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Archive for September 30th, 2008


Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Geek, Geek, Geek

My computer-database client (originally from Y2K) is happy. They have not needed to call me since November 2006, but something happened and their database corrupted. I was able to combine the structure of an older backup, with the current data in the corrupted database. (Luckily, the data was intact, though the forms and menus were toast.)

They are back in business, and they did not lose a single record. Yippee!

I guess anything you do 40-60 hours a week for a handful of years, will be in the cellular memory of your body. I had not seen this in about two years, but it all came back.

skaterhat12.jpgHats, Hats, Hats

What am I doing to celebrate? I’m knitting. It’s hat month, I guess. I am putting together a top down hat pattern so have knit two of that design while writing up the pattern (see striped hat in gray/green here). It amazes me how different the same pattern can be when knit in different yarns.

Lace… yes, me.

Then I started a (gasp) lace chevron hat in turquoise angora, pattern by Louisa Harding (it has the look of a beret but is knit in rounds rather than short rows). I tried on a sample of this hat when Louisa was at Rae’s this summer, and it’s just right for me. (No photo yet on this one.)

I usually do not like lace… I don’t typically like skin peeking through a bodice, and I tend to be cold anyway. On top of that, most lace is feminine on the girly side. I favor geometrics: triangles, circles, squares and zigzags.

This hat is chevrons, a type of zigzag. No flowers or flounces, though the fabric is ultra-soft and feminine because of the fiber. I have a few angora berets already, and they drape so well and are so warm, that this design is not as far of a stretch as other lace items might be for me.

The angora hat is going pretty well, I am on the fourth repeat of six (four rows per repeat) in the lace pattern. I dropped some stitches while toting the hat in my purse so I’ll ask Rae if she can figure it out. If not, I’ll rip back 4 rows and I’ll be fine. I am pleased that I got this far without needing assistance, since I’m really not an experienced lace knitter.

Does anyone else out there find that the stitch manipulations required by lace just feel tense in the hands? It seems I’m always tugging and manipulating in a way the fabric does not want me to go. For some reason, I don’t like that feeling.

In the end, the fabric will be fine, but on the needles it feels strained and unnatural. Maybe experienced lace knitters get used to that, but I keep noticing it. I definitely wish I had sharper tips on my needles when I’m pushing the yarn around in this way. Usually sharper tips mean split yarn to me… but in this case, they sound like a good choice.

Flat Hat

coldcommutehatside16.jpgI needed to cast on something else, until I could fix that. And then I had a “I wonder what would happen if…” moment when casting on a project intended to just keep my hands busy. I had one ball of slowly-color-changing yarn and needles to work with it, so I started a hat. It was also top down but with a very flat top, starting with a square.

If I did it again, I’d do it differently, with a smaller square, as the top did not transition well enough from square to round. However, the top is indeed flat and the sides look good.

Last night I realized that today was the deadline in my guild to donate to Afghans for Afghans, and maybe the hat would be a good contribution. Except they want as much animal fiber as possible (they do not have automatic clothing washers nor do they have furnaces to stay warm). This yarn is 55% wool and 45% acrylic, really not warm enough for that sort of environment.

Sharing Warmth

coldcommutehat12.jpgSo I decided first to knit it as long as possible to cover chilled ears. Then I planned to line the hat with a loose knit of angora, which is really warm. I can do it on larger needles and thus finish in the available time. Angora is so warm, it does not need to be super densely knit if it’s the inner layer. I’m knitting the angora right now.

It is nice to work on something that does not need to be documented for a pattern or a class or anything. Maybe this idea will turn into something else that is more well-thought-out, but meanwhile someone cold in Afghanistan will be less cold wearing the hat. As someone who believes we’re all related no matter where we live, I’m happy to have time right now to do something for this charity. I’ve donated before but it has been a while since I had time to knit for charity.

One summer I taught CityKidz Knit! at Foster Center and I had two young Afghani immigrants in my class, very nice sisters who knit well. They were here with their mom and brother, and had not been here very long. They did not know what had happened to their father. I think of these girls when I knit for this charity.

Wet but not cold here, yet.

It’s sprinkling rain outside, though I did take a 10-block walk anyway to celebrate the computer repair. I’m glad to have a day without any appointments. I’ll knit a bit, make some food, and then get back to the project for my Mom that I was working on when the computer call came in…

Happy Tuesday!