Monday, November 04, 2013

It's Girls!

Two baby girls...How wonderful! Growing well (in the 95th percentile—for singletons—off the charts for twins) and appearing healthy. Yesterday was the shower –or should I say deluge! A beautiful day for a wonderful party—and millions of gifts. I am not sure there room for baby's in the apartment.

So many new wonderful things these days for babies...I was stunned and over whelmed. My gifts are all going to be hand made ones.. A niece for my ex's side was there—I haven't seen her for some year (her grandfathers funeral)--Her children still play with the stuffed toy I knit for her-(that is how she introduced me to her children.. (This is Emily's mommy—She's is aunt who made the stuffed elephant).
That is the best—to be remembered and known for the things I hand crafted--(some 40 years)... I didn't even remember that toy at first!

I have to confess—I didn't (don't) care (boys, girls, one of each)--Healthy is my desire. But as a knitter—well, it's way more fun to knit for girls. There are so many things designed for girl—and the same goes for sewing. My sewing machine has several pre-programed stitch patterns for flowers—but nothing for boys—not sports stuff, or even gender neutral stuff (teddy bears or other animals.)

I suppose scalloped edging could be considered gender neutral—but I think its more feminine—I have girls to sew for!

As for knitting—Wedge twelve is complete(finally) —all that remains (for today/tonight) is grafting the open stitches to the cast on edge—and then getting started with blanket 2.

The queue of baby things to knit just keeps getting longer and longer...(and here I am goofing off at the computer!)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Another Wedge and Then Some

Wedge 10 is finished and 11 half done, and when the blanket is folded flat, it seems I will end up with a do-decagon (a 12 sided polygon) after all.  Wedge 11 and then some to be finished today, 12 and the grafted seam for tomorrow.

Immediately after-- blanket 2.. A basket weave it is.  Garter borders and giant squares of seed stitch and stocking knit. It might end up being a rectangle rather than a square... and blanket 3 will be a triangle.

Not to get ahead of myself, but when I have finished the blankets,  I then have 2 commissioned pieces.  DD as for so little, it's a pleasure to do what ever she asks.

First she'd like a matching sweater to this one—knit by her grandmother for one of her cousins... I bought the yarn yesterday, and we decided on the slightly darker oatmeal color—since the cream didn't match perfectly. I looked for buttons too--but didn't find any I liked--and certainly nothing that match. 

The original is wool, (and slightly fulled from years of use)--and I will read the knitting like a chart to make a duplicate--since I have no idea where the original pattern is.   I might change it a bit, and knit it in one piece to the underarms (and eliminate the side seams)--I started a swatch last night (which is why wedge 11 is only half done)--I will swatch the cable—and make sure my gauge is close enough. I might make it a bit bigger.. (and allow for a bit of fulling) –besides, twins (especially non identical ones) don't always grow at the same rate.
The second request from DD was for a set of boob hats for the babies.. I love the boob hat—and I am happy to add this to queue. Even if I also still plan to knit Valentine's day heart hats and St. Patrick shamrock hats! 

 I was at Joanne's with DD yesterday and we decided on the colors.. the selection was limited. We chose the wrong day to go. The aisles of the yarn corner were filled with boxes—and a harried (but still pleasant) clerk was busy checking invoices and trying to organize things--and getting ready to unpack..  It was hard to walk in the aisles and see anything with all the boxes.. But still, I am not unhappy with what we found... Maybe if they had a paler pink (we are both very fair) but I don't think there is a paler pink.  

Which reminds me... I placed a large ($75+tax & shipping) order to Lion Brand last week—and it didn't come packed with their new catalog! How annoying. Well maybe I'll find one in my mailbox this week.

I love my Nook, and reading books on it. (and my reading list is growing fast than even I can read!) but I don't like reading zines on the Nook. I read books in strict linear way—I rarely skip ahead, and only occasionally go back-- but magazines articles are always broken up, and have pages of ads to skip—I tend to flip through a magazine—and it's just not as comfortable on the nook. I don't know if the Lion Brand catalog is available on line.. but even if it is—I want a lovely hard copy to read and salivate over.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Three Quarters Done?

Well -- 9 wedges done. But it looks like 9 won't quite be enough. The four  skeins will be. As I have gone along, the first skein made 3 wedges and a few rows of wedge 4.

Skein 2 completed 3 wedges—and half of another. Now, 9 wedges have been knit, and there is still enough yarn for most (if not all) of wedge 10. When wedges 10, 11, and 12 have been knit there will be—for sure—enough yarn for wedge 13. I do have 2 more skeins—in case I run short.. but I don't think I will.

And likely, wedge 13 will be needed. I suppose if I were superstitious I would frog, or fudge (and have a slightly less than a flat blanket) and stop at 12. But I am not superstitious—I live on floor number 14—but the elevator skips from 12 to 14—so I am really on the 13th floor—and I know it.

I won't tell anyone—I doubt anyone will sit and count the wedges—in a single color its not immediately evident (or easy to count). My daughter isn't superstitious either—so she won't mind.
I'd rather have a slightly fuller (to the point of almost ruffled) blanket than a slightly smaller (and cupped one).

I am still deciding which square blanket to knit... A simple one—like a wash cloth starting with 3 and increasing—to the half way point and then decreasing..But I think this is better suited to the triangular blanket--(number 3)just knit and increase till I run out of yarn If seems too big—well increase and decrease and make another square blanket!

Perhaps a 9 patch—a border of garter and squares of stocking knit and reverse stocking knit.--or maybe stocking knit and seed stitch... or.. well a simple basket weave of some sort. Even just off set rows of garter would be interesting.

K for square 1, p for square 2, k for square 3.. It would break up the lines and be interesting to knit.. with out being too complicated.--I don't mind doing 4 square of purl every stitch/every row garter.

I have also considered (and rejected) a mock entralac--I'll have to come to a decision soon--this blanket is rapidly nearing completion.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Now It's Five Twelfths To Go!

Two more wedge completed—(and a few rows more of wedge 8)--along with the second skein of yarn.
No photos for the moment-- but a recipe--

Since this isn't quite a pattern
Cast on 50,
knit 1 row.
Knit the next row, too. —But stop 2 stitches short of the end of the row.
Knit back
Repeat (Knit the next row, but stop 2(more) short)
then Knit back.
Repeat 23 more times, each time knitting 2 fewer stitches.
When the last row is just the last 2 stitches-- then knit the full row, and back again-- 1 wedge completed.
Repeat—11 more times—till you come full circle.

Actually, the cast on number (should be about 20 inches) depending on your yarn, needle and gauge; with the number of steps you take (2 stitch step, or 3 stitch steps) the number (and shape) of wedges will change. But there are many different combination that will make a polygon that sort of looks like a circle.

Another version of this pattern calls for a new color of yarn as a wedge is completed.

In the end, I will half graft the last row of live stitches to the cast on edge.

Things will slow down over the weekend—there are things to do, and people to see.. and knitting won't be the top priority. But I still plan to get at least finish the partially started eight wedge, and get one more done —and be at the three quarters point on Monday.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Five Twelfths Done

By the end of the day, there will be at least one more wedge completed, and I will be at (or past) the half way point. This yarn, Lion Brands (discontinued) Color Waves is light and fluffy, and knit on the suggested needle is a rather open fabric. But it's warm (it's lovely and warm on my lap)--the fluffy open fabric is a therrmal trap.

At the rate I am working, the first blanket should be finished by the end of the end of this month.

It's chilly—47° out side (at 10 AM!) and cool (67°) inside, and the blanket is nice to knit. This morning it was cold enough to be a hot oatmeal and hot coffee breakfast day—The first time this season. I always cook up a full measure of oatmeal (I make steel cut oatmeal that takes ages to cook)--so I have a few more bowl tucked away in the fridge for tomorrow and other cool mornings.

The second blanket will be made in the same yarn, different color way. The lavender mix is called pebble beach, the other skeins are in the Mai Tai color way—a rosy reddish purple—with lots of other colors mixed in.
Each wedge is 22.5 inches, so the finished blanket will be a 45 inch circle. The plan is for the square one to be a 45 inch square. The 3rd, triangular blanket will be a simple knit, and make 1 every row until I run out of yarn. This is works for me.. making 2 blankets—the same except for the color would be just too boring. But 3 blankets-each different.. not a problem!

I have to work at these blankets and other baby stuff.  The babies are doing well and growing well (as they should)--they are in the top percentile for their prenatal age--and the doctors are thinking that while 40 weeks in the first week in February--these twins will be big enough to be delivered at 36 weeks. So there is not much time for knitting--especially when knitting double!  And there is a greater need for warm woollies for babies born in the dead of winter. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Well, I Have Been Knitting

 And reading, and cooking, and visiting with friends, and....

Monday I mostly finished the Syncopated Rhythm hats—I still need to make pompoms.. but I am going to make a few.... One in every color of the rainbow—and two white ones. Then my daughter can decide what color she wants (or the white)--I have to dig out my Clover pompom maker—I love the big fluffy pompoms the Clover tools make.

These hats are miniature—really home from the hospital and won't fit in month hats.. Which is fine, because when the baby's are a month old, it will be Valentines day—and I will have heart hats for them, and when they are 2 months old, they will be sporting hats with shamrocks, and the next month hats with colorful Easter eggs. Not the I am obsessed with making them hats or anything...

The first baby blanket is started, and 25% done—it will be circular—well actually a 12 sided polygon that sort of looks circular. Blanket 2 will be square—and there might be a spare—triangular-- keeping up the geometric theme. I bought 6 skeins (they were sold in lots of 3)—and I thought 3 skeins wouldn't be enough.

Good thinking--blanket 1 is likely going to need ever inch of 4 skeins—and blanket 2 the same. Then I will have 2 +2 skeins left over.. (for the spare blanket) --

There are still booties to knit, and a nice hood with dickie—scarves are out for infants, but something that covers head and neck will be useful—And I have some skeins of Paton's D├ęcor (acrylic) for baby sweaters, and I keep finding cute patterns that I want to knit! And, and, and!

I treated myself to some wool, for me, too. Lion Brand 1878 wool has been discontinued—I love this wool and at half price—well-- a few cones (each over 2000 yards) have found there way into my stash.

I love the green shell I knit for myself in the Lion Brand sock yarn last year—and I want to knit some more and I will--  But a charcoal grey sweater –knit with 2 strands held together—so it's not so fine as sock yarn—but finer than DK, will be very useful and I now have the yarn for it. I bought some cones of the white, too. No plans for the white—except that some of the yarn won't remain white!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Web Page Improvements

I have been working on my web page, on and off. It's getting better, and sometimes worse (as I improved, I broke a few links) before it got better for real.

If you haven't visited in a while, you should.

Monday, October 14, 2013

They Are Beginning to Look Like Hats.

 They got started at jury duty, and even though I have been reading, and still watching more episodes of Breaking Bad, I have a gotten some knitting done.

The cuff has 4 pattern repeats of the cable pattern—and then I reversed the work, and started again on the body of the hat. I am just about done with repeat 6 of the cable pattern A few more repeats and then I'll start the crown shaping—and another pair pair of hats will be done.

These are 'coming home from the hospital hats” they are small, and will fit for a month or two—but not next winter. Machine washable sock yarn—in this case, Red Heart's Heart & Sole.

After the hats, I'll be starting on the baby blankets—I am still unsure which pattern I will use, or if I will use 2 different patterns.. or.. But I need to get started.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Jury Duty

I just served—it was easy. Nothing like it used to be. NYState court system is a good example of people having opinions about things that, are out dated.

How does jury duty work? You get a notification—the dreaded summons.
But wait, now it has a url, as well as a phone. So much easier. I had a number, and only had to report to the courthouse when my number was up.. (Each day, about 300 or so people were called –there are 3 main courthouses—300 to to each courthouse.
I had to call starting Friday the 4th, to see if I needed to come to court, starting the 7th.

Good news for me. I didn't have to report Monday, or Tuesday for that matter—This is a wonderful improvement, and if nothing else—did a lot to make jury duty easier. Wednesday, my number was up.
Good news here—I was to report to the closest courthouse!

The jury holding area had been moved since I last served. The new room was big, with oversized comfy chairs, and dozens of flat screen TV's (with the usually morning shows on.)

Along one wall where bookcases (about a 30 foot wall !) Filled with mostly fiction—Classical stuff, (the Bronte's, Dickens) and Sci-fi (Dune and several Steven King novels), and lots of other fiction. I had brought my nook with me, so I had plenty of reading matter, but it was nice to see—I found out later, there were a few (not quite a dozen) PC's in the back of the room, too. For those who needed to check email—though many had brought along lap tops, or mico computers,--and taking advantage of the numerous outlets, where they plug in and working in one of the comfortable easy chairs.

At about 10 AM, the TV's went silent, and one of the Court officers made some announcements. Basic rules, where the rest room were, and then they were taking attendance. They put on an informational video, and collected are summons, and in 20 minutes, were done. They would have been done even faster—but some people had problems with the basic directions (Remove Juror ID and keep, pass up the rest)

The whole process was fast and easy—and compared say to the process of becoming an audience member at the Wendy William show, faster, and smoother. There was less standing, less waiting, and better organization, (and fewer people were involved!) Now, in the jury assembly room, the waiting began in earnest.

Two hours passed. I got up and walked around, and sat and read. It was reasonable quiet (aside from the TV's . No one TV was very loud, but collectively.. well they could be heard everywhere.

Just before noon, they went off, and the court officer announce some of us were going to become a jury. A cohort of 60 of us were selected... me, too.

We walked the scant block (though we did have to cross a street) from the Borohall location to main Queen's court house building. It was a case of hurry up and wait.. but not for long, and there were lots of seats. Then we were ushered into the court room.

The judge started with some information to the group, and then dismissed us to lunch. The day was cool—clear, bright, and brisk. The fresh air was welcome. There are lots of places to eat nearby—some chains--(Subway &McD) a pizzaria, some diners, and some deli's. I got a small Subway sandwich and ate at the courthouse.. (there is a nice low wall—perfect for parking your self down to eat it was the sunny side of the street, but since it was in the 50°s, the sun felt good.
Subway is one of the further choices.. so I had a nice little walk to and fro--(it's also small and was crowded—so eating there wasn't even a consideration!)

Back to the grindstone at 2PM—which turned into 2:30...But blame the judge—the asst. DA was waiting, too, (not with us, but he kept coming back to see if the doors to courtroom were open—and they weren't)

Soon enough we were back in the court room and the first 18 jurors were selected.. (that is, for Voir Dire). It was interesting to watch. The Judge handed out a sheet and said, I am going to ask each of you these questions.. (How long have you lived in queens, are you married, where do you work—a lot of simple basic stuff. ) For some, getting answers to these questions was like pulling teeth. For others, it was a long narrative!

We exited the courtroom after everyone had their go at interviewing (that is first the judge, then the DA, then the Defendants attorney.) Then they decided on who would serve on the jury.

Back in again, and some jurors were selected--(not a full compliment of 12 plus alternates,) but it was late now— (4:30)and we were all dismissed for the day.

Thursday morning started at the courthouse—there were long lines for security (the usually empty your pockets, put our bag one the machine conveyor belt stuff. But the lines moved—Fast! When I first got to the court house, the line was just extending out the door.. but they rearranged the ropes, and in we went-- weaving our way round the ropes.

The there were LOTS of stations.. and a fast efficient process. We never stood still.. the line was in constant motion.. and I was through security in less than 5 minutes. It was more like a fast moving assembly line than a standing and waiting line.

We were told to be there by 9:30—by 10 AM most everyone had arrived.
And we began again.. I was called for the Voir Dire panel (the very last name!) and I did my bit. Answered the questions in a loud clear voice (the defendants attorney, rightfully complained some of the juror spoke so softly, it was hard to hear them.. Not me!)
Again, out of the courtroom and then back in, and more jurors were selected.. (not me!)

By the end of this second panel, it was 12:55. The judge called a recess, and dismissed those who had been part of voir dire back to the jury waiting room (Boro hall building, not court house)--and we were told to report there at 2PM. I walked about.. (there is a bit of park like area behind boro hall) it had been not quite raining but damp in the morning (I took an umbrella as I left the house) but by noon it was drier.

Back to waiting. The TV had some soap opera on. At 3PM, the court officer came out, and thanked us for our service.. He had a stack of papers (letters of record of our having served) and started calling our names..

I was called second—and caught the 3:15 bus... It was that fast!

The whole process was a bit boring.. and involved a lot of “hurry up and wait” —but all in all everything was done faster, and by fewer people than the audience at the TV. We had more comfortable and attractive waiting area, nice seats, and were treated with more respect.

Government might not be perfect—but they do get things right. NYState long ago fixed up the DMV—line are fast, and its a well organized process--A license renewal, with a new photo and an vision test takes less than 15 minutes.

I am sure there are places were the government doesn't work. But clearly, the courts (at least the state courts) work as a well oiled machine.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Some Hats

The first pair of baby hats are done—in non traditional colors.. Eventually they will get solid colored pompoms--(DD will decided what colors.. (pinkish –or bluish for the paler one.. or not.. and yellow orange or navy for the darker one..or not)

These hats are the Sweet Baby hat—a free pattern on Ravelry—and they are size 6 months—but the family history is for babies with very large heads (even more so than average) they will likely fit at a few weeks.
These hats almost fit HEAD--(which is a small adult size head)--and unlike the original pattern--no ties. (which are deemed to be a choke hazard)

Started are the next pair of hats—a much more traditional set—In neutral white.. With white pompoms most likely (but little bows can be added if desired) This is my own pattern—Syncopated Rhythm—and these are being knit in a new born size.. But this ribbed hat has a lot of stretch—and will fit for a while.
This is an fun pattern—it's one that is readily adaptable to a large number of sizes—with nothing changed but the gauge—These hats are done on fine sock yarn (a 3 ply yarn vs a 4 ply) and size 2 needles. They are smaller  than the pattern suggest--to make a new born size hat.  It won't matter if they only fit for a few day.  It's so practical to NOT buy or make newborn size stuff..Babies grow so fast--(and mine? they were too big almost from day one for new born clothes) but it is nice in the beginning to have a few things that do fit.  

I have also scaled this pattern up and knit it with worsted weight and size 7 needles and it works fine—as an adults hat. Up scale the pattern further, to a aran weight wool and size 8 needles and it will fit men with large heads.
What you are seeing is the deep cuff that this hat features.  A few more rounds, and I will reverse the knitting--(turn the knitting inside out, and start the pattern all over again) to start the actual hat.  The deep cuff makes the hat nice and warm.

Then there will be some booties or some mitts—the little darlings are due in the dead of winter, and having a few hats, and mitts, and booties will be useful. I have some yarn left over from the first set of hats, and will likely have plenty of yarn from the second set (and if not, I have more of this sock yarn)

Both of these sets are mostly wool (10 to 20% nylon) machine washable sock yarn... easy care. I like the idea of wool for new born's. Wool is a much more comfortable warn-so so many reasons. But I am realistic. I have some synthetic yarns, too, (for the baby blankets and for a set of sweaters)

I would have gotten more done--but for some distractions--a bunch of new books and magazines, Breaking Bad--I am into season 3 now--far, far into it..., and jury duty--which didn't permit knitting.  

Thursday, October 03, 2013

More Cast Ons

and bind offs.. Or rather one new cast on and bind off.

Actually this isn't a new cast on.. It's one that has been on my web page since the start.

Back then, it came with a video. Then the video was deleted by the owner. I left the stub, and then yesterday added a link to a non video tutorial.

The cast on is a 2 needle version ofthe long tail. But it's not a long tail worked OVER 2 needles held together (a process that doesn't do much except make Row zero oversized) —instead, it's a Long tail cast on where each part –the thumb loop (cast on base) and the index loop (Row zero stitch) are each placed on a needle—The second needle prevents the cast on base from being pulled to snug—and it is the a snug base that makes a long tail cast on Unstretchy.  To further the ease, this variation of the long tail has an extra twist. And twists, that use up more yarn—always make a cast on stretchier.

To start, you need 2 needles. One, the desired needle –in my case, a bone needle, size US8/5mm, and a second needle, significantly smaller. I used a size US 4/3.5mm, but I think I could have used a needle as small as a size US2/2.50 or 2.75mm one. Here is a place for you to try out and swatch and find the sizes that work best for you. 

The video PRESUMES you already know how to work a long tail cast on—If you don't-- learn basic long tail first. It is demo'd using a sling shot version of the long tail, but it wouldn't be hard to convert to English/thumb version –well-- maybe the last step of rotate will be a bit awkward.

I don't knit well with a right hand yarn hold, and while its easy to visualize the long tail part (and easy to see how dividing the two loop onto 2 different needles is done), visualize the twist is a bit harder. If you try it, please let me know how it works.

After the cast on I worked some ribbing, and then followed up with a new version of the standard bind off.. One worked “out of order”--another version of the Icelandic bind off. One that is easier to do—or rather one that I THINK is easier to do.

It's pretty simple bind off: K1, *slip 1, Pass the knit one over the slipped one. Return the slipped stitch to left hand needle and work it (knit ) --repeat from the *.

A very small change in process, a huge change in appearance.

My video demo is done on a swatch worked in ribbing. And as you can see in the image to the left, it doesn't work well in ribbing. It leaves the ribbing stretched out of shape, but the bind off is a super stretchy one, and could work well on toe up socks—The bind off might look a bit stretched out when not on--but on, it would look fine. It might also be good as a bind off on a cowl collar--where you want the collar to spread out at the bind off edge. --

But worked on stocking knit? (or perhaps garter) it creates a bind off that closely (not perfectly, but very closely) matches the 2 needle Long tail cast on. It results in both a bind off and cast on that are stretchier than the knitting.

Both of the videos are available on my YouTube channel, with links to the videos already added to my web page collection, and they have been added to the list of matching cast on and bind offs, as well.  So they are easy to find.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

With Every Round

It looks (well actually both look—but I continue to just photograph one) more and more like a hat.

It's beginning to go faster—the rounds are noticeable smaller and will continue to get smaller and smaller.

I am already thinking about the next hat—a more traditional style—white, ribbed and cabled. I always make this hat--Syncopated Rhythm (one of my own designs) with a pompom—I have lots of left over sock yarns in every color of the rainbow—color coded pompoms might be used.

It will depend on my DD—I don't know what she will want. She wants gender neutral stuff.. but sometimes its nice to have a bit of blue or pink to make it easy—every one always asks ''Boy or girl?” though I suppose you could say the orange pompom is a boy, the lavender one is a girl.

I could just make white pompoms, too. After the white hats, I need to get started on the baby blankets—TWO baby blankets.. I don't even want to think about it. I haven't decided what style blanket to knit. Every time I see a new blanket... I think—That's a nice design... maybe I'll make that. The leading contender is an EZ(immerman) design.

I would have more progress to show on the hats—but I am still reading a lot... I crave reading matter like an addict. I am at page 85 or so of The Big Oyster (Mark Karlandsy) —a history of NYC based on the oyster industry. Page 85 is still in the 1600's but the tail end. There is not much of history of NY precolonial—most of the evidence is gone, and very little to none was recorded by the early Eurpopean inhabitants. I have previously read his book on the natural history of salt, and have several other of his books on my to be read list.

I have a half dozen or so books downloaded and in my nook waiting to be read. Including one classic one of baby patterns.. (so there is hope of the baby's getting little knit jackets, and hoods, and booties and what not.)

Friday, September 27, 2013

3 Days Later

And not much to show for it. Between Monday and Wednesday, I got four rounds knit. Since then, another 5—and in theory, I am done with the increase/decrease section. But I've decide to add another round—for a set of 11 increase/decreases, not the ten suggested (my gauge is slightly tighter than the recommended gauge).

Progress was slowed by a migraine—It's been a while since I've had one, and this one is holding on like grim death—the worst is over—its now just residual pain. Light doesn't bother me (well soft light) nor noise, and no more nausea, either.

A few more edits to the web page—and soon I think—some new videos. The Bind Offs page keeps collecting more and more different bind offs, and some videos are needed. The page is most definitely lacking links.

Earlier, I posted about getting a Chromecast device—and now, I've gotten another (for my other television—Oh, the luxury of 2 TV's!) Since I haven't installed it yet—here it is.
Here it is: the box, the device; the whole caboodle. The device is, as I said about the size of a table spoon, and its simple enough to install--USB to transformer/power supply, the other end of the cord to base of device, HDMI (with or with out the short extension) to TV--2 minutes to install (including crawling under table to find power stripe to plug the power supply—it could be faster if you have an accessible outlet!)--Then connect to network.. (another 2 minutes) and then you're done.

After that, I use my nook (I could use my phone—but its a PITA on the small screen) to connect to Netflix—It's really easy enough for anyone to install. (JUST be sure to go to your main network device to connect to the Chromecast to your Wi-Fi network)

It's been fun catching up on all the movies I haven't seen (and getting annoyed that some I want to see aren't available!) soon I'll start catching up on all those TV shows (Breaking Bad, etc) that I never saw. Its a normalizing factor. A common bond. I know, I often watch way to much TV--(don't we all) but not all TV is a total waste (after I post here, I will catch up and watch this week's NOVA broadcast—Law & Orders season premier bumped it on Wednesday).

This second Chromecast will make it easier to watch MORE TV—but since most of the time I watch with one eye on my knitting—its not a total waste of time

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Some Progress Made

Last week, as I was about to snap images the hat progress, I found I had a twist. I was just 3 rounds past the join. Yeah, it happens, even with 50+ years of experience—not often, but. Partial to blame are the needles—I don't mind the stiff, un-yeilding cords on my old Boye needles—they are the needles I learned to knit on (well, these and DPN's) But their tendency to coil up masked the twist problem –until I went to smooth the hats out to photograph.  Even with pins, it's hard to show the shape of this hat. (I have new needles with more flexible coils for my socks.. (sizes 0,1, 1.5, and 2 (US sizing) –but sizes 3 and 4? I have way few needles, and most of them older.)  It's bit clearer when modeled on HEAD (but Head is bigger than this hat (6 month size--because, in our family (and I suspect, twins not withstanding, these new babies will follow suit) BIG heads are the norm. Starting at birth.  I have a 22 inch head--and my daughters head is bigger than mine. So six months for any other baby is newborn size in our family.

It was just one hat that had the twist -- so off the needles it came, and a frogging it did go. By late Sunday evening, I was back to were I had started. I did make a small effort to just do a partial frog—but messed up (twice!) trying to remount the hat.. so it just made more sense to start from the beginning.

Yesterday—I had appointments, and tasks that kept me out from 8 am to 2 pm—and I came home exhausted. I hadn't sleep well Sunday to Monday—well-- actually I sleep fine once I got up mid-night and put on some clothes, closed the terrace door and put a blanket on the bed. Though it did take me a while to warm up. The weather is lovely with warm sunny afternoons, and cool breezy evenings.. but I wasn't dressed, nor was my bed, for 50° weather!

Still-- I have an inch of knitting done—which is nice progress. Each hat is 120(+) stitches, and that's 2 socks worth of stitches per hat—so with 2 hats, each gaining an inch—its almost equal to 2 inches of progress on a pair of sock.These hats aren't hard, but with increases and decreases, they do take more time than a plain sock leg. The hats start out with a series of M1's and Raised Center decreases—and the stitch count remains even for a score of R's. I am just at the half way point—another 10 R's, and the decreases (only) start. Then progress will really be fast. Every other round, the stitch count will be reduced by 6-- just 40 ever decreasing rounds to finish the hats. So—as promised—a photo or rather, 2.

 Tonight is knit night—so some more progress will be made. I don't think I will have finished the first portion (where the stitch count remains the same) but there should be some visible progress.

If you haven't visited my web page recently—you should. I have been making small changes (and bigger ones are to come) and there is yet another new cast onDollyq (on Ravelry) came up with yet another version of a double chained (or as she calls it an imitation I-cord) cast on and bind off method.
The bind off page has some new links (it's really much more of work in progress than the cast on pages) – you can expect more improvements soon.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Needles Found

And 2 hats have been cast on. The first few rounds—weren't--I worked the border flat –so much neater and easier to do with garter stitch.

Now, they are joined into rounds, and split over 2 circs. With 125 stitches, they are socks—doubled. But the decreases start in R1 – and soon—a lot sooner than in a sock—all the stitches will be decrease and the first of a dozen or so hats will be knit.--

After this, I think I will knit up some hooded dickies. New infant car seats are engineered so precisely, that snow suits/buntings are forbidden. Babies are supposed to be put in car seat, and then covered with blankets. A hood like hat, with a bit of covering to upper back and chest will be a useful garment. And make wrapping new born infants in a blanket easier.--and Hoods, with nothing to bind around the neck are safer too. 

I've been given a commission, too. A cousin has given my daughter one of the last sweaters her grandmother knit (for the cousin's baby (now school age!))--My daughter wants a second—not identical, but as close as possible. Sight unseen, I know the sweater is likely a top down raglan sweater—cabled and vaguely Aran in style. No to hard to copy. (I will use the sweater in hand like a chart--)

I found just the right blue to make some Blue-Footed Boobie baby booties, too. The NZ wool my sister sent to me (from her Christmas trip to NZ last year) is just perfect...4 skeins means I can make some small ones (new born size) and some bigger ones for when the babies are toddling around.

At 5 months, they are just under a pound—just perfect for singles—exceptional for twins. But then, I wouldn't expect anything else from my grandchildren!

Expect photos of hat progress in my next post

Thursday, September 19, 2013

My Size 3 Needles are Hiding

No doubt they would be easier to find if I felt better.
Off to take more fluids, vitamin C, zinc and a nap.

Tomorrow is another day.  

No doubt they would be easier to find if I felt better.
Off to take more fluids, vitamin C, zinc and a nap.

Tomorrow is another day.  

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

So They are Socks

There are still a few ends to weave in, but they are more or less done. They are OK. It happens sometimes, I have and idea, and try it out, and I am rewarded with something better than I hoped.

These socks are not one of those occasions. These sock are an idea that I tried out and the results, are meh. Liz and Margaret and Kimberly at Tuesday Night knitting—all disagreed. But they are still meh in my opinion. Kimberly pointed out they would be great boot socks. The ruffle top would make a great boot topper.  But I don't wear books. EVER.

The waitress thought they were funky... and I guess they are a bit.. but I have the 4 F rule.
4F's are rejects. The F's? Female, Fat, Fifty (or older) and Funky. Any 3 F's are OK, fine—but 4 F's? Is one F to many. Female, fifty, and funky—works. But fat, female, fifty and funky? One too many F's.

Fat, female and funky? That works too, but youth counts for lot!

But enough—sock are done, and it's time for the first baby hats to be knit.

First up, the sweet baby hat. At home, after knit night, I balled up the skeins of sock yarn, so I am ready to go. (I printed out the pattern yesterday when I got the link.)

EZ baby surprise sweater was discussed last night, too. I don't think it will make my list of things to knit.--but I am thinking about Debbie New's Ouroborus sweater—It will require 4 identical pieces. 2 in each yarn...
But it is such an interesting sweater to knit--and I have been wanting to knit another.  It was on my list for when DD had a baby--and I think its staying on the list, even if I need to make 2.  

I spend a lot of time reading this summer. Some hard copy books, and some e books.

E.M. Forester's Passage to India was one of the hard copy books—I watch the movie (I had seen the movie before, when it first came out.) and the book (and movie) were so different this time around. I am a very different person than I was then.

Eban Alexander's Proof of Heaven was interesting –though I am not quite sure he offers what the title suggest. Others have covered this topic better. (but at least he doesn't preach in favor of a particular religious view—so many books of this type seem to be proselytizing for Christianity.)

The Invisible Thread (Lauri Schroff/Alex Tresinowski) was wonderful. I at once was appalled by Ms Schroff naivety, and impressed by actions. A wonderful heart warming story that avoids the usual cliches.

My ebooks tended to be classics, that till now, I have managed to skip over.
Thackeray Vanity Fair.. (a bit wordy, and dated—the view of the world is one of a society long gone, with rather strict, unfair roles for women.

Victor Hugo's Les Miserable, too, was dense. It is interesting to read about these societies.. It's a lovely portrait of society long gone—I paired this with a portrait of Marie Antoinette—different views of the world... each one closed to one an other. Occupying the same time and country, and millions of miles apart.  

I read a ton (Well not really,but a good  half dozen ) before the summer started, too. Most of those were ebook, and a greater percentage were non fiction.  I feel caught up now on my reading.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Lookin' Like Socks

Not done yet—they still need another almost inch of foot before I can begin to shape the toe, but knitting is being done.

I was able to squeeze out 3 full sets of grey stripes, and 1 half stripe (a single round). I contemplated adding an extra stripe to one sock, and not the other for about a half second. But that wasn't going to happen. And I discovered (its been there all along, but I have managed to not see it) a mistake. One of the grey stripe (mid leg part of the sock) has 3 rounds of grey—not two. Oh well. I am not frogging back and making it perfect!

Here is some of my new, to be knit almost immediately stash.

There first is 2 colorways of Filitura Lanarosa Fashion Toes (aka Cascade's Happy Feet) –these skeins (I just bought the 2) will become hats.. Likely the Sweet Baby hat—one of my favorite little baby hats.
(Note: all the links are ones--I am not sure if all can be seen to by non Ravelry members.) 

The Northern Lights will become an other hat.. or perhaps (I have 5 skeins of each color way) a caped hood. Not quite long enough to be a poncho—but a garment that covers the head and neck and fits easily inside a bunting. With enough left over yarn to make some booties, and mittens, too.
I don't have a pattern picked out yet—so these plans may change.

I need to check my stash of blue wools (and golden yellow and orange, too) I want to make the blue footed-boobies booties, (try saying that 3 times fast!) --or maybe some duck (or goose) booties.
The booties are fulled (felted)--so wool is needed (and I have lots of wool!) and even if they are blue (not a pastel baby blue) they are gender neutral--species neutral,  even!

So that is the future of my knitting --and there is more yarn in the babies to be stash. And more ideas—Some white sock yarn is going to become my own baby hat design –Syncopated Rhythm—Some traditional baby clothes (whites and soft baby pastels) are in order. And the babies will need a green hat, for St Patrick's day—and.. Well I could knit my fingers to nubs and still not have knit up all I want!

The summer past was also one one of technology upgrades.
It started in just before May, with my Nook --which I love! Then continued in August with 2 more technological additions. First a new phone. My old phone (a 3 year old one!) had suffered the several falls, and was after each coxed back into working. That was till early August. They it just gave up, and all my usual ministrations were to no avail. It wasn't quite a smart phone—but it was web enabled.

The new phone is a Samsung Galaxy—the smallest,(screen), thickest (but still incredible small) cheapest one available. ($125 before taxes and a protective cover) It's a real smart phone. Touch screen, built in wi-fi (connectivity, not a wi-fi hot spot—that cost more!) and all the other bells and whistles that smart phones are known for. I hardly use most of the features (which is why I got the smallest) I do text message, and occasionally use some of the other features (once or twice so far since I have owned it.)  But I just am not that big of a phone user. And not likely to become one.  This plenty of phone for now. 

The second upgrade is my new ChromeCast.  This device, is about the size of a table spoon (well, the bowl portion of a spoon) it connects my TV to my home wi-fi network—via the HDMI port.

Since I don't have cable, (well I do for internet, but not for TV) and didn't have a Ruko (I had been considering one) –I had, until this technological addition, a basic TV only. Now with the ChromeCast, I have Netflix, and full internet connectivity on my TV. My nook is my new “Remote” and I can watch anything I can down load on my letterbox shaped TV and not just on my square monitor.

I like the ChromeCast so much—I am seriously considering buying a second one, for my second TV. Yes, I could unplug and move it.. but it's a PITA to do. And at $35, (which includes 3 free months of Netflix) the thing is practically free. Buying a second one is a basic no brainer.

So another time waster has been added to my life. I hardly every go to the movies (I did once this summer--more on that later) but I do enjoy watching movies... especially at home.  

Monday, September 16, 2013

Gusset'd –In Stripes of Grey

The grey has held out—and 20 rounds later, the gussets are done—and the grey is not quite done. I have enough for one or two more stripes. Not the ideal time to run out.. but it will be OK (that is unnoticeable) in about half my shoes. And the rest of the shoes.. Well, really who looks at my feet that much anyway?

(I am holding off till tomorrow to photography my progress)

I always feel that the foot of sock is faster to knit... and it is. Unlike the leg portion, the foot is broken up into 3 parts—and each is about 1/3rd of the knitting.

I have completed the gusset, and from the base of the heel, I now have about 3.5 inches knit (the gussets are deep, but then, I have a high instep)--the foot proper is next. 4 inches or so of plain knitting.

Or rather, plainer knitting the instep does have a simple pattern—with a pepper stitch every 6th stitch, randomly. Pepper stitch is a super anemic bobble. Knit a stitch. Return it to left hand needle, and purl the same stitch. Return it to left hand needle for a second time and knit the stitch. (continue with remaining stitches, (in my case, K5) and then repeat.

The pepper stitch adds a bit of texture, and breaks up the clean line of the stripe—just a little bit.
It almost looks like a mistake—except it is clearly one that is repeated again and again, so it can't be.
One set of pepper stitches, on the first row of the color stripe is all that is needed.. Which means, once every 4 rounds.. And now, since the sole is plain—one half set (a mere 6 per sock) every 4th round. And soon enough, when I run out of grey (I think I have enough grey yarn for 2 more stripes.. 3 at the very most) even that bit of work will be gone. The last 3 inches of the foots 4 inches will be mindless simple knitting—made enjoyable by watching the yarn color change.

The last portion of the sock...the final 2.5 inches or so? Simple, simple toe. With each round getting smaller and smaller.

But I am getting ahead of my self! I still must actually knit the foot, and knit the toe. But I have done more knitting this past week, finishing the leg, turning the heel and making the gusset, than I did all summer—so there is hope. There is a doctors appointment, too, tomorrow that will provide some time for knitting, too. Nothing special, just a check up.

As for what I did on my summer vacation? Well I was an audience member on a TV show. Too bad the show isn't  scheduled for broadcast--well some segments are definitely being broadcast, and others.. might be- (its a back up/rehersal  show in case the host can't make it to work someday-) So if you do(watch)  or if you don't(watch) , you are not likely to see me in the audience of Wendy Williams show

I have lived in NYC all my life, and many shows are taped here...Rachel Ray, and Martha, Wendy and Anderson Cooper, and one of the court shows—The Peoples Court, and a whole lot more (SNL, and Jimmy Fallon, and so on) and I have never really been that interested in ever going to watch them live. But someone else did—I just went along for the ride as it were--

It was a lot of waiting around, standing in shade at least—since it was one of post pool (the pool closes Labor day) hot, hazy and humid days. There are always too many of these days in September!

I am not a fashion plate, and not the target demographic—so I was happy to be in the mid-section (and not the back!) of seating. And even if the show airs—I am not likely to be seen. The camera pans the audience most often when the members are standing, and I was standing behind a lovely, thin, tall woman—at best you'll see my sides—not my face.

The experience of being an audience member wasn't a great one—but it wasn't horrid either. Being with a companion made it better than it would have been alone. But not so wonderful that I am likely to repeat the experience soon.  

Sunday, September 15, 2013

I Spent the Summer Not Knitting

Also, not reading about knitting, or reading yarn store catalogs, or posting on Ravelry (or even reading Ravelry much.) And most obviously, not blogging.

I was knit out. Back in May, I started project after project (all now, collecting dust) trying to drum up interest.. But nothing worked. Finally I gave my self over to reading (and have read a mountain of books) and to summer leisure.

Finally I have gotten back to work. I think I needed a rest—and it's good that I took it, because
now, more than ever there are pressing projects.

I started early this week on a pair of socks that have been languishing. I am not sure that I like them.. but I wasn't willing to frog them.

The yarn is Patons Kroy, the color way (a misnomer) is rainbow.
First off, it's not rainbow colors.. and second, its not rainbow (ROY F BIV) order. But who knew that in the skein?

The ruffle is a simple set of short rows..with a picot edge.. the ruffle hides an inch of ribbing.

After the ruffle was complete, I didn't think I had enough yarn for a pair of I added a stripe of grey (and now I am thinking I don't have enough grey to complete the sock in the striped pattern—and the toe is likely going to be un-striped.

I've added a inch to the leg this week (they are still slightly shorter than my average socks) and have gotten the heel flap done, and the heel turned. Now on to the gusset and the toe, and at least 1 UFO will become a FO.

I have a half knit silk scarf, too, that is pending. But as soon as I finish the socks, I am going to start work on a pair of baby blankets... New grandchildren are on the way—twins! I dread this! I have second anything (most noticeably socks. But really anything)—syndrome.

I have to get over it. I will have years of knitting 2 blankets, and 2 sweaters, and two hats, and so on, new pairs of everything! They aren't identical twins, (and for now just twins! My DD get to decide when we know more) The same DD has declared: Gender Neutral!

Not really a problem for me—it's easy enough to buy yarn in every color of the rainbow (and in rainbow colorways!) and to avoid the common trap of being forced to buy only blue, (or only pink) I can buy reddish plum purple and blueish grape purple, and Lion Brand BonBons samplers for solid blue or solid pink and trim out the finish blankets.. Either color works well for a boy or girl—especially when the yarns aren't solids, but tweedy blends-(the now discontinued Lion Brand Color Waves)

I'll catch you up on all that is and has gone on in my life over that past few months.. but don't expect much knitting—because there just wasn't any.

Monday, May 27, 2013

So What Have I Been Reading?

Before I start to tell you (about what I have been reading) —I want to talk about GMO's (Genetical Modified Organisms)

There are 3 MAJOR kinds of GMO's. Horizontal(good) and Vertical (Less good), and Chimera GMO's (horrid!)

Horizontal GMO's have been around for centuries. They are common even, in both plants and animals.
Start with seeds, plant them. When you harvest them, save the best—with characteristic A
Plant the best. Save the best again –only now select for characteristic A and B.
Repeat, and repeat, time and time again.

Look for better yields, or stronger (shorter) stalks, faster growing time (less likely to be lost to frost or late season rains.) Over time, these efforts will result in a GMO. Every time you grow and select, you are selection for a GMO of the original crop. Over a thousand (or more years) you can create new organisms.

As time moved on, farmers learned how to IMPROVE by intentionally (controlled) cross pollinating one kind of plant (be it peas, or wheat or what ever) with other plants (short peas with tall peas, or plump peas with drought resistant peas, or any sort of pea, with another sort).
INTENTIONALLY cross pollinated seeds are technically GMO's!
We have a name for these horizontal GMO's—HYBRIDS. They, too, have been around for centuries.

In animals, IN-LINE breeding is another sort of GMO—since naturally, animals avoid mating with siblings (or parents)But In-Line breeding is still Horizontal.

Vertical cross breeding has been going on for a while, too. They are  not uncommon at all. It most often occurs between somewhat related animals. Crosses between horses and donkeys (similar animals) result in MULES.

Mules are called mules because one meaning of the word mule is “STERILE”, and Vertical cross breeding MOST often results in sterile animals (and plants!) Mules are simple vertical GMO's.--But each cross breeding is the end of the line. 

There ARE other vertical cross breeds (dogs with wolfs, or dogs with coyotes ) Some times these cross breeds are viable (that is, they aren't sterile!) They can mate successfully with other like themselves, or with dogs, or with wolves)--but this is Uncommon.

Plants have been vertically crossed with other (related plants) too.
Farmers in the fields have made 2 different kinds of plants cross breed—there is a new grain-TRICICAL—which is a cross between wheat and rye.. (Wheat and rye are both grain/grasses, but are as different as a donkey from a horse.)--and at first, most of this new grain was sterile (the seeds would not germinate.) But over time, a viable version emerged.

There have been other vertical crosses - Some occur naturally, some helped out by controlled pollination) citrus fruits, are one common example. Crosses between oranges and grapefruits, or oranges and tangerines, exist (and are popular) Most often the results are sterile,(the seeds, if any are produced, are sterile) The plants can only be propagated by grafting.

SO—GMO's –whether Horizontal or Vertical are not new, and not entirely evil.

But things have changed. NOW Vertical cross breeding is not done with real live animals, or in the field, or by nature, or with farmers hand pollinated plants to create crosses. It's done in a lab, by intentionally mixing genes from totally different organisms.

Now, companies (READ MONSANTO, for one) are making vertical Chimera GMO's They are crossing plants with animals. Potatoes with BT (a bacteria) or Corn with another bacteria. Goats with spiders. Mice with humans (to produce human insulin)

These GMO's are not natural—( it is possible, that over the course of many thousand of years, some of the chimera type crosses could occur naturally. (but it would be extremely rare)--And it's likely the natural chimeras would be sterile. There are certain viruses that can create Chimeras—but these rarely infect humans.

Modern VERTICAL chimera GMO's are, as the name chimera suggests, MONSTERS. They are not natural, and if in a rare circumstance, they did occur, the result would be a sterile mule.

The food we are eating (these chimeraGMO's ) have been designed to be viable.

BUT—worse than being viable, —the process that make chimera GMO's possible,--is a process that makes the chimera plant DNA (or other DNA) less resistant to 'infection” by other (foreign DNA) These new Chimera GMO's have a tendency to share DNA—all on there own. The tendency (rare in nature) to create chimera GMO's has been bred into the plant.

The chimera GMO DNA is designed to be less resistant (even one could say EAGER) to swap its DNA with others—be they other plants, or insects, bacteria, or for all we know, animals (like our selves!)

Every time you eat a Chimera GMO, you risk YOUR DNA.

Since the Chimera GMO “wants” to swap its DNA with yours--That is-- the chimera wants to add HUMAN DNA to itself, and it can also transfer it's DNA into yours. Maybe not frequently—but if you eat food ever day, (3 times a day), every year, you are taking over 1000 chances--Every year. Over the course of a lifetime, MILLIONS of chances. Chimera GMO's are everywhere! Every meal is full of them. Even if the chance of Chimera GMO infection you is small with each exposure, you are subjecting yourself to thousand and thousands of exposures.

Take Corn.
90% of US crop is Chimers GMO corn. (and corn? You might not eat visible corn (on the cob, or as corn flakes) but on average, 40% of caloric intake is corn. In corn syrup, in HFCS, in corn starch or modified corn starch, in vegetable protein, and hundreds of other food “Products”.

Soy? Even worse! 99% of US crop of soy is Chimera GMO. And again, soy is hidden in many food—as an emulsifier (soy lecithin,) or 'vegetable oil” or vegetable protein, --Soy is every where. You can skip the soy sauce, and still eat lots of soy every day.

The US potato crop is an other Chimera GMO. Every french fry, every potato chip is a gamble.

These are just the big 3. Chimera GMO foods are the foods we eat, every meal, every day.

And because of the Chimera GMO tendency to swap genes, Chickens that eat Chimera GMO corn, become Chimera GMO Chickens. Same too, for cattle, or for pigs. Slowly but surely, Chimera GMO is working its way into every organism. We are becoming less ourselves, and more and more monsters.
And no one knows what kind of monsters we will become. There is some evidence that Chimera GMO's will turn us all into MULES(sterile). Perhaps not in one generation, or two. (Perhaps never.) But right now, no one knows for sure.

Non-GMO (OK, hybrid) foods crops are becoming Chimera GMO –YOU can plant non GMO corn, but if your neighbor plants Chimera GMO corn, it's likely a percent of your crop will become INFECTED with Chimera GMO DNA via natural cross pollination. . No crop is save.

We all know the expression, YOU ARE What YOU EAT—Every day, in every way, as we eat, we are becoming less of our selves, and more of a Chimera. A scary thought.

Tomorrow I will review a book about a scientist who's life work is creating GMO's—the good old fashioned kind—Hybrids. There is the occasional Vertical GMO (simple cross breeding of similar organism—as has occurred with citrus fruit) involved, too, At the same time, he works very hard to save the simple plants that created the hybrids. Saving pure DNA examples of plants is almost as much as his mission as is creating hybrids.

It is a fascinating book—but understand what he does, why he does it, and how it does it, is essential.
Other wise, you just might think him to be a GMO monster maker, too.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Hello, Remember Me?

I have been gone for a while—I'd love to report everything I did.. (I will) It won't take but a few paragraphs.

I have been reading a lot--Soon I'll give you my reading list--it is some what eclectic.

A little sewing—1 skirt (with a border print) shortened and taken in –the hard way. Off with waist band, pockets removed, inches cut from top edge of skirt, pockets sewn back in, and waist band replaced. The 10 year old denim skirt is almost not worth the effort—except I really liked it.. Printed denim is something special.

A little bit of knitting too. A hat finished—an experimental hat that is well OK, but not really a success. There are always charities in needs of hats. This hat works (as a hat) but...It's not what I envisioned, so it's back to the design board—to work at getting something closer to what I want.

I've started a scarf,too. I love this yarn, and I have been searching for the right thing to make with it.  I'm still not sure this scarf is it. The pattern is a slight variation on Old Shale, with an extra row of garter thrown in--and accented by being worked in a triple strand of yarn. 

A bit of work got done on my web page, too.  First some basic editing-It's amazing how many little errors creep in. It starts as a word document, but then I end up editing after I have uploaded it-- and in seconds, there are missing it('s) or the('s) or there are double IT or double THE—or some other errors.  Its so hard to proofread your own documents.

Finally,  I've made another sampler –and started a second (or 4th-since I have done two of these previously) sampler of cast ons. One thing my list of cast on is missing are images of how the cast on looks. This first sampler features 8 different variations on LONG TAIL.

The second sampler (not yet complete) is going to be worked in two colors of yarn— some of the variations are much easier to see the details if the thumb yarn is worked in a contrasting color. Since I already have the Standard Long Tail and the Open Loop long tail done in 2 colors, I have included these photos—the contrasting yarn makes it easier to see the very slight difference between the two cast ons.

There are some variations of long tail that look ho hum in a single color—but are much prettier in 2 colors. And some variations that are especially intended for 2 colors.

So here  are the first 8 version of Long Tail; (starting at the bottom and working my way up) +2 in two colors.

Standard Long Tail (which can be worked as Sling shot or Thumb method)
Standard Long Tail Cast ON
2 color Standard Long Tail Cast On

OPEN Loop Long Tail—(which can be work Sling Shot, Thumb, or Knit on)
Open Loop Long Tail Cast ON
2 color Open Loop Long Tail Cast on

Twisted Long Tail (call German, or Norwegian, or just plain Twisted)
Twisted Long Tail Cast On

Estonian Long Tail—(a combination of Standard and Open Loop Long Tail worked alternately)
Estonian Long Tail Cast On

Austrian Long Tail-(a Long Tail version that has twisted stitches (in base row)--followed by a twisted rib.
Austrian (twisted stitch) Long Tail Cast on

Double Twisted Long Tail (a variation of the KNIT ON version—the chain that makes the braid effect is not very evident in a single color, but the edge is very attractive, isn't it?
Double Twisted Long Tail Cast on

Forward (standard) and Reverse Long tail- One stitch made in the standard long Tail method, one stitch made by starting the base stitch on the index finger (not on thumb) This cast on is a nice one for double knitting, standard or 2 color ribbing.
Forward and Reverse Long Tail cast on

Braided long tail—the braid is much more evident in the two color version, but this long tail does create an attractive edge in a single color.

Braided Long Tail Cast On

I've started the second sampler -- the contrasting color makes it a bit easier to see the difference between some of the long tail versions--starting with the images  standard long tail—and the open loop long tail.  It is much easier to see the differences  between the two in the two color version.

I will continue the 2 color  sampler to highlight  the differences in some of the other basic long tail variations, Plus I will add some other long tail variations that look best when worked in 2 (or more colors).
It will be followed by a third sampler in the series--double yarn cast ons --Like Long Tail, but not quite, such as the Channel Islands Cast on,  Craig's Cast on,  EZ's style of provisional cast on, and others.

These samplers will be added to Cast on Tutorial (as Part 3 of the tutorial) soon.
I didn't link all these images--but you can find video's for most on my web page (there will be links when the tutorial gets added to the page)

I am working hard to overcome my sense of mental fog, and physical lethargy--Partly why I haven't been knitting or doing much of anything.

I took my bike out for a ride—and was too stiff and lacked the stamina to do much more than once around the block. OK the block is a merged block—It's actually 3 standard city block long, and 2 standard city blocks wide (on one end)--an over sized trapezoid, not a little square-- plus there is a bit of a grade. But no matter—the ride was under 10 blocks in all. Almost embarrassing to mention—considering how short the ride was. But even that helped—I slept better last night, and while I feel stiff today.. I feel better. Curiously, the down grade.. (where I picked up speed) was more uncomfortable than the up grade--I felt slightly out of control. It's been a long time since I have taken a bike ride—but I plan to change that.

I am going to take a long walk today (between the rain drops!) —to keep up some physical activity. Tomorrow I have a party(graduation) to attend. The sub way –and up and down stairs getting there and back) will give me some activity—especial because A) I will be bringing my own chair, and B) I have to change from subway to the elevated line mid trip—so there are extra stairs. In a bit of optimism, I'll be toting a small sun umbrella too. Thought likely it will be needed more as a rain umbrella.

I'll finish out the Memorial day weekend at the pool. Sunday is supposed to be clear (no rain) and Monday even better. Hopefully, my mood will be improved, too.