Sunday, March 30, 2008

Harbingers of Spring

Blossoms on our plum tree:

Close up:

Cat, warming her tummy in the sun:

I would have added a picture of boys playing baseball, but I forgot my camera yesterday.

And yet, it's still cold!

It's been busy here, and there's been relatively little (OK, no) knitting. Between birthday parties, baseball games, errands, and post-game dinners, complete with junior mosh pits, we've been out of the house a lot. I tend not to bring my knitting to baseball games, because I help out, talk to the other parents, and chase after the non-playing kid. But it's all great fun.

Tomorrow, I'm going with Jr. Jr.'s class on a field trip to see "Horton Hears a Who." Somehow, they're going to get 120 kids and 80 or so parents coordinated enough to walk down to the Metro station, get their farecards and get on the Metro, get off at the right stop, and take over the movie theater, and then attempt to get everyone back to school. Should be quite the experience. I'll remember to bring along the Advil.

Fun Reading Material

The most recent Interweave Knits (I think, I don't have it in front of me) did a feature on Japanese knitting pattern books. Some of the featured stitches looked beautiful and unfamiliar to me, so I set off to find these books. Amazon came up empty, and I took one look at the Japanese Amazon site and realized that I wasn't going to be able to figure it out. Then a couple of other bloggers mentioned Cool! I ended up purchases four or five books, two of which arrived yesterday:

I haven't finished going through both books yet, but there are definitely some beautiful and new-to-me stitch patterns. Given that I already have almost every stitch dictionary printed in English, this is quite a feat. It's not hard to figure out how to knit these patterns, either. They're all charted, and there are very helpful diagrams along the bottom of the pages showing you how to perform the stitches. So when I come to a symbol I'm not familiar with, I simply look at the diagrams.

The books contain some neat ways of charting things, too, that I'll have to try to replicate in my Knit Visualizer software. When I was charting out the motif for my Deco socks, I followed the charting system used in the German stitch dictionary from which the motif was adapted. This required hand writing some stuff on the charts. This worked wonderfully for me, since I thought the notation was intuitive, and since there aren't any Euro/American symbols for some of the stitch manipulations used. It wasn't so great, however, in the event I wanted to pull the pattern together for future sale, since I can't easily replicate it on the computer. These books have a symbol for exactly what I was doing. Now I can play around with adding that symbol to the Knit Visualizer library and re-charting the pattern. (Yeah. Right. Since only three people seem to read my blog, it's not like there's a large outcry for this pattern.)

I'm ready to sew up the Flutter Sleeve cardi. I went to my LYS on Friday and got some buttons, but I don't love them. There wasn't a huge selection of the right size buttons. I guess I'll have to bop over to G Street Fabrics at some point this week to see if I can find anything better.

After that, I get to ponder what to do next. Start a doily? Probably. Design a sweater using some of those neat new stitch patterns? Possibly. We'll just have to wait and see :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful blossoms!

Can't wait to see the cardi, with or without buttons. I'm jealous of your proximity to G Street Fabrics. I've heard it is wonderful

I'm off to check out YesAsia! Thanks for being an enabler.


**this is giving me fits signing in this morning for some reason.