Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Correctly Calorimetry-ing

Thanks, Bobbie, for reminding me that I haven't posted the altered pattern for the Calorimetry! So, take the original pattern, and do this:
  • use a size 6 needle instead of a size 8. Now, this (and everything else I'm about to tell you) will vary based on the kind of yarn you use...and be forewarned: your gauge swatch might lie to you. mine did. My gauge on the tan/brown monstrosity (which I am wearing on the thunder and hailstorm that is today, by the way) was perfection, but the thing still ended up gargantuan. Go figure. I blame the size 8 needles. Somehow. The size 6's worked on my Caron Simply Soft Shadows yarn just dandily.
  • instead of casting on 120 sts, cast on 82. This fit around my average-sized head, but if you have an unusually large (or unusually small) head, you might want to do one of those math-y things where you knit a gauge swatch, measure your stitches per inch, and do some division to find out how many stitches to cast on to come out with the number of inches around your head. Keep in mind that it does stretch. And if you knit with acrylic instead of heavy worsted weight (erm, like I did), it will stretch and pretty much stay (flop) there, rather than being all ribbed and contract-y like ribs are supposed to do. That said, mine is ok. A little loose, a little floppy, but hey, aren't we all?
  • instead of repeating row five 15 times more, repeat 7 times. or 8. or 6. Reed suggested I just repeat until it was about half as wide as I wanted the finished product to be. Really, she's a bit of a genius. I mean, I'm sure I could've come up with it on my own, but she did suggest it to me when I was holding my giant Calorimetry in my hands, laughing/weeping because it was such a babushka looking thing and wondering how I would ever work out the math to make it smaller.
  • that's it. just keep repeating till it's 1/2 as wide as you want it to be, then start the decreasing part (row 7). You're skipping "row 6" in the original pattern.
The finished product should be a deliciously delicate (at least compared to what it would be if you followed the pattern) headband of sorts. I love mine. Can't wait to make more. Love it!

Oh, and if you were curious about why it is called the Calorimetry (I sure had no idea what the heck that meant...don't worry, you're not the only one!), this is why:

"Calorimetry is a scientific term describing the measurement of heat lost or gained. [I did not know this. I haven't taken science or math since high school, and I'm pretty sure I never learned it.]

Knit hats are a wonderful way to block out the cold, but when you have long hair it usually requires wearing it down, not often the most comfortable option on a blustery day. [so true! so true!] This headscarf allows you to wear your hair up while keeping your ears warm and preventing heat from escaping from the top of your head." [I love it!]

That paragraph can be found at the beginning of the pattern, but I thought I'd include it here anyway, just for simplicity's sake. Now go! Knit away!

Think I included the pattern link enough times?

In other news, I'm still having trouble posting the fabulous photoblog, but I'll try again later. Or give up. Please respond to my "help me" inquiry, oh blogger help gods and goddesses! I am no quitter!

Questions? Comments? Calorimetries?

PS: I have reached 100 blog views! Unbelievable! I'm hoping that most of them aren't from my refreshing the page to see my changes...but hey, thanks all y'all.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Apologies, and Advice Needed

I am having some serious posting trouble. I spent about 2 days preparing pictures and editing the blog for a wonderful blocking blogtacular, but to no avail. As soon as I tried to publish it, the formatting was all wrong. It looks perfect (PERFECT) in the preview, but when it is actually published, photos pile on top of each other and the text does not wrap correctly. The moral of the story might be "never again try to post more than one picture per blog," but I will try to remedy the situation for this one...just because I worked so dang hard on it.

Sorry--I know you've all been waiting with baited breath for this blocking blog. It'll come eventually. And it will be the end of my photo fantasias for a while at least.


Saturday, February 24, 2007

Adventures In Blocking

Before I proceed to the fabulous photodocumentation (although, admit it, you skipped straight to the pictures anyway--click on them to see larger versions), let me just say, blocking was an Adventure. An Adventure that took:
  • 15 minutes figuring out new iron and preparing it for steaming
  • 10 minutes creating the Cardboard Contraption so I wouldn't be trying to pin directly into the hardwood floor
  • 25 minutes pinning the thing down
  • many hours drying...just to be sure it was really dry
As you can see, I had some lovely supplies. Well, the iron is lovely. The pins, not so much.
The scarf wasn't stretching evenly, and I was a bit concerned about my edges turning out all scallopy...does anyone know how to make the yarn stretch in straight lines? More pins? I didn't think it was possible...but the final product didn't turn out really scallopy (except for a few spots where I think I pulled too hard) so maybe it doesn't matter? I'm guessing it's the type of yarn I used (Caron Simply Soft Shadows--100% acrylic. yep. that could be the problem).
The ribbing didn't hold as stretched-out as I wanted it to, but the end product did turn out more airy and light than it was pre-blocking, even if you can't really tell from the photo. It does feel like it weighs less, and it is much softer and more comfy around my neck, which is always nice. AND even though it only grew a couple of inches, the extra length is just enough so that it actually stays wrapped around my neck, which the short and stubby version did not.So there you have it. A longer, more airy scarf. Not as different as I thought it would be, but it was...a learning experience? Thanks to this blog and this blog from Crazy Aunt Purl for making me believe that I, too, could be a blocker. I do kind of want one of those steamer thingies...even though I don't need it. Ah, gadgets. Also thanks to Kristen for humoring me as I let out exasperated cries from the next room. And for this expert photo portrait, shown below.It's going to be a while before I attempt another photodocumentation blog...it takes a lot longer to put together than I had anticipated. So enjoy it while it lasts, kiddos, because I just may go on a photo-limited or primarily-text-based blogging binge in the near future. Matchingly (and awkwardly) yours, Kim

So Much To Blog, So Little Time

So many adventures to write about. Such a small amount of interest to so many. Nonetheless, I proceed...

As you may recall from a few days ago, The Time For Blocking was close at hand. Well...The Blocking has occured. Wonder of Wonders, Miracle of Miracles, Kim has blocked a 2x2 rib scarf. Please, alert the press. This could be the front page story of no local paper!

However, as said blocked scarf is still pinned to my floor, and as a bit of exposition is necessary (ie: why the heck did I decide to attempt blocking anyway?), I must elucidate you with my tale of The Calorimetry Who Wanted A Scarf.

Several months ago, my dear friend Reed showed me this wonderful pattern. It really is quite a lovely and versatile piece of knitware, and I plan to make many more. However, BE WARNED: The Pattern Lies! After a gigantor first attempt (no photos available, though I've heard that Rachel does actually wear it), I came up with this second, smaller (yes, smaller. the first one was extremely large) version. See below for examples.
example #1
example #2
example #3
So, after this one wrapped its way around my head, I began to think that maybe the problem wasn't me, after all, but an error in the pattern. Turns out several people had the same problem (thank you, google. and Reed.), and I devised (erm, followed Reed's instructions) a new version of the Calorimetry. Way Awesome. Even if it doesn't hold the rib as well as it should. Heck, this yarn cost about $2.50 a skein, and each Calorimetry only uses about 1/3 of a skein. I don't care.

lovely, smaller version

check it out! so fancy!
So I'm lovin my new Calorimetry, and wearin it all the time, when suddenly I realize: I have 2/3 of a skein left of this gray-color varigation yarn! Illustrious! It seemed the only thing to do was make a matching scarf...but THAT, my friends, shall require it's own bloggy post.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Weather is Cool.

I just had to add...it is suddenly* bright and sunny. The sky is blue, and while it is not warm, it certainly does not look like rain. What happened to the rain we were supposed to be experiencing for two days straight? Will it return? I do not know, but I do know that it is currently beautiful and sunny, and this is the second bipolar weather experience I've had in the last week. I must say though, I much prefer today's weather dichotomy to last week's "unbelievably gorgeous in the morning, sudden downpour right when I am leaving work" situation. I did take a lot of pictures that day though.

*while I say "suddenly," I cannot confirm the actual "suddenness" of said sunshine, as I was in my windowless office while this meteorologic shift occurred. It could have been gradual for all I know, with a lovely mist or drizzle before the clouds parted. I'd like to think a sudden gust of wind whisked the rain away (and apparently to LA--sorry, folks), leaving us with a crisp, cool, sunshiney day. Which I still cannot really enjoy because I am in my windowless, albeit "luxurious," office. Maybe we'll get a nice hailstorm tonight...though please, weathergods, wait until I get home.

Rain, Glorious Rain...etc.

I must admit, I do love the rain. I especially love it when I can stay home and get all cozy in front of the fireplace (or at least I would if our fireplace was in any sort of usable condition), and I especially love it when I have a new pair of boots to keep my feet dry, and an umbrella that isn't broken. Such is the case this fine Thursday morning. It's gray and wet outside, and I got to work at 9:25, and I'm going to be here until 11pm, but I am in quite the good mood. Thank you, new boots/umbrella/messenger bag!

I have big, beautiful, blogtastic ideas for this here blog-o-mine, but as it is only Day Two, I don't feel too bad about not having uploaded all of my photos and jazzing up my profile and filling pages with glorious information (labeled, of course) about all sorts of hodgepodgey things. It will happen. Don't you worry.

For now, I leave you with the oh-so-interesting knowledge that tonight may be the night I try blocking. oooooh. For those non-knitters, blocking is a process in which you take the knit garment, stretch it to the desired size, pin it down, steam it, and let it sit overnight--the end result is (hopefully) a larger, better-shaped piece of knitwear. I'm trying it on a 2x2 rib scarf. Hey, I never claimed to be an adventurous knitter. Baby steps. More on this later...with pictures?

SuperSweetShoutout to Erin Messer, Jessie Gaskell, Reed Burton, and Crazy Aunt Purl (Laurie, whom I've never actually met or talked to...but her blog rocks!) for inspiring me to finally just do it already. Now I have a blog. Maybe you care, maybe not. Either way, I'm having fun. Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Simplifying My Life, One Blog At A Time

This is officially the first post in what is officially my first blog. Yes, it's true, I have ventured out of the world of facebook and myspace "blogging," and will hopefully rig up that whole RSS Feed thing. Trying to condense, folks. Trying to condense.

There isn't much interesting information up here yet, but for the time being, welcome.

Tell your friends.