Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Knitting and Other Things

This blog has been neglected for some time now...and with Christmas coming may be for a bit longer.
Moving back home after fifteen years and integrating two households while enjoying the summer and fall in the beautiful Upper Peninsula has been time consuming. And we are still not done.

What free time there's been has been taken up with knitting.  I recently found a group of people who meet regularly at Connie's Place to knit, converse, and share their cumulative knowledge on knitting and life.  I've gone to knit twice and now the holiday schedule will not allow us to meet for three weeks.  It was good to find a group who shares a love of needlework, whether it be knit, crochet or other kinds of handcrafts.

I've been knitting lots more socks, most furiously lately since the yarn I ordered in September was mistakenly shipped to my old Minnesota address and never forwarded to me.  I finally contacted  Three Irish Girls who refunded my shipping, dyed, dried and shipped a new order of the yarn which had been intended for Christmas gifts this year. It came yesterday.  I got right to work, but there is no way I can possibly get the projects on my list done for this Christmas..but the yarn is beautiful.  I am trying hard to get one pair of socks done for my sister-in-law in Three Irish Girls Adorn sock yarn, color Winterbirch, as she loves white birch.

Some of my other projects recently are:

Being home again meant for the first time in fifteen years there was enough time to erect and enjoy the full size tree.  We lingered over the lights and decorations for a full week, savoring the memories elicited by each handmade or gifted ornament.  We remembered the people in our lives and the experiences making the handcrafted ornaments.  Our living room seemed populated by  crowds of people who have been part of our lives.

  God bless them, every one.  It is so good to be home for the holidays...and for the rest of our lives.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Delightful Surprise

It's nice to realize that your efforts are appreciated when you do a (mostly) thankless job.

Thank You!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Two Tweet Morning

A Result of 23 Things on a Stick

From my Twitter feed this morning, a message from one of the participants in the 23 Things on a Stick program and my reply:

Believe it or not, there are still skeptics!

Monday, May 14, 2012

What Speed Do You Read?

Staples, billing themselves as "the e-reader experts" have created this little test for you to check your reading speed. It then lets you know how many books (by e-reading device) you can read on the battery life of said device. You need to click on the red button area of the graphic to take the test yourself. What was your score?

ereader test
Source: Staples eReader Department

Friday, March 9, 2012

Constructing the Helmet Hat

Vogueknitting Holiday 2011 issue included a cabled helmet hat designed by Deborah Newton that immediately caught my eye and prompted me to purchase the issue via my iPad to get the instructions.(Later purchased the paper copy when I found it too. You can see why here.) I searched for some affordable yarn with which to make the hat and found a City Tweed Aran with many color choices at Knitpicks which resembled the yarn in the issue's photo.

Knitting the hat turned out to be just as addicting as knitting socks. You've got to make another just to see how it looks in THIS yarn. I've got a stash of Three Irish Girls yarn all of which I think would look stunning turned into this hat. So probably be more to come.

The first hat was knit for Pam who also loved the hat and ordered City Tweed Aran in Jacquard yarn with me if I would knit the hat for her. So I did. Then came one for my sister in law in Three Irish Girls Wexford Merino Silk in Seaglass (she is a collector of seaglass along Lake Superior's shore)followed by two for friend Patty who wanted them as gifts for her sister and niece, one in City Tweed Aran Jacquard and one in Three Irish Girls Springvale Super Merino Rhys. The blue came out so striking that I had to try it again and also in Three Irish Girls Wexford Merino Silk in Gretel just to see how those fabulous colors would look.

Everyone who got the hat was interested in how the hat was constructed so I took some pictures of the process this last time.

The base of the hat is the band which is knit from a chart and done in one piece, then sewn together. (After the third time making the hat, I turned the chart into written words and placed a blow up of the cable stitches directions in the corner which really sped up knitting the band.) Stitches are then picked up around the bottom of the band, knit and then increased in the next row and knit then bind off and sew side edge seam.

After the band is completed and sewn into the circle, stitches are picked up on the front of the band and the center panel is knitted until it is twelve inches long in a repeating 4 row twist cable pattern, then decreased as per instructions to fit the back band area where it is stitched down.

Back view of panel stitched down to the band:

Front view after panel is knit and stitched down:

After sewing down the center panel, you are ready to pick up stitches along each oval earflap.

Pick up stitches along the earflap and knit the 4 row textured rib pattern until you have 4 repetitions of the pattern. Then do the decreases (you can stay in the textured rib pattern for this, or just follow the stitches for a ribbed pattern for a plainer look which adds one more texture to the hat.) Either way looks fine.

Stitches picked up and knit on one earflap. When decreases are completed and cast off, this is one completed side.

This shows the wrong side of earflap textured rib pattern:

This shows the right side of textured rib pattern:

Second earflap textured rib pattern completed:

After completing the second earflap side, I find the center of the center panel, and the center of the picked up earflap and pin them together with the right side facing out, pinning from back to front on each side. Then stitching from back to front matching stitches where possible to get the smooth curved shape. (I've also done it from front to back, but seem to get better results going back to front. Is it because I'm right handed? Who knows?) All I did find out is that starting stitching from either the front or the back, be sure you do each side from the same place to avoid a twisted, wonky look requiring one to rip and redo the stitching.

Voila..the helmet hat is completed.

In City Tweed Aran in Jacquard (I made two of these)

In Three Irish Girls Wexford Merino Silk Seaglass

In Three Irish Girls Merino Silk Wexford Gretel

In City Tweed Aran Rhubarb

Three Irish Girls Springvale Merino Rhys (I made two of these)

And now I"m off to start another...hat, sock, what will it be? Hmmm...decisions, decisions...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fantastic Flying Books....

Charming little video has a glimmering of The Wizard of Oz. It's available as an interactive children's book app for the Ipad for $4.99 too.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Two Apps to Consider

I recently downloaded the Kindle app to my Ipad and personal computers so that I can read library books downloaded from Overdrive on them. I wanted some experience with them so I'd be familiar with the app and what it can do to share with library people I work with.

I was pleased with the ease of use. If you have multiple devices in your "Manage Your Kindle" account, you can specify which device you want to send the downloaded e-books to.

I was even more pleased to learn about the Send to Kindle for PC app that Amazon recently introduced. You install the app on your PC and can use it to send any document to your Kindle. If sent using the print function, the document is sent in a pdf format to the cloud storage where you can again manage which device you want to send the document to. I experimented and was able to send documents easily not only to a Kindle Fire but also to my Ipad which has the Kindle app installed on it. The beauty of the Kindle app for Ipad is that it simplifies reading pdf files on the Ipad, which has no native ability to handle pdfs.

To send personal documents you can do either one of these:

From Windows Explorer, simply right click on one or more documents and choose Send to Kindle. To send multiple documents to Kindle without opening them, simply select documents and choose Send to Kindle from the right-click menu in Windows Explorer

Or, from any Windows application that can print, select Print and choose Send to Kindle (documents are delivered in PDF format).

Send to Kindle is supported on Kindle Library on Kindle Keyboard (with the latest software update, version 3.3), Kindle, Kindle Touch, and Kindle for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch (running Kindle app version 2.9 or greater). Kindle Personal Documents Service is currently not supported on other free Kindle Reading Applications, although a Mac version is said to be coming.

In addition, you and your approved contacts can send personal documents to your registered Kindle devices, supported Kindle reading applications, and your Kindle Library in the Amazon Cloud by e-mailing them to your Send-to-Kindle e-mail address ([name] well. Your Send-to-Kindle e-mail address is a unique e-mail address assigned to your Kindle device or supported Kindle reading application upon registration. To have a document converted to Kindle format (.azw), the subject line should be "convert" when e-mailing a personal document to your Send-to-Kindle address. Converting the document enables you to use functionality like like variable font size and annotations.

You can find more information about the Amazon Kindle Personal Documents service here.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Let It Snow

A New Year greeting from Michigan's Upper Peninsula where the snow this winter waited a long time to show up...starting about midnight on New Year's Eve:

Everyone is thankful that some snow finally arrived, but it remains to be seen if it will be enough to help the faltering business climate in the area when all that is left is tourism. Winter without adequate snow doesn't generate the income needed to survive. Blizzard warnings have everyone hopeful that the snow is now here to stay and hoping enough piles up for the Porkies ski hill to open.