Rebel or Powershot?

My brother recently accused me of having too much fun with my new camera.  It’s a used Rebel and I have been having quite a lot of fun with it.  His comment got me thinking.  Is the Rebel really that much better than the Powershot for my purposes or is it just that it’s a new toy?

To try to answer that question I started a list of containing the features that I like and dislike about each camera.  The cameras are the Canon Powershot SX120 and the Canon Rebel XS.

Continue reading “Rebel or Powershot?”

You Know You’re a Geek When…

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You’re in the hospital and your first choice of movie of the day is Lord of the Rings.
Playing on the flat screen in the room connected to your laptop.
And you’re blogging about it.
Of course, it helps that I have a geek wife who thought to bring the movie and cable out.

Here’s the full thread of hospital updates:

Views From the Hospital
More Views From the Hospital
You Know You’re a Geek When…
The Strangeness of Being Half-connected to the Internet
Latest Hospital Update
Drug Users Pay For This?

Cabled Cuff Cuss

Some people blog lofty philosophical musings; others share cutting political satire.  I’m out to help fellow knitters with useful tidbits.  Really, I just want to make time spent learning things the hard-headed way more meaningful!  So here’s what I learned about cabling a loop and sewing it together so it looks continuous, and you don’t have to hide an ugly seam.  (Oh no!)

The pattern said to provisionally CO 20 stitches with scrap yarn, then commence to cabling, so I blithely did just that. After working the full cuff, I thought I could simply pick out the scrap yarn, move the stitches to a needle, and be ready to go. No so fast, Ms. Cocky Knitter! Cables twist (duh), and I quickly had no idea what order my blankety-blank stitches should be in. Frak! OK, deep breaths, surely all is not lost. Surely I can sort this out, pick up a few dropped stitches, rearrange… it’s bulky yarn after all… %$#^%&+**! Forget it, sunshine. Better yet, frog it. Yes, all of it. Lesson learned? When provisionally casting on for cables and planning to connect to another end of cables, do it with a spare circular needle. Don’t know how? Figure it out, or better yet, get a more experienced knitter to show you. (Thanks, Carol!)

Take 2. The cuff is redone, and now the directions say to graft the two live ends together. Really? Knits and purls? How’s that?  I found instructions for doing this with a pattern for a gorgeous hooded sweater called Rogue, but they never showed the chart (being a for-pay pattern), so knowing to slip p-wise on stitch 5 or whatever didn’t help. Wise Hilda to the rescue. A million thanks!  For anyone else reaching this point in the Knit Picks Cabled Cuff Mittens, here is how I got my cables to match up.  (Given that I paid for this pattern as part of a kit, wouldn’t you think they would have saved me the grief of working this out?  Enough whinging.)

The above chart shows only the join, with yellow marking the first transition from knits to purls in stitch 3 and the blue marking the reverse.  You have to know how to Kitchener stitch / graft, but then you can follow the steps below.  Each stitch is listed twice because first you slip the sewing needle through it one way, then later you slip it through and take that stitch off the knitting needle.

St Front Back
1 P K
1 K-off P-off
2 P K
2 K-off P-off
3 P P transition from knits to purls
3 K-off K-off
4 P P
4 K-off K-off
5 P K transition from purls to knits
5 K-off P-off
6 P K
6 K-off P-off
7 P K
7 K-off P-off
8 P P transition from knits to purls
8 K-off K-off
9 P P
9 K-off K-off
10 P K transition from purls to knits
10 K-off P-off
11 P K
11 K-off P-off
12 P K
12 K-off P-off
13 P K
13 K-off P-off
14 P K
14 K-off P-off
15 P K
15 K-off P-off
16 P P transition from knits to purls
16 K-off K-off
17 P P
17 K-off K-off
18 P P
18 K-off K-off
19 P K transition from purls to knits
19 K-off P-off
20 P K
20 K-off P-off

BTW, if more experienced knitters find errors in the above, by all means let me know.  It seemed to work out properly for my cuffs, but as you can see I only RTFM as a last resort!

 

OCD Cable Knitting

So I’m not exactly a dedicated blogger. My commentaries tend to be told to the air or to my patient hubby, occasionally broadcast on Facebook, and for knitting-specific thoughts, I post on Ravelry. Ought one to share every synapse firing with the planet? Surely not, but perhaps one ought to share a tiny bit more, especially useful bits. Being a geeky sort — only a small serving of Asperger’s Aspic, thanks — I believe thoughts that might benefit someone else need sharing with the world directly, not merely transmitted to the air via ESP. One other thing. I’ve decided to write this post however it comes to me, using the written language formed by reading too many British authors at a young age, plus old Pogo cartoons and Ogden Nash. Enough exposition, on to the knitting.

I was looking forward to the Humanity Mitts project as comfort knitting. Cabling and 2-at-a-time mittens may not sound comforting, but after fiddley projects involving I-cording, sewing in a purse lining, my first lace weight scarf (in progress), and of course the dreaded Mantis, it was time for something familiar. Love the yarn, Sublime Cashmerino Silk Aran, and having completed three of Jared Flood’s Habitat hats, this derivative pattern was one to look forward to. I swatched, cast on, happily knit to round 5, and came to a full stop. Continue in p1, k2 ribbing. Purl, knit knit, purl…wait. You want me to knit a stitch that was previously a purl? What have I done wrong? …searching for errata…none… People say what a wonderfully written pattern. Yes, fine, but what about knitting a purl? ‘T’aint fittin’. Is it? Finally I found a Raveler who posted a reaffirming comment along the same lines, so at least I wasn’t crazy. After closer examination at maximum zoom on others’ project photos, I determined that this k-over-p technique produces angular cables that at least don’t look broken. Maybe a tad jaggy. Still, I couldn’t bear it, so I decided to add a simple cable switch on round 5, spent entirely too much time in Excel charting it, and have the result to share. (Finally, we get to the “something worth saying” portion of this post.) Here’s the chart.

I hope the cable symbols make sense to you, dear reader, as I could find nothing on the ‘net representing a 5-stitch cable with a purl. My text notation was made up too, and I don’t care for the number of characters, but it does tell me exactly what to do. 2b:p1-k4 means, cabling without a cable needle as I now prefer, take 5 stitches to the right needle, grab the rightmost 2 in back, swap with the other 3, and put back on the left needle. Then purl 1, knit 4, and done. The color coding derives from my usual highlighter-on-paper markups, so I figured I’d save myself that step. The pic of red cables shows how it works in yarn.

Finally, I do realize others who have knitted these mitts have made this change too, so what exactly did I bring to the party? Specificity. (Mrs. “Be Spe-cific” Nelson from McLean Middle School would be proud.) Should one find oneself knitting under the influence of a crisp white zin while watching reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, by wild happenstance, one can rely on this chart rather than on lightly pickled gray matter.

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