likely reason I can come up with is that it's being replaced, but personally, I'd much rather they used the money they're spending on a sign to clean up the interior.

Duly Noted and/or News off the Blogs: More on the Birthday Bridge Festivities

Gowanus Lounge has several more posts about this weekend's bridge festivities. These include two posts about the fireworks Thursday night, one containing a video, and another containing a photo gallery. It's a bit late in the day for the post about today's events to be of much use, but keep your eyes peeled for tomorrow's (and possibly Monday's).

Also posted are an account of the actual opening, 125 years ago today, and a special "Brooklinks" post which, like the post you are reading now, contains links to other Bridge-party links.

Though not specific to the bridge which bears the borough's name, another post mentions that Brooklyn has, apparently, shrunk.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I just posted the final poll to select a pattern for my knitting circle's first knit-along. (Members will be getting an e-mail about it as soon as I have a link for this post. Non-members may join by clicking on the big red and white thing at left.) After an extended period of nominations and preliminary voting, the finalists are:
I've already knit three of these patterns. As I mentioned last week, I've managed to crank out three Foliages (among other things) since January. I've also shown off one pair of Fetchings I knit with leftovers from the first of the hats -- the third pair of that pattern I've made. A second also uses Cascade 220 in an unidentified shade of blue (I lost its ID tag); a third uses Road to China, a very shed-prone yarn from The Fibre Company.


I even knit a Calorimetry a while back:
Calorimetry, finished

Of the five finalists, I'm partial to these three. My logic is that the other two are more likely to cause trouble. The Baby Surprise sweater is a large project for a first knit-along (and not as simple as it looks, apparently), and not all of us have babies at hand to show off our knitting skill. And socks are something that seem to require a lot of attention on the first pair, attention we don't necessarily want to lavish on something at the moment.

Fetching, on the other hand, is a tiny project (heck, I knit up a pair using leftovers) and requires nothing more advanced than double-pointeds and a few cable rounds. Foliage, my personal favorite, takes some attention and a circular needle, but is still reasonably small -- especially if you go for the version with the bulkier yarn. Calorimetry runs big and will need some raveling and tweaking (even if you have the gauge specified), but again, it's small and simple and a fairly painless introduction to short rows.

So, my advice is this: vote Foliage. If you don't feel up to that pattern, vote Fetching (or perhaps Calorimetry, if you don't mind adjusting to size).

Duly Noted: Happy 125th birthday, Brooklyn Bridge

Just a quick post, to point out that there are celebrations this weekend for the 125th birthday of the Brooklyn Bridge, kicking off tonight with a concert featuring (of course) the Brooklyn Philharmonic. Festivities also include films, walking tours, and other lectures and performances.

Further links:
* Gowanus Lounge included several bridge links in today's edition of their "Brooklinks" column.
* The New York Times has an website includes this article about the bridge (which includes the link I posted in the first paragraph).
* And there is a Wikipedia article about the bridge. But you already knew that.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

On the Needles -- a trio again, but of scarves

Scarf, close-up
Originally uploaded by The Loopweaver

It's about time I posted projects in progress, and not just the ones I got done. At right is the scarf I'm working on now. (In fact, it's in my lap as I type this.) The pattern is variously called "Feather and Fan" or "Old Shale." It's a popular pattern which can be found all over the web -- though I got it from Barbara G. Walker's upbiquitous A Treasury of Knitting Patterns.

I have a few more scarves that are at various stages approaching completion. Two of them are meant to illustrate stitch patterns -- from that same Walker book -- on Ravelry. The first of these, my "Cloverleaf Eyelet Miniscarf" (using the "Cloverleaf Eyelet" pattern) can barely be called in progress, as all that's left is to sew on a button and weave in two yarn tails. A picture of it at an earlier stage:
Silk & Alpaca Mini-Scarf Part

My third in-progress scarf is near enough to being finished that I'm not bringing it to the office for fear of being cought without knitting. I've had to troubleshoot it a few too many times recently, anyway. I'm calling it my "Trellisleaf Scarf," a shortened version of "Trellis-Framed Leaf Pattern" the name of the stitch.
Trellis-Framed Leaf Pattern scarf end

Plumberry Stripes scarf, on Ravelry
Feather and Fan Stitch, or Old Shale, on Ravelry
Cloverleaf Eyelet Miniscarf, on Ravelry
Cloverleaf Eyelet pattern, on Ravelry
Trellisleaf Scarf, on Ravelry
Trellis-Framed Leaf Pattern, on Ravelry
Barbara Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, on Ravelry
Barbara Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, on LibraryThing

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Photo: Face


A sculptural decoration on what used to be John Jay High School in Park Slope. I'm not sure if it's supposed to represent something, but I didn't exactly research it, either.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Knitting coverage continued: Leftovers

Yesterday I promised to tell you what I did with the leftovers from those three hats. The short answer is that I made a pair of gloves, and three swatches to test stitch patterns. The long answer -- that is, the illustrated one -- is as follows.

The brown Foliage hat only used half a skein of Cascade 220. I used the other half to make a pair of fingerless mitts. The pattern, which appears on Knitty, is called "Fetching."
Third Fetchings, finished

Neither of the other two hats left enough yarn for much in the way of obviously-useful projects. Instead, I knit up swatches from the two stitch dictionaries I have. The point of these is threefold. First, I get the hang of a new pattern; with said hang I also get some idea of the relative difficulty of various patterns. Second, should I decide to keep the swatch, I end up with a record of the properties of different patterns. Most of the time, I remember to make a note of the pattern, yarn, and needle size I used: I have a bunch of file cards I've cut in half and put holes through for just this kind of tagging. Third and finally, I've joined the effort to enter these patterns into Ravelry's database; if I'm entering the pattern into the database, I feel I ought to at least make some effort at illustrating them.

I made three swatches with the leftovers from my hats: the "Vertical Lace Trellis" pattern from Barbara G. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, and the "Larkspurs" and "Little Lace Diamonds" patterns from the Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns.

I made the "Vertical Lace Trellis" swatch using leftovers from the green foliage. I had a very hard time getting photographing it.
Vertical Lace Trellis swatch

I made the "Larkspurs" pattern using the rest of the Cascade 220 from the green Foliage (and the swatch above). This is how it looks unblocked:
Larkspurs swatch

As you can probably guess by the photo below, the "Little Lace Diamonds" swatch with the leftovers from the blue hat. This swatch is also unblocked. I hope to get blocking wires soon: this promises to look even better once I've gotten it to shape.
Little Lace Diamonds swatch

My brown Fetchings, on Ravelry
My green Vertical Lace Trellis swatch, on Ravelry
My green Larkspurs swatch, on Ravelry
My blue Little Lace Diamonds swatch, on Ravelry

"Fetching" pattern, on Knitty
"Fetching" pattern, on Ravelry
"Vertical Lace Trellis" pattern, on Ravelry
"Larkspurs" pattern, on Ravelry
"Little Lace Diamonds" pattern, on Ravelry

A Treasury of Knitting Patterns on LibraryThing
A Treasury of Knitting Patterns on Ravelry
Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns on LibraryThing
Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns on Ravelry

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Photo: Orchid

Originally uploaded by The Loopweaver
"My office has an orchid, its..."

It's... Well, it's blooming, even if I haven't fully thought through how I'd rewrite the Oscar Mayer jingle. It bloomed about six months ago, and I got some really good photos of it then, too.

Partial knitting coverage -- three hats

It's probably about time I covered some of what I knit in that multimonth absence. For lack of a better starting point, I'll begin with the hat pattern I knit from in triplicate.

The hats, all made using the "Foliage" pattern in last fall's issue of Knitty, are as follows.

The first was knit strictly to the pattern using Cascade 220 Superwash in brown. I don't have a picture of me in the hat, so I'm stuck posting a photo of my knitting in the hat:
Foliage complete

Bear with me while I skip ahead to the third hat. It was more or less squarely knit to pattern, using the version for thicker yarns. The only change was neccessitated by the fact that my gauge tends to be short as well as fat (the latter often meaning I have to use smaller needles than is normally suggested; this is, I think, the source of the shortness). All I did was repeat the dozen-row repeat a third time beween crown and ribbing.
Third Foliage

The second hat was also knit in Cascade 220 Superwash (like the first), but in green. But while the brown was perfectly content as an ordinary Foliage, the green wanted to be a slightly looser version. I started on needles a size larger than I used for the brown hat, then changed to needles yet another size bigger at the point in the crown chart where those knitting the big-yarn version would depart for the hat body. I knit the leaf lace an extra time through, before doing an extra half-repeat back in the original needles and going on to the ribbing. Believe me it sounds worse than it is, and it came out well:
Green  hat, done

That's the hats. Stay tuned to hear what I did with the leftovers!

"Foliage" pattern on Knitty
"Foliage" pattern on Ravelry
The brown version, on Ravelry
The blue version, on Ravelry
The green version, on Ravelry

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Signs of Misdirection

I have a thing for signs. Especially signs that seem to say something they don't mean. Or, alternatively, have been modified to say something they don't mean. I've seen a few posted on Gownus Lounge recently. One features a sign with a misspelling which, like confusing its and it's (and inventing its'), leaves the capabilities of the sign's poster open to debate. Another sign was merely bent, but in such a way that could very easily create confusion.

Similarly, I spotted a few such signs on my own. One of them suggests that East 90th Street and Madison Avenue is not an intersection, but a single street.
Sign at 90th and Madison

Another sign was deliberately modified, to create a similar effect I'm calling the "all paths lead to 10th Ave":
Rewritten sign

My contribution to the rash of misspelled stuff is this sign, in front of a soup store that is now (perhaps fortunately) long closed.
Potato & Leak

But I'll close with a few messed-up one-way signs. (I once saw one that was pointing straight up. As in vertical. If only I hadn't been in a moving car at the time!)
One Way Up
Any Which Way

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I'm back!

I'm back after neglecting my blog for an extended period. As a re-inaugural cange, I've put in a new quote at the bottom of the page. I expect to come up with a few good tidbits to post while this computer continues to recover from a virus scan that lasted a good hour and a half.