Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What Fun!

That was my car, after being dusted for fingerprints this morning.

That was Mr. T's. I got into my car to go to the market this morning and the glove compartment was open and things were strewn all over the front seat. Mr. T's was in similar condition. We make a point of not keeping anything valuable in our cars, so we don't worry about locking them. I'd rather have people open the doors and rifle through things than break any glass and cost me a lot of money. For a while now, thieves have been going through Arlington a couple of blocks at a time, breaking into cars, mostly for GPS units. Several cars on the block behind us were also hit; one had a radio stolen. The policemen were very nice and efficient, promising that they were going to send out plainclothes officers with decoy cars. They're quite sick of having to deal with this.

Swatch Stories

I worked up swatches of the Telemark and Jo Sharp yarns for the Gathered Pullover I hope to start soon. The Telemark knit up nicely, but was a little scratchy, as expected of that type of yarn. The Jo Sharp feels more substantial and softer. Both knit up approximately to gauge (19 st and 24 row = 4 inches). Stitch gauge for the Telemark was spot on, but 24 rows was only 3 7/8 inches. Easily blockable. With the Jo Sharp, 19 stitches was 3 7/8 inches long, and 24 rows came out to be 3 5/8 inches long.

I washed them both and patted them out to dry -- no pulling or stretching. What a radical change! Now 19 stitches of the Telemark was 4 1/4 inches long and 24 rows was 3 3/4 inches, and much softer. It was even more dramatic for the Jo Sharp, for which 19 stitches was now 4 3/8 inches and 24 rows were 3 3/8 inches.

I took the spritzer and wet them again, this time pulling them into shape, and got gauge for both. Here they are after drying:

For the life of me, I do not know why Blogger keeps rotating these pictures! Well, here's a shot of the two swatches lounging about after their blocking, showing their drapiness:

I'm not sure how I feel about these swatches. The designer of the Gathered Pullover specifically used a lighter weight yarn at a larger gauge to get more drape, but the versions of the sweater that I've liked on Ravelry seem a bit more structured. I'll have to mull on this some more.

Meanwhile, I've been working on the Star of Evening edging while watching bikers fly down mountains in Europe (sometimes literally, unfortunately). As you can see from today's photo, progress is slow. Each edging point consists of 8 rows, but eats up only 4 shawl body stitches. By my rough estimate, I'm close to 2/3 of the way across.

I'm very ready for this to be finished, so I can move on to the next project.

Amazon Kindle Question

I've been considering investing in the Amazon Kindle as a way of reducing the book clutter in the house. There will always be books that I will get to own forever, but there are many books that I read and never look at again, only to give them away at Temple charity drives or school book swaps. In the meantime, they take up a lot of room in the house. Kindle seems like a nice way of reducing that clutter. Commenter Kippi has one and has given me some great feedback. Is there anyone else out there who has one and would like to give me an honest appraisal? I think the biggest drawback for me at this point is that the books I tend to read are a little more obscure and don't appear to be Kindle-ready at this point. I think I'll make a list of books that I'd like to read out of the next few weeks' Book Reviews and see how many of them are available on Kindle. But I'd also like more input from people with real-world experience with it. (PS, I understand you can now browse Ravelry using it!) Thanks in advance for any help...


kippi said...

aw that stinks about the car. Very smart of you to just leave them unlocked. At least now you don't have to worry about getting broken windows repaired. Still depressing though.

I really enjoyed reading about your swatches and seeing them in their glory. I really like the color of the grey one, but the green one looks pretty as well. You don't sound committed so it is good that you are waiting.

I've been watching the tour in the mornings and am really enjoying it this year. So sad that the sport is being (almost) ruined by the doping.

I haven't tried browsing Ravelry on my kindle, but I'm going to! If I were closer I would just let you try mine to see if you like it.

Firefly Nights said...

So sorry about your car problems. Northern Virginia just isn't what it used to be. Glad it was only your car and not your house.

Loren T said...

Thanks, firefly nights! The area has changed so much in the 20 years that I've lived here. I remember when Warrenton was considered "the country" and now it's a suburb of DC, losing all those beautiful farms to housing developments. Luckily, Arlington seems to be maintaining much of its character (good and bad). Cute puppy, btw.

Scott T. said...


The general view of cycling as being destroyed by doping is always fascinating and irritating to me. It appears that way because the media are fixated on it. The media are fixated on it because the sport has taken very public steps to catch and punish dopers. So, you hear about it a lot.

Yet, you hear nothing about the NFL or major league baseball being "destroyed." That is because they are not airing their dirty laundry. Roger Clemons and some politically motivated congressional hearings aside, you don't hear an on-going drum beat about it. Yet, did you know that in 2003 104 major league baseball players tested positive for steroids? ( That is the equivalent of every starting player on 11 teams. In cycling, first infraction is a 2 year ban. In baseball, the last I heard, it was like 2 weeks. The NFL? Please, the NFL would cease to exist if they couldn't pump those guys full of cortisone and steroids. They wouldn't be able to walk they would be so damaged. They don't want testing because they don't want to damage their product.

I'm not defending the use of performance enhancing drugs (I frequently wish I had some), but cycling is being destroyed only because it isn't covering the issue up in order to protect the entertainment product.

my 2 cents and rant complete.

I think that the tight bunch you are seeing in the lead of the Tour this year is likely proof that the leaders are clean. The 2 guys that appeared to easily run away from those leaders have apparently been caught juicing (I don't trust the testing as far as I can spit, but that's a different rant). The reality is, you do not attack like a mad man up a mountain one day without risking a massively bad day the next.

Sorry, really I'm done (unless you know where I can get some EPO, because lord knows I need it; and maybe some HGH)

Sharon said...

Sorry to hear about the cars; I have heard nothing about this, and don't know whether they've "hit" my neighborhood yet. We've also been watching the Tour (my husband especially follows it closely). I do think the riders are as guilty as any pro athelete if they're doping, but it makes me more furious with the cyclists, because as a VERY amateur rider (triathlons), I can begin to appreciate how gifted they are without the drugs. I understand that if some are doping, all feel they have to, in order to remain competitive. But these riders are so genetically gifted in the first place, and then train in such a disciplined and arduous manner, that I would love to see the competition among them in raw material form. I don't really watch football or baseball, so I take it more personally when the cyclists "cheat." Just imho.

Loren, your swatching undertaking is intimidating. I am SO lazy about swatching. (Which is why I just finished a shell that I crocheted as small, and seems like a large now that it's done.)

Well, back to work and then out turn my compost heap--my new summer project!

Loren T said...


I don't know where you live, but you can always check the crime reports online. I read the crime reports in the weekly section of the Post, and have noticed over the course of the last year or two that there will be a notice that a number of cars have been broken into over a couple of blocks, with GPS and satellite radios taken. They move around a bit, but in the last couple of weeks, our general neighborhood got hit more than once. In the first wave, car windows were broken for entry, so I'm glad I left my car open.

I learned LONG ago that swatching is key to getting close to getting a final product that will fit. I made a sweater for my mother out of some superwash wool, but failed to wash the swatch to get a final measurement. Superwash grows quite a bit after washing, so my petite mom couldn't wear the sweater. It's a pain, but you can learn a lot.

For all --

Evening Star is done, washed, and pinned out. Pictures and post to come over the weekend.

Sharon said...


I'll check the Post then. I live left off of Lee Hwy onto Lorcom, and then left at the first street. We're down that street (Trenton). (Lebanese Taverna Market is right there, and my son's taste for expensive baklava is killing my wallet.) Creepy. I don't like leaving my car unlocked on principle. What time of day did the break in occur?

Thanks for the swatch advice.

Have a great weekend. I'll check in to see those pictures!