Still sewing up blanket -- edges done, now I have to experiment with ways to secure the strips to one another in the middles. This may well take another year...

I've been trying all week to wrap my head around the idea of a world without David Bowie in it. The depth of my own response has caught me by surprise: I think at least half of it's coming out of that old Brainweaselly "and here nobody even notices you when you're in the room, much less would your passing be the lead news around the world", which may be an impossibly high bar but tell that to Brainweasels; but the other half is that simple shock of having a rug that's always been there pulled out from under you, because I'm very nearly the same age as his fame and I've never known a world without his influence. A well-played life, indeed.

Did I mention that the yarn shop I hang out at as 2/3 of my Alleged Social Life is closing at the end of this month? Yeah, there may be some serious emotional displacement going on here.
And all that remains is the assembly; once I've got the pieces woven together and sewn at the edge, I shall have a blanket that's about... um, six foot square. Yeeeeah. Surprisingly, did not have to buy any additional yarn, though my worsted-weight stash is pretty well cleaned out and I'll have to nick one skein back from Mum for the edging.

Onward to other ongoing yearlong endeavours: 2016 marks year eleven of Media Consumption lists, with year ten coming in at 146 books, and 57 films, and ten years tilting at this bloody windmill at a grand total of 965 books and 491 films. Um. Yes. If anyone cares to check the math, go ahead, I'll just be lying here with a cold cloth over my eyes. On to the second ten years:

Media Consumption List, 2016 )
robling_t: (Default)
( Dec. 16th, 2015 04:36 pm)
Decided to go on ahead and finish up the knitting on the blanket.

26 strips in total, which I now have to math into one big piece; going with the weaving idea, that means trying to get them all blocked into a size that's 1/13th as wide as it is long, so proooobably about 5'x4.5" -- I've pulled out the two longest and the two shortest to see how well they can be massaged into being the same dimensions. And then I have to find the space and the time-stroke-patience to pin them all out to dry in shifts, because as you can see it's quite the area they cover and this ain't gonna happen all in one go... More To Come.
Yep, this is still happening. Which no one is more surprised by than me, believe me. Only two more strips of swatches to go...
As of yesterday I'm caught back up on the Blanket Project after setting it aside for a bit to wrangle other knitting deadlines. (Yes, knitters encounter deadlines. Most of these were self-imposed "I want to finish this piece of $PROJECT_RELEASED_IN_PARTS before $NEXT_PART is revealed", of which I was following, oh, three at the same time, but one was a proof-of-concept piece that... also was being released in parts as the designer worked out how each part of it should go based on feedback, with occasional Hilarity as I kept out-knitting the pace of designing it.) So I'm now back to "only" having to work one of these each day, and should therefore be a little more patient about the patterns that have basically made their freakin' point already and not filling in half the block with plain knitting, as I did end up doing on a couple of particularly irritating examples during the catch-up phase. (This is much more likely to happen if A, the stitch-pattern is one or two lines, B, it's annoying to work, or C, I fail to see any point to what it does when it is worked; one of the skips on the first-half-of-July strip failed on all three criteria.)

I have also arrived at a point of knitting-fu where I am snickering behind my hand that two patterns in a row in the Source showed photographs of the wrong side of their swatch.
I've knit ahead a bit on the Blanket Project to clear the workflow roster for a piece I need to knit to a deadline, so long as I had a bit of time before the yarn for that gets here. Somebody remind me to pick this up again in June, OK?

Nothing in particular to report regarding this batch besides that purling more than 3 stitches together is still a stupid idea, and I'm getting a better sense of when to declare that a given pattern has sufficiently made its point that I can fill in the rest of an irritating swatch with garter-stitch, as I've done twice in the strips here (once after a mere 9 rows demonstrated that the results, while correct, were not only difficult to work but too hideous to really be worth the trouble).

Also, that bag is what five months of knitting 4x4" bits every day makes. It's kind of scary.
In happier news, the Blanket Project is still on-track, with today's swatch representing yet another completed strip, although as you can see I did hit "bugger this" after two full six-row repeats of back-to-back "p3tog/YO/p3tog again" across the WS rows and decided that I'd grasped the point sufficiently to just fill in the rest of that one with garter-stitch. I've also hit my first penalty-lap knitting of the 29 February stitch, because (appropriately enough, I suppose?) 1 April's "Bramble Stitch" is actually a duplicate of "Trinity Stitch" from an earlier swatch. I know that there's at least one more duplicated pattern coming up in a few weeks, I'll use the 31 December pattern there and then alternate between the extras if I encounter any more sloppy proofreading. *Ahem*.

Also going on in my Alleged Life, I have three weeks left to get the rest of the story I hope to submit for Long Hidden 2 together, and as of high noon an army of workmen have finally turned up to saw out the wall just outside our back door to fix a pipe that that's been sporadically gushing water back there since sometime in early-to-mid March. This wouldn't be doing much for my ability to concentrate if I were on meds...
The Blanket Project continues apace, and with 6 of the projected 26 strips now in the books I'm thinking that the best plan for eventually joining up into something that's y'know, usable, given some irregularities in width and the part where I really should have planned in a selvedge-stitch if I was going to seam these, is to weave them together once they're all done and have a double-thick lap-blanket of about 4' square. Ish. Yes, this means that half of the blocks will end up wrong-side-out, but srsly, it's not exactly as if this thing was going to be pretty in the first place and as to its value as a reference-book, most of that's in the actual knitting-up of it anyway. So. JUST TRY AND STOP ME.
robling_t: (Default)
( Feb. 19th, 2015 11:39 pm)
The blanket project is ticking right along, and at the end of week seven we had another Executive Decision, in that that narrow two-colour part of the needlewards swatch here took longer to knit than did the entirety of the single-colour variation that I switched to after looking up at the clock and saying "screw this". If I should run into this stitch again as a plain one-colour stitch later I'll knit one of the unused stitches from Feb. 29 or Dec. 31 as a penalty-lap instead.

Also, Snip would like everyone to know that it is very cold out and the Management should be baking more for the sake of her comfort. That is all.
Sudden insight that the story I've been working on actually needed to start two paragraphs later and the middle of it can be handled as a flashback within one long scene. It remains to be seen whether this will help sort out the rest of it within the three months remaining on the deadline I want to submit it for, but fingers crossed that at least figuring out the structure of it at last will serve as a kick in the rear vis-a-vis getting words to start falling out onto the page...

As to the mad project, today's installment rates a mention as being the first disagreement on technique rather than overall-advisability I've had with the Source: as the photo shows, there are two distinct things happening in that top bit, because the directions as written seemed to produce a result that was visually rather pointless and when I decided to look in a different stitch-compendium for something similar it agreed with my instinct that "no, actually you do it this way round", so I switched methods in the middle. (For the knitters, it was using a twisted M1 versus an open M1.) So, I hereby declare that in case of disputes I'm allowing myself to consult Walker as an arbiter for whether or not Source is perhaps talking out of its arse. So there.
I now have 1/26th of a blanket, or possibly 1/13th of the first of two blankets depending, and have started on the second strip of 14 swatches. So far that 'lacy rib' mentioned before is still the most annoying process-wise, with 'that one where you p5tog srsly who ever needs to do that' rating a special mention for having actually done the needles I'm using an injury. I foresee breaking at least one dpn before I'm done with this thing.

Stats: strip #1 here weighs 110g and is 50" long in a resting state (see: S can't math for squat, numerous citations). Blocking this at the end is gonna be... Yeeeah. But I have a year to dwell upon that thought before it comes to it...
Week one of the blanket project is in the books. Each individual bit takes about an hour, which makes for a good example of how a large task can be broken down into manageable chunks. So far the early leader for "most annoying" is 'lacy rib', third from the top in this photo, because it has a high concentration of contrary-to-muscle-memory moves (specifically, for the knitters out there, yarn-overs between knit and purl stitches, which involve a moment's conscious thought for each and every one of them and it's every two stitches here).

Other early observations are that this sample weighs 54 grams, which since the entire skein of yarn is 200g suggests I'm going to be needing more yarn sometime around the end of April (fortunately it's not like there's any shortage of miscellaneous worsted-weight already in the house, although it does put a damper on the idea of making this a nice blanket considering what most of the miscellaneous worsted-weight in this house looks like), and also that the blanket is going to weigh... ratheralot; and that this 7-day run of swatches is already 26" long, which is way off from initial estimates (it should be about 21") and suggests that a bit of rethinking is in order, namely to knit up the swatches in strips of 14 rather than 28 so that I have the option later on of perhaps laying them out as a 14x26-swatch format instead of the original 28x13 plan, or indeed just making two 14x13 blankets which might end up being the better idea anyway, we'll see. But onward.
The "knit a blanket in a year or die trying" project has begun. Specs are as follows:
  • source: a 366-swatch perpetual desk-calendar.
  • yarn: Lion Brand 'fishermans wool', currently 4x400yds on-hand. I'll need a bit of some contrasting colour for a couple of the swatches, I'll rummage through my scraps-bin when I get to those.
  • needles: US#4/3.5mm, which is a bit tight for this yarn but I'm thinking ahead to the cumulative size of this many swatches...
  • swatch size: having looked through the entire calendar, the biggest swatches will need a 30-stitch and/or 30-row format, so I'm making them all that 30x30 size; this results in a swatch that's about 4" wide by 3" high on these needles.
  • layout:...and then doing more maths, the best way to arrange the resulting mountain of knitting will be to knit the swatches in strips of 28 (because although I am quite clearly mad, I'm not mad enough to set myself up for that much sewing-together) and then seam these strips together; 28 times 3"-high by 13 times 4"-wide should come out to about 4 feet by 7 feet, with two swatches left over in case of whatever contingency may arise (IE encounters with purple soda, or general un-knit-ability).

So. Um. Wish me luck? I hope to be blogging my progress, not daily to be sure because that's godawful dull for those of you who are having to sit through this, but the occasional proof-of-life shot as above may be turning up at intervals...

And speaking of maths, 2014's Media Consumption worked out to 108 books and 55 films. Onward to year ten:

Media Consumption List, 2015 )