Monday, December 1, 2008

Where We See Yet Again My Shining Brilliance

At last, an update. You were starting to worry, weren't you?

(yes, I love talking to my imaginary friends)

Took me a while to update because once again, I am having technological issues. For a geek, I am remarkably computer-retarded. For a geek with an Apple computer, I have the IQ of pond scum. As I mentioned previously, my computer is full. I got a temporary reprieve by learning how to actually delete photos, instead of just thinking I'd deleted them, but I'm still a little too full to do very much. Since I love to take photos with my stupidly-huge megapixel camera, this creates a problem. Now, the solution according to some dude on the Apple support forums was to buy an external hard drive, clone my internal drive, and then boot from the external until I could get around to buying a new and bigger internal drive. This I tried to do, buying a 500 GB external HDD, eventually, and cloning my current drive. Then I tried to boot from the external, and this is when I discovered the crucial point I had overlooked when I went to buy the external HDD: firewire. I bought a drive with a USB connection, and apparently, that makes it unbootable. (@*$^#%^!&*!)#*#^&$. So I'm right back where I was before, except now I have a useless $100 external HDD. Also, it turns out that I could have just bought a firewire enclosure and a new internal drive and cloned my old one directly to the new one without doing this stupid external nonsense. As an added move to tick me off, I can't buy music from the iTunes store, because I live in Japan and my debit card is from America. Apple sure is trying really hard to make me not spend any more money on them.

Anyway, I deleted enough photos over the weekend to upload more, although a video I very much wanted to upload wouldn't. And then I forgot to take a picture of my newest project. Dolt!

The Xmas Nebraska Hat is done, yea. The yarn was not pleasant to work with, although I think it's fine in the hat. As for the hat itself, I don't love it. The pattern is not my perfect hat, but I'm not sure how much had to do with the yarn I ended up using. I did end up casting on the 100 stitches the pattern calls for, after realizing that the 90 stitches I first had just didn't look nice, but I think the ideal would be in between. Since the pattern needs multiples of ten, that wouldn't have worked anyway. The hat feels too big, even though it fits fine, as you can see on the head of my neighbor, Geoff. It's definitely a little long - the pattern tells you to knit for 20 cm, which when I stopped to convert to inches seemed a bit long, but I figured she knew better than me and kept going. In the end, I started the decreases before 20 cm, and I still think it's too long. Then the decreases themselves just don't look as nice as I want them to. That might be me, but I definitely think that the second k2t in the pattern should be a ssk instead.

FO details:
Name: Christmas Nebraska Hat, for Stu in NYC
Pattern: That Chocolate's Gone Straight to Your Ribs Hat, by Leonie Connellan
Finished Meaurements: Forgot again, next time!
Yarn: ¥100 stuff from Daiso, wool/acrylic blend, in red and white.
Needles: Clover bamboo size US #8s, 16" circular.
Pattern mods: Not in the end.
Number of Times Frogged: Once, when I already had a good two or three inches, so I could cast on the proper number of stitches.
Knitting in Public: Um, no.
Next Time I Would Change: Definitely a different yarn, one not so scratchy. Probably a smaller needle. Definitely shorter by a couple centimeters. Decrease differently - k2t on the wider rib first, then a ssk. Also take the advice of Norma in her blog about ribbed hats regarding color changes. Hers looks way nicer than mine. Live and learn.

Now, about the knitting that is not-so-finished. The Diamond and Smocked has been done away with. Bad yarn choice for the pattern. I did the swatch and enjoyed the yarn and the color and even knitting the pattern, but it just didn't look right. So I finished off the swatch and went straight into the Basketweave pattern. I wanted to make it bigger than the pattern size, so I decided to add some pattern repeats. In my head, it went something like this:

"Okay, it says cast on 158 stitches. 7 stitch borders, pattern repeat in multiples of 8. So, add 8 to 158, that's 164. Plus 8 is 172, plus 8 is 180. Okay, cast on 180." Bam, I cast on 180.

Maybe you saw the glaring flaw in there, but I certainly didn't see it until it was time to start the pattern (ten rows in), when all of a sudden I thought, is this a 7 stitch border on each side, or is it 14 stitches? I started doing the math in my head and suddenly nothing was adding up. I looked back at the pattern, I re-counted my stitches, and then it hit me: 158 + 8 does not equal 164. It equals 166. I was missing two stitches. So now I have a 6-stitch border on each side.

Otherwise, it's going fine. I'm alredy bored and the thing is barely 4 inches, but hey. It looks nice, although the yarn is a little dark for the pattern, but seriously what pattern can you do with a yarn this dark? Lace, really, or stockinette. Then there's the fact that I might run out of yarn, in spite of my ten skeins. The first skein gave me 2 3/4", so assuming that each additional skein will give me 3" (I did a fairly substantial swatch of the D&S), that'll get me to just under 30" x 33", assuming my measurement of the bottom taken in the car yesterday was accurate. All of that's not to mention that this was a silly project to attempt anyway, because she specifically asked for a blanket for her four cats that would match her living room, and I heard: Christmas gift! Find pattern! Here's one, and even though it's baby-sized, I'll make it a little bigger and all will be well! Um.

Note to self: when people request a knitted something, they can pick a pattern or an exact color, not both. And if they've actually requested a knitted something, you should give them that something, not something else that you've decided would be better. Sigh. I think the kitties will be disappointed.

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