On that..

Cate so rocks my world. Here’s for making things so *much* *HARDER* than they have to be and having someone with a clue gently nudging you toward the easy way. Not only do I have the Tables module for SPSS, I *used* it to create the data tables on which I’m trying to run the z-test for proportions. But I never use the tests of significance in the module because, quite honestly, most of what I do doesn’t require it. (Yeah, yeah.. I’m one of those IR people who mostly run frequencies.. not because I *can’t* do more sophisticated analysis, but because I don’t have *time* to develop more sophisticated models and then teach my users not to be afraid of them. I’m working on it; I miss working my stats chops.) Fortunately, I saved my syntax (here’s for getting at least *one* thing right!), so I just had to paste in the extra bit to make it do the z-test and, viola! Problem solved.

On less technical issues, knitting proceeds on Holiday Gift #1. I’m just about, maybe a little over, half way through. Sorry, no pics until after the holidays.

I’m thinking about donating the Candle Flame Shawl to the raffle to benefit Houston County Women’s Resources, but I’m a little concerned it won’t .. match the interests of the attendees. It’s a motorcycle and classic car rally, and for some reason I just cringe at the idea of putting a hand knit shawl in there. Part of it is admittedly ego – I’d hate to put it in the raffle and have only a small handful of people think it worth spending a ticket on. (This is a different raffle than the big one for the cruise and travel packages; this one will be done on-site, day-of, and people will buy their “wing span” – length from fingertip to fingertip – in raffle tickets for a set price (we’re still deciding on the price, but it will likely be less than $1 per ticket for most adults) and then drop their tickets in the box or bag or whatever for each item they want a chance at.) Part of it is realizing that I put quite a significant amount of time into it and it might be better received as a gift (it was intended as a gift, but it took too long to make) because I doubt it will bring in all that much in additional raffle ticket sales from this specific audience to justify the work that went into it. But I’m on the fence, partly because the end part of the rally is also a local community festival/gathering so there will be more people there than just the folks who ride the rally. *waffle**waffle*

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Okay, now it’s really finished.

Sorry for the contrast on the photos – should have used a plain colored towel and not one striped in the two main colors of the wrap. I also didn’t want to pull out the futon to block it flat because I was afraid the dog would decide to take a nap on it, so I stretched it across the back of the couch. It worked, but wasn’t quite long enough so I had to wrap the ends around the sides a bit.

Blocking was not ideal.. the garter stitch on the ends is stretchier side to side than the lace pattern, so the ends ended up slightly wider than the body of the wrap. I also had to tension it end-to-end quite a bit so that the pooching of the lace pattern would flatten out, so there are little pointy bits on the ends that I’m not happy with. I’ll need to re-wet just the ends and block just those bits again to get it to even out.

In other news, Holiday Gift #1 is progressing, but I’m finding that I have to take breaks from the mostly cotton yarn or my hands start to hurt. So I started mom’s Panobo wrap. Nope, you won’t get pictures – mom reads here every now and then and even though she knows what it is, I don’t want to spoil her surprise when she sees it finished in person. I will tell you that I rather like the yarn – Berroco’s Ultra Alpaca – because it’s really very soft and light. I did have to go down a needle size to get gauge, but that’s not really unusual for me.

In trying to find the right needles, though, I discovered that I appear to have two 29-inch US9 circulars. So since I need another 29-inch US7 to finish this project, I may try to trade one of the US9’s for a US7. I unfortunately don’t have the packaging for either – both are metal, and I’m pretty sure one is a Boye and the other is a Susan Bates Silverado. The Boye has a bend in the needle toward the join and a stiffer cable; the Silverado is a straight needle but a wonderfully relaxed cable. The joins on both are smooth.

I am Knitter; Hear me ROAR!

Heh. Or something. I managed the crochet provisional cast on the Very First Time(tm). Once I started crocheting the chain it became immediately clear which side was the bottom and what part I was supposed to knit into to create the first row.

The reason for the provisional cast on was to allow for a picot hem, which I’d also never done before. I must admit, it’s a neat little trick and I rather like how it turned out.

And after the hem, there’s a little bit of lace detail, worked in purl stitches with a row of yo, p2tog in the middle before the main body of the piece progresses:

All in all, I am pleased with how this one’s starting, especially at the fact that I learned two new techniques in the progress.

I also got the sleeves for Rogue blocked, but I sort of cheated to do it. I just steam ironed them (except for the bias hem). I’m contemplating doing that for the body as well, but haven’t decided yet.

It’s much, much cooler here today and the humidity seems to have dropped substantially as well, so it’s likely that I’ll try to block the Candle Flame Shawl later this afternoon. I’m a little concerned that I don’t have anything long enough to block it on – unblocked it’s about 5 feet long and I expect it will stretch out another 2 to 2.5 feet during blocking. Even diagonal on the queen-sized futon I don’t think I’ll be able to block it all in one piece. Might have to sequester the dog upstairs and use the carpet on the living room floor.

Finished!*

The Candle Flame Shawl is finished!*

I have not yet cast on for Holiday Gift #1 because it requires a provisional crochet cast-on and I’ve never done that before and didn’t feel like attempting it at too-late-for-this-little-working-girl last night. But I have a crochet hook (don’t ask about size.. I have no idea) and some smooth waste yarn (some leftover Noro Lily, actually) and will attempt to cast on tonight. Wish me luck (’cause, you know, it says to pick up and knit through the bottom of the crochet stitches and how do you tell the top from the bottom?)!

I’m still trying to figure out how I want to do mom’s wrap. The pattern calls for 2 24-inch circs in the same size (a size I don’t even have 1 24-inch circ in at the moment), but really only because it has you working each “sleeve” flat to the center and then doing a 3-needle bind off and seams for the arms. I’m not fond of the idea of a 3-needle bind off in the center of the back, but I’m also not fond of grafting the length of the back either. (Nor am I fond of the idea of working the bulk of the piece flat when it could just as easily be done in the round, but I can modify the pattern to make that happen.) So I’m trying to come to a decision as to how to proceed on that one. In the mean time, I’ll work on Holiday Gift #1.

Did I mention I have patterns picked out for Holiday Gifts #2 thru #4 (and pr’bly #5 and #6 as well)? I have to wait until next month to order yarn, though. Oh, and I challenged the members of the Board of Directors of HCWR to sell raffle tickets by promising to make a hand knit scarf (either winter-scarf-style or lacy (goodness help me, what was I thinking?)), hat, mittens or gloves to the person who sells the most raffle tickets (with a minimum of 30 tickets sold). So yeah.. I think I’m out of the knitting slump and have lots of things to work on.

OH! And I almost forgot that I confirmed that I am getting a Clun Forest lamb fleece (I think it’s a hogget – it’s the first shearing of a lamb born this past spring) next weekend. *bounce* It has a shorter staple than adult Clun Forest (which is about 4-inches, I think), but not so short I won’t be able to spin with it. I *so* can’t wait. My first *whole fleece*!

(*Except for blocking. So there are no pictures because right now it’s just a pile of string that sort of, almost, if you stretch it out, looks like it might be something you might find at the bottom of a laundry hamper.)

More motivation..

*sigh*

Turns out that I don’t have quite all the needles I need to start either holiday project. Or rather, I do have the needles for one, but I’m using one.. it’s currently tied up in the Candle Flame Shawl. And since I’m far too lazy to want to put 80 some stitches in fingering weight yarn on a holding needle or (worse) yarn, I’ve decided I need to just buckle down and finish it.

So far, I have about 2 and a half pattern repeats (which are 36 rows long) left, plus a couple inches of garter. And I’ve decided that if I *ever* do another lacework wrap, it will have shorter repeats that are easier to memorize. 36 rows is just outside my comfortable memory. I have most of it down (finally.. only took the better part of 11 and a half repeats), but the transition points I still need the pattern for. I imagine this must be similar to how Grumperina feels about Mountainash.

But, since we’re hiding out upstairs so we can guiltily benefit from the dehumidifying action of the air conditioner, we’re enjoying listening to Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen compliments of Audible.com and since I can’t seem to multi-task on the computer while listening to audio books, it should only take another day or two to finish. And then it will get added to the needs-to-be-blocked pile with Rogue.

Brought to you by the letters..


Those are the three prints by Ursula that Jack got me for Christmas. The women who took our order for the framing seemed to rather disapprove of the brightly colored mats – she thought we should use more subdued tans and browns to complement the sepia tone of the prints – but I rather like how they turned out.

(Yes, yes, I’m behind on the ABC-along.. and while I could pr’bly technically use this as the K entry, I sort of feel like that’s cheating. I owe at least K, L and pr’bly M at this point. I’ll try to get them up soon.)

In other news, I’ve made progress on both the Brioche Bodice..

(shown here with the shoulders seamed, but still needing side seams, ends woven in, and blocking)

NOTE: I started this post last Thursday. Since then, I’ve finished weaving in the ends and seaming the bodice, but I need to make a minor modification to the neckline. It plunges rather drastically right now and since I’d like it to be work-friendly, I’m going to fix that, probably tonight. I’ll try to talk Jack into taking a picture to post of it finished.

.. and the Candle Flame Wrap.

(shown here half-way through, which is *exactly* 7 pattern repeats, but without any attempt to pseudo-block it)

I’m not sure I like how the colors started to pool in the second half of the first skein, but it looks like they’re spreading out again so hopefully it will work out okay in the end.

In the meantime, I have collected some worsted weight mohair in a dark green (and still have some in a light yellow) and am thinking they’re going to become scarves or shawls or something of that sort to donate to auctions or whatever. Or maybe even just to hang on to as “last-minute” gifts. We’ll see.

Otherwise, my stash yarn that is of sufficient quantity to plan projects has dwindled, so I might have to replenish some at Stitch DC this weekend. Must remember to leave extra room in my suitcase to bring back yarn. *smile*

Has anyone seen my "J" post..?

*sigh* I wrote my “J” post in March, way ahead of schedule, and saved it as a draft. I *swear* that the week before last, I published it. It’s no longer in my drafts folder, but neither is it showing up in my blog. *grumble* I can re-write it, it’s just frustrating that I was so ahead of the game and was foiled.

In the meantime, I will distract you with knitting pictures. First a couple of finished objects: the Fixation socks and the Lily ribbed tank.

I’m not sure how I like the socks. Fixation is just not.. really my thing, I think. I haven’t worn them yet (in fact they’re still sitting on the table like that and I think I took this picture this past weekend), so I might change my mind, but I don’t think I’ll make more socks out of Fixation, at least not for me. I have most of a skein of this color left plus most of a skein of a variegated colorwary, so I might make a pair for someone else using those.

The tank I like quite a bit. It could be a little longer and I probably could have made it narrower, but if I wear another tank under it (it’s a little too see-thru to just wear on its own), it works just fine. I wore it Sunday to my niece’s birthday party and this picture was taken after that, so it’s a bit stretched out. The silk doesn’t spring back as well as wool or acrylic would, but I don’t really mind that.

This, of course, is Rogue. Or at least most of the hood for Rogue. I actually finished the hood this week, but don’t have a more recent picture. I’m not sure if I’m going to start working on the sleeves right away or not since it’s unlikely that I’ll have much opportunity to wear it until fall, so it might wait until later in the summer. We’ll see.

I’ve also continued plugging away on the Candle Flame wrap and am about four or five repeats into it, which is still only about 2/3rds of the first skein. It’s sort of putzy, but I’m getting used to the chart (it’s 36 rows) so it’s been going better. I’m starting to wonder though if the variegated yarn is too busy for the pattern.

This is it so far, pseudo-blocked on my bulletin board at work. I think it’s the striping that is bugging me – I like the light/dark pools, but the striping is a little too stark. It looks better stretched out, so I’m hoping once it’s all finished and blocked properly that it will be fine.

This weekend we’re escaping to my parents’ cabin and I’m hoping to work on some tablet weaving, so there may not be much knitting progress to show come Tuesday, but I do have about 12 hours in the car the next four days, so there’s likely to be some either on Candle Flame or on a new project.