Thursday, January 26, 2006

Drexel's Dragon

Well, here it is, the critter keeping several people up for a few nights this week:

This is a fossil crocodile Thoracosaurus neocesariensis . I helped Ken Lacovara and Jason Poole his team of preparators from the prep lab- the one I used to work at at The Academy Of Natural Sciences- set up the display this week. All this week. You can read all about the thing by clicking on the 'Drexel Dragon' title above.

Here is Dr. Ken at the press release. If you watched the news tonight or tuned into KYW in Philly you heard about our "croco-stimpy".

I printed the signs and backdrops- something that resulted in a freak-out on my end. I had to be talked down late Tuesday night though, when it looked like I was losing the Sherry vs technology battle. It came out OK I think. Wednesday I helped set up the display, and while we where up late, it was fun hanging out with Ken, Jason and Ken's students.

Anyway, if your here to read about knitting I've only knitted like 4 rows this week. Oh well, it's all for science!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Stupid printer, vests and grammar

I've been having fistfights with the full format poster printer at work. Very annoying. To make a long and boring tech story short, it takes 45 minutes to check a 30 second adjustment to the machine. Of course this is all for someone with a deadline.

The good news is that I can't really wander off and do something else, so instead of chewing my fingernails waiting to see if my latest adjustment works, I've been knitting.


I finished the back of Veste Everest. I don't have any pictures yet, they have to be taken outside due to this yarn color. Good news is that I only used about 4 balls of yarn plus a bit from a 5th. I'm pretty sure that I won't have to order another ball after all.

So I've just casted on for the front. Man, I really have to learn how to convert patterns like this in the round. I really have no burning desire to repeat the long stretch of boring cable rows on the from piece.

I don't spend a lot of time proofreading my blog. I write it, spellcheck it*, read it one more time to make sure I don't sound like a total moron, and then post it. Half-assed, baby.

If you find something wrong, good for you**, you get a cookie***. As far as I'm concerned it's good enough for an informal journal. If your the kind of person that thinks every bit of written communication needs to error free, or if typos send you on a tirade on how our educational system has failed, this isn't the place for you. You can stay if it makes you feel a wee bit better about yourself if you noticed I didn't dot an "I". Everyone needs an ego boost sometime.

* minus the Australian blog, which I was paying a premium per minute for internet access. I just haven't went back and edited it yet.

** This isn't about you, KL. Your friendly typo catching just made me think about this. Really.

*** Provide your own cookie.

Friday, January 20, 2006

I'm just not worked up

Today's blog entry is about knitting things I just don't get all bent out of shape over. IMO, knitting is about a fun and relaxing (if sometimes challenging) time. I don't want to make knitting into politics. I have enough things to get wigged out over, like global warming, the weird rash I still have, and if my husband will get a good job soon.

Trademark Issues
OK, everyone knows about the Sew Fast/Sew Easy deal with Stitch and Bitch. I'm not going to post another summary here. Lots of people like the The Knitting Curmugeon and The folks over at You Knit what? are talking about it. If you don't know about the brouhaha, go read all about it, I'll wait.

It seems like knitters are starting to pull together a posse over this. I just can't seem to get all wound up over it. Do I think SFSE has a case? Not really. Do I think Debbie Stoller is a superhero of knitting to sue SFSE? Not really. She has a very profitable book series that she needs to defend. Nothing wrong with that at all, but she's not spending money for lawyers out of the kindness of her heart either. This is just two businesses duking it out, IMO.

Do I feel sorry for the stitch and bitch clubs selling stuff on CafePress or on Yahoogroups that are being asked to change the name? Sure. But really, is this keeping them from selling a product? Is no one going to buy the local "Knit and Natter" club t-shirt because it no longer says "stitch and bitch?" Are the yahoogroups no longer going to have fun if they call themselves the "knitting Circle"? I doubt it.

IMO, there are plently of important civil liberties cases to donate to if you are so inspired. Cases were someone really doesn't have money to defend themselves. Someone that doesn't have an insanely popular craft book series.

So I do hope Debbie wins, but I'm not grabbing my torch and pitchfork over this.

Knitting Haters

So I like to read snark for a giggle now and then, just like anyone else does. However, there seems to be people who really get Bent Out Of Shape from what other people choose to knit. I will call them Knitting Snobs.

If Granny wants to knit with Red Heart, the 17 year old wants to make a fun fur poncho, who cares? Don't these people have a designer merino fair isle vest to make or something? If all a celebrity wants to do is make an Eros scarves over an over, If they want to join an i-Pod knitalong, who cares? Why does that seem to impact the Knitting Snob's life?

Sure, some things on You Knit What? are really, funny, and the comments are a hoot. It's silly. I'm talking about people who really seem to get upset over what other people are doing. It's Old Skool syndrome. "I don't want to be mixed up with those Fun Fur newbies, I've been knitting arans for 50 years." Really, get over it. It's just yarn! Let them have a good time with what they prefer, and the Snobs can too.

So everyone breathe deeply and cast on...

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I have been remiss!

Somehow while writing these little documents of self-absorption I did not realize half my knitting circle links to me! So I have now found your blogs and stuck them over on my sidebar. If your not over there let me know!

I noticed Stephanie posted to my blog. I feel like I've had a brush with fame this month. I won (or lost) Wendyknits birthday contest, and now a posting from the Yarn Harlot. How cool (and nerdy that I think it's cool) is that?

Like everyone else in knitting blogland, I'm a joiner for Stephanie's "Knitting Olympics". I'm using that red laceweight for the flower basket shawl. Since I don't exactly have 'mad lace skillz' right now, I think that's going to more then enough on my plate. I *do* have some vacation days I need to take or lose. Maybe they will be during the Olympics for marathon knitting.

Forget that I tend to only watch about 2-3 hours of Olympic coverage over the two week period. I like the opening event, then pretty much pick a sport or two that catches my eye and watch that one, and that's my duty as a world citizen.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

FSM sighted

Tonight in the pantry I was visited by his Pasta-ness Himself:

He landed on the counter and waved a Noodly Appendage at me

and then he gave me a Knitting Pattern, to distribute freely among the masses so everyone can bask in his glory- raMEN!

Flying spaghetti Monster God

Noodles: About 100 feet of Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in natural, dyed with Cushings Perfection Acid Dye in color "Aqualon Yellow"
Meatballs: Plymouth Indiecita Alpaca Boucle, color #12

Size 4 and 7 DPNS
Polyester stuffing (or use yarn or fabric scraps)
Google eyes
Light colored thin pipe cleaners, or any craft wire
Craft glue
Darning needle

With Size 7 DPNS CO 6 sts and work 10 rows of icord
K1, ktog, knit rest of row, continue to icord over 5 sts for 3 rows.
K1, ktog, knit rest of row, continue to icord over 4 sts for approx 4 inches
K1, inc 1, knit rest of row, continue to icord over 5 sts for 3 rows.
K1, inc 1, knit rest of row, continue to icord over 6 sts for 10 rows.
Fasten off stalk

NOODLES (make many):
With Size 7 DPNS CO 4 sts and work 14 inches of icord, fasten off sts.
Make as many as you want or until most of the yarn runs out- save a bit of yarn for sewing. (4 noodles used here)

MEATBALLS (make 2):
With Size 4 DPNS CO 12 sts, separate to 4 sts each on 3 dpns. Knit 2 rounds.

*Next row: inc 1 st on the first needle, knit one round
Next row: inc 1 st on the second needle, knit one round
Next row: inc 1 st on the third needle, knit one round*

Repeat between *'s one more time until you have 6 sts on each of the 3 needles.
K 3 rounds

*Next row: ktog once on the first needle, knit one round
Next row: ktog once on the second needle, knit one round
Next row: ktog once on the third needle knit one round*

Repeat between *'’s one more time until you have 4 sts on each of the 3 needles.
K one round. Cut yarn, thread tail through all sts using a darning needle. Pull yarn tight to close hole. Tack a few stitches to secure, and then poke the remaining tail through the center of the meatball to the other side.

On the other side of the meatball, pick up a few stitches around the edge of the hole with a darning needle. Stuff meatball firmly, making sure not to lose both the tails.

Pull yarn tight to close hole. Tack down to secure, then poke the remaining tail through the center of the meatball to the other side.

You should now have a meatball with the tails from opposite sides coming through each end. Pull each of the tails until the desired round shape is achieved. Tack each tail to secure and bury the ends inside the meatball.

Make second meatball. Stitch two meatballs together.

Run wire through eyestalk and as many noodles as you wish to be posable. Clip the wire just short of the end to hide wire.

Bend eye stalk in half. Bend into a "L" shape, with the loop on the bottom and the ‘eye’ ends on the top. Stitch the meatballs onto either side under the of bottom of the "L"

Place each noodle as desired, place and tack on the top of the "L" base. Continue, shaping and tacking where necessary. Try to hide the bottom of the "L" with loops of noodle.

Glue google eye on top of each end of eyestalk. Bend stalk to desired pose.

Thanks to these other excellent FSM Dolls:
FSM hat
Tree Topper
Plush FSM


Monday, January 16, 2006


Arise my Noodly Master!

FSM almost done!

Progress on Veste Everest...

Not much, but I have been distracted by Noodles.

Oh, and dying. Here is that red yarn I did last week, a much better picture:

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


So tonight I just decided to make a mess and dye some yarn.

Can you guess what this is for?

That's right my Pastafarian friends, this is for the Flying spaghetti Monster knitalong!

I realized that plain wool wasn't going to make very nice noodly appendages. So I dyed about 100ft of worsted weight Knitpicks dye your own using a scant amount of Cushing's acid dye in "Aqualon yellow" (like about 1/8 tsp) in 4 cups almost boiling water and some vinegar. I let it set until almost all the dye was soaked up. I think it looks noodly!

I also colored some laceweight Knitpicks dye your own. Probably for the IK Flower basket shawl:

This is half a packet of Cushing's 'terra cotta'. I love hand dyed solids and how the colors are never a true solid. I think it will make a really nice shawl and I'm quite pleased with it!

On another note, The Thing has been submitted to Knitty. Now we just wait a couple weeks to see if Amy likes it!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Done knitting for babies

I'm done knitting for the babies

I was going to start the Cabled shrug- finally. I swatched and found that the yarn just isn't going to work out. Even though it's Silkroad Aran tweed, it just doesn't show the cables very well. Argh. I'll put it back on the burner. I think I'll bump up Veste Everest- I just got the yarn today.

Pictures and all is ready for the Thing submission! I'm sending it to Knitty tomorrow.

In the meantime, I'm itchy. A dermatologist can't see me for 5 months. My family doctor wasn't much help. Hopefully it will just go away. I'm amazed that doctors won't see acute patients referred from a family doctor. Stupid.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy Birthday, Professor

Toast J.R.R. Tolkien's birthday tonight.

An odd coincidence, I just happened to finish reading The Silmarillion at around 1:30 this am.

Monday, January 02, 2006


The paradoxical mittens move to the FO pile today:

The thumb decreases on the right one came out a bit funky, but I think I'm going to leave it alone. A human knitted it, you know. I need four more pairs of mittens or gloves for my "pair for every day of the week" goal.

Next thing to finish ASAP is the last demo for the second option for "The Thing" Knitty project. The last one I knit was a gift, and in black yarn that did not show the detail well enough for photos. So I'm making one in a lighter color. Hubby took some pictures of the first pattern option of "the Thing" yesterday and I got a photo good enough to submit.

After the Thing project, I'm starting right on The IK cabled shrug and those baby booties I didn't get to.

Today is the last night of vacation, then back to the salt mines. Yesterday Hubby and I went out and took some photos around town. Here is one I thought came out well: