Posts Tagged ‘Podiobooks’

falkenberg patterns

April 30th, 2009 Comments off

are kind of addicting.

I tackled Mermaid last fall on the Black Sea Cruise. Solo was up next (if you want to look at her whole line – go here). None of them are all that complicated or difficult, even allowing for knitting forever on size 3.00 mm needles. Garter stitch does get boring. But as one woman mentioned in a Ravelry Forum – “You don’t have to worry about running out of knitting while on your trip.”

I started Blues while in Egypt this past Dec, but lost interst in it after I returned home. Some how a summer vest just did not hold a lot of fascination while the inside temperatures were holding just a few degrees above freezing.


Is constructed by knitting from the outside in. Front and back as separate pieces are joined at the shoulders. I have to tack down the neck placket, then knit some i-cord around the neck for a finish.

shoulders sewn together

shoulders sewn together

Stitches are then picked up along the sides and the sleeves are knit down in pattern

the first sleeve

the first sleeve

leaving the whole thing looking like this at the present.

body + start of first sleeve

body + start of first sleeve

It doesn’t take that much concentration, but it does take some so that I remember to do the decrease at the far end of the row.
The good thing about this kind of construction is that the rows are longest at the beginning and it does get better.


Which leads me to Pagoda. I bought the kit in Demark, so that must have made it back when Ms Soprano was a toddler. It could have been as late as 1999, but I rather doubt that. In any case, the kit was well aged. So well aged, as it turned out, that the wool was a casualty in the 2003-2004 m*th invasion.
(the one that happened while I was downrange for 15 months and some people in my house didn’t understand some basics about closing up rooms, keeping doors closed and killing off weird flying things. Our house in Germany, like most, does not have screens.

Why am I telling you all of this? Silly me, while I was substituting yarn I looked at the pattern. Danish pattern. I can’t read Danish. But I can look at pictures and I can count rows when looking at other peoples pictures on Ravelry. First off, I finally realized that I don’t have to worry about the sleeve decreases for a while. The second was that I really didn’t have to knit this thing in three pieces and sew them together. Since I was already doing a yarn substitution, I could knit the most of it in one piece. Off I go with hardly a thought. Left front, back, right front. It works until half way up the garment at which point the fronts are finished and I only have the upper portion of the back. Knit from the outside in.

9xx is a freaking lot of stitches on a needle. It takes a long time to knit a row.  Listening to audiobooks is the only way to maintain sanity. (who am I kidding, this jacket is thousands of stitches, each and every flipping one of them a knit stitch. garter.)

this is only 8 rows with dozens to go....

this is only 8 rows with dozens to go....


finished the new Nora Roberts, couple of hours to go on Callahan’s Key. Now – I can go on to Lois McMaster Bujold (more SciFi) or I can switch over to Simon Winchester and listen to Krakotoa.

OH! If you have not listened to The Takeover (Mur Lafferty) – go directly here at Podiobooks to get it. Unless of course you don’t like fun lyrics, have never dealt with office politics, or had the suspicion that some of the people with whom you work are a bit different.

Pressing on

July 17th, 2008 1 comment

If you are on a self-hosted blog, WordPress just released version 2.6. I had been using one of the test trunks for a while and really like the new short cut feature that puts the categories back where I want them on the write page. If I can just get my sidebar unscrewed, I will be a completely happy camper.

When I decided that the sidebars were taking up too much of the page and went back to a single one, some of the widget fields got locked and the save button decided to not work anymore. Go figure, it didn’t go away with the update. If you were wondering why I had so much stuff down at the bottom, you now have your answer.

Also in that vein – I am headed to Birmingham tomorrow for WordCampUK. Maybe one of the smart coders there can help me figure it out

Candle Flame Scarf

This is where I am with seven repeats and and maybe 10 meters of yarn remaining.

Completed two halves

Completed two halves

the catch is, I am not quite sure that I don’t like the reverse side better than what is supposed to be the right side.

Reverse Side Flames

Reverse Side Flames

the proper front side on top

the proper front side on top

UFO Update

I went ahead and unraveled the seed stitch from the sides of the Sakiori Vest.

edging unraveled

edging unraveled

There isn’t enough yarn to do complete it. Of course, once I had frogged both sides I could take a good look at the yarn. I think I just might have a couple more knurls of the source roving hiding in an upper cupboard in Germany. Since I will be back home one night next weekend, rather than look for an alternative maybe I will just be able to spin some more. The vest really doesn’t work without the underarm panels and I don’t have enough on hand to even finish the neck, let alone the sides.

I have only 16 rows to go on the back of the Walk-in-the-Woods. There is obviously enough of the reds to finish, but I am rapidly running out of gray yarn. Hopefully I have some more tucked away some where, otherwise, I am going to have to frog the completed front in order for the two to match. Ugh.

Back almost completed

Back almost completed


Double Share – completed. Very satisfactory ending. Now to load the rest of 7th Son (books 1 & 2) onto the MP3 player for my trip.

Head coverings

July 16th, 2008 6 comments

Leslie has written a great post on head coverings, traditions and the “to snood or not to snood” question. If you are not Jewish, I suspect it would have little relevance to you, except for her excellent research and photo documentation.

But then I have to wonder where the tradition of women covering their heads in Catholic Churches originated. I suspect it might also come from Micah (6:8) as part of the “but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly” showing the spread of oral traditional along many cultural lines.

Me? As a lose member not aligned with much of anything outside of our military Reformadox community in Heidelberg I feel free to accept or reject those traditions which make sense to me. When someone else has done the research, it is even better. I can see covering my head as a sign of respect. I can’t accept it on the basis of it being a problem to the men around me (hello? if I have to be responsible for myself, so can they. It flies in the face of the Judaic tradition of personal responsibility).

I like kippahs, and playing around with different patterns to make designs while using up a lot of leftover sock yarn.

Slip Star Kippah

Slip Star Kippah


7th Son – Descent by JC Hutchins. Partway through, and other than a couple of technical errors on VIP procedures, it is interesting and certainly well written. (never mind that without the errors the plot could not move forward).

Audiobookstand has some great deals right now, and free shipping…. (no affliation, yada, yada).


July 14th, 2008 Comments off

On a Monday, I might be able to talk about all the work I had accomplished over the weekend.

That is if I had really accomplished anything. My husband apparently survived turning 60 and now just has to get through a major birthday bash being held on the 19th.

I still have to finish up an exam, two presentations and a number of emails. So, shall we just skip all of that and move onto a decent loaf of bread?

Tomato Chutney Herb Bread

Tomato Chutney Herb Bread

the beads on the shawl?

Blocking shows the pattern nicely

Blocking shows the pattern nicely

and a glint of silver beads on the edge

and a glint of silver beads on the edge

and my sudden realization that the Candle Flame Scarf was directional? Now why would this be a surprise? Candle flames burn up. If I knit the shawl in one piece, then one end has the flames going down. I thought about it. I thought about how it would look, and I didn’t like it at all.

Stopping with five repeats done on one side, I cast on a new starting edge and proceeded with my plan to knit both halves from the bottom up and graft them together in the middle. Leaving aside the wonderful challenge of knitting from both the inside and the outside of the ball – I comforted myself


with the next five episodes of Double Share from the Solar Clipper Universe.

Books &

And also read Shaman’s Crossing by Robin Hobb, borrowed from the library. I originally read a number of novels by her years ago when she was writing under the name Megan Lindholm. Her 1986 novel – Wizard of the Pigeons – is a most excellent urban fantasy. If you want to find a copy, I strongly recommend looking at the UK stores, much cheaper than the US booksellers.

Putting it off

July 10th, 2008 1 comment

I have been procrastinating. There is only so much that I can accomplish at the office. Much of what currently needs to be done, I must do at home since it involves printing, scanning and emailing. The British Army computer system currently at AMD only talks to itself; it is not connected to the outside world. This is wonderful in terms of computer security, but sucky when it comes to transferring documents.

And then there is the fact that I really should make a list of those things which I absolutely need to get done, just so I don’t miss any. But even the idea of that list is giving me the willies. If I acknowledge everything, it feels like it will be overwhelming. If I don’t make a list, something is going to fall and cost me more than just time and money.

If I group items, the list will be shorter. If I don’t, it will seem like I am making headway as I check them off.

What a dilemma.

So I solved it by driving to RAF Croughton. My putative excuse was needing to fill out paperwork for the new gas program card. And the mail, can not forget the importance of the mail run, especially when it nets lace weight yarn from KnitPicks.


Agean Blue Gloss Lace

Agean Blue Gloss Lace

BlueGlass Shimmer

BlueGlass Shimmer

Berry Shimmer

Berry Shimmer

Happy Trails - Gossmer

Happy Trails - Gossmer

Audio Books

Variable Star – Robert Heinlein and Spider Robinson. Read by Spider, it is a great story and the perfect blend between the old Heinlein juveniles and Robinson’s own great style. Perfectly safe for public listening, teens and adults (yes, there is mention of sex, no, none of it is described in detail in the script).

Poison Heart – Mary Logue is on the car CD player. It is an excellent choice for driving distances. About relationships, small town Wisconsin, and “how is she going to solve it” rather than “who dun’it” I was entertained but not distracted.

Arbiter Chronicles – Man walks into a bar by the Prometheus Radio Theater. Full cast decent production, quality really decent. There is a whole series of short stories in 3-6 parts available for download.

Mac Attack

July 9th, 2008 2 comments

I did it this past weekend. Converted from a PC to a Mac and am having a wonderful time. MacBook-Pro, lots of memory and a decent size hard drive. Screen bigger than what I needed. I would have gone with the Mac Air, but I know better. Without an internal CD/DvD it means an extra piece of equipment to haul, drop, lose or break. Now, it would be even nice if the lovely thing would agree to hook into the wireless network. It has twice, seemingly almost a random event. I have to get organized and get the Mole on Skype and see if we can figure it out together.


My Rattlesnake Creek socks are done. Knit out of one of the German Sock yarns, they are comfy and the cables do a nice job of drawing in all those excess stitches.

close up of Rattlesnake Creek Socks

close up

SKP2008 - pair 3

completed socks


My second Evelyn Clark shawl is complete, only needing blocking.

 Front Side

Front Side

reverse side

reverse side

The beads on the edge (nothing like that last row taking forever) don’t show clearly. I will see what I can do when it is blocked.

The Candle Flame is making progress

  Candle Flame Scarf

And lastly, complete!

Garter Stitch Baby Jacket

Garter Stitch Baby Jacket

knit out of DK weight cotton in alternating stripes of red and blue. I have not a clue where the pattern originated. It would have been nice if I had been able to find the blue to continue the striping up the hood, but I really don’t think it looks all that bad with a solid colour hood.


I started listening to the Arwen Series byTimothy Callahan. It really isn’t bad, and won’t interfere with driving or knitting. But compared to David Weber’s Honor Harrington or Star Trek:Voyager the main character is quite flat. Some men seem to be able to write good heroines and others should stick to heros. Never the less, I can see it appealing to most who like speculative fiction. The first book is the best, the second has real issues and I am not going to bother with the third. (Please note, I still contribute to all but the absolute worst of the books. After all, if I had purchased them in paperback there would have been a cost).

three pattern repeats

June 24th, 2008 4 comments

I managed three pattern repeats on the Hyacinth today. That is an increase of 60 stitches per row just today and I still have somewhere from 4-6 repeats (each 10 rows long) to go. I still want to find a shawl that is all decreases instead of increases. Then each row would feel like it was going faster rather than taking ever longer.

And I have to decide which of the UFOs I should tackle next.

It won’t be tomorrow – I am off to Gosport to a meeting. We are meeting up at 0600 in order to be there at 0800. I don’t have to drive, and perhaps I could even sleep. What I do know about this arrangement is that it gets me out of staying for the formal dinner as the four I am riding with are sensibly interested in getting back to Camberley to get some sleep before we turn around and do it again tomorrow.

Perhaps I can take pictures from the car window? Nah – I am not bringing a camera, it is not that kind of meeting.

Books et all

Listened to the first 15 episodes of Discovered Country by Nora Fleischer. It seems to be a time traveler/post holocaust type story and I still haven’t gotten the point so I switched to Mur Lafferty’s Playing for Keeps.

In hardcover, I just finished the latest Sookie Stackhouse.

Of this, of course, was between getting some work done and cruising other people’s blogs.

Categories: Books & Tapes, Knitting Tags: ,

Organic Mowers

June 22nd, 2008 2 comments

Not wishing to wait for the promised sometime next week we will come and mow, I borrowed an organic horse powered lawn mower from another person who lives on post.

Truly horse powered.

The lawnmower

If you can’t see him clearly, perhaps this will help?


Otter was supposed to come with a buddy. Said buddy had an injured hoof and won’t be along for a couple of days. Never the less, this one horse made a valiant effort to eat down as much grass as he could chew. That thing on his head is a mesh fly protector. He can see out, and it is insect repellent impregnated. Not a bad idea.

I expect to see him back over the next several days. The post engineer says that they will come with a mower and really take care of the grass. That I will believe when it happens.


The Forget-me-not is complete.
I like the pattern and I even managed to add some beads to the edge. I don’t have tiny crochet hooks. But with the miracle of floss threaders – I was all set!
Forget me not PatternForget me not PatternWorking on the points.

Now I just have to get it blocked (and one section repaired. Nothing like finding out you have dropped a stitch back a few rows after the binding off is completed).


Ok, this is how much yarn I had left after completing Tubey. Now I really need to do something with it. But at least it does not count as a UFO.


Moving on – I started Geek Fu Master by Mur Lafferty but didn’t get through more than a few episodes. Being one of the old geeks (it takes more than having done some web page design and RPG authoring to qualify as a geek in my book), I found her humourus in her observations of life. A bit too Gen-X for my taste, but I think she would appeal better to the 30s crowd than this late 50s geek for 40+ years…..

In case you are wondering why I seem to be breaking the cardinal rule of “if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all” it is because I know that what does not appeal to me may well resonate with one of your. And if you don’t haunt weird places like the Balticon Podcasts, you just might miss these.



June 21st, 2008 Comments off

I wasn’t one of the 30,000 people who are reported to have greeted the sunrise (0458) this morning at Stone Henge (BBC Article here) with a lovely series of pictures starting here.

Nor did I join Cheryl and the rest of the crew from the nearest drop zone in their plan to overfly Stone Henge on their way to an early morning jump. I’m not sure if they actually managed this morning as the weather was a bit of an issue.

Instead, I made an early airport run to drop off a colleague. On the way back I went by the site of last night’s excited and was comforted to find my hubcap just sitting there upside down on the corner. All critical jobs for the day completed, I just relaxed for the duration listening to books and knitting.


I made significant progress on the Forget-me-not shawl.
Forget Me Not

The pattern is a 16 row repeat. I figured out that I can probably manage 7 repeats along with the edging out of one skein of sock yarn. As the day progressed, I got better at reading the stitches to figure out where I was but still kept up a simple chart and checked off every row.

Fotget me not.

I like the way that the pattern is developing, even if my colour choice seems to be a bit odd. You see, I am going to make the eldest a shawl to go with her wedding dress and I am trying out patterns in small sizes. The youngest (aka Ms Copper) happens to love pink/green. So I know that I will have a taker for the scarf when it is finished.


Full Share– the third in the series by Nathan Lowell.

I also listened to the first couple of Episodes of Red Panda. I find the basic story line funny and appreciate the author’s sense of humor. However – I find the production by Decoder Ring Theater so strident and their barker so unpleasant that I am skipping the rest of the episodes. Apparently most of their voice actors haven’t figured out that there is a difference between emoting and shouting. I am sure that it will appeal to others. Just not me, since I don’t want to have to sit right next to the computer and skip over all the intros and adds.

All in all, a nice quiet day. It is nice to have a downday.


June 19th, 2008 Comments off

It has been a long time since I muttered around about spinning. And normally I go no where near fleece, washing fleece or processing from the beginning.

But lately, as the price of roving seems to have sky rocketed to the point where painted and dyed roving is more expensive than commercial yarn, I have been reconsidering. I don’t begrudge the Indies for wanting to make money, but when I am looking for sweater/vest amounts of yarn it starts becoming a bit dear.

Please also remember that I am now living in wool country. There may not be as many sheep here as in the UK, but some of the rural areas seem pretty close. One of those areas is the Shetland Isles. You have heard of Jamiesons, right?

As essentially the processor on the Shetland Isles, fleece is available for less than half the price of roving. In turn this seems to be about half the price of yarns (which can be purchased on cones). I liked the price on the fleece, especially since all grades are the same price. Shetland fleece are small, so buying by x number of fleece or I want y kilos are both possibilities.

My fleece appeared at the back door yesterday.

The magic box

Opening it
inside the box

I found this sturdy plastic bag containing neatly rolled fleece in exactly the colours I had requested.
Fleece in the bag

Each fleece was already decently skirted. The rain in the Isles must contribute to the cleanliness as these were nowhere near as dirty as I expected.
One of the grey fleeceA bit of the white

I think I am going to plan either this weekend or one in July as fleece washing.


Doesn’t look bad blocked at all
Diamond Fantasy Shawl, blocked

And I have taken a skein of J-Knits in colourway Maryland
Marylandwound in a ball

and am going to test drive Forget-me-Not by Evelyn Clark as a possibility for the Eldest. The colours are something that would appeal to the Maus (Ms Copper by any other name) so I know I will have a taker when it is complete).


Half Share – Nathan Lowell.

Both my headache and meds have finally worn off, just in time to crash.


Shawl Progress

June 16th, 2008 Comments off

The most exciting part of my work day was finding myself the only one at breakfast in the Mess.


Rapid progress on the Diamond Fantasy Shawl brought me to this point – Just about completed

with only a pattern repeat to go. I took advantage of the five minutes of sunshine.

Digging through my patterns – all the Chameleon Colorworks ones are still in Germany. I have no socks on the needles at all and am not sure what to start next. I might head back to frog the Mingus and use the yarn for Firestarter.


I finished up Nina Kimberley the Merciless and moved from fantasy to Science Fiction.

Nathan Lowell has an interesting series based on space travel. Starting with Quarter Share, it is one of those lovely tales that absolutely works the best in first person. Reminds me of some Heinlein stories (young adult lose in the galaxy seeing ordinary situations with fresh eyes).